As we arrive on the last day of the 2015, I reflected on the past 356 days and it’s been quite a journey. In fact, I have been looking back at my life and thinking about where do I want to be in the future?
I came from a background of abuse; I was raised in a highly dysfunction home. My childhood and teenage years was filled with violence, fear and torment. The experts say that a child’s personality is formed within the first five years of her life. My personality was a mess! I lived in a world of pretence trying to be what society and culture expected me to be. I built walls of protection around me to keep people from hurting me. I was locking others out but at the same time I was also locking myself in. As I was unable to control the things done to me as a child, I grew to be obsessive and controlling. I was so filled with fear that the only way I could face life was to feel that I was in some form of control. That way, no one would be able to hurt me.
Being told from a young age that I was a burden, an extra mouth to feed, a female and someone that would never amount to anything and better off dead, for the longest time I believed in those lies. My grandmother was a very staunch Catholic and indoctrinated me with the teachings of the bible. I was told I had come from but I had no idea where I was going. I felt that my future would always be marred by my past. I thought, “How could anyone who has the kind of past I do ever be really all right? It’s impossible! I am such a mess!”
However at the same time, I guess the many years of being dragged to church by my grandma did leave some values in me. I somehow believed that there must be more to life than just this misery. That I could not be just born to take up space and be a waste. That there must be a higher calling and I started seeking for a purpose in life…
I started asking the questions:
1) What do I want to be?
2) What do I want to do?
3) What do I want to have?
4) Why do I want it?
In order to get to where I wanted to be, I needed to describe exactly what I wanted. From young I always enjoyed helping others and I wanted to make the world a better place. The world could not be the way I saw it through the lens I had when I was a child. It had to be better than that. I was going to try and make it better. Having a vague goal was not going to get me to where I wanted to be. I had to pen down exactly how I wanted to help others, what specific target group the “others” were and what specific actions I was going to take to make this world a better place. The more specific my plan was, the more power it had in my life.
However, I realised very quickly that I could not just know the what, I needed to have the why ingrained me in. That was my drive and motivation. If I lose sight of the why or don’t know the reason why I do what I do, I tend give up when the going gets tough. So now for everything I do, I always first asked myself the question why I wanted to do it. If I couldn't convince myself, I wasn't going to do it but if I did, the what and how would come very naturally.
The past few years saw my life radically changed for the better. Many that have known me since I was a child see a different person in my. One that is leading a purpose driven life, one that is motivated and passionate. One that is happy and lives life to the fullest.
So my dear reader… you may have had a miserable past, you may even be in current circumstances that are very negative and depressing. You may be facing situations that are so bad that it seems you have no real reason to hope. But I say to you boldly, your future is not determined by your past or your present!
Your future can be the greatest of your life. It can become your destiny, where your life is focused and, as a result, you're able to make an impact in all that you do.
First, determine your present position -- You've got to know where you are before you can know where you are going. To do that, ask yourself two questions:
Where am I now? Where are you spiritually, financially, emotionally, relationally, physically, and occupationally?
What would I like to change? In all of those areas you identified, what would you like to be different?
An important principle here is that it is never too late for you to make a change in your life, even though making the change may take longer than you think. This is why you can't procrastinate. You can either drift through the future or you can have direction over the next ten years.
Be the change you wish you see in the world.