“The ingredients to Success are known to all BUT the recipe to Success is known to few. Every person will be successful provided he has something to offer to the society/humanity. The only thing then he has to do is to “time” his offering.
If it is too early then he has to be “Committed” to his offering, and stand the test of time.
If it is too late (where others are offering the same), then he has to be “Determined” to find and improve his Unique Selling Point and focus on reaching his audience.” – Ravi Shamrao
Image Credit: dreamstime.com
It is another Sunday, the beginning of what would be a fruitful week. I just finished restoring my phone after I did a factory reset that took hours and began the process of preparing myself for a new week.
This process of preparing myself for a new week, usually involves either mentally picturing what I aim to achieve in the week, dreading the week (if it looks like it would be a boring one) or listening to inspiring interviews and messages. While still deciding which it would be, I came across a tweet from Oprah Winfrey (not addressed personally to me of course…hehehe I wish) that referred to Super Soul Sunday and I decided to look up the show on Google.
My search led me to an interview she had earlier this month with Brene Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. During the insightful interview (try to watch it if you can), Professor Brown mentioned a quote by Theodore Roosevelt which resonated greatly with me. I will leave you with this quote and I hope it inspires you the way it inspired me.
See quote below;
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Have a pleasant week ahead
Image credit: bbc.co.uk
Recently, I have been concentrating more on posting quotes which I have found to be inspirational and not written anything more personal. However, yesterday, a friend of mine referred to a post I made two years ago on an old blog I used to run. I had actually forgotten about this post but her comment caused me to read through it and I was amazed at how much the key message still applies. So I thought to repost here…
I hope this inspires you as it inspired my friend.
20th October 2011
It has been close to 4 months since I last wrote in my blog. In this period, I have succeeded in completing some crucial coursework, completing my dissertation for my masters program and doing my viva (defence of the dissertation). I have also joined a network marketing program, that has paid off real well (that is gist for another post) and lost some weight.
More important than all these accomplishments are some important life lessons I learnt during this period. One of which I would share with you today.
A number of us are familiar with optical illusions, one of which is in the picture above. This picture is a fusion between a young woman and an old woman. A couple of people see just the young woman wearing a hat with her face away from them while other people just see the face of a really old woman. Whichever category you fall into does not change the fact that both views exist.
Life is exactly like that. Most times we look at a situation from a particular perspective without realising that a different perspective very different from what we see exists. An example that readily comes to mind is a personal experience of mine.
Some months after I arrived into the United Kingdom, I was very desperate for a part time student job that I could combine with my studies, due to the fact that my resources were dwindling at an alarming rate. I kept applying and applying but got the same polite rejections. Finally, I got a call from a company for an interview. I was so delighted and prayed so hard for it to work out. I went for the interview and did very well. I was invited to a trial shift but I was told by the manager that I needed to go for another one, as he was not sure if I was up to the standard. 3 trial shifts after, I was told that I could not be employed for the role. At that point I was already tired and a bit devastated because I had put in a lot of effort and I felt the job was for me. I had no choice but to move on.
Two days later, I got a call from another company that I had applied much earlier in the year. I had actually forgotten about that application because I didn’t get a call when I expected. I was invited to an interview and I was offered the job two days after the interview. I must say, that the job I finally got was a much better one with a slightly better pay package, better working conditions, free outfits etc. I was amazed at how things worked out. I had been so focused on the view of the other job that I did not step back consider other views.
Right now, you may be gunning for something that is causing you a lot of pain because it does not seem to be working out. It may seem to you that you have to be on that path or no other. Have you considered stepping back a bit to think that just maybe, you are not on the right path and that a more rewarding path exists elsewhere if only you decide to adjust your view? It could also be that you are on the right path but you are just wearing the wrong shoes, i.e. using the wrong methods to solve the problem. This life is really not as difficult and complicated as most of us make it out to be.
Every single situation has more than one view to it. We just need to step back a bit and look within for it.
Till you read from me, have a blessed weekend.
Image credit: coolopticalillusions.com
I hope you have had a good month so far. Mine has certainly been interesting. Even more interesting is the fact that summer has fully kicked in here and people have replaced grey dreary looking winter jackets for bright coloured summer outfits. I have even had the pleasure of viewing some bare-chested blokes who find the 20 something degrees Celsius temperature as a bit too much to handle. What can I say? Life is beautiful.
I watch a lot of TV series from Greys Anatomy, Big Bang Theory, to Suits. I can’t seem to get enough. Also, on those nights when I find myself awake, I go on YouTube to watch music videos. Sometimes I even watch really old ones just to reminisce about those days. Last night, after watch The Apprentice Finals, I did the same and somehow I found myself hooked on “Pretty Wings” by Maxwell; there is something about the song that makes me smile…
So after what must have been the 20th time, I finally stopped myself from listening to Maxwell and decided to search for a song I used to play while doing my Saturday house chores back in Nigeria. As I settled into bed, my thoughts wandered back to those days when life was just about getting good grades and making my parents proud. As I gradually let myself fall into sleep’s warm embrace, I briefly opened my eyes one last time to look at the computer screen and to my pleasant surprise, I recognised the man playing lead male character in the music video as the same actor who plays a popular and one of my favourite characters on Greys Anatomy. I was surprised mainly because I know the video I was watching was old. I pushed away the covers, moved closer to the laptop screen just to make sure my eyes were not deceiving me, pulled back the progress slider, watched for a while, and there he was again.
