I am not a life coach. As a matter of fact, I have a problem with that title, as I find it hard to accept that anyone person has all the answers to the issues of life. I also believe what makes the journey of life intriguing are the uncertainties that lurk at every twist and turn. Nevertheless, it’s amazing how we come to better understanding of ourselves (and our environment) as we grow older. As we ought to. The idea behind growing older should not just be about advancing in age, but the ability to harness all our experiences, observations and knowledge into making our lives a wholesome one. As we try to make sense of the conundrum called life, I believe we must reach certain points on our journey, some of which I’ll elucidate below:
Be more disposed to telling the truth: When children tell lies it is bad. When adults make a habit of telling lies it is worse, and I’ll tell you why. One of the things that came naturally to me as I grew older was that I saw less need to tell lies, especially when it came to decisions taken regarding my personal life. Now, this doesn’t suggest that I was a fibber before. But, since I left high school where one could be flogged for admitting a wrong doing (which ranked high up among the reasons I was ecstatic about completing my secondary education – No more beating for the rest of my life!), I have often found it unnecessary to lie, and would rather decline to say anything instead. It’s why I find it irksome when I come across full grown adults who find it very convenient to lie about almost anything. My thinking is – this is not high school where you can be beaten for being honest, so why lie?
Do what makes you truly happy: This may sound like a no-brainer, but in my short years of existence, I have seen too many people live their lives for others. You love that guy, but are scared of what your high society friends and family will think because frankly, both of you are far apart in social strata of the society. Guess what? The same people who criticized your choice of marrying a poor guy, will have more scathing remarks to make if your marriage crashes while fulfilling their own myopic vision of seeing you with the other guy who “complements” you better. If you do what makes you happy and stumble along the way, at least you will be consoled in the knowledge that it was caused by your own innocuous mistake and not the outcome of succumbing to societal expectations.
Have a mind of your own: Don’t be a “Yes man.” Many are products of cliques who have eroded their ability to think for themselves. All too often we flow with the crowd and embrace popular opinion without really examining a situation by ourselves. It’s the reason I have a lot of respect for people who have an unpopular opinion and are not afraid to voice it. It’s a rare quality. What in this age where many would do anything to garner followers on social media? It won’t kill you to be the lone voice in the wilderness. Rather, it will earn you plenty of secret love and respect as one of the very few who aren’t afraid to stand for what they believe. When will you find your own voice? For how long are you going to keep playing to the gallery? Think about it.
Fight some battles alone: Family and friends were given to everyone for a reason. They form our support and rock when we go through trying times. However, sometimes we have to go it alone. If you find that you are always quick to run to people for support at the slightest sign of problems, then I dare say your transition into adulthood is incomplete. When you go through difficult times and come out victorious, you will find that you have developed your endurance level and strength of character. Stand alone sometimes, you’ll be the better for it.
Take responsibility: From the government to leaders in the private sector, to individuals, one thing that is common in this part of the world is a penchant for shifting blame to the next person or even thing. The government blames previous administrations for the rot in society. Business heads blame the government and even their employees for any problems within their sector. Husbands blame wives for issues on the home front. Wives blame husbands for derailing their dreams. The masses blame the government for unfulfilled promises. At the end of the day, society remains stagnant because everyone is complaining and no one is really doing anything to change the situation of things. You must get to that point where you are determined to take your destiny into your hands regardless of what is happening around you. Complain less and do more!
Prune your circle of friends: If you were diagnosed of a terminal illness today, how many people would truly be there for you? It has never been about the number of friends one can boast of, but the quality. I stand to be corrected, but I am yet to miss having a lot of friends. They are distractions if you ask me. Keep your circle small and tight, you will have more peace and focus that way.
Live for a higher purpose: Material things are good, but there’s more to life than the accumulation of wealth. You must get to the point where you come to a realization that wealth is only as important as it can achieve in the life of others. After all no one leaves this world with anything.
Like I stated earlier, I don’t have all the answers. In fact, I don’t have most of the answers. However, I’ll keep sharing my observations and personal convictions with you anytime it hits me to do so.
Feel free to share yours too.