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5 Ways to increase your capacity in 2023

"Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it" Rabindranath Tagore


A popular South African show, I Blew It, profiles people who found themselves suddenly receiving large amounts of money and blowing it all on unnecessary expenses; finding themselves in the same situation they were before their big fortune or even worse - having lost friends and family in the process. A #throwback version of #IBlewIt is the famous biblical story of the prodigal son, who forced his father to prematurely give him his inheritance, and ended up squandering it within a short period of time; and having to return to his father with a tail between his legs to ask to move back home.


This week as I reflect on what it means to have the capacity to carry the blessings that we desire, I realise that even if all that we pray for, all that we desire to achieve and all that we dream of was given to us today, many of us would not be in a position to handle it - and that those big dreams, big blessings and big aspirations would probably destroy us more that we imagine if they were to become a reality before we have the capacity to know what to do with them. This means while the #IBlewIt gang, and the Prodigal Son had access to their blessings, they squandered it because they were not prepared for it. They didn't have the capacity to handle their fortune.


Therefore, this week I would like to cite the following reasons in making the case for us to be intentional in taking note of the areas in which our capacity may be lacking and to plan for ways to increase that capacity:


1. You can only dream as much as your capacity allows you.

People who have exposure, have more ambitious dreams than people without exposure. Therefore, in order to break the limitations we have to dream bigger - which may be imposed on use due to our background, family circumstances or to mistakes that we may have made while younger - we can create the capacity by providing ourselves with the exposure that can open our eyes to what the possibilities of the world out there.


One of the strategies that we have as part of the inspire mentorship program is to invite mentors and speakers who can speak to the young professionals who benefits from the program about what opportunities are there out there in order to open their eyes to dream beyond the limitations of their environments. The reality is, we don't know what we don't know. And the less we know, the more we are bound by the limitations of our realities. And therefore, when we lack exposure, even the dreams that we think are great, may seem laughable to people with more exposure.


Therefore, in order to dream bigger and to achieve your highest potential, you have to increase your capacity to dream.


2. Your ability to achieve your dreams and goals is also limited by the capacity that you have to take the right steps and to apply the right strategies to achieve those dreams and goals.

Have you ever listened to the kind of people who have seen great things, and have really big dreams but they just do not have the skills to bring those dreams into reality? This may be due to people who have had the right exposure that allows them to dream big, but who lack the necessary capacity to even know where to start to achieve their goals and dreams. This means that it's not enough to just know what to dream about, you also have to know HOW to put your plans into action - step-by-step.


Knowing HOW to implement one's goals is not an inherent skill that only a few are born with, we can develop the capacity to know how to implement plans and processes so that we can achieve our dreams. And if this a problematic area for you, then it's worth working on this year so that you can improve your chances of achieving the plans that you have, because if you don't then it doesn't matter how much planning you do, it simply won't be enough to help you get there. I bet the reason why some people hate setting up new year resolutions is because it hasn't dawned on them that resolutions are just one step, and that beyond just throwing wishes in the year, they actually have to take steps to implement their plans.


3. The sustainability of your goals and dreams depends on your capacity to show up at the level of your achievement.

Here's another fact, when you finally achieve your goals, it doesn't mean that your journey has come to an end. You have to have the capacity to sustain your new reality, to enjoy it and to eventually then move on to the next level. When we have dreamed big enough, done the right things to achieve our dreams, then the last part is about ensuring that we maintain our dreams when they do come to fruition. This means that even if we get lucky, like the #IBlewIt gang, and skip stage number 2, we at least have to have the capacity to know how to spend our fortunes, and how to grow them and sustain our new lifestyle. This is also something that we can develop the capacity for, even if we were not born with the knowledge to manage riches, a higher position in our careers, bigger family responsibilities etc.


In summary, we need to increase our capacity in the following areas:


5 Ways to increase your capacity in 2023


Now that we are here, the next question to ask ourselves is how do we increase capacity in these three proposed areas? I believe that if each one of us really takes time to reflect on the ways that our capacity is limited in the different areas of our lives: Financial, Spiritual, Physical, Career, Relationships, Intellectual etc, we can answer this question for ourselves as it is really a personal one to answer.


Based on my own experience and the journey that I have travelled in the past ten years of my own personal development, I would suggest that at a minimum, we have to increase our capacity in the following 5 ways in 2023:


Develop a new Mindset and take care of your mental health and well-being:


I believe that the foundation of whether we have the right capacity to grow into the people we are called to be lies in whether we have the right mindset and perspective to achieve the things we want to achieve.


I've written quite extensively in the past about mindset and mental well-being and some of writings can be found here:

In summary, the idea is that a strong mind and the right mindset is an enabler to us achieving our dreams. Our mindset determines how we see ourselves, how we see the world and how we see others. Our mindset also determines our approach to life and how we frame our challenges and opportunities. This means that central to growing into our potential, is our mindset and perspective around life.

For example, psychologist Carol Dweck talks about the difference between people who have a Growth Mindset and a Fixed Mindset and how they approach learning, frame challenges and perceive opportunities (see diagram below)



Therefore, being intentional in developing a different mindset will not only completely change you into a different person, but it can be a key to unlocking potential in your life that you didn't know existed, and as a result create a deeper capacity for growth in your life.


