… the sturdy fellow’s staying power
I am passionate about research work and didactic writing. At all times, I love to share my thoughts on different disciplines or topics, ranging from leadership at the national and international levels, education, culture/religion, family life, health, business and personal growth. The numerous responses received from my readers motivate me to keep on writing to change lives.
Today, while thinking about the next article to work on, the thought of encouraging people in spite of any ensuing challenge flashed through my mind. With this prompting, I felt a strong urge to pen my thoughts down in inspiring my readers to stay focused in life in spite of life’s vicissitude.
Life is full of ups and downs. In other words, there is no better life without going through moments of sadness, trepidation, staying on the fence or giving up on your dream or heart’s desire. Upon careful observation and interactions with several people from different backgrounds, I have come to know that most have given up in life. But should it be so? Definitely NO! There are instances where some people on the verge of reaching their goal gave up on their nice concepts, ideas or vision. Only a few are able to muster courage to face the realities of life. The year, 2022 has experienced ripple effects of COVID-19, poor choices on the parts of most political leaders and the war between Russia-Ukraine have all had a hostile impact on business, education, family life, and the economies of nations across the world. There may be other issues but these mentioned ones cannot be denied.
The objective of this article is to encourage you to stay focused regardless of all odds. In doing so, I draw inspiration from the Holy Book and other contemporary experiences to achieve my set objective.
Do you know that while in prison, Apostle Paul wrote the books of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon? Yes. In his most difficult moment, these precious books, inspired by the Holy Spirit came out from Paul to exalt Christ to the universal Church. He spent hours to write all these books in making believers know who Christ is; His deity, His significance, the power He has handed over to the Church and His love for man. Paul’s example is worthy of emulation. In our darkest hour, if we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit, concepts; ideas, inner strength and wisdom flow through our minds in doing something momentous.
Paul, while serving a prison sentence in Rome between A.D 61 and 63, could have truncated his entire ministry out of pain, anxiety, frustration and depression. However, he didn’t allow his current condition to determine the outcome of his heavenly assignment. He kept his FOCUS. Can we learn a lesson from Apostle Paul’s experience? In our state of pain, disappointment and despair, what should we also do?
Learn To Speak Less
Explaining your problems to everyone you meet on the way doesn’t solve your problems. Some people have this attitude of trumpeting all their challenges to everyone they meet on the street. Sadly enough, not everyone has the inner strength to listen to you let alone help you. Some stay on the phone for hours, complaining severally to people in order to gain their support. We have also forgotten that certain problems expose our weaknesses. So, why don’t you learn to speak less and control your emotions?
Do self-assessment of your life and make some changes. Probably, your pain comes from the way you drag issues over and over again which has resisted good things from coming into your life. Note that offenders are not constantly wrong. Sometimes, offenders help us know ourselves better and humbly change our self-centred approach to life. So, instead of always getting attention from some people who view issues from a self-opinionated angle, why don’t you sit down and make a deeper introspection about your defiance, brashness or attitude?
The right answers from our moment of self-examination will make us better and not bitter. In fact, they will make us wiser and not ill-advised people. The answers that emerge from our meditation will make us humble instead of being proud and resentful. Thus, speaking less teaches us to identify our real image.
Believe that you will bounce back strongly
Have this belief that, you shall surely bounce back after your tragedy. Everything happens for a reason. Some of our challenges are so painful that the power to restart becomes absolutely impossible. But remember, you shall surely bounce back. Your problem may be a loss of a child, the collapse of your business, dealing with divorce, dealing with a vagabond child, struggling with an irresponsible spouse, dealing with a difficult boss at the workplace, etc. In fact, everything that has a beginning has an end. Have that confidence that everything shall be well in its due time. Your responsibility is to remain focused with the obstinacy that you shall surely spring back in due time.