Now fully awake and excited, I embarked on the task of watching other videos just on the off chance that I would spot some now famous TV personality and sure enough, I found them. People who we now recognise as famous were once a little more than extras in old music videos. Those must have indeed been the days of humble beginnings.
I marvelled as I pondered about this. Surely anyone looking at how popular these actors are now, and how much they make would not realise that they for many years had to take on relatively irrelevant roles on their road to success. Rather than quit, they carried on doing what they believed in and were eventually rewarded with success and the fame that comes with it.
The truth of the matter is that there are very few successful people who have made success on their first attempts. Most have had to keep trying and trying and even become involved in endeavours that have not quite been at the same level they desired, but never lost sight of the dream until they were finally rewarded with success.
This principle also applies to other industries and various other aspects of life. Sadly, majority of people only recognise successful people only after they have succeeded and automatically want to be identified with that level of success without realising that before the success were many tries and tears, a lot of time had been spent behind the scenes.
Just as a seed doesn’t the instant you put it in the ground, it first has to die and survive the elements of weather before it germinates and eventually becomes a tree, in the same vein, lasting success never comes overnight. You have to try and try again, keeping the dream alive even when your immediate surrounding suggests otherwise.
Let this be a source of encouragement for you, no matter what situation you are currently trying to succeed in, be it a business, landing a better job, a health issue, family issues, losing weight, whatever it is, know this;
Success doesn’t always come at the first try, you just have to keep trying and getting up after every apparent failure. Chances are you could only be one more failure away from the success you dream of.
I hope you have a very pleasant weekend ahead.
Image credit: businessinsider.com
“If you think you are beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don’t,
If you like to win, but you think you can’t
It is almost certain you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost
For out of the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you are outclassed, you are
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN!”
– Walter D Wintle
Image credit: iamsimplydebbie.com
“Those only are happy who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness.”- John Stuart Mill
A lot of us go through our lives searching for happiness – that perfect state of mind filled with utmost joy, only likened to flying without wings. We condition ourselves to believe that once we get that thing we desire, be it a new job, promotion at work or even get married, our lives would be just perfect and we would have nothing else to worry about.
So we spend each waking day fully focused on the fulfillment of this goal, toiling really hard only to be rudely surprised that we are back to the same state of unhappiness just weeks, even days after reaching our goal.
Like junkies, craving for the next high, we set even more lofty goals, work even harder, achieve them and then find out that we are back to the same point, the cycle continues…
This reminds me of the time I was studying for my Masters Degree. I had set myself a target to earn a Distinction in my course of study. I worked so hard, denied myself of many pleasures, spent countless hours in the library and computer lab (to the extent that the out-of-hours security men did not need to see my ID to sign me in, because I was a known face there). When I finally reached my goal, I was surprised at how quickly the thrill of earning a distinction faded. It took just days for another reality to set in – I needed to get a job. So the cycle began again…
What I quickly found out on looking back is that life seemed to be filled with series of short highs and many lows made up essentially of chasing these highs. I literarily didn’t give myself the chance to be fully happy and content with what I had.
On further interaction with people and research into this subject, I found out that this behavior was not at all unique to me. A lot of us have busied ourselves with the idea that we would be happy once we achieve our goals (see related story here). We have equated happiness to a destination and strive so hard to reach it. Little wonder why there is a rising number of depressed people over the world. It is said that a shocking number of 121 million people worldwide (based on 2011 data BioMed Central 2011, July 26) are depressed and this depression is tied to discontent with their current life.
While some cases contributing to these figures could be as a result of serious mental illness, I can’t help but wonder if some of these cases could actually be avoided just by altering the way we think and approach our goals.
Rather than living life in short bursts of happiness, perhaps a more fulfilling way to live could be by realizing that happiness is a journey and then living life with more focus on gratitude and enjoying that which we have in the now.
Perhaps it would be better to think, “Well… I don’t have the perfect job now but I will do my best with the one I have and enjoy the family I have been blessed with” or “I am not a perfect 8 but I am alive and I do not need a tube to feed” or even, “I don’t have all the money I could do with, but I sure can dance to this lovely tune without help from medical practitioners”.
Once you start thinking this way, you would be surprised and perhaps even pleased that as you dwell on being thankful for what you have, your mind would bring to your memory even more reasons to be thankful. Before long, you would be surprised at the abundance of things in your life that you have overlooked in the past. This in turn creates excitement and a positive energy and dare I say, a certain spark.
This excitement would then affect your outlook on life and give you the zeal to work towards your goals, not from a frustrated place but from a place of immense joy and thankfulness.
Till you read from me again.
Do enjoy the rest of your week
Image credit: Charles Schulz, Charlie Brown