Is a pilgrim’s voice. The boy is on a mental cross road. The heart speaks to him in a manner he has never before explored. It asks questions, gives directions, challenges his mind and makes him conscious of himself. It wakes up his thoughts and shows him the way to happiness, wealth and dreams of his life. It gives him demands; and commands him to have a say in his life. It teaches him the complexities of life and simplifies it in a way he can best understand it. It’s unapologetic and dwells on reflective thinking that comes with inspired thought. Its message is summed up in a thought that, “It’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary and only the wise men are able to understand them”. And that every person is capable of being wise, once they intend to be so.
SAMPLE THE BOOK
“If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?” – Unknown
THE Boy stood irresolutely at the cross road. There were four paths ahead of him. The one he came with and the three others he had to choose the right one to follow; either the one on his left or the one on his right, or the one in front of him. At first he thought he had three options from which to choose. But the longer he stood there, his mind blazing out incomprehensibly; he realized that, even the root that brought him there was still an option too. The sun was rising steadily from the eastern horizon. It was a new day. The past had gone with all its joys and sadness. What he was going decide then was going to determine one of the two. Choice seemed to have appeared as the most difficult things he had come to face in his life. He realized that, when one was ignorance all that matters was to follow the narrow path of what he knew; and that made the most of his happiness. But the moment he became aware of the reality of things, he saw so many contradictory things in his life. And he was faced with the battle of choosing the best for his life. And that was a war so hard and fast to wage. But he had to make that one choice.
His heart suddenly leapt. At first he thought it was out of anxiety and tiredness from the walk. But when it tooted the third time, he knew it was speaking to him. At that moment a fresh feel of the atmosphere blew passed him. He could smell the aroma of something he had never before nosed in. It was neither sweet nor sour, but carried the fragrance that never gave a feeling of regret. It was mysteriously amazing, intriguing him to want to suggest for building a home just there in the middle of the mysterious junction. He observed the rays of the sun become lighter and brighter as they gradually blinded his eyes. But he had no urge to make a choice; at least not at that time. His heart rushed through his chest again, but he ignored its cutting pain with inquisitiveness.
Suddenly he started conversing with his heart. He wanted to seek its help for the mind seemed to have gone mute to his indecisions on the cross road.
“Who I am matters less. What I am is all why I am here with you”, he heard his heart poke out in his chest. He didn’t know what to say, for his reason of being there that morning was totally an issue of happenstance. He could have been somewhere else enjoying the smell of roasted sausage or steak, but without his knowing, he found himself there standing in the middle of the four divergent paths. And with shock, his own bodily organ was mocking him with a talk.
“There is always a time in your life when you think that whatever you have, you have because you are supposed to have whatever it is that you have. This attitude often times coils you in a mental capillary of invincibility and perfectionism. You delude yourself as to think that you are capable of standing alone no matter how much you have in our hands. Yet you forget that you are what you are today because of others”, the heart humbly and coarsely spoke. The boy squeezed his palms in gesture of guiltiness. The message was piercing and mind-poking. He had gotten to pick up his own struggles and challenges with no-one else’s help because he believed all its contractions were his to amend. And to hear a contradictory statement from his heart was like having a close friend speaking behind your back.
“If only people could realize this, could they foster their goals and lives towards essential things in their daily endeavors. The talents you have you owe them to your God Almighty. From childhood, He breathed in you the special skills that can be learned but which needed personal artifact for them to yield fruits. This has been your miracle attitude: you thanked God for the great blessings He endowed in you; the talents of creativity, imagination, innovation, writing, knowledge, passion and reason”, the heart voiced out. The boy embraced his chest, his eyes gazing at the bright sun, clearly seeing the round ball of fire in the middle of the sparkling rays. All he could feel around him was nothing but the heard trotting from one chamber of the chest to another. He didn’t know hearts could speak.
“From the time as a boy, you came to discover these crafts so early so much that, you intended to be focused in enhancing them by doing them. Everyday deep down in me your heart I hear you thank your former Teacher for English, whose irritating critiques of your compositions drove you higher in outshining his observations. It was through his ‘mockery’ in class that gave you a dire zeal and articulation of sharpening your desire in writing. I daily feel your gratefulness for him, because without his other side of looking at your work; all these marvelous works would have just been pipe dreams today”, the heart reminded him. How it knew all those secrets he had never told anyone, he could not understand. He wondered whether really there was such a thing as secrets, if some parts of human life were moving recorders that sucked and stored everything that man did and spoke about.
“Growing up in a society where reading of books is like a show off”, the heart continued, “you always thank all those who by their powers and interest in reading influenced you to the levels whereby you would not leave any piece of paper lying around the place without knowing what it contained. I know you owe this inculcation much to your Father who never missed a daily newspaper and stocked a lot of books in his shelves in the living room. Without his influence, which was nevertheless so involuntary, your passion for writing wouldn’t have been as flavored as it is now. Mixing with so many kinds of people from so many different aspects of life, gave you huge ideas of how humanity is and behaves; and gave you a variety of stocks of character and experiences of all sorts of tastes life could offer. This indulgence though with caution, armed you with a mentality that today stands as a positive mark in your life as a writer. I surely know you owe this growth to your friend Chali; the only young man you came to realize his friendship was neither that of hook nor crook for he kept changing his course of direction every now and then just to make sure you never lost any nerve during your hour of need”, the boy laughed. ‘What the heavens, is going on?’ he murmured to himself, enjoying the cozy warmth of the sun that was however making him sweat by every second that passed. Listening to his heart probe him, was like standing before a judge being accused of stealing someone’s under wear, when you have never known how one looks like.
