I always wonder how many of us women have to sacrifice to be happy. Do we sacrifice because we have to or do we sacrifice willingly? How many times do we embrace our-self before we start loving our partners? I have never come across a moment in time where I have sat down and thought about myself. My mornings will always start of with my boyfriend on my mind and that is the last thing on my mind when I fall asleep. You may be reading this and thinking aw that is so cute however it became so unhealthy that it ruined my life and took me to a dark place. See the thing is, that when I was in previous relationships it was never serious and I will tell you why. I have never even told my family about my childhood traumatic memories. The type of background family I come from is where rape or child molestation looks like it was the victims fault, having that in mind if other communities found out that this has happened to my child who would want to marry them? Harsh right! I know and that is something that I will have to carry on my shoulders until the day I die. My family not being able to support me because in simpler terms they would be embarrassed of what society has to say blinds there better judgement. But this is not why we are here.
That being said I’ll take you guys back to where it then went all down hill. You see when I first got into a relationship all I ever wanted was to feel was the feeling of being loved, understood and safe! How this tuned into a horrible mess. This went onto me then dating older guys. I was only 14 turned into 15. Can you guys see how this is going, don’t say it how can you be that silly didn’t you learn from your past experience etc etc. Well I thought having a male figure in my life that cares for me and loves and supports me is everything I would need to forget everything that ever happened to me. That was never the case. This just let me more vulnerable. I opened up to a guy that was 4 years older than me, being 4 years older than me lets just say he knew what he wanted in life and oh how he knew how to get his ways with me without me thinking too much about it.
Fast forward to the present now. I am 21 years old and lets say life has a funny way of making history repeat itself. I would say that but I would say my past life experience is holding me back to so much more than I could offer my partner or out future. You see I am trying to learn how to live my life the way I want.
I don’t know if you guys are reading this or if this even makes sense because as writing this, I’m shaking, crying and well just emotional over all. Sorry if I didn’t make a whole load of sense I just wanted to express myself and just wanted someone to hear me out.
A life worth living in difficult times
I’m inspired to share with you what an older friend said to me a few years ago. I have been greatly influenced by it. Not exactly in his own words though, he said there isn’t an absolute finish line for everyone in life.
Our tracks are different, our lanes are different and our durations- different. The only thing we have in common is the same judge. For example one person graduates at age 20 and struggles for the next five years to get a job. Another graduates at age 25 and gets a job immediately. One marries a virgin and spends the next decade waiting for the blessings of children. Another, probably after having series of abortions in the past, becomes a mum almost immediately after marriage. One becomes an MD at 30, another becomes MD at 52.
Life is full of twists and turns, ups and downs plus many surprises and offers each one of us different opportunities. It is up to each of us to patiently prepare and wait for that opportunity. We learn on the way- no one knows it all or has it better. The devil always tries to tell us that lie over and over but that’s just it- a lie. There is a reason why we all don’t fall at the same time. Its so that when one is down, weak and discouraged, the other, who is strong, can encourage and uplift him. God never promised that the road would be easy but promised never to leave or forsake us. There’s no competition in life so let’s learn to go easy on ourselves and trust that God is working it all for good (even if it doesn’t make sense at the time).
The bible assures us that there is a time for everything but most importantly that “it came to pass”. Whatever trials, challenge or downtime, this too shall pass and in due course, you’ll be up and strong again to lift up those who maybe down around you” . It is well with us all, Amen!
Lots of things in life are by choice and not by force.
Let’s try to have an amazing life and help others do the same.
Never underestimate just how much of a difference you can make in someones life and how much they can make in yours.
THIS WAS POSTED IN MEMORY OF A DEAR FRIEND. I HOPE IT BRINGS COMFORT TO ANYONE GOING THROUGH ANYTHING THAT SEEMS LIKE THERE IS NO LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL.GOD HAS NEVER LEFT YOUR SIDE EVEN WHEN YOU CANT SEE IT. HE IS RIGHT THERE.
YOU MADE MY FIRST YEAR IN UNIVERSITY THAT LITTLE BIT LESS SCARY MISS MO. REST IN THE ARMS OF THE LORD. I STILL CANT BELIEVE YOU ARE GONE.
“You are pregnant,” The words I heard and couldn’t believe at 18.
I couldn’t believe it, I was 18 and going to have my second baby. What would everyone say? How would i cope?
my head was full of emotions, Going home looking at my Calvin, my first baby, I got my head round the idea that
in 8 month’s I’ll be having another..
My first scan was great at 11 weeks 4days gone, no sickness no nothing I felt brillant. As time past and my bump grew all our family knew that there was going to be a new addition to the family, I couldn’t have been happier. Thinking back I wondered why I was so worried at the start.
At week 16 my Back had got really sore, migraines, was being sick and tired constantly, the doctors had put it down to being pregnant and with my first child just being run down a bit, giving me iron tablets, I went home. Something to me still didn’t seem right.
