It Took 38yrs to Realise That I Am My Own Worst Nightmare
It Took 38yrs to Realise That I Am My Own Worst Nightmare

It Took 38yrs to Realise That I Am My Own Worst Nightmare

You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated

Maya Angelou
A personal journey of untold tales

Reality checks in 2020; how satirical since most people were in reflective mode. Not much to do, especially if your career was on hold due to furlough. In my case, my business experienced a further dramatic fall from any potential to scale profitably.

A great excuse and reasoning to justify how life has turned so mediocre. The reason for its blandness– with a big sigh, is not living my best life.

Ok, hold a minute – this sounds like someone complaining and whining about the trivial circumstances in life that someone will gladly trade – I have a shelter, my bare essentials met, family love and good health; indeed, that’s having the best life.

The simple things in life are priceless.

The modest answer is yes; I should be grateful – which I am; I should feel blessed that my everyday needs are met, which I am.

But just like anything in life, we want to chase the illusion of life, and as Genuis Turner pointed out, the only people that look for escape routes are folks running away from problems.

After reflecting over the past year, my escapism was the unfortunate desire to chase money through the pursuit of entrepreneurship.  

UNDERSTANDING THAT THE PURSUIT OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS THE DOWNFALL OF SANITY 

A few years after graduating from business school, a friend remarked that they didn’t understand why I wanted to start a business and wasn’t I aware that most people are not suited for the business world. As hard and brutal as it may have come across, the cautionary advice is valid and accurate for most people.

Do you want to spend a minimum of five years chasing a dream, passion or goal, knowing it has no guarantee of succeeding?

The journey of waking up, pitching your business constantly, hoping that your ideal customers will be waiting on the sideline.

Ready to lap up every idea and the product you bring to the market and have quality bonding time with friends and family – who, by the way, will support you to the bank – hmm, such an idyllic journey.  

A reality check is something we all have the pleasure of experiencing at least once in our lifetime.

The first realisation that I may be my worst nightmare came when the career world didn’t suit me, and I craved something more than a regular paycheck or the comfort zone of stability.

The thought and doubt plague my soul, particularly when watching my father as a youth struggling to make it in the business world.

His business savviness was not welcomed, and he eventually succumbed to the bustling life of working 9-5 pm, with regret following him wherever he went.

His journey and aspiration were insightful yet destructive, knowing that he wanted to achieve his goals but was burdened with family responsibilities, lacked the appropriate mentors and supports, and importantly, lacked goals and rightly positioned drive.

I felt his pain and agony, and what a lesson to have witnessed and experienced at a young age. I will never forget the lowest point when getting a bit of serotonin and dopamine, thinking he will win the lottery of life one day. 

Sadly, he withdrew, gave into the defeats, and let the naysayers bet him to the oblivion of no return—what a lesson and fortunate to see and understand that maybe business life is truly not for everyone.

SUCCESS LEAVES CLUES 

When I came across this phrase by Tony Robbins, whose mentors and inspiration spans the likes of Jim Rohn and Napoleon Hill, you couldn’t fault this mindset and thought, maybe it has the element of magic to solving some blockages in life.

The idea behind this motivational quote, ‘success leaves clues,’ is that those who have succeeded before you have done so because they followed a plan, and you can do the same thing. Therefore, developing a strategy that works and following it.

The next nightmare that ensues is the excuse I am about to make, which in hindsight, seems justifiable for how those 38 years have turned out.

As a child, my siblings and I grew up with a jaded father who craved validation and the right support system and searched for the vital ingredient to complete him; ironically, he was running away from himself.

He didn’t piece together that no one can serve you that final recipe. In fact, chasing this escapism eventually broke him and the family into tiny pieces of confused and misplaced emotions.

While he was drowning in sorrow and defeat, my mother tried just like any maternal would do, supporting a family of 5 while holding down a husband who couldn’t keep jobs and home. She gave up her career and calling in life to keep the family going.

After three decades, she has found the strength to live the life she’s destined and called for – helping solve technical issues as an Information Technology specialist while ensuring the younger generation gets the chance to learn and pursue a better destiny.

Trying to balance the world my parents created and the fact that spending quality time was restricted and limited, I struggled to piece together a life I truly wanted. It resulted in me chasing after money, believing it would fill the void the lack and scarcity experienced during childhood.

If I had the right direction and focus, I would have channelled my natural traits. Fortunately, I realised it involved encouraging people never to give up and go after what will add value to other people’s lives and ultimately impacting theirs tenfold.  

