The Sunday Mail
Milton Kamwendo Hunt for Greatness —
There is something in a human mind that seeks certainty and shudders at the thought of change. Yet, without change there is no progress and no movement.
Never be too scared of the future that you run away from living and taking on challenges. Life is full of surprises, be open to face with faith and grace whatever comes your way.
What things look like today is not always what they will always be. Never despair because of where you are today. Your mountains of today will be molehills tomorrow.
Because you are small and insignificant today, does not mean you will not make a mark on the universe. Your weaknesses of today will be your citadels of tomorrow.
Weak today, strong tomorrow. Keep focused and in process. You are where you are for a reason and season. Use that season well because life is full of surprises.
Be willing to be surprised by life and be open to its many seasons, hues and experiences. Such is the beauty of life and the humility of being human.
Greatness today may just be humus tomorrow. Live with these humble thoughts knowing that this moment too will pass. You are never too small to make a difference, and you are never too important to forget.
Sam Arjomandi wrote a poem that beautifully cements these thoughts of the surprises of life.
The poem reads:
“Life is full of surprises.
When it happens, the stars in your life either fall or will rise.
One day you could be high in sky.
Next day you could hit rock bottom and you wonder .
Your health your wealth your look, nothing is guarantee to you.
You be surprise to find out in blink of eyes all can be taken from you.
That’s why if your are rich do not brag about your wealth
Because you may end up to spend all your wealth on your health
Remember there are events that’s behind your control
If you believe you are fully in charge of your life, you are just a fool
Never wish to take someone else’s place
Because you don’t know what kind of surprises he or she will come to face.”
Surprised by failure
You prepared, worked hard and gave your best; that is what matters most. You were hopeful and knew that greatness is your portion; that is the attitude that matters the most.
You had high expectations and thought big, planned big and hoped to be big; that is the thinking that matters the most.
Nothing could go wrong and you were sure you had prayed and were read; that is the posture that matters the most.
Then failure happens.
You are surprised, disappointed and bitter. Such is life. It is not the end of it all but part of the journey of growth.
The whole world seems to crumble in your face. That is just virtual reality. There is more to life than an event. There are many more years ahead and if you keep your spirit, faith and posture you will surprise yourself with greatness.
Life has hills and valleys. You may be surprised by life, but never despair and lose heart. It is the fight in you that matters most.
Where you thought you were on a rise and rise and further rise, you may suddenly have to deal with disappointment.
Do not give up
Feeling disappointed does not mean you are a disappointment.
Life is full of opportunity.
Above the clouds of despair, the sun is always shining.
When you are surprised by failure, do not think that you are a failure yourself. Life is not finished yet. Take failure as an event but never a life sentence.
You can relaunch your life any time you choose. What do you do when you hit a pothole on the road? I am sure you do not abandon your journey and throw away your car keys and conclude that driving was never meant for you.
Keep focused on your goal and the end-game.
The route you thought you would take may be blocked, that does not mean you will not arrive.
Failure could be a delay, but it is not a denial. Think in terms of the future and not in terms of your ego. Failure may have bruised your ego, but there is more to life than pockets of pride. If you have to take one step back in order to achieve two ahead, so be it. Never let little delays spoil your journey.
Surprised by Success
Success can also come as a big surprise. You thought that things would not work out, then they work out extremely well.
Success could be very strange, confusing and surprising. When you succeed, keep your humility. When you fail, keep your hope. Never think because something worked so well you have special blood.
Be grateful when things go well. It is never about you but God’s grace. Never let success tempt you to be complacent and think that you have arrived. The tragedy in life for many is that they plateau too soon.
You are never too big to fail and do not get too arrogant and think you are beyond the river. Life is a daily effort. Great athletes are back in the gym after a big win.
Great pastors are back on their knees in prayer after a great meeting. Whatever happens, keep the daily disciples of success and you will be great. Greatness is not an event, but a daily effort. Wake up to run.
Greatness is not a destination but a process. Keep patiently working your process and goals. Life is a journey and not a destination.
Keep your bearings intact. Wake up daily to run and eat your vegetables. To keep living, keep breathing. To keep succeeding, keep doing things that successful people do.
Your habits shape your life and determine your greatness. Great organisations have great routines. It is your routines and habits that determine your success.
Surprised by People
People will surprise you, but never despair and lose heart when this happens. People love you, but they will at times betray you. People will praise you and shower you with accolades.
They will also surprise you with sharp criticism and blame. People will honour you and respect you highly. Do not let this go too far into your head. They will surprise you when they ignore you and forsake you.
People will thank you and think highly of you and your gifting. They will also surprise you when they spite and bite you. Do not let human nature surprise you and never hate and hold the root of offense and bitterness.
Smile, love people and see beyond their weaknesses and faults. It is a beautiful world and without people this world would have little news, and fewer conversations. People are good, or at least they are trying to be. Love people.
Those we love the most sometimes hurt us the most. Do not despair or become bitter with those closest to you. Sometimes those who care for you the most are your worst critics.
Life is still richer because of the people that care for us. Sometimes their criticism will be sharp and bitter, love them and accommodate them anyway.
Sometimes they will not believe in your dreams or share your vision, love them nonetheless. You are where you are because of people that loved you, believed in you and cared in some ways.
Believe in people and in their capacity. Do not let the few surprises you get tempt you to lose faith in people. The life of a student is never easy and it can be full of surprises.
In 1968, Dr Kent M. Keith, in an effort to support and help his students, wrote the “Paradoxical Commandments” as part of a booklet for student leaders.
These Paradoxical Commandments, in a slightly altered form, inspired Mother Teresa and were later found on her bedroom wall as she encouraged herself in the work to better the plight of the poor, disadvantaged and diseased children of Calcutta, India.
I am sure that as you think about how people can surprise you, you will draw some inspiration and keep charging forward in love.
The Paradoxical Commandments:
“People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favour underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.”
To these paradoxical commandments Mother Teresa added this vital line: “It was never between you and them anyway, it was always between you and God.” She was right.
See beyond the challenges of today, people’s actions and words, human nature and its frailties and the number of surprises you come across will be reduced significantly.
It is God at work, guiding you with His dexterous hand. Your tests of today will be your testimony of tomorrow.
Milton Kamwendo is an international transformational and motivational speaker, author and coach. He is a cutting strategy, innovation, team-building and leadership facilitator. He can be reached at: [email protected] and Twitter: @MiltonKamwendo or WhatsApp at: 0772422634