My mum said something quite extraordinary this morning, when I showed my wife, the centerfold of yesterday’s Straits Times. Well, it showcased the award winners for the year 2009, for those in Manulife. (my company by the way). There were of course pictures of my over achievers colleagues and unit manager. Anyhow, that was not the point. The point was, my mum said, “Don’t worry lah, next year your face (me) will be there.” Coming from my mum, it felt satisfying. Because she never really and truly endeared to this career of mine, even though I’ve been doing it for the past 6 years.
Chasing The Impossible Dream
When I was just a bit younger in primary school, whenever anyone asked me what my ambition was, I always said the same thing. “A Scientist.” For 4 years or so, from Primary One to Four, I had the same ambition. Then in Primary Five, when I was streamed into an EM2 cohort, that ambition slowly eroded. The fact that my Science received a Band 2, meant that I was not really that great in Science. So yeah, I compromised on that dream and just tried to excel in that cohort. When PSLE came around, and I missed my number one choice school by 10 marks and my second choice by 1 mark, I was very sure, that I was at best just a normal student. All that expectations and dreams, my primary school teachers pinned on me seemed dashed. Somehow, the pattern continued on, with regards to my academic achievements. Nothing superlative, but rather normal accomplishments.
Sometimes, I amuse myself by the thoughts of why I did not continue pursuing my studies. I was too carefree a soul to think about maybe holding a diploma or a degree. I looked in silent envy at peers and friends who had a higher level of education, yet it did not compel me to act. I was happier lapping up life, through practicality. Knowledge derived from stupidity, failures, experimentations and just sheer chance. I took up my diploma in psychology and left it there with only two modules to complete. What a joke. Am just too much of a wanderer I guess.
How Will I Live My Life Out (Again)?
The same way. But with greater emotional tenacity. Upon reflection, if I had amassed the level of emotional maturity, I have now, Life would have been easier. The entanglement of emotions is so messy at times, that it really takes a lot out of you. Like a bad investment gone wrong, the repercussions of building back your portfolios can be exhausting.
(My) Secret Code for Success
This is rather stupid and obvious, but my code for success actually lies in only one facet of myself. My spiritual self. Let’s just put it this way. I am so far away from being spiritually attached to God, that I think at times, I am so invisible. I am seriously the sort, who wakes up and say my blessings, cause I have this paranoia of dying in my sleep. I am also the sort who self talks to myself, literally. And I so know that the root of my incompetencies and lack of accomplishments is due to my inability to break from this shell of spiritual mediocrity.
God + Me
In a rather achievable ideal life, I will really love to be doing this,
1. Wake up at 4 to do my tahajjud. Read the Quran whilst waiting for Subuh prayers. Pray Subuh. Have light breakfast, and go for a jog. Come back from jogging, and have full breakfast. Have my shower. Iron my clothes. Log onto my email and plan my day out/surf the Net. Watch Channel News Asia and read the newspaper.
2. Off to office at 8. Stop at mosque and do my dhuha prayers. Reach office and clear pending paperwork and prepare paperwork for the day. Have lunch at around 12. Proceed to the mosque for congregational Dzuhur prayers. Leave office for appointments. Appointments till evening. Proceed to the mosque for congregational Asar prayers. Makes way for office to clear the day.
3. Leaves office at 6.30. Proceed to the mosque for congregational Maghrib prayers. Sets home. Reaches home. Have dinner with family. Prays Isha’. Quality time with family. Do a bit of reading. Prays two rakaat sunnah prayers and sleeps.
4. Do this everyday.
The point is this. I should be doing all of this. In a disciplined manner. I can only attribute my lack of accomplishments in life to the basic fact that I am so nowhere even 20% of doing what I had listed above. Sad, and true. So how?
I do not have a peaceful mind. Can you imagine just what I will work for, just to achieve a peace of mind? The tranquility, clarity and serenity of a peaceful heart that is focused an in tuned with his surroundings. Sadly, the last I experienced such a surreal feeling was in 1998, in Mecca. Ever since then, I have been besieged by avalanches of doubts, fear, uncertainty and all that “buzz”.
I told my secretary the other day, that I do not look forward to going to office at times, because of the lack of “ukhwaah”. I must be kidding myself, I thought to myself. What kinda expectations was that? But that’s me. I’m synonymous with vibes. Great vibes make things purposeful.
Now, I have to find my peace in my salah. Even then, it’s difficult. I feel so far from my Creator. It’s like He no longer listens to my whisperings.
This is my Code of Success;
“Surely in Allah’s remembrance do the hearts find peace.” (13:28)
I just need to make sure, I apply it. Always.