The Pit

Nobody likes the pit. It isn’t a pleasant place to be in, but when you look back more often than not you’ll have a different perspective of the pit. The pit isn’t always an intended destination, but it can turn out to be for your good. The pit is the place where despair and desperation marry, their union seeks to take control of your life and smother you with their baby, depression… if you overcome this trio however, the pit will be where your character is built and you develop the traits required for you to flourish when you achieve what was once thought impossible. If you let it, the pit will weed out all of your shortcomings and jumpstart your transformation to being that man or woman you aspire to be.

One of my favourite true stories involves a bragging annoying teenager who was loved by his father above all his many brothers. He was egotistical and vain and would often share what he envisioned himself becoming, demeaning his siblings in the process. What did they do when the favourite child’s pride became too much for them? They threw him into a pit and told their father that he’d gone missing. In the pit the arrogant teen’s pride was instantly stripped away, replaced by a deep appreciation of life and everything that he had and a realisation of the value of others. In the pit he stopped envisioning things falling into his laps and developed a mentality of discipline and hard work steeped in iron-wrought principles that would not bend under intense pressure. It was in the pit that the metamorphosis he needed for his visions to come true occurred and years later when he was promoted to be the most important man on earth, the pride he had prior did not destroy him. On top of that he went on to forge an unbreakable, genuinely positive bond with his siblings. The pit gave him humility and the ability to forgive. That guy was called Joseph.

So the next time you find yourself in the pit, a pit you could have fallen into because of your own ignorance or poor decisions; or one where you might just be a victim of circumstances, look up and grasp the image of the sky above knowing that…

the time in the pit could be what propels you way above the clouds, far beyond the stratosphere to leave you dancing among the stars.

This marks the conclusion to the Individuality series. I will definitely return here once I’ve completed reading ‘Slight Edge’ and implementing more of these techniques in my own life. See you tomorrow for the start of the Creativity series.

Lying Is Good For You

Lying is good for you! Yup you heard that right. So what does that even mean? I’m not telling you to practise perjury if you’re a lawyer or to hide evidence if you’re a cop. I’m not advising you to commit fraud or not pay taxes. I am saying you have got to lie, every single day of your life. That’s going to set you free from mental prisons, transforming you from the chicken you’ve been told you are to the eagle you were always meant to be.

Let me elaborate on what I mean. The world has given us a series of truths that have already seeped into the recesses of our minds and in most cases have shaped our view of self. You may have been branded as unintelligent, unwise, ugly, terrible at communicating and relegated to a place or position you think (or formerly thought) you don’t belong to. Allow these words to build up and be the only thing you listen to then you’ll believe them to be truth. Do you know why the words hurt you so? It’s because you’ve believed them to be the truth. If you know you are intelligent even your professor can’t make you think otherwise. If you know you are a success you won’t entertain being told you are a disappointment. If you know you are beautiful even Ms. Universe can’t put you down. But how do you know something when it isn’t ‘the truth’ based on what you hear? Simple. You lie… everyday. Tell a lie enough times – you’ll eventually believe it.

Unfortunately your way of thinking is an ensemble of the information you receive. You are bound to hear negative things daily – social media is the bullhorn of negativity. I know not everyone can extricate themselves from it like I’ve done. But you need to come up with a way to hear the ‘lie’ you want more than you hear ‘the truth’ of the world. Enter affirmations and confessions.

Daily speak the things you want. ‘Lie’ and affirm yourself with the traits you desire that you are told you don’t have. Say these things often enough to overshadow ‘the truth’ of this world.

If you can’t switch off or drown out the outside noise, pump up the volume of what you say to yourself within.

If you don’t think you can do that, find a good friend of yours to do it on your behalf. If you can’t even ask them to do that for you maybe check your friendships. I’ll talk about how to pinpoint the right friends on Friday in ‘We Are Not In This Together’.

Below are some confessions you can try out that may change your life:

I am intelligent, wise, focussed, driven, patient, creative, organised and a solution provider – I am mentally strong.

I am confident, outspoken, friendly, honest, great at listening and open-minded – I am a great communicator.

I am beautiful, handsome, kind, healthy, composed, courageous, humble, loving and loved – I am enough.

I am strong, enthusiastic, charismatic, patient, trustworthy, a role model, authentic, a visionary – I am a leader.

Add whatever you need to that list and ‘lie’ till that’s all you know!

I challenge you to test the contents of this post to see if they work or not.

See you tomorrow for part 2 of Lying Is Good For You:  Building Habits.

Doomsday: The Ultimate Role Model

In this, the penultimate post of my Comparison series I would like to address a trait sometimes replicated by popular DC Comics villain Doomsday – ‘adaptation’. It is with this trait that he killed Superman. In the last posts I talked about the adverse effects of comparison and how being grateful for the wonderful traits of others could benefit you. Once you reach the place of being grateful for the uniqueness of others and once you build up your self-esteem, (which is the upcoming series on character building titled ‘Individuality’), you can evolve an ability I like to call ‘quirk acquiring’.

I follow a Japanese comic called ‘My Hero Academia’ in which members of that world have a certain ability called a ‘quirk’ often unique to them. I believe that this is a fictitious extrapolation on real life. Upon attaining gratitude for others’ ‘quirks’ I began to observe things people around me did better than everyone else. I’ll use four of my peers as examples.

Twins Galen and Niki, though identical, display similar as well as drastically different traits. They both possess unbelievably brutal honesty, which is not always attractive in this age, but I came to realise that it was easier to trust them because you knew they  wouldn’t lie to you. In fact, they would tell you upfront when they were uncomfortable having a discussion about something and shut it down completely, a very odd but refreshing trait when I first encountered it. Individually, Galen has an intense focus in goal-setting and achieving. No matter how many times he fails to get a certain model working he’ll try again until he’s mastered it; in that he is very inspiring. Niki meanwhile has an incredible eye for detail as well as a clear view of the bigger picture. More often than not, he would console me (yea me, the perennial encourager) when I fell at a hurdle and point out how one failure did not mean my life was a dud. Alex has mastered setting priorities, therefore if you have to talk to him you have to let him know well in advance. This therefore means that no deadlines catch him by surprise. Lastly Joseph is what I term the King of Time Management. The man has about a dozen leadership roles and a million responsibilities and yet while performing these roles admirably he is simultaneously acing his engineering degree. Since I passed the point of comparison and jealousy of others’ traits and gained an appreciation of them, I’ve been able to notice them more and more… resulting in the Doomsday’s special ability, ‘quirk acquiring’. Now don’t get me wrong, I can never be Len or Niki or Alex or Joseph – that’s not my job, that is not my purpose. I’m not advocating becoming a chameleon and blend in wherever you go, mirroring every character you encounter. I am saying that in this case I can take those traits that I like from them, see how they apply them and use them for myself to meet the standard of man I want to become. In doing this I develop a much fuller character than if I lived an isolated life – a certain ideal… and with that we segue perfectly into tomorrow’s post: Living the Standard Life.