The Road of Life: Where Are You Heading to?

road of life

The other day I was driving down this familiar road that appeared entirely new because I had taken long to pass through it. Interestingly, there was nothing much fascinating about it: broken culverts, gaping potholes, and the common drainage issues. However, I do not want to talk about physical roads today. Why don’t we discuss the road of life?

The Enormous Question

What is it that comes to your mind when you hear about the road of life? If you are reading this piece, you must be on a journey that has an ultimate destination with several goals in between.

Alternatively, you could walk through several routes that all converge at the same point. Well, I even don’t know whether the statement above is making sense of itself. But the fact is, eventually you want to be somewhere in life if you are of a sound mind.

Greatness is in all of us

One pure truth about life is that everyone born of a mother under the sun has an inherent desire to be great. And some driven by vice have used crude methods to get to the top. Isn’t it true that some of our political leaders have killed and exiled their rivals and political opponents to get to the top? Well, you may say you fight for power and don’t beg it, but no one has the right to take away life.

One pure truth about life is that everyone born of a mother under the sun has an inherent desire to be great

What’s your view of success/greatness?

If you are still there, I want to partly talk about my experience in the Kenya Education system 8.4.4. Has not education played a major role in shaping our lives? Whether or not you went through it? There must be one or two things you learnt from it.

When I was in primary school, pupils who had done their last exams and left; probably joined national schools would come back visiting. We used to revere them and see them as our heroes because they achieved what we hadn’t.

We viewed them with awe and admiration and imagined the wonderful life they were leading in national schools. Our teachers could celebrate them, telling us to be like so and so.

Oblivious to us, they were also the typical high school students on a journey of life with the core desire to make their lives more meaningful. Back in primary school, as you may want to call it in slang, we imagined an excellent experience, after that, in a prestigious national school. Time went by, and the lucky ones like me (or should someone else be saying this) found ourselves in high school. 

Know things for What they are

We realized high school wasn’t a bed of roses either. Primary was a walkover.  In my case, mine was an excellent performing provincial school whose promotion to a national school was long overdue.

They deemed the school among the best in Western Kenya under the leadership of the head teacher we had nicknamed “Jeshi”. In high school; it was survival for the fittest.

A series of CATS, assignments, and quizzes. We met poor performance with some hard lashes on our sitting apparatus and our teachers would threaten us with repeating classes.

So this is what the heroes we revered in our primary school days went through? The food was not much different from the one we used to consume with relish back in primary school but was better in my opinion.

Failed Expectations

Over time, I watched as guys gave up when things became tough. Some stricter subjects like Mathematics, physics, and chemistry proved to be a tall order for many.

In primary school, for instance, you could gamble with multiple choices and scoop 97/100%. If you have been through the Kenya 8.4.4. In the education system, you must relate to this. 

I wouldn’t want to talk about myself here lest I brag or get biased. Add to the indiscipline cases that bedeviled the crooked ones.

As a high school student, the word expulsion or getting expelled was so dreary that thinking about it would send chills down my spine. Actually, to a high school student, it was like your life had come to an abrupt end.

While going home after getting expelled or suspended, you needed to think hard to fabricate lies that you would use to convince your parents why you were out of school or otherwise your goose would be cooked.

And what were the villagers expected to think of you? After hearing the son of so and so joined high school and is now passing the time at home.

A considerable number of guys we schooled with in primary school got expelled or suspended indefinitely for many indiscipline cases.

The lucky ones would get suspended for two weeks, get back, and write course notes on end for classes they missed. However, the worst would await them.

If students had done any exams during their suspension period, it means they would rank bottom, and “Jeshi” would shame them during the academic parade.

In the wildest of our dreams back in primary school, this is not the life we had dreamt of or envisioned.

The Good Memories

On the flip side, there was the fun part of it. Graduating from putting on shorts to trousers. Writing letters to girls and interacting with them. Entertainment on weekends and abrupt changes with something delicious on the menu.

Also not forgetting games, Mathematics contests, Science Congress, Drama and music fests, and the many other co-curricular events. 

In high school, we had the revered visitors who could stop by for their teaching practice. Talking of an AGM, a complete bull would go down for parents’ lunch. The dining hall would instantly become a no-go zone for students.

Source of Hope

Among the revered visitors were the old boys who would motivate us to work hard. We would find great relief in listening to them, not because they were talented speakers but because they had gone through the system.

In them, we found the hope to join University via the government program then referred to as JAB–Joint Admissions Board today known as KUCCPS.

