What Pregnancy and Success have in common
God is amazing on so many levels. For instance, how He came up with the whole idea of the “Life Cycle” is just pure genius. Right from the process of conception, which for human beings he must have said to Himself, “I’ll make this process enjoyable and addictive for them to want to keep doing it over and over again”, to the incubation period (where ideally the baby stays in the womb for 9 months), to the actual birth, which in most cases is a harrowing event (though women still go back there a second and a seventh time), then the process of growing up, (all the stages and challenges in between including losing the milk-teeth, getting heartbroken for the first time, etc) and finally getting to the point where the cycle repeats itself all over again. This cycle is what has made sure that this planet called Earth today has over 7 Billion human beings roaming it’s streets. If you think bout it, that is a lot of sex! Anyway, moving along swiftly….
I was reminded of the process of procreation when one of my “adopted” daughters came to visit me at the office a couple of weeks ago, and to my (pleasant) surprise she was in the family way, i.e. she was pregnant. The truth is, seeing her pregnant was a shock to me because knowing her, motherhood and this girl would never have co-existed in the same life. The carefree girl I once knew was now pregnant and ready to become a mom. I still find it hard to wrap this thought around my mind but I can say this for sure, that she was quite ready both psychologically and physically to bring forth that child. Her body had nicely blossomed to accommodate the life growing inside of her, she had changed her lifestyle to accommodate the impending arrival of the new addition to their family and most importantly, she was ready to go through the pain that comes with giving birth, i.e. labor pains.
Of course it goes without saying that in one way or another, whether one chooses to go through C-Section or give birth naturally, there will be some pain to experience. This is one thing every woman knows they cannot avoid and throughout the pregnancy, they know that the process of getting that child out of their womb and into this world is not an easy process. The woman has to go through some serious labor pains in order to get the reward of holding her baby in her arms. Of course there are a few very exceptional cases where the woman never really went through any pains but she still gave birth to her bundle of joy. As we all know, such cases are the exception to the norm.
Similarly, no one ever succeeded in being successful without going through some really “painful labor pains”. These pains could be as a result of putting 100 hours of work every day, or trying out new things and failing every time but still never giving up, or having people working against you 28 hours a day just to make sure that every time you try and do something, they bring you down all the time. Whatever it is, success does not come easily. It is a process, and just like a pregnant woman, one has to make conscious decisions to change their life in order to accommodate the greatness they are carrying inside of them.
For instance, you cannot say you will be successful if all you do every day from morning to evening is sit at “jobless corner” aka “kijiweni” with the estate boys just gossiping about which girl does what with who. By the way, with the introduction of social media, there is a virtual jobless corner now where people spend the entire day tweeting and Facebooking meaningless stuff to each other that if you ask me is more of a time waster than it is a progressive approach to life. Of course not everyone who tweets or facebooks is a time-waster, but if you are using these platforms for other things other than being progressive, then you definitely are part of the virtual jobless corner. You need to kill that habit and start one that will put you on the right track to meet your success.
Just like when a woman is pregnant she is dedicated to doing the right things in order to ensure the growth of the child in her womb, so is success.
It involves dedication, focus, passion, prioritizing on the right things, surrounding yourself with the right people, feeding your mind on the right materials be it from what you watch on TV or what you read on a daily basis. It involves having a positive mental and physical attitude, which integrates all the above and more. I don’t remember who said this but I so concur with these words; success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. Yes they make mistakes, but they don’t quit. They keep trying until they get it right.
As the baby in the pregnant woman’s womb grows, she stops wearing tight cloths and instead looks for a suitable wardrobe to accommodate her changing body. If she used to be a party animal, then she stops this and probably chooses a different kind of pass time in order not to stunt her child’s growth. She probably even chooses her friends more carefully so that most of them now include other women who have gone through what she is going through now; pregnancy. If she used to drink beer she stops and maybe starts drinking milk.
Similarly, if you want to grow in your business and succeed in whatever field you’ve chosen, you need to make the right choices for your “pregnancy”. In order to know whether or not you are making the right choices for your “pregnancy” (success), some of the questions you should be asking yourself include: am I in the right environment to attain my success? Am I keeping the right company? Am I feeding my mind with the right information? Am I growing as I should, or are some of my behaviors stunting my success?
All in all I’d like to say this, success is not an overnight thing and just like the Life Cycle I mentioned at the beginning of this article, it takes a process. In fact, if you ask some women, they will tell you it took several attempts of trying to conceive before it finally happened. In the business world, the same happens. Before you finally succeed in doing something you might have to try it 50 different ways before it agrees to work for you.
Just like when a couple is trying to conceive a baby, my advice to you is that you may enjoy the sex (read strategies) in many different positions and places until you finally succeed in getting what you want.
Remember, success is not a onetime affair. It is a continuous process that knows no end. Like Vince Lombardi said, “Success is like anything worthwhile. It has a price. You have to pay the price to win and you have to pay the price to get to the point where success is possible. Most importantly, you must pay the price to stay there.”
As we start a new week my questions to you are; are you pregnant, meaning, have you conceived your idea yet? If yes, what are you doing to ensure you do not stunt its growth? Are you literally eating right (physically and mentally)? Are you doing whatever it takes to ensure that your idea grows? Most importantly, are you ready to do whatever it takes to make sure that your idea is actually born and thereafter, have it live to see another generation born?
I leave you with Vince Lombardi’s wise counsel:
“Most important of all, to be successful in life demands that a man make a personal commitment to excellence and to victory, even though the ultimate victory can never be completely won. Yet that victory might be pursued and wooed with every fiber of our body, with every bit of our might and all our effort. And each week, there is a new encounter; each day, there is a new challenge.”
Wishing y’all a successful week ahead.
PS: Article published in Tanzania's Guardian on Sunday on the 13th April, 2014, under my weekly column "Thoughts in Words".