by Frantzley Moise | Photography by Dave Barfield
I love this quote from Nelson Mandela: “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” We know that Mr. Mandela climbed many hills and conquered many great challenges—just like the great former president we also have many hills to climb and challenges to take. The great question is how do we conquer the many challenges of life? Regardless of the outcome there are a few things we can do to assure we are victorious. For the past ten years I’ve shared this simple phrase in my workshops and trainings: “Take the Challenge!” Taking the challenge can and will define who we are and develop us to who we can be. Whether we conquer the challenge or not, it is in the taking of the challenge that we become greater. Then, in order to conquer the challenge we must be Real, Ready, Reliable, Responsible and Respectful.
To conquer the challenge, we must be Real. Be real with the moment, with your resources, and the situation. Being real is understanding the reality and accepting it. It gets you to the point where you will stop whining, complaining, and pointing the finger and instead start finding solutions. The reality check moment is a real moment—when you realize it is up to you to get the job done. It doesn’t matter if you’re climbing a hill, fighting world hunger, climbing Mount Everest, or fighting apartheid. You’ve got to be Real.
“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining” – John F. Kennedy. To conquer the challenge, we must be Ready. Being ready for the opportunity will put you in a better position to win. To be ready means you have developed a plan to address the challenge. To be ready means you have practiced and know how to play. To be ready means you’re aware of what’s going on and you are truly present in the moment. To be ready means when it’s time for you to move you’re not delaying the process. Being ready means, you’re passed your fears and now ready to fight. The challenge is the opportunity and the opportunity is the challenge. They will come just like the rain, so why not be Ready?
To conquer the challenge, we must be Reliable. The old saying still holds true: “Your word is your bond.” If you say you’re going to do it, get it done. Being reliable means you will see the challenge through to the end—it cannot be conquered if you quit. Reliable means others can count on you. Reliable means you can count on you to give your best, and to be your best knowing you can and you will conquer the challenge. Reliable doesn’t mean you are always going to win, but it does mean you’re always going to show up. You’re always going to show out and you’re not going to tap out.
Uncle Ben told Spider-Man “With great power comes great responsibility.” Many people put more focus on the power and less on the responsibility. To conquer the challenge, we must be Responsible. Every challenge has chores and it is our duty to fulfill the obligations to complete the challenge. Big or small, every task is important and every job must get done. Accepting the challenge and all the actions and issues that come with it is being responsible. Being responsible with our time, abilities and resources puts us in a greater position to conquer the challenge. Great responsibility is required to conquer great challenges. Regardless of what happens before, during and after—we must be Responsible for the outcome.
“R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me.” Aretha Franklin and her sisters sang it perfectly. To conquer the challenge, we must be Respectful. Taking short cuts, given lackluster effort, and making excuses is not respecting the challenge and those actions will not help us conquer the challenge. Being respectful means being Real with the moment. Being respectful means being Ready for the opportunity. Being respectful means being Reliable and staying true till the end. Being respectful means being Responsible with all that must be done to conquer the challenge. There is a process in every challenge and throughout the process we must be Respectful.