Syl's Blog

Who or What is your driving force?

Who or What is your driving force?

Having a clear reason why we want to achieve a particular outcome could be the number one catalyst for the success we are looking for. This is because, having a “why” makes it hard to jump ship when things get tough and we feel like giving up.

For 28 year old Tamyra Mensah-Stock, it was the unwavering need to buy her mom a food truck, and the preparedness to defend herself against bullies, which kept her going despite the emotional trauma and pain she may have felt from the loss of her father.

Her “why” superseded her pain, and she stayed the course and which eventually brought her the glory of becoming the first black woman to win the wrestling gold in Olympic history. I have so much admiration for Tamyra’s courage, drive and determination.

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I supposed for each one of us, the desire to succeed or become financially independent would be based on different factors.

Personally, the sudden death of my father and the new dynamics of our family unit was my number one catalyst for success. Though that sounds cliche, it is indeed true.

My dad passed away when I was only 16 years old and it changed my life forever. The most devastating tragedy I had ever experienced became my driving force. Daddy was my real life version of a superman. He was very hard working and his work ethics and entrepreneurial success were nothing short of exemplary.

I wanted to be like him, to uphold his name and to make him proud of me so badly, that I became extremely aggressive when it came to my academics.

I recently reconnected with my high school economics teacher on social media, and this is what he had to say about my high school days..LOL (Fig 2)

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My dad expected me to become an accountant so that I could end up working for his company. After his sudden demise, despite my utter dislike for figures, I worked three times as hard in order to pass my GCE A levels with accounting specialty. I didn’t achieve this for myself, but rather, I did it for dad. Just so that he could look down from heaven and be proud of his little girl.

Fast forward, I eventually ended up as Finance Manager of his company for a few years, before moving on to other opportunities .

The second and most recent example of having a strong “why” is the story behind my MBA degree.

When I applied for my MBA, I had no plans of having another baby just yet. When my admissions came through, I was already far gone into the process, to back down. My baby was a few months old and I had to choose between travelling to London or staying in Cameroon to breastfeed him. Without the shadow of a doubt, it was the toughest choice yet, which I had faced emotionally.

After a tough conversation and a deep assessment of the situation, it was agreed that I left my less than one year old baby with mum. When I got to London, my kids were my biggest motivation, and I was determined to make them proud of their mama.

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Because I had left in such a traumatic circumstance, I vowed to be the best in my class. The plan was to gain employment in a reputable organisation right after graduation. My top priority was ensuring that I was equipped to become financially viable enough to afford the finest things in life for my babies, in order to compensate for my absence.

All my lecturers and course mates eventually came to know about my personal circumstances, because I often reminded them why I was working so hard to be the best in our cohort. Though my personal life was none of their business, it was imperative due to the fact that we sometimes had group course work, and the nonchalance of a group member could have easily jeopardised my gaols. Something that I dreaded.

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After reading mine and Tamyra’s “why”, are you able to pinpoint what yours is?

The lesson here is that, nothing good in life comes easily to us. We have to most times toil for it. 10 As for an MBA course sounds sweet to the ears but it drained life out of me, and kept me awake many nights.

However, when one has a very strong reason why they want to achieve a particular goal(s), all that is needed is action, hard work, perseverance, consistency, sacrifice, criticism, failure and risks.

At the end of the day everything is going to be alright and you shall triumph when all is said and done.

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