Say YES to Inspirational Leadership and Humanity

(Freeway Exit Sign. Artist: nattavut. Freedigitalphotos.net. 14102011)
(Freeway Exit Sign. Artist: nattavut. Freedigitalphotos.net. 14102011)

I was inspired to write this post for several reasons:

  • Inspiration is something that makes me tick, and something I personally welcome into my life each and every day.
  • Other inspirational people empower me, those, who always rise above their fears, insecurities, and challenges.
  • I have noticed, throughout my life, and my career, how much people need inspiration and encouragement. Every single day, I interact with other professionals, who either doubt themselves or humanity, and who need to be encouraged in order to have faith in themselves and in humanity.
  • Inspiration is equal to being connected with your soul, and your true purpose in life. We all experience less perfect days, but by connecting to source, finding meaning and purpose in our lives, and connecting to people who inspire, empower and believe in us, we can, and should have, faith in ourselves and in humanity.

I would like to share with you a story about staying motivated, and not giving up, even though things and circumstances may seem tough, or even rough at times, when people let us down, and we sometimes are about to lose faith in humanity. I do not know the origin of the story, but it is being widely spread online by different people:

 

ONE DAY I DECIDED TO QUIT

 

“I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality… I wanted to quit everything.
I went to the woods to have a talk with Spirit.
“Spirit”, I asked,
“Can you give me one good reason not to quit?”.
The response surprised me…
“Look around”, Spirit said. “Do you see the fern and the bamboo?
“Yes”, I replied.

“When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them.
I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth.
Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. Yet, I did not quit on the bamboo. In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful.
And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. I still did not quit on the bamboo.
“In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed, but I would not quit.
In year four, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. I would not quit.”
“Then, suddenly, in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant…But only 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall.
It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive.I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle.”

Spirit asked me: “Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots”.
“I would not quit on the bamboo, and I will never quit on you.”
“Don’t compare yourself to others.” Spirit continuet.”The bamboo had a different Purpose than the fern.
Yet they both make the forest beautiful.””Your time will come”, Spirit said to me.
“You will rise high”.
“How high should I rise?” I asked.
“How high will the bamboo rise?” Spirit asked in return.
“As high as it can?” I questioned.”Yes.” He said, “Give Me glory by rising as high as you can.”
I left the forest and brought back this story. I hope these words can help you see that Spirit will never give up on
you. Never, Never, Never, Give up.

Don’t tell Spirit how big the problem is, tell the problem how Great Spirit is”!

 

What Do You Want to Achieve?

                                                          
 “All personal achievement starts in the mind of the individual. Your personal achievement starts in your mind. The first step is to know exactly what your problem, goal or desire is”.

(W. Clement Stone) 

 
Do you know what you want in life? Have you ever taken the time to consider what the purpose of your life is? Do you wake up in the mornings feeling empowered by life itself, by your everyday life, or do you merely, somehow, process yourself through another day without knowing the actual purpose of what you are doing?
 

If you are at all like me, you have taken the time to reflect upon your life, at least every now and then. In truth, we all reach a point at some stage in our life, where we start questioning ourselves certain things. This may happen several times during our lives, and to be quite honest, it is a sign of spiritual growth if we are capable of questioning ourselves, our actions, and to develop as individuals. 

 
Very often real achievement requires long-term goals, persistence, and the capability of continuous efforts without giving up at any stage. It is a matter of being able to focus on the final outcome, and there may be many obstacles and failures on the way to achieving your goal. 
 

Many people prefer to go with the flow, which probably is the easiest way to “get through life” – because, in the end, no one escapes from life alive. This is something worth keeping in mind e.g. when facing your fears. Life is not a gamble, but those who are never willing to risk anything, are neither capable of winning anything. 

 

“You never know beforehand what people are capable of, you have to wait, give it time, it’s time that rules, time is our gambling partner on the other side of the table and it holds all the cards of the deck in its hand, we have to guess the winning cards of life, our lives.” 

(José Saramago, Blindness)

 

Referring to J. Saramago´s quote, you will never know what you are capable of achieving unless you try. I have a deaf-blind cousin who is an excellent chess player, and he has also cycled throughout half Finland on a tandem bicycle together with his personal assistant. No one needs to be perfect in order to be capable of achieving wonderful things in life.

 

Achievement always starts with personal motivation, setting long-term (and short-term) goals, and a willingness to work towards reaching those goals. The road may sometimes be bumpy, even difficult, depending upon the complexity of the actual goal, but the more purposeful the achievement is to us, the harder and longer are we willing to work towards the final outcome. 

 

Sometimes we may lose the appetite, especially with obstacles coming our way. In these situations, it is important to take a break, to question our actions, perhaps the actions of others as well, perhaps consulting someone with similar (or more) experiences, to get a mentor and/or a coach who you can trust to help you on your way. 

