This is a Guest Post by Igbokwe Ifeanyichukwu. Enjoy! 🙂
Until 1875, a thousand and one swimmers had cast their wide-reaching gazes on the seemingly endless stretch of the English Channel and wished that they would be the first to swim across it. Everybody else used boats to travel across this massive water body. There was record to be set and but everybody seemed to look only at the often challenging tides and other creatures that lurked dangerously beneath the water body until Mathew Webb approached it with the kind of boldness with which a lion approaches a prey – with carefulness, boldness and determination and became the first man to swim across the English channel without any external support even in the scary face of so much difficulties.
It wasn’t until he swam across it that everybody began to realize that they could have done it, had they tried. Today even twenty years olds take swimming across this channel as a regular exercise.
Here are some questions to help you move ahead:
- Do you hate your status quo?
- Do you hate the condition life has presented before you?
- But you are still busy dishing out excuses?
- Do you only see all the problems and not the springboard to your success?
- Again, How Big is your Excuse?
Hamilton Naki was offered a job to be a gardener in the University of Cape Town. He had come from the humblest of backgrounds with little or no education to Cape Town. This was apartheid South Africa where the educated black people had not even got a voice not to mention a black male with no education at all. But nothing was going to stop this determined young man with a most amazing self-image and esteem. Soon this illiterate gardener had acquired enough mastery of the happenings around his surroundings that he could assist with the meanest of roles in the laboratory, from cleaning the cages where the animals are kept to anaesthetizing them. He kept observing and learning until he could help and operate on the animals dissecting them with most expertly dexterity of a brilliant surgeon.
Soon he rose to become the principal surgical assistant in the very laboratory where he had previously been employed as a gardener without any certificate, brilliantly undertaking research work that greatly enlarged the frontiers of medical knowledge in the aspect heart surgery and transplant and liver implantation until he could pass his knowledge on to younger doctors. This uneducated man who was employed as a casual gardener in a society that had no place for black people eventually worked so hard that he earned himself an Honorary Master’s degree from the University of Cape Town, a feat that previously near impossible and a great reputation.
Scarcely would any man read these lines that does not have better and greater opportunities and privilege than Hamilton Naki. The question is:
- What have we done with them.
- What have we done about them?
I have come across some people for want of a better phrase I refer to as excuse professionals. O! I may not be able to go to the gym, today is no so good a day. We just can’t bear any comparison with that brand, they are far too ahead. The reason why I am not performing well at my job is ’cause of my boss. I can never get good grades, my teacher is the cause. I can never be that rich no matter how much I tried. I am broke simply because of my husband… Spend just five minutes with some people and you’d be sure to get a hundred excuses why they can’t do this or that.
But then some of the people making these excuses may just be sincerely ignorant. Truth is no matter how good or interesting your excuse may be, it won’t pay the bills, no matter how sincere or ignorant you may be, people pay for results, and until you produce the desired results, you may as well decide not to wake up that day.
Oh!, you could have an ocean of excuses why you would never be successful, why you may never be rich, why you may not be able to bear any comparison with the man or woman you are competing with but the truth as someone rightly put it is that if we fail to dream, then we would spend our entire lifetime helping other people to build their dreams.
Get up take responsibility, go to work and challenge your status. See if things would not change.
Time is gone and is no more existent when the African child will sit idle bemoaning his fate, blaming it on the inability of his government to provide good quality education when he has the world to compete with in a jet age. Past and gone is the time when a graduate from Pakistan would heap a load of regret on his Alma Mata for competition with an American or British over a job in Dubai and losing it, just because he didn’t do enough to clinch it. Until anyone strives consistently for mastery and pays the price, nothing may change.
If you don’t like where you are, then move you are not a stone. You have the right to be angry. But make sure you are angry enough to challenge your situation. Then stand up and do something constructive. Continue doing it until something changes. Pay the price for the change and see if things will not change.
About the Author
Igbokwe Ifeanyichukwu is an action coach, a motivational speaker, a writer and a consultant. He is the brain behind Extraordinary Lives of Ordinary People which will début on this blog shortly.