Having my next scan to look forward to i put it to the back of my head. Two days later I was at my midwife. asking how I was, I explained how I was feeling, asking if she could take a few swab tests and urine sample I thought it was just procedure. Then she hit me with the most shocking thought that could have ran through my head. Group B Streptococcus or “Strep B” is a more common name for it.
I had never heard of it so she told me not to worry and read through a few pages of information, Going home ringing my mum and granny explaining to them. They had never heard of it either, so I just carried on, taking things easier.
Then it was finally time for my “big” scan. I was so excited, my mum and partner came with me, as we sat round looking at my baby bouncing about sucking its thumb. Then, “Would you like to no what your having?” looking at my mum and partner sitting at the end of their seats I knew that we all couldnt wait, “A very healthy Baby Girl,” I was so happy My first baby was a boy, we’ll have a “gentleman’s family.”
The minute I got home all other thoughts went out of my head, all I could think of was names. At the end of that week I had 2 names picked. My phone rang, “Hello, its Charleen would you be able to come into the surgery, your results have came back, getting Calvin babysat I went up, my partner was at work, so I just went myself, nothing to worry about, the sonographer said a healthy Baby Girl after all.
As I walked into the midwife’s room she brought me down to a room at the end of the hall, walking in my heart sank, ” Hello, I’m a Doctor from Royal Hospital, please take a seat.” “your results have came back, You have Strep B and, we want you to go for a scan”. I explained that I had my scan at the hospital at the start of the week, everything was okay. “For the results that we need you need more of an advanced scan, we can do it now, or you can travel over, and get someone to go with you.”
Knowing that nothing was wrong I got it done there.”Im afraid you have advanced Strep B, in this case 1 in 32,000 people get this, it has been passed on to your unborn baby.”Asking what that meant, and what I had to do I stared to panic. They gave me strong antibiotics to take to try flush it out of my system and had to go back three days later.”please don’t panic about this, your baby needs you to stay relaxed.”
That night I sat and cried, then I decided on a name, “Chloe” meaning, A strong little flower. Going back to the doctors, they explained the antibiotics didn’t work, my other options where limited, “Carry on with your pregnancy and get antibiotic injections every week, but there will be a strong possibility that your baby will be seriously disabled and a lifetime of health problems, also it will be very dangerous for you to have a natural labour, What we suggest is you having a late abortion and although this will be very hard, we think it will be the safest choice for you.”
At that moment my world fell apart I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, then “kick” my baby was trying to tell me something at that time, “I’m carrying on with this pregnancy, Whatever way my baby is i’ll love and care for her as much as I can.
And that was that, I carried on with the injections, praying that my baby will prove them all wrong I took things as easy as I could.
1st June came round and going out to my mums house to leave anniversary cards to my aunty and uncle for the next day I still had over a month to go.
The sun was shinning, at my aunts I was walking about, couldn’t sit still. Later that evening mum asking was I okay, I told her I had cramps. drinking hot water, and lying down, they wouldn’t budge. Going home later, I got in and packed my hospital back, just in case I remember thinking. 6 o’clock in the morning, I woke my partner and told him to ring his mum and get her to mind Calvin, we had to go to the hospital, the baby was on her way.
In the car the contractions where getting stronger. I could hardly walk to get in. straight down to delivery, the baby’s crowned.
Looking at the clock it was 6:16 am on the 2nd of June, getting into delivery I thought back to my first labour. 38hours 43minutes, not this time though 6:30 am I was holding my Healthy Baby Girl. 6lb 13.5oz at a month early she was as healthy as any other baby.
I remember looking at her, “We did it baby, we proved them wrong, she was brought for tests and everything came back fine.
Chloe is now 15months, has been walking for a month and doing what all other baby’s her age should be.
She will always be “Mummy’s little strong flower,”
Motivation comes in short bursts. Always act while you still are, for motivations are only useful till they have been achieved.
I remember my very first job interview in the uk. It was a hot day (unusual for Scotland). I was as nervous as you can imagine. In the middle of the interview, I was asked a question that made me ponder for a while. Little did I know it would be the same question I would be asked in every single interview throughout my life. The question was what keeps you motivated now and what would be your motivation in five year’s? The question is quite simple to answer but I think it is one of the most pointless questions you can ask a person.
My reasons are simply that whatever keeps me motivated to work now and write would most likely not be my reasons for continuing in a few years and I have absolutely no idea what my motivations would be in five years. Or can we see the future? Nevertheless, I understood her point and what she really wanted to know.
When I was 15 years old all I lived for was to find a way to buy a car. I worked to buy a car, woke up with nothing but that thought in my head, even left my home country to go abroad and work a bit so I can afford my dream BMW. It seemed like I could do almost anything for that car. Three cars later as you can imagine I did not care about that anymore. Then there was University and I thought it was all about making good grades and towards the end of my first degree. I felt it was all about self-improvement so I can get a good job. During these period/ stages in my life nothing else was more important. Today it is all about achievements for me. Constantly working to make the lives of people that I care about better and believing I will get to a point where I can help much more than that. Improving my life and learning as much as I can. Teaching with whatever little wisdom I have, how to get on and do great things in life and hopefully transfer my knowledge to someone else who might need it.
