As the year draws to a close its time to take stock. The guns of the battle of 2009 are dying down, but the war still needs to be won. This is a just battle, and if you survived it, then you can live to fight another battle. Let’s use metaphors of battle and war to share a few points. You might have been a casualty of the economics, politics, business, social, spiritual or even environmental factors but if you are reading this it means you have another fighting chance. There are some of you, who might even be victors in the battle of 2009, but it’s not time to revel in perpetual celebration, the war ain’t over yet.
My granny always used to tell us stories using battles as milestones or memory pointers. In the ancient days, war was the way of life. At the end of battles, kings would sit down and take stock. They would count their casualties, spoils, trophies and most importantly the key learning points and or lessons from the battle.
Lessons From The Casualties
We all have suffered casualties one way or the other. I have my story too. I remember at the beginning of the year I lost 10 years of family savings and pension after the dollarization of the Zimbabwean economy. I got burnt! Was it painful? Of course. Do I have to keep mourning over the losses? Hell no! I have buried the carcass of those losses and it’s time to move on. I have learnt the lesson though to be more diligent and judicious before I bet the family silver on the wrong horse.
Kings would declare a few days of mourning after their battle losses, but after that period was over it was time to get on with the kingdom business. Let me declare to you that days of mourning over the losses in 2009 are over, and get on with the business of taking your life somewhere. They would also draw lessons from the losses in order to avoid a repeat. Making a mistake once is a lesson, making the mistake twice is foolishness. There are certain losses where you can say “Never again under my watch, not in 2010 not ever”
Lessons From The Spoils and Trophies
The spoils and trophies represent your successes. Kings would declare days of celebration to revel in their plunder and parade the trophies (prisoners of war and enemy commanders). Celebrations would not happen forever because there were no permanent victories. The enemy would relent for a short season but would wait for an opportunity to avenge the losses.
It is good to celebrate your successes. But there is one truth…success in not a destination. It is the progressive realisation of predetermined worthwhile goals. Success in 2009 does not translate to success in 2010. You need to consolidate the gains from 2009 by putting anchors in the ground so that you do not back slide. Get your feet on the ground, be sober and know that you have won a battle but the war is not over. The lessons from your success/spoils are that you now have a template or point of reference to replicate that success going forward. It is also a memorial and mental anchor that YOU have done it before, so YOU can do it again.
Lessons From The Battle Strategy
The spoils and casualties you experience are a reflection of your battle strategy. War is an art learnt over time. You perfect your fighting art by learning from previous battles. There are battles which require heavy fire power. Other battles require ‘shock and awe’, some battles require that you hunt like a leopard…stealth, some guerrilla style or cow horn formation. The point is different battle goals require appropriate battle strategy. You cannot use antiquated weapons (spears and shield) to fight a space age war (GPS guided missiles).
Going into 2010, you need to ask yourself, ‘How could I have avoided some of the losses? How could I have maximised some of my success?’ As you answer these questions it shapes your plans around for the battle of 2010. Your process and methodologies for achieving your goals need to be changed if you are to get new results. I am deliberately using metaphors of war, because in 2010 its year of advancement where we will need to be offensive than just defensive. The challenges of 2009 that might have caused you a heart break must be a defining moment which causes you to break new ground looking ahead. The successes must be a defining moment which causes you to break the charts going forward.