Success is Directly Proportional to Our Ability to Endure Pain

Photo by Gus LDN on Unsplash

No one is immune, even though it may look like that from the outside.

We are all struggling with the same issues. Things that are holding us back from achieving our goals. From advancement, from success. Some of us give up too easily, like me when it became tough running my business. I received a message from an old customer this week saying she bought a dress and a skirt from me a while back and wanted to know where my shop was. There is no shop anymore. I asked myself, what if I had persisted, put my head down and grinded through the tough times. Thankfully, it was not in vain. I learned some valuable lessons.

We are all at different stages of our journey. Sometimes you’re at that stage where nothing makes sense. Where all your efforts don’t even move the needle. You ask yourself, why am I doing this? In those moments, know that someone has walked the road before. There is no such thing as overnight success. It takes years. For a long time, it seems like nothing is happening. The difference between success and failure is getting up day after day, doing the same thing that seemingly is not yielding any results. The breakthrough will come. Some of us give up just inches before we can touch it. No one will say it’s easy or downplay the amount of effort it takes to keep going. Whether it’s with your business, in your studies, or in your relationship or marriage.

The trick is to feel the pain, stay where it feels uncomfortable long enough to see the smallest of change. Your success won’t come out guns blazing. It will be small, minute, visible to only you. A private victory always precedes a public victory. That will give you the courage to move forward. Now when you’ve experienced minimal success, you will be tempted to tell the whole world. Don’t. Keep it to yourself, because not everyone will be happy for you. This may seem difficult to digest, but unfortunately, some people want you to stay where they are, and they want you there with them. Misery loves company.

At the same time, you may realise that you are hanging with the wrong crowd. The party type, who are still living at home and watching Netflix every day. Because you have a desire to achieve more, it makes certain people uncomfortable. You just keep your goal in sight, put your head down and put in the hours. Yes, it won’t be fun writing, reading, studying on a Friday night when everyone is headed to the bar. It won’t be fun to getting up early on Sunday morning to get to the gym. But you know what, if you do this consistently, you will see results. Results don’t lie. They don’t need convincing.

You don’t need to have it all figured out. Some of us in our 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s don’t have it all figured out. When you are 25 it’s normal to not have it all figured out. Don’t rush into a job, marriage, a business because everyone else is doing it. The time may not be right for you. When will it ever be the right time? No-one knows. Don’t be so quick to conform. I have a friend who hisses every time she gets a wedding invitation. Everyone else is getting married except her. I told her that her time has not yet come. A lot of those people will want to jump out of that marriage in 5 or 10 year’s time. It’s not a race. Don’t be a crowd pleaser. If you have to please anyone, you’re in the wrong crowd.

It’s difficult to see the light. It seems like the windshield is all misted up, all the time. Keep going. All you need is to see 20 feet ahead. When you get to the 20 feet mark, you will be able to see another 20 feet ahead. And before you know it, you’ve crossed the finished line. Victory!

This Moment Will Never Again Come, Live It!

Stop what you are doing, stop!

Where are you?
What are you doing?
Who are you with?
How do you feel?
What would you change if you could?

Most of us are just going through the motions. We do what we have to do. We don’t necessarily like it, but we do it. We try not to over think things because there is mostly a disconnect between where we wish we were and where we are.

“Most humans are never fully present in the now because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now. And that’s a revelation for some people: to realize that your life is only ever now.” Eckhart Tolle

It’s time for some reflection. Schedule a date with yourself. Put it in your calendar. It is time to face some hard truths.

One cannot overcome any problem or obstacle without first acknowledging that there is a problem. Firstly, appreciate what you have and what you have already accomplished. We all have had both small and big wins. Celebrate them.

Without talking too much, just listen to yourself. Listen to your heart. Hear it’s longing. There are goals just outside of your reach. To become fit and healthy. A bad habit you’ve been trying to kick since forever.

Let’s get over being comfortable.

It’s overrated. If you are not continuously growing and learning you are dying just a little each day. Write down your goals. Meditate on them each morning. Tell a few people close to you. Let them hold you accountable.

It’s going to be hard in the beginning, like all beginnings are. They say having started is half the battle won. It’s up to you.

Chomma (a South African slang term meaning friend), it’s all up to you. One of the supermarkets has a promotional ‘Little Garden’ going on at the moment. You get a few tiny pots and seeds to take home, with some instructions.

