Are there times in your life when certain words ring out? It’s like those words wake up, dress up, have breakfast with you and accompany you into the day. At the beginning of this year I wrote about my 2019 word of the year which was (and still is) – Defining. Sometimes the hassle of life makes me forget to align my actions to that word and I go back to status quo of just going through the motions. That is not something I’m proud of but as Ann Landers put it, “At age 20 we worry about others think of us. At 40 we don’t care what they think of us.” So now you know that I’m not as on top of things as I appear to be through my writings. And that’s ok.
I’m at a place where conversations and interactions with people seem to be pre-planned and part of a bigger plan. I feel like my life is a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces are slowly falling into place one by one. I wish it was happening faster, but I’ve come to appreciate that time taken to grow is necessary if that growth will sustain my desired future. In fact, lessons learnt in the desert periods of life keep us grounded when time for accelerated growth comes. Success is not for the faint hearted because many of us change and its usually not for the better. I sum this point up with a forward I received from a friend. It read, “Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere you find yourself.”
There are two words now trending in my life which I consider off shoots of my word for 2019. These two words are favor and wisdom. Sadly, I acquired a negative mindset when I turned 40 because I couldn’t handle all the changes that my desert journey brought along. I became negative and constantly worried about my future which appeared uncertain and bleak then. This year I decided to speak positivity to myself until that negative outlook changes. I needed to shift my mind from worrying about the future to looking forward to it expectantly even when I hadn’t figured it out. I have reinforced this by repeatedly telling myself that this will be a good year, even when I don’t feel it sometimes.
I’m currently at a place where I will need favor for some doors to open. Mr. Chris Malavu, the oldest golfer I’ve played a round of golf with once told me that in life, it’s important to know who has the keys for the door you want opened. In the event you don’t know who has the keys then at least try and find someone who does.
I know my future will be in public service and it will be on a huge scale. I’ve decided that its only big things going forward for me. That’s the trending hashtag in my life. With such an audacious outlook you will agree with me that I will need a healthy serving of favor. I have spoken to a few people whom I believe can be of assistance and so I’m waiting as I continue preparing myself. A word of caution here though folks. Be careful not to share your big dreams with dream stealers. Haters are not in short supply. Robin Sharma describes them as frustrated dreamers. Seek some trusted counsel and add it to your own intuition so as to know who to tell what.
Here is where wisdom comes in. Wisdom is such a critical ingredient at 40 that it has now become more desirable to me than money. That’s huge coming from a kyuk chap. The good book says that my people perish for lack of knowledge. We can safely assume that knowledge and wisdom are first cousins. There are times when my internal police have reminded me of instances where I lacked wisdom in something I did or said. Life-defining opportunities seem to come by so discreetly that without wisdom we are sure to miss them.
The battle for success at 40 seems to be won or lost in the shadows or chini ya maji as we say here in +254. Nothing is as it seems. Last week I shared how I got a cold welcome into a board I was invited to serve another term. Looking back, I think I was still basking in my past outstanding performance. I had naively shared randomly with people how happy I was to be asked to remain on this board thinking that everyone was happy with my appointment.
The rude awakening, I have since discovered was that my appointment didn’t go down well with some people and the bashing I received at the meeting was testament to that. They say hindsight is always 20 / 20. It’s clear as I look back that I lacked wisdom to some degree in how I handled my appointment. Maybe it’s good the chairman gave me that dress down (though unmerited) so that I know how to handle people and situations wisely moving forward.
Folks, I’ve quickly come to learn that most of the times when we get favor on a matter or opportunity, we will need wisdom to maximize on the favor received. And the bigger the favor given to us the bigger the amount of wisdom we shall require. I’m happy my word for this year has produced these two words to reinforce that this will be a good year. Or the year of the bamboo as I prefer to call it. Good people, may wisdom and favor seek you out for the rest of this year and beyond.