As professionals we receive information from multiple angles all day long. In the process our definitions become the definitions of the people surrounding us and we end up being perception followers. To become effective individuals we must know what to take in and what to keep out. But this filter in our minds can only be functional once we discard the old definitions of the words that govern our lives and replace them with the right definitions – the ones in the light of The Knowledge. Let’s get on the journey to redefine our lives by redefining our words.
When faith becomes your driving force, there is nothing that can stop you.
Find your foundation, find your purpose, have faith and keep moving.
Values are the drivers of our lives. What we don’t realize is that every action of ours at the workplace or outside is directly driven by our value system. For example, it is our values that set the groundwork of our conversations. They will be reflected in ‘why’ we are talking to any of the stakeholders above, below or equal in the organizational hierarchy to us.
Whenever we start a conversation with someone we must ask ourselves, is the conversation transactional or is it because I’m just ‘feeling’ like talking to that individual. Is it been done at the right place and at the right time?
Our values reflect in who we talk to and ‘how’ we talk. That comprises of the words that we use, the tone of what we say, the body language, the facial expressions, the response that we give to others on what parts of the conversation, how involved are our senses in it and are we keeping a check on them, what thought process is going on in our minds as we talk.
This is just a small example of how our values govern every single action that we do. How we come across to others and the perception that we build around us is directly proportional to how strong our value system is.
But what exactly are values and where do we find them?
Our values form the foundation of who we are, the shadow of which reflects in everything that we think, say or do. Our values are what we never compromise on, no matter what.
Values are what help us in deciding what to accept or reject; in making a choice of our thoughts, words and actions. They help us measure every single step that we take. They bring clarity to our minds giving us the ability to filter out what our surroundings throw at us in black or white, zero or one, out or not out.
Your value system is your handbook of do’s and don’ts that are in direct alignment with The Divine Message.
Keep referring to it every moment. Keep reflecting.
Our conscience is that in-built alarm system that The Creator gave us as a gift right at the time of our birth. We were born with it. But what depreciates the conscience over time is the need for acknowledgement from our circles. Seeking acknowledgement is that disease that eats up this internal regulation system like termite. The more we seek validation, the weaker our conscience gets and a time comes when it is completely eroded. When that happens you’re exposed to all evils, bare naked.
To stay away from all thoughts, words and actions that can harm us in present and future, we must keep our conscience at our minds’ gateways. Take care of it; feed it; nurture it. That’s your only guard.
Validation is what we waste the majority of our lives after – the hollow desire to fit in, to be told we are right or to tell someone that they are wrong. Validation starts from that little gold star on your kindergarten books to the likes you get on your profile pictures today. It is nothing but a disease.
It’s a bottomless pit, a never ending downward spiral that keeps pulling you down perpetually. The more you try to fill it, the more you realize how it has no end. It infects your mind like incurable cancer. It becomes a desire that can never be fulfilled.
This consistent seek of validation quietly strangles your self-belief. The worst part is that you aren’t even aware of it. As your self-belief deteriorates, your ego feels attacked, therefore making you more prone to keep falling deeper and deeper into the pit of complexes. But hey, you believe you are a strong individual…just a little caught up in likes, shares and retweets.
Why is it that you need to be told about your self-worth from the world? Who qualified their opinion for you? How is it that they have more authority on deciding your value than your own self?
Be truthful to yourself and know that no one’s opinion about you matters except your conscience.
Esteem is an asset. You either have it or you don’t. Esteem is gained by getting rid of your complexes, insecurities and false perceptions that have been superimposed on you through irresponsible content via media and your circles.
Esteem is what you find at the core of yourself as you keep shedding layers and layers of ego. They are like matter and anti-matter. If one exists the other cannot. The more you kill your ego, the more you strengthen your esteem.
A person of high esteem radiates self-belief, has respect for self and others and is free of insecurities. He or she does not seek validation from anyone but The Creator. A person of esteem practices mindfulness day in day out. Such a person is driven by values aligned with faith and keeps a constant check on thoughts, words and action.
A person of high self-esteem in its truest form is a person of faith.
“Serve your esteem, starve your ego”
Strength is not the display of unnaturally attained body types as depicted on media platforms.
Strength is in the mind. It stems from faith. If you don’t have mental strength derived from faith, no matter how much of physical work out you do, your body will only be a showcase of some muscle fibers taking shape; not strength.
Want to be strong? Work on your strength.
Want to gain strength? Work on your faith.
That’s the only and last resort.
Bravery is beyond cosmetics. Muscles, height, deep voice are all a facade if bravery is not in the mind.
What bravery actually means is that you are true to yourself in the most difficult of situations. You face the truth no matter how painful it is. You are clear about taking the path that aligns with your values, no matter how much it hampers your chances of success. Bravery is sticking to your commitment at all times of discomfort.
