Heroes, models, and mentors can help you become excellent. They have already arrived there and can show you the path
“It’s always inspiring to me to meet people who feel that they can make a difference in the world. That’s their motive, that’s their passion... I think that’s what makes your life meaningful, that’s what fills your own heart and that’s what gives you purpose.” Maria Shriver
Heroes, models, and mentors can help you become excellent. They have already arrived there and can show you the path. In a commencement speech, my friend and co-author, Nido Qubien recently gave at a U.S university, he made three important points:
• Who you spend time with is who you become.
• What you choose is what you get.
• How you succeed is where you end up.
To be great you must first walk with great people. If you want to fly with the eagles you have to stop scratching with the turkeys. It’s the choices you make, not the circumstances you find yourself in, that define the person you become. The type of success that you pursue in life will determine the kind of destination and legacy you will enjoy.
Heroes are people to look up to. Models are people you learn from. Mentors are those who hold your hand while you walk to success, showing you the pitfalls so that you can avoid them. Find heroes who can guide you to Life Balance and success. Akber Ladha was a mystic whom I really admired. He was a wise man who gave freely of his wisdom and insights. He was the one who ignited the spark in me to write two of my book, The One-Minute Sufi. He was not alive to see the birth of these books, but he has certainly left a legacy through the inspiration he gave to me.
“Christ gave us the goals and Mahatma Gandhi the tactics,” said Martin Luther King Jr., the cherished civil rights leader in the United States of America, who embraced non-violence as the weapon of choice to help millions of African Americans fight for their rights. The inspiration we impart to others can go a long way. Shams Tabriz, a wandering mystic of the 13th century, inspired Rumi. Shams wrote no books. Rumi ended up writing 26,000 couplets and became the Shakespeare of the Persian world. Rumi gave Shams credit for all his works.
Learning from the best is great. It is also great to serve and teach others. There are times when serving others and volunteering can be difficult. Your family might be upset with you for spending too much time away from home and not shouldering your share of the domestic load. You may end up in a place where people get rude, or do not appreciate your efforts. A volunteer’s life is not always rosy. Sometimes things backfire.
Having said this, no matter what price you pay, when you give wholeheartedly and with good intentions, you set power in motion – the ripple effect. And if nothing else, there is an internal instant satisfaction you feel deep within you, which is hard to measure or buy with money or physical possessions. In that regard, it is priceless.
So rise above the hindrances that come your way. Of course, please first ensure that you always balance your life with your family commitments, or involve your family in your service.
Learning from the best leads to excellence. Your parents, teachers, peers, and mentors, as well as the environment, all play important roles in your achieving this skill. The good news is that it is never too late to achieve excellence, as long as you are committed enough to exercise the discipline and action required.
Condensed message from “Life Balance the Sufi Way” by Azim Jamal and Dr. Nido Qubein. For feedback email firstname.lastname@example.org