by Rio Matlhaku
I can personally attest that forging a new path in life requires both commitment and the creation of new habits having recently embarked on a personal journey of creation and discovery. My journey started three years ago when I decided to immerse myself in the Lewis Deep Democracy training. The journey has opened vistas I did not think possible in terms of how relationships, particularly in conflict riddled environments, work. The coursework, engagement and rigour of the four levels of the training were at first intimidating for me because I come from a very different environment to my fellow participants. Having followed a career in public relations, I found myself surrounded by HR people, coaches and the like.
The seeds of this new path were planted many years ago when I sought help through life coaching. My interest in personal development led to my role as a founding partner in a consulting company in 2017. The company, Shine, started tentatively but has since gathered speed and does some amazing work for its clients. Whilst I am not currently active in the business on a day to day basis, I play a strategic role and have attended a few of the workshops, one being a CoResolve workshop during the first year of the business. I was intrigued, my interest in the work was piqued, soon I was hooked and I have never looked back. I am now ready to take this work seriously and have just registered for a six -month Personal Development Program which is offered by the international Lewis Deep Democracy company.
I identify with the quote by Buddha which says,
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream about the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."
It is a dictum I have adopted.
After many years of not being involved in any form of structured learning which requires hours of study, I have started setting up my home to accommodate this new lifestyle. I have acquired a desk, a reading lamp and will need to adapt my current reading patterns, currently made up of mostly fiction, current affairs and biographies, to study materials. I will also have to be creative in how I manage my time between my current workload in my day- to-day job as a Public Relations practitioner and community activist to making time to read as much as possible about the world of conflict resolution and related fields.
I have realised that an important part of leading a lifestyle based on a quest for continual improvement requires a constant effort to find way of doing things differently. Finding innovative solutions to problems I needs to solve and inspiration into areas that are new to me. Physicist Albert Einstein says, ‘creativity is intelligence having fun’. It is that element of fun that practitioners at Shine use in helping individuals and clients improve relationships. Hopefully it is that element of having fun whilst making a difference in rebuilding our country that I will experience during the course. I know that I will be able to use these skills in my current role both at work, at Shine and in my various community projects that I am involved in in my spare time. Who knows, it may even be my second career.
I have a new take on creativity which is no longer confined to only great works of art, inspiring pieces of music or beautiful architecture. I used to think that if I was not involved in the conscious development of any of these, I was not creative. Now I think that my life is in fact a series of acts of creation which happen without me paying any special attention to it. I wake up each morning with a plan of how my day is going to pan out. I make short and long- term plans on the things I would like to achieve and painstakingly work on the small steps required to ensure that these come to fruition. I have come to realise that commitment is a crucial part of creativity. Creative people commit to their respective crafts by making sacrifices with hours of practice and dedication. I too can be creative if I am committed, and so can you.
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