Tuesday, April 26, 2011
First I’ll give you a description of the hike and then the illustration will come after.
Description of the hike
One of the things I love about myself is that I enjoy challenges and I at least want to give things a try. As overwhelming as it was I told myself, you are already here and so just get on with it. The start was rough I don’t want to lie. I quickly realised how unfit I was. So, as you know the Great Wall extends for thousands of kilometres but this hike was a10km one and in total there were six towers on the hike. The goal was to get to the sixth tower. To get to the first tower alone was painful for me. By the time I got there I was panting like a dog and I had all sorts of pain in my body. I started thinking, “Should I just forget about it. I mean I have seen the wall; it’s more than most people in the world get to do. Do I have to climb 10kms on it too?” Then something in me just said, “C’mon Fadzi, keep going, I bet you can do it”. So I listened to my inner voice and I kept going; much slower than most people. I would look ahead and see all these people at even greater heights and at first I was like “I can’t do that, these people are crazy, they probably just eat salad, work out 2hours everyday and do this kind of thing for a living, how could I even catch up to them”. Then I decided to change perspective and use the people ahead as targets. So I would tell myself my next target is to get where that guy is. And of course when I got there he had moved on and I would use his new position as a new target. When I got to the second tower I took a break. It had been really tough to get there but looking back and seeing the wall behind me I was like “Hey! Look how far I’ve come!” That inspired me. So I kept moving. Some people just looked at the beautiful view and turned back. Getting to the third tower did not feel as difficult as getting to the second one had felt. The wall got steeper and steeper and one had to watch where they step because some of the stones were out of place and a misstep could lead to a devastating fall. I kept telling myself when I felt like giving up that I could do it and I went all the way to the sixth tower. I did it! I felt so proud of myself.
The view from the wall is spectacular; you can see part of the wall just stretching out into the mountains in a distance. The air is so fresh and there is this silence in the mountains that forces you to be at peace with all that is around you. Time stands still when you are on the top taking in the amazing scenery around you. Nothing matters, there are no problems. You just look around and witness the intelligence of all nature, how it seems to be in sync always. You hear the birds chirping and you see the blossoms from the trees blooming. It makes you wonder how nature just is what it is, flowers don’t try to bloom they just bloom, trees and grass don’t try to grow, they just grow. I was in awe of that intelligence because it reminded me how as human beings we tend to try too hard to be, instead of just being what we are. We tend to talk too much and do very little. If only we could be more like nature, speak less and act more.
Getting back down was also a challenge, gravity just pushes you into a jog because of the steepness of the wall and so one has to be careful not to slip and go tumbling down. I was very happy to have gone on the hike. Granted the next day walking around felt like my legs had turned into big wet logs, they were sore and heavy but it had been worth it.
While I was looking back on my trip I realised that I could relate it to our lives in the following way-:
1. Goal - To climb the Great Wall when in Beijing: We all have aspirations in life. There are things that we desire to accomplish and we get excited just thinking about them. We talk about how if we had the opportunity we would do A, B, C and D. It’s great to have goals. They give life meaning and purpose. They get us excited about life and we spend our days planning how we could possibly achieve our goals. Almost everyone I know has goals and talks about them with excitement, but many of us just talk about our dreams but never do anything to achieve them. A dream only talked about and never worked towards, is a dream unfulfilled.
2. Arrival at the wall and getting the true picture of what it really means to climb the Great Wall: Those of us who decide to do more than talk about our dreams get opportunities in life to go ahead and start working on them. It is only then that we realise how much work it really is to accomplish goals. It is not a walk in the park. It seems overwhelming and if we are feint hearted, this is where we stop trying. When I arrived at the wall and realised how steep it really was I was scared. It overwhelmed me and I wondered if I was crazy enough to even give it a go. It’s the same with all the other dreams we have. We size up the task and when see how overwhelming it is we may get so discouraged that we don’t even give it a try. We come up with all sorts of excuses such as “I’m not that fit”, or “no one in my family/neighbourhood has ever gotten the chance to get this far” or “my kind of people just don’t do this sort of thing.” We turn back because we are afraid of the overwhelming challenge ahead of us. We watch others start to climb the wall and we decide to just get back to the way we are used to doing life. Another dream goes unfulfilled.
