Serena Williams

Serena Williams bows out in style

“I’m evolving,” the 41 year old, 23-time grand slam champion said. With deep respect for the community of retirees, Serena chose rather to say, “I’ve been thinking of this as a transition. I’m evolving away from tennis, towards other things that are important to me.”

Is there anything compelling you to “evolve”? Sometimes, it could be financial, family, health, age, or perhaps a deep desire for something different. Whatever it might be, the question is: “How might you embrace the courage to say YES and embrace your new path?”  

With Serena’s love for fashion, perhaps, you are not necessarily retiring. Yet, life might compel us to evolve from something precious to us, take a new path, so we might embrace other things that are equally important. 

My friend, embrace your evolution with optimism. Your best days are still ahead.  It was Patrick Lumumba who said “Time limits are good things. No matter how good a dancer you are, you must leave the stage.”  But in our S.H.A.P.E CULTURE, we say you are not necessarily leaving the stage, you are simply evolving into a more superior version of yourself

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Serena Williams is proof that regardless of your renown in any field, it is okay to evolve.

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Gratitude: A powerful elixir for the soul

For a few seconds, close your eyes and try to imagine the warmth of a soft, cozy blanket during a cold night when you feel alone and maybe anxious. What thought comes to mind? Or what sensation do you feel?

Let me guess.

You feel a sense of calm and safety while trying to sleep off, right? Maybe you began to feel a little bit less anxious as the blanket provides a sensation of peace, warmth, and relaxation for your bare skin. Now your mind is beginning to feel relaxed, and there you go sleeping off like a baby.  

Gratitude can be this warm and soft blanket that helps you reduce anxiety and create a sense of calm and safety.  As we go through and try to navigate the stress and threat of life, we tend to battle with the flight and fight dilemma.

Being under this constant pressure can cause one to start experiencing a sense of threat and feel unsafe and then this could lead to more drastic health challenges like rising blood pressure, irregular  heart rate, etc.

Even though the power of gratitude has not been fully tapped into in clinical practice, one can at a glance tell that gratitude enhances mental health and provides succor for our souls. The world will be a much happier place with very healthy people if everyone finds something to be grateful for daily. 

If you want to be more emotionally stable and unlock an authentic version of yourself, then learn the powerful magic of gratitude.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

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Visualization: Pathway to greater outcomes

If I asked you where you would love to be in 3 years, chances are you would think about a place, position or experience. Whichever the option. your mind will create an image of your answer. Even if you do not realize that.

In the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, history was made by a high jumper who revolutionized the sport and subsequently became known as one of the most influential figures in track and field events.

Richard Douglas Fosbury,  now famously known as Dick Fosbury, was little known until he did what had never been done. Prior to that Olympic event, the high jump was predominantly dominated by a feet-first technique where jumpers tried to jump the highest by crossing the bar feet first. There was no rule that stipulated that as the only acceptable technique. But no one else had SEEN any other way.

Enter Dick Fosbury.

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1968 Mexico Olympics: Fosbury does the flop for the first time

In 1968, in a bid to jump higher than anyone had ever done, Dick observed that the aerodynamics of a back-first approach favored a higher jump than the practice of the day. No one had ever done it. But Fosbury saw it in his mind and was certain this could work. And so was born the now famous ‘Fosbury flop’, still the most popular approach for high jumpers today.

It had never been done, but he already saw it. Fosbury would go on to say about peak performance in the sport, “When you reach that elite level, 90 percent is mental, and 10 percent is physical. You are competing against yourself, not against the other athlete.”

The same applies to life. Everything we do outside is first created in our minds, and because most of the time it happens so fast that we do not recognize it, we think we just do things. The mind is the control room. This is what high achievers acknowledge and harness to their favor: THE POWER OF VISUALIZATION.

20th Century American author, Earl Nightingale, once said, “Visualization is the human being’s vehicle to the future – good, bad, or indifferent. It’s strictly in our control.”

