Thought of the Day

8 03 2014

Hello dear blog, I have neglected you quite a lot haven’t I?!

I was just wondering why I haven’t used this blog the way I had planned to when I made it.

For one thing, the perfectionist in me doesn’t allow me do the normal blogging as it wants a blog post to have everything from a good content to good photos having perfect grammar, spelling and what not! (this is the reason why any work given to me becomes a project lol) So blogging seemed like such a far-fetched idea and a chore rather than something you enjoy doing…

For another reason; my best writings are always concerned with my current circumstances, my views of different things, reflections on daily incidents and the feelings and emotions of my heart all of which I’d rather write in my dear ol’ beloved diary…. so my diary unlike you dear blog, gets a fair share of everything. (Though unlike a blog it doesn’t have the quick editing and picture uploading feature with it that I wished it did!)

It was, then, due to a sudden realization that I am back and actually writing here today. And that realization (simple but profound nonetheless) is what I’d leave here as I go:

Never wait for easier times to come...

If you catch yourself thinking along the lines that if I’m done with this thing and that thing etc etc I can finally have the routine, the life I soo want…..well, tell yourself that ain’t happening anytime soon! If you can’t manage it now what makes you think you can later on when you’ll probably have a lot more on your plate? So if you want to do something, why not start today then?! Why wait for an uncertain and guaranteed tomorrow?

If you don’t fix your now chances are you’ll have the same hard time later on. So what are you waiting for?

I considered myself too occupied last semester and wished for the new one to come as I’ll be better at handling fewer subjects yes? And now here I am and I have so many other things along with it (Final Year Project being the most intimidating) that I wonder what in the world was I previously thinking! So there you go :)

Lesson? Work on the NOW and stop living in the past or the future- its as simple as that! Try managing yourself today and if you succeed you can be assured that the same will carry on for the days to come….

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So apart from the other things, blogging was also something I had been longing to do… And so I here I am and I finally did it!

(I pray that I can say the same about the FYP progress…!)





Getting ahead…

1 03 2013

Time…a resource we think we have in so plentiful of quantity that the idea to keep account of

time

it consciously just doesn’t come to mind…

Recently, I started noticing that I wasn’t getting as much done in my day as I used to before and my do-to list just used to pile up to the next day’s without having been completely ticked off and it continued to another day and so on.

It happened steadily without me having noticing it much but when I did, I was alarmed to see the pile of work to be done, which if not dealt with in proper time will continue to increase on like the snowball going down a hill, and I’ll be left to catch up and being out of breath at all times (not something really enjoyable)

Something had to be done.

I tried my best to cut off everything unnecessary and work on to complete the tasks. Yet as things had already piled up, I was indeed playing catch back, unable to come to the surface. Whenever I was about to reach the finish line, the finish line would always jump to another great distance ahead (like a mirage) leaving me unfulfilled, tired and restless- again.

So this idea came to my mind: why not I keep track of my time to see where I actually spend it and how much…

I had read about “Time logging” as a time-management improvement technique and its usefulness but just wasn’t bothered as it seemed so time-consuming (time consuming thing for managing time?!) and simply not worth anything.

Not as a remedy, but just for fun, I thought to give it a shot. Immediately, I took out a sheet of paper wrote down the day and time and then wrote down in a word what I just did in the last fifteen minutes. And I did that again after another fifteen minutes. And so on.

The effect was instantaneous! Immediately in my unconscious there was this new found urgency that I had not felt before, the type which comes just before an exam or deadline! As I wrote down what I was doing four times in an hour I actually began to see just how quickly time is passing and how much is still left to be done and so this adrenaline rush that comes just before an impending deadline boosted me up all day! I was also amazed how much work I got completed and how much time just slips by if you’re not on check…

I think mostly, the reason why so much of our time is wasted is that we do not sincerely think ahead what stuff is important and should be given preference to. Due to that we get easily caught up by distractions that lead us into more distractions…and when your’re in that zone, coming out and doing something productive looks so uninteresting that you continue on thinking you have “enough time to do it later”. And before you know it the day is gone…the week is gone…and then the weekend too!

By logging my time I indeed got this idea that those “little” idle moments throughout the day when you’re just thinking about something to do or procrastinating stuff, such a big chunk of your day goes away unused. Don’t get me wrong… I do believe that relaxing and sometimes just doing nothing is also necessary..I’m talking about the useless wastage of time which just goes wasted unnoticed making your day “disappear so quickly” without having much done.

At the end of the week, you can calculate the total amount of time you spend on different activities in your day (reading, surfing the net, studying, exercise, worship etc) to get an idea of where you spend your time and then see which areas you would like to improve…because, trust me, the reality isn’t what you think it is…

Another benefit was that when you have to actually write down what you did in the last 15-20 min you will begin to think whether that task you just did was really necessary or not…if it was unnecessary and you already have high priority tasks that had to be done that day you’ll mentally take notice of it and that is where the magic of time management self awareness comes in!

So this experiment was quite an eye-opener for me….do give time-logging a try for a week and you’ll see for yourself how your productivity boosts up! And remember: Time once gone, can never come back!





