Dealing With Procrastination
Channel: Abdurraheem Green
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Episode Transcript ©
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Let's start with Eve okay going yeah, we already live
live. We just we just started live right now. Okay, everybody As Salam aleikum Welcome to shake up the Raheem Green's YouTube channel. So far we've been making videos three weeks in a row now. Sheikh that's that's good news is bro Hamdulillah. And we're going to be speaking about procrastination today.
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That's life. Okay, so she, you know, procrastination. This is something that, you know, you've spoken about before the importance of deadlines, the importance of not sitting on things, acting on things when you can?
Firstly, let's go back to something which I previously asked you, but it's good for everybody else that's watching this slideshow? Why is it important for Muslims to master areas linked to personal development and mastery, such as procrastination? Why are these areas so important to understand?
Well, could flow hemans occur, how will come to haunt them and, you know, this is what Allah says, you know, successful is the one who purifies it. And you know, destroy it is the one who doesn't,
who the one who corrupts it. So this, this whole dimension of purifying our souls, purifying our hearts,
is intimately linked to the whole topic of self control and self regulation, self discipline, and willpower, it's very much intimately linked to it. And it's linked also to, you know, understanding yourself knowing yourself, which is very much linked to being able to purify your intentions.
So the whole, you know, so this whole topic is, it's just, in a sense, it's really the essence of what Islam is all about. I mean, obviously, you know, some people would claim that it's separate science in Islam, you know, like, you have a solid faith, you have a solid tafsir, they will call it to solo off, you know, it has, by and large been designated as a sort of a science of, you know, purifying the heart and purifying the soul. But a lot, a lot of it is really just, it's actually psychology. Yeah, that's what it's to do. It's a lot of it is really psychology. And we've talked about this before,
how you can read, you know, books or group of people like Ghazali, and, and so on, and so forth. And you'll find that a lot, a lot of the stuff that psychologists talk to talk about today, they're preempted it, of course, not all of it. And some things, you know, they got wrong. And I'm sure there's a lot of stuff, a lot of stuff because psychology is a very, you know,
what can you say? A very new science. Yeah. And so there's obviously a lot they're gonna find out, it's not quite right. But it's still very useful for us. So yeah, it's all linked to the idea of self purification. Yeah.
And, you know, one of the things which we as Muslims don't do, genuinely, we're not as professional
as other other people, whether it comes to time management, when it comes to just general priorities in our life or organizational skills, and things like this. We we sort of treat it as a secular thing when it's actually no, it's just to do with your everyday productivity. And you've been speaking about this for a very long time. So introduce us to the topic of procrastination. Why? Well, let's just first of all, I think the first thing to do you know, is, let's look at it from an Islamic perspective. Why is it important to us as Muslims, right? The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, yeah, the two feet of the son of Adam will not move from their place in front of their
Lord until it asked about five things. One of the things the first thing that Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam says, your life and what did you What did you accomplish with it? Yeah, so your life is a short little moment. It really is. Yeah. In the billions of years that the universe is existed. Yeah. And forget even the universe compared to the eternity.
The Eternity eternal life. Yeah. And either Hellfire or paradise. This Mote this life. Yeah. Is just a moment. What have you got on? How long have you got on this planet? Right? You know, the average for the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said that the average for
A Muslim I think is 60 to 65 years, right? 65? I can't remember 60 to 65, some something in between, maybe more maybe less around that age. Yeah. So I mean, for me, that's it, like from the average Muslim, I'm basically I've got, you know, I've got seven years, 10 years left, right. That's all I've got left, even by the lifespan and modern humans, you know, modern humans in the West, have a bit of a longer lifespan, let's say you live to 70, or even 80, you maybe you might live to 90, even if you live to 120. Like, but you're even despite that your life is incredibly, incredibly short. It really is, right? 120 years in world politics in world history is nothing. Right? It's nothing. So
this is the first thing. I mean, I could go on and on about that a lot. Right. And by the way, this is one of the great benefits of traveling through the Earth, right and going and seeing the ruins of ancient civilizations. It just makes you think I mean, these, you know, these things are from 1000s 1000s and 1000s of years ago, Ancient Egypt 1000s of years ago, right, Gobi Turkey and Turkey, right? Pre history, from the age of when we were supposed to be hunter gatherers and forget the controversy, whether there was, you know, another civilization or lost civilization? Yeah. But whatever, it doesn't matter. I mean, the fact is that, you know, your individual life is a very,
very short moment. That's the first thing. Yeah, so you've got to make the best of it. Right? You must, you've got to make the best of his life. Even if you don't believe in Allah, and you don't believe in the day of judgment, and you don't believe you know, that there's, you know, that there's a Hellfire in a paradise, you just look at your life, it's a short little moment, how can you not take advantage of every moment of it? How can you not make or try to make every day a productive day? Right?
So procrastination gets in the way of that that's the problem. Right? The problem with press procrastination, is it just, you know, and we're talking about chronic? I mean, everyone procrastinates Yeah, but we're talking about chronic procrastination, which, you know, like, a sizable minority, you're talking about 25 30%, you know, at least of people in, you know, surveyed people, you know, the people, I don't know about people in China and everywhere else, but it's, you know, 25% is quite a large number of people who suffer from chronic procrastination, right. And, you know, it's, it's defined as a self defeating behavior. And this is interesting, marked by short term
benefit, that ignores long term goals and objectives is literally the opposite.
