The Sunday Mail
Milton Kamwendo Hunt for Greatness —
There is a verse in the Bible that says: “Be angry but do not sin.” I had seen the verse but did not know it fully. It was not until in anger, I and some members of my team went to see the vendor of an IT system that we had implemented in our business.
We felt ready, we were armed and we knew who was to blame. We wanted answers. We were frustrated and angry. We could no longer live with this mess, so we thought, and we deserved better.
The CEO of the IT firm was kind and gracious. He took out his notebook and allowed us to spew out all our complaints and accusations while he noted neatly and logically every one of our issues. Occasionally he would repeat or paraphrase what we had said to ensure he understood.
We felt a little pacified. It was after we had gone through the more than 15 issues that we had with the system that he put his pen down, looked up and graciously thanked us for coming to see him and his team. Then he said a line I will never forget: “Regrettably, there is no problem with the system, all you have are finger problems!”
That is not the response we expected, not after we were convinced that we needed our money back because the system was not delivering. He explained what he called “finger problems”.
There was nothing wrong with the system; there was something wrong with the way information was being punched into the system. It later turned out that he was right. When his technicians came later that day, they showed us the errors we were making in inputting information into the IT system.
Wrong input can never result in right output. What you put in determines what you get out. So it is with all life. Perhaps most things that you are calling “problems” could just be “finger problems”.
Blaming others for your finger problems is wasted anger and frustration. Years later we are happy with the computer system and I got two lasting lessons: “Be angry, but do not sin” and before you blame and blow your top off, just check that it could just be your own “finger problems”.
It is not where you go
Under pressure, it is easy to run amok. There is a tendency to always seek safety and better circumstances. Years ago I attended a fire and emergency training workshop. One lesson that I got from the course was that in case of a fire walk, do not run. At first, that seemed counter-intuitive.
Usually, running just increases the panic and pandemonium. When you act in panic-mode you could do worse. Whatever the pressure you have, walk do not run. It is when things look like they are getting worse that you must stay anchored.
Stop running away from problems because you could be running away from opportunity. It is when things seem worst that the best is about to come. It is not where you run to that determines your success, but what you are carrying with you.
You cannot be a lizard in Africa and hope to be a crocodile elsewhere. Wherever you are the size of your thinking determines the size of your vision and pursuits. Compute things differently in your mind for different results.
Wherever you go and whatever you do, never carry the spirit of the victim. Whoever you blame for your miseries you empower to control your life. Until you change your narrative your life will not change much.
Your words are creating your life and fashioning your realities. Watch your words, they are seeds you are sowing. It is not where you go that matters but the thoughts that you carry with you. Your thoughts and mindset are like a magnet.
You cannot blame the iron pieces for being attracted to you. Stop looking outside you, look within and review your mindset, thoughts and attitudes. To change what you are attracting to you, change the magnet. Your words and thoughts are under your direct control.
Change your words and thoughts and you will see a different world start to emerge. If you start mentally computing differently you will start getting results that are different. Be angry with whatever you are facing but do not sin.
It is not what you leave
My father was regrettably a poor man. I never really felt the poverty we lived in so much than when we visited the affluent bigger and leafy yards of the low density Mhlahlandlela portion of our Tshabalala Township in Bulawayo where all the wealthy and highly educated Africans lived. There lived businessmen like Mr Ngwenya who ran the Vulindlela Stores and later became a Government minister.
His daughter Ms Peggy Ngwenya was my Grade One teacher. There was Mr Masuku, a celebrated and degreed educationist who was a headmaster who later became a respected education officer.
There also lived Mr Sansole, a lawyer and some people would whisper that he is appropriately called Advocate Sansole. It was all a different otherworldly experience. In my young mind, they lived in another country, foreign to my realities.
One day we were just talking as kids about our local Mhlahlandlela well-healed neighbours whose children we had had a soccer match when my father jetted in. He proclaimed, “I am a son of a retired millionaire.”
He went on to tell stories of his father, how he was a notable builder. How he travelled from Malawi on various missions throughout the region building and how he was involved in building a number of missions.
By the end of my father’s delivery I had earned with my friends the moniker, “grandson of a retired millionaire.” Regrettably my grandfather did not leave a real estate portfolio, he left most of his sons a building trade that most of my uncles embraced.
Many parents are obsessed with working to leave something for their children. That is noble, necessary but not sufficient. Change your thinking about your children. Instead of thinking that they will be incompetent, have little and you have to super accumulate for them, see them is competent people that will achieve.
Perhaps better than what you leave for your children, the most important thing is what you leave in them. What is in your children is more important than what you leave for them. It is what you invest in their minds and characters that matters most.
Working to leave something in them is more challenging than what you leave them. Impressing everyone else is relatively easy, impressing your children is hard-work.
Being a celebrity everywhere else is easy, being a celebrity in your own home is a challenge. You have not really become successful until those closest to you salute your success. You have truly become great when your children salute and celebrate that greatness. What you leave in your children is more important than what you leave for them.
The worst “finger problem” that you could have is being blind to your possibilities. You can do more and be more than you are showing.
Whatever you have achieved, at best might just be 2 percent of your real potential. Your life and this world is filled with infinite possibilities. The end of opportunity has not yet arrived.
There have more power than you can imagine and there are possibilities beyond your wildest dreams. There is space for your idea and dream. The sky is big enough for any bird to fly and the airwaves are big enough for any bird and animal to sing its song.
You have more talent than you think. You are able to do a lot more and be more. In wrong computing you start to see all your lack and everything else that you do not have.
There is more than you can be. You are destined for greatness, stop thinking, playing and talking small. You have so much power and potential within you that your challenges are scared of what could happen if you woke up to your potential. Shortage is a state of mind never a statement of fact. It is what you see in your mind that makes all the difference.
Use your mind as a friend and never as a fore. I remember meeting with a wealthy gentleman who has done well for himself. We were discussing the various challenges that we face when he looked at me intensely and said the reality in the media is not the reality that lives in his mind. He stated that he does not live in the world of complaints where others have decided to camp.
He is where he is because he knows that the control tower of his life is not what the popular news say but the news that he is projecting to himself daily. He has no time for negativity and useless battles. He says now is time for opportunity.
Change the videos you play in your mind. Stop playing horror movies and perhaps play hero ones. Stop seeing yourself as a useless victim and see yourself as a capable and responsible protagonist.
Whatever you visualise intensely and persistently you create. Whatever pictures you carry persistently you vitalise into form, build into your life and bring into the actual.
It is not what others say about you that matters but what you say to yourself. Change your personal mental dialogue. Stop telling yourself failure stories and watching private horror movies.
Stop accumulating junk because your children could easily grow and lampoon what you think you are preparing for them. Live your life the best you can and contribute your best. Stop playing unending private adverts of adversity and misery. Unless you change your mental dialogue very little may change outside you.
Committed to your greatness.
Milton Kamwendo is an international transformational and inspirational speaker, author and coach. He is a strategy, innovation, team-building and leadership facilitator. Feedback: [email protected] and Twitter: @MiltonKamwendo or WhatsApp at: 0772422634