Tag Archives: Life

Celebrate Your Achievements but Don’t Dwell On Them for Too Long

Many people may likely not be able to put it better than Steve Jobs did: “I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next”—what a great piece of advice to consider whenever we make the next big hit.

Nobody has to be on a “Steve Jobs-level” before realizing that celebrations or triumphs are okay; however, dwelling on them for too long can end up distracting and impeding further success and future growth in our areas of interest.

Have you achieved something great?  You’ve won a trophy? You’ve graduated from high school with the best grades? You’ve retired after 50+ years of achievement after achievement? No matter what you’ve accomplished, there will always be something greater to accomplish.

Despite that ordinary or extraordinary accomplishment you’ve put in the bag, don’t dwell on it for too long and allow it to become a fertile ground for the growth or possible outgrowth of laziness, excuses, inactiveness, negligence, and all types of dream killers.

To be human means to constantly challenge yourself, grow, and excel or strive to become better

Human beings are never finished products—never. Humans are meant to grow, improve, and strive for something higher, regardless of their respective ages.

It’s important at each point or stage in life to motivate yourself by celebrating your triumphs, no matter how little or big they are; however, resting on your laurels for too long can have a devastating effect if you don’t figure out the next challenge and face it squarely.

Instead of resting too long or forever on your accomplishments, ask yourself what you need to do to take your life to a higher level. Higher levels are always there for the taking, no matter what we’ve achieved in the past.

Many people are supposed to be on a much higher level than where they are at the moment

Inactivity and lack of proper work ethic are two reasons for the great divide between “continuous success” and “discontinuous or no success”. Every opportunity or time wasted on prolonged and unnecessary celebrations may kill our first love for continuous success and growth.

Many scholars, athletes, writers, bloggers, doctors, basketballers, etc., actually achieved some level of success but will continue to remain on an average or sub-par level if they dwell too much on one or few successful moments, instead of putting in more work.

Treat your wonderful accomplishments as opportunities to accomplish even more wonderful things; don’t use them as landing spots for anything that has the potential to draw you backwards into the nether regions of mediocrity.

Your Forbidden Fruit is Sweet, But it’s Also Your Worst Enemy!

It’s easy for people to yield to their lusts like how good servants obey their masters. But it is important to note that obeying certain lusts can enslave you; on the other hand, rejecting them can certify your chances of gaining more freedom, power, and success.

The reward you get for not succumbing to your forbidden fruit of temptations and lusts would always outweigh and make up for the comparably little price you have to pay for missing out on them or other kinds of instant gratification.

What many people fail to see is that, if they completely reject their forbidden fruits, temptations, and lusts, their self-discipline will become strong enough and elevate them to become masters of their individual lives.

At the level of a master, they can successfully choose and achieve their own goals, instead of following the whirlwind of spontaneous temptations that originate from questionable activities, and are highly influenced by them.

Yes, your forbidden fruit is the sweetest. But it is also your enemy

We all know the popular story about the fall of Adam and Eve and how the world might have been completely different if the story were actually true—and they had decided to neglect their sweet forbidden fruit, instead of eating it.

Some people think they are being enslaved by others, even when they enslave themselves by eating junk food, not adhering to strict or professional routines, carelessly exposing themselves to discomfort, and accepting everything that the majority of other people regard as “spicy”, such as fraud, laziness, gluttony, and different kinds of vices.

No matter how much pleasure your forbidden fruit, laziness, or temptation can bring at the moment, it’s important to see them for what they really are—the great enemies standing against you on your path to freedom, power, and success.

Thus, the wake-up call would be: beware of our individual forbidden fruits, temptations, and lusts which are usually the sweetest out there in the universe. Understand what I mean?

If it’s not so pleasant to submit to our lusts and temptations and eat the forbidden fruit, then people would hardly struggle with self-discipline. But because it’s always pleasant to eat the forbidden fruit and yield to the hidden power of our lusts, we often fail to control their urges.

In fact, many people aren’t able to exert even a little influence in the right direction. As a result, they fail to control their lives, while they are helplessly and consistently being manipulated by temptations and passing or temporary satisfactions.

How Much do You Spend: “Developing Your Inner World” vs “Enhancing Your External Appearance”?

Most of us fear the declination or deterioration of our physical appearance (our body) and will do anything to prevent it from happening, even if it means sacrificing our inner world which is a major pillar in our life.

How pathetic: we care much more about the state and level of perfection of our physical bodies but don’t care a bit or as much for our inner world, a great gift that can guide our soul, our eternal spirit.

Although both reality and experience prove that, without the spirit, the body would be dead and remain dead, a good number of us behave as if the spirit would be dead without the body. In fact, we treat the body as if it is the beginning and end of life. Well, reality proves the direct opposite.

Our spending habits—which include the energy, time, and money we invest in certain activities—reveal our true priorities and show where the bulk of our allegiance clearly lies.

Make a quick comparison between how much (time, money, and concentration) you spend on your external appearance, and how much you also expend on developing your inner world. Is the ratio or proportion between them healthy?

Or, is the ratio between the two so unhealthy that you find it difficult to justify spending on personal growth (developing your inner world) but find it easy to invest everything in your superficial external appearance?

How would it help in the long run if you successfully work on your external appearance, perfect it and become full of it, but you—on the other hand—remain shallow or empty on the inside (the inner world) because you were complacent or didn’t work on it a bit or nearly as much?

Considering how much weight our inner world actually holds in the scheme of life, it sounds odd, but not surprising, that many people around the world spend countless amounts of time, money, and concentration on improving their external appearance through the use of cosmetics, supplements, expensive clothes, plastic surgery, and other procedures.

On the other hand, the same people spend little to nothing of their time, money, and concentration on improving their inner world, talents, and abilities which can greatly direct and define their destinies.

To avoid blips in destiny, it’s important to spend your time, money, and concentration on developing your inner world as much as or more than you would on your external appearance or physical body.

Isn’t it wiser to spend time more developing self-restraint against unnecessary spending, than to spend it on feeding or excesses without restraint, only to later end up struggling to fix all issues that are products of unnecessary spending?

In many instances, instead of buying another expensive pair of jeans, is it not more intelligent and more profitable to spend time and money on an inexpensive book that can lighten up your path and drastically change your inner world and life.

Nobody may even notice how well you are developing internally, but it doesn’t matter because, in the long run, everyone who really takes notice will eventually realize that you’re more valuable than someone who is always noticed and praised for buying new clothes, even though they are deteriorating on the inside as they continue on the path of inner complacency, instead of following the path of self-growth.

Honesty is the Best Policy Over the Long term Where Truth Always Emerges and Stands Tall

Imagine what a world of honesty would mean for everyone, including the world itself. Unfortunately, one of the greatest challenges for the self-discipline of many people is to stop lying—it is difficult to abide by the resolution to be honest and stop lying.

Many of us lie whenever we encounter opportunities to do so, wherever we go, and in whatever we do. Lying is so common that it seems it’s socially allowable to lie a little (telling a white lie) in order to make one’s self, resume, finances, height, or shape look different—or even better—than it really is, especially on the internet (personal blogs, dating sites, job sites, etc.), and even offline—in person.

Truth hardly shows up over the short term. Even when it has not yet shown up, of what benefit is it gain the whole world by being dishonest in the short term, but eventually lose everything valuable over the long term where the truth always emerges and finds out dishonesty?

History has lots of tales about it: the trails of dishonesty that have been causing so many problems and ills in the beautiful garden called society. Honesty and truth—strong ingredients of integrity—have always resided predominantly in virtuous people; on the other hand, both have been seriously lacking in people who are the opposite—immoral, mischievous, etc.

If you’re under the temptation to sacrifice honesty on the plate of short-term gains, recall and activate and radiate the old saying: “honesty is the best policy” over the long-term, the permanent, and eternal.

Honesty is one of the best pillars that can strengthen or establish your integrity, especially over the long term where the truth always emerges and stands tall in a manner that might not always be possible over the short term.

