1. Dream your dreams…
The human mind is a miraculous thing – Subhanallah! The ability to conceive and process thoughts and ideas beyond our understanding, are clear indications of Allah’s favors upon mankind. He has given man the amazing gifts of knowledge and wisdom, and the ability to dream. “And when he reached his prime, we gave him wisdom and knowledge” [Surah Yusuf, Verse 22]. So let your imagination loose, but remember to always be mindful of Allah. Set goals that are worth achieving, and they should be good for you.
2. Ask Allah to guide you
Having an idea of what you want to achieve is excellent, but know that we can achieve nothing without Divine Intervention from our Creator. Ask Allah [SWT] to guide you in reaching what you have set your mind to achieving: make duaa that if your goal is good for you, then Allah [SWT] will make it easy for you to achieve. “These depend on guidance from their Lord. These are successful” [Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 5].
3. Have a plan
A traveler in ancient Greece met an old man walking along the road. The traveler asked the old man how to get to Mount Olympus. The old man, who was actually the Greek philosopher, Socrates, pointed out the way and said: “Just make sure that every step you take is in that direction.”
It goes without saying that you need to have a plan of how you are going to achieve your goal. Being able to articulate in detail what it is that you’d like to achieve is the first step. Set timelines for yourself and try to stick to them. However, be conscious of Allah and know that His plans for us are always better than ours. “Although they plan, Allah also plans. And Allah is the best of Planners” [Surah al-Anfal, v 30]. Know where your “Mount Olympus” is and ask Allah to guide your steps to reach it.
4. Work hard
If you work hard towards achieving your goal, Insha’Allah you will be successful. Be warned though – success does not come easy. You need to put in the time and effort. Sometimes, your efforts might seem in vain, but never stop trying. If you fall, pick yourself up and try again, but don’t stop trying. “Say (O Muhammad): O my people! Work according to your power. Lo! I too am working. Thus ye will come to know for which of us will be the happy sequel” [Surah Al-An’aam, Verse 135]. Remember that Allah only tests us to make us stronger and to bring us closer to Him. Work hard and you will reap the fruits of your labour.
5. Prepare for success
Keep your eye on the prize. When you feel like you’ve had enough and you’re ready to throw in the towel, visualize how you’ll feel if you were to succeed at reaching your goal. That should be enough motivation to keep you going.
6. Be patient – good things come to those who persevere
My advice to you is this: the road will be long and the journey will be tiring, but do not lose hope and don’t despair; “O ye who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer; for Allah is with those who patiently persevere” [Surah al-Baqara, Verse 153].
There are no age-limitations to achieving your goals; there’s no rule that you have to be six to learn to ride a bicycle. I read once about a woman who was 83 when she obtained her first university degree. When asked why she chose to study when her life was nearly drawing to a close, she responded, “You’re never too old to dream.” So dream your dreams, set goals for yourself and make sure that what you put into it will culminate in what you want to get out of it. “Set your goals high enough to inspire you and low enough to encourage you” [Anonymous].
Know of someone who’s done something outstanding at an unexpected age? Are you that person? Share your story and inspire others below!