The Sunday Mail
Milton Kamwendo Hunt for Greatness
TRUE greatness needs a soul, not just more shambolic activities.
Greatness without a purposeful spine is a miserable and empty road. It is painful to be celebrated and yet feel like an empty tin.
Greatness must always have a grip on purpose.
If you must fight, make sure it is the right battle and you are fighting the right person.
Think before, during and after any fight.
Mindless battles are not bravado but carelessness.
If you must run, make sure you are running away from the real threat and addressing material issues.
If you are to climb a wall, make sure your ladder is leaning against the right wall.
Greatness is not just about scaling heights to discover after decades that you are on top of the wrong mountain.
If you must prune anything, make sure it is the right branch, not the wrong root.
If you must study, make sure that it is the right programme, not just mere efforts to get accolades.
Certificates accumulated without purpose are an economic waste.
If you must run fast, make sure you are running the right race, at the right pace.
Purpose is more important than mere action.
You need a big enough why to guide everything you do.
Greatness needs a strong and intentional base.
It is not just about being on top of a mountain, but the reason for being there.
Power without purpose leads to abuse.
Fame without content is mere mockery.
The height of a building must always be related to the depth of the foundation.
If you are to climb high, dig strong foundations.
If you are to travel far, carry a lot of fuel.
If you are to be great, invest in preparation and positioning.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is an immortal voice of the Indian independence.
On October 22, 1925 he published in his weekly newspaper, Young India, a list of Seven Social Sins.
This list is still fresh and speaks also to the issues of our day.
So important was this list to him that he wished that all generations should note its lessons.
Shortly before his untimely death through assassination, he gave this same list to his grandson, Arun Gandhi, written on a piece of paper on their final day together.
In all matters of sin, the message is always the same — Repent!
Gandhi’s Seven Social Sins that continued to trouble his soul are:
“Wealth without work.
Pleasure without conscience.
Knowledge without character.
Commerce without morality.
Science without humanity.
Religion without sacrifice.
Politics without principle.”
Mahatma Gandhi’s message applies to all that desire greatness in any arena.
Greatness without work is mere gambling with life.
Greatness without character is hollow.
Greatness without morality is immoral.
Greatness without humanity is glorified selfishness.
Greatness without godliness is short-lived.
Greatness without sacrifice lacks purpose.
Everything you will ever become requires you to plant something before you can harvest.
The pursuit of greatness is not in anyway a denial of principle.
There is a world of difference between vision and insanity.
Greatness is not mere self-aggrandisement.
Greatness that does serve is just puffed up, selfish and misplaced.
Leaning against a wrong wall
It is not enough to climb, climb and climb fast.
It is always important to ask if your ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.
The most painful experience is succeeding in areas where you feel strange and lost.
It is painful to be a failed success.
This is the state where everyone applauds you for success and yet you feel frustrated, angry and misplaced.
The choice is to stay in a career that frustrates you because the bills have to be paid.
Life must be more than just painful existence.
To be enslaved in a career that feels like forced blood transfusion is painful.
Change is possible.
For others, with a little boldness, change is possible.
For others, it may be difficult to make a sudden change. For some, the change starts by changing the way you think.
In your current station, start looking for ways to link what you do to your purpose.
Find pockets within what you do to make a difference for other people.
For others, you have to enrol for a programme to acquire new skills in your desired pathways. Whatever it takes, do not be tied to your past or the reputation that people think you have built.
I have a friend who was a celebrated CEO for many years.
He decided to become an executive coach and leadership developer.
Before he could step into this new role, he spent a year attending a block release programme in leadership and coaching offered by a leading European University.
He had to invest both the time and money to get new skills.
When he is introduced now, he always emphasises: “do not call me what I was, introduce me according to who I am now.”
If you need to make a change, make it.
Life is not waiting, life is not delaying while you continue leaning against the wrong wall.
If you must hire a coach to assist you, take the bold step.
The discomfort that you feel may be destiny calling out for your attention.
Answer the call and step into your greatness.
Cutting the wrong tree
My woodwork teacher used to say, measure twice or thrice and cut once!
It’s not how fast you are cutting that matters but whether you are felling the right tree.
Things that matter most must never be sacrificed for those that matter least.
The best footballer are not just mere dribblers, they know why they are playing and deliver the result.
If you must fight, make sure you are fighting the right battle and the right target.
Resources are too precious to waste fighting a war without rewards.
In the military, they talk of “economy of force.”
You never want to sacrifice more than is required to win the battle.
Keep counting the cost and asking yourself what you are doing.
Think bigger than today.
Think bigger than your own convenience.
Being a fighter is a great spirit.
Being a purposeless fighter is a great waste of a life.
To be a rebel without a cause is baseless mischief.
Think big and take bold steps.
An organisation without a burning and focused vision is a machine without a soul.
You cannot talk about being fit for purpose when you do not know what that purpose is.
Elevate your vision and thinking.
It is not how loud you bark that matters, but whether you are barking at the right tree.
Keep reviewing your priorities.
Remove the clutter and the complication.
Stand in the right queue and fight the right battle.
The opportunities for greatness are everywhere.
If you live where there are problems everywhere, you know that there are replete opportunities for greatness.
Wherever there are problems, there are opportunities.
You have a place and a challenge.
The challenge of greatness will always be a challenge of focus.
Focus on what matters.
Do what makes a difference. Think big thoughts, take bold and giant steps in a purposeful direction and you will be great.
Milton Kamwendo is a leading international transformational and motivational speaker, author and coach. He can be reached at: [email protected] and Twitter: @MiltonKamwendo or WhatsApp at: 0772422634