Random thoughts

22 02 2013

Its strange how sometimes you realize that things are not as black and white as you thought….

Its strange how life all of a sudden brings so many drastic turns that you cannot help but stumble….

Its strange how sometimes you can feel so lonely even among people who are your friends….

Its strange when everyone has their own perceptions and people misunderstand you in ways you never thought….

Its strange when you are in contradiction with your own self and don’t know what to believe or do…

Its strange when all you want to do is explain and clarify but you know that no person will understand….

Life can be so strange and mysterious at times…

Like a roller coaster ride with its dramatic highs and lows….





Preparing for the Journey…

4 01 2013

When traveling to some place, the journey doesn’t begin until everything that we would be needing on our way and destination has been gathered and packed up. I don’t know about others, but for me, I always tend to over-pack…”I’ll need this too”, “How can I leave this?” and even “This might come in handy!” And so, the things that were supposed to be “bare minimum necessities” tend to be so much more than that…

Mess and clutter are the things that I cannot stand.  Its nothing less than a weakness that everything around you has to be well-organised, clean and tidy in order to breath normally! :P

So taking the steps to cure this problem and keeping everything in line I also thought that I had gotten rid of all the unnecessary items from the place I call my own [ my room :) ] …..but that was until I started packing. This time not for a journey but for a shift. And I was amazed at how wrong I still was…

How much do we over-estimate our needs and keep on accumulating ” things we need” without ever needing them as much!!

And it was then that I realized that if for the journeys we make in the life in this world, we are so worried about our needs and make sure that we have what we require (and even more)…then what about that journey that everyone will most definitely be undertaking; the journey that will be starting at the end of this life; the journey from one dimension to completely another one! Now how much greater in magnitude would it be as compared to the little ones we have to make in our life! And just how much greater would our NEEDS  be for it!!! How much do we actually care and prepare?!!! Forget over-packing, do we even worry on completing the bare essentials?!

We do not even know when our time of departure would come. It would come very unexpectedly, this we all know for sure. Nobody knows which breath would be his last. Knowing this fact should really be enough to get us moving and come out of our slumbers and laziness…

How that journey would be when we would be all alone. No friend would be there for us nor our family. The one who had prepared for it would be surrounded by light and for the heedless, darkness would be his companion. Darkness and sorrow and regret.  We cannot even imagine it!

Thinking about it really boggles the mind. Our time is so very very precious. Each and every second is a blessing.

May Allah enable us all to make the best use of our time and enable us to prepare for that journey and make us among His beloved people!





The Beginning

30 11 2012

book

I remember my very first days in university. After all the work and long hours of preparation it was nothing less than a great happiness when I came to know that I’ve got admission where I really wanted to finally! And so with some hope and uncertainty, a bit of fear and a lot of excitement I welcomed my first day at uni.

When I think about what I expected uni life to be I can’t really remember what my thoughts were precisely. In fact, having no older sibling I didn’t have much of an idea what life at university is and how it would be different from school if not similar. So basically I had no expectation of any sort just a lot of “can’t wait for it” feeling and all….

And so the first semester began. Getting to know the campus, lots of introductions (of teachers and students), making friends, hiding away from the seniors who wanted nothing more than to rag us (we were so scared that we went to the library that’s quite a distance away from our department and hid among the bookshelves! ) and the unfortunate encounter with them were the highlights of the first few days….

Then when we came to know each other, the campus, the teachers and the life that would be ours for the next four years to come (or so we thought) intense studies took off. Our free time in uni was spent in solving circuits, carrying T-squares and drawing charts to the drawing hall in the far off block away from the department and making those detailed and meticulously labeled and scaled drawings of different models for engineering drawing classes. Calculus practice used to take place after the class.

Diving headfirst into intense and difficult studies and a routine which seemed so tough (getting home in the evening) I was drained. I couldn’t imagine how hard the coming years would be as just the first one (“which is NOTHING” as told by the seniors) seemed so hard. I couldn’t understand how those fourth years girls could sit there, talk and laugh having gone through what I am going through now and much much more than that. (Ha! I smile when I think about it now)

I also missed my old friends and college a lot. Not to forget the all-girls environment. It was so hard coping up with all this that I can say without hesitating that the first semester is definitely the toughest as you really have to adjust and make new habits.

Time passed. Got used to the new routine. Made friends. Talked and got guidance from the seniors who are really very helping. Understood what’s expected of me and how I have to study and where I stand right now.

And so some studies and exams and parties and assignments and trips later along with many ups and downs in different ways I got to know and actually feel my university as sort of my own. A place where I belong. :)

Studies are not that easy here. They are challenging. No, very challenging. A lot is expected from you. There’s so much to learn and to do that sometimes it feels as if you have no life apart from studies. But I think it’s really worth it in the end. One thing that makes things extra difficult is that the competition here is very intense. But the challenges are what keep you going ahead and to stretch yourself to your utmost capabilities. Besides, studying with such intelligent students really gets you inspired.

The thing I love the most about engineering is that you get to implement the material studied in class in real applications and projects. The satisfaction of finally seeing something you worked on for so long actually work, whether it’s a code or a hardware project, makes all the effort worth it!