Whatever it is you feel motivated to do, go ahead and do it. Do not waste time contemplating on how you would do it, grab the moment.
That little period of motivation could be the defining point of your life and what a tragedy if that day comes and we do nothing about it. If you are artistic use your arts. If you are creative, create something. Be bold and act.
During my masters years I worked as a carer for the elderly. I remember a conversation I had with a man named Steve. Steve was 78yrs old and he had been diagnosed with dementia. He had brief moments of lucidity and when they came he spoke about his life. Steve was a former farmer who later went on to serve in the army. He had spent his whole life on the farm and his parents had died when he was young and shortly after that he enlisted into the army. According to him, he had wanted nothing more than to be a song writer. Steve confided in me and told me that he often had some very beautiful song in his head but often found out that every time they came even when it was just a few lines. He was either knee deep in Animal leavings or in active battle. He felt that he never had a pen to write things out and never managed to complete a single song. This little tragedy had haunted him all his life that his last desire before he dies was to complete just one song. I cared for Steve for almost a year and watched his health deteriorate and watched him never complete a song. The world would never get to know if Steve was right. Maybe Steve was really the greatest song writer that could have been?
I promised myself that it would never be me. I would work when motivated, write when motivated and act when motivated. Life would never pass me by with such regret. What a catastrophe if we miss out on the one thing we are most suited for.
I think the point of this is really clear and simple so I won’t ramble on about it. It is a bit of a cliché to say never give up on your dream but I believe that we should never stop for as long as we are still motivated. Aim with everything you are and work with everything you have, remember that whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.
So don’t just be motivated, Work it till you have nothing left to offer.
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom”. Ecclesiastes 9:10 (The Bible NIV)
AMBITION VS ACTUALISATION
Competence gives confidence.
Ever wonder why all our lives we sometimes dream of what we want to be. We spend several years trying to form our ideas of what and why that role or position is all we want to be. music, business, money, art, God. We dedicate everything we have and will ever have to it, and it always seems like a struggle. Some of us make our dreams come true, while others struggle all their life and it never happens. This chapter is for those that have not made it. Trying everything to get to what we want.
If I asked you what you want to be? I am quite certain that the answer would rarely be I don’t know. So why haven’t you made it. Please note I did not ask you why you haven’t tried. I know you have tried; the fact that you are reading this chapter is another effort towards your goal.
Let’s try a simple exercise and see what point you fall off, obviously as you can imagine I need you to be honest with yourself, After all no-one is reading this but you.
When did you get your first feel the desire to aspire to your dream? How old were you? Have you reviewed your dream and your capabilities? Do they match? How did your first rejection feel? How did you re-act? What did you honestly learn from it? Was what you learnt of any use? Did you become better or worse after? Did you implement it or discard the lesson learnt? Did you try again? How old were you when you tried again? Did you fail again? Have you given yourself another review? How did you feel? Has your desire been completely drained from all the disappointments?
You are probably thinking at this point that if you did not do a single one of these things then there might be a chance that you did not recover from your first failure the way you ought to have. Recovering and pushing on through an ambition is the only way to self-actualise.
I remember on hot summer afternoon looking at myself through the window of a car glass on the street and asking myself. What happened to you? How did you get here? Where did it all go wrong? The knowledge that I could not understand it at all was so overwhelming and so soul crushing that I don’t think my words can accurately describe it. I am quite sure that at some point some of you reading this book have felt that pain before. It could be with regards to weight gain, to facial changes, to love, even to career decision. When I felt it, it was a combination of career frustration and lost love.
I spent so long looking for what happened assuming that if I just knew how I screwed up what looked like a bright future I might find consolation in my present situation. Well, to be perfectly honest I never satisfactorily figured it out. At every point my idea of what took place was re-buffed. This was the breaking point for me. It hit me like a raging storm the day I realised that I had spent so much time waddling in my own questions ( or the proverbial pool of mud) that I had forgotten to get do something about my situation. Over a year had passed and I was not any better. The real question was not in the why. It was in the how and what. How do I get up from here? How do I move on? What do I do from here? What do I need to move on?
How do I actualise my ambition? Just this simple change in perspective led me on to great ideas. One of which is what you are reading. I had a new lease on life. I opened up my first company and I started out my long term business plan (no more short sporadic goals).
When you get to a point in your life that you genuinely do not care how you messed up or what you did wrong. The day you learn to stop condemning yourself for what has happened and for all the possibly poor decisions you have made. It is at this point that the really juicy ideas come out. It’s like your brain is on fire and ideas are the smoke. Not all of them will be guaranteed to be successful but just keep in mind you need only one to be successful to get your head start.
