7 December 2012

Rwanda: Thursday Is the New Friday?


December is here and the holiday fever will soon spread. Scenes from countries like Japan prove the popularity of Christmas. Being end year, there's a buzz of activity; closing the accounts, end-of-year parties, holiday preparations, and, of course, all that comes with the grand finale of Christmas and New Year 's Day. It is really a bigger version of an approaching weekend; an extrapolation of the Friday night fever.

A friend of mine likes saying, 'Thursday is the new Friday. To a party animal, this means an early start to fun. But if you keep the same reasoning, then Sunday is also the new Monday. An early start to work and an early start to fun. That early start is crucial.

The early start means that we have to think of the holidays and beyond. We have to formulate and plan round our New Year's resolutions now as we get into the festive season. This way of thinking is a little out of the way but nonetheless effective, here is why.

The maxim; 'resources are limited but human wants are unlimited', oft quoted by economists quickly comes to mind. When you think about having to pay school fees in January and weigh it against all the presents that should come with Christmas, you will be more focused than you would otherwise be. To borrow from economists again, you will put into practice the opportunity cost principle. This means that you will give up one thing in order to able to satisfy another need. This dramatically improves your decision making capacity. In simple English, you will have get your priorities right.

With priorities in place, comes responsibility. The implementation priorities are dependent on one's level of responsibility. It is one thing to have priorities and another to execute them. Christmas season is a good tester of this responsibility; how true will you be to your plan.

As a festive season should be, it will get emotional, especially where family is concerned. Some steel is necessary to stay in control. The need to sacrifice a small pleasure for a greater good is easier said than done, especially in these times.

Some creativity may come in handy. For example, helping children to make their own toys is more educational and creative approach than forever buying toys. It enables them to learn how to make things with their hands, gives the parent time to bond with them among other many benefits. The same would go for playing football and/or hide-and -seek.

Spending quality time with family does not have to be an expensive affair. Indeed, it should not be. Creativity is crucial.

But here's a caveat; never take anyone for granted, especially the children. Take the initiative to discuss with them and include them in the holiday plans. It is their holiday too! The icing in this is that they will surprise you with some very cool affordable ideas on holiday merrymaking before you puncture your pockets.

Before putting paper to pen with regard to resolutions it is important to realize it is not the milestones that will bring the desired change. Rather, character aspects like focus, creativity, responsibility, taking charge and being in control and taking initiative are the building blocks to success. An early start is helpful.

From this approach, planning is best if it is long term. Look at any successful person's background and you will notice that very few, if any, came to be where they are by some short term fluke. They focus and work on their vision for years and years

The future is not as far off as we imagine it to be. It starts now. Thursday is the new Friday. Life's short, make the most of it.

The writer is an expert on entrepreneurship

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