“IT IS TIME TO SET PERSONAL FIVE YEAR PLANS FOR THE NEW DECADE”-Hon. Suleiman Shahbal
“Last week I wrote using the new year as a time to reset your life and balance the circle of life between God, work, quality time for your family and a resolve to make time for yourself. As we approach the new decade, reflect on how the last ten years have just passed so fast. Too many people put anchors on their past and don’t look into the future. “Oh, I was born in the slums or grew up in the hood.’’ So What? It is not important where you came from, what is important is where you are going. If you don’t make your own road map then it is very easy to drift along and finally find yourself where you don’t want to be, and then realize too late, and you’ve wasted so many years. I make personal five year plans. Then I work to implement them and amend them as I go along and five years later I reassess my failures and successes. It works for me. I have had five years that worked very well and some patches where I failed. ‘’C’est La Vie,’’ ‘’that’s life,’’ as the French say.
As I plan my next five year plan I ask myself what exactly I want in life. Have you asked yourself this question? Many will simply reply ‘’I want to be happy and successful’’. That’s like the constitution. It’s a statement of intent. Now you have to define it. What is happiness? Some will say its having a good job, a car, a nice house, two dogs and a husband. Now you have defined your happiness. Next, how do you get them? If you don’t make plans to achieve these goals then five years later you still don’t have them and your happiness is unfulfilled. All this take effort, the husband part you’ll have to figure out yourself. I will propose five keys steps for you.
First, The most important part of your happiness is your work. Do you like your job? Can you see yourself working in the same job for the next five years and are you happy with the prospects that it brings? If the answer is no, then its time to start looking elsewhere. I strongly recommend that in the first fifteen years of your life you should never work in any job for longer than five years. If you do you soon become part of the furniture. Nobody notices you anymore and more often than not you are taken for granted. It is important for young people to work in at least three different companies over the first fifteen years. Every new company will expand your horizons and experience. Very new job comes with its own challenges and you will rise to the challenge and enrich your experience. This is not to imply that you should change jobs every two years but you owe it to yourself to see what else there is in this world. If you stay in a cocoon you will die professionally. Only if your current company has so much growth opportunity then stay put. Nevertheless, every five years stop and reassess your options.
Second, you have to reassess the set of skills that you have to offer. The world is increasingly competitive. As you set out to look for that new job for your next five year plan then you also have to improve your competitiveness. Go back to school or take professional courses. It’s a great way to rejuvenate yourself and meet new people.
Third, reassess your personal life. Are you happy? If not, then what is making you unhappy? That’s what you need to change or improve. You must take control of your life and not drift through life. Too many people live with people who make them unhappy, put them down or continuously discourage them. These are toxic people and you must remove them from your life. This may be hard as some people are permanent fixtures in our lives but you must recognize that they are toxic and remove them. If you can’t, then stay away from them. And if you can’t stay away from them, then recognize them as toxic people and make sure you teach yourself to ignore their negativity. End these abusive relationships and stay away from people who use you.
Fourth, change your lifestyle with food and exercise. That half loaf that you’re killing with Blue Band every morning is adding to that big stomach that’s slowing you down. Think about what you eat and how you exercise. You become what you eat. Dress well. You’ll feel better about yourself.
Finally and most critical, Change the way you think. Start thinking positively about life. Remove negative vocabulary from your speech. I don’t believe in failure. I see failure as a temporary setback designed to give you some experience on your way to success. There are no failures in life.
I wish you a prosperous and happy new decade”…
-Hon. Suleiman Shahbal is the Chairman of Kenya Trade Network Agency (Kentrade). He is also the Founder Chairman of Gulf African Bank and Gulf Energy Company and has over 20 years experience in the banking sector. He is widely accepted as the ‘Father of Islamic Banking’ in East Africa. His personal interests include Sports, Travelling, Networking and social work.