Stirring your Greatness

Welcome to 2020! I have been thinking of an area of life I can influence this year through sharing ideas and providing a platform for conversations.  In 2018 I authored a book on embracing positivity titled “The Negativity Fast” whereas in 2019 I focused on my Christian walk as I went through a one year program – The Leadership Bootcamp at the Fearless Institute (Mavuno Church).  You can get the book on request and the blogs on my Christian walk can be found on the blog post https://genevamusau.home.blog/ 

This year I will feature some of the most commonly asked Career Growth questions.

Q: Going after one’s passion or pursuing a career – is it a case of having what you love or learning to love what you have?

A: This is an interesting question.  It is very much like the proverbial question: Do you fall in love at first sight or does love grow over time?  For me, it could be either really, what matters is that there is evidence of love in the relationship and how it came about is an unnecessary detail.

If you don’t enjoy what you do day in and day out for several years, you are really trading your life for money and you could do yourself a lot of harm in the process.  I am not advocating that you must totally love your job and if that is not the case for you to call it quits. However, it is difficult to grow your career in a place where you loathe or a job you hate. You are unlikely to put in your very best or have a good attitude at work. The more likely outcome is that you will just tolerate the job or your employer by going through the motions each day while waiting for the pay cheque – practically checked out and disengaged.  I recently learnt that in many organizations, there are many employees who resigned a long time ago and forgot to hand in the resignation letter! The organization may lose out in the short term but in the long term you are the real loser.

It is very unhealthy to spend your life doing jobs you don’t like, surrounded by people you can’t stand and working for organizations you have no respect for.  It could easily be compared to someone taking small doses of poison and expecting someone else, in this case the organization, to suffer the consequences. When you finally wake up one day and find yourself on a redundancy list, you should not imagine that the organization is being unfair to you – they peeked into your drawer and caught a glance at your yet to be handed in resignation letter.

In case I have not convinced you (yet) as to why you should find ways to love your job, let me share with you why doing a job you don’t enjoy is not good for you.

  • It takes the joy out of your life.  Given the large amount of time we spend at work, going through the motions at the work place turns the job in to a routine job that does not in any way fuel your enthusiasm.  You become just like a lamp that is slowly running out of kerosene – it will eventually go off. And if you are familiar with this kind of a lamp the wick will eventually burn out creating a lot of smoke; not a good scent and a real irritation to those in the same room.
  • You are likely to burn out.  When you engage in a job that you don’t enjoy, it is like a chore – given a choice you would not do it.  It is just like being served a large bowl of a dish you don’t enjoy and being forced to clear it. At the beginning you can tolerate it but as you proceed you just can’t stomach it.  You get bloated and feel sick. You feel like stopping at any cost. Unfortunately, at this point the likelihood of blowing up, saying the wrong thing, making the wrong decisions and so on is very high.  Save yourself the cost. 
  • You are putting your health on the line.  You are likely to be stressed or experience unexplained pains and aches. You become unfulfilled and at risk of suffering from depression.  Mental health has become very prevalent in today’s World of Work and a big part of this comes from feeling trapped in a job one does not enjoy and fuelled by societal pressure to provide for the family. Dealing with the work issue can offer at least half the solution.  Your health will be the price you pay for staying on this job.
  • You become an absolute pain to be around and people no longer enjoy being in your company because you tend to complain about anything and everything. It is difficult to compartmentalise this behaviour only at the workplace and it is likely to permeate your personal relationships and social life. Are you a complainer or whiner?  See the world the way you would like it to be and solve the problems in your immediate circle. We are each a leader in our own right and behaving like one seals our leadership position. 

Learn to enjoy your current job and if that is not possible, find one that you enjoy.  The effects of being on a job you don’t like are not worth the pay you get for that job.  Choose life!

If you have a career question, leave your question on the comments section and it could form the next blog post.

In 2020, we Soar!

 

 

 

The Half Way Mark: Episode X

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This is the last episode on the half way mark series.  50 life nuggets that I believe will serve me very well in my remaining life journey. God willing, at age 75, I plan to do a further 25 nuggets that will have characterised the lessons during the additional leg.

Continue reading “The Half Way Mark: Episode X”

The Half Way Mark: Episode IX

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This is that point when I start asking myself, must the nuggets be 50? Can’t they be less?  Then I recall that the number was in respect to my marking the Jubilee – 50 years of life. I am grateful that I even entertained the idea to carry out this reflection let alone go through the process.  I am committed to finishing after all one of the assessments I did in the past classified me as a starter/finisher. I love starting new things and also cherish seeing them to completion so I guess this is a non-negotiable. 

