The Sunday Mail
Milton Kamwendo Hunt for Greatness
WHAT does it really take to defeat you? What does it take to give up on your dreams? How many rejections are enough to extinguish your flame and passion for greatness? I knocked softly and expectantly clutching on my book. I knew I had a customer and I would go home with one more sale. These books had taken me three years to finally get in print. It was my first attempt. I had stumbled along the way and finally my dream was on course.
Gently, I opened the door and after a few pleasantries with an old colleague I placed my glowing crimson book on the table.
I was sure she would be inspired and supportive. I should have known better.
“What is that?” she asked, as she looked at the cover. “My book, ‘It’s Time to Unleash Your Greatness’”, proceeding to add: “You will definitely be inspired and motivated, many have.”
There was a brief uncomfortable pause. I had not expected what came next from this colleague that I had worked with before I resigned.
She curtly looked at me as she handed me back my book and blurted: “Just show me one great thing that you have done and I will buy your book!”
I tried to explain that just writing the book was an achievement in itself.
She would not want to hear a word of that. She was not impressed at all. She charged, “Go do one great thing you call great, come back and I will be a customer.”
I was stunned
I had not expected that a colleague that I had worked with would reject me and ask me to take back my book without evening as much as perusing it.
This was my taste of rejection as I started my journey as a motivational and transformational speaker. I was disappointed. I felt my world shrink, but I did not stop. It was the year 2003, my journey had begun but it had not ended.
I am sure you have also faced your generous portion of disappointment, despair and rejection. When doors are slammed in your face, do not run. When your world seems to have crumbled, do not terrorise yourself.
Keep it all in perspective
Do not take rejection personally. People say and do things based on what they feel and see at the time.
Usually they cannot see the expanse of your vision and potential. Never allow someone’s irresponsible comments stop you.
The meaning of No
The journey to greatness is not paved with yes-es only. There are a number of no-s also. Every time you get a “no” do not give up or take it personally. It’s your dream, not a popularity contest. Love the sound of the word “no”. Every time you get a “no” you are closer to a yes.
Face the brutal realities of your situation but keep the faith that in the end you will prevail. Do not let the sound of that word terrify you, let it excite you.
The word “no” is actually a greatness mnemonic that means “Next Opportunity.” Whenever you get a no keep in the game and find the next opportunity. When a door is slammed in your face do not fret, keep knocking. When others say no to you, do not give up or grow bitter. No is a test of your resolve, commitment and faith.
Every no that you get is positioning you for the next yes!
Every rejection that you face has a number. Do not be disappointed at the size of the number, just keep looking at the goal and end game. Keep counting, fighting and thinking. To get my driver’s license I counted 13 rejections. Every time I would get the feedback form from the examiner and use this to improve my driving.
I would come back home disappointed, but never deterred. How many rejections does it take to stop you? Rejection is a test of your tenacity and desire. It is a fitness test for your resolve. Stick to the fight when you are hardest hit.
Stick to the knitting. Keep at it until you get there. Never forget that every rejection has a number. If you get enough rejections, you will eventually have to get a resounding YES!
Let them laugh
Never be intimidated by other people’s laughs and jeers. Try until you win. Some people laugh because they think you are attempting the impossible. Others laugh because they are addicted to mediocrity. Let those who laugh, go ahead, but that should never stop you from moving ahead. Those who laugh at you today will be praise you tomorrow.
Do not give up
I watched as my daughter, Muvaki, was learning how to walk. She would waddle for a few steps then fall down and start laughing her lungs out. For a moment it looked as though she would never walk. I was getting worried myself. Yet, for her it was all a game. She was determined to try and laugh until she walked. She did not wait for us to laugh at her, she would laugh at herself and keep trying.
When you are rejected, or when you fail, do not wait for other people to laugh at you, laugh at yourself, get up and take action. You are born for greatness and destined for great things. Do not take yourself too seriously. Laugh and take another attempt.
As you laugh, in time the whole world will laugh with you. What if other people laugh at you? It’s painful, but you are better off sticking with what you can control. Let them laugh! Keep your focus and keep attempting great things.
Other people’s jeers cannot be more important than your destiny.
Your goals are more important than other people’s jeers. Other people’s opinions are not as important as your own opinions about yourself and your dreams of greatness.
Do not lose your enthusiasm
What is success?
Someone defined it as moving from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. Your enthusiasm is a great and indomitable asset. Do not lose it. Hold on to it.
What if you feel shaken and afraid? That is normal, it shows that you have not died yet. Find your focus and energy and march forward. Do whatever restores your drive and passion in the face of rejection.
If you need to pray, pray through. If you need a break, take the break. If you need to speak to someone, find the right person to speak to. If you need to stand up again, stand up and punch again. Just do not lose your drive, faith and enthusiasm. Keep trying until you succeed.
Whatever you face has been faced before by someone and overcome. Stop giving medals to your suffering. Faith, like any other muscle, gets stronger with exercise. Bouncing back after rejection is a muscle that you can exercise.
Keep lifting your weights. Do not be discouraged
Your destiny is far too precious for you to let unworthy negative opinions of people stop you. Every problem that you face has an expiry date. Every rejection that you face has a shelf life. Keep looking to the future and do whatever it takes to stay in the game.
Milton Kamwendo is a cutting-edge international transformational and inspirational speaker, author and coach. He is a strategy, innovation, team-building and leadership facilitator. Feedback: [email protected], Twitter: @MiltonKamwendo or WhatsApp +263772422634