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Keep on going

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With Patrick Achitabwino:

There is inspiration in almost anything that you come across; you just have to change the way you look at things to understand the silent message of motivation hooting silently in any circumstance you come across. Let us be honest, between giving up and persevering, the easiest is giving up. After all, you do not need effort to give up.

To be successful in life, you better learn from your failure, dust yourself and keep on walking. One wonderful and exciting life coach Estelle Nuka is a practical example that has lived the theory of perseverance. Having sailed through troubled motherhood, the Jack Canfield-trained speaker tells everybody: “Do not give up on your dream, no matter how long, it takes. Sometimes in life we are able to achieve our dreams without waiting that long, and almost without shedding a bead of sweat or a tear. That is fine, but, in most cases, achieving the goals that we are most passionate about requires time and perseverance. We need to hang in there, eyes wide open, hands on the steering wheel, and success will surely come – no matter how long it takes.”

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When it comes to perseverance, you have a better model and companion in the rhinoceros. Those that study the psychology of animals concluded that once a rhino has decided to charge, only the rhino can decide to stop. Distinguished author of the book Strategies of the Serengeti, Stephen Berry, further explains on the rhino mentality. He says: “Even at their colossal size and weight they are surprisingly agile and able to negotiate sharp turns and changes of direction if the object of their attention is sensibly seeking to preserve their life by moving rapidly.”

The strategy of the rhino is the strategy of keeping on going. Probably in life, politicians are the best embodiment of perseverance. No matter how they come out bruised of an electoral process where they performed miserably, come the next electoral date, you see them on the ballot. Top-class entrepreneurs that the world cherishes and idolises are also the embodiment of the rhino mentality.

Go into the corporate world, top business executives are those that defy the parameters being set by the climate for doing business. The market may not seem favourable; financial limitations may be gnashing their teeth on them; deprivation of resources may be smothering their business viability. The surprise of it all is that they still keep on posting profits to the contrary of market forces. They have the magic; they persevere; they keep on going just like the rhino does.

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Perseverance is the heartbeat of success. Ask Thom Mpinganjira; he has litanies of pains endured in the process of establishing FDH Financial Holdings. Have a chat with George Partridge, he will share with you moments of agony endured in ensuring that National Bank of Malawi stands tall and proud in the financial services sector. It is perseverance that saw Kwanele Ngwenya lifting NBS Bank from the quagmire of perennial losses to profits. In every sector, you can only make it if you persevere.

The world has a litany of success stories and all are premised on one common denominator – perseverance. If you are an admirer of Singapore and its beautiful skyscrapers, read the story of Lee Kuan Yew, you will realise that beneath any glittering success, there has been pain. In life, we are like ducks on the water, little can you notice how their webbed feet are struggling with currents to swim.

Look at the list of the people you idolise in life, read their biographies or autobiographies, you will notice that their success is knitted with threads of perseverance. From Nigerian Wale Tinubu to Ghanaian Prince Kofi Amoabeng, stretching all the way to Sudanese Mo Ibrahim, cascading down to South Africa’s gambling kingpin Herman Mashaba all the way to the spiritual entrepreneur Strive Masiyiwa in Zimbabwe, zigzagging the way further to DRC’s Moise Katumbu and Miko Rwayitare, cruising back to Zimbabwe’s wonder boy Nigel Chanakira, getting a slice of the wisdom in East Africa from Tanzania’s famous philanthropic entrepreneur Reginald Mengi, soldering up there to meet Uganda’s Gordon Wavamunno famously christened the ubiquitous entrepreneur, crisscrossing to Mozambique for the emerging entrepreneur Daniel Event, pausing in South Africa for mining giant and current head of state Cyril Ramaphosa, taking a rest in our own warm heart of Africa with Jimmy Koreia Mpatsa and Napoleon Dzombe, you will find a common story in them all. Their successes have been built on the solid foundations of perseverance.

You are the next person to write your name in the encyclopaedia of master persevering people, those that made a difference and achieved greatness on the back of the rhino mentality of keeping on going. It is never easy but it is possible. As Jack Canfield says: “There is no such thing as failure but delayed results.” His own student Estelle Nuka complements: “Make sure you stand up more than you fall down until you achieve that goal.”

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