Written by Issa Napon
Edited by Caitlin Cruz
I used to say that the 15 first years of a human being is critical. It’s indeed a time where his fragility could be affected if he has not been cared enough by his entourage or mentored to find what he would like his future to be. My vision started earlier around age 12. I was really very strong in French language (grammar and vocabulary) but I was not that impressive in mathematics. My teacher at that time, Mr. Daniel Dipama, taught me something I had practiced and realized lately with the Humphrey seminar and my leadership book, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective people” from Dr. Stephen Covey.
What Mr Dipama let me know is this: I have to remember my strengths and keep an eye on my weaknesses. Because I can never be good at all things, as everyone has a unique talent or skill in something. It has sometimes led to small punishment by him because he wanted me to keep on working on my strengths and use it to balance what can be seen as my weaknesses in class, but I was just dropping some skills in French in my willing to be good at everything.
One day during a class while he was assuming where each one could end up in the future according to his skills, he took example on me, saying this gentleman could be a writer, a journalist or a communication specialist. He let me know that I must not just a number among people, I have to be myself – to raise my voice, to be part of the decision making, be the one who people must remember for my unicity.
He tough me then, the earlier you think about your future, the more you give yourself enough chances to meet your goal, and the more accurate you will be about your own skills, talents and abilities to work on, for those purposes. I listened to him and I worked on myself for years. As I earlier mentioned that reminded me some powerful statements of Dr. Stephen Covey: working on our circle of influence, beginning with the end in mind, and do your best upon what you are the most skilled. And here I am today, a journalist continuously brought under spotlight, getting my pathway, thanks to my journalism activities. He did not forget to mention that, as long as your live, you still have plenty things to learn out there, so go improve your knowledge learn from the others, their culture and language, go beyond French, beyond your city, beyond your country and learn to do what can add value to your work and pay you off but… Never rest on your laurels.