My definition of success

It has been 7 years now.7 good years since life started to really make sense. Do not ask me what happened before because I will not narrate my past. But I can come to a conclusion that these 7 years have been the best years of my life.

What made me write this post?

Yesterday, I happened to be featured on the cover page of the Taifa Leo newspaper and I received so much praise from different people, friends, and frenemies, young and old. However, only one person’s comment stood out.

“How come you always succeed? What is your secret?”

Some years ago, someone asked me the same question and at that particular time, I was not in a position to answer. But today, when the same question came up, I found myself ready to tackle it.

Infact, more than ready.

I have been raised by a single mother who has always struggled to make ends meet. By struggling I mean that she has always ensured that I do not sleep hungry, I am not devoid of any basic necessities, I have clothes to wear and a home to call my own.

I do not want to picture how hard it was for her to make something constructive out of herself especially when the stereotype that illiterate women cannot succeed always had to come out. She made it happen and currently she is an established entrepreneur.

A professional wedding planner, videographer, and photographer.

So when I grew up, I saw something striking in the woman I call mom. I saw resilience and it is that same resilience that made me realize that I have a lot of work to do to give back to her and to also give back to other people who are not my own.

Why do I have to give back to the people that are not my own? Because I have no siblings and to me, everyone is a sister or a brother as long as they give me that respect and love that I deserve. For the people that know me on a very personal level, know that I am so empathetic that sometimes the kids I work with would make fun of me or even freely joke around and I would do nothing but stare. That is me. And I tried to build this habit so that I extend to the people that are not my own, so that I extend to my family and if you ask me now, I would tell you that I have a larger family that is not basically my very own in terms of blood but that bond that we share is so unique that it would be insulting to categorize them as merely friends or just people.

Getting back to the question.” Why do you always succeed? What is your secret”?

The number of times that I have fallen down are beyond a hundred. My ideas have been mocked before, my presentations have been bizarre, I have stared at judges without answers for my illogical points, my organization had been down for like 2 years– (no returns, no impact), I have cried myself to sleep several times, my own family doesn’t understand why I do community work while I should be earning money and focusing on being a millionaire, I have been broke to the extent that I thought I should sell some of my jewelry, I have been demoted as a leader before and I have also cried to Allah so many times because people were walking on my kindness and I could do nothing to defend myself, again, not wanting to hurt them but ready to hurt myself.

What does it tell you? Oh yes, just like anybody else, Salma has loopholes as well. I trip a lot, have tripped a lot and I very well know that as long as I want to be successful, I shall keep tripping endlessly.

But again, why do I always succeed?

Let me give an example of the iceberg theory of success. We all know the structure of the iceberg right? It floats in the sea and what is seen is just a fraction of it above the water line, however, the larger part of it is hidden beneath the water.

And that is exactly how successful people are. What people normally see are the accomplishments and the achievements but not the efforts, the hard work, the broken legs and the inadequate resources and support. I have always fallen down but I will never share that with the world mostly because I want to inspire people, I do not want people to just dwell on negativity and I do not want to be a laughing stock for the people that do not wish me well. Who I may or may not know.

Success is about resilience, endurance, hard work, commitment, time management, grit, and passion. Success is all about effort, sweat, and tears. Just seeing someone smiling holding a trophy doesn’t show luck, it shows perseverance and courage to taste the waters.

The other question was, ‘What is my secret?”

Oh well, according to me; success is not money or anything material. I am a very simple person, not much into materialism, just in my own world. And I say that success is not material because I know and have seen so many people with millions of shillings who are now suffering from cancer, who are bedridden, who have been betrayed by their husbands, who have lost a purpose in life, who have earned their money in a very illegal way.

If success is not money, then what is success?

It is so unfortunate that this world has painted success in terms of wealth accumulation and materialism. But real success lies in our character ethics, which are embedded deeply as roots.

My secret is one: whenever someone comes to me for advice or assistance, I give them my all. As if it’s my project, as if it’s my own achievement. That has been my secret. I love and wish for people what I wish for myself and this is because of the belief that the world has enough for everyone and my success cannot affect someone else’s success and vice versa. The abundance mentality has always been the key aspect of success in my life. Because when you set out to help people in their endeavors, in their cries- The One Above will never let you down.


(Photo sourced from net)


Author: salummy

Writers will always tell you about them through their pen....The power of the pen can transform hearts even a heart that has been plugged into darkness...

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  1. Awwwww you touched my heart……wish you success dear

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  2. Salma you rock, thanks for sharing , long live mom Salma

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  3. Wow ! Wonderful piece!

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  4. Nice article Salma

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  5. Oh that’s fabulous Salma, you have a rich spirit just know it, you continue to be a blessing beyond borders. Yalite

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  6. This is a wonderful and inspiring story. I like the secret (I use it always, but why don’t I succeed like you? The jury is still out there, but I guess my success in celebrated in silence, like a lover who loves in silence, between the shadows and the soul).

    I’m beginning to like you more than I thought, Salma.

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  7. Comment
    wow….Salma this is very inspiring..Beautiful to say the least.

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