Someone passed by me. She didn’t say hello or good morning. I got worried. I smile a lot to many people who are too busy to notice. Sometimes I think my yellow teeth offends them. So I learn to smile without showing a lot of teeth. I didn’t get enough success with that too. I gave up! I stopped smiling and I stopped worrying about people who won’t smile back.
I stop worrying about so many things that didn’t add an inch to my height. Then I stopped worrying about the following;
In my happiest moment when all worries seem not to exist, I don’t care who the president of my country is. I believe on your wedding day, when you looked deep into the eyes of your spouse and said; “I do”, you didn’t care who runs the affairs of your nation. In all situations, when you are doing something that is fun. Something that your spirit is in tune with, you had no time to think of how bad the government’s policies are.
It’s only when we are miserable that we think someone is responsible for our situations. Whether or not our lives are miserable is up to us. Governments control the economy. Fortunately, happiness is not determined by the forces of demand and supply. It’s determined by one force; You!
After 513 years, we still call the Mona Lisa a wonderful work of art. No one remembers who was president when the Mona Lisa was painted or how the economy was when Leonardo Da Vinci was trying to get brushes to paint the art. We care about the art of that time than the policies of the time. We love Mona Lisa. We give no reverence to politics at that time.
Politics is ephemeral. Governments will come and go. Policies will swing and chime like an old pendulum clock. People will always be people. Our needs will never be satisfied no matter who the president is. So why worry about politics and miss the things that matter.
#2. Your Mistakes
I made a mistake yesterday. It’s about something I did that I shouldn’t have done. Friends are not happy about me. Some don’t even talk to me because my mistake made them look so bad. All I can say is sorry. I can’t undo what I did yesterday. I ask people who are directly affected by my mistake to forgive me. If they do, fine! If they don’t, they are the ones losing.
I move on. I’m sorry for my mistakes. But I don’t regret committing them. What you count as my mistake came from the good of my intentions. It’s ok if the result didn’t come out right. I’ll change my approach and do it again. Maybe I will succeed next time. Maybe not.
The beautiful thing is, when I succeed, all my mistakes will be long forgotten. Great men who lived before losers like me were born had their mistakes. Mandela had his. Today the world acclaims him. Many of the things we are enjoying now were born from people’s mistake.
I’m not scared to make one, even many. I’m not scared to be called out for my mistake. When the pain of my mistakes get to my heart, then I’ll fail to act. I will not act out the intentions of my heart for the fear that I will commit another mistake. I won’t be a doer!
I will end up forever dwelling in the comfort of my shells. Even then, the world will tell me it was a mistake choosing to live in my comfort zone.
#3. What Other People Think
I don’t want to be the bad guy. I don’t want people seeing me as the bad guy. I want to be loved wholly, not in pieces. Everywhere I go, I want to be the guy people smile at. The guy people want to hug and probably kiss. I don’t want to hurt anyone. Even when I’m writing, I try not to hurt the feelings of people who would not agree with me.
This attitude led me to say yes to so many things that poisoned my soul. I said yes to different manner of persons and situations. I said ‘Yes’ to people who were bad for me. I said ‘yes’ to things that nearly sucked my soul dry. And I said yes to a girl I didn’t love.
Because I didn’t want to be that guy!
If I said no, people will say I’m not worth their love. They’ll hate me and I didn’t want to be hated.
Now I realize I’m not responsible for how people feel. So I say a lot of ‘NO’ these days. The right kind of ’NOs’. If they feel angry because I said no, they’re right to be angry. I can’t begrudge them for their feelings. More importantly, people will have feelings no matter what you say or didn’t say.
I once wrote a piece on Facebook. That day I had hundreds of comment. 99% of those comments were from people who were angry about what I posted. Some insulted me directly and others chose the dignify way to pass their insults through my inbox. A colleague at work unfriended me on Facebook. A friend I grew up with suggested we talk less going forward because my thoughts were poisonous to his way of life.
Today I look back to those comments and ask; are they happy now? Did their life change just because they got angry at the things I said?
What others think about you is their problem. What they think about what you do or not do should be their worry, not yours.
