By Patrick Achitabwino:
When you are enveloped in a cloud of unexpected circumstances such that the future seems bleak, one is likely to think that you are worst off. A feeling of dejection and uselessness creeps in. You look at the world with a negative eye to the extent that it is such a bad place.
Unfavourable moments and situations are heartbreaking. People commit suicide or resort to drug and substance abuse as a relief to the seemingly insurmountable mountain of problems to climb. Never despair when you are in such moments of hopelessness. It is part of life that there comes a time in a human’s lifetime when he or she has 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 disappointment 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 and disastrous situation – an aeroplane crash that left him paralysed from the waist down for life.
While for most people that would have been over; 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 even though 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 the hospital, friends read him examples of people who had overcome great obstacles. One story that caught his attention 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 the worst experiences and nightmares but they walked over them and become a success. Have them as models of possibility. We must 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.
You have lost your job and you feel it is 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. Do you face capital constraints to develop a vibrant business? You have Napoleon Dzombe who built a business empire from 77 Malawi kwacha. 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 a 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 2 at the bottom at World Vision and in his 17 years of work experience rose to position number 2 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 then you will come out with 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.