This sounds very self-explanatory, but it not, it is a very deep phrase.

Most people do not understand the meaning, those who understand the meaning do not apply the principle when dealing with daily challenges or barriers they encounter towards their dreams.  

The self-explanatory meaning to most people is “it depends on them to set their goals and achieve their dreams,” but, when they come across certain unanticipated barriers they change direction and abandon their set goals, which is a complete misunderstanding of what this phrase means.

The deeper meaning of this phrase:  

For you to achieve your goals, it depends entirely up to you, irrespective of the circumstances, irrespective of the environment, irrespective of the lack of supporters around you that could make it easy for you to achieve your goals. This phrase brings to life attributes like Resilience, Persistence, Self-Control, Discipline, Commitment and Determination, all concealed into “it is entirely up to you”.

When you positively affirm yourself to a position of being capable of managing your own destiny, you can overcome most of the unexpected challenges that life can throw your way through the application of the above 6 attributes at every point of any unexpected challenge.   This phrase, which I was fortunate enough to be taught about at an early stage of my life, has helped me to achieve most of the things which others would consider unachievable.

“humility to ask for guidance when necessary”

There are certain words that have to be removed out of your vocabulary, one of which is “blame”.  When you feel good or feel angry when blaming others for your lack of achievement of your personal goals, then something within you needs to be fixed.  You need to adopt this phrase to ensure that you give yourself full control of your destiny.  This full control is not easy, it might include;-

  • Ability to stomach the pain that comes with the territory,
  • The determination to burn the midnight oil when necessary,
  • The poverty and turbulent phase that you must go past with a tightened seat belt,
  • The humility to ask for guidance when necessary; and
  • Acting with utmost integrity no matter how the opposite is tempting.

Below is the guide towards the application of this principle:-

  • Set a goal that is high enough to make a visible difference when achieved and which will make the hard work worth it for it. (e.g for a student, wanting to become an Actuary, Doctor, Engineer, etc.)
  • Determine the shortest possible route for achieving your set goal. (Studying at UCT, UP, etc)
  • Establish possible barriers or challenges whilst pursuing your goal. (High number of points required for admission, affordability of fees, tools required, e.g laptops, other soft criteria for admission)
  • Adjust or refine your execution strategy to mitigate anticipated barriers,  (sacrifice youth fun, study very hard and burn the midnight oil to get excellent results, work hard to qualify for a bursary or scholarship of your choice and your university of your choice, understand other criteria and work hard to achieve it, e.g community service)
  • Mentally and emotionally prepare yourself to deal with such barriers (no social life, no  friendships or be ready to be called names for not being “cool”)
  • Psychologically imagine your picture of success, and allow that picture to overwhelm what it will take to reach your goal. (Imagine yourself as a Doctor or an Actuary or a Lawyer, etc, and the benefits that will come with that, let that picture be very visible in your mind to fend off anything that threatens your ability to achieve it, even sleep or TV)
  • When you hit unanticipated barriers, retreat and relaunch more prepared without wasting too much time. (e.g No electricity, taxi strikes, no textbooks, a lecturer whom you cannot understand or follow his or her logic, then, learn to study by candle, work hard during the day, walk to school no matter how far you will not die, borrow books or use library books if it means you must be the first one at the library be the first one even at 5 am, make an appointment and get help from the lecturers)
  • Maintain your resolve to achieve despite the most unexpected disappointments, e.g lack of support from those you trusted the most (passive enemies), attacks from your fan base (active enemies), loss of faith and lack thereof on your ability to succeed, etc.  (Lecturer telling you, you not cut out for your dream, family telling you, you too ambitious get a job and start bringing money, friends hiding your books, etc.) Maintain your resolve and deal with all those like duck deals with water to get it off its back.

No matter what you aim to achieve, whether in business, in your studies, in your personal life, financial life, and in your spiritual life, always remember, if it is to be, it is entirely up to you.

I have come across this 1-minute video which will supports how much all is dependent entirely up to you.

Learn from Lindiwe Zondo from this Investec advert.

Sindi Zilwa with Noleen