Today, Nelson Mandela’s name is synonymous with peaceful resistance to unjust oppression in South Africa. He is a hero that has inspired activists all over the world who dream of making a better life for themselves and their family. Throughout his presidency and beyond, he fought to make a lasting difference in this world and accomplished so much more by standing up for the human rights of all.
But Mandela did not always enjoy such a prestigious reputation. In his early years as a political activist in Apartheid South Africa, he was deemed a radical terrorist and was imprisoned for a very long time. But in the face of such despair and adversity, he persevered, displaying an uplifting strength from behind prison bars that represented an entire movement dedicated to equality and justice against this inequality. It is only natural that we try and learn some tips on healthy living from such a courageous and determined man.
Here are the top 10 life tips from Nelson Mandela:
Dedication Can Overcome Circumstance
“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do” said Mandela. Being dedicated to a cause is not always easy especially in Nelson Mandela’s life. But the tremendous amount of adversity he faced for years on end did not faze him in the slightest. His dedication shown through even through the oppression, incarceration, and health issues. Yet through all of these hardships, he was still elected president and lives on as the savior of South Africa for his outstanding accomplishments.
Exercise Over Outrage
“I have always believed exercise is a key not only to physical health but to peace of mind. Many times in the old days I unleashed my anger and frustration on a punch bag rather than taking it out on a comrade or even a policeman. Exercise dissipates tension, and tension is the enemy of serenity. I found that I worked better and thought more clearly when I was in good physical condition, and so training became one of the inflexible disciplines of my life. In prison, having an outlet for my frustrations was absolutely essential.”
Nelson Mandela from his autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom” said he practiced a rigid fitness regimen even while being held against his will because he was fighting for human rights. He considered exercise vital to maintaining a level head and overall wellness. Not many know before he pursued politics he trained as a heavyweight boxer. He loved to train for this sport purely for the health benefits that have been proven to keep your mind and body sharp and in tune.
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
Practicing peace of mind helps silence stress and anxiety and can even help improve inner confidence and strength. Being respectful of others is the best way to be grateful for the life that you have been granted and inspire others to do the same. It is beneficial for not only yourself, but also for those around you, to live peacefully and treat people how you wish to be treated.
Let Go Of Negativity
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
Nothing good comes from keeping a negative outlook on life. There is scientific evidence that has proven that having a positive attitude can actually boost the natural healing benefits of your body. The Canadian Medical Association Journal conducted this study over 30 years, and it recorded the optimism of patients who had surgery.
Don’t Be Afraid To Think Independently
“I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles” wisely said Mandela.
Being mentally and emotionally independent can help improve many aspects of your life and even help arrive at solutions that may not have been presented by others. If you are an independent thinker you can save yourself much distress, disappointment, and suffering by being able to rely on yourself when times get tough. There is also research that proves that being independent helps raise confidence, self-esteem, and self-value.
Stand Up For What You Believe In
“I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all during my life; I fight it now, and will do so until the end of my days” voiced Nelson Mandela.
If you really believe in something you shouldn’t let anyone else silence you. Do whatever it takes to stick up for what is right in your life and you will never be left with a feeling of regret.
“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”
Having the will to be a good person with a good heart will be recognized throughout every interaction within your life. If you are kind and compassionate you will be surprised how many people will return the consideration. If everyone practiced benevolence the world would be a happier and more successful place.
“Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.”
When you are facing difficult times you must remember to keep pushing forward, your persistence will get you through no matter how many adversities challenge you.
Education Is Powerful
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Without seeking the truth and knowledge through education, you will be stationary in mental growth. Pursuing your education will open doors that you may have not even imagined! Acquiring education has been proven to build character, reduce poverty, improve opportunity, and even lower the risk of diseases and health issues.
Have The Courage To Be Free
“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”
Freedom should not be asked for, fought for, it is a right that everyone should be entitled to. However, in places such as South Africa, this was not always the case. Nelson Mandela is the depiction of a courageous leader, as he fought for rights of that should have been freely given to him and his family.