I once read this motivating book by our very own Daniel Dunga, titled Grit. It was exciting to read such a good book by a fellow Malawian but what was more captivating was the introspective journey the book inadvertently set into motion.
Just like I am quoting his book in my writing, Dunga also quoted a few people who had captured his interest and ignited his sense of purpose. There is a passage that said it all in the introduction that summed up what the essence of the book is. Dunga wrote:
I was completely captivated by this man who to me is the epitome of my enduring belief that ‘whatever you vividly IMAGINE, ardently DESIRE, sincerely BELIEVE, and enthusiastically ACT UPON must inevitably come to pass’ (Paul J. Meyer). He is the very embodiment of the notion that all things are possible. He is the personification of the ideal that nothing is impossible to a decided mind.
Clearly, success in life heavily depends on where one invests their energies, i.e., their desires, their imagination, their beliefs and their actions. There is need for purposeful cultivation of these to attain intended goals.
But most importantly, a ‘decided mind’ is key in achieving our goals and especially the long-term goals. We need to have a vision and set
our minds on it.
This introspective journey begged a very painful question. What is our vision as a country?
Malawians seem to be swirling deeper into a retrogressive maelstrom. As a collective force, the country lacks the sense of purpose and productivity to achieve the goals that are to benefit its citizens on wholescale.
One of the obvious challenges is what we are focusing our energies on.Our imaginations, desires, beliefs and actions are invested in all the wrong places. To be precise, they are invested in all the trivial places.
We love trivia and cannot get enough of it. If trivia could feed and develop us, we would be a mighty nation by now. But it does not. We love to laugh at what others are doing and what our leaders are doing forgetting that the time spent on this trivia means we are actually not doing anything productive ourselves but simply being petty and foolish. Even the holy book says foolish laughter is stupid (Ecclesiastes 7:6).
Everything that is trivia is overplayed and over-sensationalised. Whether it is a celebrity’s new hairstyle, the perceived error of a headline in the national paper or the nude images of a policewoman; trivia rides the day. We love to hold on to our negative vibes and feed on the misery of others and the country at large. Insulting the leadership is also a favourite; we cannot seem to learn how to make our point without seasoning them with spite.
If we were the ones on the leadership mantle, would we really do better? Over-trivialising everything already gives an answer to that question. We are wasting time. And we are not ‘leading’ in our personal lives. In any case, let us start making our way to leadership through our daily actions
We forget that the things we write on our social media accounts collectively reflect on the country to the international community and we turn around and become “offended” when BBC and the international community view us as poor people in mind, body and soul. Why? We are perpetuating our own inferiority complexes and throwing them around for everyone to see.
Many have taken advantage of this lack of vision and insecurity and capitalise on it. That is why we find people from other countries running profitable businesses in Malawi and snatching it away from us. That is why we believe someone from another country can lead us better than a fellow Malawian in our organisations.
Where is our Grit? Where are we investing our energy? What do we act on? What do we believe in? We have to wake up and realise that we are all part of the whole and we all have the responsibility to forge this country forward through our day-to-day actions and beliefs. We can say it is our leaders we have lost faith in but I believe we do not have faith in ourselves. We do not believe in ourselves. We need to have faith in ourselves and reinvest our energies.
‘Whatever you vividly IMAGINE, ardently DESIRE, Sincerely BELIEVE, and enthusiastically ACT UPON must inevitably come to pass’; Grit.
I rest my case.