Surround yourself with positive-minded people
There is something unique about positivity. It does not accept any negative thought. A positive-minded person is neutral in his persuasions. A positive-minded person makes a dying situation lively and flourishing. In times of help or advice, a positive-minded person will paint a neutral picture to you concerning your situation. I have come to know that most emotionally-troubled people want to prove a point that they are always right, hence they do not deserve to be treated in an obnoxious, unpleasant or unsufferable manner. Meanwhile, they may be wrong if you carefully listen to them. It takes a wise person to intelligently deal with an issue from a balanced point of view.
In my years of professionally counselling people, I have come to know how some people present their cases to suit their selfish drive. They hide the truth in making their supposed offenders the worst degraded ones. Sometimes, some of these counsellees seeking for help prove others wrong while they want to secure an angle of precision. It takes an intelligent and well-balanced psychotherapist or counsellor with a positive mindset to change the attitude of a half-baked counsellee and realign the latter’s mind into accepting the realities of life. It is by this change of lifestyle which causes one to move on with an open heart devoid of unpleasantness, resentment and anger.
In the case of people overcoming a heart-break, some do not allow their pain to heal completely before jumping into another relationship. In case you find yourself in a situation like this, finding a positive-minded person to shape your thoughts, and behaviour is relevant in making your life a stress-free one.
Ask Suitable Questions
Asking appropriate questions opens one’s mind to deep exploration. The more utilitarian questions you ask, the more you know. Asking appropriate questions is one of the undisputable ways of learning. Until you learn to ask pertinent questions relating to your challenges, the right answer(s) wouldn’t resurface. Certain conditions call for keen observation and close examination, however, the urge to ask relevant questions sets the mind into flow mode thinking. Ask the following questions?
- Why am I going through this situation? Is it my fault or there is something positive to learn from this? Instead of always apportioning blame, take responsibility for your actions and make changes where necessary.
- What did I do wrong that calls for a change of heart or behaviour?
- When am I ever going to liberate myself from this pain and hurt? Sometimes, we hurt ourselves indirectly as we blame people for our circumstances when in actual sense, we are the cause of the problem.
- How am I going to make my situation better? The means in making your life better depends on you. Sometimes, it calls for taking the first step in settling any squabble and letting go off the worry which you might have inflicted on yourself.
- What have I learnt from my experience in making me a better person?
The answers to all these questions make you live a better life.
Trust in the Lord
Trusting the Lord in your difficult moments means, you have surrendered your challenges to Him in prayer, and you now have the full assurance that with Him on your side, everything shall be well in His own time. It takes faith in believing the Lord for a turnaround in your situation. Sometimes, a change may take some time but keep on believing God for a change in your situation. Allow Proverbs 3:5-6 to inspire you:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
It has been said that “tough situation does not last forever, however, tough people do last.” In other words, it takes an emotionally-strong person to withstand the jaggedness, serration or roughness of life. Indeed, life does not wait for the weak to be carried along. In fact, it does not pamper the down-trodden. Life pays attention to winners who do not accept an average happening; average thinking and say no to defeat. You cannot keep on lamenting over your challenges when there are more important dreams to achieve. So, soar higher regardless of life’s encounters. In moments of despondency, learn to speak less, and have the assurance that you would definitely bounce back.
Furthermore, surround yourself with positive-minded people who will inspire you not to remain on the floor of shame but to rise up unto exploits. Ask yourself several questions and develop another strategy in resuscitating your ‘lifeless’ situation. Of course, trusting the Lord for inner strength is a major requirement for success. Keep your focus. I will end with a quote by the late Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. He said, “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” Simply put: forward ever, backward never. Therefore, persevere till your dream is achieved. That is the spirit of unfathomable grit!
The writer is an Academic, Visiting Lecturer, Leadership Consultant and a Reverend Minister with WordSprings City Church, Kumasi – Ghana.
Email: [email protected]
Grab copies of the writer’s books from Kingdom Bookshop, KNUST, Kumasi and in Accra, contact: Mrs. Justina Asempa (Phoenix Insurance, Ringway Estates, Osu) on 0244 20 88 43 and Pastor Stephen Gyamfi (ICGC, Asylum Down, 054 679 7323). In Obuasi, contact: Sammy on 024 773 78 11.