It’s not rocket science, but in case you’re wondering without planting and watering the seeds, nothing will happen. Have you ever done anything and nothing happened? Highly unlikely. It may not have been a favourable result, but a result there was.

Zero thought multiplied by Zero action equals Zero Outcome.

Start today. The problem is we think we have time. Starting today means that in 30 days, you will be 30 days ahead. Not starting today means that in 30 days, you have lost 30 days.

The race is only with yourself. You are mostly going to disappoint only you. And you think that’s ok. You’ll just down it with some pizza, coke and Netflix. Your spirit is crushed just a little. You’ll try again next time.

And then you realise one day that there is no next time. You are married with kids now. You have a mortgage to pay. Well, you can still try, but it’s going to be a little harder. The odds are stacked higher against you. You’ll have to put in just a little more effort.

And then you ask yourself. Why didn’t I start before?

Chomma, let’s do this.

Stop Living For 5pm On Friday

A simple guide to finding joy and peace in what you get up to do every single day.

For many years I’ve been so guilty of this. Your mood and joy are determined by how far or near you are from Friday 5 pm. At this point less than 24 hours away, so you can understand my mood!

But have you ever thought about it, as soon as it passes, we are furthest away from it yet again. And so the cycle continues.

We all have to work, unless you are part of the lucky few who can live off your father’s inheritance (do call me up). As economic growth slows, the options are limited to what exactly you can or choose to do for that paycheque. Even though it may seem like you have no choice in the matter, you still have to wake up and go to the same job, for the same 8 hours or more to earn your keep.

There are a few ways you can make it a bit more pleasant.

1. Get to know the people you work with

Not just a good morning, but actually going to them, introducing yourself and explain what you do. Listen to their story, you may find that you have similar interests or know people in the same circles. Don’t just add them on Facebook.

2. Wake up early, get to work early

Are you one of those who perpetually sneaks in at 9h05 and mumbles something about traffic? You know those ones. And inevitably at 16h45 you start packing up and are always one of the first to leave. I know someone who keeps his laptop open on his desk, music playing in the background but he is long gone.

3. Exercise first thing in the morning

It is the cheapest, most effective way to start your day feeling great and on top of the world. You get to your desk ready to take on the day. Since we are still at the time of new year’s resolutions and goals, there is no reason why you can’t start today.

It is really the single, most beneficial life change you can make in your life. It will pay dividends for years to come.

4. Don’t open Social Media first thing in the morning

I was going to say no Social Media at work, but I do realise that for some professions you may need to be on there for work purposes. However, check it after lunch. You wouldn’t miss anything.

You don’t want to know that so and so went rock climbing on the weekend, and what did you do? It affects your mood and it’s especially bad for you first thing in the morning.

Its aim is to throw you off balance, to constantly compare yourself with others, and it fills you with self-doubt, envy and feelings of not matching up. You can really do without it. I have for the last 24 months.

5. Slow down as you finish your day and prepare for tomorrow

As you finish your day, it’s good to take stock of what you have accomplished for the day and then take a few minutes to plan your day tomorrow. Write down tasks that you’d like to do and let that stay on your desk so you have it handy first thing in the morning. Of course, it can be digital as well.

6. Take pride in what you do for a living

There is honour in what you get up to do every day. Our parents have done it for generations. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. And that’s ok. If you are not entirely satisfied with where you are and what you are doing, now is the time for change.

It could be a subtle mental shift away from where you are, to where you see yourself. Looking out for those opportunities. Getting skilled in that area. Talking to people and building networks would be good too. You want everyone close to you to know that you are working towards your dream job and business. Once it’s out there in the open, you will see opportunities coming back just at the right time.

‘And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.’ — Paulo Coelho

7. Be grateful that you have a job

In some developing countries, someone will be grateful that you let them shine your shoes. You don’t know how lucky you are to have a job (maybe not the best one), but a job nonetheless, where you are certain of a paycheque at the end of the month.

When you are not breaking too much of a sweat, you can still eat dinner with your wife and kids in the evening, there is money to buy the things you want, see the people you want to see, I think it’s a good time to be quiet and remember just how fortunate you are.

