Edutainment Mix: Our greatest weakness lies on giving up

Achieving our dreams and passions is never easy and can never be a walk in the park. 

The journey to any form of success is in a great many times driven by always and continually trying one more time. 

As humans we inherently have an affinity to wonder when enough has become enough and the limits to what we can do, and knowing when those limits have been reached and if giving up is an option. 

In my artistic and creative journey I have had moments when the thoughts of giving up have continually ravaged and also hovered in my mind. This has been pushed by experiences of rejection, being left by former band mates and creating projects which are seldom pushed on radio and in different spaces.

 These are moments that have triggered the thoughts of giving up and calling it quits in the arts industry as the monetary benefits for most artists are also low.

But I will quote Randy Pausch who says that; “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” 

But well, like a brick wall I still stand strong and for me to give up has never been an option, but being able to be more creative and expressive has remained my source of motivation. 

Not giving up is an art that requires huge mental strength and endurance. Achieving our dreams and passions is never easy and can never be a walk in the park. 

For most successful individuals who love their dreams, failing is part of their journey, but not giving up gave them success. 

An interesting aspect for us as artists is to understand that moving forward in our creative journey is something that requires a clear and meaningful purpose. The purpose becomes the place where our passions, dreams and talents meet. The sense of purpose is what has to keep us engaged and also inspired, getting up every time we fall and making ourselves become better and achieve in life. 

Well in our Zimbabwean context being an artist, influencer and creative can be something frustrating and depressing, but it should never lead to giving up unless there is a strong decision to make one decide so. 

We live in an environment where as entrepreneurs the likelihood of failure is incredibly high. But the challenge is about us being able to stand up to our failures and learning from them and continuing with our creative journeys which can propel individuals to a higher and deeper level. 

Many artists in the context of Zimbabwe - particularly the upcoming ones always base on the mirage of immediate success and fame, which in a great many cases is something that seldom happens. It is simply impossible that conditions will ever be totally appropriate for success because there are many hurdles that are in the journey to artistic success.

Unfortunately, for many people and entrepreneurs, quick and easy success seems to be the main goal. No wonder why after failing they give up. But when we have our long term purpose in mind, we know that success and failure are temporary, and therefore giving up is not a feasible option.

 In these circumstances, if we give up, it means accepting that what we wanted at the beginning was not good or strong enough, or maybe that we did not deserve it at all. We need to work for what we want and we need to be good enough to deserve it.

Every great artist has a story of rejection, dejection and failure, but the greatest growth is finding strength in negativity which is supported by the phrase ‘turning lemons into lemonade’.

Inherently as artists we have limits but the key is not deciding whether we are limited or not, but thinking outside the box and being engraved deeper into the essence of our artistry.

The key is in understanding our passions and dreams, and finding out what limits us to achieve them. Doing so will give us a comprehensive understanding and a map of the talents that we have available, and the abilities that we need to build. This understanding is critical to overcome challenges, get up when we fall, enjoy the journey to greatness, be open-minded to changing strategies and, more importantly, humbly enjoy the successes along the way.

Whenever we feel like we want to give up our dreams, we have to keep in mind that if the dreams are easy, they are not worth our tears and sweat.  They say easy come, easy go. 

The enduring and sustainable things in life require work, lots of sweat and mental endurance. That’s how we learn and continually build the best we can be. 

Failures are sort of mental training milestones. They help us check in with reality and know that it is fundamental to step up our game and to train better and harder, in order to reach the next level up.

For me these have been paths that have enabled me to know who to work with when it comes to artistic projects and approaches to working with different individuals.

Failures are there to let us know that we have progressed very far, but that in order to go to the next level we need more abilities, skills, patience, knowledge, information, strength and endurance. 

Another truth which creatives have to swallow is with how failure is not a closed door, but an always open window high and far from the ground. We need to jump high to get to the next level.  We might hurt ourselves trying to get up there, but pain will be temporary, and what’s beyond the window will be worth it. 

In the arts circles we should also know that success is also temporary. We should not dwell in failure or in success. 

The journey to our long term passions and dreams will be mined with many successes that will be creating a lot of confusion in our lives. Remember that there have been many creatives who have tasted success for a while only for them to be later on embellished in deep failure and loss at the end which is also the driver and pusher of suicidal tendencies among creatives. 

We must enjoy successes, and learn from them without staying there for too long. Many people fail in their endeavours because they dwell in success for too long, and they forget how to adapt, to change and to build their skills and abilities for more complex future challenges. That is how art careers die. 

Successes are dangerous, because if we don’t have the mental strength to see them as temporary, they can drive us to stagnation. 

 Giving up is a personal decision. External conditions will always push us to the verge of failure, but it is us who ultimately decide what to do in such cases. As soon as we decide to follow our dreams and passions, we are entering an unknown territory. 

We do not know what will happen. However, we know the tools that we have available. Failing will be the main source of information to teach us what additional tools we need to build to keep moving forward. And success will be a temporary appreciation for our hard work. In either case, we have to continue our journey. 

  •  Raymond Millagre Langa is a musician, orator, writer and the founder of Indebo Edutainment Trust Follow Millagre Ray Langa on Facebook #Millagre Ray L, e-mail [email protected]. You can reach out to  Indebo Edutainment Trust on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter [email protected]

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