A man cannot get a baby in one month by impregnating nine women.

The first time I read this African proverb, I laughed pretty hard then wrote it down. I sometimes tend to have an overactive imagination and somehow I ended up picturing one of those John Kiarie caricatures running around dipping his fingers in nine cookie jars, expecting to hit jackpot in just one month; figuratively speaking of course. I am still not sure why I wrote it down but I suspect it’s because I knew that I’d need to use that life-lesson somewhere along the way.

Often, many of us do not take time to sit back and appreciate the important things, however big or small. Some say that the fast-lane holds us hostage, and we have no option but to give in to its unyielding demands. But then begs the question; will we ever have enough? After getting a basic secondary school education, I’m I ready to start my career? Or perhaps I should do a degree or two. Okay, okay, let me just focus on completing this PhD then I can finally get that promotion I’ve been eyeing for the past ten years. See the pattern? It never ends.

It’s like working hard all your life so you can buy a really expensive car- so that you can be able to travel the world. Does this really make sense? Fancy cars are nice to have, but won’t you need more than just a car if you plan travel the world? If it was about acquiring a means of transport, you might as well work extra hard so that you can afford to buy a plane and a yacht too. Studies have shown that one can cover more distance through these means within a shorter time!

When should one stop chasing fancy titles in the name of further studies and settle down to build the career/empire that they have been dreaming of? I don’t dispute the fact that going back to school has a great deal of advantages but when should we stop and realize that school (diploma or doctorate) is barely the tip of the iceberg?

From personal experience, I have learnt that purpose is primarily what drives any form of growth. Academic, spiritual, emotional, artistic or even just basic skill development. Consistency then goes a step further to determine one’s level of expertise that one reaches in whichever of these avenues one decides to pursue. It really doesn’t matter what it is you are doing, but be dedicated and do it consistently for an unlimited period of time and you will surely become an expert on the same. Playing sports is a good example. Even if we consider the fact that some people are more athletic than others, at the end of the day, it’s all about finding a sport that suits you best. I am a firm believer of the notion that when anyone truly focuses, and trains consistently, putting in the hard work and long hours, everyone can be immensely successful. Please note my use of the word immensely instead of equally.

I remember when I was growing up, there used to be a popular show called ‘the pretender’. Basically a show about a kid who was a genius and also happened to be born with such an abundance of talent that he could be anyone he wanted to be. He traveled around the country, fitting seamlessly into each and every career that he ventured into. The only downside is that he didn’t do this for fun, but rather it was all aimed at finding the truth about his past. But that’s beyond the point. I know I’d do it just for the thrill of finding out what it feels like to be an expert in so many diverse fields! I know it sounds a bit silly, but what if you had the choice of living your life like the pretender? Would you still stick to your regular full-time job shuffling papers from 9-5 then return promptly on each day after that to do exactly the same thing? I think that most of us would choose to stick to the 9-5; conforming to the norm even when there are no limitations whatsoever holding us back.

Why? Security, our love of routine and fear of the uncertain. It’s just how most of us were brought up. Once again please allow me to mention a lesson that I learnt from Robert Kiyosaki. Why do we get stuck in the rat race? Some of us are so used to the basic survival routine that we hardly see any reason to push beyond the norm, create a dream and pursue it. The biggest challenge I’ve experienced so far that I have encountered is patience. Like the man at the beginning of this article, I am currently in a relationship with more than nine women. For the longest time, I’ve been trying to get just one child but I haven’t managed to see the fruits of my labor. Pun intended. It might be because I didn’t focus and put in enough effort on my goals at the time, or perhaps I decided to let go at the most inopportune time. I’ll probably never know.

However, instead of living in the past, I have decided to make my goals a bit more realistic by creating mini-milestones that I must achieve within certain timelines. You can’t manage what you don’t measure, right? In the spirit of keeping this analogy going, I will continue trying to get these nine women pregnant albeit taking a more structured approach to the same. Oh, and this time, I will be patient enough to wait the full nine months. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it?