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What does “success” mean to you? What images comes through your mind when you hear or see the word “success”?

My Culture

Talking to my Chinese friends in the past who have kids, they are mostly affected by the perception that their kids’ needs to get top marks in school in order to succeed as this brings honour to them. This is how we were brought up by our parents so it’s just being past on from one generation to the next. We are taught we need to be academically intelligent in order to succeed in life. Or is it we need to be academically intelligent in order to “look successful” to others?  In a culture where it’s ever so competitive back in my birth place of Hong Kong, children are pushed to the limit as to how much they learn, what is expected of them, what is the norm of striving to outdo our peers, we never felt loved as children from our parents and caregivers. Nor were we given the affection, unconditional love, healthy emotional attachment, praise and encouragement that helps a child to become a happy adult. There was so much shame attached to children who were less intelligent at home,  in the classroom and in society. Our parents shaming us, our teachers shaming us, our peers shaming us and then we would get more shaming in our adult life. We were never accepted for who and what we were because there was so much comparing from our parents first and foremost. Then we would be compared to our peers in class and it was more than enough to damage our self worth. Our parents valued our academic success much more than our happiness because if we failed at school, it brought shame to them and they could not handle that shame. So my conclusion was that we aimed to achieve whatever was expected of us in order to keep shame away from our family. It was never about us, the children. It was merely about the parents outdoing other parents when their children excelled in school as it was a competition for the parents. It became a competition to see who’s child could get to the top of the class, top of the exam, top of the year, top of university and then climb to the top of their career. So success was measured by what certificates one had their name on, what prizes one had, what awards one received and this brought success and fame to the family thus hiding the shame. As we enter the big wide and scary adult world, success was measured by the size of the house we lived in, the price of the car we drove, how much money we had to our name, what position we held in our job and how many people knew our name in society. Those who were less than intelligent at school were cast off and ignored because they brought shame to their family. For those who became business owners, then that itself was more than enough to propel them to a “celebrity status”

Boys versus Girls

Girls in my culture were treated with no respect due to what was passed on from one generation to the next. They were mostly denied of an education because girls get married, have children and take on the care taker role of care taking her husband, their children and his family so she did not need an education as much as boys do. I was one of those girls and it created so much hatred towards my mum who was controlling my life so that I was the “mother” to my younger brother. My mum wanted me to be a full time “mother” to Tony, my younger brother so that she could work full time. I wanted and longed to further my education yet with no support and encouragement from my parents, I abandoned that goal. Now that I am living my life for me and no one else, I have self educated myself in many ways, learning new skills and developing myself for personal growth. That is success to me because I am investing my time, money and continuous effort into my future and that is something I feel so proud of.

Success Leads to Power

I have come to learn that in my culture, from observing my own community over so many years, that people see success as owning the biggest house, driving the most expensive car, being their own boss running their own business, being famous for  having financial riches to their names, being popular in their community and thus having the power and status to lift them up. From what I have observed,  these people become ever so self centred, self absorbed, narcissistic and difficult to get along with because they have allowed their “success” to get to their heads. I have witnessed a number of these people pick fights with their family and staff which creates a huge distance between them because they have unresolved childhood issues that they are carrying around each day. I also witnessed and heard these same people shame others and bring them down in order to make themselves look better on the outside which is extremely toxic. Their success has created illnesses and diseases yet they are very unaware of what they are giving out to others. As they have the power due to their success, they are closed to what others have to say and they do not listen to others with the intent to understand. Their success hides their insecurities, fears, shame, vulnerabilities and they lose themselves to their success.

The Hidden Stuff

What I see lacking in so many of these successful people, due to them being born into dysfunctional families,  is a close relationship with their wife and children that offers happiness and contentment. From what I see and hear, there is clearly no connection or bond with their wife and children. They are so disconnected from their immediate family and they feel empty inside even though they are stable financially. There are a huge number of them who are addicted to gambling, smoking and alcohol to numb their emotional pain. They stay within their comfort zone because of their fear and shame. I have had a number of male friends and acquaintances tell me deep, intimate and personal problems that they have with their wife, family and themselves yet they have never spoken to anyone else about it due to fear and shame. There are many women from China who married a Chinese man from the United Kingdom who do not need to work because their husband runs a business and they are able to afford to keep the wife as a stay at home full time mum and carer. These Chinese women have no abilities to support themselves otherwise. They have no skills to get themselves a job in the UK nor do they speak English. To them, they are successful because they have a “rich” husband who runs his own business and they do not need to work a day in their lives.

