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The Things We Think and Do Not Say

I was watching Jerry Maguire recently on a whim, as I wanted to relive the clichéd quotes and scenes that I remember watching back when I was still a wide-eyed teenager. Right from the onset I was hooked by Maguire’s mission statement scene, whereby he is taken by an epiphany and starts to type out his mission statement embodying his new philosophy for the job: The Things We Think and Do Not Say.

I’m turning 27 this September, and the last time I ever came here was more than 2 years ago. In that time, I had seen, thought, did many things. I was always a voracious reader and always was fascinated with ideas and notions. After my high school life, I moved away from fiction and started to really get into non-fiction productivity books and thereafter drowned myself in reading online articles and Quora posts. My Instapaper is a sprawling repository of articles I’ve bookmarked over the years, and my Quora is similarly following a similar fashion, especially with my newfound interest in Data. So many inspired thoughts but all of them unorganised in my mind, evernote and random text files in my 6-year-old MacBook Pro.

One night, about 1-2 weeks back. I couldn’t sleep. It was drizzling and 1am in the morning. I took my traveller’s notebook and started poring over my quora, instapaper and evernote accounts. The rest, as they say is history. What follows is the product of my Jerry Maguire-esque epiphany:


There is no God but Allah and Muhammad Sallahu Alayhi Wasallam is His Messenger.

I choose to have faith in Allah over that which I do not control; in all other things I am the dominant creative force.

I will leave a legacy of human flourishing. To this end, I will grow one percent at one thing everyday.

I will center my world on Islam and live on the basis of Islam, Iman and Ihsan.

I will walk the world with many books in hand and employ multiple disciplines in solving the problems of this world. When reaching for a solution, I will take a middle way.

I will construct my mind as a deep knowledge machine. I will immerse in deep work when seeking knowledge. I seeking knowledge, I will employ a systematic and immersive structure to learn faster and better.

I will make every week a good week, with no bad weeks in succession. Every day I will apply the 10 years test, to forecast what 10 years in the future looks like based on today. Every month will be a life experiment, to build good habits and kill bad behaviours.

Every morning after waking will be a ritual,
Wake up by five dawn and give gratitude;
Next a quarter period to energise the body;
And a quarter period to master the mind.
Promptly I will then establish prayer.
The next two periods will be portioned into four parts;
a part to reading;
a part to dreaming, thinking or writing;
a part to learning;
and a part to productivity.

I will hold onto five guiding principles in societal ties:

– Family comes first
– Marriage is a struggle to grow strength to strength
– Seek out big thinkers
– Surround myself with people who inspire
– Find a mentor for every endeavor

In framing my intellect in my outlook of the world, I will abide by eleven commandments:

– Do one thing at a time
– Keep moving out of my comfort zone
– Before reacting, listen and understand
– Constantly challenge my beliefs
– Keep awareness of every lived moment
– Analyse the outer world and do not live on autopilot
– Notice the details
– Train my intuition and play with my gut
– Have fun
– An obstacle is an opportunity
– Don’t dwell on the past

I leave with George Bernard Shaw’s “A Splendid Torch”, as an apt closing to this memo:
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

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