By Patrick Achitabwino:
In life there are times our minds are perpetually assaulted with regrets. We end up having sleepless nights, thinking, reminiscencing on how best we should have done something, beating our chests and even in worst cases scenario cursing ourselves for having done what we did. Fact of the matter remains that regardless of the times we replay the scenarios, there is nothing that can change. What happened remains unchangeable. The only thing you can change is to build on the mistakes, look at some positives you can deduce from them, forge forward differently.
It might have been laziness and procrastination that swayed you away from realizing your dream. It might have been the inability to take risks that saw an opportunity fly past you. It might have been a love story gone bad. It might have been a career choice you made that eventually seems unrewarding. To all these, you can deduce something positive. Remember, you are only human; you cannot get everything right. You will fail at times. You will make mistakes at times. Some mistakes can even have drastic repercussions on your life. All that unmasks the fact that you are human and bound to make mistakes but with the ability to rise from them and move on.
Accept the reality of life. Accept the changes some circumstances make to your life. Clinging on to what you would have been, which you will never be because of some mistakes or accidents in life, will never take you anywhere. If anything, it will sway you away from catching opportunities. Some of the greatest inventions in life came in as a result of some mistakes or even accidents.
Come to think about it. Penicillin, one of the biggest medicinal breakthroughs in history, came about entirely by accident. Sir Alexander Flemming interrupted his experimentation with the influenza virus for a two week holiday and when he returned he found that a mould had started to grow which killed the virus. That is how Penicillin was born and became widely used to treat almost everything from acne to pneumonia.
Come to think about it again. As the Second World War was heading towards the end, Engineer Percy Spencer was attempting to develop energy sources for radar equipment. In as much as that did not work, he however realized that a chocolate bar in his pocket had melted. He went on to test his accidental invention with popcorn and it worked. That is how the microwave came into existence.
A South African renowned motivational speaker Martin Brown was ambitious with great dreams. When an accident happened that paralysed him from neck down, he refocused his life. Being challenged to move, he became one of the outstanding manufacturers of motorized wheelchairs, some that can even have one standing. Some accidents in life, if you look at them differently, are meant to channel you to becoming the best you can become.
There are people who failed miserably in class; who disregarded themselves from becoming anything better in life. Some even thought of committing suicide. However, today, they polished their other competencies and are people that the world cherishes. Some are influential musicians, sporting icons, actors and actresses.
You are only human. Mistakes are part of life. Accept them. Forgive yourself and carry on. You have to understand that you have the ability to rise beyond the storm of pain. You have within you, as Labi Siffre sung, Something inside so strong.
When all seems bad. When it is only hopelessness that you seem to see. When the road seems to have reached the dead end in your life. Never curse yourself. Realise you have something inside so string. With Labi Siffre, sing:
The higher you build your barriers/ The taller I become The farther you take my rights away/ The faster I will run/ You can deny me/ You can decide To turn your face away/ No matter ‘cos there is /Something inside so strong / I know that I can make it /Though you’re doing me wrong, so wrong/ You though my pride was gone / Oh, no/ Something inside so strong.