“Oh, God, to reach the point of death only to realise you have never lived.” .” Henry David Thoreau
One of my big WHYs is that I don’t want to end up in my rocking chair when I’m 80,90 or 100, God willing, wishing that I would have used my life in a way that I’m proud of. I don’t want to have that conversation with my older self, NO! This is what drives me daily to be the best that I can ever be. That even when things are not going my way or turning out the way I wanted them, I’m able to look at myself in the mirror with pride and dignity that I gave my best. I really don’t want to feel like I squandered my life and regretting things I didn’t do. I made the resolve to pay now and daily the price of discipline than to pay the price of regret later which is too heavy to bear.
Some years ago, I came across the statistics from CDC (The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention) which indicated that more people are committing suicide than dying from accidents. These people who commit suicide, I believe, do that because they feel hopeless and helpless and had they heard my voice, your voice or someone else’s voice or written message of encouragement, that would have interrupted their limited vision of being hopeless and helpless. Let me be honest, this statistic, hit me right between my eyes and made me feel guilty. I felt I must do the best I can to spread the message of hope and encouragement while empowering or providing the how part. This guilt led me to rearranging my life and raise the bar by clarifying my life’s purpose. This is what I came up with – “My purpose is to inspire and empower people to have clarity and discover their purpose to become the best version of themselves.” This is what I use on a daily basis to regain my consciousness and hold myself from getting lost in activities that don’t align with my purpose.
Knowing fully well that we are racing against time and that I don’t want to reach the point of death only to realize that I never lived; that I became so good at the wrong things; that I majored in minor things, I structured my activities into three categories which are:
- Pig activities;
- Donkey activities, and
- Horse activities.
- Pig Activities
Since life is a race against time, you surely want to be as effective and efficient as possible. Now, pig activities are those activities that cannot make you win this race of life, no matter how many resources you dedicate to them. You can’t make a pig run faster, no matter what you do. These are activities that don’t help you further your course. Sleeping for too long (say beyond 8hrs), watching too much TV, spending too much with friends, spending too much time on entertainment, etc.
- Donkey Activities
Donkey activities are those that can make you run but can’t compete at horse activity level or high level. An example of a Donkey activity is being in a career that doesn’t suit you or that you are not adapted to by nature. It doesn’t matter how academically qualified you may be in this field but if you don’t have natural abilities in it (except in theory), you’ll be mediocre in this field. I studied mechanical engineering and worked in the field and in theory, I was qualified to be in the field but relied much more on the taught theory. I never really designed anything new in the field because of my creativity and passion had in the field. Here’s how to look at it:
If you don’t spend time reading and asking yourself questions about how you can be better, faster, more effective in your field and working on these beyond your normal working hours including weekends, this is not your obsession, this is the honest truth. If Fridays are your saviours from what you do to earn a living, it’s sure sign that you are not one with your chosen field, period. Being in this field for you is just for survival not to be a master.
You can’t make a donkey run as fast as the horse, no matter what you do, forget it. Donkey activities are those that follow the adage: “half a loaf is better than nothing.” You’ll never see the full loaf, half will be the best you’ll ever get.
- Horse Activities
Your horse is your vehicle. It is that thing that gives your life a sense of meaning and value. It is that thing that drives you and that becomes your magnificent obsession. It’s that thing that you are one with, it makes your eyes light up and your heart warm. For me, Veli Ndaba, it is inspiring and empowering through speaking, writing, teaching and coaching.
Horse activities are those that make you the best at what you do. These activities are immersing yourself in books, magazines, blogs, videos about your chosen field. Until it becomes your obsession, you’ll never master it, this applies to anything in life. It is obsession that leads you to a place called ‘Your Zone or Flow’ and that’s where mastery is born.
You are the jockey, you are responsible for allocating your scarce resources: time, money and energy to these activities. So, in the twenty four hours that we all equally have, how is the allocation ratio between Pig Activities, Donkey Activities and Horse Activities? Statistically speaking, there’s a significant correlation between where you are now in this race of life or your career and your resources allocation ratio. Discover your horse, develop your horse activities and immerse yourself in them!
I personally used to blame my poor family background and being raised in poverty. I used to blame the state of economy. I used to blame politics. I used to blame lack of talent, etc until I woke up from my sleep of excuses. The world has long been waiting for your greatness, wake up and 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.velindaba.com or +27 83 304 9773