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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

 

 

Volume 01, Issue 20: Elevate your Standards of Excellence

Now that we already set goals at the beginning of the year, it is worth reminding ourselves that goal setting is merely the first part of the journey of success. The larger part of the rest of the journey is goal getting. We must keep striving to attain the objectives we set for ourselves. This calls for being more intentional in the way that we spend our time.

Though planning is crucial, we shouldn’t stop at merely making plans. With the information and experience gained during the implementation stage, we should continually review our plans and carry out midcourse revision of strategy to achieve the set objectives. If we hold ourselves truly accountable, we will find that we can do better than we initially planned, and hence raise the standards.

Place your goals where you can see them on a regular basis. Keep them constantly before you to keep them from slipping out of your mind, and ultimately out of your daily agenda. Looking at your goals constantly increases the chances of attaining them as it provides you with a constant reminder to take action. The more you focus on your plans and seek to improve them, the more you elevate your standards of excellence.

Don’t wait until the end of the year to evaluate how well you have done. Carry out mid-term reviews to see how well you are doing well before it is too late to save the game. This will enable you to realign your priorities based on your performance on the different areas of focus. Assign more effort on the areas you find you are not doing so well at; and manage your focus on the areas you are over achieving, so as to create a balance. Midcourse evaluation also avails us the opportunity to consider threats to our progress and adjust our plans to attain better results.

Standards of excellence are not to be chiseled in stone. They are constantly being refined. It is important to realize that what was graded excellent last year may not be so this year. That is why we keep mastering new skills. Bob Biehl.

Lillian Chebosi

 

Volume 01, Issue 20: What makes you Happy

I have learnt that there is no magical formula to living your dream life. It’s never about having what you want but wanting what you have.

When you get to the point of wanting the life that you have, life becomes bliss. Want the job that you have, the house that you live in, your means of transportation, the life that you have with your family and the gratification you get from the friendships that you have. This way, you are not waiting for something to happen to be happy. You are happy in your present station in life. This does not imply settling for less than you are capable of, but enjoying the process of getting where you want to be.

Happiness is not a future pursuit but a present state of life. We take time to learn from the past and plan for the future, but our primary focus should be on what is happening at the present moment.

It helps to discover yourself and learn what you love most. When you begin to do what you know and love to do, the last thing you will be looking for each day is the sunset. You will want your day to last longer.

Happiness is tied to purposeful living. When your days allow you the opportunity to do the thing that gives you the greatest fulfillment and satisfaction; that thing that draws on your strengths; the thing that when you do you lose the sense of time, become wholly absorbed in and want to do consistently; you won’t help it but be happy.

Doing what you love and loving what you do contribute to getting up excited each day. Build a passion around your preoccupation or find what you are passionate about.

We must also acknowledge that life is not advancement. It is growth. The wins we gain by growing give us happiness. Seek wholesome growth. Outward success may be fleeting and void of happiness, but balanced growth offers an inner sense of fulfillment.

Find happiness in the simple things of life. Life is a chain of moments of enjoyment. Every day, every hour and every minute is special. Do not keep anything for a special occasion. Every day that you live is a special occasion.

Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, won or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude. Dennis Waitley.

Lillian Chebosi

 

Volume 01, Issue 19: Cultivate a Teachable Attitude

A teachable attitude is a must have to grow. We must resist the temptation of thinking that we know all there is know. Nobody knows it all. When we open ourselves to knowledge we realize that there’s always something new to learn.

There’s more to learn beyond your college degree. Apply yourself to a whole new world of knowledge. Keep in mind that it is what you learn after you know it all that counts.

If you are like me you have done a lot of reading and little application. If you can hardly remember the books you have read in the last few months, then you have not been reading that well. Evaluate yourself to find out if the materials you have read have changed you or helped you to grow.

I believe that there’s no point of reading if you are not going to do anything with the material. The whole point of reading is to grow. You may have become knowledgeable from your readings but still lag behind in growth. Growth is largely determined not by how much we know, but how much we reflect upon and apply.

Effective intellectual development involves reading, reflecting and behavioural change. Reading is exercise to the brain. The brain is a muscle and in the same way that our body muscles require exercise, so do our brains. Reading a good material and thinking about the content does wonders for the brain. However, don’t be caught up in the futility of reading everything. Build your personal library around your purpose.

Reflecting is contemplating on what you have read and letting it seethe in your mind. It is only when we reflect upon what we read that we practice quality reading over quantity reading. This is what we want. We don’t want to spend our limited time engaging in inconsequential reading.

True learning takes place when we apply the knowledge we gain from reading and reflecting. This happens when what we have read and reflected upon change our behaviour.

As we apply ourselves to knowledge, let’s commit to apply the timeless principles we glean from books and life experiences. One of our goals in life should be to grow and grow others. If you are to teach anyone anything, you must become a student among students.

Lillian Chebosi

 

Volume 01 Issue 18: Take Responsibility for your Growth

We are not judged by the things we say we will do or by the plans we make to do great things. We are judged by what we actually do. We take the trouble to make great plans and talk about all the things we want to do. But it is only the plans that we implement that count. We blame our stagnation on the circumstances of our lives. We wait for others to discover our untapped potential. We wish to be engaged more so that we can grow. But nobody discovers you. You discover yourself.

As clearly pointed out by Dr. Alfred Mutua in his book on secrets of survival, you are the one who determines your legacy. Nobody will discover you and your potential. You have to do it yourself. You do it by sticking out your neck, by challenging the norm and by exposing yourself to ridicule, failure and predicaments.

If you have waited long enough for a chance to live up to your potential, you have realized that life is a do it yourself project. Your future will be the product of the investment you make in developing yourself today.

Before doing anything great, we have to become it. Self discovery enables us to become. Once you discover your potential, develop your strengths and make yourself ready for approaching opportunities. Don’t wait for opportunities to come in order to prepare. The few who rule the world prepare for the opportunity long before it appears.

When we recognize that we are our most appreciable asset, we approach our work, relationships and recreation with a mindset of growth. Alongside your strengths, develop your staying power as you are bound to encounter setbacks on your journey. Nothing stands in the way of persistence.

The fear of failure keeps us from trying. The thought of the exhaustion of the responsibility of growth keeps us away from the starting point. Overcome your fears and acknowledge that you have to start where you are. Don’t wait to have it all together. Use what you have. Don’t let your shortcomings or what you don’t have keep you from using what is at your command. Push on and take responsibility for your growth.

Lillian Chebosi