The Sunday Mail
Milton Kamwendo Hunt for Greatness
You are brilliant and do not die feeling that you do not measure up to other people’s expectations. No one can make you feel inferior unless you allow yourself to feel like a grasshopper. In you lies great potential looking for expression. Your brilliance is itching for expression. Spring forth from your strength zone. You are best when you are operating from the centre of your brilliance.
I was in Dr Love’s Organic Chemistry class for my first year at University of Zimbabwe. We would do our practicals as a combined group with students that were pursuing Pharmacy. I was awed at how my fellow students seemed to be so adept at the various laboratory processes. They seemed to have been born in a laboratory and were having fun.
They were in their natural territory and domain. For me it was a struggle and I dreaded the classes. I scraped through my course but it was a pain and I knew life could be lived differently. I was a fish that was trying to thrive in diesel, not in water. It was years later that light dawned on me when I decided to play to my strengths and not my weaknesses. I realised that I was complicating my life, trying to be who I was not wired to be. I had brilliance, it just was in a different area, perhaps.
You are brilliant, and very brilliant in your domain of intelligence. Do not spend your life looking out of the window thinking other people are better in every way.
Play to your strengths and not to the gallery of popular opinion. Do not use other people’s intelligence zone to measure your own brilliance. Mangoes can never be apples, apples can never be bananas. You are best when you are you. Log onto life as you and you will enjoy the experience.
My flawed thoughts were shattered when I came across the work of Howard Gardner of Harvard University who took a totally different view to intelligence than the commonly held one. For him intelligence is not only “school” intelligence. It is broader and covers seven areas, namely Visual-Spatial, Bodily-kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Linguistic, and Mathematical. Everyone has multiple intelligences, but these exist in different concentrations among various individuals. Find your brilliance and build on it. Use the following list to identify where you shine and polish yourself there.
You have picture brilliance if you are able to draw, are good with photography, and can work with videos. Build on this intelligence if it is yours. Among picture brilliant people are people like Ben Mahaka, a brilliant film and documentary maker, architects like the late Mwamuka who designed Joina City, and artists like Dominic Benhura. If you are not picture brilliant do not despair, patiently find your brilliance and gracefully celebrate and enjoy the works of those with picture brilliance.
People with this intelligence can use their body in amazing ways and accomplish feats.
They typically are good in sports, dance and any areas that require body movement, spatial awareness, making things and touching things. They are “hands on” and with their hands they work wonders. They are good with tools. People with this intelligence are people like Gideon Muzvongi of Supreme Panel beaters, athletes like Benjamin Mwaruwaru, Kirsty Coventry and the young Motorcross wonder, Tanya Muzinda. These people can cook, design clothes and tinker with things.
People with this intelligence show sensitivity to rhythm and sound. They love music, and are just brilliant with sound and music. They can write songs, play instruments, and literary see musical notes in their head. People with this intelligence are people like Mukudzeyi Mukombe (commonly known as Jah Prayzah), the legend Oliver Mutukudzi, the brilliant sound engineer Tami Bimha and Tariro Chaniwa (commonly known as Tariro neGitare.
For people with musical brilliance, music comes easy, it is comfortable and when they are doing their music, time might as well stop. Some can easily master musical instruments without much teaching. I remember the agony of a friend trying to teach me how to hold the cords on a guitar. Musical brilliance is not for me, but I do enjoy listening to good music.
People with this intelligence are good with people. They easily understand, interact and connect with others. For them making friends is easy, they have empathy and connect. There is always one family member who seems to be able to always charm everyone. They can never become clueless when you leave them with a stranger. I am sure you know someone who is good with people. They may not be good at other things but give them people or a people environment and they will thrive.
These people can just “see” the money. They are able to put together deals and financial structures. They just know what to do to make money. Typically they are able to sell and create money. The late Steve Job had money brilliance. Steve Jobs biography seems to be a mystery to many until you consider that his real genius was money brilliance. Jobs understood technology, its drift, and how people interacts with it but was not a soft or hardware engineer.
He had profoundly exquisite taste but was not a designer, like Jonathan Ives. What he was brilliant at was seeing where the value really lay and how that value could be created and tapped. He could orchestrate the work with engineers and designers to achieve a profit advantage and capture value. He was a master at selling and positioning his products for mass appeal. This is the reason why Apple products to this day enjoy a margin advantage that other products do not enjoy. Some people do brilliant work, but seem lost on the money equation.
These are people that have are brilliant with figures, patterns and processes. They can calculate large numbers, sometimes in their minds. They can solve figure related work easily. These people find numbers easy and enjoyable. Typically people with this brilliance did not get a C-grade for their Ordinary Level Mathematics. People with this brilliance easily become Accountants, Actuaries and Engineers or other areas where they work with masses of data, logical frames and systems of thought. They can solve large equations, see patterns and make calculations and solve problems.
These are people that have a love for nature and typically they thrive outdoors. They love being in the field and in touch with the bush, plants, animals and rocks. Nature-brilliant people easily become farmers, field researchers, tour guides. They will never miss the concrete in the city and cannot wait to be out at the farm. They make great wild-life rangers or other lifestyles that allows them to be in touch with animals, sea, plants and nature in general. Some people say that people that have nature brilliance have “green fingers.” Put these people anywhere and they will be planting something, breeding something. The outdoors is their domain and their love.
These are people that are good with words. They can write and speak well. They easily can master and play with words. They are word-smiths. Some people who have this brilliance can easily master languages. Put them in a new location, within weeks they are speaking the language like a native. They can easily speak several languages. Some people with this intelligence find poetry easy. They easily can write plays, novels and advertising copy. People with word brilliance can easily articulate and communicate. They are natural journalists. When you are operating in your brilliance, things look easy.
The renowned writer, Ernest Hemingway, once said: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” For a person with word brilliance, creating a story out of type keys is pleasure. For those with other intelligences even stringing a tweet can be as difficult as mental surgery.
Alex Magaisa in a BSR instalment on Writing Mentorship puts it well when he says: “You must have passion for writing. You must love the experience of writing. You must see writing as an experience, not a task. I love writing. I see words as tools that I can use to work a piece of writing just like a sculptor works a piece of stone into a fine piece of art.” Those are words coming from someone with word brilliance.
These are people that are spiritually aligned. They somehow can “connect” spiritually and expound spiritual issues. They are able to inspire and connect spiritually. They can have many labels and operate in different contexts. You know it when you are in touch with them. In September 2002, Emmanuel Makandiwa shared at a funeral of the late Makanyara Chipunza how he applied to go to Bible School and failed to be admitted three times, before in desperation he was admitted.
The registrars at the Bible College were looking at his academic certificates and these gave no clue to his spiritual brilliance. Fortunately his father knew too well and believed in his son’s spiritual brilliance. From humble beginnings, his spiritual brilliance has served him well.
You are brilliant, you just need to locate your brilliance and thrive in that space. Intelligence is a potential, you have to then develop and give full expression. Stop looking down on your brilliance, polish and apply it. You are powerful enabled and you can become anything you dare to be. The world is waiting for your brilliance to show up. Focus on what you have not what you do not have. Let the light that is in you shine.
Committed to your greatness.
Milton Kamwendo is a leading international transformational and motivational speaker, author, and executive coach. He is a cutting strategy, innovation, team-building and leadership facilitator and a consultant. His life purpose is to inspire greatness. He can be reached at: [email protected] and Twitter: @MiltonKamwendo or WhatsApp at: 0772422634. His website is: www.miltonkamwendo.com