Own your race


I have a little anecdote to share with you…

There was once an announcement in Mouseland that there was a Cheese factory somewhere in its outskirts that could save the village from looming starvation. The “men” is Mouseland braced themselves for the hunt, they all wanted to impress their families and villages and bring as much cheese in good time. The race for hunting down the Cheese factory began.

There was a particular mouse named Dimwit, he spent most of his time looking at what the other mice were doing and how they were preparing for the hunt. When he saw Sporty get a sports shoe for the hunt he rushed to get one too. On the way back from buying the sports shoe he met Bouncer carrying a six-pack of Redbull and Dimwit quickly rushed back to town to buy his own pack of Redbull.


When he got back to the village Dimwit found his neighbour, Fitness working out in his home gym and he quickly rushed to the back of his house to work out too. When he returned to the house he spent the rest of the evening gossiping to his wife on what the other guys were doing in preparation for the race. By the end of the evening, he was beyond exhausted.

When he woke up in the morning his friends were long gone and his body was sore from the impromptu workout session. The following day the rest of the men came back with loads of Cheese and were granted a hero’s welcome by the village and their families. Dimwit looked on in despair, his pride as a man insulted beyond redemption.

You see, often times we make the mistake of looking at what other people are doing instead of running our own race. We live our lives like it is politics were the order of the day is concentrating on what the opposition and other politicians are doing and competing with this or bashing them. That is just politics; politics is a game after all. Life is not politics.


Races in life can be anything, a degree, a job, a promotion, a medal, a presidency, a future spouse, a business monopoly, the list is endless really. The energy sometimes spent looking at what the competition or other people are doing can make a major deference if invested into your productivity.

I remember I once got myself in a dim-witted situation and that was the first and last lesson on the matter. Over two decades later I still do not forget how useless I felt on that day. In Standard one at Malamulo Primary School in Blantyre, a few days into first term, a six-year-old Lorraine copied a whole mathematical table exercise from a desk mate. I then rushed to get it marked; If ailed everything zero out of 10.

A few minutes later my desk mate came and had passed everything. I couldn’t ask why they passed when I failed because I had just copied. From then on, I just did my own homework, assignments and the like throughout primary school, secondary school and university. I could consult, I could research and participated in group work but I never again “copied” anything from anyone.

Do not spend too much time copying and looking at what other people are doing, gossiping about what other people are doing and competing with what other people are doing forgetting your own race and end up not making any progress at all. These tendencies divert you from the agenda at hand. It is a self orchestrated stumbling block to achieving what needs to be achieved.

Sporty, Fitness and Bouncer all used strategies that worked for them depending on their disposition. Dimwit being dim-witted spent all his time copying strategy after strategy instead of working on himself and his race to benefit him and his family. Dimwit did not stop to look at his own position or ask himself why the rest of the guys had chosen these methods of preparation for the race.

Everybody has a strategy that works for them and everybody is positioned in different ways in life. We are all physically, financially, socially and mentally disposed in varying ways hence it being paramount that one works on their own race with the resources at hand.

I rest my case.

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