The Sunday Mail
Milton Kamwendo Hunt for Greatness
GOOD, better, best!
If you think you are good, you have not lived long enough because you can always get better. If you do not get better, you will increasingly get bitter and backward.
If you are best, crawl on your belly, bring up your ceiling and challenge your limits. Never set your goals so low that you hit them and plateau quickly.
Bitter and cynical people put off people with great desires, grand visions and growing faith.
If you do not get busy with being better, you will become just another busy body that is wandering about like a familiar spirit.
You are responsible for your life and what it becomes. You have only one life to live, you might as well make it great.
No excuses, please! The blame game is no game to play if you want to be great. Take full responsibility and dump any alibi you might have.
You want greatness? Be focused and clear about that. Stop playing small and wasting time.
Baboons always play with baboons of their size. There are no half-hearted champions. Play to win and not just to play. Pursue greatness with obsessed focus and a crusader’s zeal.
Get better all the time; never satisfied with the cheap accolades of yesterday. Good is never enough, and good enough is no goal to pursue.
Remaining at the same place is no consolation, unless you are a stone. Doing nothing is a great accolade for a stone but never for a man.
You are not a victim of the economy, parentage, circumstances or geography. Being in Africa is no excuse for mediocrity. If you do not like your circumstances, then get up and create the circumstances you want.
Do not apologise for wanting more out of life and desiring to better your lot.
The mere thought of stretching and maximising my potential makes me uncomfortable with the present. Any time you think you are a victim, you easily become one.
Think differently and your life will be different.
Blame brakes your faith and breaks your forward thrust. Whoever you blame you empower to control your joy. Whoever you attribute your misery to, you empower to inflict misery on you.
Choose your response, attitude and actions. Be an incurable optimistic. Deliberately choose to be better and to keep improving.
Make small steps forward. Going forward may not be an easy call, but it is possibly the only call. The road you are treading may be all uphill, keep trudging higher. One step at a time is all your need to keep taking.
No winter lasts forever, no plague is endless. It may all be hard, get hard at work. There may be no open door in sight, keep looking for the windows of home.
Harden your resolve and move forward.
Keep getting better and better. Stop playing baby or calling for mama. This is greatness we are talking about. It is not the easy platter of unmerited dainties.
Aimless improvement is not really improvement. Create a margin of improvement in everything you do. Keep getting better.
When you can no longer get better, you have started decaying. This is because anything that is not growing is dying, if it is not dead already.
You are not in any way part of the living dead, are you? Stop being obsessed with death and get busy with living. Do not die while you are living, or lose relevance while still sitting in your chair.
Keep shining the light and salting everything around you.
Express life through consistent improvement and positive action. Do not fear taking small steps forward, fear standing still or regressing.
One little improvement every week means more than fifty improved steps in a year.
Target and focus your efforts. Make your improvement agenda big and meaningful. Let every day find you better than you were the last night. Get better at being better.
Every day is an opportunity to begin again more intelligently at a higher level of faith and deep commitment.
Get better at failing. Some people cannot do anything because they want everything to be perfect, never failing at anything.
What perfection are you looking for? Waiting for perfection is to wait too long. Get better at taking action and learning from it.
Get better at failing, rising, and facing the battle again. Failure is never final. Failure is not failure unless you refuse to learn from it.
When you fail, you are never wounded; what gets bruised is your petty pride, but never you. Never despise anyone who is trying. If you tried doing something great and failed, do not hide yourself.
Come back to the ring and keep trying.
There is a SiNdebele proverb that you must recite a thousand times: “Imita ngokupindwa,” which means: “It gets pregnant through repeated attempts.”
Those who win are willing to risk failure until they succeed. Repeated attempts are no shame at all. Failing to attempt is. Those who have never failed at anything likely have never succeeded at anything. Get better at failing by using the results you get as feedback and getting better all the time.
Most people who love reading fiction will know about the name Stephen King, but few know of his failure story.
King wanted to be a novelist. He grew so frustrated over his attempt to write the novel “Carrie” that he threw away the entire early draft.
When someone rejects your novel, it is as though they are telling your mother how ugly her child is.
King’s wife — Tabitha — found the manuscript in a rubbish bin and took it out. “Carrie” went on to become a hit, launching King’s career. His novels have since sold over 350 million copies.
Do not let any failure you face stop you from pursuing your greatness.
Never park at a failure station. Keep getting better and stop growing bitter.
Get better at listening. I am a professional speaker, consultant and workshop facilitator. I speak to many different audiences and many people ask me to help them improve their presentation and speaking skills.
However, in the many years that I have been speaking and leading teams I have learnt that the key to greatness is to get better at listening.
Whenever you listen, you learn. The more you listen, the better you become. True listening is transformative. It is not what you can say so eloquently that matters, but what you can hear so distinctly.
Listen to felt needs. Hear beyond the words used and meanings implied. Get better at listening and you will experience what you have never experienced before.
Stop defending yourself and start listening. Every day, get better at listening. I am working on it also!
Do not become so good at hearing your own voice that you forget to listen. Give your ears a chance to edge you towards greatness.
Every day, work on your listening skills and they will take you farther towards greatness.
Listening is the key to great communication. Great leaders are great listeners. When you stop listening, you start growing mould in your ears. When you start listening, you start growing in new ways and seeing new things.
Get better at listening.
It is not about waiting for your opportunity to throw in a word or two. Just listen, and get better at it and watch what happens in your life. The forgotten key to greatness is improving your listening skills daily.
Get better at your game. Whatever you are doing now can be done better. Whatever was impressive yesterday is now history today.
Do not camp at yesterday and think that it will be impressive today.
Yesterday’s superlative service is today’s expected service and tomorrow’s mediocre standard. Get better all the time.
Keep lifting the standard of your game and reducing your “handicap”. Make the stakes higher.
Anyone who competes with you should just compete with your shadow. Let those who compete with you see your back but never your face. Be so focused on improvement that you break your own records.
Stop listening to the applause and start raising your standards.
Those who have never seen better likely think you are the best. Those who have seen world class know how far you still have to go.
Never let the applause of your friends tempt you to stop getting better. It is not enough to do the minimum necessary, aim at mastery.
Get better all the time and in every way you can.
Milton Kamwendo is a leading international transformational and motivational speaker, author and coach. He is a cutting strategy, innovation, team-building and leadership facilitator. His life purpose is to inspire greatness. Feredback: [email protected], Twitter @MiltonKamwendo and WhatsApp +263772422634