Luck is knocking on your door

Rhodes>Perspective>2013 Archive

 “DO not despise your own place and hour,” wrote naturalist John Burroughs. “Every place is under the stars, every place is the centre of the world.”

Years ago a friend of mine was offered a job in Singapore by a large mining company. He approached his boss to tell him about the offer and his reply was: “The party is here. Why do you want to go over there?”

I tell people that success — however you define it — is knocking vehemently at your door: all you need to do is open it and let it in.

Surprisingly, many people are afraid to do so, finding it easier to remain spectators than to walk into their own glory.

Often people ask me to mentor them. I never dismiss anyone out of hand; I try to listen.

I have found that many people who are looking for a mentor are in fact afraid of failure. But failure is like falling to a cyclist: it can be part of riding a bicycle.

Growing up, I have found, whether in the township or in corporate corridors, is best described by writer EL Doctorow.

He said: “It’s like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

So whether one is a new chairman, a new CEO or an intern, no one can see further than the present minute.

Success is never guaranteed, because often it is an imaginary view of the peak from the valley.

Recently, I heard that a friend committed suicide because, during the economic meltdown, his business ventures failed.

In South Africa, getting into financial trouble carries a stigma that people love to talk about - but ridicule leaves no scars on your body and, even if it did, scars are the milestones of life.

This week a young woman wrote on her Facebook page: “My life has not turned out exactly how I envisaged but I’ve had a very good life nonetheless.”

It sounded like she was going through her life as if it was a consolation prize.

I responded by saying: “I don’t think things always happen at the allocated time.

“Often, we choose a road out of complete ignorance and naivety and then we take a different one but still yearn for the first one, not knowing that we are in fact on the perfect road for us.”

To be discontented is human; it is the drag that helps us with our lift-off.

Your luck has come to find you, here, in this country, at this moment. You can either spit in its face or embrace it.

Muzi Kuzwayo is the author of Black Man's Medicine

Photo: Muzi Kuzwayo

Picture Source: SUNDAY TIMES

This article was first published in Sunday Times: Business Times

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