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  • Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

The Importance of Time

Lord Chesterfield was born in London in 1694 and died in 1773. His letters addressed to his son, which were later published, described the art of success. In one letter, for instance, he writes, ‘I recommend you to take care of the minutes, for the hours will take care of themselves.’

That is to say that if you can save your minutes, your hours will of themselves be saved. Taking care of the parts is just as good as taking care of the whole. This is because the whole is made up of parts. Mostly people tend to neglect the part in favor of the whole. This mentality ultimately results in failure at some later stage.

Never waste a moment of your available time. By availing of your moments you can be the possessor of your months and years. Wasting minutes will cause you to lose months if not years.

If you are wasting, daily, just five minutes of your hour, this will amount to wasting two hours in twenty four hours. This will eventually come to 60 hours in a month, and 720 hours in a year. This is how the majority of people have been wasting most of their available time. A man whose life span is eighty hardly makes full use of 40 years of his time.

Time is your greatest asset. Be meticulous about saving it. All great success ultimately boils down to an accumulation of small success. Once you are ready to achieve a small success, a big success will of itself come your way. Here is a practical example of how this apparently trivial piece of advice can have great results.

Molvi Lutfullah, born in 1802 in Dharagar (an ancient city of Malwah) was an ordinary tutor. He had not received any of his education in an English school even for a single day, yet his autobiography was published in 1857 by Smith Aldara and Co., London. It was titled: ‘Autobiography of Lutfullah: A Mohammedan Gentleman.’ This book included a foreword by Mr. East Weck who in commending the excellence of the English written by Molvi Lutfullah, expressed his amazement at how an Indian could write such an exhaustive book in a foreign language.

How did Molvi Lutfullah come to be capable of writing a book which was not only published in London, but which was held praiseworthy for its language by the English publisher? The secret is expressed in this saying: “Little by little becomes great.”

Molvi Lutfullah learned English by his own efforts. He used to teach Hindustani, Persian and Marathi languages to the English employees of the East India Company. The number of his students is put at 100. It was this contact with the English that made him feel interested in learning the English language. He began studying English privately. By working hard continuously for eight years, he managed to have full command over it. He has written in his book that during those eight years, not even a single night passed without having committed to memory 10 words of the English language, or without having thoroughly learnt a few pages from Dr. Gilchrist’s Grammar. A ‘ten words’ appear to be of no significance, but when multiplied over eight years this step can turn a man into a foreign language writer capable of claiming appreciation even from native speakers who are masters of the language.

Source: Simple Wisdom

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