Every winner has made The Promise, be it in private or in public, and that is to never ever ever ever give up, no matter what. I want to share with you the story of one John Stephen Akhwari. Born in 1942 in Tanazina, John was 160 cm tall and weighed in at around 50 Kgs. On October 20th, 1968, ,the summer Olympics were being held in Mexico City. John created an impression, an impression that would last far beyond that day. It would travel through history. I’m writing about it for you to read and I am certain that many more generations to come will hear of John Stephen Akhwari. John participated in the marathon. A marathon where 74 people had started the race. Of the 74 who did, only 57 managed to complete the race. Yes John was indeed one of the 57 who did, and I wish I could say that he came first in the race. But he didn’t! NULL
John, did not come first. He did complete the race, and that in itself was a huge feat. Of the 57 that finished the race, John actually came in last. But if that wasn’t enough, there was more. He came in over an hour and a half later than what the judges had thought was the last person to cross the finish line. If that wasn’t enough, there was more. John was so late, that the winners’ ceremony was completed and the medals were handed to the respective athletes. Many spectators had left and were leaving when suddenly they were informed about a man who seemed to be heading towards the stadium. John had got injured along the way, having hurt his knee. In fact, he had dislocated his joint (a Challenge so to speak considering a working knee joint is imperative when competing in a marathon). Nonetheless, with his bandaged and bloody leg, John continued with his quest of moving forward and completing the marathon. As I mentioned, by the time he hobbled into the stadium, it had been over an hour and a half since the last person had crossed the finish line. But that didn’t matter –
John needed to keep going until he crossed the finish line, because unbeknown to most people, John Stephen Akhwari was no ordinary man. He was unlike most people who set a goal and then give in to the challenges the world throws their way.
If you were with me some years ago, you would have seen me make a similar promise one sunny afternoon sitting in my room looking out the window. I wrote two sentences on a piece of paper that I remain true to, and teach my students to do the same. The first sentence read, “I Will Always Win” It’s wasn’t because I was better than anyone, not because I was smarter than anyone and certainly wasn’t because I had more resources than anyone. It was all because of the second sentence that I followed it with, which read, “Because I Will Never Quit”.
“I will Always Win, because I will Never Quit” – Kevin Abdulrahman
I will keep standing long after everyone has left the game. I will be standing and working on my goals and my vision right to the last breath. That’s the commitment I’ve made to myself. In my mind, I am Rocky Balboa, the last man standing when it comes to fighting for that world title belt- my dream. One of the highest paid and well deserving Actors to this day, an icon of success and an inspiration to many, in one of his interviews said that he could beat anyone if they came up against him on a treadmill. He said it with a smile, but followed on to say that it wasn’t because he was the fittest person in the world, but purely because he would outlast any challenger for the simple fact that we was so committed to never giving up. You know this Inspirational Actor as Will Smith. A British Politician, known for his leadership around World War Two, gave a famous speech in October 29, 1941. This segment of which I believe rings a bell in the ears of many past, present and future successful people. He said,
“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, neverin nothing, great or small, large or pettynever give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
You know this Figure as Winston Churchill Everyone around you will want to achieve their goals and dreams, but unfortunately they give up when the going gets tough. When the going gets tough, the Tough must Fight Back.
When the going gets tough, you must remember that the game of life is not a game of convenience. If it was, everyone would win and be successful. It’s a game of mental toughness.
Every winner has made The Promise, be it in private or in public, and that is to never ever ever ever give up, no matter what. They have locked in on their target, and will not stop until they get to it. They might be delayed, they might be challenged beyond their beliefs, they might be forced to take alternative routes, but what ever happens they are committed to their promise, and will never break it. What ever you choose to do in life, make a promise to stick in all the way. Make a commitment to never give yourself the option of giving up. If failure was not an option and success is your only option, then you are forced to succeed. Every winner I have come across in life has had to outlast, outrun and outwit the challenges they faced. They had the tenacity to see themselves through the finish line of any race they chose to start.
Winners have one exit strategy, and it is to achieve what they set out to do.
If you want to be a winner, if you want to be successful, if you want to be a leader, if you want to be an inspiration to the people around you, your fellow colleagues, your business, your family, friends, society or the world, you need to make The Promise. The Promise to Never Ever Give Up. Moving forward, when ever you are faced with a challenge, I want you to think of the examples I have shared with you. I want you to remember my promise, Will Smith’s Commitment, Winston Churchill’s Emphasis on Never Giving In and John’s painful Marathon. John might have finished fashionably late, but at the end of it all, had done it. John had crossed the line. An uncrowned King on the Day, but an Inspirational Figure who will be talked about for generations to come. He made a promise to his country, but more importantly he made a promise to himself. When John was asked why he kept going despite the pain? He said,
“My country didn’t send me 5000 miles to Mexico City to start the race, my country sent me 5000 miles to Finish The Race”
Make The Promise to Never Quit- What Ever You’re Into and What Ever You Choose set out to Finish The Race. Have a Winning Month.