“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation”― Henry David Thoreau
Well, this quote means that most people battle with inexpressible, deep inner struggles nearly impossible to voice. The song within is low and inarticulate. But why this quiet desperation? Thoreau thinks misplaced value is the cause. We feel a void in our lives and we attempt to fill it with things like money, possessions, and accolades. We think these things will make us happy. When they don’t, we seek more of them. The sad reality is that the value we attach to possessions and status is misplaced. Possessions are not the key to happiness, and they may hurt more than they help. Another quote from him I like the most is, “That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.” The one who enjoys the simplest things in life, is the richest person. Yes, you don’t need the most expensive things to be happy, but if you think that way, you are very poor.
This reminds me of the story of a man who had a lot of money but still not really happy. He decided to buy a much bigger house which would complete his happiness, soon enough, that happiness faded. He bought another more expensive yatch, and soon enough yet again, the happiness faded. Finally, an idea crossed his mind to donate wheelchairs to the kids who had lost their legs in a war in Bosnia. He got into the chopper with his friend and off they went. They started handing out these wheelchairs, one at a time to these kids. Just before they finished, one boy held his hand tight with tears in his eyes and he wouldn’t let go. When asked why he was doing this, he said, “I want to look at your face long enough, to see it well so that I can recognize it in heaven for me to thank you again.” These words got this man down on his knees and was in tears, he felt the joy he had never felt before. That was a turning point of his life, since then, he became a serious philanthropist and lived joyfully.
I am sharing this story to show that joy is not always in receiving but in sharing what you have especially with the less fortunate. For me,Veli Ndaba, I get so much joy in inspiring and empowering you every week without fail, I committed to that. What have you committed your life to in making this world a better place?
Yes, when you succeed, you party. When you fail though, you ponder. All greatness comes from pondering. You must use your force of will to fix your weakest part. You don’t want to build your career on your weakest part but on your strengths. You begin to invest in yourself, study the wisest people, watch YouTube videos of the smart people, and surround yourself with people who are ten to twenty years ahead of you and with more knowledge than you have. That creates the precision, the skill.
Finally, commit to excellence. The reason most of us go through life never discovering our true greatness is the lack of commitment. The uncommitted life isn’t worth living, why? Because it doesn’t produce anything!
Commitment is an interesting thing. That when we put ourselves in a situation where we say we’re going to do it, it puts you in another zone where the universe responds to you. When you have that kind of consciousness, you’ll see and experience that the universe responds to the man or woman that refuses to be denied. Yes, you may be feeling down and out right now, feeling hopeless but I would like you to say these words, “From The Ashes, I Rise!” I wish you a happy 2020.
Veli Ndaba is a Professional and Motivational Speaker, Life-Coach and Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner, Author of three books (You Are Born to Win, Your Dream is Calling You and SWITCH ON!), Newspaper Columnist and Entrepreneur. To book him to speak at your next event or to help you and your team unleash your greatness, contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org , www.velindaba.com or +27 83 304 9773