To win admiration, be kind and simple

Saturday November 16 2019

Remarkable people remain optimistic and keep their strength and resolve. Is that you? ILLUSTRATION | IGAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Do you dream of becoming someone really remarkable?

Most of the things that could make that happen turn out to be things you can learn — like working hard, or coping with adversity.

Because no matter how tough the going gets, remarkable people remain optimistic and keep their strength and resolve. Is that you?

You can predict how you might cope with a major problem by looking at how you manage life’s smaller challenges.

Things that often get ignored because they’re not urgent or exciting. Like keeping fit, making time for your spouse, or saving money.

If you’re dealing with these well, then you have the seeds of success in you.


Improve your coping abilities by building some slack in your schedule so you can tackle an emergency.


And by budgeting better, so there’s always some money in the bank.

And fixing problems while they’re small: preventive maintenance doesn’t only keep your car moving, it’s good for your relationships, career and health.

Great people treat everyone as their equal. So do the same. Be open to others’ views, but stay focused on your own goals, living your life according to your own values, and choosing your own destiny. With a focus on what you can change for the better.

And don’t dwell on the past. Instead, immerse yourself in whatever you’re doing and your plans for the future.

Remember how Nelson Mandela left prison without a trace of anger or bitterness? Instead he focused on forgiveness, reconciliation, and building democracy.

Forgiveness is all about empathising with whoever has hurt you.


Like Nelson Mandela’s great insight was that apartheid had grown out of fear. As soon as he realised what had motivating its development, he had the key to negotiating its end.

In fact, learning to forgive is one of the most important stages in your personal development.

Because once you’ve learnt to forgive, your past no longer holds you back. While without forgiveness, you can be so wrapped up in what went wrong that you can’t enjoy the present or plan for the future.

Endlessly angry, always feeling misunderstood, and thinking the worst of everyone.

Not that forgiving’s easy. It’s not the same as forgetting, and you might have to forgive someone who won’t accept that they did wrong. But you can at least try to understand why they did it.

So figure out why things went wrong without obsessing over whose fault it was. That’s hard — and takes time.

But you’ll know you’ve truly forgiven when instead of thoughts of revenge, you’re planning a better future.

So be brave, determined, and learn to cope with adversity. Speak your mind, face up to conflicts, and always forgive, as quickly as possible.

And be honest about your objectives. Successful people are driven by big dreams and clear values. Not by pursuing individual wealth and status.

So commit yourself to living a simple life, devoted to helping others, and one day you will be truly admired.