THREE weeks ago, my application for a US visa was rejected and yes, I blamed Trump. I am not from the Sudan and neither do I belong to a bloodline that runs from an Islamic State. There are many who feel the same in many parts of the world.
Which is why I sat there numb with anger, made worse by the flickering TV screen in front of me showing the places where I should be today. God played me a through pass, but some officer at the US embassy fouled me as I faced the goal.
Yes, they denied me a visa that would have opened innumerable doors of opportunity! I wallowed in that funny, frustrated feeling that one gets after being pickpocketed. I am not sure how that really feels, but it must have felt the same. I really felt robbed.
Bad enough as it felt, something or someone from 2008 inspired me then to write a column entitled ‘Whatever happens, choose to be positive.’ In fact, the working title was; ‘Whatever happens, make a plan.’
Now that resonates better given the state of mind I was in a couple of weeks back, it was time I got a grip on life.
Stoic heroism or abject dejection, what is your choice? I wrote; ‘We cannot afford the luxury of negative thoughts. That does not mean being realistic because REALISTIC SUCKS! Being realistic is not a way to live your life. There is no value being realistic. Our miserable lives are a sum of our negative thoughts.’
So, the best way out is to deliberately choose to be positive, no matter how bad the situation around you.
It is so easy to be moved by the situation. Yet the question remains, why choose to be in a rut when the BS hits the fan? You must take control and determine the direction you wish to take your life.
Are you going to be the perennial victim of this or that circumstance, complaining to anybody who can hear or read? Or are you going to pick yourself up, start all over, if you had hit a hump in life. How does this happen when ‘the environment is not conducive?’
First, get rid of the tendency of thinking in flowery language. That is fodder for high school debates. The setting is the same for everyone including those you hate. The difference between you and those that are successful no matter the circumstance is that they chose not to be dictated to by those circumstances.
The toxic situation in this: this country like I said before is the sum of our collective negative thoughts. We have become excellent political and economic analysts but very short on solutions. The world out there is not drawn in straight lines and utopia has always remained an illusion.
Words such as integrity ring hollow in today’s world. After all, we are all human beings, dishonest, cruel and unreliable at best. It’s a matter of choice to move away from this construct, a spiritual effort in a way because here on earth realism rules. I agree that we are here on planet earth and not in heaven.
Whatever choice you make, strive to maintain your credibility. God only blesses where his reputation, as the creator, is safe. Be truthful to yourself, and develop credibility through character.
It should reflect who you truly are when no one is looking. If you have lost that credibility then look for it, face it, replace it and erase it. Move to the next level and be the change you want to see in others.
Let the political drama around pass over you. Just keep your head screwed on straight, firmly focused in the direction of where you want to go as an individual. You shape your own destiny by the choices you make.
Are they going to be part of what builds or what destroys? Pause, take a deep breath and be honest to yourself. Focus on your ‘why.’ Why am I here? The answer that you give to that question, will give you an idea to what you should be doing with yourself.
Do I make any sense? Let me put it this way. John Maxwell, the guru, says there are three things that a follower asks of a leader. Does he or she care for me? That is compassion. Can I trust him or her? That’s character. And, can he or she help me? That’s competence.
Great people never win the race, Maxwell says. When they cross the finish line they never cross alone, so should you!