The winning Mindset: Dealing with problem
Dealing with problems
Your progress can be hindered if you ignore your problems. Could you be letting little challenges grow into huge obstacles by not dealing with them?
When faced with unpleasant situations it is tempting to ignore them and not deal with them. The path of least resistance is an attractive one and the effort required to deal with the problem sometimes seems too immense. At times it’s not so much that the problem is big but that it requires us to admit something about ourselves or others that we just don’t want to face. The trouble is “You won’t find a solution by saying there is no problem.”
Dealing with problems – the dangers of not handling your problems
The longer you take to deal with your problems the bigger they will grow and the harder it will be to sort them out. They are like weeds that grow in a beautiful garden. If not recognized and uprooted early enough they will dominate the garden and choke the beautiful flowers in the garden. In fact you will forget there was ever a lovely garden there to begin with.
Secondly, when ignored, problems may become accepted as the norm. I remember working at a hospital where there are often shortages of medical supplies. As medical staff there we got so used to improvising that even when some supplies were in stock we did not think of using them. For instance, we improvised arm slings for shoulder dislocations and broken limbs by using bandages and empty fluid bags. One nurse actually had to remind me that the pharmacy had plenty of arm slings so I should not be wasting people’s money by telling them to buy bandages instead. My mind had become accustomed to the abnormal to such an extent that it became normal and I absolutely did not think there was any other way to get the job done.
There are many abnormal situations and circumstances in our lives that we have become used to and comfortable with to the extent that we do not see the need for change. It is possible for you to become used to poverty and lack. It is even possible to get used to mediocrity and failure. Ignore the problem long enough and it may no longer become a problem to you. The trouble is you will not be living the kind of life you should be living. “Making do” is not always a good thing.
Lastly, a problem that is not dealt with can lead to other problems. Unfortunately, problems are very social creatures and they will eagerly invite other problems into your life if you harbour them for too long. By not controlling one you may be opening the door to many others. It’s the domino effect: one action or lack of it in this case, can lead to many different consequences.
Dealing with problems – change your thinking
So how do you deal with problems? The first and best way is to change the way you think about problems. . “The way you see the problem is the problem.” I like to think of such things as “challenges” rather than problems because “Problem” is a dead-end word. It leaves no room for solutions. When you regard something as a challenge instead, it leaves your mind free to think about how to respond to it. If you see it as a temporary obstacle you are more likely to feel empowered and able to deal with it.
David Oyedepo and Chris Oyakhilome, who are both pastors, say that many people have asked them whether they ever have problems in their lives as they always seem to be having it easy and things are always working out for them. Their response is that they don’t remember having problems. They add that perhaps the problem came, but they did not recognize it. Their mindset is one of dealing with things as they come and knowing that they have the answer to anything that they face. As they are on God’s side, I’m sure they cannot fail to have answers.
Dealing with problems – focus on the desired outcome
A second way to deal with a problem is to focus on the solution instead. Focusing on the problem too much may actually make it more impossible to solve. This can make the problem so big in your mind that it obscures or overshadows any possible solution. Try instead to think about what life would be like if the problem were solved. This brings your creativity into play and your mind will soon find ways to solve the problem.
According to Albert Einstein “You can’t solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that created it.” A third way to deal with problems, then, is to alter your viewpoint. One way of doing this is to distance yourself emotionally from the problem. Try looking at the problem as an impartial observer and not as someone actively involved in it. This technique will not only make the problem seem less daunting, but will also help you to find possible solutions. When you are emotionally involved in something it clouds your judgment and dulls your creativity.
Dealing with problems – have a sense of humour
Finally, “laugh at your problems; everybody else does.” It is important to realise that any problem, no matter how big it may seem at the time, has a solution and is usually not the end of our lives as we may often feel. As long as you are breathing no problem is beyond solving. There is always hope to those that will look for it. Take life in your stride. Do not get bogged down by it and don’t ever forget to enjoy it. A free and fun mindset alone will go a long way in helping you to deal with your problems.
Dealing with problems – the conclusion
Look ahead with confidence. Stay focused on what you want and not what’s in your way. “Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.”
You are all you can be. Go on and be it.
Finding your purpose
Do you know what is driving you? Why are you working so hard and doing so much to get what you want? Do you know your purpose for being here?
Whatever your dreams may be and whatever you want to achieve, it is important to analyse the reasons for those things. The reasons for what you want to have and to achieve are your “why.” Your why is intimately tied to your purpose in life.
