By Patrick Achitabwino:
Do you wish to be great? Simple, you can be. The truth is that success can be attained by anybody. As long as you are alive, you are the next potential successful person the world has ever seen. The painful truth is that very few ends up being successful. Success arises from your habit. Your habit has the potential to see you realise your dream or languish in the jail of wishful thinking.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle was right: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” A maxim further complements that “sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny”.
Introspect your life then you will notice that certain habits put spanners on the wheels of your progress. If you wish to rise in the corporate sector, study the habits of corporate leaders you admire. Start practising such habits. You will be shocked that successful corporate leaders work long hours. They send e-mails as early as 3am. They read books that challenge their mentality to be better and better leaders. They listen to ideas and are always willing to develop their competencies. If your dream is to be like them one day, then surely start following the same trend. It is not all that easy at that top. The top vehicles they drive alongside the many benefits that seem ridiculous and unfair to you are compensation for the sacrifices they make.
Learn from athletes. Even after they have won a medal, they do not stop training. Every day you will see them on the track; running. You turn to wonder, why do these achievers punish themselves more despite all the glory? The answer is simple; for them to maintain their success, they have to sustain the habit that took them to the higher level they are at.
Take a look at the successful Rwandese community that operates shops in our locations. They open their shops as early as 4am and they are the last ones to close. They have less time for chatting and pleasure. If you are their competitors, then you have to beat their habit. Alas! We only just wish then go back to our old habits of hatred, the habit of blaming circumstances, the habit of blaming the economy and the habit of attributing our failure to chitaka.
Here is the thing: What makes Asians of Indian origin a successful business community in the country? Attend with them meetings where economic developments are being discussed; they have no time asking questions that doubt the performance of the economy. They always take notes. This grouping of people can even send their children to colleges not for the paper qualifications but for knowledge to be used for fostering their businesses. Go into their shops, they will have their children with them after they knock off from school. At that tender age, they learn all the tricks of the business. By repeatedly carrying out the same tasks, they become better future entrepreneurs. If you are in business, where are your children? Do they have habits that put them in a better position to understand the business initiatives you are running?
Successful people have the habit of never giving up. When they fail, they try again and again. It is not over until you win. Successful people have the right positive mentality. Have a chat with them you will be shocked. You will possibly think that they do not live in the same world you are living in. They are always optimistic for the better. They quickly learn from their failures and do defy all the odds. Day by day, successful businesses are born in the very same environment you consider not to be conducive for business.
Habits will determine your life. People that are in perennial debt have the habit of taking one debt to repay another debt. In the end, they are caught up in the vicious cycle of debts. What they fail to break is their lifestyle. In the first instance, you will notice that most of the debts go into consumption – a lifestyle of affluence, a self-positioning of success that is not grounded on solid foundations. Successful people use debts to further investments and do live a simple life knowing that the empire they build is not entirely theirs up until they move out of the debt zone.
Take a vacation and close yourself to the monastery of self-reflection. You will then notice habits that are keeping you from attaining the success that you crave. Wean them off your life and start new habits. It is not all that easy. It can never be easy. Change is never easy but the truth is that it is possible. You will only be a successful person when you change your habits.