Helicopter Parents

I see parents of my generation neglect to teach their children important life skills as they are becoming so much weaker and lack confidence to let go of being “helicopter parents” hovering over their children, not wanting them to get hurt at every cost. The focus is more on succeeding in class and life skills are so neglected that our younger generation are becoming incompetent at taking care of their own needs without their parents full time care. My nineteen year old son was taught how to get public transport into our city centre at the age of nine along with his then eleven year old brother, as they headed into their Saturday morning Chinese school lessons. It is here that I have witnessed so many “helicopter parents” from my culture who do everything for their teenage children who are about to enter college, university or search for a job. I am totally shocked to see and hear how much focus is placed on their children getting into the best university because Tom, Dick and Harry’s children are university graduates. Yet, these parents are not teaching their children simple life skills and the more important ones that sets them up for a more resilient adult life nor do they teach them how to take care of themselves.

Comparing

What one child achieves in his academics is his life, his choice and his business. It does not determine how successful he shall become from that academic success. He could become an alcoholic,  a drug addict, a sex addict, a sex offender or a compulsive gambler later on in his life from: being pushed so far in his early years, being born into a dysfunctional family and for having unresolved childhood issues that could possibly haunt him for life.  He could develop severe mental illnesses, anxiety, eating disorders, diabetes, skin conditions, heart disease and cancer from being denied the freedom to choose for himself his own career path and then the family suffers. I see people from my culture who love to compare what other people’s children are doing academically and they want their children to follow yet this is not respecting their children’s own choice of career.

Children’s Rights And Freedom To Choose

All children have the right and the freedom to choose for themselves what career path they want to pursue in. They find it rather daunting in their teen years as they search for a career path and they may not be ready to make a choice because their hormones are raging and their emotions are becoming irrational. They may lack the emotional support from their parents and thus they become stuck, lost and it can and does get overwhelming. Yet the pressure of having a vision and a better career choice than Tom, Dick and Harry’s children becomes too much for the teenagers. They do not want to disappoint their parents so they do what is expected of them without realising that they do have the freedom and the right to choose what it is that they want to do with their future career. They may even be trained to please their parents so they keep their preferred career choice to themselves as they are lacking the self confidence to speak their mind. So many children grow up into people pleasers due to their lack of self confidence in making choices for themselves because they are so scared of conflict, confrontations and upsetting their parents. They stand for nothing so they fall for everything.

Ignorance

Most parents from my Chinese friends have very little understanding about what their children want from their lives and with very little emotional support, therefore like myself, our dream career is never fulfilled. Our parents have no respect for what we want to do with our lives and they are controlling, selfish, ignorant and this creates more distance between parents and children. This has been passed on from generation to generation and in most Western countries, it is becoming a thing of the past, slowly yet surely. Children get no respect from their parents because their parents did the exact same thing to them. If a child expresses that he wants to pursue a certain career that his parents do not approve of, he shall be shamed and his dream of fulfilling that career shall be forever forgotten and abandoned. Many children have the potential to fulfill their dream careers yet with no support and encouragement from their parents, they feel they are merely existing for their parents and this creates ill health and diseases.

My Teenage Dream Career

When I was in second year of high school aged thirteen to fourteen, we were told to choose the subjects we wanted to study in third and four year and this was a crucial time for us as the chosen subjects would help us to get into the career we wanted. I wanted to become an air hostess (flight attendant) yet my English was below average due to me still catching up from coming to live in Scotland at aged eight with no English skills at all. I was falling behind with my Maths too and other subjects due to my below average English level so I lost my belief that I could succeed as an air hostess.  I knew I would be getting nowhere close to passing the exams to get me into my dream career so I had very little motivation to push myself to do better at school. I had no help, support and encouragement from my parents and I was too damaged to ask for help from my teachers in class to learn more. With no motivation, inspiration and stimulation, I just lost myself and I felt empty inside. I felt I was only living my life for my mum and younger brother, to care take their needs. Yet my needs, wants and desires were totally ignored and abandoned. My life seemed so unfair and I was feeling so sad and painful.