3. Climbing to the second tower: Then there are those of us who will start to climb the wall no matter how overwhelming it seems. We take the first few kilometres and they are so very difficult to climb because everything in the body is in pain trying to do this new difficult task. It feels like you have stepped into the unknown and it was a lot more difficult than you had anticipated. You tend to ask yourself a lot of questions during this phase because you are full of self doubt on whether you are good enough to accomplish anything. Many of us also walk back at this phase. We tell ourselves, “It’s impossible!” so we walk back down to the lives we lead before. Another dream goes unfulfilled.
Then there are those of us who make it through all the self doubt, who persevere and get to the second tower. We look at how far we have come and realise that dreams can come true. We are filled with inspiration and want to keep going. The dream starts to take shape for those of us who keep moving towards it even though we may face big obstacles along the way.
4. Getting to the third tower: As I was going to the third tower I noted that the steepness of the wall was no longer a shock to my system. I actually anticipated that it would get steeper and so I was more mentally prepared for a big challenge and that made it easier to overcome. It was at this point that I also started to appreciate the scenery around me. This happens to many of us. Once we get over that initial shock of how much work we have to put into our goals, we know what to expect and so we become more prepared to work harder. Surprisingly at this stage, it does not feel so hard and we start to appreciate the perks that come with the accomplishments we have made thus far. In the same way that I started to appreciate the scenery around me at this stage, many people start to appreciate that they have reached a good place in their lives but to see even better results they understand they have to climb even higher. It was here that I understood the statement, “To him who has more even more shall be given.” Have you ever noticed that people who do well in life just keep getting better and better? It was like that when I climbed the wall, the first few kilometres were difficult but once I knew what to expect, the hike got easier even though the wall got steeper. Once you start to exercise your talents and start to accomplish your dreams, I guarantee you more and more doors will be opened for you to get even better.
5. Don't hate the player, hate the game: Many times when we see other people doing better than us we have a tendency to hate their success. When I first looked at the people ahead of me on the wall, I was jealous. I was like, “I bet they work out all the time and I can’t do what they do”. But they were just regular people like you and me. You may have heard people say, “Oh that person is so arrogant they think they are better than everyone else because they have achieved this and that”. Only to find out that no, that person is not arrogant, they are just focused on their goal and they work hard towards it. Instead of comparing yourself to them, have them inspire you to do better. My grandmother always tells me to admire people who are doing great instead of despise them. Look to see what it is they do so well that allows them to have such discipline to stay on task. If you find it, have it inspire you to do better on your own path. It took me changing perspective to actually be able to climb the wall. I told myself I would use the people ahead as inspiration, if I could get where they were, that would be sweet. And as I reached the sixth tower, some of them were on their way back. They didn’t look down on me because I was behind, they didn’t act as if they were better than me because they had reached the top before me. They cheered me on! They were like, “Don’t give up now, you are almost there, the view gets even better at the top; keep going”.
We don’t make it to the top on our own. We have many people around us to help inspire us to achieve greatness. Instead of comparing ourselves to them lets have them encourage us to overcome challenges. Don’t hate the player, hate the game!
6. Getting to the sixth tower: When I got to the top I was so proud of myself. I had done it! I had overcome giving up, I overcame being jealous of others ahead of me, I overcame being overwhelmed and I made it to the top. It was beautiful. The impossible had become possible. Isn’t it the best when you finally reach your goal? To look and see how far you have come. To reap the rewards of all the hard work you put into it. You didn’t just talk the talk, you walked the walk. You won’t just say, “I went to the Great Wall”, you will say, “I climbed 10km on the Great Wall.”
I hope this inspires you to talk less and act more towards whatever it is you have on your heart to accomplish. Whatever phase of life described above you may find yourself at, you have it in you to turn things around for the better. Don’t just be a talker, be a doer, and be an achiever of dreams. Don’t give up! Behind all the hard work, behind all the doubt, behind all the confusion, behind all the pain, behind all the chaos, behind all the mess is victory and it is sweet and it is waiting for you to take it. You too can get to the top. Stop talking, start ACTING!
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
I looked it up on the online dictionary and I found many definitions; some said it was a strong emotion of regard and affection but the best definition I found and would like to share with you is from a brilliant book I am reading called Conversations with God Book 3. (If you ever had any questions on the importance of life, where you fit in as an individual in this whole wide world, relationships, history, love, death, other beings, happiness, you name it, I recommend you read this series of books. It is truly enlightening and is for anyone with an open mind, limitless curiosity and a sincere desire to know the truth. It will change you, your life and the way that you view other beings – Give it a try!)
This book defines love as that which is unlimited, that which is perfectly free and unconditional.
