Don’t relent!

Today, I simply have Theodore Roosevelt’s famous speech for you. If you’ve heard it before, let it remind you. If you’ve not heard it before, here it goes!

“It’s not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or when the doer of deeds could have done 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 and comes short again and again; who knows the 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, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.”

– Theodore Roosevelt, Speech at the Sorbonne, 23rd April 1910

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The power of our thoughts…

It’s no lie that the environment we live in plays an important role in moulding us whether we like to admit it or not. The subconscious mind slowly begins to accept the information it is constantly fed with and this information is eventually played out in the way we see ourselves and the world around us.

A child that grows up in a hostile environment may unconsciously be feeding his subconscious mind with hostile thoughts and in the same manner, an adult that lives in an environment where he is made to believe that he is a second, third or even a fourth class citizen would at a subconscious level eventually begin to accept this as his/her reality.

We may not have been conscious of the negative or positive influences that have shape us into what we are today but we owe it to ourselves from this point on to control what we allow to take a foothold in our thoughts and in our lives.

With a conscious effort, we can reshape our lives into what we would really like it to be. An important step towards achieving this is to STOP giving negativity, of any kind, a place in our thoughts. I know that this step could be difficult, especially in situations where we find ourselves surrounded by negativity or unfavourable circumstances… but quoting Tony Robbins:

“As soon as you truly commit to making something happen, the ‘how’ will reveal itself.”

Take my case for instance…

I realise now that the career path I’ve taken, which is actually different from what I spent over six years studying at University, is a reflection of the most dominant thoughts in my mind at some point. Recently, I stumbled upon a notebook where I had written (almost a decade ago) some of my life’s goals in detail and I was surprised to discover that my life was already well on that course even without remembering that I had actually put my thoughts down in writing. This goes to prove that our most dominant thoughts do play a role in shaping our lives, for better or for worse.

So speaking from experience, I am encouraging YOU to begin today to consciously feed your thoughts with the right kind of information and you will soon discover that your life, despite your present circumstances, will start taking the shape of those thoughts because as we must have heard before; our thoughts become our actions, our actions become…

Exactly… So what kind thoughts are you having…?

— IfeUma

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When reality sets in

Life has a way of instructing us… At some point in our lives, we may have looked at our parents and thought; how could they not have known better than to do one thing or the other for us or even for themselves. This could be by way of being more ambitious (simply put) or maybe taking certain decisions which would have put them and in effect their children in a better station of life.

We have all at one time or another wished our parents had given us more material possessions, a better lifestyle or even been more attentive to our emotional needs while growing up… Well, here we are… Most of us never got our wishes but thank God we made it through and can now provide those things for ourselves, and our families; or isn’t this the case?

As adults, though still growing but now facing the issues of life in their hard reality, we may now appreciate the seeming inadequate efforts our parents put into giving us a foundation. I acknowledge that some of you may have had many thorny experiences as children that probably left permanent psychological scars that have affected your lives in one way or another or that some of you had ‘perfect’ childhoods (this writing is not for the second category) but that is beyond the scope of this writing. It is simply the thought that, we could make even worse blunders than our parents before us that I wish to remind us about. This reality hopefully should hit us at an early stage when there is still the chance to take evasive action.

You may not (now looking from a man’s perspective) appreciate what it’s like to be temporarily unable to provide for your family until life deals a blow causing a situation where the income can no longer meet the demand, for whatever reason. May we never experience such setbacks but sometimes we are rudely reminded by situations and unexpected circumstances that it is now our lives, our families, our children and our jobs that are at stake.

We must plan, seek help from God and work with all diligence to make sure we are not found wanting. The obstacles deterring us are many as we can all see but we must persevere. The saying “As you make your bed, so you will lie on it” is as true now as it has always been.

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