When it comes to pursuing something, a lot of the time we are so driven in the beginning but our energy gets lost somewhere along that road, just because we feel that we are not fulfilling our purpose and not improving at all. It is because we grow in a society that holds strongly on the mindset of making an impact and leaving a legacy. While this is a praiseworthy intention, there’s also an underlying problem related to solely being purpose-minded in our pursuit of finding fulfillment and satisfaction in life. We are hungry for success but sometimes, fall short on delivering something that would contribute to that success.
As a millennial, you might have already encountered Simon Sinek’s take on “millennials” in the workplace in which he elaborates four points about why this particular group of young generation is acting the way they do, and tend to suffer from low self-esteem and self-confidence. One of it was impatience, as we are so used to the idea of quick, fast and the mythical “big break”. It’s like if we are not making an impact instantly, it means we are simply being passive and not progressing when success actually takes time and patience. While there are factors beyond our control that may hold this case to be true, we might as well focus on what we can improve about ourselves and not be limited by what happens in a workplace.
This is when I’d like to shed some light on the concept of steadfastness and consistency.
Steadfastness is to remain firm in whatever one has pledged to allegiance. It is the mindset where, despite failure and some painful falls, we would not stop. It is to have a certain amount of grit and focus to stay on the same course – no matter how unconventional it can be – while not being overwhelmed by current trends as well as what the future may hold. It is also accepting that talent is far from enough. Mistakes and embarrassing moments are bound to happen for the benefit of our self-growth and we must be open enough to appreciate those times that almost broke us.
Consistency goes hand-in-hand with steadfastness, as it is building small steps in preparation for the big change. In fact, even after we experience the highlight of our career or whatever we may be pursuing, we should aim to consistently move forward and then continue growing, even more so than before. Just like everything in life, we’d mature and when the right time comes, we would only be ready enough to lead on.
Especially in the tough job market nowadays, it’s more important than ever to stay true to your strengths and reconcile your weaknesses.
It’s definitely understandable to feel that you don’t belong and lost in a sea of people who seem to be constantly busy with their lives and making some sort of an impact. But surely there is something in you that makes you jump out of bed and feel energised from doing it, right? And I don’t only mean in terms of your career. You could be passionate about volunteering for a cause or learning a new language – anything that just keeps you alive. When you’ve already gone through that stage of discovering what your passion is, it is important to stick to it and again, remain steadfast as well as consistent. Then again, let’s not just limit our perspectives to what the world has to offer.
As a Muslim, I am a firm believer that the key to success in this world comes from our dedication and time that we spend in prayers, charity and benefiting other people without expecting anything in return. It is to remember to grasp our worldly success in our hands without allowing it to enter our heart. At the end of the day, success comes from Allah and He is the One who allows us to receive it. When the heart attaches itself to the One that guarantees success and sustenance, sometimes, it only takes a reminder of the great reward of what has been promised to them as mentioned in the Quran.
“ Indeed, those who have said, “Our Lord is Allah ” and then remained on a right course- the angels will descend upon them, [saying], “Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised.” [Surah Fussilat:30]
The ones who remain on the right course – which is known as istiqamah, in Arabic – are those who stand firm in worshipping Allah and performing righteous deeds. The definition of success to Muslim is to reach Jannah as mentioned here. But this powerful and touching ayat about the result of steadfastness doesn’t just focus on our final destination but the worldly reward as well, such that we would not feel sad or afraid about what’s to come. There are a lot of other ayat in the Quran when Allah mentions istiqamah. This is the key to remain faithful.
We need to take some time to set a realistic personal goal for our ibadah and sincerely build it up by adding more Sunnah acts and prayers to our obligatory ones. The desire to do more is good but it is simply unrealistic to expect our humanness to adapt to an abrupt change and not be overwhelmed by it. With steadfastness and consistency, it would be easier to keep track of what suits you best at that moment in time.
I mean, just look at how the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wassalam! Allah gradually revealed the Quran – a miracle that has been preserved over 1400 years – to Rasulullah through Angel Jibril over a period of 23 years. With a lot of work and struggles – literally blood, sweat, and tears – only when Rasulullah returned to Makkah in a victory that Allah revealed the last ayat to him on the mount of Arafat after delivering his last sermon.
It wasn’t abrupt nor was it rushed.
So, don’t rush. Try to make the best out of your situation now, be consistent and remain steadfast.
Just like how the river cuts through a rock; it isn’t the power or strength that makes the water flows through it but how consistent and persistent the flow is.
It may seem like you are stagnant, but you’re not. It is within those “moments of stagnancy” that we would steadily flow with the current and appreciate the subtle, yet significant changes in ourselves. You’re just making changes that no one sees and that’s the most beautiful and sincere part of a success. For when we are given success, we would not lose ourselves as we have come so far and we would not stop at a temporary comfortable place until we truly reach the final destination.
Syaza is a freelance writer whose life revolves around coffee, cats and heartwarming stories.