Inspired by having read ‘What I Know For Sure’ by Oprah Winfrey, I have decided to share a few things that I know for sure centered around Friendships, Gratitude, Confidence and Faith. This is a continuation from What I Know For Sure: Part 1
What am I afraid of?
‘Whatever you fear most has no power-it is your fear that has the power.’
I will dwell particularly on this blog. A lot of the ladies in the book club will probably share the same sentiments. When the idea of running the blog parallel to the book club came, I was gripped with fear. I could have written a long list on why the idea wouldn’t work- ‘I am not a writer’, ‘Too many writers spoil the blog’, ‘I do not have the time’, ‘What if no one reads the blog?’ and the most crippling, ‘What if we make fools of ourselves?’
I almost forgot to find the positive part in the whole idea. – ‘I get to hone my writing skills’ , ‘I get to learn to manage my time wisely’, ‘We each get to carry the load of managing a blog together’, ‘What if people in fact do enjoy reading our blog?’ and most importantly,’ ‘So what if we make fools of ourselves?’. There is a positive intention behind this blog and if we are determined to make it work and put the effort behind this intention, then we have done our part. We are a month and a half old and it already has not been easy but I definitely will not have to ask the question Oprah poses, ‘What would my life have been like if I hadn’t cared so much about what people thought?’
I urge you to try the one thing you have many reasons to not do. Just do it.
I read ‘What I Know For Sure’ on a day when I felt I had not fully been myself. I had been in a meeting where I presented in front of managers and directors and had so many points to share around how best to move the business unit forward and yet, I found myself mute when I could have aired my views and shone. Prior to this, at our 2nd book club session, we spoke about how we tend to be reluctant to speak out unless spoken to even when we have so many valid ideas that would be well-received. And so, on the day I read this book, I found myself disappointed that I had not spoken up. The disappointment of not having come out of my shell was more tormenting than the possibility of having my ideas turned down.
Since then, I have become more deliberate about owning the meetings I attend. I speak up even when my opinion has not been requested. I lean in a lot more.
As Oprah told me,
‘You are built not to shrink down to less but to blossom into more. To be more splendid. To be more extraordinary. To use every moment to fill yourself up.’
Oprah quotes a passage from Gary Zukav’s ‘The Seat of the Soul’:
‘Every action, thought, and feeling is motivated by an intention, and that intention is a cause that exists as one with an effect. If we participate in the cause, it is not possible for us not to participate in the effect. In this most profound way, we are held responsible for our every action, thought and feeling, which is to say, for our every intention. . ..It is, therefore, wise for us to become aware of the many intentions that inform our experience, to sort out which intentions produce which effects, and to choose our intentions according to the we desire to produce.’
Quite a mouthful there but it says it all. Why do you do what you do? ‘Winging’ it is always the easiest option but more often not yields nothing. It is in moments when I take the time to be intentional about what I am doing that I am able to see clearly whether my actions will bring out the intended reaction. How many times have you done something with the objective of a specific result only to not get that results?
Being intentional takes time and effort but nothing nullifies effort like making a costly mistake. This is where the ‘alone time’ mentioned in What I Know For Sure: Part 2 comes in handy.
One of my favourite pastimes, chess, has taught me to think about the objective behind make any move. If I move my piece in a certain direction, there are many possible consequences of this. However, the thought put before making that move brings me closer to attaining my desired outcome.
What I Know For Sure is that asking myself ‘What is my real intention?’ makes me more aware of myself and where I am going.
‘I know for sure there is no real meaning to life without a spiritual component’.
Without a shadow of a doubt, THIS I know for sure. This gives me a reason for being here and a motive to continue yearning to be the BEST me. I have been a Christian all my life but I admit that I have not always pursued my faith to my greatest desire. I have not always gone to Church or always read my bible or remembered to say my prayers. I acknowledge that there are two versions of me. The ‘Lee’ who follows her faith fully, is in the world but not of it and there is the ‘Lee’ who is just sailing through life with nothing to guide her. I prefer the former ‘Lee’. This Lee lives her life fearlessly and finds greater purpose when her relationship with God is strong. I pray you engage entirely in your spirituality.
By Lee Nyenyezi
Lee is a Supply Chain professional in the FMCG industry. Not satisfied with being confined to her day job, Lee is always reading something different. The development of women and Africa are what fuel her passion. She would one day love to have dinner with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and pick her brain on so many issues.