Living Everyday A Higher Life

Live Like You Mean It

A Life Centered On Giving

 

No one wants to be poor. I believe that every person from their tender age, when asked what they would like to become when older; none of them said something like:” when I grow old, I want to be poor or sick or a beggar”….we all had/have dreams of grandeur, dreams of becoming great personalities, successful in life, becoming somebody relevant and not just anybody. We all wanted to stand out and to be relevant in one way or the other.

We can say then that being poor or experience lack is never one’s plan/wish. It is something that’s ingrained into each person and we all feel it deep in our blood. Poverty is just something no one wants to ever have to experience.

Whether born in a financially stable family or not, a favorable environment or not, with any advantage at all or none; we all share this one trait: Nobody wants to experience lack.

Whilst that is true, we also have to acknowledge the fact that nobody chooses the circumstances of his/her birth. Nobody is given a choice as to where to be born, which family, which country…etc. already, the day we were born, we found ourselves in a certain place and under certain circumstances which were not always good or comfortable ones. Some were born into wealth and comfort, others didn’t; some were born into peaceful countries, others didn’t; some were born lucky, others were lucky to be born. Looking at all that and some, nobody really is to blame, the circumstances of our birth are not something we could ever control but we can choose to make the best of it.

My circumstances of birth were not at all ideal. I was born right smack in the middle of a political crisis, insecurity, poverty, and all the consequences that usually follow. I believe am one of those who were lucky to be born because everything seems to suggest that I ought not to have lived. And it had really marked my life, I felt scared all the time, never wanted to associate with people, I felt safer on my own than surrounded by people, I was as shy as I can probably imagine; I was someone who never wanted to be noticed at all. It was a really painful period of my life but as they say no matter the length of the storm, the sun will always rise again and so it was in midst of all that, I met some amazing, God sent people and my life was changed forever.

I met people who gave me the confidence that I needed to get out of my shell, out of my comfort zone; they made me realize that I wasn’t an accident on earth, that the circumstances of my birth were not what defined me, that I didn’t have to be a victim of my past which I couldn’t change either way; they made me realize that I had a choice, I alone not anyone or anything else chooses what happens to me, the person I am to become and for the first time in my life, I stepped out and embraced myself no longer defined by my past but by my own choices.

I want to let every person in the world know that, we don’t have to be defined and dependent on our past or painful circumstances; we have a choice to make. We can choose to become better, we can choose to make a positive impact on our society, and we can choose make history that people will read about for generations. Yes we can. We can choose to be the best version of ourselves, and when we finally give up the ghost, we’ll have spent all we had within us to give. I mean, Die Empty.

And that brings me to the title of this post; A life Centered on Giving.

After my rebirth (that’s how I like to call it), I realized that I had to give others what was given to me. This realization that we don’t have to go just go with the flow, follow others as they make their own stories but we have our own personal power, this ability to be so much more. Not victims but conquerors.

Every person has something to give. No matter how small, there’s someone out there who needs that little to live better. There’s nothing too small or insignificant. I have decided to live such a life. A life centered on Giving because my Father once told me that:” The beauty of life is not in having much possession but it is on making someone else happy.”  It means you haven’t really known how beautiful life can be if you haven’t yet impacted someone’s life and pushed them to the next level of their life, if you haven’t helped someone not expecting anything in return but just to see them living their best life. I was poor and now I’m not, I can say confidently that there’s much more joy in giving that in receiving when it’s done in a proper attitude.

I am encouraging you dear reader, in this New Year 2018; to make a deliberate decision to be a giver. Not only money but also your time, knowledge, smile, advice or counsel; there’s no such thing too little or insignificant.

If you need a good example of what I’m talking about; check out our organization called SUN. We have been doing it in our country Rwanda, abroad and we are always ready to expand our horizons and extend our hand of help.

 

‘Make someone happy today – that’s the beauty of life’

 

 

 

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Those Who Add, Subtract, Divide and Multiply In Your Life

Surround yourself with people who make you happy, people who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through.’

 

Karl Marx

 

Somebody once said to me that most problems and pains that people face and experience in life can be traced back to one individual, when I heard that I looked at him funny and prepared myself to argue with that statement. I just couldn’t understand it. Like for example; sometimes I wake up with back pain; in that case, who is to blame? I’d say it’s the mattress (Joking), but on a serious note, it wasn’t making sense to me at that time.

As I kept thinking about that statement and trying to understand it, I came to an understanding that I want to share with you today and I believe that if you really consider what is coming next; you’ll find that it is true. It goes like this:

There are four different types of people/ relationships in each person’s life:

  1. Those who add
  2. Those who subtract
  3. Those who divide
  4. Those who multiply

Much like the four types of operations that we learnt in primary namely, addition, subtraction, division and multiplication; when it comes to life’s relationships the same still apply.

