ONCE YOU START, DON’T GIVE UP

An awesome thing about a new year is all its promises. The new year presents us with a chance to start over, live better, budget, go to the gym, quit smoking and even find love amongst other things. We make new years resolutions because we want more from ourselves and the year. We want more from life. We make plans because we’ve learned from the previous year on what to do and the new year gives us the opportunity to show all that. That’s why the beginning of a new year is so awesome, it’s like being given a second chance and with that, we have hope, chance and possibilities.

As much as the new year brings with it many possibilities, it also comes with challenges. You see, the toughest thing about starting over, making plans and resolutions is maintaining them and being consistent. When the year starts we are motivated but a few weeks or months down the line we are back to eating junk food instead of going to the gym, we stopped working on that company we started and give up on other things. The thing is, as the year goes, we realise that it’s just another year, its not very different from the previous one and lose motivation.

Lack of motivation and consistency are two of the toughest challenges in doing anything productive in life. However, they are just challenges and challenges don’t mean we give up and let go. They mean we have to be strong, consistent and not give up. Truth is, we won’t be full of energy and motivated everyday but we must keep pushing. We need to motivate ourselves when we feel like we can’t go on any more. It’s very easy to give up on something, the challenge is to not give up. We have to learn to take the good with the bad, the easy with the hard and the sweet with the bitter.

When we realise and accept that challenges are a part of life then things become a bit easier. Challenges teach us more about ourselves, they show us our strengths, weaknesses and teach us how to do better and find solutions. Once we realise all this and continue with gym, that company we started or anything we planned to do then it becomes easier to go on and even fighting for it. We need to fight for it to survive. It can be a relationship, a business, a blog, a company, anything really. We have to stay motivated, face challenges and have fun.

If we are not having fun then all of it is pointless. We should enjoy the process. We shouldn’t feel trapped, angry and bitter when we do something. Those feelings either mean we don’t want to do whatever it is we are doing and they are a recipe for giving up. If we don’t like what we are doing and don’t have the motivation to do it then it’s pointless to do it. Of course there are times when we will feel like giving up but that’s what passion and motivation are for. It’s not easy to give up on something that you love and when you are motivated to do it then it becomes easier and worth it.

Moral of the post:
The year has just begun and with it comes a lot of possibilities and opportunities. Grab those opportunities and make the best of them as you go along. Yes, you will stumble along the way and face challenges but that doesn’t mean you have to give up. The best thing you can do is to remain consistent and motivated. Do things you love and enjoy, don’t pressure yourself and no matter what, keep going.

Live, Love, Learn and be Happy

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Don’t let expectations hinder your progress

Its been a long time since I’ve done this, it feels strangely good to be honest. I thought I lost my will to write but it turns out all I needed to do was just write and it would come back to me. I know where I went wrong and I know why. The truth is we expect too much from ourselves and when we fall short , we break down and just give up. I did that. I had huge expectations of myself, my blog and writing experiences that when I didnt see all that happening the way I saw it in my head I got disappointed.

The truth is sometimes expectations can kill us. I mean we expect so much that during that process we only focus on what we expecting and we dont look at our achievements. We focus on one thing but while we are doing that, life happens. We meet challenges, we go in different directions, we fail, we succeed and overall we live.

In 2018 I realised that sometimes our expectations can hurt our progress. Dont get me wrong, I’m not saying that expectations are the devil, im just saying its good to also go with the flow, don’t expect too much and when we dont meet our expectations then it’s also okay. Life happens. As much as we can plan, scheme and try to control situations, life happens.

Happy 2019. To a year filled with love, laughter, lessons and less expectations.

People will use you and abuse you. Learn

Imagine this, you want to eat cereal but you are out of milk, what do you do? You go to the shop, you buy milk and pay the shopkeeper his money. You get home and enjoy your cereal with milk. This is a mutually beneficial relationship. You didn’t take the milk and leave or the shopkeeper didn’t demand money without giving you your milk. This relationship is the type that you need in your life. A relationship in which you get something that benefits you and so does the other person. You can’t be in a one sided relationship. You can’t keep giving and giving and giving until there is nothing left to give. The other person can’t keep demanding and taking and asking all the time. That’s selfish and not only that but it’s toxic to you.

