New Year's Revolution: Trust in Allah, but Tether Your Camel

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Camels

Over the years, I’ve met a lot of people who subscribe to the power of wishful thinking. They all agree that if you set your mind on a goal, visualize it, and doggedly believe in it, it will come true. 

Trouble is, wishing rarely makes it so.   

Trust in Allah that your camel won’t run away when you dismount but, my dear friends, tether that creature to be sure. 

Let me tell you a story that illustrates my point. Four years ago, I was sitting at my desk working on a book of mine. It was Saturday afternoon. A bright and sunny perfect fall day in Colorado. The phone rang. It was my brother-in-law.  

He and his parents were attending an auction in Missouri to pick up some building materials. As it turned out, the farm where the auction was being held was also up for sale. 

My brother-in-law described the farm — the two huge barns, the house that was in mint shape, the 2,400-square-foot building that would make a perfect classroom, the 360-degree view, etc. — and then asked if I would be interested in bidding on it. He promised me it was one of the most spectacular places he’d ever seen. 

Sure, I said, but I needed some time to go online to figure out how much money I had in savings and hence how much I would need to borrow to purchase the place. 

“Well,” he said, “You better make it fast. The farm goes on auction in 15 minutes.” 

I hung up, checked my savings account, and ran some calculations on what I could afford to borrow, and before I knew it, I was bidding for the property, long distance by cell phone. It was all very exciting. 

Much to my dismay, the price skyrocketed very quickly, climbing to $250,000 within a few minutes. Someone else had placed that bid. I had set my upper limit at $240,000, so was out of the bidding.  

I took a deep breath, though, and decided to raise the bid to $255,000.  

Much to my surprise, there was no counter offer.  

I was top bidder. 

The auctioneer paused for a few minutes to confer with the owner. 

Ten minutes later, they re-opened the bidding. Much to my surprise, there were no new bids.  

I had won! 

To outsiders, this story seemed like an amazing bit of luck. I purchased a 50-acre farm, way out in the country, on a lovely hilltop with a 360-degree view of forests and open meadows, an 8,500-square-foot barn with a workshop and concrete floors, a 2,400-square-foot cow barn, a very large chicken coop, a half-acre pond filled with fish, a stream that ran along the edge of the property, a 1,700-square-foot home in mint condition — all for a piddling $255,000.  

The property had been appraised at twice that amount. 

Lucky, eh? 

Truth is luck rarely comes without hard work. I’ve found over and over that the harder I work, the luckier I seem to get.  

In this case, I had been searching for land to build a home and an educational center in Colorado and Missouri, and I had enlisted the help of Linda’s family. Her brother had visited several properties for us because we were living in Colorado, so he had a good idea of what we were looking for.  

In short, I had taken steps to make sure my wishes would come true. Trust in the power of positive, wishful thinking, believe in “build it and they will come,” but tether your camel — get out there and make it happen. 

That’s one way to ensure that your wishes come true. 

Put another way, wishes come true for those who make them happen.

Few successful people ever had a dream just fall into their laps.

If you are harboring wishes about being a writer, publishing short stories or poems or children’s books, building a new home, living in the country, starting your own business, finding the perfect mate, growing the perfect garden, raising chickens, or spending more time traveling the world, take time to make it happen and trust the power of wishful thinking, but back it up with action.  

Invest your energy not in wishing, but in efforts that make wishes happen, and soon enough you will find that you are building the future you long for. 


Contributing editor Dan Chiras is a renewable energy and green homes expert who has spent a lifetime learning life’s lessons, which he shares in his popular blog, Dan Chiras on Loving Life. He’s the founder and director of The Evergreen Institute and president of Sustainable Systems Design. Contact him by visiting his website or finding him on .