The opposite of willpower, it's the opposite of self regulation. It's the opposite of self discipline. Yeah. Because your willpower, your ability to self regulate is literally defined by your ability to give up short term pleasures for long term goals. Procrastination is the opposite of that. It's your constant failure to develop behaviors that will benefit long term goals and objectives, just in order in order to give into some what you think, is some short term pleasure or benefit, right. And sometimes, by the way, the short term pleasure benefit in procrastination is simply just not doing the thing that you have to do. Right. It's just avoidance. Yeah. And you can
see that obviously, it is a cause of mental mental, mental ill health, you know, physical, mental health, mental health, because people won't really, you know, go to doctors, they won't take medicines, they won't, you know, whatever, right? They won't get treatments, whatever treatment it is that you take, but you know, they won't do something about it. Right, whatever their illness is, because they procrastinate, Yeah, tomorrow, tomorrow, you know, creeps on at this petty pace from day to day, like, you know, tomorrow doesn't exist. And of course, procrastination is a sort of an you know, it's a sort of pandemic, right and Muslim Liceo in, you know, the in sha Allah, you know,
dakara in sha Allah Manish the the Arab IBM, not the International Business Machines of vain but the insha Allah Booker Mallesh you know, yeah, God Willing tomorrow Oh, it doesn't matter. Right.
You know, so it's actually a very on Islamic thing in a sense that you know, we should make use of our time the Prophet said, some of our whatever our feet are not going to be moving in front of our Lord and to ask about those five things or five things and one of the first one is your life and what you did it and the other is, you know, make use of five before five right make use of your
have free time before you become busy. Make use of your health before you become sick, make use of your wealth before you become poor, make use of your life before you die. Right? Make use of your wealth before your poverty, make use of these things. So, so, and that's a dua that we make, you know, that we seek refuge with Allah from laziness is one of the things we should take refuge with Allah from. Right. So I mean, there's a whole discussion, I think we could have this in another live stream. Yeah, that there are there are times when a type of laziness and we've had this discussion before, right. And there's a weird way in which laziness can be productive. And there is a way in
which procrastination can be beneficial, right. But I think today probably that will be because there's so much to cover. But yeah, this is this is procrastination. So the first thing to note is that being unproductive is not a good trait. Islamically, right? Allah wants us to make good use of our time, right? And procrastination gets in the way of that. And by the way, Islam, what Islam teaches is that is the very, very definition of needing self regulation and self control. Because,
you know, the long term goal is paradise. It's not even something that exists in this life. It's not like, I'm going to save so I can build a house in this dunya. I'm going to save so I can, you know, have a nice retirement fund. Yeah. From that perspective, and Muslim doesn't really care for us. It's about are you doing the things to invest in?
Yeah. Right. And those things still take effort, whether it's fasting, whether it's salah, whether it's giving Dawa, whether it's giving charity, right? Whether it's building, you know, a just and fair society. That is, you know, that is run by the Divine Wisdom, you know, you understand, so all of this takes a huge amount of effort and commitment and dedication. Yeah, it's not going to be done through procrastination. No, definitely not. And I think would be helpful if we break down into categories,
the sort of consequences of procrastination and also the strategies to avoid it. So I just had some random thoughts about this, which I thought I'd just throw out to you. And maybe you can dissect them a bit further. The first one being that deadlines are very important. Like if you
I mean, if we had the luxury of
praying, all of us the laws in the entire month, you could pray in the last day, just pray continuously, we wouldn't actually do it, we'll leave it to the last minute. Yeah. So
with, with everything we need at a type of deadline. So that's one. Another thing is that if we don't have goals in life, we end up doing things which are trivial. So that's another one. Another one is, you know, something which I'm sure you've I mean, you've you've mastered this topic, you know about dopamine, and your baseline dopamine and how, you know, these short term things, they just reduce your baseline dopamine, it doesn't lead to happiness, either. Because long term happiness through flow through hard work is far more pleasurable. So you have all these different ways, what would be your primary strategy amongst all these different options to avoid
Okay, so this is a really good question. And having looked into this subject,
I think that if you do a Google search, I think that a lot of the stuff are there has benefit, and it has virtue in it. But from my looking at this subject, just, you know, in the last whatever it is, few days or whatever, right?
My overall assessment is, yes, there's some good stuff and I teach it in my willpower course. You know, setting, I think, look, the the thing is, I think, first of all, why do we procrastinate, let's, let's look at why do we procrastinate? Right, that would help, isn't it? Because if you want to understand, how do we, you know, how do we overcome procrastination? The first thing would be is to understand, you know, like, why do we procrastinate? So the first and most obvious thing is just being distracted. Right? Zombie scrolling. So much stuff so much dopamine, you know, like, so many dopamine hits, like, endless interesting. And I'm not, I'm not talking about, you know, watching,
like, just people dancing and you know, like nonsense, right? Like, there is a lot of really amazing stimulating information out there. I mean, I could literally spend three or four hours watching video after video about politics about climate change about history. Yeah, like it's fascinating, interesting stuff, but ultimately
At least, you know, I always asked myself, this is really interesting. But what am I actually doing about it?
