Three main steps to becoming a ‘Jegna’

Photo by Genevieve Dallaire on Unsplash

As we round out the year 2018 and enter the final winter months, it is important for us to reflect on the progress we have made this year. Personal, professional and spiritual development should be a part of everyone’s life. All three should be elements that are actively thought about and planned on for all of us.

Sadly, many of us do not take an active effort in developing these areas of our lives. We know that society is difficult. Life presents many challenges and difficulties in many different façades. This is one of the motivations for this column, “Jegna.”

There have been many questions of what this column is about and what “Jegna” even means. The purpose of this column is to provide alternative methods of thinking to assist with improving the reader’s worldview.

The term “Jegna” is a translation from the ancient kingdom of Abyssinia. In African culture, Jegna is a title of distinction. Translated into English, it can mean several things: hero, warrior, soldier, courage, strength and protection of our culture, land and people or elder.

A Jegna is a person who is still growing, still a learner, still with potential, and whose life continues to have within it promise for and connection to the future. A Jegna is a person who deserves respect and honor and whose work it is to synthesize wisdom from lifelong experience and formulate this into a legacy for future generations.

It is our great hope that reading this column inspires you to act in the following three ways:

1) Find continued enjoyment in learning and accessing new information

2) Find creative and innovative ways of leveraging your own genius, and

3) Being brave enough to address and cope with your own personal pain and trauma. I believe these are the three main areas that enable us to live healthy and wholesome lives.

Continuous learning

Acquiring knowledge and information is an essential part of life. We often do not think about our ability to acquire information outside of an educational or work-related environment. However, it is important for us to continue to engage in active learning beyond these two institutional environments.

Learning is an essential process of living. We learn every day passively. We inquire and retain information all around us from the environments we interact in every day. However, just existing and importing information passively is not enough.

We must be engaged in the learning process and actively seeking and acquiring information to improve our lives. Information is everywhere. There is quality information literally right at our fingertips, and it is up to you to make the choice to seek out the information available to impact your life.


Discovering and leveraging your genius

It is amazing how many people live in the world who are not aware of the genius they possess. Unfortunately, many people consider genius to only mean having high IQ (intelligence quotient) scores. This is far from the truth. I define genius as a state of intelligence that is a summation of your actions, talents and skills.

Many individuals are unaware of their actions, talents and skills, which then leads them to being unaware of their own level of genius. You should be someone who attempts to know exactly what your actions, talents and skills are in order to identify them and tap into your genius. Once you know what that level of genius is, then you have the potential to leverage it into bettering your position.


Deal with your personal trauma

Dealing with our own stuff is not an easy task. Our personal histories of adversity are memories we usually try to suppress. This could be due to shame, fear or guilt. However, having the ability to cope and address these past experiences puts one in a position of strength instead of weakness.

It might be a painful process to confront these negative experiences. However, this process can (and often does) build resilient character traits that can be utilized in many facets of your life. Dealing with our own trauma and adversity requires us to be honest about the things we have experienced. This acceptance of traumatic experience can open up doors of resiliency.

In short, everyone has the ability to change their life for the better. Even in difficult circumstances, one may be able to make some slight adjustments that can make a critical difference in shifting the outcomes of their situation. This is one of the impressive things about being a human being.

Especially during this current period in time where we have vast exposure to information and opportunities, the power to make a difference in your life is almost entirely in your hands. In a world where everything is smart, all you have to be is wise. Being a Jegna is about attempting to put yourself in position to make an impact on society while crafting a better future for yourself.