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“Regrets are like children, they come sometime after the event”
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“Regrets are like children, they come sometime after the event”

Intellect is a great trait to possess. But success in life relies on more than brain capacity. It requires determination, guts and hard graft, writes 27-year-old Steven Nsubuga, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Kampala, Uganda.

Like any typical Ugandan student at the end of University, I dreamt of the good life: a nice car, a great job and all the other markers of economic success.

Looking back, four years on, the one thing I do not remember thinking about seriously was what I would have to do to get even close to my dream.

I am wiser now, I have experienced life after school and now realise that of all the things I considered then, I missed out on the most important, working hard.

Unless you are planning to hold up a bank, or graft, the road to economic prosperity is a tough, narrow road that not many walk along.

To say that I have seen it all would be too trite, and not true anyway, but I can say that I have observed many on the wide road to penury and ignominy. Mine is not a claim to have discovered the silver bullet to affluence.

After all, I am not yet there. But I certainly can tell when one is heading in the opposite direction. The general perception many of these people have in mind is that it is easy to succeed. This attitude is manifested in numerous ways and for your reading pleasure, I enumerate a few:

Gambling. This menace is increasingly gaining a foothold among the youth in Uganda and it is no longer uncommon to meet high school students over the weekend heading to a sports betting shop with their little pocket money, or worse, tuition money in the hopes of winning big.

While it is true that the rewards for winning are quite high, the probability of winning is way lower. You have a higher chance of getting hit by lightning than hitting the jackpot.

There are others who just never seem to be able to make up their mind. They are always waiting for someone else to make it up for them, always waiting for someone to tell them of the next deal, the next big thing. Being decisive is one sure way to achieve your goals.

If you fail, then you will have learnt of one way that will not work, and if you do succeed, well, success is its own reward.

Relying solely on brilliance or intellect. On the surface intellect is a great trait to possess. Who among us has not marvelled at a brilliant idea or stared in awe at the geniuses chance has thrown in our path? The one thing we do not realise is that they do not rely solely on their brain but also employ brawn, determination and guts.

Society is awash with many sadly lamented geniuses. “If only he made more of an effort …” On the other hand, there is no shortage of average Joes who, thanks to sticking to obvious and predictable ways and methods, have attained great success. Some of them succeed merely by collecting a couple of brainy people in their corner and that is it. In short, brain and brawn is a great combination.

Lastly, daydreaming, or stargazing. We have all met this type of loafer who sits all day telling stories about other people’s success or greatness, and how they achieved it, or just sighing away lamenting a lack of opportunity, lack of luck, lack of capital. The list is endless. Daydreaming never gets you anywhere, you have to get up and aggressively pursue your dreams or else before you know it, time is up.

I once read a very profound statement, which read: “Regrets are like children, they come sometime after the event.” Fellow youths, let us go out there and make the most of our talents and strengths now.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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