Precious Pearls

The people we choose to spend our time with, will go a long way to determine what we will turn out to be. If we want to reach a certain level in life; we should be mindful of the company we keep. Some people are timewasters; that is, they spend most of their time talking about things that are not beneficial in anyway. While others will encourage and push us toward excellence.

As we interact with people, we should ask ourselves; where will I be if I continue to keep this person very close to me for five years? After asking this question, we should learn to pause for few seconds and picture ourselves. If the results are positive; this will mean that friend or relationship has a positive impact on us.  But after a careful analysis, and we find out that relation will drain our energy and will not make any significant impact on us then, we should learn to discontinue that relationship.

Let us think of that relationship as a pearl. Pearls are beautiful and expensive but its beauty will also be determined by who puts on. If a pearl is given to a princess or a queen; she will wear it with so much pride and dignity. This is because, the princess or the queen has been nurtured to be a lady. So, she will cherish precious things like a pearl. On the other hand, if the same pearl is given to a pig, it will just make it dirty. Over here, the fault is not that of the pearl but the person who possesses it.

Every person can be compared to this pearl and the people we choose to keep company with will determine our outcome either accomplished or destroyed. One of the most important things is the company we choose. We will eventually copy what they say or do. If their actions are negative; we destroy ourselves but if their actions are positive we will be better than who we were before we met them.

We should therefore be mindful of the people we invite into our lives if we value the life we are living. People who want achieve good things and make a difference choose their company wisely.

The Path Behind Us

As we travel, the path behind us will look smaller as we move forward; while the path we approach will look clearer and broad. This is how we should learn to forget the bad choices we have made in the past. Human beings are not perfect no matter how hard we try. We make a lot of mistakes which may cost us while others will not.

When we remember the mistakes we have made; it is normal to feel guilty and wish we could go back and correct our wrongs. These mistakes could be the choices we made consciously, but some may be the things we overlooked.  We all go through that time that the biggest mistakes we made play back in our minds repeatedly. Though we will remember the good things we have done; that is our achievements, these are some of the positive things we have done and feel proud of.

On the other hand, when the negative choices we have made in the past play in our minds, we should learn to let go of them. They sometimes ruin our day or week. There are some choices that will affect us till the end of our lives. Instead of regretting and wishing we should not have made those choices; we should learn from what we did wrong and teach others so that they will not make similar mistakes that we made.

As a result of our bad choices, we may lose certain things or some people forever but once we have life, we say there is more to live for. It is good to know what things led to those choices and never repeat them again. If we allow the negative choices we have made in our past to play, they will play the loudest in our minds as we dwell on them. At the end of the day, we may feel powerless making us think life is not worth living.

When we remember these negative choices we made in the past, we should learn to tell ourselves we are not perfect and if we had known that the consequences of our actions would have been negative, we would not have made those choices. Making mistakes is part of life and out of that, we get experience and increase in knowledge so we can guide others. We can also apologise to the people we have hurt or those who have been affected by negative actions and after this, we should leave them in the past where they belong and live our lives.

Keep Going

The life others have lived will not determine how ours will turn out to be. It is true that people do things and fail. The fact that a person did something and could not go through or finish it does not mean the same thing will happen to us if we do a similar thing.

The methods people use will be different from ours. We may have people who will tell us that they tried, or their parents or friends tried and could not do it. What these people will do is put fear in us when they find out that our goals are beyond their imaginations.  The fact that a person did something and failed and gave up does not mean the same thing will happen to us. There are some things we are the only people who are meant to start them.

Also, we are not them, that is, their strengths and weaknesses are not the same as ours. We are all different, so the things they cannot do we can. When we allow people to limit us, it reduces our confidence and belief we have in ourselves. Negative and visionless people will tend to put fear in us by what they see and how they live their lives.

All that we can do is to stay away from them. A lot of people like to sit on the bench and not take any risk. If all the major breakthroughs and inventions had been ignored because of fear; where would we be? Starting something no one or a few people have done is risky and scary. All sorts of things rush into our heads and the negative monster of possible failure will stick its head out.

Nonetheless, we feel powerful and reenergised when the thought of our idea runs in our head, knowing it’ll bring a bright light into our world. That thought and feeling should take away any fear from us. We should learn to spend less time with people who tell us our goals are impossible. As we focus on what we want to accomplish, better people will come our way. These people will push us toward our goals. They will show us ways to accomplish them; because they know how it feels to have a goal and have the desire to pursue it no matter what. They will be our source of inspiration where we can draw our strength from when we feel weak.

