So, as my daily personal development, I read a lot of books and articles and listen to audios and podcasts.
Articles are from all those newsletters that I have signed up to - a teacher is ALWAYS a student - so I am constantly working on making myself a better human - so constantly learning.
I read eBooks I have online (on goes my laptop again) or books I have brought.
I am a crazy book lover!
These books also inspire and motivate me in my writings and help me share and teach personal development from an Islamic perspective.
One book which I am re-reading for the umpteenth time, which I highly recommend you buy, and which teaches me valuable lessons and enhances my psychology teachings and NLP training is 'Get Off YOUR "But"' by Sean Stephenson.
If you don't know who Sean is then please Google him and watch his YouTube channel - his story will put your own life into perspective - BIG TIME!
So anyways, I was on Chapter 5 where he talks about choosing our friends - or as he calls it our 'Pit Crew' and friends who are 'takers, drainers and destroyers'.
He also talks about us as someone else's pit crew.
I have written about this before but today I really wanted to look into this further - look at ourselves deeper than looking at our friends.
I could talk about these takers, drainers and destroyers - but honestly - just buy his book as he does an awesome job explaining it.
Today I am going to turn things around.
It's time to take an honest look inside of our own soul.
It's time for a PIT STOP!
Sometimes it is easy to look at others or as the topic in Sean's book 'our friends' and that is all good.
And as I mentioned he does talk about us - how we need to look at ourselves also as we form someone's pit crew too.
But let's be honest here - we all know that truth hurts - I know that for sure! I've felt it!
*Face - hand*
But the thing is, only by taking a serious look at ourselves can we truly better ourselves.
It is always easy to blame others.
I blame my cat all the time!
Ok, not always - she's a good girl!
In my work and especially on social media I always say that, 'we need to work on ourselves'.
Only by working on our challenges, issues, emotional blockages can we truly free ourselves from this shackle and negative psychological loop.
Take a deep breath in - hold - breathe out.
'Am I an Asset or a Liability?'
* Am I a good child, parent, friend, co-worker, human...?
* Are you working on bettering yourself daily and focusing inwards to see what work needs to be done or are you spending your time pointing fingers at others??
* Are you a taker, drainer or destroyer?
* Do you always take from people (money, time, energy, clothes) and never give in return?
* Do you always complain about what is wrong in your life and not working and how it is doomy gloomy everywhere - and drain your friends and basically bust their happy bubble?
* Or do you always put your friends down - especially when they are hurting or have a dream or ambition they want to fulfill - do you destroy their confidence or disrespect them in front of their loved ones?
I bet right now (betting is haraam!) that your stomach is churning, and you may even feel upset or angry!
Hey, listen, no one said this 'working on bettering myself' thing was going to be easy.
I've done the above exercises myself and oh boy did I get peeved, upset and angry and the almost '...but it was her....'
I've done this process too and continue to do so!
And my best-friend-soul-sistah is reading this so 'Nikki - I love you and you're the bestest ever!' :D
Anyways, we need to go through this process and when you book your VIP Day with me this is the type of process and exercise we will do - we look inwards and see where we can possibly change things and work to make ourselves better.
We need to become assets to the Ummah and humanity.
There are plenty of liabilities out there - just read the gossip columns or gossip magazine or your facebook feed!
Actually, skip that - it'll just depress you.
Bottom line for today - although we need to choose A* Players (friends) for our Pit Crew - we also need to be that A* Players (friends) for others Pit Crews.
“Be not friend with a fool, for he will harm you while meaning to do good to you.” (Anon)
There are so many verses from the Qur'an as well as ahaadith about friendship and companionship.
Here are just a few....
"Anyone who criticises you cares about your friendship. Anyone who makes light of your faults cares nothing about you.” Abu Dawud, Hasan Hadith
“Mix with the noble people, you become one of them; and keep away from evil people to protect yourself from their evils.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
From the Qur'an...
“And (remember) the Day when the wrong-doer will bite his hands and say: Woe to me! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger. Woe to me! If only I had not taken so- and-so as a friend! He has led me astray from this Reminder (the Qur’an) after it had come to me. And Satan is ever a deserter to man in the hour of need.” (Al-Qur’an 25:27-29)
We all know this hadith...