8. Time passes so quickly

Things change, people change, situations change. The job you hate so much right now, you may desperately wish you had at a different time. People get retrenched, companies are bought and sold, sometimes all you are is just a number.

I have a friend who told me that they are retrenching people at their work and all she was waiting for was the day that she would be called. Can you imagine the anxiety? Luckily, she found another job before that day came. Some others, sadly, were not so lucky.

Life is short.

Count your blessings.

Be grateful for what you have.

Celebrate the small victories.

Create a positive mindset.

Laugh more.

Be where you are, for we all pass here only once.

How You Spend Your 8 Hours Determines How You Will Spend the Rest of Your Life

Work by definition is a way of life. Are you content with where you are right now?

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

The lucky few among us who don’t have to work for a living are the lucky few among us. For the majority, it means getting up when the alarm goes off and getting ready to go to work.

When you step into your office or work space, what is it that you are feeling? Is it a feeling of dread, of mild torture or are you like one of my colleagues who say over and over again, “I love, love, love my job!”

I hope you are close, if not right there in the zone.

I had my own business for a while and although it was fun to be my own boss and command my hours, it was hard work. Don’t be fooled that being your own boss is the answer. It sometimes isn’t.

I’ve heard of entrepreneurs who are worse off after running their business to the ground and draining all their savings.

When you’re fresh out of college, it’s normal to not love the first job you enter. The second and third may not be much better. But somewhere along the line, you find something that kind of feels right.

Stick it out for a while and see how it goes. It’s only after a period of 6 months or so that you really find your feet.

Ask yourself the following questions.

  • Is the company’s vision in line with mine?
  • Is the company culture one where I feel welcome and accepted?
  • Are there growth prospects?
  • Is it a place where I can apply my knowledge and excel in my area of expertise?

Then, the most important question.
Is it a place where I regularly go into a state of flow where I do deep work?

At around 14h00 in the afternoon, my stomach starts to rumble. I look in my bag and see that once again I forgot to pack my lunch. What saves me is the box of breakfast cereal I have for breakfast and lunch most days.

I get so absorbed with work that I forget to eat or even think about lunch. Is that the same for you?

Some of my colleagues bring a whole grocery bag to work every day. One can guess what they think of the whole time.

It is great to lose yourself in something. If it can be your work where you spend 8 or more hours a day, you will make it so much more enjoyable.

Find out what your passion is and pursue that one thing with all your heart.
So many of us go to a job we dislike or even hate. This is pure torture. It has to change. Take some time out to evaluate your goals and aspirations.

If it means looking out for something else, then start doing that. The world is so full of opportunities that it is almost unforgivable for you to stay in a job that you don’t like.

I know not all of us have all the opportunities, but with the internet, remote working, side businesses, there is no way that you cannot get closer to your ideal 8 hour day.

Our lives are made up of little moments.

Most of it goes by without much thinking or awareness since we are so busy living. Work is a part of it. We cannot get passed it.

Our parents have done good, honourable work for a long time without questioning whether they are happy or not, or if it was really meant for them. They just got on with it.

We have choices.

We are in a position to make more informed decisions. We have more tools available to choose the best options available to us. But don’t make a mistake, the work must still be done.

We can’t sit at the country club sipping cocktails and expect our bank balance to grow. There is no substitute for hard work.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Like Niklas Göke says, he is at the same spot in the library from 07h00am to 07h00pm Monday to Friday. I do a 08h00 to 18h00 most days, not because anyone expects that of me, but because I take pride in what I do and want to deliver only the best results. Not for my boss, but for me.

Maybe long days are not the answer. Break it down into shorter spurts, that is fine too. But the work must be done. Nothing comes easy. One will have to make some sacrifices.

In fact, it’s not whether you will have to make sacrifices, it is which sacrifices you are willing to make.

The famous quote reads:
Some of us are prepared to work an 80 hour work week, so we don’t have to do a 40 hour work week later.

As we hit the half-year mark of 2018 it’s a good time to take stock of where you are and what you have achieved so far. What have you set out to accomplish at the beginning of 2018? Are you still on track?

Now is the time to get rid of everything that is holding you back from achieving your goals in work, finances, health and life.

Sometimes you don’t even know that you are shackled. It’s ok, you are getting by. It’s not unpleasant. You can make it work. The pay is not bad. What are you giving up? What is the opportunity cost of you staying where you are, where it is comfortable?

