Question: How can I become skilled, or develop a high morale and liveliness, when my father, who is an ordinary man, frustrates my wish to continue my higher studies and asks me to work with him in the market.
The answer: Researches and experiments have proven that creative people have a high morale and a high self-confidence that cannot be shaken. It is they who have not wanted their first experiments to succeed and instead have prepared themselves to receive failure first for they have prepared themselves to snatch success from failure without submitting to failure. A creative man is he who offers his productivity and tries his best to develop it continuously until he reaches the top.
It is said that Edison, before testing the bamboo cane to discover the electronic light, had tested 256 things but without success. When he was asked why he had not given up his attempts in those many experiments, he said, ‘I have not failed, but with my experiments, I have come to know 256 things’.
This high spirit, which sees failure as a discovery and a means of learning something new, is worthier of success and worthier of being honored throughout history.
In order to continue on the path to your aim:
First, think deeply of your aim and the ways that will get you to it!
Second, discuss what you think with reasonable people in order to discover the defects of your opinion and then decide correctly, without pride.
Third, do not ignore difficulties, for they are a part of the way to success and a motive that strengthens the will of successful people.
Fourth, seize any opportunity to strengthen your hope in success. And the best of opportunities is connection with Allah the Almighty. An Indonesian proverb reads, ‘Unless you raise your hand to the heaven, it shall not raise from the earth.’
Fifth, when vitality comes to you and your heart become delighted with work, keep to your project firmly and do not let this opportunity go in vain in useless doings.
But as for your father, with respect and calmness, you can understand one another. You can also send him some respectable persons to try to convince him. It would be better that he should not know that they are sent by you.
On the other hand, you can explain to him the future of your ambition and explain to him its advantages according to the way of his thinking in life. For example, if he is interested in the financial matters, you can say to him that when you become a doctorate, you will establish a scientific foundation or a clinic whose income will be more than you can earn by working in the market as an ordinary worker. Tell him that a reasonable person always looks forward to the far future and tolerates the difficulties of the present for that.