A: Love yourself
Surely love begins at home and by this I mean love begins with loving yourself unconditionally, a truth that many human beings seem to battle with, myself included. I’m working on this but do you find that you are your own biggest critic? Judging yourself very harshly if you make a mistake, refusing to forgive yourself for doing something wrong and living in guilt most of the time? The reason why we struggle with such negative emotions is that we are failing to love ourselves unconditionally. If we did, we would never judge ourselves; never live in guilt (which cripples our progress by the way). We would think the world of ourselves and see how wonderful we are. We do not actually serve anyone or ourselves by putting ourselves down. I’m not telling you to be arrogant, I’m simply encouraging you to think well of yourself and love who you are. Here’s why I believe we should love ourselves:
1. Loving ourselves means we let ourselves be who we truly are, we feel free to live our lives to the fullest. We enjoy rather than dread life.
2. People treat you the way you treat yourself. You teach people how to treat you, and if you do not love yourself then you are teaching those around you the same. If you undervalue who you are and what you do, people will undervalue who you are too.
3. You cannot wish to have love if you are not love. Many believe that to “be something” you have to “have something” but in truth you should “be that thing” then you can “have it”. For instance, if you want to have happiness, you should be happy then you can have happiness. If you want to have love, you should be love, and then you will have love.
4. As humans we will always seek to love and be loved unconditionally. You may be the toughest person but you still desire to love others and be loved freely without judgement. It is our nature and when we experience unconditional love, we soar to great heights.
B: Love other people
We are all one. We may live in different houses, different countries across the earth, have different social backgrounds and speak different languages but we are all one. We are love by nature, and we express love to one another as a basic human instinct. Example: the minute the earthquake hit Japan, the hearts of all people across the earth went out to them. Rescuers immediately left to go over there and help out because when one nation is hurt, all nations are hurt. We are naturally good as people and you may not have noticed this or may deny it but your natural instinct is to act out of love towards other people. Fear however does take us over and makes us holdback where we should extend our love to another. We have trained ourselves so well in this department that it is becoming normal for us to turn a blind eye in cases where we need to speak up. From now on why don’t we try to always act out of love when dealing with other people? Let’s give it a go and see how much better we will be for it. Let’s not become hard hearted, let’s go back to loving others as a basic instinct regardless of nationality, age, race, or sex. I’m of the belief that what you do to another, you do to yourself. If you disrespect one person, you are disrespecting yourself, if you attack another, you are attacking yourself. When you think about this, you will see how much warmer you will be towards others for you know you are being much warmer to yourself.
C: Love unconditionally
You may have heard this time and again but what does it really mean? It means to free others to be who they are and not who you want them to be. To love unconditionally means to rejoice when those you love do things that help them to be better, to be who they are meant to be. Many a time we tend to want to control the people that we say we love. Examples may include wanting your child to be what you dream for them instead of letting them be who they are and getting upset with them when they choose a path that you do not approve of. OR Loving a friend for what they can do for you and being disappointed if they fail to meet those needs. OR Trying to change your partner into who you think they should be to better serve you instead of loving them for who they are and giving them the freedom to experience the best of themselves. OR Refusing to free yourself from the guilt you feel over things you have done in the past causing yourself to worry over nothing and in the end fail to realize your own full potential because you are so caught up over the past that you deny yourself a better future. Basically loving unconditionally involves giving unlimited freedom to yourself and those whose lives you touch to be who they really are and to celebrate yourself and them for that.
Here are certain things you can do to love yourself and others unconditionally:
1. Forgive yourself and move forward into your best self.
2. Forgive other people and free them from mistakes you believe they have done to you. Let them have a chance to move forward into who they are and not walk on egg shells around you afraid to make you unhappy.
3. Expect nothing in return, be a gift to other people and expect nothing in return. Love because you can; not because you can get something back.
4. Choose to do everything out of love, make decisions based on love and not fear – in your job, in the supermarket, when you interact with other people, when you make a life decision about anything big or small, let it be based on love and not fear.
5. Let those you love know that you love them always. They may say, “Oh you say it too much” but would you rather not say it? My mom used to tell me she loves me and is proud of me all the time. Sometimes I would be like “Oh my gosh mom, there are people around stop saying that, it’s not cool.” But when she passed away one thing I knew and still know for sure is that she loved me and was proud of me because she told me so. “I love you so much” were her last words to me. On the day of her funeral, one of my closest friends said to me, there is no doubt that woman loved you to bits and was proud of you. When I was home this past month visiting my family my aunt reminded me, “Do you know how much your mom loved you? She used to tell me all the time!” This has helped me to not wonder if she loved me or not for I know that she did.
