HAPPINESS: Over come the Fear of Failure in Life


I have come to believe that all my past failures and frustrations were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy. -Tony Robins

I have just completed reading Pat Groce’s book, I feel great and you will too! In 1996 Pat bought the NBA team Philadelphia 76ers. Pat’s story is about the courage to face failure over and over again but still hold the passion to persist. He is a pioneer in the sports physical therapy industry. As a therapist, Pat kept asking to be employed as a Physical therapist for NBA clubs but he was always denied. Pat went from being in the training room to the boardroom in one of the most unlikely stories in sports history. His book reminded me of a high school friend. My friend Messiah (not real name) had a humble beginning in life. In the early years of high school he fell in love with one of the most beautiful girls in a neighboring school. His proposal was clearly and completely rejected. While in A’ level (last two years before college), by coincidence they shared the same school, Messiah was fortunate to meet his childhood girl of his dreams at University. Messiah again made her know he would stop at nothing to ask for her hands in marriage. Messiah’s persistence paid off. Meghan (not real name) finally accepted to marry Messiah. Most of Messiah’s high school friends broke the hearts of their high school girl friends. CONTINUE

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HAPPINESS:Why Butterflies Fly and Humans Drive


“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness.” — Henry David Thoreau

Just like any adolescent, I always treasured a complex life until I got my first job. My job excitement influenced me to buy the most expensive shoes I could afford.

As I received compliments from colleagues, my boss cautioned: “simplicity shows the magnanimity of the soul.”

I later would never forget these words as life threw punches at me. My boss was the richest educationist yet the simplest teacher ever in Uganda. This was the awakening of my simplicity consciousness.

Last night, a friend told me a story of a young American who visited one of the rural village fishing sites in Africa.

He was astonished by the lifestyle of the fishing community. The Africans used sticks and strings tied to a hook to fish.

Most of them used local boats that could barely move deeper into the lake while others remained on the shores of the lake.

They spent the whole day fishing and holding conversations by the lake side. In the evening, they enjoyed the walk back home to prepare their meal.

The young American got inspired to help. He asked his parents for money to set up a fish factory.

He bought motorboats, refrigerators and sophisticated fishing tools worth millions of shillings. He anticipated that he would sell the fish and save the Africans from wasting more time.

Unfortunately, the project failed to take off after completion. The American then consulted the village elders, why the fishing community had turned down the project.

An elder told him: “Welcome to the roots of wisdom.” It’s all about the simplicity of our life style. Your project will make our lifestyle complex. The elder continued: “Your project will make the fish extinct for our grandchildren. We don’t know how to operate the machines you have brought but even if we learnt, the fish would cost us much more than we have always paid.”

The young American responded: “But I will save you a lot of time to do other things and you will have enough fish to eat whenever you need it.”

In response, another elder said: “Look, my son, the time our children spend at the fishing sites is for dating, that’s how they identify partners. Besides, we don’t practice agriculture here. If our children get more time to do nothing, they will use it to do wrong things.” CONTINUE


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Happiness: What’s Your Purpose in Life?


As it turns out, I have been accepted to make weekly blog post on a Ugandan based online media outlet.This means instead of posting direct to my blog, I will post on Chimpreports and forward you the link to my post. I consider this a promotion of my writing skills. http://www.chimpreports.com/index.php/people/blogs/4148-nssf-suicide-what-is-your-purpose-in-life.html

HAPPINESS: You look fat and good!


By Aliker David Martin

If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want.  ~Elbert Hubbard

I have never been concerned about my diet until I came to America. To look fat is never a bad thing in Africa, instead being fat is associated with being happy and healthy. The poor, sick and unhappy are associated with being skinny. One day, as I complemented my American boss who had just returned from a holiday in America; I told her, “you look fat and good; you must have enjoyed your holiday!” All the Americans laughed as all my African colleagues nodded in recognition. My boss was deeply hurt and that’s when I learnt of the stigma of obesity in America. So how can one be fat and happy? Aware that obesity can be a gene, I will make three suggestions:

Eat to live, don’t live to eat. Too much of everything is always bad. Develop the habit to eat with a purpose. Feed the body with foods and drinks that add nutrients to your body cells. If your body cells are happy, your body organs will function in a balanced way even when you are fat. A happy body is a happy mind.

The body just like a car needs routine check up. There is a great addictive feeling moments after working out. You are less likely to see people walking for good health in Africa. America’s self-drive culture to every location is responsible for your poor health. If you cannot afford signing up at a gym, develop the habit of walking daily to the park. It’s also free to run along pedestrian walkways to improve on your blood flow and physical health. This may not make you skinny but happy with your body.

