Going through life can seem like a blur. Especially at our age where we are overwhelmed with the uncertainty of the future. Most of us don’t know what we want to be or why. Yet we’re being pressured from all sides to decide.
What do you want to be?
Some would say famous, others would say rich. Then you’re asked what career? Lawyer, doctor, soccer player, teacher…the options are unlimited and hard to narrow down. However, no matter what we do or do not decide, at the end of day, we are all aiming for happiness.
Happiness is the mysterious wonder of the world, some could call it the eighth wonder. Everyone is looking for it yet few find it or even know where on earth look. It’s the hidden elephant in the room, there but invisible, seemingly out of our reach. If you were to ask any millionaire if they were happy most of them would say no.
Take Jim Carrey for example, who said: “I wish everyone could get rich and famous and have everything they ever dreamed of so they would know that’s not the answer.”
So, what is happiness then? A wise friend once told me to close my eyes and imagine that the only thing that I would be able to bring into today were the things that I was grateful for yesterday. What would I have?
This got me thinking, would I have my home, my mom and dad, my siblings, as annoying as they can get, my car? What about things even more basic than that? Would I have my eyesight, my hearing, the ability to walk, talk and eat even. Would I have my knowledge, the ability to think? I started racking my brain, becoming distressed, what would I have?
When thinking of all the things that I couldn’t imagine living without, the thought of wanting more seemed impossible. How could I want more when I wasn’t even sure if I would have the things I had yesterday? It was at that moment that an Ayah of the Quran rang through my mind: “And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the Blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them.” [Surah Ibrahim: 14:34]
In that instant I truly realized that the key to happiness wasn’t money or fame but rather gratitude and contentment. Being grateful and content with what you have right now in this very moment. When you stop, and take this approach you easily recognize the true favors that Allah, Exalted is He, has bestowed upon us.
However, what’s even more amazing, as if that weren’t enough, is that Allah says in the Quran: “If you are grateful, I shall certainly increase you (in favor) …” Surrah Ibrahim: 14:7
Allah, Exalted is He, in all His Mercy has guaranteed, that’s right guaranteed, to increase the things we are grateful for. So not only will you be blessed with things you couldn’t imagine living without, Allah will increase them.
When you wake up every morning think about the exercise above, bring the things that you are truly grateful for to the surface. You will find that your day will be much brighter. Instead of filling your thoughts with what ‘could be’, you’ll be taking a step back and acknowledging the blessings that are. This will give you the chance to start your day with a clean slate and work on the person that you aim to become with the ‘eighth wonder’ of the world directly in your heart and Allah, Exalted is He, with you every step of the way, bith’nillah.
“… And we will reward the grateful.” (Āl ‘Imrân 3:145)