Tag Archive | positive

31 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 31 Years

imagesCA5E29WHIt’s almost that time of the year, where I bid farewell to me being just 30 and saying hello to “30-something”. I remember my pre thirty meltdown I had last summer. (Looking back, I think I was just a tad bit too over dramatic). With that being said, this year, I’m embracing this change of age thing. I am not anywhere close to where I thought I would be at this age, or wanted to be. However, I do believe, that I’m right where I should be.

A week ago, I’ve decided to write down what are life lessons to me, that I’ve learned over my 31 years of life. This was way easier than I thought it would be, given that most of these lessons were really learned in the past year.

1. We must love….with all your heart. If you’re afraid to love because you might get hurt, then you might as well not live because you are going to die. Love is beautiful and free.

2. Love is not enough. It’s important to not just love, but also show love. The people we love needs to see it as much as they need to feel it.

3. Forgive not just the people who has hurt us, but forgive yourself. For past mistakes, past regrets. We would not be who we are had we not made those mistakes. If God can forgive us, why can’t we forgive ourselves.

4. Happiness is Internal “Happiness is a journey, not a destination; happiness is to be found along the way not at the end of the road, for then the journey is over and it’s too late. The time for happiness is today not tomorrow.” ~ Quoted by Paul H Dunn [read more]

5. Value family I might have not had the opportunity to choose them, but we are perfectly placed together. We have disagreements, we are all unique in our ways, but this bunch of people are the only ones who are going to be there for you when no one else will be. Cherish them.

6. Treasure friendships/relationships these people are my family, with no blood relations. They’re the people I don’t have to see every weekend to keep our friendship alive, and when we do see each other, nothing has changed, the friendship has not struggled because of time not spent together.

7. Quality over quantity I’ve learned that when it comes to friends, I’ve learned that less is more. A few close friends offer more support than a crowd of acquaintances. There are only a handful of friends I keep close to my heart and who truly understand and support me without a trace of judgment. Anyone else usually just joins me for happy hour. I don’t really need no new friends….

8. Give generously My dad always said to us, “Give with your right hand, in such a way that the left hand doesn’t even know”. Give with your heart, no one needs to know how much you do or for whom.

9. Energy is palpable be the positive! Have you ever met someone who is so negative, that you can feel your energy being drained when they speak, or a person who such a great aura to to them, that you can feel life being blown into you with every word that they utter? Be that person. Think only positive thoughts, and speak only positive words.

10. Define Success on your own terms ignore the standard one-size-fits all approach and live from a place of truth and knowing. Success might mean money or power to some. That doesn’t necessarily have to define your success. To me, true success means finding and living out my unique life’s purpose.

11. Take care of your health now, or prepare for illness later. Truth is, all the money in the world cannot buy more or new health. It’s our one principal capital asset, invest in it wisely.

12. Not everyone will like you, and if they do, they’re not necessarily your friend.

13. I am not the center of the universe, it’s incredibly difficult to think about the world from a perspective other than our own. We are always worried about what’s going on in our lives. What does my schedule look like today? What if I lose my job? Why am I overweight? Why am I not happy with my life? What did I do to deserve this? If you can consciously remove yourself – remove your perspective – from a situation, then you can see the world through a different set of eyes. Thus, the world can take on a different meaning.

14. Do not carry the past with you. It has everything to do with forgiveness. Carrying this burden with you, does nothing but weigh you down. It makes you a bitter person. You have the choice to let it go, or letting it haunt you for the rest of your days.

15. It’s Ok to not be Ok No, really, it is Ok. I know bad days don’t last forever, so it’s Ok to have an off one.

16. Embracing Silence is a way of developing a deeper connection with yourself and with others. Shut off the phone more, turn down the radio volume, or simply spend more time listening instead of talking.

17. Be thankful….. for everything. Count your blessings, and by blessings I don’t mean material possessions.

18. Live in the moment, the here and now, that is all that is guaranteed right? We have no assurance of waking tomorrow.

19. How you speak of others is how you feel about yourself. In fact, your perception of the entire world echoes how you feel about your own life. If you have nothing good to say about others, then best keep quiet.

20. Never go to bed angry with your partner. A piece of advise that came from my mum. And I fully agree with it. No argument or difference should be carried overnight. Clean out each day as it comes along, so when you shut your eyes at night, everything has been cleaned up. Life is precious….and uncertain.