Like I said earlier this book is not to pretend like if you follow a few get rich ideas, you will make it as a success. I just want to guide you unto your own path and the only way to do so is to help you see what had always been in front of you. If life has taught me anything, it is that just about anyone with the right mind set a good opportunity and a significant amount of hard work can make it big in life. Why should you be any different? Or do you really believe that when you make it out of your situation anyone will ask you about your failures.
I know this to be true because after I got out of my career situation not one person I knew and I had over 600 friends (I mean actual friends) asked me about what it was like when I had no job or What anxieties I had. The problem was always my blind sight and refusal to not just see what I was but what I could still become.
“Whatever you are, be a good one.” Abraham Lincoln
Relativity of Life
By now one must be asking oneself why it seems that every time you get closer to what you want it seems further away. Why every attempt at knowledge seems to raise new questions about what life is? Why it seems like we never seem to truly know something we think we know?
The answer is simple. It is the absolute relativity of almost everything we classify as knowledge. This I must point out at this point is only true when there is no moral, ethical spiritual or behavioural reference point as what you find in Christianity, Islam and a few other religions. Absolute relativism simply implies that absolutely nothing is Absolute. Knowledge is constructed not given. Knowledge is contextual not absolute.
Susan is 30 yrs young and married and is now contemplating a divorce. She lives in a small town in the north east of Scotland called Inverurie. On a bright summer day when Susan was 8 years old playing out with a couple of friends in her primary school playground she met a boy named Ben. It was love at first sight. Up until last month Susan was certain Ben was the only man she would ever love. She had known no other and Susan felt that any man that was not like Ben was no man at all. Ben was tall, handsome and charming. He was a great man and a passionate husband. Susan and Ben have been married for about 10 years now. But lately Ben is no longer like “Ben”. He isn’t as charming as he was, he barely listens anymore, he doesn’t take any time out to love her like he used to and he does not seem to appreciate her effort anymore.
Susan is confused. She decides to ask Ben. Ben doesn’t seem to know why. He isn’t even aware that he has changed. He thinks he is exactly the way he was. Susan thinks it’s a front/ cover up to some deeper emotional trouble.
Susan starts to think, what is going on? Why has he changed? Susan starts to think it might be that she gained a bit of weight? “But I have always been this way” Susan thinks. “Well maybe he is cheating on me” she answers herself. “Maybe he just doesn’t love me anymore; maybe I don’t need him anymore? Well if he doesn’t love me I won`t love him too”.
Susan`s world is scattered. Her organised life becomes chaotic and it doesn`t matter whether her pain is perceived or real her reaction is the same. It doesn’t matter whether he is just having an off period. It still isn’t the way it used to be. Susan attempts to reconstruct her world by attributing different explanations to something uncertain. After all how can it be certain when Ben himself might not know exactly why he changed or if he changed at all? Susan bases her decision to divorce him knowing that she might not know the real reason.
This example is obviously fictional but in some ways showcases some of our perception in real life. One must be able to point the most important aspects of this example.
Firstly, a perceived grievance is just as serious as an actual one. It doesn’t matter whether a man actually committed a crime or not, he will still be treated like he did as long as we feel he did. In simple words, would you leave a suspected paedophile alone with your kids even though a jury found him innocent? We are all guilty of this. Just accepting that it might be possible that we don’t know the absolute truth is the first and arguably the most important step. It shapes the next stage, the interpretation of the information.
When we truly understand that no knowledge is absolute but constructed we would understand that just because you were told leaves are mostly green doesn’t mean that they actually are (wasn’t it someone that decided on the name “green”, it really could have been called anything). One must learn/ train themselves to focus on only the facts. In other words whether a leaf is called green or not, it “photosynthesises” (this is a fact) It doesn’t matter whether my sister is here or not. I know she loves me; she doesn’t need to see me every day for me to know this.
How many times have you been wrong about people and situations? That footballer would never make it? My classmate would never amount to much? Education is the only way to success? Miracles don’t really happen? The earth is flat? Coloured people are inferior? My child is special? He/ She would always love me? Why have we not learnt that we don’t always know everything? Would this not help you argue less with people?
In life we never stop learning. We think we do, but we actually never stop every single piece of information re-shapes our understanding of the world and in turn reshapes our behaviour. Let me illustrate this by using an example.
Tom was a Christian, a God fearing man, he loved God with all his heart, and he always had. All of Tom`s life God was all he had ever known, Christianity was all Tom was and he lived by every word that came from the bible. When Tom was 27 yrs old Tom prayed to God for a partner that would love him and help him grow spiritually. Two weeks later Tom met Sandra at a church function. Sandra was beautiful, and just like Tom she had a heart for God. Tom and Sandra went on to get married and stayed married for 16 yrs, they had 3 beautiful daughters and a son. One winter afternoon Sandra had a ghastly car accident that left Sandra paralysed from the neck down and killed all of their kids.
