One way to move steadily through life jumping the countless hurdles life dumps in your path is by actively seeking out what those ahead of you know and have done differently. By implementing the things successful women know, you shove yourself further in the journey of success.
The act of reaping the knowledge and experience of successful people, productive people, and people who have won after failing a zillion times is a necessity to succeed in life. Being born after these people (and not before) is your advantage which you must harness.
As much as struggles are peculiar to individuals, there lie answers and guides in the knowledge and experience of another. If you fail to imply this proven tactic while you stride through life then at best you miss out on a smoother journey and at worst you risk falling flat on your face again and again.
This blog post comprises successful women who have filled their space fearlessly and impacted the world with their gifts and capability. Women who kept running till they were fast enough to win. Women you can learn from and be inspired by. Women like yourself.
The knowledge and experience of others are gifts to you. Open and use them.womanariseshine
I bet you already know who she is.
In her book “Becoming”, Michelle shared how while in elementary school she didn’t like her mathematics teacher whilst expecting her mother to approve of her dislike, her mother said to her:
The man has in his head the math you need in yours, focus on that and ignore everything else.
When I read this it resonated deeply because I remember times when I dislike people and cancel them out entirely. Moving through life exposes you to several people you have a hunch about (certain times with no just cause). We neglect that certain times our dislike or disapproval of people causes us to miss out on the blessings they carry.
So while you stride through life with all your strength and high steps, focus on what you need, keep your eyes above what you may not like about someone and focus on that which they have and can offer you. When you let your sentimental disapproval get in the way of receiving what you need, you become crumbled up in your dislike without any gain. This is a lose-lose for you.
I am busy climbing my ladder, which is sturdy and practical and aimed straight up.
Is your ladder aimed straight up?
Are you busy climbing it if it’s straight up?
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Adichie is one impactful woman who has impacted thousands with her stories and ideologies mostly unconventional. Listening to Adichie broadens the mind to thought patterns which are beyond the supposed “usual or norm”. Some of her best sellers include: Half of a yellow sun, Americanah, We should all be feminists, Purple hibiscus. etc.
In one of her speeches speaking on convention, she said…
Convention is something made up by someone and then repeated by others. If convention feels wrong for you, if the skin bristles and your spirit stalls at the thought of doing something “the way it is done”, then stop and act. We can make changes, we can try and craft small slices of the life we want. Not everyone will be happy with you because it is human nature to try and conserve things as they are, but your spirit will feel full, and there is nothing more meaningful than knowing you have been true to yourself.
This is a lot of truth, a taste of personal freedom only you can craft for yourself. It deepens into the mind unlocking doors that shield years of fear, years of uncertainty, and again years of fear to question and break out. I love how she emphasizes “being true to oneself”, because as the day ends you will be happier when you say for a surety “I was true to myself today”.
Being true to yourself means you appreciate yourself, believe in yourself and are bold enough to stand up and walk in yourself.
These supposed little things give more satisfaction than the mighty things we break our bones ceaselessly for.
Thank you, Adichie.
Oh heavens, this woman was a gift in the human body.
Angelou carried in her words boldness and courage that spill into your spine jerking awake your neurons as you read them. Maya Angelou was such a prolific writer, if you are yet to read any of her books you can start which “Letter to my Daughter”. She shared her personal experiences and life lessons you will find helpful and useful in your life’s journey. In it, she told one of her embarrassing moments which I learnt a lump lesson never to be forgotten.
I entered a beautifully furnished room to the sound of people laughing and clinking glasses with ice. I passed an open door where people stood along the wall, careful not to step on the beautiful Oriental rug in the centre of the room. Having known a woman in Egypt who would not allow her servants to walk on her rugs saying only her family and friends were going to wear out her expensive carpets. I decided to find out the outcome of stepping on the Oriental rug.
In the guise of looking at some paintings, I walked over the carpet five times, with people smiling weakly at me. Afterwards, two maids rolled up the rug and replaced it with another equally as beautiful. Then they put glasses, huge serving spoons, folded napkins and silverware, steaming rice, and chicken on the carpet.
The host said, “Shall we sit?”
Lo and behold, clever and so proper Maya Angelou, I had walked up and down over the tablecloth.
I sat but I found swallowing hard to do as I burned with shame.
In an unfamiliar culture, it is wise to offer no innovations, no suggestions, or lessons.
The epitome of sophistication is utter simplicity.
Need I say more?
Let me share with you a simple but thrilling lesson I picked from her book- “What I know for sure”.
If you have the opportunity to sit it out or dance. I hope you dance.
This of course is as practical as you can imagine it.
All too often we live our life yet are afraid to live it fully, afraid to experience all there is to life. Reluctant to speak, scared to decide, frightened of new things. We choose to cower in our space of familiarity and comfort rather than stretch out our hands into the rain forgetting that the rain comes with new life.
Get out there, do things you like, and live your life wholly and beautifully. Get off that seat when you have to, make that walk when you have to, take that microphone and speak, laugh deeply, and share hugs and love. Live your life; it is yours to live not mine.
Then, in an instant, it dawned on me: Okay girl, this is going to be over soon. And if I didn’t loosen up, I would miss the fun. So I threw my head back, forgot about step, step, step, turn, kick, and just danced. WHEEEW.
Yeah, forget the routine and dance to the music woman.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
I heard about this iconic woman only after she passed on in 2020. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, a position she held from 1993 to 2020. She was the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court. Reading about her showed me how much walking courage full of persistence she was.
“I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability.” These were her words and she truly did.
How much are you using that which you have?
How much of your gifts and talents are you using?
To the iconic Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she focused on doing whatever she did to the best of her ability.
This lesson brings to mind the famous quote by Martin Luther King Jr,
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.
My prayer all the time is to do whatever I’m called to do with the best of the capability I have.
If you do not love yourself,
others will use that to
justify their inability to love you.
Poetry does something good to my mind. Poetry uplifts my mind I love how the words flow into each beyond punctuation. How so few words carry heavy meaning. How poetry accepts everyone into its world with ease.
Kaur has been sharing poems about love, heartbreak and womanhood that perfectly exemplify the self-care movement. Reading Kaur’s books stretched my mind like pulled string into spaces of immense love for myself and full awareness of my being.
Kaur began her career in 2012 by sharing her work on Tumblr and later Instagram, but her social-media technique wasn’t yet bringing in enough money to support her. “My mindset was that poetry could never pay your rent,” she explained. Then there was milk & honey, which came out in 2014 and made the New York Times best-seller list in 2016. It’s not going to stop, Kaur realized. It’s growing in size.
Kaur knew persistence in its active form, the ability to keep on till you see the results you like.
Be on the lookout so breadcrumbs don’t entice you and keep you hitched. There’s more on the master’s table. Don’t get accustomed to so little that you fail to strive for more. Because there is more. More from your effort, more of your gifts and talents, more of you.
There will be times you will have
to be your own friend and lover.
Your own shoulder to cry on,
use your hands to wipe your tears.
Those times will feel lonely;
But they will teach you how to stand on
your own when no one has your back.
Until next time.
From others, you learn. Not in an attempt to walk in their footprints all your life but to discover how to create your footpath. You are actually never alone if you look sternly, find strength in the victories of those ahead of you. If they did; you can. Taking advantage of the things successful women know is a guide you should harness in your life’s journey.
The knowledge and experience of others are gifts to you. Open and use them.
Those were among my first words to you and they are my last.
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