Principles to take leadership of your own life!

Introduction:  You are the leader of your own life, therefore exchange every negative thought with a positive thought! – Dr Lanette Hattingh 

Due to the virus crises, staying positive and focussed in your life and career is now more than ever a challenge due to all the uncertainty, negative emotions, and anger that we are facing. Your mind, however, is an incredible powerful tool – what you tell it, that is what it believes. You have to take leadership of your life and only then, you can lead anyone else.

I would love to share some of the principles that I have applied in my life to cope and to stay on top. Without these principles I would not have made it through all my personal setbacks, disappointments, and life’s low moments. 

Principle 1:  Find your purpose and become unstoppable!

Your where born with a reason, not by accident. Have you really thought about this: Why were you born? Were you born to: serve others; design; work with animals; plants; figures; build, fix things; teach; cure; research; heal; excel in sport; do coding; treat; advice; take photos; cook; prevent crime, etc.? You now have more than ever time to do introspection to discover the reason of your existence on earth. Some of us know this since we were born, some like me who only discovered the real purpose on earth at the age of 36. Since then, I was like a roller-coaster, unstoppable to be the best educational psychologist I could be and to make, and still trying to make, a difference in the world of education. This is my passion, my reason to get up in the morning and to leave behind a legacy that will make a difference in the lives of our children and teachers. 

Discovering your purpose motivates you to be the architect of your future. You can offer much more than you ever thought, just believe it and make it happen! 

“Within you is the power to rise above any situation or struggle, and transform into the strongest, brightest version of you ever.” – Anonymous 

Principle 2: Don’t only follow dreams, hunt goals! 

In your dreams you can talk to kings, be where you want, rich, beautiful, successful or whatever you dream about. The reality is goals – you must hunt them to fulfil your purpose on earth. You need to set your goals and then reach them to be successful. Success is always connected with action – a goal without a timeline is just a dream. You must do something to obtain something. Be realistic about your goals, take small steps in the beginning, but choose goals that are big enough to spark your fire. (Max Fox). Write them down, display them, focus on them, read them every day and don’t look in any direction but ahead. Thus, get up every morning, clean your desk/table, and just start. 

“The people who get things done, who lead, who grow and make an impact…those people have goals.” – Seth Godin 

Principle 3: Never lose, you either win or you learn!

Your self-image is your best friend or your worst enemy. Don’t spend your life trying to change yourself. Accept who you are and make peace with the person in the mirror. Self-acceptance can set you free, but unhappiness within yourself, about yourself, can keep you hostage and make you miserable. Never ever see yourself as a loser, you have to believe you are a winner and that you have all the power to create the success you desire. You are a masterpiece, gorgeous human being who is handpicked by our Creator. You are a person with extreme value and significance, and you are loved. There is always someone in this world that is grateful that you exist. Visualise your highest self and start showing up as that person, as your relationship with yourself will determine the outcome of your life. 

“You must be too positive to be doubtful, too optimistic to be fearful and too determined to be defeated.” -  Anonymous 

Principle 4: Reach for the stars beyond the bars! 

Victor Frankl and many others survived the concentration camps by believing they can reach for the stars beyond the bars. The stars where their family, their dreams, their vision. You need a clear vision in your life as it is the promise of what you shall one day be. Keep on seeing the beauty beyond the bars: the birds, the sun, the moon, the trees, flowers, the sky, clouds, the rain, rivers, sea, etc. There are significant beautiful things that we have just took for granted.  Appreciate everything small you can see and that you have. Do introspection and discover the new potential locked up in you. Remember that dissatisfaction and discouragement are not caused by the absence of things, but by the absence of vision. You have to stay positive during this crisis time we are experiencing and believe that is not a time to give up, not a time for excuses, but a time to discover yourself and set your vision for your future. 

“If you can reach where no-one else can, then you can eat like no-one else.” – Mike Lipkin

Principle 5:  Never retreat…. never a victim, forever a fighter! 

