7 Lessons Inspired By Nelson Mandela

Every time I think of Nelson Mandela, the great South African leader, the first thought in my mind is…

“we need more like him!”

We are ready and in serious need of leaders to inspire us and motivate us with action and words.

Leadership is hard to define, mostly because it means different things to different people. We know it requires knowledge, strength and compassion. We expect leaders to be fair, to share our values and provide direction.

That to me is what leaders like Mr. Mandela represent.

As a Hispanic woman, health advocate and entrepreneur I strive to one day become a strong leader in my community and emulate the leadership values that I learn from people like Nelson Mandela.

By taking daily action, living with integrity and following my intuition, I too hope to inspire others to follow their own path and let their light shine.

When looking to develop leadership skills, whether it is at home, with your peers at work or in the community, it is very helpful to look for mentors, role models that have spent years mastering leadership traits and putting them into practice.

I have many mentors but Nelson Mandela is very much at the top of that list.

I continue to learn many lessons from him, but the ones that remain timeless to me are as follows:

Inspire With Action

Motivate others with your words and actions. Give them courage, inspire them to learn more, instill in them a sense of possibility. Every action that you take will lead to a learning opportunity and will encourage moving forward movement in others. Teach others by example. If you do it, they will follow.

 

Be Better, Not Bitter

Nelson Mandela is the impersonation of this powerful lesson. He was put in jail by a brutal regime for 27 years simply because he was fighting for fairness and equality. But even while jailed, he continued to be a leader and the symbol of the struggles of South Africans.

Amazingly, after his release from jail, he became a stronger leader, not bitter or ready for revenge. He found common ground, embracing those who were once against him and helping the country bridge a seemingly impossible gap.

 

Fail To Plan, Plan To Fail

People fail to accomplish their goals many times because of this simple premise. Planning and organizing ahead of time is key to the success of any task or endeavor, whether in your personal or business life. Organize your ideas, write out a plan with actionable steps to take and deadlines and set out your goals.

 

Work With The Willing

Most of us have gotten caught up at least once in the emotional roller-coaster that is wanting to work with or help someone who has the talent, the potential or the need, even if that person is unwilling or incapable. Move on from those that don’t want to do or be where you want them to do or be.  

And don’t carry their burden. Let them go through their journey and spend your time and energy looking for like-minded people that you can partner with.

 

Communicate

Communication is the simple act of getting a message across clearly and unequivocally to other/s. This sounds simple in theory but communication is one of the hardest things to do because there are so many things in play (body language, cultural idiosyncrasies among others) that can get in the way and cause confusion. Nelson Mandela is a master communicator, which is one of the top traits of a great leader.

 

Become A People’s Person

Nelson Mandela is an incredibly dynamic person who was able to motivate an entire country to work together and move past a very difficult time in their history for the benefit of all. He wasn’t attached to a particular ideology or goal. Instead, he was willing to build relationships on all sides in order to accomplish his goal of a united and successful South Africa.

 

Develop Strong Character

Madiba Mandela and his followers knew that they were doing the right thing, even it was dangerous and could have caused them their freedom (as it did for many years) or even their lives. But they had strong convictions and a strong sense of character and get got a lot of respect (and followers) because of it.

How To Conquer Fear

Today I want to be brave and discuss how to conquer fear.

I should know a thing or two about it.

For over 15 years I’ve been a passionate advocate to personal responsibility, healthy living, animal welfare and the power of positive thinking. Yet fear stopped me over and over form following my true passion and sending my message out into the world.

Fear is the one thing that impairs our ability to move ahead in life. Fears are natural occurrences, emotions that we probably inherited from the first men that walked the earth.

In fact, anthropologists believe that our ancestors survived because they learned to be afraid of certain dangers in the world and learned to avoid them for protection, thus, assuring their survival.

Fears are nothing but emotions that we feel in anticipation of danger or specific pain.

They are not uncommon. Most of us have been conditioned to protect ourselves from circumstances and dangers that we have not even experienced. We learn to be afraid of starting something new, making the first move, being creative or entrepreneurial, yet at one point or another, most of us realize that only when you face your fears and conquer them can you really move forward.

