Published: 18 Feb 2022

Growing Under Pressure


Part 3 of 4 articles


One time Spain was ruled by King Roderick, who ruled despotically. He divided the population into several castes. He imposed high taxes for the lowest caste, such as farmers, traders, the poor, and laborers, whose lives actually suffered greatly. Who dares to oppose, lives lost.

News of the cruelty of King Roderick reached the ears of Musa bin Nusair, the leader of the Muslim army from North Africa. Moses was furious. To stop the oppression, he sent one of his warlords, Tariq bin Ziyad. So, Tariq went along with thousands of his troops. They sailed to Spain.

Thariq bin Ziyad

Arriving at the coast of the Spanish territory, Tariq gathered his troops. Standing on the rock of Gibraltar, he made a speech. The contents are astonishing. Tariq asked his troops to burn the entire ship, destroying everything in it. The soldiers gasped. Startled. They wonder, "If all the ships are burned, how do we get back to North Africa?"

Tariq loudly replied, “We did not come here to return. We only have two choices: conquer King Roderick, conquer this land and stay here, or we all perish!” Tariq put himself and his troops in a position of no other choice. You can't go back, so there's only one option: forward!

So, Thariq’s army fight to defeat King Roderick's army. They met in an event called the Battle of Guadalete. During the battle, the Muslim armies repeatedly shouted that they had come not to colonize, but to stop King Roderick's tyranny.

The shout was heard. Some of King Roderick's soldiers, admitting that the king was a despot, finally withdrew from the war. So, King Roderick's army became chaotic until finally one day Tariq managed to approach King Roderick and kill him. The fighting stopped.

That is the story of Tariq bin Ziyad who is so famous and motivating. This story is also brought up in the book Growing Under Pressure from Iman Permana and Jazak Yus Afriansyah, but uses a different character name. The inspiration remains the same, how to create pressure and turn it into a point of no return and at the same time create a positive mindset.


According to Iman and Jazak, in order to manage pressure, we must at least have four beliefs. First, the belief that in this world nothing is completely coincidental or no coincident. Likewise with pressure, surely the emergence is also not coincidental, but there is something that regulates it. Who? The Creator or the Supreme Planner. This kind of belief is very important. If we deny or refuse, it can actually trigger the birth of new pressures that may even get out of control.

If you already have that kind of belief, the problem becomes easier, that is, we just have to live with the will of the Almighty. However, of course we have to live it in a managed manner. Not just let the tub of water flow.

Second, the belief that in every pressure there is a learning process (learning behind every pressure). With the belief that behind every pressure there is no coincidence, we can explore what lessons can be learned from the presence of this pressure. What can we learn from the learning process? Because, when God gives pressure, there must be a will that He wants to convey. So, our task is to find out what God's plan is. And, we must also believe that God's plan is the most beautiful for every human being.

Third, the belief that no matter how hard the pressure, the best option is to face it and solve it. That's the only choice. So, it's very important for us to have faith that we don't shy away or run away from pressure. Face it, and get it done. Because, if not, we never know whether the problem will reappear in the future. And, we also never know whether in the future the problem will become lighter or even worse. So, face it and get over it.

Fourth, the belief that happiness is unconditional. There are still many people who set some conditions to be happy. For example, they can only be happy if they have a deposit of IDR100 billion, a spacious house and an elite area, every year they can change to a new car, at the end of the year they always go on vacation abroad, and several other requirements. Those who set conditions like this may not be happy for the rest of their lives. Why? Because it is not easy to fulfill some or all of these requirements. As a result, they will feel depressed for the rest of their life.

So, we need to instill the belief that true happiness does not require any conditions. Happiness is a matter of choice, not a matter of requirements. So, do you want to choose to be happy or continue So, do you want to choose to be happy or continue to live under pressure? (JB Susetiyo, PR team. Illustration and photos: biografiku.com, amazon.com, bbs.binus.ac.id)