“I know you think I am mad. But I know too that you thank Sebastian as well; a man whose character is akin to that of a youth who is still so excited with the new discoveries of his body; he taught you what makes men die popular even in old age; Kievoy too; a young man whose hair turned so white at a tender age claiming that his thoughts have been diluted with the brain. His companionship, and accommodativeness adds up to biblical times when no one was a stranger even in a strange land. I know too that you think of Caphus as well; another young man who kept growing fat, despite what he was going through; showed you how some men with weak sense of fight get worried so easily and tell themselves to grab whatever comes across as long as it would give them a living”, the boy blurted out in amused laughter. How dare could the heart go so deep into him that it could figure out all such hidden truths about his friends.
“Then there is Gabriel; a zealous young man with a sense of smile and liveliness. From him you got a tinge of relaxation that everything has its time. His love for the skirts, much of a talk than reality though, showed you how some men can be so life-loving yet still be serious with it at the same time. This is the man who believed that going through a phase of tough time is a payment for the wrongs one did in the past; some kind of experiencing hell on Earth for someone’s perfection before being right with his God”, the boy felt a wave of coldness rush down his spine cord. The mention of Gabriel brought so many memories he had once forgotten on how much thankful he was for what he did for him. But then his heart disturbed his thoughts.
“Memories, no matter how sad they may seem to be, must be cherished because; every one of them came for a reason – to make you realize the real you. These examples of men, I prettily surely know that you thank them so much, because they sow a seed of brotherhood in you. They inspired your instincts and resolve to realize that life needs records that pump some life in others who may be going through what others are experiencing. There were also the ‘sucker’ punchers who would tell you in your face what you didn’t do when all was heaven for you. They would feed you, give you where to sleep and tell you to be careful next time you are fine as to remember those who helped you when you were in need. Such encounters inspired you to resolve your beliefs and to see life from the different angle. Without their frank talk, you wouldn’t have known or learnt what it means to lack”, the heart spoke. And the boy nodded his head in agreement. What the heart said was bloodily an excusable and palatable serious to listen to.
“There were some who gossiped about you intentionally knowing you are listening just to see how you would react. I know you thank them so much too, because they trained your patience and putting up. They tested your spirits so much that you could know how far you would go with such, for better things never come on a silver plate. You may not work hard for them in the sense of a definition of mankind, but what you may mentally go through could be a tough challenge that needs only the tougher to succeed”, the heart said, making the boy teary. He had never wanted anyone to remind him of the past. The days he had not known the whys, and hows to his life. But then his heart still went back to his archives tabled those files for him to read.
“Then there was your Mother and you Father; happy couple despite being in need. Their look at things inspired you to be realistic and always ‘walk by faith and not by sight’. Their words were touchy, their actions so parental like one handling a newly born baby. I feel your gratitude towards them; it exceeds anything else you could do for them. It’s at this point in your life when you realized the importance of family; the reason why a parent’s desire in his or her child is not to be helped, but to see the child be able to stand on his or her own and help him or herself. Shame often times pours on your head when you realize if one’s contributions of thanks giving to their parents doesn’t even fill a tea cup. It becomes lessons learnt so hard.
“I know you think of your brothers and sisters too who from their meager living, always put a smile for you; narrated stories of passion for goodness and stories of prosperity; stories of love and stories of fighting till the last drop of energy. Who wouldn’t be inspired when your own blood sees your life being better than you think it is yourself? I feel the thank you for them to the pinnacle of my heart, because their involvement in your life story, speaks volumes of how much they are wise and loved”, the boy stood there in the sun, tears dropping down his cheeks. The journey had been long, but the destination had not seemed to appear so soon; and the heart was there palpating him on matters that provoked his soul.
“And there are the three people; Chichi, Junior and Lulu. They hardly talked any sense but their intriguing questions and sentiments to you were more sensible than sensibility itself, especially coming from the brains of their ages. Such zigzags opened your sixth sense to see gold in mud and see salvation in the cross. They inspired you to realize that, love turns everything golden; that care and laughter paints one’s life with a new coat of inner joy and happiness because these are children, innocent as they are but are able to see life from the spiritual side where an adult may be so blind to realize till they mention it. Without them in your life, this journey you have started would have been a none-starter. I surely know that you thank them as your special gifts to your life”. The boy sweating, but his body was cold as ice cold water from a deep freezer. He was heaving like a tree in a tornado. His mind was shut; his brain was locked; but for the heart that was busy tooting in his chest.
“After all is said, appreciated and done, do you intend to aspire to inspire someone today, tomorrow, the other day or month or year? What do you have to do for others instead of you asking for others to do something for you?” the heart asked. And the boy could feel the urge to talk.
“But if it's true that human beings are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?”
“That is a wise one. True indeed; what are the others here for? Interesting enough, you are all ‘the others’ at one point in your lives, because life is a cycle. Today, you are the giver, tomorrow you are the receiver. So what do you have to do for others instead of you asking for others to do something for you? What is your intention in life?” The boy zipped up his mouth. Such questions to him were matters for the heart; but it was the heart asking him. He didn’t know what to say. The warmth of the sun was as great as the sense of being ignorant.