You know, it's really interesting hearing all of this stuff about, you know, let's say just something I was listening to today, vaccine injuries, you know, this doctor was going on about how we've been lied to the whole thing's a con. It's the biggest crime in medical history, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. This is a doctor saying this right. And, you know, who himself was double vaccinated? Right. I'm listening to it. So yeah, that's fascinating. That's really interesting. And
what are we going to do about it? I was listening to another video about, you know, lock downs, you know, was it districts Oxford being divided into districts? 15 minute districts? Yeah, we're going to be taking only that allow to drive your car 100 days in a year, and if you drive more, you're going to have to pay for it and get fined and like, flipping dystopian stuff, like it's out of some hunger, some movie or something. Right? You know, shocking. Yeah. Okay. It's fascinating. And what are we going to do about it?
Just watch another video, right? And you keep thinking that you see, the problem with this is, this is this is distraction, right? You are distracted by all of this information, or infotainment, or whatever they call it, right? Because that's where it is. It's another tool, another type of entertainment. But you're not actually doing anything constructive. So being distracted is number one problem. And why are you distracted? Generally, you're distracted, because you don't have a purpose. You don't have a goal, you don't have an objective, right. And here's something even, you know, like, maybe more scary is that you have a goal or purpose and objective, but you're not
inspired or motivated by it?
Right. And that's something I've been thinking about, you know, I mean, this goes on to a topic, I didn't really want to cover too much right? Today, but maybe we will. Right? Maybe some of the reasons you're, you know, you procrastinate, it's because you're bored. Right.
And, you know, this is something that is a well known need, you know, the need for variety, some people have that need for variety, right? And you can get really bored of doing the same thing a lot. And if you get really bored of it, you know, you you, you procrastinate because you don't feel motivated, right, so that that motivation is important. Of course, the other thing is fear and anxiety, a lot of people procrastinate because they're afraid and they're anxious of failure, right? They're afraid to make decisions. We talked about this decision paralysis, people are afraid to make decisions. Because if What if I make the wrong decision, if I make the wrong decision that this will
happen, that will happen, this will happen to me, blah, blah, blah. So this fear of they a failure, this anxiety of getting things wrong? Date is a big cause for procrastination, there's no doubt about that. And that's linked to, you know, the lack of faith in your abilities, right. So these, these are some of the main causes of, you know, procrastination. And I think, you know, the big ones are distraction. Probably the next big one, really, in reality is that and you know, that fear of failure. Right.
And I think maybe the big one is just, we don't like hard work. You know, when it comes down to, we don't want to do the hard work. You know, I mean, I have this argument all the time. And it's I say, well, human civilization is built on laziness, right? I mean, at the end of the day, is because we don't want to do stuff that we invent stuff that makes it easy for us to do the stuff that we don't really want to do. Right.
And it's incredibly satisfying. I mean, the irony is the sort of paradox is that in order to invent the things that make our life easier, so we don't have to do the things that we don't want to do. That itself takes a lot of effort. That's the paradox. I mean, it's in that effort that we actually get the joy and the bliss. And it's, you see, that's the thing you have to know that the bottom line is you have to understand flow, you have to understand optimal experience, you have to understand what real happiness is.
And maybe you're not experiencing that enough. So I think procrastination is extremely complex, right? And as I said, there are some actual benefits of procrastination. Right? You know, I mean, one of the benefits is that sometimes if you really are procrastinating about something, it you sometimes you have to ask the question, Is this really something I should be doing? Is this really something I should be giving my time to? Because if I'm not really debt it, you know, bro, you know what it's like. So, bro, when you're so in love with something? Right? That you're obsessed by it? You know, I mean, we used to call you the dour hobo, right? We're joking about that. Because you
know you lived you know you lived breathed you no doubt you
You know, you're just this guy, you're sleeping on the sofa, so you can get up and get out the next day. And you know, we both know what it's like, when you have that dour addiction, you know, you want to be on the street, you're giving dower every day you just love it. You're giving talks and lectures, Hamza sorts as another person, I saw him going through that.
He's just loved traveling around giving talks and lectures, not because not because, you know, a person likes the I don't really, genuinely don't think has anything to do with the fact that you know, you like adoration and b2b, it's because you love to transmit knowledge you love seeing people's lives changed. Yeah, you love seeing people go from a worse state to a better state. There's nothing like that, right?
So these things, you know, like, so when you're doing that, you know, you know, subhanAllah you don't feel procrastination about that. It's almost the opposite. It's like, hold on, dude, you're going to burn house unit, you know, gavel, this is going to exhaust you. Right? So you think about that, when you're procrastinating a lot. It should make you think and this is one of the benefits I was going to say, but we're bringing it in anyway, is that maybe it is a time for you to ask yourself. And I'll give you an example. Right? You know, I'm asking myself a question a lot these days, right? There was a time when I was so into mountain biking, I would like almost I don't know
how much I would ride my bike a lot. Right? And you know, like, I don't even have to get on my bike anymore. Right? I am asking myself this question. And there's a lot of I should go for ride today. And then I don't. And then it's like, Well, why do you care? Why is it so important? It doesn't matter. You may be I like something else. Maybe I like hiking, you know, maybe I'll maybe mount it. You know, I'm getting older. What does it matter? If I don't like why do you think that it's so important that you have to do that thing, right? And maybe there's a good reason that you just feeling like, you know, you're procrastinating about it.
