A road trip

If I told you I have a destination in mind and I am planning on starting my journey soon insha Allah, would you think I was able to get to my destination? Of course! Insha Allah! If I take the necessary steps to get ready for my trip, and Allah(swt) allows me to, then I will reach my destination.

So here I go.  I arranged for my kids to stay with my parents.  I bought some snacks, I made sure my phone has charge so I can use GPS on the way, and I stopped at the gas station and put in gas.  There is just one problem…  The gas tank in car has a leak.  I think it should be ok.  What do you think? Do you still believe I can get to my destination?  You are probably thinking to yourself: “What kind of a question is that?? OF COURSE you’re not going to make it if the fuel from your car is leaking! And even if you do, it’s not going to be a pleasant journey! You’d have to make many stops, deal with the mess that you are leaving behind on the roads, etc. etc.”

Of course I am giving you this analogy so something I am about to explain makes more sense, insha Allah!

On the journey of life

Just like fuel is the energy to drive a car, our mindset is the energy that drives our actions in life.  On the journey of life, if we set a destination for ourselves, in other words when we set goals, both for Dunya and the Akhira, we want to make it to our destination successfully insha Allah! What a life if we could truly enjoy the blessings of Allah(swt), make goals that please Allah(swt), reach those goals so that we can use our success for the pleasure of Allah(swt) and then INSHA ALLAH be rewarded in the Akhira with the best of rewards by Allah(swt).

However, just like a leak in the gas tank of a car there are also things that will drain the positive energy from your mind if you allow them to roam in your mind.  And these are the following:

  • Negativity
  • Assumptions
  • Jealousy
  • Worry
  • Hopelessness

We’ve all experienced one or many of the above examples in our mind.  And it surprises me how powerful they are.  These energy-drainers can take over your mind and keep you occupied with the same thoughts for hours or even days and weeks! These occupiers of the mind will hold you back from moving forward in life.  In fact, they will make you regress in life! Just like the leak in the car would stop us from reaching our destination or immensely slow us down.

However, we are humans and you and I both know that we are not immune to any of these negative occurrences in our minds.  So when they come up in our minds, what should we do?

It’s the entertainment of them that will hold us back and avoid us from reaching our potential.

Deen and science

This is proven by science, where we learn that one of the main habits of successful people is to work on their mindset and replace negativity in the mind with positivity.  But more importantly, Allah(swt) has put MANY, MANY reminders and duas about them for us in the Quran and Sunnah.

For example, the Prophet(saw) said:

“Amazing is the affair of the believer. Definitely, all of his life is good and this is not for anybody except the believer. If something of good happens to him, he is grateful and that is good for him. If something harmful befalls him, he is patient and that is good for him.” (Saheeh Muslim #2999)

This beautiful hadith shows us that we are encouraged to think positive, not only when good things happen, but even when hardship hits us in life.  In other words, no matter what comes to us in life, Allah(swt) has given us the ability to stay positive about it.  To think about it as a blessing from Allah(swt).

We are also encouraged in Islam to want for our brother or sister what we want for ourselves.  So instead of feeling jealous and envious, we can make dua for them and ask Allah to bless the goodness in their life.

When it comes to all of these negativities, there are numerous duas from the Quran and the sunnah where we can ask Allah(swt) for protection from them.

So, whether we look at it from the perspective of Deen or from a scientific perspective…
In order to develop a positive, resilient mindset and to excel in all that matters to us…
In order to reach our goals and lead a fulfilling life here and in the next life…
There can’t be room for entertainment of all these energy-drainers of our minds.

A recipe I want to share with you

So how do you get rid of any of the energy-drainers listed above? Here is something I have learned over the years and implemented in my life.  I pray it’s as beneficial for you as it has been for me.

  1. The first and most important thing is to notice. Notice that you are being dragged into negativity and immediately decide that you want to stop it.
  2. Make dua to Allah(swt). In your dua, show your vulnerability and admit to Allah(swt) your weaknesses.  And sincerely ask for help.  Say: “A’udhu billahi minna Shaytaani rajeem”.
  3. Now… picture in your mind whatever negative thoughts or ideas that are bothering you at that moment. Visualize you literally picking up that negativity and throwing it away.  If the thought or idea has to do with someone else, encourage yourself to then make a dua for them.

This practice has been a life-changer for me alhamdullilAllah! It eases my heart from the burden of carrying around a stressor with me.  And the more I have been practicing these steps, the easier it has become to get myself out of negativity, alhamdullilAllah! And the easier I has been to stay in positivity longer.