Channel: Muslim Life Hackers
Series: Muslim Life Hackers - Season 1
With so much negativity engulfing the world, the ability to remain optimistic is even more important!
Maheen Talks about why optimism matters, how we can asses our character, what Islam says about the topic and gives you 4 neat tips to get you started with optimism
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Episode 37. And in fact, it's a pot of a man a pot of faith to be optimistic. Welcome to the Muslim life hackers podcast, the weekly podcast providing you with tips and tricks on how to hack your life and maximize its potential. And now for your hosts Mithra maroof. And Mohit Malik
Assalamu alaikum Muslim life hackers, this is mahane Malik here. And as usual, you can find all the links and resources mentioned in today's episode in our show notes, Muslim africans.com slash 37. All right, so let's get into our topic of optimism. Okay, so I chose this topic for a few reasons. The world seems to be going through a lot of trials. And they seem to be like a lot of what can be perceived as a lot of bad and negative events within the media,
like pessimism, golfing the worlds of Panama, of course, we also have like a cognitive bias to remember negative events a lot more and well itself. And that's why we decided that it was time for a dose of optimism. After doing a quick search on the word optimism I was.
I was just overwhelmed with the amount of research opinions and data out there on the topic. And there's just so much that I wanted to include in this one podcast, but after writing my show notes, it seemed like it would go on for like over an hour. So I've cut out a lot. And I'm trying to keep it nice and short and simple and straight to the point. And we like our bite size podcasts here. So we're going to be focusing on the importance of optimism, some of the characteristics of optimists, how does optimism relate to Islam, and then I'm going to be giving you four strategies to help you nurture optimism within your life. All right, so let's get into it. optimism. And I'm going to go
into what I mean by optimism a bit later on. First, to give you just a rough background, the study of optimism has. Interestingly, interestingly, it's been increasingly on the rise in recent years, especially in the last 30 years or so for research. And the reason why we should even care about optimism. The reason why it's been studied so much is is that it's quite important for a successful life and life success. It's well known that people who are more optimistic, are more successful. And you may be wondering why this is? Well as a matter of fact, optimists happen to be quite persistent people. They remain optimistic, they stick with the process of whatever it is that they're doing.
They pull past all the obstacles, they see more opportunities than pessimists do. They're willing to try any avenue to get to the goal. They remain hopeful, and happy and persistent. Let's just admit it, optimism does make you feel good. Whereas the pessimists, which is the opposite of an optimist, a lot of muscles there, they fall with challenges, they lose hope. They don't stick with it. Now it's easy to see who would be more successful. You're right, it's the more optimistic person of course, the one who is more persistent, who tries more. They are the people who succeed more. And that's really why we focus so much on it within our research, because we all want to be successful.
And one of the keys to being successful is being persistent. And being persistent means you need to be optimistic. And it's really no coincidence that the biggest successes out there are optimistic people. And it's actually quite interesting to note that recently, employers and you may have heard that, when some of the bigger companies are looking to hire new employees, they oftentimes give you a personality test, or some kind of trait test, or some kind of assessment that will look at your character. And after the results are in they'll, they'll most often choose the optimistic person, the person who's shown up optimistic in their results as the new employee, as opposed to the
pessimists, someone who's quite a bit down in their responses. My co host, my friend, I actually talk about people who are successful having a better bounce rate, we like to call it a successful person, when they're faced with like, what's perceived as a failure or a challenge or something, they're able to respond to it. And they're able to bounce back so to speak, like, for example, your bowl, a soccer ball, tennis ball, whatever ball is falling to the ground and the ground, the ground represents failure or challenge or trials. And the person who's more successful, is able to bounce off the ground, okay, they have a better bounce rate. But the unsuccessful person, the person who's
a pessimist, they don't bounce. They just kind of like deflate once they hit the ground. And I think that's actually a really good way to look at the optimistic versus pessimistic characteristics. optimists have a better bounce rate. So what exactly is optimism? And I can kind of best explain it as a positive outlook for the future. So if you're not optimistic you're going to be you're going to kind of have this doom and gloom attitude about the world.
