Problems are guidelines, not stop signs

2018-02-14 06:00
Ponane Ma­hlabam social observer.

Ponane Ma­hlabam social observer.

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If I were to define the word “overcome” from my personal connotation for the conveyance of the intended purpose, I would do it by wriggling around as “come over” or “being over” or “on top of something” or “at the top of something”.

At one stage in 2006 while on the Namibian Express SA Flight, I had a fascinating experience of being on the horizon of the world or coming over it. It was my first time on a plane.

To me, it felt like a new world altogether. I had a fantastic view of new aerial geographical scenery embraced by beautiful plants, rivers and streams. The wild shrubs of Botswana were also an unforgettable sight.

We were created to be overcomers or victors over our circumstances by living and applying the positive attitude of our minds – overcoming those circumstances.

In as much as flying in the sky literally and physically made me feel like I was at the top of everything, the same attitude could psychologically be applied in dealing with adverse situations we come across daily.

Such circumstances trouble us to remain “under” instead of being “over” them. So, we need to know we can handle and control those circumstances we are faced with, as they emerge in many different forms.

Other than psychological and physical ones, some present themselves in spiritual, social, mental and emotional forms.

We need to react positively in the face of such circumstances so that our journey towards our destiny becomes more accessible.

This will be possible only when we understand that it is not what happens to us in life that is important, but rather how we react to it by controlling our attitude towards it.

It is the attitude at the beginning of a task that will determine our success or failure.

What stops us from overcoming circumstances that hinder us from reaching our destinies?


Many of us do not grow and show stagnation. Such people are good at building their Mount Everest. After failing several times to climb Mount Everest, Edmund Hillary said: “Mount Everest, you beat me the first time, but I’ll beat you the next time, because you’ve grown all you are going to grow . . . but I’m still growing!”

Dale Carnegie, an American writer, once said: “If you do not change, you do not grow; if you do not grow, you are not living.”

Often we believe that we cannot do what others did. We limit our potential.

But when you are faced with problems, difficult to overcome, adopt an attitude that says you can and you will make it.

We must live with the hope that we will grow and become strong people like Small Street in Johannesburg that we grew to become Bree Street.

We are here to shape our lives and future. Our problems and our mistakes are not stop signs, but guidelines.

) Express invites anyone to contribute to the weekly column. There is no payment for writers. Send your opinion piece (not exceeding 500 words in Sotho, Tswana or English) via email to teboho.setena@­

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