Monday 2021-03-01




By Kholwaphi Dlamini-Mdziniso | 2021-01-26

I was doing my garden towards the end of the week, a process I have been meditating on for weeks since November 2020.

A part of me wanted to go out to do the work myself, a part of me was saying no that is difficult - gardening is a task done by males. My thoughts were ‘a garden is masculine work’.

A part of me thought ‘what will the people think seeing a lady doing a garden?’ I have been postponing doing my garden for weeks.

Eventually, during the course of last week, I woke up to do my garden.

The good thing was that it had rained lightly the previous night and the soil was tender. As I arose to the occasion getting down to weeding, digging and greeting neigbhours who were passing by, I suddenly realised that cleaning a garden has never been difficult at all.

I noted that my mind was the strong hold that had delayed me doing something that is refreshing to the soul and a good detox for the mind. As I continued doing the work enjoying it, I realised that the mind is a very powerful machine.

The mind controls our actions. I thought, it is almost a year now since coronavirus hit us. We had been grounded, coming in and out of lockdowns for 10 months now. A part of me thought, as difficult as the times are, maybe it is time that we refresh what we have been thinking for a long time.

As I continued with my garden enjoying the weeding, I suddenly realised that I had robbed myself of doing something good because I was afraid to liberate my mind.

Then I thought it could be that all that I needed was to refresh what I have been thinking. Who knows/ maybe the Covid-19 era has come as an opportunity to allow us to refresh what we have been thinking.

Getting out of the box For a very long time, we have been focused on 2022 and beyond, having clear cut strategies and blue books of how we will get there.

When Covid-19 came and disrupted our plans, at first we were frustrated, but as time went on spreading to a horizon we are not sure about, it is clear that we need to reflect on our thoughts - to refresh what we have been thinking. It is time to explore what could the future hold? It seems the Covid-19 season has brought about an opportunity to refresh what we have been thinking for decades.

Tough as it may be, it is an opportunity for renewal and growth.

Time for spiritual renewal Leaders are people, and though their duty is to be at the forefront thinking, planning and adjusting plans; but still they need to offload their minds to allow thinking for regeneration, growth and recreation of the future.

Covid-19 and the challenges it pose give room to reflect on yester and the new future that can be created. Who knows what it could be? Who knows what it can entail? All that is needed is to offload our minds, open up, think and explore the potential of what the future could hold. Offloading the mind to create new possibilities

Stephen Covey in his book ‘The Seven Habits of highly effective people’ cites that we all want to succeed.

And one path to success is identifying the habits that can help us on our journey. In listing the seven habits, he cites that “to be effective, we must devote the time to renewing ourselves physically, spiritually, mentally and socially. Continuous renewal allows us to synergistically increase our ability to practice all the other six habits”. Renewing our mind allows us to offload and recreate new possibilities.

Covey list Habit 7 as focused around renewal, or taking time to ‘sharpen the saw.’

He asset that there are four dimensions of our nature, and each must be exercised regularly, and in balanced ways: he lists the physical, spiritual, mental and emotional dimensions.

Physical Dimension: The goal of continuous physical improvement is to exercise our body in a way that will enhance our capacity to work, adapt and enjoy.

To renew ourselves physically, we must eat well, get sufficient rest and relaxation, exercise on a regular basis to build endurance, flexibility and strength.

Covey says that focusing on the physical dimension helps develop muscles of proactivity.

We act based on the value of well-being instead of reacting to the forces that keep us from fitness.

Spiritual Dimension: The goal of renewing our spiritual self is to provide leadership to our life and reinforce our commitment to our value system.

To renew yourself spiritually, you can practice daily meditation, communicate with nature, immerse yourself in great literature or music.

A focus on our spiritual dimension helps us practice other habits. As we continuously revise and commit ourselves to our values, so we begin with the end in mind.

Mental Dimension: The goal of renewing our mental health is to continue expanding our mind.

To renew yourself mentally he cites that: Read good literature, keep a journal of your thoughts, experiences and insights and limit television watching to only those programmes that enrich your life and mind. Focusing on our mental dimension helps us practice managing ourselves effectively to maximise the use of our time and resources.

Social/Emotional Dimension: The goal of renewing ourselves socially is to develop meaningful relationships.

To renew yourself emotionally, you can: seek to deeply understand other people, make contributions to meaningful projects that improve the lives of others.

Maintain an abundance mentality, and seek to help others find success. Renewing our social and emotional dimension helps us recognise that win-win solutions do exist, seeking to understand others, and finding mutually beneficial third alternatives through synergy.

If leaders learn to renew their mind, they will not only survive this difficult time but they may unlock new potential for their organisations.

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