Letters from TZ

This I know for sure

Believe me when I say that 2012 has been nothing short of remarkable. The year was bursting with “exponential potential” right from the very start. It was a year pregnant with possibility and it delivered on many different fronts. For millions across the globe, it has not been an easy one. But looking back, there have been many valuable lessons learned. Hard though they may have been, they are the kind of lessons that only life can teach. Life will teach whether you sign up for class or you don’t. I myself learned many lessons at the feet of good fortune and of bad. And as I reflect on the past 12-months, these are the things I know to be true.

 Give yourself some love

It’s amazing how much time you spend trying to be something or someone else when the easiest person to be is yourself. It should be the simplest thing in the world but somehow, “dark forces” have conspired to make it seem simpler to be just about anyone else. The truth is, if your life were a stage, you would be the star of the show. Being yourself means you can shine in your own spotlight. You’ll never shine as much in anyone else’s. The tricky bit is deciding who you are and what it is exactly, that you have to offer. Once you realise your own worth and identify your purpose, you’ll never live another day in another person’s skin.

Do it anyway

Fear is such a crappy, four-letter word. It has little value other than to give false credence to regret. If you’ve ever let fear stop you from doing anything, it’s might be time you stopped letting it. Twenty-five years ago, author Susan Jeffers (now deceased) wrote the book ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’. The book has sold millions of copies, been translated into 36 languages and is available in 100 countries, which is no wonder because it cuts right to the heart of monster that scares all of us in varying degrees. Jeffers – who approaches the subject from a new age perspective that some may want to label ‘mumbo jumbo’ – suggests that fear is necessary for growth. It is something to be embraced and overcome, not something to shy away from. When you look fear in the face, oftentimes you find that it is not as big an ogre as you imagined it to be. And even if it is, you can stare it down until it backs down.

Be happy

I suppose what I really mean to say is, be joyful. Find that place in your spirit that is home to pure, unadulterated joy and make your bed there. To do that, you may have to stop worrying about every little thing. You may have to stop thinking about what people are saying. You may have to stop caring about what everyone else is doing. To do that, you may have to be grateful for what you have and who you love. Again, it should be the simplest thing in the world, but for some reason, it doesn’t happen very often. In September 1988, musician Bobby McFerrin released a happy, little chart-topping, acapella tune dubbed ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’. It’s a simple song with a simple message. “In your life expect some trouble,” he sings, “but when you worry you make it double, don’t worry, be happy.”

Today, not tomorrow

This moment, right now, is the only one guaranteed. And yet, many of us live life as if it were never going to end, postponing everything that matters to a later date, and hinging our contentment on future events. How many times have you said to yourself, ‘When I have more money, I’ll be more generous,’ or “When I get married I’ll be happy,’ or ‘When I lose weight I’ll feel better about myself’? The flipside would be, ‘What if I never get promoted’, or ‘What if I never find my soul mate’ or ‘What if I never make enough money?’ To live in the world of ‘when I’ and ‘what if’ is to exist in limbo, in some kind of self-imposed purgatory where one waits either to be elevated to heaven or relegated to hell. And as one remains frozen in time, life walks on by, leaving one covered in its dust, like an ornament left on the shelf. Many books have been written extolling the ‘power of now’, some with a new age slant (The Power of Now: A guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle) and others from a Judeo-Christian perspective (Your Best Life Now, by televangelist Joel Osteen). Whichever way you chose to look at it, the fact remains that life is indeed happening now, not yesterday and not tomorrow. It would do all of us well to make the most of it. Happy New Year!