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Set yourself apart

With Lorraine Lusinje:

It is the second Monday of the beautiful new year and I hope all of you have started the year in great stride. It is a whole brand new year! I am very sure new year resolutions are still ticking in our medullas and as we go on with them, let me share something with you.

To make my point, I will start with giving you three scenarios:

Scenario one: Imagine someone taking a walk to Limbe Drop Down Boutique, also known as Kaunjika, in the scorching heat and going through a variety of ruffled and dirty clothes and eventually finding one or two items, subsequently paying K700 for each item. The trip takes about one-and-a-half hours of your time on a weekend. Obviously, they will need to spend some time washing and ironing and, maybe, even disinfecting the clothes.

Scenario two: Imagine someone meeting a vendor in town, while they go about other errands, selling a couple of nice looking pieces of clothing on hangers. They take about 20 minutes to go through them and select a few items that they pay K3,000 each for. Then they proceed with the rest of their errands. The only thought is to wash and iron the newly found treasures the minute they get home.

Scenario three: Imagine someone getting a recommendation from a friend to visit a shop in town that has some a variety of quality and affordable clothing. They get there and find the clothes washed, nicely pressed and fragranced and sorted by type. They know exactly what they are looking for so, within 10 minutes, they have selected and paid K10,000 for each item. The only thought is to get home and change into the new ready-to-wear outfit for an event starting in an hour.

There is one bottom line in all three scenarios, the clothes have essentially the same cost but are priced differently because there is value addition in terms of time, convenience, care and the like. The more someone invests time and effort into some value addition on the clothes, the higher their value.

This is something we need to learn to do with our lives

Spiritually, professionally, physically and in our relationships, we need to constantly and dedicatedly add value. We cannot progress if we do not add value to ourselves. We should not expect things to change or others to see us differently if we do not add value to ourselves and to our lives. Many aspects of human livelihood make a difference if there is value addition to them. There is always need for that element that sets something apart from the other.

For instance, in the professional world, many are able to get qualifications in certain areas. But what sets one apart from the other? What sets two engineers that both have a first degree apart from one another? What makes the other progress more than the other? You will find that one is innovative, another is not or one has continued to read on relevant topics after school while the other has not or one is teachable and remains curious while the other is an arrogant know-it-all. The values the two are adding to themselves are, consequently, different.

Another good example is when you go to a restaurant where you are ushered in invitingly the minute you walk through the door, the attendants make sure you are comfortable, they bring you a starter or drink to set the mood in quickly, they take your order with full attention to detail and check on you throughout the course of the meal. Very different with restaurants where you walk in and you have to wait and search around for the waiter, food takes long and you constantly have to call for attention and service. One is going back to the first with friends in tow but definitely not going back to the other or recommending it.

It’s the same with us, humans. As we go through life, times will change, knowledge will evolve and a lot of things will depreciate in value; people will get tired of the same old things and so we have to constantly add value to the areas of our lives that matter most. That is what sets us apart as individuals and sets our lives apart as we live it instead of being a mundane routine of the same motions.

Set yourself apart.

I rest my case.

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