It is one thing to be honest and deny yourself of something valuable; it is a completely different thing to be dishonest when you think that dishonesty would make you look better, only to eventually find out over the long term that it has destroyed you or your relationship with someone whom you cherish deeply.

So, when the truth emerges and stands tall at the end of the day—over the long term—will you have any sense of honesty left in you? If you won’t, then unfortunately, whatever you have left will likely eat away at your conscience.

Advice

Not only should honesty be exhibited because it is the right thing to do; but it should also be exhibited because the truth will eventually find a way out. Where will you stand when the truth shows up and beams for the whole world to see?

Lastly: being honest doesn’t mean you should turn your life into an open book and allow everyone to know everything about you. As honest as any society would like and expect us to be, we have the right to keep some things to ourselves in a wise manner.

Optimism can Improve Your Ability to See the World in Brighter Colors

Oftentimes, life is very difficult, with no roller coaster and no fun. I mean it! The adversities of life sap lots of energy out of people, steal their destinies, and leave them in hopeless situations that can’t support optimism, no matter how much it (optimism) may be.

In the midst of it all, where does your allegiance lie? Where do you focus when the chips are down, when you hit low? Does your allegiance lie on positives or negatives—in optimism or pessimism? It might not be wrong to assume that you’re quite unfortunate if your allegiance lies in pessimism, in negativity.

But it might also not be wrong to assume that you have the right to place your allegiance on negatives. Why? Because optimism is not for everybody. Again, why? Because it doesn’t work for everybody.

But, despite the fact that it doesn’t work for everybody, it is equally true that a healthy dose or practice of optimism can make can you see the world in brighter colors, very brilliant colors, even when the going gets tough and the world turns upside down.

The Bible and history have proven again and again that, “as a man thinks in his heart, so he is”. The same is applicable to optimism: as a man thinks about optimism, he actually tends to become optimistic, until he actually lives optimistically and in surprising abundance.

It’s our duty to keep our hearts optimistic and guard them against all forms of pessimism

Proverbs 4: 23 says, “keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it [are] the issues of life. I now say something similar to you: keep your heart optimistic, for out of it comes abundance and scarcity which are two of the many pair of opposites of life.

It’s our duty to feed our minds with positive or optimistic information and experiences and build a mentality that expects the best from life, regardless of how and where the tide is turning for good or bad, better or worse. It’s our duty to focus on the invincibility of GOD our Creator and the great powers He has placed in His universe, in life.

It is true that being optimistic or practicing optimism won’t necessarily make you become completely invulnerable to negative feelings or pessimism—far from it. For, as long as we remain alive, we will likely continue to be at war with negative dark forces which easily influence most people’s minds, tricking and training them to always think negatively.

The good news is that we are at liberty to stop or protect ourselves from this trend by meditating on or practicing optimism and always opening up or surrounding ourselves with positive input by reading inspirational, motivational, or positive books, watching positive visuals, listening to positive audios, etc. Feed your mind every day, and a sip of optimism a day will slowly drive away bits and bits of pessimism every day.

No matter how bad your situation is, you can start from somewhere, and if you are self-disciplined enough to guard or keep your heart diligently, after some time period you will come to realize that you have been gradually and increasingly igniting optimism and the strong positive feeling that, regardless of what is happening around you, things will eventually turn out well and the best will come your way.

By gradually strengthening this feeling, you can actually draw in a larger-than-life reality of it. Even before becoming an expert at honing and radiating optimism, sipping optimism each day can greatly improve the way you see the world and eventually make you see it in much brighter colors than you ever expected.

Optimism can have a long-term positive impact on your emotions, mentality, faith, and destiny. An optimistic or positive attitude is essential for people who want to build self-discipline and establish a culture or brand that stands out. What’s the point of being self-disciplined enough to deny yourself instant gratification if you are not optimistic that you’ll achieve your goals in the future?

Whenever the tide is rough and everywhere looks gloomy and negative and all hope seems to be lost, that’s the time we—especially those who suffer from pessimism—really need inspiration or positive input to see the world in the brighter colors of our inner vision.

The brighter colors may be hidden, but they are there, waiting to be turned on. That’s what they were made for: to be turned on at will. Unfortunately, many of us are not aware of, haven’t discovered, or have lost our ability to be optimistic enough to save our emotions, nerves, faith, future, and destiny.

Easy steps to become optimistic—and even more optimistic

1. Thank GOD or Life for all the things you have received since the day you were born empty-handed. Be content with what you have and aspire higher, but learn to express gratitude for what you already have.

If you are not content or happy with what you have at the moment, it will be difficult or impossible for you to be satisfied with what you will receive tomorrow.

2. Practice and make it a habit not to entertain negative experiences and thoughts. Only entertain them if you are looking for opportunities and lessons. It’s actually possible to turn some negative experiences around and achieve greatness from them.

An experience may be bad for you only if view it as such. As we tend to look more at negatives for problems, we should learn to also look at negatives for lessons or opportunities to become better, change our lives, and give them positive meanings.

3. Open up or surround yourself with positive input. We cannot over-stress this point enough. The truth is that if you only entertain negative thoughts, read fear-mongering news, and hang out with pessimistic people from any background, you’ll likely have a hard time practicing or exhibiting optimism.

I encourage you to read inspirational, motivational, or positive books, watch positive visuals, listen to positive audios, etc. And always remember that a sip of optimism a day will slowly continue to drive away bits and bits of pessimism every day.

Humility Helps to Maintain Self-control

Humility or humbleness goes a considerable or long way in helping to keep our self-control or self-discipline in check! To have better control over our urges, it’s important not to take our self-discipline for granted.

Humility can be easily decimated by arrogance, and vice-versa: assuming an invincible lifestyle or filling up the heart with arrogance or false pride on one end, could gradually reduce or completely erase any humility or humbleness we might have on the other end.

Arrogant people and those who think they are invincible would, more often than not, want to test themselves and their willpower unnecessarily in order to prove how unbeatable they are. In many cases, testing some waters unnecessarily, eventually leads to downfall.

History and research show that arrogant leaders and successful people who are filled with self-pride had:

  • the tendency to overestimate their capabilities
  • an inflated belief in their self-control, and
  • exhibited controlling impulsive behaviors on the people and activities under their control.

By ramping up their egos, they overexposed themselves to temptations and failures: warmongering leaders put themselves in situations that ousted them from power; recovering smokers put themselves in situations that tempted them to smoke; recovering patients put themselves in situations that made them lose their health; etc.

Lack of humility and overinflating the ego increased the risk of a relapse and led to decline and ultimate ruin. Actually, pride goes before a fall. So, one really needs to be aware of pride.

Our self-discipline is like prosperity. It’s possible for it to stay with us for a long time, but it’s equally possible for it to disappear if we don’t keep our humility in check or tweak it the right way!

Moderation Shouldn’t Serve as an Excuse Not to Do or Be Your Best

Whenever we make firm resolutions to develop ourselves or achieve our goals, we might have the tendency or be tempted to push ourselves way beyond our limit which is the maximum we are capable of doing or producing around a particular time.

Although it is true that our ambitiousness is a virtue we must use to the maximum or extreme, it is equally true that there is some danger involved in doing things to the extreme and going from one extreme to another.

Therefore, we must be prudent on how we handle or use moderation: if you’ve been struggling to work for one or two hours per day, suddenly forcing yourself to work for sixteen hours per day will likely not end with the desired outcome. In fact, it could end in a breakdown or wear out.

If you’re struggling to restrict your appetite by eating once a day or per two days, then suddenly imposing a 7-day fast on yourself would e stressful and likely not end with the desired outcome.

Find somewhere between the extremes—“the middle way”. Stick to it and work on continuously increasing it over time and when you look back, you will see progress. In fact, based on the results you achieve, you could decide whether to still stretch your maximum, your extreme, or your limit!

As much as it is advisable for everybody to push their limit and explore greater boundaries, we don’t need to put our lives, health, emotions, or environment at risk just because we want to achieve good or great results.

