What you need to know:
- As long as a man has that little thing called a pulse, and he's willing to put in the work, he can change his fortunes.
- Each time I'm tempted to throw in the towel, I remember age mates who died without seeing a fraction of the blessings I have.
It's an all too common scenario. You bump on a peer you haven't seen in a minute. You swap life updates.
After you part ways, you think to yourself how far they are in life. You put yourself in the dock, grill the choices you made in life, harshly judge and condemn yourself.
You start telling yourself that you'll never amount to anything. Lethargy sets in. If you're not careful, you end up becoming one of the many people Benjamin Franklin talked about who, "die at twenty-five and aren't buried until they are seventy-five".
Sure. Choices have consequences. But, as long as a man has that little thing called a pulse, and he's willing to put in the work, he can change his fortunes. Each time I'm tempted to throw in the towel, I remember age mates who died without seeing a fraction of the blessings I have. Talk about a reality check.
Whenever this happens, I wear the garment of gratitude and get back to the grind. I tell myself that, if God has allowed me to be alive, He has a purpose for my life and I'm the one who can abort it. Death brings me back to life. Tragic yet true.
I've also learnt to celebrate and bless peers who are doing better. I use their success stories as a testimony that God is still in the coming-through business. That He hasn't filed for bankruptcy.
Besides, I know that, in life, one gets what they give. So? I bless them. I push them up; not pull them down.
'That's not mine'
Years ago, I learnt to utter this phrase: "That's not mine." When I saw my peers soaring, and it looked like my limbs were cemented on columns with rebars, I'd utter this phrase. I didn't - and still don't - badmouth anyone's prosperity or success. I just utter, "That's not mine". And I go on with my life. That utterance deals with jealousy and envies a mortal blow.
That edict also cuts across other parameters. "That's not my gift." "That's not my journey." "That's not my pace." "That's not my destiny." "That's not my dream."
Making such statements isn't akin to resignation. It's acknowledging the fact that the journey of life isn't a cookie-cutter. It's diverse and rich, as the God who created each person and their unique path. It's not a one-size-fits-all garment; but custom-made by the Creator, for each soul, at the foundation of the world.
And, in a way, that acknowledgement is freeing. It releases me so that I can unleash the fullness of who I was created to be. Knowing what's mine and what's not mine saves me from headaches, ulcers and exercises in futility.
Our trajectories may intersect; in the 'hood, school or workplace. But, when we venture to wherever our wings or winds next take us, an intersection should not be used as a yardstick to measure a man's growth or lack thereof. An intersection isn't a cosmic fluke. It's divinely orchestrated to enrich our lives, spread the vines of our networks far and wide, broaden our horizons and cultivate camaraderie.
People perish for lack of knowledge. For instance, if I don't know my pace, I will be susceptible to burnout, which may lead to death (of dream) due to extreme exhaustion. If I was born to break the world indoor sauntering record, I'll gladly stick to my runner, and smile to the bathroom. Nope. I'll not burn my Luo lungs chasing after Eliud Kipchoge. That's. Not. Mine.
Last, but best; I've learnt that, in God's journal, until a man's referred to as "the late", he's not late.