Tag Archives: Rabison Shumba’s Birthday

40 Vital Life Lessons I learnt in 40 years


The19th of July marks an important milestone in my life. I turn 40 years. I have been running a series under Rab@40 Series. Enjoy this collection

1. Always be willing to take responsibility for your own actions and decisions – I have made mistakes in life but I ensure that I learn from them. I don’t blame others for what I know I did.
2. Any dream you have will face persecution and adversity – In my journey to make a difference, I have faced rejection, wrongful imprisonment, ridicule yet I keep standing.
3. Anyone can achieve mediocrity; excellence is what propels you far – I made a decision to strive for excellence in all I do. I rather not do something if I know I am not prepared to be excellent.
4. Be careful of the standard you settle for – Everyone should benchmark themselves in terms of where they want to be in times to come. Have people around you who challenge you to think big.
5.Build lasting relationships throughout life – Don’t be in the habit of burning bridges. I learnt this lesson when I left my 1st employer without notice. I felt bad for years. I still had to work with them in another forum. I noticed that we need each other throughout life.
6. Challenges come to us all but we must take them head on – Life was never meant to be rosy. If you can take every challenge as an opportunity to test your capabilities you will be amazed. Every challenge has an underlying solution to it and reason why you should face it.
7. Cherish the support of those around you – When you face challenges it’s easy to withdraw into yourself yet many want to stand with you. If one person stands with you that’s all you need.
8. Criticism is not always meant to bring you down. Use it – I am thankful to everyone who has taken time to disagree with me and offer constructive criticism. It is because of critics that I always drive towards excellence. Without them I would short-change myself to think I have arrived.
9. Do what is right no matter how much pressure or temptation comes from the majority.
10. Education is good to the degree that you are willing to apply it. There is no use being an educated fool – I am using all I have learnt to propel my vision and dreams further.
11. Hard work pays off all the time. It pays to persevere when it does not make sense to do so – I give myself tough writing targets and penalise myself for non-delivery. I have to write daily.
12. It is pointless to have great ideas that are never implemented – God has blessed me with great ideas. I try by all means to make those ideas a reality that benefits humanity.
13. It pays to rest so that you can do more when revitalised – I used to push myself to the limits without adequate rest. The body will do more for you when you also give it attention.
14. Know what you are good at and capitalize on it – At times we worry about things we can’t do. You can never be good at everything. I continue to discover my strengths and I deploy them to good use daily. I did not know I could write and when I discovered that I decided to go all out.
15. Life is a series of seasons; they not all the same – It is what you do in each season which will determine whether you survive or perish. I have faced seasons all seasons and survived.
16. Manage your time wisely – One resource that is always running out is time. I try to ensure that nothing that I never planned for “suddenly occupies my time. It is increasingly getting harder to get impromptu meetings with me unless it is absolutely necessary.
17. Maturity is knowing when to hold on and when to stop – Sometimes we have to hold on when it does not make sense but at times letting go can save us. I ran a business during hyper-inflation. Held on in it all. In 2010, it was time to let go and follow my purpose.
18. Money is good but not the ultimate priority – You will be frustrated if you live to chase the next deal and the next. I realized that your purpose may not pay your bills but it is all that fulfilling.
19. Never despise people based on their appearance; they could open doors for you someday – Some of the greatest leads and opportunities have been given to me by people who would be down trodden and seemingly unimportant. I cherish everyone.
20. Never look down upon where you came from. Your past was not by accident. Use your past to build your future – I grew up in a rural village from where I draw a lot of inspiration.
21. Never underestimate the value of networking – I am personally a networker by choice. I am forever growing the base of those who know me and those I know. Networks are important.
22. Not every opportunity that comes your way is yours – I have stopped crying over missed opportunities. I am probably alive today because I missed opportunities that could have killed me.
23. Nothing is worth losing your life for; value life always. At one point I contemplated suicide because I thought life had lost meaning. It was before I discovered my purpose.
24. People believe in you to the degree of your believe in yourself – Many times I would carry a sad, stressed sorry face and would wonder why people would not listen to me. I was draining their energy.
25. Plan beyond your present circumstances – It’s easy to slide into survival mode forgetting about the future. I manage today’s situation with a clear goal to build things that last.
26. Purpose propels you into high productivity. There is not much you can do outside your purpose – I discovered my purpose 3 years ago & have done in 3 years what I failed to do in 37.
27. Serving a nation is not merely for civil servants; it is everyone’s responsibility – I am aware that I can serve my nation by doing what I do to the best of my ability.
28. Success could be in things you are yet to try – I am not afraid to try new things, concepts and ideas. I would rather not succeed after trying than waste opportunities that come daily.
29. The greatest battle you will ever encounter rests between your ears – If you can manage your thoughts, you will be a great manager of life. My greatest struggle in life was wondering what other people would say or think. When I overcame this, I live a stress free life.
30. There is nothing you can do without faith – Everything I have achieved in life is not because I am smart or “lucky”. It is simply because the Lord has guided me. Finding my faith is the best decision I have ever made in 40 years. Everything else follows from there on.
31. There is power in forgiving those who wrong you – When you harbour unforgiveness you put pressure on your emotions. Forgiveness is not forgetting. It doesn’t also mean that the person who wronged you shouldn’t face consequences of their decision to wrong you.
32. Use your God given talents and resources to better the lives of others –I am more fulfilled when I help others to achieve even more than I have done.
33. Watch the baggage you accumulate over time – Many times the way we are treated by others in life begins to shape the way we treat others. I watch the way I speak to other people.
34. When you do good to others, avoid raising your expectations for reciprocal action – I have learnt that no one owes me a favour. If they remember me or they don’t it is still fine.
35. You are never rewarded for intentions no matter how good; you are rewarded for results – Working for a multinational corporation I got promotions for the results I produced.
36. You can lose physical material but never lose hope. Always tell yourself that it will get better. In 2008 I lost almost everything I had. I never lost hope that one day I would regain them.
37. You can only go as far as your awareness takes you – It is easy to be ignorant for life. I make it a habit to travel, read widely and meet/connect with different people. I raise my awareness always.
38. You will make better progress when you have people to learn from – I have made strides in my career all because I targeted a number of people who had made it in specific areas who I desired to be mentored by. I have mentors for every facet of my life. Find your mentors too.
39. You will not always make great decision; keep making decisions anyway – I have made great & dumb decisions but I do not bury my head in the sand. I keep making more decisions daily.
40. Your competitor is not your enemy – I value people who strive to do what I do because through them I get to do even better. Without competition, I doubt that I would maximise my potential.