The Sunday Mail
The past is important but it is somewhat locked and stiff. The future is beckoning, abundant and malleable. The past can be reflected on, cried and thought about, repaired, re-imagined, revised and then perhaps brought to a closure.
Whatever happens do not park in the past and remain stuck there when the world is matching forward. Do not let the pains and the hurts of the past become a prison sentence. Unlock the possibilities that are in the future and choose to break free to a new life and fresh possibilities. You can use this moment as your moment of new beginnings.
Your greatest leverage is in the future and not in the past. Stop waiting for people to pity you and refuse to take your journey to the past when the world is marching forward. The windscreen on your car must always be bigger than your rear view mirror. You are only limited if you dwell on the past and refuse to change.
Enlarge your possibilities and shrink your impossibilities. The future is unlimited and abundant. Do not let your mind play games with you. Greatness is available, exciting and has been waiting for you to show up. Join complainers at your own peril. Align with the cynics if you are ready to die. Imbibe on sour grapes if you are idle and blind to possibilities.
Watch out for the future because it is likely different from the past and may be very surprising in every way. In times of change, some refuse to change and think that the world owes them something. For you to navigate the future, anticipate it, participate in what is happening, innovate what you can and always have a passion for excellence. When rules change, change your thinking otherwise you will be left behind. Do not park in the fast lane unless you want to cause accidents.
Life can be frustrating with its ever changing rules and ways. Never think that if you have given up, everything has stopped working. Your personal experience is not a global trend of hopelessness. Stop playing victim games unless you want to be left behind. For others the future cannot be trusted. It is always breaking promises, burying the familiar, changing rules and creating turmoil. Stop fearing and start believing in possibilities. Stop crying too much for spilt milk. Whatever happened can only take place in the present. Jump in, do something and stop waiting for a bus that has no timetable. Value this moment; use it well or lose it forever. There are opportunities in this moment that will not come again. Be awake and alert. Your greatest leverage is in the future. Use this moment that you have for preparation and positioning. The biggest change to help you navigate the future must happen in your mind. It is in your mind that the biggest hurdles lie. It is in the way you think that the biggest blockages are. It is in your mindset that you have to work hardest for change to happen. If you park in the past, idealise its prospect; worship and always wish for its reincarnation, you will remain parked in a fantasy world and keep reciting war stories when the world is matching fast forward. Wake up to a new vision and start navigating new spaces and possibilities beyond your wildest dreams.
Choose your place
If you do not choose your place, do not complain when a place is chosen for you. Look critically at the place you are standing. Reflect on your strengths and the competencies or capabilities that you have. Build on your strengths and appreciate them, but do not venerate them. Whatever you are strong in can be strengthened and made better. Keep improving and growing in strength. Work on your capabilities and focus on leveraging them. Be careful of praise singers that laud you for being great because they have only seen you and have no idea of what excellence and greatness looks like. Be humble enough to learn what you thought you knew well and strengthen what you thought was your domain. Abhor mediocrity and reach for excellence. All that you know today is ready to change or be changed. You can do more, be more and reinvent your life totally if you are willing to stop playing victim.
Look critically at your weaknesses Stop crying that you stand in a place of weakness and vulnerability. Refuse to adopt the posture of a victim and a perennial complainer. Attack your weaknesses with fresh energy, new improvements and radical visionary changes. Be impatient with your weaknesses and work hard to address them.
Be willing to learn from wherever you can learn. Learn from the young, they have a lot of new tricks to teach you. Learn from your enemies; their criticism is a syllabus you can use to grow. Learn from those who laugh at you; their jeers are a challenge for you to grow faster.
Learn from your mistakes; you cannot keep making the same ones. Learn from your neighbors; they are doing something right. Learn from the old guard; there are things they have mastered that you can copy. Learn from those who failed; use their lessons and not their miseries. In order for you to grow and change, be willing to borrow ideas mercilessly, and thoughts from wherever you find them. Never be embarrassed with copying if you are copying the right things.
