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Opinions of Saturday, 28 January 2017

Columnist: Rev Albert Ocran

Breaking the power of stagnation

A new year presents another opportunity to take your life to a whole new level. However, as you contemplate all the possibilities open to you, your mind is likely to drift to the limitations that seem to surround you, the challenges of the just ended year and the feeling that your life may have ground to a standstill for some time now.

We invite you to start climbing to another level today. Desire it, think about it, plan it, organise yourself but most importantly do it. You never know how far you can get until you break out of your comfort zone and step into the unfamiliar. The following tips will help you do just that:

Relocate from the safety lane onto the faith lane. Staying in your place of familiarity could be your greatest obstacle to a new experience. Operators in the comfort zone are predictable, logical and incremental in their approach to progress. There is no risk, excitement or sense of adventure. On the other hand, in the faith zone, you constantly live on the edge.

There is always something higher you are aspiring to. The lure of greater achievement is always serving as a trigger for dislocation from your present position. Remember that some of the greatest achievements in life were achieved by people who left their places of comfort and mediocrity and stepped out into the unknown.

Great businesses have been built by people who dropped out of school or were thrown out of their paces of employment. Don’t live all your life playing it safe and regret in the end for not doing what you really wanted to do with your life.

Moving from glory to glory

Go from glory to glory. No matter how high you have climbed in life, there is a place even higher than that. Keep moving up. Success is about a progressive ascent. Before you settle in your current victory, God will be already be commissioning you to the next level. There is no limit for you. Even before the applause from your current achievement dies down, remind yourself that you are off to the next one.

Move away from the familiar place of limitation. Before God blessed Abram, he asked him to move out of his father’s house. His family did not share the faith God was giving him and he was also likely to be restricted by the economic limitations they must have faced.

God was inviting him to an entirely new life of blessing that he could not possibly experience or contain in his original environment. He therefore had to get out of the familiar surrounding he had been born into and had known all his life. After he obeyed, God came to him on one night in Genesis 12 and confirmed all his blessings. However, before He did that, He symbolically asked Abram to come out of the tent and look up at the countless stars.

This was important because staying indoors would have denied him the opportunity to visualise the extent of the promise or blessing. Can you appreciate the fact that you cannot see the unlimited potential ahead of you if you remain hidden and keep looking down?

Adopting technology

Utilise emerging techniques and technologies. Another cause of stagnation is when we find ourselves trapped in old ways of doing things, old techniques and outdated technologies.

In Ghana today, the banking industry has become extremely competitive to the extent that innovative products and services are consistently being deployed by rival banks in their bid to outwit one another and stake their claim in the marketplace.

As a result, a wide range of technological innovations including telephone banking, internet business, assorted payment cards and real-time notification of transactions, among others have become common place.

Technology is one of the main drivers of innovation. Technologies that were at the top of the range sometime back are obsolete today.

The reality is that whatever works today is already on its way to becoming obsolete. The emerging array of software and technologies being deployed has several benefits. Technology is a leveler.

It allows for standardisation of products and services across countries.

This means that promoter of a business franchise can ensure that the same standard or quality of service, products or food is on offer in different countries. Other benefits include increased efficiency, convenience, ease and speed of delivery, efficiency and the multiplication or extension of the brand.

To get to the highest pinnacle of success you need to familiarise yourself with relevant technologies and rapidly adapt to new techniques for getting excellent results.

Going beyond your predecessors

Exceed the limits of your predecessors. Everybody attains a certain level of achievement and hands over the baton to the next person or generation. This is true in business, ministry, politics and family as well as in other fields of endeavour. It is the expectation that everyone who gets the opportunity to do something will improve upon what he or she received from their predecessors.

You will be considered a failure if you leave anything worse off than it was before you took over. No matter how well your parents or predecessors have done, your mandate is to improve it. That is why they laid that foundation for you. In order to achieve that, you need to see what others do not see.

John Maxwell puts it this way, “It is only those who see the invisible who can do the impossible.” If you only see what other people see; you’ll end up doing what other people do. Reach beyond conventional thinking and do something in your time that will outlive you and become a memorial for generations after you.

Shut the door. Close the door of your life on the doubters who come dressed as friends and end up misdirecting the vessel of your life. Sometimes, moving into top gear requires some isolation and focus.

You need to build inner resilience to sometimes stand alone and fight your way through. When you breakthrough and do what everyone else said you couldn’t do, the same people will come out and congratulate you. Some will even go so far as to say they always knew you could do it.

Yet you would have shipwrecked your life if you had not mustered the courage to tow a different line. Right motives are not always enough justification for sticking with people who are obviously leading you in the wrong direction. Poison will not lose its venom if it is ignorantly and lovingly administered as medication by a well-meaning person.