The Sunday News
Living life to the fullest with Selusweyinkosi Mhlanga
If you ask young children what their dreams and ambitions are you will get all sorts of answers ranging from interesting ones to strange ones that may leave you with even more questions. When the children grow up however, the ambitions change depending on what they are exposed to, the role models in their lives and what they get to study.
What I like about young children is that they look at their ambitions with pure eyes without considering the limitations around them. As they grow and become aware of the challenges with some of the careers they wished to partake in, they change fields altogether and some end up not knowing what to do with their lives. Others however, go on to be successful individuals in their chosen fields.
What is the difference between you and that successful person out there who is flourishing in their career? Perhaps you even went to the same school or college and even studied the same subjects. What then sets them apart from everybody else? What is their secret?
A lot of us make excuses for not doing what we know we want to do and we actually take our time to nicely carve words to explain why we are not living out our dream lives. We invest our time in perfecting excuses such that we end up believing them ourselves and once that happens, we get stuck because our belief systems play a big part in us succeeding, or not.
Lack of resources
The most common excuses we make are those of resources, especially time. Procrastination is a way of life for many and we nurse this excuse until that dream dies out yet we have time to watch television or to rest before we get any work done. It then becomes a question of priorities because one can have time to do anything else but that.
Of the 24 hours in a day how much time do you dedicate towards building your dream life? Most of us have time to binge-watch series and are up to date on all their favourite shows and latest movies. That takes a whole lot of hours.
Many hide under the shade of “All work makes Jack a dull boy” but then what happens to Jack when he plays all the time? How will his tomorrow turn out to be if he doesn’t invest his time wisely?
Others hide behind the issue of intelligence, yet in this age of technology one can access information easily. You are probably thinking that intelligence and knowledge are not the same. Well, it takes a lot of practice to apply knowledge and skills but we all have the ability to do that. We just have to put a little work into what we know we want to do to get the ball rolling. Education is one way one can improve knowledge and how you then use it is what will up your intelligence.
Intelligence that is not used at all will not benefit anyone hence the discouragement from lazing around. How many people do you know who are not very educated who have made it in life? Names like Mark Zuckerberg and our very own Ginimbi come to mind. Rather than assuming that these people used some kind of juju to amass wealth, why don’t we emulate their attitudes of going after what they want and stop giving excuses.
The Health Excuse
Then comes the biggest excuse — health. This one is employed by a whole lot of people from schoolchildren wanting to miss school to adults playing truant with their employers. While others have conditions that may truly get in the way of duty, for a whole lot it is just an excuse to not do what they need to do. Apparently the perfect specimen of adult life is non-existent, there is something physically wrong with everybody, but do you see all the diabetics, people with heart issues and even the handicapped stopping work or not living their lives at all? No, they actually strive to live a normal life, fend for their families and enjoy life.
It is the attitude towards that condition that determines how one will carry themselves. John Schindler in his book How to Live 365 Days A Year says three out of four people who are sick would be well if they learnt how to manage their emotions. This means that if the person concentrates on illness more than good health then they are sure to miss out on life.
For most of us, it’s just fear of the unknown that is holding us back and if we were to rise above that we would be well on our way to success. Fear is defined as an emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm. We would need to get out of our comfort zones and challenge ourselves to develop our dreams if we are to change our lives. Keeping a positive mindset is a good tool to use to visualise your future rather than concluding you are a failure before you even start. Life is for the living.
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