The new decade has brought with it a great deal of uncertainty. In the 2010s we talked about 4IR - the fourth industrial revolution – which is leading us to a VUCA world characterised by Volatility; Uncertainty; Complexity; and Ambiguity. No one could have predicted that the 2020s would usher in an era of even greater uncertainty.
COVID-19 has demonstrated the extent to which the entire world is connected. Nations; governments; inter-governmental organizations; the private sector; civil society; religious organizations; communities; and families are all affected. The entire world faces a real possibility of redefining what is important and what should matter more. The most certain thing during the time of change is change itself.
While these are uncertain times, they are also times for new possibilities that we may not have thought about before. The digital era and the availability of reliable data provide new opportunities.
On a personal level, each one of us has to reimagine our lives. What kind of future do we wish for ourselves? We need to pause and press the reset button and reflect on our life's journey. This reflection may determine a new path going forward. Tenacity will see through the current times.
There is an expression, you can't drink from an empty cup. Self–care is very important during these times of uncertainty. We need to ensure that our cups don't run dry. We need to continuously pour into our souls to ensure that our cups overflow. Let us continuously replenish ourselves.
Life calls for a different rhythm. Some of us still need to discover our own rhythm. Once discovered, we should learn to dance to our own rhythm to become more effective and lead lives of prosperity; happiness; joy; and contentment. Some have already discovered their rhythm. However, they must decide if they need to change it. It is a journey of discovery and rediscovery. Self -Mastery and self- leadership will be the product of this process.
My own life's journey is one of continuous change. I have had a long career in the public service, whose peak was when I became Chief of Staff in the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Affairs and Operations Manager in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) barely into my thirties. After some years away from the public service, I was back in 2019 working as a consultant with the role of Special Advisor to the Presidential Advisory Expert Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture in South Africa.
My academic career saw me defending my PhD thesis in International Law in French at the Université de Strasbourg. I have taught at 3 universities and continue to be affiliated to at least two universities on a part-time basis. I have delivered academic papers and spoken at several universities overseas. The end of 2016 saw me leave fulltime employment to carve out a new career as a businesswoman.
I am currently on a path of reinvention. In December 2019 I realized my long-held dream of becoming an accredited professional coach. I now hold the credential of Associate Certified Coach of the International Coaching Federation (ICF)! As of March 2020, I am currently the President of the Pretoria Chapter of the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa (PSASA)!
'Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frighten us. We ask ourselves: Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we learn to let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.'
- Marianne Williamson from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles Harper Collins, 1992. From Chapter 7, Section 3 (Pg. 190-191).
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labours and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy