Book Review – Herald

Achieving greatness: Positive attitude vital
04 April 2011 22:43
By Chemist Mafuba
The Greatness Manual: Recipes for Perpetual Success
By Rabison Shumba. Foreword by Dr John Stanko
Greatness Factory Publications, 2010, 161 Pages.
ISBN 978-0-557-88872-6 (Paperback)

A BOOK that a Zimbabwean published in the United States of America on how youths can succeed in business is now available on the local market. The Greatness Manual, which was published last year, inspires young people to realise the potential in them, which can open avenues to fame and riches. The thrust of the manual is on why young entrepreneurs should trust each other for their income-generating projects to have a firm foundation.
Rabison Shumba gives his personal experiences showing how dishonest friends can ruin their partners. The sub-title of the book is Recipes for Perpetual Success.
“The greatest inquiry I had,” he says in the introduction, “was my own purpose for existence. I wrestled with this for a number of years. I wished for a book which helped me to deal with my past.
“I realised that my concerns were not unique to me. I help others discover their path and direction and in the process my own purpose surfaces. I realised that I’m fulfilled when I help to uncover diamonds hidden in the dust. It is resembled by my passion to help others to maximise their greatness.
“My passion is to live out what I believe. My desire is to take you where you think you are supposed to be. You have a role to play on your way to greatness.”
Shumba is the chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Greatness Factory Trust, which has offices in Harare. His areas of interest cover information and technology communication technology, agriculture and mining, strategy, leadership and professional development.
He says the situation he was in, in 1997, made him decide to make a bold decision that changed the whole course of his life.
He had been around negative friends for two years and realised how negative he had become.
“I was slowly moving towards being an alcoholic,” he says.
“I had been initiated into the habit of grabbing a few drinks at the end of each business day. My friends made me believe I was a hero. I was spending the bulk of my salary purchasing the latest rap music with a warning for parental guidance.
“My speech was slowly changing from that of a well- mannered boy. I had come from rural areas for college only four years earlier. I had no clue what rap music or swearing was.
“I became a master of swear words, which I thought made me fit into society well. It was the ‘coolest’ thing for me to do. I had to be drastic about breaking a difficult habit.”
His chance to take stock of his life came when he moved from Harare to a town in the Midlands where he didn’t know anybody.
“It was a time to restart my life,” says Shumba.
“I had to begin to take control of every area of my life which I had delegated to my friends back in the big city.
“The turnaround came when I made new friends who pointed the direction of destiny for me. My new friends helped me when they saw that I was wasting the potential that I had.
“It called for sacrifice on my part to do it in spite of the pain which I felt. I had to bite the bullet and pull the plug on my old associations.
“I doubt that this book would have been written if I had continued with my old associations.”
Shumba says the people that you relate to or stick around with shape your perception on success and winning. You view life in the same manner that your friends view it. You share the same life experiences and the same heroes from your community. You have the same excuses with your friends who never see the window of opportunity when it is beckoning. The people who listen to what you say affect the way you think. Your popularity depends on those in your circle of contacts. You should choose friends who are purposeful, optimistic, simple, intuitive, trusting, imaginative, and visionary and esteemed (positive).
Shumba says that a friend is powerful in that he or she speaks into your life louder than any other voice. It is better to quit friends who can’t spur you to greatness before you waste time. Genuine friends are hard to find. Many friends are there to take advantage of others and few are willing to stay by you through thick and thin.
“Life is competitive,” says Shumba. “People look at how they can outclass the next person so that they can grab the coveted prize.
“There is nothing wrong with a desire to succeed and having a passion for winning. Success can only be achieved when you carry the right attitude for it.”
You should not allow different attitudes that you meet in your daily business and career to influence you. A talented person still needs to carry the winner’s attitude to succeed in the face of competition.
The way you view yourself determines your fate in life. The picture you carry about yourself encourages you to press on towards greatness.
“Success and greatness,” says Shumba, “are a result of hard work, diligence, perseverance and suffering. Your existence should make a lasting impact on your own life and on the lives of those around you.
“You have to make choices that will bring about success in your life. A positive attitude encourages you to shift your habits.
“Telling yourself a million times that yours is a success story builds conviction within you. It takes individual readiness, effort and decision to start walking in the direction of destiny.
“If you do not develop the right capacity, the potential in you will not explore what you can achieve. The greatest enemy to progress is the failure to believe in yourself.
“You can stand in the way of your success by not believing in your capabilities. We carry our enemies within us wherever we go.
“We tolerate the things that stifle every attempt that we make to move in the direction of destiny.
“The only thing that unites anxiety, fear, pride and envy is the fact that they all have one goal: to decimate your greatness.”
Shumba regrets the time that he spent with bad friends when he moved from his rural home to study in Harare.
“I didn’t mind what others thought or felt about the bad language that I was using,” he says. “I was minding my own business. The people I worked with when I moved from Harare wouldn’t tolerate me.
“The new switch benefitted me to this day,” Shumba adds.
“You must have the courage to stand up and be counted. Every success or failure begins with a viewpoint.
“The rest will roll out based on your perception. Your destiny leans in the direction of your perception of yourself in relation to others.
“You have all it takes to be great. You possess all the ammunition for success. You are poised to be the winner.
“What it now calls for is for you to see yourself as such. Nothing should stand in the way”, says Shumba.
Among the people who have endorsed the book are African Sun Hotels CEO Shingi Munyeza, Zimbabwe Prison Ministries president Dr Noah Pashapa, Zimbabwe-European Union advisor Dr Khutula Sibanda and Zimbabwe Christ Centre College principal Bishop Professor Washington Mahiya.
The following is part of the foreword which the president of the Purpose Quest Inc of the United States of America, Dr John Sanko, wrote about The Greatness Manual:
“I love how Rabison is unashamed of his pursuit, explained by the title of this book. He wants greatness, if God will allow, and he wants you to have it, too!
“That is not defined in terms of money or fame, which may or may not be part of your greatness pursuit.
What Rabison knows and I have also found to be true is that greatness is doing what you love every day, and seeing the fruit of your labours impacting other people.
“I was on a radio show once and I was asked my definition of greatness and success. I answered: ‘Doing what you love as often as possible.’
“If that definition is accurate, then this book will truly help you be great in the eyes of God and man, for it equips you to push past your fears and passivity to pursue your goals and dreams.
“What Rabison has put before us is a sumptuous feast of knowledge and insight and you will do well to give some thought to how you will tackle this book.
“I chose to take my time, much to Rabison’s chagrin as he pressed me for this foreword. You may read it through from cover to cover. I chose to jump around, so to speak, and read the titles that interested me on any particular day.
“Whatever your strategy, you cannot just read this book. You must do the accompanying exercises, making your affirmations and pondering the points, hopefully journaling your responses and insights.
“There are no shortcuts to success, and you will do well to take some time to savour the insights and apply them to your life daily. The beauty of this book is that it will not be just a one-time read; it will be a life-long companion, some times a devotional, at other times a compass, but always an inspiration, spurring you on to greatness.”

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