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You Donít Need Other People to Validate You

When you give another person the power to define you, then you also give them the power to control you.

The need for approval kills everything. I should know better. I spent my entire life seeking approval until I realised that it was a waste of time and it didn’t work anyway. The desire to get people to like me motivated the majority of my choices and actions in early life, something I now regret. God gave me a very independent mind and for years this worked against me.

Sometimes being selfish isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I discovered my true self only later in life after deciding to put myself first and not worrying what society thinks of my choices or actions.

I am non-apologetic about that. It’s not like I was planning to kill someone or rob a bank vault. I simply needed space to breathe and finally be myself, and that is not asking for a lot, or is it? Worrying incessantly about what others thought of me, fearing criticism and holding back was nearly driving me insane.

Here is how I did it. I created a plan to learn to let go of needing others’ approval. Seven years down the line, I am happy and content and I sleep easy at night. If I were to drop dead today, I am going without a struggle or protest, I am at peace like that. Can you relate to these issues? Do you constantly make choices to avoid disapproval or criticism, rather than what is most valuable, effective or important to you? Do you hold yourself back from speaking your opinions or hide your true self? Wake up.

There is something going on right now. Somewhere out there in the far Eastern parts of this country, a musician has embarked on a solo walk, of a whole 1,000 kilometres! I will admit I was one of those who didn’t think he will actually go through with this, but well, he did. The human spirit is powerful. Depends on what it tells you. Sometimes it can tell you to do an illegal thing like suffocating an irritating person, or encourage you to do a good deed, to push your limits.

As expected, there are mixed feelings all round. People are divided on this issue as is common with all other ‘unusual’ issues. I always strive to prove myself wrong, push myself to limits I never knew

I could manage, so naturally this issue caught my attention, for the simple reason that I can totally relate to it. This artist, known by his stage name Kast really means business. He could be Trump’s twin, only he’s smarter but determination-wise, they are on the same level.

None of us, not even half of American thought Trump would actually win, but he did! I am not a fan of the man myself, but one thing I admire about him is his sheer guts! His stunt will always be used as reference in motivational classes and whether one likes him or not, he proved that everything is possible if you just put your mind and focus to it. That is as far as I go with him.

As Kast continues with his walk, which looks painful by the way, all I can wish and pray for is that he triumphs. It matters not whether he reaches Gaborone during BOT51 celebrations or even next year, the most important thing is that he reaches the finishing line.

As I recall, the last time anyone did this was in the 80’s when one the late Barry Eustice did a similar walk, where he transversed the length and breadth of this country with a walking stick. I cannot recall what his agenda was (I was young). I only recall that his walk was highly publicised by Radio Botswana. Every time he passed a village the whole village would converge to the local kgotla to welcome him. When he made a stopover in my village the whole school adjourned, our school drum majorettes and scouts in the lead. We all walked to meet and encourage him on.

Oh! How I miss those olden days, where we all looked after one another, where every parent was your parent? Now we live in Satanic times, where we mock each other’s efforts, where children don’t think twice before talking back to elders, where human life is so cheap! Well who can blame the children, when nowadays adults don’t see them as precious gifts, but ingredients of the strongest muti?

As I learnt a few years ago, focusing my energy on getting in touch with what really matters to me is the most liberating thing ever. This is what Tshepiso should do: JUST FOCUS.

Tumy on Monday



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