And like there is because you know, a few years ago, I had a bad crash, I separated my shoulder, I don't feel the same about it. You know, like there's a higher risk factor for me that just makes it like. So it's not always procrastination, sometimes. Sometimes it is this, you know, life is trying to tell you something.
Maybe it's time for a change, maybe it's time to find something else that motivates you. So it's a hugely, you know, interesting subject. But obviously, like I said, when you feel passionate when you feel moved when you feel motivated.
That's the first thing. You are procrastinate. The other thing is, and we'll go through all of those. Yeah. goldboro. Yeah. And ask me a related question. You said they're obviously making sense. However, the issue really comes in when you know something's important. Like, let's just take the dollar for for it's so easy to be $1 store to be handing out flyers and x y Zed. It is difficult to do stuff, which you can't tangibly impact people, but you're doing stuff which is far more strategic. So you know, it's important. It's not that you you've lost love for something because it's it's not interesting.
I sometimes think of this as a test from Allah. Because if you're always going to do what you love, then you're not really doing it for law. Like you sometimes have to do things you hate. You absolutely hate. Because, no, that's a good thing.
So I think it's quite easy to cross. Yeah, you're right. Yeah. And if you do it sincerely, and I think that's that, I mean, look what you see here, bro. Right, I'm gonna get deep with you and everybody listening. I'm gonna get deep. Yeah. And I don't believe that a human being does anything.
Except that by they're motivated by self interest. Everything you do is motivated
by altruism right? Now, at the end of it, even when you do something you hate because you know, it's important. It's because you love Allah and you want Allah's love in your life. And you don't want Allah to punish you and you don't want you know, you want to go to paradise you want to you don't want to go to hellfire. You want Allah to love you, you don't want Allah to be angry with you. You want to be close to Allah. And you know that, you know, if something, you know you, you understand that there are things that are very pleasing to Allah. And that so yeah, at the end of the day, however, still, the goal is some great pleasure and some great bliss, you understand, but that comes
back to what we're talking about flow, right? And that's when actually a human being so what you will find is if you really did if you're really sincere, and you really dedicate yourself to it,
then you will find joy in it. And it was like this with the Sahaba with jihad.
It's like a lot of like, nearly everybody like Allah says, like you eat it. Like no, no one wanted to fight no one wanted to go and fight. Uh, who would? Who wants to go and fight? Like maybe there's a few people? Most people do not they want to plow their fields they want to be with their wife and their kids. Like a video game. It's not no, it's it's a horrific, horrible. War is horrible, nasty, brutal, dirty, boring most of the time. Yeah. You know, it's not it's it's really having a bad stomach in a mountainous Yeah.
The thing is, is that you know, but when you're, you know, when your intention is pure, and when your causes just and right, then even the most unpleasant things become pleasant. In fact, they don't even become pleasant, they become amazing. And I can say the same thing about anything, any sport, right? I mean, I don't want to compare, you know, you know, you know what we're talking about with some sport, but you can say the same. People would say, why would you want to go out in the pouring rain? And ride your bike? How does that makes any sense? It's muddy, it's wet, it's cold, you come back, right? You're, you can't even feel your toes. Right? You gotta seriously.
But you do it. Because you because to get that to that stage, you love it, right? Like a lot. But to get to that point, you have to go through a lot of stuff, right? And it's this, it's this strange thing, right? And it can be exactly the same with, you know, administrative work, you know, so like, if you're talking about yourself, right, and you, you know, you love the energy and the vibe from being on the streets and giving dower and you missed that. And you're not feeling that same energy and vibe. But believe me, if you throw yourself into what you're doing, if you give it your 100% and you know that you don't, yeah, it's not, you know,
you know, yeah, it's lots got lots of unpleasant stuff. And it does. But if you give it your all, you will soon find that you will love it. Yeah, right.
And then you know, what the hard thing is to give it up and step by step, step aside, and let someone else take over. Because even though you're really enjoying it, but at the end of the day, it's not about you enjoying it, it's about, you know, what is best for the work that you're doing. That's all part of the sincerity as well. Right, isn't it? So yeah, I mean, you know, I mean, okay, so this is all to do with motivation and stuff like that. So you're right. And this is where procrastination comes in. Right? And I that will comes down to checking your sincerity and it all comes from a Muslim perspective. It all comes back to these things, it all comes back to your
connection with Allah. Yeah, it really does. It comes back to your connection with Allah, you're, you know, you're sure your taqwa. Right. And you're constantly reminding yourself that this life is short, this life is going to be overseen. And soon I'm going to meet Allah. And you know, what do I want to meet Allah with? Right?
You know, so obviously, I mean, really, if you think about it, you're going to meet Allah with a lot more doing what you're doing now. Right? In the sense of, you know, being the CEO of a big data organization than you will ever be just giving talking to one or two people on the on the street.
