Ebony S. Muhammad: Congratulations on the debut of your digital books! I’m sure you already know the timing is perfect.
Was the move to go digital easy for you considering you’ve published mainly hardbacks? Or was it a simple transition?
Dr. Ava Muhammad: Thank you so much. The move to digital publishing was very easy for me, it was the idea of Sister Donna Muhammad to do so. In this day and age, when many people use their personal devices to watch movies, television, read magazines and newspapers and, above all, books, it was perfectly logical to be quick, fast thinking, right down to modern times.
The transition was very simple. I do realize, however, that we still have a significant customer base who are old school like myself and love to pick up a book or newspaper in their hands and so we will always see to it that there is a counterpart for my books, or at least for most of them, in print.
Ebony S. Muhammad: Your recent e-book “Overcoming Burnout”, has got to be one of the most solution oriented, straightforward and practical approaches to the subject that I’ve seen thus far. Along with that it is also one of the shorter publications you’ve released.
Why was it critical to have that tone versus a lengthy, robust and expansive approach?
Dr. Ava Muhammad: Again, we have to bear in mind that we live in a digital era. The same technology that has made many of our daily tasks much simpler and easier has also put a great deal of mental pressure on us because we are expected to respond in a shorter time to a multitude of demands.
When I was a child coming up in Columbus, OH, I was in a beautiful little family of five — my mother, father, and two sisters — we had one landline. There were no tools for leaving messages at that time in the 1950s and 60s and yet it never was a problem because life was moving at a much slower pace.
Now, people have an incredible level of pressure that they must contend with and that is even more true for black people in white America and so it is important to be able to express, in succinct language and a short time, some of the divine principles that we can benefit from, in our daily lives, to alleviate some of that stress.
Ebony S. Muhammad: I know so many people who could benefit from this book, however, a few of them are the ones you identified in your writing as pessimistic and cynical. No matter how many solutions you present them with they always find a reason it won’t work.
What advice or precautions would you offer those who are like that and may not think they will benefit from your book on overcoming burnout?
Dr. Ava Muhammad: We are taught by the Honorable minister Louis Farrakhan the divine principle that desire feeds the will. the question is what do we want out of life? Are we satisfied with our lives in our current condition?
There is a mathematical principle that applies: Dissatisfaction brings about change and the degree of change is in direct proportion to the degree of dissatisfaction. Therefore, if we are 50% dissatisfied with our situation, it will yield a 50% change.
However. if someone has resigned themselves to the status quo then there is nothing anyone can do to help them because they lacked the open mindedness that is necessary to be able to benefit from something different.
Ebony S. Muhammad: Although your book is direct in the application of solutions, you have grounded your approach in the spiritual and the fulfillment of prophesy as another perspective to hold when considering the topic of burnout, anxiety and also depression.
Many tend not to put those two, prophesy and present day burnout/anxiety, together.
How much of our awareness and study of scripture plays a role in rising above burnout and overcoming anxiety?
Dr. Ava Muhammad: We are taught by Minister Farrakhan, that to get into the Thinking of God, Who is Possessor of Power over all things, we must rise above our present level of thought, which emanates from beneath.
We are so immersed in the lower region of ourselves that we do not even see Allah (God) as the Source to solve our problems. If we accept Him as the True Center of Everything, then we will seek His Guidance rather than someone with a talk show. He says, in Isaiah 55:8-9 “My thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways My Ways.”
His Ways are far above ours. He has an aerial view, while we are creatures on the ground. We cannot see our way out of adverse circumstances, but He can lead us out.
Ebony S. Muhammad: There are so many factors that play a part in burnout and you outline a lot of them in your book. I can imagine someone wondering where to begin in getting a grip.
What portion of your book would you consider the “first step” is to center and stabilize oneself during a bout with burnout?
Dr. Ava Muhammad: These books are very short and sequential in their approach. I would prefer the reader begin at the beginning. I would offer this: Burnout is unique, in that it is a form of exhaustion unique to those who work extensively with other human beings.
The ability to stay focused on our own life’s purpose is critical to pacing ourselves.
We cannot be successful without the help and support of other people. That Is a fact. The sooner we recognize our need for one another, the better off we will be!
Learn more about Dr. Ava Muhammad, the Student National Spokesperson for The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and Student Minister in the Nation Of Islam at ministerava.com. Her catalog of publishings and online master classes are also available at the above url.