Why Did You Stop?

This is a post I would never have thought about 2 years ago, but here I am writing about what failure is and what it shouldn’t be and I too cant wait to see how it unfolds.

A month ago, I told this person that I am beginning to think should be a Godsend about my love for poetry. This was after he did a deep search about me and unearthed some pieces I had written on the blog back in 2014. Reading through them made my heart rend—in a good way.

He has been very vocal about the fact that I am procrastinating the process of getting the book published (this I will tell you about another time), and honestly, maybe I am. So 4 days ago, him and I were having a conversation that stemed from whether i had considered doing spoken word poetry because the kind that I write needs to be heard, felt and listened to. I told him, I once was a spoken word poet. He asked “Why did you stop?” same way I want to ask you about why you stopped writing, creating, innovating, singing, taking the lesson, driving, laughing, posting, producing, traveling, dancing etc etc

All through high-school, I hated when the audience boo-ed people that they found uninteresting during a stage performance, class presentation or anywhere a person had to show their skill/talent. The people that boo-ed had come to the conclusion that whatever this person was doing was either half-baked, could not match up to the challenge, or was just dead-bit boring. Fortunately for me, I was always on the other side— being ululated and clapped for, being congratulated for being an incredible orator, dancer, storyteller, you name it. Never had it dawned on me, that once I would stand before a crowd and the fate of the boo-ed would catch up with me.

I joined varsity and immediately started attending evenings that were laced with poetry. Once in a while, I would poetize. People liked it– men especially, judging from the number of free drinks that would come my way, the ladies smiled and nodded their heads at me whenever we crossed paths. For a 1st year, I had made the cut, I was on my way to being Maya Angelou soon. It wasn’t until 8 of us from among those that used to meet at the Red House in Kyambogo were selected for a bigger event that would happen at the theater.

I prepared 3 poems that were joined by musical bridges —So for this performance, I hoped to sing too. I was confident with my flow, the rhythm was overt, and my heart and mind looked forward to a standing ovation. I got onto the dark stage whose curtains were still drawn and I could swear a bucket of water had been poured into my hands, my heart felt like hulk’s thunderous footstep, my stomach was churning and the hair on my head seemed to have taken leave. I heard the Emcee introduce me, he mentioned something about my eyes and the clarity that my voice carried. Soon people were clapping and the curtains were parted. The light from the balcony (if you know the theater too well) came full flash on me, and it was my moment.

I was shaking, it was visible. My throat dried up. 2 minutes into my time and I heard a person boooo… I opened my mouth and said the first line and second line– That was all I could remember. I repeated those stanzas twice hoping I would remember the stanzas that followed, but I didn’t and the audience got furious—some asking in Luganda dialect “where the organizers had gotten me from”, some saying I should “get off stage”, the booos increased and like a chef that lost the grand prize for failing to prepare his signature meal, I walked out—cried the night out, and cursed ever accepting to go for the event. I stopped– stopped doing spoken word poetry, stopped visiting the red house, I stopped.

52a3ce6cfa0a58054f240f78e207ce20

Giving up, letting go is extinguishing the fire that burns in the inside of you. It is killing the child (passion) that lives on the inside, and that is not a good thing to do!

5 years down the road, and every-time anyone suggests I do spoken word, that memory plays out, making my heart clench very uncomfortably. Subconsciously, I marked that as failure and that explains why my entire system reacts the way it does. The fear of failure watermarks itself in our (sub) conscious realities that we tend to be more aware of doom and when it is coming.

Every single day we have people walking out of the door to their dreams because of the fear of failure. We seem to recount the moments we have failed to breakthrough more than the lessons that we should pick from the experience. If you ask me, it is hurtful to fail. It is also more embarrassing if you have an audience– random people, family members, friends, who say they believe in you until you portray weakness, or don’t meet their standard.

So why did you stop?

e78246451c1b208d67d32d46f4d3f8ba

  1. Was it because you tried over and over again and still found yourself in the same place?
  2. Was it because you felt unappreciated?
  3. Was it because the journey got lonely?
  4. Did you stop because the road seemed dry and unfruitful?
  5. Was it the pressure about time, age? Was it the overwhelming responsibilities?
  6. Was it because your mentor or curator said it wouldn’t work?

Not that I came here to question your decision to give up certain dreams, goals and habits (and I am not defending the toxic habits that take you down the drain, I mean the habits that polish, grow, and make you a better man or woman), I came to blatantly tell you that letting go speaks of cowardice and weak contention in following after our dreams and seeing them grow.

I have chatted and even followed different innovators’ accounts, and after they have sobered from sharing tips, pros and cons, majority like to say “It is never easy. There are days you are going to want to give up everything, start afresh and follow a different trail- but the longer the endurance, the sharper we become”.

Failure should never define you, neither should it ever stop you from high flying towards your goals. Delays will always present themselves, however how we handle them gives us a better perspective on life, and who we are.

I am personally working on a spoken word project—I haven’t told anyone yet, but now you know and honestly, I hope that I will have the courage once again to stand before even bigger audiences and spill my heart through language, and cry because the work was appreciated. As far as I know, this is also another poem, another short story, another sad day, and maybe we need to treat failure that way too. Just a bad 24 hours, and once they are finished, we try again and give it our best shot.

P.S— If you constantly find yourself at the same place with the same result, perhaps you need to change formulae. Recently from a Rabbi, I learned that formulae leads you to the same result, so if something fails, dont entirely ditch the whole idea, get a new formulae, invest the same energy and much greater attitude and see yourself flourish.

dfc42b5e3299058b800010c8984d0c48

Thank you for taking the time to read. I would like to hear what you plan to resurrect. No one is holding you back but you.. So go ahead and let go of any fear and worries.

