“You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.” Bob Marley
Gold is often heated to very high temperatures of up to 1100 degrees Celsius to remove the impurities. So, gold authenticity can only be tested under maximum fire, the same holds true for a human being.
I love what Henry David Thoreau said, “Oh, God, to reach the point of death only to realize that you have never lived.” This is so sad. The main reason most people never live or scratch the surface of their potential is because of the heat and the pressures of life. The kitchen becomes too hot and most people get out long before the impurities – self-doubt, low self-esteem, laziness and fear are removed. It is said that life is never made unbearable, by the circumstances but by lack of meaning and purpose.
I’ve spoken a number of times on how to lead in a VUCA (Volatile Uncertain Complex and Ambiguous) world, this is where the world is currently in with COVID-19 pandemic. No one predicted this and it threw us in a volatile place that is uncertain, complex and full of ambiguity. Gold will always be gold, irrespective of the times and conditions. I was so pleased and deeply touched when friend and brother Skhumbuzo Ndaba called me and said, “Veli my brother, once again, thank you for the continued motivation, inspiration you continue giving us to confront our fears and challenges and to strive to be on top in life because the bottom is overcrowded.” He’s so full of positive energy I tell you. He has been employed by one of the top hotels as a lead in a food and beverage department, that’s what he knows and does best. As you may know, the tourism industry is one of the hardest hit industries in the entire world which has resulted in many people losing their jobs. He was also affected by this as the hotel got closed until next year March, 2021 and the employees were temporarily laid off till then. But, because he is gold, he didn’t lose himself in the situation. He got concerned with the situation but didn’t get consumed by it. What I mean by this is that he was aware of the situation and acknowledged it for what it is but didn’t let it overwhelm him to a point of inaction. Most people get consumed and overwhelmed by situations and get paralysed by them.
He said to me, “Brother, when my wife asked me what is going to happen with our lives now as we are both laid off?” By the way, his wife is also in the same industry and was affected the same way. “I said to her, don’t worry, I’ll figure something out!” He didn’t know what to do then, but because he’s gold, he never loses his value because of the happenings – trials and tribulations of life. He knows that the pressures and the high temperatures from the fiery furnaces of this world are meant to remove the impurities – the weaknesses that deprive us of our greatness.
His nature is that of not just sitting and letting things happen without being scrutinized and so, while playing with some ideas and surfing the internet, he came across this COVID-19 Compliance Officer training course offered by WHO (World Health Organization), this caught his attention. What he also noticed was that the price was hugely reduced and the duration was four months. He said to himself, “I need this, I can’t just sit around and feel sorry for myself, this will add value to me and my future employer and he invested in it.” Four months later, he got his certification as a COVID-19 Compliance Officer. When he contacted the potential employer, they didn’t have a vacancy in the department he’s a master in. When he mentioned that he’s a certified COVID-19 Compliance Officer, it changed the game. He is now employed at a senior level than where he was, with much better perks. He has helped formulate strategy on how the organization should approach this pandemic into the future.
While many in the same situation are complaining and waiting for things to get better, he was working on getting himself better which has done wonders for him. This is about the difference in mindset. You see, when you run away from your challenges, you give them power. Through this cloud of uncertainty, I focused my energy on completing my fourth book – Set Your Soul On Fire! I don’t play a romantic game with my challenges, they don’t deserve my attention. One of my favourite quotes when it comes to uncertain times is by Margaret Drabble and it says, “When nothing is sure, everything is possible.” Many think that when the situation is unsure, you should be cautious. This way of thinking paralyzes you to act decisively and take risks. Success is usually the result of taking risks without thinking and putting too much focus on failure.
Finally, as S’khumbuzo Ndaba reminds us, without being exposed to the pressures and high temperatures of life, your specialness will never be revealed to the world, it will stay hidden. Remember, whatever you fight for and protect, you get to keep, whether it’s negative or positive. Are you aware of what you are fighting for? This is very important to know as your life will never positively change and progress if you are fighting for things that keep you stuck. If you fight for the negative, the positive has no place in your life, that’s how it is. You have the power to live your dreams, 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