The Sunday Mail
Milton Kamwendo Motivation
YOU are trapped, there is no door and you feel low. If the door was there, there would be a rusty old lock that would not open.
You want to run but there is a big wall in front of you and a sea of problems around you.
You wish you could go back, but where to? You have been given a popular prescription — “quit!”
You are continuing to hold on to the little shredded thread of hope. Hold on for today, you have all of tomorrow to quit.
The future looks so uncertain for you, while the present is rattling and shaky. Faith has value when everything seems uncertain. You would rather sigh than smile, cry than laugh. The people that talk of positive mental attitude look like liars, or, at best, false and mocking prophets. You know that life can be better, you just do not know where that place called better is and if it still exists at all. It is not easy and everywhere you turn you seem to find other people who have been treated unkindly by life and are bitter.
What’s the point in all this? You ask.
All people that march to places of greatness at one point or the other do pass through desert experiences. It is while they are passing through this vital portion of life that they discover secrets that change their lives, write a book that transforms society, or just start on a new path once they have been able to mute out all the noise. In a desert, the surface may look barren and lifeless but there is teeming life under the sands.
Do not be deceived, there is life in the desert. There is the beauty of the land and there is the beauty of the desert. Do not rush to curse, complain or cry. Where you are standing right now is a sea of opportunity.
What you are going through right now could be a gift. Underneath the surface of what you are facing could be rivers of oil that will transform your life forever. The heat of your current pressure is tempering in you a great warrior. Your crucibles are not your curses. When things appear to be standing still, it is not true that all is dead. Never die in your winter. Do not lose hope regardless of how tough it gets. Tough times are training times. Tough times do not last forever. Every challenge you face has an expiry date.
Do not let your hope expire before that date. Use your wilderness moments as periods of growth, preparation and uninterrupted reviews. When you are at your lowest, you can see clearest because you have one direction left to take — that is up!
Position yourself for opportunities that do not as yet exist. Use your hard times to think long and hard, without the interruption of crowds. Create deep plans into the future. Whatever you see now will not be there forever. The problems you see today will not last forever. The obstacles you see today, will not be there forever. The people that stand in your way today, will not be there forever. The circumstances that threaten you today, will not be there forever. Go out today and buy a good journal and a pen that you love. Write your bucket-list. This is a list of at least 100 things that you would like to do before you die.
Even if you have been advised that you will die next month, for the time being get busy with living. Be obsessed with living and not dying. Make plans for living, not dying. Never forget that you will be dead for a long time; you may as well make more time to live.
Just write out that list without editing or feeling that you are not entitled to certain things.
Do not be afraid that your children will laugh at you, just write. Write big and small things to do. Write challenging and easy things to do. Write fun and serious things to do. Just write. Block all the noise and tap into your heart. There is a fountain of inspiration within you. If you run out of ideas at, say, number 12, do not worry, take a little rest and come back to the exercise. Keep writing and let the ideas keep flowing. What would you like to be, do or have? If one day is not enough, do this exercise over several days or weeks. Write everything down, big and small.
When you explore possibilities, your life will begin to open up to the light. Just the very act of writing out the one hundred plus things that you would like to do starts the clouds of doom disappearing. Life is meant to be lived and not to be “died.”
You live long when you have a sense of mission and purpose. You can endure anything if you have something of value and worth fighting for. Once you have written out your list, pick out three things that would make your life really, really, really exciting if you were to pursue them passionately. If three is too much for you right now, pick out one thing.
Talk about, read about, pray about and do just about everything you can about this one thing. Make it your magnificent obsession. Take these three things and focus on them daily. Do a little something about each of them daily without exception.
Give yourself no option to fail. The key to greatness is unrelenting focus. If you do not know what you could do, at least start by praying, thinking and reflecting. Once you do this, you have already started. Spare no time for worrying, use that time for planning. Stop participating is pity-parties, start taking action like the main actor of the movie of your life. Act with conviction — you really want this. Talk to someone about these three goals. Look for help and advice to reach these goals.
Read, research, act. Extend your day as you work on this dominant new focus. Stop worrying about what you do not have. Throw all that you have got onto your goals. There are no half-hearted gambling champions. Life is not a gamble but a field of committed players that will not take no for an answer. What if the people you share with these three goals laugh? Do not worry, at least you are pursuing something bold that someone finds impossible.
The greatest fun in life is doing what other people think is impossible. Anything that you dare believe is possible is possible for you. Charge forward as though nothing can permanently stand in your path. Remove from your vocabulary the word impossible.
Bleach from your mind the thought that you cannot. Stop watching and reading things that suggest to you that the three things that you are pursuing are impossible. Read what inspires you and gets you on fire. Do not let other people write you off. Get crazy with making your life interesting.
Stop focusing on the wrong thing and the wrong issues. Your goals are your life. Pursue the three things as though your life depends on them. Pray as though achieving these things depends on God, and work as though it all depends on you and you alone.
What if you discover you cannot do or have never done one or all of these things. That is when it all gets exciting. This is where life starts getting interesting. Whatever you do not know today, you can start learning. Pursuing greatness is a reward in itself. You start learning things that you never knew existed.
In six months, you can have enough proficiency in a new language to undertake degree studies in that language. If you do not believe me, ask around. There are people that went for tertiary studies in Russia, Cuba, China, Germany and other places.
They started their studies with a crush language course, usually of six months. Six months from now you can be a master of any language or any subject if you dedicate at least three hours daily to learning that subject. Whatever you do not know now should never intimidate you. You can always learn. The best time to start learning is today. If you dedicate at least one hour daily to consistently studying any field in which you have interest, in less than 18 months many people will be begging to teach them what you know.
Everywhere you go ask questions. Ask those that are getting results how they got there. Do internet searches on your desired subjects of focus.
You will be amazed how big a world has been waiting for you to turn up. You are not late if you start today. You will start seeing opportunities that you were ignoring and possibilities beyond your wildest dreams. You will realise that the time for worrying is a luxury that you cannot afford.
You will see that there is more to do than there is time to do it. Life is beautiful, great things are possible. This moment of your life is too precious to waste through fruitless and unfocused worry and fretting.
Go for greatness.
◆ Milton Kamwendo is a leading international transformational and motivational speaker, author and coach. He can be reached at [email protected] and Twitter: @MiltonKamwendo or WhatsApp at: 0772422634