Success means Y.O.U.

YOU are the key to your success.

At first, I thought this statement is just a cliché heard from different persons with different success stories. However, as I see and listen to speeches delivered in different graduation ceremonies these days, I cannot help but be awed by these people who made their own success stories.

Yesterday, I attended the hooding ceremony of our university’s graduate school and there I saw how the graduates smiled and expressed their happiness because of another success achieved.

As I listened to the speeches of the class valedictorians in both Master and Doctoral degrees, I realized that Meranaws in general expressed so much of their gratitude to God because of the gift of wisdom that He endowed them in their academic journey.

Mr. Tirmizy Abdullah, graduate of MA History and Class Valedictorian of the masters group, expressed very well his mind about how Islam has helped him realize his dreams. Having the chance to know this humble but pious gentleman is an honor to every Meranaw. He teaches in the History department as an instructor at the same time a graduate student. He is an exemplar of a Muslim who won’t settle for mediocrity in his endeavors. He always tops his class.

What is interesting in his speech is the emphasis on one’s humility in all aspects of life. I understood from his speech that arrogance is never accepted in Islam if not the most hated attribute. From his speech, I understood that humility is the best way to achieve success.

Further, I was fascinated by the personality of a young Magna Cum Laude in the MSU graduating class of 2014. He is Mr. Arobe Sheik Goling II. He is an exemplar of excellence in both academic and semi academic activities in our university. He will be confirmed a graduate of BS Zoology with Best Thesis Award and Debater of the year.

In his young age, he has his own meaning of success. According to him, “It is the intangible reward that you receive after all the sleepless nights, hastily eaten breakfasts and lunches, missed dates and all the prayers you made during your four years stay in college. Hard work, consistency, discipline, faith and passion are the ingredients you need in order for you to attain this.”

When asked about how he manages to survive his hard science subjects and at the same time become a debater, he answered, “Time management. I love planning. I allot a specific time for a specific activity. The time should be sufficient enough to accommodate the time required to ace it.”

The same gentlemen expressed in their ideas that success includes a dose of being faithful to the Almighty. Well, this is not surprising to us Muslims because religious families are guided by the Islamic beliefs including education and knowledge as priorities in Islam.

Indeed, from all I have gathered in the many ideas expressed about success, to me it simply means Y.O.U. – One’s yearning to learn and be taught by the learned, one’s outstanding performance as they learn, and one’s untiring effort to achieve the best and nothing less, plus humility.

The secret to success is our own self. We should always believe in what we are capable of doing. The power of our mind in believing that we can achieve something contributes to what you will be. The Almighty sees what is in your heart and mind. If you believe to be successful, then you will be.

Congratulations to all of the 2014 graduates!



(Professor Sorhaila Latip-Yusoph is currently the chairperson of the Communication and Media Department, Mindanao State University, Marawi City.)


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