Beyond motivation: learning and action

As we communicated recently, the Rise and Shine column clocked ten years last month. Hundreds of articles have been written and read. But, if you do not learn the big lessons, apply them to your life and take immediate radical action, you will not benefit anything from these motivational column articles. Motivation is only useful when it is translated into immediate and radical change and action. Motivation without action is sterile and of useless value.

I want to share a case where motivation was immediately applied in the life of a young graduate and the results and impact were amazing. 

Laica Mlozi was one of the young graduates that attended the T4EE- Training for Employment and Entrepreneurship organised by Daniel Dunga and team including Washington Chimuzu to help young graduates acquire survival skills for job hunting and entrepreneurship, noting that many graduates went for months and years without jobs. That was in 2013.

I was asked to deliver a module on CV writing and Interviewing skills. At the end of my talk many graduates took photos and ‘selfies’ with me. But, Laica came to me and said “Sir, I won’t take any photos with you but I want to tell you that your presentation has helped me discover how best I can tackle job interviews after having failed many interviews. I will come back to you in 2 to 3 weeks’ time with a testimony.”

A couple of weeks later, my friend and co-presenter Daniel Dunga called me asking if I could allow him to share my contact with a young lady called Laica. I said yes, suspecting it must have been the testimony young lady.

Laica called very briefly and said “Sir, I have that testimony I promised. I have passed my job interview for Standard Bank. And I am joining the bank in two weeks’ time.” Laica was so excited about this major feat of hers. She was grateful but I felt motivated too by her success arising from the little talk I delivered.

Then, I wondered why she was the first to quickly benefit from the talk. I recalled how focused she was in ensuring that she took the lessons that could solve her biggest problem – winning interviews. I never went to details to understand what she fixed in her approach to interviews as a result of the talk I had delivered but three things are very clear: her resolve to solve her problem and her focus in learning the lessons as well as her zeal to immediately implement the lessons. Laica’s amazing testimony was published on this column in 2013.

For six years I never had contact with Laica and I even forgot her name until Wednesday last week when I was delivering a motivational talk to 50 high potential Standard Bank women leaders. At the end of the talk, she insisted to give a comment after the director of the event had closed the question and answer session. Then she appealed to the audience to use the tools and techniques we shared and revealed that she was the testimony lady!

Prior to Laica’s amazing testimony, another young lady shared how she was inspired by the Weekend Nation’s ‘Young and Free’ column article about hard work and study in which I had been featured 17 years ago. She said she used the study techniques that were shared in that column to apply to her situation and although not many used to get selected from her school to university and against all the odds, she made it to university.

Here are two cases of determined young ladies that quickly learn the lessons from motivational talks and articles and then apply to their lives and that propels them into success.

This is time for us all to reflect on whether we are like these two amazing young bankers at Standard Bank? Are we actively learning the lessons and applying them into our lives? Beyond the motivation? Or we end at being motivated?

Good luck as you learn the lessons and apply them in your life with radical actions. This way, you too will rise and shine like Laica and her friend at Standard Bank!

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