21. Slow down! What’s the rush anyway. Life moves at such a fast pace that it seems to pass us by before we can really enjoy it. Slowing down is a conscious choice, and not always easy, but it leads to a great appreciation for life and a greater level of happiness.

22. Let go of past hurts, the past, clutter, grudges, toxic people, negativity, anger, guilt, worrying about the future, stress. Again, these things just pull us down, it poisons our souls. Let It Go!

23. Don’t do things you don’t like just to please someone else or because everyone else is doing it. I hate watching movies at a cinema. It’s cold, uncomfortable and dark. I don’t go because I don’t like it. However, if there’s a movie I really, really want to watch, I make the sacrifice.

24. Have a bucket list and as you scratch items off, add new ones

25. The power of prayer. Never underestimate the power of prayer. Regardless of your religion, or manner in which we pray, every day should be started in prayer.

26. Learn to say No! True freedom is experienced when we’re able to say no without feeling guilty. Stop being the people pleaser by committing to more than you’re aware of.

27. Live simply. Simple? no, not that simple. Living simply is paring away – stuff, obligations, expectations, people. It’s removing all the glut and rubble from your life, making space in your house, your heart, your brain and your life for exactly and only what you need. It’s getting down to the core of things and returning to a way of living that most of us can only vaguely remember; pleasures that don’t cost tons of money, rewards you don’t have to buy in stores, amusements that don’t require a screen.

28. Turn off the TV and read a book. In the Last Lecture Dr. Randy Pausch makes mention of how TV is mankind’s greatest time-waster. Cut your Tv time in half and start making time to do the things you love. Read a book instead. Not only do you stimulate your brain, but you learn more about things that interest you. No better place to find inspiration than in the pages of a book.

29. Judging people is harmful….to me. We do or have done this from time to time. I have now just become better at noticing when I’m doing it. What I’ve found is that when I waste my time on judging people, I am robbing myself from enjoying my here and now. Judging becomes harmful to me because in judging others; I’m ignorant of what the person is going through, I have unrealistic expectations of people, I think I’m superior to other’s. When I’m overcome with these feelings, it stops me from judging, sort of keeps me grounded.

30. Enjoy your own company and you will never be lonely. I enjoy my own company now more than I have ever before. I recall seeing people having lunch by themselves and always felt sorry for them….for being alone. I now realise what a privilege it is to be at that point of comfort with yourself, where sitting down to a cup of tea, in a crowded cafe is absolutely normal.

31. I’m still trying to figure it all out…And while I do that, I will live life beautifully

 

The World is not Black and White

untitledGod grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Everyone is different.

There are some differences that are simple. Some are more complex.
There are differences that are tied to self-identity. Sexual orientation, race, age, sex, background and interests. When someone has a problem with differences in these areas, it is often something that runs deep in their upbringing and is very hard to change.
Accepting differences can be difficult at times – yet – respecting others for their differences in necessary.

Why do we want everything to be our way? Because we’re human and selfish. But to progress and survive in a society, we need to be tolerant of each other, whatever the other person believes in, as far as religion or any other matter is concerned, is individual choice. The world is not black and white, and the sooner we realise that, the sooner will we see progression in our societies, and who knows, perhaps even world peace.

People are so busy disliking each other’s ways of life, that all they do is point fingers at how wrong others are, and all the positive and creative energy that the Universe has endowed us with goes to waste.People get distanced from each other due to intolerance; and when they don’t unite to work towards their betterment and that of others, the society plunges into darkness and despair. No one want to help or like anyone who does not conform to his or her own specific standards of piety or correctness.

This self-righteous attitude has never brought people together as it hurts the feelings of those who do not believe what others want them to believe. It is indeed a sad state of affairs when everyone feels they are right and others are wrong and deserves to be disrespected. If animals can live together in a jungle and respect each others rights and territories and only kill for survival, why can’t we humans, who are the most supreme species learn to live with each other in peace and harmony?

Maybe I’m writing this post after reading and watching of the horrific civilian attack in Nairobi over the weekend, I was appalled! As human beings , we are born with a free will, and have the right to choose what religion or persons we want to be associated with. If one thinks one is following the right and true path, the way to make others agree is to be an exemplary human being or try to be, so that others will automatically want to be like you. They will reform or change their opinions without one having to insult, criticize or kill for that matter.

In today’s fast changing and globally shrinking world in which different races, religions and cultures have to interact on a day-to-day basis, the only way to exist in peace is to accept and tolerate differences.