You're not going to be very excited to meet the future. And while doing my research, I came across this talk by lira girl from actualised.org. I'll link it in the show notes. He does a great talk on the topic of optimism, which I found very helpful for the podcast. So do check it out. Leo talks about how optimists and pessimists react differently to the same situations. In regards to their style. He talks about this concept of explanatory style, which, which was put forward by the quite famous psychologist, Dr. Martin Seligman, and I'll try and like make it as simple as I can. The first style that he talks about is permanence. So, for example, an optimist and a pessimist both
lose their jobs, they have the exact same jobs, their their situations are exactly the same. The optimist in regards in regards to permanence is going to think that hey, this is just temporary. There's plenty of other jobs out there. I'll get another one soon inshallah. But the pessimist rather than thinking that is temporary, he or she would think that, oh, you know, oh, my God, I've lost my job, or what am I going to do? I'm never going to get another job. The economy's so bad right now, why me?
The second style that we can look at his pervasiveness and what pervasiveness means is that, how much will this event affect the rest of my life? And in regards to pervasiveness and optimist is going to look back on I'm going to take the loss job situation, again, an optimist is going to look back at a loss job and think that hate this is a local problem. losing my job is just temporary. It's not going to affect my relationship with my friends, my spouse, my health and so on. This is an area that I can fix. But the pessimist is going to think that this event was happened me losing my job, it's going to ruin everything. My Eman is gone, my marriage has gone down the drain, my
family's gonna hate me, I wouldn't have any friends. I'm basically going to gain 1000 kilos and become a couch potato who watches Dragonball Z all day for the rest of his life,
and so on. It's like the pessimistic views, the situation that is in as a kind of cancer that's spreading all throughout his life, whereas the optimist is the opposite. So they are two really interesting explanatory styles that we can use to analyze whether a person is leaning towards more of an optimistic outlook or more of a pessimistic outlook can use permanence and pervasiveness. Next, I'm going to be touching on optimism in Islam. And I have to say, the biggest resource on information about optimism that I could find is from our Dean, which is awesome. Our religion teaches us about topic of optimism and panvel. And I'm just going to briefly be talking about sewer
usage, which is chapter 12 of the Quran, if you want to look it up, and within this surah within this chapter of the Quran, Allah subhanaw taala teaches us teaches us about the idea of hope and he does this all throughout the Quran, but I just want to focus on this one surah because I think that the story is really great. The story of Yaqoob and his 12 sons amongst them was Yousif. And a really, really interesting point within the story is when,
when Allah subhanaw taala highlights how Yaqoob the father of the father of use of has lost three of his sons, two of his sons are missing. And still at that time he's lost his sons, many many years has gone by since he's seen his son Yusef, and still in that state in that kind of like trial, he still remains optimistic. Allah subhanaw taala shows us how Yaqoob was optimistic and he was in the end he was reunited with his sons. And it's really interesting to note that this chapter of the Quran, the story of use of was actually revealed to the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him at a time when he was going through great trial. He suffered three major losses of his own which was
interesting, because I'm Yaqoob had suffered the loss of three of his sons and our Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. He suffered the loss of Khadija may Allah be pleased with her Abu Talib and the incident incident of time through the surah Allah subhanaw taala shows us how this wisdom behind these events and how we should remain optimistic is a wisdom and it's to come according to his timeline, not health. And in an awesome talk by chef yasir Qadhi, which I'll also link in the show notes. He talks about how pessimism it can never be so much as to defeat a lost mercies and order Allah. Oftentimes we hear and sometimes we may be guilty of it ourselves. We hear ourselves we
hear people have this pessimistic outlook, saying things like, Oh, you know, I've committed so many things. I'm so lucky. I'm so low and down and depressed and alesse alacant save me and he can't forgive me. You know, Subhan Allah, His mercy, as always like is more than our pessimism. He's greater than that. And of course, he can forgive and of course he can save you and time and time again.
US pounds, Allah teaches us throughout awesome religion, to not lose hope and to look forward and to have good thoughts about him to be optimistic. And in fact, it's a part of a man a part of faith to be optimistic. Allah subhanho wa Taala says in a study Hadith that is could see. And I'm just to go over some of the Arabic language here because we have noted that it has come to our attention that sometimes we do use some Arabic jargon that may not be known to our listeners. So when we say how do you buy Hadith, I mean, a saying from our Prophet peace and blessings be upon him. And when I say a hadith is say, it means that it's sound like it's from an authentic change, not in a sort of made up
Hadith. And when I say that, it's a thing that is cooking, it means that it's something that Allah subhanaw taala said, that was relayed by our Prophet that is authentic. Okay, so I am as my servant thinks of me, I am.
And this is just so incredible. So what else wants us to panel with other things that when we think good of Him, He will give us good and when we think bad, bad will come to us. So it's kind of like I will do it with my seventh as I think I will do with them. And again, this hadith reminds us of the importance of thinking good being optimistic, because essentially, if you're pessimistic about the future, well, you're actually saying is that last panel at the Allah has nothing good plan for you.
