As you browse online content, you’ll find countless articles and info-graphics on activities and habits of successful people. They usually tend to be early risers, exceptionally well organised, keep journals and to-do lists, exude joy, express gratitude, continuously learn, make time for family and friends and so on. While it’s easy to see some of these traits in people we most often view as successful, I often wonder how they were when starting out, when things were tough, finances were low and their goals seemed out of their grasp. While I do have a few of these traits naturally there are some that I try to instill as part of my character. Unfortunately, I sometimes become consumed with adopting these traits that I lose sight of my goals. While it’s great to know all the traits of successful people, I love listening to their stories when they were struggling as I’m better able to relate to that. On that journey to accomplishing our heart’s greatest desires, it’s important that we allow the struggles and disappointments to help us grow. Success is more of a journey rather than accomplishing a fixed set of goals and while I understand the theoretical aspect of this, my life experiences are weaving this understanding into my every being so that I’m constantly reminded of it. People who are now considered successful have gone through their tough times and are where they are now because of many different character traits. Figure out what works for you and what makes you happy and remember to be kind to yourself while pursuing your goals and the Universe will act likewise in return.
Lately, I’m reminded that in relationships there must be some sacrifice and compromise for it to work. How much should one compromise in a relationship, I’m still trying to figure that one out. A close friend of mine told me a few months ago, that I compromise too much of myself to make friendships and relationships work. I think compromise and sacrifice are great once the other person can be thankful for what their partner is willing to give up to make them happy. My last serious relationship ended in 2009 to one of my best friends and I’m really glad we have maintained a great friendship after the break up. Having spent the past six years focusing on myself, compromise can be somewhat of a challenge. I’ve invested so much in my education and career that I believe I need to grab at every opportunity that comes my way, even at the expense of my health and time with loved ones. I recently had the opportunity to work with a start-up here in Trinidad and Tobago and sadly, I turned down the opportunity. I looked at my current schedule and I knew it would be impossible to manage. I’m making great headway with a web based application and my lecturing duties are extremely important to me and I’m also finding it easier to make time to spend with loved ones. To risk losing the things that I have working for me now may not be a sensible compromise. It’s impossible to grab at every opportunity that comes your way and it’s understandable if you feel you need to. I wish that start-up all the success in the world even though I cannot be a part of it. One old saying that I always remember is “One bird in the hand is worth two in the bushes“.
For a while now I’ve been receiving daily inspirational emails from the Napoleon Hill Foundation. It’s been about a year now since I’ve subscribed to them and I am most thankful for the daily inspiration I receive every morning. There is also the Facebook Page that can be liked and followed so posted content appears in your feed. I first became greatly interested in Napoleon Hill in early 2013 and his teachings have been a great inspiration to me. I purchased audio books, electronic books as well as printed copies. Napoleon Hill is probably most famous for saying “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve“. Today’s inspiration is about “Nature yielding her most profound secrets to those who are determined to uncover them.” It goes as follows “The field of science is perhaps the best illustration of how success always seems to come to those who apply the principle of accurate thinking in a persistent, determined effort. America’s great inventor Thomas A. Edison is said to have failed 10,000 times in his attempt to develop a workable electric light bulb. He learned from each failure and refused to quit until he succeeded. Breakthroughs occur every day because a determined person continues to search for solutions to complex problems long after everyone else has given up and gone home. You may not invent the light bulb or the next supercomputer, but you can find creative solutions to old problems if you apply the proven principles of success consistently and persistently.” I am sure after reading this anyone can smile and think about some experience where this has proven to be true. I usually repost these daily inspirations to my My Facebook Page for my friends who do not subscribe to the site. I’ve even received messages from a few friends thanking me for the postings. While I subscribed to the site for daily inspiration for myself, sharing the daily quote and seeing how it inspires my friends have brought me more satisfaction than I ever expected. Thank you again Napoleon Hill.
Yesterday I purchased a box of Dr. Lucy’s gluten free ginger snaps from a local gourmet shop near my office. I absolutely love these cookies. I found them about 2 weeks ago and I’ve been eating them none stop. Due to my allergies, I’m quite restricted with food, so when I found cookies that were gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free and reasonably low in sugar, I was exceedingly happy. I think my excitement got the best of me yesterday as I sat and ate the entire box of cookies within 2 hours. While consuming the last cookie, I felt ashamed of myself. How could I have not controlled my cravings better? The situation reminded me of someone having too much too soon or having too much at once. A very common example is one where someone has acquired a great deal of money either through inheritance or some kind of winnings. We hear so many stories of people spending the money within a short period on frivolous material items and expensive vacations and not really planning for the future. When someone has inherited wealth from a family trust fund or the passing of a loved one, this person has not really put in the work for the money earned. I will admit, I’ve wanted the quick success that I’ve seen many entrepreneurs have, earning millions of dollars from just one simple idea and sometimes I still want it. I’ve thought about all the things I’ll do with the money I would have earned and how I’ll impact society. When I pray to the God of my Heart and I express gratitude for the things in life I do have, I also express gratitude for the things in life I do not have. I understand that some things may not bring out the best in us if they’re given to us now or even in the future. Some people say that money brings out the worst in people but I truly think it shows us who we really are.
