Nelson Mandela

Career and life lessons from Nelson Mandela

Kevin Makra|

Upon the recent news of the passing of Nelson Mandela the world mourns and reflects on one of the greatest leaders of our generation. Mandela spent 27 years in prison for opposition to apartheid before becoming South Africa’s first black leader. His spirit, sacrifice and genuine devotion to the freedom of all is a legacy that will live on forever.

Nelson Mandela had a profound wisdom that changed lives. He was in a class all to his own. His truly humble nature captivated everybody he met. Bill Clinton once said that, “Every time Nelson Mandela walks into a room we all feel a little bigger, we all want to stand up, we all want to cheer, because we’d like to be him on our best day.” Will Smith said “that just a few moments with someone like Nelson Mandela just fills you with so much inspiration and desire to commit to something that is so much bigger than yourself.”

While Nelson Mandela was so many things, to so many people, he left us with invaluable business, career and life lessons that will stand the test of time. To honor such a great man, we leave you with some of his words of wisdom:

    “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”

    “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

    “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

    “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”

    “It is wise to persuade people to do things and make them think it was their own idea.”

    “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

    “Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.”

    “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

    “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

    “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

    “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

    “Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.”

Nelson Mandela is truly an inspiration to us all. The only tribute worthy of such an iconic figure is to take his words to heart and learn from them. Nelson Mandela will forever be the definition of true greatness. His force for change, humanity and wisdom will never die.


Kevin Makra is the President of Sentor Media Inc., and founder of DirectoryOfCareers.ca. He can be reached at kmakra@sentormedia.com.


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  • VW Anderson

    We can only aspire to be a little like Mr. Mandela. But if we try it will make this world a much better place. Thanks is not enough. Sleep in peace great Prince of Peace.