People and Lessons

People we meet in life can be compared to the food we take in. Some will have to stay temporarily and not even get to become nutrients, others stay in our blood stream to provide us nutrition. We meet all kinds of people in life; some may leave us when they have finished with the roles they perform in our lives. Others will stay with us till the end. The people who stay and leave are all important. As already hinted, when we take in food or water, some enter our blood stream and others leave the body through our digestive system.

3d rendered illustration – painful stomach

The food that is egested is important but not so important to stay in the body after digestion process is complete. They have to come out; when these substances stay in the body, they become poisonous. That is how people who enter would have to leave when they have finished with the task or the role they played in our lives. When they stay longer, they will deprive us or hinder our progress. The others who happen to stay with us temporarily come to teach us lessons. These lessons are there to shape and strengthen us but these lessons should be learnt in a very short time.  These people come into our lives when the lessons are meant to be taught and leave as soon as they finish their work.

The food products that enter our blood stream stay and form blood which serve as energy our bodies need to survive.  These are the permanent people who will stay with us like digested food that enters the blood stream and works on our bones and other parts of the body. These people reduce in number as we grow. They stay with us and may not be seen as making much contributions in our lives, but they stay no matter what the situation is.

We should learn to identify these people; those who are staying and people who will leave. They are all needed for the journey we are taking. Some will have to leave eventually but all these people are important in development and growth. We all need each other to survive. Some will be with us for a short time but they are needed others that is a few will stay with us for life. At the end of the day, it is the shaped life and how it turns out to be that is important. These lessons from temporary people are like short courses offered in schools. They are brief but they stay with us throughout our lives.  At the end of our lives, a few friends and family members will stay and be faithful till the end.

Maturity

As humans, our first reaction toward a negative comment or criticism about us is defence. This is the easiest; that is brushing off our mistakes or weak points. I won’t say it is totally bad because, dwelling on our weaknesses diminishes our confidence and makes us feel not enough and incapable even when we are capable. It is normal to get defensive upon hearing a bad or negative comment about ourselves however, pondering on these negative comments and criticisms and wondering how they can benefit us rather than brushing them off all the time sometimes determines how mature a person can be.

The body as it stands loves to be satisfied all the time no matter what. Just like the id and the ego, the body is primitive in nature; picking up fights, arguing, yelling at someone who has wronged you, eating food that tastes good in the mouth but harmful to the body all feel good at the moment they are being done when we are satisfying the needs of the body.

To be mature people, we have to learn how to tone down all these unnecessary demands of the body which will do nothing but ruin and destroy our integrity and respect we have spent years building for ourselves. The fact that a person wrongs or offends us shouldn’t make us destroy all the reputation and respect we have built for ourselves over the years by acting in a way that the body dictates to us to act since it feels right to burst out in rage or fury. A person can offend us but we should not let that same person take away our good emotions and respect as well. No matter what a person does; it will never be okay to trade our emotions when a person criticism.

A person can be good to us all their lives but might make a mistake or offend us and this will make us judge and treat this person who has been good to us all our lives as if he/she is our enemy. This is just like a very small stain in a white shirt; we notice it immediately and concentrate on that rather than all the other parts of the shirt which is white. This is the same way we treat criticisms and negative comments about ourselves.

Things are not bad in themselves till we define them as bad our negative so no comment about us is meant to destroy us even though that could be the intention of the critic; we should look at it from the point of view that, that comment is meant to make us better, an opportunity to learn something new about ourselves. Though not every comment we hear about ourselves is true, some of them are; and we have to ponder on them and find out how that comment can improve our lives.

Most of the time, there is a lesson we have to learn out of these comments or there should be some changes we have to make in our lives and these criticisms are there to guide us. When we avoid these criticisms they will appear in different forms and cause us to take a good look at our lives and make the necessary changes. We should be cautious of the people we consider their criticism; some people will complain about every little thing we do and will never appreciate our efforts.

Most comments from these people should be ignored. We do not have to change our entire lives to either please them or stop them from talking about us. Instead, when a person corrects us or makes a comment about our actions and we know in our hearts that it is true, we should take it and make the best out of that comment or criticism.

Not Because People Are Watching

People are surprised when they hear that a person they think they know very well has
committed a crime. There is something called “persona” that is a mask every human
being puts on. This mask is put on especially when people are watching; we are the
kindest, most faithful and always at our best. We do things to please people but deep
within us we know we are opposite what we portray to be.

This makes people put their trust in us only for them to be disappointed. What we do not realise is that; whatever has been covered by the mask will be revealed no matter what. There is no point in living a double life; we have to be at our best even when people are not watching. If we decide to live lives that are going to please people we realise we are the only people who are unhappy because; we pretend to be something or people we are not, and will never be, and can never be. We all have to live lives of excellence. It is not an option but a requirement.

