You Need to Spark to Shine


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By Milton Kamwendo

It is not enough to drive you must be able to park. Simply moving a car is not driving. A
few wise quotes are not greatness. Grand posturing without purpose is a waste of
resources. Impressing a few by-standers is not greatness. Impressions are not success.
Skin is not bones.

It is not enough to drive the long ball, you have to be able to putt. It is not the brand you are wearing that matters but the game you are playing that ultimately makes the difference. It is not enough to write down your goals, you have to execute. A score-card without any scores is just a useless paper. It is not the number of books that you are reading that matters but what you are acting on. Reading without reflection and action is like eating without digesting. It is not enough to have a ideas, you must be able to develop a simple and actionable strategy. PowerPoint slides without coherence and clarity are not a strategy. Strategy formulation is not just a presentation parade. It is not enough to feel for greatness, it is the “spark” that puts you on course. This is a little acronym that I have developed from the work I do with individuals and organisations, helping to unless their greatness.

Start and you will find your momentum and meet your moment. The genius of all greatness is in beginning. Until you start you are just a depressing dreamer and pompous philosopher. It is when you take the first step that Heaven starts to move also in favourable, smiling and gentle applause. You have talked a lot, now start. You have complained a lot, now take action. Your commitment is seen in your willingness and boldness to take action and start. Stop hesitating like a chameleon and come to the
start line. You can never generate momentum while standing still. Press the “start” button.

William Hutchison Murray was truly inspired when he said: “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills
countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!” Stop dreaming in repose and act. Starting is the key to all greatness. Until you start you never know how far you can go. Do not let the memories of the past haunt you and stop you from starting (again and again, if necessary).

Be passionate and be aflame with daring dreams, great goals and indomitable desire. Without passion there can be no excellence. Passion is the fuel of all pursuit. There is no passion in playing puny, and settling for mindless mediocrity. There is no passion in half-hearted dreams and apathetic actions. Turn on the flame. Until other people feel your energy, determination and drive, they will never take you seriously. Passion is what wakes you up while others are sleeping. Passion is what makes you run while others stroll. Passion is what infuses in you great dreams while others are wondering why it matters. Passion is what makes you restless when others are carelessly at ease. Passion is the inner driver that pushes you. When you do not see the future, you will idly abuse the present. Without vision passion has nothing to feed on.

You can generate passion. Just have a big enough “Why”. Keep your goals in sight and revisit them daily. Talk about where you are going to, not where you could not go. Speak about the things that are close to your heart, not what you have closed in your heart. If it is not on your mouth it is likely not on your heart. If not on your heart, you will not feel its heat. Move with focus and take radical but determined action. A fire that burns without purpose dies out. You are too mature to be a rebel without a cause, and crusader without a mission. Life is too short to be wasted. Do not waste your flame, let is feed on some crystallized worthy goals. Feed your faith by stirring up your passion. One person with a big cause will influence far more people than a thousand neutral souls that do not have any heart-felt drive. Dry hearts never made any wet eyes. People with passion move the world, while those with dreamy ideas make too much noise.

Act now. Take action and that is the secret to all greatness. It is better to fail after taking action than to succeed at doing nothing. Act now. Stop waiting for perfect circumstances and conditions. Procrastination is the thief of time and killer of dreams. Act now. Get tired of talking without action. Act now. Get tired of complaining without action. Act now. Get over thinking that things happen by chance. Act now. Stop being an armchair consultant. Act now. You will be known for the actions that you take not the musings you hiss. Act now. It is better to be accused and found guilty of taking action than to absolved for laziness and doing nothing. Act now.

Waiting can be a tiring occupation especially when you cannot determine when what you are waiting for will happen. Patience is a virtue, but lazy gambling is a vice. Never let you impatience cause you to do insane things, but do not allow your laziness to
dictate your agenda. I am an advocate of patience, but not idle resigned-do- nothing-but- despair. Wait in action. Act now. Stop dreaming and dreaming and dreaming. Act as if the big moment has come. Be bold and take action. Action keeps dreams alive and gives momentum to your thoughts. Act now.

Speak to your dreams and let them hear you calling and agitating for action. Do not wait idly in bed, wait dressed for action. Act now or else you will wither in despair. Do not wait for your opportunity baton-stick in the dressing room. Get into position, be ready to run. Do not wait with a closed mind, inside closed doors, with clamped feet and a cloudy vision. Look up and see the bright future and amazing possibilities ahead. Open your doors wide to the coming opportunity and never, ever give up so easily. Act now.

What action can you take today? What questions could you ask? What doors can you knock? What change can you make? Where can you go today? What have you been putting off that you must do right away? Act now.

You are only powerless if you think you are. Act now. You are clueless if you have come to that premature conclusion yourself. Act now. You are defeated only if you have accepted that silly and ridiculous verdict. Stop feeling pity for yourself and take action. Failure is never an end, but just another fold of a beginning. Act now. You are not finished, until you have finished. You are only finished, if you have so decided. Act now. Never let your laziness finish you off because you were too tired to take action, too lazy to take action. It is all up to you now. You cannot wait for other people to take action before you do. Act now. Your success and your greatness depend on you. You cannot blame anyone. You are where you are because of you. What you do, think and dream is prophetic of what you are becoming. Now is your time to act.

What about this reality that is looking at me in the eyes? Do I ignore it? Reality is a social construction. Stop running scared because of other people’s pronouncements. If other people are going no where and are in despair never use their opinions as facts. Loom at reality but mentality choose your own reality. Refuse to live mentally where critics are denizens. Stop terrorizing yourself with personal horror movies. Discipline your mind and thoughts. The current circumstances may be tough and challenging but that is not the whole story. This is not the end. There is a great future and amazing possibilities at this time.

Whatever you need is likely behind some seemingly door. If that door is closed, then knock and try the knob. If you do not know which one is the right door, then knock on all the available doors. Keep knocking until the door opens. Do not be afraid to knock for
fear of rejection. Just keep knocking. In Matthew 7:7-8, the Amplified Bible says: “Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking and [the door] will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.” Keep knocking. If the answer is delaying, do not move away so fast, just keep knocking and your greatness will open and welcome you in and a celebrated guest.

Milton Kamwendo is a motivational speaker and leadership coach and head of Innov8 Company