You are a coward*
June 24, 2012 § 2 Comments
*originally appeared on my News24.com column, 2010-09-28 08:10
You know what you want. You know what to do to get it. Yet you don’t do that which will make you who you want to be. Why is it that you know what to do in order to get to where you want to be but don’t do it? What is it about the human condition that creates this self-destructive monster, which eats away at your dreams one excuse at a time? What is it that causes you to be comfortable with it? It can only be said that you are a big wimpy coward. Too afraid of your own success. Too afraid of knowing what you’ll be like if you succeed.
It is cowardice that causes you to blame someone else or something else. It is cowardice that makes you point fingers. So Khaya, in a sea of cowards you are the biggest one. Don’t just point one finger at yourself as the rest point at the world, let them all point at you and look within the inner coward, Mr Good Reasons, Mr Excuses, Mr This Is Why It Can’t Be Done, Mr This Is Why I Can’t Do it. How about just being Mr Just Do It?
What is it about cowardice that you find so much more attractive than courage? Surely failure should be the ugliest girl in the club? Why go to the ugliest girl in the room when I know that I want the prettiest girl? Why do you friend-zone success when you know that you want to be more than friends?
Maybe success and achieving one’s goals is as frightening as failure. It is also possible that we are so accustomed to seeing failure and mediocrity that we accept second best – and have come to believe that is the standard. We don’t mind being the co-star instead of the star; winning bronze instead of gold. The acceptance of second best has become too commonplace. We see it everywhere; second rate everything, even second rate second rates.
The reason for this is that we are too good at having great reasons as to why we can’t do what we should do, what we must do in order to shine and be our better selves. Our reasons for not doing are often of sound logic and make sense, but at the end of the day, reasons are just a good name we give to excuses.
The greatest excuse of all: “What will people think of me if I decide to pursue this dream that I have?” The tragedy is that people won’t think anything of you if you don’t. Yet they will think the world of you when you succeed and make it. There is no failing. The only failing is not trying. Who cares if you don’t make it? At least you would have tried and given it the shot you have.
Courage is not in the big things we achieve. Courage lives in the small decisions. Courage is not in the running in order to lose weight, it’s in the decision to wake up 30 minutes earlier, put on your shoes and start running.
You could dismiss this as Oprah pop psychology or you could really look at yourself and ask yourself some tough questions about why you are still where you are when you know where you could be. Maybe this is Oprah pop psychology but Oprah has titanic achievements so I’m not about to dismiss it.
What if you stopped saying “if”?
And if only
What if you never say “what if” except to ignite your imagination?
What if you turned your “what if” into action?
What if you act and not stop at “what if”?
What if you became great instead of imagining it?
What if someone acts on your “what ifs”?
Act on your “what ifs” before someone else does.
So Khaya, are you going to be a coward, or are you going to make a lot of small courageous decisions?