“The example of a good companion and a bad companion is like that of the seller of musk, and the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows. So as for the seller of musk then either he will grant you some, or you buy some from him, or at least you enjoy a pleasant smell from him. As for the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows then either he will burn your clothes or you will get an offensive smell from him.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Also from the Qur'an...
“Friends on that Day will be enemies one to another, except the righteous.” (Al-Qur’an 43:67)
And finally (although there are more and I know you want them - I'll let you research them and pop them in the comments below)...
“A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look whom you befriend.” Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidi
Now, time for a Pit Stop and ask yourself; 'Am I an asset or a liability?'
Tips and Action Points:
1. Grab your journal or notebook and on three separate pages draw a mind map and in the middle of each one write the words, 'Taker, Drainer and Destroyer'
2. Go through all your friends and in each mind map write down what you have taken, drained or destroyed from these friends - if you have - if you haven't that is OK.
3. Call up your friends (if you can and if they are still in your life) and make peace with them and apologise. If they are no longer in your life then read two rakah's nafl for forgiveness and make dua for them and ask Allah to bless them in this world and next.
4. After you have done this exercise for yourself - which I know is the hardest - but we have to do it to start being that good person we want to be - then do this exercise for your friends and see which friend is a taker, drainer and destroyer. You may need to spend less time with these friends or these friendships may be toxic and getting you into trouble so you'll have to bless them on their path and start fresh.
Now, I know this is a tough cookie - however - we need to start taking full responsibility for our lives and actions and by doing this exercise it will help greatly. It has helped me a lot!
Comment below and let me know how this exercise went for you and to enquire about our VIP Days (Read more about VIP Days here)
Hmmm...the title of this blog post; 'PIT STOP! Are YOU an Asset or a Liability?' - sounds like a name for an upcoming book...what do you think? :D
...To live a successful, productive, powerful, energetic, fulfilled and spiritual life you have to 'Be Your Authentic Self.'
***What does this mean?***
It means being who you were created to be.
It means your soul being happy in your body.
It means accepting your flaws and shortcomings and working to better yourself.
It means celebrating your strengths and achievements.
It means having an 'Attitude of Gratitude' - thanking Allah (swt) at every point and really truly appreciating from within - from the soul.
And when your Lord proclaimed: “If you give thanks , I will give you more, but if you are thankless, verily! My Punishment is indeed severe.” [Surah Ibrahim 14:7 - partial]
***But what if the 'Authentic Me' is not so good?***
Simple - you work on yourself, daily!
Everyday we work on ourselves to make ourselves better - there is no such thing as perfect but YOU are the perfect YOU and there is only one of you - so nurture the YOU.
'You say that you are just a body but inside of you is something greater than the universe!' Imaan Shafi
You were put in this world as a unique being so celebrate that and allow yourself to grow, learn, develop, mature and enjoy the one life you have in this world.
If you spend a life time of trying to be like someone else then you are only harming yourself as you will never be happy or fulfilled in any area of your life.
Don't compare your life to anyone else - as each one of us has a unique journey and we are all travelling upon different roads.
When you are not the authentic you then you are being one way to one person and another way to someone else - a bit like lying - and we know that lying ultimately hurts only us.
So go ahead, make a vow today to start being the authentic you and working on your daily self-development - at least 30 minutes each day.
When you are being your authentic self then all the doors of opportunities will open up to you, you will make a greater impact in the world and you will be the complete person that you were created to be.
Today's Tips & Action Points:
1. Grab your pen and notebook/journal and write down who you are, who you have been up until now and who you want to be from this moment onward.
2. Schedule in at least 30 minutes a day (to start with) to read up on personal development material (or go through our previous blog posts) and start to put those teachings into practice.
3. What is your unique purpose in this world and what will you do to make this world a better place? Now go work it! :)
I think this following dua is beautiful.
On the coming of dawn the The Messenger of God (may peace be upon him) used to say in his prayers:
"O Allah (God), illuminate my heart with light, and my eyes with light and my ears with light and let there be light on my right and light on my left. Let there be light above me and light below me, let there be light in front of me and light behind me. O Allah, make me a light"
Leave me a comment below and let me know what message you took away from this post and let's become an active community here who help to inspire and motivate each other towards goodness insha'Allah! :)
Nadia Leona Yunis