Right? I mean, you know, because you're responsible, in a sense for all of that work that's being done by hundreds and hundreds, if not 1000s of people, right? And you're sharing in the record of all of that, right? Okay. It's just way more than just talking to a couple of people, right? So you just have to keep reminding yourself of that, and those type of things, right.
But the thing really the thing, honestly, and honestly, I could say this, and that would, in my opinion, honestly, the most important thing to overcome procrastination when you've gone and you could go through my course my willpower course, you could go through the seven pillars of willpower, right? Setting SMART goals, you know, you know, set yourself goals, set yourself targets, don't make them too big, right? Make them manageable, make them realistic, yeah. Give yourself deadlines, right? Make it timely, give yourself a time to do this thing and to do that thing. So what are the SMART goals achievable? Save yourself these goals, get yourself motivated. All of that is important.
However, brothers and sisters, the single most powerful thing that you can ever do, right? To be productive, is develop good habits. Yeah. Because honestly had it's a brilliant it's one of the most incredible things that Allah has given us. It is probably, you know, every it's this huge
Humans superpower, right? Our ability to automate our behaviors, right? To make them automatic.
Yeah. When you can make your behaviors, habitual, and you automate them, right? It's your you're not fighting procrastination, because you just do it because it's your habit. Right? If it's your habit to write three pages of whatever it is your diary or your book, or your report, or whatever it is, every morning, after fajr off your cup of coffee, and you do that day in and day out. You know, there's not there's the whole issue of procrastination doesn't come in. It's just not there.
So, yeah, develop habits, brothers and sisters. Yeah. Yep. You know, and interesting enough, you know, all of the things about building habits.
They apply to procrastination as well. All the things that help you build good habits and help you, you know, that keep away from bad habits. It's also I mean, really, procrastination is just a bad habit. That's it. So like, all bad habits, you want to make them difficult, right? You want to make it difficult for you to procrastinate. So that's when you want to think about how can I make it really hard for me to procreate? So what are the things that make me and it's all comes back to it? You know, we always talk about this right? Awareness. The first thing you do is you have to be aware. All right, that's the A, the ABCD, you know, of the ABCD of you know, counter ambush
training, right? What is the first thing awareness? Why do you procrastinate? What time do you procrastinate? What things make you procrastinate? What you know, that's what you Is it the mobile phone? Okay, then find a way to lock the mobile phone away, put it away? Not permanently, right. Do you realistic? Yeah. But you know what, don't allow yourself to look at their mobile phone until, you know, 12 o'clock.
Get up at Fudger. Do this and this and listen, this, don't touch the mobile phone until you know, I'm just giving an example. Right? But you need to think about what are the things that are making me procrastinate, make it hard for you to access those that access those things and make it easy for you to accomplish the things that you want. Yeah. And make it fun, right, and make it interesting and stimulating and rewarding to do the things that you have to do, and make it unpleasant and hard and difficult. I mean, this is a whole interesting thing about neuro linguist. I'm not sure about NLP, neuro linguistic programming. But you know, at the end of the day, they call it helps hypnosis
and this and that. But you know, like, at the end of the day, it's about creating a pattern in your head or connection in your head, that, you know, in your head, you think of that thing that you are addicted to, for example, this is just an example. You think of it in really unpleasant ways. You connect it with really unpleasant sensations and imagery, and then you find that you just don't like those things anymore. Because you've connected those connections in your brain. So I mean, that's at the end of the day. That's what it's about. Right? Yeah. And that's, that's how you do it, bro. That's how you get over it. Inshallah. Yeah, and it's really interesting, you bring up NLP, because
some have made the stretch to say, when the young man came up to the officer film and said, allows enough for me that was a typo. You know, would you like someone? It is like, what is? I mean, it's all words, right? We don't want to say that it's NLP. Because NLP has a history, right? It's connected to a lot of new age pseudoscience and stuff like that. But there is a lot of stuff in there. That is just solid common sense stuff, right? I mean, nothing, nothing that is powerful, is going to be 100% based on falsehood. Right? Okay. And I'm not even saying NLP is falsehood, right? I mean, it has some questionable things, right. But at the end of the day, the idea that you are going
to create connections in your mind, that make you you know, make certain things that you like, and you want to give it up. You like it, but you want to stop it. Right? Then you think of it in a way in your mind that makes it how else you're going to do it. If you keep dreaming about something if you keep dreaming about how amazing it is. And lovely it is and this and that well guess what's going to happen? Right? You know you're going to it's like you're creating temptation in your head. Right? And what you think about in your head can be just as real. This is the whole thing about visualization and athletes for sport, right? They see that visualization
Action, right? Is actually like, so effective, right? He's the equivalent of doing I don't know, whatever right, you know, 10 minutes of visualization is like, it is like an equivalent of our of actual physical practice, right? I mean, obviously, it doesn't substitute it, right. But it has this incredible, you know, boosting effects. So if that's the case, how about the other way? Right? If you're constantly dreaming about, you know, fantasizing about smoking weed, or, you know, I don't know, you know, orgies or god knows what eating flippin, you know, bars and bars of chocolate, I don't know, whatever. Well, guess what, what do you think's going to happen sooner or later? Right?
