Forgiveness – The Best Remedy

Cover of "Forgive and Forget"
Cover of Forgive and Forget

God said there are no limits to forgiveness towards others or ourselves – and there is a common saying that forgive and forget without holding any grudge.

If you have experienced intensive hurt, been a victim of hate or abuse, lost loved ones to crime and violence or you have been treated unjustly, chances are, you have entertained unforgiveness.

Examine this scenario : Family member kidnapped, many chased from their homes, home and belongings destroyed, your life is threatened and thousands of your people or tribe members are killed and thousands more are displaced and have to live in makeshift camps as Internally Displaced Persons (IDP). A good example is what happened in Kenya, in East Africa, when tribal violence occurred after the election results were announced in the year 2008 elections.

How does one come to terms with this degree of pain? Can you imagine witnessing such atrocities carried out by mighty forces? How do you even begin to deal with this state of horror.

It is a tough choice, yet difficult as it is, The Almighty in his divine wisdom has called upon His children to find it in their hearts to forgive.   Forgive? Yes forgive. He also promised to walk you through it. Our finite minds cannot wrap itself around this concept but because many is more than physical we are more than conquers.

What is the meaning of forgiveness? 

According to the dictionary, the word forgive means “to give up resentment of or claim to requital for. To grant relief from payment.” (Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition). “To give up desire to punish; stop being angry with” ( Webster’s New World Dictionary, 3rd College Edition).

Why should I forgive – you may ask

I would suggest that you consider this : forgiveness brings healing while unforgiveness causes more pain. I am not saying that it is easy, but at some point you need to decide whether to continue to imprison yourself or to enjoy freedom.

If you have been hurt or you may have caused someone pain, I would like you to know that forgiveness is available to give and to receive.

So if you forgive, all you are doing is giving up you resentment ,anger, and desire to punish. But why should you forgive these things up? Because resentment and anger and the desire to revenge will hurt you more than they will hurt your enemy, and in fact can cause heart disease, cancer, and a host of other malaise. More subtly, and just as bad, resentment, anger and revenge can control you. They can steal your creative energy and indeed your time and attention, so that you deviate from your path in life and end up going out of this world without having the opportunity to establish the purpose for which you were born.  With this in mind, one becomes much more motivated to forgive.  But your motivation will increase even further when you consider the following.

Notice that nowhere in the definition of forgiveness is there any indication that you must be happy about, condone, or approve of what happened to you. You can in fact disapprove of and hate what happened to you. All you have to do is to let go of the resentment, anger, and the desire for the revenge that, in fact, cannot change the past or help in the future.

” Yes! Easier said than done,” You rightfully think. But here is some more motivation : There is justice in the universe, only, thank God, it’s not your job to meter it out.

Everyone pays dues 

In my view, in the long run we can’t  get away with anything in life. There is, it seems to me, and invisible law of nature that assures that somehow, in some way, in life everyone gets what is coming to him or her.

A psychological theory called ” psychological determinism ” introduced by Sigmund Freud proposes that each psychic event is determined by events that went before it. In other words, according to the theory, there is a psychological chain reaction to everything we do.  The way I see it, this chain reaction can play a part in causing those who have committed misdeeds sooner or later to attract to themselves a punishment of sorts, in other words, a payback.

The Bible talked about this same principle way before the word psychology was coined. The Bible puts it this way, “reaping and sowing.” When a farmer plants sorghum, he expects to have sorghum grow up. He “sows” or plant a given seed and, being intelligent, he naturally expects to “reap” sorghum. The biblical teaching of reaping and sowing is just that simple. It indicates that a person will, in time, get exactly what his or her behaviour was merited. The biblical writer of Galatians 6:7 says: ” Be not deceaved; God is not mocked : for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

In short, there is a built-in, orderly system in life, says the biblical writer. Everyone will get what is coming to him or her in the long run. To quote Proverbs 26:27, “whoso digeth a pit shall fall therein; and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.” Had the person not dug the pit with the aim of causing someone else a damage, he would be in no danger of falling into it himself, it is only because he took the action of digging the pit that he can possibly fall into it.

And he will fall into the pit, according to the proverb. But why? Probably because in his unconscious mind he feels guilty about having dug the pit with the intention of harming someone else. It may be that this guilt,  demanding relief  in the form of punishment, causes him to stumble into the pit himself, something like the impulse that prompts the criminal to return to the scene of the crime,  and get caught.

The second part of the proverb is a repetition of the first, a reaffirmation of the idea of self-punishment caused by the unconscious guilt one has for misdeeds. If you roll a stone with the intention of harming someone, the stone will eventually roll back on you. Drug dealers often die violently at the hands of other drug dealers in the process of committing a crime. Those who physically, sexually, and/or mentally abuse others, like in the case of Post Election Violence in Kenya in the year 2008, (mentioned above), may suffer psychological torture all of their lives, and so on.

