The power of positivity amid adversity

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Just recently, I was watching the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) match and was caught by the appearance of Kofi Kingston, a Ghanaian wrestler who has made it in this top American money-spinning sport. In one of his most important matches, Kofi flaunted his prowess and confidence by beating his opponent who in this particular match was billed as the favourite to win.

Kofi was coming into the match as an underdog, but he assured his legion of fans before the match that his positive mind was going to see him victorious. He spoke about the power of positivity — which I found quite fascinating.

Given what is happening in Zimbabwe currently in terms of the condition of our economy and, resultantly, what people and businesses alike are going through, I found Kofi’s concept of positive thinking quite profound and relevant to our situation.

The concept of positive thinking has permeated our culture. It is a philosophy of faith that does not ignore life’s problems, but rather explains a practical approach to life’s full potential.

It is a system of creative living based on spiritual techniques, and its operation is demonstrated in the lives of thousands of people. True to his belief in positive thinking, I watched Kofi subdue his larger-than-life opponent, sending his fans into a frenzy of excitement and inspirational adulation. There were quite a lot of lessons to learn from the Kofi approach.

Believing in yourself

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without humility and confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy. But with self-confidence you can succeed.

An appalling number of people are made miserable by an inferiority complex particularly in these trying times in our country. But you need not suffer from this trouble. You can develop faith in yourself. In business, there are many times when we are faced with very critical hurdles to tackle.

At one of my seminars on change management, some senior executive approached me at tea time and asked: “May I talk with you about a matter of desperate importance to me?” We walked a bit further away from the rest of the participants and he opened his heart to me: “I’m in town to handle the most important business deal of my life. But I don’t believe I can deliver. I am discouraged and depressed.” He lamented: “Why is it that all my life I have been tormented by inferiority feelings?”

We all at some time go through these unpleasant feelings. Issues of faith are so intricate; as for me, I am no expert in the subject of faith but life has taught me a lesson or two about this much-hyped concept which is synonymous with man of the cloth.

To this end, I proffered what I felt would best help this senior guy in need of help.

“There are two steps,” I replied. “First, it is important to discover why you have these feelings. That requires analysis and will take time, and may require treatment.

But to pull you through this immediate problem I shall give you a formula. As you drive back home today, develop a mantra which you are going to repeat several times before your important appointment. Do this with an attitude of faith or self-belief and you will muster the ability to deal with this problem.” I shared with him a statement of affirmation which he was going repeat over and over again. Many a time these simple statements of affirmation coupled with that self-belief work wonders for so many people.

A peaceful mind generates power

There are two cryptic phrases for people in times of need or want—“an ear full of trouble” and “a mind full of peace.” Which do you choose? The essence of the secret lies in a change of mental attitude.
One must learn to live on a different thought basis, and even though thought change requires effort, it is much easier than to continue living in perpetual torment.

A physician friend of mine often tells me: “Many of my patients have nothing wrong with them except their thoughts”. A primary method for gaining a mind full of peace is to practice emptying the mind.

At least twice a day, empty your mind of fears, hates, insecurities, regrets and guilt feelings. I know this is easier said than done. To prevent unhappy thoughts from sneaking back in, immediately fill your mind with creative and healthy thoughts.

At intervals during the day, practice thinking a carefully selected series of peaceful thoughts. We all have at one point or another gone through some very memorable moments or occasions in our lives.

Let mental pictures of the most peaceful scenes you have ever witnessed pass across your mind, as, for example, in my case the silvery light of the sun falling upon rippling water does the trick.

Another way is repeating audibly some peaceful words. Words have profound suggestive power, and there is healing in the very saying of them. Use a word such as “serenity”. Picture serenity as you say it. Repeat it slowly, the word is a symbol. There are other practical ways by which you can develop serenity and quiet attitudes.

Robert Mandeya is an executive leadership coach, trainer in human capital development and corporate education, a certified leadership and professional development practitioner and founder of the Institute of Leadership, Research and Development (LiRD). — robert@lird.co.zw/www.lird.co.zw.

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