I sit and ponder on this we call life. What does it mean to live? Why are we alive?
Over the years, I have never tired of watching and reading of great men and women in sports. I scour the internet for clips of their art. Those moments inspire and stir me up to think of what is possible.
One characteristic endures in my heroes. It isn’t just their talent but something they exude from deep inside them. That is humility. Despite their fame and fortune, they remain humble and firmly grounded. They live from the inside and influence their environment.
It was early in the morning. I silently read and re-read the passing on of Jonah Lomu. His life’s clock stopped at 40. I am 40. He was once described as rugby’s version of Muhammad Ali, a heavyweight with global reach.
Jonah has left a mark not just at home, but in the hearts of strangers like me. His All Blacks career is the envy of many a rugby player. Indeed, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want to own such a resume.
That morning, each of our three children trooped downstairs from bed. I hugged them and teared up. I paused to ask myself a question that pesters me everyday. What is in a name? What should my name reflect?
1. Defines identity
A name is the fact of being. It provides a gateway into who I am. Not what I do, who I am associated with or how much I own. Just who I am. That is the real power of a name. And character is the bedrock of who I am.
I can’t allow others to define my name. It is my full responsibility. What greater honor other than live what I was born to be? Living my name is a work in progress.
2. Communicates a stand
If you don’t stand for anything, you’ll fall for everything. Because at any particular time, what you are facing may feel like the ultimate reality. Times of difficulty are when we are most vulnerable.
My name clearly articulates what I stand for. These are the values that guide my relationships and work. To be without any values is to be spineless. I doubt you wish your name to be associated with such a heritage.
3. Provides possibility
My name delineates my boundaries. These are the outer limits that act as a buffer for what I can possibly engage with. The boundaries that my name represents helps others to embrace my yes and respect my no.
I love this definition in Boundaries: “In reality, these boundaries define your should, and they help you to guard it and maintain it.”
4. Grows community
As I grow and broaden in possibility, I want to draw other people into my circle. For me, it isn’t just a matter of existence. My intention is to influence people towards a greater significance. It is working to regain their faith in what is possible.
When people have hope, they are unstoppable. They come together and collaborate instead of fight. They find a name for themselves.
5. Redeems humanity
After I am gone, how and where will my name reside? This is the stuff legacy is made of. Everyday, I ask myself, “How much of me will live on in others?” This isn’t a comfortable or easy way of life.
It means harnessing every opportunity to help people grow. I have to be responsible to inspire these people to grow other leaders. And I can only do that with a name anchored on credible values and a bold vision.
I think daddy is Superman… Only he can’t fly!” ~Tinashe Kimunya
I nearly choked on my food when my 10-year-old daughter blurted out those words. It was a surprising comment as it was out of context of the conversation around the table. Clearly, it was something she had mulled about for long. For certain, my name lives in her. Perhaps, now I should consider flying my next stop!
Q: How does your name reflect who you are? Have your say by clicking here.