Finding your purpose – the reasons for achievement
It seems strange that most of the time we wonder through life without any real purpose of our own. At times we do achieve great things and have the appearance of having a wonderful life. We may even have every material thing we could ever want and be successful at our careers, businesses and every thing else. But, as many who have achieved success will tell you, you can still feel empty inside and your life can still lack real meaning.
Imagine, for a moment, that you have achieved your dreams. You are famous. So what? You have lots of luxury cars. So what? You are number one in your area of expertise. So what? You have the biggest or best company in the country. So what? You are wealthy beyond your wildest dreams. So what?
Achievement, wealth and recognition in themselves are useless if they do not answer the “why” question. Why? Because the reason for doing something is ultimately more important than what is done.
Finding your purpose – everything has a purpose in life
Everything has a purpose in life. The trees, ants, bees, birds and every living thing have a purpose for being. Each plays its own little part in the delicate architecture of life. Every good invention or good tool answers a question. Technology answers the why question – it’s an answer to someone’s problem.
Human beings, whatever you believe their origin to be, are the greatest of all of nature’s wonders. Why are most of them so purposeless in their existence? The Roman emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius asks: “Everything, a horse, a vine, is created for some duty…For what task, then, were you yourself created?”
A substantial number of us exist simply to exist. We live year in and year out as though living itself is our ultimate goal. If we make enough money and have enough things to get us through to the next year we are satisfied. Surely, there is more to our lives than that? How can something so wonderfully made and endowed with potential as you are simply be here to just exist? What is your contribution to the world? Is your being here making any difference to anyone?
Finding your purpose – the why factor
The answer to these questions lies partly in your why. Your why is the strong reason you desire something. It is not what you desire, but the strong reason why you desire it. If you examine it further you will find that your why is closely tied to your purpose in life: the thing that you are here to do.
So who determines your why and your purpose? Very simply – you do. George Bernard Shaw said “This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one.” Trouble is, if you are anything like most people you are probably waiting for some miraculous experience that will tell you why you are here and what you must do. Such moments do occur for some people, but they are the exception and not the rule. The fact is, most people already have the starting point for knowing their purpose in life.
It may be something that interests you, excites you, inspires you, or just that small voice in the back of your head that tells you you ought to be doing something. These are often the clues that hold the answer to finding your purpose. Unfortunately, they are often the clues we tend to ignore or suppress. Yes, they may not be complete clues. Certain pieces of the puzzle may be missing. But these pieces can only be found once we decide to set off on the journey.
Finding your purpose – decision is always the starting point
What is the starting point of that journey? As with most things in life, it is decision. Decide that there is purpose to your life. Then decide to commit yourself to finding your purpose. Without these two decisions being settled in your mind you will wonder through life like 97% of everybody else out there: busy achieving nothing.
Deciding to find your purpose will set you on the right track and make your mind receptive and ready to see every day things in a new light. However, you have to seek out the answers. Read books that make you think, watch inspiring movies, spend time with the right people, develop your interests and passions and, most importantly, read your Bible. All this is part of keeping your mind in the right environment, an environment that is right for revelation and inspiration.
Finding your purpse – simplicity is often the answer
There is no way in the world anyone can do what I have just described to you and end up living a meaningless life. One piece at a time the puzzle will become clear and complete. You will discover your purpose, and when you do, it will likely not be some experience where you got hit on the head and nearly knocked out by the revelation. It will come naturally. It will be something that combines most of your life’s experiences and your abilities into one perfect purpose. It will be something you probably had a clue about all along.
However, don’t ever make the mistake of wanting to know everything before you start anything. Start where you are with what you have and what you know. Would you dare write a novel without first learning the alphabet? Take the first steps and you will be on your way. If you follow the process you will mature into the person you are meant to be. You will fulfill your purpose, one little step and one little piece at a time.
Finding your purpose – conclusion
Leo Buscaglia stated that “It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of (man)kind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.”
Are you discouraged whenever you come across a little opposition and resistance? Do you fail to achieve your dreams because you always expect and want it to be easy to do so?
Whatever you want to achieve in life, it is very likely that you will run into some resistance. This resistance may come in various forms and at times from unexpected or unusual places.
Overcoming negativity – the laws of nature
It is a natural thing in nature that for every action there is an opposing and equal reaction. If you want to move, you must overcome friction and gravity. This may not seem to be a good state of affairs, until you realise that it is actually the opposition of gravity and friction that strengthens you. In order for you to walk and jump, your muscles have to develop the strength to overcome gravity and friction.