There are too many great things to do in this life to stay in one place for all eternity.

The strength to move past your fear is already within you. Continue to learn about yourself, and look for strategies that will help you conquer your fears.

Some of the ones that have helped me through the years are:

  1.  Maintain a positive attitude. Negativity about how you will not succeed or will fall so hard you’ll break your neck, are useless.
  1. Use the “have to” mentality. Assume that you have no other option than to make the leap, and jump into a new experience. You know that are stronger than that, and no amount of reasons are enough for you to give up without trying.
  1. Focus on the end result rather than the process.
  1. Take one step at a time. If your fear is greater than you, you may not be able to face it all at once. Take baby steps, and try conquering little by little.
  1. Be aware that your ego is powerful and will want to take control. Do not let small things get out of proportion. Always maintain perspective and be objective. If you cannot do it yourself, ask for help.
  1. Replace all fears with confident thoughts and actions.

6 Steps Open Your Heart And Soul

Opening your heart and soul is the first step to unleashing the unlimited power within you. You must learn to identify all the things in your conscious and subconscious mind that stunt the growth of your mind, body, and spirit.

Positive changes will be evident in your life when your body and mind are open and receptive to the energy that created you and the energy around you.

We have been given the power to develop ideas and exercise free will.

We grow and develop egos that preserve very particular ideas about ourselves in relation to the world around us.

It is those ideas; both good and bad, along with free will, that make you feel that you are better than others. The development of these ideas and/or the obsession with these ideas may be what makes some people evil, violent, angry, or sad.

They teach us to discriminate, hate, stereotype, and judge unfairly.

Those ideas may be good for some, but not for all.

From these ideas there are lessons to be learned, but you can freely discard any part of them in order to reconnect with the perfect, peaceful, loving, and kind energy that created you.

To help you further understand how to open your heart and soul, try one or more of these simple steps:

  • Get Your Ego In Check: Your ego is your conscious mind, that which controls your behavior and tries to give meaning to your external, material reality. It is powerful and can control your life, if you allow it to. Your external reality is a direct result of your mental and spiritual self. If your mental and spiritual self are not where you want them to be, your external and material self will suffer. The ego cannot improve the quality of your mental and spiritual life.
  • Rid your mind of judgment: Our minds are full of ideas instilled in us by countless sources: our parents, culture, friends, history, teachers, loved ones and religious leaders. Judgment tells you that a finite set of ideas are the only correct ideas. All other beliefs are wrong.
  • Practice Silence: It sounds unbelievable, but most of us living in modern societies have a very hard time being quiet or enjoying the absence of verbiage. Sometimes we are too darn busy talking, listening to music or trying to relax with special gadgets that we forget about ourselves, and cause undue stress, anxiety and diseases in the process. Understanding that we have the power to soothe and relax our mind, body, and spirit with no outside help is essential to opening yourself to all the possibilities that lie ahead.
  • Learn to Meditate: There are many meditation techniques, but the end result is (or should be) always the same: create a relaxed state of mental and physical being by focusing and calming the mind. When you are in silent meditation, there is a balance between the internal and external you that will help heal, empower and create a revitalized you.
  • Learn To Pray: It sounds somewhat silly since most of use have been taught by our guardians or friends a very specific way of praying. In fact, most of us were taught that praying is something reserved for very particular situations, such as getting something that you want. Yet, prayer should be a conversation with ourselves and the divine energy that created us in order to find common ground and find solutions to our problems.
  • Trust Yourself: Always remember that you are a divine creature. There is reason and meaning, not only for the different experiences in your life, but for your life as a whole. We are all here to learn and better our lives for ourselves and those around us. Trust in every experience because every single one of them will bring you closer to your life’s destiny. Never think of them as a distraction or a detour. Recognize the lesson in each positive or negative experience, and try to find the meaning of each one.
  • Keep Hope Alive: At some point or another, we all lose hope. Life is full of challenges. While discovering your path or purpose, it is not uncommon to encounter situations or problems that seem too big to handle. When this happens, it is perfectly normal to feel discouraged and lose motivation. You may go back to old habits or engage in new, more distracting habits that lead you away from your path.

