Reflections on LIFE!


Reflections on LIFE!

Volume 5 Issue 8 News & Resources | August 2012


The month of Ramadhan has passed nearly a month ago and the lessons learnt probably have evaporated in sync with the sweet memories of doing fasting and enjoying it. The act of enforcing on oneself strict rules to be followed and also restraining the urge to consume are not easy, but in reality turned out to be very possible. Yes, we have learned many a lesson and we have got an abundance of opportunities to reflect on life and the unyielding struggles that come with it. Ramadhan will always be an opportunity, God-given, not to be missed, i.e. not just for the pomp’s and glitters, but for the invaluable chance that it gives to each one of us.

The act of allocating specific period for self-reflection and forcing oneself to adopt and implement an ideal-like routine and behavior is certainly interesting. The fact that this act is also done en masse shows the significance and the urgent need for it to be replicated. Why not us follow similar act in other mode of life endeavors? Why not in research and development efforts? Why not in teaching and learning? Why not in managing research projects? Why not in the rush to pursue our ambitions? Why not in everything that we do? Yes, self-reflection is the key word. If we can do it concurrently in our busy schedule, so be it. But, why take chances and possible misses? Just be honest that we need them to be scheduled and planned.

While busy doing the R&D tasks, there must be some dedicated reflections on our executions. The easy paths are those which have been trodden. Nevertheless, doing productive R&D efforts must also include regular and agreed process of ensuring the tasks addressed are correct and reflective of the required actions. It is also never too late to reflect on things. There will never be a time when honest reflection brings loss or misfortune. Our actions are akin to the dead-beat methods of robotics platform navigation. The initial reference is ensured to be correct, but the ensuing positions are only acquired through indirect measurements and assumptions after a number of movements. If there is any mistake in the earlier positions determinations, those errors will ultimately be compounded until they are no longer manageable. This is “life imitates art, not art imitates life”!

The other lesson learned from Ramadhan is the sense of discovery that we need to be more focus in our actions. Even prayer sometimes carries no meaning as there is lack of focus. There must be more focus and concentration in our work. We lose focus for so many reasons. We feel distracted by even the slightest interference. And those small and insignificant distractions suddenly explode into major issues for us. The ability to focus on the real issues and to sift the gems from the stones is of prime importance. The unfortunate outcome of the current age of immediate gratification and rapid compensation is the short time span in the ability to focus and concentrate. We now find ourselves difficult to focus on the important and urgent tasks, and rather being too deep into tasks which are unimportant and not urgent. We misplaced the importance and urgency. Pity on us! And, yes, Ramadhan did give us the training to focus and concentrate. We might need now to repeat the things that we have done a month ago. This is the road to salvation!

The other benefit of Ramadhan is the ability to make do with what we have. We are certainly more robust and resilient than we think we are. When we are cornered and have to make do, our creative instinct kicks in. We behave differently. We also think and act differently. Yes, in Ramadhan, we realize that we can survive without eating and drinking for more than 12 hours. Things which we always think are the basis of our being. And yet, we are still doing the daily chores as expected from us. We are not handicapped due to the fasting because we are clear on the intention and also have the right frame of mind. The same mind set should be when we conduct R&D efforts. We must make do and do the best with whatever we have. This is the right way for ensuring we do not seek excuses in not achieving real successes.

The month of Ramadhan has brought many glad tidings and blessings for everyone. I doubt anybody will not agree with this statement. The lessons are universal and applicable to all facets of human activities. Lessons of life are always generic in nature, and are there not just for show, but as an example to be adopted. Yes, we wish Ramadhan never stops…

Eid Mubarak to all!

Written by : 
Assc. Prof. Dr. Mohd Rizal Arshad 
School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering 
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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