You're creating this fantasy in your mind. Right? And it's interesting. The scholars talked about the difference between, you know, thoughts that come to your head, and stuff that you actually dwell on and cultivates, right? There's a difference the, the thoughts that you dwell on and cultivate. Right?
You know, that's what they say, you know, what you think about you? Do you speak about we speak about, you're going to do it. Right. So, you know, again, cultivate your mind, right? There's no harm in, you know, creating a feeling of revulsion towards something that you know, you need to
remove from your life. Right? And you said, like you said, the example of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, even I think it's Epinal. Here, he gives an example, right? You know, when you see a woman, then you feel attracted towards her. Think about her on her menses, right?
Well think about her going to the, you know, taking a poo, right? And so you literally feel sick. That's literally they'll go out of your head, right? You understand?
What is that except programming yourself, right. And the converse is also true, that Dan Huberman speaks about this, you know, the human human lab guy, he says, you can think about an object and start to get dopamine hit. He said, My pen, I really liked this pen. And I actually stopped thinking about it, and I started getting some dopamine hits. And likewise, there's actually, this is a true story. This isn't like I heard from him. There's a brother who didn't used to pray,
barely was, you know, upon Islam, and you started, you know, praying and doing these types of things that I saw myself, that the prayer became a dopamine trigger for him. If he saw someone else Pray, he would bring out your trigger something. And as you remember, Wallahi, this is one of the most powerful experiences I had right about how powerful it is to have these types of triggers. I remember we were somewhere. And that guy was with me. And he saw somebody else pray. And he looked at him, he didn't know I was there. He looked at him with a look of jealousy, with a look of like, rage, like I want that feeling. And next thing is called the perma. So you know, these, these are
really true. What does Allah say? Allah says, you know, remembrance of Allah gives you peace, you know, staying away from Allah is gonna give you depression. And these things are factual. If you really truly believe them, not only do they come true, they come more powerful and more prevalent, and they amplify, as you think about them. I mean, how do you feel shake if I remind you of,
you know, your first Ramadan in the 1980s? At London, your lady, you're smiling. You know, you're getting that remote. You're getting that reward. And now you're thinking about Ramadan coming up? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, yeah, I mean, it's true. I mean, I mean, that I mean, the things that really the thing, the one thing about this, that really, from my own personal experience, I still find amazing is how revolting I find the thought of eating pork.
Now, even as I say it, literally my stomach is physically moving, just by saying the word my stomach moves in an unpleasant way. Right? Right. However, before and I even I don't even like saying this about find it hard to say that my favorite meat that I can't even eat when I'm feeling sick. Wow, where does that come from? I literally feel sick. Yeah.
I use the that stuff. Why?
You know, because, you know, Allah says it's like eating fire into your belly. It's like, eating ledges. It's like, it's like eating poop. Right? Literally, it's like, you took up some poo and ate it, you know, but, and I tell people it's, I don't even want to say, you know, like, but you know, I say Yeah, honestly, it was the best tasting meat. It was tender, tasty, you know, salty. And I still and as I'm saying that
wanna vomit? As I'm saying all of these words literally right now? I feel sick in my stomach at the same time. Yeah. Now I didn't I didn't do anything here on purpose. Right. Like, it's just from my knowledge that this is something that that is displeasing to Allah subhanaw taala.
Right. Yeah, you know, it's, it's, you know. So I mean, there's other things that I struggle with a lot more. But you know, still I find it like that those same things, I find them really disturbing.
Shake, I just wanted to say something, which I think may help others. So I was really struggling with zombie scrolling, especially two years ago during the height of the pandemic. And I actually had work to do, and I was actually busy. But I found myself doing this. So I gave myself two anchors,
which actually helped. The first is that I imagined when I was bringing up my phone, I imagined I was getting neck pain.
I actually imagined I was getting neck pain. And I looked up some pictures about how much pressure there is on your neck when you're actually in that position. And actually, you use something like 60 pounds, I don't know what it is, you'll start to form a particular lump in your back that will actually happen. Yeah, exactly, exactly. And the second thing is, I imagined every single time I was scrolling with my finger, I was feeling sick. And you know what, it actually works so long, you know, I have this weird thing that I found a counter way of getting around it, which is, instead of using my phone like that, I started using my phone.
Because I developed this belief, I actually have this belief that I'm looking down is causing me pain. And I think it may cause me some pain, because I really believe it. Yeah. So you know, these anchors, they really work. It's not jello, they do. They do. It's just like, it's like, it's like, there's so many examples like that, like so for example, I remember in mountain biking, one of the tricks they said is if if you're coming if you've come to some feature, yeah, that you you know, you can do it like you should never do stupid stuff. Right. But you know, there's something you know, you could do it like it's a dropper, it's, you know, but it scares you, right? It's like, you count
to three, but you go on to say 123, boom, do you counted three, but until you make yourself go, right. And it's like, how stupid is that? But it's so weird that we can fool ourselves. Right? Yeah. You know, so, like the same thing? What's the point in setting yourself a deadline?
Right, if you set yourself a deadline, right? No, I have to do this by this in that time, right? Well, you just set yourself the deadline, who cares? Just you setting yourself a deadline, right. But yet, it still works. Right.
