I think it’s really important for every person to have a mission statement for their life. More like a broad, yet somewhat specific set of objectives that they strive for as long as they live bi’ithnillah. I’ve been working on writing one for myself and it isn’t easy but I like it because it forces me to think beyond myself and see where I fit in, in the grand scheme of things. Know what I mean? No? Okay, I shall explain further.
See, we can all say we want to get to Jannah, but what does that really mean? If we don’t have a plan of action, we’ll easily get pushed into the large crowd of people who live their lives full of false hopes and little action. So ask yourself, what is it that’s going to set you apart from everyone else? What specifically are you going to do and work for that will inshaAllah, make you among the successful on Yaum-ul-Qiyamah. One of the worst things disbelievers will have to experience on that Day is regret…so much regret that they will be completely overwhelmed by the destruction they brought upon themselves. Can you imagine, living a life that amounts to absolutely nothing in the end–all that struggle and toil and hours upon hours of work and stress will turn into dust in front of their eyes. May Allah protect us from such mental torment. Ameen. Every now and then, we experience feelings of regret and while they may be minor, it can become a bigger problem if we don’t stop and re-evaluate where we are headed. That’s why my mission statement starts with this ayah. It keeps me in check and helps me realize that no matter what road I take, I will end up at the destination that many before me have already reached. Some of them left behind incredible legacies and planted trees of khair that people are still benefitting from today, while others just passed by. These people never had what we would call ‘free time’. They were always occupied with some kind of good. Why? Becuause they had a purpose for their free time.
So a life mission statement helps with finding that ultimate purpose and detailing how we intend to achieve it inshaAllah. It should permeate not just our ‘free time’, but our entire life and it should already be in place. If you’re not conscious of your mission, you’re constantly going to feel like you’re running out of time or that you have too many minor obstacles to overcome before you can even begin working on what really matters to you. To avoid this problem, take an index card and write down your mission statement. It’ll take some planning and you may want to draft it first but just start by writing what comes to your mind. Remember that while every believer wants to get to Jannah, we all have different ways of expressing and trying to achieve this. Write down what you think will work for you. And start small! If you’re not making 5 prayers a day, writing something like “pray Tahajjud every day” should be secondary. Focus on the main things, even if they are small and be consistent. (this is the part where I wanted to type out my mission statement but it’s not as vague as I wanted it to be so I’ll leave it out). Once you have it drafted, put your mission/life goals near you on an index card and make sure it’s easily accessible. I’ll probably put mine in my wallet. :) No one touches my wallet.
Here are some points that I put down on my card after my mission statement (I elaborated here):
- Try to find khair in everything that you do/come across.
- Anytime you are faced with a problem, ask yourself, what would Rasulullah (S) do? Or how would he react?
- Listen twice as much as you speak…that’s why Allah gave you two ears and one mouth. :)
- Give everything it’s due right. Salah, Studies, School, Family, Friends Leisure, Volunteer work, etc.
- Be a person of principle. Have set rules and live by them.
- Always review the seerah and make it a regular part of your daily life. We know so much about our family members and friends. We care for them and their kids like we would for our own. But how many Muslims can name Rasulullah (Salallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam’s) children, wives, and beloved Sahaba (ra) if asked? It’s quite sad. We won’t be complete Muslims until we love Rasulullah (S) more than we love ourselves. And loving someone means loving all that they love. This is something I want to make sure I am always aware of inshaAllah.
- Be consistent! ..in everything. School, deen, family, commitments. I always start something with full force but my energy depletes and my excitement for it goes down at a fairly steady pace. I need to stop that from happening inshaAllah.
- Always be in a state of concern, not just for the people around you but for the times ahead. It will help you fear Allah and seek His help in every matter.
Yes, I tend to talk to myself when I write down advice :p. It woks for me. So anyway, try writing a mission statement for your life. Start by listing some super awesome goals that make you want to get out of bed at Fajr time! :)
EDIT: This lecture fits in perfectly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYqz_8iGYzw