Our Fallen Hero – Oscar

2012 Virgin Active Sports Industry AwardsJust a week ago, Oscar Pistorius was just the “Blade Runner” to every South African, double amputee Paralympic medalist and first amputee runner to compete in the Olympic Games, an inspiration to millions all over the world. The positive approach that he has is incredible. He was once quoted saying “You’re not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have”

 
And then, last Thursday February 14 2013, Oscar was painted with a different brush.On the 8am news bulletin, I heard that Oscar has accidentally shot and killed his girlfriend, mistaking her for a burglar! And the first thing I though was what a terrible tragedy. With each news bulletin, a different version of the alleged murder was revealed.
Within hours, social networks were flooded with comments, remarks, and jokes about the runner. People simply forgetting that a life was lost! Forgetting that Reeva Steenkamp was someone’s daughter! Forgetting that just months ago, we set glued to television sets, waiting anxiously to watch Oscar participate at the Olympics.

Then I had an epiphany – We find it easier to deal with fiction, than it is dealing with the truth. Maybe that’s how many people react to shock. And shock was the emotion that was felt by every South African as well as myriads around the world.
It’s been five days since the news broke to the world, and it’s unbelievable as to how many “incidents” about the runners’ personal life is surfacing; His love for fast cars, wild animals and guns. Is that not typical male interest? But do we admire a man who keeps a machine gun in the house? Whether he killed his girlfriend accidentally or deliberately?

Limiting ourselves to his behaviour on the track, many people lost some admiration for him at the London Paralympic games. He was beaten fairly by a Brazilian athlete, and his immediate response was to accuse his rival of cheating. There was no cheating. After a word from his team,(no doubt mentioning his $2 million a year sponsorship deals), backtracking followed, and an apology was made. But some of us wondered why, exactly, we were expected to admire this person.

Sportspeople are routinely held up as role models or, when they fall short, regarded as people who have fallen short and stopped being the role models that they surely could be. Sport is at the centre of our moral universe, sportspeople are a force for good. Everyone should admire and emulate them, right?

It would be easy to say that people like Pistorius are rare: that most sports stars offer great role models to young people. But then there is Lance Armstrong, barely apologising after years of drug-taking and violent threats against people in cycling who were the slightest bit curious.
Tiger Woods, and his infamous cheating scandal. There is John Terry, who was captain of the England football team when he was found to have called Anton Ferdinand a “fucking black c**t” – And after the hero’s career is over? The role model may end up like Mike Tyson?

Of course, sport is full, too, of decent and honourable people. With the likes of Pele, doing great things for Africa. David Beckham, clearly he thinks of how he can behave well, to society as well as to his family. They are worth our admiration. But then, seriously – OJ Simpson? Diego Maradona?

Aiming to find role models in sport is a dangerous business. Sportsmen seem no better behaved on the whole than any other segment of the entertainment business, with the distinction that strippers, on the whole, don’t talk piously about their duty to be “role models” or how much everyone admires them when they are arrested for killing their partners.
But even if the topic of our admiration is as well-behaved as anyone might wish, is it really the best object to present to our children for their aspiration? Children should be encouraged into libraries, to extra-mural studies, to regard revolutionaries, poets, painters, thinkers, doctors, professionals as their heroes worthy of their aspiration. They will most likely lead useful and productive lives.

The individual case is terribly sad – a young woman has been killed, and proves that the abuse of women occurs across all boundaries, irrespective of ethnic groups, or socio economic statuses. Perhaps, as the story unfolds and the court comes to its conclusion, we could wonder whether we really want to present this culture as anything worth aspiring to, or even taking much interest in.

(THIS IS MY PERSONAL OPINION)

I Heart Change

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” — John F. Kennedy

 
Here’s the reality of it; you can love change  or hate it, fight it or embrace it, it’s going to happen with or without your approval.
Simply put, change is the “process of becoming different” it can be in the form of a new baby, changing careers, moving to a new city, the loss of a loved one, just to name a few. Be it positive or negative, there will always be the sense of unknown.

 
It’s been said that the only constant in our world today is change! Most of us resist it, because we are comfortable and secure in our world as we know it. And yet, if change is an inevitable reality of life (and it is), then we’d better be prepared to respond when the unexpected comes knocking on our door.

 
Not every person has the same tolerance to risk. Some adventurous souls actually relish the adventure of new situations. Others like their life exactly as it is: nice and predictable. For these people, the idea of change produces fear.

