2018 is waving goodbye. Well, almost. If I were to compare it with a dog passing by, we would probably be looking at its tail.  And as 2018 gets ready to draw its curtain on us, Havo is at it again. At the adjournment of every school term, he always asks me, ‘Exams are due, what present will you buy me if I improve?’ This self-imposed tradition is one that he has held onto for several years now.  Initially, this did not sit very well with me.  Let’s just say I am an African mother and when one is enrolled in school, it is with a clear objective- to strive for exemplary results, with or without a reward.

Over time, the spirit of a doting mother took over and I succumbed.  I guess you can say I unclenched my fist a little bit. And so, just like that, the boy became accustomed to expecting gifts at the end of the school term.

 

My childhood was rather different; there were no demands, no promises, and no gifts. Don’t get me wrong, all my necessities were met. As the scroll of life unrolled, I was fashioned to presume that contentment translated to modesty. I picked up thoughts that dictated how high my expectations would be.

I have since turned the page on that chapter and my wisdom cup is a little fuller.  The scenario has since been revamped; I now offer Havo incentives for good deeds. Why? you ask. I do so because I am on a mission to reprogram his mind. I am intent on impressing an abundance mindset. I want my boy to be fully aware that he can and in fact, must cherish the desires lodged within the depths of his heart. As I continue to nurture that childhood expectation to expect good things, I am always re-affirming that he is God’s highest form of creation.

Exciting things begin to unfold when you raise the bar and demand a better and higher standard. You begin to evolve into a person whom you are proud of. Your life begins to take on meaning.

Begin to evaluate your life; are you getting the most out of it? The following areas would be a good place to start.

 

  • Personal Life

You don’t get another bite of the apple. This is it. That being said, what is your outlook toward life? Are you confidently stepping up to the table of life? Are you cognizant of the value within you? Are you drawing the line? When you draw the line, you reinforce control over your own life.

Next time you find yourself on a busy street, stop and look at the people walking past. You will notice that the majority are in a daze. They seem to be in a perpetual rush but not really ‘present’. What is most interesting though is that, out of nowhere, springs forth an individual whose walk exudes purpose and vitality. They seem to be going somewhere, both physically and mentally. You can smell charisma in their walk, their demeanor and in their mode of dressing.

They are no different than you! Their mark of distinction stems from a decision to live from a higher plane.  That higher plane is available to you too. The best place to start is by reforming your self-image.

 

  • Relationships

Have you seen a dhow at sea on a calm sunny day? Have you seen how effortlessly it navigates the waters?  On a stormy windy day, however, the dhow relies on the mast for support and stability. Do you have ‘masts’ in your life? Do you have people in your life who truly see you for who you are? Do they call you out if you veer off course? Do they cheer on as you scale your wall of life?

God has graciously garnished my life with such.  We do not keep tabs on a daily basis. We are limited by space and separated by thousands of kilometers. Yet if the need arises, they show up like a shot. They have stood the test of time and hence I treasure them immensely.

You see, I learned the hard way.  I used to hop into any friendship without a deep evaluation of the quality and value they added to my life. To say I got burnt would be an understatement!

When you chose the ‘masts’ in your life, settle on those with a high self-esteem and are content with their lives. Choose those who are willing to love you with your cracks. Choose those who build you up.

 

 

  • Career

I lived under the false notion that people who demanded more were laced with arrogance. I mean, who were they to demand more power, wealth, influence, knowledge etc? With maturity, I now see how misconstrued that notion was. What a limited mindset! There is absolutely no grain of fault in desiring better, more fulfilled lives. In fact, you should continually fan the flame of ambition and run with it!

Life has a tendency to give people what they want. Have you seen influencers at the helm of success who seem to grasp everything they desire? They get what they want, because of the deep-rooted belief that they deserve it. Then they follow it up with action.

 

Are you stuck in a job you hate? Today could be the day you start fancying a change. Back it up with action. It is well within your right to ask for better compensation if you felt undervalued. It is also well within your right to explore greener pastures.

Are you stuck in a stifling, dead marriage? Take action, work on it or walk away! When you have turned all the stones and nothing seems to work, dust yourself off and let go. Personal experience has taught me that letting go is both liberating and empowering.

Remember, you don’t get another bite of the apple.

This is it.