Sometimes you just have to acknowledge that you are in the presence of royalty. This enlightened daughter of the most high is no exception. We luncheoned with Dr Ntswaki Mnguni and discussed life, God’s hand, children, being a top woman for God and most importantly what she would tell her younger self if she had the chance to go back 10 years and speak to her.
What is your current job?
I work for the National Youth Development Agency. I am responsible for business development support. I am currently Acting Senior Manager. The programs we run assist young people to be more entrepreneurial by offering mentorship support, business and counseling services through our voucher program and facilitate access to markets.
And ten years ago?
Ten years ago I was working for the National Productivity Institute (now called Productivity SA). I assisted entrepreneurs to introduce productivity improvements and create awareness of productivity amongst high school students.
So you get the miraculous opportunity to go back ten years and meet yourself from ten years ago, what are the ten things you say to her?
1. Substance is found in God – ALONE (note that this is in capital letters)
You find that as you grow up you want things like a house, marriage etc but substance is from God. There is an eternal hole in our hearts that can only be filled by God. Not that there is anything wrong with being ambitious or aspiring but they don’t give you substance. God ALONE does that.
2. Celebrate the gift of life
Sometimes we worry about things and miss the now. We miss the wisdom of enjoying the gift of life that God has brought.
3. Do not take the presence of the people in your life for granted
This I learnt from the passing of my older brother. I felt like I didn’t spend enough time getting to know him. For instance I didn’t even know what his favourite food was. I planned to get to know him better when I returned from the US where I was studying my doctorate. But he passed on while I was still there. So while people are there make the time for them and celebrate them. Fortunately I applied this principle to my marriage. When my husband passed away I had no regrets about not having said to him I loved him enough times. I would have loved to age with him but I can say I appreciated him while he was still alive.
These last two points have been brought about by experiencing so many deaths of loved ones in my life.
4. Don’t make other’s opinion of you make you stop pushing forward
People will always have something to say. I mention this point in my book. If there are any learning’s from what they say, take them but don’t stop pushing forward.
5. Don’t be too hard on yourself
My friends label me a perfectionist. Sometimes you have to move on, even when you have not done things to perfection. Strive for excellence not perfection.
6. Know that you will sometimes make mistakes – forgive yourself and move on
Joyce Meyer says you say ‘Oh well’ and move on. Don’t mull over things to the point where you stagnate. Mistakes should not paralyse you to the point that you cannot move forward.
7. Don’t take yourself too seriously – the world will continue
The world continues moving.
8. Stealing this one – ‘don’t sweat the small stuff…and it is all small stuff.’
Sometimes we take things too seriously. Sometimes when you look at things that caused stress post the experience you go “Realllllllyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!” It really was small stuff.
9. Live in the now, live in the moment.
Kung Fu Panda captures this perfectly when Oogway urges Po when he is discouraged, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the “present.”” Sometimes you worry about the future and just by dwelling there you are spoiling the gift of the now. Celebrate the moment and make the best of the time you have now.
10. Pay attention to your thought life – replace non-supportive thoughts with supportive thoughts
I am really passionate about this. It has so much bearing on how our lives turn out. Today I even hold workshops on this and make people aware of the connection between how we think, feel and act. The dreams and goals we have can be summarized in one word – results. If how you think affects how you feel and act, your results will be impacted on. If you allow negative thoughts to run amok in your mind they will impact negatively on your feelings and how you act, and there will be a negative impact on your results. Tell yourself, “Stop!” When that negative thought comes imagine a stop sign as a trigger. Tell yourself that if I continue down this trail of thought will this be supportive or unsupportive of the achievements or results that I want. When I think this way, will this be supportive or unsupportive thought? Don’t fight the thought; replace it with a more supportive thought.
Dr Mnguni will be conducting a session on “Developing a compelling vision board” on the 31 May 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa. To be a part of this please contact her at the following email address email@example.com. To purchase a copy of her book please contact her on the same email address.
Dr Ntswaki Mnguni
Dr Mnguni works in the youth development sector and finds joy in providing business development support to young people. She is the author of the book Spiral up & fulfil your God-given destiny. She is also a certified Life Coach and has a relentless passion for people development. During her spare time she does inspirational talks and life coaching sessions. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.