Is there a magic formula for success?
If you are like me, I am sure you have sourced the web, signed up for endless webinars promising you the earth or downloaded eBooks and ecourses guaranteed to help you find the missing link in your business and propel you to untold heights. In this post I would like to share with you five life lessons my parents taught me which help me keep my dreams alive, even through hard times.
My Parent’s Didnt Have Much
I like to see myself as an optimist and will give anyone the benefit of the doubt. Who am I to say your idea, your programme won’t work? When I look at my parent ‘s life and see what they have achieved I am humbled.
My parents didn’t have a credit card or the option of interest free loans or the ubiquitous buy –now- pay later option, they didn’t have the luxury of internet gurus, spiritual teachers, or weekend retreats to find their inner peace; meal times consisted of mum’s homemade pies on Tuesday, fish on Friday, soup on Saturday and roast on Sunday- a healthy raw organic diet wasn’t on the cards. They had none of that. Yet somehow they still lived well, achieved their goals and for the last 15 years finally living in their dream house in Grenada.
What Did I Learn From Mum and Dad?
Here Are The Five Key Life Tools I Learned
Life Lesson#1 – Faith
Faith is the cornerstone of my parent’s success. They came to the UK in 1959, part of the so called Windrush Generation. They arrived with a suitcase each, determined to make a better life for themselves; hopefully have children and ultimately to return home to Grenada in that magically time span of “five years”.
It was their faith and belief in better days which kept my parents going. In the 60s racism in the UK was subtle and silent and it stole my mum’s dreams and ambitions. She left Grenada a qualified and respectable school teacher. That didn’t count in the UK. Mum worked hard, kept her pride and did what she had to do. It was her faith that kept mum going and doing her best for my brother and me. Mum taught us to believe in better and to go for our dreams. Sadly my brother, John passed away in 1997. Again it was faith that got mum and the family through. To this day, no matter what goes on, my faith and belief that life will get better keeps me in good stead.
Life Lesson#2 – Fun
Life was hard and tough for my mum. Fun wasn’t really on her agenda yet she allowed me and John to have fun. To explore our neighbourhood, have friend’s rounds, go parties and have lazy Saturday morning and Sunday lie-ins. I grew up with the attitude, hard work pays. Work was supposed to be hard, stressful, a thing you did or had done to you to earn your living. The sweetness in life for my parents came from watching John and I succeed at school, at Scouts or Girl Guides; joy and laughter flourished in regular family gatherings, home cooked meals and freshly baked bread on a Saturday morning. Thankfully, over the years my mentors have stressed the value of fun whilst you work. I am encouraged to seek pleasure, to seek work that fulfils my “passion” and to build Play Days into my regular schedule. These days I look at mum and smile to see how free and easy she is -especially with my daughters. There is absolutely no way I could have been so cheeky with my mum the way my girls are. And mum loves it. So I am glad fun now features in mums’ life.
Life Lesson#3 – Focus
Alongside faith, I reckon focus has to be the biggest lesson my parents taught me. Focus Focus Focus. Mum’s famous saying is “the world will stand aside if you know where you are going ” and “hold your head up high and look the world in your eye” Everywhere I look, I am told by the people I respect and look up to that “focus” is vital to success. In fact, one of my early teachers would end every session with the phrase “Keep your eyes on the prize”. At first I never knew what he meant—what prize? I didn’t see any trophy or gold medals in the room. But as I grew I realised the prize, was the world standing aside as I became clearer about my desires, hopes and dreams.
To keep myself focused I incorporate techniques like meditation and yoga into my daily schedule which brings me back to centre and reaffirms my faith.
Life Lesson#4 – Flexibility
Time after time I saw my parents dreams crushed. All they ever wanted was to live in peace, raise their children and eventually retire and live in their dream home in Grenada. The mythical 5 years in London stretched to 36 years. Yet throughout all of that time my parents kept their faith, kept their dream alive and adapted their daily life to accommodate whatever life threw at them. “No blacks, No Irish, No dogs” greeted them everywhere they went when they arrived in London. Trying to rent a home was a nightmare. Somehow or the other they scrapped together the 500 pound deposit to pay their first home in 1962. They constantly had to be one step ahead just to get a foot in any door. They had to be flexible, had to think creatively and out of the box to get through all of the isms thrown their way. And so it is with me. I learned early on the need to be flexible. To look after my body and keep my mind open to all possibilities.
Life Lesson#5 – Follow Through
Mum was forever saying “You started it so finish” and “if you say you are going to do something, do it well and to the best of your ability” There were no ifs or buts. Mum’s reputation was her word. Mum is one of those people who you know you can give a job to do and she will over deliver to do it.
Part of success and to achieve your goals is to follow through, to complete what you started. I am sure you know lots of people who have multiple DIY projects on the go yet never seem to finish anything. Not my mum. This ability to see things through, to focus and complete what you start is a key factor in success. If you want to lose weight, run a marathon, learn a new instrument, you have to start and go through the process to achieve your desired outcome.
So, there you have it. Five transferable lessons which I learnt from my parents and which I believe we can all use to assist us on our journey. I would love to hear what you think about these lessons and what you have learnt from your parents which helps you to achieve your goals. Do write a comment to share your thought- I love hearing from you. And feel free to share this post with someone else to inspire them to achieve their dreams and aspirations.
Image-with thanks from Today is a good day.