6. Consider that love is everywhere and in different forms and shape – it’s in the brightness of the sun, it’s in the friendly guard who greats you with a big smile when you leave your home in the morning, it’s in the embrace of a good friend, it’s on the faces of little children, it’s in the whiteness of snow and in the kindest words a stranger says to you. Love is all around; you do not have to look hard for it. You didn’t leave it in your city or your country; it is there where you are.
7. Never stop loving; if you do something really horrible to someone and feel the biggest amount to guilt, never stop loving yourself; if you love another person be it a friend or partner and they never seem to love you back, never stop loving them; if you have been hurt by the things others have done to you, never stop loving because love is all there is. It takes so much energy to hate and put down other people and when you look at it, those reactions are rooted in fear. Love your enemies unconditionally and do good to those who hurt you; it is enlightening – it lightens you up. It makes you look good and young too! Fear makes you shrink into who you are not, and cripples you from moving forward but love frees you into living your best life. Love is really all there is.
Strive from today on to love unconditionally.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
If you want your life to continue changing for the better, you not only need to think positively but you have to start speaking positively too. For instance do not say “I am unlucky”, or “Things usually do not work out for me” for that is what you will experience time and again. Rather start saying, “All things work together for good for me”. “I do not know how but I know the outcome of this will be great”. Think it, Believe it and Say it.
When you start to speak like this many people will be shocked, some will even think you are full of yourself but that is far from the truth. You will just be exercising your creative power to bring good things into your life. One of my dearest friends is wedding in a couple of months. A number of people have asked her how the wedding planning stress is. To this she replies “I do not have wedding planning stress”. Many people have said she is crazy but the truth is she is the most relaxed bride-to-be I have seen. She speaks positively about her wedding, and as a result she hasn’t experienced any stress, everything is falling into place for her because she refuses to speak negatively about it. She continues to say, “People, this is a stress free wedding” and thus far she doesn’t know any other experience.
Just like planning a wedding, there are many things that people believe are naturally stressful. Examples include work, relationships, following your dreams. How many times have you heard people say, “Oh this relationship is complicated, men/women are stressful”. Then when the relationships become stressful we wonder why we are so unlucky. Could it be because we spoke it into our lives?
Growing up every time I said something negative my mom would look at me and say, “Words of your mouth come true so be careful what you say”. It may sound really cliché but take a minute to look at your life or at the lives of those around you and see how powerful words are in their lives. People who are struggling in one area and can’t seem to get a breakthrough, watch them closely and listen to the words they say about their life situation. You may hear them say, “My depression never goes away”, or they may say, “Things never work out good for people like me”, or they may say, “I’m always broke”, or “I’m not good enough to do such and such a task” and guess what, it will be true! If we continue to call forth negativity, it will keep coming our way. Again I don’t know why as humans we tend to focus on the negative. In fact we tend to shun away positive minded people; we think the things they say are too good to be true. But maybe if we thought and spoke a little more positively; maybe we would catch a break. Because, in the same way we spent time saying negative things, we could use that time to speak positivity into our lives. This year I have resolved to trying positive speech because as Donald Trump says, “As long as you are thinking, you might as well think big”. As long as I am speaking, I might as well speak life. If I can spend hours speaking about how something may not work out, I could equally spend that time looking at what is positive about that situation. Think about it.
We are all a work in progress, don’t feel discouraged if you can’t seem to always be thinking and speaking positive. The most important thing is to get started. Take baby steps. In time you will see how positive speech will come naturally to you. It takes practice; it just does not happen overnight so make a conscious decision to do it daily.
I don’t know about you but I like positive speakers. I am drawn to them. They are the kind of people I like to have conversations with because they will always have something encouraging to say. Even if they don’t have an encouraging statement, they don’t leave you feeling drained of all energy as negative speakers tend to do. Check your reaction next time you have some positive news, or are looking for advice on a particular issue, see who will be the first person you will call. I can bet you it is someone that you know to be a positive minded speaker. Why? Because they encourage you to keep going after your dreams, they help you stand strong in trying times and you know you will come out of the other side much stronger because you have seen how their lives have moved from one positive season to another.
