Fantastic Friday: Rolihlahla “Nelson” Mandela

Nelson Mandela, July 4 1993.

Nelson Mandela, July 4 1993. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”                       ~The Honorable Nelson Mandela

President Mandela broke every chain.  In breaking his chains, he always lived free. Prison may have confined him, but the burning core of unity in diversity and the cause of freedom for humankind was his everlasting freedom song.

“I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all during my life; I fight it now, and will do so until the end of my days.” ~Rolihlahla Mandela

The summary of his life, the longevity of his struggle, and Mr. Mandela’s compassion ultimately formulated his resolve. Human rights, peaceful struggler, and learned fearless leadership are limited descriptions of this insightful man who defied prison and chains.

Madiba Mandela was a humanitarian. His foundations, including 46664 – his number while at Robben Island – embeds engagement. This indefatigable, renowned world leader engaged the consciousness of nations and individuals to speak and live peace.

Peter Beinart, in a recent article, Don’t Sanitize Nelson Mandela: He’s Honored Now, But Was Hated Then, reminds the world, especially Americans, that Mr. Mandela struggled, yet stood firm in his clarity that America “was not pure.”  Thus, according to Beinart, “not long ago, in Washington‘s highest circles, he was considered an enemy of the United States. Unless we remember why, we won’t truly honor his legacy. In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan placed Mandela’s African National Congress on America’s official list of “terrorist” groups. In 1985, then-Congressman Dick Cheney voted against a resolution urging that he be released from jail… As late as 2008, the ANC remained on America’s terrorism watch list, thus requiring the 89-year-old Mandela to receive a special waiver from the secretary of State to visit the U.S.”

Never forget.

In spite of his “enemy” status, Nelson Mandela came to America in 1990; I was among one of the cheering crowds who were honored to be in the presence of this humble giant who championed the prize of freedom.  How long, not long could have been his mantra since he knew his freedom, in spite of the oppression of apartheid every day. Not long, but at least 27 years of unjust confinement, never truly imprisoned the spirit of the man.

Freedom and restful peace, Mr. President Mandela

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Monday Miracle: Moxie

You’ve got moxie, the ability to succeed.  Power, courage, roots, determination, strength, spirit, creativity – you have all of these traits, and more, embedded in the fiber of your beings. Your DNA is composed of moxie. Actually, you are moxie.

When you think of yourself as moxie, you will climb every obstacle.  You will eliminate your limits. Moxie people find a way out of no way, they never settle with half-finished work. Moxie winners toll and strive and sacrifice until they heave a herculean weight; power moxie believers complete the task.

MOXIE POWER

Up your moxie power.

That is it-moxie people believe.  Most people have short-sighted belief; they earnestly pursue a goal until someone tells them they are “crazy” for even thinking they can play professional basketball when they are only 5’6 inches tall. But, moxie man Charlie Criss ignored naysayers and joined 6’6 giants on the basketball court.  A 28-year-old Criss became, in the words of Sports Illustrated, “the NBA’s smallest player and oldest rookie” when he joined the Atlanta Hawks as guard.

Mamie “Peanut” Johnson still has plenty of moxie. Author Michelle Y. Green, in her book, A Strong Right Arm, tells the courageous story of the first African American female baseball player. In a tribute to her, the National Baseball Hall of Fame writer Emily Voss says, “In the late 1940s, she wanted to join the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, and assumed that because Jackie Robinson had broken barriers in the major leagues, the AAGPBL would welcome black players too. The AAGPBL refused to let her try out, but Johnson came away more determined than ever to play ball.”

Moxie Matthew Webb became the first to make the crossing without the aid of artificial buoyancy. His first attempt ended in failure, but on August 25, 1875, he started from Admiralty Pier in Dover and made the crossing in 21 hours and 45 minutes, despite challenging tides (which delayed him for 5 hours) and a jellyfish sting.

Zhang Xin, this young moxie woman was a former factory worker,  Zhang is CEO of Beijing’s largest commercial real estate developer, regularly featured on lists like Forbes magazine’s “World’s Most Powerful Women” and “Top Ten Billionaire Women We Admire” is renowned for her commitment to justice, equality and ethical business.

CNN Hero of the Year for 2013, Chad Pregracke, has the moxie to clean rivers and waterways of debris. After removing over 67,000 tires from rivers, he says find a cause, take action. Be moxie.

Moxie believers are unstoppable.  They all evince power, courage, determination, strength, spirit, creativity. Therefore, heritage, ethnicity, gender, intellect, age, education, health, wealth, weight, environment or any perceived obstacle can never be a success barrier – moxie prevails.

Self-belief can stand alone.

You’ve got moxie-you are moxie. Never stop.

Monday Miracle: Finality

Success demands finality. Progress is determined by completion. Thus, progressive success is predicated upon finishing.  Equivocation, sitting on the fence does not bring closure.

Closure comes from finality. Making a final decision, checking off your lists of tasks, clearing clutter miraculously bridges the divide between getting things done with final flair or remaining in a vacillating vacuum.  Closure fights fear-you’ve done it. That final resolution, regardless of how painful or muddled the situation was, is a triumph that is stored in your soul and cannot be taken away.

Professor Hossein Arsham believes that “decisions are at the heart of leader success, and at times there are critical moments when they can be difficult, perplexing, and nerve-racking. However, the boldest decisions are the safest.”

checkmark

Finality is stimulating and is safe.  The more you finish, the more you will finish. Getting things done by reaching a final decision is restorative. Many people use vacillation or procrastination because they are afraid.

The what if? questions prompts wavering and doubt. Delaying decisions will only delay your peace of mind. Once you have made a final choice, that is done and over with-FINALLY! Keep your peace, make a decision and release fear and doubt.

Here is a tip to reach a final decision:

  • Play out the “what if?” scenario for a block of time. Make a decision tree. Decision-making experts say that this exercise can take from 15 minutes to a 1/2 day to multiple days depending on the complexity of the problem you are considering. Regardless of time frame, you will conclude with a final decision.

Finality is a breath of relief. Breathe deep, make a decision. Oh what a relief it is.

 

Harmony: The Answer to Happiness

A New Earth

Image via Wikipedia

It is axiomatic that when you are angry, stressed, frightened, or in any other toxic state of mind that you are not in alignment with your true, valued purpose for life. It is truly not possible to be happy and disturbed at the same time…utterly impossible!

I don’t care what the precipitating factors are for being out of alignment, whether external or internal in your mind, it is your mind that can restore balance and harmony. Right now, begin to center your mind and think about harmony; this is the only answer to happiness.

Let us begin: (Take FIVE minutes to restore your happiness)

* Clear all noise clutter- NO television, radio, telephone or computer
* Close your eyes
* Offer statement(s) of gratitude. “I am thankful for my breath” “Thank you universe for quiet peace” “My heart is grateful for …..”
* Visualize you in the most harmonious, happy place. Linger there and feel the profound wonders of joy, serenity, purpose
* Claim the calm that comes when you accept harmony, happiness
Say: I am happy! I am calm. I am a joyful and happy being. I am….
* Accept that you are happy. I am happy-let the universe know by showing your happiness with a smile, kind word, tender touch, or helpful action that broadens and deepens the harmony you have within.
* Open your eyes and your mind

You are happy. Go out and live happy-that’s your real purpose.

Repeat this restoration exercise often.
Harmony and happiness can be fleeting when we concentrate on events, situations, or stories which are otherwise.

Attract happiness and harmony with deliberate intention-focus your thoughts solely on being in this state of mind consistently and you will live the answer to happiness:harmony.

Be still, release the emotional noise and be in the pure essence of happiness. Eckhart Tolle