We all need each other, no man is an island. Even the richest person out there needs someone to share their riches with. We are human and we depend on each other, even for the smallest things. Thus we form relationships, however we need to be careful of the same relationships that we form. You need to know what you are getting from someone as much as you know what you are giving to them.

There are certain relationships or rather people you need to stay away from. You need to stay away from people who take advantage of you. People tend to use others and take advantage of them for various reasons. Sometimes it’s to feel superior and dominate them. This type of person you should beware of because they are bullies and you don’t need a bully in your life. Being bullied is not only physical, it can also be emotional. A person can make you do things you don’t want or say nasty things to you all the time. They can also make you smile and make you happy temporarily.

It doesn’t matter if they make you smile for five seconds. A smile for a few seconds is nothing compared to smiling for a life time because you are with the right person. You need to let go of such people who use and bully you emotionally and physically.

The worst thing about keeping people who use you around is that even if you tell them how you feel they will either act innocent, ask for forgiveness and repeat it all over again. These people are manipulative, they can lie, cheat and even charm their way out of any situation. It’s like being with a cheating boyfriend. When you confront him he will play the victim, lie, tell you what you want to hear and continue cheating. You can’t have that in your life. It’s unhealthy and you are not growing in such a relationship.

Sometimes you need to look at the situation and weigh your options. You can either stay with a person who will continue to abuse you and you will feel crappy about yourself or you can let go and cut off all toxic people in your life and grow as an individual. It’s all up to you.

Stop beating yourself up, you are human

Sometimes we judge ourselves too harshly, we become too hard on ourselves and we forget that we are not perfect, we are just human. We tend to expect a lot from ourselves and when we don’t meet our expectations we judge ourselves and see ourselves as failures.

Sometimes we just need to breathe and acknowledge the fact that we stuff up and that’s part of life. We make mistakes and we learn from them. We go through situations-major emphasis on through. We don’t only stay in bad situations but we go through them. Maybe we don’t emerge victorious but we get life lessons and maybe that’s why we go through certain things. I recently started feeling like a failure because I couldn’t find the job I studied for. That knocked down my confidence and I started feeling crappy about myself. I won’t lie I sometimes still do but what’s important is how I emerge from all this and the lessons I’ve learned. I realized that if I can’t get the job I want then I might as well create the job I want and that’s starting to give me satisfaction. Now, had I stayed in that state of mind that I failed myself and those around me then I wouldn’t have had the courage to do something about it. I’m teaching myself to look at the ‘beyond’ of a situation. It’s not easy but it makes life worthwhile.

Maybe that’s what we should do, instead of beating ourselves up we must just cry ( yes I said cry or even scream or whatever that makes you feel better) and after crying we must wipe those tears and look beyond what we see. Obviously you won’t cry and then boom! everything is magically all right. It takes time, it takes patience and it takes acceptance.

I had to accept my situation in order to be able to face it and get out of it. I respect recovering addicts. It takes a lot to admit that you have a problem and then do something about it instead of just beating yourself up over and over again.

The first step is admitting that you messed up or that you were defeated in whatever it is. Then accepting that it is painful or rather acknowledge the pain and go through all sorts of emotions. It’s okay to cry, it actually takes guts to allow yourself to feel emotional. It doesn’t matter which emotion. After acknowledging the problem and the pain, you sit down and look at the situation and what it’s saying to you or about you. You then listen and you learn. After all that you start over at a different angle and you do better. You need to tell yourself that it’s okay to mess up but what matters is how you pick yourself up and clean the mess.

You are human, not a robot so you are bound to make mistakes and lose things in life, it’s part of the journey. It happens. Life has no manual or no chip that gets implanted in others so that they have it all figured out. No one has it figured out but it’s all on how they look at the situation. I’ve yet to meet someone who says they’ve figured it out. Not even your pastor (no disrespect). Life has a way of tripping us, sometimes I think it’s because it wants to see how strong we are and how we react to situations but I know for a fact that mostly it is to teach us something.

You don’t hit or cuss a baby out for falling off a bicycle, either you push them or you buy them training wheels. So why do you hurt yourself by judging yourself and telling yourself that you are stupid or weak for falling off. Why not get training wheels? Why not ask for help? It’s okay to fall off. All that matters is how you emerge after falling off. You can either judge yourself or you can look for a better alternative. It’s all up to you.

