It was 5 AM. I stretched my body to wakefulness. It was going to be just another day. In a flash, my mind was invaded by a troubling question, “So, why are you alive today?”
Like a shot out of a canon, I was out of bed like a cat on fire. By the time I got downstairs, heart pounding as if to eject itself out of my rib-cage! I had a thin, cold bead of sweat on my brow.
Grief has a way of gripping at the core of a human being. The loss of a family member can have far-reaching consequences. For me, the loss of my dad has increased my sensitivity towards being alive and life in general.
When I finally planted my body on the couch, I began to critically process the question again, “So, why are you alive today?” The answer seemed simple as it was another question… “What will you do with your life today?”
This seemed to lift a dark shroud that had seemed to envelope my mind. My throbbing temple forced me to take a deep breath. It was like time had stopped for a moment.
Our darkest moments can also be our enlightenment!
As I pondered on why I was alive, three truths became even more alive. They were transitions, priorities, and legacy. Inasmuch as I have coached others in leadership around these truths, they took a whole new meaning for me.
Transitions are real!
Transitions aren’t always easy. The challenges emerge as systems, procedures and rules of engagement change. For example, the level of my accountability will come under more scrutiny. Transitions have a way of rocking us out of our comfort zone.
How I handle transitions has a direct correlation with my mindset. Whenever I avoided to accept a transition at the right time, I have ended up in trouble. And it had to do with the fact that I was unwilling to put in the effort or work required for that transition.
On the flip-side, the transitions I embraced have proven to be the most rewarding. This isn’t to say that they haven’t had their fair share of pain, uncertainty or challenges.
Don’t try to forget the pain and agony. Instead, embrace it, feel it and know it intimately. Pain is when information you did not have comes rushing in. You can roll with the punches, or the punches will take you down.
Get your priorities right
Defining priorities is something I have found many of us struggle with. That definition involves making difficult decisions. Decisions that have the potential to affect our personal relationships, family engagement, business development or career growth.
Priorities are mainly informed on how we perceive ourselves. I may find my significance in that good feeling I get just to please others.
However, it compromises on my vision to build authentic leaders. Why? Because growing leadership is not about pleasing people. It will sometimes require that I take them down a path of re-discovery. A place that is tough but right in order to help them grow.
For example, an introduction can be powerful. Some time back, I changed how I introduced myself in meetings, workshops and gatherings. In a sense, this helped me to transition into a life that I love.
My name is Kimunya, and I have four priorities in life. First is a husband, second is dad to our three children, and third is my faith. Only when these priorities are aligned can I launch into my fourth priority. This is to serve others in leadership, communication and branding.”
This small shift has enabled me to have a deeper engagement with people. It also brought to the fore what I constantly need to work on. My priority is to engage others in a meaningful and impact way.
Legacy is for life!
Legacy is how much of me lives in others and ultimately outlive my existence on earth. It is the memories, impact, transformation, empathy, inspiration, unity… The list is as long as you want it to be.
My legacy will be defined by the quality of the boundaries I set when I am still alive. These boundaries are my silent way to communicate who I am to others. So, every day that I am alive, what limits do I put in place?
I don’t and will not accept to live a life of should-have or could-have any more. My life is governed by the choices I make today. Resting on yesterday’s laurels limits my impact tomorrow.
The best I can do is to learn from those experiences and build a better tomorrow. I need to be alive to that fact.
Traditional scientific method has always been at the very best, 20 – 20 hindsight. It’s good for seeing where you’ve been. It’s good for testing the truth of what you think you know, but it can’t tell you where you ought to go.” ~Robert M. Pirsig
Q: So, why are you alive today? Have your say by clicking here.