The Sunday Mail
Hunt for Greatness
Numbers matter, but they need to be put in their proper context. Fight battles that matter and keep your focus and purpose in sight. There’s no glory in being a rebel without a cause.
|For greatness to be meaningful and relevant it does not need to be complicated by excuses. Everyone may understand your excuses but the generations that will follow will not. If anything is to be, it is up to you.|
Hustle if you have to but never expect change, growth or improvement while you play and hope the whole world is fooling around.
There is always something you can do so long as there are people with needs. The problems you see are opportunities that are begging for your attention.
Stop and think
Do not just run mindlessly. You have a choice to be a victim or to take responsibility.
You have more power than you imagine. It is not easy; it will not be easy, but believe. Look within you and you will see that there is a giant that just needs to be awakened.
All you need is already in you. Be alive to your potential and to the possibilities around you that are beyond computing.
If you are not seeing opportunities it is not because you are not looking at them. It could just be a matter of framing, mindset and attitude. Use your opportunity well or, well, complain forever.
To be great, understand the numbers that matter most.
Do not join the ranks of those who complain, wait and do nothing. Join the ranks of those who hustle while they wait.
Do something regardless of how small it may look and feel. Be willing to start where you are and work with what you have.
What you are today is not what you will always be. Your struggles of today do not in any way mean you will never be significant. Your current station has little to say about your potential elevation. Believe in the beauty and dignity of your dreams. Do not write yourself off.
Never let the current challenges blind your vision and block your imagination. Bring extraordinary imagination to ordinary dreams and you will be shocked.
Not everything you do matters. What matters most must never be sacrificed for what matters least.
Here are two numbers that have changed the way I look at life.
The leverage number: 10-90 Rule.
Life is 10 percent what happens and 90 percent what you choose to do about it.
It is true that bad things happen. It is true that difficult times come. It is true that some winters are bitter. It is also true that adversity strikes. All that is just 10 percent.
It is what you do with whatever happens that makes the real difference.
Whatever happens to you, you have a choice. Use that choice wisely otherwise you imprison yourself and kill your potential and initiative.
Regardless of what happens, never lose hope and do not let the fight in you die. Whatever you focus on grows to become significant.
Wherever your focus goes, there your life will go. Focus on the negative and you will enlarge your darkness. Focus on possibilities and you will start seeing them everywhere. There are too many opportunities and few takers.
Your focus feeds either your faith or fears. Most situations that we face in life are neutral. It is our focus that gives them meaning and significance.
Never give your problems and challenges special trophy status. You are not a victim but a warrior positioned to win.
Whatever happens to you regardless of how bad or ugly it is, it is only the 10 percent. You are the one that supplies the rest of the story – the vital 90 percent.
If you choose you can talk, think, preach, act and fellowship like a victim. Misery always has friends and disgruntled partners.
If you are looking for someone to pity you, you will always have ears that surround you. Greatness does not come from pity, but a fight that starts as an attitude within you.
There is something so strong inside you. It is up to you to unleash it or lie on it. Have ferocious focus and refuse to be deterred or distracted.
Whenever you blame anything or anyone you give up the power to change. Whoever you blame for your miseries you empower to control your life and determine your fate.
You have amazing power within you. Count and use your blessings and stop computing your miseries.
You are able to do far much more than you can think or imagine. Take personal responsibility and change begins. Take up the instruments of a victim and you will see walls all around you and excuses everywhere.
Unless you swallow this big and bitter pill of personal responsibility, you will always think and behave like a victim.
In 1 Corinthians 13:11 Paul says: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
How you speak, think, understand and reason betrays your true age. Do not be too obsessed with what your birth certificate reads, be concerned about how you see the world and your place in it.
Stop using your mind as a terror training camp.
At whatever age, unless you are willing to take personal responsibility, you will always behave like an irresponsible adolescent.
Ten percent is what happens and ninety percent is what you choose to do about it. Your leverage is any situation is in how you use the 90 percent.
The effort number: 1-99 Rule
Thomas Alva Edison was an inventor and businessman who gave us many useful inventions. Edison argued that none of his inventions came by accident or mere good fortune.
He said: “I see a worthwhile need to be met and I make trial after trial until it comes. What it boils down to is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
To think that life is 99 percent good fortune and one percent work can feel totally absurd. Work is not a curse and laziness is no badge of honour. A man of Edison’s stature knew that nothing happens by sheer luck or merely waiting for things to happen.
The lottery mindset is a flawed one. You have to do something to be something or get somewhere.
Edison said opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. He was so right. Many would rather don a suit and tie than put on an overall and work. Work is not what you are given but what you do.
Clever excuses made by lazy hands will always have an air of sophistication but no value will be created.
The same Edison challenges us further when he says: “If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”
This is worth repeating. If you did all that you are capable of doing, you would shock yourself and everyone who knows you.
There is more that you can do and become. Stop focusing on your casket and start thinking about your basket of possibilities. There are more opportunities to be useful and create wealth now than in any generation in the past.
You cannot use industrial age expectation to solve new world challenges.
The problems that you see around you are not arrows of fate but the ore of opportunity ready for mining.
On why he invented so much, Edison had a simple answer. He said he found out what the world needs and went out into his laboratories to invent it.
When you see problems what do you do and where do you go? Great things happen when you hustle while you wait for the big break.
Never be satisfied with just looking at problems, complaining about problems when you are supposed to be supplying solutions at a profit.
Genius is nothing special except a hard-working person who does his homework. Do not watch the clock too much or you may never make progress.
Thomas Edison put it this way: “I owe my success to the fact that I never had a clock in my workroom. Seventy-five of us worked 20 hours every day and slept only four hours — and thrived on it.”
That is the true spirit of enterprise.
Expecting to harvest without sowing is the mother of all corruption. Never be satisfied with what you have achieved.
Edison challenged us all when he said: “Discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.”
Refuse to park at the alley of irresponsibility. No one owes you a living and no one will do your thinking for you. There is always something to do. The bigger the problems the more the opportunities. Most answers that we look for “out there” are really “in here”.
Milton Kamwendo is an international transformational, inspirational speaker, author and coach, strategy and innovation coach, and team-building and leadership facilitator. Feedback: [email protected], Twitter @MiltonKamwendo and WhatsApp +263772422634