When you experience a tough time it is very hard to speak positively. A close cousin of mine was found dead in her room this last week. We have no idea what happened to her. In fact I was communicating with her a few days before she passed away and she was doing great. When I heard the news of her passing I was once again reminded of how fragile life is and how we ought to focus on what gets us to be better, more joyful, more loving, more truthful, more successful, more enlightened. When I look at her life and consider the kind of person she was, I can’t help but smile because she always spoke from a place of love. She would always go the extra mile to say an encouraging word. I admit many times I wondered how she could always be so full of positive speech. I remember her words to me were, “Sis, speak well of yourself, you are amazing, I can see that and so should you. Speak words of what you want to see happening in your life and it will come to you. How else are great things supposed to happen in your life if you do not call them to yourself?”
R.I.P Kuda. You are loved and missed beyond any words could ever express!
As I was thinking about this topic, I came across the following quotations. Check them out, I hope they will help you as much as they have helped me to have a more positive attitude towards life.
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes”. ~William James
“A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes”. ~Hugh Downs
“Say you are well, or all is well with you,
And God shall hear your words and make them true”.
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox
“I have learned to use the word impossible with the greatest caution”. ~Wernher von Braun
“Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out”. ~Art Linkletter
“I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else”. ~Winston Churchill
“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful”. ~Buddha
Sunday, January 30, 2011
To be a tennis player seeded in the top ten naturally means you have a lot of talent. It means you are fierce on the court. The game I was watching was between the number 3 and number 6 seed. The match was won by the 3rd seed. He proved to be the better player but it did not come easy. He worked for it because his opponent was very tough to beat. In fact the opponent had the winner doing most of the running around. Both players are without doubt really skilled at the game and they came up with amazing shots. The loser had so many opportunities to win, he was in the lead most of the time but every time he had a chance to play a winning shot, he didn’t make it. Interestingly when he was down a point he would pull his best tennis and level with the winner. I realized that this player was more than capable of winning this game. He was good, really good, he gave the eventual winner a run for his money but he lacked the mental strength to win this match. What was funny was that you could see from his face whether his next shot would be a winning one or not. So he did have moments in the game where he believed he could make it and in those moments he soared but when he got discouraged his game also went down.
You can be the most talented person on earth but if you don’t believe it you will not see the fruits of that talent. I am sure most of you have heard some people say they lost the battle before it even begun. Meaning they did not believe they could make it and so naturally they did not. It is important to believe in yourself. It is important to speak positivity into your life. It is important to be mentally strong. To be mentally prepared to not give up when going through a challenge, or when working on your business, or going for an interview or doing whatever it is you wish to accomplish. To be victorious you have to win that victory in your mind first and then the actions that ensure success will follow.
It is not that successful people don’t face challenges. They do. Difficult ones too but what makes them overcome is the fact that in the face of fear they choose to be courageous. You will have that voice telling you, “You cannot do it, it’s impossible”, choose not to believe it. Instead tell yourself, “Although I am afraid, I am going to keep going. Even if I have no idea how this will turn out, I will believe that I can make it”.
Positive thinking just doesn’t happen overnight. For some sad reason, as humans we tend to think the worst of ourselves. That comes more naturally to most of us than to think of how magnificent and amazing we are. To break that negative pattern of thinking you have to make a conscious decision to be a positive thinker. You will have to do certain things to train your mind to see the possibilities and opportunities instead of focusing on only the negative. If you do this enough times, positive thinking will become second nature just like how currently negative thinking is second nature to most of us.
How can you turn from being a negative into a positive thinker?
1. Unlearn some lessons: growing up we learn many things from family, friends and communities we live in. Though many of these lessons help us to the best we can be, some of them are just not true and to enable positive thinking, you will have to unlearn those lessons and replace them with new ones which are true. Yes you belong to a group of friends or a particular family, and you come from a certain community or country, you are of a certain race but do not use that as an excuse to let fear control you. Don’t hide behind that, come out and let your light shine. We are all capable of achieving our dreams regardless of family history or geographical location, there is much more to life than that. Break free! Let’s look at examples of things you may need to unlearn:
a. It’s not in my blood to do that: Many times you will hear people say, “Oh that would never be possible. We __________s (insert your surname here) are not gifted at that”. Examples include “my family is not a business type family; we just don’t run businesses so I couldn’t possibly be successful at that”.
b. It never rains it pours: This is just one of those statements that bring about problem after problem because we often choose to look at bad events as mutually exclusive instead of independent events and we end up saying, “things never work out for me because problems always come to me in their multiples”. Yet if we would look at each challenge as it arises we would be in a better position to overcome it without feeling overwhelmed.
