Moments that matter in life

12 Apr, 2020 - 00:04 0 Views
Moments that matter in life

The Sunday Mail

Hunt for Greatness
Milton Kamwendo

It is not so much death or the fear of death that must be feared, but whether you are living a life that matters at all. Should you die, would there be a water-tight business case for your resurrection? The tragedy in life is usually not really death, but that many find themselves faced with death but never having lived a life that matters. Beyond the grind lies the grand purposes of life and the context that must matter more than what many measure as greatness. Test your theory of success early, so that you may measure what matters.

It is not how you have done in the past that matters, because the future cannot be navigated using coordinates of the past. Examine your assumptions and make sure that you do not pass them for facts. When disruptive change happens you cannot predict the future by relying on historical data. What made you climb the ladder of greatness is usually not sufficient to keep you climbing in an era of massive change.

It is not the instruments or the measures that you se that matter, but whether you are measuring what matters at all. Things that matter most must never be sacrificed for things that matter least. It is not how fast and far you are running that matters but whether you are running in the right direction and for a reason that matters. Speed alone is not a sufficient measure of success.

It is not how aggressive you are fighting that matters but whether you are fighting the right battles that matters. Take care to ask whether the battles that wake you up need to be fought at all. Wasting precious resources on useless battles is the ultimate waste in life and an abuse of resources. It’s not how far you rise that matters but whether you are significant in touching the lives that matter around you. In the hurry for greatness, it is easy to measure the wrong things and win asinine battles that do not matter in the final grand scheme of life. When you finally reach the end of your life, how will you measure your life? What will matter most to you? Who will matter most to you?

Easter is a special season in the Christian calendar. It is an opportunity to look back, look around, look inwards and look up to God. In looking back we look at our own lives, the journey we have taken and where we now stand. It is when we look back that we sometimes feel the emptiness and fullness of the lives we have lived. In looking inwards we reflect and see how all that we are and could be measures up to the great gift of God offered in our Saviour, Jesus Christ. It is by looking inwards that we gain wisdom and confront the stark reality of who we really are. The purpose is not to argue with our spirits and prove our worth in the court of conscience.

It is not the rear-view mirror that matters but the road of grace that points to a different course of life. It is through God’s eternal providence that we confront the reality of who we are, and could never be and yet through our Saviour press life’s “reset” or “restart” button. As we look ahead, buoyed by his resurrection power we set our sights on a higher life, inspired by him and lived with him as partner, friend and Lord. It is the great story of love unlimited, grace unfathomable and greatness undeniable. The grand challenge of the season is to live a life that matters, when it finally matters.

Take this precious moment then to reflect, confronting life’s questions as though you have a few moments left to breathe your last. You do not have to stare at death in the face for you to be jolted to live fully and truly; ensuring that you are living a significant life.

Leadership Reflection

The higher you go, the more problems become behavioural and sometimes the harder it is to get feedback or to profit from it. Sometimes choirs of praise-singers drown the still small voice within. Do not allow this. This is a season for  reflection to look at the things that are holding you back from true greatness. Shakespeare in his play, “Much Ado About Nothing|, says: “Happy are they that can hear their detractions and put them to mending.” It is not hearing what is being said that matters, but hearing what you need to hear in order to do better and be better. Reflection allows us to put to mending the ways and behaviours that hold us back from true leadership greatness.

Marshall Goldsmith works with leaders in various settings across the world coaching them to identify and deal with the interpersonal issues that hold them back. It is usually these same things that annoy those that they lead instead of blessing them. In Goldsmaith’s book, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”, he addresses 20 habits that hold leaders back. As you reflect on these habits, tick out the ones that speak to you more that you commit to work on and address.

Goldsmith’s 20 handicaps of leaders are as follows:

  1. Winning too much: The need to win at all costs and in all situations — when it matters, when it doesn’t, and when it is totally beside the point.
  2. Adding too much value: The overwhelming desire to add our two cents to every discussion.
  3. Passing judgment: The need to rate others and impose our standards on them.
  4. Making destructive comments: The needless sarcasms and cutting remarks that we think make us sound sharp and witty.
  5. Starting with “No,” “But,” or “However”: The overuse of these negative qualifiers which secretly say to everyone, “I’m right. You’re wrong.”
  6. Telling the world how smart we are: The need to show people we are smarter than they think we are.
  7. Speaking when angry: Using emotional volatility as a management tool.
  8. Negativity, or “Let me explain why that won’t work”: The need to share our negative thoughts even when we we are not asked.
  9. Withholding information: The refusal to share information in order to maintain an advantage over others.
  10. Failing to give proper recognition: The inability to praise and reward.
  11. Claiming credit that we do not deserve: The most annoying way to overestimate our contribution to any success.
  12. Making excuses: The need to reposition our annoying behaviour as a permanent fixture so people excuse us for it.
  13. Clinging to the past: The need to deflect blame away from ourselves and onto events and people from our past. This is a subset of blaming everyone else.
  14. Playing favourites: Failing to see that we are treating someone unfairly.
  15. Refusing to express regret: The inability to take responsibility for our actions, admit we are wrong, or recognise how our actions affect others.
  16. Not listening: The most passive-aggressive form of disrespect for colleagues.
  17. Failing to express gratitude: The most basic form of bad manners.
  18. Punishing the messenger: The misguided need to attack the innocent who are usually only trying to help us.
  19. Passing the buck: The need to blame everyone but ourselves.
  20. An excessive need to be “me”: Exalting our faults as virtues simply because they are who we are.

Those are the 20 bases we must cover in our personal reflection. There is a 21st one: goal obsession. This is the force at play when we get so wrapped up in achieving our goal that we do it at the expense of a larger mission.

It is a season of reflection for in reflecting we grow. What is just needed is to be true to self; there is no right or wrong answer. Perhaps we all need to visit Shakespeare’s Act 1, Scene III of the play, “Hamlet” and together with Polonius shout:

“This above all: to thine own self be true

And it must follow, as the night the day

Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!”

 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]


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