John Mason once said: “Mediocrity is a region bordered on the North by compro- mise, on the South by indecision, on the East by past thinking, and on the West by a lack of vision.” The driving force of all greatness is a deep and clear sense of vi- sion. You are on the path to mediocrity when you compromise on your vision and your actions do not reflect the words you say and the intentions that you hold. Ac- tions are the interpreters of thought. Indecision makes you aimlessly wander around, drawing circles but never taking resolute action. Indecision is the brother of procrastination and the sister of excuses. Empty threats of productive action should never be substituted for strategy execution. Intentions that are not backed by ac- tions are empty clouds of wishes. Holding on to past thinking leaves you locked in the past, and makes you a reluctant and unskilled museum curator. It is only vision that gives you vitality and a sense of mission and focus.
Poverty Roots Poverty, at its roots has nothing to do with amount of resources, geographical placement or the certificates one holds. The poorest person is a person that has no dream or has allowed the dream to die. Poverty is a condition in which you produce little regardless of what you have. It is not how many gallons you sweat that matters but the results that you produce. Nothing is as wasteful as subjecting yourself or other people to unnecessary suffering with little results or rewards. At the core poverty is a mindset before it is a resource issue.
Merely having eyes does not mean you have vision. Eyes that look are common but eyes that see are rare. If you cannot see the future you will always abuse the present and sell what you have at going-out-of-business sale prices. Vision is not just a statistic or a meaningless economic number. Vision is a dream you can relate with and a picture that you can see in your mind and communicate with passion. Unless you have a clear vision and you act on and clearly communicate that vision, you have no business leading because the stock in trade of all leadership is vision.
Start Here The future is not some place that is far removed from reality and unfathomable. The future is already here, now and in you. The thoughts that you are carrying are the fabric of the future. The words you speak are chiseling of the future. What you are working on right now the foundation you are laying for the future. Be concerned if that foundation is shaky and unsound. The future is not a mystery but an outcome of the vision that you are carrying, and sharing. The future is fathered by the actions that you are taking and mothered by the the decisions that you are making. Do not worry about changing the future, work on your thinking and mental models. Do not worry about changing the past, work with what you have and dream big and bold. Challenge your limits and kick down your disempowering beliefs.
In talking about Vision, the late Dr. Myles Munro once shared these bullet points that are worthy taking to heart:
“Vision must be captured. Vision must be simplified. Vision must be documented. Vision must be communicated. Vision must be shared ownership. Vision must be both personal and corporate. Vision must produce a plan. Vision must be constantly revised. Vision must be evaluated. Vision musty create priorities.”
Born for Greatness Regardless of your situation believe that you are not a mistake and you are not just passing through life accompanying others while you live in quiet desperation. Your circumstances and challenges do not invalidate your purpose. You are born for greatness. You were endowed with great gifts and capacities. You are engineered for exploits. You are born to be known for something and to make your own special dent on the universe. Do not contemplate leaving this world too soon because there is still too much to do.
You will leave this world a better place than the place you found. William James once said: “Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake. We are making use of only a small part of our possible mental and physical resources.” Put a positive demand on your creative potential. It is not about how you feel, but what you will do. You are genetically encoded to do great things. You are wired for results that matter. Raise your thinking above your problems, challenges and obstacles. Lift your dreaming capabilities beyond the clouds of doubt and despair. Elevate your thinking beyond the familiar complaints and mundane concerns. In you dwells the solutions and you will amaze yourself when you start putting the power in you to work.
Ralph Waldo Emerson was contemplating the meaning of life and success when he wrote: “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the af- fection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condi- tion; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
Blinds Off The light will not shine into your room when you have the blinds on. Pull off those heavy curtains of negativity and allow the sunshine of hope to come through. Above the clouds of negativity the sun is always shining. Do not be discouraged too early because what things are, is not how they will always be. Take off everything that blinds your vision. It could be age, excuses, past, present, conditions, circum- stances or whatever.
Do not let your eyes be blinded by age. You are the right age to do great things. Stop thinking you are too young and start taking action. I receive letters that open with this familiar line: “I am a young man of 25 or 30 years of age…” Stop worrying about your age and thinking you are too young. You are old enough to dream and dare big things. Challenge your personal scripting about age. Stop feeling pity for yourself. You cannot be a baby for ever. Forget your limitations and start doing great things.
Think seriously about what the following young people achieved:
• Joan of Arc aged 13, believed she was on a mission from God. She had no military experience but a brave heart to lead from the front the French army in a major victo- ry against the English at Orléans during the 100 Years’ War. Do not let fear rob you of your capacity. Although Joan of Arc was captured by the English and burned at the stake in 1431, her bravery and quality of spirit is a living inspiration for great- ness.
• Braille, the language for the blind, was developed by Louis Braille in 1824, when he was just 15 years old. He had himself become blind when he was 3 years old but did not let visual disability stop him. He kept refining and working on the language and published the first Braille book, a three-volume history book, in 1837.
• Malala Yousafzai became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, at the age of 17. Malala is a young Pakistan activist who encourages other young girls to pursue education and speak out against injustice. She made her first public speech touting her cause when she was only 11 years old. Passion does not know age limits. When she was 15 she attracted international attention when she survived an attempt on her life.
You are never too old unless you think so. Stop letting age rob you of your vision and dreams. Believe that this is your time and you are the person of the hour. If you believe that you are too old to use your gift you are wasting time and taking up too much space. Stop believing age-lies and start doing what you must be doing re- gardless of age. Do not take yourself off the shelf before your “use by” date. Believe that you are the right age and you are placed right to live out your dream. You do not afford to die with your talents unused simply because you were taking your birth statistic too seriously.
Committed to your greatness.
Milton Kamwendo © 2019, Milton Kamwendo __________________ Milton Kamwendo is a leading international transformational and motivational speaker, author, and growth mentor. He is a cutting-edge strategy, team-building and organisation development facilitator and consultant. His life purpose is to in- spire and promote greatness. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org and
Twitter: @MiltonKamwendo or WhatsApp at: 0772422634. His website is: www.miltonkamwendo.com.