“People who are selfish have little problems but they seem big. People who are generous have big problems but they seem little.” - Mother Theresa
IT was mid-morning. The sun was doing what it knew best; scotching anything that it laid heat on. The boy stood there like a motionless pole of electricity in the middle of nowhere. His clothes were soaked in boiling sweat. He couldn’t know where exactly he was. His world was so thin and limited. It revolved just within the diameters of his feet. Anything else beyond a centimeter away was in abyss of his knowledge. His heart was tooting like a motor in car cylinder of an eighteen valve engine sports car at supersonic speed.
“So often you don’t know what you want to do in life and when you know what you want to do in life, often time you dare not to dare walk your talk” the heart blizzard through his veins, letting the warmth of his body rise further.
“Times you try to put foot to peddle and ride your passion in search of your dream life, just one pitfall, sees you back to point one. Little do you realize that actually, a pitfall was not a mere accident, but a deliberate point in your life to see how creative and resourceful you are for you to successfully use this dream or destiny once you acquire it”, the heart spoke; and the boy couldn’t agree more, for the words contained the valor that opened the reality of his battles he had waged all his life. The battles that continued to push him to the limits of his decisions on whether it was worthy celebrating life.
He realized that each day of his life, when he woke up, he always looked forward to something new to happen; something he had never experienced before, and often times such a thing he always expected it to be good. And indeed every time he woke up, so many good things did happen to him and his life, but he rarely saw those things or occurrences with his two naked eyes. He could feel empty and disconnected, and he always wondered why.
“This is so because, you fail to connect yesterday to today and see the difference. All you see is the sky, the sun and the house you live in. Your observation of your breath, your face, your clothes, your neighbor, your blankets, your surrounding doesn’t find space in your life because you take them for granted” the heart replied to his troubled thoughts.
The boy recalled his readings far back in his days as a lover of books. Somewhere it was written that “when each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises”. He didn’t know what it exactly meant. But then, standing there, some senses were re-germinating from the sub-human mind.
“You have conditioned yourself to certain formulas of life; to a routine that is unconsciously programmed so much that when you skip a certain point of action you feel you have wronged your body or your consciousness. Your whole day goes out as ‘awkward’, boring, lifeless and unproductive. In this realm of situation, even when a golden opportunity lurks on you, you are unable to see it or smell it, because you are very unfamiliar with its territory for your sixth sense doesn’t operate; its dead and it can’t differentiate yesterday from today” the heart interrupted him. The sentiments sounded familiar, but the invocations the heart brought was so refreshed and was like trading on virgin lands. “Your personal problems become huger than the problems of others. Your needs become more serious than the needs of others. Your happiness means so much to you than the happiness of others” the heart went ahead. The boy’s mind revisited another thought he had read years back that, “People who are selfish have little problems but they seem big. People who are generous have big problems but they seem little”.
“Your language is that of arrogance as if you are the only one who has suffered to be where you are; even when you didn’t even suffer as the word in the ordinary sense of it suggests. But because you are deluded with this spirit of ‘me, myself and I’ attitude you, encircle yourself to give an impression that you ‘worked’ for what you have and need not be bothered. In your day to day life, you never intend to aspire to inspire anyone human being as to how you managed to be where you are. You owe your success to no-one but yourself deceiving those you come in contact with” the heart scalded. The boy felt his blood clout for once. It was like he was in a court room; fixed in the accused box to answer charges that he knew he was so much guilt of.
“To be a human being you need to sacrifice your own happiness for the sake of others. You need to look into our own closet and realize that you are no better than others. You need to perform an act of generosity once in a while as a remedy for such an act that was performed by others to you somewhere. Have you ever heard an ancient saying, that, ‘He who has saved one life has as it were saved the world entire? ’A human being need to chart a life of making others feel human, loved and cared for. You don’t need money to do that, neither do you need to be wealth for you to do that. A word that is able to make someone smile even in times of total depression brings the other side of life to that person. A hand that is able to lift someone who is completely tired of walking, is a gesture showing that, no man is an island”. It was deep for the boy. He felt like a zombie; pure puppet tied to the master trick star controlling all his movements. He was stiff and nerve racking, but the sun kept him blind from anything that surrounded him, if at all there was anything surrounding him.
He knew everyone needed a good, happy life, where everything anyone needed came as needed. But he also knew that very few managed to have such needs yet day in and day out they woke up and went for work and got paid lump sums at the end of the months; but they yet still were unable to get what they needed; their money grew wings and flew away as soon as they got it and they cursed that they weren’t paid well. He couldn’t understand why.
“To amass wealth, the Babylonians did one act of generosity every time they got paid or got profit from their businesses; they shared tenth of their dues to the poor, the hopeless, the needy and the strangers and in turn their wages were increased two folds. That’s the miracle of life. Blessed is the hand that gives. Have you read a book that says, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine?” the heart asked gently. The boy tried to tilt his head in a nod, but his neck was stiff; so he innately nodded. He knew the heart would see and feel the nod even when done innately, but what the heart was suggesting was something he had not come across in all his intensive readings. He felt more and more oblivious.