Subjecting yourself to extreme hardships could have some merits, but it may not always bring the desired sustainability we’d like to have over the long term. In fact, it could be downright dangerous to subject ourselves to certain extremes!

Using the extreme approach over the long term could wear you and your life out without allowing you to get close to your goals. In whatever you do, don’t waste time hanging around; at the same time, don’t become busy to such an extent that you’re literally sucking the life out of your own life!

Remember to apply moderation in all things—including moderation itself. And if you need to apply a more extreme approach, do so for a fair or short period of time, and in a way that could be beneficial to your goals.

Now let’s take a look at moderation from a different perspective: whenever people use it as an excuse to not do their best: whenever people make mediocrity out of moderation and deprive themselves of doing or being at their best.

Moderation is key but it can go bad if one forgets that going for little or much less can be a bad thing, and going to the extreme can also be a bad thing. Always remember that you can find somewhere between the extremes—“the middle way”—if you really wish to.

For instance, some moderation would be good if you’re trying to lift a heavy weight that you can barely lift off the floor. But what good does it serve you when you let moderation make you become comfortable with consistently lifting something that’s as light as a feather?

If you really want to work on your muscles, what’s valuable in bragging about lifting something that’s almost weightless? Why make mediocrity out of moderation and allow certain levels of moderation to limit your growth?

Beware of any type of moderation that allows you to stick to easy things that are well within grasp and, by so doing, doesn’t allow you to really grow. Furthermore, beware of any type of moderation that forces you to do something that you can barely do.

Generally, any moderation that lowers your standards could end up covering you with mediocrity: a male athlete who thinks that exercising once a week is great—because most of his friends exercise only once a month—will most likely stop challenging himself and become mediocre because of his misuse of moderation.

Although it can be important to inspire yourself by making comparisons with other people, it may be even more important to compare the state of your present self with that of your past self.

For instance, if today you’re still making the same output you were making a year ago when you started producing something, then perhaps you’ve not used moderation in a good or right way. It may be that you have even substituted moderation with self-congratulation.

The Earlier You Act, the Sooner You’ll be Through

Procrastination only stacks loads and even loads upon loads on us. Procrastination gives some people fewer loads to carry and some other people more, depending on their choices and actions.

Generally, many people have truckloads upon truckloads to carry and never seem to make headway with their duties and realize their dreams.

Only a few people are organized enough to act early or earlier on their stuff and get things done sooner—or even much sooner than usual! Yes, when it comes to getting stuff done on time, it is not compulsory or even advisable to copy exactly what other people are doing; however, it is admirable to imitate people in order to avoid procrastination at home, work, or anywhere in any endeavor.

If you really want to tackle procrastination effectively, the moment you realize you’re wasting time avoiding work or doing nothing, especially when you have a ton to do, immediately stop whatever unproductive thing you’re doing and just start acting or working.

“Thoughts” and the process of thinking usually get the most out of the people who lose to procrastination because, as they allow themselves to ponder over “starting” or “not starting” something, their resistance to “starting” increases, and sooner or later, this resistance to starting overwhelms and overcomes them, and they end up achieving nothing valuable or productive for a whole day, week, month, or significant period of time!

The trick of acting—instead of thinking (pondering)—works better than thinking

Acting early or earlier beats all unforeseen or hidden blocks. On the other hand, thinking or pondering sets us up for potential challenges that may overwhelm us, even when we’ve made a strong resolution to act on stuff earlier and get it done sooner.

“Acting early” is a trick that works because it ensures you maximum resistance against procrastination “at the onset”. It is crucial to make use of such a level of maximum resistance at the onset because the more we think about getting started and don’t act early enough, the more we become sluggish, allow time to pass by, and make it easier to procrastinate instead of actually getting started.

Once you always resist that urge or temptation “not to start” and you actually start performing a task—no matter how unpleasant it is—then you stand to gain some momentum and make it easier to start tasks and get them done instead of giving up and procrastinating.

Whenever you find yourself resisting or hesitating instead of acting early enough or earlier, then act immediately and deal with stuff early and “once and for all”. The earlier you act, the sooner you’ll be done with whatever stuff you act on.

An added advantage of acting early is that it creates more time to focus on new/other stuff and prevents thoughts of “unfinished business” from creeping up and rolling up and down the back of your mind.

Each little act of acting early can help you develop or establish and maintain a habit of choosing to start stuff early instead of allowing all types of stuff—easy, hard, etc.—to accumulate over the passage of time, as cobwebs do in a beautiful house.

If you adopt a habit or work ethic of acting early on stuff, you’ll eliminate or greatly reduce the impact of procrastination on your activities, goals, dreams, and life, and have more time and tranquillity at your fingertips.

The Hidden Value in Your Difficulties

Nowadays, people like dodging difficulties! In fact, it seems dodging difficulties or “looking for a way out” is the fastest growing norm of our time, especially as technology, AI, robots, and countless applications are always around the corner, waiting to be summoned and used to achieve results, quickly and effortlessly.

Although it may be pleasant to desire and experience only easy successes, if easy successes are the only successes you want, you’ll end up generally expecting quick, effortless results. This develops or strengthens a mentality that is weak against difficulties, and it can’t support resilience, patience, and some other important qualities that are crucial to survival.

A mentality that expects quick results—but is weak against the difficulties and the uncertainties of life—would also be unreliable when life hits you hard with challenges or difficulties; in addition, you’ll likely not have the mental toughness to withstand and overcome future difficulties, maybe even the small ones!

Although there is a big difference in value between easy successes and tough successes—which may even require sweat, tears, and blood—does it mean you should accomplish your goals by using only the most difficult successes, and neglecting or rejecting the easier or easiest ones?

Of course not! However, it’s important to note that you won’t stand much to benefit in the school of life if you deliberately avoid all difficulties without at least giving a thought or more about the potential values they may possess.

And yes, it may feel like a smart move to evade difficulties all the time. But the long term impact could end up limiting your potential and making you less potent enough to handle all possible scenarios of life, which include all positive and negative experiences of life.

Life contains a ton of load that we must carry, and the load can take a toll on anyone who is not fit enough to withstand its difficulties—not only its ease which, as we all know, can never be a problem!

Because we all most likely have big, ambitious, and demanding long term goals where our level and power of self-discipline grows strong and shines more in difficulties than in ease—this instills the greatest feeling of having accomplished something worth doing.

Without Patience, Even Millions of Resources & Sacrifices Would Take You Nowhere

Generally, no matter how urgently any pregnant woman wants a child, she has to be patient for nine months to have one. No matter how brilliant a college student is, he or she must spend at least the duration of their course before receiving a certificate and exiting school.

Patience is a great virtue we need most times in combination with self-discipline. For without patience, even millions of resources and sacrifices won’t help us achieve certain goals, especially long-term ones.

If you really want to accomplish long-term goals, be ready to subdue any feelings of instant expectation—exercise patience! Self-discipline might be a necessary additive to keep patience in check as you wait for days, weeks, months, or years to achieve a big result.

Although sometimes you can force results more quickly—by working harder or being more diligent—in many instances, great or impactful results take time and there is just no way on Earth to cut corners or rush to completion.

No matter how many resources you invest or sacrifices you make, without patience and probably self-discipline, you’ll just end up getting nowhere. Like undergoing necessary stages of development or growing from a teenager to an adult, some things only follow a natural order that we can’t control.

If you fail to recognize this and the things that need patience and cannot be rushed, you might not be able to muster and exert enough patience; even when you apply some patience, you might end up misapplying the self-discipline needed to keep your patience in check.

As a result, you might end up achieving nothing instead of eventually achieving something or anything. For example, there is a natural limit to the quantity of fat our bodies can burn per week without breaking down our muscles.

But if we try to rush the natural process by starving ourselves, then the most likely outcome is that we would end up not only going back to square one—or the land of nowhere—but we would put on some additional body fat or weight.

Even with immaterial things such as developing and controlling our minds to eventually radiate optimism, we can’t force ourselves to achieve results overnight.

