In my work, I come across a lot of inspiring people who’re doing marvelous things with their lives and reaching for even greater heights! People who’ve found career success and want to contribute something outstanding to their communities and beyond.
Yet every now and again, I also come across people who seem angry with the world! They’re despondent about their circumstances and have good reasons for this: they despise the corruption they see as contributing to national decay; they despair the nepotism and favouritism that exclude ‘ordinary people’ from lucrative opportunities; and they feel powerless to beat systems that have apparently been established to perpetuate the cycle of evil.
A lot of times, people who observe unfairness, big or small, are not making things up. Much of what they’re saying is true. Yet the real question is: how is complaining helping? Is it alleviating our plight, or elevating us in some way?
Put another way, once we’ve identified the issue that we don’t want, do we focus on what we do want; and work to manifest it in our lives? Sadly, in many cases, the answer to that is ‘no.’
Many of us are in a perpetual state of resistance; pushing against the things we see as wrong and not working towards what we believe is right. And yet by opposing anything, we actually strengthen it in our lives, for what we focus our attention on grows!
When we rail against other people for the things going wrong in our lives, we give them too much power over us. The truth is, we can be, or do, or have anything that we set our minds to, regardless of what anyone else around us is doing.
When we realise that we’re created in the likeness of God; and that when we ‘ask, it is always given,’ that is real independence; that is freedom worth celebrating!
But many of us abdicate responsibility for how our lives turn out. We constantly feel like the underdog; like we’re downtrodden, or oppressed.
Yet if we go as far back as Biblical times, we see that even then, the people who assumed positions of greatness were not always born into privilege. In fact, in many instances, they had to rise above challenging circumstances.
Consider Moses, who had a death sentence on his head even before he was born! Egypt’s Pharaoh at the time had ordered the execution of all Israelite boys upon birth.
To save Moses, his sister placed him in a basket on the River Nile. Moses was rescued by the Pharaoh’s daughter and grew up in a life of luxury. Only his temper, which led him to murder an Egyptian officer whom he caught beating a Hebrew slave, turned him into an outcast.
Moses fled to the desert where he settled into a life of relative obscurity, that is, until God interrupted his woeful existence and demanded that he lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
Moses was reticent; lacking in self-confidence. He protested: “Who am I that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). He argued that the Egyptians would never let the Israelites go; and tried to use his speech impediment as an excuse: “I am not eloquent, but am slow of speech.”
For Moses, as with many of us, it was easier to magnify his problems than to focus on achieving his goal: his independence; and that of the Israelites. It wasn’t until God changed his mind-set, including by assuring him that he would be with him, that Moses finally overcame his negativity and accepted his calling to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land.
Like Moses, we are made to carry out great works. But many of us wait for other people to improve our lives, and then complain when they fall short of our expectations, because no one knows or wants what’s best for us more than we do.
Don’t use anything, no matter how justifiable, as an excuse for not tapping into your inherent genius and reaching your full potential. From this moment, appreciate your blessings and focus positively on what you want, then you will achieve greatness; real independence.
Don’t be like the magnificent eagle, who grew up believing he was a hen:
According to an ancient fable, a man once found an eagle’s egg and placed it under a brooding hen. The eaglet hatched along with the chickens and, in many ways, grew up to be just like them.
He clucked and cackled; scratched the earth for worms; flapped his wings and managed to fly a few feet in the air.
Years passed and then one day, the eagle now old, saw a magnificent bird in the sky. It glided in graceful majesty against the powerful wind, with scarcely a movement of its golden wings.
Spellbound, the eagle asked, “Who’s that?”
“That’s the king of the birds, the eagle,” said his neighbour. “He belongs to the sky. We belong to earthÔÇöwe’re chickens.”
And so the eagle continued to live as a chicken, for that’s what he thought he was!
Too many of us live as chickens when we’re really eagles. We don’t realise our inherent greatness; and that the only thing that stands in our way is our mental attitude: “A man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” (Matthew 10:36).
But when we change our world within, we can change your world without. When we live this truth, it will set us free!
Remember: “aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know so it goes on flying anyway.” Mary Kay Ash
Fly like the bumblebee; soar like the eagle! Happy Independence Day! PULA!
Join us for the ‘Power of a Positive Mindset’ Workshop on 6 October 2012, from 3-5pm at Bluetree.
TICKETS SOLD AT: Riverwalk Information Desk; and Spar shops in Kgale, Broadhurst, Molepolole, Mochudi, or online at: www.webtickets.co.bw. Cost: P350.