I have a lot of dreams I want to fulfil. I’d love to own a business, I’d love to see the world, buy cute bags I like, build a city in the jungle nobody knows about. The usual.
And that does motivate me (and I’m sure majority of humans) to sacrifice whatever I can to build on what I have in front of me, but I quickly realized when the going gets tough, my creative passions aren’t enough to push me beyond the minimum. For example, I had this vision board I made to help me get through a tough semester (I can’t believe I’m sharing this looool the pics are so corny)
Like the cars and stuff are cute (do you see that studio? 🥺) but it was actually the picture of Africa, the poem I wrote (how humble of me), and a picture of a built Somalia that would push me to get up again after failing.
And that’s because those 3 are connected. A while back, I decided to adopt the mentality that I have a direct responsibility over my values and beliefs. Meaning if I am passionate about the current state of Africa, for example, then it is my responsibility to see out the solutions I think will work. Other people are not required to solve them, no matter how hypocritical it would be for certain people to remain silent, I can’t get mad because that is just the world we live in.
I realized this in my last trip to Somalia. I met a lot of people that many would assume they have the resources to build a hospital or a school for example, but they really don’t. This world is a really shitty place, there aren’t many people you can trust, and that is why it is so important if you care for something, you gotta separate yourself and climb as high as possible, remain as independent as possible, to guarantee it will come into fruition. Financial freedom frees you from a lot of BS. The more you work, the less you have to ask. And it is this thought that really drives my day to day decisions.
I also use this phrase to fuel my passions. Like WHO on earth is going to build that studio for me, if not me? If I want to spend $13,000.53 making a necklace made of snake skin or whatever then I should have the freedom to do as such. The idea of constantly having to ask people to fund my projects, as a creative, is heart-breaking. I want to be free!!!
Independence + Ikhlaas (Sincerity)
I think the things I do on this earth can be considered worship & I want to be as sincere as possible in my ibaahdah. I believe independence is a foundation of sincerity.
I hope my greatest achievements are anonymous, free from the need of praise or acceptance, or financial support. Free from hoping it will add to how “good” others see me. That’s the type of deeds I want to stand in front of Allah(swt) with, so I need to work hard to have the money to do good deeds alone, in private.
*This also includes emotional/social independence- to grow my mental strength along with my actions. Not letting fitnah get into my heart, not looking around to see who will like my work, and overall maintaining my mental health.
A little disclaimer:
When I said the travelling and cars and stuff were useless in my vision board, I don’t mean that they aren’t good motivators. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a good life. If Allah (swt) gave you the resources to be able to buy those things or to travel, then you should. I really reject the idea of shaming others from spending on their interests. These things of this dunya are a tool. If you keep it in your hand and not your heart then whatever your dreams or interests are, will be good for yourself and the ummah inshallah. Even if it doesn’t directly benefit someone, if it re-energizes you to do more good then I see that as a benefit. Don’t let anyone take away your interests. This life is already hard enough as it is.
An ayah to reflect on:
Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.Quran 16:97
Also, check out my poem: She’ll Paint Her Path to Jannah if you related to anything I just said.
PS. A lot of people don’t have the kind of heart to work hard AND build for other people, so if you have that combination then I see you as my friend and I wish you the best.