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Do whatever it takes

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By Patrick Achitabwino:

You should never forget that you are an elite athlete in the arena of success. Top athletes put all their effort in training. They stay on the training ground longer than their colleagues, they focus much on nothing but victory, they sacrifice everything else to be victorious.

When you need success more, you do anything, absolutely anything, as long as it is legal, to reach the pinnacle of success. Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia ran at the Olympics barefoot and won a gold medal in 5,000 metres. William Kamkwamba made a windmill from rudimentary products and brought light to his village. Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda walked on foot from Malawi to South Africa in search of education.

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When you have embarked on a race to success, never stop. Keep on running to the finishing line. A story is said of John Stephen Akhwari of Tanzania. He went to Mexico, from Tanzania, for the 1968 summer Olympics. While competing in the marathon in Mexico City, he cramped up due to high attitude of the city. He had not trained at such an attitude in his homeland.

The race was 42 kilometres and, at barely 19 kilometres, the jockeying for positions among runners started. Unfortunately, he was hit by a competitor. Akhwari fell badly, wounding his knee and dislocating a joint. His shoulder had also hit hard against the pavement.

Akhwari never stopped. He did not give up. He saw competitors running past him. He wobbled as pain was gripping his knee and shoulder. Eventually he was the last of the 57 competitors that finished the race out of 75 that started. While the winner of the marathon, Ethiopia’s Wamo Wolde, finished in two hours, 20 minutes and 26 seconds, Akhwari finished the race an hour late, clocking three hours, 25 minutes and 27 seconds.

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In fact, by the time Akhwari was finishing, there were only a few thousand people left in the stadium, and the sun had set. Actually, a television crew was sent out from the medal ceremony when word was received that there was one more runner about to finish. As he crossed the finish line, there was a cheer from the small crowd.

Speaking to the media on why he continued running despite the injury and being well aware that he had no chance of winning, Akhwari said: “My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race; they sent me 5,000 miles to finish the race.”

Look at the resilience of soldiers at the battlefront. Bruised, wounded, thirsty, hungry, they keep on fighting with the greatest belief and conviction that they will win the war. They look at death and are ready to sacrifice life for victory. They face bullets, bombardment but they keep on going. Even if they are retreating, they retreat fighting. They serve with pride and honour because they love their nations.

If success to you means becoming a corporate executive then invest heavily in your knowledge. Study lives of corporate executives, book meetings with them, pay for your workshops and conferences, sacrifice towards education advancement that will support you. If entrepreneurship is your calling, visit as many customers as you can, smile as if you were born only to smile, find means of enticing people to buy your products and services, establish social contacts that will become your advocates.

You do not need unique talent to be great. You just have to work on what you have to be great. Consider the king of pop music, Michael Jackson. He had been working at his music career since he was five years of age. The Michael Jackson that dazzled the world with his amazing singing and dancing had been practising that for years until he made it.

Have a craving love for what you want to achieve and do anything necessary to achieve it. There is never a person who can achieve great success by doing what he or she hates. The great motivational speaker and writer Anthony Robbins weighs in on the matter. “One of the keys to success is making a successful marriage between what you do and what you love.”

The choice is yours. Do whatever it takes to be successful and you will make it or be lazy and you will see colleagues driving past you on their journey to success.

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