But why, exactly does this self-punishment system work psychologically? Psychologists  like Franz Alexander believe that one hypnotises oneself for punishment, so as to balance the scales. It is almost as if one cannot relax or breathe easy until those scales are balanced – despite the fact that balancing those scales must mean self-punishment. In other words, it may well be true that it is impossible to hurt others without hurting oneself. Like the analog of a prisoner in a chain-gang who cannot push another prisoner away without hurting himself.

Could there be an unwritten law implanted within the minds of men and women, a law that insurers justice? It would be amazing if it were as simple as that? I believe that psychologists and biblical writers have hit the nail right on the head. The fact that it is not your job to get revenge. Romans 12:19 says, ” Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” This is a liberating idea! We don’t have to do the job. We can allow ourselves to be releaved from the burden of resentment and anger. Justice will be done – and we don’t have to be the ones to meter it out.

Think of all these spiritually, think of it psychologically, but think of it: You don’t have to waste your precious energy hating and holding grudges. It is much healthier and much more productive to let it go and believe that there is a built-in justice in the universe. I believe that in the long run, everyone gets what is coming to him or her.



Healthy Self-esteem and Low self-esteem

Perhaps no other self-help topic has spawned so much advice and so many conflicting stories as self-esteem. Healthy self-esteem gives us the ability to make positive choices regarding our career and our relationships, and gives us the assertiveness and confidence to work towards our goals. Overly  healthy self-esteem is not healthy, however, as it can lead to a sense of entitlement, as well as bullying and narcissistic behaviour. A lack of self-esteem can lead to a life of putting up with abusive situations or relationships, depression and lack of fulfilment. Our personalities, according to Sigmund Freud,  emerge out of our struggles to meet our needs in a world that often frustrates these efforts. Our self-esteem develops, grows and changes according to our success, or failure in that struggle and often self-defeating ways we attempt to cope. With the tools of mindfulness, however, we can improve our self-esteem while finding new and healthier ways to get our needs met.

What is low self-esteem? 

The core beliefs that formed your sense of sself-worth as a child are just that – beliefs. They’re  not necessarily true or accurate. They are only your opinions, and as opinions, they can be changed.

Healthy self-esteem and low self-esteem are two sides of the same coin. They both activate certain rules for living that either help you or hurt you.

According to Marilyn Sorensen, the director of the Self-esteem Institute in Portland, Oregon,  low self-esteem is a thinking disorder in which individuals see themselves as inadequate, unacceptable, unworthy, unloveable and just incompetent. These beliefs create thoughts that tend to be negative, self-critical, self-blaming and full of self-doubt. And these thoughts consequently affect our behaviour, leading to destructive patterns of avoidance, denial criticism and defensiveness that lower our self-esteem even further.

Low self-esteem is a basic tendency to place one’s value in the hands of others, rather than trusting and believing in our own evaluation of ourselves. When your self-esteem depend on other people’s views of you, it only makes it more fragile. Thoughts follow that are also irrational and distorted, causing you to have difficulty knowing who to trust, inciting fears and anxiety in new situations or assuming other people think negatively of you as you do.

Low self-esteem affect every aspect of our lives, from our career choices to friendships with friends, family and loved ones. All too often we don’t even realise that our low feelings of low self-worth are affecting us because they are largely subconscious, quietly influencing the choices we make and creating a life that leaves us feeling unaccepted, unworthy and unloved.

Learning to recognise and identify the symptoms of low self-esteem in yourself is the first step, some of these symptoms can include:

  • depression
  • disencouragement
  • fear and anxiety
  • emotional shutdown
  • panic attacks
  • social anxiety
  • eating disorders
  • lack of effectiveness
  • passive aggression
  • people-pleasing
  • controlling behaviour

If you have a low self-esteem you:

  • compare yourself negatively with others
  • Are anxious, stressed, and worry a lot
  • Need others approval
  • Fear speaking up at meetings
  • Fear confrontation with others
  • Are shy to talk with others you don’t know  Focus on your shortcomings in the past
  •  Have doubt about your worth

What is healthy self-esteem? 

Building healthy self-esteem comes from learning to value ourselves and not depending on other people’s opinions of us. This dependence on approval causes us to keep trying to get love and acceptance from people who are unlikely to give it, thus perpetuating our negative beliefs about ourselves.

People with healthy self-esteem don’t worry about what others may be thinking of them- they assume others think as well of them as they think of themselves. They speak their minds and express themselves openly without fear or judgement, rejection or ridicule.

If you have healthy self-esteem you:

  • Learn from past successes and look forward to future successes
  • Care for yourself physically, emotionally and mentally
  • Create goals in your life and work towards them
  • Appreciate your positive qualities
  • Accept responsibility for your actions
  • Have confidence that you can accomplish things, even if it takes more than one try.
  • Feel capable of meeting life’s everyday challenges
  • Are happy and sure of yourself

Caring for you is one of the characteristics of having a healthy level of self-esteem. You can nurture yourself to create more happiness in your life and raise your self-esteem. Take care of your body, be eating healthy foods, doing enough exercise and getting regular deep sleep.