“In giving you are performing an act of aspiration that inspires the given to give out too in their own small ways. And when the whole world turns out to be a ‘giving’ world; which person will starve or get thirsty? Who will walk naked or cry for help? The same book you have never read before says, ‘One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.’ The rub at your neck therefore should be: Are you just making a living or are you making a difference in your life? What is your intention? You need to know that only those who have a powerful sense of purpose always want to make a positive difference to the people around them” the heart convulsed. The boy was no-longer sane. His mind was distant. The rays of the sun percolated all his veins transforming him into one of the rays. His humanly feelings were gone. An indescribable feeling of security encircled the place where he stood.
“Where you are stands my secrets buried in the twin that sustains your life in my form”, the heart spoke. The boy couldn’t understand what the heart meant by being a twin of its form. But his position was so far from recovering his voice of the natural being. It was disconnected from him. “Here you draw the zeal to inspire others to have to do whatever it takes for them to excite people into action. It’s here where you awake them up to the reality of how powerful and influential their intentions are in making their lives be how they want them to be, depending on what they do, say and think. Great minds of old said, ‘The purpose of life is a life of purpose’. And the moment you take a powerful purpose or intention it will make you unstoppable. People, who always intend to aspire to inspire others, always get inspired themselves to live their lives to the fullest” the heart informed. The boy was endeared. The provocations from the heart were instigating a potent spell of authoritative energy in him. He could feel it advancing towards his melting flesh.
“Just read the story of Paul after that miraculous meeting on his way to carry on his destructive works. Paul’s story captivates anyone’s blood stream. It inspires even those who do not believe in the book where this story is found, because it’s an ordinary story of an ordinary man who becomes the center of events with an intention of carrying good actions, words and thoughts over wicked ones. It’s an epic or an adventurous story of perdition turned into dreamland. Or take for instance the story of Job. It’s not all about faith alone that we find in these stories, but about courage, resilience and perseverance too in the ordinary sense of an ordinary person like you, which are followed with positive intentions” the heart expounded. The boy could see the azure of creation below him as he flew above the ethers of vegetation. He liked the feeling that engulfed him. It had no word to explain; just like the feeling one felt when sharing the pleasure of intimacy with the other soul of the opposite nature.
“What about the story of Emma himself? It is all about an intention to inspire the down trodden; to pump hope and happiness in them; to aspire to bring joy in the lives of those who think they have reached the end of their journey, with an intention of showing how tremendous Supreme Human’s love to His people is. Just the mere fact that some people today call Emma as ‘one of the most influential and great teachers to have walked on the Earth’ even when he is more than that, signifies how he inspired and has continued to inspire people, believers and none believers alike because they still cheer at his intention”. The boy was abounding into the atmosphere of logical reality. What he knew then was a drop in an ocean of a wealth of knowledge he was able to perceive. There as abundant of it; endless and amazingly heart throbbing.
“It’s not true that such aspirations are only meant for those ‘chosen ones’; no. Everyone is chosen. You have the capacity to intend to inspire anyone and even intend to change his or their life; because no-one is at the same level in life, neither, do you experience, the same things nor do you have the same talents. You are all unique in your own ways and it’s this specialty that must give you the drive to uplift others’ lives and bring uniformity of purpose to everyone, as long as you faithfully intend it with your thoughts, actions and words.
“Those ordinary men and women who have chosen to abide by their gifts and intended to aspire to inspire others, have come in contact with inner joy and happiness in their lives, and what you call miracles have followed them everywhere they have gone. Their wealth and prosperity is intact because it’s intended on a foundation that is unbreakable – the foundation of inner joy; because inner joy is the fuel of success. That’s where I the heart stay. You can always be whatever you want to be, or do whatever you want to do in life; just intend it, believe in it, talk about it, act like you have it and think about it, and you will see what happens to your life. That’s what I know because I have seen it, that’s the power of thought” the heart titillated, and the boy gradually drew back to his position. The stand above was a different level; a level only seen by those who aspired to do so; a level that confused him to say the least. Down on his feet, the sun was blazing towards overhead. He stood his grounds, for his mission was unknown yet.
“It takes so much to be a full human being that there are very few who have the enlightenment or the courage to pay the price; and that one has to accept pain as a condition of existence” - Morris West
THE boy commandeered his energy in the sun. The magnified rays were grinning down on him on the axis of his head. He had been there since sun rise, but he felt as though he had stood there since eternity. Cicadas were bursting out their balloon tummies as they wept for a cool atmosphere. The vibration of their sharp cries was all the vibes he could feel. Their annoying noise was being swallowed up in the maze of the heat. The heart on one side was pounding with all its muscles. He could feel its punches as it hit the blanket of its cover.
“It’s such a common factor to many like you; the wealthy and the needy alike. Very few of you have the guts to leave what you have even when you could see that it doesn’t make sense to you, in search of something better. I understand you, because it’s your human nature to stay with what you can see than looking for something you can’t see. Ironically even you, who proclaim your faith in your religion, practice the, “seeing is believing” ideology. Yet every week you proclaim your faith in God whom you can’t see” the heart expounded rather seriously. The boy could feel its strength and tenacity. It seemed to have been on a trail of mastering the plan for him; and he had no reason to abate its duty.
“It’s all a principle of fearing to lose what you have because you are scared of taking risks of life, searching for something unknown, because you are not sure whether or not you will find something better after all. You lack moral faith in you. You have no resolve. You become so complacent with what you have. You get too satisfied too easily, and lack the eagerness to go beyond your limits. You always think you can’t be like others you know who have made it. You demean yourself and look down upon yourself. And that makes you a dormant lazy human”. The boy was all peevish. How could the heart be so rude and scornful to him when it was him who made it relevant for its survival in his chest? Didn’t it know that if he wanted, he could have right away intoxicated it and made it useless? The boy silently told himself. The truth was so punchy and painful. But what he knew was that it was after all the heart’s use; to remind one the correct way of how things were.