Transforming or rewiring your mind and brain takes time, and no matter how much sacrifice, time, and resources you spend practicing meditation or reading books about mind or emotional control, you can’t evade a process that requires time.

Lack of sufficient patience might even cause you to lose faith in something that other people have tried and achieved results by remaining steadfast and applying patience.

Generally, people who have taken years or decades to develop a certain habit or trait shouldn’t expect to reverse it completely within a few days, weeks, months, or years.

Approach life with the belief and mentality that there is a process and time for everything and you will always do your best; but in so doing, you won’t allow impatience and its children—discouragement, frustration, etc.—to wear you down if the process is slow or moves slowly.

It would be as meaningless as a pregnant woman who is complaining that she hasn’t conceived a child, even when she is fully aware that her pregnancy hasn’t lasted up to nine months.

How do You Garden Your Own Self-Control?

Self-control is very crucial in many areas of life. Without it, we can become slaves to the things that are around us or the things that control us: we can find ourselves controlled and overwhelmed by food, money, lust, our words, material and immaterial excesses, etc.

Being able to control ourselves empowers us to control potential and actual material and immaterial excesses or overindulgences. But it’s not so easy for a lot of people to exert sufficient self-control, the type that can put more power in their hands and even make them unshakeable.

The way we handle our respective self-control meters determines our individual results in many areas of life. There is an innate and sensible reason why people agree with this popular saying: “The way you make your bed is the way you sleep in it”. It is rightly so when it comes to self-control.

The Christian Bible (New Living Translation version) even stresses the point much better: Proverbs 25:28 states that “a person without self-control is like a city with broken down walls”.

How many times have we thrown our self-control under the bus and exposed ourselves to negligence, failure, and losses that were not necessary? How many times have we failed to refrain from doing things that are obviously killing us or hindering our chances?

Generally speaking, what type of gardener are you for your own self-control? How do you garden it? In other words, if your self-control was a plant, how well or badly is your self-control performing based on how you’ve been cultivating it over the past years—or since forever?

If it were possible to cultivate self-control without putting in some resolve or effort, then everybody would possess it. Unfortunately or fortunately—depending on your point of view—self-control is more like a plant that needs to be consistently cared for and cultivated, if not, it would wither away and leave you defenseless.

The people who have strong self-control are attentive to their “self-control”. They make sure that they take care of it properly and it acquires everything it needs to flourish and remain healthy.

Think about growing or sustaining your self-control in the same way: you must be prepared to “will” yourself and, in any situation that could lead to great results, prioritize long-term results over instant gratification.

When it comes to self-control, many people have the tendency to evade all kinds of things that can create discomfort and require our maximum effort.

Many people aren’t successful in their personal growth because they don’t exert enough self-control over their love for food, laziness, wasting countless hours in front of television, spending money on things that are unnecessary, and cutting corners anywhere possible.

If you want to acquire sufficient self-control or strengthen it much further, then get ready to neglect or put away many things; this may result in people ridiculing you, frowning upon you, misunderstanding you, and even calling you “weird”.

It can be discouraging and difficult to face adversity from people, family, and friends as you strive to improve yourself by exerting self-control. Whenever you face such adversity and feel out of sync with the rest of the world, remember that there are other people going through the same situation like you. Some will succeed and set the tone, while others won’t!

Forging a path is a responsibility that the vast majority of people would like to avoid. Remember that whenever you’re stumbling, failing, and need to straighten things out by exerting self-control, you’re forging your own path which will never be the same as that of other people.

Acting a Fool to Fool Your Way to Success

During the search for success, one aspect that many people frequently overlook or undervalue is the fact that if we wish to move higher up in life and rise above mediocrity, then we must be ready to learn and grow by making a fool out of ourselves every now and then.

It’s difficult or almost impossible to accurately predict the future. Regardless, we need to make decisions—the results which we may either live to be happy with, live to be okay with, or live to regret.

Even when everything convinces us that our decisions would work out well, not all of them actually end up working well. Once anybody is ready to step outside their comfort zone and fool around to acquire more knowledge and develop, they will develop an intuitive understanding of the difference between what works and what doesn’t work.

This would lead to discovery of answers people don’t have or know. Time always proves that we may need to act a fool—not purposely or intentionally—before we become wise and successful in life. Yes, we may need to fool our way to success.

No one said it better than Dan Waldschmidt: “You have to look like a fool while you’re looking for answers you don’t have”.

You’ve probably gotten into a new environment and told everyone about your plan to build a big business, but unfortunately—despite your level of education, intelligence, effort, enthusiasm, and the professionals at your disposal—you couldn’t get the job done.

You couldn’t realize your aspirations. You couldn’t deliver the impressive performance you dreamed of and promised people. Why? Because you quit after eventually losing all your money and savings.

Notwithstanding, despite investing in a business and foolishly or unintentionally losing all your money, you may have learned some priceless lessons and gained great wisdom alongside the obvious disappointment.

In a world where we are born as infants destined to act a fool or make mistakes and grow or mature, it is natural and quite normal to fool or fail our way to success.

Those who think otherwise tend to do anything possible to avoid opportunities for learning and growth, especially when the opportunities have the potential to become riddled by errors and mistakes or susceptible to somewhat foolish or naive decisions and failures.

Although acting a fool, humiliation, failure, and rejection are anything but pleasant, in a world of challenges, growth, and development, such negatives end up making some people become successful and everything but failure itself.

The ability to act a fool and withstand failure and rejection—while continuously pressing on without giving up—is one of the major differences between successful people and people who fail to realize their dreams.

As disagreeable as it sounds, occasionally acting a fool can be part of the process of becoming successful. Fortunately, the more you expose yourself to failure, foolhardiness, rejection, or humiliation, the more comfortable you will feel when handling the issues they create.

The Benefits of Preventing Luxuries from Becoming Necessities

Yes, it may be important to have luxuries, but it’s certainly not a necessity or as important as air, food, water, and some other elements of life. Simply put: any luxury is not a necessity.

Any luxury is not part of the basic foundation for living—but any necessity surely is! So why have so many of us consciously or subconsciously allowed luxuries to become necessities in our individual lives?

What’s the fuss about luxuries or “unessential things” when we can live perfectly well without them? Why have we become slaves to different types of luxuries when we can actually do without most or all of them?

Like a fresh newborn baby, the absence of luxuries or unessential things cannot take a toll on you except you allow it or become enslaved by it.

Deep down, we all know those unessential things: we all know the things we can certainly live without, even though we mistakenly or wrongly believe that we can’t live without them.

On one hand, lies unessential things; on the other lies the essential things or “necessities” of life—the basics which we can’t do or live without, such as air, water, and food. But surely, we can live without many of the luxuries and excesses in our lives.

Many of our emotional and financial problems stem from the obvious: we’ve allowed luxuries to become necessities in our individual lives, instead of preventing and controlling them along with the negative impact they could have on us.

The downside of allowing luxuries to become necessities

The problem with allowing luxuries to become necessities—or mistaking luxuries for necessities—is that it can rob you of developing or maintaining some required amount of self-discipline which you need to maintain a healthy state of equilibrium in various aspects of life.

How would a person eventually succeed in losing weight when they aren’t able to muster enough self-discipline and resolve to heed their doctor’s advice and actually retire from eating specific foods—say, burger, pizza, etc.

Why wouldn’t it be difficult for a person to prevent luxuries from becoming necessities when they spend every day looking for chances to make unessential or unnecessary luxuries the foundation of their life?

Why not prevent luxuries from becoming necessities?

Every now and then try to live or do without the luxuries or unessential things that many people erroneously or intentionally regard as necessities, and you’ll stand to gain valuable benefits in several ways.

Firstly it can push you beyond your comfort zone and help you develop higher levels of mental resilience which can enable you to recover more easily and readily from cases of depression and adversity that are linked to certain levels of dependence on luxuries or unessential things.

