As early as the 19th century, self empowerment was already a well-known subject as evidenced by the poem of William Ernest Henley, “Invictus”, as he wrote the famous line: “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul”.
This proves that even in the early conservative Victorian Age in England, people had already longed to freely control their lives. 200 years since then, many of us still fail to attain this freedom. Our past failures in attaining of our goals make us feel powerless. This feeling of helplessness adversely affects our professional and personal lives.
However, we can have a positive outlook and enable us to succeed in our lives if we learn how to empower ourselves. The following suggestions can help us feel more in control of our destiny:
• Let us not look at our past failures as sure indications of our future. Everything in this life changes and we are the ones who control what direction our lives will take. Past failures do not mean they will be our lot in the future, unless we choose them to be. Rather, they are lessons we must learn from and guide us on how to avoid them to improve ourselves. Failures and disappointments are parts of normal living so instead of denying their existence, we should turn them into our advantages that will strengthen and prepare us to handle problems we will meet along the way. Let us empower ourselves by taking control of our past to succeed in the future.
• Let us keep a positive perspective of things. Let us not exaggerate the bad things that happen to us and ignore the blessing we receive. We should change our perspective in looking things in a more positive light. For example, if you burned your toast at breakfast this morning, could it be worse than burning your house instead? Or if are caught in a traffic jam, isn’t that a blessing compared to scoring in a car accident instead? Let us not focus too much on the few prayers that are seemed unanswered but count instead the hundreds of blessings we get without our asking for them. Empower ourselves by being aware and grateful for every positive things that come our way, big and small.
• Let us lead healthy lives. Avoid anything that may endanger our health such as unhealthy food, too much intoxicating drinks, nicotine, and other harmful substances and pollutants. Let us strive to stay fit. Make sure we get plenty of rest and fresh air. We should exercise moderately. Keep our body hydrated. We should not miss meals, especially breakfast which is considered by health experts to be the most important meal of the day. Let us avoid any excesses in our lives. Let us minimize all stress and learn how to relieve them either by physical activities or mentally means like reading good books, listening to soothing music, or through meditation. Remember that a sound mind that affects our thinking and rules all our actions resides in a healthy body. Let us empower ourselves by being as physically and mentally healthy as possible.
• Let us count of blessings instead of woes. When everything seems to go wrong, let us stop for a moment and focus on the good things that happen to us and around us like the gift of life. Appreciate the fact that we are given another day, another opportunity to improve ourselves. Many of us lament and question God why only bad things happen us. Maybe because we think of God only when we are in trouble so He allows more troubles to come our way so we will think of Him more often. How about if we try the other way around? Let us think of Him and be grateful when we receive His blessings. Maybe, He will then send us more blessings so we will think of Him more often. Empower ourselves by recognizing and appreciating the blessings and positive in our lives.
• Let us expect something great. Selective memory is a psychological phenomenon when we only remember what we want to remember. In most cases, this is the body’s defence mechanism to protect us from the affect of a traumatic experience in our life. In a similar manner, we can manipulate our thinking to focus mostly on the positive things. Let us expect something great will happen so we will be in the excited mode and look out for its coming in everything that happens Isn’t that a exhilarating mode to be in instead of being in a gloomy and foreboding mode? Let us empower ourselves by keeping a positive attitude and an optimistic point of view.
In short, in is just a case of mind over matter. Adjust our mindset so we will feel more empowered to take on the world and attain our goals.