Simplify your greatness

31 Oct, 2021 - 00:10 0 Views
Simplify your greatness

The Sunday Mail

Hunt for Greatness
Milton Kamwendo

The Great thinker, Confucius, once said: “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated”. We live in an age of information over-load, sugar-overload, oil-overload and other burdens that easily leave you stressed, disappointed and tired. Simplify your greatness by looking closely at your life and resigning the things that do not serve you or help you to move towards your greatness. Start with simple tools that give you an indication of where you are.

SWOT Analysis

Many people use the SWOT analysis in analysing their organisation and its strategic context. It’s an old but hand tool. This tool can be used by an organisation, a department or an individual. It links two important dimensions — the internal and the external context.

In your internal or personal context, look at your important strengths and weaknesses. In simplifying your life focus on building your strengths and developing the capabilities to starve your weaknesses.

In 1940, Mr George Reavis, wrote a fable called The Animal School. This fable has been adapted and improved over the years and I have also added my own flavour to the fable. Its message is the need to simply, focus and build on your strengths instead of berating oneself or others because of their weaknesses.

In Mr Reavis Fable the animals once had a school. In an effort to satisfy everyone and to ensure that everyone is included they developed a curriculum with four subjects: running, climbing, flying, and swimming. All the animals had to take these subjects with a goal to become great and graduate. Much the same way as people approach life, stress themselves and push themselves. The results at the end of the period were fascinating.

The duck

The duck was very good at swimming, and did even better than the teacher. He received passing grades in running and flying, but was hopeless in climbing. As a results he was made to drop swimming so that he could practice climbing.

After a while he was only average at swimming, but average acceptable as a decent attempt in most schools. So no one worried much about it except the duck. Stop trying to be good at what you are not. Focus on your strengths and build on them. Success is everywhere where excellence is in display.

The eagle

The eagle was considered a troublemaker who could not fit in and wanted to do things alone without the whole class. In his climbing class he beat everybody to the top of the tree, but he had his own way of getting there that was against the rules. He had to climb in the standard way that was accepted by all the teachers.

He always had to stay after school and write “line” as corrective punishment. The lines that he had to write 500 times were: “Cheating is wrong”. This kept him from soaring, which he loved and could easily do. However school work had to come first and teachers instructors were gospel.

Thinking and operating by old and tired rules will just leave you tired, exhausted and empty. You were born to stand out and not just to fit in. You are designed to fly, high and not to crawls with the chickens. Stop looking for chickens to crowd with.

The bear

The bear flailed in class, and they said he was lazy, especially in the winter. His best time was summer, but then school was on holiday then. So no one ever got to see his brilliance if he had any.

Look within and see your heart, your strengths, your passion and your design. You are designed for greatness, engineered for success and endowed with seeds of greatness. Do you wait for everyone to celebrate your greatness. Celebrate the progress you make towards your goals even if no one is watching.

The zebra

The zebra played truant most of the time because the ponies made fun of his stripes. This made him very unhappy and he felt odd and out of place.

No one can make you feel inferior without your permission. You are the right design for your purpose in life. Do not despair and lose heart because no one else is like you. Do not hide your talents because you fear ridicule. Stand up for what you believe and let your voice be heard.

The kangaroo

The kangaroo started out at the top of the racing class, but became discouraged when was told to move swiftly on all four legs the way his classmates did. The attempt to do so complicated his life, gait and moves and he found it all confusing. Flow in your calling and that which you are. Do not let other people discourage you. Other people may not even relate to your approach, your talent or perspective because it looks strange.

Someone will call you kangaroo-crazy. Everyone who changes the world cannot fit into old and odd-moulds. You are too special to be ordinary and too important to park in mediocrity and seek to fit in.

Dare to be different and to dream beyond the edges that have been set for you. Do not crop your dreams to fit someone else’s picture. Do not make your world so small because you are trying to fit into other people’s mediocrity and maintain comfort levels.

In the 1990s Apple ran a series of adverts that featured a number of “crazy” people that brought change and impacted the world. The caption to the adverts read: “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

The fish

The fish quit school because he was bored and felt hot and uncomfortable all the time. To him, all four subjects were the same, but nobody understood that because they had never seen a fish. Not everyone will understand your perspective or vision. Believe in yourself and in God who believes in you.

Stop swimming down-stream with dead fish. Stop crowding with the crowds, at least in your thinking. No one who follows the crowd, will have a crowd that reciprocates this gesture. Be divergent. Be different. Be bold. Do your own thinking and realise that normality is overrated. Challenge your assumptions; blaze new paths. Divergent thinking means challenging the process to stimulate innovation.

The squirrel

The squirrel distinguished himself in climbing and got an A-grace. Regrettably his flying teacher made him start from the ground up, instead of from the treetop down. His legs got so sore practicing takeoffs that he began getting Cs in climbing and Ds in running.

Everyone wondered what was wrong with him. They felt he had started well. Stop frustrating yourself trying to be what you are not. Do what comes to you naturally and then refine that into an art, but applying science, learning and feedback. If you are a squirrel do not look for a monkey to mentor you.

The bee

The bee was the biggest problem of all, so the teacher sent him to Doctor Owl for testing. Doctor Owl said that the bee’s wings were too small for flying and they were in the wrong place and not suited for the purpose of flying. The bee never saw Doctor Owl’s confidential report that was provided to the school, so he just went ahead and flew anyway. Thank God for the experts but never forget that they are not always right.

Neotency is key

Neotency is the quality of extended childhood, the key to greatness. It is the tendency to maintain youthfulness even as you grow older. You are truly old when you now replace your vision with regrets. So long as you are receptive, imaginative and excited about life you cannot grow old and irrelevant. Youth is characterised by an openness to learn things, exploration and adventure. Neotency is the quality where like a child you retain childlike receptivity and cognitive flexibility.

Whatever score you tip on the age scale retain the wonder, curiosity and the “can-do” spirit of childhood. Be who you really are. Do not surrender your dreams to the despondency and rigidity of age. You are not as old as your birth certificate but as your doubts and fears. Do not let age terrorise you and blunt your creative urge.

Think like a child, but behave like an adult. Unless you think like a child the world may pass you by, as you increasingly lose your relevance. The tragedy in life is not death, but what you allow to die while you are living. Commit to freshness of mind, agility of thought and vibrancy of spirit. Simplify and focus your greatness.

Committed to your greatness.


Milton Kamwendo is a leading international transformational and motivational speaker, author, and a virtual, hybrid and in-person workshop facilitator. 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 His website is:


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