Turning small things into big lessons in Life

How do you succeed in your career? How do you make in life? What are the most important things in life? These questions tend to linger in the minds of many young people – especially those at university or those that have just started on their journey of paid work – whether it is personal business or employment.

Let me go back a bit. I remember when I was young, my dad was an average government employee with a small office in the engineering department. Those days people didn’t have phones, so communication was manual and mostly face to face or letters. On Sundays, he would carry us on his “Roadmaster” bicycle to church and after church, we would pass by at their office to drink water from the borehole. We didn’t have bottled mineral water then. The 70’s and 80’s people know these. Life was good and basic. Good because most things were free.

When we had a visitor at home or an emergency, mum would send us to dad’s office to pass the message (of course during holidays). It was either me and my elder sister, but mostly me because girls usually have a lot of work back home. Like any other little boy, I would run to the office, using only shortcuts.

When I arrive at the office, my attention would be to observe clearly what people do in the office. My thinking at the time was that people just sit and wait to be paid at the end of the month. Most times I would find them (my dad & his colleague) just writing on paper. At that time, I thought paper work was not work! I would then pass on the message and if it was a money issue, I would be given money and I rush back home.

When I grew up (about 12 years), I asked papa (as we always called him) what people do in offices. When you asked him questions, his answer would always surprise you, that’s if he answers it. Most times he would just keep quiet. That day, he just said, “Angoda, study hard at school and get your office. You will then know what people do in offices.” When I was young, he used to call me by my surname (most people now hide their surnames).

That statement many years ago instilled in me a desire to hold an office. A desire to do decent work that comes with certain prestige & pride. Being one that never gives up with my ambitions & dreams, I surely worked hard at school – despite the challenges of teenage life and pressures of adulthood.

My first office was at university. In my hostel, I acquired a good reading table and two plastic chairs. Instead of going to the campus library every day to read, sometimes I would just stay in my room (it was a grass thatched house left behind by return internally displaced persons) and study. Later on, I had power connected to the house and would rarely go to read to campus – I would just go to check out newspapers and socialise with friends. But I did all my work in my “office.”

Later in 2nd year, I even started a business started from my “office”. To me then, I had to get my office, no matter the situation. After all, I had grown up admiring offices.

When I started working at Lira Town College, the first thing I did was to set up my office. It should be noted in most schools, teachers just work from the general staff room and very few have fixed sitting places. From home to staff room, then to class, back to staff and go home. It’s predictable.

Since I’m an ICT teacher, I work a lot with my computer, so I need a power source and a good table to do work.

Setting up my office eased my work. It is easy to access you. You can host visitors and visitors can also wait for you. You get some privacy to work on your projects and also accords you some respect.

So, back to the questions. How do you succeed in your career? How do you make in life? What are the most important things in life?

There is no one answer to how one can succeed. And there’s also no single answer on how to make it in life. What about the most important things in life? I will not give any answer to these questions. You can answer it in your head.

We have different situations, scenarios, experiences, dreams and desires. Every day we go through a lot. But it is only through consistent self-improvement that we can be better versions of ourselves. Education plays a large part on making you a better person, so do your parents and friends.

In sum therefore, it is good to turn small things in your life into lessons you can learn from. But remember, I am not successful yet! End.