The Sunday Mail
Milton Kamwendo Hunt for Greatnesss —
Welcoming a new season with old thinking simply recreates past misery. Little usually changes unless you change your thinking and focus. Like all people who matter and all things that are important, a new year deserves to be welcomed and embraced.
Welcome it like a special guest and it will bring its blessings to you. Welcome it like a new baby and it will bring its chuckles with it. The way you welcome a year positions you favourably in that year.
The birth of a new baby is a special thing, celebrated in different ways around the world. On the seventh day after the birth of a Nigerian Yoruba girl and on the ninth day for a boy, the child is blessed with certain elements.
They are given water in order to have no enemies; palm oil to have a smooth and easy life; kola nut for long life; and pepper and salt to have a sweet life filled with excitement, substance and happiness.
Whatever you do to welcome the new baby or the New Year shows your attitude. Do not carry the misgivings, hurts, failures, and negativity of the past into the new season.
Open wide the windows of your imagination and heart. Embrace the new season as a time of opportunity, improvement, change and progress. In the Yoruba baby welcoming ceremony, apart from the family name, the child is given several other names.
One describes the circumstances surrounding the birth. For instance, the name Idowu means “child born after twins”. Another example would be if an elderly, respected woman died just before the birth of a baby girl, the girl would be called Yetunde, or “the mother has come back”.
Names carry memory, meaning and messages. What you declare reflects your thoughts and mindset. Your words are important and they shape your future.
Make positive declarations about the New Year. Do not just name the year based on your circumstances, name the year based on your faith, vision and dreams.
Your words have a moulding influence. They shape and fashion your seasons of life. For the Yorubas, the parents often have a pet name that indicates what they hope for their child; such as Ayoke, meaning “one who is blessed,” or Titilayo, meaning “an eternal happiness”.
The parents announce the name and relatives are invited to give extra names. Before they say the names, they are asked to place a token monetary gift in a basket for the child.
After everyone has had a chance to give the child a name, the monetary tokens are held in trust by the parent for the child. A child may end with 20 or more names.
Each of the names — official or not — represent a wish or prayer. The name you give to a year shapes the year for you. As we enter the New Year, do not worry what names various people may give to the year, add your own name. It is not the number of names that a year carries, but your faith and focus that matters.
Your faith is stronger than your adversities. Your vision is much brighter than your shadows. Your plans are seeds of greatness planted on the rich soils of time.
Give the New Year, bold new possibility-filled names. Name it and you shall have it.
The end of the year is a precious moment that cannot be wasted. Use this time to reflect on the year or period that is ending. See the things that worked and those that did not work. What is worth celebrating? Count your blessings and not just your miseries.
Reflect on the challenges you faced and the lessons that you can draw. No challenge or difficulty should ever be wasted in idle regrets.
A crisis is so important that it cannot be wasted. Never let a good crisis go to waste. It is an opportunity for you to do what you would have never done.
When things go wrong, do not forget the importance of the experience and fail to take any lessons from it. Don’t let the problems of the passing season overwhelm you so much that you forget that there is a future. The future is bright and full of possibilities beyond your wildest dreams.
As long as you can still dream, you are not finished. As long as you still can stand up, there are possibilities. As long as you are alive, there is the chance to do something that you may have never done.
Stop whining and start planning on winning.
Name the New Year. You have a choice, to name the year based on the pains of the past or the challenges that you face today. Stop giving your problems celebrity status.
Give the New Year a name that reflects your faith, not your fear and your desire not dread. You are the son of a creator, with your words you fashion your world.
Wherever you put your focus determines the direction that you will move in. Put your focus on what you want, not what you do not want. Whatever you open your mind to determines the thoughts that you will have.
Never extrapolate your personal situation into a global trend of adversity. Your state of mind matters. The name you give to the year predicts your experiences in the year.
Turn your focus, attention, energy and prayer towards the year that you desire. Your situation may not look positive and your environment may not look encouraging.
Wherever your attention goes there, your faith will follow. Instead of focusing on shortage, focus on abundance and possibilities. Instead of focusing on what is impossible, think, “What if?” Instead of focusing on death, focus on living. Get busy on the positive side of life.
Take a serious audit of your mindset. Toxic thoughts only lead to a constipated year. Unless you change your mental focus, you may never change your life.
The name you give to your year, is your password to the year. A little dose of imagination should not be too difficult.
Pruning is the practice of trimming a tree, shrub, bush or flower by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, to increase fruitfulness and growth. It creates space for growth.
Pruning is an essential gardening skill. When you prune correctly, you encourage healthy growth and flowering and improve the looks of a plant. For most shrubs and trees, it helps to prune at the right time.
The end of the year is an important time to prune your life and create space for growth and development. Look at the forgotten and abandoned areas of our life and give them a fresh clean and some good attention. Some things are not worth carrying in your heart.
Release the bitterness, it is a debilitating mental virus. Forgive and move on. You cannot allow the hurts of yesterday to become your burdens of the future.
If you decide to carry anything into the New Year, make sure that it is worth your while to carry. Stop carrying crazy things that just get you made, bitter and angry.
Resentment, grudges and cynicism are not innovative thinking but mental waste. You do not afford the luxury of being an emotional dumpsite.
There could also be a number of physical items that you need to give away to make room in your life. Look at your closet, are there clothes that you have not worn in four years that are waiting for that special day. Look at your library, are there books that you have not touched in ten years?
To make room in your life, prune. Simplify your life by removing things that no longer serve you. Crowding yourself with junk is not refreshing. De-clutter your environment and you will feel and see differently.
Whatever happens there is always the opportunity for the next step. When Steve Jobs was dismissed from Apple in 1985, he founded a company he called NeXT Inc. He did not park in his misery but took the next step.
Wherever the year 2016 left you it is time for your next step. Do not remain in yesteryear. Thank God for the past, but now focus on “next.”
Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’”
That to me is really the spirit of “next”.
Do not park on yesterdays. Wherever 2016 left you, it’s time to say, next! Take a bold step forward into the New Year and new season and determine that you will unleash your greatness. It is the year of your greatness.
Committed to your greatness.
Milton Kamwendo is an international transformational and inspirational speaker, author and coach. He is a strategy, innovation, team-building and leadership facilitator. Feedback: [email protected], Twitter @MiltonKamwendo and WhatsApp +263772422634.