I knew watching Japanese dorama was good for me… (aswell as TED)
First of all, apologies for sacking off the blog posts recently. Wimbledon happened so I was away for that. Anyway, Tony Robbins gave this TED talk in 2006 and it’s always been one of my favourites as it gives a thought-provoking explanation for a quite subjective issue. As I am currently in the middle of watching プロポーズ大作戦 (a Japanese drama series), and since I recently watched this talk again, I felt the blogger’s urge to… well… blog about the subject. Robbins says that human emotion and inner drive are the most powerful forces in the world due to our minds allowing us to rationalise anything and achieve stuff. If we understand this, we can begin to understand and appreciate the views of other people around us which, let’s face it, as human beings, we haven’t been great at doing. This is something that has probably been highlighted by the “shrinking” of the world and mixing of cultures in the ever-changing global village we live in today.
“The defining factor (in achieving something) is never resources, it’s resourcefulness.” Tony Robbins
What he means here is that if, for example, you don’t have enough money for something, but if you’re creative and determined enough, you find a way to do it anyway. That’s why he calls human emotion the ultimate resource. This is one of the take-home messages from the talk and if you think about it, it’s a very positive view of the world. I guess that’s one of the reasons why I love this talk. One of the best bits is Robbins high-fiving Al Gore in the front row after they joke about the Supreme Court being one such resource.
An awesome example of the power of human emotion is one that he uses, Lance Armstrong. The guy won 7 straight Tour-de-France titles after his diagnosis of testicular cancer, something he was unable to do even once (let alone seven times!) before his illness. This can be put down to his new-found emotional fitness and psychological strength after people put a barrier in front of him. You can either say God is punishing you or you can say that God is giving you the opportunity to succeed against adversity so you either see it as the beginning of something positive or ending with something negative.
The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Trials and tribulations always seem bad at first but if people come through them, don’t you always here them say that they are a better person for it? Maybe I am over-simplifying it but it fits in completely with my Islamic understanding of hardship. As a Muslim, I have been brought up to believe that God knows best and so everything happens for a reason, even if it is hard to understand for us. Being patient and sticking it out when things get tough is the way to succeed. God will only burden someone with as much hardship as they can take, never more. So if you are really being tested and feel like everything is going against you, God must think very highly of you!
“The beauty in the Islamic approach to difficulties is it teaches you to change your perception of the problem i.e. seeing the glass half full as opposed to half empty. The way Islam does this is by wiping out this (evil) feeling of loneliness by teaching you that God is always with you. This leads you to change your perception of the scenario from being “Oh God, I have a big problem” to being “Oh Problem, I have Almighty God” which gives you confidence, thus putting you in a position of strength.” [Quote from my flatmate, Abdulrahman Alhadithi’s blog]
“When Allah desires good for someone, He tries him with hardships.” [Saying of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), narrated in Sahîh al-Bukhârî]