Thursday, June 19, 2014

20 Hard Things You Need to Do to Be Happy


1.You need to take small chances every day. – It’s the best way to face any problem, crush every fear and overcome life’s greatest challenges. And you get just about as many chances in life as you’re willing to take. So never let your fear decide your future. Take small chances every day, one step at a time. Some will work out and some won’t. But good choices or bad, if you never take these chances, someone else will build your life for you. And you don’t want that.

2.You need to worry less about what other people think of you. – A beautiful life is about spending your time passionately, being happy with who you are inside, and not worrying about everyone’s petty judgments. If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for everyone’s approval. You don’t need anyone’s approval to be happy or to follow your heart.

3.You need to ignore what everyone else is doing and achieving. – Your life is about breaking your own limits and outgrowing yourself to live YOUR best life. You are not in competition with anyone else; plan to outdo your past, not other people.

4.You need to invest in yourself even when no one else is. – Truth be told, there are only a few people in this world who will stay 100% true to you, and YOU should be one of them. Prioritize your own needs into your daily to-do’s. Invest in your education, health and happiness every single day. Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside to everyone else.

5.You need to walk the talk. – Do not ask others or the universe to guide your footsteps if you’re not willing to move your feet. If you really want it, prove it! Happiness will come to you when it comes from you. Success will be yours when you take responsibility for making your goals a top priority.

6.You need to put your heart into your work. – Love is a verb. Act on it. Put your heart into goals that move you. Work hard. In the end, love is what makes you smile when you’re tired and still struggling.

7.You need to deliver results, even when making excuses is easier. – NO shortcuts. NO quick fixes. NO blaming others. NO “I’ll do it tomorrows.” NO MORE EXCUSES! Just get started. Quit talking and begin doing! Laziness may appear attractive, but work leads to happiness.

8.You need to make mistakes and look like a fool sometimes. – Quite often, the successful people who act the happiest are the ones who have overcome the most. Sometimes you have to lose something precious in order to gain something priceless. Never regret your past mistakes and failures, because they have given you strength. The one who falls and gets up is much stronger than the one who never fell.

9.You need to let go of yesterday’s struggles. – The story of your life has many chapters. One bad chapter doesn’t mean it’s the end. So stop re-reading the bad one already and turn the page. Accept what is, let go of what was and have faith in what could be. Remember, life does not have to be anywhere near perfect to be wonderful in the end.

10.You need to refrain from feeling sorry for yourself. – To those who are struggling, I understand how rough things are right now. I just want to let you know that things will get better, I promise. Keep pushing forward. I know you feel like nobody really cares, but you’re wrong. People care. I care, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this. You’re not alone. We may be miles apart, but we’re all going through similar challenges. Realize that self-pity is not helpful. Life is not about feeling sorry for yourself. It’s about forgiveness, acceptance and looking forward to what makes you stronger and better off in the long run.

11.You need to toughen up. – The strongest, happiest, most successful people are NOT those who always win, but those who don’t give up when they lose. They fail forward. So keep calm when everything seems to be going wrong. You may feel weak, but your spirit is strong. When things are tough, you must be tougher. Don’t pray for an easy life; pray for the strength to endure a hard one that leads to long-term success and happiness.

12.You need to fight hard for what you believe in. – Great strength comes from overcoming what others believe is impossible. And sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war. So if you believe strongly in something, fight for it. In time things will fall into place… maybe not today, but eventually… maybe not exactly how you planned, just how it’s meant to be.

13.You need to be patient. – Don’t rush it. Practice patience. Keep a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in. When the time is right, it’ll happen.

14.You need to take control of your thoughts before they take control of you. –It’s often our own thinking that hurts us. Realize this. You can’t solve your problems with the same thinking you used to create them. There’s no reason to imprison yourself. Don’t think outside the box. Think like there is no box.

15.You need to be positive. – Happiness is in the heart and mind, not in random circumstances. Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from negative thinking. Be positive and smile right now, not because everything is good, but because you can see the good side of everything. Smiling doesn’t always mean you’re happy; sometimes it simply means you’re strong. And smiling will help you feel better.

16.You need to spend more time with the right people. – And if you know the people around you aren’t the right people, you need to change the people around you. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Don’t expect to see positive changes in your life if you surround yourself with negative people. Don’t give part-time people a full-time position in your life. Know your value and what you have to offer, and never settle for relationships that always bring you down.

