Stay positive through trials and tribulations

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It is a surprisingly beautiful ceiling; that of the magistrate’s court. 

It has marble carvings whose meaning I can’t quite figure out.  Nonetheless, I am pretty sure they were meant to depict something great.  As I sat through the mundane mentions before my own hearing; my mind could not help but wander to my readers. 

Every week I contemplate what message I ought to pass along in my blog.  And even though most people would like to hear about my experience and how I came to be staring at that ceiling, I regret that I will have to disappoint you.  You see, I am bound by an unforgiving subjudice rule which would hold me in contempt of the very court that I hope will mete out justice. 

But back to the present, I couldn’t help but wish that I was staring at the ceiling of a different and symbolic building (read the Sistine Chapel in Rome) contemplating the meaning of life.  Yet there I was in my circumstances persevering enormous public scrutiny which I could not wish away. 

To me, this is the essence of life.  Sometimes the carpet is pulled from right under your feet and completely destabilises your balance. I read somewhere that, ‘Life is made of millions of moments, but we live only one of these moments at a time. As we begin to change those moments, we begin to change our lives.’

It is a simple and undeniable truth.  Life sometimes doles out heaps of challenging moments and other times, heaps of happy ones. Whether at work, in your own business or in your own personal life, you can expect both in relatively equal measure.  In strategy, we call it Murphy’s Law.  What changes your life is how you deal with each of these scenarios.   

My life lesson has been to appreciate that the challenging moments are not there to punish rather to grow me. 

Half the battle is won when you move from the point of a self-defeatist attitude to a victorious one.  It is simple really; you cannot the see the opportunities that exist when you are busy feeling sorry for yourself.  All your energy is expended on the negative thoughts. 

This is the first step to success.  Take control of your feelings, thoughts and emotions.  Then you can figure out how to best exploit your circumstances to work in your favor. 

My second life lesson for this week is that you must have some hope for something greater to keep you going.  It can be in the form of goals, targets, expected rewards or even faith. 

Your colleagues or family may not agree with you or value what you hope for.  However, you should not let their lack of support deter you.  Dogged pursuit of what you believe in despite the challenges is what makes you successful. 

Michael Jordan, one of the most successful basketball players of all time, captured it perfectly when he said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” 

The underlying message here is that he never gave up hope.  He always aspired for something greater than what he had already achieved. 

Most importantly, I want you to note that both life lessons focus on the future. 

This is the mistake that most young people and new entrepreneurs make.  They get into business with the hope of making quick returns today.  Their decisions are often based on the premise that they must make hay while the sun shines. 

I have learnt that you may be able to reap quick fruit but you may also fail miserably.  A solid base guarantees you a sustainable business with potential for greater returns in the future. 

To reiterate my tips for success, make lemonade when life gives you lemons, keep hoping for greater things and focus on building a strong foundation today. 

Footnote: I want to thank those who have been supportive of me during my trials.  Throughout these trying times, I have been reminded of Christ who was persecuted and crucified on the cross in place of a common thief and a bribe of thirty silver coins.  Years later, we appreciate His message to us and His service to the community. 

Do not get me wrong, I do not equate myself with Christ.  On the contrary, He reminds me that success rarely comes without trials and tribulations.  In fact, such trials help to solidify one’s beliefs, commitment and value for life; as they have done for me.  Therefore I encourage those who may be going through trying times to keep hoping, trusting and to remain focused on what matters in life.  God bless you all.

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