Recently, I have been thinking that for years, I have listened to majlises and talks, been given advice by so many people, read so many books. I know what I have to think and do in order to live a life full of purpose and meaning – one that will keep me on the right path. However, on many occasions, I seem to manage to control my anger or be more optimistic for a day or too but after that, I go back to my old habits of telling myself that things will be too difficult or that I don’t have the time. Then in frustration, a couple of weeks ago, I was surfing on YouTube for answers and I came across a guy called Dr Wayne Dyer. Dr Dyer has written a lot of books on changing one’s thoughts in order to change one’s life. This concept is similar to that of The Secret, which is another book by a lady called Rhonda Byrne. In the Secret, Rhonda Byrne talks about the law of attraction and how if you think of what you want, you will get it. Dr Dyer takes a slightly different twist on the same concept by saying that you are what you think.
Dr Dyer is my inspiration and teacher for the methodology that I am going to teach you today. Before talking about anything further, I want you to know that every self-limiting or negative thought that you use in order to explain why you are not living your life to your fullest, why you’re not happy or successful is AN EXCUSE and as such is formed by a lifetime of thinking in one way or another. You have a God given right to live a happy, prosperous and purpose filled life. You have the power within you to be an incredible force for good in this world. All you need to do is to come to a realisation that all these negative thoughts that you have on a day to day basis were created by a system or a way of thinking that can be changed. The thing about change is that it does not need to be hard or take years and years. Look at the society that the Prophet came to. It was full of ignorance but in a very short time, some of the people living in that society became some of the most beautiful people to have ever walked on the face of this earth. How did they do it you ask? Because they were committed to changing with all of their hearts. I know that most of you are committeed to changing and know what to think but don't know how to change. It's a very powerless feeling at times but I want to reassure you that Dr Dyer has outlined a very simple technique that if you apply on a daily basis, you too can live alife of your dreams.
Conscious is what you think of and what you are aware of Subconsicous or habitual is what is deep within you and what has been programmed over years. For example driving.
18 common excuses that we all think of.
I want to show a clip of dan caro to show you what happens when you don’t uses excuses. He was 2 and burnt 80 surgeries but still he only has one finger. He went on to be a very famous drummer in the south of america.
So if he can do it and achieve his purpose, what do you need to do? Habits were formed over years.
For example., no-one will help me or the world is a bad place. Tell my story of the wallet.
Probably not! So let’s try the opposite? Can it be easy? Perhaps there will be no family drama?
Treat your habitual/subconscious mind as a patient similar to a doctor treating a sick person.
Describe what you're feeling when you know you've got the excuses bug. Anger at yourself and others, which erupts at the tiniest irritation. Envy when you compare to others When did the symptoms first appear? Probably from childhood memories that persist as adult I'm too old used to be I'm too young I'm too busy from when kid and couldn't play because of chores, homework etc. Who were you Should know by now. Did the people you were around have similar symptoms? Were they contagious? OK - not advocating medication or isolation but you need to make a choice to rehabilitate Not about blaming anyone. Our prior life experiences shape who we become and mould the uniqueness of our personality and make it all the more satisfying when we overcome these excuses. Were you exposed? Of course – these are what we call virus of the mind
ASSUME TOTAL RESPONSIBILITY Yes you were a child but you will probably remember other children who faced certain similar conditions that had a different attitude and didn't make that particular excuse. Therefore the first step to change is to say that you adopted these behaviours because no-one put a gun to your head and told you to say I'm too young. But when you take responsibility, dont be ashamed or angry at yourself. if Allah can forgive you in an instant when you are heartfelt then so should you.
avoidance when you make an excuse says I'm too busy, in order to justify putting something off, it makes you feel better that you don't realise that you're actually harming your own interests at now safety i've got a good job - don't want to risk it all to start a business. The easy way out maybe reaching for a chocolate instead of a fruit because it is easier than cutting an apple and justify too busy. manipulation of others in order to do your bidding I'm too tired translates to: have someone else do the chores. The payoff I get to sleep by another person takes over my responsibilities. I can't afford it or I spent all my money translates to you by what I want or need. The payoff? I'd manipulated you with my generic excuses. being right there will be a family drama translates to: I'm right about this family, and have always been right. All the rest of you just don't know as much as I do. Basically as an excuse maker you need to be right or not anything you can to prove to the world how wrong it is in how right you are blame Lane is the work of the ego. The ego is proud and therefore it always needs to blame somebody else in order to maintain its pride. protection parent can't shield their children forever. Escaping the present moment
HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE KIDS? THINK ABOUT SCHOOL DAYS VERSUS WEEKENDS
LIVING IN THE NOW. KASIM CRYING
If Imam Hussein felt sorry for himself, what would have happened in Karbala? If Bib Zainab made excuses, would she have been able to rattle Yazid and his family and inspire a revolution? If Imam Sajjad had made excuses, would we be sitting here today?
Excuses Begone! How to change lifelong, self-defeating habits…forever!
