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I Lack Motivation; How Can I Be Persistent?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Apr 28, 2019

Question

Salam.

I just graduated from the university. My father has two families (two wives), but he does not treat us well. Our families used to live together but always being ignored by my father. He used to give more attention to our step siblings and step mother.

But despite being ignored by my father, I have never felt that broken and alone the way I feel these days. I used to go for tabligh (a group of Muslim people dedicated to invite people to Islam) a few years ago, but I don't know why I have started hating tabligh. I have lost persistency.

Whatever I start like praying extra prayers or reading the Quran, I am not able to continue them more than a week. I feel so much depressed and unable to find the inner peace. I am always equipped with thoughts that drag me to depression.

The same happens to my career. I start a job but within months, I start hating that job and start thinking of doing something else such as pursuing my master degree. Then I loose interest in studying for MA.

I would be grateful if you could guide me how I should start being persistent with my prayers and Ramadan fasting. I want to prepare for Ramadan.

Counselor

Answer


In this counseling answer:

•Reflect on the blessings and the reasons for gratitude. You will feel the intrinsic motivation to do anything and feel that anything can be possible.

•Always give priority to quality over quantity.

•Develop a vision in life, a focus and become relentless.

•Create the ideal study space.

•Start with a planner.

•Develop a calm attitude.

•Avoid distractions.

•Study early in the morning.

•Get active!


As-salamu alaikum dear brother,

At this point in your life, although it may sound a bit harsh, you really need to focus on erasing any memory of how you were treated during your childhood. I understand that childhood is a very important part of anyone when growing up, but sometimes thinking about it too much is detrimental to the future.

If you feel you need some support to do this, please, seek help from a counselor. You can get help from the comfort of your home by one of our counselors, if you wish:

karim serageldin & naaila clay

You have completed your bachelor’s degree and you consider moving forward. However, it will be difficult for you to move forward if you do not recruit the courage and the strength to force yourself to do what it is that you really want to pursue.

I feel that your depressed feelings and your lack of interest in doing anything stems from the negativity you have faced at home. However, you can easily overcome this if you become cognizant of the little blessings that have come your way.

For example, congratulate yourself on obtaining your degree. Congratulate yourself on being on the right track in an era when so many have lost track. Congratulate yourself on being part of the tabligh, and thank Allah SWT for being merciful towards you and always guiding you.

Dear brother, when you sit and think like this for a few moments and reflect on the blessings and the reasons for gratitude, you will feel the intrinsic motivation to do anything and feel that anything can be possible.

Build Enthusiasm

Why are you doing an MBA? What is it that you want to pursue? I advise that you simply do not pursue something for the sake of obtaining a degree, as this will not render you satisfied as days go by. I think that being able to do these will certainly give you motivation to move ahead.

  1. Remind yourself why you want to do something.
  2. Break down your work into smaller chunks.
  3. Make your activities fun.
  4. Promise yourself a reward when you get something done.
  5. Give yourself occasional breaks to avoid burnout.
  6. Tell yourself that you can accomplish anything.

 

Intention vs. Action

Dear brother, in Islam, intention is more important than action. Intention is simply one of the pillars of worshipping. If you are worshipping without an intention, then there is no meaning to the worship—because it is not coming from your heart.


Check out this counseling video


Always give priority to quality over quantity. For example, do not force yourself to read 100 pages of Quran, emotionless, but rather a single page, with emotion, fear, understanding, love, and awe. Umar RA took eight years to memorize the second chapter of the Quran because he said that he would not move to the next verse without having learned and implemented the previous one. (Hayat-us-Sahabah)

Imam as-Sadiq said,

“Anyone who performs a small act for the sake of God, God will make it bigger than he wishes in the sight of others. And anyone who performs a great act for the sake of people, God will make it trivial in the sight of others.” (Rawdhah al-Muttaqin, vol. 12, p. 142.) (Al-islam.org)

 “A good deed will be recorded in favor of anyone who decides to do something good but fails to do so.” (Al-islam.org)

Consistency and hard work

DO NOT think that you will only please Allah SWT if you do more than you can handle. Remember, consistency is important. Consistency leads to the idea of building on top of our actions, whether it be increasing from reading one ayah a day to three a day. It is the process of progressing in the deen through little steps. No matter how small an action, never underestimate the reward it holds when being consistent.

`Aisha RA said,

The most beloved action to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) was that whose doer did it continuously and regularly. (Sahih Bukhari)

Dear brother, you will be surprised to learn that Allah SWT mentions the importance of hardwork in the Quran.

“Man will not get anything unless he works hard” (Surah al-Najm, 53:39).

Hard work is important, and without a doubt, hard. It does not come easy.

I suggest you listen to this motivational video here.

Everyone struggles with motivation. But those who are successful are the ones who overcome the obstacles that life throws upon them day after day. Seek help and strength from Allah SWT.

Sometimes, depressions stem from our thoughts. We think that something is not achievable simply because we have been through tough times, because we have been shattered by a hard past, or because we simply do not think that we deserve it.

Dear brother, Allah will help those who will help themselves. To Allah SWT, everyone is equal. When we work hard, seek strength from Allah and put our faith in Him, He SWT will bring us out from the darkest parts of our lives to the brightest.

Dear brother, persistency is something that ONLY you can develop. It is something that comes when we are willing to be relentless and realize that hard work is not easy and success is not easy. It is something that will come easy when we are focused on achieving our end goal.

Develop a vision in life, a focus and become relentless

Dear brother, you will be focused once you realize what it is in life that you are seeking. Like I mentioned earlier, why do you want to do an MBA? What do you plan to achieve?

Not everyone thinks this way. Many students simply pursue higher education for the sake of obtaining a degree to frame, but lack passion and enthusiasm, hence they have issues finding jobs, motivating themselves and even making a decent living.

However, the difference between a successful person and a struggling person is the focus and the ability to carry on.

Here are a few techniques to help you prioritize your academics.

Create the ideal study space.

You will need limited noise, a lot of sunlight, a tidy surface, and comfortable furniture. Find a quiet place to study where you won’t be bothered. This is very important and should be given great care in doing.

Start with a planner.

Write down a list of everything that you need to get done and the dedicated amount of time spent on each item.

Also, write down the list of work to be done in ranking of hardest to easiest. Leave the easy items to the last and concentrate on work that is hard and will take more time.

Develop a calm attitude.

Be calm and patient with yourself. Nobody learns anything straight away.

Avoid distractions.

Do not study with many gadgets around you. Avoid all forms of communication with family members during a dedicated time. For example, from 7pm-10 pm do not leave your study area.

Study early in the morning.

Get active!

Exercise is very important! Not because you must be good at sports, but because it is good for your physical, mental and emotional health. You do not have to start with activities that are hard at first. Start by simply running around 1000 meters every day, and slowly increase it to 2km.

In addition, there are lots of YouTube videos which focus on training the body without any equipment. Invest your time doing such activities and these will certainly help you in all aspects of life.

Dear brother, I pray that my advice will help you. 

Salam.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

I Have Zero Career Goal; I Hate Working

I Want to Get Married, but My Father is Silent

Due to My Mom’s Control, I Feel Stuck in Life

 

 

 




About Madiha Sadaf

Madiha Sadaf in an undergraduate student at the University of Ottawa, enrolled in BSc. with Major in Biology and Psychology with Minor in Health Social Sciences.

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