Poverty is painful bondage that afflicts generations and behaves like a malignant cancer. Poverty is a personal, community, country and global issue. Whether absolute or relative, poverty is poverty. When you see it, you know it; when you are in it, you feel it; and when you are afflicted by it, others hear it.
It affects the way you think, talk, behave and use your time.
It is revealed in your priorities or lack thereof.
Your time applications, speech patterns, heroes, relationship with money and what and why you read (or do not read) reveal your placement on the poverty continuum.
Forget the economic definitions of poverty, reflect and focus on your life and the last two generations of your family.
Your past, current and future are important elements in the war against poverty. If you do not declare war on poverty, you will forever be its captive slave.
One deal or flashy financial feat will not take you out of poverty.
You cannot gamble yourself to greatness.
Poverty is best addressed by being tackled at the roots.
Tugging at a few branches gives temporary relief, like alcohol and a terrible hangover.
Greatness means attacking all the dark corners in your life where you see poverty rearing its ugly head.
If it is situational, stay the course until you reach the shore.
If it has been caused by poor upstream decisions, decide to take a different path and better decisions today.
Your belief systems, relationships, achievements, connections and mental models are critical in the war against poverty.
At its very core, poverty is bred by a mindset.
This mindset is then passed on from generation to generation.
Anything as deep as poverty will therefore always have spiritual roots. Poverty does not respect gender, political profile or academic qualifications.
When you change your thinking, you change your life and circumstances. Climbing any ladder without addressing mindsets just amplifies poverty’s reach. Throwing resources at people with a deep-poverty mentality just worsens their problems.
Albert Einstein was right when he quipped: “The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.”
It is difficult to behave yourself out of problems that you think yourself into.
Until you change your thinking, you will keep reproducing your situation.
You may not be where you are because of your own choice.
Life is filled with many unpredictable turns. There are many situations that cannot be predicted or planned for.
Whatever happens to you and whatever situation you find yourself in is not unique or special.
What distinguishes people is what they think about their situations.
When you resign to your fate, think like a victim and blame everyone in the telephone directory, you are a prisoner of poverty.
Poverty blinds you of your potential.
Change is possible and you are the silver bullet in your situation.
The Bible has a telling story of an obscure man called Jabez.
He was born in poverty and pain, named as such but decided to take different steps to change the trajectory of his life.
The circumstances of your birth are not a sentence to eternal damnation.
Where you were born is not where you will die, unless you choose to transfix yourself there.
Your current situation, regardless of how bad it is, is not terminal.
You can rise to new heights and possibilities.
Believe and do not lose hope.
With hope and faith, you can reload your success gun and shoot high.
Without hope, you are a flat battery.
In 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 the Bible says: “There was a man named Jabez who was more honourable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful. He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel,
“Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.
No situation lasts forever and no cloud or storm is permanent.
Your circumstances of today are just that — “circumstances”.
What things are today is not what they will always be.
Make different choices and those choices will lead you to new places and doors.
See new possibilities and pray different prayers.
Victim prayers hit low ceilings and bounce back.
God is not anyone’s private property.
Anyone who dares can become great.
Start thinking differently and you will take a different trajectory.
Keep focused and the clouds of poverty will clear.
Above the clouds, there are always shining possibilities.
Your circumstances are just a valley you are going through, and not a dark cave without an exit.
Mental poverty can be cured through learning.
Whatever you do not know, you can always learn.
Whatever you do not know is simply evidence that you have not committed your time to mastering that area.
Learning is not a destination, but a journey.
If you learn today and forget to upgrade, you will soon be plagued with mental poverty.
It’s not just about accumulating certificates and hoping that this collection will take you anyway.
It’s about learning with purpose and vision.
It’s about applying what you know to create value.
It’s about learning in different ways and building relationships that have information advantage.
Everyone you relate with will always teach you something.
Audit what you are learning and it will reveal its poverty content.
There are many types of poverty — moral poverty, relationship poverty, spiritual poverty, income poverty and generational poverty.
Whatever type of poverty afflicts you, be bold enough to deal with it.
Generational poverty afflicts generations, and unless addressed, development is just an otherworldly story.
The strong back of poverty needs to be broken, and you stand at a special place in history to be the one to break it.
Do not take lightly the work you are doing.
The people who are most valued are those who show us that poverty’s back can be broken.
If you answer that call, you redeem a generation.
If you do not, you perpetuate a status quo.
Break the cycle of poverty and you will have saved generations.
Once you start thinking differently, you become a positive influence to many others.
By all standards, Zimbabwe is not a resource-poor country. It just does not have enough people who are angry enough with generational poverty.
Unless you think bigger and see further than personal comfort, you will massage your egos while throwing away the opportunities to redeem generations.
The debt we owe the unborn is not creating liabilities that they will not be able to pay in five lifetimes, but raising a stage that allows greatness to be achievable by many.
Join the war on poverty and make a difference where you are. Your effort counts even if no one publishes you in any honour roll.
Many who have material wealth have terminal cases of time poverty.
Regrettably, I also struggle in this area given the number of things that call for my attention.
If you suffer from time poverty, you may not be able to cure it totally, but you can at least make it a little better.
Take time to plan your year; this will give you perspective and a broad picture of what is important in the year.
Take time to plan the quarter you are in; this will give you focus and a context for execution.
Take time to plan your week; this is the basic unit of measure and will help your execution.
Take a few minutes every day to reflect on the day and what is at hand.
Take time to develop people; this will extend your hand and feet.
Take time to delegate; there are just so many hours in a day.
- Milton Kamwendo is a leading international transformational and motivational speaker, author and coach. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter: @MiltonKamwendo or WhatsApp at: 0772422634