I sure do hope you're keeping well! I am doing great! I'm making a few changes in my life as I mentioned in this post here. And these include fearlessly chasing my dreams and goals! Can I get a hallelujah!? Now I know it's not always easy to keep the fire and often times life feels like a battle to simply stay afloat. Trust me, I understand that reality all too well. That said, with the right tools, we can stay motivated and focused on our goals in order to build a life we love!
Here are 8 lessons I'm learning:
1. Do what you love.
Do you actually love what you do? No really, do you? Are you following your passions and natural talents? It's very easy to live a life that is orchestrated to please those around us or even to fit into society's prescriptions of what life should be. Many times we are driven to please our family and friends at the expense of our own true inclinations and desires. Take some time out to jot down your passions. What would you do all day every day if you didn't have bills to pay? Would you be an actress, poet, engineer, stylist, chef? If so, what are you waiting for? Our time on earth is finite so go steadily in the direction of your dreams! :-)
2. Comparison is the thief of joy.
Stop looking over the fence at your neighbour's garden. Keep your eyes fixed on yours. Comparison invalidates your journey because it draws your attention away from your unique experiences. Comparison can make you falsely believe that you're not doing as well as your peers or colleagues. Rather than spend your mental energy focusing on others, train your mind to appreciate and celebrate your own unique path.
3. Explore a creative outlet.
If you've know me over the years and even prior to this blog, you know I'm quite an adventurous one. I love to explore creative outlets. I've had the chance to found and run a book project that has raised over 50,000 books for 40,000 high school students in Kenya. I've taught in a public school in rural Massachusetts. I started a school mural project called "Capture the Dream" as an A-Level student in South Africa. All of these creative outlets have given me diverse skillset that I many not have learned otherwise. I've learned team work, excellence, communication, ingenuity and resilience - skills that have kept me going regardless of where my life's path has led me.
4. Read other people's stories.
Read journals and blogs. Spend time poring over autobiographies. Human stories are compelling - through them we get a better understanding of ourselves. Learning about the lives of legends such as Nelson Mandela and Wangari Maathai has given me an appreciation for the power of time to mould all things. When we begin to see our present hurdles as part of a lifelong legacy, it's easier to stay motivated. Don't let today's roadblocks stop you. Keep pushing, when you finally have the chance to look back at 40 or 50 years of your life, you'll realise it was all worth it.
5. Plan your strategy.
Where are you going and how do you plan on getting there? Are you simply walking through life aimlessly? Or are you doing the same things expecting different results? Having goals is not enough. Having a strategy that will take you from point A to point B is what will guarantee growth. Take time to strategise - what resources do you have? Who do you need to talk to for more information? What do you need to do today to push you in the direction of your dreams?
6. Take time off.
Find time away from the hustle and bustle of life to simply relax. Sit on your balcony. Sip on some wine. Recuperate. Rejuvenate. We are human. We get weary. It's okay to feel under the weather sometimes. But in that very moment, realise that fatigue is not a weakness but simply part of our make-up. Identify ways in which you relax and schedule time to unwind. Make sure to do so periodically. This will help you avoid burning out. Think of it as stopping for a sip of water as you take part in a marathon. Your mental and emotional health will improve when you take time to rest.
7. Celebrate your achievements.
Count them. Name them. Jot them down. Pat yourself on the back. Know what you've done well. Track your growth. Take time to look back at where you were just a year ago and see how much you've grown. I've found that keeping a journal really helps me see my progress. Sometimes I read through old entries and laugh at just how far I've come in my thought-process. Being fully aware of how you've grown puts the present hurdles into perspective. By celebrating our achievements we remind ourselves that we've made it through difficulties in the past and so with the right attitude, we will win.
8. Know your weaknesses.
What do you do well? What don't you do well? Are you argumentative, proud, shy, abrasive? What qualities of yours are likely to bring you down? Know your weaknesses. Ask those who love you to audit you for areas in your life that you can improve on. Often times, faults in our character are the starting point for self-destruction. (And trust me, we are all "faulty" human beings!) But building a greater awareness of unhealthy patterns will safeguard you against repeated failure.
Sending you lots of LOVE & SUNSHINE,