Your dignity comes not from control, but from understanding who you are and taking your rightful place in the world. Life is like music. It has high notes and low notes and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. You can’t please all people all the time. Being a good person is like being a goalkeeper. No matter how many goals you save, people will still remember only the one goal you missed. Never worry about how ungrateful some people might be. Just maintain your focus. Obstacles do not have to stop you. If you run into a wall, never give up. Figure out how to climb, or work around it. Learn from a candle which burns itself, lightening the ways of others. Live in such a way that even if you die, you’ll always be alive in the great memories of others that appreciate things. In everything you do, consider the end. It’s unwise to gain temporary pleasure at the expense of lasting joy.The struggle you are in today is developing the strength you will need for tomorrow. Never give up in life.
Change people are a special breed. The resistances they face in their missions are not easily surmountable and it will appear there is a valid reason for this. One can only imagine how things will be if everyone could just get up and at will, change the way things are? Chaos! Our world is a predictable one. Perhaps because of its infinite layers of cycles that in their own rights give meaning to the axiom “what goes around comes around”. Solomon in his divine inspired wisdom observes; “there is nothing new under the sun” – Ecclesiastes 1:9
People are not as complex as they might seem at first glance. Ok I should save that for my people dynamics class. Before I get back on track however, let me just say that people are ALWAYS frightened of what they cannot explain and if they process it as a threat in any form, they will fight tooth-and-nail to stop it. You can take that to the bank! For years I have struggle with this—I never understood why people will fight you even when all you are trying to do is help them. Well, that’s simply because they don’t understand two things; the first is why the change and second; what the ultimate outcome will mean for their self-preservation. A majority of people are incapable of making the right connection and fear gains grounds. But this also serves a purpose as we will soon see for it is this fear, that the much needed resistance will be generated.
For the most part, we are all social scientist in our own capacities. We want to see something work repeatedly so we can be sure it will continue to work even if we stop paying attention. Once we have accepted it, any agent who attempts to change it is a threat. Well, he is trying to take away the predictability we cherish so much. This may sound like a good idea. Yet it is within this sphere of thought that our most perilous vulnerabilities are hosted. If there is one thing I agree with Robert Green on, this will be it. It has to count for something that he made a bestseller out of telling the world that we are predictable and that we actually prefer it so. And he was right when he thought we will buy the idea and list him among the rich and famous for it. He is a master social scientist of his own.
If you ever tried to change something and did not meet with any kind of resistance, you need to start worrying. Something is fundamentally wrong. The system needs resistance to ensure that it is not tossed around in all directions by the ever present tides of ideas that it generates. Yep! The ideas come from within because the agents of these ideas are also products of the system. Their role is to ensure the incessant improvement of the system as a means of ensuring its continuous existence—this is vital as stagnation has no place in nature. You are either going up or coming down. Growing or dying—for or against. Christ captures this beautifully in Mathew 12:30.
The role of a group I will call average people is to test the change idea for integrity. This is the role of resistance which manifests itself in several forms. Among them; opposition, rejection, isolation, hatred, the list is endless. A system that does not have a resistance system has little or no chance at all for success. The “resistance” do their job in two ways; They first test the idea to ensure that it will bring the vital improvement need to keep it in existence. The second is to ensure that the change agent has what it takes to sustain the idea once it has been accepted. This is done by first evaluating the credentials and track record of the agent. When the resistance cannot validate the credentials of the agent or the integrity of the impending change, it narrows the gate. This is often the case when the change or idea, it’s methods or intended outcome seem too complex for the average mind. Real change ideas are often intended for the good of the larger society. Unfortunately the average mind cannot see beyond the self and is therefore unable to comprehend the larger scope of the change. This makes the case for resistance even more robust necessitating more effort on the part of the agent if he is going to break through. Real Change agents have the persistence to carry the idea through even in the face of the stiffest of oppositions and what-have-yous.
Interestingly, the power of this system is largely dependent on the averageness of average people who for the most part will be the main beneficiaries of the impending change. It is also the reason why they eventually become the main defenders of the change once it has become the status quo. Often this will take a lot of work and time but the agent once he understands this, knows that he must persist. Because resistance in the larger sense is doing a legitimate job and therefore any positive change must embrace it and work with it for the two, in the larger scheme of things, have shared objectives. The strength and integrity of an entity is dependent on the rigorousness of the tests it has passed. The more rigorous the test, the better the outcome. It is why factories have testing and quality assurance units. It is the reason we have standards and certifications. It is what Paul meant by having you work passed through fire -1 Corinthians 3:13.
You only have to go back to the likes of Hitler and imagine how things would have panned out without the resistance that put them out of business. Your idea is but one out of an infinite number of tides seeking to determine the direction of the boat. The strongest and the most persistent ideas, if they are truly useful for the system will eventually cause change and enjoy the protection of the average. You will find if you look closely enough; that it will be fatal for all of us to be change agents and be left with no resistance unit whatsoever. Average people perform a very vital role and for this reason, no matter how hard and wide we teach the idea of change, change agents will always be few and average people will be in the majority. It is a necessity.
