The Sunday Mail
Do not look at your feet unless you do not know where you are standing and what you are doing. Look ahead, hold on to your goals and keep pedalling. Success does not happen in a day but daily. One step at a time is not too much to ask.
Stop competing and start leveraging your capabilities and talents. Be true to your calling and talents. Keep developing and refining your art.
The best of whatever you are. Stop inflicting misery on yourself by comparing yourself to others and boiling with envy and jealousy.
Applaud the great and work your humble garden. You too will be great because the sky is big enough for every bird to fly and sign its song. You have worth as you are. Respect yourself and others.
Hold on to your dear purpose and a mission and make a difference where you are and with what you have. One step at a time is never too much to ask. Dream big, move with focus and dare to do great things in a great way, always aiming to better your best.
I love strategy and spend a good amount of my time facilitating strategy workshops for clients in different industries. One of my favourite books on strategic thinking is “The Art of War.” In Chapter 3 of the book, the author, Sun Tzu, emphasizes the importance of knowing oneself.
He says: “It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperilled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperilled in every single battle.”
Invest more time studying and knowing your capabilities and fortifying your strength. Be focused and study what matters most and sharpen your weapons and talents. Build your strengths and do not feed your weaknesses. Build on your strengths and do great things with your life. You are able to do big things and achieve greatness. What you have in you will take you to where you have never been.
A year before his untimely assassination on April 4, 1968, Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. preached a sermon at the New Covenant Baptist Church in Chicago that continues to ring through the ages with an exhortation of authenticity. The message was titled, “The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life.” Dr. King’s 3D sermon emphasized that a complete life should factor all the three dimensions of life – height, length and breadth. The height dimension of life refers to your relationship with God.
The length refers to yourself, while the breadth dimension refers to others.
In Dr King’s message on that day that continues to ring through time he said:
“When I was in Montgomery, I went to a shoe shop quite often, known as the Gordon Shoe Shop. And there was a fellow in there that used to shine my shoes, and it was just an experience to witness this fellow shining my shoes. He would get that rag, you know, and he could bring music out of it. And I said to myself, “This fellow has a Ph.D. in shoe shining.” What I’m saying to you this morning, my friends, even if it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go on out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures; sweep streets like Handel and Beethoven composed music; sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry; sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, “Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.””
That indeed is the key to greatness. Do whatever you do with such a level of excellence that the whole of heaven’s choir will salute you when you do. In whatever you do, see beyond people. Do it for God and for his glory. Respect yourself by always giving your best. No one should ever ask you to give more.
Dr King closed his sermon by slipping the words from a poem by Douglas Malloch. He exhorted his audience:
“If you can’t be a pine on the top of a hill be a scrub in the valley,
but be the best little scrub on the side of the hill,
be a bush if you can’t be a tree.
If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail;
if you can’t be the sun be a star.
It isn’t by size that you win or fail—
Be the best of whatever you are.”
Love your shape!
To achieve greatness, be clear about your SHAPE and work with it to achieve greatness.
S: Situation. Start where you are and be present in this moment. There are no half-hearted champions in any field. Work at what is before you like it is your ultimate. Sing while you do your work and let it inspire greatness in others. There is no big or small work, all there is is work done well or badly.
H: Hope. Always keep hope alive. Where you are today is not the end of your life or the end of the game. What you are doing today will open the way for what you will do tomorrow. Do not despair because of your current station, despair only if you cannot be proud of the work you are doing. Give your best and help someone. Keep hope alive and so long as you have hope, you will be motivated.
A: Age. You are the right age for your dream and there is beauty for every age. Do not let age rob you of your dream and your potential. Keep focused and inspired. You are not old as long as you can dream. You are as old as you despair, and mindlessness. Throw away the limitations of age and be the best you can be at this age. Refuse to let age ever be your excuse. You are never too old to do great things and never too late to start.
P: Passion. When you bring your passion to a single point and keep working at it you will rise to great heights and defy the law of gravity. Find your passion and align what you do to your passion.
Passion will make you go further and do more with whatever is in your hand. Do things that get your blood racing and many people will be racing to your door step. You can never be truly great doing what you are not passionate about. There is no passion in playing small and doing the minimum possible.
E: Energy. You are an energy source. Radiate with positive energy and give out energy. Be positive and inspiring. Let others light their candles using your fire.
If you have a choice to be positive or negative, choose to be positive and inspiring. Make a difference where you are and touch someone’s life. Choose who you allow into your energy space. You do not want to spend your life on things that drain your energy and sap you of your strength.
Work with what you have
Do not be obsessed with shortage and waste no time feeling inferior. Do what you know you must do. If people laugh at you, laugh with them as you gain experience. Shortage is a mindset and a way of thinking.
Replace shortage thinking with the abundance mindset. Work with what you have and not what you do not have. If you look closely you will be surprised at how much you have and what you can do. You are too loaded to fail. You have great potential and you are equipped for greatness and endowed with the seeds of success.
Stop wasting time complaining, thinking that you have been passed over and given a worse lot in life. Dig your garden, cultivate your plot.
Adapt to the battlefield
Dance to the music that you find and do not sulk because none of your favourite songs are in your playlist. Adapt to the battlefield and find your space in this battlefield and not the dream one.
Stop creating a dream inside another dream, with your feet never touching the ground. Compete with yourself and outdo yourself everyday.
Committed to your greatness.
Milton Kamwendo is a leading international transformational and motivational speaker, author and coach. His life purpose is to inspire greatness. He can be reached at: [email protected] and Twitter: @MiltonKamwendo or WhatsApp at: 0772422634