Achieving our life dreams and goals is determined by your ability to be committed and to persevere. Perseverance and failure cannot coexist. Perseverance and commitment entail patience, endurance and trying again and again. Productivity is never an accident – it is always the result of commitment to excellence, smart planning and focussed determination. You have to put your mind, soul, and heart into all of your actions. This is the secret of success.  Be active in your fighting against your isolation, loneliness, fear, anger, anxiety, depression, etc. Don’t lose your dignity and pride, keep yourself beautiful. Learn from your mistakes and keep on fighting with your eyes on our Lord; this is the only way you will make it in this cruel world.

“No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up and never ever give up!” – Anonymous 

Principle 6: Don’t settle for anything other than respect!

The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others on how you demand to be treated. Make it clear that you are 99% of the time an angel, but that 1% of you will not allow him/her to overstep your boundaries. According to Ruiz, respect is one of the greatest expressions of love. Don’t ever lower your standards for anyone or anything this earth. Your self-respect is everything – let everyone around you know that you are not a backup plan and definitely not a second choice. Only keep people in your life that uplifts you – remember the rain can dampen the soil at will, but in cannot dampen your spirit without your will. Reward loyalty with loyalty and disloyalty with distance. 

“Life is too short to waste your time on people who don’t respect, appreciate, and value you.” – Roy T Bennet

Principle 7: In tough times I don’t say “why me”, just try me”!

You have to act as if it is impossible to fail. Rely on your inner strength which is a far more powerful tool than physical strength. You will never know how strong you are inside until being strong is the only choice you have – this is what is expected of you during any crisis situation. Your thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and mind-sets all work together to create your inner world. Believe that you have the inner strength within you that you can always call upon whenever life challenges you. Always remember, there is a light within you that no-one can dim, unless you allow it. Call on your inner strength, release it and use it! 

“You have to act as if it is impossible to fail. Rely on your inner strength. – Charles Kettering 

Principle 8: Remember your attitude determines your altitude!

We have one freedom inside us that nobody can take away, the freedom of attitude in any given situation. It gives you two choices, a negative or a positive attitude. We are naturally inclined to focus on what is going wrong in our lives instead of being thankful for what we have. It takes a mind switch to focus on the positive things in life. Life is like an echo, want you send out, comes back. A positive attitude lets you develop the courage and determination to be committed to what you want to do and where you want to go in your life. There is a Mr Negative and a Mr Positive living in your head. Guess who wins – the one you feed the most. Your attitude is your choice and your responsibility. Live with a positive attitude to achieve positive results.

“A mind without a positive attitude is like a bird without feathers.” – Heinrich Claassen

 Principle 9: Live by a strong belief system! 

My Creator is my anchor on earth and my pathway to find solutions. It makes me strong to cope with all setbacks in life. I believe with all my heart and soul that He will never leave me nor forsake me. People will at times hate you, rate you, shake you and break you, but how strong you stand against them is determined by your inner belief system. It gives you hope, love and courage to cope with all live challenges. Your worries end when faith in God begins – He will sustain you. 

“I want to be more than a survivor – I want to be and overcomer!” – At Bosman 


To survive in life, you have to have the heart of a lion, the skin of a rhino and a soul of an angel! Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and twice as beautiful as you’d ever imagined. Sandwich your day with the presence of our Lord and put your cares in His hands and He will put his peace in your heart.

May God bless you to be a blessing to others.

You are special!

Dr Lanette Hattingh

Educational Psychologist (former CEO of Brainwave Careers NPC)

D Ed Psychology M Ed Psychology B Ed Psychology, PGHD (RAU/UJ)

Honn B Soc Sc Psychology, B Soc Sc Nursing (UF)

Lady ROCCI Community Support of the Year: Gold 2010, 2011, Silver 2012, Bronze 2013, Gold 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2018 – 2019.

Lifetime achievement award for Community service 2017

Rocci Entrepreneurial Awareness: Gold 2012.