What would you attempt, if you were not afraid?

If you were not afraid what would you attempt? Give it some thought, and allow the wonder of it to stir your heart. In a world where nothing is impossible, you can sail the seven seas; you can create the cure for cancer; you may open up North Korea to the “Free-World”. Nothing is stopping you from dreaming of a world where anything you want is possible.

Fear is not an indictment against you. Most people are fearful. This emotion is a healthy check to keep humans from unwittingly hurting themselves. However, we have the “playing it safe” concept ingrained into us. That means most of us grew up in a system where you go to school for so many years, get a job, and work towards retirement. This model is alright if that is your view of life. After all we know exactly how much income is coming in from working at a “job”. We can device plans based on our expected income. Every little aspect of our daily, weekly and monthly living is neatly ordered in time sensitive economical packages. That ‘pay-check’, and the source from which it comes, serve as a pillar of stability in our lives – and that model actually works.

For those of us who believe that we are here for something better, there is one major barrier in the way. The barrier in the way of living our dreams is the ‘unknown‘. You may not sail the seven seas as long as your ‘job’ would not allow you to take time off and go sailing for 9 months. How in the world are you going to pay for your living expenses if you are not working? This is where life’s reality hits you in the face. You either sit down and set that dream aside, or you stand up and make a way to live your dreams. How to fund our lives while living our ‘passions’ is the main unknown in the equation of our lives. If your electric bill or house is not paid for, something uncomfortable happens. So, being aware, and working to stay afloat is definitely necessary. As such fear cannot be written off as some unreasonable factor.

Whatsoever we do not know or understand is usually viewed with trepidation. Fear, the emotion inbuilt to keep us from hurting ourselves, has become a crippling baggage. There are ways to take on this unknown quality of life. To get rid of this baggage, or to set it aside temporarily, or to tone down its intensity, there are a few steps we can take.

 HOW TO MAKE YOUR FEAR SERVE YOU

Start on a Small Scale – If your goal is to open an organic food restaurant, you may start by sharing your recipe, and taking on small catering projects. This way, you may build your clientele. And if things do not work out, you can to switch to something that works, without interrupting your daily life. If things work well, then you can scale it up, and have a part time operation. Over time you will be ready to open a full-scale restaurant.

Incremental Development – This is to build something on a small scale, and then add to what already exists. If you are building a custom car, for instance, you could build one part at a time. Over many weekends, the car will be complete, if you build in small increments regularly.

Face Your Fear Head-On – To face your fear is to accept that you are afraid, but to act despite that awareness. Inherent in this idea is evaluating the situation, and taking calculated risks. Be cognizant of the fine line between boldness and foolishness. If you want to go sky-diving, be 3 times sure that your ‘reserve’ parachute works, before jumping.

Collaboration – There is nothing we cannot achieve, if we don’t care who gets the glory. By cooperating with people of liked minds, we can consolidate our physical and brain-power to create something worth living for. The Civil Rights Movement, Google, the Constitution of the United States, and numerous great achievements are the results of people working together as ONE, towards a single goal.

So, now that you have read this far, the question, once again, What would you attempt, if you were not afraid? Think about it. Do something about it.

 

Log-in and Password

 Just about everyone knows how to operate a computer system. However, not everyone understands that fulfillment or success works just like a computer system. Log-in and password are the two basic steps to getting into a protected computer system. The steps are so basic and common that most people can follow these steps in a foreign language. Once an individual has typed in these two bits of information, he/she is free to use the available programs on that system. Success and fulfillment follow the exact same basic steps.

In this comparison, the decision to do something is the required log-in or user name. Before you can gain access to anything you desire to have or to be, you will have to DECIDE what it is that you want. That DECISION is registered in the “system of life” as your log-in or user name. Once you produce that user name, you have gained access into the realm of making things happen. Being in this place however does not guaranty success. Access simply grants you the platform to apply yourself. Think about emails: When you open your email provider, there is no way to proceed unless you supply the password.

“For many are called, but few are chosen”   – Matthew 22:14

      Persistence is the password that unlocks the second entrance into making things happen for yourself. Once you have made up your mind about what you want, life will demand that you show how dedicated you are, to achieving that aim. The way to demonstrate your desire is by PERSISTENTLY working towards it. For one person, that may be a hundred repetitions, for someone else, that could be a thousand repetitions.

Your results will tell you what number of repetitions are required. Johnny Athlete may require 2 swings to hit the ball out of the park; for you, it may have to be 100. This is where the “chosen” are picked out from among the “called”. It is not enough to produce the log-in; it is not enough to decide. After the initial stage, you must enter your password: PESRSIST.

The password is case sensitive. If one character is written wrongly, or omitted, you don’t get to enter. If you attempt five thousand times when the requirement, for you, is 5,001, then you won’t have what you set out to have. One character missing, or one more repetition missing will block your admission. Leave no stone unturned. Become obsessed with making your decision a reality – persist with the mentality that you will continue, even if it takes a million attempts. With a mind set like this heaven and earth will have no choice but to grant you your hearts desire.

