I Will What I Want

I will work hard for what I want. I will never give up.

Take a chance, no fear, be bold

Gurbaksh Chahal once said that people will always tell you that you can’t. All you have to do is just smile and say “watch me”.

This is something that is close to home for me. A lot of people who are close to me have always said that I cannot do, accomplish, complete, or change certain things.

During high school, I always heard that I am doing too many things and that I am going to burn out. Well, I wanted to do those things and I was determined to be successful. And I was.

In my early 20’s, I constantly heard that I will never be somebody and never get my degree. Well, that just made me work even harder. Today I am living on my own, I have a job, and I did, of course, get my degree.

People will always try to put uncertainty in your mind or heart about the things that you want to accomplish. But there is something that you should remember – no matter what anybody says, if you really want to do something, you can!

 “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t. You are right!” – Henry Ford

I found an advertisement for an American sports brand Under Armour. The company recruited a ballerina named Misty Copeland to be the face of their new slogan: “I Will What I Want”.

Even if you just analyse the slogan, you will see that the meaning behind these word are similar to what I have been babbling about. If you have the willpower to do what you want, then you will. Have a look at the amazingly inspiring ad campaign:

Misty Copeland grew up in a dysfunctional family and faced the hardships of poverty. She wanted to become a ballerina at the age of 13, but most girls started to train between the ages of three and five. Everything seemed to be against her dream, but for her – “will trumps fate”!

Against all odds, she became the first African-American woman in 20 years to be named a soloist in the American Ballet Theatre. Misty learned a very valuable lesson at a young age: If you are determined enough, you can achieve what you want – no matter how difficult it may seem.

 “Where there is a will, there is a way.” – Old English Proverb

We should remember the story of Misty Copeland who defied fate and achieved greatness – against all odds.

There are countless stories of other people who also believed in themselves and found the willpower to achieve what they set out to accomplish.  J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, said that anything is possible, if you have enough nerve. Those words amaze and inspire me every day.

Each and every one of us can be the person we want to be, because the power lies within us!

Students of College SA, you have the ability to achieve greatness. You have the ability to be the very best that you can be!

Mahatma-Gandhi-Wallpaper-with-Quote-on-Strength-and-Will-power

Attitude is Everything

“Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it temporary.” – Marilyn Vos Savant

It is 02:00 in the morning and you are awake. Not because you have been to a party, not because you are looking after one of your sick kids, and not because you felt like watching a movie. No, you are awake because you still have so much work to get done! It might be school work, an assignment, a test you are studying for, or something that your boss needs first thing in the morning. In my case, it is work.

Like many things in life, something went wrong, and I lost some of my work on my computer. After much frustration, tears and emotional eating, I started to redo my work that I have already done…

This just made me think about how we react to bad situations. There is absolutely no point in getting so stressed out, anxious and emotional about something that we have no control over. So why do we put ourselves through all this unnecessary frustration? I literally feel as if I have gained 10kg in a day from all my emotional eating, and that just leads to more stress!

Positive Attitude, Attitude is everything

 

Unfortunate or bad things happen all the time. It does not matter if it is work-related, study-related, or personal. We must learn how to manage unforeseen situations. Instead of reacting in a bad way that you will only regret later, do the following:

  1. Take a deep breath.
  2. If you feel that you have to cry, ask yourself this: Are the red swollen eyes and headache really worth it?
  3. If you feel any negative emotion, remind yourself that it won’t change anything – therefore it is not worth it.
  4. Then take another deep breath.
  5. Calm yourself and make a cup of tea or drink a glass of water.
  6. Take a short break to collect your thoughts.
  7. Remind yourself that this is not the end of the world – it is only temporary.
  8. Tell yourself the sooner you get started, the sooner your nightmare will be over.

Nothing helps more than to stay level-headed and to face your dilemma head on. It is so easy to get upset and waste valuable time. Therefore, next time you forget about an assignment, feel that you do not have enough time to study, your kids are sick, or you are late for work – do not lose sleep over it. Do not let it ruin more than it already has.

It is important that we teach ourselves that we are more in control than we think. We might not have control over what happens, but we can choose how we react to it. A good attitude is a characteristic that we all should strive for – myself included!

 

“The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his LIFE by altering his attitude.” – William James

 

PS – Also remember that College SA has a team of wonderful, friendly Tutors that will help and support you through any study-related problems – so don’t stress!

Social media detox

“Distracted from distraction by distraction” T.S. Eliot

Living in the era of technology and the social media craze makes it difficult to see things clearly, and to get the right perspective on your own life. We see ourselves through the lens of society, and we constantly strive to deliver what we think people expect of us.

