The Sunday Mail
Hunt for Greatness
PEOPLE looking at you and me today think what we are today is where we started and this is who we have always been.
Not at all! Life is a procession of changes and seasons. In the days of the old cassette tape radios, I used to own one such prized gadget.
However, the stop/pause and the rewind buttons were broken but the radio’s sound was decent. To play a cassette tape, I would insert the tape and press play. The rest was listening to the end. I could not stop or rewind. Many things have changed in my life since but the principles of life I learnt from my radio have not changed. In life you cannot press pause, you just have to press play and dance with life.
Life marches on at its set speed and pace. You cannot stop time and opportunity from ticking on. You cannot stop the future from coming. The only way forward is, as with my old radio, to press play. The tape of life is reeling on and you do not afford the luxury to press pause.
The whole world will never wait for you to get up and dance with life. No one owes you a living. Take personal responsibility. Get up and dance with life.
Get up and dance
The only way to dance is to get up and get into the ring. You cannot live in the shadows. Parking in the middle of a busy street will just lead to more accidents. The only way that you can live fully is if you grow. When you stop growing you start decaying and being irrelevant. When you have no new ideas you begin to live in the past, tout boring narratives, fear change and see threats everywhere.
The only way that you can grow is if you change. When you can no longer change you can no longer be helped. If you do not like the music that is playing in your life, change the cassette tape. You are not a prisoner of your circumstances. You can choose your thoughts and life.
When you are in a pond, you may feel secure and fear change. How will you experience the sea of possibilities when you dare not step beyond the pond? Good is the enemy of great. Holding on to the past that is fading just leaves you frustrated.
Welcome the challenge to growth. It is spelt: C-H-A-N-G-E. The only way that you can change is if you learn. Learning the lessons of the past many times over will not create new discoveries. You cannot learn if you are not exposed. You will not be exposed if you prefer darkness to light. You may never see how much you are regressing if you see yourself as the gold standard of achievement.
Wake up to the brutal facts of life because hubris always blinds. You are not where you could be given your capacity and potential. To take the fame you have in your village as a global claim to fame is self deception. For a kapenta to think and then behave like a shark is unfortunate. Growth and change comes from the humility to learn, the fortitude to maintain focus and the resolve to keep growing. Life is for those who do not die while they are living. To live in the margins of life and be an irrelevant, fearful and timid player is not the way to play the game of life. Life is meant to be lived not “died”.
Steve Jobs in PBS documentary interview in 1994 once said:
“When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is – everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you.
“And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.
“The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will, you know if you push in, something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mould it. That’s maybe the most important thing. It’s to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it. I think that’s very important and, however, you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better, cause it’s kind of messed up, in a lot of ways. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”
Once you wake to the potential that you have, you are awake and you can dance with life. You can do more and be more. The limitations that you have are self inflicted. The possibilities are endless and the opportunities are ever abundant.
In 1997, Apple Inc launched a campaign that celebrated various individuals that had changed the world and moved the human race forward. What underpinned the campaign is this statement:
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
“Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” This campaign ended in 2002, but it’s message still remains true, relevant and timeless.
Be crazy enough to challenge your limits, poke at life and create your own space. Dare to express your difference and demand more from yourself. Change to wake up the sleeping giant in you. Dare to throw away old ideas that no longer serve you. Dare to look through the cracks in the box and demand more room. Dare to live and claim greatness.
Committed to your greatness.
Milton Kamwendo is a cutting-edge international transformational and inspirational speaker, author and coach. He is a strategy and innovation consultant and leadership coach. His life purpose is to inspire people to release the greatness trapped in them. He can be reached at: [email protected] and his Twitter handle is: @MiltonKamwendo.