37 Simple Actions You Can Start Today to Make your Youth More Rewarding
Do you always dream beyond your daily simple actions to the years ahead to when you hit your first million, memorise the Qur’an, or break some world record?
Or perhaps, to only a few months ahead – getting published, married or launching an online business?
Whatever your big dream is, you know what I’m talking about, right?
But the reality is that tomorrow may never come. And those dreams may remain just that – Dreams!!! So while it is OK to dream, you need to wake up and build rewarding habits that will aid you towards your goals.
Use opportunities with your youthful zeal and energy. And there are many of such opportunities in youth, as our beloved Prophet, Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam, advised:
”Utilise your Youth before Old Age.”
Let’s get started with some of those simple actions…
1. Avoid Complaining.
This world is far from perfect and you can’t always have what you want. Rather than dwell on what is wrong, focus on the good and be thankful for every blessing of your youth. And remember, this life is a test.
”And We test you with evil & with good as trial” [Q21; V35]
2. Shun Ignorance.
You can’t worship Allah (SWT) with incorrect knowledge. If you know Allah (SWT), then you can worship Him as He deserves. Seeking knowledge of Allah, the Almighty & Majestic is therefore compulsory on you. Ignorance is not an excuse.
”And know that there is none that is rightfully worshipped except Allah…” [Q47; V19]
Be consistent with reciting a fixed amount of Qur’an daily. Read, reflect & make sure you act upon what you read. Do not be among those who forget to read or reflect.
”This is the Book (the Qur’an) whereof there is no doubt, a guidance to those who are Al-Muttaqun [The pious and righteous persons who fear Allah much]” [Q2.V2]
4. Uphold the Sunnah.
Learn about Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
Emulate his manners, respect him, obey him & teach others about him. Love his family and companions and stay far away from all that he has prohibited. Do not say – ”It’s ONLY sunnah”.
”Say if you love Allah, then follow me: Allah will love you & forgive your sins. Verily, Allah is Forgiving & Merciful.” [Q3.V31]
5. Keep good company.
Stay with those who remind you of Allah and the hereafter. Seek companionship of people who bring out the best in you & keep away from toxic individuals – including the haters & complain bags.
”Friends on that day will be enemies of each other, except the righteous” [Q43: V67]
6. Focus on the positive.
Keep your intention, thoughts and words positive. Strive to leave your affairs to Allah (SWT). It reduces negative stress levels & will keep you on the right track towards achieving your goals.
”Certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)” [Q3.V159]
Set yourself some BIG goals – the benefits of goal setting are many.
Then break them down so you can do one simple action each day; so as not to get overwhelmed. Don’t worry about perfecting things, just make sure you maintain consistency as you progress.
8. Set yourself up for some accountability.
Get a buddy or a mentor, to check up on your milestones as you try to reach the BIG goals. And make sure you set consequences for negligence. This could be paying a fine or performing a task you dislike.
9. Follow up a good deed with another good one.
Think of the day when you will receive your book of deeds either in the right or left hand, according to your deeds. Then make that choice with even the tiniest deed.
Abu Dharr relates that the Holy Prophet (SAW) said:
Do not disdain doing the least good, even greeting your brother with a cheerful face. (Muslim)
It is sunnah.
It is also charity and makes you look good & feel good.
S.M.I.L.E before your teeth falls out.
Aim to truly listen to others before you open your mouth to speak. Good listening is a gift you can share with others. It fosters understanding and cooperation.
It helps creates good rapport in all types of relationships.
Invite you neighbour, colleague or classmate to Islam. Tell them about Tawhid – Oneness of Allah and the Message of His final Prophet (SAW):
”Call unto the way of your Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation” [Q16:V126]
13. Show gratitude for even the simplest act.
Learn to say ‘Thank you’ for every simple act or favour upon you. Be generous with your appreciation for every kind act.
Give daily gratitude so it becomes your way of life.
14. Spread Salaam.
Always give greetings of peace or reply when greeted first, with what is better.
15. Give Charity.
Give away something you have not used in a while. It is likely you won’t miss it, someone’s life will be changed and you will also get a reward.
Make it a habit to give daily charity even if its with half a date.
People may hurt you with their words, action or inaction. Similarly, some ugly memories may linger which pierce through your heart and feel just like yesterday. But still forgive and move on.
