What's your MANTRA?

Updated: Oct 19, 2018


There are a few sayings I believe in, and here are some of my favorites (of course for the French ones, I will give you the translation in English)


1) "L'Homme propose, Dieu Dispose"....In English literally it will be translated as "you put an offer on the table and God will have the final say").

I am turning 32 this year. Actually, as I am writing this article it will be 16 days from now. I cannot tell you the number of times I have heard that word "NO". Whether it was at the time when I was looking for universities, Grad School, internships, paperwork, and of course the worst one: "A JOB".

I can't tell you the number of times I was so frustrated and I cried whenever I received those rejection letters/emails, or the number of times I did not sleep at night.

Those emails have one thing in common. They all start with "Dear candidate, thank you for your interest, however you have not been selected for the next selection step. We have decided to go with another candidate and wish you all the best for the future".


Of course most people don't like to talk about it because they feel some type of shame, but the reality is (and we have to say it outloud): "IT SUCKS"!!

That rejection gets to you in the long run. You start thinking that you are not good enough, that you don't have what it takes and so on....

Our generation should be the one "balling" with all those diplomas in hand, but instead of that we are struggling and not feeling secure in this tough economy.

All I can tell you is to make sure you have the right crew to surround you in those hard times. We are all humans.

Most people like to pretend that everything will be fine, but I learnt that it's OK to cry on someone'else shoulder and to ask for help.

At almost 32, I am happy to have some "ride or die" friends that believed in me when I thought things were never going to happen or it was over, or whenever I was EXHAUSTED from all that job search. It's not about the quantity of friends but the QUALITY.

I can also tell you that if you have an opportunity ABROAD don't think twice and take it. There is no rule and it's not written anywhere that you have to stay in just one country to pursue your dreams.


2) "When people show you their true colors, believe them". (I will also add "thank them for showing you their true face").

Negative people (or HATERS as they are called in the streets) and JEALOUSY are always around the corner, and most of the time closer to home than you think (sometimes it can come from family members).

From people telling you that you will never succeed in your enterprise, or you are "crazy" to even think about it, or telling you that you should not be running your life that way but some other type of way.

However, is there just one way to succeed? the answer is "NO".

You are the sole captain on your boat and if you let someone else run it, you will be lost. By the time you finally open your eyes and decide to take charge, it will be too late.

Why do you think people react that way? the answer is JEALOUSY.

Whenever you try a road less traveled by many, they try to put you down and shut down your idea by telling you that you will never succeed because in reality they feel threatened by the fact that YOU WILL and will probably do a better job than them. Hence, their constant negativity.

They will also be the ones waiting for you to stumble or even fall. I think that's just mean and pathetic.

Have you also noticed that the same people that criticized you during the hard days of your journey, will be the same one talking to you at the end once you make it? It's like they have some type of amnesia and forget all those things they said to you....

This "hateration" comes from the fact that people like to mold and manipulate us into what they want, and when we say NO, they don't like it. They want to control us, and when they feel like they can't, they start resenting us.

However, trust me, you have the right to say NO, no matter what the cost. You are not someone's puppet, and as a human being you have some innate rights that should be respected


3) " I am too busy watering my own grass to notice if yours is greener,

Nowadays, especially with the dominance of social media, I noticed that we tend to think that the grass is greener on other people's side.

I challenge myself everyday but I don't compete with other people in this world.

Some amazing women have inspired me everyday to push myself and do better. From the woman living in the villages in my home country who get up before the sun rise and walk so many miles to fetch water for their household, to the ones vending "beignets" on the side of the road so that their kids have at least one or two meals per day and go to school, to the women who have fought so hard in the world (and are still fighting) so that young girls and women have a right to go to school, vote and have access to health and equal pay.


4) "On est jamais mieux servi que par soi-meme". If I translate that in English, literally it means that you always get a better result whenever you are hands on.

I don't know about you guys ( and of course each one of us does what suits him better), but as far as I am concerned, whenever I have a job search, a project going on or something to plan, I DO NOT delegate or rely on someone else to make it happen, even if it might take me longer.

I like being hands on, to know what's going on from the very beginning until the end and to be part of it every step of the way.

People have criticized me a lot (and sometimes made fun of me), but honestly I started to care less and less about their opinion cause I realized that when I am the one in charge, I am happy with the result and usually I always prove people wrong.


What about you guys? do you have any mantra you would like to share?


Marie-Madeleine Mbong





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