“You fail to understand that it’s a risk not to risk. If you fear to lose what you have, nothing better will come to you. Because it’s through sacrifice that you gain abundantly; because through such sacrifices you donate what’s so valuable to you, and share it with others. Through such sacrifices you are rendering a noble cause of generosity; and this gesture is one of the ways you come closer to the face of grace”.
The boy listened with a clutched mind. He remembered Paul Tillich’s words in his book, Shaking of the Foundations in which he says, “grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life. It strikes us when we feel that our separation is deeper than usual, because we have estranged. It strikes us when our disgust for our own being, our indifference, our weakness, our hostility, and our lack of direction and composure has become intolerable to us. It strikes us when, year after year, the longed-for perfection of life does not appear, when the old compulsion reign within us as they have for years, when despair destroys all joy and courage. Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying: ‘You are accepted…’”. The heart seemed to have been reminding him of the lessons he had read ages ago, but which he had neglected to heed. He recalled Morris West’s notions as well in his writings, The Shoes of the Fisherman which he bumped into long time past which said that it takes so much to be a full human being that there are very few who have the enlightenment or the courage to pay the price; and that one has to accept pain as a condition of existence; that one has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of existence and that one needs a will stubborn in conflict, but suitable always for the total acceptance of living and dying.
The world was opening before him. The life of things’ reality was silently paving a path into his ignorant mind. The fortification of his collapse was building up. Suddenly Mary Craig’s thoughts in her writings, Blessings, hit his nap; “it’s only through suffering that we can hope to come to self-knowledge; when the journey starts, there is no going back, but the land ahead is unknown and the road uncharted. Here are dragons a-plenty, but the worst enemy is that composite self-delusion and self-pity…our tragedy is not that we suffer but that we waste suffering; that we waste the opportunity of growing into compassion…we cannot run away from our battles without losing ourselves in the process”. He could not understand why all of the instance, things were falling in place; ancient knowledge he came across a while ago was running back into his memory like it was being attracted by a magnetic force. “Antoine De Saint-Exupery explains that, ‘It is with the heart that one sees rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye’” the boy murmured, and immediately the heart thumped jovially against his chest. It realized the boy’s mind was being rebooted back to normal.
“So if you want to get to your goals get out of your cocoon and look out. It’s better to lose all that you have, that does not make you progress and step out in search of a better life. Sometimes it may happen accidentally like getting fired, redundant, retrenched or repatriated; its good time for you. Don’t grumble, or cry, shout or insult. Look at every moment or situation that comes to you as a blessing. Always look out for a silver lining in any situation that seems bad. Get to terms with it and move on” the heart responded, and the boy felt a smiling sensation run through his body. The heat of the sun became part of him. He was becoming like the rays again. His body was getting lighter like a piece of paper.
“It was so tough for you when you left the Stool you sat on for a long time; it was like the whole sky had fallen on you. Everything you looked at seemed like laughing at you or mocking you. Even strangers seemed to have known that you had lost your Stool, because all that was in your mind. You had chosen a path of denial and you cried for clinging on to the Stool that you had already lost. It was so foolish a thought because it made you more miserable than being more measurable. Instead of you knowing that your food was finished there and you needed to look for some more somewhere else, you decided to search for it in a place you knew you won’t find it. Wasn’t that irritating and frustrating?” the heart asked, and the boy heaved with a frenzy of jitteriness. Old work-outs pissed him off. He dreaded the thoughts of the old bitter past; yet the heart was there reminding him of it. He breathed out deeply, and just then the words of Spencer Johnson in his book, Who Moved My Cheese rang in his mind, “It’s safer to search in the maze than remain in a cheese-less station”. He doubted it whether or not he was ready for that. But the heart probed him that it was indeed better to get into the wilderness in search of his destiny, than to be at a place where he knew there was nothing for him. “It’s so, because there, in the wilderness, you will go places you have not been before. You will see suffering, happiness, laughter, sadness and then you will be able to compare with your sadness and happiness; and realize that actually you may be better off. Then you will see the real life and count yourself a human being” the heart explained. The boy as mute as a mule; things of the heart were so delicate to argue against.
“If you are afraid of taking risks, then risks will take you along. Your ability to stay focused on your mission in the face of constant diversion will determine your ultimate levels of success. The number one reason why you die inside is that you severely underestimate your own abilities. You believe all the lies you have been told about yourself by others during your lifetime and you have eventually become bitter and not better”. The message was cranky and obtuse to him, but deep down his capillaries, it dissolved into the energy he needed to live. He knew every time he hated something, then the things he disliked was helpful and good. That was his way of gauging things.
“The moment you sit back complacently, the more you become useless. You lose your focus, your goals and your destiny in life. You become feathers that are blown anywhere with the wind and land yourself into deep waters of sorrow. You need at all times to be persistence with our desire because; desire is only true when you are prepared to pay the price to achieve it. You need to be ready to take risks and close down all distractions that are looming around you and focus at the bright light at the end of the tunnel. The journey may not be easy, but the undertaking is worthy employing, remembering that “God’s delays are not God’s denials”. With time, your time will come too. You need to realize that, anything in life is a risk. And only when you come to terms with this, can you realize how formidable you are for victory” the heart propounded. The boy was dared. His ego was fussing. But he suddenly educed Henze’s collection of works entitled Insights. One poem, called Risk reflected in his mind exactly the way he read it several years ago:
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas and dreams before the crowd is to risk their love.
