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In this final part of the Steps to Success Series, we explore the importance and need for organisation, hard work and how success is perceived in Islam.

Organisation

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Now, that we have prioritised our tasks, we need to organise them. You need to write down in a time planner or calendar your schedule – what you are doing every minute of the day.

Allow times for breaks, training, etc, but ensure that your day is divided so that you know what you are supposed to be doing when.

This helps with focus, as you are able to use all your available time productively. It is also important to create a balance. But – this can only be done through careful organisation of time.

Another great way to organise your time is to write down a list of tasks as you think of them. For example, whilst you are doing your English homework, you remember that you need to do the last two questions of a maths exercise.

Now, instead of starting the maths questions, and losing your focus, write down the maths task, and stay focussed on your English work. This example can apply to any situation. You will find that you will be more productive and more focussed. This will help you save time.

As Thomas Edison said “Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.”, so it is important that you are able to organise your time appropriately.

Hard Work

Now that you’ve set your goals, prioritised and organised, it’s time for work. Hard work. One Muhammad Ali quote has stuck with me throughout my life, – “I learned to run until I was tired, then run even more than that.” It showed that he worked as hard as he could physically and mentally. He only really started training when he had already pushed himself to his limit.

Your goal is useless if you are not persistent and try to achieve it. Another quote that I have held dear is – “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration,” (Thomas Edison) meaning that genius is 99% about hard work and slog, whilst 1% comes from inspiration.

“We must have perseverance” as Marie Curie said; keep trying to attain our goals. These great minds, all put in the hard yards to achieve success. Therefore, it is evident that we must do the same. Nothing worth having, comes easy.

Success in Islam

In Islam, we are also taught about the value of hard work. In the Qur’an Allah says in Surah An-Najm, “That man will only have what he has worked towards”.

The Prophet (s), himself worked hard throughout his life, trying to achieve his goal, delivering the message of Islam.

While Iman Al-Ghazali mentions that Umar ibn Al-Khattab (r), used to tell people, “Never should anyone of you think that dua’ for sustenance without work will avail him, for heaven never rains gold nor silver”.

But we must remember as Allah says in Surah Hud, “My success is only by Allah.”; meaning that it is only through the mercy and help of Allah that we can become successful.

However, it is important that we work hard to achieve our goals and also ask Allah for help, because all success is decreed by Allah. For your part, you work hard, and you leave the rest up to Allah.

And, remember, “Life rewards those who work hard at it.”