The art of life management requires understanding oneself, that is knowing one’s capabilities and nature, and becoming aware of others’ nature, and the world one lives in. It will really help one plan life and improve as and when required.
The concept of simple living and high thinking is relevant in every aspect of life. It applies to one’s personal life to family life, social life, religious life, national life, and professional life. It is the best art of living. All of us need to manage our lives. The art of life management is every person’s need. Based on experience, one can say that simple living and high thinking are the ABCD of the art of living and life management. Without adopting this principle, one cannot manage one’s life successfully.
Here are ten references from the Quran and Hadith that may be considered universal principles suitable for every man and woman, irrespective of religion and culture. They are formulae for life or art of life management: Mutual Respect, Reconciliation and Adjustment, Peace, Practical Wisdom, Positive Response, Modesty, Result-oriented Action, Friendly Behaviour, Unilateral Good Character, and Universal Brotherhood.
It is the honeybee’s culture to travel every day and reach places where flowers are available for it. The bee extracts nectar from the flower and returns to its abode. It does not care about anything else.
Where there are flowers, there are also other things like thorns, leaves, and stem. It simply extracts nectar from the flower and returns without objecting to the thorns. This behaviour of the honeybee gives a lesson to man in a symbolic manner: Live like the honeybee. Extract what is good for you and leave what is unwanted for you. Do not waste your time in complaining and protesting about it.
People generally get offended upon hearing criticism against them. This behaviour is quite against the scheme of nature. In doing so, they pay a heavy price. They deprive themselves of the “nectar” that is available for them in everything and every experience — a good lesson to be learnt and a wise advice you can forward. Every person’s environment has “nectar”. One should take the “nectar” and like the honeybee, ignore the “thorns”.
Living with a focused mind is very important for every man and woman. Only a focused mind is a developed mind. When you get offended or provoked, it means you have allowed another person to disrupt your focus and break your concentration. You should neither be offended nor get provoked. You should adopt the honeybee culture.
Source: Leading a Spiritual Life
Why does despair take place? Despair is a result of lack of deep thinking. In my own experience, there are several instances which led me to despair. Today when I look back and think that whatever happened was best for me. Why does this happen? Because man has limitations and does not have knowledge of the future. When I think in retrospect, those situations that led me to despair turned out to be the points from which I gained greater success. The best solution is to keep faith in God and remember what Caliph Ali said: ‘Whatever happened, happened for the good.’
Source: Living in Hope
Adjustment is a way of life. What is adjustment? To all intents and purposes, adjustment is a form of accommodating or palliative behaviour that you adopt – ostensibly towards someone else, while it is actually for your own benefit and your own peace of mind. The only realistic option for you is to adjust with other people. Here, adjustment means refraining from reacting, not trying to change others, not becoming negative, and not imagining issues to be insurmountable, but rather managing the situation with aplomb.
In every situation you have two options: either to adjust with others or remain at loggerheads with them. If you decide not to make any adjustments, that will only aggravate your problems. You will go on living in a state of tension, feel mentally disturbed and will waste your time and energy. But, if you opt for adjustment, you will be able instantly to relax mentally and will be able to save yourself from all kinds of negativity.
Adjustment gives you a chance to proceed with your own affairs. While the policy of being unaccommodating is bound to interfere with the smooth running of your life, either temporarily or permanently.
Source: Living in Hope
It is essential that man should have within his reach, a super formula for life’s management. Accountability to God provides man a super formula for managing life. Human beings enjoy freedom. They take decisions about their actions of their own free will. Managing life requires that man make himself consistently disciplined in his behaviour. And for the attainment of disciplined behaviour, it is essential for one to be convinced of the existence of a power far superior to himself, a Being who is aware of man’s activities at every moment; who can reward and punish man, and from whom it is impossible to escape.
There can be only one being of this nature and that is God. Belief in God functions at two levels at the same time. On the one hand, man finds in God a guardian who is aware of all his activities and who has unlimited power to chastise him. It is not possible for man to escape God’s chastisement. Belief in God compels man to steadfastly adopt a proper attitude in all situations, privately as well as publicly. Only then can he save himself from the wrath of God. Another point is that belief in God is a storehouse of limitless hope. Man can lead his life in this world with the conviction that if he incurs any loss because of treading the path of truth, or if he suffers from any other adversity, he will be able to endure it. For if he adheres to the path of truth, God will grant him a reward in the form of eternal Paradise, and there can be no reward greater than this.
Then man will bind himself to moral values and adhere to justice on his own, considering himself accountable to God. In this way he will be able to manage his life in this world, and become deserving of eternal bliss in the next life.
Source: Spirit of Islam, December 2017.