Set Yourself Free

In Shirley Smith’s book Set Yourself Free, each child takes on a role within the dysfunctional family,  “as they adapt to fill in the gaps and balance the system. They start to act out, unconsciously, what is repressed or unexpressed by their parents and they take on various roles and labels”. Each child from a dysfunctional family adapts to a role in their formative years and each role has its negative and positive aspects.

  1. Caretakers love to give because they are taking care of others.
  2. Heroes are the high achievers and they like responsibility.
  3. Lost children avoid conflict so they stay out of the way, they have a very vivid imagination and are great with fantasy.
  4. Mascots are best at relieving tension thus making others feel good and they have a talent at decreasing emotional explosions.
  5. Surrogate spouse is a great listener and have difficulty with intimacy so they feel engulfed when close to another.
  6. Scapegoats takes the blame for the family by acting out the unexpressed conflicts.

In order to become the real me, Shirley Smith advises us that we shed our childhood role so that we “set ourselves free” of our childhood issues. Then and only then do we feel relieved and free to be who and what we were born to become. When we set ourselves free, we shall feel a huge depth of positivity, a surge of amazing energy just like when we were little kids and we gain much clarity as to what we want to do with our lives. We are then free to live our lives as true and as authentic to ourselves as we want and attract all positive things to us in abundance. This is vital to living a higher quality of life which is what one needs to feel happiness for better health.

My New found Freedom

After reading Set Yourself Free at the beginning of last year and continuing to make great progress, I felt I was finally free to choose my desired career path and pursue it with much motivation and trust. I believed in my skills, abilities and experiences to get me into my chosen career. Yet, there was more hurdles to overcome and it was difficult yet never impossible. I searched and I asked then I finally found what I needed to do to become a public speaker. I attended a Toastmasters meeting in our city for a few weeks to decide if it was suitable for me. To my amazement, I witnessed so many people in the same position as me at the meeting as they took to the stage and gave their speeches. I knew that I would grow and evolve with this group of amazing people who would be able to support me to become a public speaker. Having had a few conversations with the members at Toastmasters over the past few weeks, I felt comfortable and I decided to join as a member.

Make Everyday a School Day

As adults, we have a tendency to stop learning once we finish our formal education and this is the major mistakes that the majority of us make. We put the focus on our job, money, holidays, family and get distracted from the daily challenges of life. I was stuck in a deep rut over four years ago, with no vision of what was ahead for my career and life in general because I too, had stopped learning. My curiosity for answers halted along with my vision for what I wanted from my life and career. I thought life was so difficult and it seemed so unfair for me as I was getting nowhere. Then I was fortunate to be introduced to personal development from a business opportunity in June 2011. That was the year which became a huge turning point for me and I was surprised at what I could do to attract what I wanted. I learned from the late motivational speaker, author and entrepreneur Jim Rohn to “Take Charge of My Life”. I learned to turn my lack of motivation to becoming better instead of bitter and I was on my way to a magical journey to self discovery. I set goals and had a vision for the very first time of what I really wanted from my life.

The best money you can spend is money invested in your self education. Don’t short change yourself when it comes to investing in your own better future. Jim Rohn

 

Taking full responsibility for what I receive from life

I learned from my self education in the past few years that I was blaming others for the way my life had turned out, for the way others had treated me, for what my parents did not teach me, for what my parents did to neglect me, abandon me and for everything that I did not get yet I had long to have. All this blaming was creating so much illness for me, my health and overall well being was affected immensely. This toxic way of thinking was draining, tiresome and created a huge distance between me and my true authentic self. I was losing myself and I became very sick mentally and physically. As I learned to let go of the blaming and began to take full responsibility for how my life turned out, I felt my health getting better and stronger. I felt so much happier and more at peace from within. I began to attract what I wanted from my life and what I no longer wanted was slowly disappearing.

