re you ready for defiance? That word when uttered, whether by the opposition politicians or by a group of Jews going against all odds during the Holocaust, it elicits passion. The truth of the matter is that in politics, those who dared do a defiance, from countries all over the world, did it at some price. I remember in Kenya people like James Orengo, Reverend Timothy Njoya, Professor Kivutha Kibwana and many others were clobbered by the incumbent Government because they defied status quo and championed for economic and political reforms.
Who would have guessed that Kenya as a country would one day have a political space opened and the playing field leveled? Who would have known the kind of potential that the country had? Yet that potential could have laid dormant for decades…unless somebody rose up and said, “There has got to be a better way…we are much better than this”.
Take a look at your life right now. Did you know that it is so easy to settle? It is so easy to “follow our fathers’ footsteps”…and yet each generation has been assigned as specific task to perform in its time. We cannot repeat what our parents did. We must be better. We have massive potential to explore and exploit. If we will not sit down, wait and settle, we can push ourselves to levels untold in order to harness that potential.
See what is happening in your life today. Look at your family, your economics, your businesses (if any), your influence (if any)…what is different from your ancestors? Crazy enough, there are some people who had ancestors whose actions still reverberate till today…but the sorriest thing you will find is that these people have settled down to the mundane…eating three square meals a day and finding a way to pay bills. What a drudgery! I always ask…why is it that if we wanted to find great souls in life, we for the most part have to go way back in history to fish them out by the handfuls?
No, we must defy the status quo. We must rise up and have something birthed inside of us that says,
“No! There has gotta be more to life that this…more to life than what I am experiencing at the moment!”
The truth is that there will always be something that we can do to improve. There is always something new we can start, something existing that we can strengthen. But how in the world would we know these two critical aspects of life?
In order to fully fulfill your God-given potential, you will need to be aware of the fact that comfort and the present frontier is not enough. You have to be aware of the fact that settling was never your calling. Like an eaglet ready to fly, we have to be aware that we will need new frontiers over and over again in life. Here is how:
There are millions of people who are living daily, monthly and even yearly, not having done any introspection, any review to know how far they have come, what has worked, what has failed and what needs to change! I believe it was Jim Rohn who said:
“A life not reviewed is not worth living”
And Oh! How so true. Why would a human being be content with what they have? Why would a human being live daily as if they have eternity here on earth? Eternity is coming, yes, but before that, our time is limited. “We have not inherited the earth from our grandfathers, but we have borrowed it from our grandsons”
Martin Luther King Jnr said it this way:
“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there “is” such a thing as being too late. This is not tie for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action”
Without the review, we shall never have the “fierce urgency of the now” as MLK put it. Let’s learn to review our days, weeks, months, quarters, and years…and I am not talking about business reviews here…I am talking about Personal Reviews of life. How have we appeared today, last week, last month? Are we on track? This is how we get information about our potential.
“Most of us have never met ourselves…we are afraid of ourselves. The real self is the one they taught you to suppress”
~ Dr. Myles Munroe
It turns out that feedback from other people can give you incredible insight on what your potential is… and specifically what you need to focus on in order to maximize it. I talked about critics in a previous post. These guys can be toxic and if you were wishy washy, whey would shut you down and send you to a grave of inactivity. However, there is a time to listen, weight the “criticism” and take in the feedback from other people. For the most part, you could never thank people enough for giving you that feedback. It is fodder for doing better. My greatest revivals have always been when someone pointed out how bad I did something. My heart has been struck and convicted at times largely because of someone’s input.
For a business for example, the worst thing that could ever happen is when a dissatisfied customer goes without giving them feedback. The best is when that customer throws tantrums and rants about how bad they have been treated. That feedback is great. If taken and used, chances are that the potential of that business will be greatly stretched and enhanced.
These are guys that professional athletes use strategically to help them perform better, win a championship or even break a record. I wrote about this here. In our case, a pace maker could be a mentor, or an individual who is doing what we wish to do. When we compare ourselves with them, we can learn quite a bit and get forced to explore our potential. Footballers (soccer) have idols that they look up to. They measure themselves by that high standard of a legend. That is what we need to do too. No, I am not talking about copying TD Jakes’ hollering and whipping a towel and whipping his sweat off during public speaking. I am talking about impact, methods, spirit, effort and heart.
I think technology can really help us explore our gifts, talents and potential to a greater degree. With technology, our reach is expanded at an even lower cost and effort. However, with innovation, we find better ways to do things and stay relevant. In fact, potential is smack in the middle of the innovation equation. At times a new way of doing things is simply digging deeper into your potential to harness it.
We have asked previously: When is the last time you embraced discomfort? The reason why you are having that flab issue is because you are comfortable. Period. Nothing else can excuse you from what you are facing in terms of your physical fitness or lack of it thereof. I saw a gymnasium in Kampala town dubbed, “University of Pain”, I smiled to myself and drew a thumbs up for them. What a name. Discomfort is the process throw which we grow, mature and venture into the unknown. The more we venture into the unknown, the more we exploit our potential.
Maximizing potential is inherently connected to how I spend my time. This is also directly connected to:
I never saw someone who maximized their potential by being disorganized. If anything, disorganization makes you lose time, drive, focus and productivity. That is why I have always advocated for weekly plans each week.
I believe that if we did the above in an consistent basis, we shall be able to fully explore our God-given potential. Over to you. Are you ready for defiance?