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When times get tough, human nature will more often than not, for example, lead a person to change jobs, divorce a spouse or long for a situation radically different from their current one.
Published in: Succeed in business
Godfrey Madanhire, motivational speaker and life coach, in his presentation Greener Pastures, emphasises the old saying: The grass is not always greener on the other side. If you want to make potentially life altering decisions, always ask yourself why before following through with the decision.
“When things get difficult everyone, from school children to business professionals, tend to believe the solution lies in finding greener pastures. As a motivational speaker I think it is my responsibility to advise people to make informed decisions. I highlight factors that people need to consider when times get tough and they want out. Very often it is not necessary for people to jump ship.”
A dairy farmer friend of Madanhire’s was going through a rough patch and invited him to his farm for a visit. His friend was facing a divorce, a daughter that wanted to change schools and a son that wanted to resign from his work without getting another job first. The farmer himself wanted to sell his farm and buy a different piece of land. It was on this visit that Madanhire discovered the inspiration for his Greener Pastures motivational CD.
Madanhire uses the analogy of a cow he saw grazing in a fenced-off paddock. The cow was trying to stick its head through the fence to eat the grass on the other side. This is common practice among cattle, but on this particular day it caught Madanhire’s attention and got him thinking.
He asked his friend to take a long look at what the cow was doing and question how it related to his own life. Madanhire’s friend noticed that the cow was willing to bruise its neck by continuously searching for something outside of its reach, simply because the grass in the other paddock was not freely available to the animal.
For his friend’s wife being single was her greener pasture, just as the new school and different job were his daughter and son’s greener pastures.
Madanhire says, “I am not opposed to change, but only if it is a change in the right direction. A person could be standing on a golden opportunity and not even realise it. Do not jump into situations, and always have reasons to justify your change. I personally would never justify changing jobs for money. Decisions should be driven by passion.”
Fighting your own cancer
Madanhire talks about the inspiration he got from watching his uncle die of cancer some years ago. It occurred to him then that we all have cancer in us but it comes in different forms.
“Whatever you keep inside you has the potential to kill you. This could be bitterness, greed or hatred, for example. Many people are bitter about the atrocities that occurred during apartheid but I tell them they cannot use this as an excuse for not achieving greatness today. Whilst people should not hold on to certain feelings, they must also not lose important parts such as the drive and passion to do what they were made to do.”
Your personal problems should not define you as a person. How you see yourself will impact how others perceive you. Madanhire says the characteristic that he admired the most about his uncle when he was undergoing chemotherapy was his refusal to feel sorry for himself. The minute you feel sorry for yourself and you lose your self-esteem then you start making bad decisions.
Madanhire stresses that entrepreneurs need to focus on the positive and question the negative. Just like cancer can be diagnosed by a doctor, other people can often spot the negativity within a person. “Sometimes it is best to remove yourself from a situation and stand outside looking in on your life or business, to see where changes or improvements need to be made.”
Turning to the positive
From a young age the notion that we each have our own limits, whether in sport, education or business, is ingrained in us and we are told not to be unrealistic with our expectations of ourselves and others as well.
Motivational speaker and life coach, Godfrey Madanhire, strongly disputes the notion of placing limitations on ourselves and blames this sort of attitude for many people’s mediocre performance in business, and life in general.
Madanhire challenges us to rethink boundaries, asking, “Why do you believe the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon? You are your own limit. You decide the depth and height of your achievement. It has nothing to do with your circumstances or other people. Do not allow someone to be your ceiling.”
Instead of limits, you must think of challenges as mental horizons that can only be transcended once you have made the conscious decision not to allow the notion of limits to define your ability.
The sky is not the limit
Madanhire says we are taught there is an end to everything, a ceiling to be reached, but go no further. He explains that as long as people believe there is a limit, they will continue to live ordinary lives. He encourages people to think outside the box and then forget the box completely. “If a container can decide the shape of water, I am of the opinion that you can also decide the shape of your life. The dimensions of your life right now are a direct reflection of who you are and your set limits. Never allow anyone to tell you about your potential as this is just another limit we place on ourselves.”
Things to focus on when aiming to live a life with no limits
Develop an appetite for success
A life of no limits is a privilege reserved for people who believe in building success stories one upon the other. It is not about accumulation of wealth for the mere achievement of outstanding results. These people keep going and strive for continuous success. On achieving success, many people sit back and celebrate when they should be looking toward the next challenge.
Do not base your goals on others’ achievements
It is not always about competition or outperforming your rivals. Getting a better set of financial results than your competitor could mean an average achievement in your mind. Make it your goal to do the unexpected, the miraculous and the impossible. When Madanhire started his business people laughed at him, but he was determined to go beyond the boundaries others had set for him.
Be curious to discover the new
It is those that venture to discover what is beyond their perceived limits that give the world new products and services.
Understand you were not born to be like one of us but like none of us
World-renowned disabled South African athlete Oscar Pistorius appreciates the fact that he is unique and does not feel sorry for himself because he is different. Just as Helen Keller, the world’s first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, took her differences in her stride and became a role model, we need to be comfortable in our own skin. Get out of your comfort zone and strive to be an extraordinary entrepreneur, businessperson, scholar or athlete. Go in search of the uncomfortable, unknown and unfamiliar.
Stretch your potential
Most of the time we are only willing to invest enough to stay in survival mode. There is a difference between a pass and a distinction. There is no point in sitting on potential. Your willingness to realise your potential will define the heights to which you fly. Former US President Ronald Reagan said, “There are no such things as limits to growth because there are no limits to the human capacity for intelligence, imagination and wonder.”
Develop a culture of continuous growth
Never dream of arrival because success is an ongoing journey. The idea of getting to a particular goal and no further is a self-imposed limit. Once you have received that promotion at work or moved to a higher sports team, you should never stop working to keep your place or even progress.
Live a life of risk
This is something a lot of people disagree with but Madanhire believes life itself is one huge risk. If you want to be successful, be willing to take one risk after another. US theatre critic Brooks Atkinson famously said, “This nation was built by men who took risks – pioneers who were not afraid of the wilderness, businessmen who were not afraid of failure, scientists who were not afraid of the truth, thinkers who were not afraid of progress, dreamers who were not afraid of action.” In the long run, we get no more than we are willing to risk.
Go for that which sounds impossible
Madanhire says, “You can only check the size of your dream if you share details of it with other people. If they are comfortable listening to your story, then you should know that your dream is not big enough. A proper dream should awaken sleeping faces and shock weak hearts.” Napoleon Bonaparte believed the word impossible was only to be found in the dictionary of fools. Those who have attained success all say that it came about by converting an impossible dream into a reality.
The fire within
In this presentation, Madanhire stresses there are people who espouse a burning desire to never stop accomplishing goals, conquer knowledge and achieve greatness.
“We all need a burning desire that builds more than it destroys. It is unfortunate that most people will never get to experience this burning desire, this inner flame that rouses us to action. “
The fire within is unquenchable and those who are internally driven keep going whilst people who lack passion and drive often lose interest when the going gets tough. Where there is no fire within a person, there is no dream.
Those individuals that have a fire within shine that light on others and inspire wherever they go. Make a conscious decision to light your fire within, by developing a burning desire to overcome obstacles in your path and achieve your dreams. Madanhire explains that those with a fire within bring warmth and hope to their communities as fire was never meant to warm itself but those sitting around it. You do not need a lot of money or possessions to develop the fire within. It is an intrinsic urge to want to move forward despite challenges that defines greatness.
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