NelsonUnless you’ve been unconscious for the last few days, you’ll have seen the news that the former president of South Africa, and the man who lead his nation out of decades of apartheid, Nelson Mandela passed away aged 95. While I rarely talk about anything “political” on this blog, there are several lessons about life and love I learned over the years from this iconic figure, which are relevant to what we talk about here day in and day out.

Today I’d like to share them with you. Here are the 5 things I learned from Nelson Mandela along with some of his most inspiring 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 women tell me they’re afraid of men, or more accurately, they’re afraid of men hurting them emotionally. Maybe you’ve been let down by a guy in the past, or someone took your heart, made you fall in love with them, and then smashed your heart into a thousand pieces. Now you can’t stand the thought of going through that again, so you close off emotionally to protect yourself from men.

You’re so scared of the hurt or rejection you won’t even engage a man in proper conversation, much less approach and flirt with him. Nelson Mandela showed us you can’t make fear vanish. Fear is there to protect us. Fear is a defense mechanism we need as humans to survive.

The key to living a happy and fulfilled life is to realize you can’t live without fear, but you can learn to overcome and beat it. You can’t run away from fear, but you can cope with it enough it doesn’t negatively impact your life.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

In other words, don’t ever give up!

How many times in your life have you said, “I hate men? I’m never going to meet the one. Why do I always get hurt? I’m destined to be an old lonely woman with 100 cats.”

That attitude will get you nowhere in life. I’ve learned over the years that in life, most things are possible if you work hard enough, love yourself, and have a true belief in what you want to achieve. That kind of belief is what got humans flying, took us to the moon, and brought us all of today’s amazing digital gizmos we rely on. There’s nothing stopping YOU meeting a handsome, caring, and dynamic man, who worships the ground you walk on. The only thing holding you back is your mindset.

To achieve anything worthwhile in life you have to have a positive mindset, and total conviction in what you’re doing. I can’t think of many better examples of this than Nelson Mandela. He spent years in prison, but all through that time, he never stopped believing, and never gave up in his ultimate ambition of seeing his land free from apartheid.

 “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

Do you still hate an ex-boyfriend for cheating on you? Do you still blame your ex for your fear of rejection?

How do you feel when you see him walking down the street? Does he make your blood boil? Are you getting angry now just hearing me talking about him?

Who are those negative feelings hurting? You or him?

The only person who suffers when you hold an emotional grudge like that is you. And you’ll never be able to move on into a new relationship, until you’ve embraced past relationships, forgiven former lovers, and learned the lessons they’ve taught you. It doesn’t matter whether your ex was the worst boyfriend in the world. You have to accept your part in the failing of the relationship and let go of any negative energy.

There’s no way you can move on until you do. After Mandela was freed from prison, he could have very easily started an uprising against those who stood against him. Instead, he forgave them and led his people to a relatively peaceful victory. Is there a better example in history of avoiding resentment?

“I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.”

In my opinion, other women aren’t the greatest givers of relationship advice. You see, women have this habit of trying to second-guess men. If a guy hasn’t called you for a few days, your friends will all start giving opinions about what’s going on. They’ll tell you he’s seeing someone else, he’s already married, or he’s just a player.  

The truth is there’s no way they can know why he hasn’t called. When it comes to relationships, you should get advice from a number of sources. Talk to some of your guy friends. That way you get a balanced view of what’s going on.

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

I don’t care if you’re overweight, older, out of work, a single mother, homeless, or whatever else you feel is against you. If you remain dedicated and committed to what you’re trying to achieve in life, you’ll find a way to reach your goals. Somehow, you’ll find a way.

I honestly believe no matter who you are, and wherever you’re from, we all have the power to achieve great things; it’s all about having the right mindset and belief system.

Mandela could have lost hope after 27 years locked away. He could have given up on life, and stopped believing in his cause. He didn’t, and with his incredible mindset, he fulfilled his ambition.

Sure, he had dark beginnings, but Nelson Mandela was a man who knew showed us how to love, how to forgive, and how to open our hearts. If nothing else, he was an amazing communicator, who knew and understood how to connect with people. When you understand how to look into other people’s hearts and to connect with them on a deep meaningful level, there isn’t much in life you can’t achieve.

So farewell Mabida, and thank for the lessons and legacies you leave behind!