Matshona Dhliwayo’s Top Ten Life Lessons

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  1. Be positive: The mind, heart, soul, and body all work at optimum levels when you are positive. You have more energy to come up with and execute new ideas.  You cannot pour out into the world what you don’t have; therefore, if you want to change the world positively, you have to have positive thoughts.  Positive thoughts precede positive results.
  1. Find your purpose: Nothing exists without a purpose. Even something as seemingly insignificant as dirt nurtures plants and flowers.  Without a purpose, nothing has the right to exist.

    You too have a purpose, and it is important that you find it.  You are here to use your gifts and talents to better the world.  Without you, something in the universe is missing.

  1. Become the best at what you do: If a tree did not yield its best fruit, would you esteem it? Likewise, if you did not yield your best work, do not expect to be honored.  One of life’s greatest purposes is to achieve our highest potential, and becoming the best at what you do is a significant part of that.
  2. Surround yourself with people better than you: If a fish wants to swim faster, it will learn from faster fish. If a lion wants to hunt better, it will learn from greater lions.

    Likewise, if you want to better yourself, surround yourself with people better than you.  It is the strong who lift the weak, not the weak who lift the strong.

  1. Use challenges to your advantage: Challenges are inevitable in life, especially if you are destined for greatness. Therefore, in life, one must learn to turn challenges into opportunities, problems into solutions, and risks into rewards, as well as use the arrows enemies throw at him for firewood and the bricks his critics throw at him to build his palace. 
  1. Don’t try to please everyone: If you are good, people will criticize you. If you are bad, people will criticize you.  If you are both good and bad, people will still criticize you.  Therefore, don’t waste your life trying to please anyone.  Please yourself, and you will go far.  Please those who matter, and you will go further.  But, please God, and you will go the furthest.
  2. Be grateful: If you have much, be generous; if you have little, be grateful; and even if you have nothing, be hopeful. Gratitude helps your soul ascend to the highest altitudes.

    One who is ungrateful for little deserves nothing.  One who is grateful for little deserves much.  One who is grateful for much deserves all.

  1. Forgive yourself, and then forgive others: Acquaintances will wrong you, friends will upset you, family will offend you, and everyone has the potential to sin against you. Don’t hold onto grudges; it’s too much weight for anyone who wants to receive blessings.  Let go of the past, embrace the present, and prepare for the future.
  2. Give back: If you earn little, give little. If you earn much, give much.  But, even if you earn nothing, try to give something.  It is not what you hold onto that makes you great, but what you give.
  1. Enjoy the journey: Cherish every minute. Treasure every hour. Make each day count.  In life, it is not the destination that counts, but the journey.

    Don’t waste days, for they become weeks; don’t waste weeks, for they become months; don’t waste months, for they become years, and don’t waste years, for they become a lifetime.

In addition to all of the tips above, below are 20 insights extracted from my books to help you throughout 2017.


  1. Keep negative people in your prayers, not in your life.
  2. Build your dreams, or regret will build your nightmares.
  3. Marry your future, court your present, and divorce your past.
  4. Learn which hand to shake, which hand to hold, and which hand to let go.
  5. Embrace all. Help some.  Trust few.  Harm none.
  6. Don’t let the noise of mediocre people drown out the symphonies of your genius.
  7. Learn, and you will live; live, and you will learn.
  8. When I was young, I was clever, so I wanted to be rich. When I was old, I was wise, so I wanted to be happy.
  9. When all seems to be against you, remember: a ship sometimes has to sail against the current, not with it.
  10. Learn what you can, teach what you know, and live how you ought.
  11. One friend in a storm is worth more than a thousand friends in sunshine.
  12. A drop of sense can save you an ocean of tears.
  13. Busy hands achieve more than idle tongues.
  14. Reading is the best cure for ignorance.
  15. To be knowledgeable, sit before scholars; to be wise, sit before life.
  16. Take all men as your brothers, all women as your sisters, and all children as your sons and daughters.
  17. Don’t let others define you, or they might pick the worst word in the dictionary.
  18. Work as if you will die tomorrow. Play as if you will live forever.
  19. Be the light you wish to see in others.
  20. See the world as it is; strive to make it as it should be.
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