Achieving smart goals

I loved the journey to achieving my goals because I was enjoying having a vision.  It was the journey to reaching my goals that was more enjoyable than the final destination of accomplishing those goals. It is what I needed to become to achieve my goals that I valued more than reaching the goal itself. That’s what I learned from my journey with personal development. Many people neglect to enjoy their journey to success which is an adventure in itself and it creates so many priceless memories. Having written goals in all areas of my life for the first time,  gave me clarity as to where I was heading and I had never felt that certain of myself and my abilities until then. I have many stories to tell about setting smart goals and achieving them. I failed many times and I learned from every set back. Some set backs set me up for bigger and better things to come. Other set backs were placed in my way for me to learn and make improvements. I learned from some set backs that the goal was not for me so I moved onto better and bigger things.

The major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be the far greater value than what you get. Jim Rohn

What Lies Ahead

I have learned from my continuous journey with personal development that action taken daily equals to success. Success is in the work we do on a daily basis that accumulates to it. It takes more than one day to build an empire, it takes more than one day to build good habits in order to gain success. There are many skills required to obtain success that I was never taught at home or at school. Yet, I taught myself over the past four and a half years from investing in the time and effort each day in my self education. It has been a journey of pain, sweat, blood and tears and some loses as well as some memorable gains along the way. That is what I loved about self developing. We have many stories to tell and share with others on our adventures to achieving success. I am enjoying every day as I keep my eyes on the prize and focus on accomplishing my goals.

Blinkers On

I learned a very valuable lesson a few years ago from a weekend training event in Birmingham, England. I was sitting at the front of the room, listening and taking notes to our speaker from America who had failed terribly yet he picked himself back up and focused on his goals. He told us of how he had put the blinkers on and forged his way ahead to get to where he was at on that day when he was on stage. He spoke in length about values and attitude which he said was vital to success and I have come to agree with him very much. He also said that we need to make tough decisions in order to grow and expand out of our comfort zone. If we never make any progress with our lives, we shall never be happy from our own accomplishments. Making progress is more valuable than buying materialistic things to fulfill our need to shop and spend.

Eliminate Major Distractions

I value my friends a lot yet I am very aware of what they are giving out and where they have me heading and talking about. We become the first five people we spend most of our time with so we must evaluate them from time to time. I have eliminated one of my close friends who had become very toxic over a period of two years and that was one of the toughest decisions I ever made for my personal growth. I was getting too much drama and negative vibes from this close friend which distracted me from achieving my goals. Our friendship lasted over eight years and during that time, her two kids had bonded very well with Calvin, my youngest son and it broke my heart to tell Calvin that he could no longer be friends with his two closest friends that he had known since he was a baby. With no more drama and distractions from friends and little from family, I was free to concentrate on working towards my goals.

Loneliness

As I continued to work on accomplishing my goals, my life had become rather lonely and it was my choice. I no longer wanted to listen to any gossip or drama from friends and this was just what is required for my achievements. I found being in my own company every day to be rather peaceful and enjoyable. I have been surrounded by children and family all my life, taking care of their needs which meant I was neglecting to take care of my own needs so this is the first time in my entire life that I am now able to focus entirely on meeting my needs, wants and desires. There has been times where I long to belong to a group, a community and to fulfill my potential. I searched and asked then the universe came to my aid and it placed me in touch with a charity shop so I could work there one day a week as a volunteer. It has been so enjoyable and I am grateful to be able to give my time to a well deserved cause and meet new people.

Happiness is Success

Are you happy with where you are at, with whatever you have yet have a desire to work on yourself to attract more into your life? Do you long to be someone else? Do you long to escape the life that you are currently in? Do you long to have a better life?  Do you want every struggle in your life to disappear?  We are all creating something for ourselves each day and it is our attitude to what we do with life’s hurdles that determines our happiness. We can blame x, y and z for the way our life has turned out yet where does that get us? Taking full responsibility and ownership for the choices we make in our daily lives is what gets us towards success and happiness then follows. I have had many friends and acquaintances tell me that others are to blame for what life has been giving them yet they did not take any responsibilities for what they chose for themselves. We all have a choice about how our life turns out. I choose happiness each day because it benefits my health immensely. We can all learn to become better instead of being bitter. Bitterness is toxic and creates many illnesses and diseases. Letting go of all bitterness for our own happiness and contentment leads to success. Success is not entirely determined by financial riches. We could be rich in money yet poor in attitude and values. We could be rich in money yet poor in health. We could be rich in money yet poor in happiness. I have met many people who are happy because they know that they do not need money in order to be successful.