Focus on positive emotions by shifting negative feelings that uplift and encourage you. Change your thoughts by talking to youself in a loving manner.

One of the most common ways people experience low self-esteem is in the way they consider their body image. You must reconnect with the positive aspects of your body while appreciating real beauty that is on the inside.


The Power of Self-esteem

Writing about the power of self-esteem is an emotional undertaking because it forces me to remember how hard I struggled for my self-esteem as a child growing up and through my early adult life. It was a long hard journey, yet, having done it myself, and having come out of the other side of the tunnel  ( for surely there is light at the other end of that tunnel ), I feel that I can be of a help to you.

I can encourage you to ” struggle for your sanity ,” as it were, if self-esteem for a moment can be equated with sanity and mental health. I can encourage you to engage in this battle because if you do, you will eventually win. You will raise your self-esteem. The day will come when you will finally say, ” Whew, I am actually okay. There is nothing really wrong with me. In fact I am quite a gal/guy.” You will be able to live and enjoy life in peace, and to pursue your goals without guilt or shame. In short, all the clouds which have hovered over you all your life will finally lift – and the sun will permanently shine from the center of your being. You will feel “whole” inside. Your sense of self will be solid gold.

Our outlook and attitude on life in general play a huge part in how happy we are in life and how successful we become.

Someone who thinks positively about everything  will be more relaxed, calm and smile more than someone who is always looking on the bad side, who let’s stress get to them and who constantly wear a frown.

Some people spend all their lives refusing to face an emptiness within them, a void that communicates an aching sense of wrongness and shame about themselves. They may try to cover the pain with material success and accomplishment, or numb it with unhealthy behaviour, or turn to others to fill up this “hole in the soul” (John Bradshaw ).

What such people lack is self-esteem. Self-esteem is more than just feeling more confident or spouting positive affirmations. It goes to the heart of personal identity, conveying the belief that we are acceptable, respected, and loved as persons we are – with all our feelings and sensations and even imperfections.

The source of self-esteem lies deep within childhood, from the first moment a vulnerable infant seeks to get its needs met from a care giving adult. These needs go beyond physical nourishment and safety. To thrive, a child must be  acknowledged, accepted, loved without condition. That is an agenda even the most well intentioned parent can’t always accommodate.

The good news is that as an adult you have power to change an inner sense of wrongness to fill an emptiness within. With reassuring insight, this article invites you to go deep within to heel your wounded self-esteem.

Know the reality of your worth as a wonderous one-of-a-kind, loved, loveable child of  God. You make a dent in creation that cannot be duplicated. This is the basis of self-esteem. No one and nothing can take that reality from you.

Having said all the above, it is clear that you need certain degree of self-esteem to believe that you are worthy of happiness and to be motivated to try to get what you really want out of life. Clearly if you have low self-esteem, you may think that you are not worthy of achieving anything – and you can stop yourself from trying. In fact should success or “good luck ” happen along, a person with low-esteem will always find a way to sabotage that success or find a way to sidestep the good luck.

Here is how it works. If you have low self-esteem, you will be afraid to try for two reasons. First in your secret heart you will feel too guilty about imagined shortcomings. You will think that by daring to try for something, you will expose yourself to the world. Others may notice you. If they do, they may discover that you are unworthy, inferior, damaged, inadequate and even despicable. So why even try? “Keep a low profile ,” You tell yourself. “Better be careful you don’t want them to find out the truth about you.” Second, if you feel that if by some chance you should succeed, you will know deep down in your heart that you are a fraud  ( the ” imposter syndrome “) and that you are really not worthy of the success you have achieved. Unconsciously, you may realize that the success will cause you to feel even more uncomfortable than you already feel. Those who dare to try for success, despite low self-esteem, secretly believe that it is only a matter of time before people discover that they are no worthy of the success they have achieved. They live in fear of “discovery”.

So it is important to repair damaged self-esteem in order to free yourself to get exited, to dare to pursue your goals  – and to enjoy the realisation of those goals once you achieve them. It is critical to extinguish once and for all that nagging voice that would otherwise whisper, ” And who do you think you are, anyway?  How dare you? What makes you think you deserve a better life? Get back into your place before real trouble comes.”

But how can you raise your self-esteem? How can you repair the damage? You can say aloud to youself and others, ” I am a good person. People like me. I love myself, ” from now until next New Year’s. But if you have low self-esteem,  it will remain low, and what’s more, you will feel like a fool in your own eyes. What you need to do is raise your self-esteem to change your reputation with yourself – to change what you think of yourself  – and the only way you are going to do that is first by realising that the images you formed of yourself were distorted or erroneous, or due to circumstances over which you had no control. Then you must take specific actions that will help to raise your self-esteem.