We should be people who our colleagues at work or in school look up to and
emulate. When a new student or a new person is employed in the company or
institution we work in, we should be selected as their mentors. Not because we have
pretended to be but deep within ourselves, we know we are truly what we exhibit in
public for everyone to see and we do that while we are alone as well. I personally
believe we should all strive for excellence and not perfection. Excellence is when you do
the right thing when no one is watching and you know very well that is the right thing to
do.

People of excellence have positive attitudes. They do think and think about things that
are good and helpful to humanity, and they are selfless too. They live a stress-free life
knowing they do not have to be someone they can never be in the presence of their
family, colleagues at school, home or workplaces in order to be accepted by anyone. We
should not pretend to like our bosses and be so respectful and kind to them while all the
employees and the boss himself or herself is around; and turn round to gossip and insult
the boss right after he or she or our colleagues leave our presence.

We find out that we receive the same treatment we give out to people. When we
pretend, we meet people who also pretend and fake their love for us. That is how this
world is. Our true attitudes are reflected in other people’s behaviour towards us. Life is
short to live a pretentious life. This means we should not only dress up and keep our
houses and environs in place because we will be expecting visitors; rather we should do
it because, we know the right thing and the right thing should be done always. We
should let everything we do count because we do not know where our attitudes will
lead us to.

Goals… Adwoa Owusuaa Writes on the Importance of Setting Goals

Life is waking up, going to sleep, going to work or school, visiting friends and other things. We all experience this. What makes a life different from another is setting goals. A life which is directed by goals is different because that life has a purpose and something to pursue which is more that waking up, few activities and going back to bed; It is a life that it building something or leaving a legacy.

Goals are things we reach or achieve that are important in our lives. In order for our lives to move to a particular direction, we should direct it in a particular path. We have to shape how our lives will turn out to be in the future. Our lives is like water or any liquid which has no shape but takes the shape of any container that is poured into. When we pour water in the floor it flows to any direction when it is not directed in a particular direction. That is what our lives will turn out to be when we do not set goals for ourselves.

When we set goals for ourselves, we know the direction our lives are going. A goal seeks to
explain what our lives will turn out to be in the long term. The things we do now in order to
get to what we want to be in the long term are tasks. It is building a mansion; we lay bricks, build structures and then we get the mansion. When we set goals, we know the end product is a mansion and not just laying bricks or building structures.

The goal will help us stay focused on what we expect at the end. There may be few changes or major changes. This is normal when it comes to what we want or the things we want to achieve. The most important to have set goals so we know what our lives are going to be.

Without goals, life is boring. Life becomes waking up going to work and going back to bed.
That is the routine of every person but people who are enthused about life are people who
have goals and have broken them down in parts to achieve them
We have to ask ourselves; what makes us happy or what do we want to do with our lives?
These are some of the questions we should ask ourselves frequently. We should learn to
examine ourselves and our lives by asking where we are; whether we have made progress or not, and make changes where necessary. Life will not be perfect once we have goals rather, it will have a purpose and we will be reenergised whenever we wake up.

Words by Adwoa Owusuaa

During Tough Times…

As humans we go through tough times in life. This is when we think all hope is gone;
people we expect to provide or show some care or compassion toward us may turn
against us. The friends and family members we may turn to for uplifting messages may
not provide what we expect. This is when we might think that our whole world is
collapsing.

Situations like this happen and it is normal to expect some sort of physical or emotional
support from friends or family members. On the other hand, during such difficult times,
our characters are being tested. Our attitudes are shaped and we become stronger and
better during and after such difficult times. When such issues happen, it is easy to focus
on all the negative things or energies that surround such issues.

What we have to do is to look beneath these negative things and look at what that issue is trying to tell or teach us. We do not have to get angry or bitter when people fail to offer help but insult, and ridicule or judge us despite the pain we feel at that moment. We have to bear in mind that; every situation is temporal, we just have to be patient and learn and grow out of that situation.

Sometimes, these situations happen for us to know the real intentions of people who are
very close to us; what is hidden behind their smiles and compliments. Tough times reveal
who they truly are and what they will do when we’re at their mercies.
Again, such issues help us learn valuable lessons like tolerance, forgiveness, patience,
perseverance and others.

In all, issues we see as bad or negative come to teach us lessons in life; valuable lessons that we need to help shape our character or attitude, our thinking
and how well we should live our lives as a whole. Everything in life happens for our good
and as we face tough issues, we get to know what a meaningful life is all about. Mostly, in
those times, we are left alone to reflect and find the hidden things that need discovery.
We should see tough times as the time we are given to open our eyes wide, listen carefully
and close our mouths to get the full understanding of all that is happening around us.

