Are you healthy or weak?
Sometimes when you go to the market to buy groceries you might feel like going back home without having bought anything. This is the case especially because of some of the things you hear people saying. For instance, you hear people talking about where some of those leafy greens are grown; somewhere around a sewer. Then you imagine that possibly whoever is going to cook those greens at home might not wash them properly. When you factor all that, you might not want to eat at all. So it is for this reason I decided to grow my own vegetables.
Of course it was not very easy considering first of all I chose to do this during a season that is not rainy. Secondly, I haven’t done gardening in a long time. Thirdly, I was not so sure whether the vegetables I wanted to plant would grow in the small garden I had at home. And lastly, at the back of my mind I was also thinking of how much water and time I was going to spend making this project happen.
Three months down the line, all of the vegetables I planted have a story to tell. Some are all grown and have already been eaten, others died somewhere along the way and we are trying to find out why, others are still growing and might not be ready for another two months to come. Not just that, some of the vegetables are more high maintenance than others i.e. they need more care than others. Some need more water than others; some need a different kind of manure than the others, etc. In other words, there are no two vegetables in my garden that I have seen having similar traits. They are all different not only in physical appearance, but also in their caring requirements. But one thing they all have in common is that they need good fertile soil.
So this last week I was just standing outside late one evening looking at my kitchen garden and realized that it is representative of life itself. We have all been planted in this garden called life. Each one of us has a different seed inside of them that needs to be nurtured and taken care of so as to ensure it grows and germinates into a tree that produces good fruits. Unfortunately not many of us live the life that was expected of us as some die somewhere along the way because proper care was not given to the seed inside of them. So what proper care am I referring to?
Before you plant a seed, you have to make sure you till the land, you have to make sure you remove all the weeds and prepare the land by putting manure and everything else that will make the plant grow well. You also have to make sure you have good fertile soil (that’s where the manure comes in if the soil is not fertile). You have to make sure you have enough water to ensure your plants do not wither. One thing you will notice is that if you choose to plant your seeds during the rainy season, then your water bill will definitely be lower at the end of the month, but if you choose to do your planting at the wrong time of the year, then my friend you will suffer the consequences of high water bills. This means that trying to achieve your dream or follow your purpose when you are out of season will cost you more than if you had done it when the season was right. It is still achievable, only that it will cost you more.
Going back to the preparation phase, like I already said, you have to make sure that you have cleared the land from everything that might choke your seeds. The same case applies to your life (remember you are a seed planted in this life and you must bear fruit). Check around your life and identify all potential threats to your growth. It could be the friends you keep, or the way you spend your time, or the information you choose to feed your mind with, or the lifestyle you lead. Whatever the case, you need to ensure that you have created the right environment for your seeds to grow.
Secondly, as I learnt while taking care of my garden, planting the seed is not enough. You have to constantly check and confirm that it is growing as expected. If the plant is supposed to be mature within 6 weeks, if by that period you do not see any signs of maturity then that is a sign of a problem. You need to check around the plant and see what could be causing the delay; are you using the correct fertilizers? Does the plant need a change in the manure you used? Maybe you used goat manure previously and now should try chicken manure. In other words, evaluate and identify the reasons for the delayed growth.
Same case applies to you and I. We need to constantly review and evaluate our lives (our goals) to ensure that we are on the right track. Are we achieving our goals at the rate we should? Are we experiencing challenges and if yes, is there a way we can circumvent them? Whatever the case, constant evaluation and reviewing of where we are in our lives will give us a clear indication of whether we are going anywhere or whether we are just mark-timing where we are. A classic example of such a situation is a 35 year old man who still lives with his parents, not because he has any kind of disabilities or mental challenges but simply because he cannot fend for himself. There are very many cases of this nature here in Africa and it is a shame that we even condone them. A serious mindset change has to be implemented if we are going to get rid of such situations.
That is why today I want to dedicate this article to a book written by a visionary called Joel Arthur Nanauka. The book is titled “Timiza Malengo Yako” (Achieve your Dreams) and gives you 60 strategies that successful people from different walks of life have used since time begun to become highly successful. This book is a must have by anyone who is genuinely saying they are sick and tired of being sick and tired. If you are saying you are fed up of living the same non-progressive life year in year out, this is a book you must have. The book is in Kiswahili so even those who only understand Kiswahili will no longer have an excuse of not reading a success book!
So, as you consider your next step in life, it is time for you to really evaluate the environment you have planted your seed in and do whatever it takes to ensure you provide everything possible to ensure your seed grows and germinates into a big fruitful tree.
You have what it takes to ensure this happens. Go get yourself a copy of Timiza Malengo Yako and your life will never be the same again. You can get in touch directly with the author of the book by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or, you can follow his Facebook page. This is one book you will never regret investing in.
Remember, in order to get something you never had before, you have to do something you've never done before.
PS: Article originally published in Tanzania's Guardian on Sunday on the 30th of October, 2016, under my weekly column "Thoughts in Words".