We also saw superheroes, role models, and guys who were already making it. To us, these were making it on the road of life. Looking back, I imagine the life struggles they also faced even though they appeared heroes in our sight.

Now, I had this fairy picture of a university. I imagined a place where young adults were well-behaved, disciplined, focused, go-getters, and all the positive words you can think of.

Well, but wait till you visit the washrooms. Hahahah. Wait till you go for student elections! People would get stupid, forget about ideologies and primitively go tribal.

Add to the injury the many tribal associations that still exist within our campuses. Ooh! Kitwek Student Association! What for!!? Students would speak vernacular in some of these meetings. I thought we derive the name university from the adverb universal. Don’t we

Logically, this would be expected regarding student elections. Weren’t their sponsors the same tribal kingpins we see in parliament buildings?

A friend once mentioned how University thwarted his expectations.

To him, the university was a citadel of research, a place guys were immersed in research on several topics. Shockingly for him, it was an endless journey of lectures, the same handouts, and exams.

The White Lie

Talking from the eyes of a Kenyan graduate University wasn’t a walk in the park as our high school teachers would want us to believe.

If you burned your Chemistry book after your final exam imagining Chemistry was over, you would be in for a rude shock. Science-based courses still had elements of Chemistry and biology in the first year. 

On campus, freedom was at its peak, and you had to learn discipline, manage your time, money, and foodstuffs.

Come the exam time and people would read and study like there was no tomorrow. Even the best of jokers would seclude themselves and get down to business.

Apparently, at every stage of life, the Darwinian theory of selection applies.  By the fourth year, some chaps we began with were missing for myriad reasons. A proof to the fact that every stage in the road of life had lessons to offer.

Some reasons, such as having no school fees, were rather pathetic. However, cases of indiscipline, missing classes on end and getting pregnant along the way would make life difficult for many.

The Situation as it is

Four years down the line and everyone was out again, and we get to mingle through social media and WhatsApp groups.

Some came out married, others engaged, and some marriage was a distant dream far away. Still, when joining, others came from the North but left going South in search of greener pastures.

Others lingered on for a while, perhaps waiting for a sign from God knows where.

For those who were partly students and partly engaged in businesses, it was merely a matter of transitioning from being a part-time student to a full-time business.

To them, education was a tool for relevancy, but they appeared to have their lives figured out already.

As of writing this, it’s another four years since campus. Time seems to have moved fast but with minor changes.

Young families are still coming up. Some saw the need to advance their education, and they got back to it again. Interestingly, a few chaps who were rather unheard of have taken the world by storm.

They now driving gigantic machines and living a life that would only amount to wishes and dreams at our age.

You would think because of them living large, they would be quick to lift and support others. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Success is a process. You get to apply for jobs and not even get a regret email. You try business it somehow cannot see the end of the year. You try relationships; you get some rough rides before a soft landing.

You would think because of them living large, they would be quick to lift and support others down the ladder. But nothing could be further from the truth. Success is a process. You get to apply for jobs and not even get a regret email. You try business it somehow cannot see the end of the year. You try relationships; you get some rough rides before a soft landing.

Now to somebody who has achieved some sense of significance without going through breaking a sweat, the need or the heart to help may not even exist.

Some who had relatives and friends in prominent places knew they have well cut out their road of life only for matters to take a downward spiral.

The Big Questions

Essentially, the big questions to ask ourselves is where are we walking to on this road of life. Why all the toil and sacrifice? Is it worth it? Is there a crown awaiting you at the other end of the tunnel?

Is it to disapprove of people who never believed in you or what fuels you to keep walking? What meaning or significance are you looking for in life? At the end of your journey, what do you want people to remember you for?

That you paid school fees for orphans or built and lived in the most expensive house? Let me know in the comments below.

Bottom Line

Strictly speaking, however much you may think someone is living the best of life, things could differ from reality. As I wrap this up, it’s more important to know where you are heading to in the road of life than just dragging yourself by.

4 Misunderstood Statements about Money

Hello good people,

It has been long since we got to interact with each other but I’m fit and sound like a giant fig tree. For a moment, I have been having these negative thoughts about money but on a closer introspection, I realized how wrong I was. To some of us, money has been over glorified at the expense of our families, relationships, friendships and personal development.

Well, who said money isn’t important anyway. Just as you do need it, I also need it to offset some of my bills and keep life moving forward. However, money is not all that matters in life but many other things as well.

If you agree with the aforementioned statement then we are definitely on the same page. Out there, many are the statements concerning money. Many mention it when looking for it or when trying to justify their unwanted conditions.

So today, in the spirit of self-growth and personal development, I would like us to demystify a number of myths about money that get as all on the wrong side of things.