Self Image

Create your own standard and live up to it

Life is a long journey, for years, you have travelled through the life and now you are approaching a different phase, you ask several questions to enable you to fully express yourself, in fact your knowing yourself will help you discover what lies ahead of you. The key discovery lies in your willingness to enter fully into experiences that can be positive forces to enhance the shaping of your vision – of yourself.

To know and to appreciate the kind of person that you are will be both an invitation and challenge. It is an invitation for you to look deeply into yourself, to learn how gifted you are. It is a challenge to make a personal decision to enhance those gifts and do something about your shortcomings. It is when you accept this invitation and challenge that you allow, you expand your consciousness of your being. Only then can you say, ” I love and appreciate the person that I am.” Can you say this to youself?

Our self image is formed by the way we measure up – not the way we really measure up, because there is no actual ” standard of perfection ” out there that we must achieve, but the way we measure ourselves against others. This self measuring against others is often fuelled by parents, teachers, relatives, and acquaintances in our early childhood years. In many cases it is a brother or sister who is put up to us as the ideal. ” John is so responsible – he takes after his father. I wonder where you got your genes?” or  “Jim learned to read so quickly. What’s wrong with you?”

It is small wonder that we judge ourselves against others, behaving as if there exists – somewhere out there – “the perfect person .” We constantly and erroneously ask ourselves, “Do I measure up?” Measure up to what?  Measure up whom? The answer is clear: to the “ideals” of the ones we love and admire – the parental figures.

Now you can challenge the negative image of yourself that you developed as you were growing up. You can realize that the reason you feel you are stupid, or lazy, or slow is due to words that were spoken to you when you couldn’t argue back. You can realise that as a child, you were probably being asked to measure up to impossible standards half the time, and to other people’s standards the rest of the time.

Some of us fought this practice. “I don’t want to be like everybody else,” we cried. And we became rebels. But why should you have to become a rebel just to be yourself?  Now that you understand what has happened, you can create your own standard for yourself, and you don’t have to feel like a rebel because you do it. You can joyfully and peacefully and, in fact with sheer unthreatened calm, work on being yourself. Now that you are an adult, no one is stopping you any more. Finally no one is stopping you from finding out what you should be. No one is preventing you from creating your own standard and living up to that standard alone.

Once you have started living to your own standard,  your self-esteem will increase to levels you have never before enjoyed. People will begin to recognise and validate your true “self,” and your self-esteem will grow even further. Why? Because you will realise that your worth is not dependent upon what others think, and that, ironically, people seem to respect and approve of you when you dare to be yourself.  This knowledge will cause you to be less afraid to take chances, and act upon your own hunches and intuitions. In fact in time, as you continue to take chances and to live up to your own standard, you will become as bold as a lion!



Use Your Talent Effectively

Cover of "Talent"
Cover of Talent

Your talent – Your gift

Very early in life, we each begin to realise that we have certain talents or “gifts”, yet instead of following the early clues and developing our aptitudes into career, so many of us run from them. Many of us would rather do anything but what we were born to do, taking as many side roads as possible to avoid our gift. It is as if we sense that developing our gift will involve a lot of work. It’s almost as if we fear that our gift will harm us. Still others run from their gift because they suffer from low self-esteem and the fear of challenge, conflict or change that goes along with it. “Who am I?,” they think, “to dream of such ambitions?” and they go every each way except the direction of their gift.

Talent stands out

Charles Wilson said :

” No matter the size of the bottle, the cream always rises to the top.”

Talent stands out, it gets you noticed. The course of history the world over has been changed by talented men and women who have maximised their skills.

You have that gift (talent), too. If you follow your inner voice you will eventually develop your gift and become what you are supposed to become in life. In fact the Bible talks about this idea. It says, ” A man’s gift maketh room for him and bringeth him before great men” (Proverbs 18:16). This means that if we acknowledge and develop our gift, it will take us exactly where we are supposed to go in life.

Haven’t you seen people who should have risen to the top but didn’t?  They had all the talent they should ever need, but they still didn’t succeed.

Irving  Berlin said :

” The toughest thing about success is that you have got to keep on being a success.                     Talent is only a starting point in business, you have got to keep working that talent”

Eventually all things work for good

But what about the “side roads” mentioned earlier, that so many of us take before we finally get on the best path for our lives? Was it all a complete waste of time? Of course not. You will discover that once you are finally doing what you were born to do, all of the side roads will appear to have been “meant to be” in one way or another. You will see how they helped you to do what you were born to do better than you would have been able to do it had you not taken those detours. We need to prepare for our ultimate destiny, to build on knowledge and experience, and some of that preparation is not what we would have chosen, yet exactly what we needed.

Get back on track

A good way to start finding your path or destiny is to ask yourself what you value and to start pursuing or doing more of it. For example if you are very artistic but are working in a chocolate factory, begin practicing your artwork in your spare time, and on the weekends attend an art exhibits- and show your creations. If you have strong feeling for the homeless, volunteer to work in a shelter, even for an hour a week. If your heart goes out  to abandoned children, you might think of being a foster parent. If you are concerned with the educational system, there are hundreds of volunteer positions you can apply for in your local school.