To love is to risk not being loved in turn.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
But the greatest risk in life is to risk nothing.
The one who risks nothing does nothing and has nothing and finally is nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow.
But he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow or love.
Chained by his certitude, he is a slave; he has forfeited freedom.
Only one who risks is free!
“This is the true nature of real humanity. Only those who take risks, get what they want in life. When you left the Stool, you had to risk being away from your beautiful family and your comfortable abode and beautiful property and friends around. I your heart was bleeding, but the risk was worthy taking for I your heart knew, when the time of reckoning comes, all the risks taken, will not even matter, because none of you would even remember them, for only happiness and togetherness would be the order of the day. You would have missed one other so much, but the rewards would be greater than the times you were apart” the softly spoke as if consoling him. The boy was stiff-necked with derision. The pitiful past drained his energy. He disdained looking back at it. But it was so easy for the heart to remember and remind him of it.
“The only formula that makes all humans to succeed in achieving their destiny is in never saying die. Never, ever give up because victory and triumphs are the fruits of persistence, strength of mind and firmness. You need to believe in what you are looking for and tell the world that, nothing will stop you from getting it” the heart encouraged. And the boy’s mind flushed out memories of Mike Lipkin’s words, ‘We become what we believe. If you believe that you are not destined for greatest, then you will die mediocre. But if you truly believe that you are the greatest, and you are willing to do whatever it takes to prove your beliefs to the world, you will become great!’
“Your level of happiness is a function of the meaning you attach to what happens to you, and if you consistently apply negative meaning to events around us, you will be consistently miserable, anxious and frustrated” the heart added to his thoughts that were already in the reformatted state, ready to load that which was new and usable.
“The quicker you let go of old cheese the sooner you find new cheese.”- Dr. Spencer Johnson
THE cross-road was mild with shades of trees as the rays of the sun slant, hitting the boy on the back from the western angle of the dome. His eyes were shut. They were so itchy and bloody red. He couldn’t face the cool breeze that blew from the east as it chased the lowering ball of sun in the west. His body was greasily shimmering with the effects of flames of mid-day heat. From a far distance, he could hear the cooing of the roosters as they returned from their daily perking. His back was warmer and dry, as the somber rays of the sun dried the remains of the dripping sweat from his body. There he was; standing from on the junction from morning facing the east like a gate parade guard at Burking House Palace. Nothing seemed wrong, but everything seemed awkward though. Who could be normal and still paraded himself the way he did in the middle of the bush like a maniac? Maybe he was demented after all. But all those thoughts never meant anything to him. He believed in fate. At least for that while then. He would never go against anything that he would not control. So he had to let nature be his guide.
“What next now; was your question remember?” the heart softly spoke as if waking up from slumber. “You asked yourself as you sat on that small Stool, oblivious of what to do next, now that it all came so unexpected to you. You opted for a fight that would last as long as you breathed and for the next five days, you were totally confused. What had happened to you was a bolt from a blue. In actual matter of fact, you didn’t know what to do next. It was like walking in darkness and you lose your way and hit into a wall. What a loud scream, that would have been from such a painful smack! And I totally empathize with you” the heart spoke, bit by bit gaining strength in its tone.
“Foolishly the longer you sat idly lost in filthy thoughts, the more hopeless and useless you became. Your life had come to a standstill. You were swallowed up in anger, hurt and disgust. All what you wanted to do was to let it out on someone. Desperation stalked in and eventually fear followed; you were getting mad. All that was in you, was “why you?” This wasn’t the right route to take, because you were going backwards, instead of forward. You were in limbo locked up in horns of indecisions”. The boy ran his mind round his whole body. He could not feel his existence. He was like numb. He had gone over what the heart was reminding him, and it was getting on his nerves hearing about it again. But he needed to keep his cool, if he had to understand the heart’s intentions.
“Someone needed to take the blame and mend your broken life. It was a wrong bed to lie on. Everyone so often times hit a snug like you did. And everyone insistently suffer from insomnia. Your mind get tangled into all sorts of negativity, blamefulness, desperation and indecision. Instead of getting up and getting dressed, you sit down and remain naked. Instead of breathing a deep breath of relief, you breathe out hot air that makes you sweat the hell out of you. Instead of answering, “yes sir I am gone, thank you!” you go round noising out your self-pity blaming everyone for the misfortune. Meanwhile, time is ticking; and as you know time lost has to be caught up with; and only the strong minded, are able to beat it” the heart hastily retorted. The boy was calm trying by all hustles to keep contented.
“Listen to me, and learn wisely. When you hit a snug you must act fast, and fast enough to move with time. Don’t let time take away your ability to survive. Don’t let time robe you of your energy to face the bull by its horns. Don’t allow self-pity engulf you into silly tears. When you hit a snug, ask yourself, ‘what is so good in this bad situation?’ Stand up and scrutinize your problem to find a silver lining in it; because it’s from this point you can get to understand yourself better. You need always to know that, nothing happens for nothing. Everything that you encounter in your life is timed and was meant to happen, because of what you put in our mind days or years earlier. If you sow negative thoughts that time, you end up getting yourself into bad situations. If you sow positivity, you find yourself excelling in almost everything you do”. He had heard about that before, but he had never given it any serious thought. He had thought it was one of those statements coming out of drunken stupors. But the heart then was repeating it to him. That signified importance on the matter.
