“Desire! That’s the one secret of every man’s career. Not education. Not being born with hidden talents. Desire.” Johnny Carson
Fighting for your dreams will introduce you to pain, challenges, doubters, mistakes, unfavourable feedback and of course, hard work. Fighting for your dreams requires you to thrive in solitude because that’s how you can only connect with that deep, constant voice of reason that will always be your true guide and shining light to your destiny.
Fighting for your dreams means trusting in your vision when the world calls you crazy. It is the clear understanding that success is not something that’s divinely bestowed on you, it’s something you earn by having a clear vision, grit, hard work, surrounding yourself with the right people and adaptability. The world is not yet a crazy enough place to reward the bunch of undeserving people. I am mentioning adaptability here because it’s quite key in your fighting. Adaptability helps you see when the target has shifted from where it initially was. Adaptability is intelligence that you need to build into your fighting recipe especially in this ever changing world of ours, call it VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world. This is, by the way, the topic I’ll be speaking on at the 2020 Africa CEO RoundTable – How To Lead In The VUCA World.
I remember a conversation I had with my mentor Les Brown in 2014 around this subject of fighting for your dreams. He said to me, “Veli, when you’re fighting for your dreams, you’ll lose friends, you’ll be misunderstood and called names. Doors of opportunities will be shut in your face not because you are not good at what you do but because of the decision makers who don’t know better.” He further said, “Don’t let that make you doubt your abilities, no! Don’t take it personal, it’s entirely not your fault. Yours is to keep fighting for your dreams and continue being an instrument of hope and service that you are.” These words have for ever kept me growing through difficult situations. I’ve learnt so much in this speaking, coaching and consulting journey and about life in general. One of the most important lessons I’ve learnt is not just to blindly focus on the end goal, but also to be aware of the person I’m becoming in pursuing that goal. You may fight for something that makes you a bitter, angry, greedy, impatient person and that’s not good for you. So, be careful of the person you are becoming in pursuing your goals and dreams, some may be toxic to you.
The source for you to achieve your dreams is desire. Your desire to succeed in whatever you do, determines your level of motivation. It is your burning desire that makes you win these two bloody wars. Which bloody wars am I talking about here? Well, here they are:
- Winning yourself over from other people’s expectations, limitations and opinions of you. This is to become your own person. To choose your own path and run it at your own pace. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is a greatest accomplishment.” This is the first tough bloody war. It’s a pity that most people never conquer this war, they just give in and go with the flow.
- Fighting for your dreams and career. Dreams are so hard to follow and achieve but don’t let anyone, I mean anyone, take them away from you. Oh! I like what Mark Sullivan said, “To find a career to which you are adapted by nature, and then work so hard at it, is about as near to a formula for success and happiness as the world provides.” This second bloody war involves figuring out your natural abilities – your life’s task, and work hard at it. Mine is speaking, writing and coaching, being an instrument of hope and service. This is what I do every day with a huge smile on my face! What is your life’s task that keeps you going every day?
To win this second bloody war, you need to develop a culture of High Performance. Here are some of the ingredients for high performance that I teach individuals and organisations:
- Set a clear goal/expectation;
- Develop competence on achieving the set goal;
- Commit to the set goal. Commitment is doing what you said you’ll do, when you said you’ll do it whether you like or not. Commit to your commitments.
- Create a supportive climate to achieve your goal. You need to surround yourself with people that are as hungry as you are and that will also call you on your stuff when you slack. This will create a great environment for success.
Your dreams are calling you and always know that you deserve them. You deserve the best that life has to offer, claim it!
Veli Ndaba is a Professional and Motivational Speaker, Life-Coach and Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner, Author of three books (You Are Born to Win, Your Dream is Calling You and SWITCH ON!), 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