Or do they? "Never underestimate your power to change yourself; never overestimate your power to change others." Author: H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Your two minds “ If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.” -Lao Tzu
Some common excuses It will be difficult I’m not smart enough I’m not strong enough It has never happened before No-one will help me It’s going to be risky I can’t afford it It’s not my nature I don’t deserve it There will be family drama It will take a long time? I’m too busy It’s my personal family history I don’t have the energy It’s too big The rules won’t let me I’m too old (or not old enough) I’m too scared
The Paradigm shift <ul><li>"A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time." Mark Twain </li></ul>
Pick an excuse This is for you and you alone. You don’t have to share your thoughts with anyone.
A reminder It will be difficult I’m not smart enough I’m not strong enough It has never happened before No-one will help me It’s going to be risky I can’t afford it It’s not my nature I don’t deserve it There will be family drama It will take a long time? I’m too busy It’s my personal family history I don’t have the energy It’s too big The rules won’t let me I’m too old (or not old enough) I’m too scared
Is it really true? <ul><li>Can you be 100% certain that your excuses is true? </li></ul><ul><li>Could it be that the opposite is true? 100% sure? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>So, if you believe the excuse, why not make the choice to believe the opposite? At least you will feel things are possible? </li></ul></ul>
Whoever believes in Allah - He will guide his heart. Allah has knowledge of all things. (64/11) Whoever puts his trust in Allah - He will be enough for him. (65/3)
Diagnosis 101 <ul><li>Describe how you feel when you have the excuses bug? </li></ul><ul><li>When did the symptoms first appear? </li></ul><ul><li>Who were you with? </li></ul><ul><li>Did the people you were around have similar symptoms? Were they contagious? </li></ul><ul><li>Were you exposed? </li></ul>
The key: Assume total responsibility. I made the choices to adopt those thoughts. God is all forgiving!
3. What’s the pay off? i.e. why would your ego want you to stay that way?
Common payoffs <ul><li>Avoidance </li></ul><ul><li>Safety/Easy way out </li></ul><ul><li>Manipulating others to do things for you </li></ul><ul><li>Wanting to be right </li></ul><ul><li>Blaming others except yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Protection </li></ul><ul><li>Escaping the present moment </li></ul>
4. What would my life look like if I couldn’t use these excuses? “ An infinity of forests lies dormant within the dreams of one acorn.”
Visualising your life without excuses <ul><li>Take a few seconds: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What would life without excuses look like? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How would it feel? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hanging onto that feeling, picture yourself day to day – what kind of thoughts would you have? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do this before bed rather than going to bed on a negative thought as your subconscious keeps working at night. </li></ul>
A reason that makes sense to you and you alone! <ul><li>Need to step it up a gear to cement the change. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Must make sense to you. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be realistic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must allow you to feel good when thinking about making the change. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aligned with Allah and your higher purpose. </li></ul></ul>
6. Can I access Allah’s help to shed these habits?
Accessing the spiritual dimension <ul><li>When we are dominated by excuses, we are dominated by our ego (or false self). </li></ul>
A set of principles <ul><li>Doesn’t Allah say in the Qur’an that if we take 1 step to him, he will come running to us? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Awareness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alignment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Now </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contemplation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Willingness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Passion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compassion </li></ul></ul>
7. How do I continuously reinforce this new way of being?
Practice, practice, practice <ul><li>When you find yourself making excuses, have a dialogue with yourself by asking the seven questions. </li></ul><ul><li>Tasbih or Affirmations. </li></ul>
Some affirmations Excuse Affirmation It will be difficult I have the ability to accomplish any task I set my mind to with ease and comfort. It’s going to be risky Being myself involves no risks. It is my ultimate truth and I live it fearlessly. It will take a long time I have infinite patience when it comes to fulfilling my destiny. There will be family drama I would rather be loathed for who I am than loved for who I am not. I don’t deserve it I am a divine creation, a piece of God. Therefore I cannot be undeserving. It’s not my nature My essential nature is perfect and faultless. It is to this nature that I return.
Some affirmations Excuse Affirmation I can’t afford it I am connected to an unlimited source of abundance. No one will help me The right circumstances and the right people are already here and will show up on time. It has never happened before. I am willing to attract all that I desire beginning now. I’m not strong enough. I have access to unlimited assistance. My strength comes from my connection to Allah. I’m not smart enough I am a creation of the Divine mind; all is perfect and I am a genius in my own right. I’m too old or not old enough I am an infinite being. The age of my body has no bearing on what I do or who I am.
Some affirmations Escuse Affirmation The rules won’t let me I live my life according to Divine rules It’s too big I think only about what I can do now. By thinking small, I can accomplish great things. I don’t have the energy I feel passionately about my life and this passion fills me with excitement and energy. It is my personal family history I live in the present moment by being grateful for all of my experiences as a child/ I’m too busy As I unclutter my life, I free myself to answer the callings of my soul. I’m too scared. I can accomplish anything I put my mind to because I know I am never alone
One final thing to ponder What would have happened if Imam Hussein, Imam Sajjad or Bibi Zainab made excuses?