Don’t be a martyr

We act out of duty rather than conviction when the guilty martyr in us triumphs over our courage to be true to ourselves, and just to our souls.

It is our focus on how we wish to be perceived, or how we need to meet expectations, that distracts us from our self-worth and conviction, and redirects us towards compliance aimed at earning inclusion.

The problem is, when inclusion is claimed at such a price, we inevitably exclude peace and fulfilment from that effort.

It is that exclusion of peace and fulfilment that leads us to believe that such sacrifices are noble in order to achieve salvation, or validation.

What we lose sight of is that our unique contribution…our unique beauty that we are able to share with the world is also sacrificed in the process, leaving the world lacking in the very essence of what drives us towards such distractions.

Choosing your own path does not mean exclusion. It means choosing your rules of engagement with the world around you.

If everyone conforms to their assumptions of what is expected of them, rather than contributing what they believe to be sincere and true value, who will be the beacons of inspiration for the generations to come when the purpose of such conformance is lost in the rituals that it spawned?

#selfworth #selfawareness #ownyourlife #selfmastery #mindfulness #personalpower #ownyourshit #mentalhealthrecovery #mentalhealth #lifecoach #conviction #purpose #ownyourlife #zaidismail

The understanding seeker

Seek to understand, so that you may be able to accept the events of your life with peace, rather than feeling compelled to let go with bitterness.

It’s the inclination to want to be heard that denies us peace when we’re not heard.

Or to want to be acknowledged when we are dismissed.

Rather than fight to be heard, or to be acknowledged, choose your battles.

Be sure that what you’re fighting for is what you want to have in your life, and not just because you refuse to go quietly.

When you find it impossible to get through, to make your point, or to establish reason, it’s a sign that you need to pause and understand better what it is that you’re dealing with.

When you pause to understand, you’ll allow yourself a chance to decide if the fight is worth it, and if it is, you’ll create space for yourself to recognise a better way to achieve your objective.

Like the prophetic advice teaches us, don’t get angry. The moment you find your anger rising, it’s a sign that you need to step back, and seek to understand better, before continuing to respond.


#peace #conviction #understanding #ownyourshit #ownyourlife #theegosystem #embracingME #motivation #zaidismail #authenticity #leadershipcoach #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthrecovery #selfworth #selflove #selfawareness #selfrespect #mindfulness

Awakening beauty

There is a beauty in awakening the soul that is only ever experienced by those who have the courage to stir it from its slumber.

Fear doesn’t only make us aggressive towards those that don’t deserve it, it also convinces us that what we have is all we’ll ever be capable of achieving.

Courage results from believing in the value of what we need, and pursuing it as if our life will remain incomplete without it.

Don’t wait until your final sleep arrives before realising that you prevented yourself from living.

Your past only defines the experience and skill that you have to navigate your future. It doesn’t, and never will define your future.

Start before you’re ready!

Today I decided to take my own advice. I recorded my first video clip to share with my followers even though I wasn’t ready for it. But I cannot expect to grow in my skill at providing video content if I don’t start. So this was my beginning.

I needed to stop protecting myself from getting it wrong, because as long as I protected myself from that potential outcome, I prevented myself from growing beyond it. Hope you enjoy my first snippet! Much more to come…

Mandela Day – A Day of Conviction

From the archives in my time in corporate. I had this quote from Madiba on my office wall as a reminder never to settle for less than what I am capable of achieving, or at least contributing in life.

“There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” (Nelson Mandela)

The biggest mistake we make is when we wait for others to validate the value that we see in something before we pursue it. When we do that, we forget that we’re in fact pursuing what they see as valuable more than what we see as valuable. That denies the world our unique contribution, and more importantly, it denies us the sense of purpose that makes life rewarding.

Conviction is found when we connect with the value of an outcome. If we insist on that value being judged by the opinions of others, the only conviction we’ll experience in life is the conviction of chasing acceptance in society, or validation from others. And that is not only a torturous way to live, it’s also a recipe for chronic illness and bitterness.

