Contemporary Muslims wonder why they are so powerless. The Covey Principle sheds light on the apparent contradiction between their condition and the promise of the idea of Islam.
We generally affirm that life is a beautiful gift, but there are not many who value the gift. If you value the gift of life, your life ought to command value. For life to command value, it must be worthy of its creation. But who makes your life worthy of its creation? Of course, it is YOU. You determine what you make of your life. Obviously, you get out of life what you make of it. We however need the
ideas and skills that help us take charge of our life. But we must be open to great ideas and that great thought comes from all cultures and peoples. Stephen Covey developed the 90-10 Principle designed to help people who feel powerless. You can go to the linkhttp://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=cMipyQ5cgyg for a detailed discussion. I present a summary of the principle. Covey argues that 10% of life is made up of what happens to you; 90% of life is decided by how you respond. What does this mean? Let’s take an example. You are eating breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what just happened. What happens next will be determined by how you respond.
You curse and scold your daughter. She breaks down in tears. You then turn to your spouse and criticize her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs, you find your daughter has missed the
school bus. Your spouse must leave immediately for work. You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. You forget to pick up the briefcase. Because you are late, you drive fast and you are fined for traffic violation. You arrive at school late and you are late for the office. Your day has started terrible. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. Back home from office, you find small wedge in your relationship with your spouse and daughter. Who did cause the bad day? Was it caused by coffee, your daughter/wife,
traffic police or you? The answer is YOU. Here is what could have and should have happened. Coffee splashes over you. Your
daughter is about to cry. You gently say,” It’s ok dear, you just need to be more careful next time.” Grabbing a towel you rush upstairs. After putting on a new shirt and picking up your briefcase, you come back down in time to see your child get on the bus. You arrive at the office early and cheerfully greet the staff. Your boss comments on how good the day you are having. Notice the difference? Contemporary Muslims wonder why they are so powerless, especially because the idea of Islam promises both material and spiritual success. They can blame, complain or whine, but to no avail. The Covey Principle sheds light on the apparent contradiction between their condition and the promise of the idea of Islam. Now that you know how the 90-10 Principle empowers you, take charge of your life. Save yourself undeserved stress and heartache. Resolve the apparent contradiction. Apply it! Shall we?