We come across people in our lives who are constantly grateful for what they have been blessed with, those who complain about everything, and those who work tirelessly to make a substantial impact on the world. Taking a closer look, we realize that those ‘movers and shakers’ are ordinary people like us who have challenged the status quo and are driven by the need to do something great.
People presume that this last group of incredibly successful people has a secret formula or some specific routine or action for guaranteed success. Maybe it is true, sometimes. Nonetheless, the secret to succeeding – whether professionally, personally, or spiritually – is not based solely on what you should do but on what you should be.
In today’s volatile environment, obtaining positive traits such as humility, optimism, adaptability, selflessness, honesty, and integrity is essential for success. Let’s look at how these traits can be viewed by Muslims.
Being humble means being open to others’ opinions and focusing on others’ needs. Humility may not come easy to everyone, but it is a sign of strength and shows that you are open to asking for help and learning. A humble person deals with people with grace, compassion and care.
The best way to achieve humility is to follow the example of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), who lived humbly and taught his followers to do the same. He said, “Verily, Allah (SWT) has revealed to me that you must be humble towards one another so that no one wrongs another or boasts to another (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim)
Humility is an overlooked trait that will not only help us value others but also will help us to seek constructive feedback and grow.
Optimists are positive influencers who are ready to learn and are not shy to try new things. They are constantly pushing boundaries, striving to learn and grow more. They are happy and content people who spread positive energy and enrich the lives of all they interact with. They embrace changes, welcome challenges and are open to learning and experiencing new possibilities. Prophet Muhammed (SWT) had a positive, ever-smiling personality and exuded optimism.
With all the negativity around us, it’s easy to get depressed and agonize over what might go wrong. Optimism helps us focus on what we can do right. It is infectious and as stated in the hadith, “Hoping for good is also an act of worship of Allah” (Tirmidhi and Hakim). A positive approach will open our minds and help us see, learn, and experience new things to be better servants of Allah (SWT).
Selflessness is a coveted trait emphasized in Islam, and it makes us care deeply for others. It’s about living and actively applying the old adage, “The more you give, the more you get.”
Selfless people are open to helping and supporting others. They respect and value others and want others to grow. They share their knowledge, talent and experiences with others and think about the betterment of others. They are empathetic, compassionate, and kind and go out of their way to positively influence others’ lives. They build genuine relationships with people and understand the people around them. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” (Bukhari)
As Muslims, we must constantly adapt to the changing global atmosphere and confront the challenges facing us. Most people tend to fear the unknown, feel the need to control their lives, and resist change. Also, inflexible people tend to grow uncomfortable with too much change, and even positive change feels painful. Consecutively, successful Muslims take charge of the situation and stay obedient to Allah (SWT) even during adversity. Instead of worrying too much about the future, they remain persistent and patient and rely upon Allah (SWT) alone – “And whoever relies upon Allah – He will be sufficient for him. (At-Talaq :3)
We need to surround ourselves with such successful people who are highly adaptable and learn from them. As such, people anticipate change and embrace it more easily.
5) Honesty and Integrity
The cornerstone of success, whether personal or professional, is to trust and be trusted. Without honesty and integrity, there is no foundation to build a meaningful relationship with someone. Honesty and integrity, in turn, foster trust; without trust, we cannot create a positive personal impact on people and provide strong leadership.
Honesty, integrity, and generosity are characteristics of successful people who create their personal brands. Undoubtedly, the most honest person to ever walk the earth was the Prophet (SAW). He was known as Sadiq, “The Truthful,” and Al-Amin, “The Faithful.”
Honesty is an excellent virtue and a defining characteristic of most successful people. If we truly respect ourselves, we will choose to be genuine and show our true selves to others. Honesty is the essence of our faith and engenders strength on every level. And honesty will be of immeasurable benefit to us in this world and the Hereafter. “Allah will say, ‘This is the Day when the truthful will benefit from their truthfulness.’ For them are gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever, Allah being pleased with them, and they with Him. That is the great attainment.” (Al-Maidah:119)
Armed with the above five highly desirable traits, anyone can acquire the right attitude to transform and create the successful life they truly want. And these qualities will not only help one to cope with everyday challenges but also will help transform their challenges into opportunities to grow and thrive.