When we think of worship in Islam, our minds go to things such as prayer and fasting, and when we want to perfect our worship, for example, we might go about learning how to perfect these things. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has taught us that we should perfect every single action we do. It has been narrated, on the authority of Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Allah loves that if one does a job he perfects it.” The word ‘aml, translated in this hadith as job, can literally be any action that we preform. In fact, the only actions that this hadith does not refer to are the actions that are prohibited in Islam. Thereby, I can turn any ordinary work into an act of worship that Allah loves as long as I put all my effort into perfecting it. This is the mentality we need when approaching our lives.
One may ask, shouldn’t we just perfect the actions that are important in our lives? First off, we must understand that what we define as important doesn’t necessarily make an action important or unimportant. Although you may consider an action unimportant, Allah has guaranteed that he will love that action if you perfect it. Practically speaking, even if it does not immediately translate into something tangible (it almost always does), you will at least be training yourself into a mindset of perfection. Then, we can apply this mindset to our entire lives and excel because excellence necessitates perfection.
Islam is a practical religion. We are given the tools to succeed in the hereafter, and we are taught how to use those tools in doing good. At the same time, however, we are given the tools to succeed in this life, and we are encouraged to use these tools to become successful in this life. In a verse from Surat Al-Baqarah we are taught to say "Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” Perfecting our actions is one important tool, among many, that we can use to achieve success in this world and in the Hereafter.