My final suggestion is to obey your body commands. If that body is responsible for making the money, then use the money to feed the body. Virgil says, “The greatest wealth is health.” Give it rest if it demands sleep. Feed it if it demands food and water it if it feels dehydrated. Lets develop a loving relationship with our body and it will make our cells and selves infinitely happier.

HAPPINESS: You can be the Jeremy Lin of your life’s goal


By Aliker David Martin

Adversity is like a strong wind.  It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.  ~Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

International news media is awash about the new kid on the block Jeremy Lin. Jeremy is the latest New York Knicks basketball scoring sensation. He is the first AsianAmerican to play in the NBA and gain such legendary prominence. He has overcome the Asian can’t play in the NBA stereotype. Jeremy has been an underdog until this season. He admits he had ever thought of giving up his NBA dreams.

Jeremy says there were nights last year when he was reduced to tears but complements kept him going. What is striking about Jeremy’s recollection is that, he felt hurt that despite this adversities in his first year at the NBA,” he felt he had the ability to do it”. This is a statement of a passionate player who believes in the world of possibilities. Jeremy prefers to associate closely with his faith and consider his current success to being blessed. Moments after they defeated the Nets on February 4th, he called his pastor of ten years.

In life we all face adversities in pursuit of our life’s goal. Some people quit in the face of adversity. Others persist and focus on small happiness boosters like the complements from the positive minded people who wish us well. When the going gets tough, focus on the small things that allows you to hang in there. It could be a complement or your faith in divine providence. But most importantly you need Jeremy’s passion. In the face of adversity remain passionate about your dream.  Passion resonates to the depth of our soul and gives us the reason to be optimistic when things are not going well. Just like the African proverb, which goes ”smooth seas don’t make skillful sailors”. Winners never quit and quitters never win. So hang in there and believe in your ability to make it. Passion and focus will make you the Jeremy Lin of your life’s goal.

HAPPINESS: You are better than the Bully


By Aliker David Martin

“Some people won’t be happy until they’ve pushed you to the ground. What you have to do is have the courage to stand your ground and not give them the time of day. Hold on to your power and never give it away.” Donna Schoenrock

Stop Bullying

 

As students we have all encountered bullies. Bullying occurs when there is an imbalance of power. This week I came across an article about the “Harvard Girl” by journalist Esmeralda Bermudez of the Los Angeles Times. The article titled, From homelessness to Harvard: graduate sets sight on success featured in the Education Column of Seattle Times in 2009.

The article is about how Khadijah Williams overcame homelessness and bullying to become a graduate of Harvard. Williams moved from one shelter to another and attended twelve schools in twelve years. She lived out on garbage bags among pimps and prostitutes.

In her college essay she referred to being bullied because she was poor, different and read so much. While at school she was the outsider, at the shelter she was equally bullied. “You ain’t college bound” the pimps would bark at her.  Despite all this adversities, she strengthened herself by believing in the power of her test grades more than the perceived power of the pimps and school bullies. Like Tiffany Loren says,” no matter what kind of challenge lies before you, if somebody believes in you and you believe in your dream, it can happen”. Williams believed in her mentors and teachers. She set her sight on success.

In conclusion, believe that you are better than your bullies. Dorothea Brande says, “act boldly and unseen forces will come to your aid”. Don’t allow bullies to dominate you.

HAPPINESS: If you can dream it you can achieve it


By Aliker David Martin

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world”. Harriet Tubman

Fearless Dreamers

I have just finished reading a book, No More Nightmares. It’s a book by Beverly Ann Dexter, PhD. She writes on how to overcome nightmares by using planned dream interventions. It occurred to me that the most shocked people about my scholarship at University of San Diego are those who either thought getting an American scholarship by a Ugandan (African) was a broad day nightmare or I was not good enough.

When I was born, my parents named me after Dr. Aliker Martin. He is one of the pioneers to win an American scholarship in my village. He was so outstanding that village mates would stand by the roadside to receive him when he returned from studies. This is what happiness meant to me. I always dreamt of an American scholarship.

According to Ian K. Smith, a New York Times best-selling author of the book The Fat Smash Diet, dreams are the powerful creations of our imagination. They inspire us during times of difficulty and inspire us when we become too complacent. Even when I was hassling in the conflicts in Africa and struggling to find what to eat, I kept dreaming. I believe the happiest people are fearless dreamers. They use their imagination to create hope and possibilities.

I suppose, you are questioning yourself how dreaming brings you happiness. I have learnt that the act of imagining an outcome is enough to change your mood. Every day that I imagined the possibilities of success, my mood relayed a positive attitude on life. Even while I borrowed shirts in school to take pictures, it never stopped me from smiling for the camera.

Conclusively sometimes in life, you can be too close to the trees to see the forest. Mentally remove yourself from that difficult situation through imagination to get a bigger and clearer picture of the future. Believe in the power of imaginations to bring you happiness.