Thabang Tlaka
Thabang Tlaka

When your goals and desires whisper

By Lesego Makgatho Time of article published Apr 24, 2019

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Are you between the ages of 25 and 45 and juggling too many things at once?

Are you trying to establish yourself, and are insecure about a gift that you have? Well, Focus And Flourish written by clinical psychologist Thabang Tlaka is the right book for you.

Based on the collection of insights gained from studying pioneers and working with people who are hungry for richer and fuller experiences, the book talks about the importance of paying attention when our goals and desires “whisper”.

Tlaka tries to steer people’s energies towards goals that would make a difference while he highlights the fact that our world is changing and we are living in a very unprecedented time which affects our thinking.

“To excel in life is difficult if you’re doing a lot of things. There must be one thing you’re doing so well that everything else can leverage on it.

“As I experienced it and felt it intuitively, I found it objectively in the literature, on how we think and how we split our attention,” says Tlaka.

“I work at a university campus, so I work with a lot of students. These students struggle to cope. One of the factors could be how they were raised.

“Your parents shelter you and you don’t have a way of dealing with that adjustment. And when you face a challenge, you feel like life is unfair.

“The generation we are in is also a factor. We live almost in two worlds - where it’s the real world, and the other world is more of the technology-driven world because of the social media influence,” he said.

Tlaka, who has a practice based in Pretoria, said there are many young people who are seeking help because they suffer from mental health issues.

Young people are known to be especially vulnerable to poor mental health Picture: File

“Young girls are cutting themselves. Social media promotes self-image a lot and it promotes a lot of negativity.

“We live in a society where negativity gives you currency. Be it on social media, be it in any situation you are in.

“The more negative you are, the more attention you seem to get.”

Another reason why we’re dealing with mental illness, says Tlaka, is that we are now more aware, so we have more information to explain what we’ve been experiencing.

“We live in a very unequal society. They say poverty in itself does not cause mental issues but it’s bad when people can see that there’s a difference between them and the next person.

“Part of the solution is to teach them to learn to compare themselves to themselves. They need to value their own uniqueness and dreams. People need to prioritise things that move them forward,” he warns.

There’s a chapter in the book that focuses on being aware of your thoughts because negative thinking determines whether we become productive or not.

“Recognise that you are a unique being. The world is a better place because you exist. You bring a uniqueness that fills us. One needs to recognise that they have value and they bring it into other people’s lives.”

Thabang Tlaka is in the process of having his book available in stores. For more on the book, visit he is available on social media: @ThabangTlaka on Twitter and Thabang Tlaka on Facebook.


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