- Stephen Covey
As I put my thumbs on the touch pad of my android device (which I often write on) to write some musings, a crazy thought popped into my head….
A crazy but important thought….
It totally stopped me in my tracks and kept me staring at my screen for several minutes.
This thought posed a question to me- a question that at first; I didn’t have an answer to.
And I bet you don’t have a direct answer either…
It simply asked,
“What does life mean to you?”
This was something I thought I had an answer to. Then I started writing this post and realized the humble truth…
I didn’t have an answer.
The strange thing was- I couldn’t even find an answer.
I thought I had my life all figured out until now when I realized that it is impossible to know everything about life- about your life.
At one time in life or the other, there are some questions or problems that seem unsolvable. This automatically gives us the feeling that all hope is lost.
When dealing with such situations, there’s a particular tactic I always use;
“If you can’t attack the problem from the front, try the back end where it doesn’t see you.”
It works every time. And this is what we’ll be using to answer that question above.
Negativity and unfortunate happenings don’t just attack your life as a whole. They start from the little but important areas that we sometimes take for granted. It’s just like a rat spoiling your vacuum cleaner. It doesn’t eat it as a whole, which is impossible. Instead, it starts from the wires. You wouldn’t know the damage it’s done until the next time you need that machine to work for you. This is the same with your life.
I’ve listed below the five areas of life that you just can’t do without. This not only proves their importance but shows you the need to watch your actions. We’ll also be dealing with them from the back-end to make things easier.
What’s this back-end? It’s simply your attitude towards them. This is the direction we will be using to indirectly answer the following questions.
What does money mean to you?
It’s an indisputable fact that money is a necessity in life. Even the poorest of people need money to survive. It is a simple means of value exchange which we use to acquire material possessions. Without it, you most likely won’t be able to connect to the internet and read this post right now.
The way you think about money, treat money and handle money is the best way to answer this question. In other words, your attitude towards money determines what it means to you.
How do you feel when you come in contact with a huge sum of money? If you feel that a particular amount of money is too big, when you have it, it’ll most likely control you.
How do you handle the money you have with you? If you are a spend-thrift with money, this means you don’t respect it. And like we humans, money doesn’t like to associate with those that have no respect for it.
How do you handle the little you have with you? If you manage it too much by living below your standards, you over-value it. If this is the case, giving will become hard for you. And when you don’t give, you don’t receive- you don’t get more of it.
Antidote: Value money in moderation and don’t worship it. It’s that simple….but probably not so easy.
What does failure mean to you?
Everyone fails at something at one point in life but not everyone succeeds in the end. Why? Because not everyone has a genuine answer to the question above.
How do you feel when things don’t work out as planned? If you get angry at yourself, you’d push everyone away from you, including those that are supposed to help you out.
What are your actions when you get pushed down from being somebody to nobody? If this demotion doesn’t motivate you to climb back up the ladder of success, you’ll blame the people around you for your failure and probably lament about it till your death (no offense).
How do you feel when you embark on something that’s new and unproven? If you let fear of the unknown overcome your thoughts, you won’t be a risk taker and may miss many opportunities in future.
Antidote: Do the opposite of everything above. When things don’t work out as planned, look at the lessons learned and move on…..with a smile on your face. When you get embarrassed with failure, find a will within you to climb back up that ladder, step by step.
What do your relationships mean to you?
Answering this question would help you know whether you are a true friend or not. Or whether you deserve the family you have or not. Your inner values determine your attitude towards your friends, spouse and kids.
How do you treat a friend in financial need? If you have and you don’t give, when you need, you will not receive. It’s that simple.
How do you react when you get betrayed by a so-called true friend? If over time you don’t forgive that friend, chances are you’d find it hard trusting anyone else. Starting a family might become a problem for you because of your inability to trust.
Do you influence your friends or do they influence you? The statement, “bad company corrupts good manners” isn’t new. This statement is not restricted by age or achievements. The same way bad friends lead a teenager to drugs is the same way they’ll lead a married man…or woman with kids to flirting or late night parties (yeah, grownups still party).
One of the major reasons for negative peer influence is lack of self confidence or low self esteem. If you’re still affected by this, then it’s a weakness you need to strengthen.
Antidote: A friend in need is a friend indeed. Even though you’re not financially up to the task, words of encouragement would do. At least, your friends would understand. The “Forgive and Forget” concept has also been greatly misunderstood. To forgive is to simply let go of your emotions attached to that incident. If it’s anger you feel, letting go of that anger is enough. To forget is not to mentally remove the incident. That’s so impossible.
It simply means renewing your trust in that friend, regardless of what was done to you in the past. Recalling past incidences clouds your sense of judgment and gives you the impression that everyone is a liar. This is what happens when ladies get “broken-hearted” by terrible guys.
Influence can make or mar you . Money, failure and relationships can either make your life better or a whole lot worse. It’s up to you to determine the side of the coin you get. Don’t think having lots of cash at your disposal will guarantee you a fruitful future. There’s more to life than money. Perhaps taking a little history lesson into the life of Mahatma Gandhi would make you rethink.
The key to effectively managing these core areas is simply to watch the influence they have on you. And that’s exactly what I’ve laid out. When you successfully manipulate these core areas in your favour and you become all big and mighty, don’t forget to drop by this blog to say hi!
What has been your attitude towards these core areas? I think sex should be part of this list. What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below and tell me what you think about influence.
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