Sunday, 2 March 2014

Pick your battles; prioritize!


Nothing ever just happens. If you want it, you have to be deliberate about getting it. I’m not saying that there’s no such thing as fate, or destiny, but I do know that all of us have a part to play. And seeing as what we do contributes a lot to what path our lives take, it’s very important on what we focus our energies. There’s a Chinese saying that ‘A single grain of rice can tip the scales.’ Investing a little more effort can go a long way.

 Life is unpredictable; it can change from black to white and vice versa in a split second…so while it is true that we cannot really control what is thrown at us, we should also never forget that there is so much more to this than meets the eye, and we shouldn’t allow the trivial things in life to completely consume us.

There’s a European film festival currently taking place in Kampala, and I got to watch a feature film called ‘Looking for Sugar-man that was about the search for a one Rodriguez, a writer/singer from the early seventies that was a major flop in the U.S and yet a sold-out artist in Cape Town, South Africa; To quote one headline ‘American zero, South African hero’. While his career dwindled to nothingness in Detroit, Michigan after two unsuccessful albums and forced him to return to his work as a worker at construction sites, there was an on-going search for him in Cape Town that lasted three years before he was tracked down at work, flown over with his whole family seven times over the years to over twenty sold-out concerts all over South Africa.

I wonder if Rodriguez knew, when the South African music-store owner finally traced his number and called him that his life would be completely changed in the next seconds. I wonder if he would have been tracked down had he capitalized on his failed career in America. Would he even still be alive, or would he, like so many other artists and as so many rumors had it, have overdosed in some hotel room or been found dead in some dark alley somewhere?

Isn’t it funny how a problem that seems completely catastrophic to us, consumes all our thoughts, steals all our peace, kills our appetite and makes us rethink our whole life can sometimes turn out to be one that a million other people have been through without butting an eyelash? Have you ever thought about something and it appears to make sense in your mind only to find that when you do say it out loud, it sounds completely ridiculous? And the truth of the matter is you can’t cling to the past. No matter how tightly you hold on, it’s already gone.

We have all heard about the tree-forest thesis. It really is never that serious! So while whatever worth having is worth fighting for, it is important that we carefully pick our battles. Not everything requires a fight, not everything requires you to fight. Some things you just walk away from and allow to be.

Otherwise, if we keep investing all our resources in every little bump that comes our way, we will not have enough left over to use when the really important stuff shows up.

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