It is true that no man can make it alone. No one can do everything by himself or herself; we all need people, we all need someone to lend us a hand, to help us, to listen to us, to advise us, to teach us. No man is an island.

But in as much as we need others, not everyone adds and multiply to our lives, some divide and subtract and that’s the reality of life, wherever you find yourself; this is an unchangeable truth.

That’s what today’s quote is about, surround yourself with people who genuinely care, good people, people who not only come to you for what they can get from you but also for what they can give you. It may be in the form of an advice, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, financial help or any other form of assistance.

And when you find such individual, keep them, bring them close to you, surround yourself with them and when that happens; you’ll find yourself living a higher life. I’m not saying there won’t be problems, difficult situations or even arguments but somehow someway, there’ll be reconciliation because there is genuine love and care and that hardship and trial will improve the relationship not impair it.

The best way to know a true friend who genuinely cares is when one of you is facing hard times; their response will indicate to you the state of their heart. I’m not saying that every person that helps you or who is of any assistance to you should be your friend; I’m saying that there is need to need to be careful in choosing your friends and the people you surround yourself with.

Bottom line: You want to live a higher life, make sure you surround yourself with the right people.

 

 

#12 Don’t Miss It

‘Opportunity is missed by most people, because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.’

Thomas Edison

 

I saw this quote the other day when I was reading a certain book and I agreed so much with it that I decided to share it here.

I have realized that in life, most opportunity that you’ll meet will not come in what I can call “a finished form” but there will be some work, effort or something that you’ll have to do to get something of value out of it. Is it a job opportunity? You’ll have to go through the necessary procedures to get it and even afterwards you’ll have responsibilities and duties to carry out. Is it a business opportunity? You’ll have to do market surveys, business plans and so many other plans in order to grasp that opportunity. Is it a school / scholarship opportunity? You’ll have to apply, do interviews, write essays and even when selected there starts the long journey of attending classes, presentations and exams.

Just think of any opportunity, there will always be work to be done, even when you meet a new person and there’s a friendship opportunity, there’ll be things to do so that the relationship grows into a friendship and maybe even more than that. Therefore, it is important that we realize that there so many opportunities around us and if we want to seize them, we must be willing to work for it.

The interesting thing is that: most people value more something for which they have worked  and tend to undervalue what is given to them freely.

I was reading a book the other by Rod Judkins titled: The Art Of Creative Thinking, and I found a story therein that can really help us understand how vital it is to seize every opportunity that comes our way. I quote:

“The Kellogg Company was transformed into a success by a counterintuitive decision by Will Keith Kellogg. In the late 1920s, Kellogg’s was one of the competitors in the packaged-cereal market. When the Depression struck, the other companies did the predictable thing: they reined in expenses and cut back on advertising. It was the accepted wisdom. In hard times, most firms invest less in research and development. They try to preserve what they have. That was rational. It made sense. Kellogg made an irrational decision: he doubled his advertising budget instead. The Great Depression was just getting started, but he reasoned that people still needed to eat, and the breakfast of choice for most Americans was “flakes and milk.” Kellogg’s accountants and financial advisers were pressuring him to make cuts, but Kellogg saw that he would never have such a huge competitive advantage again—and he was proven right, emerging as the market leader by the end of the Depression. Today, statistics show that companies that continue spending on advertising during recessions do significantly better than those that make big cuts. Despite the evidence, many firms continue to follow their emotions and cut advertising in hard times.”

When Kellogg saw an opportunity despite the fact that it was during a period of depression, he went for it. He wasn’t afraid of the hard work it would take, the risks that were present and against all odds he preserved and in the end it paid off.

Let’s ask ourselves these questions: How many opportunities have we missed because we thought the environment was not favorable? Or because there was just too much risk involved?  Because we were waiting for a more convenient time or it just didn’t feel like that was it?

Almost no opportunity will  come knocking on your door like pizza delivery, waiting for you to just dig in; and even in that instance, you have to use your own effort to eat the pizza. Meaning the pizza was delivered but it won’t eat itself or magically enter into your body without work being done in the form of using forks and plates to eat, chew and swallow. Don’t forget also that by eating it, you’re giving work to your body to digest it and extract what it needs to keep functioning. That’s a food opportunity that you seized in the form of a pizza.

Even the most normal and routine things in our everyday life require work. So don’t be lazy but get up and work. Work for the future you desire. In my experience, I have found that the most valuable things in life are found in rather uncomfortable places: gold, diamonds and precious stones are found underground, to get petrol, there has to be digging deep into the earth, sometimes even under oceans and so many other examples out there.

