Growing up, various teachers and lecturers, formal and informal, played a role in churning me into the fine young lady who is the voice behind #HardGirlBut. The teacher who made my primary school days end on a distinguished note is undoubtedly the best of all my primary school teachers.
This man is a son of a retired soldier, so we, automatically, are products of strict and thorough refining process. His name alone elicited a response canes and whips from other teachers failed to do. His selflessness and readiness to teach even during break time made those ready to learn to like him the more.
I start National Service with this same man come September.
Here is his story;
After Senior High School, he landed a job in my Alma mater and he was assigned to my class. To cut the long short, he did an amazing job teaching us that he was retained for a few years and transferred to the junior high school to teach Pre-Technical skills.
Why has it taken him so long to get his degree? Life happened.
In his quest to climb up the educational ladder, tripped countless times by life like a toddler learning to walk. Again, like a child learning to walk, he did not give up. Today he is a graduate.
This is a man whose students later became his colleagues. A man who was taunted by his own students and fellow teachers. His resilience has paid off. His life presents a lot of lessons and I would love to share a few with you.
What Is Your Excuse Again?
The first thing is to ask yourself what excuse you have given yourself for not attaining your goals in life. What is your excuse? That you’re too old? That too much water has passed under the bridge? It took my primary school teacher almost ten years after completing secondary school to attain a degree. The time lag did not stop him. Neither should it stop you from achieving anything. Keep working at your goals. Do not give up. You will get there.
Do Not Compare Yourself To Others
Do you compare your situation to others and conclude that you are a failure? It is a normal feeling. What is not normal, however, is that it affects you negatively.
If my primary school teacher had compared himself to all his students who seemingly were going past him as far as educational experience was concerned, he would have been a bitter man. He refused the comparison, kept his eyes on the ball and fought hard. This is what we should all do.
Who you are is dependent on your thoughts and perceptions about yourself. If you think you’re a toothless granny, who am I to disagree with you? If you think you are a failure, everyone will see you as such. Be a positive thinker.
Celebrate Small Milestones
One of the things I learned from my teacher was he celebrated small things. Like the fact that we (his students) passed our examination. He celebrated the fact we got admission into senior high schools. And the fact that some of us even became his colleague at work. These were proud moments and achievements for him.
Be mindful of your milestones no matter how insignificant they may seem compared to others. You are not who you were five years ago, that alone is worth celebrating. That your neighbor has found ‘the one’ and decided to get married does not make their accomplishments any better than yours.
In the track race of life, we have unique goals, aspirations and passions. It may be their turn, allow them have it and work hard as you strive for yours. Take some time to enjoy the life you have. Once you respire, there is hope. You can make things right.
Invest In Your Life During Your Waiting Period
While you wait for your breakthrough, what do you do? Here is what my teacher did. He learned to be a better person. He added value to his life and that of many other people. He did not sit down and whine about how life was unfair. He did something with his life.
You must use your waiting period to set yourself up for the big break you are looking for. My teacher, for instance, saved for his university education. Opportunities are taken by people who prepare themselves for it. If you are looking to travel out of the country, this is the time to get a passport.
In all your dealings, remember God. James 2: 17 makes us understand that faith without works is dead. Balance your life out. As you work hard to attain your dreams, do not lose sight of God who is the way maker.
Prophetic proclamations and spiritual gyrations are not the only fuel that will power your vehicle to greatness. Hard work is an important part of the equation. Anointing oils and holy waters will only moisturize your skin and veneer your hunger and frustrations if you do not apply the effort that is require of you. God is no magician.
Pay your tithes regularly, sow seeds and fast. However, note that indiscriminate seed sowing in infertile ground will yield no fruits. And about fasting, it is better to wolf down your favorite waakye if you are not ready to work; your fast will yield nothing. Be wise.
Be Like My Primary School Teacher
Finally, do not give up on yourself. Like my primary school teacher, you can achieve the seemingly non-achievable. As I always say, the time to make a change is now. Start it now; start it right. Do not wait till it is too late. Let us take baby steps to greatness together.