Tide Ventures

LESSONS FROM THE HARD KNOCKS

An enabling mindset is that thinking pattern that leads you to feel strong, to think in a focused, open minded and flexible manner, to take responsibility for your well-being and your actions and to act powerfully and effectively no matter the circumstances. 

Look at what is surrounding us!

WE HAVE GONE THROUGH SO MUCH, HAVEN’T WE?

Depending on where you start counting, it’s been one challenge after another.

In Uganda, it was COVID 19, then the election season with all it’s accompanying political problems, then another lock down followed by the Kenya Uganda border closure and fuel prices hike before the global oil prices escalation due to Russia Ukraine war!

Ha, wait a minute, that was before the Ugandan- Rwanda boarder closure that affected all the cross border trade.

 Now I don’t want to pretend to be an economic analyst. However, even the blind can see that our economy is headed the wrong direction.

For purposes of this conversation however, let me focus on what each one of us has the power to impact.

The economy may not for the larger part be in our hands as individuals to change. The escalating prices may not be ours to control. The less and less money exchanging hands situation may not be in our charge to change. 

However much noise, anger, and bitterness we unleash, there are things that don’t depend on us to change. We can do our part and then hope that somehow God will intervene, our leaders will do something about something and the world will get better. 

However, there is something that is really in our power to impact and to enable us navigate this season in a safe way. That is our MINDSET.

An empowering mindset is what will help us to pick lessons from the hard knocks and be able to apply them to our lives and be able to powerfully forge forward- NO MATTER WHAT! 

Lessons are the biggest gain we shall carry from this season.

So what lessons are we picking from this season?

  1. E +R=O (Event + Response =Outcome)

How we respond or react to what is going on around us will determine whether we continue to float or whether we sink.

  1. Resilience;

‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’.

To be able to continue surviving or even thriving, you need to draw from your inner strength and resolve to keep moving. There is enough negativity going around that you don’t need to add to it. Focus on what is positive however small. Count your blessings. Set achievable goals and accomplish them to keep hope alive.

These goals may not be the kind that need a big budget to accomplish. It may be learning to bake a cake, planting a back yard garden, clearing and organizing your wardrobe. 

As long as it’s something that will give you a sense of accomplishment, please conquer it.

As Ugandan, we are endowed with a community of people that are willing to support one another. From family, to workmates and friends. It’s quite unlikely that you can fail to connect with a community unless you are not willing.

We are also survivors. We have gone through so much through different generations and we have grown a thick skin. Please draw from your inner strength and continue to float. 

Talk to a friend, seek for help, and spend your free time in positive, free or not costly but fun activities to avoid constant stress and depression, surround yourself with people that care.

Above all stay positive.

Look for the silver lining in everything that is going on around you. At least you are alive- remember? Yes you are alive- that’s why you are reading this. Everything else can be worked on with time if you have life.

  1. Identify priorities- differentiate wants from needs.

What is your goal? What are you trying to achieve. How else could you work on your goal even with the resources you have.

Where could you cut costs and still move towards your goal?

You may start cooking at home instead of eating out every day. You may want to learn to take care of your own hair and teach your children to take care of their own hair.

You may want to plan better, shop from a farmers market instead of supermarket, you may want to revisit your budget.

You may want to walk for exercise instead of subscribing to an expensive gym.

You may want to enjoy your current wardrobe instead of shopping new clothes and shoes every month end.

What do you want to start doing?

What do you want to stop doing?

  1. Self-awareness– 

Key to negotiating challenges and keeping your sanity is self-awareness. 

Self- awareness is power. Know your fears. Sometimes your fears maybe a little exaggerated compared to the actual situation. 

Just because you lost a job doesn’t mean you are going to end up poor. Identify the source of your fears. Where do your fears come from?  What triggers you, what causes sadness that could lead to depression? 

Share with someone, take a personal assessment to understand your strengths and align yourself with your strengths. It’s easier to focus on strengthening your already strong areas than to focus on improving on your weak areas. When you improve and operate from your strengths, your weaknesses will improve automatically.

As you improve in how you do things, your decision making, your ability to generate resources will improve and you will be able to overcome some of your fears that paralyze you.

  1. Identify possible necessary changes.

Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold them, know when to walk away, know when to run – (Kenny Rogers). 

Sometimes – something’s may not be worth fighting for. If it’s not working, release it and move forward. Make changes. Change the time lines. Whatever changes you may need to make to stay afloat, do it. It’s digging your own grave if you don’t make necessary changes when you need to, especially those changes that need a budget.

  1. Seek Unity – Seek support and be supportive.

‘Agetereine nigo gaata eigufa’! Literally, a pair of jaws needs to press towards each other to be able to crash a bone. Or put in English, -‘United we stand, divided we fall’.

Whether at a family level or as an organization, the teams that will continue to thrive through this season are those that will continue to stand together, those that understand what it means to support one another. Those that align behind a common purpose and support one another in the effort to accomplish the common goal.

But to do this, you need to know your goal. What are you (your family, your organization, your team, your group), what are you trying to achieve- together?

We are living in a stressful environment, minimal resources, increasing costs, diseases, violence, robberies, fears and so much more.

Finding clarity of purpose and aligning behind it will bring new energy and cause you to be more hopeful than those who focus on problems.

During this time, it’s also easy to lose it and to snap at your spouse, child, employees, and colleagues or at just anybody if you don’t deal with your stress or fears.

However, you will get more results by being supportive and helping others do better than by being critical and forceful. 

Yet, this can sometimes be difficult especially when you are already stressed. Seek help. Talk to someone. Laugh with someone you care about.

  1. Keep in mind- It’s a stressful time not stressful people. 

The people around you are as stressed as you are. 

Choose to be a blessing to someone instead of being a stressor to someone. 

Be a healer, the sickness is already in plenty- no need to add.

There is already so much stressing the people around you that you don’t need to add to their stress with your demands and unrealistic expectations.

My friend, your husband is already battered by so much out there. The heat is real. Then you are complaining about what this time? He didn’t listen? Do you know how much noise is screaming in his ears right now?

Your wife is trying to balance a slim budget, her job is probably threatened, her children are not getting the best of the things she wishes for them- and what’s your next demand? Socks are not where you want them to be placed and the shirt is what? 

In this season my friends, let’s extend some grace to the people around us. You need your wife healthy and well more than you need a shirt that is well ironed and placed in the position you want to find it at the time you already said ten times that it should be there. Yes, you saw right. The shirt is not there where you want it to be, how you want it to be – and no, that won’t kill you.

Let’s be healers and not destroyers of one another- especially now. What could you do to support the people around you instead of add to the burdens they are already dealing with?

  1. Finally, trust in God

Keep hope alive- it’s all we have.

It may be your business that is dry. You may be out of job, you may be earning less than meets your needs.

But keep hope alive. God is still alive and still interested in blessing you.

 Stay hopeful, continue sharpening the saw, stay in action, don’t give up and continue trusting God and release all else to God.

The good news, ‘God still cares. He will never leave you nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)

Be the change. Be the love. Be YOU.

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