Sunday, 12 July 2009

Are Your Habits Empowering or Sabotaging Your Success?

Suze Orman recently related a very moving story about a young African American woman who used to take care of her while her mother was at work. The six year-old Suze struggled to pronounce her real name and so affectionately called her "Kiki".

Kiki smoked Kool cigarettes and would send little Suze to the shop with a note to buy a pack of cigarettes for 25 cents. Now, despite Suze's tender age she was very astute.

You see, Kiki was habitually beaten by her husband. At times, the wounds he inflicted upon his wife were so bad she ended up in hospital. The Ormans would bring Kiki back to their home to recuperate but, when the physical wounds healed, Kiki would simply go back to her abusive husband.

Part of the reason for this was because she didn't have enough money to make it on her own. However, little Suze calculated that if she would quit smoking and saved those 25 cents that she would eventually have sufficient funds to make that all too important break. And she tried to persuade her carer to quit the habit of smoking and save her money so that, in effect she could buy her freedom.

But Kiki had made it a habit of returning 'home' knowing that, at some point, she would be subjected to another violent beating. Bad habits can be hard to break even when you have a powerful motivating factor.

You may be thinking how could she not summon the courage to walk away from her abusive relationship? The answer is simple - fear. For whatever reason, Kiki was probably afraid of being on her own and so she allowed herself to be regularly subjected to violence and suffered the humility of letting others see how badly her husband treated her. It was familiar territory.

Individuals who practice self-abuse and or allow others to abuse them usually suffer from self-esteem issues. It is highly likely that another reason why Kiki stayed in this abusive relationship was because she had low self-esteem. She may have thought that she was not worthy of being treated with dignity and respect. She may not have thought highly enough of herself to believe that she deserved a better life.

To compound matters Kiki was also illiterate. This can be a huge stumbling block for some individuals to overcome and it can have a devastating effect on an individual's self-image and self-esteem. It also makes you dependent on others.

Suze loved Kiki. Her dream was that when she grew up she would earn lots of money so that Kiki could move in with her and she could take care of her for the rest of her life.

Sadly, Kiki died before she reached her 40th birthday. So Suze Orman never had the opportunity to realise her dream.

Now, while that last statement is factual it isn't entirely true. You see Suze Orman spent 7 years being a waitress but the day she took on a new role as a Financial Adviser, she knew she had found her purpose in life. Being a Financial Adviser and helping others to make sound financial decisions resonated with every fibre of her being. She knew that this was what she was meant to do.

Who would argue that Kiki didn't play a key role in helping Suze Orman recognise her purpose in life? Kiki may have been a matyr in many ways but now, instead of Suze Orman helping to liberate just one individual - she's literally impacting the lives of millions of people by showing them the way to financial freedom.

I think Kiki would be filled with pride, don't you?

So are your habits empowering or sabotaging your success in life. If you have disempowering don't be afraid to seek help on whatever level you may need it. You deserve to live an abundant life.

Image Compliments Wikipedia

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