As mankind we face some common enemies for the entirety of our lives but we spend time fighting the wrong ones. We fight those that are better than us, those we don’t like us or have annoyed or rejected us. This takes all our energies and thus we fail to fight the right enemies. In this piece, I write about 12 enemies that are common to mankind which every creature should take steps to fight. They are not in any specific order though some are definitely more important. These enemies require our attention if we are to ever fulfil God’s promises on earth. I hope you get energized to fulfill your purpose in life after reading this.
Enemy 1: Inferiority
Various reasons make people feel inferior in life. Inferiority is the feeling of you can’t. People have doubt in themselves because of their financial status, looks, background, colour, knowledge, education, home area etc. Doubt is a very close relative of fear and is used to steal our faith and boldness from us. Inferior people think that they are poor, unworthy, damn, feeble and lack in everything. Sadly they spend all their time thinking about what they lack rather than what they have.
As human kind we are superior and each of us has a special something that others do not have. In fact, every homosapien in this over 7 billion world lacks something but this does not refuse the world to progress. The choice is yours to look at your glass as either half full or half empty. As human beings we should note that: “we are partly empty, we have deficiencies”, but most importantly “we are partly full, we have capacity.”
You don’t need to have everything to be successful in life; it is a matter of utilizing the little you have to your advantage. You need to fall in love with who are to stop feeling inferior. With this you need to first of all accept what you cannot change about yourself and work on changing the rest. Everyone needs to improve whatever makes them inferior which can be changed for example the way you dress, speak to people, negative attitude, your confidence etc.
Always have a positive attitude, think of yourself as the best because that is the best of you, understand your inadequacies and work hard to over shadow them and then you will be on the road to greatness. Several examples exist of people who the world has looked/thought about as inferior but have made it in life. If some of these people made it without others to look up to then what about you?
Another way of fighting this inferiority complex is to look around those who you think are in the same league like you and if they have made it then you too can. After that you should be inspired and motivated to go for it. The only difference is your attitude.
Charles swindoll said: “I believe the single most significant decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude. It is more important than my past, my education, my bankroll, my successes or failures, fame or pain, what other people think of me or say about me, my circumstances, or my position. Attitude keeps me going or cripples my progress. It alone fuels my fire or assaults my hope. When my attitudes are right, there is no barrier too high, no valley too deep, no dream too extreme, no challenge too great for me.”
Stop being INFERIOR and work your way to greatness.
Enemy 2: Delay/procrastination
I find it very interesting that in today’s world, there are more and more people who go to office very early in the morning at 6:00am and leave very late in the night at 9:00pm; that is over 15 hours spent in office. Have you very wondered what some of these people do in their offices? Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam refers to them as fools who do not know how to manage their work within their stipulated time, he further refers to them as ineffective and inefficient. That may somewhat be too harsh but have you ever wondered why some people have such a routine and yet they do not produce any tangible results. They simply procrastinate or delay.
When some people go to office at 6:00am, they spend their time facebooking, reading newspapers or actually working; the choice depends on the individual. Others spend their productive time reading emails, browsing through various websites, reading online newspapers and this takes three quarters of their day. They only realize that they have not accomplished their daily tasks a few minutes to 5:00pm and that is when they start doing the actual work that took them there in the first place. Such people will not have substantial outputs and will always look like those who are working so hard yet are just jokers. Why postpone things? Why postpone something you can do in that hour to a later time? Why should you do this assignment tomorrow yet you could accomplish it today? Now that is procrastination.
Talk about delay, many times we delay to start on something that we should have done without any reason. What happened to that application you wanted to make? Why do you postpone it to another day? Why haven’t you started that business that you wanted? What about that building project? What about that innovation you would want to make. One author put it very well that whatever you think about, you need to know that you are not the only one thinking about it and therefore if you do not act fast, another person will do it. We usually delay to take action on some of the important aspects of our lives and then regret later.
In our office at work we wanted to start a sports activity every Friday evening to break the monotonous work schedule that we always have. Though willing it took us over a period of two months to start this activity. It is something we all wanted but we always delayed and until one day when one of us decided that enough was enough. We now have the sports activity every Friday willingly. You could have had such plans to play a sport, go to the gym or exercise, what happened to those plans?
Time is never friendly. Ask a civil servant why they do not own a house even in their village after 30 years of hard work and earning salary.
Decide today to stop delaying/procrastinating and the results will speak for themselves. If you want to put up that blog post, do it now, don’t wait!
Enemy 3: Complacency
Complacency is showing satisfaction with one’s situation. Again, have you ever wondered why a civil servant will be given a house by government and they live in it for over 30 years and by the time they are supposed to retire they have nowhere to go? Yes, they are usually contented with their life and don’t think of a better one; they think that is all there is to life. When you are contended with your present situation, you will not start on your projects.
A Luganda proverb says “The one who has not moved will always think that there mother is the best cook.” Move and you will actually find out how wrong you are. Strive for better, don’t be contended with less.
Enemy 4: Complaints/excuses
Have you ever been near someone who is always complaining? It is one of the most irritating moments you will ever experience. Such people complain over the simplest of matters and that defines their life. They will complain if they fail and even when they pass? When they sleep hungry and when they sleep with a full belly? To them there is always someone to blame for their woes. They themselves are a source of negative energy and this reduces the energy they would have used for productive work.