Why do we need validation???

Stupid approval! That’s what I’ve been singing for the past few months. No, not self-approval, approval from the masses or better yet approval from my peers. I know that I am smart, beautiful, funny and all that but it sounds so self centred and vain when I say it. However when someone else says it it’s like heaven just opened and I was kissed by an angel. I feel happy when I’m praised or when I get compliments. Maybe that’s the problem. We get a sense of pride and joy mostly when someone else appreciates and approves of us. come on, I mean even baby Jesus was adored by the Magi at birth, so can’t these people who we’ve lived with for so long and did so much for adore us? No I don’t mean get us gifts of gold and all, (it would be really awesome though) no. I think we just want someone to say ‘Well done or you are beautiful and oh my God you are the bomb’.

I bet you’ve felt that too. wanting to be praised and acknowledged. Wanting someone to pat you on the back, pull their thumbs up and and say way to go, you did it.’
Why does it matter though? Why does your value rely on someone else? Have you ever thought that maybe you are enough? I don’t mean being tired or over something but enough in terms of being complete, being the ultimate package. Just being whole and not needing anything?
I won’t judge because there was a time in my my life where the masses would matter and so did their opinions of me.
I remember not feeling good enough. I used to feel complete in the eyes of Someone else or rather what they thought of me. If they thought positive of me then I’d be content and if it was negative then I’d sit down and curse myself.

I think this happens with everyone. When you get a new hairstyle its not a big deal until someone says ‘Oh my God you look amazing’. We measure ourselves based on how people see or classify us. Take me for instance, I completed my degree, I’m smart, I’m beautiful, funny and all that but I didn’t feel this way about myself until someone else said it. For me to believe all that about myself I needed to hear it from someone else. I needed someone to put value and validate me.

Here is my crazy story: A very close friend of mine is a photographer and I’ve known the person for years. Not once has the person ever taken a picture of me or pretended to take a picture of me and that put a dent on my confidence. I started feeling ugly and didn’t appreciate myself only because this one person didn’t take a picture of me.

Looking back at it or writing it down I’m thinking man, that was stupid but at that time it was a big deal and it hurt. I knew that I’m beautiful don’t get me wrong. Just that this one person or rather their photographic opinion if you would call it that meant so much that I belittled myself and started feeling low about how I looked all because they never took a picture of me. In my mind it felt like if Beyonce never wrote or sang a song about or for Jay-Z, imagine how Jay-Z would feel. That’s where I was.

Regardless of what I knew, it still hurt and bugged me. I think that’s our problem, we know but we still want to be told . If you know something for a fact then why do you doubt yourself? Why do you feel the need to be praised by someone else. Personally I figured what if I took different poses, the butt pose, the smile, the shy look and all these other poses then the person would have to take a picture of me. This one person would find me beautiful. The sad thing is other people did take pictures of me, they offered and some even begged me to send them my pictures but this one person, this one person mattered so much that I saw myself as ugly and I just saw negativity in myself.

Its the same way as a wife with a new hairstyle hoping the husband compliments her but what if he doesn’t compliment you, what if he doesn’t see the change in you, he just stares blankly at you while you are busy swaying your head from left to right in the middle of a soccer game and he is just not paying attention to you, does that mean the fault is with you, are you incomplete without his compliments?

Why do we need validation? Why is it that someone’s approval of us matters much more than how we see ourselves. No one can say I don’t love myself because I woke up feeling that way. No, some magazine said you need to be a size 28, someone didn’t take your picture or find you beautiful enough to capture, someone said you are too dark.

That’s why you have a problem with yourself. What if you just woke up and felt like the bomb. You just woke up, got in your size 40, took your own picture and posted it on Facebook and just decided to tell yourself that you are the bomb and actually believed it. You wouldn’t need the Magi to adore you. It wouldn’t matter what anyone did or said because you know better and you know yourself much better. You adore yourself enough for the masses, you find no faults and flaws in who you are. You don’t need fake validation. You don’t need fake praises.

