I have re-read Paul Coelho's "The Zahir". There are some things that made sense and some things that I disagreed with. He says that this life is a journey. We need to have goals but these goals are there to guide us on the way, not to become obsessions. Unfortunately, many people get lost because achieving the goals becomes the purpose in their life, not simply a means of completing their journey. Worse, they betray who they truly are in order to become what Society expects them to be.
From an Islamic perspective, min Allah ilaa Allah. We come from Allah and we are journeying towards Him. I agree that many people betray who they truly are in order to become what Society wants them to be. However, I disagree with Paul Coelho because it is not an individual journey. It is a collective journey. The first steps on this journey has to do with seeking knowledge about our purpose in life. The answer to that question is found in the Qur'an. It is a simple answer and we don't need to make it more complicated than it is. The next steps have to do with understanding how to live according to what Allah wants us to be, not what Society wants us to be. That is more difficult because we have to rebel against some of our cultural traditions. The last point is that 7 billion people are undertaking the same journey. It's all very simple.
Relating thia posting to the Happiness in Islam project, if you get obsessed with your goals, you will never be happy. If you take goals as simply signposts but you never forget your true origin (min Allah) and your true destination (ilaa Allah), then Allah will - in His Mercy - make you feel content and happy during your journey to Him.
Alhamdulillah, I have about 200 students shooting 30 videos this semester. I plan to do another 30 videos starting in September 2013. In the meantime, I am looking for 5 secondary schools in the Gombak area to agree to a pilot project for 2014. Mr. Fazrul Ismail, of Total Success Sdn Bhd, has agreed to provide some free training for the teachers so that they improve their facilitation skills. By 2014, we hope to do a year-long validation of the Productive Teens methodology. By the end of 2014, we would like the schools to issue a testimonial in regards to the outcome of the Productive Teens project in their schools. Hopefully, with these testimonials, we can start talking to the Ministry of Education ....
Learning from the experience of last semester, I now have 210 students (MGT6610, MGT4110 and MGT4820) shooting videos. These videos will be linked to the productiveteens.com website (which will be totally re-vamped thanks to the help of En. Fazrul Ismail at Total Success Sdn Bhd). Hopefully, in 2014, problematic teenagers in selected schools will surf the Internet under the supervision and coaching of one of their teachers. They will go through the productive teens videos one by one (which will, insya Allah, combine Islamic content and everyday self-management skills)as the school year progresses. These weekly discussions will focus around the content of the video and include group discussions and appropriate role-play. As the school year progresses, these problematic teenagers should (insya Allah) be able to changer their behaviour (first) and then change their perception of themselves (later). We hope that a few successful pilots would help persuade schools that using productive teens is an effective way to help some of their under-performing students. We hope that the students would become happy and productive Muslims at the outcome of this project. I don't (by the way) blame these students for their current situations. Many teenagers are exposed to mixed and confusing messages from their peers, their parents and their teachers. We simply want to show these kids practical steps to change their lives for the better.
I am teaching management and organizational behaviour at the International Islamic University Malaysia. Since 2010, I have been researching anything related to Happiness in Islam. This blog documents my reading, my hypotheses,s and the data I collected.
This blog documents the perception of Dr Fontaine's students related to developing happiness in Islam. Students need to complete two assignments in which they improve their knowledge of Islam. This increased knowledge seems to lead to greater happiness.
Any comments can be sent to me at: email@example.com