Mindset is the key to success for an Islamic Social Entrepreneur

Lets  start of by touching on the subject of mindset as I know we are living in very challenging times with so many uncertainties. My life turned upside down in 2020 when so many of my plans did not even have the chance of starting due to the Covid 19 global pandemic. However,   what helped me to stand up and start fresh again was this mindset:
Every Challenge Is An Opportunity and it is up to us to grab the opportunity and  Change The Way We Think About Problems And Always Come Out On Top With A Solution.

I am not a fan of Winston Churchill but one of his sayings is full of wisdom: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”. Everything in life really depends on the lens one sees a glass whether it is half empty or half full.  This really translates to a particular situation which can be a cause for pessimism (half-empty) or optimism (half full), or as a general litmus test to simply determine an individual’s worldview – the lens (eyes) one sees and views the world.

Running any enterprise is a struggle and it is even more challenging now than ever.  At times our plans and goals fails us and everything seems that it is breaking and is against us. At times we wish we had things that we don’t have right now, maybe it could have helped us to succeed. Maybe we wish we had a slim figure, taller physical height, athletic  build, we were braver, a fighter like a warrior, etc. Maybe all these would have made things easier. Some even wish they had a rich dad or mom to fund their ideas. But coming back to the real world, one has to deal with what they have and there is no point in wishing for the impossible. One has to work with what one has and remember everyone has talent which are at times untapped. And it is always great to have some form of luck but people have to make their own opportunity with the help of one’s creator, Allah (SWT)/God. Remember “Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves” Quran (13:11).

There are many things one can do to change one’s life around.  If one analyses the lives of successful people, one can see that most of the so called successful people,  had to struggle and work hard to get to where they are at. They took what they had and worked hard to achieve their goals in life. It is struggle that creates success and most people have to overcome many struggles along the way to their success.

But there is a major  ingredient that separates a successful person from the crowd and that key is their Mindset. A successful person views the world as a challenge but that does not stop them from overcoming all the barriers in order to improve their position and reach their goals. A successful  person fails many times but is able to pick themselves up and move forward through their journey towards achieving their goals.  This is a maxim that is repeated time after time.

Just look at the lives of some of the people that rose up from the bottom:  Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin to a poor family, Steve Jobs was adopted, Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA grew up on a farm in a small village and started off by selling matches to his neighbors. All these people had a common trait: they all faced challenges in life but overcame all the barriers to become successful people.

The conclusion is: Mindset is the key to achieving one’s goals. Same with an Islamic Social Entrepreneur who needs to focus on the positive outlook in life and overcome the mental blocks to success. The mind is a powerful tool but it can also become a weakness and its functions can sometimes create obstacles. Luckily our  mind can be trained with frameworks and tools.

Instead of thinking in a negative manner, one has to train the mind to think positively. Every problem is an opportunity for one to improve and to challenge oneself. Every problem is also an opportunity. That’s how the mindset of an Islamic Social Entrepreneur should operate. Positive mindset opens up the brain to find solutions to problems. Is that the job of an Islamic Social Entrepreneur?


Thamina Anwar (Dr.) – PhD (UKZN)
B.Eng (Hons.)  (London) | MSc (Bradford) |
MBA (Cranfield) | GradDipTchg (Auckland) | CIFP (INCEIF)

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