“So when you hit a snug, dress up and say, ‘Next destination, here I come. Thank you so much Mr. Former Destination for giving me a life and experience. Your gifts will be my strengths’. Make a quick decision; the ones businessmen call, immediate goals to make you move a step ahead before you design long term goals. Don’t waste time being a cry baby, thinking that your life is now reaching a dead end. We were all born to be free and to live happily. The quickest way for you to forget your situation is to remove all the grudges you have had in in me your heart against anyone you felt was involved in your misfortune”. The boy let out a heavy and thick air of resignation. Some things were too hard to forget; he needed time to go pass them. They were so nasty and mind blowing to just tune them off his mind. They made him sink so low that even goats could blurt at him with shame. And the heart was telling him to overlook them instantly.
“Grudges, hate, jealousy and revenge, are all branches of misdemeanor to your success. They are burdens that will make you restless and force you to sit down and stay naked. The moment you forgive yourself for anything that you hated about yourself, then be ready to forgive anyone you felt that they wronged you. And always ask for forgiveness from anyone you wronged. This spirit will make you freer. You will walk your talk and me; your heart will ever be at peace. It doesn’t matter if those you ask for forgiveness forgive you or not. It’s their burden to carry if they feel they don’t want to forgive you. You will have done your job, and ready to explore the world and be a new person. In this way, your omens will gather and give you your next destination, faster than you would have expected. That’s the true picture of life. You can’t get what you want when me your heart is loaded with things that are enslaving you. I suffocate as well and transmit the suffocation to your whole bodily system”. It progressively made sense to the boy. If the heart was the anchor of life, and then it found itself suffering because of what he thought about life, then anything that his mind harbored was stored in the heart, and eventually that affected his whole life.
“When you hit a snug, the quicker you make a decision the better and the quicker you will find your next destination; depending on what you want to happen to you anyway. If you want to die of frustration, then stay in denial and pity yourself. Sit down naked in shame and don’t make any slight movement; and depression will be your best friend in such a situation. In achieving our destiny you need to accept our current situations and look forward to that which you want to have. You need to take a first step into looking for it, believing as you go that you will actually find it. Staying in a limbo akimbo will not help you realize the greatness you have within you. Blessings come in all sorts of ways and it’s your duty to discover them and take advantage of them” the heart stood still. And for a second he could feel his lungs filling up. He was finding it difficult to breath. He then realized that, he could not do without it, and if he needed it so much then it could not lie to him. It spoke to him so he could take the best course of action in his life. Abruptly the words of Paulo Coelho echoed in his mind, ‘Every blessing ignored becomes a curse’. Then heart started pumping again. It was a test perhaps. The boy realized that if one got swallowed up into indecision, when they are supposed to be pro-active and energetic, they denied themselves the golden chances of recognizing blessings when they were knocking on the doors of their lives. He remembered the book Mampodi written by Mike Lipkins; at one page it said, ‘If you are going to go, go. If you are going to stay, stay’. It was so challenging to him. He realized how important yet hard it was to make decisions when options were so limited. He was there almost half day on the cross-road, trying to figure out the right path to follow; yet he couldn’t yet make a resolve. ‘Life is beautiful’, he murmured to himself.
“If you are going to do it, do it. Decide to decide. Nothing will kill you faster than indecision” the heart spelled out, and the boy recalled exactly Spencer Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese, ‘The quicker you let go of old cheese the sooner you find new cheese.’
“You need to let go of the past or be doomed to the past because the number one quality you need to thrive on in the future is flexibility – the flexibility to keep trying new approaches until you discover one that is yours” the heart taught. The boy for the first time in such a long time, he cleared his throat. The sun was just a reddish ball of impotent fire blinking lifelessly behind the trees in the west.
“Imagining myself enjoying the cheese even before I find it, leads me to it” - Dr. Johnson
DARKNESS approached the cross-road like a hungry hawk preying on chicks whose mother hen has been slaughtered by the owner to please a town visitor. The sun had sunk below the western hemisphere, and the trees around were enlivened up by the noise of nocturnal wild creatures that had been sleeping all day long. The boy slowly but surely opened his eyes. It was brighter than the darkness of his closed eyes yet it was half past the hour after sunset. He had to make a decision. The four paths had to be abandoned. The heart had told him so much about making decisions. He couldn’t be there any longer; he had to decide to decide. He recalled the character in the book of The Alchemist who said that everything in life had its price; and that when each day was the same as the next, it was because people failed to recognize the good things that happened in their lives every day that the sun rose. The character had gone on saying that people needed to forget about the future and live each day according to the teachings, confident that God loved his children because each day in itself brought with it an eternity. Without any second thoughts, the boy turned and walked back the way he had come with. He knew that when one got lost, the best way to find home was to go back where they lost missed the way and start all over again.
“No matter how hard the times, if you live each day at a time, know exactly what you want in life, why shouldn’t you have it when it’s there? The price of a soccer player who trains consistently is scoring goals. The price of studying so hard at school is not just passing an exam but also being knowledgeable and intelligent. The price of eagerly fighting for something in life is having it. The price of being idle is starving, laziness, dull and always a loser” the heart drummed as he walked steadily to the west balancing himself on the lone path as he tried to familiarize his eyes with the enveloping night.
