Sometimes being young and going through all the growth stages can be such a pain. You stumble and stagger around like a drunk, not because you are not too sure of what you want to do in life. Sometimes you do, but some pieces of the puzzle seem completely unrelated to what you are trying to work out. And because of that, we keep looking and hoping that one day it all works out; ask me how? I’m completely clueless too… The good thing is, you are about to find the answer.
Moving away from my city for industrial attachment was one hell of an experience, knowing fully well that I wasn’t just going to survive and live one day at a time. With a grotesque economy in our country and a very unbelievable unemployment rate, attachees tend to do all the work because they are still at school anyway; the common slogan is, ‘it’s not about the money, it’s about the experience!’ True, it is about the experience… and about the money as well. So trust me, anybody who told you it’s not about the money either hates you, is exploitative or is capitalist, if not all. You need money for almost everything, to go to work, eat at work, clothe while at work among a lot of other things. I was imprisoned in the two but not for long.
Growing up has taught me so much about seeing an opportunity in almost everything. I have a Venda friend, Khumbudzo and she loves a quote that says ‘risk nothing, lose nothing and be nothing’, this has had the same effect too in making me realise opportunities in everything. But one thing I learnt in all this was one friend’s advice, the guy is fairly old, in his sixties now, he told me words I struggled to understand. He said:
“Young man, you are still young and energetic. If you’re not careful, you will lose your whole life looking for meaning in it. My advice is, as you look for that meaning, create value around what you are good at. Focus on making yourself valuable, that will answer most of your questions.”
His simple message was, ‘identify your skill, be so good such that if anyone thinks of doing something in your line of work, they will think, YOU!’ I know it sounds a bit vague but it’s true and its possible. Since the time he told me, it is only a few weeks back that I started to find meaning in his words. I read an article published by Forbes on creating value around yourself. The author of the article emphasized that adding value to yourself is to look at yourself as a product and to keep on improving that product every year.
Basically, the message here is, you are the first thing people interact with before they see what you do and all. They should be impressed by you first. I know some of you are thinking, ‘you know what nigga, I don live for nobody but myself n m gonna live this the way I wan to.’ Well, I won’t say you are right or wrong, I would if only I had seen a formula to life. Despite all what you thinking, at the end, it’s all about you. I have learnt over the few years I have lived that the moment you stop improving yourself and become satisfied with where and who you are, your value gradually starts decomposing and it should never be like that.
View yourself as a valuable product and endeavor to develop every year. According to the author I met at the Forbes website, there is so much to learn in life and develop in. He says that say you decide that you will learn something new every year, for example social styles, Communication techniques, Leadership, Strategic Planning, Finance among all other things you think are necessary to you. Look at yourself in 10-20 years, how many things would you have mastered and how much do you think you will be worth?
It’s all about making yourself better every time, no matter how many times it fails to work, as long as you’re still alive, make every moment count, be it having fun, working, family time, you name it, do it so well such that whenever anyone thinks of anything in your line of work, they think, YOU!