by CATALINA RADULESCU

Exams, assignments, friends, siblings…when will I get a job? Will I enjoy it? Can I please my parents? When will I graduate? The list of questions is endless. Yes, life can get a little stressful sometimes and the closer I get to graduating, the more I toss and turn thinking about all of these questions. They prey on my every bit of strength and press on my mind, corrupting every bit of my efforts. If this sounds like you, then I have a few things to share. Happiness may seem like an elusive drop of water in an endless sea of stress, negativity, and contempt but things don’t necessarily have to be this way. Don’t scoff; hear me out. There are (as cliché as it may sound) 10 tips to success in life.

1. BE PATIENT!
You may have heard this time and time again but hearing it once more can’t hurt. In the Qur’an it is written as the following: “And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirun (the patient)”.(2:155) In our lives, we are tested a countless number of times. Thus, life itself necessitates a strong sense of will and perseverance.

2. TAKE IT ONE STEP AT A TIME
Allah will not test you with more than what you can handle. Knowing this, make a game plan and take life step by step. Tomorrow a midterm; a few months from now, final exams; a year from now, a job…and so on. Don’t let things build up and overwhelm you. After all, you didn’t read the Qur’an in one day; you read it chapter by chapter!

3. MAKE THE RIGHT FRIENDS
Friends can be both a blessing and a curse. Make friends who share the same goals and priorities as you. Trust me; you don’t want to receive calls on a daily basis to go out shopping or lunch. Make friends who you can study with or at least who share the same interests as you. If your friends pray five times a day, you’re more likely to follow suit. If they study all the time, join them at the library. If they go to Jumu’ah (Friday prayer), tag along.

4. READ
This is extremely important! I discovered a long time ago, that reading Hadith or Qur’an greatly empowers me. It gives me the will and the strength to accomplish anything. After all, the Prophet (peace be upon him) faced many difficulties throughout his life, so my own worries shrink to the size of an ant by comparison. Reading also gives you a great sense of accomplishment which is external from minute, everyday things.

5. PARENTS
Heaven lies at your mother’s feet. Never forget this. Many times when we get overwhelmed by worries, we forget that we have a strong pillar of support right in our own house. Build a close relationship with your parents, fill it with trust, respect, and companionship, and you will instantly be granted peace of mind and comfort.

When things get tough, as Muslims, we have a weapon in our arsenal: prayer. “And your Lord says: ‘Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer)!’” Make Dua with sincerity, purity, and good intentions and you will be on the path to success.

6. DU’A
When things get tough, as Muslims, we have a weapon in our arsenal: prayer. “And your Lord says: ‘Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer)!’” Make Dua with sincerity, purity, and good intentions and you will be on the path to success. Don’t forget about Istikhara (special prayer) either; pray this when you have to make a pivotal decision in your life. We all seek approval when we make our decisions, so why not get Allah’s approval above all else?

7. LIFE GOES ON
Remember that life is not school, nor does it end when school ends. Know that today you may be experiencing some hardships or worries but that tommorrow, Insh’Allah (God-willing), things will be better. There is always room for our dreams and hopes. Bad things may happen but that does not mean that good things cannot follow. Life goes on and you have to go on with it.

8. DO GOOD DEEDS
Doing good deeds has a special place in our hearts. It warms us up to other people and gives us confidence. So when you are stressed, volunteer or help a friend. Not only is it rewarding but it will give you a special boost as well as peace of mind. Our worries are insignificant compared to others’ so wouldn’t it make sense to lend a hand and forget about ‘me’ or ‘I’ for once?

9. FIND SOMETHING THAT YOU ARE GOOD AT
If you like drawing, draw. If you like singing, sing. If you like ice skating, working out, and reading, then do all of these things. Doing something constructive, that we are good at, gives us a sense of accomplishment and increases our self-esteem. So, get off the couch, stop moping, and do something!

10. DON’T FORGET YOUR #1 PRIORITY
Finally, remember that everything you do should be for the sake of Allah SWT. We are put on this earth for a reason and that is to worship Him SWT. Forgetting this very fact is how we become overwhelmed by all the tests and trials of life. This is something even I’ll admit I’ve been guilty of a countless number of times. The jealousies, dissappointments, stresses, and worries are just the symptoms of forgetting.

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