 

GOOGLE ME

Last week Wednesday, I was happy to join a panel of recruiters interviewing candidates for the roles of Marketing officers and Public relations officers for a renowned entity. I sat together with a team from Brighter Monday, so we totaled up to 4 interviewers; 2 ladies and 2 gentlemen. While the first interview was quite jittery for me, the next 5 were a smooth sail. In the future, I would like to share some qualities that I was searching out from the candidates, and the do’s and don’ts of an interview, however today, I will talk about why I walked out of this particular session in a lot of meditation.

Candidates walked in dressed in very flashy clothes, some couldn’t decide whether to rest their bag on their laps or beside the chair on which they sat. Some seemed to have spent the night up reading for the interview—as though they had gotten access to the questionnaire we would be using to interview them. Some were good negotiators but not very persuasive, the others had amazing accents but were overly experienced and had outrageous goals for the entity if hired.

The last interview of the day was of a young gentleman dressed in high black boots, an impressively white pressed shirt tucked into khaki trousers, with a laptop bag hanging at his side and oval rimmed glasses around his eyes.

He seemed timid but exuded an aura of confidence. The lead interviewer asked him to take a seat, and he nodded in obedience. He took a seat and sent out formal greetings. He was interested in the vacancy for Public Relations officer.

We asked the young man to introduce himself and this is what he had to say;

My name is Kimeruka Adam, and I love plenty of things including public relations and communications. I love to communicate and I like to let my work speak for me. The interviewer close to me on my right, then asked “why do you think you are the best choice for this role?

The young man said “Google me. I just told you what my name is”.

In that moment, there was an audible and blinding silence. The man seemed to have sucked the air out of the room (and I can’t deny, I too felt flabbergasted). I mean he had said “Google me” with a shrug to his shoulders.

cac015749b75bc07915080937edb01b4

No, I am not an artist. I felt like this picture would best inteprete the emotion in this post

(After a two days’ thought—this is stand about the incidence). In a world where interviewees appear before interview panels very timid and shaken, I inwardly applaud this man. And here is why;

With the growing use of the internet, Google has, perhaps more than any other company realized that information is power. Information about the Internet, information about innumerable trends, and information about its users, YOU. Any interviewee that proves their capability of manipulating the information that google captures about them, but also shows wide knowledge of this field is a keeper.

Google is that big sibling that imposes himself because he/she has been in their young sibling’s space so much to know all about them. So how much does Google know about you and your online habits? It’s only when you sit down and actually start listing all of the various Google services you use on a regular basis that you begin to realize how much information you’re handing over to Google. An interviewee that knows pretty much about their online habits is a disciplined chap– This is an assumption!

I want to believe that Google has made sure to go beyond just service provision to actually building relationships with its users. On Google, you can discover what people are looking for, what people want, and make decisions based on those discoveries. This is of course extremely useful to any company looking to hire.

Recently, I woke up to a reminder from Google photos about photos I had taken 2 years ago (in that day, I was oblivious of the fact that 2 years later, I could be different, with a different perception about life and all givings) and yet there were the memories staring at me. Thank God I hadn’t made my Google photos public or else, it would be a great day for any pessimistic troll.

Google’s stated mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” and it is making good on this promise. However, Google is gathering even more information than most of us realize.

You must be wondering how google knows all about you, and I don’t mind stating how;

  • Searches (web, images, news, blogs, etc.) – Google is, as you all know, the most popular search engine in the world with a market share of almost 70%. Google tracks all searches, and now with search becoming more and more personalized, this information is bound to grow increasingly detailed and user specific. It is also important to note that not only does Google get information on what we search for, it also gets to find out which search results we click on.
  • Web crawling
  • Website analytics
  • Ad serving
  • Twitter (late last year, google entered a partnership with twitter, so yes, all your tweets belong to google)
  • Google Apps (Docs, Spreadsheets, Calendar, etc.)
  • Google Public
  • Google Public
  • The Google Chrome browser
  • Google
  • YouTube
  • Google Translate
  • Google Books
  • Google
  • Feedburner
  • Google Maps and Google Earth
  • Your contact network

Now how many services do you use on a daily? almost half the list, is it not?   Google is like an octopus, its arms are starting to reach almost everywhere. It has become so mixed up in so many aspects of our online lives that it is getting an unprecedented amount of information about our actions, behavior and affiliations online.

While compiling this post, Sylvester Nyombi (the girls that deeply like him call him Sly, and among his Rugby homies, goes about as Egumire) asked what I was writing about, and whether he could contribute towards it. When I shared the interview panel scenario, this is what he had to say.

“If I were on that panel, I would go like nigga please”. He continued to defend his position saying “in as much as I’m proud of the fact that he feels he done did a great job for himself, there’s a reason he is at the interview; So he can express himself about these works on Google. If it weren’t for that, I’d have googled him straight up and not asked him to come for the interview in the first place. Besides his answer doesn’t answer the question asked. His answer fills more the gap of “could you show us some of your work?” and not “what makes you best fit for this job”

Sly says he would respond to the young man and say, we’ll Google and get back to you. Then trash him, and if I could, wipe him off the face of the earth (that is extreme) but what I am trying to say is that that arrogance would deny him the job… Laugh if you may but this took me to bed in stitches.

My role on that panel was not to hire the candidates but to observe, assess and qualify them, on whether they knew the role they were interested in, and whether they were capable of handling the responsibilities that were to come with that office. I scored the young man a good mark and inwardly, with that aggressiveness, I hope he is hired

For whatever you are doing today, if you are using one of Google’s services, always remember Google saves, and Google never forgets.

So allow me ask you one question; If I googled you, (or if your employer googled you) what would I/they find?