motion and direction

Motion and direction

"No activity is truly of value unless it is characterised by its direction and not just its motion." - Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

A western thinker once commented, “You have removed most of the roadblocks to success when you have learnt the difference between motion and direction.”

One intrinsic quality of activity is movement. When you are walking, driving, riding a bicycle, galloping along on horseback or roaring along on a motorcycle, you are moving. But in what direction? Are you moving towards your destination, or away from it? The actual motion in both cases seems to be no different in quality. The great difference between the two is that the former brings you ever nearer to your destination, while the latter takes you further and further away from it—leaving you where? Nowhere. At least nowhere that would be worth your while going to. It is a direction that is all-important. Even if we only get on to a slow-moving bullock cart or a cycle rickshaw, we shall do better than a jet plane whose pilot has no sense of direction.

Whether in the context of our private lives or social existence, it is imperative that we take stock of our means and resources and then set off in the right direction, if, sooner or later, we are to reach our destination.

Often people launch themselves on careers, plunging headlong into them without giving due thought to their actual capacities and to whether they have any real potential which can be developed? At times, they are led astray by trivial considerations, ill-founded opinions, and overwhelming emotions, and rush heedlessly into whatever first comes their way. When the result is not what they had anticipated, they fall to complaining against others, lamenting their losses and failures and claiming that it was due to the prejudices of others that they had had to suffer frustrations and that their careers had come to naught. Had they given more profound thought to the matter, they would have realised that the fault lay in their own ill-judged planning or even total aimlessness. Had they started out in the right direction, others would not then have had the opportunity to place obstacles in their path and turn their successes into failures. Aimlessness is a great weakness and should be eschewed at all costs. In actual fact, no activity is truly of value unless it is characterised by its direction and not just its motion.




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