Man also displays intense ambition for possessions and position, then he sees that the transient property which has been put temporarily under his supervision, and calamitous fame and position, which are dangerous and lead to hypocrisy, are not worth such intense ambition.
He turns away from them towards spiritual rank and degrees in closeness to ALLAH, which constitute true rank, and towards provisions for the hereafter, and good works, which are true property. Metaphorical ambition, which is a bad quality, is transformed into true ambition, an elevated quality.
And, for example, with intense obstinacy, man expends his emotions on trivial, fleeting, transient things. Then he sees that he pursues for a year something not worth even a minute’s obstinacy. Also, in the name of obstinacy, he persists in something damaging and harmful. Then he sees that this powerful emotion was not given him for such things and that it is contrary to wisdom and truth to expend it on them.
So he utilizes his intense obstinacy, not on those unnecessary transient matters, but on the elevated and eternal truths of belief and foundations of Islam and service and duties pertaining to the hereafter.
Metaphorical obstinacy, a base quality, is transformed into true obstinacy; that is, ardent steadfastness and constancy in what is right, a fine and good quality.
The Letters, Bediüzzaman Said Nursi