It is true that we seem to be living in very challenging times; be it war, disease, drought, violence, hate and so forth. Mother nature too seems to be testing us with some parts of the world suffering from extreme drought while in others, extreme flooding. As such, it is very easy to give up hope and shut ourselves off from reality by simply wrapping ourselves inside our ‘comfort’ blanket, not wanting to venture out. However, venturing out and living in reality is precisely what we need to do although to do so, will require bravery. Below are some tips to get you started in to the direction of Planet Optimism:
1. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH OPTIMISTS – You know they say misery loves company. Well avoid pessimists at all times. Pessimists love to influence and contaminate people with their “glass half full” mentality. Avoid such people at all costs. If a friend is feeling down over something, by all means support them however, if s/he is someone who always insists on seeing the glass as half full (perhaps not even attending interviews since they believe they will not be selected) then , then my dear, leave them to it. This person is happy in their pessimistic world and there is nothing you can do. For you can take a horse to water, but you cannot force it to drink.
2. AVOID ENGAGING IN NEGATIVE SOCIAL MEDIA EXCHANGES – One question to our youth. How does trolling or insulting someone on social media secure you that job, build your business or, help you pass your exams? How does insulting that celebrity on social media change your life or feed you? The irony is, while your feelings towards them may be of anger or hate (often brought about by jelousy), you are actually building them up. How? Because the more interactions they have on their platforms, the more adverts & sponsors they attract. They will not change their life to accommodate your jealousy, so do not be a voyeur in to someone else’s life especially someone who does not even know or care for you. Focus instead, on your own life and stop the green eyed monster called jealousy, from taking over your life.
3. FOCUS ON IDEAS & PROJECTS THAT INSPIRE YOU – When people experience feelings of HOPElessness, if not addressed quickly (by themselves), these feeling can turn to anger, as they see the world moving ahead at too fast a pace and they feel left behind. However, bemoaning the state of the world or planet will not change your life. Instead, look for a hobby or passion that excites you. When you are passionate about something in life, hate cannot penetrate. For every day, you have something to look forward to. Even better, turn your passion into a business or a project from which, others may benefit.
4. HEALTHY BODY, HEALTHY MIND – It never fails to amaze me how people assume they can have an active and positive mind, while leading unhealthy lives which include little or no exercise. There is evidence to support the fact that exercise gives us positive energy. Whether this is walking, running, cycling, swimming, basketball, rugby etc Engaging in such activities helps us think clearly and positively influences our minds. You cannot expect your mind to be healthy and active, when your body is simply not moving. So, get outdoors and exercise at least 3x a week – even 30 minutes at a time is better than nothing.
5. GET A MENTOR – You would be surprised at how having a support system like a Mentor, lifts you up during times when you are feeling low. Many youths benefitted from our mentorship programme with Microsoft where executives from various Microsoft departments (IT, Finance, PR, Marketing, Legal, Entrepreneurship and more…), volunteered to mentor East African youths. They pushed, encouraged and worked with our youth and this programme proved very successful indeed. To read more posts by Miriam, click HERE