I don’t really know from where should I start…I know you’ve come a long way and you may not even benefit from this advice amidst all the years that have been passed, but I hope that someone in their teenage-hood may benefit from reading this in shaa Allah.
For you, today and tomorrow are yet to be said. I know you will be curious to know the fine intricacies of your life to come. But there are some things you can do to improve your attitude towards it.
1. Learn from your past
Future is indeed very important but you can only connect the dots when you look back. Learn from your past while living in your present and focusing on your future. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, it’s the best way you probably learn. But may be, not all mistakes are to be made, to learn. Some are better learned from others’ experiences. Otherwise what you lose in the process may be way more than what you gain from it.
People also tend to think that the past is fixed and gone; it can’t be changed. But how we recall the past and think about it can be changed. Recalling memories in different ways can help us re-interpret the past and set us off on a different path in the future. Our lives are defined by the opportunities we take and miss. The chances, the changes are all yours to make. The mold of your life is in your hands to break.
A story has no beginning or end; you choose the moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead. So choose today and learn from what passed yesterday. Things like…
2. Value time
Start today than tomorrow. If not now, when?
Time flies and it isn’t just a saying. It really does travel fast. You may visit some place after a year and feel like everything and everyone has changed.
You would want to stop wasting time now because you will realize how important it is. Before it turns out to be your biggest regret, make amends now. It’s never too late. Each and every moment is important; even a second. You will realize that as you grow older.
Focus yourself on what’s important and then prioritize it. Set a result for failure. Set up accountability. All that time you spend surfing the Internet is a huge, huge waste of time. Diving into the world of social media is as toxic as well. You won’t know where your hours went by…and you won’t know where you spent your life either…
as beautifully put in a hadith:
There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) Health and free time for doing good. [Bukhari]
Those days and weeks will never be back. Who cares what happens on TV, when reality is slipping by outside? Don’t procrastinate. Set goals, not wishes. You cannot control the outcome of a wish, but you can control the outcome of a goal. Change your habit environment. Habit change by nature is uncomfortable. So don’t expect comfort. Take baby steps. Start small. That’s how you overcome the problem of inertia. In some situations though, you need to stop dipping your toes in the water and just jump in.
Time is something you’ll wish to reverse but you won’t be able to fight time, so…
3. Take care of YOU
Your skin won’t be able to fight time and you won’t scar anyone with the knowledge that human eyes don’t come rimmed in kohl or mascara but that doesn’t mean that you stop caring about your health, because your health will go faster than you think. It will be very hard to notice because it will all happen so gradually. You will regret brutalizing your body for the first half of your life. Your body will break down and the mental facilities will deteriorate. Bitter but true. Taking care of yourself is important, especially to preserve your mental health. When your mental health has deteriorated, it can lead to feelings of depression or anxiety. Learn self-care tips when you’re depressed or anxious from BetterHelp. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it. So start utilizing it in the best of ways, gain as much as aakhirah you can, now – before you don’t have the luxury to. And that’s why…
4. Value blood ties
I know you value blood. I know you value family. But sometimes we do start to take them for granted. Make more time for your family – your husband, your kids, your siblings, your in-laws and of course your parents…It’s easy to forget that as we grow older, our parents age as well. Do something nice for them and be thankful for what they’ve done for you. You will start to realize that even more when you become a parent yourself. You will know the sacrifices they never spoke of…so start thanking them today before time takes them away… Love who you love while you have them. That’s all you can do.
Love never dies a natural sudden death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of wounds; it dies of weariness, of withering, of wilting, of lack of communication and expression. When you hurt people, they begin to love you less. Careless words can sometimes do that.
Your kids also, are going to grow up way faster than you think. Therefor…
5. Know your values
Stand up for the right. And teach your kids that as well. I know you don’t like to displease people but never change your core values for another person. Learn to set your boundaries. That two-letter word–NO–is incredibly empowering and one that will often lead to a higher degree of success. Conflict of all forms is inevitable, but the only thing you can control is how you react to it. Stand your ground and be upfront as long as you’re right. If you’re wrong, don’t shy away from admitting it.
Learn how to say “no” to people, activities and obligations that don’t bring value to your life in this world and hereafter both. You cannot do everything! Don’t spend time with the negative people because they will consume you, drain you. Other people’s opinions don’t have to be your reality.
People find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.
