I found the perfect analogy for being in halftime transition. Locker room. Thanks to a workshop I attended last Sato in my church run by the Halftime Institute. This institute was formed by Bob Buford (author of the book Half Time) and is based in the US. Its mandate is to help folks transitioning from a life of success to significance. Mathilda, who is a halftime certified coach from Halftime Institute South Africa, took us though the workshop.
It’s funny how life hands you what you need just at the right time. Three years ago at the onset of my halftime manenos I reached out to the Halftime Institute with the aim of inviting them to Kenya to run their workshop. They didn’t respond to me so I let it go. Bob Buford passed away a few months ago and I owe him hugely for being a lamp post on my halftime journey through his books. You died empty Bob, by pouring into many lives all the content God put in you. May you enjoy your well-deserved eternal rest. I hope someone can say that about me when I earn my angel wings.
Last month, my pal Alex who put this training together, tells me that Halftime Institute SA has contacted him and are willing to come do a workshop in Nairobi. Yaani even without my involvement, these guys are in Nairobi and I am the moderator for the event. In addition, Mathilda said she wanted to come in 2014 but it wasn’t the right time. How cool and divine is that timing. 2014 was the year I turned 40 but the training waits to come here four years later. It’s like she was waiting for me to get confused enough to be ready for the task.
Last Saturday was the first time I spent a full Sato in church. I had more fun than being on the golf course and got what I felt was a sneak preview of my future. I interviewed Mathilda on her halftime journey as an icebreaker before the session began. She has a background in IT and now serves to help young people from humble backgrounds achieve their potential.
Halftime struck her at 45 and it took her seven years to get clear on how to spend her second half. She referred to that period as being in the locker room. I’m sure in this World Cup season most of us can relate. First half is over at 45 minutes and second half is about to start. Teams have to strategize on how to win the match. Irrespective of the score, what worked in first half may not help much in second half if they are to finish strong.
I found that a very long time to be in that place of nothingness. Seven years. Kwani God was working in slow motion. On the other hand I was consoled that it’s normal for me to have been in Nothingness County for the last three years and counting. I was getting restless because of feeling stuck but I now realise you can’t harakisha the process of being prepared to live a life full of significance.
Folks, I know you may be feeling stuck and getting more fidgety as the days go by. Just like in soccer, what you decide in that locker room will determine to a large degree if you win or lose the match of life. Of course in life there are no guarantees but you have to plan and commit to something for success to come within striking distance.
Mathilda is now living a life full of significance. Living for her is like waking up to a bash each day. Her family and work relations are rich, chums are sorted and she’s getting the best return on her investment, which is impacting lives positively. In hindsight, that seven-year wait feels like seven months in light of the huge impact she is having in her sphere of influence. She is leaking and leaving significance everywhere she goes.
For me, she was like an assistant coach who sneaked into my locker room and disclosed a weakness in my opponent that I should exploit. For the first time I was able to start wording my personal mission statement. This is writing down what my mission in life is going forward. That cleared the fog a great deal. Being on that stage with Mathilda felt like a convergence of my competence and passion. That’s where true living exists and that’s where I want to spend my second half.
If we spend our time in the locker room peeping outside the window at what others are doing in the stadium of life, we waste precious time. Instead we should be working on our second half strategy and taking stock of first half. Imagine how fatal our second half would be if time’s up in the locker room and we run into the pitch bila mpango or direction. I refuse to be that clueless player. Let’s all strive to occupy our space fully and play attack more than defence in the second half. This clarity will most likely come together in the locker room if we remain focused there, introspect, do what we can and grow our faith. Oh and sometimes we just need to be still in the locker room for a while before we go back out.
But let’s not be there longer than we should lest we get disqualified for not showing up and lose the match altogether. Folks, however long your locker room session seems, just remember the second half will be much longer. Be patient, don’t force things, and have faith. When you look back at the end of your second half, it will have been worth the wait.