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Succeeding In Turbulence
Posted by Ronald Mapamula on 4/25/2014

Anyone can hold the steering wheel when all is calm and there is no turbulence. Risk is least when there is nothing worthwhile you are pursuing. When the winds blow and vision is blurred skill, character, courage and fortitude are required. On any graduation day, anyone can be called an expert and an authority. It is however, the pressures of reality that reveal otherwise. Turbulence for those seeking any easy way through life can be traumatic and painful.

Eric Hoffer once said: In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. There is nothing that is as sad as losing relevance and holding on to what no longer works and will not be required. Expiring while sitting on the shelf of life is not a clever idea. Your worth is preserved by your ability to learn and then keep learning. Turbulent times have many casualties and tombs.

The Eureka Moment

The Eureka moment is a moment of realisation and deep revelation. It is that moment where something just becomes apparent and clear to you. At that moment you see things that others do not see. In a eureka moment you are transported forward and you time-travel into the future. Each of us will find ourselves in eureka situations at some point. At those times you have to rise in haste and take up the challenge. It is your moment of destiny. Procrastination leaves you with a sour taste of regret that no mouth freshener can easily wash off. Turbulent times are pregnant with eureka moments. When they come recognise them and jump into the sea of opportunity. Not everything is bad in bad times. Do not navigate your way through life using the testimony of nay-sayers.

The Caramba Moment

In times of change, things can really, really change. The only problem with change is that at times it happens in a subtle and gradual fashion that at times you do not see or feel it happening. In time, you wake up from your slumber to realise that you have been left behind or you are out of the game. It is this moment of realisation that you have been left behind which is called the caramba moment. When this moment touches you, do not despair. Throw away all pride, gird up your loins and start running again. There are new things you will have to learn, there are complacencies you will have to forsake. Do not despair, you may be behind but you are not out of the race of life. Catch up if you must. Do homework if you must, but do not give up and start singing self-pity songs like a drunken victim.

Remaining in your comfort zone, when the seasons have changed and you are now exposed to the elements will just make you history. A caramba moment is not a sign that you have died. It is an opportunity for you to do things differently and to change what must be changed. Count yourself fortunate to be in a caramba moment, it means you are learning and growing. Some people are passed over and buried in debris and can never rise to see a way out.

Learning to Unlearn

Sometimes the things that you have learnt in the past and mastered hinder you in time of changes and turbulence. When I left university, I was armed with some skills that I was proud to have. Among them was a proficiency in Database 5, a working knowledge in Lotus 123 and perfection in the use of Word Perfect 5.1. Within a few years of joining the world of work, most of what I called fresh knowledge was stale before I graduated. It is a torment for anyone graduating to be told that now that you are now employed, its time to start learning. Unfortunately this is usually the case. Graduation is not the end, its just a priming of intellectual muscles. Learn to unlearn, then learn to learn.

Vijay Govindarajan, a leading authority in strategy and innovation once said: "Existing organisations that want to master strategic innovation have to carefully borrow some core capabilities, thoughtfully forget others, and systematically learn some completely new skills." The challenge of our times is that you have to keep a steep learning curve or else you slip to the back seat of life. In times of turbulence you have to learn to borrow the skills and competencies that you do not have. Borrow some new capabilities in order to navigate new territories. A skilled driver on land, will be at loss navigating in the air or on water.

Thoughtful forgetting is the skill of great navigation through life. Change makes you laugh at yourself when you see how insignificant some things you were mad about have become. Never let so much of yesterday weigh down your thinking ability of today. Start on a new path of growth and development. The future is bright and full of possibility. Its just that for now you have to survive the wilderness and the winds of change. You have to live and drive long enough to be present to enjoy the benefits of your labour of today.

Eureka or caramba, whatever your day, rise up and take massive action, just ignore your limitations, confront your fear and challenge your challenges. Refuse to day while you have some salt in you and some dreams racing through your mind.

I came across this little piece that inspired me from the work of David Heinemeier Hansson, entitled Rework, wherein he challenges people to ignore that traps of the "real world."

"That would never work in the real world." You hear it all the time when you tell people about a fresh idea. This real world sounds like an awfully depressing place to live. It's a place where new ideas, unfamiliar approaches, and foreign concepts always lose. The only things that win are what people already know and do, even if those things are flawed and inefficient.

Scratch the surface and you'll find these "real world" inhabitants are filled with pessimism and despair. They expect fresh concepts to fail. They assume society isn't ready for or capable of change. Even worse, they want to drag others down into their tomb. If you're hopeful and ambitious, they'll try to convince you your ideas are impossible. They'll say you're wasting your time."

There lies a challenge. Will you navigate your life using other people's fears, cynicism and failures or you are willing to dare something great. This is life, welcome turbulence and change as a wake-up call.

Committed to your greatness!

Milton Kamwendo

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ibrahim buhari Date 5/2/2014
Wow this is a masterclass piece am taking the bull by the horn!!! Yea stepping in whether eureka or caramba forward is the place.
 
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