Over the years, I have learned that opportunities don’t come, they are created. Funny enough, they don’t come only because we look for them, and I can’t prove this, but there are opportunities meant for just you. We are raised in a society that constantly shows us how insignificant we are, leaving us having to prove ourselves over and over.
I have tried something for a couple months now, with a few slip ups. I am getting there though.
I turned off all my SMS, WhatsApp and Email notifications. I decide what messages to respond to and which calls to pick up. On WhatsApp I know who I talk to daily. I don't do SMS. I have a list of important contacts who’s calls I take. It may sound mean but I need to take back my power. I am being proactive, deciding in a day what matters to me for the sake of my peace of mind.
I can be lazy for a whole day and still feel good about it.
I don't entirely ignore calls and messages, I only get back to you when I need to, when I can. When I’m done with what my mind was focused on. And if you really need me, I am sure you'll find me. Calling 50 times won't improve the situation either.
Everything seems to be urgent today. My philosophy is, I respond to fires that I can put out. I don’t go beyond my mental and spiritual capacity at the time. In some instances I do go above and beyond because I have the capacity and a ready mindset for it. At the same time, I put myself in situations that will grow my bandwidth. I choose to be deliberate about my battles.
There is an increase in mental health issues around us and the older you get, the more intense it gets. I feel I have to manage my mind, the way one manages a diet to be fit or a class schedule to learn a new language. I set the agenda. Not all businesses are my business. Not all opportunities are meant for me. Not all fights are mine.
I’m turning 35 soon and I have had a good run. Lakini, I feel like I have been on the run, tired, chasing things to prove to myself that I am enough. We rate ourselves as enough based on how much we accumulate, how much we do, how many posts on our social media and who people think we are.
If God wills, I would like the next 35 years to be the total opposite of that. I am because I am with or without anything and that’s enough.
In business I am trying a trick and hope it works: "Don't chase, attract." My focus is on building bandwidth more than chasing opportunities and when they come I will be ready.
An example is when we started Hip Hop city or Customer Bora. I am constantly invited to this and that conference to share my ideas and my thinking previously was always "you never know." Well, you never know is not a strategy.
We come up with ideas and businesses to serve others and solve problems. My main focus should be to solve a problem and create value so that one would be willing to part with a few coins. When that happens then the rest will follow. Like scripture says "Seek first the kingdom of God and the rest will follow," in this case, we are chasing the rest and hoping the kingdom will follow.
So, I have been attempting to live a proactive life by being inactive and not responding to every thing that comes my way. I have set priorities and make decisions based on what aligns to them. I hardly take meetings for meetings sake.
I did it with my social media too. I go online once a day for a period of time and then I’m done until the next day. And it works, I remain creative, I found time to interact with problems to find solutions. I had enough time to learn and to hear my own voice. Out here there are many noises seeking your attention and you can't keep up with all of them.
I was able to read a 700 page book in a week, I am now on my second 900 page book. I think critically about things, my heartbeat is constantly regular. I got back into doing my hand stands which I haven't done in such a long time and my body appreciates it.
And many more small but impactful benefits.