The 15th Theme:

As ELEVEN shifts and takes on a new face, we aim to look Forward into what the future entails. Forward is a state of being - looking forward to what’s next and taking a step forward despite the uncertainty and fear, seizing opportunities as they come!

 At times, in order to move forward, one has to move backwards first. By accepting the past and letting go of grudges, only then can they move on and grow. 

To carry on, one must take the first step. That step may be daunting because no one knows what comes next but the action and the belief that we can take a step forward is what makes us courageous.

Take the steps to close the doors that no longer serve you, and instead open new doors that would take you on adventures.

Forward

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1. Uncertainty

“Indeed, mankind was created anxious.”

(Al-Qur’an, 70:19)

 

In the era of changing norms, we can never be too sure of what’s ahead. Ordinarily, as we look forward to the next step or phase in life, we may find ourselves pondering over the risks and challenges we may face. At times, we even make precarious choices, in hopes that it would only get better once we cross to the other side.

 

But how can you overcome the fears of uncharted waters? How do you soothe yourself and have faith in His plans for you despite the unpredictability of everything? Did you ever give up because you worried too much about what's coming next?

“Do not lose hope, nor be sad”

(Al-Qur’an, 3:139)

 

It is normal to be unable to get over our past disappointments and be constantly thinking about the “what ifs”. However, in life, one should always trust in Allah and His plans. Plough on with the knowledge that growth and development as a person can only be achieved by never giving up and moving on.

 

Ultimately, life is a journey that involves overcoming all obstacles and heartbreaks and drawing motivation from them to become closer to Allah. Take heart with the knowledge that all our affairs are safe with him. Move on, whenever you are ready.

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 2. Moving On

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3. Breaking Strides

Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet said, “Strive for that which will benefit you, seek Allah’s help and do not feel helpless.”

(Sunan Ibn Majah, Book 1, Hadith Number 79)

As we move Forward in our journey of Becoming who we want to be, there will be times where we get tired and feel like giving up. Taking leaps or big strides may feel like too much. During these times, even baby steps are enough, as long as you are moving forward.

 

Remember that slow progress is still progress, and it is perfectly fine to go at your own pace. Despite feeling helpless, what were the baby steps that you took to keep on moving forward? What kept you going? How did persevering through your hardships change you as a person?

4. Safe Space

“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a person until they change what is in themselves.”

(Al Qur’an, 13:11)

 

Our safe spaces are bounded by our own definitions. As we grow and go through life’s experiences, the lines that we draw to mark out our safe space, start to limit our actions and what we could potentially achieve.

 

So how far out do we mark out these new lines and expand the space to become the person we have set out to be? And where do we find the courage to draw out these lines into the unforeseeable future? With faith in His plans and guided by His scriptures, we can constantly find peace that our safe spaces are drawn and redrawn based on what He has decided for us.

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5. Patience

“Oh you who believe! Persevere in patience and constancy. Vie in such perseverance, strengthen each other, and be pious, that you may prosper” (Al-Qur’an, 3:200)

 

With each step we take to move forward, to heal or to improve ourselves, we tend to measure our progress and how far off we are from where we want to be. But progress is not linear. Stay steadfast in your faith and you will move closer and closer to your end goal. With each day, you are a step closer than yesterday. After all, you didn’t come this far, to give up now.

What does forward mean to you?