Model of possibility


When you are enveloped in a cloud of unexpected circumstances such that the future seems bleak, one is likely to think that you are worse off. A feeling of dejection and uselessness creeps in. You look at the world with a negative eye.

Unfavourable moments and situations are heart breaking. People commit suicide or resort to drug and substance abuse as a relief to the seemingly insurmountable mountain of problems they have to climb. Never despair when you are in moments of hopelessness. There comes a time in an individual’s life to face the ultimate challenge – a time when every resource we have is tested.

Anthony Robbins explains this time better: “A time when life seems unfair. A time when our faith, our values, our patience, our compassion, our ability to persist, are all pushed to our limits and beyond.”


When such moments strike at you, you have two choices. You can use such tenets as opportunities to become a better person or to destroy yourself.

To rise from the ashes of disappointment, take the initiative to come across people that have ever lived in the situation you are facing. Through their experience, you will gather the courage to move on, thus leaving all the disappointments behind.

Learn from the story of W. Mitchell. His life was shattered when he had a terrible motorcycle accident. Three quarters of his body had third-degree burns. He struggled back to collect the bits of his life, resumed a business career, only to find himself in another unwelcome a n d disastrous situation – an airplane crash that left him par a lysed from waist down for life.


While for most people that would have meant the end of all good things; for W. Mitchell, it was the beginning of another success story in his life. He bounced back to develop phenomenal personal relationships with some of the most influential people in America. He has become a millionaire in business. He even ran for Congress in the United States despite the fact that his face was grotesquely marked. Imagine his campaign slogan: “Send me to Congress, and I won’t be just another pretty face.”

How was it possible that W. Mitchell was able to survive the circumstances that caught him and went on to become successful? The secret is that when he was in hospital, friends read him examples of people who had overcome great obstacles. One story that caught him was that of a man he knew as a kid, a man who was paralysed but made his life a triumph.

You are not the first person to experience what is happening to you today. Many other people have had worst experiences and nightmares but walked over them and became a success. Have them as models of possibility. It is imperative that we realise that the difference between those that succeed and those that fail is not what they have; it is what they chose to see and do with their resources and their experiences of life.

Have you lost your job and feel that it is all over for you? Have a model of possibility in Mr Edward Kalua of Combine Cargo. Your business licence is nowhere to be accepted by authorities and your business is on the blink of failure? Have a model of possibility in Dr Thomson Mpinganjira, who faced rejection after rejection for a bank licence. You face capital constraints to develop a vibrant business? You have Napoleon Dzombe, who built a business empire with an initial capital of K77. You live in poverty and have no hope that you can realise a dream? Your model of possibility is Mike Mlombwa, who, with little education, walked on foot from Mwanza to Blantyre, worked as house boy and started a business selling paper by paper on the street until he built a formidable car hire rental business.

You are at the bottom of the ladder at the organisation you are working for and have a feeling that you are always a hewer of wood and drawer of water for corporate executives? You have a model of possibility in Charles Chimombo, who started from position number two at the bottom at World Vision and, in his 17 years of work experience, rose to position number two from the top.

The challenges you are passing through are the hot coals of fire that are scorching debris out of the diamond of your life. Survive the pain and, then, you will come out a sparkling piece of diamond. Whatever the case, whatever the circumstances you are in, take heart that you are always in the close vicinity of models of possibility.

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