The Mandela Spirit

Nelson Mandela  Image from costaricantimes.com

Nelson Mandela
Image from costaricantimes.com

Nelson Mandela. The first black African elected president of South Africa in 1994 after a long struggle against an evil system, and a 27-year stint in prison for his audacity. The African nationalist recognized globally as the epitome of wisdom and patience. Although he only served one five-year term, Mandela’s name is renowned and celebrated by billions of people around the world. His outlook on life and his life philosophy have inspired many generations. Even as his health fails – he has been hospitalised four times in the last seven months – the world hopes and prays for his recovery.

In his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela says, “I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.” Quintessential Madiba.

Not many people would have such an optimistic view of life. From an early age, we are made to believe that that “life ain’t fair.” Excuse? Our history. Our heritage. Our family. Our circumstances. Our misfortunes, and the list goes on… We’re hardly socialized to adjust our mindsets to see that we are the architects of our destiny, or that the course our lives may take mostly depends on us – we’re not merely victims of circumstances.

Eric Kimani, in his book Wisdom for Abundant Living, shows how one can develop an abundance mentality – “the definitive power of our thoughts that can empower our lives and circumstances leading to an abundant life.” The book is more than a story of success: it explains how individual characteristics like talent, good grades, hard work, and vision may place us in the path of success, but what we do with these opportunities entirely depends on our readiness to see and seize the moment. The book shows how to:

• Vanquish the scarcity mentality and develop a ‘can-do’ mindset

• Realize your dreams and achieve your desired goals

• Go beyond the ordinary by standing on the shoulders of giants

Mandela never quit his fight against bigotry and a brutal regime, even in the face of imprisonment and possible death. He has remained resolute and unswerving. He’s shown and led the way. What’s holding you back? Eric suggests we can stand on the shoulders of giants like Madiba, and reach for the stars. So, “keep your head pointed toward the sun, and your feet moving forward!”

 

 

 

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