Columnists Features

Abash empty New Year resolutions

I WILL not bore you with my resolutions for the year 2017 because I don’t have any.
To tell you the truth, I don’t make New Year resolutions because I find the practice not only sentimental but also self-deceptive.
It has never been among my hobbies.
Instead, I set my short, medium and long-term personal goals and objectives quietly and implement them quietly.
I am not saying people should not make resolutions. All I am saying is that if you make a resolution make sure you accomplish it.
Why bother innocent people with what you intend to do and what you don’t as if it is their business? Why not just go ahead and do it quietly and let people see the result?
Almost every year, the social media is flooded by resolutions which are never implemented.
Is it what we used to call ‘mob psychology’ when I was in secondary school?
It is easy to brag “I will do this or that this year” but difficult to translate those intentions into reality.
We have just entered the first day of 2017 today, and I am sure each one of us has some things we want to accomplish by the end of the year.
That is important. Living your life without any objectives or plans is like a piece of timber drifting on the water along with the current without a any particular destination.
A human being should not live like that bane. We are not cattle or hippos whose preoccupation is filling their insatiable stomachs.
Each morning, the only thought that comes into their small minds is feeding. They don’t care where the food will come from. All that matters is that they need to eat.
But God did not create human beings like that. He put a desire in each of us to strive towards something better, towards improved lives.
If you made some plans in the year 2016, reflect on them and see how far you went in implementing them. What were the challenges and how did you handle them?
Count your successes and how did you use them. Where you feel you failed how do you intend to make amends? How do you intend to build on your successes?
As for me, I have very clear plans for this year, and I will pursue them with unflinching passion. I will not climb a Zesco electricity steel tower to announce them. Nay!
I will use my 2016 failures as lessons and stepping stones rather than regard them as obstacles. Why should you allow failure to be an obstacle?
An Indian philosopher once said, “Do not judge those who try and fail, but judge those who fail to try.”
A Chinese wise man agreed with this when he said, “There is wrong with falling; what is bad is falling and remain on the ground.”
Another great Indian thinker said, “If we do not taste the bitterness of defeat we will fail to appreciate the sweetness of victory.”
It is my hope that you will find these wise sayings as helpful as I have done.
There is always this temptation to nurse, nurture, exaggerate and glorify our failures.
“The more we focus on small failures, the less we see the greater successes we have scored in our lives,” says me, Charles Chisala.
Let’s frown at failure with defiance and tell it that it cannot defeat our spirit to succeed.
Whatever you plan to do this year, don’t begin implementing it with a big bang. Remember, hasty climbers have sudden falls. One small step at a time is the trick.
If someone has taken a stride, please don’t admire them or feel intimidated or discouraged. Take your small step. It will lead you to the next small step and before you know it you will be at your destination, basking in success.
The small, persistent and successive steps will usher you to the door step of success.
Is it poor results at school that are dampening your spirit? Look, I failed my grade seven examinations in 1978 and some of my former classmates thought I would follow them on their path of self-pity.
Fortunately, my late father had taught me to accept failure but not to allow it to keep me lying prostrate on the ground.
He had told me to defy failure and use it as the ladder to my dream. So, I asked him to secure me a place at the same primary school as a repeater.
Now those days the label ‘repeater’ was least honourable. It was actually stigma, but who cared?
After my father had paid the necessary fees, I defiantly reported for lessons. Right from the first day I threw every ounce of my intellectual energy into school work and I am still enjoying the fruits of that positive attitude towards failure.
And guess what, I was among those who had the best results when I was selected to Form One. When I later sat for my Form Three examinations, I was among the top three when the results came out.
At Grade 12, I got 18 points and was among the 11 who obtained Division One Zambia School Certificate. Our names were stuck at the deputy headmaster’s office for all to see. That was in the early 1980s when there were no leakages.
When I enrolled for my degree programme I got four straight ‘A’ grades in the first semester.
You can imagine where I would have been today if I had allowed my failure to make it to Form One to crush my spirit.
Today, I am the acting news editor for the Zambia Daily Mail and a columnist in Lusaka.
Come on friend, fight on!

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