Last week ended on a pretty grim note, but at the same time it was a wake up call for many of us. The Inspector General of Police (IGP) reflected on his contributions to the church as he gave a speech at the requiem mass for the fallen Assistant Inspector General of Police ( AIGP), who met his sudden death when he was slain by unidentified gunmen along with his bodyguard and driver. The IGP wasn’t the only one. I heard several people comment about leaving this world so suddenly, without preparing your soul for the after life. Many argued that it is through what you do everyday that you find salvation. Others said they think if you repent shortly before you die, God receives you while others also argued that the prayers of your loved ones after you leave this world are also enough to save your soul and secure you a place in eternal paradise.
All this left me thinking of what kind of legacy I would leave on this earth and what example I will be to the future generation when they hear about me. Not to mention those who look up to me right now. That same weekend, I participated in a television show on NTV Uganda, Perspective with Josephine Karungi. No sooner had the show ended, than my phone rang. My sister was calling but it was her little ones that spoke to me, so excited to have seen me on TV. My WhatsApp was crowded with messages asking if I was back to working with NTV. While I participated passively, many were tuned in. And they had questions and suggestions in regard to my media career. Some said I was born for the spotlight. One even strongly recommended that I reclaim my spot on TV. I wasn’t sure about it all.
See, I am just a year shy of 30. I had plans for when I turn 30. Or rather a list of things to accomplish before I turn 30. Most of them are unchecked, yes, I said most. Now while I am told that am just being over ambitious, I feel that I have strongly failed myself. That I shouldn’t have listened to those who said I still had a lot of time ahead of me, or those who insist am too young to even be thinking my life is passing me by. I know there are those worse than me or those who never made it to where I am and that I should be grateful. But that’s as good as it gets. With all that I know, things should be different or should I say, are going to be different from now on.
So where do feelings of untapped potential stem from? A whole seven months have flown by me in hindsight. It feels like I just woke up after a long slumber. I have read many books, listened to many great minds, interacted with even more, and watched even more. All this and there is still something missing. And again, I know am not the only one. But hey, I am justified to feel this way. Steve Jobs, in his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University said; Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish. He picked it up as well from somewhere but he gave meaning to it for me. And that meaning is that the only way to learn more or be more is to not be satisfied with what you have alone. There is always room for more knowledge, for more action, for more people, more experiences and most definitely, more of your potential.
There is so many books I haven’t read. I know to those who have known me a while, it seems there is only a few books that I haven’t read but I can assure you, I have only read a handful. Which makes me think that my reading culture isn’t balanced at all. I have probably read more romance novels than I have self-help books. Although I wanna read more random titles, just for the variety it brings, I want my choice of books to be more defined. I wonder now what my identity is, if it were to be told from the books I have read. Worrying, isn’t it? In addition to my autograph collection goal, I have officially added ‘My Identity by a Book’. If you had to buy me a book, which one would it be? And why?
That’s not all, as much as there are books unread, there is even more stories untold. Here I don’t mean taking to the stage in front of a bunch of people and narrating an endless list of events, I am referring to writing. How much more could I have written about over the years had I started earlier or even more, committed to writing every day? 1,000 words is too few now, I just might raise the bar for myself. I can think of countless valuable experiences that have gone undocumented because I didn’t have the sense to write about them. A little regret but memory sometimes favors us, so I will scribble them here as they keep popping up.
I cannot begin to mention the things left undone, the places I did not visit, the people I didn’t love long enough, and the words I didn’t say. And as I am writing, I am realizing how more and more of what I write has been about me, yet I want to believe that my purpose is to serve others. But all hope is not lost. Our journey of life truly begins when we realise we have been wandering aimlessly. When you can feel that something is missing, that there is a lot you haven’t done or said, that there is more people you haven’t reached out to, or even worse, when you feel like you have failed, only then does your journey begin. Because your next steps will be well thought out, your next actions well planned. You know you cannot begin to look for money until you realize your pocket is empty. You cannot begin to look for a loved one until you feel incomplete without them, and most certainly, you cannot start on a new venture in life until you feel unaccomplished in your current setting.
I have often heard that when you have nothing, you’re in the best place. It has always sounded mean until now. For as long as there is something in your sight, even the least insignificant, you are easily fooled. You relax thinking you got something, but should it disappear, if you aren’t destroyed by the reality of the emptiness, you will gain the most from it. Question is; how will you interpret it? Will you recognize it when you get there? Or will you be so distracted by complaining and pointing fingers that you will miss the golden opportunity?
The choice is really yours. You decide if you want to figure it out on your own or if you want to solicit the guidance of a trusted mentor. Some parts of the road you must walk alone, but you shouldn’t be deaf to those who are cheering you on in the sidelines. There will be moments when you have to choose a companion on that journey to self-discovery; be wise. Make sure to pick someone who will be honest with you but at the same time supportive. Some may be honest but destructive, or supportive but dishonest. We all deserve the best but we must first be the best. And by that I mean to yourself, don’t go being the best to everybody else and forget yourself. I have learned the hard way that that will only earn you their rejection.
Now go tap into that well of potential unknown even to your own self. #BreakingLymyts