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I once had a conversation with a friend concerning a project he was undertaking. In trying to proffer alternatives because of a hiccup he was experiencing along the way, I asked him why he was so insistent on a particular aspect of the project not being let go. I remember he paused for a moment and said to me with a voice that carried the weight of a hundred-year-old conviction, “When I pictured the completion of this project, the smile and relief I saw in the faces of these guys is something I cannot unsee. It was so real. If we take this away. it robs the life out of that dream.”

I understood him. He had pictured this so much that it took a life of its own, and that life had captured his mind and drove his determination.

We see this every day in action without recognizing it. Whether it be as majestic as Lionel Messi weaving gracefully through a maze of defenders, or as grand as Elon Musk pouring countless hours and billions into making reusable rockets for space, or as seemingly mundane as you cooking a delicious pot of food. The reality is the mind holds a picture of the end product before the journey begins.

Visualization is like the pause that births the melody. As sports columnist. Ezequiel Fernandez Moore rightly puts it, “In the pause. there is no music. But the pause helps to make the music.” Visualization is the process that tunes our minds to our utmost desires and aspirations, creates the outcomes we want, impresses them in our minds and gives us the momentum and drive to go and recreate the magic our hearts have curated.

High achievers harness the power of visualization to get themselves ‘in the zone’ as they engage their goals. This is because the mind will feed and breathe more life into the images you dwell on, seeking avenues to recognize the resources, people, and opportunities that align with that which occupies the mind. This in turn creates a domino of recognize-attract-leverage-repeat.

As Fosbury rightly pointed out, 90 percent of the job is taken care of mentally: in our minds. All that is left. is to recreate the magic through execution.

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Is kindness purely altruistic?

Soldier helping little kids on duty

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Fermentum leo vel orci porta non pulvinar. Lorem donec massa sapien faucibus et. Feugiat nibh sed pulvinar proin gravida hendrerit lectus a. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum. Elit scelerisque mauris pellentesque pulvinar. Id interdum velit laoreet id donec ultrices tincidunt arcu non. Id venenatis a condimentum vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi. Quam id leo in vitae. Quis hendrerit dolor magna eget est lorem ipsum dolor sit. In arcu cursus euismod quis viverra nibh cras pulvinar mattis. Mauris cursus mattis molestie a iaculis. Netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas integer eget aliquet. Sapien et ligula ullamcorper malesuada proin libero. Fermentum posuere urna nec tincidunt praesent semper feugiat. Risus commodo viverra maecenas accumsan lacus. Risus pretium quam vulputate dignissim suspendisse. Justo donec enim diam vulputate ut pharetra sit amet. Turpis in eu mi bibendum neque egestas congue.

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Est ullamcorper eget nulla facilisi etiam dignissim diam. Metus vulputate eu scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum. Sed viverra ipsum nunc aliquet bibendum enim. Tempus iaculis urna id volutpat lacus laoreet. Id diam vel quam elementum. Est ullamcorper eget nulla facilisi etiam dignissim diam. Felis bibendum ut tristique et egestas quis ipsum suspendisse ultrices. Volutpat est velit egestas dui. Aenean pharetra magna ac placerat vestibulum lectus. Leo in vitae turpis massa sed elementum tempus egestas. Faucibus vitae aliquet nec ullamcorper sit amet risus nullam eget. Consequat mauris nunc congue nisi vitae. Duis convallis convallis tellus id interdum velit laoreet id donec. Sit amet tellus cras adipiscing enim eu turpis.


Excellence is a mindset

“It all begins in the mind.”

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Et egestas quis ipsum suspendisse ultrices gravida dictum fusce ut. Vitae turpis massa sed elementum tempus. Eget dolor morbi non arcu risus quis varius. Condimentum lacinia quis vel eros donec ac odio tempor orci. Sed id semper risus in hendrerit. Amet nisl suscipit adipiscing bibendum. In eu mi bibendum neque egestas congue quisque. At quis risus sed vulputate. Bibendum ut tristique et egestas. Ultricies mi eget mauris pharetra. Purus gravida quis blandit turpis cursus in hac. Vulputate sapien nec sagittis aliquam malesuada. Arcu cursus euismod quis viverra nibh cras pulvinar. Porttitor lacus luctus accumsan tortor posuere ac ut consequat.

“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.”

-Chi Man-

What Next?

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