A major cause of stress is trying to balance work and personal life. You want to move ahead, hone your skills, knowledge and abilities to become employable, all without leaving family behind. How do we find guideposts that lead to personal success?
To answer this, let me turn to one of my favorite stories about an ancient, Far East community that had a unique practice. Elderly folks, when about to pass on, were picked up and taken to the top of a hill that was surrounded by a thick forest. There, the elderly folks passed on in peace and tranquility.
In the community lived a young man who was an only child. His father had died. One day, he noticed that his elderly mother was failing in her health, so he prepared to embark on the journey to the top of the hill. During the sad journey, he realized that it was the last time to be physically close to his mother. He wondered what he could give her as a reward for her contribution toward his well-being.
Crying wasn’t enough. Hugging her this time seemed inadequate, and there was no more time for cards or occasional outings together. As they traveled, he occasionally felt something pull him back and then release suddenly. He looked behind when he felt a pull and saw his mother pulling branches off trees and leaving them along the path they were traveling. When he asked her why she was doing that, she said, "Son, when you leave me on top of the hill, I won’t need directions any more. However, you will need to find your way home. I have left those branches to help you find the path."
Here are seven tips for major branches that serve as a dependable road map leading directly to the source of all riches, be they intangible or material.
- Who am I?
Acceptance of one's uniqueness, irrespective of narrow identities that are based on superficial social and biological groupings, is important. Know that you are created to be creative in a way that no other person can live, act, or be you. Your talents, gifts and experiences should enrich the world differently from anybody else, and other peoples' opinions about you shouldn’t become your reality.
Having bonds that endure trying times. A relationship with God provides the inward tranquility that overcomes ever-present life tribulations. Close ties with family, community, and the universe ensure our uniqueness in an environment to soar and be beneficial to all. My mother told me, "Friends are like clothing. Not all sizes fit." To be successful spiritually, professionally, or academically, appropriate associates are necessary.
- Bouncing Back
Past failures or losses should be a point of reference but NEVER a point of residency. Intangible and material success largely depends on our ability to move from one drawback to another (be it death of loved ones, loss of a job, a broken relationship, or unfulfilled dreams) with enthusiasm, determination, new vision, and restored hope. Each drawback has to be viewed as a valuable lesson that makes us better. Irrespective of the wounds of one's past, the future is still spotless.
- Be an agent of change
John Newton was born into a slave trader’s family. He became a captain of the trade. On the verge of death, he realized that what he was doing was inhumane and proposed to leave it. He did leave it and helped stop the insidious slave trade. John composed the song "Amazing Grace" that touches and uplifts souls worldwide. There are practices that might be detrimental to oneself or others. Like John, one can evaluate his/her situation, leave it, practice and sing one’s own "Amazing Grace."
- Going an Extra Mile
Giving more services than you are required to. You automatically develop a rare but powerful character -- personal initiative. You develop a positive mental attitude towards other people. You build your confidence in your skills, knowledge and abilities. You become self-reliant. You attract the attention of others, including your superiors. This permits you to become indispensable. In return, nature compensates you by liberating other people to help you with your personal projects.
- Balance work and life
You love life when you discover that your job can be done by thousands of other people, but that only you are solely responsible for your spiritual and professional growth. To love life is to nurture your mind, body and soul and to feed the minds, bodies and souls of your loved ones and neighbors. It has been said that no man ever said on his deathbed, "I wish I had spent more time in the office." No U-Haul truck ever follows a funeral procession hauling the belongings of the deceased for him/her to use at his/her new address.
- Within the DASH in a headstone
Birth and death dates shown on headstones are connected with a DASH. However, it is what one does in his/her lifetime, represented by the DASH, that is of importance. Think of familiar names like George Washington, J.F. Kennedy, or Martin Luther King, Jr. You may not know their birth and death dates, but you know or have an idea of what each did. Helping others make their dreams a reality is a beautiful coronation of the DASH.
Today's Top7Business article was submitted by Vincent Muli Wa Kituku, a native of Kenya. Vincent is a motivational speaker/ storyteller, author, columnist, Adjunct University professor and seminar leader. He is also founder and principal consultant of Kituku & Associates, Boise, ID 83707. Call (208) 939-7216 or email Vincent@Kituku.com.