I recall having a conversation with an acquaintance about a month before I married my soul mate, Mr. M (that’s what I’ll refer hubby to on my blog). He heard I was getting married the following month after dating Mr. M for just nine months! (Yip nine months) And he said to me, (words I’ll never forget) “You never miss an opportunity, do you?” And I looked at him and said, “No, I don’t, and I am not afraid of change!” But after growing up in a small town, getting married would mean having to move to Jo’burg, (Mr. M’s hometown) 180km from home! It was exciting, but at the same time scary, would I find a job? Would I make new friends? And it was then I realized that I heart change! It keeps me alive, fueled, and ready for anything and everything!

From past experiences involving change, this is what I’ve observed;
It always seems bigger than it really is. We’re human, (and worse women!) We tend to over-think, over-analyze, and almost always expect the worse, and once we’ve passed the particular “stage” we look back and say “Oh? That wasn’t as bad as I thought”. Best way to deal with it; take it one day at a time, step by step

 
Change creates unwanted stress. That’s a known fact. And no two people deals with stress the same way. So now you not only have to deal with this “change” but also the stress that comes with it. If you’re in a marriage or relationship, you need to understand one another’s stress reactions and this will enable you to work together more effectively. Times of intense pressure can either pull you together or push you apart. Stress will come, and you need to ensure that it does not divide and conquer.

 
Life doesn’t always follow the plan that you may have had laid out for yourself. However, opportunities often present themselves in unexpected ways—learn to recognize and take advantage of these opportunities even if they were not part of your initial plan.

Focus is the next principle on dealing with change. When a transition in your life occurs, be sure to keep your thoughts on what you can control. Certain aspects of your life may operate outside of your control.
You have the opportunity to choose a perspective about change; is it overwhelming and stressful, or exciting and fun?

 
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Reinhold Niebuhr

images: Google.com

Increase your quality of Life

It helps to know what ‘quality of life’ means to you. It’s an intensely personal question. Your vision of quality may differ from that of mine, and that’s what makes the world such an intriguing beast. We’re fascinating in our differences.

I may value connections, authenticity and adventure; dream of kids, a thriving business, founding a charity, and you might be driven by success, learning and independence; you won’t be complete until you hit CEO and make Forbes list.
I have decided to put down the things that I think can increase any life;

1. Spend time with your thoughts. Call it what you want, meditation, time out, whatever. I think it’s important to take time to reflect as this helps to put things into perspective.

2. Learn something new. I’m not saying go learn a new language (which isn’t a bad idea), but read up on something that you wouldn’t normally read, and share this with someone, (trust me, your brain will thank you) and give yourself an instant confidence boost!

3. Leave the routine. Even for just a minute a day. (And that’s coming straight from a Routine QUEEN!) Truth be told, when I do break out of it, it feels really good! (It’s still hard to bend the “rules” though).

4. Spend time outside. This is something I love to do, although I don’t  I get to do it as much as I would like to. I personally feel that this simple act instantly reduces stress.

5. Give yourself. Mentor, contribute, practice random acts of kindness, express gratitude. Give your time, be fully present for your family, change the world. There are a million ways to give of yourself. Do it big, do it small, just do it.  It’s one of the most positive equations in the world: You give of your time or resources, which improves someone’s quality of life, which makes you feel needed and valuable, which in turn improves your quality of life. We’re all better off.  Magic.

6. Connect with people. We are social beings. Pay special attention to your family, your partner, your friends, and your colleagues.  Explore and strengthen your connection to a Higher Power.  And be open enough to enjoy the spontaneous connections that come from making a new friend at the gym or sharing a witty remark with stranger at the supermarket.  Genuine curiosity and kindness are an amazing way to foster connections.

7. Celebrate. We all need a healthy dose of play in our lives. this fuels our creativity and feeds our spirits. Celebrating is a wonderful way to share love. Celebrate with traditions, with heartfelt compliments, with notes in lunch bags, with surprises, with big evenings out, or with cozy evenings in.

8. Recognize what makes you happy. Reflect on the parts of your day that bring you real satisfaction. Everyone is working towards something, but what makes you happy now? Try to incorporate more of what made you happy yesterday into today.

9. Love yourself. Treat your body with respect and care. Help yourself age well by staying flexible, protecting your skin from sun and exercising your mind.  Most importantly, sleep well.

10. DO NOT STRESS!

images: Google.com