Abigail Adams in 1790 wrote a letter to Thomas Jefferson with this golden line: “These are the hard times in which a genius would wish to live. Great necessities call forth great leaders.” These words ring through all time. Good and hard times will always come and go. Hard times are opportunities for people of thought and action, who dare face brutal reality, see possibilities and follow a sensible vision towards greatness. The hard times you go through will lead to the good times that you will have. Keep moving and learning with each passing seasons.
Life is a collection of ever shifting seasons and reasons. No winter is forever and no adversity is for a lifetime. Never die in the winter of your life and never relax when the sun is shining bright. Tough times may last, but it is tough people that will always have the last say. Make reality your friend and faith your shield. In good times do not become arrogant and in bad times do not become blind, blinkered and cynical. Face whatever reality is in your lap with grace and grit. Wishful thinking will leave you burnt out, angry and frustrated. You may lead others but you have to manage yourself. Manage your thinking, framing and emotions and you will steer you life’s boat better. The earlier you face the reality of your season and put your feet on the ground the better you manage the season and step into the next season. What you do in this season determines how long you stay in this one and how you enter the next one.
You have no time to waste imbibing waters of bitterness and wishing that the past would somehow return. There is a mental tendency to dress the past with glory, while fashioning the present in rags. Define and face reality. Be present in this moment and eliminate wishful thinking and superstitious inclinations. Face what is changing armed with what is not changeable. Determine to survive whatever season you face. The pace may be slow, the road rough, but never stop moving. When a season changes, rise up to embrace the new season with grace, expectation and faith. Each season is pregnant with its opportunities. Face life with a bias towards action that produces results and not actions that dig you further into a hole of despair.
Seasons are connected and move together. Do not stay in a season far longer than is necessary. How you manage any season determines what happens to the next season. The wise things that you do in your lean days and moments of pressure will create your good seasons of the future. What you borrow from this season will determine what you have to pay with interest in the next one. The mismanagement of the past does not go away magically, it just lives on to infest the seasons of the future. No season must ever be faced with anger, retribution and malice. Approach each season that you face with responsibility, vision and courage to set now paths and build new platforms. Shower every season you face with determined and resolute action.
Appreciate what you have
Good seasons should never be wasted through blindness, ingratitude and irresponsibility. Appreciate the opportunities that you have, do the bit you can and manage your mindset. Value moments of preparation and seasons of learning. In your moments of humility strengthen your capacity and take up fuel for the long journeys ahead.
Change happens and sometimes the changes that you face may not be the ones that you expected. You cannot always control everything that happens to you but you are responsible for everything that happening in you. Do not let superstitions hold you hostage and poison your mind. While you cannot control what happens to you you can determine what you think about what happens to you and what you choose to do. Your emotions likely will not change any change, but you can change your beliefs and attitude about any change. It is important with whatever change you face for you to learn to adapt quickly and move yourself to a place of strength. Change happens but never let any change kill you.
In times of change those who are willing to learn will survive and may even thrive. Choose to be in that class. Those who simply rely on what they knew in the past find that they are beautiful equipped for a world that no longer exists. Their great expectations find no base and their assumption are swayed. When context changes, content must change too. Unless you are willing to keep learning you risk becoming irrelevant. Keep learning, growing and adapting.
Peaks and Valley
In life there will always be peaks and valleys. When you find yourself in a valley, stop kicking thorns and remaining in self-denial. No amount of cursing the wind will change its direction. Remaining in denial and anger will only make you a victim. Worrying is not strategic formulation, and complaining is not strategy execution. Quickly assess your situation and if it is something you can change, then do something about it. If it is something that you cannot change, then change yourself. What you cannot change is a fact of life. Fighting facts of life will keep you in the valley of despair for a long time.
How you respond to what happens matters more than what happens. It is not what happens to you that matters most, but what happens in you and the choices that you make. Choose with vision and act with responsibility. What you say to others is important but what you say to yourself while you are in any place matters most.
When you choose to see differently you start to see now paths and possibilities. Your adversity is a hidden opportunity. Many people in time are grateful for what seemed to be hard times and adversity. Whatever happens to you comes with hidden blessings. Look for the silver lining in the cloud you see. You will either learn something or grow in someway.
Whatever season you face do not throw away your dreams. Keep following your sensible vision and dream of greatness. Make it your magnificent obsessions. Take to heart and remember the words of T.E. Lawrence: “All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of day are dangerous men. That they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.”
Step into the action zone and work daily to make your dreams happen. May each season find you wiser, better equipped, learning and growing.
Committed to your greatness.
© 2018, Milton Kamwendo
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. His life purpose is to inspire 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.