How To Keep An Open Mind

Your ideals, values, and belief system have all been shaped and influenced by your background.

Your thoughts are influenced mostly by what others taught you about where you come from, the color of your skin, your religion, the political views of the majority, what your ancestors believed in, etc.

It was important to teach you what to be, what to think, and what to believe in.

It was especially important to teach you that those ideas are the only ones to follow, the only ones that are correct, and the ones that will bring you safety and happiness. Most of you were not allowed to think outside those ideals and if you did, most likely, you were regarded as a rebel, ungrateful, or an unworthy member of the group.

Your parents or guardians likely had the best of intentions to help you grow into a happy, healthy individual that fits in the culture around. To help attain that, they may have taught or tried to teach you ideas that may be discriminatory, stereotypical, and wrong about people that do not belong in your cultural, social, or racial group.

The intention was to teach you to be the best person you can become, but instead (and most likely unconsciously) they may have helped you harbor feelings associated with a narrow mindset that does not respect the divinity in yourself and others.

Instead of nurturing feelings of disrespect or self-centeredness that may limit your potential for growth, be open to the idea that you are part of the world, and the world and all of its components are part of you, both good and bad.

It is then up to you to have an open mind about people, ideas, and everything else you encounter. An open mind will allow you to learn…

When you learn, you understand, and when you understand, you learn to love.

This is the only way you can objectively give and receive. When you have an open mind, you can see the beauty and love that the universe has to offer, and you can get so much more from it.

If you see in others love, kindness, compassion, and understanding, you will receive exactly that.

Some of the principles to help you have or maintain an open mind include:

  1. Allow your mind to make positive choices.
  1. Become conscious of and admit any fears or wrongdoings and make an effort to rectify them as soon as possible.
  1. Remember that opening your heart and mind heals because it is a natural function of your body to rid itself of anything that hurts or sickens it.
  1. Talk to someone, write, or express your fears, doubts, and mistakes to create a sense of release that will bring positive energies to your life.
  1. Remember that you are one with the universe and all its members. Use the positive energies that the universe has to offer to your advantage by offering and giving some of the good in you.
  1. There is no one superior or inferior to you. Support this thought with knowledge. If, for example, you dislike a religious or social group or disagree with someone because of his/her views and preferences, offer to learn about it before engaging in fruitless discussions and pre-judgments that will enrage you and prevent you from reaching a peaceful state.
  1. Keep track of judgments, negative influences, and actions. Continue raising your awareness of what limits your thoughts and feelings so that you can easily change them as soon as they arise.
  1. When you find yourself in stressful situations that may anger you and bring to light discriminatory practices, remember that even if you don’t agree with something it does not make it wrong. Similarly, the fact that you agree with something does not necessarily make it right.
  1. Be an instrument of peace. As Saint Francis of Assisi said in his now famous prayer, allow the divine energy to make you the means by which the world around you (including yourself) finds understanding, pardon, hope, faith, light, and joy.
  1. What you think and what you do affects other people. Make sure that the energies you send out of your body (even in the form of thought) are open, kind, and understanding. Be open to receive the same tenfold.

 

Living Your Purpose – My interview with Kristen Domingue

Today’s topic is about inspiration, following your instinct and allowing your life and dreams to go from good to Great by Living Your Purpose.

I recruited the help of Kristen Domingue, a branding expert and founder of Ignite to help us delve into this topic more in detail. Kristen’s brilliant words help us awaken to our life’s purpose and then help us stay motivated and focused in order to live that purpose.

You and I both came into this world for a reason and are still here for a reason!

We must honor ourselves and the world around us by following our calling, awaken to our life’s purpose and living like we mean it!

We go deep on this one so don’t miss it!

Go ahead, click below to check out this powerful interview!

How are you honoring yourself by living your purpose? What specifically are you doing TODAY to bring you closer to your calling?

Let me know by leaving a comment below! Looking forward to hearing from you….

About Jovanka

Jovanka Ciares is a former entertainment executive turned Wellness expert, detox specialist, nutrition educator and author. She is the creator of the Wellness Smackdown™, a proprietary detox and weight loss program for natural weight loss which was featured on the first season of ABC’s “My Diet Is Better Than Yours”...

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