It doesn’t really hurt, it’s just mildly uncomfortable. It’s easier to stay put than to reach out and watch the opportunities unfold before your eyes.

We spend most of our productive life at the office. Make sure yours is one that you would be happy to return to if ever given the chance.

Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savoured. — Earl Nightingale

Admin, Aargh!

Taking the agony out of Admin

Is this your response when you think of Admin in your business? That thing that you dread, but that has to be done. Do you have credit card slips piled up in one corner, and saying every day that today will be the day you’ll tackle and reconcile all the receipts?

Or maybe tomorrow, because today you better get some bottom line activity done. Like making a few sales calls. Your receptionist left some notes with scribbles of who to call back. Ok, it says Sam called. He wanted to know about the coffee table. The one that was on sale last week.

Just one hiccup, you don’t have any more stock. Better call the factory first to check how the next consignment is doing. It was supposed to be in last week. They assured you that you’ll have ample stock before it went on sale.

You pray to God that they don’t disappoint you like last time. You still have to call back the customer. What’s his name again, you can’t make out the scribbles, but let’s just call. Is that an 8 or a 5?

You get an alert from the bank. Your bank balance is going into negative. How is that possible when you had such a good month? The coffee tables are selling like hot cake. You’re expecting a payment from Martin, the restaurant owner up the road. He ordered 3 last month.

Maybe you should get your receptionist to call his office. Or maybe you should just call yourself. You kind of like the guy. Martin picks up on the third ring. You wish your receptionist were as efficient. You always have to shout from the back: “Can somebody please get the phone!”

After talk about the weather and clearing your throat again you ask hesitantly. Hey Martin, just checking up on that payment for the 3 coffee tables? Martin says sure no problem, just send me the invoice. For a moment you’re a bit confused. Martin, you should have the invoice, I sent it last week?Then you chuckle nervously and say, don’t worry I’ll send it again.

You hang up and immediately go to your Sent Items. It’s not there. But I could swear, you mutter to yourself.

The phone rings. Your receptionist is not in yet. It’s 08h30 already. Where is she? She better not blame it on the train again.

Good morning! Martin’s Marvelous Interior Makeovers, how can I assist you?

You forget all about sending that invoice.

If this is even remotely you, you need some help. Why not get a Virtual Assistant or Administrative Consultant to help you. A VA or AC is an independent contractor who is on a specific and measurable Service Level Agreement and is paid for hours worked or outcomes achieved.

No salaries, no sick leave, no hassles.

Give your business every chance to succeed. Free yourself to do the really exciting stuff.

The devil is unfortunately in the detail.

Put Yourself First Now To Become Successful

Giving yourself some tough love now that will pay off later.

Success is not an overnight process. You cannot get there on the Express train. No one just woke up one day and became successful. You will have to do the time. Ten thousand hours.

The reason why most people fail while others succeed is that you don’t want it badly enough. What did you do today to bring you closer to success? What are you willing to give up?

You’ll need a mindset shift. You can’t do the same things as before. They will get you the same results. One thing that has worked for me was getting fit and healthy.

I wake up at 4:30 and get my ass to the gym.

When the alarm goes off, I switch on the light, throw off the blankets, and get up. I brush my teeth, put on my running shoes and I am out of the door.

I don’t even let any thought cross my mind. As soon as you give it any kind of breathing space, it is going to slow you down. There are hundreds of reasons why you can just stay in bed. It is not against the law. You cannot get locked up for it.

You’ve only given up an hour of sleep, but what have you gained? When others are just waking up, you had your natural feel-good medicine (you didn’t even need a prescription), your day starts off on a high and your energy levels will last you the whole day.

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” — Mark Twain

I periodically fast for short periods of time. It helps me clear out distractions and zoom into the fundamentals. However, like clockwork, it will be the day when everyone in the office decides to get pizza for lunch. You feel like the chief fun spoiler for saying no.

Are you working better with your money? They say the fastest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back in your pocket. To have financial freedom means you don’t have to stay at a job you don’t like. It gives you options.

You don’t have to become a minimalist overnight, but one day sit down and take stock of where your money is going. You will see it flying in all different directions. Things you don’t need. You have enough. Stop buying.

You absolutely have to put yourself first, every time.

