Journeying through Life
It is 4:30 in the morning. Not so many cars are on the road yet but still quite a number of them considering it is still very early. I’m almost late for my flight but thankfully, I get to the airport just as the first boarding call is being announced. The girls at the counter are very helpful and they quickly process my ticket and I get my boarding pass. As I look around, I realize the airport is almost full and it’s not even daybreak yet. Where are all these people going? I can’t help but ask myself. As that thought goes through my mind, I realize that I am one of the people filling up the airport. I should ask myself where I am going too. I smile to myself as I realize that just as I have a very specific destination I am heading to, so are the others in the airport, well, except for those who are working there.
As I board the aircraft, I notice that not every seat is filled up but the cabin crew is very strict on ensuring everyone sits according to the seat number on their boarding pass. Even though we are ten minutes early, the pilot gets clearance from the control tower and shortly, the bird pushes out and sets off to take off into the sunrise with its human cargo safely nestled in its belly. Right at the expected time of arrival, the bird touches down safely and we are all thankful to have arrived safely. As always, everyone scrambles to exit the aircraft and after going through passport control, everyone heads out to different directions. What an amazing place the airport is. So many people, so many flights landing and leaving, and so many destinations arrived at from this one location. Amazing, isn’t it?
And so is Life.
Life is like an airport. It has so many people who come and go, all coming from different directions and going to different destinations, using different flights. Every one of us came to this airport called life in their own way. Every one of us has their own journey to take. The flight you catch towards that journey may not necessarily be the same one your neighbor or your sibling catches. You all have different destinations (destinies) and each one of you will use a different method (flight) to reach those destinies.
For you to be on the correct flight, you have to keep time and ensure you are there at exactly the time your ticket says you should be. You need to be there on the exact day as well. If you are to travel at 0900am on 8th of May, then you cannot go to the airport on 15th of May and expect to use the same ticket. That flight already took off and landed wherever it was meant to land without you on board.
The reason why many people miss out on their flight (destiny) is because they probably end up in the wrong terminal, on the wrong day and time, or they simply get late to catch their flight. As a result, they have to pay for another ticket and also get delayed because depending on where their destination is, it is very possible that the flights are not as frequent as in other routes.
You see this is what the reality on the ground is; the flight will still take off, whether or not you are in it (unless it is your own private jet). Similarly, life will go on, whether or not you obey the rules provided by this life. Other people will still progress and succeed, whether or not you choose to succeed or progress. The question is, is your success taking long to come because you are in the wrong terminal, waiting to board the wrong flight? Are you sure you are in the right place? In other words, is what you are doing right now what you are supposed to do so that you can reach your intended destiny? Are you in the right place at the right time?
Speaking of doing the right thing, it reminds me of the cabin crew who insisted that everyone should be on their designated seats. Same case applies to life. The only way you will ever reach your destiny is by ensuring you are on your designated path. What may work for your colleague may not work for you because that is not how you are to reach your destiny. That is why you can all be on the same flight but each one of you is on a different seat because each one of you is a different individual with a different destiny. For instance, not all of you can be Messi or Ronaldo. Just like not all of you can be Wesley Snipes or Vin Diesel. Every one of us has a specific destiny and purpose in this world, one you have to diligently achieve. I agree with whoever said, “be yourself and quit trying to be everyone else!” in other words, follow your own destiny and stop trying other people’s destinies. You have to find out what your gift from God is, then use that gift to fulfill your purpose in this world.
The one mistake many people make is in thinking that because one person did a certain thing and made it in life then that is the way to go. No my friends. That person made it because that was the path that had been chosen for him to follow and succeed. Yours could be totally different and unless you apply your specific method, then you are likely to never succeed in life. For instance, you might find out that someone you know sold mandazis and made it in life, then you decide to do the same. You may succeed if you do the selling of mandazis very diligently but because that may not have been your path, you find that you have to work ten times harder than your friend did. Maybe his idea was to sell mandanzis but yours is to sell fresh juice and fresh vegetable and/or fruit salads. That is why you see similar business ideas all located in one area, just because someone wanted to copy what the other is doing, expecting to succeed because the first person did. It will not be that easy.
As I finish this article I have this question to ask, Do you want to succeed? Then adopt the principals of air travel i.e. know your destination, find the best flight (in terms of comfort, time spent travelling and budget wise) to take you to your destination, book your flight, be there on time on the day of travel and ensure you are in the right terminal at the right time. You will meet many other travelers like you, some you might even know, but you cannot accompany them on their flights because you have to be on your designated flight.
Mine this week is to remind every one of us that we each have a journey to take and a path to follow in order to reach our designated destinies. Your path will be different from the next person’s and for you to succeed, you have to follow your designated path. Sometimes that path may not make sense but when you follow it, because it is your path to success, then you will reap the benefits of staying the course. To echo the words of Hakan Massoud Nawabi, “Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s okay. You’re here to live your life, not to make everyone understand”.
Life is a journey with problems to be solved, lessons to be learned, but most of all, experiences to enjoy along the way. Enjoy your journeys this week and let’s meet at life’s inter-connection desk.
PS: Article originally published in Tanzania's Guardian on Sunday on the 8th May, 2016, under my weekly column "Thoughts in Words".