In the world we live in, it’s very easy for us to become overwhelmed or sidetracked by the smallest of things. Still, that is no reason for us to allow our circumstances or the words or actions of others deter us from being happy. Life is a roller coaster of ups and downs, as I mentioned in my video a few months back (The Roller Coaster of Life – Nadir Keval), but the thrilling results are worth the struggling climb.
Throughout my journey in entrepreneurship, faith, health, and the other aspects of my life, I’ve found that there are certain things that are great ways to strengthen our relationships with our own selves. Here are 10 tips I’ve come up with over the years:
1. Keep it simple
When you’re ambitious, or have a lot of things on your plate, it’s fairly easy to overfill our daily to-do list. I did this for years, before I realized that the saying, “Slow and steady wins the race,” is one of the wisest things ever said, especially for one who leads a life in need of self-discipline and unrelenting drive. My suggestion would be to stick to no more than 3-5 things on your daily list of tasks. I guarantee, that will be enough to keep you busy, because in a day, things are bound to come up that are out of your control, and keeping a semi-short list of tasks will help you accomplish your daily goals, while also not leaving you feeling overwhelmed or unaccomplished at the end of the day. If you finish those things, you can always add more things, one by one.
A relationship with God is one of the greatest blessings one can have. It is something that is available to all of us. All that’s required of us is that we reach out for it and respect it. Every person has their own faith, but I can only speak of my own experiences as a Muslim. Amongst the things I love most about my faith is the beauty of prayer and supplication. Through five daily prayers, I am blessed with 5 short vacations, where I can detach from my struggles and goals, and connect with Allah and with my self. Through supplication, I always have someone to speak to when I feel overwhelmed or need help in coming to a decision. The beauty of whom I speak to when supplicating is that He, Allah, is capable of all things and wants what is best for me. How beautiful a feeling it is, to know for certain that I will be okay, and will never be alone, as long as I have faith and prayer.
We live in a world that confuses me. Either we eat too much or we eat too little. Personally, I consider food to be the artistic tools God has given us, with which we can create pieces of art to not only enjoy through vision, but can enjoy as nourishment. Some of these artistic pieces God has given us are art in themselves (try a cold mango on a hot day, and you’ll see what I mean)! My advice: eat well, eat often, and eat pure. Strike balance in your meals and in your day. As the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “The vessels the children of Adam (AS) mistreat most is the stomach. Eat as though your stomach is in three parts. One part for food, one part for water, and one part for air.” (paraphrased)
4. Stay Active
To love food is a great adventure, but just as important as it is for us to enjoy the food that nourishes us, it’s just as important for us to stay active and take care of the body we’re nourishing. Even if it means doing something active for 30 minutes a day, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Start small, and keep moving forward. Do this for you. For some ideas, and more to come, check out my food adventures!
We live in a day and age that’s all about constantly being on the go, constantly doing “productive” things in order to stay afloat in this world of constant competition. What only the successful realize is that there is a huge amount of benefit to simply taking a few moments for you every day. Turn off all of your electronics, wear something comfortable, and do simply sit and relax. Think about your life, your experiences, your goals, your heart, and your faith. Just think, and find the good in all aspects of your life, especially the things that seem bad, all in order to find peace within.
I can’t express enough how important it is to do something every day that is just for you. It makes all the difference in your life, in your mental health, in your happiness, in your success, in your peace. Designate one hour per day, without fail, towards doing something just for you. The pressure of the world and of life and those who surround you will make this a difficult task, but do it for you. It’s of the utmost importance.
Solitude is sometimes a phenomenally beneficial thing, and I can attest to how much it’s helped me get things done in my journey towards the fulfillment of my dreams. That said, at times, it could also result in loneliness. We are creatures of companionship. Interacting with others helps us feel and stay connected. It helps us come up with new ideas, and new understandings of the world and the people in it. As I mentioned before, life is about balance, and in the matter of interacting with others, this balancing concept is very important. Spend time on your own, take time to take care of yourself, but be sure to interact with others, to make friends, and to spend time with those who make you happy and inspire positivity in your life.
Growing up, we would always hear about girls keeping diaries or journals, and if a boy were to do it, he would be teased for being girly – absolutely nonsensical and childish behavior. Some of the most successful people in the world, men and women, have kept journals as they strived towards achieving their goals. Begin writing. It’s a therapeutic way to keep your self focused, disciplined, and of clear mind. If it were not for my starting to write, by the will of Allah, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. Though I still have a long way to go, I hope to one day be the owner of a library full of my journals, insha Allah.
We’ve heard about the importance since we were children. They say you must get 8-10 hours of sleep every night for the sake of your body, mind, and soul. There are many benefits to sleeping well, and that involves more than just the amount of time you spend sleeping. It also includes your conditions of your environment (a hot or cold room, lights being on, your computer buzzing away, etc), what you sleep on, whether or not you go to bed refreshed and calm, and so much more. Be sure to sleep well, and listen to your body. You may be early bird or a night owl. Regardless of which one you are, listen to your body.
Sometimes, one of the best things we can do when we’re feeling down is force a smile. It can act as inspiration for a real smile 🙂 A smile is one of the things in life that can alleviate pain and sorrow at times when we feel like there is no reason to smile. Not only that, the Prophet (SAW) said that a smile is a form of charity. I’m not sure of how it is in other parts of the world, but I often try to smile at everyone I meet or cross eyes with, and the return of those smiles and the happiness it brings is indescribable. Smile, you’ll change lives…if not the lives of others, it’ll change your own life.