I am one who is guilty of this. My mind was so clouded that I decided to go on a social media diet. Initially, it was supposed to last a week… but temptation came and triumphed! So my diet only lasted four days. Nevertheless, I experienced something totally noteworthy.

This is what my social media diet entailed:

Instead of checking my Facebook account before I went to bed, I read a book. Instead of following someone on Twitter, I listened to music while cooking myself a proper meal. Instead of browsing through photos on Pinterest or Instagram, I actually sat outside and drank a cup of tea.

This was when I realised that I felt less anxious and worried. I did not feel that I have to live up to anyone’s expectations at that moment in time. I could just be me, and let my mind wander. My thoughts were less cluttered. The sense of urgency to get back inside and read status updates about how someone else was feeling or what they were eating was gone.

I sipped my warm lemon tea, felt the crisp air on my face, and for the first time in weeks, I heard the birds sing. This is not because birds were not singing before – I just did not hear them, as I was always so preoccupied!

Now this break from social media is becoming a metaphor about life – or life as we experience it in a technology-driven day. Does it not make you think of how many beautiful and interesting people, scenarios, or opportunities just pass us by because our attention is focused on things that REALLY do not matter at all?

Don’t get me wrong, I love social media and always will. It has a lot of positive aspects and inspirational stories. But I realised that there is a time and place for everything. You won’t go to work in your pyjamas, take vodka to an AA meeting, or buy a stuffed toy for a guy that turns 40 (well, probably not!).

No, that is why I will stop tweeting during conversations, or logging in to Facebook as soon as I wake up. Instead, I will actively decide to live in the moment that has been given to me, and completely absorb that given moment in time.

If you dare, try the social media diet. Even if it also just lasts a couple of days. Your eyes will be opened to so much more, and you will actually have time to do the things that you always felt you did not have the time for, such as taking up a course, perhaps.

I am back online, but I am back with a new perspective. I will even go as far as saying that I have a new outlook on life.

We do not need to conform – we can liberate ourselves. Be original, be yourself, and be free!

Shift your focus

It’s completely normal to feel lost and unbalanced every now and then – especially when we have too much on our minds. Most of the time, we become so consumed with our thoughts, that we lose sight of (and forget to focus on) what is actually important to us. I know I’ve made that mistake one too many times. But life is about lessons, right? If we are not learning something every day, then what are we doing with our time?

Like anything in life, we need to redirect our thoughts into the light – especially when it comes to studying. Focusing on the negative things in life will never generate any positivity. For example, focusing on the fact that your exam is going to be difficult will not make it any easier. Instead, you should try to focus on getting through the work so that you are well prepared for the exam.

Your focus determines your reality

Browsing through some inspirational stories for this blog post, I came across one story where a coach was able to motivate his team to win a game by encouraging them to change their focus:

“If you were to place two planks across the floor and ask 10 of your friends to walk over to the other side of the room, it would be easy, because their focus would be on walking to get to the other side. But if you put those same two planks 10 stories high between two buildings, only a few would make it, because the focus would be on falling.”

That story is a clear example of the phrase “focus is everything”! We need to imagine the light, and think about how that desired outcome will feel. Once we are able to do that, we can summon that feeling into the moment and focus on it. This might just create the reality that we all seek.

Focus

We need to create healthy thought-processes for ourselves, because focusing our attention on a problem will only amplify it.

Do you have any suggestions for staying positive and improving focus? Share your ideas with us by leaving a comment in the box below:

A tablespoon of fun with a side serving of meaning

Whenever I look for a “wow” status to post on Facebook, (oh, the pressures of social media…) the first person I turn to is Dr Seuss. I know that his quotes are sometimes nonsensical, but I prefer to think of them as a tablespoon of fun with a side serving of meaning.

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.

I was watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy the other day, and the extremely attractive Dr Jackson Avery provided a good example of how Dr Seuss’s stories can be applied in real life situations. Let me offer you some background before I continue.

Grey’s Anatomy, Season 6, Episode 18:

Dr Derek Shepherd (often referred to as McDreamy), who is now Chief of Surgery, hasn’t operated in months, because he has had to deal with so many other things – like paperwork, meetings and other “boss duties”.

Meredith (McDreamy’s wife) has just been told that she will be assisting the stand-in doctor with a very complicated surgery. Meredith is so excited, because only 4th year students usually get to assist with such surgeries, and yet she was chosen.

