Then one of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him.” (1 Sam 16:18)
Just look at those credentials:
- Skillful in playing
- Mighty man of valor
- Man of war
- Prudent in speech
- The Lord is with him
One of the weak things about our education system is that the more learned you become, the less you know. You are required to know more and more about less and less. As a result, you know less and less about more and more. As Dr. Francis Tusubira, the veteran Rotarian pointed out, in the earlier days, the artists and musicians were also the philosophers and lawyers and at the same time engineers and inventors.
Today, many kids are being forced to embrace the sciences vs arts dichotomy. It’s as if you can never be both a great scientist and artist. This has led to the development of skewed and unbalanced people. You find a guy who is an incredible engineer or software developer but has terrible social skills. As a result, he can’t turn his technical knowledge into a business enterprise, because in business, you have to talk to people!
I faced this same confusion while in school, although at the time, I was fortunate that the system was still flexible enough for us to explore. I was really good at Mathematics and Physics. I also had a peculiar interest in the English language. I’d do every crossword puzzle I came across, including uncovering all my classmates’ books that were covered by newspapers in search of puzzles. I was also among the best in Fine Art in my class. When it was prep time, I’d go to the library and read only history books or novels. I’d spend the whole time reading about the world wars and other stories. I also grew up in a musical family and was gifted in that area. Then one day, I was told I couldn’t do both art and music. I dropped music because I wanted to do art and become an architect. Now I am having to relearn the music.
The system may not have been good to you but you can redeem your situation. Start studying and reading widely. That may be the stuff that gets you into the palace to be trained. Lately, soft skills like decorum, dressing, speech, knowledge on social issues are becoming more and more critical for business success. A knowledge of the law is an added advantage. Go ahead and sign up for online courses and start learning some stuff. The Bookshops are also waiting. Like my good friend Sam Kisa says, you can survive on charm for exactly three minutes, after that you’d better have something to say.
You can increase the value you bring to the market by increasing your knowledge base. You can choose to make yourself indispensable by being the most knowledgeable and therefore most valuable in your field. We choose failure when we choose ignorance. We see the apostle telling his young protégé these same things, saying, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim 2:15)
One of the challenges of our generation is people just not being good enough at something. Yes we want greatness, but we are not willing to work for it. David didn’t become a skillful musician by accident. He didn’t become a man of war by accident. He didn’t become great at speech by accident. These are things he worked on diligently for years without anyone seeing, and when the time came for him to be revealed, he already knew his craft. Nowadays, people want to hit the stage at the earliest opportunity. “Ready or not, here I come,” is the new mantra.
Can you honestly have the confidence to say you have become a master at something, anything, just one thing at least? Can you say you are on a journey to become an authority at something? Can you say you’ll soon be indispensable in a certain field of study or human endeavor? Or are you just stumbling through life, letting someone else determine your destiny?
A good friend of ours, Rachel Baalessanvu thinks that pylons (ask Google) with their high tensile cables are a most beautiful sight! This lady is so passionate and knowledgeable about power planning, transmission and distribution, I suspect it’s all she dreams about. She has made her mark quite early on and is an incredible blessing to the national Transmission Company and our nation. A person like that can’t hang around lacking what to do! Another good friend, Jeremy Byemanzi just oozes and drips Graphic Design. He and Ariho Kamara now run Nomad, one of the fastest growing advertising agencies in the region. What many don’t know is that Jeremy started working in his second year at university and bought his first computer, an iBook 500 while still a student! That was a real expensive piece of equipment back then especially for a student. He had to save for several months, denying himself the usual stuff people would buy at university, so as to get his hands onto the ultimate Graphic Design computer at the time, of course with help from his loved ones.
What are you going to do, starting today, to become indispensable in your field(s) of endeavor? What will you do to become a proven man or woman?
Adapted from Called To Greatness by Moses Mukisa