A colleague of mine in the office is so health conscious. This afternoon I found him having some cashew-nuts and almonds and a bottle of real-fruit yoghurt for lunch. For breakfast he told me that he took an orange, muesli and a bowl of finger millet porridge. Being healthy, with energy and vitality, is a huge asset. I was impressed. What impressed me most is his consistency in keeping junk at bay. During meetings, you will see him push away a plate of inviting mandazi’s or samosas when they are served and ask the tea person to pass him his packed snack mostly an apple. Needless to say that all the other people including myself will often dig in into the mandazis and samosas with great delight as soon as they are served. The results are there for all to see.
We all appreciate that being healthy is at the centre of happiness and a good life. With health, one can pursue other goals such as wealth, relationships, family, careers and personal growth and development. Ill-health compromise our progress and success both at individual level and even at the national level. Key to note is that being healthy should not be mistaken for absence of disease or not being sick.
The late Jim Rohn defines success and failure in a very practical way. “Success is a few simple disciplines practised every day. Failure is a few errors in judgment repeated every day”. As I found my colleague indulge in the right diet this afternoon, I could not help but think about the daily neglects that we consciously or unconsciously indulge in. Day by day we detour from the course of our goals by failing to do the small things that we are supposed to do or engage in habits that move us away from our success path. Instead of eating an apple a day, we eat a mandazi, chapati or samosa a day, Instead of taking time to exercise, we would rather watch TV. Instead of saving consistently we would rather spend more than we earn and of course we all have good reasons (read excuses) to explain our tendencies.
Though the small neglects do not take effect immediately, their accumulation lead to huge disasters with catastrophic consequences. In five or ten years, Jim says we shall all certainly arrive. The big question is where? The daily neglects are the reasons you and I will try to “explain rather than celebrate in five or ten years”. Explaining why we cannot retire into financial freedom or have to seek employment way past our retirement age, why we cannot shed weight, why our relationships are not working or why we have plateaued in our careers. And we all know the excuses we give for our shortfalls. “ We have not been given a pay increment in two years, I am big-boned, I am just a social-drinker, my company does not pay me well”. Coupled with strong emotions, all these reasons/excuses sound genuine.
I believe that one does not have to do something staggering to succeed. Once you know what you want, all you need is to pick a few simple disciplines in the direction of your goals and without long you will surely arrive, if you keep the focus. It might be as simple as eating an apple a day, chatting with your family rather than watching TV soap opera or a game of football, taking a professional course, saving and investing a certain amount every month, doing research on the business that you want to start, joining an investment group and pooling resources for investments, reading inspiring literature e.t.c. It could also be about quitting something like blaming others for lack of progress, over-indulging in social media, smoking or drinking, buying junk, doing away with or reducing salt or sugar, giving up your credit card or your cable TV.
The good news is that today you can decide to start “a few simple disciplines and practice them every day or stop making a few errors in judgment every day”. Keeping on this path will sure enough pay off big time in the near future.
By Mukami Chege