Long story short – McDreamy decides to do the surgery himself, and chooses a more senior doctor to assist. Let’s just say that Meredith was not happy…

But in comes blue–eyed beauty, Dr Jackson Avery, who gives Meredith a piece of advice that he learnt from Dr Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas:

“Well, the key is to think of yourself as one of the Whos down in Whoville… You know, when the Grinch came down and stole all their presents, they didn’t let that ruin Christmas for them. You know? Instead they came out on Christmas morning, and they sang. You’re gonna go into that surgery and you’re gonna sing. Sing, Cindy Lou, sing!”

Hearing that, I realised that Dr Seuss is like Ghandi, Deepak Chopra and Oprah, but for the tiny humans (children).

With different lessons in each of his fun-filled stories, Dr Seuss teaches us:

  • How to use our imaginations
  • The importance of the environment
  • The importance of keeping an open mind

We are all a little weird and life's a little weird

And these are just a few of Dr Seuss’s life lessons. So whenever you are looking for a tablespoon of fun with a side serving of meaning, turn to Dr Seuss.

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr Seuss

Life Lessons from Charlie Chaplin

One of the most inspirational books I’ve ever read is Charlie Chaplin’s autobiography. I thought it was funny, well-written, touching, thought-provoking and interesting (all the qualities a good book should have).

Charlie Chaplin

Now, initially, I read this book only because I’m something of a film geek. But after finishing it, I realised just how truly inspirational and profound his story actually is.

Before I go on to any inspirational life lessons or anything I first need to say something: For those of you who’ve never seen a Charlie Chaplin movie, you are missing out on something amazing! So for your filmic education, I’ve put up a little video, just so you can see what he was like on the silver screen:

Even if this was your first induction into his acting, I’m sure you already knew who Charlie Chaplin was, or you at least recognised his face (the little bowler hat and toothbrush moustache), right? His iconic features are still recognised worldwide today, yet not many people actually know his story, or even what it was that made him famous.

Charlie Chaplin was celebrated for his pioneering silent comedies. He was not only one of the biggest Hollywood stars of his time (Walt Disney even admitted that Mickey Mouse was inspired by him), but he was something of a genius! Chaplin wrote, directed, starred in, and created the musical scores for his movies. He is now regarded by many as one of the great masters of early cinema.

Charlie Chaplin was born on 16 April 1889 in England. He was not born into fame and fortune – quite the opposite, in fact. According to David Robinson, Chaplin’s life story is “the most dramatic of all the rags to riches stories ever told”.

I am what I am: an individual, unique and different, with a lineal history of an ancestral promptings and urgings, a history of dreams, desires, and of special experiences, all of which I am the sum total.

Charlie Chaplin grew up in complete poverty, spending his childhood in the slums of early 20th century London. In his autobiography, he writes with deep feeling about the child-labour workhouses, about how he and his brother often went days without eating, and how they had to fend for themselves most of their lives due to his father’s absence and his mother’s mental illness. They led a “forlorn existence”, writes Charlie.

Reflecting on this part of his story, I’m not sure whether it is fitting or ironic that the character that finally made him famous was a poor little man, down and out on his luck. The Charlie Chaplin most people know is in fact his screen persona called ‘The Little Tramp’, a poor workless vagabond that gets into all kinds of mischief.

But let’s get back to his real life story.

Trying to make extra money for him and his brother, the young Charlie started performing at a local theatre in London, and it was here that his momentous journey began. “In this desperate way,” writes Chaplin, “I started many a comedy”.

Chaplin worked hard and was particularly talented at entertaining crowds. He eventually became part of an English theatre troupe that went to tour the United States in 1912. By the end of 1915, Chaplin was the most famous person in the entire world, and in 1918, he signed one of the first million dollar contracts in the history of Hollywood!

His autobiography is one of triumph over adversity, of the strength of the human spirit. It is a story of dreaming, and realising those dreams despite harsh circumstances. I think this is something that a lot of us in South Africa can relate to.

We live in a country stricken by poverty, high unemployment, and many other social and economical obstacles that stand in the way of success. But this is also a country of opportunity and potential! And this is what College SA is all about:

Giving South Africans an opportunity to realise their potential.

 

We offer affordable, easily accessible and quality education, because we believe that who you are and where you start your journey shouldn’t keep you from realising your dreams! Everyone and anyone can have a Charlie Chaplin success story of their own, and we want to be a part of yours.

Life is a beautiful, magnificent thing, even to a jellyfish...

If you want to start studying today, all you have to do is give us a call, and we’ll do everything we can to help you on your personal Charlie Chaplin journey.