You probably have one in front of you right now as you are reading this. A few seconds ago you may have used it to reduce the volume on your TV or Radio or both. In about ten minutes after you are done reading this, you will probably pick it again and start flipping channels on your decoder, using it. You might also be having another one on your right side, the one you are using to regulate the temperature in the room you are in right now.
I’m talking about your remote control.
Have you ever asked yourself how we used to survive before those little things were invented? They have made people so lazy if there was a way one could press a button and food brings itself to the table, they would do just that. The other day I heard someone say he is waiting for the day they invent a remote control that can reduce or mute his wife voice. Well, don’t ask me, I don’t know what made him say that and I didn’t ask either. But I do remember I once watched a movie like; Click was the title of the movie. Quite hilarious actually. Anyway, I digress.
Of course different remote controls have different functions and as a result of the functionality the buttons will also be different. For instance, there would be something very wrong with you if you took your car remote and used it to control the AC in your bedroom; unless of course such technology is in use today. It doesn’t matter what kind of remote control you have, whether for the fridge (is there one?), or for the car, or for the garage door, what matters is that you use the correct remote control for the correct purpose otherwise you will press the buttons until the battery dies.
Speaking of buttons, how many of us actually know what all the buttons on your remote controls are used for? If you are like me, you only focus on probably six for the Tv. i.e. On/Off, program up/down, volume up/down, mute, Fast Forward, Rewind. Actually that’s eight not six. So when will you start using all the other functions on that remote? Probably never. Why? Because for now as long as the remote is able to flip through your favorite channels and increase/reduce volume as you wish, that’s all you need. What if I told you that there are many other things that remote control could do for you? What if I told you that you can actually use the same remote you have for your Tv on your surround system at home? Actually my son surprised me once when he did this. This is how you know you have a millennial in the house. Once again, I digress.
The reason I am talking about the remote control today is because last weekend I was privileged to listen to one of my Mentors speaking about “How To Maximize Your Destiny”. He used an example of the remote control to create a very vivid scenario of how most people go about life, not living up to their full potential.
The truth is every one of us has more than one skill that we possess but the level of expertise we have for each skill we posses is what adds value to us, making us profitable. I have said here severally that I never knew I could write anything that would stir people up to read my articles, but today, you are reading this because over the years, you have been getting something out of my writing.
Kindly allow me to pause right here before I go forward and thank you for being my loyal and avid reader. Without you this column would be non-existent. You have made it what it is today because I know every Sunday you will be on the other side reading what I write. Though sometimes I know I don’t always write good content, but you have always been there to read it and give me feedback, and for that I appreciate you.
Let me ask you, if I hadn’t sharpened that writing skill, would you be reading my thoughts today? Would you even know there is someone by the name of Liz Wachuka anyway? My point is, if you have a skill that you are not using, then it is as good as non-existent. Your skills are like the muscles in the body, and if you are not careful, what you don’t use, you will eventually lose.
Coming back to my Mentor’s message, he said something that is still stuck in my mind till today as I write this article. He said every one of us is like a remote control. We have different buttons that do different things. Question is, how many of us actually know how many buttons we have? How many of us know what each button does? In other words, the question he was asking us is how many of us know the talents and skills we possess inside of us? How many of us know how to use those skills and talents to maximize our productivity and eventual results?
As I was thinking about that another thought came to my mind. You see, like I already mentioned, every remote has a specific use. Some can be used interchangeably but others are very specific. I’d find you unstable if I found you opening your car with the Tv remote. If you were trying to offer me a lift, I’d probably look for an excuse very quickly because that right there would be a very sure sign of an unstable mind; unless of course you convince me you were just slightly absent minded, which in itself would be another cause for worry. Imagine being driven by an absent minded driver? Again, I digress.
Similarly, each one of us has a very specific role we were created for. Just in the same way you cannot use the car remote to switch on the AC in your house, there are some things only you can do and nobody else can. Unfortunately so many of us are busy trying to open the wrong doors and as a result we end up being frustrated because they won’t open. Why? Because we are using the wrong remote for those doors.
So what then should we look out for to ensure that we maximize our potential so that we can fulfill our destinies to the fullest? There are many things he talked about but today, I want to mention just one.
In my own words, procrastination is when you know you need to do something but you don’t do it when you are supposed to, but instead wait until it is too late to do, or never do it at all. Could be that you are afraid of what that “something” entails, or you just don’t have the strength and energy to do it, or you feel/think that time is far much gone and so there is no point of pursuing it, etc. The reasons could be many (and possibly valid) but in the end, those reasons won’t change the fact that by procrastinating, you are denying yourself an opportunity to live up to your full potential.
Procrastination has some very dire consequences that initially may not be seen but as time goes, those consequences start posing major challenges. For instance, you know you are in the wrong profession, then you continue in that profession for 10 years without any attempts to change, either by taking part time classes or by completely resigning and following your dream profession. If you don’t step out the day you realize you are in the wrong profession, by the time you are ready to make changes circumstances might be different then, and the conditions might make it tougher for you to move. For instance, by the time you are thinking of changing you might be a mother with four little children hanging on your skirt, how will you go back to school with those kids? In the end, you might end up postponing the idea of going back to school until when the kids are old enough, and by that time, things will have changed some more.
Another example is that of relationships. Many people are stuck in the wrong relationships today because they are too afraid of stepping out. They know they are suffering, they know there is no growth happening, they know the relationship is a dead-end but they are still there as if waiting for a miracle to happen. Unless you are married, which then becomes a different story, being in a retrogressive relationship is basically shooting yourself in the foot. And even if you are married, there are ways to handle that situation. Question is, do you have the courage to take the necessary steps or are you going to continue procrastinating until your spirit is completely crushed and dead?
Procrastination is a thief of time, someone said. Not sure who but whoever did was very right. If you know you need to do something in order to move forward in your life, please don’t wait for another day. Do it today. Do it now because if you don’t, you will look back a few years from now and realize it might be too late to make those changes you needed to.
Procrastination is a serious problem. After having read my mentor’s book on procrastination, I have concluded that it is actually an addiction and a disease which should be taken very seriously. Yes there are very many ill people walking on the streets today. They are suffering a condition known as procrastination, yet they are way too afraid to deal with it.
Thankfully, there is a remedy for this condition.
In his book, “Ishinde Tabia Ya Kughairisha Mambo”, he has given an in-depth analysis of why people procrastinate, the types of procrastinators there are, and how one can overcome this challenge of procrastination. I know I have had that challenge for a very long time in my life but after reading this book, I have been challenged to change my life. And I am.
If you would like a copy of this book please get in touch with me and I will let you know how you can get yourself a copy. It is currently in Kiswahili but I know an English version is coming soon. For now, for those who can read Kiswahili, don’t wait for the English version. Get yourself this copy, apply the strategies he has so clearly shared and you will see great changes beginning to happen in your life.
Be Ignited. Be Inspired. Be Influenced. Become the best version of yourself you can ever be.
PS: This article was originally published in Tanzania's Guardian On Sunday on the 8th of October, 2017, under my weekly column "Thoughts in Words".