Tuesday February 11 2014

SUCCEEDING: Don’t let small things hold you back


By Ethan Musolini

Sometime back I observed a group of people under the shade of Workers House. Apparently they were shielding themselves from a drizzle. It wasn’t raining heavily but still this group of individuals, supposedly with work to do, chose to wait for the drizzle to completely stop for them to function productively again.

Well, for ladies’ well done hair, one would probably sympathise that they don’t want to spend another Shs50,000 in a salon. But even men with little or no hair that in the worst scenario could easily dried with a handkerchief or even bare hands were standing there helpless.

I walked past them to have lunch, came back and still there were still impressive numbers standing still. That implied there was work or projects that had also stalled. How sad.

Part of what I have noticed is that one of the differences between the developed world and the developing world is the perception on a justified reason not to work. In the developed world, roads have to be closed and the railway system shut down to be believed. Heavy rain is no excuse while in the developing world a small drizzle does it.

Even for people with cars will choose to come late to work because of heavy rains. They justify this with flimsy excuses such as the distance between their door and the car was far and walking under the rains for a minute could make their clothes and nails wet. Seriously? Not too long ago I watched in dismay as a man and woman were negotiating in front of an exit door at an office building as to whether they would be able to run in the rain to a waiting car which was about 15 metres away.

Finally, the man said “it’s possible. Let me show you” and then he ran to a waiting private car. Still the lady was hesitant. I could not keep up with this waiting so I entered the office building. Hopefully she is still not waiting.

The point is, sometimes we choose to let small things hold us back. I am not immune either.
It is just that like in the two scenarios I chose not to let the rain to stop me. You and I have to evaluate what we consider to be big obstacles and yet they could be inconsequential in realising our dreams. That’s the difference between those who choose to soldier on when they have leg cramps compared to those who give up because of any slight pain.

Before holding your future hostage, ask yourself “is this obstacle real or its just imaginary?” Reflect on that because some obstacles are imaginary. Pause and ask yourself, If I were to look back 10 years from now, having given up on something important, would I consider this a valid reason for having stopped me? If the answer is yes, then go ahead and make a stopover. If it’s a no, then roll over the obstacle ahead of you because you deserve greater things in your life. Clear the tiny obstacles and move ahead.

He is the CEO of Success Africa, a motivational speaker, author and HR consultant