[Column] Maria Auma: My nuggets for the year 2016
This year has been such an amazing year for me in the various ventures I have been involved. I remember in January having alluded to “attracting what we are ready for”. Almost a year later I realize that indeed this is the case. Sometimes however, we are not entirely prepared for opportunities that come our way, but we need to take them by the reins anyway.
The past three months however I have been thanking God and the Universe for the gift of family, friends and networks. I have learned to appreciate the simplicity of life and the importance of being true to myself in spite of the situations around me. I’d like to break the lessons learned in the hopes that someone picks a leaf or so:
1. Family Sticks around: There have been instances where I have been thrown with my back against the wall with nothing but close family to fall back on. I’m blessed to have a strong support system that I can lean on whenever the road gets tough. They are somehow tolerating of my shortcomings although every day I work to improve myself. As earlier stated, family is subjective to everyone, and in my case I consider close friends family, and I do make it a point to show them how appreciative I am of their undying patience with me every moment I get a chance to.
2. Have a code and stick to it: This is particularly important for ladies. I know it’s pretty hard to keep it together when you dealing with a particularly tough client that wants a little extra in ways that may not be in line with your morale code. I do think that ethics should be seen in grey and not black and white. Without being judgmental, I will say that you need to choose your path carefully and then be ready to lie in that bed that you make. If you decide to compromise to get something done, then be prepared for the whispers from others and learn to pay no mind. That being said, it may be harder to get things done without compromising your morale code, but if you do pull it off you will command respect wherever you go.
3. Never ever give up: I learn this every single day with every challenge that comes my way. It is vital to persevere; you never know when your lucky break will come. This year I have had numerous setbacks, and every day presents its own challenge so much so that I am used to it as part of my life. If a day goes by without a challenge then I haven’t lived that day to my fullest potential. Challenges are great because they push you to expand your problem-solving skills and mental capacity. If you find a roadblock, you should find a way through. The more you practice this, the better you will get at it. Of course this goes hand in hand with stress-management.
4. Say yes but also learn to walk away: Opportunity may be like the next train, but some opportunities are like rare gems. So make your decisions wisely. This is actually an area I am still navigating. I am learning to say “yes” and “no” to deals that come my way. Not every deal is beneficial, and not every business card will advance your success. So be selective with whom you deal.
5. Never underestimate the underdog: I think Donald Trump’s victory more or less summarizes this statement.
6. Read more than one book a month: I know that earlier I set out to read one book a month, but I quickly realized that I needed to increase my consumption rate. I wasn’t learning enough from just one book a month, so now I upgraded it to one book a week. I am taking it a notch higher for the next year. Reading is important because it helps you see the journey that others have gone through to get where you want to go, and also opens up your creative juices. So you do not have to feed your mind with books only about business, it can be a literary work of art as well.
With those nuggets I’d like to wish you a happy and fruitful 2017!