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…!)

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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!





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





The Cocoon and the Butterfly

20 08 2011

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole.

Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and could go no farther. Then the man decided to help the butterfly.

He took a pair of scissors and snipped the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily.

Something was strange. The butterfly had a swollen body and shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and deformed wings. It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the small opening of the cocoon are God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through all our life without any obstacles, that would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly.

Is not our life in this dunya like the cocoon?

(Reblogged from: trusimplicity.tumblr.com)





Remembering those days….

15 07 2010

 

Life is truly a struggle. Challenges, deadlines, responsibilities and expectations….nothing ever seems to end. Going through all this we forget that sometimes we have to give ourselves some time to enjoy, to relax…We need to remind this  to ourselves especially when we feel as if we can’t take it any more….

Time flies like anything. Its been more than a month that my final exams finished and eventhough at the moment I’m really busy with my tight schedule of academy/prep for entrance examinations I can’t help missing my college alot:'(

This path is the path which I used to take almost everyday, with my friends at my sides, laughing and talking off, to the cafeteria in my college…I took this photo on the last day in our college, just after the farewell party when the crowd had almost gone…I miss them all alot…Those walks in the grounds, those free periods when the time seemed to pass so unusually quickly!… and the library…with all its treasure of knowledge and my favourite books!….and not to forget the farewell party….which ended with tears in the eyes….

 Everything seems like a dream…..





The 24 Gold Coins

26 07 2009

coinsOnce upon a time there lived a king. He was very powerful.  One day he called two of his servants and gave each of them 24 gold pieces. The king told them to go and live on one of his rich, royal farms. The farms were two months’ distance away. The king commanded, ‘Use this money for your tickets and buy whatever is necessary for your house. There is a station one days’ distance away from the farm.’ He told them that there is road-transport, railways, boat and aeroplanes. They could choose any according to the money he was giving them.

The two servants set off after receiving these instructions. One of them was fortunate as he was obedient to his master, the King, so while going to the station he not only spent a small amount of money but he also did some business which gave him a lot of profit. The King became very happy and the servant’s wealth increased a thousand-fold.

The other servant was unfortunate because he was disobedient to his master, the King. He spent 23 pieces of gold while going to the station. He wasted it in gambling and other amusements. Now he was left with a single gold piece only. His fortunate friend told him to buy a ticket so that he would not have to walk alone and hungry across the desert which takes two months to cross.

Let’s now look at the story from a different point of view:

The King in the story is Allah Almighty, our Creator. Of the two servants, the first one represents the obedient ones, who perform their daily prayers with fervor. The second one represents the careless who neglect their prayers. The twenty-four pieces of gold are life in every twenty-four-hour day. The royal domain or the farm is Paradise. The station is Grave and to the Resurrection, the Hereafter. The ticket in the story represents the five daily prayers or Namaz.

If we roughly estimate the time spent in taking ablution (Wudhoo) and offering five prayers then it is hardly one hour. Now think how unreasonable it would be if out of 24 hours in a day we spend 23 hours on this worldly life and hesitate to spend just one hour for the life of Hereafter. Besides our heart soul and mind find great comfort and peace in Namaz. And it is not tiring for the body too. Furthermore all the actions of the person who offers Namaz five times regularly becomes like worship.  

-Taken from a children’s book





Islamic Ways

29 11 2008

By: Zainab Habib

What has happened to us Muslims these days?
Why have we forgotten our Islamic ways?

The courtesies and etiquette our Prophet (saw) had taught
All those years of his training, have they been lost?

Take for example, the command to greet
Each other cheerfully whenever we meet.

To return the greeting or one better than it
Of the rights Muslims have on each other, one is this

Far from answering, we just turn away
Wondering what the person wants from us today.

Another way of bonding is a handshake
While the hands are touching, sins are erased

As for the smile, our Prophet (saw) has said
It’s a form of charity that Allah rewards well

But as for us, we’re so reluctant to smile
It’s as if our treasure will be depleted each time

And when someone does something for us, how few
Say “Jazaak Allah” – “May Allah reward you”

For only from Allah is there true recompense
So the best thanks there is, is to supplicate for them.

And when we sneeze, do we say “Alhamdulillah”?
Our Prophet (saw) has said when you sneeze, praise Allah

When we hear others say this whenever they sneeze
Do we say “Yarhamukallah”- “On you Allah’s Mercy”

And when we hear of a death, or someone is sick?
Do we supplicate for them? Are we sympathetic?

Are we affectionate to young, respectful to old?
Serve widows and orphans without being told?

Do our neighbours have little while we have so much?
Are we kind to them, even if they don’t thank us?

Do we feed the poor? Are we generous to our guest?
When someone invites us, do we happily accept?

In our wedding feasts, do we differentiate?
Or do both our rich and poor participate?

Do we give away things, but with a heavy heart?
When it’s something with which we don’t wish to part

Do we put in a good word when someone needs help?
Or do we just leave it to be done by someone else?

Although we’ve been told by our Prophet (saw) that do
Intercede for each other and Allah will reward you.

These deeds may seem trivial but they’re important you know
They’re effective in making our Deeds Account grow.

To be loved by Allah – if that is our goal
Then follow the ways of His Prophet (saw), we’re told