17.You need to stand up for yourself. – Some people will do anything for their own personal gain at the expense of others – cut in line, take money and property, bully and belittle, pass guilt, etc. Do not accept this behavior. Do not let people walk all over you. Most of these people know they’re doing the wrong thing and will back down and apologize surprisingly quickly when confronted. In most social settings people tend to keep quiet until one person speaks up, so SPEAK UP.

18.You need to forgive everyone who has wronged you. – Kindness is not to be mistaken for weakness, nor forgiveness for acceptance. It’s about knowing that resentment is not on the path to happiness. Remember, you don’t forgive people because you’re weak. You forgive them because you’re strong enough to know that people make mistakes.

19.You need to reach out and help people. – The closest thing to being cared for is to care for others. We are all in this together and we should treat each other as such. Your beliefs alone don’t make you a better person, your behavior does. Use your voice for kindness, your ears for compassion, and your hands for charity, always. You don’t need a reason to help someone else.

20.You need to be present enough to enjoy your journey. – Find your balance between planning and presence. When life is good, enjoy it. Don’t go looking for something better every second. Happiness never comes to those who don’t appreciate what they have. You must be willing to loosen your grip on the life you have planned so you can enjoy the life that is waiting for you in this moment. It may not be everything you want for your future, but it’s everything you need right now.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

2014 WORLD CUP: PERMUTATIONS, PREDICTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS


As the days swiftly snowballs into hours, the anticipation and excitement of what the FIFA World Cup holds is getting to a crescendo level. For a month, the eyes of the world will be fixed on Brazil; a fitting spectacle to occupy our gaze in a season of terrible national news events and sad global happenings. The issues surrounding the preparedness of some of the Brazilian stadiums might have taken center stage in recent times; however, there is the knowing that all will be set by June 12th when Brazil and Croatia take to the field. Indeed, while it is also true that a lot of public funds have gone into the planning and organization of football’s biggest event, it does not justify the undue unrest and protests that is threatening the event. Trends have showed that the economic gains that come with hosting the FIFA world cup cannot be overemphasized. If you are ever in doubt, ask South Africa and Germany. In addition, it has been said and not without reason that once the first ball is kicked by Brazil at the world cup, the protesters will be forced to forsake their placards.


At times like this, the bookmakers have conjured their crystal balls, and the permutations over who will win the world cup have begun. Without mincing words, host Brazil are firm favorites for the trophy. After a display that reignited the Samba era at the Confederations Cup, it will be foolhardy to dismiss the Brazilians. Wonder boy, Neymar, has been the crux of this new era of Samba rekindling. The superstar is always a different animal when he is on the yellow stripes of the national team. The disparities in his performances when he plays for Brazil and Barcelona, is a case of how much a player can perform in an ideal habitat. While a bulk of the smart money will be on Brazil, no one will ever write off the holders, Spain. The detractors will argue that the current Spanish team is currently ageing, and with Casillas, Xavi, Alonso and Torres in their last legs, this might not be a great outing for the champions. Having said that, with a new era of emerging stars like Diego Costa, David De Gea and Cazorla, the Spaniards will still be out to make a case. Germany and Argentina also completes the quadruple of ‘first favorites’ for the trophy. For Portugal and Holland, they make up a duo of nations with outstanding potentials that they might have a big say in Brazil. As expected, the eyes of the world will be on the planet’s top two players, C.Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. While the former had an incredible season with Real Madrid, the latter was left to reflect on a subdued season by his own very high standards. The aspirations of the Argentinean team will be hinged on the shoulders of Messi. He surely has something to prove. For C.Ronaldo, it is a case to show that he can replicate what Luis Figo was in the Portuguese team. The fans demands that he translate the same gusto and uncanny ability that has made him a monster in club football into national team fortunes. Yet, it must be mentioned that his fitness is also a point that will play a pivotal factor.


Touted as the unsung giant killers, Belgium has emerged as a team to watch out for not just in Brazil, but in future tournaments. A generation of young amazing talents including the mercurial Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Maroune Fellani, Thibaut Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Thomas Vermaelen, and the gifted Axel Witsel, has made Belgians to start dreaming again. Coached by Marc Wilmots, a lot will be looking at this incredible generation to be the spoilers at the party. The expectations on the Belgians might be too inflated, but we all have a feeling that will put up a great showing at the world cup.

