By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)
We can learn a lot from watching children. They live totally in the present. Babies and children want their food, their sleep, their affection, and other necessities of a good productive life. It is a natural trait instilled in us by the Creator, Almighty ALLAH. Because we are older, our lives are not that regimented. We learn to read and observe and therefore get the tools we need for a successful life.
Sayyidina Ali (ra) is reported to have said, live this life as if you will live forever; and live for the next world as if each day is your last.â€ If you knew you were going to die tomorrow you certainly wouldnâ€™t get stagnated and paralyzed focusing on things that went wrong in your life. You would most likely try to get as much pleasure as you possibly could â€“ in the little time you had left.
Failures are not automatically setbacks. Every failure is an opportunity to succeed the next time, but if you focus just on that failure you are likely to repeat it.
I play golf with some guys regularly and this one fellow will make a mistake and shoot a big score for a particular hole. Invariably, on the way to the next hole he will fuss and cuss about what a dumb swing he made. He carries this negative thought all the way to the tee shot. And you know what happens? Most times he will hit the same wild shot as he did the last time. One of the cardinal rules of golf is every shot is a new game and requires the same concentration throughout the golf round. Itâ€™s the same for a 300 yard drive or a one foot putt. They count equally in the final tally.
Itâ€™s also the same if you focus on a failed business deal, a failed marriage, a failed attempt at anything â€“ including a slip off the path of ALLAH. You must start off as if it is a brand new day and opportunity. Although you may use that â€œfailureâ€ as a guide as to what to avoid in the future, you absolutely donâ€™t want to denigrate yourself for it.
Then, on the other hand, we may have experienced a big success â€“ a grand accomplishment, a great speech, or a great golf shot â€“ and we bask in the glory of it too long., We may act as if that accomplishment were going to carry us for the rest of our lives. It just isnâ€™t so. That job is done. Now its time to carry on.
One of my favorite surahs from the Qurâ€™an is Sura 94, Inshirah, where ALLAH shows us how He raised us up and removed all types of obstacles from us. And He shows us that difficulty brings ease and relief. But He also tells us not to bask in it. He says â€œwhen you have finished a task, still labor hard, and turn your attention to thy Lord.â€ ALLAH will not only help you correct the past mistake, He will enhance your successes and lead you from victory to victory.