If you’re trying hard enough, you’ll get to a point where success will slowly start trickling in, almost unnoticed. Your confidence in your work will grow and you’ll have an insurmountable momentum to continue.

I can keep this up.

You’ll think. Which will appear highly possible, because suddenly you’ll start getting options. Doors will quietly but surely open for you like an invisible hand is pulling them. Every challenge will only seem to acknowledge your great potential and every adversary will feel worthy of your attention.


In African literature, a story is told of a Hyena that got invited to two weddings, juxtaposed on the same afternoon, at nearby locations.

Why attend one when I can attend both?

He laughed to himself. And when the day came he walked there, knowing all too happily, that he would feed twice as much as everyone else. He finally got to the junction which branched off into narrow bushy paths leading to the two villages. As he stood there cursing the dilemma he was facing, the smell of roast meat wafted into his nose and straight to his brain. He was drooling in a jiffy. Just as he was about to bolt in the direction from which the delicious aroma was coming, he felt another wave of even more delicious aromas from the second village.

Long story short, he never attended either wedding. In the confusion he faced, he lingered till evening chasing after aromas, by which time the festivities had died out and the guests were leaving.

His biggest mistake, gluttony.


Is gluttony bad?

Yes. In fact, the Christian Bible categorically labels it as one of the seven deadly sins.

But really, is gluttony really that bad?

Let’s call it a more neutral word. Ambition. Can ambition be bad? Some describe ambition as being priceless. Ambition to do better. To be better. And they probably are right.

But even so, gluttony is bad. Real bad, Michael-Jackson-bad. In the book “essentialism – the disciplined pursuit of less”, Greg McKeown makes a careful observation of individuals and companies that originally seemed to be slated for great success but ended up fizzling out before getting there, never quite being the success everyone knew they would be.

He concludes that their success was the cause of their failure. As they basked in the glory of their initial success, the ground beneath them began to shift and suddenly, before they knew it, the only thing between them and imminent doom was one thing – a cloud of confusion and denial.

We did everything right. Where did we go wrong?

They ask. Gluttony, that’s what.

They fail primarily because of one thing – options. As the many doors start to open up, many lose focus. They start chasing after any sound of a door lazily creaking open. They get a high from the potential opportunities coming their way.

Now, those who fail, are the ones who get stuck in Neverland. Lolling around in the high of all the possible opportunities, but never actually getting deep enough in any of them. Moving a millimetre in a million directions.

Sadly enough, some are left chasing ghosts and echoes of their once-brimming potential.

It is a painful thing to watch.


This is a note to self. This is also a note to others like me.

1. Give yourself time to think and explore before you take up a new pursuit. Summon yourself to a small meeting. Taste your gut feeling.

2. Learn to discern and choose between the ‘frivolous many’ and the ‘essential few’. Know how to distinguish between urgency and importance and where to lean your weight.

“I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important; what is important is rarely urgent, and what is urgent is rarely important.”
– U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower

3. Consider: What are you good at? What are you somehow good at? What are you not? Align your strengths with your ripest opportunities. Start with the low-hanging fruits.

Succinctly, politely but unapologetically say no to anything outside your area of interest and speciality. Learn to appreciate the small wins you make. Always be grateful.

4. Knowing where we are headed, start creating ‘moonshots’. This is something Google supposedly does – visualize daunting goals above and beyond your S. M. A. R. T. goals. Think of it as a shot at the moon.

5. Roll up your sleeves and get down to work. Never grow complacent. Don’t settle for less. Always stay lean and hungry.


P. S. Have no fear. Believe.