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Thoughts from the reader

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The mindset change column has been delighted with the feedback it has been receiving. The column is pleased to feature some feedback.

Dear Sir, Mr Patrick Achitabwino.

MY name is Zizwa Mauluka. I am a 20-year-old third-year University of Malawi’s Chancellor College student.

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The reason I type this email today is to inform you of the thorough enjoyment with which I read your article “I am glad I did” published in The Daily Times of September 12. Your article was nothing short of phenomenal. My interest was really generated by the fact that I am a sports enthusiast and as soon as I saw the article making strong references to sports, I decided it was worth a read and I am proud to say “I am glad I did” read your article.

It was truly inspirational. The underlining factor of the whole article or the “main point” if I may call it was found in the title of the article itself. The article calls the reader, me, out saying: “Get up and push to achieve your dreams or you will one day regret never trying”.

The motivation for me as a student kicks in when you insert the quote by Zig Ziggler, whom by the way before this article I did not know and had to Google. From then on, you proceed to talk about procrastination, which is something I know about very well and is a struggle I can relate to me as a student.

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“We keep on postponing our dreams as if we had the luxury to stop the ticking clock.”

You profoundly use those words to define exactly what procrastination is. Those words exquisitely express the idea behind procrastination and are words many including myself do not think about when we procrastinate.

You words remind me why we need definitions because only when we can eloquently and accurately define our circumstances, challenges, situations and problems, can we work towards finding a suitable solution for them. Therefore, by first understanding and then analysing your definition of procrastination, I have come up with potential solution for my own procrastination, which is to follow my dreams fervently, relentlessly with urgency; that is to unceasingly follow my dreams with a never-tiring spirit. I would like to say thank you for this piece of enlightenment, what in spiritual circles they would call a “Revelation!”

You go on to say that “do what you want to do when you need and want to do it”. I really relished and was delighted by your analysis of the excuse people give for failing to start a business. “Capital”. Your response to that excuse was one of legendary status. In 17 words, “Capital is not a challenge in business; it is profitable ideas that are a challenge in business.” You absolutely obliterated an overstated “cliche”, an assertion that has become so stale that I could smell it from my college in Zomba even if the stench was coming all the way from where this newspaper was printed. I must say I thoroughly luxuriated in and enjoyed those 17 words.

After introducing your argument, you then proceed to explain what one needs to do in order for them to one day be able to say “I am glad I did”.

Firstly, it is to let go of the unnecessary and making room for the necessary. The list of these things that I need to let go of is extensive but your writing makes a connection with me and makes me, the reader, understand exactly why these things and people need to get the axe because “as long as you keep on attaching yourself to circumstances, events and people that will maintain the status quo, you will never go anywhere”. Well articulated and easy to follow.

As said earlier, my love for sports is unrivalled and therefore this article had me hooked on as soon as I saw your references to sports. Indeed, the prolific and extremely athletic Cristiano Ronaldo and the greatest sprinter of all time Usain Bolt add focus, determination, love and passion for their career to gruelling hours of practice.

Your next example is the eccentric and iconic British billionaire Sir Richard Branson. I know of his work ethic; however, I was not aware of the incredible lengths to which he has gone to propel his business to the success that it is experiencing today; that is the reason the story was very pleasant and amazing to read. His willingness to exit his Comfort Zone was simply astonishing, extremely inspiring and very brave. Having read this article, I now admire Branson much more than I ever did before.

Oprah Winfrey’s amazing story beefs up the article. Doing justice to her story, the article, tells Winfrey’s story of being raped, rejected, told she was not made for TV to becoming a big talk show host, to great effect reminding the reader to pursue their dreams relentlessly and not be discouraged. Bill Gates’ refusal to procrastinate, dropping out of school even though he was capable of completing his course, agrees with your statement of making a move now while understanding that the clock is always ticking. In addition, the stories of Ben Carson’s triumph and one of my personal favourites, Lionel Messi’s struggle through poverty to eventual stardom and a place as football’s greatest, both help in bearing testimony to the fact that hard work, persistence and taking chances when they should be taken pay off; a real motivation.

From the Nelson Mandela reference, I learnt that even if it seems like you are taking steps back as long as you are on the right path to your dreams, do not despair; just keep on moving. Despite 27 years of incarceration, most of it far from home on Robin Island, Mandela became president of the Republic of South Africa.

In conclusion, I really found the article beautifully constructed and from it I derived “relentlessly pursue what is pleasurable to you and get out of the way what blocks your own success and you will one day say I am glad I did”.

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