Continue reading “The Half Way Mark: Episode IX”

The Half Way Mark: Episode VIII

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I am truly grateful that I embarked on this exercise of documenting my lessons from the 50 years of life.  It is an exercise I would recommend to everyone. As I review each nugget I reflect on how the lesson came about and how it has impacted my life. Some of the nuggets fill me with joy while others remind me of a tough season in life.  Either way, they have served me well.

Some more nuggets:

Continue reading “The Half Way Mark: Episode VIII”

The Half Way Mark: Episode III

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In the last 2 blogs I have been documenting some of the key lessons I have gathered throughout my life.  I turned 50 this year and thought it would help if I reflected on my journey and pen down what will take me through the next 50.

The last 6 nuggets were:

  • Thoughts become Things
  • You have the power to create your future
  • You can’t give God
  • Close doors gently
  • We each lead with our strengths
  • Learn to ask; the worst response you can get is a No!

 

 

A few more nuggets from my life journey.

 

  • When you are ready for the worst that can happen; you are unstoppable. The reason we fall short of the goals we set up is because we are often too risk averse.  We are better at counting losses, many that never ever materialise, than we are at noticing the possible upsides of any endeavour.  This is because the perceived losses naturally take the most attention. The idea is to come to terms with the worst that can happen then forge forward.

Think Wangari Mathai – no amount of hair pulling could deter her from defending the environment or indeed Uhuru Park.  Those of us still protecting our hair can only stand aside and admire her Nobel Peace Prize. What about Nelson Mandela or Martin Shikuku or even Eliud Kipchoge? What are we willing to pay the ultimate price for? That is the Success Ceiling we have placed on ourselves.

  • Life is all about Kidney recipients. If I ask you who is likely to offer you a kidney if you are ailing or who you would willingly offer one of your kidney in a time of dire need what would be your response? Those are your Kidney recipients.  I urge you to list them down today and remember to treat them with the care they deserve. They are carrying your donor kidney for all you know.

Other people will contribute for your medical bills or even your funeral and extend a huge loan or fund you for free but when it comes to kidneys, very few make the cut.  Now that you know this, how are you treating your kidney recipients and indeed donors? It’s coming to the close of the year. Remember your kidney recipients!

  • Forgiveness is the best gift to self. I don’t know if you love receiving gifts.  Here is one you ought to extend to yourself preferably every day.  I learnt this the hard way. I believed, like many of you probably, that I had been short-changed in life by people who ought to have championed my cause. The bitterness manifested in the inside and cost me dearly health wise.

When I made up my mind to let go, I realised I was the biggest beneficiary.  Although the effects of the inner imploding with un-forgiveness still fester today, I can see signs of some reversals.  I got here because I felt entitled to an apology that in most cases I am still waiting for. Forgiving others, self and God is something I have come to appreciate.  Try it and you will reap the benefit of a peaceful inner state of mind and spirit.

  • Whatever time you wake up is your morning. All the things you normally do when you wake up do them without regret.  Shower, dress up, make your bed, have a meal…follow your routine. You are now awake.  Now apply this in life. Being in the Human Resource profession, I have heard many people say they wish they had known something earlier and that their life would have turned out better.

My proposal is that this is the appointed time.  There is never a delay in “waking up”, start that business, go back to school, visit that friend, call your family for a gathering, give more, pray often…do that which you ought to have been doing before, now.  There was and is no better time than today.

  • Religion is man’s invention. Relationship is what God is after. Every religion without any exception is a quest to connect and appease a higher power.  Be it the traditional African Religions, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Shintoism and others. Religion is full of do’s and don’ts but what God is after is a relationship. This realization by itself has changed how I interact with people of different persuasions.  One is no better because they belong to one religion or another; the issue is how has that changed their life?

What stands out because you are a Hindu, a Christian? Can people see the Kingdom of God in you?  If not you are not representing God appropriately irrespective of your religious persuasion. Relationship is what changes life’s not religion.

Look out for the next blog and share your life lessons with the rest of us so we can learn and grow together.  Blessings!

The Half Way Mark: Episode II

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In case you missed my last blog, I am documenting the key lessons I have gathered throughout my life.  Yes, I turned 50 this year and I am appreciative of the journey and the goodness of God. Seems like I left College just the other day but no…I have been working for the last 28 years so my memories may have been frozen in time.  Sharing the lessons is an attempt to unfreeze and reflect on the journey this far.

Continue reading “The Half Way Mark: Episode II”