Many a time, we envision to do something and we start with a purpose. Rarely is an action taken without having a purpose in mind. Living a purposeless life depreciates our value as we reprise the same regular actions leading to a meaningless life.
Living a purpose-driven life is itself rooted in the essence of our creation as affirmed by Allah:
“I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should serve Me.” Q51:56
Islam has established the *WHY* for our creation that leads us to be purpose-driven and invaluable which is usually result oriented. A Muslim who recognizes his purpose of creation would strive to achieve it breaking all hurdles which impede the actualization, because he has one purpose — worshipping Allah, which is ascribed to be result-oriented because it leads to Jannah (Paradise).
As Muslims, we have several goals to be achieved in a day such as observing solat, observing voluntary ibaadaat, recitating of the Qur’an, among others. We strive to achieve these goals and feel fulfilled when they are attained.
Why do we set goals?
A counsellor, Dr Peter Hirish said:
“You can’t start with goals; you must start with purpose. The reason why most goal-setting programs fail is because they’re not linked to a purpose you care about, you can have all manner of goals and I’ll ask you, ‘why are you really doing this? What is going to make you do it when the going gets tough? What is the overriding purpose to which your goals are linked?'”
It can be deduced from the above paragraph that the WHY for our goals is because of the purpose given by Allah, to worship Him.
This is also similar to our personal self-development, our career, our businesses, and other mundane goals. All these must start with WHY and not WHAT or HOW you want to achieve them.
Simon Sinek said in his book, Start With Why:
“Knowing your WHY is not the only way to being successful, but it’s the only way to maintain a lasting success and have a greater blend of innovation and flexibility.”
For every skills, business, career, spiritual, self-development, we should commence with why we want to achieve it in order for us to be flexible and creative at the approach of accomplishing them. People who know WHY they are doing something are more successful, and end up employing those who know WHAT they want to achieve and HOW to achieve them. The real essence of a goal is the purpose.
The Prophet (peace be upon hum) also said in one of his ahadith:
“Take advantage of five matters before five other matters: your youth before you become old; your health, before you fall sick; your wealth, before you become poor; your free time before you become preoccupied, and your life, before your death” (Musnad Imam Ahmad).
Islam is so beautiful that it extensively discusses all aspects of our lives serving as a manual for our actions. The above hadith lays emphasis on time management and consciousness. Time consciousness is the most imperative and indispensable factor needed in the accomplishment of one’s goal. This calls for Muslims to prudentially spend our time productively; since it’s a blessing of Allah upon us. Isn’t that better than engaging in things which are unproductive, thereby resulting to a total waste of time?
Free time is a friend which helps us to add value/knowledge to ourselves, it helps us hasten to good deeds which in turn beats procrastination.
Another key factor in achieving one’s goal is consistency. Be consistent!
When consistency, time consciousness and defined goals are added to one’s “WHY”, seeking Allah help in the attainment of one’s purpose seems better thereafter.
In addition, before setting any mundane goals, remember the purpose of your creation. Every other purpose must align with that of the WHY of your creation.
A mentor was told me:
“Work on your relationship with Allah and everything will become easy for you… ”
I read between the lines of what she said and concluded that “… because it’s my WHY”