Two of my nieces, Charlize and Faith, ages 4 and 2 respectively are sisters. Recently I’ve been hearing stories from their Mum about them and how they’ve been creating some trouble for themselves, emptying containers of food in the kitchen and around the house then covering themselves in the food they’ve thrown out. Usually their Mum will discipline Charlize, the 4 year old, as she should know better and should stop her younger sister. I know Faith is a bit naughty as she also has the habit of turning off the television, then running back to her seat as if she did nothing when her siblings call their Mum to complain. Last week however, while their Mum was giving Charlise (the 4 year old) a bath, Faith decided to empty the cereal all over the kitchen floor and have some fun with it. This time however, she had no one to blame or no one to accept the punishment on her behalf, it was quite obvious that it was all her doing. She was not pleased with the fact that she had to be disciplined, as she told her mother she would inform her Aunt (my sister) of the disciplinary action taken against her. Children…lol.
Sometimes we may experience situations where we have been wrongfully accused of something and forced to deal with the punishment and negative consequences of the actions of someone else. You should have confidence in the fact that the Universe never sleeps and the law of Karma is in full effect. Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind . . . what we sow is what we reap. Faith has only 2 years experience in this world, in this lifetime and soon she will understand the full effect of the laws of the Universe. The Great Law “As you sow, so shall you reap”, is also known as the “Law of Cause and Effect”. Whatever we put out in the Universe is what comes back to us. If what we want is Happiness, Peace, Love, Friendship…Then we should BE Happy, Peaceful, Loving and a True Friend. As is true with all things in life, Faith will continue to have the experiences necessary to teach her the lessons she needs to learn, until they are fully grasped.
Yesterday on my way to work I felt extremely tired. The night before, most of my time I spent coughing from the flu I picked up during Carnival and I was also itching from my food allergies that flared up. To put it simply, my night’s rest did not include much rest. While driving to work I struggled to focus on the road and my eyes burnt immensely. When I started to park my vehicle, I averaged incorrectly and I scratched the left front rim of my car. I continued to park, then sat in the car for a few minutes with a very sick feeling in my stomach. I cringed at the thought of the mishap but eventually I came out of the car and dealt with the reality. I snapped a picture of it and sent it to the guy I’m currently seeing, I’ll refer to him as Martin. I called Martin with the hopes that he’ll help comfort me a bit but I got more of a reality check with that call. He did try his best to make me feel better, then he said, “Honey you scratched your rim today and I lost my car in an accident 2 months ago, it could have been worse, you could have been injured.” Talk about putting things into perspective. Sometimes we fuss about our pains, not remembering it could have been worse or someone out there has it worse than us. We want things to remain so perfect and cannot accept when things go wrong or see the lesson in the experience. There is no such thing as a coincidence and I truly believe the Universe is trying to remind me of something with this situation. I initially wanted to have the scratch fixed but I’m not sure I will. While my the left front rim on my car does not look as perfect as the others, it’s a gentle reminder to me every time I look at it, that things could have been worse, so be thankful for what I have and the way things are.
This week I met up with a friend who seems to be dealing with quite a few challenges right now in his life. As I listened to him to lend my support, I looked around and realised how blessed he was. Don’t get me wrong, we are entitled to vent about the things that negatively affect us but I couldn’t help but wonder if other people would have looked at me the same way in the past when I complained about things that bothered me in my life. It’s really a challenge to focus mostly on the blessings when faced with adversity but it’s something I believe is worth mastering. Gratitude leads to increased happiness and a positive mental attitude attracts more blessings. I’m not saying to act as if the challenges don’t exist but a piece of advice given to me by Dave Bhajan from UTT many years ago, was “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change”. When I’m complaining, I need to remind myself of the following:
- I woke up this morning.
- I have family and friends to love, who also love me.
- I have a home to live in.
- I have the health and strength to do quite a lot with my life right now.
- I have multiple sources of income.
- All my senses are functioning.
- I am educated to a post graduate level.
- I have the freedom to do what I want whenever I want.
I can add so much more to this list but that would bore you…lol. What’s important is that I refine my way of thinking to focus more on what’s good in my life and see a deeper purpose and meaning in what may not be going so great.
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”…Maya Angelou