For the past few weeks, I have been thinking a lot about my life and the role I play in other people's lives. I have spent a lot of hours and days scrutinizing different situations, conversations and just observing other people who are directly or indirectly affected by my life.
This has not been another of those depressed or anxiety moments No!
It has been a sober reflection of my life and the things that happen to me or I attracted to myself knowingly or unknowingly. It has been a journey to the core of who I am and how I interact with the world around me. Its been a soul searching exercise to see where I go wrong.
I have talked to people and tried to understand how they believe I have what it takes to help them reach their potential and goals, I have talked to people who believe that I have one the most exciting lives in the world and I have also listened to people tell me directly or indirectly that I am a waste and I could have done better.
In these weeks I have felt how ungrateful some people are and I have experienced how doing good to another doesn't always guarantee that they will do the same to you. I have noticed how I am personally ungrateful for what others do for me.
To begin with, the most important lesson I have learned during this period is that, it is easy to blame and criticize others when we actually do the same thing that we are criticizing them for.
I have in several cases found myself criticizing others and realized that I am doing the same thing that I am criticizing them for to others.
This has been a period of trying to find myself and understand why I do the things that I do and why I have the results that I have. In the midst of one of the worst financial periods in recent times, I have had people fail to pay me what they owe me and that has meant that I have had problems paying those I owe too.
While I feel hurt by the people who owe me and want to take action against them, I have paused and asked myself, "what if the other guy I owe take the same action against me?" If I cant pay that guy because of this guy, doesn't it mean that there might be another guy causing this guy not to pay me?
At that moment, I have learned to be patient with people and listen to their stories.
One other insight that came to my understanding of myself is the fact that, I have a decision to make everyday and those choices will determine what I am worthy.
I have realized that, I am too empathetic, that my empathy hurts me sometimes. I am too considerate of others at the expense of my own well-being.
I will give my last kwacha to a beggar on the streets and walk on foot from town going home.
I will send my last Airtel Money value to a friend and fail to make an important business call or being unable to buy my own lunch.
The problem is I just can't stand seeing someone suffer when I can help. I always feel that I am strong enough to endure suffering than the other person. I do not have a lot of time to judge their motive. That is my weakness.
So where does my endurance of suffering come from? I FAIL! All the time.
One thing that I know about myself now is that, I am the most unlucky person that I have ever met or I know. At least from the 28+ years I have been around, one thing that has not been on my side is luck! I have never been lucky not as long as I can remember. I have always done things the hard way! Nothing has ever come to me easily! I always have to endure and push for things to happen for me. So I have learned to be cool with being denied, being rejected or being overlooked. I have made peace with being vulnerable.
I have had my fair share of Favour YES! but, in those situations, luck has always been the missing link and mostly I can look back and wonder "What happened?".
I was not lucky enough to be born in a rich family. So I grew up facing most of the challenges a typical young person faces in Malawi. I was not lucky enough to stay with my father past my 12th birthday. When I turned 12 he had already gone to the father. So, I made peace with being raised by a single mother raising a child full of ambitions most of which she could not afford to sponsor.
I have been so unlucky in this world. But that has been the only reason I don"t think twice about creating my own opportunities,
I tried to work hard in school and pursue the things I loved but I was so unlucky that my departure from academic institutions, was not always the most pleasing one. I mostly had the saddest of endings to people while that helped me find and believe in myself.
I have nevertheless always been determined to create something out of my life. I have therefore taken all the risks there are to create a life I want and it has not been too pleasing to myself and others. I have failed a lot that sometimes, I feel like I am the worst failure I know.
I have given up so many times but I will always wake up the next morning only to realize that, if I am still breathing, I have to get up and fight one more battle each day. That has always been the difference.
I have never had the biggest break in my life. I create my opportunities and most of them do not see the final phase as anticipated. Still, I do not give up on taking the next shot.
I don't give up on trying.
I have used the least of resources I have to create my opportunities and sometimes, it has been worthy it. I know some people think I have a lot of opportunities and I am living the life.
Some of the opportunities that could have changed my story came, but somehow someone messes up!
Of all the things I do or have ever done, I have never been at a point when I felt I had all the resources I needed.
I have worked on some of the most demanding projects with the worst of resources and look at those with the best resources just play with them.
I have always been disadvantaged in everything I have done in some ways but people still think I have been very lucky.
Sometimes I ask myself, if I ever found myself in a place where I have all that I need, well even just 70% of the resources I need, what kind of work or results would I have? If with less than 20% of what I need, people think I do great things, what if I had the resources and the supporting environment that I need?
I still believe one day my story will change, but for now, I am the most unlucky person I know.
Well, truth is I am Lucky to have the guts to know I will fail all the time for me to have a great life. I am glad that I can stand and share my stories of failure.
I am glad that I learn from my own and other peoples' failure.
We are all going through different patches of our lives and what we really need is to keep the faith.
Keep creating your own opportunities.
So why dont you become part of our new movemenr of people who are not afraid to share their stories of failure?
Join our FuckUp Nights coming soon to Lilongwe.
so what's a FuckUp Night?
Dennis Imaan is a Global Citizen born and currently staying in Malawi. He loves to share his experiences and lessons with others. Travel, Tourism, Innovations, Media and Youth development are close to his heart.