For a youth who wants to make a difference in a world that treats the poor, the weak and the under-achieving with hostile indifference, there are five things involved. The starting point of these is that you know yourself. This self-knowledge would make you realise and tap your hidden energy, inner potentials and full capabilities in order to excel among your peers. Everyone is endowed with something special and it requires self-knowledge to be able to maximize it. Listen, you are unique and the unassailable truth is that no one is exactly like you among the 7.6 billion people that currently live in the world. You must discover yourself.
Then, you must believe yourself even if others don’t believe in you. It is when people lose faith in themselves that they find it difficult to find their feet and make a difference. Of course, your capacity to believe yourself will be fruitless or constrained if you don’t believe in God. As you are not created in vain and your being here is conscious and purposeful, you must believe to achieve your purpose.
Besides, you must control yourself. Self-control is a sine qua non to making a difference as you impose some standard on yourself and commit yourself to what is right even when it is not popular. As Rig Veda asserts, “the main factor behind success is self-control.” There are many distractions among us especially these days of internet-enabled gadgets and you need self-control to retain your sanity. Though Kazi Shams admittedly submits that “one’s greatest challenge is to control oneself,” Aristotle’s conviction about self-control is that “what lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do.” Control yourself.
Meanwhile, you must exert yourself. Exerting yourself implies putting all your energy in your studies or what you do as all success derives from hard work. It is what you sow that you reap and it is what you plant that you harvest. Hard work will always earn you success as nothing succeeds like it. As the Glorious Qu’ran says, “…man can have nothing except what he strives for” (Q.53:39). Those at the top of the mountain didn’t drop there. According to Thomas Edison, “the three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.”