# 1.  Money is Everything

If money was everything, then your very breath of life would be dependable on it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about the patient who needs a life-supporting machine that obviously costs money to be used. The thing is, you have an obligation to pay your water bill, electricity bill and et. Cetera but no any single time did anybody from anywhere stood at your doorstep demanding a clearance of your life bill for the years you have so far lived on earth.

Besides, genuine friends and true lasting relationships can never be bought with money.

Let’s say your breath of life was worth $0.01/minute then you need to calculate your age and you will know exactly what amount you will have to part with to pay for your life.

Fortunately for us, all that is unnecessary because the breath of life has been given freely.

The Bible talks about the story of the rich fool in Luke 12:13-21, who after harvesting bountifully thought he still had a life to destroy his barns and build bigger ones for the bountiful harvest only for his life to be taken that very night.

# 2. Excess Money Makes You Immoral

On many occasions, this statement has hit my ears both from friends, foes and family members alike. Clearly, I didn’t get it right what could be the reason they spewed such ignorant statements but the fact remains that they are all wrong. One important question I keep asking myself is whether these individuals would one day in life wish to have a lot of money or not.

You need to know that the excess money being castigated as making one immoral has been used to contain aids and Malaria prevalence in Africa provided relief food in famine and hunger stricken parts of the world, built both churches and schools.

In all these instances, donor funding both from individual and institutional donors has been used immensely but   I do not see where money made anyone immoral but to create solutions.

But one thing I do understand very well is money simply picks the character of the beholder. Money in the hands of a drunkard makes him or her more of a drunkard. Same is true for a gambler, child trafficker or drug dealer.

#3.  I want to be a Millionaire

This statement is correct in every sense and there is no problem with anyone of us wanting to have millions in our bank accounts. But the question is, what do you want the millions for? Some of the world renown billionaires never had the dream of becoming what they are today but because they were focused on solving a problem or filling a gap by adding value to the way of things, that in itself minted them billions let alone millions. Have someone in mind? Point is, it is not about the millions it is about the purpose you got behind the millions.

If your desire to be a millionaire is driven by anger, need for approval or security think twice because even after you get your millions these issues will still be right there with you.

If your desire to be a millionaire is driven by anger, need for approval or security think twice because even after you get your millions these issues will still be right there with you.

 

#.4 The Rich Steal to Continue Being Rich

I’m not sure I want to write this statement because I seem to be in limbo myself. This is because; I come from a country where corruption is so rife that making money legally, ethically and morally now appears to be a thing of the past.  I must say that this statement is partly true going by corruption dossiers and inquiries done in Kenya and are in public domain. However, I also must add that to anyone of us who has a desire to be counted among the rich, this statement is not the very right one for you. You can’t be what you negatively keep on talking about.

Firstly, this statement paints the rich, something you want to become like thieves and only thieves. What effect will it have on you? You will start resenting the rich, envy them and make them your enemies. You can as well forget about being rich.

I would rather suggest you focus on them that have made much money legally, morally and ethically right rather than sabotage your own billion dollar dream.

 

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5 Things to Do When You Feel a Failure in Life

fearoffailure
Photo credit: wakeupcloud.com

I’m not sure I want to write about this but deep inside I feel there is a soul out that there that needs some fuelling words to soldier on. That soul could be me or you. The word failure in itself is scary, unwanted and attracts no admiration but sympathy and shame.

In your life right now, you could be having this feeling because of one reason or the other but you need not put yourself down or remain in that fallen state.  Life needs to be understood as a journey and not a destination. If you understand life as a journey, well and good because that means you are privy to the fact that a journey is never smooth all through but around comes bumpy and meandering roads.

However, if you understand it as a destination, the bumpy rides along won’t make any sense to you and that means you will walk in negativity, misery, and hopelessness but luckily for you in every Alpha there is always an Omega unless you choose to remain in that situation.

If you are feeling that broken, stuck and way below your peers in life then you need to try this out:

  1. Read God’s Word

Reading the Bible has many benefits to your soul that you will come to understand later when you get deep into reading it. From it comes revelation of God’s will over your life, hope over tough situations in your life, an answer for every single situation surrounding your life.

You will read about the story of the Israelites, that despite being God’s chosen people they failed God in many ways, were given unto their enemies, exiled, afflicted but they still remained to be God’s people and God restored them promising them a future and hope. You are not any different because, despite the bumpy ride at the moment, there is a future and a hope for you.

  1. Be Inspired by those Who Have Overcome Your Challenge

Hope is a word so simple yet difficult to understand especially when you are at the bottom of the totem pole.

