Eclesiastes reminds us that there is a season for everthing.
A time to be born and a time to die a
A time to plant and a time to uproot
A time to kill and a time to heal
A time to tear down and a time to build
A time to weep and a time to laugh
A time to mourn and a time to dance
This week as I celebrate my birthday, let this be a time for reflection, gratefulness, and celebration of family and love.
A few things about me:
I am not a best-selling author.
Having this label means one day you are the top of the heap. That being said, you can say that you a 'best-selling' author.
I didn't do TEDx.
TEDx self-selects those that will be in front of the audience.
I am not in a millionaire/billionaire league.
This is the worst league to be in when you don't have a message just the monies to throw around.
I am not a PhD.
Having a PhD doesn't make you successful, smart, and happy.
I am not covered by Fast Company, New Times Journal, Time Magazine, etc.
Being covered by those media companies is great but it is more an icing to the cake.
I am not voted 43 out of 45.
Who gets to do that? Those people that are looking for more subscriptions.
I am not in the whos' who list.
You pay your way in there.
I am not in the Speakers bureau.
You have to audition and they get a cut out of your hard-earned work.
I am not in the YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter ad.
Trolling in those media is not what by clients do.
I am not a podcaster, TV or media host sensation.
Buying your way into this business is a sure sign you are in deep trouble.
I didn't speak with Deepak Chopra, Tim Robbins, or Michelle Obama on stage.
Having shared a stage with these personalities does not make you effective, relevant, and truly amazing.
Who has this profile? Thousands of people claiming to be a celebrity expert, author, blogger, marketer, consultant, etc.
But who am I?
I help organizations and individuals achieve organizational excellence.
I mentor many people from different parts of the world.
I am a community collaborator and builder.
I navigate many spaces and interesting networks that I enjoy learning from and giving value.
I have a lot of friends in many industries and sectors.
I am a global person with deep roots in communities.
I love to travel and enjoy cultural and psychological aspect of it.
I believe that you can make it anywhere.
Genes and your upbringing contribute to your resilience and grit.
I love my family, neighbors, friends and church.
I love to share my insights, lessons, and knowledge to those that are ready to hear.
I believe in the honest-to-goodness decency and goodness of people.
I believe in values, virtues, and principles to live by.
Being real is not hiding behind these labels and approval sheets that can be manufactured overnight. Being real is knowing that you can make a difference in real-world and in real-time to real people.
So tell me, who has the real worth, the fabricated sense of self or the real self?
My family went to an antique festival the other week and met some interesting people. One of that was the balloon lady who was hired to provide balloon entertainment to children.
I had a conversation with her briefly because she was prolific in what she was doing. Apparently with one masters, it didn't work for me so she is taking another masters which this particular job is paying for.
Two masters and you can't get a decent job in your line of profession is tragic. It speaks about how education is not in-line with the needs of the economy and how young people are victimized by this thinking that when you get a higher education, you automatically are good for life!
I asked her with all the knowledge that she had (knowledge is power right?) she can build a business and say no to a 9-5 routine and get herself established. She said, "but I love living in a student dorm."
I understand the love for learning if this is your thing but clearly, this is the case of failure-to-launch, staying for the comfort of the educational system and fearing to venture out in the unknown and flexing your muscles or bruising your body to a certain extent to get to what you want. I have met some people who stayed in universities for the longest time they want because out-there is too disorganized and chaotic.
In life and business, to stay where you are is never an option. You need to step boldly into the what constitutes the next feasible and achievable progress for your personal and professional development. Failure to try to win is an abominable state of affairs.
Knowledge alone is not power. The creative and innovative use of knowledge is power. This is not textbook knowledge but application of knowledge for human progress is powerful.
This is no wonder, that she can't get past how the university hockey players she is tutoring were amazed that there were textbooks for the tutorial. Well, these varsities are living their dream, though.
I was at the Lacombe Field Day yesterday learning about different crop varieties and the beauty and challenges of raising the "next best" variety that farmers and producers can use. The climate, time of planting, the "best use" are some of the variables that interplay in the selection of the variety that will correspond to the specific needs of the industry, whether they are farmers, processors, investors, seed growers, and end users. Agronomy is not for the faint of heart.
Surrounded by scientists, agronomists, farmers, students, and industry leaders, one session leader asked, "you want high yield, high protein content, maturity, stability, good disease package, then, you want it all. You can't have it all. What are you willing to lose?
We can't have it all, although pop culture, movies, songs, and fiction books parade a cornucopia of pipe dreams that are only good for watching.
There is no such thing as a spectator in life and business. There are clear choices and options you must make. What are your musts and what are your wishes? Learn to distinguish them in your important negotiations and decisions.
Sam Walton's (Made in America: My Story) rule No:10 is Swim upstream.
"Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody else is doing it one way, there's a good chance you can find your niche by going in exactly the opposite direction. But be prepared for a lot of folks to wave you down and tell you you're headed in the wrong way."
He built the first discount store in a town with less than 50,000 population and from 1 to 8 to hundred stores in US, and now in North America and overseas. He totally proved a lot of skeptics wrong and made the competitors baffled. Walmart is truly an American success story.
Reflecting on his life and experiencing the sickness brought by cancer, he bemoaned, "I don't know that anybody else has ever done it quite like me: started out as pure neophyte, learned his trade, swept the floor, rung the cash register, installed the fixtures, remodeled the stores, built the organization, etc."
It takes a lot of courage to swim upstream, where there are less pathways made out for the traveller. Beware of the people that you listen to and seek counsel with, a wrong advice can bring down faster down the drain. Commit to your enterprise and wholeheartedly believe that it will happen for you.
In Asia, bamboos abound. In the place where I grew up, bamboos grow everywhere.
We always equate bamboo with resilience in the context of stormy winds, hurricanes, strong rains and floods. It is very strong but it's strength doesn't come from resisting those natural forces but being able to bend but not break. Once the storm is over, these bamboos could snap back to its form, no problem.
For businesses people and executives suffering from small crisis to big upheavals, how is your resilience level? Do you snap back after a personal crisis, a sickness, losing a loved one, losing a job, getting fired, or just an unexpected turn of events in your life and career? These crises are catastrophic and any person can be physically, emotionally, and psychologically debilitated by these events.
Take note, resilience doesn't mean you don't feel pain or suffer from it. It just means that you can recover from any challenges quickly and become a better person in the process. It means taking all the challenges as fuel for the next level of personal growth and accomplishment. It means owning up your part of the problem without assigning blame, feeling resentment, and being bitter about the situation.
When we bend, we don't break. We let things go, things that we cannot control and let it takes its own course. The bending is for our betterment and this is not a sign of cowardice or timidity or weakness, but a sign of wisdom and great sense of balance and inward strength. As the cliché goes, 'this too shall pass.'
What do you think?