The experience of astronauts shows that when they go to outer space where there is less gravity and friction, their muscles and bones actually become weaker, to an extent where some fail to walk for some time on their return to earth. Without the opposition of gravity and friction their bones and muscles deteriorate.
Overcoming negativity – personal challenges
Just a few days ago, I came across some resistance myself. I got an anonymous message posted from the comment page on my website. Usually these messages are from people that have found my articles and website interesting and helpful and they encourage me greatly to keep writing and telling people that they can achieve their dreams. However, this message was different. The unknown person accused me of stealing their work word for word in my articles.
I was shocked, to say the least. More surprising was the fact that he went on to threaten to “notify the Post and even take a large ad in the Times and Daily to expose” me. I read the message again just to be sure I was reading it correctly. I was.
What I felt at the time was a little disappointment and then amusement. This soon turned to utter disbelief when a few minutes later the anonymous writer sent an email declaring his identity and formally accusing me that “most of the articles that you have written for the Post contain my original work and writing.” It was from someone I truly respect and admire, and someone I aspired to work very closely with in future in order to make a positive difference to the lives of many people in this country.
Overcoming negativity – the resolve to overcome
However, my disappointment, disbelief and amusement soon turned into a burning resolve not only to continue doing what I am doing, but to do it even better. In addition to that I was inspired to do a lot more than I am currently. That resistance and opposition is perhaps the very thing I needed to strengthen myself and develop myself further. I refuse to wallow in fear and let anything like that hinder me. This will not be the stone that will crush me, but the stepping stone to greater things!
I subscribe to Stephen R. Covey’s philosophy that “Opposition is a natural part of life. Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.”
Overcoming negativity – welcome challenges
So, if you are not being challenged in any way, you cannot grow. If you do not have anything to push against, you cannot make any progress. This is a revealing but true concept. If you are absolutely satisfied with your life the truth remains that you will not try to change it in any way. Any positive change must come as a result of some negative influence that forces you to change.
This negative influence can take many forms – from dissatisfaction with your work to disappointment from your girlfriend or boyfriend. There are many geniuses out there who found their passion and did amazing things after some tragic event in their lives or after being disappointed in one way or another.
Overcoming negativity – be prepared for it
As a dreamer, you must always be prepared for opposition. In particular, you must be prepared for the nay-sayers and the haters. These are the people that would love to see you fail and they know that you will fail in trying to live the life that you deserve. At times it may be people you truly trust to help you along on your journey. Instead they try to stop you and discourage you. Spouses, relatives and close friends are some examples. My anonymous e-mailer is another.
This is a facet of human nature that is hard to understand. Why would anyone want to stop someone else from being all that they can be? The answer is simple. That would expose their own failures and shortcomings. It is not that they don’t believe in you – they just don’t have enough belief in themselves. They would judge you based on their own abilities. But rather than get discouraged and defeated you can use their unbelief to spur you on. I have found that there is nothing that can encourage you to take action more than having someone show doubt in what you can do.
Overcoming negativity – looking forward
One of my favourite motivational speakers, Jim Rohn, tells a story of how his former boss did not believe in his abilities and thought he was a failure. When Jim became wealthy from his speaking business he took a briefcase full of dollar bills, got into his former boss’s office, opened the briefcase, poured all the dollar bills on the desk in front of where the guy was seated and exclaimed just two words before walking out – “count it!”
As Lee Iacocca said: “In times of great stress or adversity it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.” What Jim Rohn did is a good example of that principle at work. I would urge you right now to write a list of things people in the past have said you can’t do. I would urge you also to plan your victory celebration – what are you going to do once you get there? What are you going to do to help elevate those who will be in the position you may be in now?
|Overcoming negativity – conclusion
The Bible says in Genesis as Joseph addressed his brothers: “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good…” Turn the negativity into a positive. Overcome the opposition and prove them wrong.
You are all you can be. Go on and be it.
Your resolutions – introduction
As we start 2007, I would like to propose a toast. So wherever you are and whatever you are doing – stop! Get yourself a drink. It doesn’t matter what drink – water, wine, juice or munkoyo is fine. Grab that drink and let’s toast: “To your dreams in 2007!”
Okay, now that we have drank to your dreams, may I ask what those dreams are for 2007? Maybe I should have asked that before the toast.
