Living inspired….against all odds
Buju Banton coined the lyrics of a song titled, “Circumstances”, in which he posited that “circumstances made me what I am, was I born a violent man, circumstances made me what I am, everyone should understand.”
The contextual essence of his song infers that one’s present situation has a lot to do with the future one will inherit, as well as possibly, be the greatest determinant of the person you will become. Not to discount what Mr. Banton attempts to illustrate, but I feel it would be remiss of me not to shed some light on such a pertinent issue.
For many persons, this song is used to present excuses or rationalizations for the negative outcome of their lives. They see it as a means of passing ‘the buck’, and blaming all their unfortunate circumstances, for their inability to accomplish anything in their lives. I totally agree that the hand we are dealt in life has a lot to do with the game we will ultimately play but withstanding of all that, I dare to say that our attitude decides how we will play the cards we hold in our hands.
Being born into poverty does not mean we are to perpetuate the cycle of poverty. It is not for us to dig ourselves into a deeper hole by living a life of crime or by having pregnancy after pregnancy. It is not for us to adapt a lifestyle of self- pity or hold the expectation that everyone else owes us something. It is for us to turn our misfortune into the impetus or driving force, which causes us desire much better for ourselves and families.
If you are sad now then you need to work out how to be happy in the future, and if you are happy now then you need to find a way of maintaining that happiness in the future. Your current circumstances may not be of your own choosing, or they may be because of proper planning or remarkable luck, but the goal of life is to develop a resilient spirit and where you are inspired to make it in life against all odds.
Here are some thoughts to guide you as you strive to live inspired:
- You are what you think you are:
o The mind is extremely powerful and it is amazing how it works. We are all equally predisposed to greatness; however it is our perception of ourselves in the equation which makes the difference. For instance, people that think they are intelligent may sometimes work harder to educate themselves more, and people that think they are not very smart will often give up more easily on education. Your level of self awareness and your attitude towards yourself at this very moment is therefore going to sculpt how you act in the future. Ultimately our attitude will determine our altitude.
- Plan today for tomorrow:
o Nothing happens without planning. Without planning you are letting the world control you, and if we allow that in its entirety, then our future is set and will be determined by other people. Visualize your life in a month, 6 months, 1 year and then 3-5 years. Where would you like to be? What would you like to achieve? What plans would be needed for you to have the life you desire?
- Use your present as the foundation of your future:
o What you know now needs to be leveraged if you are to improve your future. What you have learnt so far is what is needed to make your future better, which means you need to be able to learn from your mistakes and not worry about making more in the future. So in essence, if you hate the job you are doing; if you feel you are not earning enough to achieve the goals you have set…then use your lack as the foundation for more. Get up and make things happen. You will face opposition and sadly so, some of your biggest opposition may be from those closest to you; but be resolute and determine to get better. You deserve more…you deserve the best!!!
- Your character…not your circumstances determines your destiny:
o Circumstances don’t build your character . . . they merely reveal who you really are . . . what you believe and how you respond to adversity.
If you’re asked to perform a task on the job that is ethically, morally or perhaps legally wrong . . . how you respond to those circumstances reveal your character.
If you face circumstances beyond your control . . . requiring you to make a difficult choice . . . then your character will determine your response. The difference between circumstances and opportunities is determined by the depth of your character . . . which is determined by your reliance on the Word of God as your daily guide.
“Whatever your circumstances, whatever your past, the forces that determine your future are nowhere but within your own heart and mind. It is here that the star of your destiny shines.” Daishaku Ikeda