Just as put forward by Anon, to live life maturely is to accept full responsibility for it and its consequences. He said “Accept complete responsibility for your life. From this day forward, refuse to make excuses or blame anyone for anything. Instead, take action to make your goals a reality.”
Expanding on the example of our office sports programs, one of the major reasons it delayed to start was because we always created excuses not to start; from the lack of a ball, shoes, jerseys to the long distance to the playing field etc. and when we decided to start, all these excuses disappeared.
Slowly work your way towards your goals by borrowing from past experiences and acting maturely. Stop blaming your spouse, children, friends, and colleagues for your failures. Stop creating excuses for every failure or disappointment, learn to accept whatever happens, fully accept responsibility and live by that. Next time you will work hard to erase it and before long you will have learnt to work out your way in the world of no blame game.
Enemy 5: Lack of creativity and innovativeness
Every human being has the potential to be creative and innovative in some way, the difference is that we do not put our brains to task to think for us. Coming up with new ideas usually requires real commitment and willingness. Sometimes you may need to get some quiet time alone, go for a retreat or holiday for one or two weeks and then see what your brain can do, just greatness.
Sometimes we have the excuse that everything has been done and therefore there is nothing innovative or creative one can do but have you ever paused to ask yourself; why is it that every time you traverse the downtown streets, there is at least something creative or innovative that you find. Wouldn’t you have thought of something like that? Creativity and innovativeness will never end as long as the world is still there; give yourself a task to come up with the next big innovation.
Enemy 6: Selfishness
Another enemy of mankind is being selfish or having a selfish attitude. Selfish people look out for only their own pleasure, consideration, and good and most of all lack team spirit. No one can change this world singlehandedly. Tell others how you have made it, inspire them, share opportunities, work with and support/mentor others, offer counsel or guidance and it is only through this that we can fulfil God’s promises.
Enemy 7: Fear of the price
We all want to be successful but are we ready to pay the price. What must you give up or suffer to gain something? What does it take to reach that goal you desire? Are you ready to go the extra mile? Are you ready to do the investment? Will you sow and wait to reap? You want that business but are you ready to wake up every day at 5:00am and work till late in the evening? You want the first class but are you ready to sacrifice some time that you would spend clubbing to stay longer in the library? You want that six pack abdomen or a slim body but will you endure the intense exercises it takes? It may be painful but if that is what you want, you need to pay the price.
If you want to construct that dream house, are you ready to cut on your expenses that if you have been eating meat daily, you agree to eat it only once in a week; will you decide to buy clothes once in six months as opposed to doing it monthly as you have always done; or will you accept to move in to a single room and save money towards your project or rather these are very high prices for you to pay?
Enemy 8: Ignorance
Without knowledge the mountain will always be high to climb. Investing in getting the knowledge now will pay off at some point in time. Don’t live in ignorance, consult, speak to the experts, read books/newspapers, check it on the internet and make informed decisions.
The bible says in Hosea 4:6 that “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.”
With knowledge your life will never be the same again.
Enemy 9: Inconsistency
To be consistent, you need to have standards, believe in something, stand by your word and be ready to defend them. Consistency will determine how long you spend up there in your business, studies, projects, position and how you keep your customers or sell your brand.
Many will look for you because of your consistency. When you work for someone and you produce a high quality product, they will refer you to other people who will also recommend you elsewhere and before you know it, you will have a big network that you will not even be able to serve. Stop only focusing on the paycheck now but take time to come up with consistent high quality outputs and with time you will decide your paycheck.
Enemy 10: Indiscipline
Discipline! Discipline! Discipline! Discipline; it reminds me of primary school because it was one of the most emphasized words. I believe you have also encountered it several times. Discipline cuts across many life spheres from personal, group, work, financial etc. Just two words about financial discipline, do you spend more than you earn, compare your cost of living and earnings and you will know where you are heading. Look at our MPs now; they are in need of relief aid because they live above their means. Live within a certain percentage of your means depending on your dreams. You can decide to save 50%, 80% or 5% of your earnings. The choice is yours.
Enemy 11: Fear of change
In Uganda, when you tell people that change is coming, many frown and go to the extremes of praying against it. Not necessarily political change (though we also need that) but am talking about the changes in your life. Are you ready to stand for change? If you are currently an employee someone, are you ready to take a step and become a CEO in your own company? If you are in the village, are you ready to take that step to go to the town and start a new life there? Did you know that the step you take today may define your life forever? The earlier you overcome that fear, the better for you and your ancestors. Don’t wait to answer that question from your kids when they ask you that “Daddy/Mummy, why did you do this or that?” because the best answer for them shall not be that “You feared”.
Enemy 12: Worry
We are never sure of what will happen the next day, but nevertheless continue worrying and yet it never changes anything? Stop being anxious about what will happen because you didn’t even know what would have happened today or the the past few days but you still lived. Among the many things worry will do for you is to create more problems and even affect your health. Do not worry, tune your mind to enjoy life every day and just strategize and prepare yourself to handle whatever the future brings forward. Jesus gave a whole lecture on worry in Mathew 6:25-34; the beginning paragraph says: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” He in fact went ahead to ask that; why then worry?
An enemy revealed is an enemy defeated. Therefore I say unto you today, go brethren and fight the right enemies, fulfill your purposes in life and God’s promises will also come true.