من إشتغل بغير المهمّ ضيّع الأهم
He who busies himself with the trivial wastes the important.
Time-management advice from Imam Ali.
آفَةُ النَّجاحِِ اَلْكَسَلُ
Laziness is the blight of success.
There are few qualities which enable people to be successful in life, among them are: setting goals, putting a plan and timetable, persistence, patience, and being active. Yet, some people after reaching those goals, become lazy and surrender to comfort. This is what diminishes or even cancels their success.
Instead of that, the best attitude should be to stay active even after becoming successful. This redefines success in that it’s not only reaching goals, but also having and maintaining activity and momentum after reaching them. Success is an attitude, not an event. An example of that would be continuing eduction after graduation from college, or at least keeping the habit of reading.
In a passage from Dua’a Abu Hamza Thumali, Imam Al-Sajjad (a.s.) says: “O Allah, I seek Your protection against laziness, failure, grief, cowardice…”.
عليك بإدمان العمل في النشاط والكسل
Be active and dynamic, whether you have work or not.
Being active and making the best use of time is important. And this is not only if you have a job, it is equally important if you are unemployed, retired or during weekend.
And why is it important? You will get rid of boredom and negative thoughts, learn new skills, and finish pending tasks. And as the English saying goes: Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.
Note that the literal translation of this quote to English is: “Be addicted to work, whether you are active or lazy“. A question springs to mind: You will work if you are active and energetic, but how can you work if you are lazy?
I think the Imam meant that working is important whether you enjoy what you do or not. This happens to many of us: we might love performing a specific task of our job but hate other tasks. A student might love a certain subject but hate another one. A housewife might like to perform some home duty but hate another. But in any of the above examples, if you become picky in what you perform, you will never finish the overall duty or project. Therefore, the whole picture and roadmap and the final target must be kept in mind.
This quote reminds me of the quote: “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration“ by Thomas A. Edison. If you only enjoy doing the one percent, you will not do the remaining ninety-nine percent. Therefore, you will never reach the hundred percent!