On Pain & Gain…

Nothing worth having in life comes easily. If you’ve been reading my blog, you already know that I believe that even good luck, which seems to come out of nowhere, must be intentionally nurtured in order to manifest in our lives. Everything is hard work, perseverance, and faith.

You will be questioned most when you choose the difficult path. When you take the road less travelled, others will witness this and it will cause them to doubt the well-trodden path they favour. Nobody wants you to work harder to succeed, because your success will only prove that they need to work harder too. Nobody wants you to sacrifice and suffer to succeed, because this will show them that they, too, must sacrifice and suffer in order to gain what you have gained. Be prepared for the backlash.

What other people think of you is none of your business. What we focus on is what we succeed at. If you worry too much about what other people have to say about you and your journey, you will only become an expert at fielding criticism. Get over it and move on. Nobody promised that the road to your best self will include many friends. That’s part of the sacrifice. Quality over quantity. The winners stand alone, together!

There is no elevator. You have to take the stairs. When you decide what you want in your life, be it a career position, a family, good health, an academic milestone, or any other achievement, you will have to take the stairs. The climb is often long and there are monsters that appear out of nowhere and attempt to trip you down the flight. Persist. Resist the urge to trip them back!

Do not covet thy neighbour’s… When you are focused on your own goals, you don’t have time to waste wanting whatever your neighbour has. Don’t call people lucky. Don’t rationalize that their achievement was easier for them than it would be for you. Don’t wish that you were them. Your life isn’t going to wait around for you to start cherishing it. Tick-tock. Focus on what you are doing and the rest will fall into place.

Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans. Be prepared for the dark days and welcome them with open arms. Know that they will come and be prepared to fight the fight. Don’t over-plan, but don’t under-plan either. Most importantly, remember that you can’t turn one hair on your head white by will. Expect the unexpected.

The grass is always greener… where you water it. Your life is a mirror reflection of your thoughts and actions. If you are unhappy with what you see, fix it. The choice is all yours.

Defend your values and convictions. If we don’t stand for anything, we will fall for everything. There will be times when it’s easier, even safer, to give up on our convictions. My ancestors were faced with soldiers who gave them two choices: denounce Christ, or die. Those who did not manage to flee were murdered, and the survivors carried forward the legacy of our faith. Imagine, when faced with individuals who criticize me for believing in God… how hard I laugh!

Be the giant on whose shoulders others can stand. When you are up there, way up in the clouds, having achieved whatever your heart set out to do, lend a helping hand to others. Even if your achievement appears to be small, you would be amazed by the chain reaction of successes you can inspire. The small things are the big things. If each of us shared a little bit of our magic, we would uplift the entire world.

Nobody promised it would be easy, but it will be worth it.

And remember… we design our own luck!

M.

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