Anyway, if you did a poll or asked people what their New Year’s resolutions were they would mention any one of the following things:spend more time with family and friends, get fit, lose weight, quit smoking, enjoy life more, quit drinking, get out of debt, learn something new, help others, reduce stress, get a better job.
Countless surveys, including those done by the US government, have found these to be the most common resolutions. I would guess that people in Zambia are not an exception to this. One very interesting thing about them is that very few are about getting wealthy or making money as such. The majority are about the things that we neglect to do, for ourselves as well as for others.
Your resolutions – your goals for 2007
This is not about statistics, before I digress. It’s about you and your goals for 2007. Hopefully you have made them already. Haven’t you? Then do it now. Write it down. I have found that there is nothing as powerful as writing down your goals at the beginning of the year.
When you put your goals in writing at the beginning of the year they take on a new significance and power. Especially if the goals are accompanied by a picture depicting the outcome you want. Think of it as your pictorial guide or encyclopedia for the rest of the year. Your mind catches on to it and directs you to attain those goals during the remainder of the year, if you are committed to them.
However, if you do not write things down, it is almost certain you will not achieve them. You will have given your mind nothing to work with and nothing to focus on. The pressures of life will distract you and a month or two down the line you will be back doing the routine things of life. Your dreams will likely be tossed in the pending tray.
Your resolutions – make this your best year ever
It doesn’t have to be that way. Every year can be better than the previous year. It should. That is my philosophy. Whatever happened last year, you should expect and reach out for more. Why? Because you can make it happen.
Before you go overboard and write down humongous goals that may only lead you to disappointment and frustration, take a moment to think about what you should write.
Firstly, focus on realistic and achievable goals with measurable results. This is where you either make it or break it. If you are a 2 packet-a-day smoker who has been at it for twenty years, for example, do not say you will quit smoking at midnight on New Year’s Eve! Take it easy. Make it realistic and achievable. You could, for instance, cut down to 1 and half packets a day, then 1 packet a day in the first few months and finally to half a packet after which you can move on to wearing a nicotine patch.
Creating unrealistic goals can make you feel frustrated and disempowered when you realise the first day or two that you just cannot do it. Actually that’s a major reason a lot of goals, not just New Year’s resolutions, are not achieved.
You need to break things down into small steps that you can manage. This will greatly boost your confidence and you will fell empowered and capable of achieving your goals once you are able to fulfill the smaller steps that are required to get there. It also helps to break a big task into smaller steps because then your mind will be able to see them as attainable and not quite as daunting.
Your resolutions – get started right away
Speaking of goals being daunting, one reason people don’t ever start working on their goals, even after they have made them is that they wait to get motivated before they do so. Dr. Hinda Dubin argues that “action precedes motivation, not the other way around. Once you initiate an action – the smallest of actions – you pick up momentum and you’ll realize ‘hey, this isn’t so bad’ and it will be a lot easier to keep moving forward, and to stay motivated.” So take action now. There is never a more perfect time to do something about it than now.
Now is also a good time to tell someone about your resolutions. It should be someone you trust and someone who will encourage you rather than discourage you. Such a person can help you to keep on track when you go off-course. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell someone else, especially if you fear that you might fail. If you choose the right person this should not be a problem. They may actually feel honored that you told them out of so many others you could have told and they may end up being a great shoulder to lean on.
Having such a friend can be very important during setbacks. Which brings me to my next point: you should view setbacks as opportunities for growth. Sometimes along the way you might fall a couple of times. That’s okay. Pick yourself up and learn your lessons.
What did you do wrong? What could you do better? It is often said that the only place where the shortest distance between point A and point B is a straight line is in mathematics. In life, you have to zigzag your way through to get to point B. Unexpected things may happen, you just have to adjust and keep focused on your destination.
Your resolutions – it’s should be up to you
Finally, do not be pressured into doing something because someone else wants you to do it. Your goals for 2007 should be something you really desire to change or achieve. Then you will be more likely to succeed. Take on this year with a fresh enthusiasm and all the faith, courage, determination, persistence and energy you can muster. 2007 can be your best year ever. Decide to make it one.As Eleanor Roosevelt said: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Dream Big – Introduction
George Bernard Shaw wrote that “the reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
One thing I have come to know by experience is that if something is widely accepted by people then you should doubt it. Just because something is “common sense” and “common knowledge” does not make it the truth.
