3 African Proverbs for Dealing with Stress

From my book ‘Introducing Ubuntu Stoicism: Gain Joy, Resilience, Productivity, and Defuse Anxiety.’ Available on Amazon, my blog (South Africa) and all South African bookstores (Exclusive Books, Bargain Books).

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Number 1: Teeth do not see poverty.

Think about it. A smile is a smile is a smile, and it is a good thing. So, smile. Be a force of meditative smiles to yourself. Smile by yourself, brother, and sister.

Number 2: No matter how hot your anger is, it cannot cook yams.

Yam is an edible tuberous root. Sweet potato is also a tuberous root, for example—yams and sweet potatoes both need hot cooking to soften up. So, anger, however called for, can never cook yam. You cannot eat the fruits of your anger. But maybe the people you are angry with will know how you feel. Maybe. Maybe not. Nonetheless, do not be angry for long. Find peace for yourself to live with, maybe even without those people. A life lived with anger is a waste.

Number 3: The best way to eat an elephant in your path is to cut him up into little pieces.

Maybe your problems cannot be solved in a day. Thirty minutes daily are also enough to solve them. The rest of the hours can be directed at other things like smiling, showing teeth, and laughing with friends and family. Or they can be spent on hobbies, meaningful creations, or meaningful work. Problems cannot be solved with the same consciousness that created them. Anxiety defuses creativity, and creativity defuses anxiety. This is the subtitle of my book, “The Anxious Entrepreneur.” Anxiety and creativity (add productivity and peace) cannot reside in the same house.