Oust the weak links in your thinking and behavior patterns.[/quote]
I feel this writer has captured a lot of truth in her views. Yet we should always worry about whther the observations clash with the teachings of Rasoolallah SAW. Hence this post.
It is good to identify your strength, hone your skills and utilize your support system to the full. It is alright to realize your potential to the full.
After that there is still something that we have to take care of. All of the things mentioned above are not the main purpose of life. Purpose of life is to be a Slave of God - an Abd. When you have your strength, skills and support system then all of this has to be mobilized to the main purpose of life - to act as a Slave of Allah SWT.
All of western motivational psychology is geared towards worldly gains. This is not Haram. But this also does not capture the main purpose of life. Purpose of life is to use your strength, money, power and all resources in obedience to Allah SWT.
There are significant personal tragedies in this narrative. How do these compare with the tragedies is the life of Rasoolallah SAW? Very poorly.
His father expired before he was born.
He then lost his mother while a little boy, his grandfather in similar age.
He end up as a complete orphan and responsibilities that were never so big.
He showed us a way of life that has tested excellent for nearly a millennium and a half. And going very strong.
She is telling us some excellent points but we must not lose focus on the purpose of life and that point is completely missing from this narrative.
The west got better things out of science then we Muslims. there is no shame we we follow suit them. Similarly there is no shame if we benefit from western psychology, as long as we keep our faith intact and our actions in accordance with Islam.
Western focus is how to get the best out of this world.
Our focus is how to pass through this world so that our lives are completely in accordance to Islam.
Keep that in mind we can make the best of her experience and her advice and her suggestions.
This kind of issues will come under the heading of Etiquette of Life in Islamic upbringing.
These kind of things are worthwhile but these also have limitations. For example Rasoolallah SAW indulged in extremely intense charity. In western way of life there is certainly mention of charity but psychologists will not talk about it.
Clearly the focus here is efficiency and to remove wrong habits.
In Islamic teachings such things find a mention in a single advice : Avoid useless things.
A corollary of the same advice is that you must avoid harmful things at all costs.
It’s futile to wallow in your problems, exaggerate your misfortune and keep score of how many hardships you’ve endured. Whether you’re struggling to pay your bills or experiencing a serious health problem, throwing a pity party only makes things worse. Self-pity keeps you focused on the problem and prevents you from developing a solution.
Hardship and sorrow are inevitable, but feeling sorry for yourself is a choice. Even when you can’t solve the problem, you can choose to control your attitude. Find three things to be grateful for every day to keep self-pity at bay.[/quote]
This morose attitude mentioned in this post finds no favour in Islamic teachings. Rasoolallah SAW told his Companions RA about his hardships but did not indulge in any melancholy. Dwelling upon past was not allowed and to be thankful to Allah SWT was mandatory in his circle.
You can’t feel like a victim and be mentally strong; that’s impossible. If your thoughts send you into victim mode—My sister-in-law drives me crazy or My boss makes me feel bad about myself—you give others power over you. No one has power over the way you think, feel or behave.
Changing your daily vocabulary is one way to recognize that the choices you make are yours. Rather than saying, “I have to work late today,” edit that sentiment to “I’m choosing to stay late.” There may be consequences if you don’t work late, but it’s still a choice. Empowering yourself is an essential component to creating the kind of life you want.[/quote]
To put yourself in a victim more out of your own volition is certainly not allowed in Islam. A Muslim comes to this world with a mighty responsibility and he can not be so foolish as to surrender his means to others.
If you worry that change will make things worse, you’ll stay stuck in your old ways. The world is changing, and your success depends on your ability to adapt. The more you practice tolerating distress from various sources—perhaps taking a new job or leaving an unhealthy relationship—the more confident you’ll become in your ability to adapt and create positive change in yourself.[/quote]
Clearly change that is a rule of life rather than an exception is out of Allah SWT's will.
A believer can neither oppose it, nor ignore it nor he can hate it nor run away from it.
Complaining, worrying and wishful thinking don’t solve problems; they only waste your energy. But if you invest that same energy in the things you can control, you’ll be much better prepared for whatever life throws your way.
Pay attention to the times when you’re tempted to worry about things you can’t control—such as the choices other people make or how your competitor behaves—and devote that energy to something more productive, such as finishing a project at work or home or helping a friend with hers. Accept situations that are beyond your control and focus on influencing, rather than controlling, people around you.
W certainly have to invest time an energy in deciding what things are under our control and what are beyond our control and after that we have to focus on what is under our control. Akhtiari and Ghair Akhtiari things and their distinction is a routine matter in Sufi circles while the western thought does not even have words about them.
[quote]5. Worry about pleasing everyone.
Whether you’re nervous that your father-in-law will criticize your latest endeavor or you attend an event you’d rather skip to avoid a guilt trip from your mother, trying to make other people happy drains your mental strength and causes you to lose sight of your goals.
Making choices that disappoint or upset others takes courage, but living an authentic life requires you to act according to your values. Write down your top five values and focus your energy on staying true to them, even when your choices aren’t met with favor.
