It’s 3pm and you’re bored at that job you hate. So, you take a break from counting spots on the office carpet and log onto Facebook. That’s when you see it: An endless stream of updates from contacts celebrating their new jobs, degrees and 6-packs. Instead of slipping into a void of depression, let these Trinidad sayings inspire a different perspective.
When people spend hours online, they draw defeating comparisons between their lives and those of other people. In fact, that compare-and-despair mindset forms the basis of social media envy, and has been linked to depression.
Although completely detaching from social networking sites is an apt solution to the issue, such a move isn’t practical for everyone. Indeed, with many companies and entrepreneurs integrating Facebook, Twitter and Instagram into their business strategies, staying offline is near impossible.
Interestingly, there’s another workaround hidden in the oral traditions of Trinidad and Tobago. Rooted in our African heritage, our people communicate wisdom via stories and quips. Here are seven Trinidad sayings about patience that can ease your frustration with patience.
1. Pressure does bus’ pipe.
Translation: Too much pressure makes a pipe burst.
Regardless of where you are in life, it’s important to be gentle with yourself. Yes, your friend Mark from high school has a big house, fiancé and a dog named Boo but that’s his life. Your journey is different because you are different.
Instead of beating yourself up for not taking the sports scholarship that helped Mark through law school, focus on where you are now. Then, express gratitude for what you have achieved and for everything you experienced.
Also, avoid dwelling on setbacks. We often blame ourselves for our present circumstances and revisit missteps as part of our negative self-talk. Yet, as Lisa Nichols states, learn to keep track, not score. Simply, take note of where you think you went wrong but don’t attach your self-esteem to those blunders.
2. Crocodile does lay egg but he eh no bird.
Translation: A crocodile lays eggs but that doesn’t make it a bird.
This Trinidad saying refers to being cautious in situations because they may not be what they seem. On the other hand, there is a positive take on it that emphasises the hidden lesson in each moment.
For instance, let’s say you decided to pursue a business management degree instead of law like your friends. Now, five years later, you’re making less than half their salary, and you feel left behind as you watch thrive.
Stop comparing yourself to them.
Alternatively, think about what you can learn from your decision. You always loved law but you allowed your family’s second-guessing of your dream to be an attorney sway you. Hence, when you are presented with another major opportunity, you know to listen to your intuition instead of anyone else’s opinions on your vision.
3. Little axe does cut dong big tree.
Translation: A little axe can cut down a big tree.
No matter how overwhelming circumstances feel, trust in your ability to overcome them. Of course, it takes time to develop that mindset, especially if you live in a society that devalues some aspect of your identity – race, sexuality or gender etc.
For example, say you live in country in which gay men aren’t given the same opportunities as their heterosexual peers. As such, your friend Devon is advanced to a senior marketing position and you’re denied it because you’re “too feminine” to properly represent the company.
Don’t allow this situation to stop you. First, employ self-care tools to help you recover from the upset. Secondly, think about whether you truly want to stay at an organisation that doesn’t value you.
Finally, plan your next best step. This is the sign you needed to explore other passions, move to another company or start your own business. Trust that there’s always a solution, and you have what it takes to make it a reality.
4. Hurry bird doh make good nest.
Translation: Birds that hurry don’t make good nests.
You’ve decided that you want to quit your job and start your own business. Do you have a strategic plan? Do you know how you will cover costs and maintain your standard of living for the first year? Are there plan Bs for your plan Bs?
Avoid rushing into action without first having a clear idea of where you want to go and how you will get there. Following your passions will bring you true joy but listen to your intuition in moments of doubt. Additionally, use those feelings of anxiety as indicators to pause (not permanently stop) and address anything that’s going off track.
5. Doh be lucky an’ coward.
Translation: You can’t expect to be lucky and afraid at the same time.
Everything in life is achieved with a degree of risk. What makes us truly great, however, is when we know that and leap into the unknown anyway. Basically, we only fulfill our dreams when we embrace uncertainty.
Thus, start that business, quite that job or ask that guy from the lunch room to go on a date. As Helen Keller said, “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
6. Never too late fuh jackass gallop.
Translation: It’s never too late for a donkey to run.
Seeing our friends, especially those younger than us, boast of their success on social media can be painful. As part of our comparisons, we think of how quickly they advanced and how time is running out for us to do the same.
Conversely, the ticking clock in your head is just a ticking clock in your head. Unless you want to birth six kids by the age of 35 years and your 35th birthday is five months away, trust that you have time.
What’s important is that you make your goals clear and make them priorities. Therefore, don’t procrastinate or delay your dreams to satisfy other people. Get up, get ready and get active.
7. Han’ go, han’ come.
Translation: Hands go and hands come.
Before you receive, you must first give. This is the Trinidad and Tobago equivalent to the eighth Law of Karma, which is the Law of Giving and Hospitality. Simply, to attract abundance, we must give abundantly of ourselves to others.
Get out of your despair by taking the time to help people less fortunate than you. Also, share what you’ve learned with someone who is in need of the guidance you lacked in your journey. In the end, it will contribute to your personal growth and your positive view of self.
Discover more Trinidad sayings in the Côté ci Côte la Trinidad and Tobago dictionary. This is not a sponsored piece.