Chart a path to guide you through change

A New Year comes with new things, and this year will be no different. 

The year 2010 will present you with opportunities and challenges; joy and sorrow; love and pain.  These things may or may not come in equal measure but regardless of which side the changes are leaning, there are a few things you need to know.

It has been said and I will reinforce it: the only constant thing in life is change.  We wake up and something new presents itself.  It may be a simple change such as a new boss at work, a transfer, heavier work load etc.  It could also be a life transforming change such as a marriage, a birth, loss of a loved one, loss of a job etc. 

No matter what the scale of change is, when it is foreseen we are able to prepare ourselves to some extent – emotionally, physically and spiritually.  We feel that there is some realm of the change that is within our control.  We all like to be in control.

However, when it is unforeseen it catches us off guard literally knocking the wind out of the lungs.  So what do we do when he have regained our footing?  When the air, so to speak, has returned to our lungs?  When we have had time to digest the developments?

I have learned, and as a Greek philosopher once said, “People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them.”   If you can tell yourself that you are a vessel with a specific purpose, then these changes are just distractions.   These changes do not become you or your life story.  You must resolve to fulfill your heart’s desires, your goals, or your dreams. 
For this to happen, you must be unwavering in your quest to find out your life’s purpose and fulfill it.

Even the great book talks about keeping your eye on the mark.  It is evident that the change scenario has been constant throughout the ages and the wisdom of our forefathers, tried and tested.
Secondly, know that not every change has to impact your life now.  Nevertheless, it will affect you sooner or later.  You can choose to delve into the changing times or you can choose to insulate yourself from what’s happening around you.  For example, at a global level we have just learned that China is now the top global exporter having overtaken other countries such as Germany.  What does this mean for us at a personal level? 

Does this development mean that there is greater demand for Chinese imports than those of Europe in Kenya?  Why is it that despite the numerous quality issues we have with some of their products, Africa keeps on consuming them?  Could this mean that there is a niche market whose demands are not being met because they are loyal to the European products and are not afraid to pay a premium? 

Obviously, there are some opportunities that exist in this area.  We may choose to ignore the advent of the Chinese into Africa now; but soon we will not be able to ignore their impact on our economy.

Better yet, with the signing of the EAC common market protocol, we will no doubt experience major changes in the way we do business in Kenya and East Africa.  This integration presents numerous opportunities but also unforeseen challenges.  
What many do not know, is that the East African Community has a total population exceeding 130 million, out of which 61 million are actively in the labor force. The region has a very high literacy rate and Kenya is the most developed of the five countries. 

In your own personal cocoon, you may decide to ignore this development and the opportunities presented by integration of the East African region.  If you belong to one of our partner states, you may even choose to resist the integration. However, please bear in mind that progress will continue in spite of your own reluctance to accept it.  Africa has seen that the advantages of trading as a bloc on the growth rate, far surpasses the negative impact on individual countries. 

On the other hand, you may decide to get out of your comfort zone and seek career growth outside of Kenya.  As a business person, you may even decide to expand into this new frontier and take advantage of numerous market opportunities before the other countries become saturated with your competitors.

In wrapping up, I want to say that change is always happening and will happen in 2010.  Let us prepare ourselves for its eventuality, with the awareness that – the sooner we confront it, the better for us. More importantly, let us hasten the process by accept it and charting a path to guide us onward.  Just because we close our eyes does not mean that the tree in our path magically disappears, eventually we crash into it.

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