A number of people will basically give a litany of the many times they performed superbly in their organisations or businesses. ‘I did this for this company, I did that for that company, I did this for my wife’ and so on and so forth. But life is ruthless. The successes of yesterday are nothing tomorrow. Life is a continuation of success after success.
Ask chief executives of different companies and they will tell you that shareholders are ruthless. It matters not whether you have given them outstanding performances in the past 10 to 20 years. The moment market forces start to change, the moment things start heading the wrong direction, they will sell their shares and move on. They will not care how good you used to be. This is exactly how life is. The wine of the past does not matter.
Sport is the best adviser in this dimension. A sporting icon is only adored when he or she is at the peak. The moment performance starts going down, people forget about how you excited them in the past. Keep on working hard. Keep on doing new things. Never get angry when people do not seem to appreciate you, when your company does not offer you a bonus. Life is not about the achievements of the past; life is the achievements of the present. It should not amaze you that anything that happened in the past is called history. It is for a simple reason; it is there to give you a glimpse of how life has been moving but it is not the driver of the present scenario. You have to create the successful you of today.
Not long ago, Tiger Woods was the golfer’s name one everyone’s lips. Not anymore. Consider people that have amazed you and have been superseded by the current performance of other super stars.
Siphiwe Moyo points things clearly in black and white. He says: “No CEO [Chief Executive Officer] stays in that position because they made a very good decision and kept the company alive when it was at its lowest point 15 years ago. The CEO must continue making wise choices and ensuring more productivity as well as ensuring that profit is made. The shareholders will not just say, ‘Oh it is fine she should stay CEO even when we are slacking. Once upon a time, she saved the company’. This is not how things work, no one cares how good you used to be but everyone cares how good you are now.
What you must remember is that you are the CEO of your life. What you gain in life are profits of any investment you make with your life. Hard work will result in greater profitability in several areas. This could be growing business, promotion, recognition, admiration, bonuses, you name it. It is what you are doing at present that will yield great success to you. It is good to have this point at the back of the mind. Life is a competition, a ruthless competition; you blink, you surely lose. As you are slacking, others are enhancing their skills, doing things differently to rise to the pinnacle of success. People will only point at you when you are unique, when you are different, when you are extraordinary— but that depends on the now and not what you did 10 years ago.
Stop preaching the gospel of your glorious past. Let your present speak volumes of what you are. It is the present that people will use to judge you. What you speak now matters. How you make life better for those around you now matters most. How you interact with colleagues and discharge your duties now matters. You may have been passing examinations with flying colours but, surely, if you fail one examination now, the past will not be used to pass you the present examination. You will be asked to re-sit the examination and even, be withdrawn. The choice is yours. Barricade yourself in the cocoon of the glorious past and lose touch with reality or show your character now and earn that which the world will repay you with.
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