Dear Destiny Friends,

Life is indeed a journey! It’s a adventure everyone will continue to explore until they eventually bow out. But in order to explore life, and by extension, the world adequately, one has to explore many options, and that is where being tough and pushing yourself hard come into play. This is because when one door fails to open, it’s only wise to try another door, and yet another door.
There’s no area of life’s adventure that has proved so easy no matter the angle one is exploring from; as a child, youth, parent, clergy, entrepreneur or career professional. It’s worth understanding that anyone celebrating or at the top today never had it easy, and will never continue to have it easy. They must remain tough on the terrain and continue to push themselves harder with productivity. Everyone has experienced one challenges or another in life, but while one may think that theirs is more serious, they can never tell what the next door neighbor is experiencing.
Being tough or hard on yourself doesn’t in anyway conote negativity, it’s so positive that it inspires one to improve in productivity.
In my native Igbo belief, we say that all lizards lie prostrate, but no one can tell which one has a belly ache. This is literally true because just like our faces are different, so also our problems. Hence the reason one must treat other people with empathy.
Life can be tough; in fact, being alive on its own is tough. Not everyone likes to see you alive, not to talk of doing big things. Not everyone is happy seeing you in a position of honour. Trust me, it is difficult to stay alive because you must battle many wars to stay afloat. Just imagine being a family man/woman taking care of the bills with little or no support from your partner. Just imagine starting a business and trying to secure contracts or attract clients/customers. If you are a student, some people will feel jealous of your potential achievement and the corresponding success it will bring to you. The list is literally endless.
According to Dr. Yomi Garnett, an accomplished author, “there’s an inverse relationship between you and life. When you are tough on yourself, life will be infinitely easier on you. Conversely, when you take things easy, life will become very tough for you. The path of self and spiritual development is a very long and arduous one, but it’s a journey worth taking.”
This is so true because if one is interested in living and experiencing a soft life, one must be intentional in doing the hard work which entails being hard on yourself.
My late dad, Chief Lazarus Ukazu, use to say that “any name you want to be called, you must work hard to earn it”. Success does not come to you on a platter of gold; you must till the soil, read books, be above board at your place of work/assignment, invest in your business, learn new trades, skills and leave your comfort zone. All these entail being tough on yourself.
We are all capable of achieving success because we all have the seeds of greatness living in us. It is sad to see people who just live their life by luck. They are not eager to pay the dues which is likely to catapult them to the next level if judiciously implemented and executed.
As rightly stated by Dr. Garnett, when you are tough on yourself, life will be generally “easier” for you if you play by the rules of the game which will enable you to live the fame you desire. When I published my first book, I didn’t really know what’s ahead of me, nor did I know the book would bring me relative fame and opportunities. I can vividly remember the sleepless night and risk I had to undertake during the process of writing and publishing the book.
Today, the book made the New York Times to interview me. I became a regular guest on television because of the book. I got to meet Captains of industries and leaders of thought. Why am I saying this? Life has been fair to me by blessing me with opportunities. It’s important to state that I was tough on myself when I was working on the book. As a matter of fact, I can vividly remember that at a point in time, I was out of job. I used the time to concentrate and do befitting research for a book of that nature. Moral: When you pay your dues, people will pay your bills.
Question. What dues are you willing to pay so that people can pay your bills?
In conclusion, today, I charge you to be intentional in being “hard” on yourself so life can be relatively soft on you.
Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the founder of Gloemi. He’s a Transformative Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate, creative writer and author of Design Your Destiny Design Your and Unleash Your Destiny . He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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