Monthly Archives: May 2014

Dream a Dream

Have you ever had a dream so big, that your shoes don’t fit?

Have you ever dreamt so big, that your imagination can barely grasp to articulate?

Have you ever dreamt so large, that it seems just impossible?

If either was a Yes, then this should not be.

 

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This should be in present tense.

Where you dream so big, that your heart aches in yearning,

Where you dream so big, that your hands know only of working,

That you dream so large, the world keeps rejecting your attempts,

That you dream so large, no one else can understand.

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You can only live your dream, today and now,

You can only live your dream, when you take the small steps.

It is the discipline of perseverance that enables you to move forward.

No longer will this dream seem big when you’re a little bit closer.

Live out your desires as if you were never to live again.

For it is only once, that you may dream multiple dreams.

For it is only once, that you may live this day, towards any kind of dream.

For it is only once, that you can look back to your past and smile.

Dream the kind of dream that is ridden with mistakes, ridden with challenges.

For it is through this dream, that your life will truly be lived.

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It is through this dream, that you were destined to fulfil God’s purpose for you.

Dream a dream, and if it dies, dream again.


Lessons from Mentorship

There are a few times when one reflects on the kinds of decisions they have made or are yet to make. Normally for me, this is at times of uncertainty, and as I was saying this to a few people I mentor over the weekend, I decided to share my own reflections over some lessons I have come to learn:

1) Be naïve enough to do what is right. This is the best protection you can ever have, no amount of money, security or branding can even sum up to the safety of conscious. There is no better peace than that which we gain from our own actions. There is always a bigger picture at play, be it God’s plan for you or realising a vision for an organisation. Its all about doing the right thing, at the right time and in the right way. Be it in business (corporate governance, ethics), at home (spiritual) or with others (empathy).

2) Build an effective team. Be it friends, family, networks or your own department. Rewards and acknowledgment don’t drive effectiveness, these are tactical solutions that can impede realising strategic goals. As a virtue of being human, we often focus on the short-term benefits and overlook the possibilities that go beyond a performance bonus, weight-loss programme or a weekend outing. Most importantly, a team isn’t dependent on its leader/manager. It is a collective effort, everyone matters and the skills that compliment each other as a virtue of being different, are integral to the success of a collective vision. Effectiveness comes from the team, it brings about the ways in which you’re to work and ultimately, shape everyone’s growth. Knowing your role and doing the best that you can with what you have goes a long way.

3) Consistency is a key factor for any one in any capacity. Be it in family, at work, business or in a social cause. Your efforts must be consistent enough to realise the results you need to continue. Learning ensures that this consistency in skills, energy and passion for what you’re doing can meet the demands of change. We’re constantly changing. The rise of social media is shaping the way we communicate, blogging is evolving the way we share knowledge and critical thinking is no longer a skill, but a quality or attribute someone must possess. Not only does this enable adopting to change, but considers thinking and acting in a sustainable manner. As Steve Jobs said about entrepreneurship, its all about “connecting the dots” and consistency allows for this.

4) Understanding the impact of your actions is vital to growth. Taking the risk and doing something unconventional results in an immeasurable insight. I have experienced first hand, what it means to not only question the education and corporate paradigms we’re drawn to as a virtue of studying. Knowing that you can explore without fear, stimulates a world of possibilities and learning. No longer will one question their purpose in life or wonder what happened to their dreams, but rather focus on creating the life that makes living better for others. Be it developing new products, fine-tuning services or lending a voice to the needy. I do not need to be a Mother Teresa, Mo Ibrahim or Bill Gates to do social good, but I can be the best I can be to contribute just as much.

5) Developing yourself is a lifelong journey and has no prescription. Managing to balance the exposure of experience, growth of education and building on your potential is vital to surviving all sectors. Business, non-profits and even employment is dependent on utilising information generated by the environment and applying skills to meet the end goal. If your experience doesn’t allow for growth, turn to education and vice versa. This a simplicity that demands great discipline, will and understanding that you’re meant for bigger things.

There are a few who go to sleep feeling like the world has just started. Whether you’ve had a bad day or a good one, looking forward to the prospect of doing better the next day should not be an option, but a virtue.


Leader, Pioneer or Catalyst?

Exam time is here for many scholars, professional and academic development institutions have began their cycles and I have come to understand the power of the mind.

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This is the source of motivation, drive and the will to do better. There are many factors that play into our daily lives and it is the discipline of managing the challenges we face, against the prospect of a better future.

 

Many leaders have spoken about the importance of education, even those who didn’t need it to become successful. It is the one thing you can have that no one can take away from you, inclusive of dignity and your support structure. Education forms a basis for critical thinking, crafting the kind of life you want to aspire to. It provides the discipline of personal commitment and skill to understand that it is everywhere, through life experiences, working, failures and personal trauma; the use of it is utmost important.

 

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I emphasise on the negative as it seems to consume our daily programming, from the moment you read the news, analyse a report or get feedback from your subordinates, its in human nature that we focus on the negative. It is normal to wallow in self-pity, cry from feeling rejected and want to give up when the world you’ve been building crumbles. BUT. That learning, that information you have gained, is immeasurable, inimitable and can strengthen your future attempts.

 

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Are you a leader, pioneer or catalyst in the making? It’s best to start acting, thinking and speaking like it now, whilst you have the chance to build up to it. As some say, luck is only the opportunity you prepared for.


Daily Inspiration

 

I was privileged to sit down and watch a series of presentations from young scholars at the University of Botswana.

These young people had indicated that they’re in their final year at varsity when I asked them to help in providing counselling to their peers.

When I posed the question; “What are you going to do next month when you’re done?”

There was silence, for the first time that day, they did not have a concrete answer to what their lives had in store for them.

This is the reality of so many young people, not just in Botswana, but in the Southern African region.

There is nothing more painful that sitting and waiting to see what the world has in store for you.

That’s just the problem, you sit and wait.

 

 

Many others have tried and fought against the “we don’t need more staff” or “we have enough volunteers” or “you have no experience” and still, the world fails to provide them with the opportunity to be great. I have tried myself, engaging with youth initiatives and figuring out what alternative path you might take for the mystery that is success.

 

There is red tape, the stigma associated with being young, the notion that you should only do one thing as if humans were put on this earth to be accountants or administrators for life.

How does it happen that we inspire others to do social good when we ourselves could not do the same when we started out?

How is it that we expect someone to be a procurement/medical/finance officer for ten years and move on to do the very same function in another entity with no prospect of development or career planning? Is it the right kind of hire when you expect someone to add value and develop your entity’s function if they have done the same thing over a few years.

 

 

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As a young person, you are told to dream. To look out for the possibilities you have been provided by the state, parents, school and even prospective employer.

Yet that is shattered the moment reality kicks in.

 

What is the relative difference the likes of Mark Shuttleworth, Jan Koum and Zibusiso Mkhwanazi had?

Nothing. except for curiosity

 

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Education, Science, IT and many other fields that drive economies are a result of Curiosity.

No coder will tell you that they were not interested in solving or breaking down systems, no Doctor will tell you that they did not think about the “how” when someone was healed or recovered from an illness, no Chief Executive will tell you that they were not curious enough to find out how they can make a business better.

 

Curiosity is the key to research, bringing about new knowledge and encouraging people to empower themselves.

Curiosity drives passion and leads to achieving the dreams you’d have never thought would occur.

I am yet to find a job description or opportunity that has “curiosity” as a requirement.

With these challenging times in business, activism and politics; it is a scarcity unknown.