Perdonally I feel like this is a sickness that we all suffer from and the only cure is to look at ourselves and see ourselves for who and what we really are: beautiful, handsome, smart, intriguing, complete and amazing people amongst other things. The truth is that no one has to look at you and put a stamp of approval on you but yourself. Your happiness is not and should not be found or should not lie in someone’s words.
Don’t ever give someone that much power over you. You are enough and people don’t have to say it for you to know it. You know that you are enough and that’s enough on its own.

You don’t need someone to validate your existence and praise what you already know is amazing. Be content with who you are and adore yourself. Your life will be filled with peace and so much of love.
Be okay with who you are and how you look. Love yourself. Loving yourself can be many things, find your beauty, write yourself letters and poems, be crazy, take yourself on dates, face your fears, take pictures of yourself, motivate yourself. Don’t give anyone power over how you see yourself. Never give them so much power that when they don’t do what you expect of them then you are left shattered. Take that power back, compliment yourself, praise yourself and just be happy with yourself. Never let anyone make you feel bad about yourself.

Letting go is not easy but sometimes it’s necessary.

Have you ever built a prison for yourself only because you were scared to do the right thing? Yeah I’ve done that too and trust me nothing good ever comes from it. I had imprisoned myself to the point whereby my life was filled with regret and resentment. What was I expecting? I created a prison myself and expected the garden of Eden with chocolate fountains and marshmallow clouds.

Why do we do that? Why do we imprison ourselves in situations that not only kill our spirit but damage who we are? I found my answer to that question and I figured it’s because we want to please others. We want to be loved, we want to be seen as noble, we want to be seen and appreciated for our efforts. Well at least that’s why I imprisoned myself in a situation. I’m not over the situation hence I can’t even write what the situation was. That’s what this thing does to you, it takes your power and makes you weak.

Imagine staying in a toxic relationship simply because the two of you have been together for too long so you can’t leave. Imagine working for a person who constantly harasses you and belittles you every chance they get. Why would you stay there ? Why would you do that to yourself? As humans we sometimes choose to endure so much pain to only destroy ourselves later.

My situation left me bitter, self hating and hating many people around me. It left me feeling alone and scared. It left me feeling ashamed of who I was or rather who I had become in the situation. We let situations doctor us so much that we even lose ourselves. Why? Why do we let that happen. I knew the situation was bad for me. Oh enough with the situation. I was in a toxic relationship. There I said it. So much better. I knew at some point that the relationship had turned sour, it had changed and I wasn’t happy but still I stayed. Why? Don’t ask me why , I made excuses for the person and told myself that it would get better. But what was better? What was better than my own happiness, my own self respect? Its amazing how we justify the bad things that happen in our lives.

We look for excuses, we make excuses and if not for ourselves then for the people involved. We tend to hope for the best even when the situation on its own is bad. We always say what if even when there is no better alternative . I don’t know why I stayed but I know that at the time staying was the only option I thought I had. I wasn’t threatened to stay, I wasn’t stuck to the person by glue and I wasn’t going to die had I left but it felt like it was the only option I had. I had imprisoned myself so much so that I was the prisoner and the warden at the same time. I had sentenced myself to misery and pain. The sad part of it all is that I knew I had to leave, I knew I wasn’t happy and there was a small voice telling me to let go and it will all work out but I was scared. I wasn’t scared so much about what will happen to me, no I was mostly scared of what people will say, what will happen to the person I’m with and what if I become more unhappy. I made excuses repeatedly. I let myself die repeatedly.

I know that I am not the only one who has suffered from mental imprisonment only because of fear. Sometimes we are scared to take chances, to live, to laugh, to start over. Sometimes we are scared to jump because we believe that gravity will pull us down, but what if we fly. Sometimes what you think is best at that particular time is not best for your future. We become victims of our own doing. We cry and not do anything about a situation. We don’t change it and yet we hope for the best. The best sometimes can be letting go. The feeling of freedom. The will to live again, to smile without fear. To just be happy.

