Career Change By Inspiration from Nelson Mandela

As Nelson Mandela lies critically ill in hospital while the world waits fearfully for news of his progress, South Africa will soon be celebrating his 95th birthday on 18th July. I had the privilege of hearing Nelson Mandela speak in Parliament in Cape Town in 1995, soon after the end of Apartheid. It was a moving experience for me and I found he was such an amazingly gifted speaker who spoke for hours without any notes.

In honour of his life and experiences here is a touching and inspiring story from former US President Bill Clinton that we can all benefit from, particularly those of us who are contemplating a career change but allowing other things to get in the way.

“That was pretty smart of you to have your jailers come to the Inauguration and all of that, but let me ask you something.” I said, “Didn’t you really hate them for what they did?”

He said, “Oh, yeah, I hated them for a long time.” He said, “I stayed alive on hate for 12 years. I broke rocks every day, and I stayed alive on hate.” And he said, “They took a lot away from me. They took me away from my wife, and it subsequently destroyed my marriage. They took me away from seeing my children grow up. They abused me mentally and physically. And one day,” he said, “I realized they could take it all except my mind and my heart.”

He said, “Those things I would have to give to them, and I simply decided not to give them away.”

And so – so I said to him, I said, “Well, what about when you were getting out of prison?” I said, “The day you got out of prison in 1990, it was Sunday morning, and I got my daughter up early in the morning, and I took her down to the kitchen, and I turned on the television, and she was just a little girl then, and I sat her up on the kitchen counter. And I said, ‘Chelsea, I want you to watch this. This is one of the most important things you’ll ever see in your life.’ “

And I said, “I watched you walk down that dirt road to freedom.” I said, “Now, when you were walking down there, and you realized how long you had been in their prison, didn’t you hate them then? Didn’t you feel some hatred?” He said, “Yes, I did a little bit.” He said, “I felt that.” And he said, “Frankly, I was kind of afraid, too, because I hadn’t been free in so long.”

But he said, “As I felt the anger rising up, I thought to myself, ‘They have already had you for 27 years. And if you keep hating them, they’ll have you again.’ And I said, ‘I want to be free. And so I let it go. I let it go.”

What do you need to let go to enable you to move forward to achieve your dream career?

If you are ready for your career change and want my support, contact me at ghazala@careerchangeat40.com or call me on my mobile number +44 7563 563 254.

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