Working Hard in 2023
A True Story
on Jan 2, 2023
In my previous story on this lovely blog of mine, I wrote of how I had an amazing 2022. What I didn't disclose in that story is that in 2022, I developed a bad habit of dozing on my desk for about an hour after breakfast. I became, in other words, a bit slothful. And that's not the kind of person that Starehe moulded me to be.
Starehe, if you don't already know, is a prestigious institution in Nairobi where I had my high school as well as college education. The name "Starehe" is a Swahili word which means "fun and relaxation" but the institution was all about discipline and hard work. During my Starehe years, we were made to wake up at 6.00am every day (except Sundays) and subjected to continuous testing.
I left Starehe in April 2007 as an ambitious and diligent young man, thanks to the school's culture of discipline and hard work. But I changed in October 2008 when I was admitted at the hospital of JKUAT, a local university where I had enrolled to pursue an engineering degree. All I did during the two or three weeks I was in JKUAT Hospital was eat and sleep. By the time I was getting discharged from the hospital, I had become lazy and gluttonous.
To be honest, I have never quite fully recovered from those vices of laziness and gluttony. And it has not been for want of trying. As a matter of fact, I have strived to be an early riser for a number of times since 2010 but after several days of effort, I have relapsed into an oversleeper, especially after encountering such challenges as criticism, rejection and sicknesses.
One week in 2018 for instance, I was inspired to work hard by M.R. Kopmeyer's Thoughts to Build On, an enlightening book on how to lead a successful life. M.R. Kopmeyer stated in the book that "when everything else fails ... try hard work!"
Because I was struggling with recurring feelings of guilt, bitterness and insecurity, I resolved to work hard as M.R. Kopmeyer advised in his book. I rose at 5.00am for a couple of mornings. And whenever I felt like nodding off during the day, I would stand up and walk around the house, sometimes splashing my eyes with water. But guess what! After several days, I felt sick in the head. That head sickness led me to stop my efforts of working hard.
Several months later - at the beginning of 2019 - I made up my mind to again be an early-rising and hard-working young man. This time, I tried to start my days by writing a story for this blog since I had discovered penning an uplifting tale energized my spirits. But guess what again! After five or six days of early-rising, I fizzled out and slipped back into a lazy and gluttonous young man.
Never one to give up easily, I have again resolved to work hard in 2023. Already, I have asked God to help me execute that resolution. And I have been telling myself, "Thuita, you will be forced to work hard in any job you will be offered. So you might as well work hard as a blogger before it's too late."
As I strive to work hard this year, I will draw inspiration from the ordinary workers who turn up for work everyday. These workers wake up, dress up and show up in their workplaces despite the challenges they go through. It is their labours that enable us to have food on our tables, clothes on our backs and roofs over our heads.
Well, most youngsters admire celebrities who make it big in music, sports, movies and politics. But for me, my heroes are those ordinary workers I have told you about. I am talking of tailors, farmers, carpenters and the like. They face the same challenges I go through - criticism, rejection and sicknesses - but they still summon the willpower to turn up for their jobs. They are my heroes for shizzle.
I also admire those university students who juggle work and studies. The reason I admire them is because they graduate not only with ample knowledge and skills but also with a strong work ethic. How I wish that I, too, had been such a university student! It's unfortunate that I morphed into a lazy and gluttonous young man during my university days. But I am determined to change the narrative and re-mould myself into a diligent citizen this year.
My beloved reader, I implore you to also work hard in your work and studies. I once came across an ebook whose author claimed he never knew of anyone who rose to greatness who stayed in bed till late in the morning. We therefore ought to work hard if we are to become truly successful. And, as they say, hard work has never killed anyone. Ciao!
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on working hard in 2023, you might also enjoy another one on "My New Year Resolution" that I wrote at the beginning of 2019. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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Books I Read in 2022
A True Story
on Dec 28, 2022
Although God didn't fulfill most of heart's desires this year as He promises to those who delight in Him, I had an amazing 2022. I posted stories and videos on this blog with admirable consistency. And I enjoyed it. I also read avidly, and I enjoyed that too!
Well, most people don't consider reading books to be a form of entertainment. For them, entertainment is watching movies and TV shows or playing computer games. But for me, I find reading books to be entertaining. Books are my lifeline. If I didn't have books to read, I'd pore over the telephone directory.
This year, I adhered to my resolution to never read photocopied and soft-copy books. I also didn't visit a library or borrow books from friends. Instead, I purchased my own books so that I can keep them for future re-reading.
Because I read to be entertained, I have made it a rule to stop reading any book that doesn't capture my interest in the first fifteen pages or so. I fear reading boring books may infect me with their boredom, thus making me a boring writer.
The more I realize how short and precious life is, the less I want to waste hours and hours of my life reading something that is not entertaining, enlightening and inspiring. And I have discovered there are too many fascinating books out there for me to waste my time devouring the boring ones.
I rated on Goodreads.com all the books that I read this year. (Goodreads.com is a wonderful social networking site for book lovers.) Here's how I rated them:
★: a 1-star rating means the book bored me right from the start; I therefore didn't finish reading it. This is the kind of book I wouldn't mind lending to friends.Having finished reading quite a number of books this year, I'd have loved to tell you about them all and what I gleaned from them. But to keep this story shorter than a novel, let me tell you about two of the books. Only two.
★★: a 2-star rating means I finished reading the book but it was a struggle to read to the end since I didn't understand its plot. I probably finished the book because it was a best-seller and desired to take pride in knowing I have read it.
★★★: a 3-star rating means I finished reading the book, understood its plot and found it somewhat enjoyable, but its writing style was not of top-notch quality.
★★★★: a 4-star rating means I finished reading the book, understood its message and found it delightful. But it lacked the magic touch that would have compelled me to give it a 5-star rating.
★★★★★: a 5-star rating means the book was thoroughly entertaining, enlightening and inspiring. It captured my interest right from the start and I was disappointed to finish reading it because I wanted the pleasure of my reading to go on and on. This is the kind of book I wouldn't lend to my best friends, for I'd love to re-read it in the future.
The first is Michelle Obama's Becoming, an endearing memoir by the former U.S. First Lady. Most people know Michelle Obama as a fashionable and intelligent lady. What many don't know is that she has had her own share of challenges which she laid bare in her memoir. Challenges such as caring for her father who was disabled by multiple sclerosis, having a miscarriage and difficulty getting pregnant which made her resort to IVF (in vitro fertilization). Her marriage to Barack also went through some rocky patches that made them seek counselling services.
And the second book I'll tell you about is Chinua Achebe's A Man of the People, a gripping novel that I studied in high school as a set book seventeen years ago. It's full of humour, suspense and, yes, sexual escapades. And it's truly African in flavour. When I re-read the novel this year, I found myself wishing I had the wit and intellect of Chinua Achebe (may his soul rest in peace).
Now that I have formed the good habits of reading avidly and writing consistently this year, I can't wait to witness what 2023 has in store for me. My beloved reader, it has been nice having you on this blog and I am looking forward to more visits from you in the coming year. May we have a happy, blessed and successful 2023!
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story about the books I read this year, you might also enjoy another one on "Books I Read in 2020" that I wrote two years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.