If you take small steps in the direction of your gifts, I believe one thing will lead to another and you will eventually find yourself doing what you were meant to do with your life. In fact all of the above examples are not just examples. They are real case histories

Another way to find your path or destiny is to ask yourself what you really wanted to do when you were younger, and then to determine where and why you went off your path.

Admittedly, all of us get cought up in the glamour scene and get strayed from our course. We then have to wrestle with our inner voices and try to out-shout it with protests. For example if it concerns moving to another job which will affect your pay and many other perks adversely.

To make the long story short, you go ahead and answer your inner voice towards the direction you prefer. You have to take the chance. The chance is the risk of security- and, almost always ,money. We are so deluded by trinkets at times that they can blind us to the future. We may ask, “Won’t I be in poverty if I dare to go for the path that I know, deep down inside, I should follow?” but making a major life change, when you come down to it, always involves a chance. In the end you have to be on yourself and let the chips fall when they may.

And thankfully, the likelihood is that if you do take a chance your ultimate situation will probably be quite the opposite of poverty. You may be better off financially than you were before because when you follow what you really believe in, you do it with all your heart. And when you do anything with passion and energy,  the result is always bounty – perhaps financial, and definitely spiritual. On the other hand, if you spend your life doing something you don’t really love, something for which you have no passion, you will hold back. You will give it the least amount of effort, and you will reap meager rewards – and you may also reap anger, regret and self-contemp . There is a biblical proverb that demonstrate this principle : “He becometh poor who dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich” (Proverbs 10:4).

But it is not a simple formula. There is no guarantee that if you follow your path you will  automatically be financially prosperous. There may be a test period, a time when you may have to take a cut in income temporarily, or you may never be affluent. But even if that financial cut is permanent, can you really put a price on the daily joy that fills your soul when you know you are doing exactly what you were born to do, where as a general rule, every morning you wake up and think,  I can’t wait to go to work today ” instead of, day after day, awakening to the thought of.  ” I wish it were five o’clock already – and my workday was over,” and in sense, wishing your life away?


Is It Really My Inner Voice or My Imaginations?

Inner voice

Call it inner wisdom, intuition, insight or guidance – whatever term you use, this is the little voice inside you that represents the real you. It is the you after stripping away society’s standards and  expectations – and everyone else’s.

Listening to your inner wisdom helps you connect with others on a deeper level. It allows you to be most genuine, most real and most available for true connection. And it is simply almost satisfying.

Have you ever had similar things happen that cause you to pause? Or have you  ever seen things that play out in your life over and over again, but you are not quite sure what the lesson is, or how to change the outcome from bad one to good one? You then ask yourself are these things real or Imaginations?

Real inner voice or superstitious. 

But how can one tell, how can you tell the difference between a thought that is erroneous or merely superstitious, and one that is truely comming from the inner voice, the voice that knows the self, the voice that one can trust?

One day while walking aimlessly in the streets, I met a friend whom I had not seen for some years. During our conversation, I asked him what he was doing,  and he told me that he worked as a travel agent. Do you like it? I asked him -“I hate it”, he said.

“Then why don’t you try something else? ” I asked. “Yes, I would like to become a journalist, I have wanted for a long time”.

At this point I stopped talking and gave him a long look – then I gave him some encouragement by saying,  ” You look likeyou’d make a great journalist”, I said. He became very exited about that remark and said to me, “really? Do you think so? My other friends also said that to me. I just had an interview and I am waiting for the results – I can’t wait to see what happens “

With that I said, “don’t worry, if it is what you really want, don’t give up until you get it .”

Clearly this young man inner voice is urging him to go in a different direction, to move from being a travel agent to become a journalist. Here you can see that he was definitely not a victim of his imagination or hearing a false message. Here is why : 1) He was getting the message from a variety of sources  ( notice that when I said, “You look like you’d make a great journalist ,” he replied, “my friends also said that.”) : 2) He tried to ignore it, and admittedly he was miserable. 3) When he tried to move in the direction that his inner voice was urging him to go, he felt not only more comfortable but energised, (he had taken an interview,  and enthusiastically said, ” I can’t wait to see what happens “).

The bottom line is, when your inner voice is speaking to you, you can find out if it is true inner voice by testing it out – by trial and error. As human beings, we are complex and have many talents, and can be good at more than one thing in life, but we may feel happier and more fulfilled doing certain things. I believe that experimenting is in fact the only real way to end up where you truely belong. You are a multifaceted person, and if it is time to move on, start making forays in other directions. There will probably be more than one confirmation to let you know if you are on the right track.


Goal Setting For Self Improvement

English: 85. Functions and Use Scenarios Mappi...
English: 85. Functions and Use Scenarios Mapping to Requirements and Goals (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Set those goals and start moving

Have you one day sat in a quiet corner of your garden, watching birds and suddenly start wondering why some  people have the ability to accomplish a lot? Such people know where they are headed and exude an enviable confidence.

