Impetus to achieve: The heart wants what the heart wants

So why do we stay on? Why do we continue to fight despite repeated thrashings in our attempts at a glorious victory? Why don’t we simply give up and hang up our boots? Well, it’s simple: the heart wants what the heart wants.

Why don’t we quit our business careers when it is quite obvious that having fought for a period of ten, fifteen, even twenty odd years and there is no real fruit that has been born? Fine, there may have been the odd victory here and there over the period of our endeavour but the majority has been break even really – neither here nor there. Yet, we continue to fight on. We continue to believe that one day, someday, things will be better and we shall realise our dream. This, the world of business is the only world we know, the only world we believe we would enjoy living in. Despite repeated attempts by those who love us and indeed those who would love to see us quit to sway us into the direction of formal employment, those cries continue to fall on deaf ears. We’ve chosen our path, and we will fight tooth and nail, come rain or sunshine to achieve our goals.

You see dear reader, when I say the heart wants what the heart wants, this is an expression used when a person is in love with either somebody, or just something yet there is no logical explanation as to why. When we hang on to our dreams of building a successful business that will help this country with productivity, employment creation, taxes to the treasury, skills and technology transfer and all manner of benefit, despite the fact that we have been losing money all along, it is a case of the heart wants what the heart wants. Even when good job opportunities come our way, it is tempting but in the final analysis, we decline, it’s all the same. Hanging onto a business dream in a manner where very few people around you understand what you are doing is comparable to a woman that’s in an abusive marriage or relationship; everyone on the outside feels sorry for her and wonders why she cannot leave. Those that dare even advise the poor woman to leave her marriage or relationship, but what’s often the case? She does not leave. Instead she takes the abuse hoping and believing in tomorrow, continuing to love simply because regardless of how many men out there can treat her far much better, the heart wants what the heart wants.

What about a politician that holds a press conference today announcing his retirement from active politics, then in a few months when there’s a turn in political events, this same politician is right back in the thick of things, traversing the country and dressing down political opponents.

What about how relevant our former Presidents tend to be to the politics of the day in our country. If you compare with other countries, particularly in the developed world, their former Presidents tend to be more irrelevant after leaving power. You may have your reasons as to why our former Presidents sort of continue to be there, but one reason definitely is because this politics thing is addictive, it becomes a way of life, it becomes the only thing you know, and it becomes the love of your life and as I said, the heart wants what the heart wants. Our field of endeavour, our social calling, our professional work life, if we enjoy these, they become our world.

They soon become the only world we can live in and we become so deeply engulfed that we almost cannot leave. The heart wants what the heart wants. I know this example may sound crude but even certain individuals upon falling ill, maybe advised by the doctor not to engage in certain activities or not to consume certain substances because it could be harmful to their health. But what do we often see? The doctor’s advice is disregarded regardless of the ramifications. What’s more, the patient actually knows that as she/he disregards the advice, the health is jeopardised. What do I believe is the driving force behind these rather self-destructive tendencies? You guessed it – the heart wants what the heart wants.

Many of us would sooner die than stay away from our chosen field. Somebody is pursuing a business career for years without breaking through, yet if he/she is withdrawn from the field of his/ her dreams, he/ she may suffer a serious case of cold turkey, and the inevitable will follow – right back into the thick of things, back to the place that is called home. They say home is where the heart is, and all of us have got a place we call home. Remember when the great Kalu made a comeback for the national team. If I recall, this was when he was our head coach. He did not have the fitness levels that he enjoyed in his heyday, neither did he have constant match practice under his belt.

But loving what he loves, his heart wanting what it wanted, Kalusha Bwalya was back. It cheered the fans, particularly when he scored that first free kick. The great man himself must have had a rush, a real feeling of nostalgia. Why did he come back? My take is that football is the world he knows, the world he loves, it’s his whole life. And as I keep reminding, the heart wants what the heart wants.

Sometimes, not all actions in life make logical sense, not all actions in life must make logical sense either. The great Kalu coming back to football for a short stint, was not much different from RB attempting to run for President in the January, 2015 election which is not much different from our rejuvenated Editor coming back into the thick of things with this surprise package called Daily Nation that very few could have seen coming once Mr Sata crossed over following the 2011 polls. People are who they are, and they will be who they are, be it sportsmen, politicians, businessmen, media personalities etc. The fact remains the heart wants what the heart wants.

Moreover, there is nothing more encouraging than seeing people fight for what they believe in despite facing one obstacle after another; it is breath taking to see them rise again – it’s the hallmark of what great stories are made of.

To rise in this life, to face disappointment and fall, and to pick yourself up and achieve major accomplishment is the sort of stuff that great stories are made of. To rise and fall, pack up your bags and quit is a story that very few will love to remember. The only thing that you will be good for is an example to different goal getters in this life of who not to be.

So when you have a burning desire to keep going, do not be swayed. Know that if you lie to yourself even for a second that you are quitting or retiring, you will most certainly be back. The heart wants what the heart wants and some people were born for certain roles. If it’s your role, it’s your role. You’re going to want to play it one way or another.

Take Salim Amin, a renowned photojournalist from Kenya. Amin, the son of a photojournalist Mo Amin, took up the mantle of his father’s company following his tragic death in a plane crash. His father was on an Air Ethiopia flight heading home to Nairobi when hijackers took the plane. He tried to rally passengers to fight back but the plane run out of fuel and ditched into the sea, off the coast of the Comoros, killing all but 50 on board. In part, it was the journalist in him, the burning desire in him to see justice that I believe made him rally the passengers on the plane against the hijackers. Before this tragic life ending incident, Mo Amin had survived many dangers in more than 30 years on the road, including the loss of an arm in an explosion in the Ethiopian civil war. He would later take pictures with a prosthetic arm.

But what bearing would all this have on Salim Amin – the son to Mo? You guessed it, he would jump right into the thick of things and become a legendary photojournalist himself. Perhaps it was destiny, for Salim had taken a picture at the age of 10 that appeared on the cover of TIME magazine. Salim has not only had to deal with the burden of his father’s career that was laden with so many heart stopping moments for the family, but he has equally now been through the mill himself.

He said to Forbes Africa magazine: ‘I remember being bombed by government forces in Sudan during the civil war, which was terrifying, the dangers of covering Somalia in the 1990s during Operation Restore Hope, the loss of my friends and colleagues Dan Eldon, Anthony Macharia and Hos Maina in Somalia in 1993, the genocide in Rwanda which was the most disturbing and brutal story I had ever covered.’

Salim was born to be a photojournalist. His father bought him his first camera in his early childhood and despite the fact that his father endured this life threatening career, despite the fact that his friends and fellow journalists were killed in Somalia, despite the fact that he himself has faced life threatening encounters on numerous occasions, you would think that Salim would quit, but no. He has soldiered on, this is his professional life regardless of how irrational his decision to stay in it might seem to many people out there. The heart wants what the heart wants.

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