Working in labs and for projects showed me how to work in groups and what being a part of team is. I got to study some courses which seemed more like solving puzzles than solving problems! (Digital Logic, for instance). Our studies enhanced and improved our  problem solving and analytical thinking skills.  I got to know how to manage my time better, how to work under stress, how to manage my studies with other things that I love to do. And the list goes on.

Today when I see the first years I am reminded of my own initial days. I used to wonder and ask everyone “Is it going to get even harder?”, to which I used to get a variety of responses though mostly encouragement. :)  But after having gone through it, at least as far as I have come, I realize that the question “Is it difficult?” has the problem in itself. Because when life goes on it takes you and makes you capable for what you were incapable of before. It teaches you and makes you strong enough. And finally the challenges that you couldn’t have succeeded in yesterday become do-able as you do them today.

So yes, if a first grade child asks a university student “Is your maths very hard?”, the university student will reply “Definitely! Yours is nothing but a piece of cake!” . Sure, the grade one math is easy for the college student but it wasn’t like that when he himself was in grade one! The child will go grade by grade and be able to do the college level math when he finally gets there. So there is no need to be afraid or to give up. And its the same for so many other things in life…

“The beginning is always the hardest..”, I  had read somewhere, “…just ask a baby as he learns to walk.” True indeed…

Having said that, I will also say that there will be some days when you don’t feel motivated enough, when you feel like leaving it all. That happens to everyone at some point or another no matter what. But if the goal is kept in mind and you have good friends along with you and you have complete faith that no effort ever goes wasted then anything can be done. Time passes quickly. So it’s best to make the most  out of it! :)

-Zofishan





Patience

30 11 2012

morning

Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to be far sighted enough to trust the end result of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn. Impatience means to be shortsighted as to not be able to see the outcome. The lovers of God never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.

-Rumi





Those Glorious Muslims…

2 09 2012

I happened to come across a dua by Junaid Jamshed which is written by Allama Iqbal by the title of “Tariq ki dua“. It is actually the dua by Tariq bin Ziyad, the famous Muslim conquerer of Spain, while he was in the battlefield in Andulusia. His story always caught my imagination when I was little, how he had ordered all the boats of his army to be burnt so that there was no other way except to fight… and to move ahead to conquer or to be martyred…

Somehow the combination of Allama Iqbal’s extremely beautiful words and the way it was recited by JJ made me feel emotional and in wonder of the Muslims in the early times!

How the wanderers of the desert had become one and so strongly united by that One Message…Really if we think about it..what the actual power of that Call to Allah is that changed them, their personalities, their ideologies, their way of thinking, their goals, their complete lifestyles, everything! Subhan Allah…How they cared about no loss except the loss of the Akhirah…how they were ready for and welcomed martydom with open arms…how their mission in life now became to spread the light of Islam in every corner of the world…and they did that with all zeal and fervour, giving their lives for it…

 

يہ غازي ، يہ تيرے پر اسرار بندے

جنھيں تو نے بخشا ہے ذوق خدائي

دونيم ان کي ٹھوکر سے صحرا و دريا

سمٹ کر پہاڑ ان کي ہيبت سے رائي

دوعالم سے کرتي ہے بيگانہ دل کو

عجب چيز ہے لذت آشنائي

شہادت ہے مطلوب و مقصود مومن

نہ مال غنيمت نہ کشور کشائي

خياباں ميں ہے منتظر لالہ کب سے

قباچاہيے اس کو خون عرب سے

کياتو نے صحرا نشينوں کو يکتا

خبرميں ، نظر ميں ، اذان سحر ميں

طلبجس کي صديوں سے تھي زندگي کو

وہ سوز اس نے پايا انھي کے جگر ميں

کشاد در دل سمجھتے ہيں اس کو

ہلاکت نہيں موت ان کي نظر ميں

دل مرد مومن ميں پھر زندہ کر دے

وہ بجلي کہ تھي نعرہ لاتذر ، ميں

عزائم کو سينوں ميں بيدار کردے

نگاہ مسلماں کو تلوار کردے!

 

It was Islam and being faithful to it to the core which had brought those victorious times for the Muslims and the only reason we lost that glory was because we neglected the Quran and our deen…We all know this subconsciously but what do we actually do to mend it? We do complain about all the corruption and terrorism and the declined state of Muslims in the world but it is high time we stop complaining and first look into ourselves..individually our ownself. What my life is at the moment and where I am headed.

An overall big change comes from the very basic unit. And then collectively does everything become right…Until each and everyone of us doesn’t strive to be the best they can be as a person, as a Muslim, as a citizen, as a family member… we have no right to complain about our situation. Its us with whom lies the fault.

May Allah help us and enable us to live our lives in the best possible way. May we learn from the great people who have lived before us and really truly value their painstaking efforts and sacrifices for this beautiful deen so that it could reach us! May we really love this deen as a precious gift and understand and act in accordance with it so that we can achieve higher status in this life like the Muslims of the past and also in the Hereafter (Ameen!)








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