SEVEN PRINCIPLES TO LIVE BY – Part Two
Sarah Suleman, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
- To turn whatever you have into enough
If we were to look at it in a more wholesome manner, we’d find that the word enough, really doesn’t exist in the human psychology. We’re always wanting more, readily clawing opportunities, riches and advantages for ourselves even if our bank accounts, mansions and cars are almost bursting of them! The word enough only exists upon beckoning. We must will to turn whatever we have into enough. Every breath, every heartbeat, every second is a blessing. Every moment in between the break of dawn and the fall of night is a moment to cherish where you are. As for it affecting our minds, it does a great deal of damage to always feel ungrateful.
Being grateful puts those daily hours you spend in moaning about how unfavorable circumstances are to rest and it gives you a gradual rush of serenity, to finally feel like you have nothing to complain about. To feel gratitude for all the things you are receiving, for those that you are yet to receive and for the things that have not befallen you.
- To let your actions tell your story
Consider the world packed with people who only babble about themselves, their achievements, their goals and their lives.
If anyone said yes to that, they’re simply in denial. If all 7 billion people talked about was themselves, they’d eventually be talking to the peeling paint of the wall.
Humility is often misunderstood to be a term that means putting yourself down. Humility is much more than that. It’s the complete opposite from what it’s so frequently assumed to be because it boosts your self-esteem instead of lowering it. Humility is in fact the most liberating trait one can acquire. Far too much time and energy is spent in proving how you’re better looking, smarter, wealthier, cleverer and more talented than others. At the end of the day, if they’re anything like your boasting self, not a word you’ll have said will affect them. And as this cycle of clutching your colleagues by their throats continues, you will never know what it’s like to grow. Because you only grow when you stop trying to make yourself look bigger than others.
- To make the best of the way things turn out
As we discussed earlier, you will always have things thrown at you. And sometimes, it could be a rotten egg while the other times, it could be a chocolate bar. If we were to spend an eternity lamenting on the rotten eggs being thrown, we’d not only miss every chocolate bar, but we wouldn’t even try to duck the rotten egg the next time!
Optimism is a proactive state of mind and is the very root of innovation. If everyone were to assume that every movement in our lives is preplanned, we would have no innovators. Famous innovators faced serious drawbacks in their lives, but they chose to make the best of the worst. While most of us, scream and cry at the worst, thinking it will make even the slightest of difference to it. We must remember the wise of words of Dr. Karl Albrecht, “It’s not only about positive thinking. It’s positive doing that matters.”
- To make the best investment
We’ve all been bitter. We’ve been bitter for a long while. Whether it’s because someone turned out your light or because you were never taught how to light the lamp in the first place, you’re searching for that one thing that will ease your heart. What is it that I must do? You wonder to yourself as a stranger passes by. Should I spread darkness in his life, leave him to suffer or show him how to find light? It comes as a surprise to most people that the third choice is what really rids yourself of that burden. Generosity. Believe it or not, that’s the word. There is an immense amount of change that you’ll feel as you step out of your own egocentric bubble and decide to be kind to others. You’ll feel stronger, more valuable and more whole when we invest in somebody other than ourselves.
- To grow beyond what you are
Holding onto anger makes a person smaller as he loses himself and every attribute of his in a muddle of resentment and anger. The only way to grow beyond what you are, bigger, better and stronger, is to forgive. Forgiveness is often misinterpreted to mean giving a thumbs up to what the latter did to you. But in reality, it simply means that you’re letting go of the stressful amount of energy you spent in holding him culpable for what he did to you. It allows you to channel your mind and energy on more healthier and meaningful purposes and will actually permit you to get far in life.
- To live more from intention and less from habit
Many a times we ignore the critical importance of living every moment with an intention, and not simply a habit. If we are happy by habit, it won’t do us much good. If we are kind simply because we were trained to, it won’t be applicable in the most urgent of cases. The intention is the why. It is the conclusion, the break-even point where the deepest desires of our hearts are at par with the logical understanding of our brains. It is at this point where we can see our goal clearly and throw our best shot at it. Because if our mind and heart is not in alignment, and we are living simply from habit, how do we know that what we’re doing is really what we want to do?
- To accept that it is never too late to turn a fail into a success
Giving up is an innate stage that every being crosses. But its also one of the worst. There’s a famous Chinese philosophy of yin yang (yin-yang or yin yang, never yin and yang, because they flow into one another) and is translated to dark and bright.
Wikipedia says, “The symbol describes how opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.”
This philosophy should be directly related to highs and lows in our lives. Because as much as one would like to think that a continuously blissful life would be satisfying – the truth is that it’s a terrible fate. Yin yang are two chi forces that cannot exist without each other. One gives rise to the other and without one of them, one can never really grow. Hence, we derive that without failure, one cannot succeed.
So if we fail once, twice, or a hundred times, it’s simply something that runs its course but is intended to be interrupted by another force – success.