Impetus to achieve: It’s you to make it a happy New Year

We are now in 2016. I hope you crossed over safely. I also hope that you are ready to once again fight your annual battle to achieve your goals.

Are you gunning for a promotion? Are you looking to enter the daunting yet promising world of business? How about this – are you looking to run for public office? There is no way I could have left that out during election year now, is there? Definitely, the biggest event on the Zambian calendar this year will be the general elections, but more on that later…..probably in another article. What I want to focus on for now is yourself as an individual.

Have a happy New Year; Best of wishes in 2016. My personal favourite – have a prosperous New Year; I am sure many of us have received these words and many other encouraging words from various people in the past few days and we shall continue to receive them in weeks to come. There are also so many messages being passed around on social media about entry into the New Year. Just over a couple of weeks ago, as I was travelling from Kitwe to Lusaka, a close family member told me something that broke my heart. He complained to me about how things were difficult for him in 2015 and that he had achieved literally nothing of note. He also complained that he is tired of struggling. As he spoke, there was this undertone of deep disappointment in himself that I could detect. He went on to describe how life in the past had been much favourable compared to the challenges that had befallen him in recent times. His speech was quite depressing. Coming from a jovial family function of escorting another cousin to his wife’s kitchen party, the last thing any of us in the car expected was somebody to break the mood down by reflecting on his terrible state of affairs. Nonetheless, we were sympathetic and attentive.

After I listened to him attentively, I was almost tempted to break into some kind of sombre mood. I held back on that. I was not going to encourage him to continue in his culture of self-pity. Some might say that it was a moment of self-reflection on his part and yes we are all entitled to that. My point however, is that sometimes we get carried away crying over spilt milk. We all need to appreciate sometimes that what’s done is done! The question that then needs to be asked is – what’s being done? Back to my close relative, I told him two things. The first thing I said is that because he was practically at rock bottom, it could not get any worse (or so I think); I told him that there really is only one way – going back up. I then proceeded to tell him that our conversation was coming at an opportune time, being seventeen days from the New Year. I reminded him that with a new year comes a new beginning and if he is serious he can wipe the slate clean. Having been forced to eat humble pie by a series of devastating defeats in this great journey through life, 2016 should provide him with a new lease of life. I stressed to him that the ball is in his court. He can choose to continue wallowing or he can pursue a turnaround strategy with a strong sense of purpose.

And so to our heading for today: It’s You to make it a Happy New Year. Ladies and gentlemen, everybody that has wished you well would truly be glad to see you counting all your eggs as hatched at the end of 2016, but as the heading reads, it is you and only you that will decide what kind of a year you will have. Time has come for you to stop taking rubbish from people lying down as they attempt to bring you down; it’s time to face all the obstacles that have brought you down in the past. You need to make up your mind if you are an ambitious person because this life can be a real dog fight. So draw your daggers and go to war against all the obstacles in your way (I mean this metaphorically). 2016 must not pass you by like all the years passed. Stand up now for your dreams. The difference between those that merely dream and those that actually go on to achieve their dreams lies in action. One will act on what they dream of having while the other will merely dream. No more dreaming in 2016; that should be fine-tuned into your mind-set. The culture of expecting manna to fall from heaven should no longer continue. It should be a case of breaking a sweat to make things happen – no other way.

Sometimes as human beings, we tend to seek the easy way out. We tend to believe that the hardest route will only give us more head ache. Yet the greater the goals we seek to achieve, the more difficult route we will have to take. More often than not, we fail to achieve our goals because there are some tasks to carry out that make us really uncomfortable. We weigh the pros and cons and if the coward in us conquers, we simply say we will not do that uncomfortable task because it is simply not worth it. Yet, deep down inside, we may be dying.

Our stance of saying it is beneath us to carry out that uncomfortable task is more of a façade that anything else. Deep down, we continue to wonder if there is any way around that uncomfortable task that can allow us to make our progress, but no, there almost always isn’t. That is another difference between high achievement and mediocre attainment – high achievers will do those uncomfortable tasks that the rest of the people will shy away from. Again I say, let 2016 be the year that you take the plunge and carry out those uncomfortable tasks that have hindered you from making progress. Remember that it is the tasks that people fear the most that if you conquer, you will be a celebrated individual. You will be a true achiever of excellence.

Fight with huge ambition in 2016. Fight the odds. If the odds are against you, find a way to put them in your favour. Where there is a will, there is a way. And even though we cannot win every battle that we throw ourselves into, we most certainly can give a spirited effort each and every time we fight.

That consistency in fighting with your heart and soul in every battle of 2016 will definitely be telling. Make 2016 your year; find a way to hit a home run. This world is yours for the taking so get up and go and get what you want in 2016. If things start slowly in January, just know that you have eleven more months to get it right. There’s nothing easy in this life, but usually the harder the journey, the more rewarding the fruits of your labour. So let’s get ready to labour in 2016 so as to enjoy a very sweet fruit in the future.

Making it a Happy New Year resting on our shoulders is in tandem with the common situation in life where we generally get what we deserve in the end. Whatever one’s occupation and/ or aspirations, the final result will generally be no more than you deserve. This is so because seldom will we actually be hindered from making progress by injustices committed against us by other people; these injustices whatever our perceptions, tend in fact to be quite rare. It’s just in human nature to play the blame game when things do not go according to plan. Here I am talking about injustices out of malice and ill-will, injustices way beyond the challenges inherent in the paths that we choose to pursue.  And even if these injustices were committed upon us, there is surely always a way to come back from them; where there is a will, there is a way. So if you have high aspirations and at the end of 2016, you are still wallowing, you may wish to consider that perhaps that’s what you deserve. But don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you quit. The remedy may simply be attitude adjustment. Always remember: winners never quit, and quitters never win.

So dear readers, I want to wish you all a prosperous new year with a small caveat – it’s really up to you to make it so. May the Good Lord open all the doors for you in the year 2016.

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