He was a promising young man.
Let’s call him Bongani. And to be more precise, he was the epitome of potential in youth. Many people developed high expectations of him, myself included; his academic brilliance had me believe he’d have the world at his feet some time in his lifetime.
I was impressive academically at high school, too, but genuinely and openly acknowledged: If he surpasses me, even better! He is amazing! I wish him all the best in his future endeavours.
How dramatically our roles would be reversed six odd years later. Now I shudder at the thought of his brilliance nestling in the rubbish bin. Today, my former class mate is nothing more than a drug user and peddler. My heart sinks every time I see him.
That got me thinking about the fact that it’s super important that whatever circumstances you find yourself in, try not to lose the hunger to seek new knowledge and get better. Immaterial of any current situation you’re in! Get future ready. Anyway, let me stop with this airy motivational crap.
I’ll tell you a short story, instead: I am reminded of my time as a cashier in a clothing retail store. I read many a website and magazine; I had knowledge from Forbes Africa, Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, GQ, entrepreneur.com and others breaking out of the pores of my skin. And just as often, customers asked me: Why are you working in (the lowest level of) retail with the mind you have?
My point is a very simple one, though …
If you abandon your self-development and the hunger to get better, you’ll surely look back some time and realise how spectacular you could have been . (‘Could have’, deep and menacing words.)
So never abandon the hunger to learn and improve yourself.