Follow your heart


By Patrick Achitabwino:

A short video clip entitled Born Realist tells us a wonderful brief story. A young unwed girl belonged to a conservative family. She became pregnant at the age of 23 by an Arab but she could not convince her parents to marry him. She decided to put the baby up for adoption. All she wanted was her baby to be adopted by educated college graduates and she was relieved when a family of a lawyer decided to adopt the child but things did not go as planned. At the last minute the parents refused to adopt the baby.

The baby ended up being adopted by an uneducated family only on one condition that he will go to college. 17 years later he did go to college but he dropped out just after six months. The parents were sad but the son convinced them that one day he will become successful even without a degree. This boy is Steve Jobs, the greatest innovator of all times.


The bottom line of the story is very simple. Steve might not have found his purpose if he was not adopted at all and Apple may not have existed if he had not dropped out of college.

Steve Jobs himself says: ‘you can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect the dots looking backwards. You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart and that will make all the difference.’

The short video ends with a lesson which says, ‘Steve’s story teaches us that there is a reason for everything in life; and you can always figure it out.’


The surest thing that limits many of us from following our hearts is our assumptions. We tend to believe them, they sound gospel truth to us such that they have become the very limiting factor. Les brown was right, ‘never let the opinion of others become your reality.’

People that make it in life are those that challenge what they believe in. Is it not amazing that despite his height, Lionel Messi scores at times goals with his head? He jumps regardless of the length of defenders standing against him and finds the power to jump above them and score. He believes that his height is no deterrent and that if he tries he can make it.

Malawi’s leading motivational speaker Dr Mary Mkandawire was right, ‘what you believe in probably is not true but what you believe produces results.’ We never thought that a man as old as 70 years can go back to a primary school to learn to read and write until a grandfather in Kenya did it. There were many philosophies whether it was right or not. There are even documentaries. His story graced many headlines throughout the world. He challenged the assumption that an old man cannot go back to school.

What you tell yourself is what is limiting you. The assumptions you are making on yourself are the blockage to the life of your dreams. Do not believe in the negatives of yourself. You are never too old for school if you want to do school. You are not too unfriendly for business if you dream of being a successful business person. Consider this, Oprah Winfrey was said told that she was too ugly for a TV personality but she eventually made millions of dollars as a TV host show presenter.

Add a dose of optimism to your capabilities and dreams. Stop concentrating on the few failures you have encountered in life. If anything, the failures in life are according you the opportunity to prepare adequately for the challenges ahead so that you conquer them. This world has many people that have no first degrees but established complex business that eventually employ people with masters and doctorate degrees. The world will surely give you the equivalent of your belief.

The way you perceive life and all it offers matter most. Wayne Dyer gives us the words of wisdom when he says: ‘when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.’

You have limited your success because you have been looking at your dreams with the perception of failure. Start looking at what is on front of you as an opportunity for greater success. Stop limiting your heart; you have many opportunities in front of you but you choose not to see them. And to those who may be belittling or ridiculing the dream you are following with your heart, answer them with the words of George Bernard Shaw, ‘people who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.’

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