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Is Your Life A Warning Or An Example?

“Your life, my life, the life of each one of us is going to serve as either a warning or an example. A warning of the consequences of neglect, self-pity, lack of direction and ambition… or an example of talent put to use, of discipline self-imposed, and of objectives clearly perceived and intensely pursued.” Jim Rohn

Whether you like or not, your life will either serve as a warning of what happens when a person uses their heavy weight time on light weight activities, mediocrity, wastage and living an almost life. An almost life is like a tree that had all the roots, branches and leaves but never bore fruit. This tree had the potential that other trees that bore fruits had. It was exposed to the sun, light, dark, wind and other nutrients like other trees but never rose up to the occasion. You know, having the power without you knowing you have it, is as good as not having it.

Whenever I deliver my talks, I always emphasize the fact that greatness is never forced upon a person, it is a personal and deliberate choice. This choice is fully dependent on how you see yourself in your mind. How you see yourself – positively or negatively, determines your level of achievement in life. Whenever you fall, how you see yourself will determine whether you’ll bounce back or stay down. It is this staying down or bouncing back attitude towards life that ultimately determines whether your life gets used either as a warning or an example.

Now, what attitude do you need to have and continually develop for your life to be used as an example of a life well lived? For me, once again, Jim Rohn helped me develop this winner’s mindset by these words: “Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others argue over non-essentials, but not you. Deal in things that matter, the larger challenges, the larger opportunities.” Oh my goodness! This truly set my soul on fire! I love these words.
Muhammad Ali further helped me intensify this power by saying, “You do not lose by getting knocked down, you lose if you stay down.” No one is immune from the knocks of life, getting knocked down from time to time is part of the package and it shouldn’t be taken personally. So, the problem is not getting knocked down, but staying down whenever you get knocked down and wasting time feeling sorry for yourself and feeling embarrassed to pick yourself back up!

If you lack ambition, direction, drown yourself in self-pity whenever life knocks you down, have no daring goals, neglect your health, gifts and talents, your life will definitely be used by the world as a warning of how not to be and of how not life is supposed to be lived. It will be used as a warning to scare people, especially the young ones, to take care of themselves by not falling on your misleading and very bad footsteps.
On the other hand, for you to be able to rise above the fear and odds that are stacked against you, you have to keep the main thing, the main thing. You’ll have to understand that when you have a goal and dream that you want to achieve, there’ll be interruptions and that things you couldn’t anticipate will happen. The most important thing is to discipline yourself to keep the main thing, the main thing. When you have developed this winner’s mindset, you get concerned by the happenings but not consumed by them, No! You notice and acknowledge them for what they are but you don’t get sucked in by them.

Having clearly defined and ambitious goals that challenge you to grow and make you dig deeper within yourself to help you develop stubbornness and resilience that make you say, “I did not come this far to only come this far! I didn’t come this far to stop in front of this mountain and be intimidated by it, NO! I came this far to climb it and get on top of it!” This is the attitude I’m talking about! This is how your life gets used as an example of a disciplined and well-lived life.

For me Veli Ndaba, changing careers from engineering and manufacturing to speaking, coaching, consulting and as an author didn’t come easy. I got knocked down a number of times, but my stubbornness, resilience and hunger for a new and better life kept me throwing punches even above my weight. Starting a company wasn’t easy. Later on, starting Sekusile Conference & Meeting Venues wasn’t easy but because of my fighting spirit, they’re in existence today. Authoring four books wasn’t easy, but I did it. You see, it’s all about how you see yourself in your mind – your self-image. Pride, not ego, helps you disassociates yourself from mediocrity. It is this pride that helps you develop mental fortitude and stubbornness to fight for that which you know deep down within yourself you deserve.

Our lives, yours and mine, are meant to be a survival guide to those who are on the brink of giving up. Let your life be a good example that people will use in their moments of weakness to hold onto in order to bring themselves up when life brutally knocks them down. Flatly refuse to have your life used as a warning of the consequences of neglect, self-pity, lack of direction and ambition, potential that was never realised and a gift that was never expressed. You have power beyond your imagination, unleash it!

Veli Ndaba is a Professional and Motivational Speaker, Life-Coach and Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner, Author of four books (You Are Born to Win, Your Dream is Calling You and SWITCH ON! And Set Your Soul On Fire!), 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, or +27 83 304 9773