Africa provides another interesting piece of the spectacle. Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Algeria and Cameroon are the continent’s hope. Cameroon has to navigate through a group that has the host, Brazil, Mexico and Croatia. That’s a tough ask by every sense of the word. Ghana undoubtedly has the deadliest fate among the five. To play in a group that has Germany, Portugal and the United States is certainly a notch above ‘Group of Death’. It is a torment pool. However, it is football and with this bloody old game of ours, nothing is cast in stone.

Nigeria also provides an interesting prospect. Led by the imperious coach Stephen Keshi, the Nigerian team is capable of anything if they play to the potential we know they are capable of. To his credit, Keshi has not assembled a team of superstars, but a 23-man list that is built around ethics, hard work, teamwork and drive. In a nation where expectations of the national team are always skyrocketed, one wonders what the Super Eagles fans will accept as success at the world cup.

Whatever the permutations might be, football fans are certain to have a fantasy experience that cannot be gainsaid. It will be 32 days of football made in heaven and we are certain that at the end of the festivities, when all is said and done, when the dust must have settled, when push has come to shove, the best team of the 32 will be crowned champions. For us, we say, WE ARE BRAZIL! BRING IT ON!!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

10 Forgotten Truths to Help You Get Through Hard Times


1. Pain is part of life and love, and it helps you grow.
So many of us are afraid of ourselves, of our own truth, and our feelings most of all. We talk about how great the concepts of life and love are, but then we hide from both every day. We hide from our truest feelings. Because the truth is life and love hurt sometimes, and the feelings this brings disturbs us.

We are taught at an early age that all pain is evil and harmful. Yet, how can we ever deal with real life and true love if we’re afraid to feel what we really feel? We need to feel pain, just as we need to feel alive and loved. Pain is meant to wake us up. Yet we try to hide our pain. Realize this. Pain is something to carry willingly, just like good sense. Because you can only learn how strong you are when being strong is the only choice you have.

It’s all in how you carry the things that don’t go your way. That’s what matters in the end. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you – your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting the lies of insecurity destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel pain – to endure it – to own your scars – to deal with the realities of life and love, as you grow into the strongest, wisest, truest version of yourself.

2. Mindset is half the battle.
It’s okay to have down days and tough times. Expecting life to be wonderful all the time is wanting to swim in an ocean in which waves only rise up and never come crashing down. However, when you recognize that the rising and crashing waves are part of the exact same ocean, you are able to let go and be at peace with the reality of these ups and downs. It becomes clear that life’s ups require life’s downs.

In other words, life isn’t perfect, but it sure is good. Our goal shouldn’t be to create a perfect life, but to live an imperfect life in radical amazement. To get up every morning and take a good look around in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is extraordinary. Every day is a gift. Never treat life casually. To be spiritual in any way is to be amazed in every way.

Do not let the pain of a situation make you hopeless. Do not let negativity wear off on you. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Even though others may disagree with you, take pride in the fact that you still know the world to be a beautiful place. Change your thoughts and you change your reality.

And mindset is especially powerful when it comes to accepting that…

3. Your biggest fears don’t really exist.
When times are hard it can be difficult to follow your heart and take another step, but it’s a tragedy to let the lies of fear stop you. Although fear can feel overwhelming, and defeats more people than any other force in the world, it’s not as powerful as it seems. Fear is only as deep as your mind allows. You are still in control. So take control!

The key is to acknowledge your fear and directly address it. Fight hard to shine the light of your words upon it. Because if you don’t, if your fear becomes a wordless, obscure darkness that you avoid, and perhaps even manage to briefly forget, you open yourself to future attacks from fear when you least expect it. Because you never truly faced the opponent who defeated you.

You CAN beat fear if you face it. Be courageous! And remember that courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid; courage means you don’t let fear stop you from moving forward with your life.

4. You are growing through experience.
Over time you will find that life isn’t necessarily any easier or harder than you thought it was going to be; it’s just that the easy and the hard aren’t exactly the way you had anticipated, and don’t always occur when you expect them to. This isn’t a bad thing; it makes life interesting. With a positive attitude you will always be pleasantly surprised.

When you stop expecting things to be a certain way, you can appreciate them for what they are. Ultimately you will realize that life’s greatest gifts are rarely wrapped the way you expected.

Experience is what you get when your plans don’t go as planned, and experience is the most valuable commodity you own – it builds your strength.

You have the power to turn your wounds and worries into wisdom; you just have to do something about them. You have to accept what has happened and use what you’ve learned to step forward. Everything you’ve experienced has given you the upper hand for dealing with everything you have yet to experience. Realize this and set yourself free.

