Never Give Up!

I was writing an email to a group of people today, following on from a promotion I was recommending, as part of the phase of “Mental Health” that I am working through. I thought it might interest others. Here it is:

Good morning,

How did you like the information you received yesterday? Personally speaking, I found I needed all the time in the world to get to grips with the concept that I am in control of my environment.

I stopped feeling like a victim, and began to live my life, not the life that fate had decreed, or someone had told me I should live.

Many years ago, moving country and moving school, I found myself confronted with a dilemma. I knew I wanted to be a doctor, but to get university entrance I needed to have biology as a subject. But this new school placed me in history and geography.

So I went to the principal to ask if I could enter the biology stream. This was an important year, an exam year, and it marked my future path.

“Entrance into medicine is very difficult,” he said, “and you really don’t have a chance.” So there I stood, condemned and denied my career.

Fight back! There is abundance for everybody, and you need to live your own life! Stand fast to your dreams and let no-one rob you of them.

I did. You can too

Be happy, stay well

I think there are several lessons in that small example. One is that you must never accept the opinion of anyone else, no matter how much authority they may possess, unless you have satisfied yourself as to the correctness. Another is that anyone can stand up for themselves, whether young or old. Be unafraid and claim your ground. I wonder how much mental unwellness is caused by vulnerable persons being subjected to the whims and opinions of others? Perhaps we ought to teach children from the age of 4 how to express themselves clearly but gently, and – perhaps more importantly – how to listen with an open mind. Communication is one of the most important skills we can master, and that demands not only that we make ourselves understood, but also that we seek to understand.

If 87% of marriages that break up are due to poor communication, perhaps we ought to make communication skills an essential part of the education system? Is it too much to extend that to the hope that we may make wars obsolete?

Talk to me! I am listening 🙂

2 Replies to “Never Give Up!”

  1. Hi Brian,

    Thinking back to the behaviour of your principal, one of the most pernicious impacts loved ones have (and they have it frighteningly often) is to steal people’s dreams.

    I’m thinking here of someone’s plan to start out on their own, where wives/partners/friends tell them their idea won’t work or the market is not ready for it, etc, etc.

    Even asking a question with a sceptical/disbelieving tone has the same effect, like: ‘Do you really think this is the right time?’

    I faced that twice over 8 years while I was living in the UK, and it piles on the stress – often enough to make people pull their head back down below the parapet and continue the drudge they were trying to escape.

    The first time I did pull my head back down, but the second time I stuck with it, and that is what eventually led to my coming to HK.

    It’s a decision I’ll always be thankful for, because I’ve seen and done things since then that I would never have done otherwise.

    1. So glad to hear that Martin. I do agree. There seems to be a truism for progress that states all progress is only possible once you have left the comfort zone. Stay in the comfort zone to stay comfortable (even if in drudgery) and maintain what may well be mediocre or – and you and I have both experienced this – move out of that zone and hey presto! Things happen that had appeared impossible before.

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