”Learn to forgive & forbear. Do you not desire that Allah should forgive you?” [Q24: V22]
17. See no evil, Hear no evil.
Your body and senses are a blessing from your Creator. Use them only for good and what will be pleasing to Him. Preserve your mind, soul & body.
”The ear, the eye and the heart shall all be called to account” [Q17:V36]
Share an invaluable part of yourself – whether it’s a skill, knowledge or time. Be among those who bring benefit to others. And remember that sharing is caring.
19. Never stop learning.
Because life never stops teaching.
And be consistent with the supplication;
”My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.” [Q20:V114]
20. Accept mistakes & failures.
Making mistakes is human. Do not allow it to paralyze your life, make sure you take lessons from it. And learn from your mistakes.
21. Check yourself.
The mirror does not lie, does it?
Use your inner conscience as a mirror & guide, to check yourself and bring yourself to account as no other person can.
22. Stay awake after Fajr.
And do something beneficial – whether its writing, listening to a lecture, reading the Quran or book of Tafsir.
Utilise the blessings of the morning time and jumpstart your day with an active brain.
23. Make a sincere Dua for someone in his/her absence.
It could be a friend who is childless or a colleague seeking to know about the purpose of creation or a neighbour who is having financial crisis. You will be rewarded with a blessed response, ‘And same to you’.
24. Keep your tongue moist with remembrance of Allah (SWT).
Engage in Dhikr Allah with your tongue & presence of heart.
Sheikh al -Islam Ibn Taimiyyah said, ”The remembrance of Allah is like water to the fish. What would happen to the fish if it were separated from the water?”
25. Keep in touch.
Call, send an email or SMS to a family member, especially one you have not been in touch with for a long time. Be pleasant. You will rekindle a blessed relationship and strengthen the ties of kinship.
Whatever the generational gap, be patient with your parents. Treat them with excellence & show them love as you would want to be loved by your children. Ask Allah (SWT) to guide them and to grant them the best station in Paradise.
27. Make a budget.
Take a close look at your earnings & spending; are they in sync? Can you reduce your debt, save more or give more in charity?
Draft a plan today and stick with it.
28. Keep silent.
Button those lips if you have nothing good to say.
Say NO to backbiting & gossip. Avoid the traps of he said- , she said-.
29. Apologize when wrong.
Saying sorry makes you stronger not weaker. Learn to apologize with sincerity in all fairness.
30. Watch what you eat.
Make sure your diet is healthy and permissible. And do not overeat. Your body is an Amanah. You will be questioned about it. Use your diet to fuel your worship.
31. Go Offline.
Stay offline for one day or at least most of one day. Check yourself, renew your intentions and think of ways to boost your faith.
Terrified of falling behind on updates? Don’t worry, there will always be newer updates.
32. Pray Tahajjud.
Wake up in the last part of the night and pray at least two units of prayers. It gives you a chance to have your duas answered and sins forgiven. Don’t miss out!
In a Hadith Qudsi, Allah (SWT) says, ”Is there anyone asking of Me that I may give them. Is there anyone asking forgiveness that I may forgive them.”
33. Ask Allah (SWT).
It is easy to ask close friends and family members for some of our needs without remembering to ask the One who provides for all of our families and friends. What do you need right now? Ask Him.
”Your Lord has said: Call on Me: I will respond to you”. [Q40:V61]
34. Practice what you preach.
Have you ever been asked by a 5 year old, ‘why do you say – don’t shout at your little brother when you are shouting at him?‘
If you can’t live by your words, mind what you demand or expect of others. Be the model you want to see.
35. Get active.
Take a walk or bring that skipping rope out and get started on some movements. Don’t wait to get to a gym for an ultimate fitness plan. Get active and keep your body healthy and fit.
36. Enjoy good decent jokes.
You may have that special Uncle or friend who keeps a growing collection of jokes and pulls out some new ones each time you get together or wirelessly.
It’s OK to laugh it off without breaking the roof.
Inject some humour into your life and words.
Take some time off to unwind and put your feet up.
Don’t work 24/7 and run the risk of getting low on your physical & mental energy. You deserve some rest; your body has rights over you.
This list is by no means exhaustive, what can you add to it from your own life experiences? What other simple actions can you start today for a more passionate & rewarding youth? Please take a moment to add to the list below…