We all have a hero within us, but for John, life had always been a tale of losses and misses. After just failing his final exam, his dreams were crushed. The hope of ever changing the world was shuttered.
Having sat for this exam for the third time, this failure only meant one thing, “being expelled from school.“. As the education system defined it, if you failed three times, it meant you were not good enough for the system, and as such, you had to be discontinued.
This was not just a blow to John, but also to his mum, who was a single mother. She had worked so hard to get her son a decent education, with the hope that he would one day be prominent and help her and the society become better. But now, all her efforts and dreams went down the drain.
How would he ever stand to be in this society again? Would he withstand the humiliation? Would he ever get past the failure? These were all questions that John thought so hard about but no answers were forthcoming.
He only had one option left, to look for manual work. He got a job as a mason assistant. This was the start of even hard days ahead for him. As time went by, John experienced hardship in his work, given he was not used to doing hard labor. But he did not have a choice.
The location of the site where John used to work was quite remote. You had to walk for a couple of miles, before getting there. This meant that before even the workers began their daily work, they were already very tired after covering many miles to get to work. But given that jobs were hard to come by, they had no choice.
Days went on and John struggled with his work, always hoping for a better day ahead. One month, John’s boss delayed paying their salaries, which resulted in John’s rented house being closed. He had to spend the night out in the cold that night.
The next day, he went to his job as usual, except that this time, he did not take a bath, no breakfast and no clothes change. That day, there was still no good news for John, as the salary was not paid. In the evening, John started wondering where he would spend the night.
Thinking about the journey ahead, and the fact that his house was already locked, John decided this time to spend the night at the construction site.
Even though this was not allowed on the site, he had no choice. That night he did not sleep well, he was up almost all night trying to figure out a solution to his problem. Then something hit him. He remembered having heard stories in his childhood about how people went camping and would spend days out in the fields.
This got him thinking, what if he could do the same with his work? “Well, maybe it might work.” He thought to himself. After all, what did he have to lose, his house was already locked anyway.
The following day, John was lucky, as the boss came and paid them. Instead of John paying for his rental house, he went and bought camping gear. He returned to the construction site, that same night, and set up his one-man camp. This night things were different. He was able to enjoy the sleep, coupled with the calmness of the jungle.
The following day, his fellow workmen discovered his camping gear and inquired about it. John narrated what happened and how he ended up buying the camping gear.
The idea seemed interesting to his fellow-workmen, who realized they could actually stop getting very tired from the to and fro journeys of many miles. They requested John to buy the staff for them, and deliver the following day. John did this, but he charged them a small fee, which they gladly paid considering the trouble that this was saving them.
That night, John had neighbors. And the night was even much better than the one before.
The commission that John received ignited a light within him. What if he could actually do this, for all remote construction sites? Without even thinking whether or not it would work, he quit his job. He went and pitched his idea to other remote construction site workers, who seemed to love the idea. John got orders for the camping gear and delivered.
This had awakened a hero within him. As he continued in his newly discovered venture, more money kept coming from this idea, and soon he began expanding his territory to other sections of the country and beyond. He had found true meaning in life.
He worked super hard, and after a few months of work, John became a millionaire and now ventured into construction as well. However, he never stopped with his “remote site camping for workers” idea. His business grew so much that now he was able to fulfill his mother’s wish of seeing him become a prominent person in society.
Moral of the story
Think of where John’s venture came from, “failed exams, expulsion from school, a closed rental house, miles of walking to and from work, and spending the night out in the cold.” Not an ideal way to start a business, but nevertheless, he succeeded.
Life never gives you a package packed or wrapped the way you expect it to. At times it comes packaged with pain, loss, defeat shame and all sorts of less honorable things. But you have to remember one thing, it is not the packaging that matters, it is what is inside the package that matters.
Stop waiting for conducive environments to excel, create opportunities to excel in your current situations, whether good or bad.
As the saying goes, “Every cloud has a silver lining” Find your silver lining today.