Secondly, it can serve as an eye-opener and help you discover the things you really need in your life as opposed to the things that you don’t need as much: it will provide food for thought as to the exact things that are not as important as you’ve been thinking they are.

This insight can inspire you to eradicate unessential things from your life and create more time and space to focus on essential or important things which are the necessities of life and general to all human beings regardless of their age, race, social status, etc.

Lastly, preventing luxuries from becoming necessities can help to enhance your ability to be more contented and feel happier with less—i.e., when you live only on necessities—in the absence of luxuries.

Behind the Scenes, Everybody Struggles in Some Areas of Life

Everyone’s life would appear to be a bit more equal if we view life in a much broader scope and come to this simple conclusion/fact: every man-made creation that exists around us was made by people who had experienced their own struggles behind the scenes while doing what they love and do best.

In all seriousness and reality, despite the carefree lifestyles shown in many movies and magazines, a carefree lifestyle just doesn’t exist. Dear soul, a life that’s void of struggles just doesn’t exist!

Nobody is superhuman enough to rid themselves of struggles in all areas of life, even if they portray or would like to portray a life of carefreeness to the whole wide world. Actually, everyone struggles in life—in fact, more often behind the scenes—emotionally, financially, materially, etc.

This might sound shocking, but nobody—including the world’s most brilliant and greatest geniuses—was, is, or will ever be as godlike or superhuman to the point of completely evading or making themselves immune from struggles.

In one way or another, everyone struggles. It’s not easy to notice that everyone struggles if you focus only on the successes or accomplishments of the people who are majorly changing the world around you.

We wrongly assume that successful or accomplished people usually don’t have struggles to contend with because they appear to be perfect, too intelligent, extremely productive, tremendously persistent, highly creative, enormously popular, so zealous, exceedingly beautiful, very strong, etc.

Even if you’ve authored many books on a subject and taught people how to handle struggles, that doesn’t mean you don’t or won’t ever have a load or truckload of struggles to deal or compete with.

The people behind the scenes of success or accomplishments have had to deal with the same types of problems as people who haven’t yet succeeded; the only difference is that they know how to cover their problems from the public and handle them a bit more effectively.

While achieving success, many great men and women had their own fair share of struggles and failures, found themselves unable to avoid or resist some temptations, succumbed to the allure of instant gratification, and even jeopardized some of their long-term goals. This is just part of being human—not superhuman or godlike!

As a matter of fact, the people whom we consider to be extremely successful aren’t that much different from us or anybody. Many of them struggled in the past: some had less willpower than we currently have, while others were less disciplined than us. However, they contended with and overcame their struggles.

Becoming intelligent, extremely productive, tremendously persistent, highly creative, and enormously popular is within everybody’s grasp—even if there’s some struggling to hustle with behind the scenes.

Neither you nor anybody else will ever live without having at least an ounce of struggle in one or more aspects of life: nobody will ever permanently distance themselves from the unpredictable struggles of life. Learn to accept and adapt to that, but keep your head up high as you come to terms with your conditions.

Stop Enslaving Yourself and Nobody Would Have Power to Enslave You

Self-enslavement is the bane of our world today. It’s so easy and normal to knowingly or unknowingly be a slave of our passions and fears and blame other people, situations, or things for our personal lapses and weaknesses that emanate from self-enslavement.

Each one of us really needs to look within ourselves before throwing blames outside, on other people or external factors: before pointing the finger at others and complaining that they’ve enslaved you, search within yourself and ascertain whether you have enslaved yourself or not.

Yes, look within. Take a cold hard stare at the best mirror which is your own soul—it honestly knows right and wrong—and you may find there slavish desires, submissive thoughts, and subservient habits that are enslaving your everyday life.

Conquer these entities so you can be in a better position to stop enslaving yourself. If you can put a halt to self-enslavement, then nobody would have the power to enslave you or compel you to sell your soul or life responsibilities and choices to other people.

Although external circumstances exert some influence, at the end of the day, the control of crucial aspects of your life depends on you

Conquer that lust which breaks your diet, instead of blaming your friends for constantly tempting you to get hold of something to eat, and in so doing, effortlessly break your diet. 

Work on your self-discipline which enslaves and wastes your finances, instead of faulting politicians and evil corporations who don’t spend an ounce of your money with you.

If you master or have power over your self-discipline, lust, patience, and the host of other inner attributes, then you achieve self-mastery and nobody would be able to enslave you or sway you from your earnest desires or volition.

Whenever your heart tells you to blame someone or an external factor for your lack of patience, self-discipline, or other inner quality, think about it again, and maybe again. Do we always have to point the finger and blame other people for our inability to be resolute or firm? Hell no!

The Best Way to Protect Yourself from Temptation is to Avoid It

Each person has one or more things that draw or try to draw them down into the mire. “Has” implies a certain type of craving or affection on our own part: in a way, our attraction to certain things contributes to our own downfall.

By not avoiding certain things or temptations altogether, we leave a gap or weakness which opens up a chance for certain things or temptations to take us down, tear us apart, or even destroy us completely.

Why go to the theaters at late hours when it causes you to wake up late and arrive at work late? Even if you’re highly self-disciplined, prevention is better than cure: avoiding theaters at late hours would protect your self-discipline from fighting against urges and help you wake up early and arrive at work early.

Sometimes we make it more difficult or get it entirely wrong: we think being self-disciplined is the best option and implies we should deliberately look for the things that can expose our weakness and lead us astray or into problems or complications.

We think because we have self-discipline, we can/should put ourselves to the test: we think we are strong enough to set ourselves up for possible failure.

It may be difficult to resist temptations but not difficult enough to avoid them—at least some of them: the best way to defend or protect yourself against temptations is to avoid them from the onset—completely.

Avoidance is better than exerting self-control

If you go to the bar every day or week, your chances of getting high or drunk would be higher than those of a person who avoids the bar and spends their time at home reading or doing something else.

The probability of cheating on your diet would be higher if you keep some forbidden foods at home. Keeping forbidden foods away from home will defend or protect you better from struggling with the urge to eat after taking forbidden foods home.

Your chances of consuming or selling hard drugs would be low or nil if you keep away from those bad boys in your neighborhood. You’d likely be more inclined to focus on your writing or online work if you could just close all those distracting websites or web pages.

Why not avoid those temptations in the first place, instead of exposing yourself and having to struggle, having to rely on your self-discipline or willpower to protect you from things you could have easily evaded at the best time—from the onset.

The bottom line: temptations are not worth it. Avoid them at all cost, instead of setting yourself up for an uphill battle that could really test your resolve and put you under possible immense pressure which may subdue you.

Some Choices We Make Have Consequences of a Lifetime

Newton’s third law states that “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. We would like to buttress the point much more and give a broader or more complete picture by stating that every “action” and “inaction” has consequences.

A choice is what you decide to do or not do. Some of the choices we make—actions or inactions—have consequences that can be effective or exert an influence throughout or beyond the duration of a lifetime.

Although the consequences of some of our choices are not always clear-cut or predictable, they can create more impact than other consequences.

The actions of Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Leonardo DaVinci, Thomas Jefferson, and many individuals have had and still have consequences that transcend a lifetime or an uncountable number of lifetimes.

We need to be careful how and where we tread because the choices (including the somewhat insignificant decisions) we make today can have a great and lasting consequence which can impact our future.

It may take only a second, a minute, or a moment to make the wrong choice and put your future in jeopardy. The choices we make in a second, minute, or moment can and do often create consequences that reverberate for many years, decades, or even lifetimes into the future.

Each choice you make sets up a consequence. If you make wrong choices consistently, like several times in a row, it becomes your standard or habitual method or procedure. This could set you up for problems.

Underestimating the consequences of your actions, inactions, and the possible impacts of repeatedly making wrong choices can profoundly affect the rest of your life.

What do you think may happen in the future if you make a particular choice now or tomorrow?

Whenever you’re faced with a choice or decision to make, remind yourself that any choice you make at the moment can create consequences that would not only affect the present moment but also the future.

