The Sunday Mail
MY grandfather was a builder.
He built in his time. My uncles became builders. They learnt from a building father. My father worked for a building contractor. As time passes, I realise that I was also, like you too, born to build, but perhaps a different kind of building.
Nothing builds itself. Whatever you see today was built by someone. Whatever will be there tomorrow, requires you to build today.
You are born to build, to make things great and better than they were. Every day is an opportunity to build. The question that must always be on your mind is: “What am I building?”
You are either building or destroying.
If you are not building, you have little business blaming those that are. Do not abandon what you are building because you are discouraged or because it is now difficult. No-one ever said building is easy. Every building effort will always challenge and build you. It is impossible to build anything worthwhile and remain the same.
Building is a mindset. Destroying is also a mindset. Never destroy anything hoping that when it is your turn you will rebuild.
Take a good look at what you are building. Every word you say as a leader is a brick, building something. Build responsibly, with others and build with a great vision. Build things that outlast your generation and your ego. Put the mission ahead of you and your ego at the back seat. The little shed that you build today will provide shelter for generations that you may never meet. Build with the future in mind. Build in such a way that you put generations that are not born in a place of advantage.
Spending time in unending rebuilding keeps you doing corrections and not moving forward. There are things of the past that must never be rebuilt because the era passed.
There are foundations of the future that we must diligently start laying today. There are also foundations that are too precious to be tampered with. Build responsibly.
Build and look out for other builders to build with. There is so much to build and so much opportunity all around. If you cannot see opportunities to build, try re-framing those bricks that common people call problems.
The luxury of idle recreational complaining and self-hate is an expensive indulgence. Everything that seems broken around you is an opportunity for you to build. Builders create economic energy where none existed before. Build great things by building what is around you that needs to be built.
Great Zimbabwe was built
Great Zimbabwe is an ancient city in the south-eastern hills of Zimbabwe, near Lake Mutirikwe and Masvingo City. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe in the late Iron Age. Building of Great Zimbabwe began in the 11th century and continued until the 15th century.
Successive generations would come through, tarry on for a while, build on what was there and then continue on their crusades, building other stone towns (“ruins”) where they went. The stone city spans an area of 7,22 square kilometres (1 780 acres) and it estimated that, at its peak, it could have housed up to 18 000 people. The building is a significant heritage of building in Zimbabwe. We genetically wired to build. Build and keep building. Others will find a platform on which to build further.
The earliest reference to the Zimbabwe ruins was in 1531 by Vicente Pegado — a Portuguese military leader who was based in Sofala, Mozambique — who recorded it as Symbaoe.
Several other exploratory visits and investigations by European visitors started in the 1800s.
Build today and many people will learn in the future.
You can never pass on charisma, but what you build will share your charisma and reveal it in the future. Keep building despite the setbacks.
Great Zimbabwe was built as a royal palace.
The building is majestic, with some architectural marvels and also filled with much symbolisms. Its prominent features were its design and its walls, some of which were built up to five metres in height.
They were constructed without any mortar and built in such a way that the walls balance regardless of the changes in weather.
In building, employ your creativity and ingenuity. Give attention to whatever you build to make it the best possible.
Do not abandon what you build. Give it attention and focus. Regrettably for the Zimbabwe Ruins, the city was abandoned and fell into ruin. If you build in a way that lasts, whatever you leave will be discovered. Build with integrity.
The first step in building is to build greater self-awareness. Life is too precious for you to sleep-walk through it. Be aware that you are not a victim, passing through life as an accident.
Do not look down on yourself and what you have.
There is no point in self-hate and thinking that what you have is the worst and your lot is that of a cursed one.
Change your thinking and you will change your building. Be aware of who you really are and what you can do. God makes no junk. What you build reveals your state of mind. There is so much power and potential in you.
Do not dwell on what you cannot do, focus on what you can do.
Do not spend time regretting that you did not build when you could. Start now and start today.
Speak words that build and take actions to build. Be aware that whatever little step you take, you build confidence in others to also take steps forward. Be a builder.
Do not start by looking at building everywhere and forget that you are the first and primary “building site”. Build yourself and invest in strengthening your capacity.
Mahatma Gandhi once said: “A person cannot do right in one department of life while attempting to do wrong in another department. Life is one indivisible whole.”
Saying one thing and doing a different thing leaves you unhinged. Commit to building your character — who you are when no-one is watching?
Stopping looking for the faults in others and start working on building your own life.
Focus on your own proverbial log. Make your life a primary building project. Take responsibility and get out of the victim mentality.
Build your capacity and it will serve you well. Keep asking the question: “What is not yet perfect?”
Increase your skills and competencies. Real learning usually starts when you are no longer just pursuing certificates, but seeking to make meaningful contributions.
Pick up skills that enhance your usefulness. Keep learning and growing. Keep sharpening yourself and being more useful to more people in more ways.
Build people and you will never regret. Even if they leave you, you would have sowed a great seed in the universe. When people are built, lives are strengthened, destinies enabled and good is sown. Build people through training, mentoring and coaching. Every word you say will either build or destroy someone. When people come into your orbit, give them wings to fly higher and do greater things.
If you want to be great for one day, take a full-page advert in a daily newspaper that everyone reads.
They will see you and see what you do. If you want to be great, win an important prize that is newsworthy. If you want to be great for a few months, build a garden and ensure that you get good nutrition. If you want to be great for a season, build your farm and ensure that you have observed all the good agronomic practices. If you want to be great for ten years, plan trees everywhere and preach about environmental stewardship. If you want to be great for a lifetime, build people.
Being a people-builder is the greatest job you can ever do. Great people see the greatness in others before they see it in themselves. Always be on the lookout for someone to encourage, for a door to open, lead to share and opportunity to inspire. Do great things by building people.
Build with others
You cannot build it all on your own. Build with others and your name does not always need to hang high over what you build.
Encourage those who are building and always think win-win. Your candle does not need to go out in order for me to build the luminance of mine.
The more lights in the room, the greater the glory. Move away from a scarcity mindset and always thinking that someone has to lose in order for you to win.
Playing zero-sum games never built anything. It is not about win-lose or lose-win. Building is all about win-win. We can and we do win together by building together great things.
Build to last
Do not just think of today and of your own days, build to last. Think generationally.
Those who do not see the future always abuse and sell the present for song or soup. Think long-term and build long-term. Build for the long haul. Build to last. What are you building?
Milton Kamwendo is a leading international transformational and motivational speaker, author, and executive coach. He is a cutting strategy, team-building and organisation development facilitator and consultant. He can be reached at: [email protected] and Twitter: @MiltonKamwendo or WhatsApp at: 0772422634. His website is: www.miltonkamwendo.com.