Just Do It

I’ve always loved the Nike slogan, “Just Do It.” It is simple. Concise. To the point. Action filled. Commandative. Commandative. I just made up that word. It means command driven. Does it make sense? I think so.

“Just Do It,” is the antidote (Big word, I know! I had to make sure I was using it properly before using it here, lol.) to laziness, procrastination, and my all time favorite talking. We talk to make plans, to discuss issues and problems, the latest easy to make recipe you made, the newest gadget, the latest game, the people that are behind the issues and problems you mentioned earlier, the latest YouTube star, the latest Tasty video recipe . . . the list goes on and on.

If we were to actually track the amount of time we spend talking to friends, family, co-workers and fellow community members, how much time would that amount to? A few minutes or a couple of hours? Or a couple of hours everyday? What have you gained at the end of all of that talking? Usually . . . nothing.

There was this famous quote I learned some time back:

Small minds discuss people.

Average minds discuss events.

Great minds discuss ideas.

I remember thinking at the time, “Oh my gosh, me and my friends only discuss people and events, what ideas will we discuss?” Recently, I found a more refined version (from this blog article), which says:

Hurting minds discuss people.

Distracted minds discuss events.

Engaged minds illustrate ideas.

And I couldn’t agree more. My ears ache from all of the talking that is done in the community about people and events when that same amount of time and energy could have been put into discussing ideas to help those same people and avoid the same events/issues from happening. If we discuss the issues long enough, our minds may think we are finding a solution to the issue, when in reality, we are not. We are just adding more details to the stories we are saying (and Allah knows if those details and stories are true or not!).

Most of the time, talking gets us no where. We talk, we discuss, we find out what happened, then we do nothing. How do we break this cycle and become people of action, as is commendable in the Qur’an?

“Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he (or she) is a true believer verily, to him We will give a good life, and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter).” — Qur’an, Surat Al Nahl, verse 97

Here are 3 tips to take action and “Just Do It,” when engaging in conversations:

  1.  CUT THE CONVERSATION SHORT. If the event / situation is completely out of your control, you sense it is leading to backbiting, is not adding any value to your life, ask the person that is telling you the story, one of the following:
    • How would you like me to help? – Only say this if you genuinely would like to help fix the situation. If you don’t feel like fixing the situation, that is okay, don’t offer to help!
    • What will you do about this? – Ask the person telling you the story what actions they will take to remedy the situation.
  2. Avoid Discussing Future Plans. If you discuss future plans with close friends and family, the mind will actually think it has accomplished its goal! Have you ever told numerous people about the new diet you plan to begin, the new workout regiment you plan to follow, or the new restaurant you plan to try, but never followed through with any of that? It may be because your mind already thought you have achieved that goal! Save the discussion for when you DO accomplish your goal(s)!
  3. Stay Focused on the End Goal. The end goal in any conversation should be not to backbite. If you backbite during your conversation, your actually gifting the person you are speaking about, a bunch of your good deeds. In reality, you are only hurting yourself. The Prophet (saws) said,

“He who believes in Allah and the Last Day must either speak good or remain silent.”[Related by Muslim].

In this hadeeth, the Prophet (saws) gives two options for speech:

  1. Speak Good
  2. Remain Silent

Keep this hadeeth in the forefront of your mind whenever you engage in conversation. Don’t allow your time to be spent in useless speech that won’t benefit those you are discussing or benefit you on the Day of Judgement. Don’t ever belittle the action you plan to take, Allah (swt) tells us in the Qur’an:

“So their Lord accepted of them (their supplication and answered them), “Never will I allow to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female. You are (members) one of another . . .” — Qur’an, Surat Al Imran, verse 195

Make every deed count and make every conversation count.

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