When you read advice by successful self-help gurus who have gone through tough times before they become successful, most of them would say the same thing:
If they can turn back time, they will not have done anything differently…. because mistakes, tough times and failures helped to shape them to be the successful person they are today.
How bout you? Do you remember a difficult phrase of your life?
Did that difficult period brought about a character transformation? At that point of your life you’ve probably wished with all your heart that things were different and easier- that people give you a break, and so on. But when you look back, do you recall the blessings in it as well?
Personally, life has definitely not been a smooth path for me. I had to work hard for everything I wanted in life- nothing was handled to me on a silver platter. In the past, I used to complain and felt that life was unfair. But now, a lot of my view had changed- probably because I took one year break from work, live amongst the kind but poor and saw life from a totally different perspective.
Yet I look back and saw that even though times are tough, there are lots of silver linings along the way. You tend to form closer ties with your family and friends, you’ll probably learned to take care of others. And today, if you are enjoying success, I hope that you treat those who are less fortunate with respect and kindness- just like how you would have hoped to be treated.
Let me share with you a simple situation that makes an interesting observation….
You know how it is like that sometimes, people press for an elevator and did not realise it had arrived. So when the door opened at their floor, they are not aware and by the time they know, the door’s almost closed. I find the elevators at my building tend to work at a strange logic- they don’t seems to be working at optimum levels- when you are at 5th floor and press the elevator, the one at the 4th floor stays put while the one at the 10th floor will come all the way down. Today, when I was in the elevator with another 2 persons, the door opened at one floor and one of the cleaners who is holding mop and pail sort of delay coming to the lift. It was because there were 3 elevators and she was probably expected another elevator to come first. Then I heard the guy telling a lady friend of his- ‘this type of person is has no brain. If it is an office staff, we should hold the lift door. But for this type of people (meaning a cleaner), don’t even bother- they are just slow witted.’ A rude remark to the cleaner- asking her to be faster but in a rude and impatient way. He quickly pressed the lift door to a close and the cleaner was too timid to come in. We’ll never make such remark to a person dressed in a suit and tie, would we?
That changed my impression of him- because he is a familiar face in the building and we used to exchange smiles. But after he discriminate people like that- especially when his position is not much higher than of a cleaner, it really makes me rethink.
For me, I found the cleaner (another person) who cleans my office is just another human being with a heart- in fact, she’s a mom with mouths to feed at home. I always smile at her, greet her and thank her when she cleans my desk and clear my rubbish bin. So sometimes at the elevator when I am juggling too much stuff, she will press my floor for me (we require a card to touch before we can press the floor and normally when I am trying to juggle documents with a cup of coffee, it’s tough to press the floor) when she sees me at the lift. Today, I took my coffee cup to the ladies to wash but forgotten about it and left it there. She recognised my cup, washed up and put it back for me.
If we look down at others, it may be an indicative of some inferiority complex at play. We need to look honestly in our hearts why negative feelings develop. For instance, a successful man who is ashamed of his uneducated father showed that deep down, he could be still feeling shame from coming from that background. That deep seated shame should be addressed and dealt with because such things will somehow get in the way of one’s persuit for happiness. Trust me on this- whatever that you have chosen not to deal with will come back and bite you in the butt. So deal with it and close the chapter once and for all.
And the funny thing about life is- what goes around, comes around. If we always look down or think that people are inferior, we tend to have to work very hard to get people impressed with us- and we probably have that deep seated feeling that ‘we’re somehow not good enough’. And we would probably meet with people who constantly challenge or doubt your ability. Then, we’ll probably ask ourselves, ‘why is the world so mean to me….’.
I’ve find that the world is really like a mirror. How we are treated is a reflection of how we treat the world in general. A person who always complains would always wonder why others are so lucky but he/she is so bad luck. If we see inside ourselves, dig out all the ugly stuff and correct them one by one, we’ll find that the world is a much better and pleasant place to live in. It takes courage- tonnes of it. But in the end, you will come up being a much better and happier person- that you’ve never thought you are capable to be.
That’s how many famous people who motivate and inspire the world such as Jack Kornfield, Wayne Dyer, Zig Ziglar are- they have struggled like most of us, found the strength within themselves and transcend. We can too.