I left my relationship and now I can proudly say that I am happy. I don’t have any regrets and I love myself. I’m happy with who I am. I don’t have to please anyone but myself. I have peace. That’s what comes with making decisions for yourself, you find love and peace. You find happiness. You are not scared to look in the mirror anymore. You are content. I understand the fear of letting go because you don’t know what’s on the other side but the truth is it can’t be worse than a mental prison you have created for yourself. Letting go is never easy but sometimes it’s necessary. It’s necessary when you want to be happy, when you want to start over. Living at the mercy of someone or something is not life. Its prison. You become a shadow of what and who you used to be. So from a former prisoner to someone who want to be happy I say it’s okay to let go. It’s okay to be scared but it’s not okay to let a situation dictate your life and make you unhappy. You can free yourself, all you have to do is say yes to your inner voice. Listen to it and do what’s best for you.

Why do we always need a Batman to save us?

Why does Gotham City need Batman, why does New York City need Spidey? Why do we need heroes? Why do we need someone to save us? Why is it that we always want someone to hold our hands? Why is it that we can’t do somethings for ourselves? Why? We always need to be pushed, we need to be told what to do and how to do it. Even if we know what to do we just need someone to tell us to do it. Why can’t we just do things ourselves? Why not just pick the broom up and sweep the floor without waiting for your mom to tell you to do it? Why not buy the grocery instead of hoping someone else will do it?

I sometimes get angry at myself when I look at all that I could’ve done instead of waiting for someone to tell me I can do it. I know I can do it, I have the capabilities to do it, I’m just lazy. I know I’m not the only one. You just sit there and think “starting my own logistics company would work, I know I’m good and transport management and I know where to start but…’. You always think or come up with great ideas but you never implement them and that’s the problem. Imagine if you were to get up and start that company by yourself without needing someone to tell you “hey that’s a very good idea.” Of course it’s a good idea, its just that you are so lazy that you are waiting for someone one to give you that company. Oh brother. No, I’m not judging harshly because I’ve been in that very same boat. We just need to get up. That’s it.

Imagine if Gotham city had no Batman, Gotham would probably still have crime but the police and other law enforcement officials would do their jobs. Police wouldn’t be lazying around eating donuts and taking breaks because they know that Batman is on it. The same way you don’t need someone to tell you to do something because you know you are able. You’ve got this.

When people offer to do things for us we often take advantage of it and ultimately feel that the person was supposed to do what they did even if it was our responsibility. We feel entitled. We have no sense of gratitude. Gotham believes that Batman should be out there looking for criminals, which is not the case. Batman could also be sitting at home, drinking his very expensive drinks. He doesn’t have to save anyone.

Once upon a time I also thought I needed someone to help me, someone to save me. Why couldn’t I just get up and save myself? Even if I would’ve failed, the point would be that I tried. Sometimes as a person you just need to be honest with yourself and do it for yourself. I’m not saying don’t ask for help, no. I’m just saying try it on your own and see how it goes before you depend on others.

We all have our own things to deal with and as much as we would like to help others , we first need to help ourselves. We need to gather up the courage to start a business instead of hoping someone will hire us. We must just master the courage to speak to that special someone with dimples and that oh so charming smile instead of sending our friends over to do it. In this life people can be there for you and at some point people can leave you. There are many reasons why people leave. That’s not what I’m focusing on. What I’m trying to show you is that people don’t always need to be with you or they won’t always be with you . One day you will be on your own. The question is when your support system leaves you one day how will you survive? How will you know that you need to cross your t’s and dot your i’s. If you are so used to people doing things for you when will you ever do anything for yourself. When will you grow up?

Trust me if I had my own Batman to fix every single mess I’ve made then I’d be the happiest person around but I’d also be the most useless person around too. What would I be good at? How would ie know my talents ? How would I learn from any mistake and how would I make mistakes in the first place because as long as Batman is there I wouldn’t need to do anything. I’d just need to breathe.

Heroes are good for a certain period in time. The same way as asking for help. You can only ask for so much. You can’t keep asking for help on things you know and you are good at. Yes, you can ask for advice and listen to certain opinions and even put those to work. That doesn’t mean you should become a leech.

Save yourself once in a while . Be independent , take a chance, fall off and get back up. I always do my happy dance when I’ve actually completed or achieved something on my own. So imagine doing your own happy dance when you finally achieve something without being nagged, pushed or better yet, without Batman. There is nothing wrong with asking for help but there is also nothing wrong with doing it yourself. Who knows you might also develop your own happy dance.