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Volume 01, Issue 26: Master Your Circumstances 

We do not determine all the events in life, but our response to the circumstances that life throws at us is entirely our prerogative. We can choose to be dashed or we can choose to grow from even the most inauspicious of circumstances.

How do we prepare for difficult circumstances? How do we ensure that our circumstances do not crush our spirits? How do we keep our cool in the midst of a raging storm? I can think of no better answer to these questions than the words of Anthony Gitonga who wrote that affliction colours life. But we get to choose the colour. The colour we choose is largely determined by our attitude towards the circumstances that life affords us. In the same set of circumstances, people with a different attitude draw different responses.

Preparation gives us confidence. Everything else is out of our control. Disparaging circumstances are bound to come about. It is prudent to anticipate favourable and unfavourable circumstances and prepare for both.

Do you sometimes find yourself painfully wondering why God is not changing your challenging circumstances? Perhaps God is more interested in changing us through the circumstances than he is in changing our circumstances.

Every circumstance affords a choice of response. Every time a circumstance of life attempts to do you in, think of all the choices available to you. When faced with the misfortunes of terrible circumstances such as loss of a job, you can choose to put your natural talent endowments to fruitful use or whine your way to hopelessness.

Take control over how you respond to circumstances that seem to darken your life. Many through adversity have soared to heights of lasting success. Given your limiting circumstances, recognize your choices and act on them.

We do not on the most part determine the circumstances we find ourselves in, but we can choose the best response. Instead of being victimized by our circumstances, we can choose to make the most out of them.


Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 01, Issue 25: Pick your Associations

We all have heroes. Who are the people you look up to for inspiration? Who are the people whose work turns on a million bulbs within your soul?

I thought that peer pressure was just for teen years until I realized that influence is no respecter of age. It never ceases to work in spite of how much we advance in years. Our outlook in life is largely influenced by those we closely relate with.

Whose company are you keeping? Who is influencing who you are becoming? We become like those we associate with. If we observe intently, we will notice that we hardly ever surpass the level of those closest to us.

Keep the company of people who motivate you and nudge you on. Keep away from those who disparage your ambition and pull you down.

Build relationships with people who model the growth you want. As you associate with like-minded people, you will find yourself wanting to win your own race. John C. Maxwell advises that if you want to grow up, go up. Associate with people whose achievements exceed your own and model the growth you desire.


Lillian Chebosi

 

Volume 01, Issue 24: Build on the Best you Have

Do we know what our natural abilities are? Do we believe that our strengths would make a difference? Our very make up draws us to certain things and repels us from others. This confirms that each of us is wired to do certain things exceptionally well.

The absence of belief in our strengths and the pressure to improve our fault lines keep us busy patching up cracks; to be at least good, if not average at everything we do. And we label this self development.

Self development is about improving our strengths, not our weaknesses. We can only go so far in trying to improve our weaknesses. We should make the most use of our strengths by focusing on what we can be great at and leave the things we are only good at to those who are great at them.

Fixing our weaknesses isn’t the way to go. We would never be great by patching up our weaknesses, because we could never be the best at them regardless of how much we improve. However, there’s endless room for improvement when it comes to developing our strengths.

We set the standards for excellence ourselves when play to our strengths. We engage in a higher level of competition where we move from competing with others, to competing with ourselves. We strive to outdo ourselves.

Build on your strengths and manage around your weaknesses. We grow most where we are already strong. Our weaknesses will never become our areas of greatest opportunity. This does not mean that we ignore our weaknesses but we need not spend immoderate amounts of time trying to convert them into strengths. They will never be. I am persuaded to believe that we ought to be overly concerned with our weaknesses only if they are the kind that affect our character, or if they stand in the way of our strengths.

Personal development is building on the best you have; your strengths, not your weaknesses. Dare to go against the grain and play to your strengths. Believe in your natural abilities and work hard at developing them into finely polished competencies; and make your contribution to the world with them.


Lillian Chebosi

 

Volume 01, Issue 23: The Power of Habits

What do we think of at the mention of the word habit? Bad behavior, isn’t it? Habits are associated with destructive behaviour. However, the principle of habit formation applies to both good and bad behavior.

The actions that we take over and over again become habits over time. Research has shown that it takes about thirty days to develop a new habit. By then the daily routine becomes a habit.

We are not at the mercy of habits. Habits are at our command. It is up to us how we use them; whether for gain or ruin. Depending on how we choose to use it, a habit is a great helper or a heavy burden.

Habit is the servant of great men and women; the servant of failures as well. It will push you onward or drag you to failure. Successful people employ healthy habits to propel them on the road of continuous improvement. Failures take bad habits for granted and find themselves incarcerated by them, leading to despair and disdain.

We make our habits, and then our habits make or break us. Habits are either the best servants or the worst enemies. Be easy with habit and you will live to regret it. Be firm with habit and it will get you ahead of the average person.
 
Growth is sustained by good habits. Though motivation gets you started on the journey of growth, it wears out with time. It is good habits that keep you going. Habits make good virtues almost instinctive. Develop good habits and reap the benefits thereof.

As once said by Aristotle, we are what we repeatedly do. The honours is then on us to identify best practices and do them repeatedly until they become habits.

Heighten your good habits and alter your limiting ones. Are you struggling to break a bad habit? Begin by appreciating that it takes a habit to break a habit. Destructive habits don’t just go away; they must be replaced with constructive ones.


Lillian Chebosi

 

Volume 01, Issue 22: Sustained Growth

Why do we need to grow? Shouldn’t we be satisfied with the things that preoccupy our days? Is growth necessary? We need to grow in order to serve humanity. Our goal in growth should be to find our niche and use it in the service of others. Since we can only give what we possess, we have to develop ourselves before we can begin to develop others.

What is the best area for us to pursue growth in? What will meet the greatest need? It is in the area of our strengths. Each of us should pursue growth in what we have the potential to be great at. This is our area of contribution to the world.

To grow we must first discover what we were built for and develop it. These are the few things we can be great at. How do we know what we can be great at? Clues to our purpose can be found in our strengths, in the things that annoy us most when they go wrong in the world, and in what we are passionate about.
 
We will not have sustained growth until we know our purpose. Without this knowledge, we find ourselves trying to do everything, thus dividing our focus and spreading out our energies too thin. But when we know our purpose, we abandon all pursuits that we are not fitted for and focus growth in our area of greatness. When we prioritize according to our purpose, we find ourselves making a difference.

We cannot be great at everything. Although we all possess the propensity to do many things well, there are only a few things that we can do exceedingly well. Those few things are the ones we are to focus our energies to attain growth in.

As the former British Prime Minister William Gladstone once said, a wise man wastes no energies in pursuits for which he is not fitted; and he is wiser still if from among the things he can do well, chooses and resolutely follows the best. Find what you are great at and pursue growth in it.


Lillian Chebosi