By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Al-Risala, August 2012
Albert Einstein once remarked, “Life is like driving a bicycle. Maintain your balance and you will safely reach your destination.”
There is deep wisdom in these words. In this world, humans have to constantly try to balance two sets of demands: on the one hand one’s intentions and plans, and, on the other hand, the external conditions. In order to be successful in this world, one must be able to reconcile these two demands. If you fail to do so, you cannot succeed.
If you want your plans to succeed, you must be well aware of the prevailing external conditions. You should not give excessive attention to one aspect and neglect the other. You should not overestimate yourself and underestimate the surrounding circumstances. Any such mistake will bound to cause your plans to fail.
By temperament, human beings tend to one extreme or the other. It often happens that people focus so much on one particular thing or aspect that they are unable to consider or allow for other things or aspects. With this sort of imbalance, it is not possible for a person to be truly successful in this world.
Balance is a key principle. By this is meant balance in practical affairs, not a balancing act in intellectual or ideological matters. As far as ideological issues are concerned, one’s focus should be on one’s ideal, but in practical matters one should become practical.
Translation of essay titled Kamiyab Zindagi Ka Raaz, in Al-Risala, August 2012, p. 40