Looking through history, and even in contemporary times, it is clear that the people that have made a difference and excelled above their generation are those that challenged the general view of things during their time.
They are people who ask why and find the answer before they accept something as gospel truth. If they do not find a satisfactory answer they change their perceptions and views in accordance with what they have found to be the truth.
Dream Big – take a lesson from history
A little over one hundred years ago, it was a generally held view that you could not catch voices from the wind and hear people speak who were hundreds of miles away. It took the invention of the radio to challenge this view and to change the world. Today, you can not only hear that person, you can see them as easily as though they were seated next to you. The internet and television have made this possible.
Who would have believed in the eighteen hundreds that man would be able to fly faster than any bird in the nineteen hundreds and beyond? The Wright brothers did. They challenged the view of their day and dared to dream. They were unreasonable men.
All the people that have changed the world in a big way were unreasonable people. Being unreasonable is being senseless, not level-headed, illogical or impractical. Sensibility, practicality, level-headedness and logic are good qualities no doubt and qualities that are invaluable to any dreamer as they pursue their dreams.
But while it is good to be like that when you are actually working on your dream, it is not advisable when it comes to defining your ultimate dream.
Dream Big – be unreasonable and senseless
Your ultimate dream should be unreasonable and senseless. If it is not, you are not dreaming big enough. When you have a dream that is big enough it will be totally mind-blowing. It will be one that will challenge you and scare you at the same time. It will be a dream that is so huge you will get excited and question your own sanity at the same time.
Your senses enable you to see, smell, hear, taste and touch. The senses exist in the physical realm in that they are designed to perceive the physical environment around you. So your senses cannot perceive things that are of a mental or spiritual nature.
Dream Big – ignore your senses
That is exactly the problem for us: we are too sensible with our dreams. We plan according to what we perceive by our senses to be the truth. We plan according to how much money we see in our bank accounts or pockets, what we hear people say about us and our situation or the economy, and the resources and things we can touch as being available to us. We are restricted by our senses.
Yet, Our senses were never designed to perceive spiritual, mental or abstract things. Our dreams begin with our thoughts, which are a mental process. Our thoughts are or should be superior to our senses. Whatever is manifested in the physical realm to the senses begins in the mental or spiritual realm.
Dream Big – trust your thoughts
If you are a dreamer you have to place more trust in your thoughts than in your senses. You must be unreasonable and senseless. Then your mind will be free to dream and to explore the possibilities of your potential.
Free yourself from your current physical limitations such as how much money you have, what papers you have, your current job, where you live and what you own. Your dream should be illogical and definitely not practical. If you have a clear idea right from the start as to how you would achieve your dream with every detail worked out, it is flawed.
If you have a dream that is big enough, you will not know how you will achieve it all when you start. Sure, you will have an idea of where to start, but not the whole picture. The “how” is not important, only the “what.” It’s cliché, but take heed to the saying: “where there is a will, there is a way.”
Dream Big – the acid test
Here is an acid test for your dream: if most people agree with you that your dream is achievable and that it is reasonable, chances are it is not worth dreaming about. If, on the other hand, when you tell people your dream they look at you like you are a case in the fruitcake sanitarium, or locally we would say a “Chainama” case, then you are probably on the right track. Do not be limited by an inability to see beyond your present circumstances. Do not be controlled by your senses.
Dream Big – understand the inside-out paradigm
As a dreamer, you must realise that life is lived from the inside-out and not from the outside-in. It all starts in the mind. That is the real battlefield of life. That is where the war is raging. If you can create your ideal life in your mind and live that life like a reality everyday in your mind, you have won the battle. It will have no choice but to manifest itself in the physical.
Success, riches, happiness, fulfillment, recognition and all, do not come as a surprise to dreamers when they get those things – because they have been living it in their minds all along. It had to happen. The physical world cannot resist the spiritual and mental world. In the hierarchy of life it was designed so. One has to obey the other. The physical has to obey the spiritual and mental.
Dream Big – conclusion
The spiritual and mental aspects of a man are limitless, boundless, free in every respect and more powerful than we could ever understand. They are unreasonable and senseless.
In the book of Hebrews this principle is well illustrated because “through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Learn to utilize this power within you. Be unreasonable.
You are all you can be. Go on and be it.
Your past and future – introduction
Is there more at stake to the choices you make than just your future? Could you be living a life that is not of your own making? These were the questions that raced through my mind one very ordinary looking day. It turned out to be a mind-opening day.