Real change agents are equipped with special abilities that help to survive the integrity test of the resistance. Like Tyler Perry said and I rephrase; your dream itself must come to believe; so that no matter how frustrated you are, something inside of you just won’t let go even if you wanted to. Many dreams have died a still-birth because the agents did not have this special ability and that is how we know that they are not meant to cause change. If you think average people don’t have dreams or change ideas of their own, think again. They do, they just do not have what it takes. May your dream believe enough to never let go even if your whole being wants to. #spidup
This is all the more incredible, given the story of his 2 year climb from the verge of suicide, which I wrote in July. Here is Michael’s story from rock-bottom:
One night in September 2014, less than 2 years ago, Michael’s world came crashing down when he got arrested for drink driving. He says “I thought the world would just be better off without me. I figured that was the best thing to do – just end my life.”
Struggling to come out of retirement for one more Olympics, Michael’s training wasn’t going well. So he had headed out to the Horseshoe Casino to binge on alcohol and poker. At 1am his Range Rover was pulled over by police and he was arrested.
It was the second arrest for DUI in 10 years. After the first time he was publicly shamed and promised he would never do it again. Now it looked like his chances of making a comeback were over.
Out the next day on bail, he locked himself in his house for the next 72 hours, texting to his agent “I don’t want to be alive anymore.”
What caused the breakdown? After his 4th Olympics in London, Michael was crowned “the most successful Olympian in history” with 18 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze Olympic medals. He said “It’s like we dreamed the biggest dream we could possibly dream and we got there. What do we do now?”
In the two years after the Olympics, he went from the highest high to the lowest low, losing all purpose and meaning in life. Then, in 2012 he told his coach, Bob Bowman, that he wanted to try for the Rio Olympics, despite being older than any other competitor.
They started training, but Bob said “It was very difficult for him to get back in shape. I think he got discouraged. I got discouraged.”
That discouragement led to the night of his arrest and Michael wanting to kill himself.
What flipped the switch from self destruction to his record-breaking success today?
One of the first people that Michael called when he was arrested was his friend, retired Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. Ray said “I basically told him, ‘Okay, everything has a purpose, and now, guess what? It’s time to wake up.’ ” and he gave Michael a copy of Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life”.
At the centre, he soon became known as “Preacher Mike” as he would begin each day by reading a chapter of “The Purpose Driven Life”.
That then led to him reading more books like Viktor E Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” and Joseph Murphy’s “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind”. Instead of focusing on his body, he focused on his mind and spirit.
Michael left the clinic a changed man. Within months, he had asked his girlfriend, Nichole Johnson, to marry him. A year later, this May, they had a baby boy, Boomer.
As for the training, Michael got back in the pool with a new energy.
Realising that what he did out of the water affected him enormously in the water, he said of his previous life: “I tried to fake it, pretty much. That’s what I was doing.” and of his life today, “I’m just living a freer, happier life now. I don’t feel like I’m carrying weights around anymore.”
Michael was the youngest competitor to ever swim in the Olympics, and now he is also be the oldest to ever swim in the Olympics (At 31 he is 2 years older than the 2nd oldest at the Rio Games). Asked how he feels, he says “I’m thankful, I’m sitting here alive today.”
Maybe you haven’t risen as high as Michael, or fallen as low.
But what new purpose could transform your own success and fulfilment in life today?
What could you do differently out of the water, which would change what you do in the water?
It’s never too later, and you’re never too old.
“Life minus love equals zero.”
As an astute businessman, he has recently evolved his operation into what is now the KD Group where all his many hats have been brought together under one roof. Mr. Sakyi might be a jack of many trades but the various trades are not too far apart and he demonstrates passion in every one of them. Upon our assessment, it was easy to recognize him as a high performing individual who is also very likely to make the SPiD-UP® Fellowship status in the very near future. If we learnt something from Mr. Sakyi, it is passion for what you do and the ever elusive high performance mindset.
It appears there are people who have no other interests besides making this world a better place. Such people seem to give their best purposefully regardless of where they find themselves. They do it so effortlessly it is almost as if they do not think about it. Dr. Jonathan Adjamini of the Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Faculty of science —University of Ghana is one of such personalities.
It is imperative to recognize and celebrate such persons—it is our way of brightening our little corner and making our continent more performance conscious. Look around you; they are everywhere; working, pushing, fixing, growing, impacting and doing above-average things. You can brighten your little corner too by simply nominating them into the SPiD-UP® Performance Recognition Program to show your appreciation. Just like the person who nominated him. Most importantly, let Dr. Adjimani inspire you to give your best wherever you find yourself. He will be speaking at our workshops in the very near future. Be sure to join us then. #SPiD-UP®
You feel lonely? Naa, that’s a bad way to feel. Watch Television, have Sex, try all dating sites. You feel depressed? That’s devilish. It’s time to pay attention to antidepressants ads calling. Day in and day out our lives are directed by the masses, who, possibly lost, are also finding themselves. Celebrities teach weird love mantras, a lot fall for it yet they themselves fail in their marriages and soon you gonna do too.
We are all here on a short visit. Find your voice. Don’t let the masses always speak for you. Find your solitude; sometimes you just don’t need people. Make mistakes, you are human and you are the author of your own manual. This way, you will know for yourself what works and what does not work for you.