The choices we make affect our future in many ways

It’s crucial and good to make the right choices. However, it is important to note that accidentally or unintentionally making a bad decision in life is part of being human. In fact, we can learn from it and become wiser.

To a certain degree, we all make mistakes and mess up from time to time, but what matters more than making a bad choice is how we learn from or deal with the mistakes or bad choices we make.

Are you going to continue making bad decisions or will you reassess your bad decisions and start moving in a different or more beneficial direction?

Many people make wrong choices, even though they think positively. If you think positive thoughts all day long, your life can still be a mess if you make bad decisions.

Fortunately, even when we make bad decisions, there’s still hope: with GOD on your side, it’s always possible to get your life back on the right track and clean up the mess created from bad choices.

Examples of choices and their possible consequences or outcomes which could even stretch over a lifetime

  • If you choose to prepare very well for an exam, the possible consequence or outcome is that you could get a high score or grade.
  • If you choose to stop attending classes and not prepare well for an exam, the possible consequence is that you could perform poorly or fail.
  • If you choose to play games during working hours, instead of working for your boss, you could get fired or sacked from work.
  • If you choose to spend the night partying and drinking with friends instead of preparing for your flight the next day, the possible consequence is that you could end up missing the flight and any opportunity that is linked with the flight.
  • If you choose to buy things that are “outside of your league”, the possible consequence is that you could run out of budget and end up being broke or owing a huge debt.
  • If you choose to continue applying for jobs, the possible consequence is that you could increase your chances of getting interviewed and landing a job.
  • But if you don’t prepare well for a job interview, the possible consequence is that you may not be given the job that is linked with the interview.
  • If you choose to put up a wrong or disgraceful attitude, the possible consequence is that you may ruffle some feathers and keep people away from you.
  • If you choose to be in an unhealthy or troublesome relationship, then the possible consequence is that you would hardly experience true love.
  • Etc.

Overcoming One Obstacle Simply Means You Can Overcome More

The great law of nature allows many things to have their way, including obstacles. Life on Earth is a life of obstacles and constraints. However, as negative as the word “obstacle” sounds, each obstacle is the way to growth and development!

Just think for a moment about how you successfully overcame some obstacles in the past. Those experiences made you to become better and stronger—however, only better and stronger enough to meet an even bigger obstacle later on!

It’s important to point out that obstacles keep life continuously developing, evolving, and interesting, especially when they are unexpectedly discovered to be the sure way to hidden treasures. It can be surprising to find out the number of opportunities that are sometimes clothed and disguised in obstacles.

Run away from every obstacle and you may be running away from a ton of opportunities that life wants us to access by breaking through those fortified lines called “obstacles”.

Obstacles have potential! Each time you come across an obstacle, you learn something and develop wisdom, strength, or gain a new perspective of life or an endeavor. Each time you’re done, you become a better version of yourself.

As long as the world keeps spinning, we’ll keep encountering obstacles in one form or another

The more you accomplish in life and move forward, the more things and obstacles you’d find standing in your way, even if those obstacles are actually the way to your true destiny or life calling.

There’s a popular Haitian proverb that states, “Behind mountains are more mountains”. Although you may have an obstacle, if you take a good look, you’d find an even greater one around the corner.

According to an Elysium myth, nobody overcomes an obstacle to enter a land of no obstacles. In other words, nobody stops encountering an obstacle after overcoming an obstacle. Obstacles are part of life, but they are the way to a higher life.

Each obstacle brings in its train a battle that can be used to eventually stand taller, make better progress, and evolve in harmony with the laws of nature which are fitted with obstacles.

There are and will always be more obstacles and bigger challenges along our way, but how we approach and handle them would be crucial in our quest to become better or the best version of our respective selves.

Overcoming one obstacle simply means you can overcome more obstacles which Mother Nature and her world seem to enjoy throwing at you because they are for your good and you have what it takes to handle them.

Therefore, be hopeful and cheerful while handling an obstacle or waiting for the next one. 

While Hoping for the Best, Also Prepare for the Worst

Your plans may look all set up and geared for success until, out of nowhere, things suddenly go wrong. In fact, on the eve of launching a major initiative, things may go wrong and your project may even fail entirely.

As you hope for the best, prepare for the worst because the worst can show up at any moment; not to hurt you, but teach you how to envision in advance that anything could or may go wrong; it could help you understand why you shouldn’t put all your hopes or eggs in one porous basket.

Many plans fail for preventable reasons, and many people don’t have a second or backup plan because they don’t consider or refuse to acknowledge that something may go wrong out of nowhere.

What we think we deserve is rarely what we get precisely

While hoping for the best, what we mostly end up getting only resembles what we actually planned for or set our minds on in the beginning. Although we know this fact, we still act as if we’re ignorant of it, and we’re repeatedly surprised when misfortune unfolds on the run to the future.

Mike Tyson, a famous boxer, who pondered on the collapse of his fortune and fame, once stated that “If you’re not humble. Life will visit humbleness upon you”.

If we learn how to consider worst-case scenarios while we hope for the best, we won’t get into an emotional mess or catastrophe at critical and disastrous points in our lifetimes.

As we think and work on a plan, it is also important to consider the things that may go wrong, or that things may go wrong and block that plan: storms could arise, and the person we depend on the most may become sick; we may even be visited by the misfortunes of Mother Nature herself—oh, what a world of uncertainty we live in!

Always be prepared to get disrupted; in fact, consider every possible disruption in your plans

The best way to be balanced in a world of uncertainty is to be fit for both defeat and victory—we have to be prepared for the best and worst and consider disruptions as part of life.

Prepare that whenever life sucks, you’ll better manage the situation and be okay. Prepare that, even if you’re dependent on other people, not everyone can always be counted on. Unfortunately, sometimes we’re the ones who are our own worst enemy, not other people.

We and everyone could make mistakes and destroy our personal plans—not every time, but likely some or most of the time. If you assume that everything will always work out, you may become surprised, miserable, and have a difficult time accepting misfortune and moving on with life when disruptions set in.

Contrary to most people’s expectations, things could actually become worse before they become better

Even if people would call you a pessimist, learn to expect the worst and be calm before a storm arises. It’s better to be a pessimist who believes that all terrible things will work for your good, than to be caught off guard by hoping for the best and never preparing for the worst when it eventually arrives. 

In a world of misfortune, put yourself in the best position possible by preparing your mind in advance for adversity. Get prepared for adversity to be as hard as possible and as hard as it can oftentimes actually be.

The fact that the worst thing can happen doesn’t mean the worst thing will permanently remain worse. Expected failure is easier to manage than unexpected failure. If you think that things may go wrong, nothing that eventually goes wrong will catch you by surprise.

The person who is prepared to be disappointed won’t actually become disappointed when the wheels fall off; in fact, they would have the strength to bear disappointment.

While we always hope for the best during times of peace, it is advisable to prepare for the worst; doing so would give us time to raise our inner or emotional defenses and also help us resist breaking into pieces when things don’t go according to our plans.

Be ready for success but also prepare for failure!

Be Ready in Case None of Your Best Efforts Work

At times, no matter how much faith we have, things might not just work out the way we wish. However, this doesn’t mean we should give up trying—or more importantly, our future—when things don’t work out according to our desire.

Each one of us has the ability to always think clearly and do things creatively, and nothing in the world can ever stop us from trying our best or putting in our best efforts.

Despite all our creativity, efforts, and dedication, fortune can misbehave at any moment and create obstacles that may be impossible for us to overcome.

One obvious truth is that we can’t always be in control of the world around us: we can’t always run things the way or manner like. 

Even if we have the greatest faith in the world and act rightly, we may still end up falling short or failing anyway. Therefore, it’s important for us to be prepared at all times in case anything goes wrong!

Some things are or will be bigger than us, but we can still continue to advance or evolve for the better

Yes, some things are and will be bigger than us, but nothing can ever prevent us from trying one thing or another. Some paths may be impassable and some of our actions may be rendered impossible.

