The Sunday Mail
Hunt for Greatness
Live, while you still have the opportunity and make the most of every moment. The business of life and pursuing greatness taxes resources, minds, bodies and relationships. You need the stamina to keep going, despite the setbacks and the intelligence to know how to manage yourself and navigate through the mountains of life. How you direct your personal power is a choice.
The energy you use is a choice but you have to bear the consequences. Dwelling on the positive or the negative is a choice. You choose the way you respond to changes that comes along your pathways. All change demands stamina. Crisis change, reactive change and anticipatory change are all possible change moves.
Each mode of change has a cost, difficulties and a call on your stamina. You do not have the luxury of ignoring inconvenient truths, brooding on negative thoughts, ignoring brutal realities and keeping stuck to things that drain your energy, and blur your focus. Do not make poor decisions that rob you of your stamina.
The drive for more and more and more will keep you locked at the same spot, running on a tread mill and ever complaining. Take time to reflect; it sobers you and cleanses your soul. Put things in perspective; it clarifies your focus and reduces your bias. Rest to restore balance, reboot and recharge because all change starts with the individual and you need all your energy to make a difference.
Use your awareness and your presence as powerful tools of change and influence. Until you start seeing differently you remain locked in models of the past, methods that do not work and burdens that you do not need to carry.
Take breaks and break with
Our lives and our bodies are not meant for unbroken activity and perennial strain and ceaseless stress. They are not meant for endless idleness, mindless laziness and no work. To work is as important as to rest. When you feel tired, take a break. Better still schedule the breaks before you are exhausted and suffer from burnout. Take time to recharge physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. To rest is as important as to work. You can never be too busy driving that you forget to refuel.
When there is a lot of dust, it is easy to start working with poor visibility, distorted maps, to suffer from blind spots and loss of situational awareness. Blurred vision leads to myopic plans and misdirected energy. You can summon your stamina and energy when you have clarity, when you apply your capabilities and you have positive motivation to act.
Increase your personal awareness and build systems of “rebooting” around your life and routine. For others it is good exercise. For others its music, some scent, massage. For others it is reading, meditating or nature walks. Whatever gets your energy up do more of it.
Break with everything that drains your energy and stamina. Do not feel that you have to maintain a relationship when it is a distraction, drain and drag. Move yourself away from people, relationships, fellowships and conversations that drain you and deplete your energy. You are responsible for maintaining and sustaining your energy flow. Your stamina demands clear choices, direction and deliberate action.
Manage your mind
The brain is a special but delicate organ. Your brain is not your mind. When your mind works well, it is an inexhaustible mine of potential and performance. When it does not work well, it disturbs much. Take care of your mental well-being by managing your thoughts, emotions and relationships. Your mind is never meant to manufacture, carry or dump toxic waste into your brain. Bitter thoughts poison you badly. Thoughts of revenge will eat you up and corrode your stamina.
Negativity and excessive worry will cancer you. Mahatma Gandhi was right when he said that you should not allow anyone to walk through your mind with their dirty feet. Be smart and refuse to be a dumping ground of other people’s negativity, resentment, anger, toxicity, bile and bitterness. Your mind was designed to operate in a context of love. You cannot carry toxicity for a long time in your system and simultaneously lay a stake on health.
Elizabeth Kübler-Ross did some extensive studies on the experience of death and dying. She shot to fame after the publication of her book, “On death and dying”. Having observed many death and near-death experiences she developed a model that mirrors the experiences of people when they face the prospect of or the news of death. This model was later adopted by change management experts as it mirrors how people respond to change.
When change or the news of change come the first experience is shock. The news come with surprise and could lead to avoidance, confusion, elation, shock or fear. This phase gives way to the next phase which is denial. At the denial stage there is disbelief and the search for evidence that what is happening is not true and it cannot be true. Denial just increases the tempo of hard knocks. Denial leads to the third phase which is a downhill station of frustration.
This happens when you start realising that things are different and this usually leads to anger. This phase is also characterised by frustration, irritation and anxiety. This downhill phase if not managed leads to a further decline to the depression stage.
At this stage it is common to experience a low mood, lacking energy, feeling overwhelmed, helpless, hostile and thoughts of flight and escape.
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 His website is: www.miltonkamwendo.com
However, this is not the end of the journey, because it is possible to get out of the valley. When you hit the bottom always look up, this is what the sky is for.
The journey out of the valley is through positive experimentation. Unless you try something different there will be no change. Here there is initial engagement with the situation, bargaining and struggling to find new meanings. In this phase reaching out to others and beginning to tell one’s story is helpful. Light starts to peep through. The next station on the way out of the valley is beginning to take decisions. This entails learning how to work and live in the different situation and making peace with the new normal. Positive feelings start and there is realisation that change may have its benefits. Finally, there is the stage of acceptance and integration. This is where change is fully integrated and there is renewal and rebooting. In this stage new options are explored, there is a new plan in place and new movement and momentum.
Whatever place you may find yourself on the Kübler-Ross curve do not give up, positively deploy your thinking and stamina. Spending time in denial just sends you down the cliff of depression. Spending time in frustration, thinking that you are a victim and lamenting about the unfairness of life leaves you stuck, angry and toxic. Use your stamina, to bounce back, connect and flow. Develop new skills, new talents and new opportunities.
It is easy to get stuck where you cannot see, cannot move and cannot finish. When you cannot see, you spend a long time looking inwards and you fail to grasp the bigger picture and the bigger momentum of change. When you cannot move you feel stuck, imprisoned and marooned. When you cannot finish, it is because you get stuck somewhere and freeze in mid-air. Never underestimate the power of momentum and challenge of the stamina to continue and sustain action.
Focus on Life
Manage your focus and deploy your stamina towards great ends. Towards the end of her life, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross wrote a book: “Life Lessons: How our mortality can teach us about life and living.” She opens the book with these words that should challenge and inspire you to make the most of living:
“We all have lessons to learn during this time called life; this is especially apparent when working with the dying. The dying learn a great deal at the end of life, usually when it is too late to apply.” You do not have to wait for the last moments of your life to gather the stamina to live positively and meaningfully. Declutter your life. Cast off unnecessary burdens and focus on life and on giving your best. You have no time to waste being a hater, stuck to the past, ever plotting evil, boiling over with jealousy and oozing with hate and bitterness. Express clean life energy and you will have the best of life and health. You will be able to summon your stamina towards great things.
Committed to your greatness.
© 2020, Milton Kamwendo
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 His website is: www.miltonkamwendo.com.