Tom cursed God for he could not understand how his heavenly father would watch and allow this terrible thing to happen. 6 months later Tom committed suicide for he had always felt that his life was to serve God and now that he no longer believed there was a God there was no point living anymore. Tom was 45 yrs old.
I am sorry to use such a graphic illustration, it is simply to create shock and drive home my point. This event changed everything that Tom believed in. Tom who was 45 yrs suddenly decided that everything he felt he knew all his life to be absolute he no longer felt was the truth it reshaped his reaction and thus his behaviour. Tom`s situation is undoubtedly relative and obviously subject to interpretation (After all a worse situation happened to JOB in the bible but God used his problems to strengthen JOB`s faith, please read the book of Job 19:1-26 in the bible for an alternate way to re-act).
This example illustrates that at any time something can happen that would shake our world and if/ when this happens nothing that we learnt in the past would seem relevant. Remember at all times we are always simply a bad decision away from losing everything, love, life, loved ones, our house ,everything really. What we think we know today could mean nothing tomorrow.
I said from the beginning of this book. My sole purpose is not to make decisions for you (I have no right to), but to help you make better decisions, to understand situations better. Interpreting information right helps you make better decisions. It’s not rocket science it’s pretty obvious.
If you understand that what we think we know today may not be what we accept as the truth tomorrow and that this change in reality can/ would inevitably change our behaviour. Why do we not know that all it takes is a change in your partner’s environment to evoke a change in him or her. Life is always changing so he/ she would never always be the same person you met all those years ago. Why should Susan expect Ben to be the same guy? Why should you expect your husband not to change, dint you change yourself? After all your face or body isn’t the same or is it? Your urges, aspirations and motivations are different?
Why can’t we accept that people are not just one person all their lives, but different people at different stages of life. It is simply called maturing. The problem is that people often use this term as a label indicating the development of fully functioning adult parts. As humans we mature all our life. We never stop maturing. Every year your husband gets better. He learns more about your likes and dislikes, he learns how to please you both sexually and emotionally, how to make you smile when it counts and bring you down to earth when you need it. We never stop needing to learn. So who he was yesterday is not who he is today and might not be who he is tomorrow. The true disasters in character building happen when we refuse to learn or cannot learn any more. If you know this why is his/her change so unacceptable? If it causes a real problem (not a perceived or cautious problem) speak about it. If you are with someone that really wants to see you happy they would do something about it but be careful not to ask for him to change something that might also completely change him. Or you just might be where you started from.
I believe strongly that when selecting a person the most important thing to look for is how they respond to change? Not whether they are perfect. If your partner has a weird way of chewing food, you either accept it or move on? If his mother dies does he try to get on with life or sulk for 13 months?
Just like with the example look for the facts, things that cannot change regardless of change. These things are often known as character. If he/she isn’t violent when trouble strikes their first reaction would not be violence.
But what is most important do not at all cost construct your reality of what a person is just because you want them to be that way. Always retain an objective eye; after all it’s your life too.
If you ever see me shining it is just a projection of what I already was
Self-confidence is simply one of the most powerful tools a person can have at his disposal. I believe that it is so powerful that too little or too much of it can ultimately destroy. However, when you get it just right you see yourself for what you truly are.
Self confidence comes from an internal view of oneself. A wise person once said “Be careful what you think cause your thought can become an action, an action can become a habit, a habit a character and a character can be passed on from one parent to an offspring”.
Now, the thought of something as simple as this should have been enough to scare any individual out of evil or harmful thoughts or radically make one more conscious of what they chose to think of themselves or others. This however is not the case.
A few years ago on a holiday trip to England. I attended New Wine Church in London and amongst everything the pastor said. I have held one thing closest to my heart. He said “just as God has given us free will and an ability to do just as we please, so also will he not deny us the consequences of our choices”.
In other words “We are where we are because of what roads we choose”.
You see the thing is, I believed that just as long as a human being is not mentally incapacitated or emotionally blunt his/her attribution of self-inflicted hardship has no excuses. What I am trying to say in simpler words is that “If a man has 2 eyes, 2 legs, 2 hands and 2 ears then whatever situation you find yourself financially is your fault and yours alone. I soon found out this was not an absolute truth. Getting out of a situation when you have put your all into it has as much to do with hard-work as it has to do with timing. I had spent countless frustrated hours feeling emotionally drained and physically exhausted because I believed that I failed because I kept making only “bad” choices and so focused so much on the perceived failure that I missed the opportunities that was present in every situation.
One thing my father said that I would always remember is that “If you were born poor it is not your fault but if you remain poor it’s your fault”. For decades I watched as individuals blamed their surroundings for the circumstances in which they find themselves, they have blamed God, their wives, their husbands, their government, their family and even their children but have always managed to be too blind to see their own inadequacies.
If I must be honest I have committed the same blunder several times and the result has inevitably always been the same (disappointment, dejection, frustration and endless anger) for me. I agree with most of that statement but I do not accept that it is your fault totally. I had taken a statement that must be understood in context and made it general and so missed the true meaning.
