Yesterday I attended a seminar held by my school, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) in collaboration with MUIS Academy. I came as part of the committee and frankly saying, I was so bad at my job! I was idling like a zombie waiting for fresh brains. But besides that, I was listening attentively to the 3rd module by brother Ihsan Sabri and he shared an activity which I think is beneficial for those who are still trying to figure themselves out – aka moi. It goes like this..
He distributed lists of 60 values in a table and next to it are short descriptions of it so we may get the idea of the meaning.
The feeling of success or accomplishment by means of exertion, skill, practice or perseverance.
To have self-control and self-restraint.
Giving proper weight to each area of one’s life.
We were asked to choose 25 values which we had, we have and we want to attain, something we deemed more important than the rest. This was quite a breeze for me because I know myself quite averagely and at this age, I should be recognising some of my qualities. Once we were done, we wrote on each piece of post-its and arranged them on the space in front of us at 5×5. I kept the paper aside and did as told and looked at my impressive choices. I felt good about my so called ‘skills’.
The next part caught me a bit off-guard because he told us to remove 15 – fifteen – of the values and arrange it to 5×2. It’s a little tricky because I have to decide which values I would have to prioritise over the other. After a few minutes of careful selecting after referring back to the list and back to the choosing, I finally settled with 10.
It’s not over yet. Once all were done, we had to take off another five. I’ve almost had it but I was determined to know where he was going with this. So I did as were told and although it was a bigger challenge, I manage to prioritise 5. In between of removals he mentioned that to be able to choose one over the other, it doesn’t mean that I have to let go of another value. It’s up to ourselves to define a value and how we can achieve countless other values with that same one. For example if you had to choose between FAMILY and FRIENDS, do you see your family as friends? Is it possible to have friends as your own? It’s up to our own perception, really. No right or wrong answers.
My top fives are:
Appreciation for things that are pleasing to eye, ideas, surroundings, and personal space.
Your dreams or expectations that you have the desire to achieve.
Being humble, modest and letting go of ego, being able to lower oneself.
Ability to apply knowledge or experience.
LOVE & AFFECTION
An intense feeling of deep fondness towards a person or thing.
Beauty reminds me of the appreciativeness towards everything we see, feel, hear and it also means assuming only of the good things we see in someone. Positive thinking comes from a positive mind and all we can feed it is with good and beautiful things. How else then with our senses where everything is connected to the mind. The choice of beauty surpassed my other choices of EQUALITY AND HARMONY. The Prophet ﷺ said “,Allah is Beautiful and likes beauty.”
Hope is something I love to hold onto. When everything in my life seems to be tumbling down, when nothing is going my way, I hold onto the hope that assures me that everything I feel or am now is temporary. And what are trials if they are not blessings in disguise. I chose this over PATIENCE and AUTHENTICITY because with hope, I become sincere in my prayers and duas, I endure tests for as long as I can, and I come out with a better understanding of life. And hope gets me by another day, hope of being forgiven by the Merciful.
“Say (that Allah declares) ‘O My servants who have committed excesses against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed Allah will forgive all sins. Indeed He is the All-forgiving, the All-merciful.” (39:53)
Humility, one of the most challenging values to attain and till now, I am still struggling with it. In the future I hope to humble myself in front of family, friends and younger people, in amidst of being with my peers or strangers, and the very most when in prostration with my Lord at anytime. It is my struggle and I intend to work on it. I am trying to downsize my ego and to always be in the state of renewing my intentions. SPIRITUALITY being important, but I believe in the balance of life because we are people-person and we were sent on this Earth to learn and know more of the people I will encounter. A disruptive ego will only get in the way of that.
“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” (49:13)
WISDOM to me is very important. It holds a close place to my heart because I believe it is innate in everyone to search for the divine truth. Believe it, we learn every single day. It is amazing how our minds can access new information. And I believe, knowledge is power and it will go far. This value encompasses the most number of values as all is attained by learning – how we walk, how we can be healthy, how we say a new language, how we engineer things, how we can provide happiness or learn to forgive, to provide security or peace, how do we have the integrity to move forward or to leave a legacy.. the list will never end, and so will wisdom.
From 60, it got down to 25, 10, then 5.
It can all seem very impressive when you have all that values in you. Say if you were to go on a journey to help your friend who is financially-stricken in another village. At the time there were no vehicles nor bikes. Only a footpath of dirt. If you brought all 25 gold bars to this journey, it would seem most fit. Because you can provide more. But at this journey on foot, it will slow you down, and you grow weary and tired. And soon enough you could not go on to help. Instead, if you carried what is sufficient, you would have made it on time and you would have helped your friend in the most right-minded way. Similarly, they represent your values. It’s good to have a variety of values so you can help and provide in many ways but it would mean you do not have the time to develop each of the values. But if you have only 5 and you worked really well on it, not only will it be beneficial, it will be most abundant. You will flourish on these values when you get to focus on them individually. That way you can find your true self and you are able to benefit not only yourself, but those around you.
Try this one out and share with me what are you 5 values! If you want I can share with you the list. Just hit me at my email!
May we be able to reap benefits and share them with the world, one value at a time,