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My Outlook on Life (Part 1 of WallahuA’lam)

The past few months have been very confusing for me, to be perfectly honest with myself. I’ve always known myself to be a person of positive direction and goals, and these are what have been carrying me throughout life really. This is the outlook that has given me (by Allah’s hand) success in a lot of my endeavours, whether it be spiritual, academic, physical or social.

However, recently it began to dawn upon me that my life was becoming little more than just fulfilling my responsibilities as a student, as leader and as a person, and that my happiness was becoming increasingly contingent on future events that I expect to happen.

“Perhaps happiness will come when I get into the university of my dreams”

and a long list of things that follow.

I find it difficult however to shake off the truth that I never know if the plethora of expectations I have of myself, events and other people will ever come to fruition. As much as one would like to believe otherwise, the multitude of factors involved in achieving anything means that nothing is certain. People? People change, even the ones we love the most, which renders it unwise to depend on people for support or fulfilment.

I realised how much of my life is lived pursuing happiness, which inevitably inculcates in myself the idea that happiness is something constantly strived for yet always out of reach.

And that was the problem.

Because if the grand scheme of things did indeed complement this paradigm I had in my head, I would have no problem being happy right now simply because I have achieved much in the past.

No, this does not mean that I remain satisfied with where I am and therefore not work towards achieving greater goals, but shouldn’t I, at the very least, in this moment, feel content?

In the midst of such confusion, I spoke to a good friend of mine about exactly this, who largely felt the same way and told me that it would be grand for us to aim to be happy in the precise moment we’re living right now. It is indeed true that the majority of us ‘hang our happiness’ on the future, or rather, our expectations of the future, which inevitably leads to great stress, a very fixed and closed mind, and at times, despair.

Reconciling this became primary to me.

As much as the grandeur of such a prospect struck me at the time, I also wondered how exactly such an easier-said-than-done thing could be accomplished, to which my friend answered:

“Soul searching”

I thought for a moment about what that meant.

And then knew that that was indeed what had to be done.

So that’s exactly what I began doing.

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After flushing the toilet.

Cause I was having the conversation on the phone while I was in the bathroom.

Classic.

~Azzam

 

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4 thoughts on “My Outlook on Life (Part 1 of WallahuA’lam)

  1. Idk why, this reminds me of something I read from theoatmeal.com – how to be perfectly unhappy. Thank you for this, the bit about soul searching, that was a great reminder, and thanks for that comic relief at the end too
    ( > v <)

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    1. Hi Aiman! I’m really glad you found it beneficial 🙂 I also just checked out the ‘perfectly unhappy’ comic you mentioned ^ really is interesting isn’t it? Come to think of it we do use the word ‘happiness’ sparingly but can’t actually put a finger on what it really means… something to ponder about.

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      1. “I once had a thousand desires. But in my one desire to know You all else melted away.” – Jalaluddin Rumi

        I was thinking about this while I was reading the Quran just now, when I came across verses 57 & 58 from surah Yunus:

        O mankind, there has to come to you instruction from your Lord and healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy for the believers. Say, “In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy – in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate.”

        They say miracle could be just any ordinary occurrence with extraordinary significance. Just thought I’d share this little miracle I experienced with you 🙂

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      2. That is so extremely profound Aiman. Sorry for the late reply! I guess it is true that as Muslims, the desire to get to know our Lord (and by extension, please Him) should trump our desires for all else. Although easier said than done, I’m sure that achieving that is ultimately the true happiness we’re all looking for. Thanks for sharing these verses from the Qur’an as well ~ they are quite the miracle in themselves and I’m really glad you told me about them. More to ponder upon 🙂

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