Saturday, 28 January 2012

There's a fine line between confidence and arrogance!

Ah, for the want of a good healthy mind, body, and soul! Mr. South Africa 2011 came to visit our school last week and brought a very confident personality and inspiring message for the teenagers and teachers.

I was very impressed with the young man, but much to my surprise picked up a negative vibe amongst some of the boys, girls, and teachers. It made me think about a game of darts. The purpose of any game of darts would be to aim and hit a specific target, not necessarily the bull’s eye every time.

Let me tell you about Adriaan Bergh’s message. He came to our school to share four things with the learners:
  1. Have a dream. Visualize the dream. If you don’t see it, you won’t work towards achieving it. Nothing comes without effort.
  2. Have self-acceptance. If you can accept yourself with all your strengths and weaknesses, you can achieve so much in life.  
  3. Have a balanced life. Participate in life’s activities. Have a healthy mind and body, as well as a healthy emotional and spiritual life. 
  4. Remember God in your life. This was emphasized as a very important aspect of life.
The trouble with the people who voiced their negativity is that they don’t exercise these four things in their lives. While they were listening to Adriaan Bergh, they became so caught up in his confident attitude, that they lost the whole point of his message. They focused their energy on what they thought was ‘arrogance’ and missed the bigger picture.

What does it take to become Mr. South Africa? Adriaan Bergh applies all four steps in his life and has gained success.

There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. People should always try to spot the difference. Oh, if only teenagers could live like this every day of their lives: focused and with purpose.

Not everything is about physical appearance and this is what I admired about Mr. South Africa 2011. His success lies in striving to achieve his dreams, having self-acceptance and balance, and strengthening his faith in God.

So many people throw the darts of life without aiming for any specific goal. They live a life without purpose. Those who exert themselves physically think they have balance, but what many don’t realize is that in trying to achieve a healthy body they destroy the health of their mind, which eventually breaks them down emotionally and spiritually.

Imperfect people with no vision, self-acceptance, or balance do not like listening to a successful person.

You will never be perfect, but like in a game of darts you can practice to shoot for any goal you have in mind. All you need to do is apply these four steps in your life.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

I couldn't sleep last night!

As a child, I couldn't sleep. We didn't have technology like cellphones and laptops to keep us busy all hours of the night, so I sat for hours at the window looking out at the garden. I shared a room with my older sister and sometimes my movement in bed would wake her up. She always thought I was mad, but I feared disturbing my parents and didn't dare to leave the room. Where would I go, anyway? What would be the point of sitting in the dark lounge? 

I was fascinated with the shadows and the movement of wind-affected things, like a wrestling shrub, a swaying tree, or a plastic bag dancing in the street. I watched stray dogs and cats and sometimes caught the glimpse of a bat flying across the dark sky. There was life outside in the garden and I was fascinated by it. Even the night sky with the moon, clouds, and stars kept me intrigued for hours.

Throughout my life, I've climbed into bed with the hope of sleeping until the next morning. Sadly, I always sleep for a while then wake up and lie awake for hours on end. I blame it on my restless mind. I've spent a lot of time wondering about the cause of this restlessness. Specific thoughts wake me up. Thoughts that move through my mind will not affect me, but because I allow myself to dwell on one specific thought, I find no peace of mind. Louisa May Alcott once said, "A man may dwell so long upon a thought that it may take him prisoner." I am more often a prisoner of my thoughts than I wish to admit. I allow a thought to linger. By repeatedly thinking about it, I allow it to settle in my subconscious mind. It takes root and I nourish it with attention. With all the attention it gets, it gains strength and affects me in so many ways.

Thoughts are incredibly powerful and when repeated, these thoughts eventually influence attitude, words, actions, life, and other people. My motto for many years has been: "We are what we constantly think". So, yes, I believe repeated thoughts shape my life. I can waste a lot of energy and time on useless negative thoughts, but I can also control my mind and decide which thoughts to keep and which to reject.

Having control doesn't mean I always apply it. I still spend a lot of time and energy on negative thoughts. Why? The answer is simple. Emotions and feelings energize thoughts and give them power. In my life, one of my greatest motivators is fear. I allow fear to control my heart. This is communicated to my mind and fear filters into my thoughts. Because I constantly fear the negative consequences of certain activities in my life, I end up losing quality sleep. 