It is nothing against nobody. If you give people the chance, they will want the old you back. They like the old you because it makes them feel more comfortable with who they are.

Who sits in front of their laptop on a Saturday night when everyone is out partying? Well, in a few years you will be living your dream while they are still partying on Saturday night.

You want something better for yourself. You owe it to you. Once you know, you cannot go back.

You realise it is only yours truly who is keeping you from achieving the ideal life that you have mapped out for yourself. It is one thing to write the manuscript, but the beauty lies in the implementation. Is your manuscript collecting dust above the kitchen sink?

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” — Wayne Gretzky

We all have only one life. Stop living on someone else’s terms. Start right now to design the life you want. Put down your goals for the next 12 to 18 months. Also, write down milestones you want to achieve in 3 or 6 months. Make it realistic and achievable.

It will never feel 100% right, you have to trust the process. Get your priorities straight.

Make the decision today to start living your best life.

Life: Calling You…

Response: The person you are trying to reach is currently unavailable. Please try again later.

I attended the memorial service of a work colleague yesterday. Nothing shakes you up like death.

You think of your own mortality, where you are in life, what you have accomplished so far and what is still on your to-do list. For most of us, it’s a sombre moment. You realize just how many things you have been putting off.

“You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” — Walter Hagen

When you are young, death is the last thing on your mind because naturally you still have a lot of time.

However, as you get older you find that a lot of time have passed, but you are mostly in the same spot. Yes, you may have gotten married, had 2.5 kids, a dog, and a hamster, but still, not much has changed.

Because you’ve put the Caller named Life on hold.

There is something more important taking up your time right now, like:

  • scrolling through your Instagram feed
  • posting another selfie
  • binge-watching your favourite series on Netflix
  • gobbling down another pizza and beer on Friday night
  • going to a soul-crushing job every day that you hate

The Caller named Life is patient.

He will try to reach you again. Perhaps through a different line.

  • you or someone in your family falling seriously ill
  • losing a loved one
  • you losing your job or getting retrenched
  • your car breaking down
  • the landlord telling you that he is selling the place and you need to be out in 30 days
  • the credit card company cancelling your cards and giving you 30 days to pay up

You are in a sorry state and wonder, why is this happening to me.

Because you put Life on hold.

It’s not too late. Let’s start today to pick up the call of life and start living.

Do some reflection and soul-searching. Write down the things that will make you happy and enjoy life. Write down the steps of how you plan to achieve those.

Do things like:

  1. Tell those dearest to you that you love them, that you are grateful for them
  2. Hug your spouse or your kids, or your dog
  3. If you stay far away from your parents, surprise them with a call or visit. They won’t be around forever
  4. If you feel you deserve a raise, take the courage and approach the boss. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no.
  5. Plant a tree in your garden. If you can, let it be a peach tree. Peaches in summer from your own garden, pure bliss. If you don’t have a garden, get some indoor plants. Just looking at a new flower growing gives you the reassurance that we are all beautifully and wonderfully made in the image of God.
  6. Say hello to your neighbour. All you may get is a surprised look, but do it again and again and soon you’ll be having sundowners over the fence.
  7. Switch off the tv and grab a book. It’s the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon. You’ll be wiser, calmer and you didn’t spend any money.
  8. Exercise, it’s the best investment you can make in your life.

Life is calling you. Are you going to answer?

Whose Life Are You Living?

Silly question right? Of course, your own.

Photo by Denerio Watkins on Unsplash

Not so fast. What have you done today to bring you closer to your dream (whatever that may be)? Or did you semi-consciously fall out of bed, miraculously got yourself dressed and fed and made your way to the train station and ended up in front of your desk.

You can’t remember exactly how you got there. All you do all day is stare at the clock. The best time of the day is 16h59. By this time you had already shut down your computer, put on your jacket, bag on your back, earphones on (you’ve spent the last 5 minutes selecting your playlist), ready to shoot out the door.

You tell yourself it’s not you. It must be someone else she is referring to.

That’s what I thought as well.

We have 104 days until 01 January 2019. We are entering the last quarter of 2018. Will it be like last year when, on 31 December you felt guilty that you have not properly thought through your plans for the new year, so what you did was dust off the old goals and put them neatly under everyone’s noses. There you have it!

Let’s look at that list quickly (mentally if you have to). What are you able to tick off, what have you accomplished? Are you part of the 8% who actually achieved your goals. Lucky you!

