15 AYAAT. 15 PRODUCTIVITY POINTERS.
Productive Naseehah: How to Advise Yourself!
Can you remember the last time someone gave you really, really good advice? Did you take it? Giving naseehah (good advice) is a right we as Muslims have on each other. But the amount of advices given to you were probably more than amount of the ones you have taken, right?
The point is this: it’s always easier to solve other people’s problems than your own.
This is how coaching works. Coaches hardly have answers; they have questions – making you look at your problems in a different, more productive light. As effective as a life coach may be (there seems to be a big demand in the Ummah nowadays), let’s face it, not all of us have the money to get one. Now, there are tools you can use yourself to benefit from this ‘clear vision’ without having to get a coach.
Ask yourself: “If a friend came to me with this problem, what would I ask them and what would I suggest?”
It might sound simple, but it has wisdom behind it. Ask yourself: “I know I don’t know what to do to solve my problem, but if I did know the answer, what might that answer be?”
As silly as it sounds, it helps you to get past this self-filtering of ideas we do automatically. We actually know what to do, but we don’t want to admit it to ourselves.
Another useful question to ask yourself is: “If I had to explain the situation to someone else, what would I say?”
The best format is to imagine you have to explain your problem to a friend you haven’t seen for a while. Why? It means you would have to explain your problem to them step by step because they won’t know the ins and outs of your issues.
You’ll see that the things you need to do come to you just in the process; because you force yourself to look at only the problem itself, and not all the ‘stuff’ and worries around it.
Extra Tip: You can write your problem down as if you were writing to someone else. And for the adventurers among us, you could then post it to, for example, your workplace, so you read when you are in a different environment. You can also address it to yourself with another name. In short, treat this letter as if it was coming from a friend.
There’s a big chance you will spot a way forward. And don’t forget, first and foremost, use the best tool that Allah Himself gave to us to seek His Counsel: salatul istakharah. As the ayah reads: “And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out.”