#4. Tomorrow Or Yesterday
A speaker I knew once said; “Your tomorrow would be determined by the things you do today.” In other words; what you did yesterday determines your today. That’s not always the issue. Somethings we do today, ends here. I kissed a girl today. It doesn’t mean the girl will love me tomorrow. Feelings change.
Tomorrow is a different world, uncertain and unclear. Yesterday is a history of a battle won or lost. We have no business getting worried about them.
Often times we are worried about the things we did wrong yesterday. It gives us sleepless nights. We are scared about the repercussions of our actions yesterday. We ask questions about things we’ve already done. Answers don’t come readily because we can’t change a thing about yesterday. All we have left becomes regrets and pains.
Anxiety precedes our tomorrows. Humans often are scared about the unknown. Tomorrow and what it brings is unknown so we become anxious. Anxious heart is a disturbed heart indeed. But tomorrow will come. And all the things we feared. All the things we were anxious about will be laid bear on our feet. Then we smile and say; we’ve wasted our hearts in anxiety for nothing. Everything we feared turned out to be false alarm.
Live in today. That’s all you have. Tomorrow and the tides are not easy to predict. Today offers you all the opportunity yesterday took away. In today you find all the love tomorrow might take away. Why don’t you live life fully? One of my mentors, James Altucher always say; “Live today like it’s everyones last.” If you knew that lady standing next to you have only a day to live, wouldn’t you be kinder to her? Wouldn’t you make her last day on earth a special one?
Worry not about tomorrow, it will come anyway. Waste not your heart on yesterday, nothing can be undone. You have today. Live it!
I was too shy to tell my age. At some point, it became my fear. I didn’t want to grow. At least not this fast. I hated the mirrors. The only thing they reminded me of is how fast I’m aging. I don’t have one.
The barbering shop is full of mirrors so I choose the ones with less mirrors. Even that, I sleep throughout the haircut. I hardly know how I look and I’m alright. I thought if I look through the mirror less, then I would be forever young.
Every birthday, I’m a year older and a step closer to the grave. That scares me. I’m scared life is running too fast with me and I haven’t accomplish much. I’m scared I will get to the edge of my grave and all I would have to my name would be a wife and kid. I’m scared the world will forget about me too soon. Every turn of a year gets me more scared, and scared and more scared.
Growth is nothing! It’s just a reminder of how long you’ve existed. It doesn’t determine what you could and what you could not do. It’s a life’s way of reminding us of the cometh hour.
Many people achieve greatness at a very young age. All of us can’t be Zuckerberg. Some of us should be Charles Darwin; age 50 years before we publish a popular book. Some of us, Vera Wang; at age 40 before the juice of designing skills was squeezed from us. Others. Others should be Mandela; age 76 before we see the day light of our dreams to lead a nation.
At what age is too old? At what age should you be scared your dreams are late? At what age should you give up?
Don’t panic! Life is too short but too long.
I’ve come close to death ones. It was in 1994. I was knocked down by a car and sustained broken bones in my right thigh. I spent 3 months in a hospital bed. I never walked. When My legs got healed, I had to learn to walk all over again.
Somedays I look at things happening in my life and ask; If I died that day who would be going through all these things that I’m going through now? Somedays when all the things are going wrong, I look back to that very point and wished I died so I wouldn’t be feeling all these pains. It’s too much to live sometimes.
Now I’m here. I have a beautiful wife and one noisy kid we had recently. Just yesterday, I found myself asking again; If tomorrow I die, Is this lady going to marry again? Probably someone will be kissing her so soon that she will forget I ever existed. How long is she going to mourn my demise?
All those questions don’t matter. When you die life still goes on. The only difference is you don’t have a life. That doesn’t mean the living shouldn’t be happy. When you die, everyone else will live and they will deserve their own kind of happiness. Not the kind of happiness you would wish them to have
Hundred years from now, we all will be dead and gone. Why worry about something you have no control about? Like Shakespeare said; “It seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come”. It might come today or the next. If you live a thousand years, one day you’ll go. Why fear or get worried about that?
Live today like tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Learn to give to people who need your care. Don’t waste times of your life thinking about death. Live it. Let’s death tumble and roll to your abode. All you have to do is raise your glasses in cheer and live what is left of your life.
For tomorrow you might be gone. Then people will say you lived. That’s the most important thing.