Stop envying your colleague and reflect on these questions

Wednesday March 18 2020

Manning up, Gillette-style, means men challenging themselves to do more to get closer to their best. PHOTO | FILE | NMG


I have a colleague in procurement with whom I joined the organisation five years ago at the same level. Today, he owns two vehicles and lives in a suburb most of us, his peers, cannot afford. I once asked him how he is able to pay for his lifestyle and he said, “Dunia ni kujipanga” which might suggest that he is cutting corners to make more money than the rest of us. Is honesty worth it when it is clearly a disadvantage in the pursuit of success?

It is not uncommon to find young people beginning their careers with the early ambition of owning a car and eventually upgrading the location of their living quarters. It is a race that many find and almost unquestionably join at the workplace. Owning a car, living in a preferred location or such other achievements are all reasonable, yet the means to obtain them could take various forms.

It is possible that your colleague has other sources of income that enable him to afford his current lifestyle. It could be that his family is wealthy enough to bankroll his financial indulgences or that he has found ways of generating additional income from other legitimate sources to supplement his salary. Not every indication of financial success is underpinned by monkey business.

Cars and residential areas aside, do you truly know what your colleague’s goals in life are? What you see is a reflection of his choices stemming from the pursuit of personal objectives that may entirely differ from yours. Success means different things to different people: some associate it with great wealth, to others it is enduring fame, yet others think it is the custody of influence and power - the list is long. What is your personal rendition of success and how do you plan to achieve it? Are you more fascinated by your colleague’s life or the substance of your own dreams?

What you do may shape your profession and how you do it will define your reputation. What are your values? There is probably more you wish to be remembered for than the location of your residence or the cars you drove. There can never be too many honest men in the world. You may not think much of it today yet with time, your character will form significant collateral to your success, do not, therefore, lose it on account of making a passing gain today. Take a long-term view, the weather may fool some but the seasons do not skip their turn. As Proverbs 20:17 says, ‘Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.’