Lately, I've been trying to focus all my energy and time on making decisions that are not based on fear. I'm also trying to stop worrying about negative consequences, focusing more on the positive consequences. The outcome is that my sleeping pattern has improved.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

You are amazing!

You are amazing. Oh yes, you are. You are made with organs that do awe-inspiring things. 

Take your heart as an example. When you think about your heart, do you ever consider that it is more than just a muscle pumping blood and maintaining circulation? Most people believe that the brain controls the heartbeat. That’s not true. In an unborn fetus, the heart starts to beat before the brain has been formed. 

Your heart has its own independent nervous system and is well supplied with sensory nerve endings. Its nervous system contains around 40,000 neurons, called sensory neuritis. It is also intricately connected to the brain by the nervous system.

Your heart has its own intrinsic nervous system that operates and processes information independently of the brain or nervous system. 

It communicates this information in four ways:

  • neurologically (transmissions of nerve impulses);
  • biochemically (hormones and neurotransmitters);
  • biophysically (pressure waves); and 
  • energetically (electromagnetic field interactions).

This communication system shows that your heart has a very important influence on the function of your brain. Your heart communicates with your brain in ways that significantly affect how you perceive and react to the world. 

Your heart sends emotional and intuitive signals to your brain. It is an intelligent force behind your intuitive thoughts and feelings. It helps your brain to arrive at conclusions. All your emotional and motivating capacities are built within it. This means that all the emotions that motivate you come from your heart. 

Your mind gathers information, thinks about it, and processes it through reason and logic. It then reaches conclusions. Knowledge, wisdom, and understanding are achieved. Your mind then feeds your heart with this information, received either from a present moment or from memory. 

Although your heart and mind are separate and distinct, they work together closely. Your mind feeds your heart because, in reality, you see, hear, feel, and receive the effects of your physical senses through the use of your brain. Your heart again feeds your mind. It has the ability to move or motivate your mind. 

From a very young age, your mind exercises a strong influence on your heart. Your mind is like a sponge. It is constantly absorbing information. It also acknowledges all the things that influence you, whether it's at home, at school/work, or in your neighbourhood. Conclusions and impressions are made. These experiences are communicated with the heart. Good conclusions and impressions will have a positive effect. Bad ones will have a negative effect. Your desires and motivation are then either good or bad. Good or bad traits take root in the heart and are reflected in your personality.   

The questions you have to ask yourself are: 

  • Is your heart motivating you in the right direction? 
  • Are good traits being reflected in your personality?

If there are bad traits, you have the amazing power to renew and strengthen your mind and your heart. Everyone is always talking about a paradigm shift, changing your way of thinking. It's also important to change your heart by paying attention to what you think and feel. You have the physical, mental, and emotional power to change. You alone can determine the quality of your life. Positive thoughts and feelings add energy to your system, while negative thoughts and feelings will only exhaust you. 

The power of motivation lies within reach. You need to feed your mind with positive information so that it communicates this through to your heart. Your heart will respond gradually as you impress good things upon it. 

Fill your heart with love, forgiveness, patience, gratitude, appreciation, compassion, sincerity, courage, and empathy. When you do this your feelings will affect your heart's rhythmic patterns.  

There are three important steps to follow in your daily routine:

  1. Learn to do everything slower. Breathe more often. This will help to alleviate stress. Stress has an effect on the rhythm of your heart. If you learn to do things slower and remain focused, you will end up being more productive.
  1. Plan your day and stick to your plan. Do everything you can to eliminate distractions and really focus on what you have to do. You will be amazed at how much more productive you can be. Less is more. You have the power to control your daily routine. Make sure that you don’t do more than what is required. 
  1. Find time to be still. When you are quiet and on your own, it will not only calm your mind, but it will also calm your heart. When you start to relax, and your mind is clear, your heart will send impressions and ideas to your brain and you will find solutions for many problems. You will be more intuitive.

Do you now see why you are so amazing? Enjoy who you are and live with the purpose of perceiving your world with a healthy heart and mind. Only you can make the difference. The difference not only affects you but everyone in your life. 

Help others to see how amazing they are.

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