Monday, May 27, 2013

Find a Reason to Succeed

“You can never beat Ukyi,” Akpa told me. Ukyi was the overall best pupil in my form in the last term examinations and it was obvious to everyone of us that she was very bright.

Ukyi joined my class when her parents enrolled her in my school and even though she came just a few weeks to our exams, she outshined me in our examinations. 

Akpa’s remark hit me. It was a challenge. My heart started racing and my temperature rose. How could Akpa draw this conclusion? Yes, Ukyi was brilliant but does that mean she would beat me a third time?

I looked at Akpa and made a hand gesture moving forward my open palms to him saying, “Bet me, I will beat her in our third term exams.” 

Akpa did not hesitate to tap my palms with his but that was after he laughed out loud. He shrugged, laughed again and said, “I am telling you. You will see.”

“No way,” I said. I meant every word I said. 

And when it was the day for the school’s graduation and award ceremony which usually comes up after the last exams for the session, the names of the best three students in each form were called out for prizes. It got to my form and it was time to announce the best pupil. My heart beat was racing, yet I was so sure I was going to be the one. 

And a loud ovation greeted the announcement of my name. I was over joyed and moved to the stage to shake the school’s head mistress and the bishop who found my school. I felt a great sense of accomplishment as I clutched my prize.

As I tried to figure out where my father sat, Akpa rushed to me beaming with smiles. “Ol’ boy, you too much!” he said and shook me vigorously. “I didn’t know you could beat Ukyi,” he added. Akpa’s challenge had made me so engrossed in my studies that I forgot what he had told me in the beginning of the term. I smiled and I felt good.

It happened several years ago but it still beats my mind on how a challenge can bring out the best in us. Akpa’s remark that Ukyi was way better than me, academically; peeved me. I felt that way, not because I disliked him or Ukyi but because he felt so sure that I could not. So I had to prove that I can!

Life usually gives us back what we put in it. I was diligent and it paid off with success. A reason triggered off that diligence. It was Akpa’s challenge.

Indeed, our lives would become more fruitful if we find reasons to bring out our best. Imagine the joy and glory that comes with success. Yes, when you build that your dream house, when you pay off your debts, when you find your dream wife, when you write that book, when you start running that fledging business it! 

Picture yourself living the kind of life you want and let it be the reason why you have to work smart and hard. Do not brush off that jeer by a colleague who says you cannot when you know you have what it takes, even though it looks difficult. Let that be your reason to ‘fight’ for your success.

Consider the rising number of unemployed people out there; some of them just need the right contacts to find a good job while others need capital to start a business and some others just need the right motivation and mentorship. You could be that influential friend that can make a phone call and link one of them with a job. You could be the philanthropist that can give one of them financial empowerment to start up. You might the person whose story can inspire them to go out and do something that would make them succeed. Imagine the value your success can add to one of them.

Think about it, your life would make more meaning when you find a reason to succeed. 

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