I am clumsy, I am distraught and I have bruises all over my thigh from walking into the table that has been in the same place for the last gazillion years. There I said it. I am coming out clean you guys. I mean, I could barely take care of my phone, and (thousand times Alhumdulillah)! I was blessed with kids and now I am walking on a thin rope with the Dunya on one side, the Akhirah on another, and juggling these kids while the laundry is not done. How do people have it all under control? I mean how?! I marvel at the overachievers on TV with their poised smiles and their clean clothes – when they open their mouths actual quotes fall out. I mean how do they do it, while I am snoozing on the leg of a chair, my drool coming out by mid-day? How?
So one day, I decided to find out what it is actually. That secret success potion? How do people have it all under control? And I went on the quest (more like Google searched it) What I found out was that basically all successful people have similar traits, not genetic but learnt behaviors, or habits you can say. And what is most amazing is that all these traits are a part of our beautiful religion! (Win win!)
So recently during my after-the kids-are shoved-into-beds “quest” I stumbled upon this Master class by one of world’s top leadership experts, Robin Sharma, by the name of “The Genius Formula”. And really what he said were simple formulas taught to us by our Prophet (ﷺ).
I’ll share his five pointer Genius Formula parallel to the teaching of our religion to show how we have already been given the Genius Formula!
Sharma believes that that the first thing that we should do every day when we wake up is to write down our blessings. When we do that, our brain releases dopamine (the pleasure hormone), oxytocin (the love hormone) and serotonin (the happy hormone). These hormones instantly put us in a good mood, lower depression and increase memory.
By doing so, not only do we start the day with a positive attitude, but by writing it down, it’s like we are etching it in our brain. A time taken out to write the simplest of our blessings really brings things into focus. Allah says in the Quran:
“If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favour]…” (Ibrahim 14:7)
So not only are we starting the day with a positive attitude, but we are increased in favour by our Lord.
The 5 am club
Sharma says that the common factor between all the successful people in the world is the fact that they all wake up before the general public does and focus on their goal.
He says: “Your day is your life in miniature.”
He also emphasizes on breaking the first one hour into what he calls the 20/20/20 formula.
The first 20 minutes you move. Any kind of exercise that gets your adrenaline going.
The next 20 minutes you write in your gratitude journal.
And the last 20 minutes you learn something new.
Now when we wake up what are the first words we hear?
حي على الصلاة
حي على الفلاح
Come to prayer,
Come to success.
Allah created us, of course He knows the methods that work on us! And then what do we do in our prayer? Focus on what is most important!
Now if we can join Sharma’s method, right after our prayer and Azkaar, the chances are that Allah will give Barakah in it too, because of the Hadeeth of our Prophet (ﷺ):
It was narrated from Sakhr Al-Ghamidi that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“Allah, bless my nation in their early mornings (i.e., what they do early in the morning).” (Hasan) He said: “When he sent out a raiding party or an army, he would send them at the beginning of the day.” He said: “Sakhr was a man engaged in trade, and he used to send his goods out at the beginning of the day, and his wealth grew and increased.” (Ibn Majah)
The 60-minute student
Sharma insists that one should never go to sleep until he has spent 60 minutes of learning something new. There is so much knowledge that Allah has scattered in this world and any kind of beneficial knowledge that brings a person closer in the understanding of Allah Himself and His creation is highly regarded in our religion. The Prophet (ﷺ) often asked Allah for beneficial knowledge.
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “If anyone takes a path upon which to obtain knowledge, Allah makes the path to Paradise easy for him.” (Tirmidhi)
The 90/90/1 Formula
Sharma says if we spend 90 minutes for 90 days and focus on one project, we are bound to find success. He said: “The secret to genius is simplicity.” Don’t try to do 50 things; focus on one and spend your best hours on it. And the same principle is taught in our religion.
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.” (Ibn Majah)
Tight bubble of total focus
Sharma says: “You become your environment.” He insisted on keeping people with growth mentality around oneself and reducing what he calls the “energy-vampires”
Almost identical to his quote are the words of our Prophet (ﷺ):
“A person is on the Deen of his friend, so let people look into whom they take as close friends.” (Abu Dawood)
It amazes me to see the inclusivity of our religion, that every recent research was already taught to us by our Prophet(sa). The more we are on the Sunnah, the closer we are to the Genius Jackpot. May Allah give us the Taufeeq to stay on the Sunnah! Ameen.
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