Own your life, and let the rest of the world own theirs. That’s the only way in which you’ll create opportunities to attract those that are as passionate as you are, about the causes that are close to your heart.

Depression is not…

I saw an illustration this morning that showed a man walking with a heavy shadow weighing him down. From one tile to the next the shadow grew bigger and more daunting until eventually it got inside him turning the inside of his body into a dark cave, with a little figure of him sitting helplessly in a corner inside his body. When asked by someone else how he was doing, he simply replied that he was fine, while apparently hiding the darkness inside of him. Many who have experienced, or are experiencing depression can relate to this illustration, but not enough take the more important lesson from it. Park that thought for now.

The good thing about the recent focus on Mental Health is that they are not calling it Mental Disorders as often as they used to. I take hope wherever I can find it because this is one topic that if ever there was profiteering from the misery of others, this would be it. When trying to sell a product we generally appeal to one of three things. We appeal to vanity, we appeal to convenience, or we play on fears. Mental health is very much in the last category and is currently a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide.

The first point therefore is that depression is definitely good for business. Turning every supposedly imperfect emotional state into a disorder was the goal of the American Psychiatric Association as far back as the early 1970’s. It is for this reason that we now even have a pill to deal with shyness or modesty because we have been led to believe that it is a social anxiety disorder. As dreadful as that seems, it is hardly the worst thing about the depression industry.

Buying into this mentality provides the convenience of abdicating accountability for the uninformed or downright poor choices that we make in life. Take that accountability away and replace it with a pill, and you have a patient for life. Worse than this, you give others an excuse to claim that they are victims of an external force and can therefore not overcome this state by making better choices. Instead, medication and psychotherapy is needed. Good parenting and healthy friendships have nothing to do with it, or at least that is what they would have you believe.

We then refocus our goals on individual needs and blame society for stifling us, and in the process once again abdicate responsibility for the contribution to those around us that would build the healthy society that we all yearn for, while complaining about the cruel world that we live in. Cruel world dynamics then create more opportunity for new pills and lifestyle diseases, and suddenly the overwhelming number of health problems related to depression adds weight to the farce that depression is something we suffer from as an illness.

Back to that illustration, what we fail to realise is that the more we nurture the depressive state (that overbearing shadow of darkness) the more it will grow. Again, a choice that we make to either deal with the source of our dissatisfaction, or accept it for what it is if we are unable to change it. Unfortunately, most wait for it to miraculously change without any effort on their part, and in the process convince themselves that the universe hates them which is why they are not getting what they need to be happy.

That was deliberately flippant because if reading that angers you, then you are more likely to be predisposed to depression or feelings of oppression because you see weakness of resolve as being imposed on the individual by society, rather than seeing that the weak resolve of individuals is what allows society to define the self worth of the individual. By showing sympathy and compassion for unhealthy behaviour, we teach people that such behaviour is not their fault.

We teach them that poor choices are not because they were naive, but rather because someone else was manipulative or dishonest. As much as that is true, the resultant impact on us is directly related to what we continue to expect from them, and not what they continue to do to us. Waiting for an abusive parent or partner to be wholesome before we believe we are worthy is like putting a loaded gun in the hands of a psychopath and asking them to have mercy on us.

Our lack of conviction in what is acceptable versus what is intolerable for society to thrive as a collective and not as individual indulgences is exactly what enables the bullies, the manipulators, the deceitful, and the immoral among us. Deferring our accountability for the consequences of the choices that we’ve made in life simply emboldens the toxic ones and vilifies the victims into a state of shame or…depression.

Everyone gets it wrong. Often! But our insistence on viewing the success of others through idealistic lenses because we need to believe that we are unworthy simply provides us with comfort when we fail, because persisting in the face of adversity is only possible with the heroes among us. Like one philosopher so eloquently stated, each time we create a hero, we diminish our own capacity for greatness. Be careful who you create as a hero in your mind.

P. S. If you know which philosopher it was that said that, please let me know because I can’t seem to find the source to give due credit for it. I suspect it was Henry Thoreau but I could be mistaken.