A Significant Impact

Staff Writer | The Republic Mail

When something comes at the right time, it means so much more (not just the 18th of July); writes Noluthando Khanyile. 

In this Mandela day season, it is important for people to question and understand the meaning behind their initiatives. Is it to help people in need, or to honor a legacy or to just be part of the list of those “who did something”? “Making it count” involves addressing the right things and bringing sustainable change. South Africans have been hungry for the past nine decades or more and focusing one day to “change” something may be misguided. The day is doing well in embedding the principle of giving to the less fortunate, but to what extent will it uplift someone from his or her grim reality. I personally believe corporates can do more than making sandwiches for the poor which cost far less than the branded t-shirt the volunteer has been given.

I’m merely using the Mandela day as an example (my core views on the initiative to be dissected another day) on how our actions can result into something significant if they are done at the right time. It is important to do meaningful things, with whatever resources that we have, be it time, energy, money, acquaintances, etc.  Having a positive impact in life means we do things that are meaningful and we’re not just going with the flow.

Being significant means doing things at the right time (where they matter the most), it requires that you take the time to evaluate the situation and doing something that has an impact. Imagine how happy kids at the orphanage would be to see you arrive with boxes of pizza on their hungriest days? Obviously you’re not a magician who can predict whether they would be happy for your gift or not. Which means you should have taken the time to go see what the orphanage does and what they need help with so your kindness has the necessary impact. When something comes at the right time, it means so much more (not just the 18th of July).

Significance is greatly engulfed in the principle of time. There are two aspects of time we can look at in order to understand how to be significant;

  • Time is money
  • Everything happens in its own time

Time is money: Your success is dependent on how wisely you use your time. If your time is spent loitering around or being passive on Facebook all day minding other people’s business, then you are very far from success. Likewise, if you continue spending time with the wrong people, success moves further away from you. It’s the same result if you focus all your energy on one task which doesn’t have a deadline. For some people, it’s being stuck at varsity for seven years doing an undergraduate degree, for some it’s staying in the same job, doing the same thing for 15 years when they could have up-skilled themselves and moved at least one step up the ladder. Basically, the more time people think they have, the more they waste it. They don’t strategize on how to act in the best way that could get them ahead. Instead of attending that business seminar a colleague invited you to on a Friday evening, you’d rather hook up with your pretentious friends and just “chill”. You are in no rush for your success because you know there’ll be plenty of time to get it. Before you know it, all this insignificant/passive behavior will have a very big impact on your future. Here’s how to change;

  • Stop wasting your time on things that are not meaningful.
  • Get an overview on things that take up most of your time. If they don’t add value, Stop and change them!
  • If someone never has anything positive to say about anything or anyone, give them less of your time.
  • If an activity does not stimulate your thinking or contribute to your growth: Prioritize other things over it.

Everything has its own time (second element of significance): What happens if a baby in the womb does not wait for its right time to be born? It’s either a miscarriage or premature birth, which are rather unfavorable. When we rush things and not allow them to happen at the right time, we invite disaster into our lives. Waiting for the right time to do things, allows for our actions to be a lot more significant than at any other moment. We need to respect time and focus our energies on things that are worthwhile. Act on that which brings meaning and will be worth it in the long run. Discard the rest. If it means revamping your space or getting rid old of negative friends, then do it. Remain with only that which is significant to your life and stop hording clutter. It pulls you back! Energy only flows where your action goes.

Noluthando Khanyile is a writer, avid hiker and an aspiring social entrepreneur with a strong passion for youth and early childhood development. With a Finance and Economics background, she’s working for a development fund institution focused on job creation. For more of her views visit: www.innerheights.co.za