I have learnt that failing to see your own inadequacies is one of the biggest handicaps a person can have and to not see that ensures the real cause of a problem is never addressed. You see the thing is true self confidence can only come from understanding your strengths and weakness. This is where the “your fault” part comes in. It does not mean that you are responsible for your failure it simply meant you are responsible for whatever it is that is stopping you from succeeding. The responsibility I am talking about is not “finger pointing responsibility” in other words I am not trying to say it is your fault so something must be wrong with you. On the contrary I am only helping to throw light on the fact that something can be done about the road block. It is about taking control not taking blame. You see no matter where you find yourself today you must make a decision to believe adequately in yourself to start to pursue what you want and cater for any inadequacies you might have. Let me put it another way.
Everything on earth as we know is as a result of something no matter your perspective, whether spiritual, religious, governmental, evolutionary, big bang or magical. Something caused it to be there. I would not be so bold as to say that everything has an explanation as some phenomenon`s we don’t know why they are, we just know they are (at least until someone attributes meaning to causation for it). But often for every situation or thing there is an explainable cause.
Let’s now try to apply the same basic underlining principle to ourselves. When we start to take more responsibility or time to think about whatever career decision, love choice or spiritual journey we want to take we can then ask ourselves. What is the “probable” end result? Asking that vital question enables you to decide to either quit a particular route, re-start or realign.
In the event we decide we do not want to quit as we feel the probable end result is something we desire it then raises a few other questions. Is the re-start or re-alignment going to be smooth all the way? Do we have the ability to follow through till the end? What really happens in the journey between and what do we do while on the way? I will not be able to answer all the questions in great detail in this chapter but as you go through the book I hope to be able to assist in keeping things in perspective.
You see between actualisation there is always to points; a start point (the idea) and finish point (the success of the idea) but in between there is also always the journey through. What do we do during this time?
The first reality is not to expect the journey to where you want to be smooth and easy all the time. I have to admit some people do find it easy but if you were one of those people then you wouldn’t be reading this book as you will have no need for it. This is for people who find it hard just as I did. This is for people searching for self confidence and confidence in their ideas.
You see ideas are easy to come up with it; it is executing them that is difficult. There is a wise but tragic saying that “the graveyard is the richest place on the earth as it is full of ideas”. Ideas are a dime a dozen. However, having a follow through mentality is not. This is what will ultimately make you successful as the reality is that not everyone can do it.
Before you run with any idea you must truly believe in it.
Think of it this way. When a sales man wants to make a pitch to an investor he must believe or at least portray great belief in what he is trying to sell to the investors. He must try and make sure they believe in the idea deeply enough to financially back it but what is just as vital is that they must also believe that he is capable of delivering on their investment. You see self confidence is very important but there are a few other confidence factors here (i.e confidence from the investors on the product/service and confidence in the tool for delivering the product/service).
For the sake of simplicity there are two kinds of ideas.
a) An internal idea: an example is a decision to be a chef, an athlete or a singer/ musician or anything that relies on God given talent.
b) An external idea: A decision to start an online company, be a marketer or basically anything that does not rely on your God given talent.
When dealing with an idea you must be realistic and listen to “positive” criticism.
Being realistic cannot be over emphasized. Understanding the difference between a hobby and a career is very important. The fact you enjoy doing something doesn’t make it a viable career. It is only a career if it can fetch you the means to a decent living.
Basically, if you have a voice like a crocking frog it is simply unrealistic to try to be a classical musician. You might succeed in a different genre of music (i.e maybe hard rock or rap) but not classical. You might even be amazing as a producer for classical music or writer just not as a singer. So being realistic not only helps you to stop wasting time and energy on something you might not be suited for but also helps you re-align to do something your particular talent or skill is more suited for. You see in the example above your talent could be for music but you are just in the wrong genre until you decide to be realistic about your abilities. This level of understanding can only be reached through an open mind.
An example of this can be seen in a number of athletes for example the Da Silva twins and Rio Ferdinand of Manchester united football club. They all really started their careers in a different position from where they ended up achieving success. While they had football talent, it was being utilised originally in the wrong position. Their success came about not from quitting but from re-alignment because they chose to listen to positive criticism.
Even in that example the realignment took part during the journey. The required levels of confidence were present also (i.e the players believed in their football talent that they were able to accept changes to their positional placement and the coaches believed in them enough to make a change that was best for the team and also their careers)
Ultimately your ability to succeed depends on people believing in you or liking what you have to offer this could be at the present or in the future but either way there must be external value in what you have to offer. It is important to take this into consideration when working. It is almost just as important as believing in yourself. Success almost always come from serving others or providing something others either want to see, hear or be a part of. This means that you must consider this when doing anything.
