I remembered a story of an old street vendor who used to sell balloons to children in social places. He used to make great sales during functions and days of worship when children would be gathered in their large numbers. However, just like any other business, this old man used to have his low seasons when sales wouldn’t just come his way. During such times, he would inflate red, blue and yellow balloons and throw them in the air. They would fly and make a colorful spectacle in the air which would attract children and in turn boost sales. One day, a young boy asked the old man, “if you threw a black balloon in the air, would it also fly like the red, blue and yellow ones?” The old man looked at the young boy, smiled and said, “It is not the color that makes them fly but what is inside them, the air.”
In life we are like those balloons. Flying in the air can be likened to our excelling in various endeavors. The colors are our outward attributes such as height, skin complexion, gender, level of education, family background, school attended and so on. They are our cosmetic attributes. Just like the color of the balloon cannot influence its flying, so can’t these cosmetic attributes influence how we perform in life. Most of us believe that we are not successful because we did not attend the ‘right’ schools, we got married to the ‘wrong’ people, we were born in poverty, our parents did not do enough to boost our background, we live in the wrong neighborhood, our ex messed our lives and the list is endless. All these are colors of balloons and can only be described as excuses. They matter less in your story of success.
The air inside the balloons can be likened to our attitudes, our character, our beliefs our values and our mindset. Just like what is inside the balloon makes it fly, so do these attributes inside us make us excel to whichever level we want. A balloon of whatever color is just a useless flaccid thing before air is blown inside it. You may have all the cosmetic attributes, good background, good education in high end schools and living in a high end neighborhood. However, you will not amount to anything if the right attitude, character, values and mindset are missing inside you. These are the attributes that propel you off the ground and take you to wherever you want to be.
Maturity is that day when you wake up to the realization that you are responsible for your own success and happiness. Absolutely no one can give or take away your happiness and achievements. Not your parents, not your spouse, not your ex, not your teacher, not anyone. The day you realize, that just like the colors of the balloons, your cosmetic attributes have no contribution to the extent to which you fly in your career, in your studies and even in your business. The day you realize that what is inside you has got the keys to where you want to be. Maturity is also the day you accept that there is need to concentrate on aligning your mindset in the direction of positivity and possibility and working on all attributes that lie within you.
Your past may be unfavorable, your background may have nothing good to write home about, your former school may not be known by many, your neighborhood may not be as popular and your parents may not have done enough for you. All these and other factors may have been worrying you and causing you stagnation in life. I put it to you today, through this Focus Talk, that the most valuable components of your success are inbuilt and no one can tamper with them. Stop the pity party, forget your unfavorable cosmetic attributes and embrace the greatness that lies within you. Build your attitude, your belief system, your character and your value system and start working for your success. Excellence and all good things in life do not happen, they are caused to happen. Take responsibility for your actions and blame no one and nothing. Fill your personal balloon with the right attitude and fly high above the ground because YOU CAN DO BETTER!

Roy Okonji
Trainer | Motivational Speaker | Team Builder | Life Coach | Mentor

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There are 2 comments
  1. Edith musamali

    This is very encouraging cudos

  2. Thank you.

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