Food for thought My Life Random thoughts

What now?

Painting by Mansoor Rahi. He would gift us paintings on his birthday. I received this one. I’ve noticed, the more you give, the more you receive. Its been the same for this humble and great legend of an artist.

Its end of January 2024 already, have I got my bearings yet? My dear, we got to do some self-counselling and get on with our lives. In spite of all that is happening around us. Locally and internationally. No matter how hard it may seem, we have to keep going.

In uncertain times, we need to double our efforts. The more negativity there is around us, the more we have to work on positive activities.

Good thing about bad times:

Naturally, we all have been through hard times. I’ve seen that the best thing about such times is the bare faces of those around us. It is good to know where we stand. Now you see clearly.

By the same token, we also find out about the people who are the good guys in our lives. Their faces become evident also. The real supporters. How many stood by you when you went through hard times? Usually very few. But if you are lucky, one by one more and more people will join the caravan, and soon it will become a sizable number. But till then, you’ve got to manage things better.


Isn’t this better? Now we know exactly where we stand. You see the dichotomy between what they say and what they do. ‘We are doing it to protect you.’ (We are doing it to protect our own interests.) They damn care if others are watching. It makes no difference to them. They are indifferent. Because they worked hard to get where they are today. Now they can commit crimes openly and get away with it. Wow.

What I’m trying to say is that those without principles get further ahead, because there is nothing to stop them. No scruples, no ‘laws’ and no ‘limitations’.

Then take others who are the ‘good guys’; Disorganized, limited, and powerless. They have limitations of principles that hold them from doing the ‘wrong’ things. Also limitations of not enough motivation to move forward. Oops! How do we make sense of all that’s happening around us? We can’t make sense of it without making sense of our own short comings.

So, how to survive in this upside-down world?

At times like this, (and other times as well,) we just need to know which circle to focus on most of the time.

Clarify your three circles:

There are three circles in our lives: (While living in Pakistan, if living in abroad, consciously, distance yourself from happenings in other countries.)

  1. Circle of concern:  what is happening in US, UK, Germany, Canada and war in Ukraine, Israeli war in Palestine.
  2. Circle of influence: the occurrences in Palestine (to the extent of sending donations and sharing their pain on social media, so the world remembers that they are being ruthlessly killed on a daily basis), oncoming elections in Pakistan; watch what’s going on, make your own conclusions, get yourself and family registered for participation in elections. Things happening in your community, play an active role in that.
  3. Circle of control: this is what matters to us on a daily basis. Managing one’s own home, family and professional matters in detail. Organize their management properly. Use the weekly and monthly plan diligently. (It would be a good idea to make a separate time mgt file.) In my case I’ve got it in my household management register, which makes individual weekly plans a bit hard to find, specially when looking back! So, basically, the circle of control is what matters most, and where we must maintain our focus.

Generally speaking:

Somehow, we get distracted by our phones too much. So, restrict time on it. Stay focused on your life now.

  • Just keep taking steps ahead, remove diversions. Small steps or big steps. One by one – in the right direction.
  • Be with positive people. (Avoid toxic, interfering, distracting, especially evil people.)
  • Work hard on your own personal projects.
  • Pay attention to your own short comings.
  • Specially work on physical well-being, mainly exercise, sleep and diet.
  • Read Rumi, Iqbal, Mian Muhammad Bukhsh, or any book you like.
  • Sustain and maintain five-time prayers and daily Quran readings.
  • Meet people.

Get out of comfort zone:

Here is a podcast recording in progress. I’m loving these, somehow I just jumped into the venture. Finding the right team has been my good luck.

Be venturesome. Bold. Ready to take that step you’ve been wanting to take, but are apprehensive about. So what? At least you would have tried. Without that you will never know if you could do it or not. Never be afraid of failure. Learn its benefits and the fact that you learn more from failures than from successes.

So, listen to your heart. Make a plan and try it out thoroughly. Then keep moving till you succeed, don’t get disheartened by setbacks. Get used to failures, tough times and rough times.

That is why I love Iqbal’s poetry. It always keeps you happy being in a state of restlessness. That’s why I’m doing things which might seem tough, but I feel, how would I feel if I never even tried? Also remember all the mistakes of the past. (Haha, this time make new mistakes, and learn new things!) ?

Stay blessed and keep yourself in your best form.

Najam suggested we go to Chaye Khana, though it was cold, we found seating near heaters. The ambiance was amazing! (The fish and chips we had were yummy.)

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