If you are lucky enough to internalise the above message and actually act on it, you are half-way there. Or the best news for you may be that marijuana has just been legalised in South Africa.

That’s ok too. Remember that you always have a choice. Not making a choice is a choice too. You don’t need any reminder. Your conscience will do the job.

I don’t know all the answers. I just want all of us to have a head-start. Let’s keep reminding each other. Let’s hold each other accountable.

The ones who give a damn are becoming fewer and fewer. Life is weighing us down. It sounds so morbid. Well, if nothing else, let it sober you up. You want to listen, absorb and be pro-active.

Don’t be numb. Don’t try to get into a state of numbness. A weekend of numbing is lost time, time that you can never get back. After each numbing session, it becomes harder to snap out of it.

Let’s go back to that child of 10 who had so many dreams. Go and find that child. Circumstances may have led you away, but you are not your circumstances.

You are not your past.

Stand tall today and make the decision to get out of the starting blocks, to take the first step towards a life goodness and peace. To a life of fewer struggles and more rewards.

It all depends on you. You have to make the first move. And all of us will be here, taking that step with you. You may not see us, but we are there. Our common trials and struggles bind us.

We are all fighting against the same forces. They may look different and may be called by different names, but they are all designed to take away our peace and tranquility.

Well, the buck stops here. A win for one is a win for all.

Keep going. Meet you at the finish line. My path is going here. Yours over there.

Arrive we will. We must.

Why Am I Still Stuck Here?

When your only choice is hope.

Photo by aluko ayomiposi on Unsplash

You ask yourself again. Why am I still here? You’ve done your part. You’ve done your due diligence. There are other companies looking for people with your skills. Your relationship is going nowhere. You both know it. Your neighbourhood is suffocating you. You know you have to get out.

You don’t want to end up like aunty Sally’s children. All 4 grow up and still living at home. Johnny tried to get out. He was away for a few months. But he came back. He looked a little worse for wear. Maybe he just got hung up with the wrong crowd.

You tell yourself you can do better. You just need a break. You’ve been scanning the job section. Something out of town. Yeah, it’s time to get away from this area code. You’re from the hood, but not part of it anymore.

Your mind is somewhere else. They told you that you had potential.

Can they stop talking! These voices don’t want to go away. STOP, you say out loud. It’s only you in the room. You have trouble sleeping at night. You don’t want to end up a failure. It’s hard though.

No one understands.

Maybe you should go for a run. That always helps. To quiet the voices. You put on your running shoes and take off down the road. The cool breeze of the afternoon sun is refreshing and your mood starts to lighten. There must be a way out. You start to think of possibilities. Your marks were not so bad.

You’ve sent off several applications to universities out of state. No-one has gotten back to you yet. There is only a small chance of getting in. They’ve raised the bar. You need near-perfect test scores. Who gets that? No-one you know.

Even though you need the money, you know that you need to finish your education. You had to stop because you ran out of money. The IT support job at the local ad agency brought in just enough to keep the lights on and to keep you in the neighbourhood.

You had bigger dreams. You know you have to figure out a way to finish your schooling and feed yourself. Luckily it’s only yourself that you have to feed. You know Johnny has to feed himself, Rowanda and little Tristan. Thank God you had a narrow escape. Rowanda’s sister was all over you at the Spring dance. Clearly, she knew something you didn’t. You made it through the chicken wire by a hair’s breath. Carlo was not so lucky.

As you run down the road you see Mr Clarke’s Nissan coming down the road. Mr Clarke is the headmaster of the town’s only high school. He’s been driving the same Nissan forever. You wondered before how much he gets paid. He is the smartest man you know, but in his eyes, you always see a hint of sadness. As if someone or something dear to him is lost, lost forever. You don’t want to end up like him.

While you are daydreaming you don’t realise that he as past you and slowly brought his brown Nissan to a halt just a little further away from you. He jumps out and has a huge grin on his face. Adam, I’ve got something for you he smiles. You wonder what it could be.

Good Afternoon, Sir, you greet. He takes out an envelope from his jacket pocket and hands it to you. It’s a letter from the university. Mr Clarke could not contain himself.

Full scholarship he yells!

For a moment the sadness disappears from his eyes. There is something new there.


It makes two of you.