Stop re­act­ing and start cre­at­ing great­ness

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - BUSINESS NEWS - Mil­ton Kamwendo Hunt for Great­ness

RALPH Waldo Emer­son once said: “The years teach much which the days never know.” The im­me­di­ate is im­pos­ing and intoxicating, but time gives per­spec­tive and com­pletes the pic­ture and miss­ing de­tails. What you are see­ing is not all that is hap­pen­ing, lower your noise lev­els. What you are feel­ing is not all that is oc­cur­ring, still your nerves a lit­tle.

When­ever you are in the ex­tremes of emo­tional ex­pe­ri­ences, do not make your big­gest de­ci­sions or take your big­gest bets. The im­me­di­ate emo­tions, grief, fears, thrills, pains, ec­stasy and other pres­sures tend to over­whelm and warp per­spec­tives. Things are not al­ways what they seem. Time is your friend and the great re­vealer. Take time to re­flect, that is be­ing grounded. Take time to watch and in time you will see more clearly as you dis­til knowl­edge into wis­dom.

Do not write your­self off when you feel hope­less. Give your­self time and you will bounce back higher. What­ever hap­pens, take time to re­flect and then pick your­self up and run. Do not fin­ish your­self off by giv­ing up and throw­ing away your hope. Time is your friend, it gives you the op­por­tu­nity to write a new story.

Time puts a lot of things in per­spec­tive and al­lows you to con­nect the dots and un­der­stand what seemed to be an enigma. Be pa­tient, re­main grounded and fo­cused. Stop re­act­ing and over­work­ing your mind into mad­ness when you should be fo­cus­ing. In a speech at Stan­ford Univer­sity, in 2005, the late Steve Job told the grad­u­at­ing stu­dents: “You can’t con­nect the dots look­ing for­ward; you can only con­nect them look­ing back­wards. So you have to trust that the dots will some­how con­nect in your fu­ture. You have to trust in some­thing your gut, destiny, life, karma, what­ever. Be­cause be­liev­ing that the dots will con­nect down the road will give you the con­fi­dence to fol­low your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path; and that will make all the dif­fer­ence.” In­stead of re­act­ing to the pres­sures of the present, take a long-term view to things and you will soon see more clearly, and act more strate­gi­cally. Choose to be long sighted; see fur­ther than just to­day and take a long view. This will help you es­cape the prover­bial tyranny of the mo­ment.

Read his­tory

What is hap­pen­ing now is not all that ever hap­pened, or will ever hap­pen. Life is a long wind­ing and grind­ing train jour­ney. It has its sur­pris­ing mo­ments, in­ter­est­ing stops and long de­lays along the way. Keep your eyes fo­cused on the des­ti­na­tion and not what is hap­pen­ing in the now.

Things some­times ap­pear to change and they do change and yet in some ways never change. Change what you can, know­ing that some things never change. Hu­man na­ture and the games that peo­ple play sel­dom change, it is just the stage, the set­ting, the cast and the cos­tumes that do. His­tory is a fas­ci­nat­ing sub­ject that you can never fin­ish study­ing. When you un­der­stand a ver­sion of his­tory, you get a bet­ter per­spec­tive on the present and your un­der­stand­ing of hu­man be­hav­iour is en­light­ened. The more you study his­tory, the more per­spec­tives you see and the bet­ter your un­der­stand­ing be­comes. When you do not un­der­stand his­tory, you are eas­ily trapped by his­tory and the pres­sures of the mo­ment.

Read his­tory to im­prove your depth of per­spec­tive, learn about hu­man­ity and de­velop a bet­ter han­dle on cur­rent re­al­ity. Your abil­ity to learn and trans­late that learn­ing into strate­gic ac­tion will give you an edge. Mere recre­ational com­plain­ing is not strate­gic anal­y­sis. Strate­gic think­ing is the abil­ity to see pat­terns in the storm and fol­low a path through flooded wa­ters. When les­sons of the past are not heeded, the fol­lies of the past are re­peated in fash­ion­able ways. Do not just read for ex­ams un­less you are con­tent with medi­ocre ideas. Read not just your own his­tory, but other peo­ple’s as well. It is when you look at life through other peo­ple’s eyes that your own eyes are opened. His­tory never re­ally says good­bye and locks its books. His­tory will al­ways bid you good­bye and then prom­ises to see you later. Be hum­ble enough to greet his­tory and lis­ten to hear care­fully telling her tales.

