Developing a Positive Outlook in Life

Smile and the world smiles back at you goes a popular saying. Negativity is a disease of the human psyche, some people see it as subtle but it should be noted that its effect is manifested in the entire spectrum of a victim’s life. One who has negative opinion about almost everything would have no positive demeanour and his reaction to issues and attitude towards people would be basically shaped by this.

Background and Upbringing: When one’s is raised in an environment that does not allow a positive outlook in negative times. The result would be the declining of the power of reflection, contemplation and optimism. If one has been accustomed to the cliche “my life is horrible” or people telling him “you are horrible” he would later grow to think that of himself thereby growing into someone whose statements lacks positivity and insight and whose choices are marred by temporary challenges. Keeping Company with

Negative people: As they say good friends are those who make you a better person, and Negative friends make you a negative person. If one is surrounded by people who push him to react or think in a negative way. One way or the other we are influenced by our immediate environment and the type of people we mix with. Life of Seclusion: When one has been accustomed to living alone or a life of seclusion, it deprives one of the opportunities of gaining experience and widening one’s scope of thinking. There is a tendency to be negative.

Failure to Understand the True Nature of Islam: Islam is a religion that encourages one to make du'a to Allah if one is faced with challenges or problems. And as Muslims we have to remember that at a point in our lives we would be tested with trials. How we deal with those trials determine how strong our belief in Allah is or not.

Disregard for the remembrance of Allah: Part of the reward of remembrance of Allah is “opening of breast” and “easing of task”. On the other hand the result of negligence in remembering Allah and keeping away from him is a “Negative life” and being denied wisdom. MANIFESTATION OF A NEGATIVE OUTLOOK The presence of Negativity in a person’s life is manifested in a myriad of ways which include.

Discontent: The person who is negative expresses anger and discontent towards everything. He/she is often backward, regressive and incapable of keeping pace with the difficulties faced in modern society.

Disregard and Difficulty: Negative people always disregard everything including having a narrow-minded opinion on issues. Aside from that, they are always intolerant and aggressive to those who do not agree with them.

Impatience: Displeasure and impatience at any issue that is facing other people. Negative people are quick to point out that you are not facing anything compared to what they have endured. They are used to uttering these word “I have faced all the problems in these world and I did not die”. That is negativity. REMEDY

Read the Qur’an: ‘The Qur’an is for yourself, not for your shelf,’ a wise saying goes. Many times in our lives, we feel lost and ask Allah (swt) for guidance. Meanwhile, our Qur’an sits in the corner of the room gathering dust, waiting to be picked up and opened, read and absorbed. The Qur’an remains the manual of life that has been sent to us by God Himself. If only we spend more time reading and studying it, we will find in it the cure to our myriad of problems, and the light that will guide us to the right path. And We send down of the Qur’an that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss (Qur'an 17 verse 82). As we strive to spend more time studying the word of Allah, we will find our faith and our problems becomes just a problem because we learn to console ourselves with the fact that with every difficulty there is relief.

Contemplate the effect of negativity: Envisaging the effect of negativity on individuals, or the society as illustrated earlier in the write up should encourage us to keep a confident, optimistic and positive demeanour always. Bring up children in a positive way and healthy environment. Let there be love, warmth, attention and a lot of joy in the home and teach them about the realities of life. This provides children the tools to deal with difficult and negative times. It also develops their talents and when they grow up they will be aided with a confident and self-reliant mentality.

Reflections on the Life of The Prophet Muhammed (pbuh): The Prophet's life was not all rosy, he lost his wives, his children, he was hungry, he was wounded and almost killed. His life was filled with many dire situations and grave challenges. This helps in broadening one’s mind and deepening one’s insight. Life could be hard, plan for the best but prepare for the worst. Keep away from negative people: Even if our Iman is in good shape, it can quickly deteriorate should we indulge in bad company. It pays to stay aware of who we are mixing with. Seek the company of widely experienced people who enjoy broad vision and intellect.

Keep Good connection with Allah (swt): By keeping good connection with Allah and abstaining from major and minor sins, observing acts of worship, and working righteousness in general. This would confer on you wisdom which would allow you to have a positive outlook and far sightedness. It is the ability to face life's many knocks and still remain a good, positive person that makes one a good Muslim. May Allah make our sojourn in life eventful and never place on us a burden that is greatest than we can bear. Salaam.
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 Zaynab Quadri is a Staff Writer at

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