The Sunday Mail
Hunt for Greatness Milton Kamwendo
Greatness is available to everyone, but does not mean the same to everyone. Embrace this moment, be grateful for everything and intentionally direct your thinking.
Think like a wise farmer, and manage your life like a productive farm. Embrace your life as it is and not as you wish it to be. Accept imperfection, love what you do, live with a passion and serve in whatever place you find yourself in. Relate with life as a giver and difference maker who finds you in every passion moment.
See the beauty in every lump of life. Greatness is a farming journey that you take daily.
An important key to developing greatness is to use the farming metaphor or model with a dose of enduring wisdom. Greatness is not just a matter of luck or chance. Mr Jim Collins in his book, “Great by Choice” advances the concept of “Return on Luck”.
He proposes that greatness is not just due to encountering lucky events, but making the most of the luck you get. It is about using whatever comes your way. Life is imperfect but beautiful. Simplify your greatness formula and start farming your greatness. Use what you have regardless of its imperfection.
Farming requires discipline, preparation, patience and deliberate investment and focus. Do not be pressured to catch up, but be deep enough to define where you stand and make the most of each moment. Nothing can defeat you unless you allow it. Nothing can stop you unless you stop thinking. Nothing can overwhelm you unless you stop praying.
Thinking that farming is the easiest thing in the world prepares you for heartaches and headaches. Thinking that farming is the hardest thing in the world closes your mind to opportunity and providence. Dare to start, dare to take action and dare to believe in greatness. Consider “Ikigai” as path, a model and a way of thinking. Greatness like farming occurs everywhere, but not for the same reasons or in the same way or scale. Farming could be a drudgery for others but for others it is pure love and life spring. Be clear about your reason for farming: “What is your why?” So it is with greatness, the starting point is always to start with why. Make your “why” big, bold and authentic. It must be something you feel in the gut because that is where the levers of grit are.
Purpose will drive you, inspire you and speak to you when you would rather give up.
Be clear about your “Big Why” by looking at your farming of greatness through the eyes of the “Ikigai Model”. Mr Dan Buettner of National Geographic was intrigued to find that there was disproportionately more people that lived beyond the age of 100 years in the Okinawa region of Japan. As he tried to unravel this phenomenon he was intrigued to find that most of the variability factors in that region were not too different from other places in the world.
However, he found that most of the people spoke about “Ikigai” all the time and they attributed that to their reason for living long and keeping on working despite their ages. How would you retire from doing what you love as long as you live?
Ikigai is a Japanese concept that refers to your reason for being. It is an absorbing purpose that makes life meaningful, fruitful, satisfying and productive. Without an “ikigai” life has no seasoning and inspiring reasoning. Farmers cannot dare lie around and wonder if there is anything to wake up for. Farming for greatness means that you have to have something that gets you out of bed everyday and that you look forward to.
Every way is so precious that you dare not waste it. Ikigai is the happiness of always being busy with something that matters to you and is worth pursuing. Yet you remain grounded in a simple and practical approach to life and you do not postpone the pleasure of passing through this moment.
To appreciate Ikigai, imagine your life as having four circles namely: passion, mission, profession and vocation. Passion is what you love and would rather be doing every day.
Your mission is what the world needs from you and your unique contribution to the world. Your profession is what you are good at and you have developed the skills to perform. Your vocation is what you get paid for. Now bring these four circles together and at the middle, at the intersection point of passion, mission, profession and vocation that is where your Ikigai sits.
You farm greatness is best when you can relate it to your Ikigai. Find a purpose that you truly believe in and are committed to. You do not have to make it complicated and wait for another worldly experience. Life like this moment matters. Without commitment to farm your greatness you will easily give up when you face set-backs.
When your purpose is clear, you have the grit to know that every set-back is a setup for a great come back. Reconnect to greatness and keep running. Be willing to bounce back and break forth. Nothing tests your patience and quality of spirit like the realities of farming. Stop merely thinking and start doing.
Prepare and then perform. You do not just farm in your head. You have to get into action and start doing and being.
Farmers live their dreams everyday, so must you. Keep learning your craft every time and attend as many “field days” as possible. Meeting with other kindred souls, people who share your passion, ignites some things in you. Be too engaged in a fellowship of greatness to be discouraged. Make pursuing your greatness a life-style and life passion.
A life filled with Ikigai is filled with flow and vitality. You remain active, engaged and busy. Farming your greatness is never and can never be an idle activity. There is something to do every day to improve your life and improve your farm. Greatness comes through the practice of “kaizen” – this means constant and never ending improvement.
The more you work on the four intersecting elements of your Ikigai, the bigger that centre becomes. Be too engaged to be bored, too focused to be distracted, too absorbed to see the negative. Keep improving and working on your passion, mission, profession and the ways you earn a living. Taking out one circle out of the mix of the four – passion, mission, profession and vocation, leaves you unbalanced and frustrated.
Farming your greatness involves embracing life as it is and not as you wish it to be.
Your Ikigai grows when you embrace “wabi-sabi” as an organising principle. It means embracing life in its fullness, simplicity and seeing beauty in accepting its imperfection. Wabi-sabi means that you abandon the pressure to be perfect and to want everything to be perfect but you embrace simplicity and the beauty of things as they are. This is an essential key to farming for your greatness.
You are willing to start where you are and use your farm as you find it. Instead of being absorbed in comparing yourself to others you embrace the beauty of wabi-sabi. You take life as you find it, laugh and laud its imperfections and work with what you have. You see yourself as an artist, crafting greatness out of the hand that you are dealt with. Stop complicating greatness and find it in the flow of your everyday.
Use each moment for all it is worth. Your attitude matters.
Committed to your greatness.
Milton Kamwendo is a leading international transformational and motivational speaker, author, and growth mentor. He is a cutting-edge strategy, team-building and organisation development facilitator and consultant. His life purpose is to inspire and promote greatness. He can be reached at: [email protected] and His website is: www.miltonkamwendo.com