This article has taken longer than I expected to complete. Which is strange because the content is something we live with on a daily basis.
The world is very quick to define us, when we were in High School we were defined by what kind of families we come from. What positions do our parents occupy in society.
In my case the fact that I came from a village attending a school in town meant the fact that I’m a villager defined me as well.
When we got to Varsity meant the world would define you again. The way you looked, how we dressed, the way your accent sounds was another dynamic where you would you be judged.
The world is made up of two halves. The haves and have nots. And I belong to the later. The world seems to look at your background as a way to make a prediction of where you’ll end up.
This morning I was driving behind the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 and I was reminded that regardless of how brilliant the car is it still looked down compared to the usual suspects of Mercedes-Benz GLE 63 AMG, BMW X5M.
Usually in car terms the best comparison is by looking at the specifications. I could go into detail of how many kilowatts and a blow by blow account of which one has the fastest acceleration from zero to 100km per hour as well as which one has the highest top speed.
However this article is not about that, but it’s about the fact that sometimes regardless of how much you perform whether academically or in the workplace. Some people will never see your full potential because to them success has a face, sound and background and sometimes even an accent.
Regardless of how much you try you’ll never be seen the same way not because you aren’t capable enough but because you might not fit the profile.
This article is aimed at encouraging someone who sometimes feels out of place in the high paced world, who feel inadequate purely based on their background. You may not have come from the right background or been to the right schools that are always associated with brilliance.
Don’t let that stop you. Dare to be more. Dare to be best version of yourself. Work on yourself. Identify areas that you can do better in. Become your own critic become your own mentor. Your own motivational speaker.
Use your previous successes as a motivator to the take yourself to the next level. Fight against the need to fit in. The need to be accepted. Dare not to conform. Dare to stand out!!!
Choose your own lane and define your own brilliance…
A few weeks ago I went home to a small village called Rood-Huis in the Limpopo. It had been quite some time since I went. Due to fear of being judged I will not mention how long it had been since the last I was home.
Everytime when I am about to go home I get very excited sometimes I’m not even able to eat anything before hitting the road.
Having done this journey countless times I must say I know what lies ahead. I know I will have to cover at least 600 kms over the next few hours to reach my destination.
One thing I have observed is that I tend to enjoy the journey more when I’m travelling other with people in the car. Whenever I drive alone I tend to want to cover the trip as soon as possible and instead of enjoying the journey I tend to enjoy the drive. True petrolheads will know the difference.
Since this article is not about cars I’ll restrain myself with great difficulty as my love for cars is public knowledge.
The first thing that comes to mind is that if I drive at this speed I will be able to get home at this hour. So there’s a temptation to drive faster and arrive early to the destination.
As tempting as that may sound it comes with its own challenges. Firstly the car will use fuel in a very inefficient way. You might face arrest by the authorities for not observing traffic rules. And at worst you may not arrive at home alive.
It’s interesting that this anology makes sense but we fail to see the same logic when it comes to planning our lives. Early this year I was faced with the same dilemma. It took a frank conversation with a trusted friend and confidant to make me see sense.
I had an opportunity to finish a project I started in 2015 in six months. Less than two weeks before I had finalised my vision list for 2017. According to that plan I was meant to finish the project in twelve months instead of the the six.
Experience was definitely against me as I had failed to complete the same volume of work over six months. Sanity had to prevail.
A conversation I had yesterday over lunch with a colleague reminded me of the power of patience. We were using the decision to pursue a qualification as a subject of the conversation. On average a new qualification will take you at least two years and most probably three years to complete.
Patience is defined as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problem, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.
The capacity to tolerate a delay in one’s career and dedicate the 24 months towards one’s journey. More often the rewards are worth it. I always hold the belief that any effort towards self improvement will always yield results.
The journey will come with a sacrifice as it will mean forsaking all sorts of temptations along the way. Some of the opportunities will require nerves of steel to walk away from but if one is convicted about why they started this journey in the first place it will be easy to keep going and have the patience to endure until the goal is reached.