The Story of An Empty Frame - A Motivational Story on Doing Things As and When


As Salaamu 'alaykum and Peace to all,

The Story of An Empty Frame - A Motivational Story about Doing Things As And When

Recently I had finished a task which was supposed to be completed sometime ago. Alhamdulillaah. The feeling of relief that came after performing the much awaited assignment was absolutely incredible. It was like a heavy burden suddenly being taken off my shoulder. And at the same time, my mind was immediately freed from having to constantly thinking about it.

Alhamdulillaah. At last!

Being born in a free country and had never known what suppression meant, for the first time I could actually taste for a bit what freedom and liberation felt!

Ok, it’s an exaggeration at some level, but I really do feel good about it. Really good. Alhamdulillaah.

That very feeling of relief (yes, that’s you young reader!:)) ) had me thinking. Why didn’t I finish off the work earlier? What was stopping me from putting that much awaited full stop to that task? Why did I choose to have the dot-dot-dot for a long time instead of getting that one absolute, definite and last dot; and put an end to all the potential dots?

I tried to think of the reasons of why I kept on postponing that one particular task.

Then, it occurred to me what I was doing. I was a, get ready for this – a procrastinator!

Yikes! I never thought I could be one, but, I think I just was!

I felt so foolish remembering this one quote by Baltasar Graci├ínn …

The wise man does at once what the fool does finally.

Yup, I know! This very quote had made me felt like kind of silly. It really does.

Mr. Graciann is totally right. If I had finished off the task as and when I received it, I could have saved myself from so much headaches and perhaps heartaches too. And get to become a wise person for once!

But silly me for listening to the whispers of the procrastinator-in-me and decided to put off doing that particular task. Thus, landing me on the much deserving title of a fool! Astaghfirulllaah.

All these while, it had always made sense as to why that particular task was not included in my things-to-do-today list. It was always that other things are more important, crucial and critical to get done as compared to this one task.

This was when I remembered reading the words of the Prophet SAW when he said…

"Lose no time to do good deeds before you are caught up by one of seven calamities awaiting you: a starvation which may impair your wisdom; a prosperity which may mislead you; an ailment which may damage your health; an old age which may harm your senses; a sudden death; the Dajjal (Antichrist); or Doomsday, which is indeed the hardest and most bitter." [at-Tirmidhi, al-Baihaqi]

Astaghfirullaah. His advice to me is absolutely true. I knew I should have had the urgency to perform that task before any obstacles as above arises.

I felt so thankful to Allaah that none of the seven calamities actually ‘visited’ me during my procrastination period. If it did, I can tell you that I would be the sorriest person on earth!

As I pondered upon this hadeeth, I knew that I needed to find a remedy of how I could be a more energetic person every single day of my life and could leave the habit of procrastinating for good. I need help. I know I do.

Then, I found this hadeeth of Prophet SAW on how to get that much needed zest in my life.

It is recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

"During your sleep, Satan ties three knots at the back of your Decks. He breathes the following into them, 'The night is long so keep on sleeping.' If the person wakes and praises Allah, then one of the knots is unfastened. And if he performs ablution, the second knot is unfastened. When he prays, all of the knots are unfastened. After that he will be energetic and happy in the morning. Otherwise he would get up listless and grouchy."

SubhanAllaah. I knew already that there are blessings in waking up in the morning. But, there is actually a technique given by my beloved Prophet SAW once I wake up.

This is what I should do-

First, praise Allaah when I wake up. I mean, the moment I wake up, I could say SubhanAllaah, Alhamdulillaah and Allaahu Akbar. Hmmm, I can remember that, inshaAllaah. It's pretty easy to do, right?

Then, I should get out of bed and splashed that cold water unto my face. We all know how good and refreshing it feels like after taking ablution, you agree?

Then, right after it, I should stand on my two feet, face the direction of Makkah and make a two rakaah prayer and ask for His Blessings for the day.

That sounds very doable, right?

I think all that would take less than say, maybe 10 minutes?

That’s when all the knots would be opened, SubhanAllaah. At this moment, my Prophet (SAW) said that I would be feeling energetic and happy!

