Alphabet of Life
I don’t know why but it seems like nowadays my days are full of challenging and annoying moments than there are happy and easy times. If it isn’t one issue then it will definitely be another. If it isn’t one person working really hard at driving me insane, then it will be another working equally hard if not harder to give me a heart attack.
Such was my day on Friday ((7th Feb) and as most of you who have been reading my articles long enough now know, one of the ways I use to relieve steam (read anger) from my system is by browsing the internet. And for those wondering whether I do get angry, yes I do; I am human too, remember? Anyway, Friday was one of those days I needed a steam-reliever after what I would say was a day straight from a twilight zone. It’s been a while since I got so angry to the point of shaking, and so to calm myself down, I went to the internet to look for an antidote.
I ended up on a blog post I had once written on my own personal blog. The blog was about the Alphabet, and how it is not just a set of letters we learnt in school to serve as a basis of word creation. Creatively used, these same letters can create a road map to help us lead a less stressful and more fulfilling life, as explained follows.....
A - Accept: Accept others for who they are and for the choices they've made even if you have difficulty understanding their beliefs, motives, or actions. That includes the ignorant and irritating people we meet and rub shoulders with every day, including those you often ... sorry, I mean those I often feel like flushing in the toilet.... (that last part was not in the newspaper - just added it)
B - Break Away: Break away from everything that stands in the way of what you hope to accomplish with your life. That includes those who portray themselves as your friends while all they are is FIENDS. (May all my fiends raise their left hand... Wow! Too many to count)
C - Create: Create relationships with people whom you can share your hopes, dreams, sorrows, and happiness with. Remember, eagles don’t hang out with chicken, so surround yourself with like-minded people.... and avoid pests!
D - Decide: Decide that you'll be successful and happy come what may, and good things will find you. There will be many roadblocks and other obstacles along the way, and although they might slow you down, do not let them stop you from reaching your destination.
E - Explore: Explore and experiment. The world has much to offer, and you have much to give. And every time you try something new, you'll learn more about yourself that you probably didn’t even know.
F - Forgive: Forgive and forget. Grudges only weigh you down and inspire unhappiness and grief. Soar above unforgiveness and remember that everyone makes mistakes. I know this one is hard and even I struggle with it all the time, but I am trying.
G - Grow: Leave the childhood monsters behind. They can no longer hurt you or stand in your way, unless you want to keep living in the past..... (I still fear lightning and thunder at night though, just like I did when I was a child.)
H - Hope: Hope for the best and never forget that anything is possible as long as you remain focused, dedicated and determined to accomplish your mission, or the task ahead of you.
I - Ignore: Ignore the negative voice inside your head. Many are the times we stop ourselves from succeeding in life because we have “caucuses” in our minds that cause us to retreat instead of moving forward. Focus instead on your goals and remember your accomplishments. If you did it in the past, you can also do it now and in the future. And don’t forget, your past success is only a small inkling of what the future holds, if you focus.
J - Journey: Journey to new worlds and new possibilities by reading constructive and positive material while all the time remaining open-minded. Try to learn something new every day, and you'll grow every day.
K - Know: Know that no matter how bad things seem, they'll always get better. Like they say in the west, the warmth of spring always follows the harshest winter, and like we say here, the night is always darkest just before dawn. Even the stars disappear at that time.
L - Love: Let love fill your heart instead of hate. When hate is in your heart, there's room for nothing else, but when love is in your heart, there's room for endless happiness.
M - Manage: Manage your time and your expenses wisely, and you'll suffer less stress and worry. Then you'll be able to focus on the important things in life. This I need to remind myself every day.
N - Notice: Never ignore the poor, infirm, helpless, weak, or those who are suffering. Offer your assistance always and let your kindness and understanding touch the lives around you.
O - Open: Open your eyes and take in all the beauty around you. Even during the worst of times, there's still much to be thankful for. Like Abraham Lincoln said, “we can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
P - Play: Never forget to have fun along the way. Success means nothing without happiness. Besides you know what they say, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and Jill a very moody girl”.
Q - Question: Ask many questions and don’t just be a “Yes (wo)man”. Seek to verify and clarify information to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings.
R - Relax: Refuse to let worry and stress rule your life, and remember that things always have a way of working out in the end. So if they haven’t worked out then its not the end yet.
S - Share: Share your talent, skills, knowledge, and time with others. Everything that you invest in others will return to you many times over. There’s great power in giving than there is in receiving.
T - Try: Even when your dreams seem impossible to reach, try anyway. You'll be amazed by what you can accomplish.
U - Use: Use your gifts to your best ability. Talent that's wasted has no value. Talent that's used will bring unexpected rewards.
V - Value: Value the friends and family members who've supported and encouraged you, and be there for them too. And do not forget to add value to other people as well.
W - Work: Work hard every day to be the best person you can be, but never feel guilty if you fall short of your goals. Every sunrise offers a second chance.
X - X-Ray: Look deep inside the hearts of those around you and you'll see the goodness and beauty within. Don’t just focus on the bad and ugly side they portray.
Y - Yield: Yield to commitment. If you stay on track and remain dedicated, you'll find success at the end of the road. Even a dog that yield's to its master always gets a bone.
Z - Zoom: Zoom to a happy place when bad memories or sorrow rears its ugly head. Let nothing interfere with your goals. Instead, focus on your abilities, your dreams, and a brighter tomorrow. And yes, ignore the haters you will encounter along the way because that’s what they were born to do; hate!
Reading the 26 points of advice indeed helped me calm down and even though the people who had made me angry are still there, and the issues that caused the friction are still unsolved, I feel I can focus better now than I could then... I don't feel like flushing them in the toilet any more, but I sure feel like shaking the idiocy out of them.
As you go about your day and the coming week, as you encounter the challenges that will come with the new week I urge you to remember these simple ABCs of life.
Wishing you a stressless week.
PS: Article published in Tanzania's Guardian on Sunday on the 9th February, 2014, under my weekly column "Thoughts in Words".