And it's interesting, because that's to do with decisions determination is to do with this fact that human beings like to be consistent with their beliefs. Right? So once you've formulated this belief, right, you'd like to make sure that you're consistent with it. Yeah. Right. You know, I guess it allows us allows us to be coherent as human beings in our societies and families, and so on and so forth. That's part of the key to it.
But I think he's a remarkable things and like, in a sense they are, they are superpowers that Allah has given us right, because it's incredible how developing things like good habits can just
make you so productive so easily. You know, so I, that's for me, the key thing brothers and sisters is, you know, develop and hamdulillah because if you're a Muslim, and you're a believer, and you are praying five times a day, right? I mean, you already have five regular habits because it's habit, one of the clever things to do is habit stacking, right? So with a habit that you already have, you attach another habit to it, right. So you pray five times and see the Prophet taught us that really, you pray five times a day so then what did he teach to make dua and to make vicar after each prayer and the Prophet encouraged to make certain of cult and to make certain guys and to make certain
Vickers after each prayer? Right. Okay. And then to each of those things, again, you each different pray you could attach a different habit, right? So the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa salam talks about the morning Allah bless the mornings of our Ummah, right. So all of these things like that's a really great way the fact that you have five prayers spread throughout throughout the day, you already have five hooks on which you can hang habits and you know, that is literally on its own a key to a massively productive life in sha Allah. And by the way, it doesn't mean that you have to work them
Don't stop 24 hours, you know, whatever, right? This is another, you know, I mean, unless you know that you if you're that sort of person, fantastic, fine. You know, if you've got the energy for it good. Like it's no harm to take a breath break, you can chill, you can have fun, the Prophet used to love going to gardens and just chilling you know, and you know, walking and whatever it may be right, take some sport, do some activity, you know, that's, that's fine as well, right? So the beautiful thing is all balanced and handling.
So could we say that before habits, it's about goal setting, because you can't have habits unless you're working towards a goal. And the problem with I think goals
is that the goals are not that inspiring. So you know, if someone if you ask someone, their goals are and they say, I'm gonna say something, which sounds wrong, but it's not meant to sound wrong.
When you meet certain people, and they say, okay, my goal is to hit two fifths of the Quran, you know, I need to do this.
You can tell by the way that they're talking about it, that they're not really inspired. Yeah, just by their body language, right? They just, secondly, if they are not doing something, to achieve that goal, they, they're not actually serious about that. And I think sometimes what we do when it comes to the religion of Islam, Allah has, you know, given human beings, different dispositions that they like different types of other. And we have a generic cookie cutter type of narrative that sometimes comes from certain people, and everybody, regardless of if they really into activism, or Dawa, they're distinct. Actually, in order for me to succeed in Islam, I need to fit this cookie cutter
narrative of doing these things. And when they try and do those things, they don't succeed, because that's not what really inspired this is, you know, this is really interesting, bro, this is a fascinating subject, you know, in and of itself, right.
this is a fascinating subject in and of itself. And
so, I mean, this is something interestingly enough, though, it was a sort of, there was a time I remember in the past where everyone thought they should be a student of knowledge. Everyone wanted to go to Medina, right? Oh, yeah. And the reality is that, you know, not everyone is cut out for studying fit, not everyone is cut out for scholarly academic pursuit, because that's what it is. It's a type of academia. Right? And a lot of people are not cut out for that. They're really not. Right.
And, you know, so similarly, like, every one is different. And this is what is very, very important, right?
And understanding yourself, understanding your strengths, understanding your weaknesses, understanding your capabilities, right? This is key, I think this is very, very key and very, very important. Right? Some people are great, they will focus on one thing, some people are jack of all trades, you know, some people will be do something here and then do another thing here. And then they you know, they will just move from thing to thing. You have to find what your thing is, or your things are, right, you have to find what you're good. I do believe that Allah has facilitated for everybody something.
Right. And there's so many things it could be, right, being a good dad from Pink, a good mum, right? I don't like all of these things are acts of worship, if you do it with for the sake of Allah with the right intention, right. You know, raising your kids is a huge thing. Right? No one should think that that's a little thing. Right? So you just have to find your niche. And maybe once you get bored of that, find something else. That's okay. It's good. But I do think feeling, you know, excited and motivated and wanting to do something. It doesn't mean it won't be hard. Right. You see? Okay. But I think that's very, very important. Yeah, yeah.
And not to say, I mean, we don't want to say the opposite, which is everyone to jump on the dollar bandwagon button. If we look at, you know, I mean, take one of the statements of Imam was Oliver he spoke about during his time, there are too many people who were studying the Islamic sciences, but not enough physicians, and he complained about this, but he said people need physicians. I mean, right now, if we think about it, you know, we are living in an incredible time, where we can give dower to anybody pretty much on Earth. In large parts of the world. We can give that without any restrictions. And this is unprecedented in human history. 100 years from now, it may not be possible
So, what I find shake is that when we're talking to certain people, when we talk to him about the reward of that, we talk to them about how you will be, I mean, not in an egotistical way, but in a way that, you know, being happy that Allah is using you for something, you will be part of history, like, you know, when you're involved in something like that, that's very different to when someone's memorizing, you know, this nod or something which has already been memorized, which is a very computerized, and I find, I mean, I sometimes find that I mean, you're making it, you know, like, that's the difference. One is preserving, you know, which is good. And, you know, preserving is a
very important thing, but there's a whole nother thing, we actually making history, you know,
and that's, I mean, again, you know, whatever motivates you, as long as it's obviously, you know, you want to do stuff for the pleasure of Allah subhanaw taala. Of course, ultimately, that is your goal, and that is your objective, right.
