Title: 100 Lessons Every Great Man Wants You To Know
Author: Matshona Dhiliwayo
Publisher: Wisdom Inc.
Year of Publication: February 4, 2013
Number of Pages: 100
At the beginning of the year, as I was checking through social media and meeting people, I saw their reflections of the past year and their goals for the new year and I felt stuck. I did not feel like I wanted to look back at the last year or look ahead to the new year and write conclusions because I desired answers to many questions. Questions like, "Why is it that I pursue a success, I attain it, and within a blink, it becomes a past event?" ...sometimes I just wish I could dwell in those moments of achievements a little bit longer.
In lesson 49 of Matshona’s book; 100 lessons every great man wants you to know, he writes;
“When you make it to the mountaintop,
ask yourself how you are going
to make it to the stars.
When you make it to the stars,
ask yourself how you are going
to make it to the edge of the universe.”
For many people, the gain form this lesson will be to always aim for the top and to be persistent. For me, the gain from this lesson is the endlessness of success. There is never a top but there is surely a greater height to attain. Because there is endlessness to success, for those who are wise enough to constantly match opportunities with preparations, there is a constant need to move on. This lesson made me understand myself and to agree with the pace of success. I learned that because of time, I cannot hold onto the present when it comes to success but I can maintain it, in how I find values that will keep me going towards what’s next to be achieved. Speaking of achievements, Matshona discusses and defines what deserves our pursuit in life.
In an excerpt of the last lesson in Matshona’s book; 100 lessons every great man wants you to know, he writes;
“Do not waste your life doing work you hate;
spend your life doing work you love.
He who makes a single contribution to the world is greater
than he who gains the whole world without giving back.”
This message is a big eye opener. It provides two lessons;
The first lesson is that the people who love what their doing, are always in the habit of giving but those that don’t love what their doing are always in the habit of taking. This is why these days, you find some young people who are confused about their life’s purpose say things like,
“I am studying medicine because my parents want me to, so that I can earn enough to meet my needs…”
compared to another younger person who is certain of his or her life’s purpose that will say;
“I enjoy studying nursing because a nurse saved my life when I was younger and I want to give back to my community and save a life likewise...”
This is not to say that we are demanded to give back where we have been saved but in the places where we can equally love what we do and do what we love. The truly successful ones who love what they are doing, are always in the habit of giving back for the benefit of others rather than taking for their selves alone.
The second lesson is the need to do what we love. About two years ago, I was struggling to decide between studying Nursing which I have zero interest in but everyone had suggested saying things like; “It would fit me” “That is the only place you can find a job…” I went to see the Career Employment Specialist at my school then, to explain my dilemma. Just a sentence that she said to me helped me to decide faster. She said;
“One of the worst things that can happen in one’s lifetime is to go to a job that they hate every day!”
When you do what you love, there is a sense of peace, joy and satisfaction that comes with it and these, more important than money, is the source of living healthly and wealthy.
Another profound lesson that caught my eyes is of lesson 5 where Matshona writes;
“Likewise, it’s not the number of ideas you have,
but the number of them which will work.
An idea is futile if it does not bear fruit.”
These days, when I read certain motivational books like Matshona Dhiliwayo's, I feel as though I am receiving answers to a question that I constantly ask myself;
“What am I doing right to achieve success?”
This is not to dispel the effect of God’s grace and unending favor upon my life in any way but to recognize how our works are necessary in effecting our faith or belief in God's grace. This book gave me answers to the questions about my success.
I remember last year, when the team members of Sprinng Literary Movement were discussing ideas for 2018, in total, we had like a burst of about 8 major ideas. We wrote all of them down and as the year was coming to an end, reality set in and some ideas were cut away because we knew, after careful thoughts that their executions won’t be fruitful. We were honest about our ability and in agreement with our realities. We held onto about 3 of the ideas, made plans for actualizing them and saved the rest for the future.
One of the ideas which turned out to be highly successful is the Sprinng Literary Movement 2018 Mentorship Programme.
When it comes to ideas, dreams, goals and aspirations, think more of quality than quantity to achieve good success.
Overall, this is a brilliant book, full of wisdom, just like the rest of Matshona Dhiliwayo’s other books. It is thought provoking and it helps in proper self reflection. Get a copy for yourself and for a friend. It is a great gift!