Success comes after hard work

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Sunday Guardian | June 26, 2016, p. 12

Elias Howe (1819-1867) was born in Massachusetts. He is known for his contribution in the making of the sewing machine. The main breakthrough was the development of a lock-stitch by a shuttle carrying a lower thread and a needle carrying an upper thread, which passes through a hole, situated at the tip of the needle.

For thousands of years, people had been accustomed to making a hole at the base of the needle. The placement of an eyelet, simple as it may seem to us now, remained a big hurdle for its inventor for quite some time. It was only a dream, which finally brought about the desired solution.

As he was racking his brain to perfect his machine, Howe dreamt that he had been captured by a primitive tribe and was ordered to produce an operational sewing machine within twenty-four hours, failing which he would be killed. He tried hard, but could not accomplish it. When the deadline was up, they surrounded him and raised spears to kill him. Scared, yet still concentrating, he observed that each spear had an eyelet at the tip. He kept on gazing at the eyelet and then woke up with a start. The solution was right before him. For the machine to work, the placement of the hole had to be neither in the middle nor at the base, but at the tip. His lucky dream helped him, and in 1845 he produced a sewing machine that would complete 250 stitches a minute.

What is a dream? It is the result of complete involvement. What we think about during the day, we dream about at night. Such is the case with any undertaking, whether one wants to invent a machine, or bring a revolution in human life.

One achieves success in one’s aim only after complete involvement – only when the thing one has set one’s mind on becomes a part of the subconscious being that is reflected in one’s dreams.