IOS On-line Lecture on Growth-oriented Optimisation of Personal and Professional Life

IOS On-line Lecture on Growth-oriented Optimisation of Personal and Professional Life

New Delhi: An on-line lecture on “Growth-oriented Optimisation of Personal and Professional Life” was organised by the Institute of Objective Studies on August 28, 2021. Delivered by Dr. Syed Ashraf Imam, Ph.D., licensed clinical Psychologist, San Diego, California, USA, the topic was introduced by Prof. Akbar Husain, Department of Psychology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, who also chaired the function.

The lecture began with the recitation of a verse from Qur’an by Hafiz Athar Husain Nadwi. In his introductory remarks, Prof. Akbar Husain said that the topic was contemporary in nature.  Modern age of crisis and a variety of allied factors at times made human existence challenging. The constant struggle at one’s personal, familial, social, professional level in the daily life space made it harder to have the feeling of healthy living. But human species were endowed with the quality of being flexible and adaptive to various existential challenges, he observed. 

In his lecture, Dr. Syed Ashraf Imam said that the world was currently passing through a critical phase resulting in violence and frustration. But there were simple ways to overcome them and enhance work. Then the question arose how to optimise one’s attributes. And this could be done by optimising one’s mind. He noted that life space had everything to do with the human being. One did not know what was going around one’s life. Secondly, there was a psycho-social factor that optimised man’s mental faculty. He said that there were societal bruises but one should not allow himself to be abused by negative feelings. Advising people not to accept whatever others stated about them, he remarked that one should negate all negatives. There were family members and family values that had to be adjusted. Life could become more purposeful if certain things were ignored. He said that everyone should be treated equally. Frivolous things, like the absence of househelps to do domestic chore should not cause unnecessary worry. One should cherish family values by being communicative to the spouse and other members. This needed effective and appropriate communication. He advised that one should shun having negative behaviour.

Syed Ashraf Imam called for optimising the energy earned in life. This would have a healing effect. He said that one should express himself without fear. Respect was always a two-way traffic. Thus one should have the capacity to accept others. One must change one’s perception about others by giving them respect and entering into mutual understanding. Laying emphasis on generosity, he said that it could be anything. It might even be smiling. In order to be happy, one should practice smiling.

One must not be rigid and give others space in terms of nice advice and fulfill some expectations of others in orderly fashion. There were some social expectations from others to do something for society. He also observed that one should not hold a grudge against anybody. There should be no negative emotion against anybody. It was up to a person to accept or refuse negative sentiments. Calling for controlling anger, he said that the energy must not be wasted in entertaining negative emotions. In this respect, forgiveness was the best policy. He pointed out that anger should be controlled at all costs. 

Explaining the attribute of empathy, Dr. Imam said that without knowing the person one generally developed antipathy against others. This should not happen. One should be honest and always be fearful of the wrath of Allah. Referring to the positive effect of empathy, he said that it helped a lot. Empathy also lessened tension. Another attribute he spoke on, was truth. He observed that trust was related to growth and development. In unsuccessful interviews and examinations, one lost trust. One should learn how to remain strong in adverse circumstances. He should be immune to such situations and stand solid rock in his trust. Emotions should not be allowed to hurt. One could achieve his goal by structuring his life. One’s journey started when he focused on himself. One should be resilient and have solid faith in the Creator. He also said that daily practices like salah, rituals, prayers, etc; should continue. But the problem became complex when people started accepting all the negative energy from others. He further said that one’s time was structured to do what one supposed to do. If one had a high level of empathy, the negative emotions would lessen. He advised that one should not feel offended by the adverse comment of a person because grudge was the worst enemy of a human being. 

Dr. Ashraf Imam held that one should not get negative energy also because Allah was the ultimate forgiver. Allah would always be pleased with the forgiver. He advised against wasting energy on toxic things and emotions. He said that by getting negative energy, one hurt himself. He concluded by saying that Islam offered the best therapy for neutralising negative energy and this therapy could be applied by keeping faith in Allah.

Associate professor in the department of psychology at AMU, Dr. S.M. Khan said that role of religion started when an individual was surrounded by a host of problems. Religion was vibrant. Therefore, some spiritual personality should guide everybody. He observed that one could put forward the teachings of Islam for developing positive energy. 

The lecture came to an end with a vote of thanks by Prof. Akbar Husain.


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