Focus on the Positives

Have you ever noticed that happy people are much more successful?  They attract more of what they want from their lives because they give out positive vibes. They get back what they give out, multiplied. They are much more healthier, more energetic and are the motivators and people are more attracted to them wherever they go. The are inspirational, their energy and positivity is contagious and these are the people you really want to surround yourself with. They have a positive mental attitude and nothing brings them down for long. They always learn from every negative situation that challenges them and they move forward faster than sad people.  They never say “why me” or have a “victim” mentality because they are taking full responsibility for whatever happens to them.

Lasting Effect

Have you ever had such a huge impact on someone where you are their inspiration? That is success to me. I have had one such friend whom I got to know on a social network site. Yet sadly, our friendship was a very short and brief one. I got to know that this friend brought out the best in others no matter where he was or what he was doing. He was full of support, encouragement and praise and still had fun with life. He came into my life during the darkest time back in November 2013 when I lost my big brother to a very sudden death to unknown causes. I was at my weakest and he lifted me up by sending me massages each day to cheer me up. It was like opening to a Christmas present each morning as I woke up. He was there to chat with me and listen with the intent to understand. We had so much fun and we built a bond as we could relate to each other’s struggles. He left a legacy behind as so many people that knew him was heartbroken by his early and tragic death. I have a very special place in my heart for him and I shall remember the words he told me about happiness. He said to me through a quote “never put the keys to your happiness in anyone else’s pocket“!  How true!  Our happiness depends on what we do, how we respond to life and what progress we make.

Tony Robbins and Jim Rohn

My sweetheart attended a Tony Robbins seminar in April 2015 and he told me that Tony had said “make progress for happiness”!  I totally agree with Tony. I see so many adults stop learning and stop making progress after their formal education and they wonder why life is so difficult. Life is difficult because we lack the skills to get us through life’s struggles and hurdles. Jim Rohn, my mentor said “Don’t ask for an easy life, ask for more skills”.

Success is everything. Success is to survive. Success is to flourish in every part of your life. Jim Rohn

 

 The importance of a vision for what we want from life

What do you want from life Kit?  I was asked this when I attended a private personal development course back in June 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland. This was the first time I heard anyone ask me what I wanted from my life and it helped me to gain clarity as to where I want to be and what I wanted to become. The group in this course was taught the importance of having clarity as to what we wanted from life. We become stagnant in life when we no longer have a vision as to where we are heading and what we are becoming. We remain in our comfort zone and never growing or expanding as we feel so comfortable doing the same thing day in, day out which creates a very low quality of life. We all made a vision board of what we wanted from our life, from our holidays to where we wanted to live to what career we wanted to have and to what sort of relationship we wanted to attract to us. I attracted my first Hong Kong holiday last year from this vision board. I made several vision boards after this personal development course for what I wanted as I learned how powerful vision boards are and all of those visions came through. My most magical vision was flying to Sydney to see “it’s famous landmarks” as I had wrote it onto my bucket list after reading “The Key To Living The Law of Attraction” by Jack Canfield in 2012. My “dream” came true last June as I flew to Sydney with Calvin, my ten year old son for over three weeks and it was the best holiday I had ever experienced yet! I picked up the travel bug from this fun filled holiday as we flew to Hong Kong for ten days straight after our Sydney adventure. Calvin also picked up the travel bug and learned so much from his first ever adventure up in the sky!

My conclusion

Success to me, is to feel happy and content from within yet to have a vision for what I want for my life. To work hard and consistently to achieve my vision. To have goals, ambitions and an appetite for acquiring new skills and knowledge to expand and grow. To travel to new heights and adventures as I step out of my comfort zone for personal growth. To inspire and motivate myself and others to fulfill their goals. To bring out the best in myself and others as I want to leave a legacy behind before I pass on. To help others whenever I am able in any way I can and to share with others what I gained and learned from my journey to achieving success. To have compassion and empathy for myself and others and to accept that we all make mistakes and to learn from them. To continually make progress in my life for happiness and self development. To stretch myself to get where I want to be and who I want to become in one year, three years, five years and ten years time. To keep my eyes on the prize and have the blinkers on whilst working on accomplishing my goals. Most importantly, to make continuous progress for a higher quality of life.

If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them, everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. Michael Jordan

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