IF MY father had not done something extraordinary three decades ago, you wouldn’t probably be reading this column. And possibly Africa wouldn’t have also gotten the gift of my new book ‘TEARS OF MY MOTHER’ which is now popularly referred to as ‘NYAMISHANA’ – the name of the main character in the story.
I am not sure I would if it weren’t my dad’s heroic act. It happened that as a baby I fell severely sick and so my dad packed me in a box, put on me a bicycle and rode to a hospital which was/is 22 miles away from my home. He rode so fast and reached there when my heart was still beating.
At a point when most people had given up on me, my father still had the courage to take on that long and tiring journey but that extra mile paid. I am sure whenever he recalls that experience and looks at me and my little achievements he feels proud. This experience has taught me to always go beyond where others stop in making things happen.
Where people fear to ask questions, an achiever goes ahead to ask. While others are ashamed of bargaining for a discount, a winner bargains. When the rest have gone home, a success-minded person will spend another hour evaluating the day and strategizing for tomorrow. While others are over sleeping, a winner will wake up early and do something productive. He/she will not waste any time. Even when others are bored and complaining about the long bank line or sticky traffic jam, the success-minded person will get a book and read so that still he/she benefits in that time which others are cursing.
Sometimes the difference between success and failure is a very tiny thing. There is a time when two men competed for a certain NGO job in my home area and the interview panel found it hard to decide who was better. Then one panellist asked the two gentlemen to untie their ties and then tie them again. One did it in just a few minutes while smiling. You should have seen the other one sweating as he fidgeted to tie the tie and of course he failed to tie it. At the end of the day, the one who tied it was given the job.
The extra mile to make a difference in your life could be learning a computer program that your colleagues don’t know about; it could be reading another self-help book; it could be learning how to drive a car; it could be saying a ‘thank you’ to your customers; it could be arriving for an appointment ten minutes earlier; it could be staying up for another two hours planning the next movie to attract customers when your competitors are sleeping.
The word ‘extraordinary’ is just made of those two words ‘ordinary’ and ‘extra’. Thus, to be extraordinary means taking that extra step beyond the ordinary. If you want to be an extraordinary person go beyond the average. Don’t be predictable. Don’t just do things the way everyone else is doing them. Be unique, be you. Be innovative. Reinvent yourself everyday. And success will be yours.
Robert Bake Tumuhaise is the MD World of Inspiration & Founder of the Authors’ Forum in Uganda.