We all once a while, look back at those good times, remember those achievements and found memories, smile at them and move on. this is normal and is really soothing most times because it gives us a perspective of how far we have come and the hope that there are better and bigger things ahead. but the captives of past glories are the opposite; they drown themselves in their good old days and past heroisms. They become stacked there in the past like a song stacked on a replay, reliving those fine but gone moments in their head. due to this, they do not even live the present life of today let alone think of tomorrow.
These captives are really interesting; when they overcome a millstone resulting in an accomplishment, they make themselves believe, that’s the highest height they can achieve; “this is all I was born to do”, they say. simply put, they become satisfied too fast with too little. So they dare not try anything new, dare not test the ocean, they are very okay with the rivers they have swum. they dare not go on another adventure, the last one was great and that’s all the memory I want to have; convincing themselves to believe they have seen it all. They whisper in pride to themselves, am okay with the first degree or the masters, after all, I am the only one with such a qualification around here; not knowing that even ph.d. holders are doing post doc. am not saying we should all go get a master’s or a Ph.D., but believe me, times are changing and that degree, in some few years will not mean anything more than what shs certificate is today. It will be the same with all those things we are calling today achievements, successes, riches and making a difference. They will all become a normal life some years to come; looking like a mediocre following the crowd.
The captives of past glories who are into business will say, I made 100% profit last year; there is nothing to worry about this year; you think this was how the aliko dangote’s and the bill gate’s made it, even they, are still out there right now searching for new market areas to venture, new business opportunities to invest. the captive of past glories even as he reads this, will start telling himself, I have read a similar article somewhere. I know the angle he is coming from, I can see where he is driven us to, I need not to even read further. don’t get cocky my friend, the dalai lama even till today, still reads. So don’t stop reading; there might be something enlightening in here for you. I remember how we took the first semester in the university for granted saying, even three years syllabus combined exams (WASCE) we excelled, what is a 13 weeks semester exam. The outcome was the doom for some of us not getting first class. In the subsequent semesters, no one told us to put our buttocks down and learn, until the day we graduated.
In cape coast town the other time, I saw a man driving around in a pickup truck tagged on it right front door “the national best fisherman of 2008.” I said to myself in despair, what a past glory the owner of this truck might be living on. Am not saying he should not drive the car, am just saying he should remove that tag on it. I mean you were the national best fisherman almost 8 years ago, that’s past and gone and does not matter now. That is a long time ago success to be still cruising around town with. He might probably be seeing that tag on his car every day and think he is still the national best fisherman but, it will not surprise me if his output right now, might not even win him a regional best fisherman today. There is an akan saying that translates “what you were in the past, we don’t use it to talk about the present.” this is how most of us are, cruising around and showing off with our archaic successes. We all know you were this and you used to do that, but what about now? what are you best in now? What can you offer us now? what can you bring to the table now? The problems you can fix now; that’s what is important. So spare us those “past tense” victories; I used to be the best student in my class, I was the fastest runner in 100 meters’ dash, I used to date that beautiful girl, I used to be a serious christian back at school, so what!!!, we all have past glories. Is about time you stop telling people what you were and start showing them what you are; that’s what matters.
The fact that you succeeded or could do something in the past does not automatically mean you can today and I know most of us can attest to that. As students, we need to keep on learning, practicing and revising day in day out. As companies, we must keep on networking and expanding our customer base, improving our products and services and venturing into new markets. as professionals, we need to keep on upgrading and reinventing ourselves to meet the ever changing working environments. As organizations and co-operations, we need to keep on investing in start-ups with potential, fostering new relationships and collaborations, forming new partnerships whilst strengthening old ones. As spouses and those of us in a relationship, we need to keep on nurturing and growing these qualities; love, understanding, communication and respect for each other. We must as a nation keep building on the successes of our forbearers and not rather living out on them. I have come to realize that our past glories have been highly overrated in its contribution to our future glories. In view of this, let us only draw experience from those “past tense” successes, and move on, to focus on how to achieve “present tense” successes, then a better future will be ours to create.
As a former captive of past glories, I have always taken a cue from St. Paul’s profound statement in the 3rd chapter of philippians the verse 13 “brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead” and I hope you do the same as you leave behind your past glories and forge ahead even for bigger accomplishments. Selah!!!