5. You can’t change situations you don’t take responsibility for.
Sigmund Freud once said, “Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” Don’t let this be you. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you surrender power over that part of your life.

Make no mistake, in the end, the price of happiness IS responsibility. As soon as you stop making everyone and everything else responsible for your happiness, the happier you’ll be. If you’re unhappy now, it’s not someone else’s fault.

Ultimately, your happiness depends on your self-reliance – your unshakable willingness to take responsibility for your life from this moment forward, regardless of who had a hand in making it the way it is now. It’s about taking control of your present circumstances, thinking for yourself, and making a firm choice to choose differently. It’s about being the hero of your life, not the victim.


6. The present is all you really have to deal with.
Life is not lived in some distant, imagined land of someday where everything is perfect. It is lived here and now, with the reality of the way things are. Yes, by all means you can work toward an idealized tomorrow. Yet to do so, you must successfully deal with the world as it is today.

Sometimes we avoid experiencing exactly where we are because we have developed a belief, based on past experiences, that it is not where we should be or want to be. But the truth is, where you are now is exactly where you need to be to get to where you want to go tomorrow. So appreciate where you are.

Your friends and family are too beautiful to ignore. Take a moment to remember how fortunate you are to be breathing. Take a look around, with your eyes earnestly open to the possibilities before you. Much of what you fear does not exist. Much of what you love is closer than you realize. You are just one brief thought away from understanding the blessing that is your life.

Happiness is a mindset that can only be designed into the present. It’s not a point in the future or a moment from the past; yet sadly, this misconception hurts the masses. So many young people seem to think all their happiness awaits them in the years ahead, while so many older people believe their best moments are behind them. Don’t be either of them. Don’t let the past and the future steal your present.

7. There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.
Life is better when you’re smiling. Being positive in a negative situation is not naive; it’s a sign of leadership and strength. You’re doing it right when you have so much to cry and complain about, but you prefer to smile and appreciate your life instead.

What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you were thankful for today?

Think of all the beauty that remains around you, see it and smile. Be thankful for all the small things in your life, because when you put them all together you will see just how significant they are. At the end of the day, it’s not happiness that makes us thankful, but thankfulness that makes us happy.

8. Great things take time.
Instant results are rarely the best results. With patience, you can greatly expand your potential. If your desires were always fulfilled immediately, you would have nothing to look forward to. You would miss out on the joys of anticipation and progress.

Remember, patience is not about waiting; it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in. It’s the willingness to stay focused, confidently staking one small step at a time, knowing that the way you move a mountain is by moving one stone at a time. Every stone you move, no matter how small, is progress.

Bottom line: You deserve more than mere instant gratification. Value that arrives in an instant is often gone in an instant. Value that takes time and commitment to create often outlives its creator – YOU.

9. Other people cannot validate you.
When we’re struggling to achieve something important, sometimes we look to others to validate our progress. But the truth is, they can’t…

You are not in this world to live up to the expectations of others, nor should you feel that others are here to live up to yours. Pave your own unique path. What success means to each of us is totally different. Success is ultimately about spending your life happily in your own way.

You don’t have to be flashy to be impressive. You don’t have to be famous to be significant. You don’t have to be a celebrity to be successful. You don’t need to be validated by anyone else. You are already valuable. You just need to believe in yourself and what you wish to achieve.

You can be quietly humble and still be amazingly effective. Just because people don’t fall at your feet and worship you, doesn’t mean you are a failure. Quiet success is just as sweet as loud, flamboyant success, and usually far more real. Success is how you define it, not what everyone else says it must be for you.

10. You are not alone.
In the midst of hard times, it’s easy to look around and see a bunch of people who seem to be doing just fine. But they’re not. We’re all struggling in our own way. And if we could just be brave enough to open up about it, and talk to each other, we’d realize that we are not alone in feeling lost and alone.

So many of us are fighting the same exact battle alongside you. We are all in this together. So no matter how embarrassed or pathetic you feel about your own situation, know that there are others out there experiencing the same emotions. When you hear yourself say, “I am all alone,” it’s just your worried mind trying to sell you a lie. There’s always someone who can relate to you. Perhaps you can’t immediately talk to them, but they are out there.

If you’re feeling desperate right now, hear me: I often feel and think and struggle much like you do. I care about many of the things you care about, just in my own way. And although some people do not understand us, we understand each other. YOU are not alone!