The answer to this question is that effective goal setting is one of their keys to success. You may be working very hard at what you do, but without setting your goals you will find that your hard work does not yield any meaningful results. You will reach a point where you will find yourself at crossroads and asking yourself which road to take. You can take a moment here and ask yourself where you really want to go. If your inner self tells you “I don’t care much where I want to go”, then as a result you will wonder aimlessly in your journey.

Here, in essence you travel the road of life without a specific direction, or “goal”. Very few people make goal setting, and even fewer appreciate or know what goal setting is all about. And only a few of those know make goal setting a priority.

Studies have shown that most people either don’t know what they want from life, or if they do, have no plans for realising their dreams. That’s why only a small percentage of  people have specific well defined goals. And people who most frequently reach their goals are those who write them down and develop plans to reach them.

what are goals?

Goals are the changes we make in our thinking about who we are and who we can be. The first step in creating your desired future begins with choosing to design your life with clearly defined written goals

Why set goals?

Take a few moments to think why writing down your goals make such a significant difference in your your ultimate performance. Why do you think that writing down your goals is important? If your response to this query included the idea that goal achievers  record their goals so that they can read them, absorb them and plan for them, then you are on the right track. People who achieve their goals take an active role in achieving them. Briefly when you set your goals, you:

  1. Build your confidence
  2. Create momentum in your life
  3. You create a feeling of control in yourlife

Guide lines for writing effective goals

To write down effective goals, you must follow some guidelines which will make you establish your goals in a way that will nearly guarantee a reward for your efforts. Here are some guidelines which you can follow:

  • Effective written goals – Pick a pen and write down those things you most want to achieve. Once these are committed on paper it becomes a firm commitment. It means that your dream is given a sense of reality. This is the first step towards achieving your goals.
  • Effective goals are written in specific measurable terms – Writing your goals in a specific term will have expressed it in a measurable way. You  can then be able to evaluate your progress and know when you have achieved your goal. Example of measurable goals are:
  • By March, next year I will have completed renovation of my office and ready for occupation.
  • This week I will write 3 completed articles for my blog and publish them
  • I will hire a guest writer to help me write the articles.
  • Effective goals can be visualised – Picture yourself reaching your goal, picture your result. Your desired to attain your goals comes from your energy, usually the more you desire something the harder you will work to achieve it
  • Effective goals are achievable – Goals need to challenge your skills and abilities, without discouraging your effort and performance. Do not aim very high initially when you first set your goals. Instead establish the less stringent quality goals at first so that you can experience success in reaching those more realistic goals. As your competency, success and confidence grow,  you may then decide to go for the higher goals.
  • Effective goals have realistic deadlines – Your goals need a schedule. Setting a realistic time frame to take appropriate actions for your goals. Schedule enough time to reach the goal, but not excessive time to make you lose interest in what you are doing.
  • Effective goals are manageable – Don’t make your goal overwhelming because of its size. Divide large goals into smaller manageable components so that it is easier and manageable.
  • Effective goals are analysed for their potential problems – As you establish a goal, consider the steps you might take to accomplish it. Analyse the goal for potential problems that might keep you from reaching it. If a goal is initially considered in terms of what could go wrong,  then you can take action to resolve or minimise problems before they occur. Critical thinking will help you cover all the loopholes and stay on the path towards achieving your goal.

Analyse your goals for potential problems. Think of what could go  wrong with the goal. Think what could go wrong with the goal of “completing a project in time “

  • Are all the materials needed to complete the project procured?
  • Is there effective communication between the members of the team?





The Power of Moving On

The power of letting go of the past and moving on. Liberating yourself.

At times you must have had hard life, depending on the kind of hardship and the degree. But one thing, and thank god , is that success, happiness and peace of mind do not depend on the degree of luck you had growing up. Otherwise things would have been bad, you would be doomed. The amazing fact is that some of the people with most difficult backgrounds have indeed, in the end, become the most successful, productive and the most fulfilled.

But why is it that one would spend his adult life complaining about the past. Why would

Bitter facial expressions
Bitter facial expressions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

you keep complaining about your abusive childhood, bad break, what the society has done to you, while others would forget everything past and move on? Could this be because you have decided to move on, or in other words, to grow up?

Grow up

Grow up? Why would you want to to do that? The answer to this question is simple, it is a forward planner to be free, thrive and flourish today. In other words, it is only when you allow yourself to let go the past – however mildly, hurtful or horrific it was – that you can be free.

Figure out why you have been unsuccessful, unhappy and unfulfilled in the past. You may just have to do the above to succeed. After all is said and done, you still have to make the decision to let go of the past and “grow up”.