But this doesn’t necessarily mean that we are completely unfortunate. Why? Because we can use such circumstances as opportunities to acquire some virtues, abilities, or skills—even if it involves learning to be humble and accept that unfortunate things could happen.

In every situation that helps or hinders our progress—whether it’s fortunate or unfortunate—we are presented with a new path that can open a new or better part of us.

If you love someone, but the person hurt you, a new path could open for you to practice forgiveness. If you lost all you have, a new path could unfold for you to buckle up, face reality, and hustle to gain more than all you lost or ever had in your life.

Problems present chances or opportunities for us to try, do the best that we possibly can, or even become better. But we must be willing to play our part and roll the dice, even if we will end up losing.

At times, no amount of thinking, planning, zeal, effort, and dedication—no matter how hard we try—will change the fact that certain things won’t work at the end of the day.

Therefore, be prepared that at the end of the day, even your best efforts may not work. Anyone who pursues a goal comes face-to-face with this reality, again and again.

Try all you can to get things done, be ready to accept whatever verdict comes, and move on instantly to whatever is next on the path to your future and your destiny.

Overcoming Obstacles by Using Obstacles Against Themselves

Overcoming an obstacle surely requires taking action. Action has many definitions…taking action does not necessarily require force or motion for it to be effective—implying that we can take firm action by not acting as the average person would.

Sometimes, the best or easiest way to overcome an obstacle is by halting, stepping aside, remaining a bit laid back, and even letting the obstacle advance towards you, instead of attacking it when the opportunity arises.

In many regards, inaction or dormancy is enough action. Everything doesn’t need to be as active or forceful as people or society would expect. We are at liberty to act in ways that would make any obstacle absorb its own power and destroy itself, but still work for us on the other hand.

Perhaps, your obstacle or enemy looks really insurmountable, as it did against Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and many others who concentrated on overcoming obstacles by pitching love against hatred, and peace against violence, injustice, and intimidation. 

Some obstacles may be impossible to defeat, regardless of the action you take or the amount of effort you put in. Instead of using your own unlimited resources to attack, why not find a way to use your obstacle’s resources and adversity against its totality—against itself.

It hardly ever occurs to us that, in some cases, standing still or moving backward is the best way to advance

Actually, sometimes we need to take action. But we also have to acknowledge that inaction—restraining ourselves or “holding back”—might be the best action to eliminate the blocks on our respective paths.

Sometimes, each person needs to have patience or a bit more patience than the patience they have cultivated in their life: sometimes, we just need to wait for obstacles to dry up or fizzle out.

Sometimes, an obstacle might not require anything or much from you. As a result, taking any or too much action could become your own worst enemy and get you consumed when moving forward.

We wrongly assume that the only way we can progress, the only way we can win, is by attacking or moving forward, instead of pausing or standing—in fact, doing virtually nothing!

At the end of the day, what matters is whether the approach you use gets you to the place you desire. Although pausing, slowing down, or using obstacles against themselves may seem ineffective, it is different from doing nothing, and can often help to achieve a great deal.

Look closely and you may be surprised to find out that the bigness of your obstacles can, in fact, be an advantage for you and a disadvantage for your obstacles. It can help you push the tide against your obstacles.

Yes, we can use the things that seriously challenge us to our advantage and make them do the hard work for us. Sometimes, this would require us to calm down, leave our obstacles the way they are, instead of stressing ourselves to take every conceivable action.

Everyday, Life Asks Us Questions; Our Daily Actions are the Answers

As we continue climbing the ladder of life each day, life itself silently asks us questions by creating conditions through siblings, friends, parents, pets, the environment, and almost everything conceivable.

Life may even ask us questions through non-living things. Sometimes, on the road to success or what we want to become, life would even ask us to do certain things that, usually, we’d rather not want to do or entertain.

In any case, and regardless of our decisions, our actions are always answers which can be right or wrong or anything in between the two.

Regardless of any expected outcome, we need to take actions to progress and keep moving ahead. Therefore, it is appropriate or necessary that whenever we need do something that is necessary, and especially good, we have to do it well, bearing in mind that the value of our actions is as real as life’s conditions and demands which are like serious questions.

At any junction, life may ask us to become so low by introducing us to the broom—yes, so that we can get down there and do some real sweeping. Fortunately, but unknown to many people who throw certain opportunities away, whenever life wants to humble you, it also provides an opportunity for you to excel—and learn.

Many people climbed from humbleness and poverty to power by putting in their best—by wholeheartedly doing what life asked and expected them to do. And they did it the right way, with the right sense of pride. In fact, they even did it better than everyone else.

The quality of our actions matter; they are answers to life’s serious questions which also matter as much

Everything we do matters! It is thus important to concentrate as best as we can on the tasks of the moment, noting fully well that everything that life presents is an opportunity to exhibit our best while still chasing after perfection.

Chasing after perfection is our primary obligation or duty. (This might not be wrong or far from the truth.) In other words, what this means is that whatever we are doing, we owe it to life, the world, our profession, and ourselves to do it as best as we possibly can—do it well.

All vanity will fall away if taking high-value actions becomes a priority

We all are given different sets or types of conditions during our respective lives; it doesn’t matter whether they are glamorous or not glamorous. What matters most is how we treat each condition. Do we treat them with utmost seriousness and as a priority?

Therefore, each action we take on the path to our destination matters; hence, we should be careful not to give less than we are actually capable of giving. Whatever we are facing, we should respond with honesty, hard work, and by helping people as best as we possibly can.

Whether we are paid or not, or whether anyone notices our best efforts or not, it doesn’t matter as much as giving our best—regardless of the positives or negatives!

Life is a serious business and the questions that life asks us, along with the actions it expects and prompts us to take, require us to give our best—our all!

No matter what we are doing—whether we are facing bankruptcy or making money, rich or poor, here in hell or there in heaven—we are taking action and making something serious out of life, and this something requires at least some level of seriousness, attention, and dedication.

Nature Has a Purpose for Every Person, Animal, and Thing

Since free will is part of life on Earth, it might be easy to understand why people, animals—and maybe even plants—tend to dislike things that are either dissimilar or similar to their nature or species.

But it won’t be easy for some people and even animals to come to terms with any dislike that is shown towards other people, animals, and things in the environment.

Even if we don’t like/aren’t fond of a particular person, animal, or plant, it’s important to always remember that Nature has a purpose for bringing whatever it has brought into existence.

From the things that can be seen, to things that can’t be seen, such as the uncountable tiny atoms that exist, everything is connected with Nature and has a task and purpose that keeps them interconnected with each other and connected to the whole.

Even the objects and activities inside our world are interconnected with other objects and activities outside of it—in the solar system and cosmos or boundless universe.

Everything exists because Nature, in its greatest wisdom, conceived and brought everything into existence with a purpose attached. It’s not the duty of people, animals, and things to thwart that purpose!

Why the hatred, annihilation, or extinction of part or whole species, especially when nothing is at stake?

It’s disheartening that, because of hatred, jealousy, or some other unexplainable reason, some humans and animals show utter contempt, maim, and exterminate species or races that are different from or even the same with their own.

Why is there the tendency or desire to create nothingness out of the very things that Nature created for a purpose? Why the urge to impose one’s will and do away with an aspect of Nature that was created to be sustained regardless of how some people and animals think it shouldn’t?

Why aren’t we more inclined to view ourselves fortunate enough to have been conceived, created, and brought into have Nature? Everyone has the inborn ability to sustain Nature’s creations. That ability is like a small flame, and we are its guardians!

So, our job isn’t to utterly hate, debase, annihilate, or exterminate what we don’t like; rather, our job is to ensure that Nature’s offsprings are sustained as much as possible and live to the fullest extent possible.

Every individual has their own unique version of Nature’s flame and is responsible for using it, and especially directing it to enhance their own welfare and the welfare of Nature’s creations. If each one of us fails in this regard, the world will become much darker than it is.

However, if our flame flickers and we direct it as rightly as Nature wishes, then there will continue to be sustenance and light in the world. And the light would only become brighter.