c. Money never stays: When it comes to money, we want it but we don’t. B
y this I mean many of us want to get more money but we don’t ask for it because we think it is evil to want to have money. So naturally the money we get never lasts because we are confused about how we feel about having money. If you would like to get more money, be honest about it and opportunities that align you with the potential to earn more money will come to you. Tell yourself, money grows on trees and you will be surprised what you will find.
d. Good things never last: Actually they do last. Many times they get better and better but we don’t believe it, how then can we receive it?
e. It’s too good to be true: If you do not believe that you can receive good things then you cannot possibly see amazing possibilities that surround you more often than you think. Try telling yourself, “It is too good and YES it is true”.
2. Learn to silence your inner hater: We are our own biggest enemies. Have you ever realized that most of the time those around us see how talented we are yet we can’t see it. We say, “Oh I don’t know; maybe; I don’t think so; I’m not that good”. When you see thoughts of negativity arising in you, choose a higher thought that you are more than capable.
3. Believe it, it’s true: If you have believed for something and it happens, accept it. It is amazing yes but believe it. We all come from different backgrounds and many of us have overcome unbelievable challenges and hoped for a better day. When the better day comes, believe it is for you. Embrace and enjoy it. Because what will happen when we don’t embrace the success we have is we will think it was not meant to be, we will think it was just random luck and so we become blind to any opportunities that will arise from then onwards. I recently realized I was doing that, sabotaging my own opportunities because I could not believe in the first instance that I am truly being blessed. Many things that happen to us are not by chance, it is because we are really getting opportunities which are specifically ours. Don’t ruin that by thinking it is just random. You are amazing. You can achieve unbelievable things in your life if you choose to.
4. Actively choose positivity: it is amazing the stuff we feed our minds with that affect our way of thinking. Decide which information you will entertain and which you will not. If you want to be a positive thinker you have to look into how other like minded people do it. You can read books on the subject, blogs, websites, listen to programs and music that speaks about positivity. Choose to be around people who encourage you to be positive. Positivity/Negativity can be contagious, choose which team you want to hang around; the nay-sayers that weigh you down or the ones that believe in bringing out the best in you.
Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t shut the door on your opportunities by thinking negatively. You are blessed beyond measure. Believe it and you can achieve it.
It really is all in the mind.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Drama is your ego trying to take you over by looking at a scenario as a win or lose situation. It is your ego saying you should always win. Or your ego telling you no one can speak to you like that. Have you ever heard people say, “oh I don’t know what happened, something just took over me and I just started shouting at that person. It felt like an out of body experience”. That right there is what drama is. Being totally taken over by your feelings or thoughts that you are no longer in control of them but they are in total control of you in a situation. Two things happen when this kind of scenario arises, you will either act, or you will not act. Drama is not always manifested as an outward action, or spoken words. In fact many times drama is manifested in silence or in withdrawal. Let’s explore some of the ways in which drama manifests.
1. Overreacting and inappropriate speech: This is the most common outlet for drama. Taking offense in a particular situation and escalating it by either demanding explanations or having a verbal argument or insulting other people.
2. Gossip: people tend to not address an issue head on, they tend to go through other people to say their views. This has destroyed so many relationships of all kinds across the world. The truth then gets lost somewhere in translation and what results is a lot of pain and misunderstandings.
3. Silent treatment: Women are known to be very good at this kind of drama. When someone does something they consider “bad” instead of tallking about the issue, some decide to just keep quiet. What will really be happening at this time is that even though they do not say anything, their emotions are actually in control of them telling them to not say anything because that will get the other person wondering what to do next. It is actually a mind game. There is usually a lot of tension associated with this scenario because out of fear people tend to walk on egg shells around the angered party.
4. Self pity: feeling sorry for oneself is also another drama outlet. When people go through a difficult time, they tend to feel sorry for themselves. How often do you hear people tell you how sad a time they are facing, how they can’t even cope anymore because of the grievances caused to them by their boss, or parent, or friend, or partner, or children or workmate, or the past or the future.
5. Shrinking back/ withdrawing: When people go through pain, at times they shrink back into a shell. Naturally they could be of a lively personality but challenges will have them withdrawing from others. This again is the ego saying, maybe I will be noticed better if I just stay in the background and try to be invisible.