I was having breakfast in a restaurant on a recent working trip. The waiter greeted me warmly as I went to serve myself. He then retreated to a corner of the room, taking on the common stance that waiters assume with their hands clasped in front, a towel dangling between them.
As I sat down to eat he came and asked whether I needed some coffee or tea. Not being particularly fond of hot drinks I declined and said the juice would suffice. He noticed that my glass was small and offered to bring a larger glass of juice.
So the morning went on. He would serve me, then go back to the corner and watch. It was as though at every moment he was observing me and asking himself what else he could do to make my breakfast better and my stay more comfortable.
I got drawn in by all this and also started to observe him. He was humble, quiet, almost making an effort not to be noticed as he stood in that corner. His manner seemed to suggest that he was not important at that point, the customers were.
Your past and future – The generations before
As I stared at him standing in that corner I was drawn back in time. I remembered that my own grandfather had worked in a hotel. He was not a waiter and I can’t remember exactly what he did there, but it suddenly dawned on me that he might have been in a similar situation – catering to customers’ needs in the hotel.
Wow, I thought, what a change of roles. I mean, there was my grandfather working in a hotel some decades ago and doing what he could to support his family and make a better life for his children. Now, here I was, two generations later, sitting in a similar hotel and being waited on by someone.
It struck me that my being in the position was a result, one way or another, of the sacrifice, dedication, love and commitment of my grandfather to his wife and his children. It wasn’t just him though, but everyone else that came before me. My grandparents raised up my parents, who raised me. Where would I be had they all not done their part?
Your past and future – turning the tables
I also wondered as I watched the waiter what he was thinking. Was he thinking about staying in a hotel some day and also being waited on by someone? Did he ever dream of being on the other side of the situation? What were his hopes and dreams for the future? I don’t know, but I wanted to tell him that he could have any future he wanted for himself. I wanted to tell him that he could get to the other side. It is more likely, though, that he was thinking about his family and what he could do to provide for them right there and then by working in that hotel.
As for my grandfather, he did turn the tables and move to the other side of the equation. How? Through my parents, through me, and through everyone of my family members that have a better life today because he worked hard. Whatever kind of life we have today, he contributed to it. The success or failure of any one generation is influenced by the success or failure of the preceding generations.
I realised at that moment that we carry the dreams and hopes of the generations before us. What parent does not wish his children to have a better life than he has, no matter how good it is? Would my grandfather not feel a sense of accomplishment to see his own children and grandchildren being able to afford to stay in a hotel and have the finer things in life? Would he not feel a sense of failure to see them suffering and struggling through life two generations after him?
Your past and future – remember the sacrifices made
Remember the sacrifice and dedication shown to you by those that walked before you. Remember everyday as you make your choices in life that you carry their hopes and dreams on your shoulders. They have done what they could to make things better for you and to give you what you need to succeed. Will you make them proud or let them down? Are you building on the foundation they established or are you destroying the hard labour of their hands. Remember the generations past.
Your past and future – passing on the torch
At the same time, I realised that we carry the seed of prosperity for the generations to come after us. What you do and the choices you make will influence the kind of life your children and grandchildren will have. Your life is not really your own. Many others are affected by it.
Prosperity does not refer here to simply financial well-being. There is more to it than that. Imparting the right values, knowledge, attitudes and beliefs is all part of contributing to the prosperity of the generations after you. After all, you can leave your children an inheritance of millions of dollars, but if you have not taught them the right attitude towards money or given them the knowledge of using it well, they will lose it all in a short time, or worse still kill themselves with the excesses of life. The Bible advises that we “Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will show thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.” Wisdom is a treasure to be passed on.
Your past and future – turning the bad to good
There are those of you out there for whom the past generations have been a disappointment and have passed on a torch to you that was nearly burned out. They could perhaps have done better and made things a lot easier for you. Realise, though, that you still have the power to turn things around. Your parents’ failures do not have to be your failures. Neither do you have to suffer the consequences of their mistakes forever. You have the opportunity now to make things better for those that will be after you.
Your past and future – conclusion
Henry Ward Beecher advises that “We should so live and labor in our times that what came to us as seed may go to the next generation as blossom, and what came to us as blossom may go to them as fruit. This expresses the true spirit in the love of mankind.” As the torch handed to us by our forefathers burns in our hands we should endeavour to hand it to the next generation burning even brighter.