At the bottom, everything seems to be bleak, lifeless and stagnant. That said, it is extremely difficult for someone to understand it when he or she is facing that huge mountain to climb, a financial or emotional struggle.

However, you can find inspiration in those who have conquered the same battles. For instance, there are those who have gone through a stream of bad marriages and failed severely. But later on, they were able to learn from their failures to the point of becoming marriage counselors themselves.

There are those who have broken the bad habits you are struggling with right now. Find inspiration in them and soldier on.

  1. Read autobiographies of Great World Leaders

We all know that being a leader comes with a great responsibility of leading people. People look up to you for guidance, direction and rely entirely on your wisdom and leadership skills. Leaders, therefore, whether by chance or choice face difficult situations in their career and life that may devastate them too many times.

Case in point is Abraham Lincoln, a onetime US president who went through a stream of failures in business, politics and his personal life before clinching the seat of the most powerful nation on earth.

  1. Know your Failures and Face Them

It is said that successful people take 100% responsibility for what happens to them. Therefore, for life to move forward you have to take action by facing your failures and knowing them for what they are and subsequently laying down a plan to overcome them.

The world does not recognize victims of life or those who play victims to life but heroes and those who have conquered storms in life to bring the ship back home. If it is a financial struggle or overcoming your debts, you need to know all the debts you owe from the smallest to the highest and lay down a plan to clear them as soon as possible. As one author put it if you find yourself in a hole stop digging.

  1. Tell Yourself it’s Never too Late

In this voyage called life, the word late is allowed to be relative clearly because one’s lateness maybe another person’s timeliness.

Actually, the point is that everyone operates in their own time zone and your peer owning a company at 25 does not mean something could be wrong with you. However hard you may have worked or tried hard, it is not yet the time to give up but to persist even more because it’s never too late.

Your dream house or company could just be around the corner. If you are still young and energetic, take comfort in the fact that you still have the time to work hard and achieve your goals.

 

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No Need to Try Hard Solving the Puzzles, Just Let Life Unfold

pensive woman
Image Courtesy of Google

Life like a paradox is one big puzzle that makes you a smile at the beginning of the day and maybe sad at the end. The opposite is also true.

Not once or twice, you will find yourself in situations where all seems stuck and life has nothing better to offer other than a myriad of losses, bad news, and relationships that go south.

At times, the best you can do is to be still and let the chapters of your life unfold without much drama. However, you are the C.E.O of your life and you can make that choice at your discretion.

Problems are part and parcel of our lives and how we handle one problem says a lot about our character and what we are made of and more so how we shall handle the next phase of challenges.

Each new day, we rise up with big dreams, a mountain of hopes and our expectations hitting the roof. On the contrary, the day bids us bye without you or me realizing all of our expectations for the day.

Maybe you looked forward to receiving a phone call about a job interview that the panel members were all smiling at you and everything seemed to have worked perfectly well but no call came through. Or maybe your romantic interest took you on a date that ended up having no chance for a second date. Yes, it has happened so many times to so many people and you are not the first one.

How about that business that you have worked hard on to make it grow but ends just don’t seem to meet yet. No profits, low sales records, narrow customer base, nothing to celebrate but only regrets about pumping your money into a sinking ship.

Still, you may have checked your mail only to find a regret email from your potential business partner or employer.

Most of  these life events, unfortunately, strike with no formula and come when you least expect them and when you eagerly hoped for the best.

However, at such a point in time, you need to realize that shifting blame or pointing a finger at a situation, event or person is not the best idea.

Your mind could also go wild and cloud you with all the wrong reasons why life is not working as you would want it to and all seems to be on a downward spiral.

You might want to drink yourself crazy in a bid to calm your nerves and ease the pressure for a while but that too will not let you off the hook.

This is the time in your life when you may appear to be a lone ranger with a few friends and unseen enemies. Your calls for help and sympathy may bounce back and give you no breakthrough at all.

You may wish the angel of death to drop from the heavens like lightning and cut short your life in an instant but you will close your eyes, weep, wish and pray only to open them again still functioning and feeling your breathing rhythm.

“The gods have conspired against me”, you will say in anguish. You will listen to all the soothing songs you can find and try find solace in them but that still may not solve one or all of your puzzles but at least you will feel better for a moment.

However, the universe will care not about the problems you will whine and shout to the world but only when you conquer them.

The secret lies in being tough and strong when life least expects you to and not to fret at any life challenging event nor find solace in superficial avenues but remain still and wait for more of your life chapters to unfold because there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Run with me