HomeStandard PeopleHow diligently are you applying yourself?

How diligently are you applying yourself?

inspiration:with Cynthia Chirinda

One of my most vivid childhood memories of growing up surrounded by the lovely green foliage of rural Zimbabwe, is found in the smell of sweaty blistered hands from hard work in the long unending furrows of farming land. When it came to work in the fields there were no excuses accepted in respect of age, gender or state of health. I can still hear the regular reprimands from the elders whenever fatigue started to settle in my tiny arms and an overseeing voice would suddenly roar: “Vasikana, muri kumanza, simbisai maoko ayo mubate badza iro” (Girls, you are leaving weeds in the field, get a proper grip of the hoe and do a thorough job). If ever there was a time I learnt the power of self-talk and positive confession, this was it. Those were the joys of rural life. By the time you took a breather to take a sip of mahewu (traditionally brewed African beverage), your hands will have a familiar quiver and shake as you took hold of the gourd filled with the sweet liquid. The common mantra from our elders in that era was that “the lazy one should not eat,” so hard work was the order of the day.

In life, anything that you want to achieve is going to take time and, most importantly, effort. Time is our most valuable asset and if we are truly invested in something, our efforts and time will be all we have to offer. Nothing comes easy in this world and if we really want something, then we are going to stop at nothing to make it happen. Finding your passion may be the most difficult part of your life, but once you find it, you will stop at nothing to make your dreams come true. In life, like in business, you have the people who are out there living it to the fullest and the bystanders letting it pass them by. You have the people who sit around and mope all day about how miserable their lives are, then you have the people who are out there crossing things off their bucket lists on a regular basis. In business, you have the people who started from nothing and didn’t do anything to change their situations, then you have the people who saw whatever little opportunity they had and made the most of it.

More than an idea
Success is more than an idea, it is a state of mind. Although success is relative to each individual, the key to achieving success is the demeanour in which you go about living your life and taking advantage of opportunities that come to you. Whether it be in life or in business, you should never take anything for granted and you should learn how to make the most of the situations that are presented to you. In a previous article on fame, success and significance we established that Significance demands diligence. Whatever you do, you should do energetically and enthusiastically beyond just doing it well. A person who is diligent about what they are doing gives the feeling of being responsible and willing to be held accountable for what they do. As a by-product of diligence and significance, you are blessed with success. A successful person who feels the need to tell you just how successful they are actually is telling you that their life lacks significance.

Working hard vs working smart
Throughout your childhood and your education, you’ve probably realised that the harder you work, the more you apply yourself to your studies and activities, and the more focused you are on achievement, the better your results are in regard to your grades, athletic or extracurricular performance, work performance, friends and family relationships. This is the one thing that will remain constant throughout your lifetime. Plain and simple, what you get out of life is a direct reflection of what you put into it. When you get together with your classmates at a ten-year class reunion, you will be amazed at the direction everyone’s lives have taken. What you will discover is, those who are the most successful will be those who took control of their destiny, had a plan and pursued it with diligence and perseverance.

Get out of your comfort zone
People love to be in their comfort zones, once we find a particular way of doing things, we are very reluctant to change the way we go about it. If you review biographies of some of the world’s most successful people, you will find a number of character traits that they all have in common. Generally these individuals have a vision – they know what they want to accomplish or what they want out of life. They set goals and they work hard to achieve them. They think positive and learn from mistakes or failures rather than using them as excuses to give up. These individuals remain focused on their objective and look for ways to overcome barriers or solve problems that would otherwise keep them from achieving what they set out to do. They are not terribly concerned about what others think of them or their ideas. Above all, they don’t quit. Self-determination is a combination of skills, knowledge, and beliefs that enable a person to engage in goal-directed, self-regulated, autonomous behaviour. An understanding of one’s strengths and limitations together with a belief in oneself as capable and effective are essential to self-determination.

People who lead significantly successful lives use creative strategies to reach their goals. They look at options and make informed decisions. Successful planning requires that you know your responsibilities, strengths and challenges; set goals; work toward those goals; and use tools and resources available to you.

l Cynthia Chirinda is an organisational and personal development consultant, life coach, author and strategist. Her newest book, You are Not Damaged Goods: Transitioning from Tragedies to Triumph, speaks to matters that position individuals to do great exploits beyond their worst experiences. Looking at improving your career, personal effectiveness, communication skills, relationships, focus, faith and happiness? Wholeness Incorporated Coaching offers you strategies you can implement today to review your progress and achieve your goals. E-mail: LinkedIn: Cynthia Chirinda. Mobile: +263 717 013 206. Website:

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