“Should every woman have a vision in life?” One of the ladies tried to initiate a discussion at a get-together. It was a good lead; she started asking each one present about their aspirations in life.
It was astonishing to witness that some well-educated and well-informed ladies were surprised by the question. Some stared in mid-air, trying to come up with an answer and few asked what it actually implied. It was not because these intelligent ladies did not know the meaning of such a simple phrase but rather they did not comprehend what it meant in the context of their own lives.
Ironically, unlike most women in the western community, women from the sub-continent, even while being progressive enough to opt for a career, seldom dare to have a vision for themselves. Our society is structured in such a way that it rarely allows us to grow as individuals who can aspire to excel in what would make each one of us distinctive.
This is one of the reasons why some sisters at that get-together could not come up with a specific answer as it would rarely occur to a woman from the sub-continent that she can have aspirations while being a great wife, a loving mother, an amazing daughter, a caring sister, a devoted daughter-in-law, a helpful sister-in-law, a true friend and in some cases a loyal employee.
The setback is that on top of all the responsibilities binding us, we ourselves create the rest of our limitations. I’m not being judgmental, as I am a part of the same society, so been there, done that. I’m simply offering a perspective that has helped me break through the fixed mindset where it’s improbable for a woman to find room for herself, let alone follow her dreams.
Your life truly begins to transform when you are open enough to alter your perspective towards it. In doing this you are also creating a specific space for yourself in the society you live in. However, you can only craft that space when you deal with the commotion within you, push aside negative attitudes and simplify life within and around you. Allow me to streamline it.
When we hear words like vision, aspiration, goal or aim, we tend to shut off our mind and shake off the idea of having a vision of our own, because we associate these words with other people and not ourselves. It just does not seem achievable. This mentality prevents us from even considering doing what we love, or what we are good at, on a relatively substantial level.
Having a vision doesn’t mean that one needs to be the next Steve Jobs to be successful. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has blessed each one of us with some talent or skill and it has been given to us so that we can utilise it to earn the khair of this dunia.
Alhamdulillah, most people will agree with me that there is a hidden feeling of sakina (tranquillity) in utilizing these talents for right and legitimate reasons and the sense of accomplishment that one feels is indescribable. This too is a blessing from Allah. So what’s the harm in mapping out a tangible plan to turn your hobby, talent or skill into your vision? This way your talent/hobby will not only substantially grow in scope to give you a sense of accomplishment but will also help others in various ways.
People don’t even think of having a vision because they think it means their love for helping others might need to culminate in something great like creating a charitable hospital or an orphanage but your vision is according to your scope and defined by you and may sound limited in general terms but is substantial in your reality.
Allah has given each one of us something that can be a means of khair (goodness) individually and collectively. When we carefully and consciously plan towards utilizing this naimah (blessing) regarding a specific goal it becomes a vision and I believe that if every woman, whether she is from an urban or a rural background, has a personal ambition, that will not just give her contentment but will also raise a productive generation.
Having a vision gives you beneficial results, it boosts your self-confidence, it gives you a sense of self-worth, it makes you a productive member of your community, it gives barakah in your work when you seek Allah’s help, and most importantly, if you are aspiring for something with ikhlas (sincerity) than it also brings you closer to your Rabb, bi izn Allah. However, the first step towards having a vision is to believe and understand that it is possible. You have won half the battle when you believe that you can do it.
However, without limiting ourselves too much, we need to also remember that a vision shouldn’t be something impossible to achieve either. It is basically a strategy to put things in perspective, a clear roadmap towards something that you want to achieve. Also, I never said it was easy to dare to have a vision but in the end, it’s worth all the effort. It takes courage to explore your potential and become who you really can but never thought you could be.