In Jojo Moyes’ masterpiece novel and later a great movie, Me Before You, Louisa’s love for Will, gave Will a reason to enjoy the remaining days of his life, despite his agony and pain. Louisa found her purpose by trying to care for him and be a source of joy in his life. In a way, they were both each other’s companions and lovers. In Will’s love letter to Lou at the end of the movie, he reminds her to live life to the fullest and not be saddened by his departure, but rather look forward and trust that she deserves nothing but the best, for such personal belief is the essence of embracing growth. Louisa learned an important life lesson on self-love and appreciation from her relationship with Will.
In many cases, self-growth is a painful experience, especially if you went through a challenging period in your life and you had no choice but to force yourself to toughen up, roll up your sleeves, and work on yourself to survive it and move on. Of course, once you come out from the other side, you will appreciate every step of the struggle as it shapes you into a life of richness and fulfillment.
Keep in mind that self-growth is not inevitable but a choice. Getting older does not mean self-growth. But if you had to guess, you would agree that having both elements grow in parallel is far better than only growing in age.
Moreover, success and growth are hard; that’s why most people go with the flow and take their lives one day at a time, but don’t let that demotivate you. Believe it or not, you only need a burning desire to succeed, blind faith in yourself that will do it, and in God that he can and will help you achieve it, and then get to work. But most of all, you must be true to yourself, comfortable with your skin, and not be bothered by any discouraging noise around you. Allow your loved ones to give you tough love and know they are giving it to you because they love you and care, like the tough love and support Louisa gave Will.
And if you were among the lucky ones who made progress in their lives, make sure you are grateful for everything in your life, even the people who were against you, betrayed you, or did you harm throughout your journey, as they were put on your path to teach a lesson and be part of your learning experience, and in a way, they were a Godsend. So, no regrets, only lessons.
Let’s do a small self-assessment together. What is the date today? Mark it on your phone or in your notebook. Then, go back in time to where you were in life twelve months ago. Since we are in July 2023 now, go back to July 2022 and try to remember where you were in all areas of your life. For example, look at your financials (i.e., income, loans), career or school (i.e., same job, promotion), health and fitness (i.e., BMI value, fat ratio), self-development (i.e., new skills, self-awareness), and relationship with your loved ones (i.e., spouse, kids), and so on. You get the idea. Any changes? Any progress? Are you in a better place vs. a year ago? In all of them or some or not at all?
It’s perfectly fine not to make progress in every area of your life. However, it can be disheartening to realize that you haven’t made any progress in anything except getting older and that everything else is the same as a year ago, which actually means that there has been a decline in value due to inflation.
Taking Will’s advice to Louisa, you can’t change the past, so accept it, aim forward, and live. Now, mark your calendars for a year from now, and write down the progress you aim to have in your life by then, across all or some aspects of your life. Don’t get too hooked on the “how,” as that might instigate self-doubt, but have the willingness, belief, and trust in yourself that you can, and just do it.
I watched Steve Harvey’s two-hour seminar on YouTube, and it was a fantastic eye-opener on faith in God and belief in oneself. It taught me two simple lessons that I want to share with you here.
- If you have nothing, it’s because you asked for nothing. You should always set your goals and work on them, but you should always reach out to God to help you achieve them. It is not for you to ask or wonder how it will happen, as that is God’s job, not yours. You have to have faith and take the leap. Easier said than done, as true blind faith is something you must work on and practice daily to master it. But it’s not impossible. All faiths have the same teachings on this matter, and many verses of the Quran confirm that God is always closer to you than you think, and all you have to do is ask.
- You need to set your goals in writing. Don’t ever rely on memory alone. Every lesson you want to learn, every goal you want to achieve must be written down. Beyond memory, writing it down and having vision boards help with the subconscious mind to also work for you on achieving your goals and making them a reality.
One last word on drive and motivation. Don’t wait to be motivated to start, as motivation only comes after you start and not before.
- Steve Harvey at the Sagicor Motivational Seminar https://youtu.be/xtMVFZ1KOlw
- The Cover Picture from the movie, Me Before You