This point is certainly a huge drain on our mental resources in today's life. Unfortunately our guides are not paying enough attention to that. This has to be accepted by us with due thanks to her.
[quote]6. Fear taking risks.
If something seems scary, you might not take the risk, even a small one. On the contrary, if you’re excited about a new opportunity, you may overlook a giant risk and forge ahead. Emotions cloud your judgment and interfere with your ability to accurately calculate risk. You can’t become extraordinary without taking chances, but a successful outcome depends on your ability to take the right risks. Acknowledge how you’re feeling about a certain risk and recognize how your emotions influence your thoughts. Create a list of the pros and cons of taking the risk to help you make a decision based on a balance of emotion and logic.
Fear of risk or otherwise was always there in abundance in the life of Rasoolallah SAW. He never balked at it.
If we are true followers of him then we must have this in our lives too.
[quote]7. Dwell on the past.
While learning from the past helps you build mental strength, ruminating is harmful. Constantly questioning your past choices or romanticizing about the good ol’ days keeps you from both enjoying the present and making the future as good as it can be.
Make peace with the past. Sometimes doing so will involve forgiving someone who hurt you, and other times, moving forward means letting go of regret. Rather than reliving your past, work through the painful emotions that keep you stuck.
Very good advice. Sufis have been telling the same for ages.
[quote]8. Repeat their mistakes.
Whether you felt embarrassed when you gave the wrong answer in class or you were scolded for messing up, you may have learned from a young age that mistakes are bad. So you may hide or excuse your mistakes to bury the shame associated with them, and doing so will prevent you from learning from them.
Whether you gained back the weight that you worked hard to lose or you forgot an important deadline, view each misstep as an opportunity for growth. Set aside your pride and humbly evaluate why you goofed up. Use that knowledge to move forward better than before.
The explanation above does not match very well with the title. But the title says something worthwhile. Rasoolallah SAW said, " A believer is not bitten twice from the same hole."
[quote]9. Resent other people’s successes.
Watching a co-worker receive a promotion, hearing a friend talk about her latest achievement or seeing a family member buy a car you can’t afford can stir up feelings of envy. But jealousy shifts the focus from your efforts and interferes with your ability to reach your goals.
Write down your definition of success. When you’re secure in that definition, you’ll stop resenting others for attaining their goals, and you’ll stay committed to reaching yours. Recognize that when other people reach their goals, their accomplishments don’t minimize your achievements.
Jealousy is a Grave Sin in Islam. Period.
[quote]10. Give up after their first failure.
Some people avoid failure at all costs because it unravels their sense of self-worth. Not trying at all or giving up after your first attempt will prevent you from reaching your potential. Almost every story about a wildly successful person starts with tales of repeated failure (consider Thomas Edison’s thousands of failures before he invented a viable light bulb, for instance).
Face your fear of defeat head-on by stretching yourself to your limits. Even when you feel embarrassed, rejected or ashamed, hold your head high and refuse to let lack of success define you as a person. Focus on improving your skills and be willing to try again after you fail.
In the life of Rasoolallah SAW we have a mighty lesson along these lines where all the believers have to wait for whole thirteen years before they even come into action. Before that it clearly will not be case of repeated failures but of worse - constant humiliation, atrocities and torture.
[quote]11. Fear “alone time.”
Solitude can sometimes feel unproductive; for some people, the thought of being alone with their thoughts is downright scary. Most people avoid silence by filling their days with a flurry of activity and background noise.
Alone time, however, is an essential component to building mental strength. Carve out at least 10 minutes each day to gather your thoughts without the distractions of the world. Use the time to reflect on your progress and create goals for the future.
To live a lonely life is a Sufi way of life.
[quote]12. Feel the world owes them something.
We like to think that if we put in enough hard work or tough it out through bad times, then we deserve success. But waiting for the world to give you what you think you’re owed isn’t a productive life strategy.
Take notice of times when you feel as though you deserve something better. Intentionally focus on all that you have to give rather than what you think you deserve. Regardless of whether you think you’ve been dealt a fair hand in life, you have gifts to share with others.
To me this looks like a novelty but I am sure our Sufis must have got it covered too.
Indeed Sufis strive for a zero sense of entitlement.
[quote]13. Expect immediate results.
Self-growth develops slowly. Whether you’re trying to shed your procrastination tendencies or improve your marriage, expecting instant results will lead to disappointment. Think of your efforts as a marathon, not a sprint. View bumps in the road as minor setbacks rather than as total roadblocks.
You’ll need all the mental strength you can muster at some point in your life, whether it’s the loss of a loved one, a financial hardship or a major health problem. Mental strength will give you the resilience to push through the challenges.
And the great news is that everyone can strengthen his or her mental muscle. Practice being your own mental strength coach. Pay attention to areas in which you’re doing well and figure out where you need improvement. Create opportunities for growth and then challenge yourself to become a little better today than you were yesterday.
Well Allah SWT has said that there is a time destined for everything and therefore believers can not expect immediate results.