Now that you know drama manifests in many different ways, most of which are unexpected, how then do you overcome it? Here's how you can start to dial down the craziness in your life and start to present yourself in the way you mean to:
1. The best way to overcome drama is to be conscious of the emotions that are rising within you. You can only be conscious if you are totally present in each moment as you go through life (see previous blog on how to be present). I am sure you have heard many people say ‘I felt anger rising inside of me’. Let’s analyze this sentence. ‘I’ is the real you and you can see every thought, or every emotion that rises within you. Which means that you have total control and you can choose to either let that anger keep rising, or you can decide not to be angry. The same goes for drawing back, “I just thought maybe I wasn’t good enough so I didn’t want to bother them and decided to just stay back. You can see this thought rising within you and therefore you have a choice to either shrink back or to just say look I am not going to fear, I am going to be myself.
2. True communication resolves drama. Talk about it with the person that is affecting you. Not in a ‘oh I am going to bring that person down’ sort of way but in a mature ‘I have a problem and we need to see how we can move forward’ way. Don’t make a scene, or play mind games. Just come as you are, take the person aside and speak to them quietly about the issue. Don’t spread the results of your talk to other people. That is just gossip. Resolve it and let by gones be by gones. You will be surprised how liberating it is to have an honest conversation and clear issues that are bothering you. It helps you to freely move forward.
3. Do not spread gossip. Decide that you will not be that person who spreads gossip. This may be a challenging task if this is all you tend to do with your friends but give it a try. Instead of always being the bearer of gossip, be the bearer of good news instead. Spread more good news and less bad news. If you do this constantly those around you will realise that it is useless to tell you any gossip because you will not participate, so they will stop bothering you with it. Be a restorer of relationships, instead of tearing people apart, find ways to bring people to get along.
4. Don’t just assume, ask: I have heard many people say ‘oh I don’t know I just assumed you wouldn’t want to talk to me or you wouldn’t want to go there’. Assumptions is the mother of all mess ups. Many times we misjudge people or situations because we have no idea what the truth is, we just go by what other people say. How many times have you talked to someone you thought was hating on you only to realise they have nothing against you. How silly does it look then that you spent so much time thinking bad things about them when they are actually really friendly. If you are not sure what is going on just ask for clarification so that you know what the truth of the matter is.
5. What other people think about you is none of your business: I recently heard of this quote and I love it. What do you care what others think about you and what you are doing. You can never please everybody. Focus on developing yourself to be the best you and don’t fear what people will say. People always talk, but we all know talk is cheap so don’t waste your time on that, there are so many other things you would rather be doing like fulfilling your dreams, spending time with loved ones or making money.
6. Don’t sweat the samll stuff: Be easy going. There are many ways to skin a cat they say. Do not be a control freak because this causes a lot of unhappiness. I love this famous saying by Mahatma Gandhi which states, 'Find purpose, the means will follow'. Have a goal, but be open to the fact that the goal could be achieved in many different ways. I am sure by now you have come to realise that things usually work out great in unexpected ways. If something works then let it work. When you want to control every little detail of how your life runs you become narrow minded. When working with others, let them do what they are good at and even if their way may be different, if it gets the job done well then let them run with it.
7. Worry not: Drama results because we worry about what is going to happen to us, to our family, to our job, to our future. No one knows what will happen even if they worry about it day and night, the future is uncertain. Yes we prepare for it as best as we can but that is all we can do; prepare for it and hope for the best. What will actually transpire noone really knows. So, relax, live each day as it comes doing the best you can in that day and leaving the rest to God. Do not be tense about life. Relax and life will go a lot smoother than when you spend your days worrying about things you have no control over. When you keep a relaxed and hopeful attitude, life tends to fall into place in ways you never imagined possible.
Monday, January 3, 2011
On one hand we live in fear of the future. What if it will not work out? What if I will not achieve this and that? The “What ifs” then turn us into day dreamers. Many of us are just dreamers. If you do an experiment you will be surprised how much time of your day you spent day dreaming. Day dreaming of a better house, a better social life, a better car, a better job and the list is endless. Because of the fears we have daily of not being good enough, or not having achieved enough we tend to escape the present moment and spend days living in the future. Please do not misunderstand me. I am not taking anything away from planning, having goals and chasing your dreams. By all means have all of these things but while you plan and chase your goals remember that the only real moment you have is now. You have the present moment to use to make your dreams come true. Many opportunities are missed when you are so set on doing things in a particular way. Many successful people say when you have a dream, ask for what you want to achieve and then believe that you have received it. Worry not about how in the future this goal will be achieved because answers usually come in unexpected ways. Let’s look at an example, let’s say your goal is to earn $10 000 every month. Believe that you can achieve this but do not worry about how you will do it because the universe will grant you your request in ways you may not have ever imagined. You could either get one job that will pay you $10 000 every month, or you could come into a business that gives you a profit of $10 000 every month, or you could find many part-time jobs which in the end when you have collected all your money it will amount to $10 000 every month. If you are in fear of the future, you always want things to go the way you imagine them. So let’s say your idea to achieve this is to get one job that pays you $10 000 a month and you spend all your energy trying to land this job to no avail. All you seem to be finding are part time jobs. Maybe your answer is in the part time jobs. Opportunities are knocking on your door but because they are not dressed according to how you want them to be you miss them each and every time.