I promised to be as honest as possible in this book so I feel I must at this point interject once more. There is never any guarantee that the present generation will love your work but you must see the vision even if your invention or particular talent is not for the present. An example of this can be seen in the phenomenal success enjoyed by Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Vincent van Gogh, Henry David Thoreau, Galileo Galilei and a few others after their death. Their greatest discovery was not recognised until they were long dead and in some cases they lived their lives in poverty and penury. I will touch a bit more on this later in this chapter. There is sometimes an exception to success only being determined by people liking what you have to offer but as a general guide it is safer to use the alternative (i.e people liking your work or having value to them). I am not saying it is impossible but not many people fall into this category.
It is also important to keep in mind that just because you are passionate about something does not mean any one else will share your passion. If you decide to be a musician the question is do people really want to hear this? If you want to be a writer the question is do people want to read this? If you decide to start a bank the question is will anyone want to save money here? I am sure by this point you get it.
I mentioned a few paragraphs ago that the journey is not always easy and smooth. Well believe it or not this is a good thing and can work in your favour. You see the thing about failure is that it teaches you what not to do. If I may borrow a statement from a friend “When Thomas Edison tested over 3000 filaments before he came up with his version of a light bulb he did not just fail over 3000 times he learnt over 3000 ways how not to make a light bulb”. He never stopped trying he just realigned his attempts. Also worth keeping to heart through your journey to success is that no one remembers the failures (i.e attempts) only the success.
Usain Bolt is today known as the fastest man in the world and probably an athlete with extreme self confidence in his abilities, running the 100 meters race and winning in 9.69 seconds and 200 meters race in 19.30 seconds. Some believed that had he not slowed down at the end of the 100 meters race to show boat he could have achieved this in 9.55 seconds (i.e Hans Eriksen and his colleagues at the University Of Oslo Institute Of Theoretical Astrophysics). Usain Bolt was so confident in himself he once made an offer to the then manager of Manchester United; Sir Alex Ferguson to allow him join the team as a winger. He had no doubt that he would succeed as a footballer if he put his heart to it even though he had only really ever perfected his training as a sprinter. This does not mean he would have succeeded in that role but he surely had the right mental mirrored self image towards success.
Usain Bolt’s meteoric rise to success was achieved through natural talent and a lot of training however this does not mean he did not get beaten on the race track a few times before he achieved world record breaking glory or Olympic greatness. He just made sure he trained hard enough that when it mattered he delivered on his abilities. Today most people in the world know his name as attributed to success but very few know the journey to self confidence and success. No success is ever gained without an understanding that failure is not the end. It is just a lesson on what not to do if we want to succeed.
I have observed that very often it seems like we need to fall to learn to get up. Too many times have I seen human beings lying down complaining about their circumstances and never getting up from it until it consumes. The truth is you don’t drown by falling into a river you drown by staying in it and doing nothing. The human spirit is such a remarkable thing when driven by a goal fuelled by confidence. Its everyday existence ensures that we have a chance for a future. Most times people just need to be pushed to their limit before they realise just how strong they really are.
It sometimes makes me sad that in a lot of peoples situations they need to go through sadness to appreciate happiness, they need to cry to know the value of a laugh and they need to lose a loved one to appreciate the beauty of life. They need to search for love to know never to take it for granted. This to me is one of the greatest tragedies of the human condition but ultimately it is what makes us human and not divine. .
Falling down when trying is not failure it is just a learning curve and should be seen as one. It can be difficult and frustrating to fall but this is also a good thing as the deeper the pain the more you want it. This pain is good and I can honestly say take heart, it gets better (obviously this is assuming your goal was realistic in the first place as mentioned above). This fall should never be allowed to be the reason to give up. This is just part of life. Life will throw you curve balls and we do not always get to pick what happens in life but we do get to pick how we deal with what is thrown our way. This is a principle not just for pursuing your goal but cuts across many areas or life.
How we handle things depends greatly on our perspective of life and what we want from it. You see, life itself is an intangible concept (just as Love or Hate is). It is only worth the value we place on it. For some people that value has only purely emotional attributes and for others rational attributes. That value often describes and differentiates us from everyone and inevitably predicts the intensity of our emotions/feelings towards anyone else. Everything can be taken from you except the choice to think how you want and what to believe in. So the real question is what value do you place on your thoughts? This will guide your life and goals.
I believe that every human being is beautifully and wonderfully created (just as the bible explains), but most importantly I learnt that they are armed through life with the ability to make rational choices (not easy choices but rational choices). This is true and should be applied when pursuing your goals and finding your way to self confidence.
The problem is to know when rational choices are not always the best choice. As in the case of people who became successful after they had died. When sticking to something no matter what is okay just as in the case of Edgar Alan Poe.
This might sound tricky. It`s quite simple really. When it comes to matters of the heart, loved ones, personal passions and in some cases personal fulfilment one must simply know when to put all caution aside and take a chance. Basically, I am talking about when daring to dream beyond rationale is acceptable. Does the potential end result justify the present heartache? Is he/she truly worth all the trouble or is it fear keeping you there? Mastering this ability is the real difference between a success and a failure. Knowing the when and the time, and for how long one can afford to be irrational, when one must call the dream quits and move on and when one needs to push harder than ever before.
