You really can create the life you desire
21 February 2016
An entry in the 2016 Crocodile Prize
WE MUST not be indolent and let life happen to us. If we become passive and sit in the cool chair of idleness, we’ll degenerate and live a life of mediocrity and second best.
We will develop a victim’s mentality and underutilise our potential and become slaves of circumstance.
At worst we will squander our innate ability and waste the wonderful opportunities that life offers us.
As a result, we will be named amongst the living dead, who live but are counted as dead because they live unproductively in the status quo.
Instead we must be awake to opportunity and create the life we desire. We need to realise that we have the potential to make things happen.
We have been created in the image of God. We were made to do great things in life.
We have what Stephen Covey calls the unique endowments that separate us from the animals. We have imagination, conscience, will and the power to choose.
We must use these and the super-abundant opportunities that are around us to create the life we want.
We must be proactive. We must accept that we are responsible to create the life we want. A better life of abundant wealth, health and opportunity does not come on a golden plate.
People who are creative, the ones who are game changers, the people who have altered history and made a dent in the universe (apology Steve Jobs) have created the life they wanted to live. And after creating that life, they left the world a better place than they found it.
A deep sense of personal responsibility is the foundation for building a better life. The person who most controls what happens to you is you. You must be the architect of your fortune. You must be the designer of your destiny.
We must not abdicate to fate a sense of personal responsibility. We must be the captain of our life’s ship and we must pilot the ship wisely. No one will do it for us if we don’t do it ourselves.
We must envision the life we want. We must use the power of our imagination to see that life.
Everything is created twice. First it is created in the imagination. Then it is created physically. People bring into existence what they first dreamed. Everything we see today was first in the someone’s fertile imagination. What they dreamed, they brought to reality.
We must take the time to dream and see in our mind’s eye the future we want to create and live.
God dreamed of a universe with zillions of galaxies and planets where other created beings could live.
The Wright brothers dreamed of aeroplanes flying in the air. Ghandi dreamed of liberating India from her tyrannical masters through non-violent resistance. Martin Luther King dreamed of a free nation where his children would not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. Bill Gates dreamed of putting laptops in every home. Nelson Mandela dreamed of an apartheid free South Africa.
Likewise, we must dream, and what we dream can be realised. But, after dreaming, we must take the action to make it happen. We must do something about the dream. We must set goals.
Then we must take action to achieve the goals. We must work to make the dream come true. We must decide what we will do each day to make our dream a reality.
Prayer won’t take the place of hard work. Positive thinking will not take the place of personal effort. Success favours the industrious. If we work hard to achieve our dreams, our dreams will become a reality. No pain, no gain. What we sow, in the end we will reap.
We can regard the process to create the life we envision as a journey. Let us call it “the journey of creating a better life.”
Like any journey it will have its ups and downs. We will experience good days and bad days. We will encounter pain and pleasure. We will experience success and difficulties along the way.
But we must persist. We must keep going when all the doors before us seem closed. We must keep going when we experience failure again and again. If we quit at the point of failure, we will miss the success that awaits.
So whatever you wish to become in life, you can be that person. The sky is the limit. The only person that can limit you is you.
This is the golden moment in your life. Throw off your self-limiting beliefs. Do away with low self-esteem, fear of failure and other pessimistic beliefs that limit you to play small and remain in mediocrity.
Rise and pursue the dream you have. Follow the strategies outlined in this article, you will one day realize your dream and actually live the life that you dreamt, and worked to create.
The philosophy of individualism is diametrically opposed to Papua New Guinea's collectivist Melanesian philosophy.
"The “American dream” is clearly a representation of this. This is the Americans’ hope for a better quality of life and a higher standard of living than their parents’. This belief is that anyone, regardless of their status can ‘pull up their boot straps’ and raise themselves from poverty."[http://www.clearlycultural.com/geert-hofstede-cultural-dimensions/individualism/]
This sounds like an innocuous truism, but I think is far more insidious than we at first might think.
Consider, for example, the recent publication by PM Peter O'Neill, outlining His Dream is Our Dream, from the time he was a village boy.
It appears that the adopted "American Dream", champion of individualism, has worked very profitably for O'Neill, to the detriment of Papua New Guinea to date.
We might argue that this outcome was unfortunate, or unintentional or indeed unfortunate, but that doesn't change the fact that our downfall as a nation appears to be due to the application by our leaders of an ideology which can all too easily take advantage of the system of government, status quo of socioculturally acceptable behavior (i.e. the big-man system) and the general stupidity of voting populations, simply because they don't understand the fundamentals of ideological power.
Posted by: Michael Dom | 21 February 2016 at 04:16 PM
Nice article, Simon. Sometimes when one sees a starving person, lend him a helping hand, instead of saying, go on a diet, tomorrow will be a better day. Individualism is a positive philosophy, but it is ok to say, I am my brother's keeper.
Posted by: Joe Herman | 21 February 2016 at 03:20 PM
This sounds like one of those American self-help books designed by the author to make a quick buck. A laptop in every home indeed.
Aspirational people can be a very destructive force.
There's nothing wrong with being mediocre.
A pleasant life, harming no one is a much better target.
Posted by: Philip Fitzpatrick | 21 February 2016 at 08:53 AM