Certain conversations that people do have are often interesting. So interesting that at times they penetrate even a deaf and disinterested ear. However, being interesting does not imply that such conversations are always pleasant or positive in content. Take an example of these two guys who were conversing in a matatu that I boarded the other day. One of them was categorically explaining why he was living in poverty. ‘I am poor because my father was not able to take me to a good college. I know he didn’t deliberately refuse but I blame him for not being wealthy enough to take me to a better school and college.’ That is what caught my attention. I am not sure what else they had talked about before I entered the vehicle. Before I could look back to have a glance at them, they alighted.
This got me thinking and asking myself endless questions. How many people out there are stuck in the mud of inaction while blaming someone else for not availing an ingredient of their success? How many people are stuck because they went to a not-so-popular school? How many people are in crushing relationships and they believe they do not have the right partners? How many people are cursing because they have no links to ‘people that matter’ in society? Could there be people who believe they are what they are because they do not have a good Governor? Perhaps students who believe their future is bleak because their school is a village one?
It is important to note that there is no single individual with all the favorable and rosy factors on his/her side. At no point will anyone have all the perceived ingredients of success. However, at any stage in life, we all have adequate resources to accomplish greatness in life. All great men and women have learnt the art of making do with what they have, call it making lemonade from the lemons that life throws their way. Life is less of what happens around us but more of how we react to what happens around us. We do not choose where we are born but we get to choose how we end up. We may not choose where we school, but we choose what we school. We may not choose our neighbors but we choose how we live with them.
A lot of times most people are specialists of citing what they miss in life. They know they are missing a husband or wife like their neighbor’s. They know they are not performing well in school because their school is not a popular one or because they are missing a teacher like the one in their neighboring school. They know they are not growing in employment because they do not have the right boss. Their businesses are not working because they missed a shop built like the one next door and the examples are far too many.
It is important to realize that success in any sphere of life is a possibility regardless of our tribulations and perceived shortcomings. Every stage in life is relevant to our growth. Everything we have in life, everyone we have in our midst and every place we find ourselves, counts. Achievement in life is never a factor of what is missing, rather, what is. It is not about who you are not, but who you are; it is not about where you have not been, but where you are; it is not about who you do not know, but who you know; it is never about the wealthy background that you do not have, but the exact one that you have; it is not about the neighbor’s spouse that you do not have, but what you are doing with the one you have; it is not about the education that you missed, but your utilization of the one that you got.
Wake up and stop counting the things that are not and begin counting those that are. Do not waste your precious time apportioning blame, for blame is only a preserve of losers; you are not one. God gives you what you need to accomplish whatever mission you have. If you realize that you are missing anything, you might as well rest assured that it is irrelevant in the equation of mission accomplishment. What is missing is never given to us, we should stop searching for and defining it.
Maturity is the day we realize that everything that we have and in the form and manner that we have it is the best for us. It is no accident. While you cry of a bad school, others are excelling from it; while you screem about a bad boss, others are growing in the same organization courtesy of performance; while you whine about a bad business premise, other businesses are thriving in worse settings. The million dollar question is, ‘Have you done enough with your current circumstances?’ Before you complain of a deficiency, what have you done with what is in your hands? Are you like the farmer who sold his farm to get funds to go and search for diamonds only to come back and hire a portion of the diamonds from the very farm he sold? Looking far when you are indeed sitting on a diamond mine! Change the game and begin appreciating and working with what you have because YOU CAN DO BETTER!
Motivational Speaker & Author.