Dear Dalitso

Everyday lessons for tomorrow

A brand-new Opportunity

January 3, 2024
Letter #31

Opportunities come in many ways, which could be financial, relational, position, or time. A new year is always a brand-new opportunity or maybe shall we call it a brand-new canvas. It is a new year with unlimited possibilities. It is literally up to you to decide what you make of it. In this 3-part letter, I will look at what a new year means.

First Part

We are all prisoners either of the past or of the future (hope). As we enter 2024 one must make the decision whether they will let the past dominate them or rather to become a prisoner of hope- strongly believing that something better is coming their way. Typically, prisoners of the past will blame everyone for what was done to them. They usually focus on things that they have no control over and in this context the past. But we all know there is very little we can do about the past. Especially when we zero in on things that were done to us. In many instances when I listen to these ‘victims’ sharing their stories- it is literally like a competition around I had it worse than you. There is usually no room in these discussions for them to hold themselves accountable for decisions and actions they have taken.

Sure. Go ahead and do that- it is your right- but the hurt and offenses may blindside you from the opportunity called 2024.

Please note that when you constantly blame circumstances, the environment, or other people, you are effectively claiming that you have little ability to affect the outcome. When we explain away unwanted outcomes, we absolve ourselves of any responsibility for producing them. We have been doing that for years, first in our individual circumstances and at a national level. There is always someone in the past to blame.

In 2024, I urge you to change your mindset from being a prisoner of the past into a prisoner of the future (hope). At the end of it, hope is all we have. My mother always used to say as long as one can still breathe- there is hope for them. Do not stifle hope- you become a Zombie or a relic of the past. It is just a mindset shift- nothing else. Try it. Condition your mind to focus on how to solve a problem instead of complaining about it.

Prisoners of hope have self-accountability- the strength of realizing that even though you do not control everything, you do control how you respond to everything. You respond to a bad past by letting it go and focusing on the future which, based on several good decisions and actions you can shape.

Prisoners of hope are focused on shaping their future by making the right decisions today. There are many areas that require the right decisions in our lives to influence better outcomes.
The decision to do with time-what are you going to do with the opportunity called today? Will you squander it by complaining or idling away? Time and chance happen to all, are you preparing yourself for that chance?

Prisoners of hope are constantly sharpening their swords- what are you planning to do to stay on top of your game? My brother Masimba calls it refreshing your skillsets. The world is always changing and, in the process, imposing on us the need to have new skills and ways of doing things.

Prisoners of hope embrace hard work and diligence. You may have already read from the Timeless Classic that ‘A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and scarcity like an armed man’ (Proverbs 6:10-11 also repeated in Proverbs 24:33-34).

Prisoners of hope save for the future.

As already stated above- the shift from being a prisoner of the past into one focused on the future is a battle of the mind. The struggle is in the mind. It is about transitioning from being a victim of other people’s actions into taking ownership of your future. The past happened and there is nothing you can do about it. It is time to move on. 2024 is an open canvas- how will you paint it?

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