Indecision is the thief of opportunity and eventually becomes the murderer of our dreams.

-Mbugua Mumbi-

One of my newly found friends let me borrow his book, Vitamins for Success  by  Kenyan author and motivational speaker Mbugua Mumbi.  This is a short, conversational-style book that will empower anyone who seeks daily doses of inspiration. This is quick read though I have dragged with it given my crazy work schedule.

Truth be told, I expected the common motivational nuggets and points of emphasis…and he did not disappoint but Mumbi brought out his points in a slightly different manner and I like the fact that he writes from a Kenyan context.

Here are a couple of things that I took away from this book:

Did you know that eagles suffer from mid-life crisis? I didn’t.  Apparently, the eagle has a life span of 70 years but at the age of 40 he has only two choices: to die or go through a painful change process that lasts 150 days. The first option is usually the easy way out and is usually taken when the eagle feels hopeless and succumbs to the fear of change.

The second choice requires the eagle to leave his family without consultation   to go to a lonely mountain top where he finds the hardest rock and repeatedly knocks its beak till its comes off.  Ouch!  This is will allow a new beak to grow and he will use it to pluck its old bent talons to allow new ones to grow.  The new beak and talons are in turn used to pluck off the old thick feathers that had previously inhibited his swift flight and eventually the eagle gets a new lease on life.

If this is the price of change (excruciating pain, loneliness and hunger) that the eagle has to endure, then I would not blame other eagles for taking the easy way out. However, good things never come easy and one truth I have learnt in the short time that I have lived is that everything good and worthwhile is garnered through blood, sweat and tears.   This can also be summed up in one word: , stick-to-it-ness.

We can’t talk about the eagle and fail to mention the power of vision.  It is said that the eagle has the ability to focus up to 5 kilometres from the air.  Whoa! Talk about being long-sighted! So that means that nothing can stand in the way of him getting his next meal.

I seemed to resonate with his nugget especially now that the New Year is quickly approaching with pending resolutions and drawing of my 2013 roadmap.  I stumbled on a halfway-TED talk on telly by some interesting Indian artist-whose-identity -I- am-yet to find out.  He talked about the brain being the curator of our memories whose end result is our own dignity. I loved his personal example: at 19 he dreamt that on the night of the opening gala of his first art exhibition, a famous Indian actress (the Indian equivalent of Meryl Streep) would grace the occasion. So, the next morning, he wrote to two famous actresses and one of them replied and actually come to his art show. #inspiration.

So I think this time round, I will have an actual mental roadmap and a written one  to represent all the things that I have ever dreamed of for the coming year.  Lately, I seem to also seem to represent my notes more randomly and graphically (read mind maps) so that I can see my train of thought with more clarity.  I can’t take full credit because Sarah H. Peck seems to have mastered this art. I like what Mbugua says:

Imagination is the beginning of creation. The more vivid and real the mental image (vision) that motivates you, the stronger the motivation. You need to firmly hold on your mind a vivid picture of the life that you desire to live.

Another principle: eagles never eats dead things, they always feed on fresh prey. I figure that apart from living on other people’s left-over dreams, plans and successes, it is imperative that  I stop living the shadows of my own past successes and failures. It’s time that I venture that I venture into blue oceans. Personally, large masses of water overwhelm me but if I do not set sail and venture out, I will continue to live in the unknown and die with thoughts of “shoulda, coulda ,woulda”


I would like to end this book review with a poem that Mumbi has in his book from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged titled The Best Within You

In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst.

In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved the title.

Do not lose your knowledge that man’s proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels the unlimited roads.

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all.

Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach.

Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it’s yours.

Related links:

Once watched an episode on Oprah about creating a vision board. So, this should be an interesting read


2 thoughts on “Book review: Vitamins for success

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.