A significant event happened on the weekend. The British Labour Party suffered its worst electoral defeat in 40 years. Make no mistake, the Labour Party is a great political party,– but have they transformed themselves to be in sync with the aspirations of their constituencies? The answer is in the ballot results. I would like to share some few points which I began to reflect upon.
Don’t Live In The Past
If you drive your car by looking in the rear view mirror you will soon crash. The mood of the hour in Britain was aptly captured by former Home Secretary David Blunkett who said: “We’ve got to get a grip and we’ve got to build on the progress we’ve made but we can’t rest on what we’ve done.” His point was very simple, the Labour Party has to stop living in the past, but to set an agenda for the hour. While the Labour Party was busy sharing about the old Labour victories, the Conservatives were quietly preaching a simple message – change. Change works! I would like to exhort you today to stop celebrating the past and look at a new agenda. Get a grip on your life today, set new milestones, new challenges and new adventures. Are you ready for today’s challenge? Instead of reminiscing on past victories reflect on future milestones.
Images of The Future
I am not very sentimental about the past, but I am fanatical about my future. I want to encourage you to do something practical today. Go and pull down those old photos which remind you of your past. Replace them with pictures of your future. What you keep looking at you become. This is the psychology of advertising – the more you look the more you want to buy it. In my bedroom, I have cuttings of the kind of house I would like to move into in the future pasted on the wall. I see it every night before I go to sleep, and every morning when I wake up. It is being formed in my spirit as I call it forth everyday. The same goes for my office – I have a cutting of the kind of office I would like to have. I like to surround myself with images of my future. This energizes my spirit and feeds my motivation. At a business level, the vision and mission are images of the future of your business. Where do you see your business in future? Live your life with images of your future surrounding you. As you do that destiny is birthed in your heart, and soon it will manifest in the physical.
A political party which holds on to an ideology for over forty years runs the risk of becoming irrelevant. I have just finished an article for the Black Business Quarterly (BBQ Magazine) where I am a columnist. I wrote, “The last decade has witnessed seismic changes in the business landscape. Old business maps, beacons, tools and processes are fast becoming redundant in the hurly burly of a globalised business environment” The point I was making is that businesses must be adoptive to change. Like a business you must be constantly repositioning, reengineering and if necessary rebranding yourself. The way you are positioned and the way you are branded (read my article on You Are A Brand) determines who sees you and what opportunities come your way. If you were a political party which tries to sell a 50 year ideology to an 18 year old, I bet that would be a hard sell. Time honoured notions of “this is how we do business” do not work anymore. Try time sensitive notions. Reinvent yourself for relevance.
You need to visit a nice restaurant even if it means all you will order is water. It opens up your thinking. Last year I spent a weekend in the world renowned Michelangelo Towers Hotel with my wife (home was just 10 minutes away!). Boy, I felt like a king! It was a single experience, but life changing and life challenging. I am not a hotel junkie, but I certainly want to come to a point in life where I can afford that experience whenever I feel like it. There are certain faculties of your mind that are triggered by a different environment. Take a drive in a nice neighbourhood and check out the houses. Peradventure, you might be challenged. You cannot begin to change until you have been exposed to triggers of change. Go to that car dealership, test drive that German machine even if you know you don’t have the money. Just tell the car “One day I will drive you”. Challenge yourself by going to places where you think you do not belong. Peep, sneak, gatecrash…you are in the makeover process.