NelsonOn Thursday 5th December 2013 the world lost an icon. Former President of South Africa, and the man who spent 27 years in prison, before miraculously leading his country out of apartheid, passed away at the age of 95 years old.

I very rarely, if ever, bring anything political to the blog, although Mandela WAS a leader and politician, the things he taught me about life and love are extremely relevant to what I coach and share with you every day.  So, here are 5 things I believe we can learn from “Madiba” about life, accompanied by some of his most powerful quotes …

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but triumph over it. The brave man is not he who doesn’t feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

So many guys ask me “How can I get rid of approach anxiety?” Or “How do I stop feeling nervous around women?”

Mandela taught us that you can’t make fear disappear. Fear is a natural instinct that’s there to protect us. Fear is what stops us taking stupid risks. The secret to success in life is learning how to live with fear, understanding it’s good to acknowledge it, and to become stronger by overcoming fear rather than trying to make it go away.

The most confident performers on the planet still get stage fright, and the highest earning traders get edgy when they place a huge trade, so having a tinge of nerves when you meet a beautiful woman isn’t a bad thing. The key is learning how to overcome that fear so it no longer disempowers you.

“Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of someone who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.”

 In other words, NEVER GIVE UP!

How many times have you said, “I’ll never find a girlfriend? I’m just no good at approaching girls. I’ll never be able to do this stuff. I’m not good looking. I don’t have enough money. It’s too hard. There are no single women anymore.”

I get so crazy when I hear guys being so negative. There is no reason on earth why any one of you can’t meet and have a relationship with a beautiful woman. There’s no reason why any of you can’t have amazing success and financial abundance in your life. Do you think anyone a hundred years ago thought man would fly or go to the moon?

Do you think that 50 years ago people would have believed you’d be able to read and interact with this blog on a mobile phone?

To achieve anything in life you have to work. You have to put in the effort. And you have to put in the hours. Most importantly you have to have a “never day die attitude.”

Nelson Mandela was one of the finest examples of that I’ve ever known. Even after all those years in prison, he never gave up on his dreams, and he never lost hope one day he’s see a South Africa free from the shadow of apartheid. No matter how many times things don’t work out for you, you have to keep going!
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

Do you still hold a grudge against your ex-girlfriend, or someone else who did you wrong in the past?

I’ve said so many times before, you can never move on until you embrace the lessons you learned from past mistakes, and until you forgive others for the part they played in the breakup. No matter how far in the right you believe you were, in relationships you have to share the blame 50/50. In other words, you have to let go of any resentment or anger in your heart about what others have done to you. The only person the hate really harms is you, and experience has taught me, you’ll never move into another happy and committed relationship until you’ve made peace with your past.

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

Are you someone who only listens to his head OR his heart?

You have to understand there’s a balance between the two, and you need to listen to the messages both are giving you. Rationalizing and reasoning are vital when we make choices in life, but sometimes you have to consider your feelings as well as your thoughts. Ever been caught between two women and didn’t know which way to turn?

Did you listen to your head or your heart? And when you did, were you happy with your decision in the end?

I believe most of us are more inclined to listen to our heart or our heads, but we need to acknowledge and consider what the other is telling us in order to make measured decisions.  

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”

It doesn’t matter whether you’re fat, bald, old, skinny, broke, disabled, jobless, or whatever you think is going against you. If you show dedication and commitment to your cause, you can achieve success under almost any circumstances. I truly believe whoever you are, and whatever background you come from you can reach your goals, but you have to have the right mindset.

After Mandela spent 27 years in prison he could very easily have become bitter, twisted, and lead his country into a horrific civil war. He didn’t. He believed he could achieve his goals peacefully, and his belief and mindset was so strong, he succeeded. Mandela was a man who truly owned his words. He was a man whose confidence, warmth, and charisma, didn’t just impact the lives of the people of South Africa, but the lives of everyone around the world.

When you have that kind of personal power and influence, you can achieve almost anything you want in life. It’s something I teach you how to do in my “Own The Room” program, and something Mandela demonstrated in a truly remarkable way. So, goodbye Mr. Mandela, and thank you for the lessons you’ve taught us all!