We may not get the message or all the answers to the questions we ask ourselves, as fast as we want. But after sometime; when we give time, time, we will realise that; all the things we saw as tearing us apart or pushing us down or putting us in shame may uplift us; if only we are patient enough to go through the lessons and open our eyes and ears wide,
we will know those lessons.

Sometimes, such lessons gained from those times may help us find ourselves, appreciate
our lives more and even know the purpose of our lives. We may also discover things about
ourselves we did not know existed. All that we have to do is to be patient, watch closely
and listen very well. Everything happens for us.

Words by Adwoa Owusuaa

Be The Exception

When we pay a visit to our various work places, schools and places of worship and other
places where people are expected to put in much effort to achieve more; we find
out that, people do not work as hard as they are expected and these same people
are expected to be rewarded for their haphazard behaviour toward work.

People do things anyhow and anyway they want; when people report to school or work
early, their colleagues ask whether the school or job is for their parents.
Working extra hard makes it worse. Students are given all sorts of names and people fail
to associate with them because of their hard working nature. At various work
places, people report late in the morning and are first people to leave when time
is up. What we do not realize is that, there could be someone or people watching
and copying our actions without our knowledge.

People read us like books, watch us like televisions sets or listen to us like music on the radio. Our own siblings, children or anybody at all could be watching and copying our lifestyle. This does not mean we should pretend to be perfect and please people rather, we
should give everything we do our all, not our best, because giving your best is
trying; but giving your all is putting everything you have in what you are doing.

When we fail to learn as students, a question we should ask ourselves is “Would I
be happy if my children do the same thing to me when I toil and provide for their
needs so they wouldn’t worry?” Also, as adults when we fail to give our best at or
places of work we should ask ourselves “Would I be happy if this company was
mine, and my workers behave the way I do?”

We should not follow the masses but be unique in the things we do. People will call you
names and say all sorts of things about us when we go the extra mile because;
they know the only way they can beat us is to pull us down and we will only be
affected if we pay attention to what they say or do. In various competitions we do
not look at the person or the group that is failing rather, our attention is drawn
to the winner or winners because we know they are making the difference. That
is how it is when we go the extra mile and give our all when we do things we are
supposed to do.

Successful people are those who give everything and are committed to whatever they
do especially in schools and work places. They give it their all whether the job is
theirs or not. Such people are able to manage their private companies because
they end up hiring people who are also as hard working as they are. We should
be a yardstick at various institutions we find ourselves, to our colleagues and
everyone around us.

Words by Adwoa Owusuaa.

Adwoa Owusuaa Writes On Choices

The little decisions and choices we make daily affect our lives. Positive choices and decisions will yield positive results; while negative choices and decisions lead to negative results. There is no middle ground when it comes to choices. Choices can be little as our emotions. How we feel is a choice we make every second whether positive or negative.

When we feel positive; we tend to make positive choices and meet people who feel positive. On the other hand, when we feel negative or when we say: “Oh this is going to be a bad day.” We tend to have a terrible day, anybody we meet makes our day very tough and very difficult to put up with.

When we feel positive about ourselves and feel we are in control of our lives, we feel we can do anything and correct the mistakes we make. On the other hand, if we feel negative and think other things control us other than being in control of our lives, we feel weak and
powerless. We tend to think other people and things determine how we feel and how our
lives turn out to be. For instance, when a person is rude to us; we can decide to ignore them or pay them back by being rude. How a person treats us has got little to do with us but it has got more to do with them and how they feel about themselves.

In schools or work places we find out that bullies are people who have low self‐esteem or are insecure. These people will want others to feel the same so, they try to intimidate or pass sarcastic comments to make others feel bad about themselves so that they can feel good about themselves. Again, people who are confident about themselves inspire or motivate others.  How a person treats us has little to do with what we do or do not do to them or for them.

Most of the time, it is how the person feels that manifests itself on the outside through
their word and actions toward us. When we allow people to determine how we feel or react all the time, we tend to live shallow lives. We have to make a decision to be happy and live positively no matter how we are treated or what comes our way. We have to note that people are different; some are kind other are not. Their attitude will not change the value we place on ourselves rather, it is how we see ourselves that matter.

We should learn to accept that, how people treat or do not treat us has got little to do with
us but has got a lot to do with them and live life happy. The more we learn to accept this, the better our lives will be. When we feel positive about ourselves we will see the positive in situations that will help us make positive decisions and give us positive results. These little things we see as insignificant have major effects on our lives. When we are in a good mood, we tend to make positive decisions and have positive results. Again, when we allow these little things affect us negatively, we tend to make bad decisions and get negative results. Our emotions have a tremendous effect on our lives.

By Adwoa Owusuaa