The Sunday Mail
Hunt for Greatness
Greatness is a matter of sticking to the knitting until you get to your desired destination. Never mind the missteps and the delays along the way you will get there.
Choose to operate in incremental dimensions of greatness and do not park in despair, despondency and any other D-words. Greatness is a matter of giving your best and then some more. Playing to satisfy minimum acceptable standards rarely takes anyone further than operational mediocrity. It is not enough to just function, excellence should be a goal. Mediocrity is not a game plan to celebrate or plan around. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and look forward to the next faith-filled and growth-challenging adventure. It is too early to give up hope and stop believing in greater possibilities.
Greatness is a marathon and not just a mere soul-less short sprint, without a challenge, detour or sharp-edge. There are no corners to cut, so stay on the muddy and oft-slippery greatness road. If the road you have been following seems to have come to an abrupt edge, blaze your own new trail. It is not over until you win. Keep moving and challenging yourself to do more and be more. If you cannot see a way through, keep asking, seeking and knocking.
If you get knocked down in the process, get up because a knock down is not a knock out. Keep moving forward, even if the pace is slow. Own your territory and take full responsibility because no blame games or excuses are permissible. Do not invest in finger-pointing, blame-allocation, mud-slinging and other idle games of non-achievers. There is so much to do and so little time worth investing in negative and energy-sapping pursuits.
Life is a matter of asking for more from yourself than what others can ever dare ask of you. Give your best all the time and make it difficult for anyone to ask you to give more. Challenge yourself to get up and keep moving when the pace is slow, and the journey is ragged and uphill, tempting you to give up and give in to despondency and defeat. Do not give up even when you are hardest hit.
Door slams will happen, but do not take any personally. Disappointments will take place but do not let this take centre-stage. It can be hard and the terrain can be terrible but this is not the whole story. Whenever it feels really hard, then do it hard. Do not hurry to quit or lose focus. If it gets tough then rough it out until you get there. Handle whatever comes your way as it comes. Hope ensures that you remain engaged, while faith drives you into relentless action.
Write out your action-packed greatness story in advance and work everyday to make that story a lived reality. If you do not like the way your current story is reading, change the story line. If your story looks like it’s dead, then write a sequel. It is necessary for you to be a positive life-giving force. You are not marooned and you can do great things. Summon your creativity to outmanoeuvre your obstacles.
Keep your picture of greatness in plain sight and manage the obstacles in your path until you get there. Live life by design not by default. Quit recreational complaining and choose to be fully alive. Be inspired by your great dreams instead of being discouraged by the obstacles in your path. Dreams inspire and obstacles tempt you to take your eyes off the ball. You are hunting for big game, do not be distracted by mice or be blinded by lice. Live out of your dreams and not your memories of past failures, obstacles and misgivings. It is your faith that creates miracles not your doubts. It is not the number of times that you are rejected that counts, but the great win.
Make yourself lighter
You will run further if you are lighter. The lighter you are, the easier it is for you to be lifted higher. Make yourself lighter by tossing away excess baggage that weighs you down, drains energy, clogs thought-streams and blurs focus. Dump futile fellowships. Forgive and you will breath better and feel more agile. Refuse to be a toxic dump of bitterness, bigotry or venom. Release all hurt, and choose to forgive. Life is better when you feel better and your energy is deployed with noble intent. You cannot harbour grudges, sourness, anger and hostility and be healthy.
Nelson Mandela once said: “When a deep injury is done to us, we never heal until we forgive.” He had gained wisdom, knew better and thought clearly. Mandela could have walked out of prison, and then carried the prison inside him all his life. To walk out of the past and then drag it along is personal abuse. No amount of repairing the past, will renovate the future.
Forgiveness is an option, but for those who want greatness it is the only viable choice. Forgiveness is not for the weak and fearful but shows strength of character, wise-focus and bias for life. The future is always bigger than the past. Do not let anyone drag you back to the past, when you should be fashioning an exciting vision for the future. Forgiving can be hard, but is it the right and the best thing to do. Asking for forgiveness may look like swallowing an elephant. Hold your horses, you will not choke. You do not have the luxury of carrying heavy unnecessary loads and hope to run further fast. Until you forgive, you are never free to coast ahead.
Nothing is as wasteful as fighting unnecessary battles and being part of an unnecessary queue. Choose carefully your circle of concerns, content of conversation and what you clog your mind with. Instead of turning on each other, consider turning to each other.
Learn to laugh
When adversity knocks at your door, it is likely to turn back and run away if it finds you laughing. Laugh as often as you can, it is good medicine for your heart and helps you do a lot of repairs. Life is serious and there is no need for you to make it any more serious by failing to laugh. A good laugh recharges your batteries and inspires your creativity. Laugh at your past mistakes. Laugh with life and as you laugh, so the world will laugh with you.
On October 31, 1891, Ella Wheeler Wilcox published a poem in The Cleveland Citizen that she entitled: “Laugh and the World Laughs With You.” This poem continues to ring true today as an inspirational exhortation to laugh, and really laugh often. Take others seriously, take what you do seriously, but never lose a chance to laugh a little.
Wilcox’s poem reads:
“Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the brave old earth must borrow its mirth;
It has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer,
Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes redound to a joyful sound
And shrink from voicing care.
Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not want your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many,
Be sad, and you lose them all;
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.
Feast, and your halls are crowded, F
ast, and the world goes by;
Forget and forgive—it helps you live,
But no man can help you die!
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But, one by one, we must all march on,
Through the narrow aisle of pain.”
Stay at the knitting
Stay focused and keep at the task until you find solutions. Do not give up too early or complain too soon. The pressure you face is meant to stir something great in you to wake up. Keep doing what you know to be doing. Be willing to be creative, keep moving and pushing on. Rest a little is you must but do not stop moving. Be relentless and ferociously focused.
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] and Twitter: @MiltonKamwendo or WhatsApp at: 0772422634. His website is: www.miltonkamwendo.com