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Lessons learned from 2017, what must work on in 2018

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KAMPALA (KENNETH MUHUMUZA) – Every year, I take on a personal challenge to learn new things and grow outside my career/work. From reading a new book to making a new friend every day for a year, each of my challenges have served a purpose greater than myself, and each day brings a new lesson to learn. Based on lessons that 365 days of 2017 taught me, I would like to share with you five (5) things that I believe everyone should work on in 2018.

1. Become someone that everybody needs regardless of the reason—This year, many people sought my advice and asked me help on various issues. This doesn’t mean I was brilliant or more knowledgeable than they were, but rather they knew that I was willing to share knowledge and help them find their path in life. My life has turned out to be much richer because of the lessons I learn from the people I help. In the end, I have found out that it is not only what we do that attracts people and friends, but also how we think. Pride is harmful because it gives others negative vibrations and in the end, you are left alone. Appreciate others and share the limelight with them. If we change how we think about others, be helpful and kind, we can become persons that everyone needs regardless of the reason

2. Make a list of all the important connections you want— Getting ahead in life is as much about who you know as what you know. Whether it is for your business, career, or developing a plan, making (and using) connections is crucial. When 2017 started, I made a list of people who have already achieved what I want to achieve, and then ruthlessly started jacking them into my life, one after another. I made atleast two new connections every month and used them. As a beginner, start by tapping into the people you already know—friends and family—and continue expanding your network. You do not necessarily need to make connections with only those within your career; be as diverse as possible because people outside your field can still provide you with a wealth of information. With the increasing power of social media, fill out your profile as completely as you can and get talking. Social media is a great avenue to make new useful connections, if utilised properly. Finally, find a mentor (s) within your connections.

3. Love what you do, see solutions instead of problems, and always find new ways to do better—It is a common misconception that people are happier and more productive when they pursue their dreams/passions. However, I have observed that many successful people instead, fall in love with what they’re doing, which is much more important. If you love what you’re doing, then it will turn into your passion and your work will be great, and your life will be great. In 2016, I chose to pursue a PhD not because it was my dream but because I wanted to learn more and start attacking problems that I have encountered. I love what I do, and I am becoming very passionate about research. My work and life are greater now. Many young people love whining, instead of standing eager, ready and willing to find solutions to the problems and make that agenda a reality. The underlying principle is quite simple: rather than focusing on the problem, the target is solutions. Then, don’t shy away from showing off your skills and new solutions.

4. Do one big thing every year— Getting things done is exciting and motivating, but it’s also overwhelming, because there are so many things to do. However, each year, you should always think of one big thing you want to do. For example, write a book, launch a new project or change jobs. In principle, strive for one big leap each year. Once you have thought about it, write down a few daily, weekly or monthly little tasks you might also want to be done to contribute to the achievement of your big thing. In 2017, I wanted to change people, and I started a youth organisation (Serve Uganda Initiative), with a mission of building a movement of creative and resourceful youth volunteers to catalyse and facilitate empowerment processes for community-led sustainable development of rural communities. This big task required me to search for the right team, resources and knowledge. I think we are growing to new heights and we can’t wait to see what 2018 has in stored for us.

5. Tie your minds to good ideas, and always connect with your experiences, hopes and puzzles—Don’t let bad ideas, puzzles and experiences dictate your life because you are going to lose. Use them as learning aids to help you think of better ideas. When people focus on bad ideas and experiences, that voice leads them to for example; shutting startups, abandoning blogs, leaving beautifully written novels unfinished and letting themselves down. So, Don’t Let Your Mind Be Your Worst Enemy. The good news is that good ideas aren’t reserved for a special group of people; they can come to anyone if you change your mind-set. Always, write down any good idea that comes in your mind and review your ideas frequently, reflect on them and erase those that no longer make sense after some time of experience and learning. I have realized recently that great ideas come any time when you aren’t trying to think of them, but the key to mind mapping is to take note of every idea that comes up. Additionally, you can set yourself and your environment up to be ready for your next great idea, and always take time to reflect/connect with your experiences.

Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous New Year 2018!

What did you learn in 2017?

Feel free to share your lessons to inspire us. We want to learn from your own experiences, failures, and triumphs because they could be our guide to setting 2018 goals.

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