Last weekend I took #AskKirubi to Alliance High School and interacted with primary school pupils who were attending a mentorship conference organized for them. It was humbling to see the number of children from different counties who sacrificed their holiday and braved the cold to receive encouragement and motivation ahead of their last term.
The children desired to learn, have mentors and people ready to advise them about the future. You could actually see their willingness and desire to make personal changes as they looked forward to finishing their primary level studies. I felt the urge to encourage them not only on passing their exams but also on building their character as individuals.
You see exams assist you to open the next door and do not necessarily give you the tools to cope with life. Education without other qualities and without character will get you nowhere. Your personality/character is what will take you places and help you achieve success. You need to build it.
Pursuing excellence is unique for every individual. We craft different paths to reach our desired goals but how do we create that culture of excellence?
Excellence does not automatically mean straight A’s but your attitude towards life, academics, respecting those around you, solving problems among other things.
As your pursue excellence academically, it is also good to polish your character and cultivate the culture of excellence holistically.
But how do you do this? Let me share some of the things that have worked for me over the years.
- Right Attitude – Having the right attitude determines how you best you will solve the situations you are in and create the life you want to build. You may not come from a wealthy home but your attitude and desire to succeed will drive you to make the best of what you have in order to get the best out of life.
- Exploit your talents/passion – Growing up we all had dreams of what we wanted to be. However, as you grew older you began setting realistic goals and knowing what it is that you wanted to do according to your interest and passion. It does not matter if you grew up in a home of doctors or lawyers, you need to develop and make use of your talents. Do what it is you are good at that way you never get bored and are always looking for new ways to challenge yourself.
- Have a mentor/role model – In order to succeed or excel, you need to be able to gauge your progress and have someone who help you do the same. I advise my younger followers to get a mentor they can associate with and who can help shape their lives. While those much older can get mentors who they can learn from and emulate without having to associate with them.
- Teamwork – “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.” I am sure we have all heard that saying but it’s unfortunate that we get so competitive we forget to work with others even where we are weak. Our education system emphasizes on passing exams and our minds are conditioned in such a way that if we share our knowledge we feel like we have given our ‘competitors’ the key to success. It’s important to learn to work with others. Don’t be shy to ask for help. Two heads are better than one and your weakness is someone else’s point of strength.
- Read, read, read – You can never have enough knowledge and information. The world is changing; you must keep abreast with what is happening.
- Surround yourself with the best – have friends who will help you succeed and influence you positively. Don’t waste your life and the opportunities you’ve been given with people who are going nowhere. Be a person of character people can admire and believe in.
I am sure we can all add a few points to the above, but what is important is utilizing them to better your life. There is no use in having knowledge or information that you will not use. Use what you have to get what you need.
Doing good most times is not really exciting and can get boring. However, doing the opposite is more often than not short lived and detrimental to your life.
Don’t settle for mediocrity. Strive to excel. The ‘good life’ belongs to the one who makes a decision to craft and direct his life.
Direct your life in the best way possible and don’t limit yourself. Create a culture of excellence.