Compare with your past.

I think this khutbah sends a good message across about competition and our obsession with comparing ourselves to others.

In this world where comparing is rampant where everyone just wants to up-one the other, that obsession has begun to drain our souls. Even in the path of service to Allah SWT, we compete. This is not the right mindset. Instead, what we need is to shift that mindset from attempting to compete against someone else to competing with our own selves. To take their success as a motivator for us to better ourselves.

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Dealing with Haters

All of us have haters especially those of us who are steadily climbing the ranks to success. People just do not like to see us be successful. They tend to stab our backs. Your true friends are those that would stand beside you and be proud for you.

Many of us take the time to think about what would people think of us. We take their judgement as permission before we carry on our lives. We seek their acceptance. We should not allow their thoughts to influence our lives and how we decide to do things. A common example today is on the question of jobs. If we say that we want to be a YouTuber, ohhh… the amount of judgement and hate will come flowing especially so in an Asian society like ours. Therefore, even if we love to do what we do, we buckle due to their judgements, we allow their perspectives and mindset mediate how we live our own lives.

Let’s learn to be ignore the thoughts of others unless it’s truly rational.

Instagram

I think that it has been three weeks since I stopped using Instagram.

If there is one gain from this experience, it would be time. I somehow find myself with an abundance of time.

An hour feels like more than an hour and when I study, I’m totally in tune. Furthermore, I’m not so distracted, always reflecting and allowing my mind to wander.

Bottom Line: I feel great.

Though, I have to go back to using social media in the future if I want to grow my business. I have to come up with a system on what to post and what to do on social media. It can no longer be that source of instant gratification and instant dopamine boost. It has to be for work and work only.

There are a couple of things that I need to do before I use Instagram again.

  1. Rebranding or rather, branding. I need to build an identity as a photographer. Less of a hipster photographer but one with style and professionalism.
  2. Find clients or rather, come up with a business model on what I can provide and what clients can expect from me. Also, pricing. What is too Low and what is too high for my skill set.
  3. Work. Got to work hard.

Bismillah.

Clarify

We tend to receive a lot of random news these days from fake news to just mere rumours. Therefore, it becomes hard to distinguish the truth from facts. To what extent can social media and news outlets continue to churn all these lies?

Therefore, I feel that it has become our responsibility to always recheck our sources and to be sure that whatever we are talking about is the truth. Any false claims that are said by us can be held against us on the Day of Judgement.

I’m sure we have heard of rumours going about but we need to learn, especially me, not to propagate them or worsen them.

Practice checking and practice safe speech.

The novelty of things

Sometimes we get too caught up in the novelty of things that we are blinded of the true value of things. Things such as branding is one way where we place certain products on a pedestal as compared to others that may even be better.

However, that is not hat I want to talk about. Mark Manson discussed on the idea of the novelty of travelling that he has this itch to always go to the most scenic of places as Lon as he sees it on Instagram. His purpose is that he might be able to feel the wanderlust and not be left out in the race of beautiful places.

I feel that that is the problem of our society nowadays. We’re quick to determine what is novel or not based on the frequency of it being shown on social media. Social media, in a way, has skewed our perception of the world, putting certain thing high up on the pedestal while others… seemingly become quiet and non existent.

Anyway, there is just this race to be better, to be more aesthetic and to be more. The race to be more is killing us, trying to rid us of our free will, deciding for us what is novel and what is not. We tend to follow our instincts rather than our intellects. And we all know how our instincts can sometimes go terribly wrong.

I just urge all of us to be more conscious of our choices and to truly appreciate and understand the value of things and not be caught up trying to one up each other.

To be prepared

Sometimes we fear losing things or we fear losing a job when we take a particular risk. Tell yourself, what is the worst that could happen to you? What would happen if you lost everything? Will you still be able to live or survive? Will you still be able to find some sort of income somewhere and all you had to do is to minimise spending and your lifestyle?

Most of the time, that is the case. Most of the time, we can survive. All we have to do is sacrifice a little.

I guess another part of it is to prepare for the worst. To be at your worst is to prepare yourself when it actually comes.

Doa. Doa. Doa.

“O Allah, I ask You for all that is good, in this world and in the Hereafter, what I know and what I do not know. O Allah, I seek refuge with You from all evil, in this world and in the Hereafter, what I know and what I do not know.”

[Hadith reported by Imam Ahmad]

Is it normal to sin?

Aren’t we humans and incapable of being perfect?

Why is it so hard to be on the straight path?

Even the pious will fall into transgressions.

May we be forgiven for everything that we have done in the past and in the future. Amin.

I cannot take it anymore.

Sometimes, it feels like a part of me dies every time.

It has lost its purpose.

“We must remember that when it seems as though no other person can help or listen to our griefs, Allah s.w.t. is always here with us. When we are caught up in a difficult situation and feel that there are no means to a solution, when we feel that the challenge we face is becoming unmanageable – remember that du’a is the weapon of a Mukmin when he is faced with such challenges.”

Doa.

Every single time we are faced with tribulations.

Don’t ever think that we are above the power of doa.

We are always in need of Him.

We are powerless without Him for He is the one that sustains us.