Your success depends on your own hard work, so let’s get up, get out and start working. I know it’s not going to easy and it will most likely be a bumpy ride but just believe in yourself, step out, open your eyes and decide to seize every opportunity that presents itself to you. If you’re wondering how to identify it; remember : It’s dressed in overalls and looks like work. Now that you know how to spot it, Don’t miss even a single one.

Here are a few quotes to help you on the way:

‘People become really remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves, they have the first secret of success’

Norman Vincent Peale

‘You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.’

Wayne Gretzky

‘I am a great believer in luck and I find that the harder I work, the more luck I have’

Thomas Jefferson

‘You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction’

George Horace Lorimer

‘If you have goals and determination, you have nothing. If you have goals and you take actions, you will have anything you want’

Thomas J. Vilord

‘Successful people in this world are those who get up and look for circumstances they want. If you can’t find them, then make them. ‘

George Bernard Shaw

 

God’s Speed!!!

5 Ways To Embrace Change: Start New Healthier Habits

Take a moment and cross your arms. Now, cross them in the opposite direction. Which way was more awkward?

If you thought crossing them the second time required more thought, you’re right. In fact, when you crossed them the first time, the signal came from a very different place in your brain than it did the second time.

Habits are the choices we make deliberately that at some point become automatic. They make up over 45 percent of what we do every day. Your brain is lazy. It doesn’t know the difference between a good habit and a bad habit. It just takes everything you repeatedly think, say, or do and turns it into a habit so it doesn’t have to work so hard.

When you crossed your arms the first time, your limbic system (the place that stores your memories and your habits) drove your actions. The second time you crossed your arms, the message came from the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for higher level thinking and planning. Any new thought or behavior starts in the prefrontal cortex and eventually becomes habituated if we use it enough.

Most people resist change because it threatens their natural habit patterns. Whether it’s a new role, a new boss, a new car, a new diet or new routine, your brain has to work overtime to learn to adapt to the change. Unfortunately, it’s like the old saying goes, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

Navigating change, both personally and professionally, requires you to form new habits, and that requires some discomfort. The more ingrained you are in the old way of doing things, the longer it takes to form new habits. The good news is you can intentionally train yourself to think and behave in new ways. The more you do it, the easier it becomes to form new habits.

The next time you are trying to navigate change, keep these thoughts in mind.

  1. You can’t counter emotion with logic.

When we go through change, we often feel anxiety and fear of the unknown. Others may tell us that the change logically makes sense. Unfortunately, that does little to alleviate the discomfort associated with it. Give yourself time to process whatever emotions you are feeling. Get curious as to why you feel anxious or afraid. Don’t judge your feelings, just observe them. This is the first step to embracing change.

  1. Identify what’s in it for you.

Even when we know a change is for our own good, it’s easy to resist it, preferring our comfortable old habits. Take time to identify your W.I.I.F.M. (What’s In It For Me). This is your motivator and will keep you going through the discomfort. If you can’t identify a positive benefit, ask what loss or negative outcome you are trying to avoid.

  1. Identify barriers and proactively manage them.

Let’s say your goal is to get healthier. This might mean exercising more, eating better or getting enough sleep. Even though we know these are good for us, the barriers of time, money, laziness or life get in the way. Trying to eat better? Plan your meals so that you have healthy food options wherever you are. Too tired to go to the gym after work? Sleep in your gym clothes and wake up 30 minutes early to go for a walk. Too tired? Don’t worry; exercise will help you get better sleep.

  1. Surround yourself with the right people.

We all have energy drainers in our lives. These people are full of drama and stress. They are toxic and will make change extremely difficult. Identify the people in your life who drain your energy and distance yourself from them. Conversely, identify those who make you feel supported and spend more time with them.

  1. Keep the big picture in mind.

When we are approaching a change, it can seem daunting. When we’ve made it through to the other side, it’s easy to look back with perspective and call it growth. Keep this in mind as you encounter adversity, challenge, and change in your life. So far, you’ve navigated every change thrown your way. That’s a pretty good track record.

Remember, if you want to behave differently, you have to think differently. We can retrain our brains and form new habits. It just takes courage and the willingness to step outside our comfort zones. Change can be scary, but by taking some time to proactively manage the process, you can set yourself up for success.

There are also questions you can ask yourself to find out your character and habits. It’s like checking yourself up at the doctor’s office.  Believe that you can and you will surprise yourself.

Don’t fight change, Embrace it but only if it’s good for yourself.

Check out a book called  “52 strategies for life love and work” by ANNE GRADY.

The Best Is Always Yet To Come