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Develop Your Resourcefulness!

It’s not resources but resourcefulness that ultimately makes the difference.” Tony Robbins

Being resourceful is extremely important to making progress in life. Resourcefulness is defined as: The ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties. Many like to complain and find fault than being resourceful with what they have. You often hear people saying, “One day when I have such and such, I’ll…” So, their lives are on hold, they are waiting while time is not.

I’m taken way back when we were kids playing out on the streets. I personally never owned a toy, I mean any toy or a soccer ball that my parents bought me. Well, I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t privileged enough to have these nice things, toys and all, there were many of us. Our parents were focused on more serious things than “luxuries”. Few items that would without fail make a grocery list were: A 90Kg bag of mielie meal, 10kg bag of samp or rice, a bag of cabbages, a bag of potatoes, a crate of tomatoes, 5L of cooking oil and very few other items.

Once the mielie meal was finished, the bag would then be cut out into small pieces to make dish washing cloths and few other things for kitchen use; samp or rice bags would be used as carry bags and school bags; green cabbage bags would be cut out and be used to clean pots and other kitchen utensils, to scrub the floors and each other’s back when bathing. We used cooking oil when Vaseline petroleum jelly was finished. We used empty cooking oil containers as motor cars with empty polish cans as wheels and cement bricks would be used as motor cars as well. We used our voices to mimic car sounds and this would create a lively atmosphere. We stuffed plastic bags with cloths to make soccer balls. Oh man! We would form the convoy as boys and drive around the township with our cars and forgot that we didn’t have much, at that moment, we had everything, we were never bored. That is an example of being resourceful. Resourcefulness comes with improvisation. When you are resourceful, you are always coming up with ideas to improve your life. In fact, I don’t remember us complaining about what we didn’t have, we knew we didn’t have it and had accepted the situation which opened doors to creativity, resourcefulness, and improvisation. We were always looking for interesting things to do and the questions were always around, “what can I use this for and how can I use it?” Now, people are disconnected from this kind of thinking, they’re just waiting for things to happen.

It’s so sad seeing so many people chasing more and more academic qualifications in search of a better life and yet they can’t even use or apply basic knowledge acquired. There has never been a time in human history where information was ever so freely available, people are overwhelmed with. Having too many resources at your disposal without using them or having a knowledge of using them is as good as not having them.

Resourcefulness is all about using the most out of what you have. A resourceful person can see opportunity when others only see obstacles. A resourceful person knows that now is not the time to think of what you do not have but what you can do with what is available. Beulah Henry once said, “if necessity is the mother of invention, then resourcefulness is the father.” Oh, I love that and I fully agree with it. This saying means that if you really need to do something, you’ll think of a way to do it, instead of waiting and complaining about everything that doesn’t go your way.

How do you develop this life changing quality/mindset – Resourcefulness:

  1. Be creative. If a snake were to attack you and you had no option to run away, would you just stand there, scream and let it bite you and instead say, “If I had a stick, I would defend myself!” Or you would take off your hat, cap, shoe, belt or whatever you could use to defend yourself? Now, this is the example of resourcefulness.
  2. Be open-minded. Embrace different possibilities. Be willing to find value in the people, events and things you come across.
  3. Don’t take things personally and never see yourself as a victim, take charge.
  4. Learn from your past. Try to connect with your childhood. For me, I draw a lot of inspiration from what I used to do with the little that I had at my disposal. Connecting with that part of me that was resourceful and creative reassures me and instils me with confidence that I’m more than capable.
  5. Watch MacGyver series

Life doesn’t always hand us solutions to go with the problems we encounter. Being resourceful means solving problems with what you have and doing more with less. Listening and reading other people’s stories and situations and connecting with your childhood days will spark some good ideas for you to deal with many situations whenever they arise. You have greatness with you, unleash it!

Veli Ndaba is a Professional and Motivational Speaker, Life-Coach and Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner, Author of four books (You Are Born to Win, Your Dream is Calling You and SWITCH ON! And Set Your Soul On Fire!), Newspaper Columnist and Entrepreneur. To book him to speak at your next event or to help you and your team unleash your greatness, contact him on , or +27 83 304 9773