Look closely at your problems because they are pregnant with opportunities and possibilities. Do not avoid your problems because you will be running away from growth and greatness. Acknowledge your problems and be willing to look for solutions. Allow your problems to challenge, inspire and make you creatively uncomfortable. What you are calling a problem, someone is calling it an opportunity. See your problems with the eye of an explorer and the mind of a creative thinker. Stop crying at the first sight of a problem and start thinking creatively. Your problems are your ladders to a new greatness if you are willing to embrace them and shower them with solutions. Your problems are testimony that your greatness is waiting for you.
Watch well the trends that you see and look at them closely. Some are just a passing fade, some are fading the past. It is your choice how you react to the trends. Do not be so stuck in the past hoping that it will come back; stop straining your neck.
Stop looking for industries of the past; a good number of them are not coming back. Stop looking for jobs of the past; a lot of them are never going to be there again. Stop looking for giants of the past; some are now better in a museum.
Stop looking for past opportunities; create new ones. Stop looking for brands of the past; some of them are now great as lessons but cannot stand the heat of the present. Look well at the trends and react with boldness, clarity, courage and imagination. Hiding from clear trends does not make the trends to go away.
In Julius Caesar, Act 4, Line 3, Brutus delivers a speech to Cassius and says:
“There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat.”
So it is with the current trend. Stop waiting and wailing and venting and thinking that there is an atomic event that will come and change everything in your life in a moment. Bury such wishful and fruitless thinking. This is that moment that you kept threatening us with. Wake up, the tide is in. The trend is here. Jump in or forever keep theorizing and hoping that your special favorable wind will come.
Threaten your threats
Deal with the threats that you face. Solve problems before they become a crisis. We live in times that are like a highly turbulent river. As for any river never forget that the waters pass but the river stays. In times of drama and threats, anticipate dramatically what will happen and prepare. If events surprise you do not be stuck in comatose. Wake up quickly, smell the coffee and catch up.
Keep scanning your environment and undertaking strategic explorations. Understand what is influencing your understanding and perceptions. Stop kicking against a stone and hoping that the stone will change. Apply divergent thinking to see more broadly and reflect on a range of possibilities. Apply convergent thinking to help you narrow your focus so that you can act with dispatch and speed.
Map where you stand and join the dots. This moment does not stand alone but is part of a chain of events and processes. Be willing to use your imagination and synthetic thinking. There are times when imagination is more important that knowledge. There are more possibilities beyond your wildest dreams and loudest complaints.
Opportunities are everywhere and they depend on the way you see and where you are willing to look. Look at what is not working; it gives you a clue to the difference that you can make and the possibilities ahead. Look at what is broken; it gives you a catalogue of opportunities and things that you can fix. Look at what has not changed in a long time; it shows you what you are able to work on now. Look at what is not working; it gives you clues as to the sort of solutions that you can bring. Look at what people complain about; it gives you the scope of innovative solutions you can bring.
Look at what is happening elsewhere that is not happening here; it shows you what you must rush to introduce. Look at who is working; it shows you who you must associate yourself with. Look at who ran away from pressure; it shows you who in your address book you must consider deleting.
Choose to shift and shape things and not just cry, mourn and complain. There is so much waiting to be shaped, shifted and shaved. There are so many things waiting for positive change. There is so much to do and so little time for complaining and standing by the sidelines. It is time to for you to happen. If the rules are too rigid, change them.
If you cannot change the rules then change yourself. If you cannot change the rules and change yourself then change the logic and basis of the rules. You are only stuck if you choose the shoes of a victim. This is potentially your best moment if you embrace it whole heartedly.
Committed to your greatness.
Milton Kamwendo is a leading international transformational and motivational speaker, author and coach. His life purpose is to inspire greatness. He can be reached at: [email protected] and Twitter: @MiltonKamwendo or WhatsApp at: 0772422634