We often attribute our little sparks of courage as bravery. But know that it is a trait and a permanent state of mind, which if not practiced constantly would stagnate your growth, entirely. Be brave in your mind first, the rest will follow.
‘Faith’ and ‘balance’ go hand in hand. All human beings were sent to this earth at their mean. When we are sent to this world, we are yet to fill the negative and positive logs of our life for which we will be accountable for.
A person of faith realizes this. Being aware of how character is defined by thoughts, words and actions, a believer ensures a balance of all three which reflects the clarity of faith within.
Be a person of ‘faith’, be a person of ‘balance’.
The only innate ‘curiosity’ you are born with, is the curiosity to find your Creator. You can’t look at Him but you see Him all around you every day; you can’t hear His voice but you hear Him every second of the day; you can’t touch Him but you feel Him in every heartbeat throughout the day. But if you still can’t find Him, find yourself. You’ll find Him.
To become a benchmark yourself, first you need to choose the right benchmarks for yourself. To choose the right benchmarks you need to ask the right questions as to why a person qualifies to be your benchmark. Is he or she living a life of purpose bigger than their self? Is that person driven by reflection? Do they keep their values at the gateway of their minds? Do they live a life of focus, clarity, effectiveness and faith? Are they mindful of their thoughts, words and actions.
If you want to see a life of reflection, a life of extreme focus, clarity and effectiveness, a life that is driven by values, see the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The only human who qualifies to your benchmark is him.
A man is known by the company he keeps. We’ve all read or heard this proverb. But do we even truly understand the depth behind it? It is the company of people, our circles, that we keep ourselves surrounded with that truly makes or breaks the pathway to who we were meant to be.
In today’s so-called ‘connected’ world, we often find ourselves banking on our circles. It has become a way to show how ‘influential’, ‘powerful’ or ‘well-known’ we are.
Our choice of people who we spend time with determines who we become. Circles have a very strong influence on our personalities. People we have extensive contact-time with, brush off their traits on us and vice versa. This is why successful and effective people will always be vary of who they spend time with. They will ensure their circle improves them for their long term goals.
While our value system is our backbone, our circles become the reason of either depreciating that bone or making it brittle.
Choose your circles wisely.
How effective you are in life, how well you perform, what results you get, all of this is directly proportional to how clear your mind is. The more the clarity, the sharper the brain’s processing and the more focus you attain. The more the focus, the better the results. Simple.
There’s nothing more empowering than being in control of your own mind.
But how do we achieve the clarity of mind?
The more you reflect on your life (both past and present), the more you understand yourself and the more clarity your mind gains. Identify your past trends, the mistakes you made and ask yourself why did you do what you did? How could you have dealt with that situation ideally? Keep asking yourself the right questions, keep digging, and keep rectifying. Once your mind gets on autopilot with the process of reflection, there is no way that you can’t gain clarity of mind.
The most misused word as a means to get away from changing ourselves. It is the faulty understanding and hence the wrong use of this word that has kept the status quo of the society intact. The definition of the word ‘culture’ has been crippled again and again every time we used it to package our thoughts, words and actions.
To break the shackles of the status quo, we must first break the wrong definitions of culture. The definitions that were given to us by our circles and media.
But then one asks, what is culture in real?
Culture is your state of mind that is nurtured on your value system – the value system that is based on faith. Your culture is what you carry with you in your mind. It is the ‘approach’ that we take to deal with any situation. In simple words, it is the way of things.
Want to define your culture? Define your values first.
Don’t know how to define values? Go back to the basics.
Go back to ‘Faith’.
The exact opposite of self-esteem. Ego is that invisible negative force within you that can disguise itself with multiple faces such as self-righteousness, self-doubt, over confidence and insecurities.
A child when born is ego-free. It is the brought up by his guardians, the content that they feed in that child’s brain, the circles that they choose for that child develops his ego. And as the child grows into an adult the ego is nurtured day in and day out with comparison, complexes and perceptions given to him through irresponsible content shown on media platforms and circles.
Until you break free from the chains of the ego that was never meant to be there, you can never revert to your ‘natural’ state. Hence, you can never find your true self that is buried deep down under layers and layers of ego.
And until you don’t find your real self you can never be an effective individual because you are driven by not your own self but by that negative force within you. Your mind is no more in your control.
Want to be effective? Get rid of ego.
Want to get rid of ego? Reflect.
A friend is someone who ‘earns’ your trust by establishing and practicing your beliefs, your values. A friend is not someone who you ‘spend the most amount of time with’; but someone who inspires you every single day to become the best version of yourself. Choose wisely.
Grace is not defined by how you appear. Grace is in how you carry yourself and that is defined by your thoughts, words and actions when they are aligned with faith. It is the surety of these three fundamental elements of your character that gives you ‘comfort in your own skin’.
The urgency is a state of mind that shows in your actions; it shows in your response time between realization of who you were sent to be and execution towards becoming that.