Mar 9, 2009, 7:59 AM
Every adult most certainly must have had imaginings of what their ideal life would be like in the future. The shade and substance of ideals most certainly would have evolved over the course of time as one grew up, but they were present nonetheless. To not have such would be tragic because they form the drive that pushes us to excel and succeed. To quote George Lucas “dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you imagine it”. How apt. So success is fundamentally a two step process.
Imaginations don’t just on their own accord become a trusted reality. It requires someone to make it happen, through work, in a lot of cases, hard work. But the rewards can be gratifying. This is something that was literally drummed into us by our wiser, worldlier and more experience elders.
There has been the publicizing of countless success stories in the media, all its forms. Some are of individuals striking it big, sometimes by putting a spin on an idea or product that was already in existence and other time via a completely previously un-thought of phenomenon. Then there is news of magnanimous gifts or donation to charities or towards the development of areas, industries or skills. Though we cannot boast of such, we are not lacking the drive to progress. So what exactly is our glitch or shortfall?
It is no secret that most local businesses go bankrupt within the first five years of establishment. We may ask why this is the case. Is it due to lack of expertise or perhaps wrong funding options or mayhaps still, wrong branding, marketing and delivery. Another issue could well be confidence. How can one ‘sell” their product or service? The most crucial element is if the venturer believes enough and buys into his product enough to sell it with vigour and do it successful.
Perhaps there is no better time than now to take a long hard look just how we approach achieving the realization of our dreams. We need to assume control instead of waiting for everything to be handed to us because it will be a very long wait. And time is one commodity that is in short supply. Who says we cannot live our own version of the American dream here in The Gambia? We have the intellectual capabilities and with the right measure of drive, our beautiful land could soon boast of one or quite a few names on the Forbes 100 wealthiest list. Another thing that is crucial to amazing success is support, especially from the local populace, either through the purchase of products on sale or services on offer, especially for businesses owned by sons and daughters of the Gambia.
It is no secret that we operate a mostly consumptive economy with a lot of processed products and condiments imported from overseas nations. And when we actually do produce, the buying public generally prefers to opt for the alternatives either due to price differences or choice. The reason why the West boasts of many prosperous industries is simply because they support their own. Can we say the same?
I have heart it said time and again that “there aren’t any job opportunities in this country” or “there is no way one can get rich” around here. Well not with that mindset and attitude, we won’t. Such negativity? The United States could be described as saturated or, close to being, when it comes to the number of businesses it sustains and yet there always seems to be room for one more. And to them, anything from their soil is the ‘best”. What’s stopping us, really?
The fact that we display a propensity for not believing we can break out of the mould we have been cast in, that of under-ambition is not a good trait. Recently, I have grown tired of hearing the phrase “Gambia, no problem”. I believe that when that phrase was coined, it was meant in a complimentary way, perhaps due to our peaceful nature. However, it is being taken quite literally now with levels of laxity that incur criticism. We are seen as too laid back in our approach to a lot of things.
As individuals and as a nation, we have so much to offer. An effective and immediate change of our mindset needs to occur. Let us reach back for the dreams we once dreamed, draw on the convictions we had about achieving and take the first step towards the Forbes list.
Every success needs work, in the walk to freedom sacrifices were made there isn’t a country that has not made sacrifices. It has also been said that anything worth have should be worth the effort. But do we want it bad enough or feel that we deserve it? It past time we were ready, regardless of whether we are ready or not. The gauntlet has been thrown and we need to rise up to the challenge. We cannot afford to waste our talents. Let success be our only option.