The best remedy I have garnered over the years is that ‘I am not afraid of being judged or ridiculed in the process because what’s the worst thing that could happen, and how low can I go.

Especially when others have broken boundaries and persevered in the face of life-threatening dangers.

In my diluted plight for normality, I’m sure Elon Musk and Kanye West will find my call for help insane.

I appreciate these two powerhouse struggles in life and how they have overcome them to become billionaires and win 25 Grammy awards amidst the trolls trying their hardest to stir them away from their vision.

I would say that the only difference between them and me – not the rest of the world as I can’t speak for the whole continent is that they harness the power of the ‘self’.

Self-confidence in their abilities

Self-confidence in their influence

Self-confidence in the impact they want to make through engagement and pushing boundaries.

Self-confidence to use the platform they have to achieve their aims and goals.

Working on our self-confidence takes time and dedication – it may take years or decades, but as Myles Munroe said, “solid character will reflect itself in consistent behaviour, while poor character will seek to hide behind deceptive words and actions.”

So, I avoid any deceptive feeling of childhood bondages, parental downfalls, wrong associations and connections, and a disappointing unworthiness mindset. 

The constant dialogue enhances my nightmare that I am consciously or subconsciously causing through the programs running on autopilot, replaying why things are not working or why it’s taking so long to reach my destination.

IT’S THE JOURNEY THAT COUNTS AND NOT THE FINAL DESTINATION 

Relating to the phrase used by the theologian Lynn H. Hough within his outline for a Sunday school lesson discussing a letter from Simon Peter, it is crucial to reset my mindset by realising that life is a journey and not a destination.

?I can dramatically and unhealthy blame circumstances, look over others surpassing me materially or even fall into the trap of comparison. Still, when I’m inspired by characters in everyday life, making a difference relieves me from my life burdens.  

For example, paradoxically, Marie Forleo, as a child growing up with a single mother who always seemed to be tackling one household repair project or another, could be a metaphor for her life struggles and journey.

This attitude birthed a seed in young Marie’s mind with a firm conviction that “everything is figureoutable” — meaning that every problem has a solution, as long as you’re willing to put in the work of figuring it out.⁠

The journey of hardship shouldn’t paint the rest of our destination with the tar of desperation and depression, but understanding that to reach the final stop, we must try very hard to stop chasing the illusion of success as 

    “You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you look for life’s meaning.”

    — Albert Camus

It’s taken three decades, two continents, and one transformation to fully comprehend what Will Smith meant when clarifying how he managed to fight obstacles to get to the plateau of greatness – in humanity’s eyes, “Greatness is not this wonderful, esoteric, elusive, godlike feature that only the special among us will ever taste, it’s something that truly exists in all of us.”

So if the world is our playing field and designed to improve our abilities and allow us to make an impact, why the self pities – simply, it is easy to feel sorry for ourselves rather than invest time and energy to work on ourselves. After all, thinking requires self-reflection and dedication to change.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Regrets and sorrows in life are only suited for the weak and attention seekers. Harsh, but the truth is always a hard pill to digest.

A personal reflection is always needed, but it is not much wanted or requested since it can paralyse us into inaction or drive us further off the cliff to severe depression, anguish and compounded fears.

2020 could be considered the worst year, filled with adequate reasons to stay in our comfort zone.  

I could then blame the year for all the 38 years of life remaining in my comfort zone and feel a tad of pity for the route those 38years have led. But what is the fun in that!

If Maye Musk, at the age of 72yrs, can live life dangerously – carefully, how about myself in my prime years. A woman makes a plan – full stop!

Every day, I practise gratitude. It allows me to implement a positive mindset because now, I perceive life as a blessing from the man upstairs and understand that I’m given this life to fulfil a purpose and achieve my calling. I have drawn a line between living life to the fullest or submitting to defeat and letting life run me.

How can you live your best life? Personally, these suggestions from Ethan Siegel on explaining the vital lessons scientists learn that can better everyone’s life sums up life in a coherent manner

  • Most new ideas are wrong, but they’re worth pursuing anyway.
  • Setting up the problem correctly is often harder than solving it.
  • Making a significant advance usually requires challenging your assumptions.
  • Following your intuition will never get you as far as doing the math will.
  • You’ll never know whether there’s a better way of doing something unless you put it to the test.

May your worst nightmare birth the life you are destined for and walk in your greatness.

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