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Are you investing wisely in your life?

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Are you investing wisely in your life?

 

Assalam-o-Alaikum Hassan,

 

Can you reflect back on your life in last 10-20 years and figure out the investments that you have made in assets, specifically fixed assets e.g. property, automobile, latest electronic gadgets etc. If your answer is yes, then can you please take a piece of paper & pen and write down the names of these assets along with their monetary value that you invested. I’m sure some of these assets must have appreciated their value over a period of last few years like real estate if you opted to invest in. What is the current value of your investments and what is the ROI (return on investment) on this? You don’t need to mention this in comments, but just do your honest maths!

 

Now, keep aside this mathematics and let me know the greatest milestone you would like to achieve in your life. It could be anything ranging from a prestigious degree or certification to a very well established job or a business or getting your family settled with all facilities of life and beyond. Just figure out the greatest achievement and write that on a piece of paper.

 

Let’s now come to the third thing I want you to ponder and answer within 5 minutes of reading it. Suppose if you’re told now that the next 24 hours are the last 24 hours of your life and exactly after 24 hours, your final flight will be departed as the boarding pass is issued and you’re good to go (BTW visa was stamped the day you arrived in this world), so how will you spend the next (last) 24 hours of your life? Can you make your hourly schedule for these 24 hours?

 

Please write on a piece of paper as to what you will be doing all of this time.

 

What happened? Worried??

 

Actually I asked these three things to my audience in one of my session recently in Saudi Arabia and here is the summary of the feedback:

 

For the first question, people answered immediately as everybody knew their investments and majority of the people are wise enough to invest in the real estate in different countries. This did not take much time for people to answer. Masha'Allah, quick replies.

 

For the second question, some people answered it easily and some were thinking deeply as they were a bit indecisive for what is the greatest thing that they want to achieve in this life.

 

When I shared the third point, the faces were completely changed and majority of the people got completely confused on what to do and what not to do. There were lot of items popping up in their heads, but how to manage all of these things in just 24 hours is a tough ask!

 

In all the hustle and bustle of life, acquiring assets, making investments, thinking about that new car, an apartment in favorite locality etc, most people generally forget the most precious asset that they should've invested, which shall surely bring a very high ROI. Unfortunately, most of us take this asset for granted and miss out the big opportunity of earning lofty profits in our future to come.

 

Do you want to know what that most precious asset is that you must invest in?

 

It is children for parents and parents for their children.

 

If you’re a father or a mother, your children are the most valuable asset that you posses and if you have your parents who are alive, you’re blessed that you still have a great opportunity to invest in them and get a very high return.

 

Just for the sake of understanding, we take the case of parents towards their children. However, you can apply the concept vice versa.

 

Can you please visualize all of your children with their names and respective ages? I’d prefer to please write it on a piece of paper.

 

Please write the ages of your children right in front of 2016 and progress them in the intervals of 10 years till 2056. Try to visualize them every 10 years. Just try it!

 

Now, please choose one of your child, write his name and his age in 2036 (after 20 years) and write down the vision you have for him for next 20 years. Don’t worry about the words; just put whatever thoughts you have for your child on the paper with respect to where you want to see him. I suggest you to stop reading ahead for a while and first complete your writing.

 

Are you done? Good! Now, go ahead...

 

As a personal and family development trainer and coach, I did this exercise with thousands of people in last 12 years and over 90% of the people when they write, they generally focus on one aspect of their children’s life. What is that one aspect, which usually is focal point of most parents’ effort about their children?

 

It is their formal schooling linked with their professional establishment so that they will earn good! Isn’t it? We have certain milestones for them to achieve in order to move ahead in the race of life. But, by focusing on one area, we generally overlook that the life is not just about professional establishment and earning money, it has many other aspects to be taken care of and when parents do not have a clear picture of these aspects, they will later on become pain points of life not only for parents, but also for the children. These are the weak areas where the chain of life can break because the rule is…

 

“The strength of a chain is the strength of its weakest link.” Similarly, Br. Suleman Ahmer says,“the strength of a person is the strength of his/her weakest role of life.”

 

As a parent, this is your most important responsibility to envision for your children and by envisioning, I don’t mean to just have a fancy statement for your child. The visioning of your child is a process and it has few steps in it. It is just like building a house. You cannot build a house with just an idea on the paper, but you need to work on smallest of the detail.

 

Designing the life of your child is much more significant investment than the investment in a house. In fact, imagine if you’re going for a vacation, how much time you spend in planning that vacation?

 

The sad reality is that most people spend more time planning one single vacation than their own lives and the lives of their children!

 

Now, my question to you is if Allah (swt) has blessed you with this precious asset and if you’re a parent, are you willing to invest in this asset with sincere intentions so that you and they together pursue a truly meaningful life in this world and in’sha’Allah will have quite an unimaginable benefit in the aakhirah as well.

 

If your answer is YES and I am sure it is, then you need to learn and apply the following 6 steps.

 

1. Articulate the ultimate vision for each of your child in clear and unambiguous words.

 

2. Articulate the ultimate vision for yourself in the role of parent. Define what you want to see in yourself as a father and as a leader - your child must be looking at to get inspired.

 

3. While writing the visions for your children, you have to make it comprehensive by focusing on four primary areas:

 

3.1 What is the vision for their physical development?

 

3.2 What is the vision for their spiritual development?

 

3.3 What is the vision for their intellectual development?

 

3.4 What is vision for their development in the role of Ummati or member of a community?

 

4. Once you’re done with this, the vision must be broken down into time bound intermediate visions for at least next 25 years, 10 years, 5 years and the first year.

 

5. Once your vision document for each of your child is completed, then move ahead and connect the vision with your daily, weekly and monthly to-dos.

 

6. Please don’t forget to make dua to Allah (swt) to give you wisdom and help you help your children become your most precious investment in this world and aakhirah.

 

You must remember that this requires, time, effort and continuous guidance on understanding and application of strategic visioning framework. This is not a one day job, this is a lifelong process, but if you seriously want (like I want for mine as well as yours alhumdulillah) your children to be truly successful and become your true legacy in this world and your biggest sadaqa-e-jariyah in aakhirah, you have no other choice than to learn and go through the visioning framework in detail.

 

Don't forget..."You must and should shape your own future because if you don't someone else surely will." - Joel Barker

 

I pray to Allah (swt) that this essay will become a source of inspiration and the first step towards investing wisely in the most precious asset that you’re blessed with. Aameen.

 

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