When my grand dad was alive, I enjoyed taking walks with him. Oh dear! Many stories would I hear…….about his time in the army, his teaching career, love life and many things of esoteric value to a 10 year old. I learned a lot without knowing during those walks. He taught me about independence and self reliance. He told me I should marry a teacher so that she would take care of the kids and still be gainfully employed. He would talk and talk. I had no choice than to listen. I kept those things in my mind though. Looking back I think he wanted me to be a good kid and not make bad choices because generally he was a man of few words.

One of the places we usually visits was his sister’s house. It was about 2 kilometres from his house and the path was not straight. A bend here and another there and somehow with his leading we usually get there.

A big fascination for me was that on our way back home, when we get to this Y junction, for some reason I always wanted to follow the path that does not lead home. One day I asked him why we would not use that road and he answered “because it does not lead us to where we are heading (the house)”. He gave that look of “are you ok ?” “Why should you use that road in the first place?. Is that even a question?”.

That path had magnificent trees down the alley and I was just curious to work down the path. In my curious mind, I always wondered what was down the road. Maybe finer houses, maybe taller people, maybe more cars. Maybe it would hit the coal tarred roads. Maybe it could just be another road that leads to the house. I wondered and wondered and kept wondering . “You never know until you venture”, I told myself.

My wondering stopped on the fateful day that I had the rare privileged of going to see my grand pa’s sister on my own. Your guess is good as mine; I used that road — the one I wondered about. I satisfied my curiosity. I somehow figured it out in my mind’s eyes that that road would somehow , magically, lead me to the house. “There should be a way” I thought.

Be not wise in thine own eyes…Every way of a man is right in his own eyes.

Then the walk began. I went on and on. The more I walked, the more the road extended. I did not see the things I hoped for but I kept pressing on. Grandpa’s house was nowhere in sight. It finally dawned on me that I was on the wrong path. Guess what? It was also dark. No GSM. No point of reference. No familiar landmarks. It occurred to me while trying to retrace my steps that I was lost. I needed a miracle to get home. Many unpleasant scenarios played through my mind. One tear rolled and another followed. Much liquid from the tear glands could not lead me home.

The odds of finding my way back and being found were slim. Here was I, a stranger to the village; known by few (I usually visit my grandparents once in two years for a 3 weeks holiday). I’m writing to you because a miracle occurred that night. I ran into someone who recognised me. I didn’t know the person but he volunteered to take me to the family house. When I got home, I met a scared family (my uncles, aunties and grandparents). They were too scared that no one bothered to spank me for what I had done. They were so thankful to God that I was found.

If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere. ”
-Frank A. Clark

I said all that to reiterate the fact that some things in life might look wonderful and great. The allure of the other side, the brighter opportunities, the this and that of the other side — always on the side — might lead you astray from your vision. The grass is always always greener on the other side. Some paths in life look beautiful and grandiose but they lead to nowhere. Some things in life are exciting but they are not satisfying. They even lead to more trouble and leanness of the soul. Remember Post Acquisition Depression (PAD). Sound familiar ?

Start living and stop thinking others are having a ball. Stop the wondering thought. Be present. Be here. Do what you have to do; now!!! “Envy” the folks who have gotten results with the right methods. Covet their ways and aim to be like them. Covet their testimonies.

Don’t hope to be another person. Your life is great. Know the reason you like someone. Some people are famous for being famous. Nothing attributed to them and you hope to be them. And since you are not them , you wallow in misery. Waoh !!!

Contentment is not lack of ambition.

There are established paths to success. No short cuts. Success will not lower its standards for you. You are special but you ain’t that special.

The grass also seems greener across the fence but if you really want to see and eat from the green pastures…..follow the strait and narrow path. Wide is the way that leads to destruction. Be focused.

The easiest way to nowhere is to take any road. Any road will lead you there. No analysis. No checking. Just go and you will end up…nowhere.

Regards, Gabriel.