Empower yourself Financially:


I believe that one of the most underrated areas of empowerment and capacity-creation in our lives is that of financial empowerment. In my perspective, financial empowerment is not just about being rich and therefore having the power to control the world and to amass material resources. Financial empowerment is about having the power to make choices without money having control or being a limitation in our lives, it is about being able to have the autonomy to make decisions for ourselves and also about being able to achieve our potential and not having money stand in the way of that. There are three elements that I believe important to financial empowerment namely 1) Financial Literacy, 2) Developing a financial plan 3) having access to financial products and services. I don't believe that anyone living in this century should have an excuse of not understanding how the economic system functions, how they can take advantage of it and how they can insulate themselves from being a victim of it. Furthermore, I believe that in setting our annual goals whether they be spiritual, physical, career goals or otherwise, money will always be required or will form a factor of consideration in whether we have the capacity to achieve those dreams. Therefore, it is imperative that in order to build capacity, we do so by empowering ourselves financially.


Learn: Read books, listen to podcasts, watch videos and consume content outside of your comfort zone


We are living in the information age, which means not only has information not been as accessible as it is now, being able to take that information and use it for our advancement is a skill that has become imperative for growth and survival. In this age, the pace of change is much more rapid that before, and this means that in order to remain relevant and to achieve our potential we have to have a life-long learning mindset - so that we can evolve with the times as they change.


My approach to learning has been not only in pursuing formal educational opportunities, but also curating my learning content based on the vision and goals I have for my life. I don't depend on someone else to curate a reading list for me everyday, but I do take the time to browse through the Exclusive Books website by topic (based on the learning I seek to acquire) and then make a list of books I need to read in a given year to acquire that knowledge. Once again, this is where the principle of "You don't know what you don't know" comes into play. As soon as you read a book on a subject you knew nothing about, you unlock a world of possibilities and afford yourself the chance to take that knowledge and to transform it into life-changing actions. This is why I just don't understand and low-key judge people who say they just do not read books. However, if this means they take time out to acquire the knowledge that exists in books in other ways then I can forgive them :-)


And yes, there are other ways to gain this knowledge and learn in order to transform ourselves and our lives. We are lucky to be living in a time where formal education is no longer the only form of education considered credible to acquire knowledge. Nowadays, listening to podcasts, watching Youtube videos and doing short-courses on platforms such as Udemy and others can provide credible sources of information. Therefore, there is no excuse not to learn. The key here, is not just to pursue knowledge that affirms what you already know - although this is important to ground you, and to obtain external validation for your own thoughts and ideas - it is also important to seek knowledge that challenges your own ideas, and that open you up to foreign ideas in areas beyond your immediate areas of interest - so that you can begin to connect dots in ways that can be transformational for your life.


Digitise: Acquire technological skills


All of us, whether we love technology or not are living in the era of the fourth industrial revolution, and acquiring technological skills despite what vocation we are in key to increasing our capacity to achieve our potential. Whether it is the ability to build and maintain a digital blog like I am doing with this one, to understand coding, or to understand the technological trends that are shaping our respective professions, we just cannot afford to be clueless about technology and how it shapes our worlds. One of the reasons why technology has been so disruptive to various industries is due to its ability to enable scale at a pace that we previously unprecedented - changing industries and creating new ones in unimaginable ways. This means that even from a personal perspective, technology can increase our capacity in ways and help us unlock our potential in ways that we just wouldn't have thought possible. From influencers and celebrities who have increased their reach from thousands of people to millions due to technological advancements, to companies who have managed to grow from reaching local customers to acquiring users from all corners of the earth, to churches whose congregations have seen exponential growth when they moved online during COVID, technology is a great enabler of growth.

Technology can help us become more productive, grow our income-generation potential and achieve in many other areas of our potential if we take the time to be more intentional and move from being mere consumers of technology to being creators and to using it to generate value for ourselves.


Network: Diversify, expand and invest in building quality networks


The saying that "your network is your net worth" may be cliche but it remains true to this day. One of the things that can truly limit one's capacity and potential for achieving one's dreams is not knowing the right people, or having the right connections to unlock the opportunities that need to be unlocked in your life, and that's why I am an advocate of us as young professionals doing our best to invest in our various networks and communities so that we can make withdrawals when we need other people to enable our growth and to move us to the next level.


In this blog post I write in much more detail on why networks are important and what we can do to grow ours. If you don't just want to take my word for it, there are many articles and much research done on the role that networking plays on the advancement of people from disadvantaged backgrounds, or on women to enable their climb in male-dominated industries and many other related topics to make the case for why networking is key to remove inequalities in the world. Therefore, if you don't want to be at a disadvantage in any sphere of your life, networking should be at the top of your list of things to prioritise this year in order to build your capacity for growth and advancement in your life.


With that, I'll leave you with a quote that I heard at a conference used in the context of achieving greater potential as a group in comparison to as an individual which changed my approach to my consulting and mentorship businesses.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together - African Proverb.

I hope the insights here are not only valuable to read but that you'll consider them as you set up your plans and goals for the year. My goal for the year is to grow my readership and following so that more lives may be transformed so if each of you can share this blog with 5 people in your network, you will help me to achieve that goal. Also, feel free to comment and give me feedback on the content so that I can continue to improve and grow.


Wishing you a great week

Likeleli M.

Comments


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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I am a passionate leader, accomplished professional and a mentor. I believe that nation-building depends on how well we build people. Therefore, my mission is to contribute to the personal, professional and leadership development of people to empower them to reach their highest potential.

I do this through a mentorship program that I founded and through this blog where I share principles I've applied and insights I've gained in the past twelve years of my career and leadership journey.

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