 

“Part of the issue of achievement is to be able to set realistic goals, which is one of the hardest things to do because you don’t always know exactly where you’re going, and you shouldn’t”.

(George Lucas)

 

 

UN Millennium Development Goals 2000: I. Eradication of extreme hunger and poverty

Previously I wrote general facts about the UN as the world ́s most important co-operational organization. Now, and in my upcoming posts, I will focus on the current main strategic goals of the UN.

The first UN Millennium Development Goal is the eradication of extreme hunger and poverty. The UN, in cooperation with nations worldwide, has already managed to reach this goal.

However, the work against hunger and poverty still continues:

– In the past decades, remarkable progress has been made in decreasing poverty, especially in East Asia.

– Still, about 1,4 billion people worldwide live in extreme poverty => with under 1 € (1,25 USD) per day. Some 1 billion people suffer from hunger. Every day.

– Most of the people living in hunger and poverty are children and youth.

– 70 % of people in extreme poverty live in rural areas.

– Global food prices doubled in 2006-2008. Although prices have gone down afterwards, they are still on a higher level than before the food crisis. High food prices exacerbates the situation of the poor.

– Decreasing/removing poverty obliges wealthy and growing/emerging economies to act more selflessly, e.g. through equalizing the rules of world trade. Developing countries, on the other hand, have to commit to good governance, the eradication of corruption, and respecting human rights.

(Source: UNA of Finland booklet. 2011).

Furthermore, the differences between different countries, regions, rural and urban areas vary largely. Still, every fifth person worldwide suffers from extreme poverty, and each 3,5 seconds one person dies from hunger. Imagine that. Sad numbers, despite the progress that has been made: worldwide, 700 million people less live in extreme poverty, in comparison with the situation in 1990. In numbers, the amount of people living in extreme poverty went down from 2 billion to 1,4 billion between 1990-2008. And the percentage of the poor decreased from 47 % to 24 % during the same period of time.

Still, every 8th person on our planet goes to bed hungry. The number of undernourished worldwide is about 842 million people. Every 6th child worldwide is undernourished, of whom every 4th suffer from severe health and mental developmental disorders. (UNA of Finland. Printed Material. 2014).

How can individuals and states be helpful in removing worldwide hunger and poverty? Very often us who do not face these problems directly in our daily lives forget about, or at least neglect, these severe problems that more than a billion people worldwide have to face in their daily lives. Many of whom are children. Do we have tunnel vision? Are we blind to face reality?

I remember a hot Summer evening, walking back to my accommodation in the town of Siem Reap in Cambodia. A small local boy ran after me, begging for money, claiming that he needed one dollar so that he could buy milk for his little sister. He continued following me, reaching out his hand so that I would give him the money he asked for.

Actually, most part of the journey was the same. Everywhere I went, people were begging for money. I didn’t count, but afterwards I thought I should have calculated how many beggars went by during my stay in Cambodia. Some I gave money, but had I given every beggar what they asked for, I would have run out of money in no time. Realizing that, and seeing the behavior of other tourists, I sometimes felt heartless. I was not able to help them all, at least not in the way they wanted me to.

Yet, in some way I helped. I traveled all the way to their country, supporting the growing tourism industry of Cambodia. And now I am sharing some of my experiences through writing, which I hope will influence at least some people.

The beggars and the poor in different countries and regions are not begging for fun. They need help, and support. If they had other means, and knew better ways of improving their lives, they would act differently. But like in Abraham Maslow’s theory of motivation, and hierarchy of needs, we all need to be able to fulfill our very basic needs first: to get enough water and food to survive. As long as this need is neglected, an individual will use whatever possibilities he or she knows to satisfy the very basic needs of life, clean water and enough nourishing food, in order to survive.

Us who have never experienced the lack of clean water or food can not really understand those who suffer every day. If we claimed to really understand what it feels like to be hungry every day, and not having enough to eat, we’d be lying.

So, how can each one of us help in eradicating poverty?

According to macroeconomics, the best way to eradicate poverty is to create employment. Poverty alleviation through sustainable strategic business models, with an emphasis on the word sustainable, is certainly one way of helping the poor. Giving people the opportunity to work themselves out of poverty, with a fair pay. I ́m not going to get into depth with this issue in this post, but we all know that sustainable and ethical business takes care of labor rights, and does not employ children.

There are many other ways of helping the poor: supporting reliable organizations that employ professional staff involved in different kinds of projects aimed at removing poverty and improving the lives of the poor(est).

Micro-lending, direct support, and money sent home by family members working in other countries are also ways of helping. Adopting a child from a poor country (can be a long and difficult process).

There are many ways to help, and help is always possible. “Where there’s a will there’s a way”.

Can you come up with others than those already mentioned in this post?

“It’s impossible, said pride.

It’s risky, said experience.

It’s pointless, said reason.

Give it a try, whispered the heart”.