leopards

There are many obstacles in life that delay and sometimes all together prevent the progress that you have your heart and mind set on within any given timeframe.

Unfortunately, many of said obstacles are people, and I’m sure we’ve all experienced the arduous task that is trying to change people. I believe in miracles but more often than not, avoiding the former is simply the best solution.

Whether or not your ‘people’ issue is a family, friend or work-centred one, here are 5 tips to help preserve your sanity when interacting with characters that well, you’d rather not be part of your story:

1. Accept that you cannot change others. The old idiom, “a leopard cannot change its spots” still rings true in the human world. I like to think that we each have the capacity to grow and become better versions of ourselves and that we should empower one another to do so, but not everyone likes to compromise.  Thus for your own sake, assume that in general, people (like leopards) cannot (or will not) change who they are and just learn to adjust to that.

2. Don’t expect others to think/say/do as you would in a particular situation. Each of us is different and therefore react differently to various circumstances.

3. Try patience and kindness instead of resistance and hostility. Don’t allow anybody’s negativity bring out ugly qualities – how you feel inside will start to show on the outside!

4. Master the art of breathing and letting go. The natural reflex of being annoyed by someone is stress and frustration. Take a beat, count to three or sing the theme song from Disney’s Frozen in your head before you answer or deal with the annoying party.

5. Embrace and be the heroic protagonist that your story demands. You will make mistakes, ruffle feathers, be let down by others as well as yourself but at the end of the day, self-belief, passion and persistence will help get you to where you want to be. And if you’re still not satisfied by the end of the book, there is always the option of writing a sequel.

This has more so been a note-to-self than anything else but here’s hoping it also helps you deal with any stubborn, annoying leopards in your life.

NB. I think leopards are beautiful animals, the semantics around their genetic make-up have simply allowed me to creatively anchor the idea for this post.

leopards

the change within

It is commonly understood that significant change can occur in a very short period of time, after all, ‘the only thing constant is change’ as they say.  I wonder then, why I am always so surprised when I am confronted by it.

Having recently made a vow to myself to be more self-caring (rather, necessarily selfish), I’ve begun to be more distrustful of others who seem to be letting me down more and more these days.  I’ve been foolish to expect to see my qualities in others (not that all mine are good) as I have experienced just how much my kind intentions have been taken advantage of.

I have held myself back time and time again from pursuing personal goals to protect the best interests of others.  I have given others the benefit of the doubt believing they would come through for me, too naive to realise their own selfish motives.  I have exhausted my own energies to help and to care for others, neglecting my own quest for progress, fulfillment and contentment.

However, amidst the external changes now surrounding me, I have become more aware of what they actually mean for me.  And my gut is telling me at this very moment, they mean nothing.  Because even though forces outside of you evolve, it doesn’t mean that you do. You have to make a conscious decision to either embrace the change, resist it or completely reject it.

As the optimist, I can see the long-term benefits, I can anticipate the excitement that will follow this change.  But the pessimist in me questions how the change impacts on me personally – it may be for the greater good yes, but will it be so for me?

Fear of change of is of course a means to an end, but how do I differentiate that from simply preparing myself to deal with the possible pitfalls of said change?

Have I just created a problem for myself with this new self-centred strategy?  Should I return to my overtly humble and selfless ways?

the change within

it starts now

I am overdue for a physical and spiritual cleanse.

Today I vow to do better to look after myself – mind, body and soul – to finally put into action everything that I had set up at the start of the year, yes, to actually live out my resolutions.

I said that I would be accountable for this and I need to start delivering on my promises, especially those that I made to myself.

Who am I not to be worthy of a positive change? We are all worthy. I need to constantly remind myself that I am not exempt from ‘we’.

It has been an ongoing struggle this idea of self-love but I must work harder to get there. It is something that nobody else can do for me.

I am accountable.

I am worthy.

it starts now

fear and other catastrophes

I think it was Oprah who said that you should always try to surround yourself only with people who lift you higher.

I continually strive for this, keeping those with loving, giving and supportive natures in my closest circles but unfortunately, not all poisons can be completely sucked out.

There are people who play an important part in my life but somehow impact things with their negative energy. They roadblock every hopeful opportunity and instead perceive new possibilities as risks. Every decision they make is an inaction, ie. a choice to not do something. And they are quick to justify this choice due to factors that take them out of their comfort zone. Things are either “too expensive” or “too far” of “too dangerous”. I know that it’s really because they’re just too scared to take a leap of faith.

As much as I try to avoid such pessimism, I’m confronted with it every day. I can’t always control the situations I’m placed in but I know that I can manage my reaction to them. In many ways, the challenge of being around these types of personalities benefits my personal growth – I know now the path I definitely don’t want to take and the kind of person I definitely don’t want to be.

Still it can become very tiresome combating negativity, particularly when people don’t even see their own wrongdoings. What irony it is that those who appear most courageous are in fact cowards inside. Sometimes, I just get so over it, I get sick of hearing how and why things can’t be done, what the dire consequences could be for trying, how I could be accountable for what doesn’t work out if I pursued an opportunity. It’s not as if I foolishly disregard worst case scenarios, I would just prefer to focus on preparing for and then attaining positive outcomes. If we anticipate failure, we don’t give our minds a chance to plan for success.

I wish certain people in my life would realise that. Telling them so is only one part of it, they need to learn it for themselves. They need to learn to embrace change, to take risks in order to move forward in life, to empower themselves with a positive mindset in everything they do.

Fear gets us nowhere. Courage lets us explore. Faith brings us to where we are meant to be.

fear and other catastrophes