Raise your hand if you have never been broke before.
Anybody? Going once, twice? At the back there?
Most about anyone has been broke as some point in their life. It is the natural progression of money. The highs and low. Crests and troughs. You have it, and then you do not, then you have it again.
Being broke is not a terrible thing. The only terrible thing is if you do not recognize its power and harness it to your advantage. I have learned to harness this power.
Last time I was broke, I tagged my pal along to Ruiru so we could look at houses for sale.
On other occasions, I have spent some good hours at Arboretum or Karura Forest, soaking in the energy of nature and taking stock of where I am. Sometimes I will take an afternoon off to lay on the bed and stare at the ceiling.
One loose Friday I left my desk and when to the Mercedes showroom on Koinange Street. I met a lovely sales girl called Maureen. Maureen indulged me. She showed me what models they had in the showroom and even let me seat behind the wheel of an S350. Later that day, she emailed me brochures for their C-class and E-class models.
I remember thinking to myself as I sat in that S350, “One day. Just one day. You wait and see.”
Do not whine when you are broke. Do not go around pointing fingers at the government or your lover or your absentee dad or your bad boss. Hell, do not blame the Chinese. Do not regret your past decisions or pretty much anything that has led up to the empty pockets. It is a waste of precious energy.
Instead, find a quiet corner and ask yourself these five questions.
The purpose of these questions is to introspect. They are for you to analyse where you are right now, identify where you desire to be and what’s getting in the way of your desires.
The questions also ask you to look within yourself to appreciate the resources you have within your reach.
These are the resources that will move you from your present situation to your desired situation.
The resources are personal traits identified in the positive. Say, “I am a hardworking Kenyan,” instead of, “I am not lazy.” Say, “I am driven”, not, “I push myself too hard.” “I am ambitious”, not “I am never satisfied.” “I am a wise owl,” not, “I am an old bird.”
The resources are also the technical skills you possess. Your degree or professional certification, your experiences (personal and professional, nothing beats experience), your networks and contacts lists, your ability to convert ideas into income-generating activities.
When it comes to the obstacles – the things that are getting in the way of where you desire to be – be painfully honest with yourself.
You can lie to others but never lie to yourself. Lying to yourself is as if you are a dog chasing its own tail. It is an exercise in futility.
To do the exercise better, I suggest you write each question on a card. Do you know those cards folk use to jot down notes when they are invited to give a lecture or some public speech? Yeah. Get five of those cards and write the questions.
In your living room – or bedroom or wherever you have some quiet space – place each card on the floor. Start with the card one, ‘What’s my desired situation?’ Stand on the card and speak your desires out aloud.
When you’ve exhausted them, then jump to card two, ‘What’s my present situation?’ Speak them out aloud.
Repeat this until you complete all the questions.
EMPTY YOUR HEART
You can have someone do the exercise with you, or you can do it alone. Your choice. If you choose to have someone, select a person you can be unashamedly truthful with.
Someone who will not judge you or look you different after you have shown them your nakedness. It is even better if this someone is more mature or more experienced with you – they will use their maturity or experience to illuminate the path for you.
Do not be in a hurry to jump from one card to the next. Stay on one card until you feel you have exhaustively emptied your heart and your thoughts.
When you have satisfactorily completed the exercise, take the cards, hold them in your hands and tell them, “You are not my desired situation, my present situation, my control centre, my obstacles or my sources of help. You are only cards.”
Here are the questions:
One: What’s my desired situation?
Two: What’s my present situation?
Three: What do I have 100 per cent control over?
Four: What are my obstacles?
Five: What are my sources of help?
Do you have questions for the writer? E-mail: [email protected]