Better be Flexible Instead of Sticking to a Script

One of the most important abilities to acquire in life is the ability to train the mind to adapt to or be flexible about any circumstances, especially the ones that push you to the edge or put you on the cliff.

Even if certain difficult or challenging circumstances take you off your plan or script, the ability to be flexible and adapt—if present—can keep you balanced and grounded until tides turn in your favor. 

But, as the case seems to be for a handful of us, for one reason or another, we don’t want to adapt, we aren’t ready to flex ourselves when the straight roads of life become crooked, even beyond our wildest expectations.

Actually, it would be very helpful if someone informs us about what would happen ahead of time. It would be awesome if someone shows us exactly what we need to do in every type of situation, regardless of whether it’s good or bad.

But, as we all know, the world doesn’t work that way for almost everybody: we don’t always have premonition about what will happen to us in the near or far future, neither thus anyone tell us (most of the time) exactly what we need to do correctly in every situation.

We spend an appreciable part of our lives preparing for the future so that we can be equipped and ready before time, but plans often change suddenly and beyond our control. Really, as great boxer Mike Tyson once remarked, “plans last only until you get punched in the face”.

After having plan and expectations in place, if you can’t adapt or exercise some degree of flexibility when the rough and crude adversities of life raise their heads and punch you in the face, then you will become handicapped or fall off the path.

It’s good to have plans but not always good to stick to the scripts for plans. Why? Because, as humans, the number of things and plans we can control are limited or even very limited. Major things or events can change at any moment.

We don’t always have an answer for every question or a plan for every contingency. Our scripts or plans can be changed a bit or completely by forces beyond our control: they can be edited or deleted without our consent.

But this doesn’t mean we can’t adapt or be flexible. It doesn’t mean we have to cave in.

We need to be confident that we’ll adapt, be flexible and change for the better, depending on the circumstances

If you seek for answers to all questions or perfect plans for every contingency, you’ll not always find them. However, you can be able to find the confidence that you’ll be able to adapt.

Some people may need to adapt by looking for more knowledge. Other people may need to adapt or be flexible by cultivating more skills or creativity.

Yet, a different category of people may need to adapt by being more independent and developing the ability to solve problems on their own instead of depending on the crowd.

We all are on different stages of evolution or development. By adapting in whatever way we may be required to, we become more resilient instead of rigid and stand in a better position to weather the storms of life.

Conclusion

Be flexible instead of sticking to a script!

You Become Great by Discovering other People’s Problems & Finding Solutions

People become great and famous in the world because of discovering other people’s problems and finding solutions for them. The most trusted way to become great is by serving people—by proffering and providing solutions to their problems.

Due to the imperfection in our humanity, we have the tendency to be constrained or bound within limits and not become great when we evade our true calling which lies in serving each other.

Many people and professions have become very popular because they’ve been focussing on and addressing people’s needs, thereby revealing their true calling just by providing solutions to people’s problems.

To become great, build your life around the principle of loving other people, regardless of who they are

Serving people means solving their problems. The more services you offer, the greater or more popular you become. If you build your activities on the principle of loving other people and serving them, then success and greatness will naturally follow you in life.

If you serve a few people, only a few people will know you, but if you serve many people, many people will know you; therein lies the difference between successful people and great people, and the difference between different levels of success and impact.

The person who serves a few or lesser number of people is successful, but the person who serves many or a greater number of people is more than merely successful—that person is great because of the impact they have on a greater number of people.

There are unlimited ways to help people and become great: everything the world needs lies in everybody’s hands

There are limitless ways you can use to solve people’s problems and earn love and reverence and become great. If you serve without expecting anything in return, the universe will reward you much greater than anybody could.  

But before you can help people by offering your services, knowledge, or experience, you, first of all, have to find out what people need; once you do that, then you’ll be able to know the particular type of service, knowledge, or experience you can offer, and proceed to offer it.

Successful and great people are consistently looking for problems to solve and people whom they can offer services and wisdom in order to solve their problems. If you use your gifts, talents, or abilities to help people, the Creator of the universe will send spiritual and material blessings your way.

Your Life is Worth More than the Money & Things You Own

Although money and material possessions are important, each person’s life is worth much more than money. If we don’t use money in ways that would serve GOD’s purposes and our lives, then it can corrupt and debase us. Therefore, we need to have the right motives when it comes to accumulating money, riches, or wealth.

If our trust is only in the money and material things we possess—like cars, houses, swimming pools, industries, inventions, etc.—then the level of our spirituality and trust in GOD is likely pathetic or in vain, and shows that we tend to believe that life depends mainly on money.

Our physical bodies are limited to this world and are subject to time which is a child of eternity. Unlike our physical bodies and earthly possessions, our spirits or spiritual bodies belong to eternity and are thus eternal like our Creator; for this reason, on the eternal scale our lives have much more value than money and material possessions.

Although it’s obvious that we can justify why we need money and many of the things we clamour for in life, our lives are worth more than money. The truth is that your life is worth more than the things you own; money and material possessions are just items that make life easier.

If we assess or evaluate the worth or value of our lives by the things we own, then we have no more hope than people who don’t believe in GOD, eternity, or the continuation of life after death (exit from this world).

No matter how wealthy we are, we should learn to value our lives without wealth

If we can for once search our souls and imagine ourselves without cars, without storey buildings, and without the most fascinating things in the world, would we feel miserable? If we would, then it’s obvious that we have failed the test of GOD and His eternity.

If we allow our life’s value to be consumed by the belief that money is more than life, then it’s evident enough that we are endeared by the love of money which has been the root of many kinds of evil. If your life’s value and composure depends on outward visible things, then instead of being really free, you are enslaved. This is likely one of the reasons why Jesus Christ told (read Matthew 19: 21 of the Christian Bible) the rich young man to sell all his possessions.

The wealthy young man failed the test of GOD and eternity because he loved his wealth or riches dearly and couldn’t imagine that his life would have value without money; he couldn’t imagine life without his wealth or riches which were “great”. It is not surprising why Jesus Christ later told his disciples that “it will be difficult for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of GOD”.

You can’t really pass the test of GOD and eternity until your happiness doesn’t depend on money and material things

Overwhelming dependence on and pursuit of money and material things are very detrimental to our journey towards the Kingdom of GOD and eternity. If our happiness is hinged on how much money we have, or the material things we possess, then we are enslaved by the love of earthly things.

Your being or spirit passes the test of GOD and gets real beauty and freedom when it is detached from complete dependence on money and material things. It has to be noted that it’s not everyone who is wealthy or rich that is enslaved by money; at times, enslavement by money happens the other way round: some poor people who worry about money, are enslaved by it, and could be addicted to it.

We are destined to be masters of money, not servants of money

From Jesus Christ’s interaction with the rich young man, it can be inferred that the main problem that rich people have is that they love, depend on, or trust in their riches more than they trust in GOD; so they feel that life completely depends on money which is just a piece of paper or metal.

Money is just an instrument that we have to use to meet our material needs and accomplish GOD’s purposes on Earth; therefore, GOD designed us to be masters of money. But if we allow ourselves to be slaves of money—or allow money to be our master—then certain fruits will likely grow in our lives: greed, envy, pride, dishonesty, selfishness, etc.

Our spirit and being mustn’t rely on money. I personally believe this is what the founding fathers of America had in mind when they unanimously agreed to put the words “In GOD we trust” on the US dollar: they believed that instead of putting trust in the currency or piece of paper called “dollar”, people should put their trust in GOD.

Unfortunately, over decades or hundreds of years, people have been trusting in dollars and currencies more than in GOD; they have been risking their lives because of currencies, killing people because of currencies, blackmailing people because of currencies, and doing all sorts of evil deeds because of currencies.

We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be controlled by money and material things to the point that we lose our true freedom that lies in following the laws of the Kingdom of GOD which depend on spiritual values and qualities that we will have to live by in eternity, after our lives on Earth are over.