Roar From the Inside

no picture Advocate for Change
Matthew Rindel
Member since July 5, 2016
  • 1 Post
  • Age 24

Your Purpose Can Take You Places

Your Purpose Can Take You Places

I believe in Agenda 2063, the aspirations for the Africa We Want, because I am a citizen of Africa before I am a citizen of the world. I believe in this profound agenda and the ability of both myself and my comrades, the abundant youth of Africa, to positively influence the continent and, by extension, the world. The extent of this belief permeates into the principles of a new business venture I am embarking on, called Sobantu Technologies (sobantu meaning 'with people'), which endorses the agenda and affirms its aspirations.

My plan to make this positive change is clear to me, and there are many others I have met from my generation who have ideas and interest in affecting change, yet who often lack confidence or the correct motivation to achieve it. People from my generation are often called "Millennials", however your subscription to the term and what it means is subjective and you can craft your own identity beyond what people label you.

Self-confidence often depends on the people around you. "Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu" from isiZulu means, "You are a person because of people." Your childhood, your family, your friends and your city/village/town all influence you and your behaviour. I feel, often, the biggest contributor to a lack of confidence is the drive by many of us to do everything ourselves. There is always a constant need to prove ourselves. Accountability is an essential aspect of a society on the road to success, however, we find ourselves trying to prove ourselves to everything and everyone who comes our way. A good start towards that self-confidence is letting go of this "pleasing people" persona and then learning to work with others, acknowledging their strengths and working together fairly with a common purpose. Learning to ask others for support gracefully lets them know that you are an ordinary person, with feelings and faults, who does not know all of the answers (and you are not supposed to). It gives both you and them an opportunity to develop trust in one another.

How does working in a team develop self-confidence? It provides a platform to measure your personal strengths, to learn their limits and how to exercise them. I worked for a technology start-up for three years as a software developer, I had often grumbled about how I was not more involved with project planning and conceptualisation. As it turns out, it is difficult to manage, especially when there are multiple people on the team, and I grew to respect the project manager, my boss and company director, for the work he did and how it helped my work in the team. My focus became amplified: I practiced as much as I could, with the desire to deliver the best possible code for each project and to reduce the work-load of my colleagues. From that foundation, I eventually created several code libraries which simplified product development and, to this day, are still used in the major products we crafted.

Why does that matter? Developing self-confidence takes time: I needed to have the inclines and declines in my personal and professional journey in order for me to realise what is important in my life, and how I want to make a positive change in the lives of others. Once I was confident in what I could do, I started to look at why I do it. Simon Sinek has profoundly said, "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it," in one of the most popular TEDTalks of all time, 'How Great Leaders Inspire Action'. Connecting with people was something which always drove me, because there was a time in my life I did not feel like people tried to connect with me. Modeling that desire, I seek to inspire people and bring them together. As far as possible, I only partake in actions which assert my purpose.

Once you know yourself, know your purpose and have confidence in both, your next big journey begins. Sun Tzu said, in 'The Art of War', "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles." In recorded history, there are only battles fought by armies of people, not solitary warriors. In this day and age, rather than to battle, it is better to advocate for peace. Whatever your purpose or mission is, seek out others who share something similar. I volunteer for the YMCA because the organisation believes in (amongst many other things) working for and maintaining environments in which relationships among people are characterized by love and understanding. It fits with my purpose. It makes it easier to connect with other volunteers and for us to work together. For you, find those organisations, platforms and/or structures where you can meet people roaring passionately from the inside, like you. Their army and your army will be one and the same, achieving positive change. You are more likely to meet people changing the world at a community centre than at a dance-club. You are more likely to meet animal-lovers in a park than in an apartment complex.

Once you have a team who share complementing values, similar ethics and a common mission, then what? I do not know. Such discoveries are the next part of your collective journey. Because you have a purpose and a team, with confidence, with passion and with support, together you can manifest them into something which greatly affects those around you. Rome was not built in a day. The Africa We Want will not be built in a day either. However, it will be built by those who believe in it. I encourage you to invest in others, collaborate and, most importantly, seek! Seek people, seek information, seek yourself. In the wise words written in 'The Prophet' by Kahlil Gibran, Almustafa said, "The timeless in you is aware of life's timelessness. And knows that yesterday is but today's memory and tomorrow is today's dream." Dreams live because we believe. So, roar from the inside and believe.




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