It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfilment, it is in the happiness of pursuit
- Denis Waitley
I just finished reading a prison memoir. It was ghastly. A good reminder on why crime never pays. What did strike me most of all about that memoir was how men (and women) sentenced to lengthy terms in a confined hell of a place can actually survive and come out alive.
These men and women accepted that they had committed crimes, were in a less than ideal place and that they weren't leaving in a looong time. The survivors were not the hardened ones, no. The survivors were the ones who opted to see the opportunity in every challenge they faced in prison - the ones who stopped whining and started injecting good in every day spent on lock down. The one's who quit focussing on the release date and instead focused on 'this new life' behind bars. That was their trick to make the days go by faster than usual.
That book got me thinking. Ever feel life is a mini prison? How about your job? Or your hustle? Or your family? Or even your self? It happens to us at one point or another. That feeling that we're trapped. Unfortunately most of us go about this feeling with our heads low, dragging our feet into the week, accepting negative talk, embracing stereotypes and jealously pointing at the other guys while enviously asking, 'Why do they have it so much better than me?' . It happens. Ironically, one of the sources of this frustration is the 'pie in the sky' mindset; you know, spending everyday waiting for Prince Charming, that big break, the big job promotion or the right President to be elected. The harsh fact is if that's what you're waiting on, you're quite frankly screwed.
While it's good to hope, to dream, to aspire, our waking days and living hours should be focussed on living in the present. Our minds can wander but the reality is we have to ask of ourselves, what am I doing about my dream today? Learn to appreciate each day and add some value of some sort into the day. It doesn't matter if you're broke - take a walk, go to the bookstore and just browse titles, research on your business, tweet something, read a book, meet a good friend - live!
If someone can make the best possible situation of a jail term how much more you who's out here and free? The only real prison that exists is our mind but the beauty is that we're both prisoner and warden.
Choose to think right today and make that your lifestyle. Don't wake up looking for happy stuff. That will happen along the way once you actively get off your sofa, bed or La-Z-Boy and start interacting positively with other human beings.
The author, Jan Okonji is an entrepreneur, speaker, coach, and Founder of the Pan-African accelerator BGS – Business Growth Solutions.
Jan is passionate about helping employees transition safely into entrepreneurship whilst turning their great ideas into profitable businesses and has helped entrepreneurs collectively grow their revenue to over $ 10 Million in the course of running BGS.
Get in touch with him and book a personal session HERE