“Each day you live is not the same as the day before. And it’s only when you see yourself living in abundance that you are able to see the difference each day brings along. When you focus on what you want to achieve, and see yourself achieving it, you let all your energies to start galloping towards your achievement. You start seeing yourself happy, excited and jubilant because you are living your destiny already.
He walked on, his eyes more awake than before; his mind more alert than ever; yet his heart was the most active of all organs in him. He tried to make connections between his brain, mind, body and heart, when suddenly a stroke of thought flashed in his mind. ‘Give every person more in use value than you take from them in cash value’. He read it in one of Wallace Wattles’ books The Science of Getting Rich explaining the theory that never take money from anyone without giving more in use value than the money you are receiving in your job, in your business, and in every part of your life. The principle always caught his mind and made him to wake up each day with a fully blown out eagerness to come up with brilliant ideas on anything and most often bizarre ideas that left many dumb found were always created.
“When you sit down and dream about your dreams; seeing yourself achieving that, which you see in our dreams, not long enough do you actually see your dreams manifesting. The only problem is that you so often don’t realize that each person has a treasure in life they are waiting to have. Have you forgotten the writings of Paulo? In one book he describes us the hearts as he says; ‘We people’s hearts seldom say much about those treasures because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later we simply let life proceed in its own direction toward its own fate. But unfortunately very few of you follow the path laid out for you – the path to you destinies, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place and because they do, the world turns out indeed to be a threatening place. So we their hearts speak more and more softly. We never stop speaking out, but we begin to hope that our words won’t be heard: we don’t want people to suffer because they don’t follow their hearts’”. The heart spoke as it thudded hard against the boy’s left part of the chest making him stop. A snake stood its head high in the air waiting for him to come closer so it could strike. He realized the thudding was a warning. He stood there for a while looking at it with curious eyes and it nonchalantly withdrew its head to the ground and crawled away into the bush. He learnt that in the eyes lay the power of the soul of man. When directed at a weaker soul, that soul submits.
“You realized this early on, and that helped you when you left the Stool, you easily got ‘accepted’, and you listened to me, your heart and discovered that I had a lot of secrets for you to follow. But you chose one secret that was most astounding; that’s the secret to achieve your destiny. You started to focus on it, dreaming your dream, visualizing your mission and destination, day by day, each day was becoming brighter and brighter; you were growing into full happiness and you realized you were on the right path. The path set out for you by me your heart. You could hear my voice, the way you do now, louder and louder and you were ready to take whatever it was to reach out to your destiny; just in that process, you were already a winner because you could see the light of your destiny at the end of the tunnel. You then believed, imagination is indeed the preview of the life to come” the heart complimented. And the boy smiled in the thick darkness of the night. The path was through a maze of fine stones and thick shrubs, yet he could not feel the pain of the rough ground or the scarily atmosphere of the surrounding. The one sided conversation with the heart was getting inspiring. The thought of Johnson’s words, ‘Imagining myself enjoying the cheese even before I find it, leads me to it’, filled his soul with magnanimous witty and bliss.
“Because it’s the smell of the well prepared meal that will make you salivate and be urged to find means and ways of eating that meal; because what life is without dreams? It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting” the heart responded as if reading his thoughts. And the boy clogged on another memory from Ralph Rolls in his writings Image and Imagination where a poet called imagination ‘that inward eye’ where man could see beyond himself, beyond his immediate environment and circumstances; where he could see a picture in his mind and then make the picture into something more real, more concrete outside himself – a painting, a sculpture, a machine, a building, a bowl, a design, a poem, a play, a story, a loaf of bread. Where the inner vision could be transformed into a work, a creation that man a creator calling this process of being creative as what makes man distinctively human.
“One wise man explains that, ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge because imagination is what you do with knowledge’ because if dreaming is the way you keep our spirit alive, imagination is the way you guarantee the achievement of your desired results. In your own mind you can be whoever and whatever you want to be. You can amaze and dumbfound others and then you can go out there and do it in reality and celebrate your victory” the heart promulgated. The listened as he walked mindlessly. His thoughts were sparkly out numerous bits of enigmatic inundated ideas. Mike Lipkin’s writing, ‘true miracles happen on the inside when we change the way we look at the outside’ cross his medulla. He realized that the moment one changed their attitudes towards life; they then experienced a massive shift of internal energy from negative to positive.
“For every problem there is a solution. For every rogue there is an angel. The challenge for you is to sustain your beliefs during the dark times; to focus on the rose while acknowledging the thorns because without pain there would be no pleasure. Without loss, there would be no victory.” The boy smiled as he heard the heart console him. Doubt would sometime blanket his reasoning, but other times like those, he would feel so livened up and inspired so much that he would fly without any troubles.
“that’s the very principle Christians follow that, through Jesus’ death they got salvation; that every time they look at the cross, they celebrate His victory of conquering death and bringing salvation to mankind. Meaning that even the time Jesus was nailed to the cross he was already a winner because he accepted his situation with glory and through that happiness came sustained victory for us mankind. We hearts mostly help those who are trying to realize their destinies” the heart explained. And the boy stopped his hands akimbo with gratitude. He released his journey into nowhere, had purpose; an aim to liberate him from whatever it was that he needed to be free from. And he was determined to see it through.