On the other hand many of us live in the past. We need to forget the past. What was done to you, how unfair it was, how it has messed your life up and how now you cannot go on because of this and that that happened. If you always ponder on the past you never break free from it. You will always be in pain. The pain of your past will then become your identity. Many of us cannot separate our true selves from the pain we have experienced before. We take the pain to define who we are and make it our identity, after all it is how people know us, either as that girl whose mom died, or that guy whose car was stolen, or that child who is an orphan, or that boy who was abused, or that lady who is depressed, or that man who is poor. We let people identify us according to the pain that we have experienced before. We place more importance on the pain of the past than breaking free from it and moving into who we really are. Yes, the events that happen to us are sad but if we truly want to embrace change and experience love, joy and peace, we need to let go of that pain as our identity. Say to yourself it is what it is but I am still alive, I will let go and live my life to the fullest. Do not measure yourself against the past because you will never move on. Do not say to yourself, oh in the past it happened in this way so I expect it to happen in the same way in the future. The past keeps us blind to opportunities that could make such huge wonderful differences in our lives. Always be alert to how opportunities come disguised in things we never imagined. Many say oh history repeats itself, but this statement is only true to those who are unconscious and focus only on the past as a point of reference. So they keep unconsciously asking for the same things to happen over and over again and get surprised when it happens. Yet, those who are alert, those who let go of past pain as an identity experience new things only because they dared to change the way they viewed their lives, as achievers as opposed to victims.
We need to aim to be present. When we are conscious we make good decisions because we can see how certain things are not serving us well or how great they are. Many people say do not worry. Such a simple sentence yet it is so hard to practice because we are not present. Worry and stress arise because we are either living too much in the past or in the future and are concerned about how things will turn out. Yet the only time that we truly have is now. Right now you can live your life to the fullest. Right now you can start to make your business grow. Right now you can choose to not be angry. Right now you can stop being a victim and realize you too are capable of doing many things. Right now you can stop waiting for someone else to be the first to apologize and you can bring about change in that relationship with a friend, or a parent or co-worker or whoever it is you are bearing a grudge with. Right now you can decide that it does not matter what happened in the past, it is gone and you are still here, you survived it and you can let it go and step into new things. Stop waiting for when you get a promotion, or when you are a parent, or when your children get out of the house, or when you finish your college degree to start living your best life. Do it now. Be who you are now and you will be surprised how your life will align you with those things that you are truly seeking because you give yourself space to experience who you really are.
Many things in life can be really challenging because there is always that uncertainty of what will be. At times you are not sure if you should move forward or backward. I was reminded of a scripture that encouraged me. Read Jeremiah 29:4 -11. God knows where you are, he is not surprised by the situation you are in right now. He knows exactly how you feel, what you fear and he is saying to you wherever you are, or whatever situation you find yourself to be in, be conscious of it, and be present. While you are waiting on your change, wherever you find yourself to be at a particular point in time, live your life to the fullest, so that you may increase and not diminish, and wish good things upon the city where you reside because if that city prospers, so will you. And hold on to the hope and promise of a better future for he knows the plans he has for each and every one of us. Plans to give you hope and not to harm you.
As you make new years resolutions remember to free yourself of the past, don’t make it your identity. You are not your past. Remember not to fear the future. What good does that do you to live in constant fear of what was or what may be. It robs you of present joy, peace and love that you could be experiencing if you choose to be present. Remember to make SMART goals meaning your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time specific. Break them down into tasks that you can do daily or weekly knowing that you have today to achieve what you aim for. If you live presently every day, when 2011 draws to an end, you will be able to look back and say this is what I set out to do for this year and measure it against what you actually achieved.
Have a great start to the New Year and Be Blessed always.