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In the Wind: Choice, Chance, & Change Print
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 15:35

Astonishing... when a person actually sails through life without a specific destination in this day and age? It would not be real if one says that he is more than gratified with life. Regrettably, at their death bed, some still had feelings of dissatisfaction because certain life objectives were not achieved. The question today is, "Are you willing to go through the wind and waves to achieve your goal(s)?"

Personal growth is a common topic to all, but easier expressed than achieved. Each individual, I am convinced, dreams. Some are contented in just dreaming but some turned their dreams into goals in life. Growing within oneself, some understand it as just learning new things; others feel that it's coming out of one's comfort zone; and a few lucky ones have identified the path to follow for their future since at a young age.

Choose to grow. As each and every one of us grows physically, mentally, and emotionally, you do not recognize that you actually get to choose how to grow. It is your decision and yours alone. One of my psychology professors planted this seed in my mind a few years back; she said that there is a reason behind every thought, decision, and feeling because you chose to go with that reason. Dilemmas are sure to happen when fear and anxiety comes to play simply because the future is a secret. Hence, how we handle the consequences that arose from our choices is similar to maneuvering a sailboat upwind, downwind, or faster than the wind.

Chances of success will only be known if you take the first step.

Change if you think about it, is crucial to all lives because the world is incessantly. changing. In consequence, people have to adjust to a new environment from time to time. It could be improving on habits, behaviors, health, skills, or actually turning a life around. Change does not mean that you are "damaged"; you merely need to be refined and enriched. Considering that every person is a unique individual, and growth takes place differently, one must be mindful that it is never too late to set straight your route to begin the rest of one's life. Thoughts and actions play supreme roles in the decision to change. Change would need a clear mind, rationalization, and will power.

Back to history...

In the 1900s, the infamous Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, describes personal growth as individualism. He believed in identifying one’s true self and that lifelong personal growth was an important outlook in life; to the individual as well as to the society. According to Jung,

What prevents people from becoming autonomous, fulfilled and ultimately happy is their refusal to expose themselves to experiences that are new and unfamiliar, and thus potentially threatening to their sense of self.

People desire a life that is safe, uncomplicated, familiar and in many respects unchanging. But such a life is ultimately constricting: it forecloses the possibility of learning and evolving, and thus, of developing a "wider and higher consciousness."

Dreamer, wake up! Yes, you!!!

Are you?

Look into the ocean of your life. Beneath the surface of the cool blue, look into your soul, your heart, and your mind. Are you drifting on a fishing boat of fate or are you sailing in a yacht of contentment?

A common comment one hears all the time:

"Yes, I am happy with my life. I have a good job. I have a loving family and great friends. My kids are awesome. I shouldn't be complaining about life because a lot of people are worse off than me. But..."

Will you?

So, after counting your blessings and knowing you have plenty to be thankful for, there is still a teeny nudge in your mind about a goal that has always been kept in the closet of dreams. You have set it apart because all this while other people or matters were more important, or so you deduced. As every day living continues, you chose to ignore the goal's cries for help with your variety of excuses, procrastination, and fears. Down the busy road, when you happen to hit a brick wall or find yourself in a dingy in the middle of the deep ocean, you are forced to be still and reflect.

At times, it takes a while for one to see that they are sailing in a dilapidated boat heading to no where. Other times, it takes a "smack on the head" for one to wake up and realize this is not the life he had dream of.

No one can change the course of your life except you. For all you know, you might eventually be the rising tide that lifts all boats to safety!

When will you?

Procrastination is men’s weakest habit. If you do not value yourself, you will not value time, thus nothing gets done in the end. Life is never easy and unfortunately, not always fair. Furthermore, life is not only too short, it is unpredictable. To ‘fight’ for something that is important to you, there will be challenges in the seas. Be prepared, physically and emotionally. Most importantly, start now!

Thoughts...

I asked a friend what did he understand "personal growth" to be and immediately he answered "Platform shoes". I laughed at first and then I concluded, "Wow that is a pretty cool metaphor." Yes, exactly. Personal growth is lifting yourself up higher when you understand your strengths and weaknesses better, and how they play roles in your life in enabling you to reach for the sky. The only thing about those 6 inch, glittery blue platform shoes that look almost impossible to walk in, is how to convince you that once you get the hang of them, they could be super comfortable. In addition, you have a new look in life with confidence glowing from within.

Written By: Jo-Ann Tan
Lecturer
SIDMA College