Attitude and Effort

Last week when I was on one of my afternoon walks, I saw a peacock. For real. I never see peacocks! Peacocks are so majestic and colorful and will stop you in your tracks with their amazing hues. In many cultures they symbolize renewal, benevolence, immortality, royalty and luck. Peacocks are a symbol of integrity and the beauty that can be achieved when we strive to better ourselves and our lives. They can help us shed the old feathers of the past and take back the true beauty of our individuality. They give off good vibes!

Peacocks are said to have the ability of eating poisonous plants without being affected by them. Because of that, they are synonymous with the great bodhisattvas who are able to transform the mind of ignorance into the thought of enlightenment, which opens colorfully like the peacock’s tail. And like a wise teacher, you pay attention to them. They boost your confidence, and their faith catapults you toward your goal.

Often there’s a teacher that can see something you’ve got; something special about you that you’re not using or living out to your full potential. Sometimes all you need a dash of help, or a sprinkle of praise.

Perhaps there’s a flash of color, or your bright eyes, or burst of your true self that you can’t seem to bring forward, but others can spot. They see your light, talents and smarts when maybe no one else does. But it’s important to have that humble confidence and faith in yourself too, as self-worth is integral to achieving—and sustaining—success.

A mentor can nudge you, but once you get the interview and are hired it’s ALL YOU. Take notice of where you receive your compliments and when your teachers thank you, because the appreciation you receive for the things you do is a reflection of your GENIUS. Yes, you can be taught how to drive, but once you’re behind the steering wheel it’s you controlling the pedals.

No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge. The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness. If he is indeed wise, he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.

— Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Success depends on two related factors: attitude and effort. A child with promising athletic ability can be signed up for a soccer team, or a gifted kid dropped off at a top-notch school, but success or task completion might not happen if that internal jeuge to be better is missing. Children need to feel safe and accepted for their individuality. They need to feel peaceful to be themselves and praised for their effort. This happens when someone believes in them and encourages them to not give up.

If we’re not bringing the right mindset to the table, our success and well-being is likely to be short-lived. You can be led to great things by wise leaders who see something in you, but you’ll need love, faith in yourself, a strong work ethic and your mind’s determination to pull it off. 

All through our lives we have mentors. An older sibling, a guidance counselor, a wise friend, our parents… even a stranger. I’ve never met Princess Diana or Audrey Hepburn, but admired them from afar. Graceful and soft spoken, but powerful with their kindness and intelligence. Our best mentors are right before us. They set an example by the way they live. And you never forget them when they go away.


“Blessed is he who has learned to admire but not envy, to follow but not imitate, to praise but not flatter, and to lead but not manipulate.”William Arthur Ward

As I like to say… “just bein’ me” with a big loving cup of thanks to my teachers, mentors, peacocks and great bodhisattvas for boosting my own confidence with your wisdom, love and faith.