Keep pressing forward, the sun will rise again
I wish to dedicate this piece to anyone at crossroads, anyone feeling lost and low, anyone trying to pursue their dreams but hitting a roadblock, any person on the verge of giving up hope…My message to you is, hold on just a little longer, take one more step, your breakthrough is around the corner.
I now know that the nature of life is such that it’s not a straight path, it has its twists and turns, its highs and lows, basically the seasons keep changing. At one point you are ploughing the land, then sowing, watering, harvesting…etc. and having grown up on the farm, I clearly understand these steps. But as fate would have it, sometimes the harvest is very low and not commensurate with the work you put in. What do you do when you don’t see desired results after hard work?
From personal experience, I can confirm that difficult seasons come to refine our character, deepen our faith, strengthen our resolve and give us a chance to do things differently. Let me share one or two stories with you – 2015 was a great year for me in so many ways (story for another day). But in the same breath, it was a year with many tests – I received over 50 regrets to applications for funding for my organization.
In fact, some applications were never responded to. My colleagues and I, lost our furniture and office space, but did we give up? NO! We are still pressing on and in fact, we are scaling up our mentorship programs this year! And in a different story, after serving as the Chair to one of the Boards in the country and hitting a dead end in terms of what my team and I could achieve, we made the difficult decision to let go and move on to other things in life.
This was one of the most difficult experiences for me as a leader, yet it turned out to have provided me some of the greatest life and leadership lessons I now cling to. I am ever grateful for these experiences; they have shaped me for the better. I did not lose my belief that tomorrow would be a better day. I held on to the hope that nothing is permanent and that for as long I can breath, all things are possible. I still hold on to this hope. That 2016 is gonna be a great year!
So, my friend, it doesn’t matter the kind of challenge you are facing, you shall overcome, if you choose to. It’s what is in you that will sustain you. Build your inner power. You will need it.
Some seven lessons I have since picked from the ups and downs of life are;
1. Stay the course and never lose sight of what you want to accomplish – giving up hope is never an option. Persist until you succeed. Always remember that it’s not over until it’s over. Keep walking, take it one day at a time and do what you have to do.
2. Don’t just sit there, do something – you have to take action. Nothing great happens when you just sit and hold back. Belief without action is laziness, shun it because it will take you nowhere. If you do not know, ask. But for heaven’s sake, apply yourself right where you are, however humble.
3. Trust the process – life is a journey and the experiences we go through are meant to prepare and shape us for our destinies. Trust that where you are is where you’re supposed to be.
4. Have a support system – it is important to be plugged into some support system of some kind, like trusted friends and family. They make a big difference, especially those who believe in your capabilities and will push you to attain your potential.
5. Embrace failure – some of the most profound lessons are learnt not in successes and achievements but in failures and setbacks. So failure is not necessarily something bad, in fact, some of the world’s leading icons that changed the course of history experienced some of the “greatest failures” in their lives – Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela … purpose to fail as many times as you can.
6. Pray – this is one of the most important things any person must do. Pray. The more you pray, the more power you possess, and vice versa. This is illustrated so well in the movie: War Room.
7. Take rest – to avoid experiencing burnout and being unproductive, it is paramount that you take rest! Make time for you, with yourself, to rejuvenate and fill your jar again. You cannot give what you do not have. Get fed as well, and be refreshed.
So keep pressing forward, the sun will rise again!