Madiba Commemorative T-Shirt

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Madiba Commemorative T-Shirt

The POWER of FORGIVENESS T-Shirt commemorates the legacy of President Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013) – a truly exceptional person in the endeavor for human equality. His humility, along with his uncommon decision to forgive the Apartheid regime, set the pace for healing in South Africa, and in the world.

Send your picture wearing the POF shirt, and it will be posted on eLifesmeaning blog. The campaign for this shirt will run for 9 days. At the end of the period, each person who showed interest will receive a shirt.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (1918 – 2013)

Once in a lifetime a great soul shares the earth we live in; in our lifetime that man is Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. And at the age of 95 – on December 5, 2013 – this great soul passed away. The time was 8:50 pm (South African time).

If you or your friends, or your children are asking: What is so great about this first Black President of South Africa, this article will summarily give an answer.

In the 1650s Dutch settlers came to South Africa. Eventually, they instituted a government that classified races of people. White and Colored were the main groups. The Colored (especially Black) people were denied voting rights, freedom of movement, and all basic human rights in their own land. For about 300 years White settlers dominated and punished local South Africans for no good reason. The natural resources, political power and economic control were all managed by these settlers.

In 1950 White controlled government established a ‘formal’ Apartheid Government – essentially a system where citizenship privileges were determined by color (race).

As a result of these evil deeds, Black Africans organized into groups and spoke up for their rights. The South African Native National Congress (SANNC), the first recognized of such groups was established in 1911. At each meeting with the Government, there may be promises and/or apparent plans of sharing some benefits with the Black (and other minority groups – notably Indians) people, but those were proven to be ‘empty promises’. Interestingly, it was during his days in South Africa that Mohandas Gandhi developed into a leading figure in the fight for the freedom of the Indian nation.

 

Nelson Mandela

Mr. Mandela

The African National Congress (ANC), among other groups kept the pressure on the Apartheid government for the freedom that Colored people had been denied for 300 years. Nelson Mandela along with other ANC leaders were imprisoned for life in 1962 for attacking government targets in protest of the treatment of Black and other Colored people.

Through his term in prison, the Apartheid government would occasionally offer Mr. Mandela and his fellow freedom fighters conditions of release. Mr. Mandela would respond by stating that he cannot negotiate while in prison; nor did he accept freedom that has ‘conditions’. So, he remained in prison for 27 years.

In 1993, Nelson Mandela was released from prison by the government of Mr. Frederik Willem de Klerk. After that event, a fair election was organized, and Mr. Mandela became the first elected Black President of South Africa. This was of great concern to the White population. They were fearful for their future and their lives.

   With ‘Madiba’ (as Mr. Mandela is affectionately called in Xhosa language) in power, he instituted the Truth Commission. This commission set up committees that met with victims and perpetrators of the Apartheid atrocities. At these hearings, the victims were the ones who came forward. The White perpetrators mostly said little. The man who (along with MILLIONS of Black and Colored South Africans) suffered in the hands of those who denied them peace and justice, FORGAVE them. The bloodbath which would have followed the 3 centuries of inhumane treatment in their own land was forgiven by this man. If he had not stood against the quest for revenge, South Africa would have degenerated into an ugly civil war. His unwavering stand for peace (rather than revenge), forgiveness, and equality, is what made him so important to this and all generations.

So, if you were wondering why this man is so revered, the answer is: He has an immense ability to FORGIVE and transcend those who did him and his people wrong, this set him apart. He fought tirelessly for PEACE and equality. He made sure that the credit belongs to the hundreds of known and unknown souls who fought with him, and before him in the struggle for equality in South Africa and in the world.

Mandel'a Language

Mandela Spoke…

Make Another Bold Attempt

Hello everyone. After some time away from daily posts, eLifesmeaning is back. The frequency will be worked out over time.

For now, this is to compliment every single person who has made a decision to create the life of their dreams. Whatsoever you choose to be, life will meet you at the fork in the road; you will have to decide which way to take – you show how committed you are to being what you chose to be. Ultimately, heaven and earth will back you up, if you stand your ground.

The gatekeeper to achievement may look fierce and dangerous, but he is but a gatekeeper. When you pay the price in toil, focus and drive, paths will be cleared for you (even if an ocean has to be emptied). The apparition of failure, rejection, defeat and loss, are all gatekeepers.

When it seems grim and hopeless, take time to regain some strength; then stand, and make another bold attempt at your goal. The entire universe is cheering you on. You have nowhere to go, but forward.

Learning From The Ugly Duckling Story

Once upon a time down on an old farm, lived a duck family, and Mother Duck had been sitting on a clutch of new eggs. One nice morning, the eggs hatched and out popped six chirpy ducklings. But one egg was bigger than the rest, and it didn’t hatch.

“Did I count the eggs wrongly?” Mother Duck wondered. But before she had time to think about it, the last egg finally hatched. A strange looking duckling with gray feathers gazed at a worried mother.

“I can’t understand how this ugly duckling can be one of mine!” she said to herself, shaking her head as she looked at her last born. As the days went by, the poor ugly duckling became more and more unhappy. His brothers didn’t want to play with him, he was so clumsy, and all the farmyard folks simply laughed at him. He felt sad and lonely.