Now that's deep. And we can also see in another just amazing Hadith where the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him since that Allah subhanho wa Taala has never sent down a disease without sending its cure. Now, by extension, that tells us that unless pennells, Allah does not present us with a problem without sending its solution as well. Now, that is just the peak of optimism, a last panel with allies, guaranteeing us that there's no problem without a solution. I'm not that has got to be making you optimistic. Okay, so so we can definitely say that optimism is a big part of Islam, and our religion is all for it. In fact, we need to be optimistic as it should be part of our
character. And with that being said, I'm going to be giving you four tips to help you nurture optimistic act. Tip number one, realize that the difference between optimism and pessimism is perspective. You cannot control what happens to you. But you can always control how you react and knowing that will empower you to choose optimism. Doctor will lever up on optimism in Islam, and he will also link in the show notes. He says it's really great statement. We cannot control the wind when we fail on the sea. But we can always adjust the sails to change our direction. So keep that in mind. You have the power to choose how you react to situation and choose optimism. become more
aware, that is just your perspective. That makes a difference. Tip number two, look for opportunities in your difficulties. actively try and look for something good in what's happened to you. In the previous example, when I gave the example of like the optimist and pessimist losing their jobs, be the optimist in that situation. You've lost your job, okay? So think of opportunities that might arise from a situation. Okay, so I've lost my job. Okay, so you might think something like this. Okay, so I've lost my job, you know what this gives me the opportunity to go after my dream job. Or this gives me the opportunity to think about where I want to change direction, my
life, or this gives me an opportunity to kind of realign with my purpose, you'll see where I'm going with this, look for opportunities in your difficulties. Tip number three, get excited about the future. How I recommend you do this is by creating a list and I'm gonna tell you how I do it, I keep a list and it's an updated to our list. And it's like about like about, like 30 to 50 items 30 to 50 to us. And how I came to these like two hours is I make other duels as well. But these ones are like my special kind of hours. I've read about 30 things that I would love to happen to me like experiences like job wise, finance wise, career wise, Africa, wise, everything like all of these
awesome, amazing experiences that I'd love to have. And then I turn them into us and I'm constantly every day I'm making these two hours and whenever I look at this list of two hours I just get so pumped up the future eyes can't wait for these things to happen. And I highly recommend that you do this because it will happen to you as well. You will look at these doors and have certainty within your heart that Allah subhana wa soprano that Allah will accept and give you this and just watch your optimism go through the roof. So get excited about the future and make a dualist Tip number four, practice gratitude. Now, so much can be said on
This one point and honestly, honestly, we mentioned it a lot in our podcasts gratitude. And the reason is because the best of deeds is to be grateful to our Lord, to constantly be on the lookout for things that you can be grateful for. In a previous podcast, I mentioned taking time out, at the end of the day, or in the beginning of the day, just like five minutes, actually consciously make an effort to look for things to be grateful for. It can be like the roof of the head, it could be,
I don't know, you meeting a person on the street, look for things that you can say Alhamdulillah. And honestly, this is going to just infuse more optimism with your life because you're going to become more aware of what's good in your life, rather than always focusing on what you'd like and what, what's not there. Okay, so there are my four tips on how to increase optimism within your life. So just to recap, tip number one, realize the difference between optimism and pessimism is just perspective. Tip number two, look for opportunities within your difficulties. Tip number three, get excited about the future and write a dualist Tip number four, practice gratitude. Okay, guys,
that's all I've got on the topic of optimism, hope you benefited, I'd be really interested to know what you think about these tips, whether you've got tips of your own to recommend for myself or for other listeners, and what you think about these ones, what your experiences are, I'd really like to know. So just leave a comment down in our comment section, Muslim lefrak is.com slash 37. And I'd love to hear from you. And speaking of loving to hear from you. We're currently taking a feedback and at least from Africa, so we really want to constantly be improving so that we can deliver better content for you. We've got a feedback form that we've made, and we'd really love to hear from you
what you think about the podcast, any future topic ideas, all that good stuff, and you can find that feedback forum at Muslim africans.com forward slash feedback, it really helps us a lot with determining the future for Muslim lifehack is now as usual, you can find all the links and resources mentioned in today's episode in our show notes, Muslim africans.com slash 37. So until next time with some laughs I could aim high take action and be awesome.