It is the start of the new year. This means many things for many people – new resolutions, endless plans, firm decisions. We are all caught in the rat race of perceiving the end of December and the beginning of January to be superior periods to the rest of the year; we perceive that if we can get it right in that resolution-making period, then we will be successful with the succeeding 12 months. Thankfully, we are wise enough to know that there is only partial sense in that, but we haven’t all quite figured out the actual keys to success in a new year.
Many people in different corners of the world will be waking up this morning dreading the thought of resuming work, school or personal endeavours that took a break over the yuletide season; for those people, the year is already half miserable. Approaching tasks with a deflated mindset is one of the quickest drainers of success and motivation. Not many people in the world are privileged to do things which they really love, and for those people, making resolutions and drafting plans are only additions to their intrinsic motivation for success. On the other hand, millions of people drag themselves through life in the hope that they will stumble on something that ‘works for them’ – those are the ones who make endless resolutions year-in year-out with paltry success.
Can it be then that everything begins and ends in the mind? Are we underestimating the power of a right mindset? Can we wake up with enthusiasm about the things which we are privileged to do, whether or not we find ultimate satisfaction with those things? Can we count ourselves favoured to be able to afford an education (any kind of education) when millions of others have no such privileges? Can we be thankful for the opportunity to work and earn incomes (regardless of quality), when the global unemployment rate seems to grow faster than most national GDPs? Can we look on our abilities, gifts, talents and skills and count ourselves among the few who are as endowed as we are? Can we change our mindsets about the things we do, and speak positively in 2015?
Success is not too far from the person who sees the right things even when things aren’t right. Cultivate the right perspective – focus on the things that are, and work towards the things that can be. 2015 could be your best year yet, but much of that lies in your mindset. Let’s get to work! I wish you all that you wish yourself in this blessed year!
Every single day is a gift, but it is not very often that such a humbling thought stays front and centre of a person’s consciousness. I am tremendously blessed to be able to spend most of my days doing things that bring me the utmost pleasure and satisfaction. I am also immensely privileged to have a truly global community of friends and mentors who look out for me and help steer me in profitable paths. Above all, I have God who is my source and my sustenance and whose providence alone is the reason I exist to do the many things that I do.
The year 2014 went by like a breeze; it began and ended almost in the snap of a finger. So much happened in 2014 that I can barely enumerate, but I am deeply aware of the blessings of the year. I am exceedingly thankful for the opportunities that came my way in the year – the opportunity to work and earn a living, the opportunity to interact with inspiring persons from all over the world, the opportunity to break new grounds in travel and achievement, the opportunity to see new lands and climes, the opportunity to inspire and encourage hundreds (maybe thousands) of young and old people in multiple countries, the opportunity to connect and reconnect with family, the opportunity to live in good health and conduct my activities in perfect sanity.
Looking back on 2014, I feel a deep-seated sense of satisfaction for the amazing results recorded, yet I feel a sense of anxiousness about the next steps. I have always perceived the year 2015 to be a pivotal year for me – a year in which I will love to have many things figured out. I believe 2015 is the year in which I need to find my feet and have clarity about many things about the future. I do not feel much pressure to be any particular thing to any particular set of people, yet I know that I will love to have answers to many things. In all these, I am happy to patiently wait for inspiration and guidance before moving.
I am highly privileged to be able to make contributions to the task of developing the next generation of African leaders through my work at African Leadership Academy (ALA) in Johannesburg, South Africa, particularly through the ALA Model African Union conference which I pioneered two years ago to educate young global leaders about the intricacies of diplomacy and development on our continent. I am really excited about my upcoming work with the Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) headquartered in Washington, DC where I have just been appointed to the International Advisory Board. I am delighted about the progress made on Passion to Profession (P2P), an innovative career development platform which I am developing with some colleagues. I am tremendously excited about sharing ideas with the world through written articles, speeches delivered at conferences and private meetings in 2015; I am excited about meeting many new people, seeing many new lands and generating revolutionary new ideas.
With so much excitement and so much gratitude, I can’t shake the feeling that there is something incredibly mind-blowing just ahead of me. I can’t hide my joy at the realization that I don’t know all that lies ahead of me in 2015. I sense that 2015 will prove to be as pivotal a year as I believe it will be, and I look forward to heartily sharing as much detail of these developments as I possibly can as the days roll by.
I sincerely pray that this year will usher in an era of peace, prosperity and development for everyone around the world and that all peoples will learn to evolve gracefully and with as little rancour as possible. Be blessed in 2015! It will be a great year!