Energetic and Happy! InshaAllaah!

So, what is a spending10-minute early in the morning if it means that I would be able to feel energetic and happy, right?

Think about it! Just 10 minutes and whollah! Chirpy, happy, energetic, alert, bright, joyful, cheerful would be all ME! MashaAllaah.

I can do that. All that I need is just 10 minutes.

However, if I decided to listen to that the eerie whispers of satan that says “The night is long so keep on sleeping… keep sleeping…keep sleeping…keep sleeping…hahaha” (ok, sorry, I got carried away) instead of the promise of my Prophet SAW when he said “… be energetic and happy in the morning…” , if I decided not to take wudhu and pray to my Lord and not to spend that 10 minutes, then, it means that I have decided to trade my 10 minutes potential happiness with a day of lifeless, grouchiness, lethargic, grumpiness, irritableness and all other yucky attributes! Astaghfirullaah.

It means that I have made that choice. Not others. Me. Na’uzubillaah, right?

No thanks!

So, by just spending a short 10 minutes, I have chosen to be a delightful happy person for the day, inshaAllaah.

Let me share with you something which I found that explains how ridiculous I was as a procrastinator. Just look at the picture below…

Funny, isn’t it? I felt that the picture frame is me at some point of time.

I do realize that I have some empty frames which are waiting for some pictures. So, I have decided to put some pictures into them right now. Not later, now.

I am so determined that from now on, every time I feel that I am slipping into becoming one lazy procrastinator, I would reflect on the picture above. And I am going to paint some pictures that are worthy of my frame.

First of all, let me go and look for all the empty frames I have been secretly hiding from public’s view. Ahh…I found one already. Let me get a brush, apron and lots of colors.

What about you my friends? Is procrastination your middle name? Perhaps not all the time, but, sometimes? Are there any of your picture frames which are empty? Do you hide any empty frames in your closet like me? Do you think it's time to take them all out now?

I am sure you already know what pictures should go with your frames right? Why not fill the empty frames?

Hey, I have an extra brush. Wanna do this together? Here, this is the brush and an apron for you. I can throw in the painter’s hat if you need one too! 

Let us fill up our frames with beautiful pictures and be a great painter ourselves!

As how Pablo Picasso once said,

Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.

Wow… time to reflect, don’t you think so?


Copyright (c) Sis Zabrina 2007

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Anonymous said…
As Salaamu Alaykum,
Okay sis, brace yourself, I'm a procrastinator too.There, I confessed.
I have a few projects for school due in even fewer days.
The worst thing to put off though, is Sala, which I am battling with shaytan about all the time.
May Allah help is all.
Great story sis, you've inspired me to do my work.
After reading those qoutes sis I feel like a fool.
Thanks for the part about relief, really made me smile.
Once again sis great story.
Got to go paint some pictures.
No really I do, it's part of one of my project.
Young reader (relief)
Anonymous said…
As salaamu Alaykum again,
just wanted to say I'm the first to comment, yeaaa.
Sis Zabrina said…

As Salaamu 'alaykum and peace to all,

Dear Young Reader,

So, you literally went painting?:))

Alhamdulillaah, i am glad to know that the story has inspired you at some level. I enjoyed writing it too, alhamdulillaah.

I totally am with you about Salaah. I observed that if I heard the adhan and quickly take my ablution, i would be able to beat their eerie whispers, alhamdulillaah. But, if i were to delay-delly when i heard the adhan, and not take my ablution at that very moment, chances are, i would pray late, at times very late. Something that we shouldnt be doing, astaghfirullaah.

No wonder Allaah says that He loves the ones who prays early, SubhanAllaah.

Take care my little one. Its always a pleasure to 'see' you here! Salaam.

Sis Zabrina
Sis Zabrina said…

As Salaamu 'alaykum and peace to all,

Dear Young Reader,

Clearly, you did not procrastinate to leave me a comment! Thanks for that. I love reading feedbacks and comments just as i love writing the stories. Thanks again YR. Thanks for taking the time to drop a few words :))

Sis Zabrina