But you know, you want to make history for the sake of our life, doing it for the sake of you don't care whether your names in it, I mean, you want your name to be there with Allah and the angels, and you know, on the Day of Judgment, that's what's really important, right?
You know, that you hold the Allah mentions you to the angels, and you see the reward of it. That's, that's, I guess, what's really,
that's what's really important. And again, it sort of goes full circle, what are you going to do with your life? I mean, that's a big question. Brothers and sisters, all at the end of all of this is that, you know, if you find yourself a person who's chronically procrastinating, and you keep putting things off, just remember, your life is short. Just go to the graveyard and look at the people who are there. And that could be you anytime, anytime. Just down the road the other day, bro, two trucks collided in a village, you know, you've got these small little roads. One of the guys apparently just had a hard step right there driving, you know, driving his truck. That was it. I met
a guy today, he was just talking about, you know, who came to fix my washing machine, talking about how his father passed away. You know, like, and it just makes me realize that, you know, is that the saying, I'm gonna, you know, I'm gonna ride the motorbike, and you're gonna have to sit on the back. And he said, But dad, you only got two days left to live, what are you talking about?
You know? And he said, Oh, yeah, is that there's what he was telling me this story about his conversation with his dad, and he wanted to get this motorbike, because it's sort of in memory of his dad in his life. But this is life, guys, this is it. So what have you done with your life? You know, what have you done? Because Why don't you ask yourself that now? Because you're gonna have to answer it. When you meet Allah, you your feet, my feet, we're not going to move.
What have you done with your life? And you know, what's beautiful about the Sheikh is that if you make an intention, and you die, before that happens, then you are rewarded for that. You know, when you're talking, I just reminded me of a volunteer that we had in our era, because we had, back in the day, we used to have hundreds of these volunteers used to do street Dawa, and stuff. So there's a brother, who I see around, and you knew he used to give Dawa, and stuff like a young guy like 18 1718.
And then, some years back, I met one of his relatives, and I said, Oh, Where's so and so? And he said, Oh, he passed away. So you know, it was really shocking for me, because this is a guy I remember in his life, just a game show. And he was barely 20. But the thing and he has nothing wrong with him, there's health wise, there's nothing wrong, but whoever Allah, you know, he's gonna take away he's gonna take away, but this is a guy who I know if he was alive, you'd still be joining Ira dollar missions, along with
the happiness and the joy that you have that, you know, if you make the intention, the road is there. The road is there, even if you don't live that long. And that's, that's good enough for us. And one of the most powerful things I heard a,
a explanation of the famous narration of the process and the actions of my intention.
And the scholar explain that. One of the meanings of this narration and this narration is obviously the narration that you know, the books open with, it's the most important one.
It says that actions are facilitated by good intentions. So sometimes when you're facing difficulty is because you're not sincere. Is not sometimes obviously, it's because you're sincere. You just mean tested. But this is so powerful for us to know because to really be procrastination, you need inspiration. You need something to you know, nobody motivation. Yeah. Yeah. Like I am. I'm not going to procrastinate. If there's buildings on fire. I'm gonna run out of the building. Yeah. Yeah. In the same way. Yeah. Yeah. So in the same way, when your motivation is high enough, procrastination is not even in the neighborhood. It's motivation itself.
For like, again, we have to be careful. Because motivation, like, you know, we know this culture of, you know, motivational speakers and people getting all motivated for an hour.
That's all it loss, right? So it's like, it's almost a sense of you have to have everything in place, right? You have to have the, you know, like, but maybe it works the other way around, maybe, maybe we need to think a little bit more rationally about what we could do and what we should do. And then let's find the things to motivate us to do that and have the program in place so that when we got the motivation, we build the habits and we get it done.
I've gotta go because
that's the wife is calling me for dinner and we begin going for 55 minutes. That's pretty cool. Mashallah, thanks, everyone for listening and hanging on in there. And it was a fascinating discussion. Alhamdulillah it was, I think we covered most most things actually, even we covered the essential things about
even how can procrastination actually even be sometimes a bit beneficial? And the main thing is, it can make you really question is this really what I want to be doing with my life? It's not a bad question to ask. As long as you just not sitting around doing nothing, not making use of this little time that Allah has given us that's the main thing, isn't it? I guess at the end of the day, if procrastination makes you sit around and do nothing and not be productive and not brute get closer to Allah, that's a real problem. It is. And where you can start is go to get I will power.com Like, I will honestly say this is a core cheat on doesn't want you to do. I can happily say that because
I've done this course. And look, everybody says this is life changing. That's life changing, but I'm being honest. This was actually
this was something I haven't forgotten most of this so Judoka check for joining us
until next week as salam aleikum wa rahmatullah.