The thing about inspiration is that it is this immense energy that when captured, it can help you seek out your wildest dreams while crushing challenges met and goals set. We sought out to understand what inspires the Cacao Media team. This is the third blog in this series and it covers our Marketing Manager’s, Mercy Kabue’s, take on it.
My Well of Inspiration
When asked the question about what inspires me, the first answer I gravitate towards is usually one of the many books I have read, celebrities I have listened to or generally anyone that keeps striving to be better in spite of their current situation. This could be partially true since I draw my inspiration from everything and everywhere. I believe if you’re looking for inspiration to act on something, all you have to do is; open your eyes and observe what is going on around you, open a book and read of someone’s encounter or experience or listen to something. Inspiration is all around us.
Case on point is this one time that I had a terrible day, the current ‘business’ I was in was going nowhere and I was thinking it was about time I gave up on it and looked at different opportunities. I was feeling terrible about this. It felt like I was conceding, and was accepting that I was a failure. It sucked!
I had given it my all yet I had nothing to show for it. I was wallowing in self-pity about this while heading home and wasn’t acknowledging what was right in front of me at the time. It was rush hour and anyone who knows Nairobi knows how traffic can be an ass (excuse my french) at that time with so many traffic stops and so many cars. Usually, when the traffic lights change or the traffic police motion that it’s your turn to go, cars move so fast you would think it was the start of a safari rally.
So on this particular day, once the lights changed to green, from the corner of my eye, I saw something move quickly and it wasn’t a car. It was a double amputee who was wheeling through traffic so fast using a bike that he peddled with his hands. It was fascinating to see how quickly he moved and maneuvered through. To this day I still wish I had taken a video or picture of him.
As I got amazed by the whole scene that was playing out, a thought struck me, here I was wallowing because something I had believed in and worked on for so long wasn’t working out. I wasn’t looking at the fact that just because one thing didn’t work out, it didn’t mean that nothing ever will, just like the guy I saw. I don’t know this guy’s story but what I took from him is the fact that it’s never the end of the road when one thing doesn’t work out. He didn’t have his legs anymore but here he was wheeling and wheezing through traffic so fast after his day’s activities in the city. I still felt terrible about what was going wrong. However, this time around I was determined to not beat myself down and I gave myself a clean slate to work with.
Over the years, I have drawn a great deal of inspiration from books too. I’ve read books that came into my life just at the right time and really inspired me to work at something so hard and it paid off. I’ve always been a reader since I was young but the first inspirational book I read was Gifted Hands by Dr. Ben Carson when I was about 10 years old. No, it didn’t inspire me to get into medicine 😉 At the time, I had gotten new competition in school in the form of a lady in the same class I was in.
She was a new student repeating my grade and was kicking my butt while at it. I hated it! I wasn’t good in sports, I was above average in drama but not the best. I had one thing to brag about the fact that I kicked ass in academics and here was a person busy stealing my thunder. At the time, my train of thought was, “she is redoing the grade there’s no way I can be better than her”
This was true until, one day, during one of the morning preps when we were supposed to be studying, I was busy reading Ben Carson’s Gifted Hands. I got so motivated and the result was that I obliterated the competition with so many points that everyone was excited and shocked. I became the inspiration for the younger ones in school and most kept coming to ask me what I did, how my timetable looked like. They basically wanted to mold my life. This marked a changing point in my life.
Movies can be a source of great inspiration too. I love the movie, Three Idiots. As you can already tell, I take pride in my studies, so if I’m not doing well, I take this to heart and this was the situation I was in at the time. I was in campus pursuing a degree I wasn’t exactly passionate about and the grades showed it. Then I watched the movie and learned the phrase “Pursue excellence and success will come chasing you. Pants down”. This was the year that success did follow me pants down 😉 I not only got the Vice-Chancellor’s award but I bagged a part-time job working as an assistant researcher.
I could go on about the many things and situations that have inspired me but the truth of the matter is, those who truly inspire me are my family and friends. If it wasn’t for my cousin who was a bookworm while she lived with us, I probably wouldn’t have nurtured the love for reading that I now have, which allows me to read the books that inspire me. If it wasn’t for my brother’s love for sports and competition, I wouldn’t be the competitive person I am today, If it wasn’t for seeing my mother’s tenacity even when everything is crumbling down, I wouldn’t be as strong as I am, If it wasn’t for my dad’s love for nature and quiet, I wouldn’t know how to stop, take a breathe and draw inspiration from this. If it wasn’t for my friends constantly challenging me, maybe, just maybe I would be living a mediocre life not striving to be better. The list goes on and on.
So the answer to the question of where I draw my inspiration from answered simply is from friends and family. They are literally my well of inspiration.