Society- Creating your own success
Friday, August 26, 2011
Logic takes you from A-Z… Imagination takes you everywhere- Albert Einstein. I was recently auspicious to be one of the panelists on a talk on West Coast Radio which centered on Youth Unemployment. As a youth, this was one of the most imperative issues that I could have been involved in. This is because I am first of all a youth.
Secondly, youths form the greater majority of the population of most African societies. In fact, population studies have shown that Africa has the fastest growing and most youthful population in the world. Statistics show that over 20 percent of Africa's population is between the ages of 15 to 24 and, since over 40 percent of Africa's population is under 15 years of age, that number is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.
According to the International Labour Office, youths make up as much as 36 percent of the total working-age population and three in five of Africa's unemployed are youth. This presents a challenge as well as a skylight of opening to African societies to maximize the potentials of youths who as could be seen from the above figures, occupy a fundamental position in the present and future economic opulence of Africa.
However, my point of argument has always been that our young people have to step down from the cycle of working for others and start working for themselves. In other words, they must be their own source of employment. A youth who looks to being employed by others will never provide work for himself/herself or others.
The Gambian youth must see the good things in our society and learn to exploit them for his good and the good of all. Economic salvation does not depend on travelling to Europe or the West. Nor does it depend on the youth seeking employment from others. It depends on what I will call four D’s and hard work. The four D’s are dedication, discipline, determination, and dream.
There is no youth who will have these four D’s and will not achieve his/her dreams. Consequently, change is the catch word here. Our youths need to change the way they see and do things. As Aristotle said, “change is the only thing that is permanent in life.” That is why I sally forth to write this write this article. I want to help reshape the minds of the young people so that they can know what they are good at and how to be good at it. That is what this article is all about!!!
While it may not always be easy to change your way of doing things and seeing the world, it is far-sighted to understand that the pain of change is less than the pain of feeling disappointed. Therefore, with these few words and a bit of hard work, you as a youth can strike a better work-life balance that can help you become successfully self-employed.
Know where to start from
It is said that the early bird catches the worm. Consequently, you must recognize the starting line in a sprint. In that way you can know where to start from and how to start it. Starting well in a race helps you to avoid committing false starts. This can be delicate for some people. However, if this happens, what you need to do is to know which work makes you happy and keeps you motivated. Through this, you will know what career suits you and how you can nurture it to the heights you envision for yourself.
Identify your potentials
The key questions to ask in this regard are; what you have achieved to date in your personal and professional career? What activities keep you going the most and why? What career do you think will suit you?
You can also make an assessment of your strongest abilities and also your weakest ones. Through this, you will know which ones you are strongest in and which ones you need to improve on. You must also know and identify the skills that you have developed that relate to the career you want to follow. With this, you will make yourself stand out like a king among kings in whatever you do as a youth.
If you are among those who like to keep their ideas to themselves, you need to change that. Life is not about working alone. After all, is it not said that no one is an island? So start to work with people. Share your happy moments, disappointments, visions and even your fears. Sharing your moments with others will give you the chance to learn from other people who have had the same experience as you and also with others who see things from different perspective as you.
Measure off from “graduateness”
For most people, success in life only happens when one becomes a graduate. But you need more than a degree to paddle through the rough tides of life. Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey were never college and university graduates but they have been one of the most inspiring global black leaders. Having a degree is good. But you also need brainpower.
And the truth is that education alone cannot give you intelligence. It was for this reason that Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of independent Ghana said that education without knowledge tantamounts to nothingness.
Consequently, try to learn from every experience that you come through, because experience is the best teacher in life. When experience is shared, it is refined and turned into a life long opportunity.
Be Positive about life
Life is a challenge. It can be a mixed bag of opportunities and challenges. But while most youths revel in their successes, they are usually easily hampered by storms. One attitude that can help you overcome this and stay afloat through thick and thin is to be positive about everything in life.
Some times things might seem so difficult that you will be tempted to give-up. However, always look at the horizon. A struggle for success is a struggle that might take a life time but needs courage, determination and strength to turn into success.
Discipline is a key ingredient of success. You can hardly achieve your visions if you do not respect people and what you do. It is said that the tenderness of discipline is less than the pain of regret. Therefore, respect everything you do it as you are supposed to not as you want to.
Read a lot
Success comes out of ideas. Ideas are the contraption of expansion and progress. When you have a puddle of ideas you will have different visions to choose from. To have ideas you must strive to read books, newspapers and watch news. Spend at least one hour of each day to read. You cannot achieve your visions without the contribution of others. So accumulate as much ideas as you can.
Learn to know people as a visionary youth. The people you know today might be of great help to you tomorrow. Join social clubs, youth movements and even student organisations. The activities of such organisations can help you to know more people and expand your social capital.
Invest your time
Most youths spend their time doing what they should not do. They sit around corners brewing “Attaya”, smoking or chatting unnecessarily. It is not bad to brew Attaya if it leads to personal development of one. However, the problem is that most Gambian youths spend their time in Attaya vows rather than at the library or in a study group.
This is bad because time is money and when you waste it, you waste money. So as a youth learn to endow your time and not to squander it. In that way, you will be getting rewarding dividends in the near future.
Success is often not an easy road to travel. It is a road that can be full of storms and challenges. For many youths though, the difficult part is surmounting challenges. But do not fear for the only thing you have to fear is fear itself as said by Winston Churchill, former prime minister of Britain.
Start to walk the talk of your dreams today. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Take that step today as a youth and be the next Professor Muhammadou Kah, Muhammed Jah, Gibairu Janneh, Bill Gates, Barack Obama or Wayne Rooney.
Author: Mustapha Kah