Written By: Petunia Thulo
The legendary uTata Nelson Mandela once said; it always seems impossible until it's done. These words are true when following your true passion and things that make you come alive. The road is uphill and there are mountains to climb.
In 2014, I founded Leadership Institute for Girls in rural communities, mentoring and coaching program for teen girls; the following are some of the lessons I am learning as I move forward:
1. The sooner you let go of fear and insecurities -- the quicker you start following your dream and living your purpose driven life.
2. Once you take that very first, shaky step and turning your dreams into reality -- with time, hard work, prayers and determination the right doors will open.
3. Keep your close friends and family tucked deep into your heart because these are the people that will support your dream and kick your butt when you need it the most.
4. Share your vision and heart with only people you trust with your life -- you can't share everything with everyone.
5. Share your dream with everyone who cares to listen; there is a difference between this point and the previous one.
6. Be as teachable and open to change as possible -- change is inevitable.
7. Listen to compliments and critics -- they both mean well.
8. Your vision and mission statement will constantly evolve but your values should never be shaken.
9. Always remember why you started the pursuit of you living out loud, your passion -- the answer to this question will propel you to keep moving on.
10. Invest time and energy in strategic and meaningful collaborations -- we impact the world even more when we move as collective.
11. Read and read as much as possible -- read about current news, politics, economy, and geography (know the world map) read about science and physics (NASA website has fascinating facts) - pick any country and study its people, history and culture. Watch less TV and read at any given opportunity.
12. Be curious and interested in every person you meet (young, old, rich, poor, different cultures and languages) Ask questions.
13. Read your Bible, meditate and pray every day.
14. Travel as often as you able to afford. Travel locally, know your country.
15. Always believe in love.
At the beginning of 2014, Petunia founded the Leadership Institute for Girls which aims at reaching out to teen girls in rural communities through coaching and mentorship programs.
Currently, she works for HIPPO Communications, Cape Town based Public Relations firm. She is a board member of Hope Again Foundation and also one of the Directors at Intsika AgriMedia SA. Petunia is also an advocate for Stop Trafficking of People (STOP), an anti-human trafficking campaign in South Africa.
She recently talked her friends into hiking Lion's Head mountain which is about 669m with beautiful views overlooking the city of Cape Town, South Africa.