The ultimate position  

When all is said and done, as Harry Truman puts it, “the buck stops here”. The choice then is yours – decide whether you are going to take the move – take action and get on with your life – or “pass the buck”.  In the game of poker, if you don’t feel like dealing (the cards), all you have to do is pass the buck. But mind you, if you pass the buck always, or if all the players “passed the buck”, the cards will never get dealt, right? Then the game will never go on.

So used metaphorically here, “the buck stops here”, means that sooner or later, if you want the game of your life to move on, you will have to deal the cards. You will have to stop the blame game – finding others to blame, no matter how blameworthy they are, because after  all it is your life at stake. You are the only one who has the right, and the power to decide what happens to you. It is up to you to decide whether or not to allow bitterness or resentment to cause you to waste one more moment of your precious life because of “what happened to you in the past”.

Now the buck stops here. But you have to do something about your past history, about the pain in your life. The simple answer is to look at it and acknowledge it. Identify the source of your pain. Locate and name your “enemies” (those who have wronged you). Acknowledge the “bad luck” that befell you when you didn’t have the chance to defend yourself. However, after that, take responsibility and move on so that you can have the wonderful, fulfilling life that you are intended to have with the time you have left. And finally, once and for all you will start seeing light at the end of the channel. But in order for this to happen, you must take certain steps:

The first step is to forgive – forgive who and why?

First the word “forgive”means to give up resentment of (according to the dictionary), or “to give up desire to punish; stop being angry with”.

So if you forgive, all you are doing is to give up your resentment, anger, and desire to punish.

Forgive those who have wronged you. But you must have a clear idea of who they are. Think about your life and identify those who you feel were responsible for causing you the psychological problems or other problems you have now. It could be your parents, sibling or other relatives, family friends or even strangers. Surprisingly it could even be your own self, you may have done something in the past that you simply cannot find a way to forgive yourself for.

All you are doing is let go the resentment, anger, and the desire for revenge that, in fact, cannot change the past or help in the future.

You will have done yourself a great favor by forgiving, then other things follow,read more…


How To Build A Powerful And Positive Self-Esteem For Life

Demystifying  Self Esteem

The core beliefs that formed your sense of self-worth as a child are just that — beliefs. They’re not necessarily true or accurate. They’re only your opinions. As opinions, they can be changed. Healthy self-esteem and low self-esteem are two sides of the same coin. They both activate certain […]

Psychologists  define self esteem as the overall perspective of a person on his or her value. It is one’s view of the self and one’s attitude towards it.Do you feel worthy? Do you feel able? Are you proud of yourself? Are you encouraged? Do you know yourself, and are you proud of that? Only you can decide.

If you constantly doubt your self-worth and abilities, if you have no trust in your capabilities, qualifications and potentials and ultimately no pride in yourself, and if  you find yourself feeling worthless, then you have issues with your self esteem, and you need to address that before it goes out of hand.

What low esteem does.

Saying negative things as listed below may seem harmless, but what you are doing is creating something in you that later becomes permanent.It soon becomes the cause of conditions such as  social phobia, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.

Poor self esteem is not only detrimental to you, but also to the ones around you. You will be surprised that lack of it hinders you from a lot of things.

1.  Poor health as a result of  eating disorders, and low energy levels because you are very busy pleasing everyone but yourself.

2.  Missed career opportunities  as a result of the echo in your mind that says you cannot do it. Low self esteem makes you feel inappropriate and unworthy hence hinders  you from taking risks and grabbing chances, or creating something.

3.  Even sexual problems are closely related to self esteem issues, because it is all about the individual’s problem with his or her image. Low self esteem leads to low sex drive and addictions. Individuals seek help for this only to find that there existed deeper rooted issues that manifested themselves as sexual addiction or sexual problems.

Continue to read below the original article on how to build positive and healthy self esteem.

Self Esteem – Key No.2

What is self esteem?

Self-esteem is what you think of yourself – your sense of self-value, or your reputation with yourself. People with high self-esteem believe in their hearts that they deserve to be happy, that they have the right to stand up for their needs. They trust in their ability to deal with the problems that come up in life. In short, people who have healthy self-esteem love themselves, not at the expense of the exclusion of others, but in a healthy way. Think of it this way, a person with high self-esteem treats him or herself the way a well balanced parent would treat a child – with unconditional love.

People with low self-esteem, on the other hand, have a bad reputations with themselves. They believe in their hearts that they don’t have the right or the ability to be happy – and that they don’t have the right to stand up for themselves. They have little confidence that they can cope with the problems that come up in life, and in fact they often dislike, disrespect, or even hate themselves. Many people fall somewhere in the middle, they have neither very high or very low self-esteem. But a lot of people fall below the middle. Those who fall into this category are not only often hampered from achieving their goals, but they suffer great emotional pain on a daily basis.

Having said all that, are you your own greatest critic? Do you have low self-esteem – have you ever thought that if people knew the real you, that they would think less of you? Does life feel an uphill struggle because nobody, not even you – is truly on your side? If any of these sound familiar, it is time to take a fresh look at the most important relationship of all:

“Your relationship with yourself” !