Just know your main purpose and cut off what doesn’t serve it. Those people who pursue a dream or a main purpose in life are by far the wealthiest and happiest among us. Believe it or not, finding this purpose is easy. And I know you have found one by now but keep looking because you will explore many dimensions of it. Along with that…
6. Lower your expectation but keep your hopes high
Focus on doing a few things really well than trying to do everything and disappointing your own self. This way, you will get done more in life. Everything in life is a trade-off. You give up one thing to get another. It takes a lot of sacrifice to achieve anything special in life. You can’t have it all. And don’t be ashamed to accept that.
You can’t achieve what you do not attempt. The path to wanting and having is doing.
If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.
All of human wisdom was contained in these two words – “wait” and “hope”. Thus…
7. Forgive and let go
Accept the apologies you never received. If you want to let go and move on from holding onto anything hurtful, relieve them the need to apologize to you.
Your heart will be broken many times by people you trust. Life is not a straight line. But the earth is round if you learn to forgive more.
Kindness is one of the most powerful natural resources there is…infinitely renewable.
Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s almost all – small stuff. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget.
When confronted with a perceived problem, ask yourself, ‘Is this going to matter in five years, ten years?’ If not, dwell on it for a few minutes, then let it go. And most importantly, forgive your own self. because…
8. Life continues
When they say, “This too shall pass”, advices like these are actually true. Time does heal. And ‘Believe you me’ has a lot different meaning now. I will not say who won’t be around and who will be…but know that by the end of the day you will always have God to turn to. He will stay forever. You are never alone, never have been, never will be. You will too die someday, but He won’t. Everything happens for a reason. Be the person that others can count on when it does in somebody else’s life and God will be with you in your hard times. Something you never thought you could bear is the thing you are now living through…and that too with gratitude and pleasure towards God. What He chose for you. Time lets you grow a thick skin. Your body gives up on you but your heart grows stronger with each blow.
Life can be short or long. Either way, better aim to do it right. Embrace the constant that is change and your life may never be the same. I don’t know what’s going to happen next and uncertainty is a beautiful thing. It makes you keep struggling. So you really don’t have to know what’s going to happen either. Sorrow is part of everyone’s lifetime and the consequence of an open and passionate heart. Honor that.
We rarely wake up one day and suddenly notice wild, life-altering changes in ourselves. Our identities slowly shift, like sea sand getting pushed around by the ocean, slowly accumulating into new contours and forms over the passage of time.
But sometimes life changes fast. Life changes in an instant. You sit down to dinner and life, as you know it ends. Hence…
9. Keep progressing
Continue to grow and develop yourself. Especially spiritually. It will help you a lot while going through the hardest phases of your life. I am emphasizing so much on this because they took God out of the schools, took Him off of money, and then eventually took him out of the language in general. The trick was to make it happen slowly. So talking about God in this era is weird and completely strange to many. Since your way of life will not be a popular one. A very tiny minority you could say. You will be called awkward, backward and well, lots of things. But it will help you improve your life as an individual. The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to like them. If you’re right, then don’t go wrong just because others didn’t like the right. As grand as your vision was to change the world, you can’t change everything and everyone. Strive to make an impact in individuals, one person at a time, starting with those around you. but before that, starting with your own self. If you’ve made at least one person’s life better, you’ve created change.
Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society. It’s a good thing you are leading your soul back to God at this age. So don’t stop. Keep progressing. Put hard work into your next world and this world of yours will automatically improve. And there’s no short cut to hard work. Invest in yourself. The best investment is not real estate, bonds, mutual funds, diamonds, or gold, but it is your non-stop education and overall holistic development – intellectually, physically, and spiritually. Everything that we supposedly “own” on earth – even our very life – are just temporary. They all belong to Allaah.
Don’t be afraid of taking risks towards a right path. The biggest regret may be staying in something that you know is not right. Or something you did not do. And by the end of the day…
10. Everything will be all right in shaa Allah
There is no mystery to happiness.
Don’t give up. Those who are successful in life have four things in common: focus, gratitude, persistence and patience.
Looking backward you will find a lot of foggy memories that you’ll never have access to. Things that you are currently so concerned about. Do not let anything permanently steal your smile. Things may seem to be falling apart but they will be falling together. You are capable of handling far more things than you think you can. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but you will get over it. You will get over everything you go through. You will learn to smile again by the end of the day.
Nobody can go back and start anew, but you can start today and make a new ending. All endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.