Mar­cus Gar­vey said it well when he said: A peo­ple without the knowl­edge of their past his­tory, ori­gin and cul­ture is like a tree without roots.” Dig dili­gently into the roots of his­tory and you will see things more clearly and not be caught in the whirl­wind of the cur­rent. Those who do not read and are proud that they do not read, re­gret­tably throw away their ad­van­tage. As you read his­tory, do not read it with as a re­signed cynic or a help­less vic­tim. Read it as an ex­plorer and an imag­i­na­tive thinker. Re­al­is­ing that ev­ery les­son of his­tory counts when dis­tilled into wis­dom and dili­gently ap­plied. Fer­tilise your imag­i­na­tion with the ma­nure of his­tory. Do not park in the past, seek to spring for­ward and not be trapped by the chains of the past. What­ever you learn will re­dound into your ad­van­tage.

Read the present

Read the present with your strat­egy play-book open and think sev­eral moves ahead. Knee-jerk re­ac­tions are not nec­es­sar­ily strate­gic re­sponses. Merely watch­ing and help­lessly won­der­ing what is hap­pen­ing is not strat­egy plan­ning ei­ther. Look at the present with wider lenses. Do not make a lot of noise about what you do not know and un­der­stand, lest you be forced to swal­low your words. Think deeply about the long term fu­ture and go be­yond lim­ited nar­row time spans and emo­tional re­ac­tive tides.

Look at what you are fac­ing with a view to fix and prune el­e­ments that do not fit into your strat­egy and fu­ture. Some things worked in the past and will re­gret­tably no longer serve you in the fu­ture. If ever you carry any­thing from the past into the present, carry the best parts of the past. Any cri­sis that you face is a mes­sage of change. It means that some­thing that may have worked in the past can­not longer fit into your present and fu­ture.

Re­flect on the things that need to be cor­rected and re­stored. Never let the bit­ter­ness of the past bite off your en­ergy and vi­sion. Stop com­plain­ing and start work­ing on your mag­nif­i­cent ob­ses­sion. Lead­er­ship is a jour­ney. Con­tinue the path of learn­ing and self-im­prove­ment. Times of change are not times to stop learn­ing and un­learn­ing. Keep ex­plor­ing for best prac­tices and con­tin­ual cy­cles of im­prove­ment. Do not just be caught up in the cur­rent and go with the flow. Do your own think­ing, oth­er­wise you will for­ever be caught in the fever of re­act­ing. Use ev­ery mo­ment you get to up­grade your skills, sharpen your char­ac­ter and re­fine your strat­egy. Great­ness is never a sprint, it is a marathon.

Read strat­egy

It is not enough to just play, play to win. Clar­ify what great­ness means to you and do not let other peo­ple’s pedes­trian com­ments tempt you to doubt your­self or veer off your path. Con­front the bru­tal re­al­i­ties of the present but never for­get that this also shall pass but in the end you will pre­vail. Keep a key eye on the fu­ture, have a bold vi­sion and cor­rect your course along the way. Think long term and keep see­ing the big pic­ture. Small think­ing, and pur­pose­less ac­tion will never take you any­where worth go­ing. Com­mit­ted to your great­ness. ◆ Mil­ton Kamwendo is a lead­ing in­ter­na­tional trans­for­ma­tional and mo­ti­va­tional speaker, au­thor, and ex­ec­u­tive coach. His life pur­pose is to in­spire and pro­mote great­ness. He can be reached at: [email protected] and Twit­ter: @ Mil­tonKamwendo or What­sApp at: 0772422634. His web­site is: www. mil­ Read the full ar­ti­cle on www.sun­day­

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