“Nobody loves me, they all tease me! Why am I different from my brothers?”

Then one day, at sunrise, he ran away from the farmyard. He stopped at a pond and began to question all the other birds. “Do you know of any ducklings with gray feathers like mine?”. “We don’t know anyone as ugly as you.” The ugly duckling did not lose heart, however, and kept on making inquiries.

Then one day, his travels took him near an old countrywoman’s cottage. Thinking he was a stray goose, she caught him.

“I’ll put this in a hutch. I hope it’s a female and lays plenty of eggs!” said the old woman, whose eyesight was poor. But the ugly duckling laid not a single egg. The hen kept frightening him saying, the old woman will wring your neck and pop you into the pot!” And the cat chipped in: “…then I can gnaw at your bones!” The poor ugly duckling was so scared that he lost his appetite…

“Oh, dear me!” moaned the now terrified duckling. “…I did so hope someone would love me!”

Then one night, finding the hutch door ajar, he escaped. He fled far away. In a thick bed of reeds, he thought “If nobody wants me, I’ll hide here forever.” The duckling began to feel a happier, though he was lonely. One day he saw a flight of beautiful birds; white, with long slender necks, yellow beaks and large wings, they were migrating south.

“If only I could look like them, just for a day!” said the duckling, admiringly. Winter came and the water in the reed bed froze. He dropped exhausted to the ground, but a farmer found him and put him in his big jacket pocket.

“I’ll take him home to my children. They’ll look after him. Poor thing, he’s frozen!” The duckling was cared for at the farmer’s house. Thus, he survived the winter.

By springtime, he had grown so big, the farmer decided to set him free by the pond. That was when the duckling saw himself mirrored in the water.

“Goodness! How I’ve changed! I hardly recognize myself!” The flight of swans winged north again and glided on to the pond. When the duckling saw them, he realized he was one of them, and made friends.

“We’re swans like you!” they said, warmly. “Where have you been hiding?”

“It’s a long story,” replied the young swan, still astounded. Now, he swam majestically with his fellow swans. One day, he saw his old duck family by the bank. One of his brothers exclaimed: “Look at that young swan! He’s the finest of them all!”

And he almost burst with happiness.

Culled from http://www.ivyjoy.com/fables/duckling.html

Lesson Points

  • The “Ugly Duckling” was not a duckling, he was a swan – You are not who they think you are
  • Labels from outside do not have to define your character or your future
  • Seek a different opinion. The duckling went and asked around for gray feathered ducks
  • Be courageous enough to follow your heart. The duckling left home after so much animosity
  • Take inventory of your life (blessings, skills, accomplishments). The Duckling saw himself  reflected in the pond water
  • Take your place among the those with whom you belong

Observations on the Media

It has been an honor writing for you all. There was a time when I had no idea what social media is. Today, I still pay little attention to the world of twitter, facebook and such. However there are some interesting lessons I have learned from being a blogger. And these are thoughts that I will share with you, if you would give me a few minutes of your busy day.

Information Dissemination Speed

It used to be that people learn about what is happening in the news from the main media outlets. Television, radio, newspapers, magazines and the internet. Things have changed drastically. Today, you are likely to learn of something from your cell phone, before you hear it anywhere else. The information may be twitted to you or sent in an instant message. The rate at which information travels is amazing. Before any of the traditional news outlets can report on a given event, it has already made its way around the world.

Journalists ‘R Us

Those who blog and write articles are now in the front row of sharing, reporting and spreading information to their audiences. And this range of activities does not require any credential as a trained journalist. In many professional events, the so called media are made up of bloggers and writers, who share the same privileges as journalists. No one asks to see a certificate to verify your training. If you write and have enough following, you may be treated as an ‘expert’ wherever you go.

Pen Mightier than the Bullet

In today’s media world, the “ePen”(along with video, social media etc) is mightier than weapons loaded with ammunition. In the past decade there have been incidents of people taking drastic action, to include taking their own lives, as a result of something posted online. The main tool of our era i.e. the internet possesses so much power that misusing it can end someone’s career or life. At the same time, making the most of it could bring you wealth, fame beyond your imagination.

Online Forest Fire

Almost anyone who writes or posts can start an idea, a rumor or a trend. You and I know videos that have gone viral. Some have generated half a million views in a matter of days. Bloggers, and day-to-day people who post articles and videos online have been leading trends as much as performers on television. There is so much hype that can be created by one blogger or someone posting a video.

Power Balance

As stated in the last paragraph, people who are no journalists, actor or public figure, now have access to the tools to reach the entire world. These tools are available to anyone who can connect to the internet. It used to be that a PC or laptop is needed, but that is no longer the case. Just about anyone  may publish content with a smart phone. If a given entry catches on, then the individual may have an audience that equals that of the Pope.

Conclusion

We now live in a world where we are constantly connected to information by our phones. Creating trends, shaping culture, and disseminating information, is now the domain of anyone who can introduce anything that people want to be involved with. In this area, all humans are equal.