Creating self-esteem

When you don’t know yourself, you cannot respect yourself. Without self esteem you lack inner strength and lose control over your thoughts, words and actions, ending up in a state of confusion, guilt and despair. You need to reverse this process so you can develop a true sense of the self respect ans self-esteem.

You need a certain degree of self esteem to believe that you are worthy of happiness and to be motivated to try to get what you really want out of life. Clearly if you have low self esteem, you may think that you are not worth of achieving anything –  and you can stop yourself from trying. In fact, should success or “good luck” happen along, a person with low self-esteem will always find an excuse to sabotage that success or find away to side step the good luck.

How our self image is formed 

As a child – your caretakers had total power over what you thought of yourself. Their “opinions” of you were not opinions to you but sacred words – in other words your only choice. So if your caretaker continually called you stupid, sloppy, lazy or inept, you have little choice but eventually learn the lessons they were teaching you, and to believe those things about yourself.

What if your parents or guardians beat or abuse you, and you learn to accept this as your due? You then think, that ” I am not lovable, I deserve to be punished, I am bad, and inferior”. Later you seek your abusive relationships. In fact you become relieved when you find them, because unconsciously, it is when you are being abused that your inner world make sense. It is the only subliminal logic you know, and so it goes on until you challenge the whole system.

Another reason you may have low esteem is due to the unwillingness of your parents or guardians being truthful with you when you were a child.

Your image is formed when you measure up yourself against other – as there is no actual “standard of perfection” out there that you must achieve. This self measuring against others is often fueled by parents, relatives, teachers and acquaintances in  your  early childhood years. In many cases it is a brother or sister who is put up as the ideal. For example, your mother may tell you, ” your brother John learned how to read so quickly. What is wrong with you?” Having used this method, chances are that she herself was raised that way.

Create your own standard and live up to it

Now challenge the negative image of yourself that you developed as you were growing up. You can realize that the reason you feel you are stupid or lazy is due to words that were spoken to you when you could not argue back. You can realize that as a child, you were probably being asked to measure up to impossible standards or other people standard. Now that you understand what has happened, you can create your own standard for yourself. You can joyfully, with sheer unthreatened  calm work on being yourself. You are now an adult, no one is stopping you anymore from finding out what you should be. And no one is preventing you from creating your own standard, and living up to that standard.

Once you have started to live by your own standard, your self esteem will increase to a level you have never before enjoyed

12 Specific things you can do to raise your self-esteem

1.  Decide and act – As the old expression goes “face the music and dance”. If you want to build self-esteem, whenever you are confronted with problem in life, no matter how unpleasant, don’t bury your head in the sand. Confront the problem head on.

2.  Act quickly: Get up and do something – A sure fire formula for low esteem is not to do anything, just sit around, lazy about and waste time. And if you are forced to do something, put as little effort to it as possible – this will lower your esteem and your income. Get up and do something!

3. Find something small and succeed in it – when you take on a challenge and overcome it, you feel better about yourself than you did when you first started. Start small and build up later.

4. Challenge your negative thinking about yourself – don’t condemn yourself when you make a mistake. Don’t call yourself dummy and go away depressed. Challenge these negative thoughts.

5.  Understand your “shadow” ( your darker moods) – your “shadow” exists within you, and is the most crucial obstacle to happiness we see. Dark moods or depressions come for a variety of reasons. You become depressed because you expect too much of yourself or others, then get angry when you are disappointed.

6.  Get yourself in shape – getting in shape affect your self-esteem because there is a chain reaction. If your body is strong and muscular, and well proportioned, you carry yourself with great confidence. You walk with energetic trait. Your body sends a message to your mind that “you are strong. You are capable. You are in control,” and your mind agrees: Yes, I am worthy person, I deserve respect.”

7.  Be generous: Contribute to the world around you – One of the best ways to raise self-esteem is to stop thinking of yourself some moments and focus on someone else. Instead of trying to help yourself, try to help someone else. You will feel better almost immediately.

8.  Go to therapy if you are “stalled” or “blocked” – a good therapist can be the key to building self-esteem. By having an accepting, non-judgmental attitude towards you, by listening to your feelings, a caring therapist help you to do the same sooner or later.

9.  Stand up for your rights  –  Your self-esteem suffers when you don’t assert yourself, when you go along with something because you feel too embarrassed or intimidated to take a stand and spell out what you really want.

10. Increase your vocabulary – each time you learn a new word, you increase your ability to think. Words are tools for thought. The more words you know, the more precise your thoughts. the more explicit your ideas.

11. Read inspirational books – remember, you are what you think, what you read, what you see. The bible warns you to be careful of what you put in your minds. It tells you to fill your mind with the true, honest and just. It admonishes you to guard your mind against thoughts that would taint your thinking.

12. Follow your dream – the last and most important category in self-esteem. Give up your dream and you will find it very hard to have self-esteem.