Young South Africans often feel negative and dejected about the situation in our country. Unemployment, politics, crime and corruption make the future seem like an insurmountable mountain facing them. In addition to this, they struggle with academia, relationship problems and many other personal challenges. You may perhaps not be able to change your personal circumstances or the situation in the country, but you should purposefully work at staying positive all the time, regardless of how difficult it may be.
Live healthy. Good health enables you to get up every morning and purposefully take on the challenges that cross your path. Therefore, avoid bad habits such as drugs, excessive intake of alcohol, overeating and carelessness, which could harm your health. Exercise regularly. Remember, a healthy body houses a healthy mind.
Live to the full and use every opportunity life offers you. Satisfy your interests and use your talents. Enjoy life. One is young only once (and only for a limited time).
Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities. Benjamin Disraeli said: “The secret of success in life is that one should be ready when your opportunity arrives”.
Work hard. Thomas Edison said that most people miss opportunities because they wear overalls and look like work. Opportunities and success depend on your willingness to roll up your sleeves and work hard.
Good and reliable friends are an asset to every young person. They will cheer you up, care about you, make you laugh and make life worthwhile. Choose friends on whom you can depend for support and who can give you good, honest advice. Robert Louis Stevenson, a Scottish writer, said: “All of us are travellers through the wilderness of this world. And the best we can hope to find on this journey, is a good friend”.
Do not compare yourself with others, because this leads to jealousy, depression and poor self-esteem. There will always be somebody better, more intelligent, more beautiful and richer than you. Focus on your talents, dreams and goals and develop them. Be the best person. You already have everything you should have – therefore, focus on your dreams and goals.
Sense of humour. Laughing is good for the spirit. Learn to see the humour in situations, but guard against flippancy.
Keep your faith. This is a wonderful source of strength and hope in difficult times and a source of inspiration and hope for the future.
Make a difference. Use your talents and knowledge to make this world a better place. Do not always only want to receive, also be prepared to give.
At all times make the right choices. Know when to say “yes” and when to say “no”. Jump at opportunities, but also set boundaries. Do not blame others for wrong decisions; take responsibility for your choices.
Dreams and goals direct your life. Decide where you want to go with your life and what you want to do and take the bull by the horns. Share your dreams and goals with a trustworthy friend or family member who can encourage and motivate you when you become discouraged or negative.
Nobody is perfect, all of us sometimes make mistakes – so, it’s unnecessary to mope over your failures and faults.
Talk to somebody you can trust about your fears, worries or outrage.
Accept setbacks as one of the unavoidable things in life and that it is something you can overcome.
See yourself as a conquerer rather than a victim. Make a conscious decision to to grab the positive in a situation and to see it as a growth opportunity.
Be friendly towards the people around you. You will be surprised at how it makes you feel better too in spite of your own seemingly desperate situation.
Compile a gratitude list – there is often more in your life to be grateful for than the negative things you are currently experiencing, even if you are only grateful for the privilege of living.
Remember that it is normal and part of life to feel unhappy, worried and negative.
Things will become better again, but sometimes it takes longer than you would like.
Dr ST Potgieter. Pitkos. 5/12/2019. Boodskap vir jongmense. Tel: 021 949 5007; cellp hone: 083 227 3683; email: firstname.lastname@example.org