Have you ever felt like you were being punished in life for something you have done by some higher power? Believing that you must be suffering for some other reason beyond your explanation because there is no way so many bad things, experiences and/or events could or should be happening to one person. If so, why do you feel you are being punished and what could you have really done to “deserve” these things? There are many times things happen because they happen. That’s a little easier to grasp if you take away your opinion about what it is you do or don’t deserve. The real question is; do you have a reason to feel you are being punished? Well, if you do, let’s just call that what it is. It’s called guilt. If you are experiencing the symptoms of guilt, are you willing to take ownership of whatever it is you are guilty about and make it right, if possible? All of these are great questions to consider but here’s the thing; you are not being punished. Even if you were, how would you know? All that you are experiencing is the cause and effects of life. Nothing more, nothing less.
Not having answers or knowing every reason behind every occurrence can be frustrating if you don’t get rid of the need to know. Again, some things just happen and at the time they happen we have no idea if they will lead to a long or short term benefit or disadvantage. So why fret? Consider this, all things good and bad happen to good and bad people. There is no set of reserved situations or circumstances for either side. Look through and rely on history starting with your own and it will show you everything you need to know. Try finding comfort in knowing it is not just you that goes through ups and downs, it never has been or will be. The only difference among people is how we interpret and respond to these things.
All things in life are less unique as time passes. Everything that will happen, has happened. It is up to us to observe this fact and act accordingly, learning from the experiences, wisdom, and teachings of others along the way. Another fact to bank on is that life is short and so too is all of our experiences, pains, pleasures and circumstances. This is just more of a reason to dedicate yourself to working vigorously and purposefully on your self-development. The key here is to always be growing in some way whether it be personally through reading and learning, growing by giving to and developing others, or any mixture of similar acts. This is what they mean when it is said that how you spend your downtime says a lot about you. If your thoughts and actions are pure and with good intention, your downtime will likely reflect that.
So I ask you; what daily activity could be more important than working to improve yourself? If you enjoy a steady diet of self-development, you will not only approach personal freedom but you will also be able to figure out the reasons behind and accept and take responsibility for any circumstances you may find yourself in. It takes finding our truth at our core to reverse the course we are on and grow successfully. A focus on personal development along with a concentration on our thoughts and self-talk allows us to break the grasps of our toughest conflicts, trials and tribulations but we have to be disciplined and persistent in our attack until we reach the point where it becomes, not second nature, but our own genuine nature.
No matter what your circumstances or situations, stay confident, true to yourself and recognize the strength you possess. Hold on, remembering this too will not only pass but it can and will get better the instant you realize it is within your power to make it so. Control your impulses. We have control of our present through the way we choose to act and react through our mental attitudes in the midst of any given situation. We need to accept that we can’t predict the future and we have to let go, learn from the past, gain understanding and move on.
Give your mind a break and just be in the present. Let all of the ups and downs, theories and opinions, panic and angst dissolve into the quietness of an inhaled breath. Exhale the inner calmness that exists when you finally come to realize that it is you that is in complete control in the present moment and every moment beyond. You cannot be moved. Learn to dig your roots in and exercise your power daily. Once the discipline of the mind, body and spirit begins to develop, the battle actually gets a bit tougher. This happens because you are no longer relying on and giving in to the habits of your past nor reacting as you have grown accustomed to. Discipline doesn’t make anything easier but it does however provide the boundaries in which you know to operate in.
In life, there will be all kinds of attacks mounted against us whether they be ad hominem, physical or through ridicule, lies & gossip. No matter what the form, you can bet there will always be one lurking. Some you are aware of and some you are not. None of which is worth risking your freedom, reputation or body of work. It is in your best defense to be aware, full of contingencies and in the right state of mind to make the best decisions and reactions. As we know, a good defense defeats a good offense (e.g., Super Bowl 50) and there is always something to be gained from our experiences. Most of the time what we learn is what not to do and/or avoid. Remember, there will always be things that happen that are out of our control, all we control is our response to them. Living life with a purpose and remaining focused on your mission, commitments, and ultimately your life’s meaning can help you overcome anything.
When people declare war on your character they will go through many lengths and almost stop at nothing. In many cases, they will work harder than you've ever seen them work before or have known them to do. It is a constant struggle and burden to have enemies and always be under attack and at the same time it is a gift if handled correctly. What happens is the steady onslaught of attacks helps build the resiliency, courage and prudence necessary to develop the sort of discipline that allows you to sustain and thrive through anything. In other words, it is helpful to learn to grow out of tough situations. While there are many things that can be done to overcome enemies, the object is not to become one yourself. Do not to emulate your oppressors. One bad act does not need to be answered with another. Emulating your oppressors decreases your ability to have accurate thought and be calm during the storm. In fact, it only provides to you an illusion of power for true power is in self-control and discipline.
Here’s some advice. Avoid trouble, greed, lies, rumors, unhappiness, foolish behavior and all that is similar. Overcome sorrow, guilt, anger, and the like. Avoid fools and keep good company, for it is not only how you spend your leisure that defines you but who you spend it with. The ultimate danger is allowing a fool to damage your reputation all the while understanding that nothing can be done to theirs because their only reputation is for being a fool. Be cautious, prudent, patient, courteous and of sound mind in your acts, opinions, judgments and first impressions. Take control of your situation and response to it, grow from it and make necessary adjustments in thinking, behavior or whatever the situation calls for.
Lastly, sometimes in order to serve yourself, you first need to understand there is nothing wrong with asking for help. There is also nothing wrong with admitting your weaknesses and struggles. The fact is, we all go through things in life that may require an extra set of eyes and ears, especially while under attack. There are some people that find their value in the things they are most passionate about and you will come to realize that some of those people will be passionate about helping you.
Excerpt from part 1 of a 3-part Personal Development series coming soon, being written by Tyrone M. Robinson III, Owner, Opportunities 2 Serve.