Now I feel I should interject again here and say that not everyone has an idea they feel they want to pursue or has a talent that could become a career. It is also true that not everyone has something they feel they can build self confidence on and if you happen to fall into that category there is still hope at being a success. Maybe an example might help explain how.
One hot Sunday afternoon I walked close to where I lived, I saw a man walking down the street eating what appeared to be a sandwich. He was so engrossed in the meal and so satisfied after that he could not be bothered to throw his crust in a bin. As he walked away from where he threw this not so well eaten crumb I watched as a bird flew down and grabbed it from the street. Suddenly the meaning of what appeared to be a simple situation hit me.
This man had thrown away what he no longer wanted as he felt it was no longer useful and for this bird it seemed to be just what he needed. It had flown down and satisfied what was obviously a need. It had seen a random act and taken a cue from it to satisfy its hunger. I watched what scholars refer to today as an “opportunist” seize a randomly presented opportunity and I did not have to pay for this lesson. This is a business model adopted by companies such as Dyson. Dyson Hoovers are considered to be amongst the best in the world but they did not start the idea of a Hoover they only took what others thought had reached its full potential and built on it.
In a nutshell, I am simply saying do not spend all your time looking for inspiration if you have none. Start working on something (anything really) and inspiration will come to you.
Also while I was still deep in thoughts over what I had just observed and its application I saw a young teenage boy trying to perform what appeared to be a very skilful trick on his bicycle. I watched as he almost completed the trick he fell of his bike and then got up to try again. After about ten falls he finally got how to perform his trick. He realised he had not been positioning himself as well as he ought to. I then realised that even things as easy as “riding a bike” can teach you a valuable lesson.
This made me realise that the answer to some of life`s most difficult questions can be found in life`s simplest places. Obviously I am not talking about going nature watching to find answers, but observing the world around you as it happens can give you a more realistic knowledge than just classes. This can sometimes help us make choices.
So what happens when we have spent so long taking in other people’s advice and letting it frustrate us that we feel there is no point going on. I have only one real view on this. Our suffering today should not be allowed to determine our progress tomorrow. The beauty of pain is that when you have fallen to the very depths of sorrow you have no other place to go than to go up. But going up is a “Do it yourself project”. Most motivational books fail in achieving lasting results in the readers because when readers finish they are all puffed up and ready to go do something (i.e motivated) but this only last a while. The truth about why is that motivation must come from within and not from a book. It must be what wakes you up in the morning and not some idea. It should be strong enough to help you build a career that you do not need or want a holiday from. My job as mentioned earlier is not to tell you what to do as you are smart enough to already know this, it is just to try to help you break things down so it’s a little bit easier to get to where you want to be.
No one can lift you as high up as you can, the same way no one can make you feel inferior with-out your consent. Their words and actions carry no meaning if the individual doing them has no value. In other words, the words of a person depend on the value we place on the speaker. So when you look at yourself what value do you place on you? This is not about mirror speaking tactics or about pride. It’s simply about knowing that your path might not be the same as wealthy Mr A but that doesn’t mean you will not get to where he is and surpass him.
In history one will be able to find people who have been able to understand the intense power of the human spirit and its ultimate ability to obtain results and motivate change, people like Abraham Lincoln, William Wilberforce, Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Pope John Paul (the 2nd), Mother Theresa, Professor Wole Soyinka and in modern time Americas 44th President Barrack Obama. These individuals are legends today not for being born into royalty or wealth but for what they did in their lifetimes in spite of their starting situations, they challenged each individual to look beyond race and in some cases countries, to seek themselves out and to realise that with human will power and spirit the impossible often become possible.
Not one person mentioned here can clearly state that they have never failed but today no-one remembers any of what could have been many failures. Or do we?
This taught me that failure ultimately is not a bad thing nor does it determine if we will ever be successful only what we do after we fail has the power to determine that.
Taking ownership of failure builds the foundation for success. The pillars of which must be self confidence and belief in what you are pursuing.
Welcome to our site. This site is dedicated to the people out there who have a story to tell that the world needs to hear. A lesson to teach that is unique to your own experience. A lesson from your life’s lecture notes. We are calling all “underdogs” out to tell their stories.
For anyone that does not know it yet, an underdog is a person popularly expected to fail. We want your success stories. We want to learn from you. We want to be inspired by you. We want to be taught by you. We want your story to be the one the world hear. The one that inspires a generation. We want real stories from real people about real events. Feel free to change characters names but inspire the world with a tale that only you can tell.
Welcome to our website (yes, that’s true mine and yours). What we will provide you with is a platform to tell the tale. All credit will be given to the writer so feel free to include your names (if you want). We want to inspire the world with the tales of real people about real events.