Lucas Marang'a

A man at 40

Checkered Flag.

Last week I was delighted to kick off another halftime roundtable. My goal is to have three such sessions a month. Doing what you love and improving lives while at it is deeply rewarding. I took this group through the sigmoid exercise. This is where we use the S curve as a tool to show the journey of our lives and how the seasons unfold. I have done this exercise several times yet every time I tweek it. Shows that life is dynamic and not static.

Last Saturday I added some red flags on my curve. At the point when my life and business were moving fast. This was the period between 2003 and 2013. Ten years of good consistent growth in business and life. As I look back I notice small red flags that tried to warn me that the speeding lane ahead is about to end. I was moving too fast to notice. Folks when you are doing well, please spare a thought or two for when you will slow down and change lanes hapo mbele for that is inevitable. Every season in life must come to an end. Even the Good Book says there is a time for everything under the sun.

For instance, I should have started my low-cost probes (test driving other interests ) when the pressure was kidogo. Maybe I should have thought of even positioning to sell my business when I was at the top of my game. Quitting at the top acts as a springboard. It catapults you into your next season faster and easier. Sadly many of us overstay our welcome in one season and lose momentum. I hope that illustration helped the folks in that roundtable. We’ll see as we go along.

There is another kind of flag in life. It is the checkered flag. We see it in races where it is waved at the finish line to declare the winner of the race. A checkered flag has black and white patterns on it and the same can be used to describe a checkered life. This is a life that has had both high (white) moments and low (black) seasons too. Isn’t that describing most of us? That’s just how Maisha goes.

I’m in a happy but weird space right now. I feel like the checkered flag is being waved at me after a few recent highlights. I’m still high with joy that my photo was recognised in a global photography competition. Feel free to pass by the National Museum and have a look. It’s still up. Secondly, I did my first job interview about three weeks ago. It was for a senior government job with the new administration. That was both a fun and eye-opening experience. We didn’t get the job but I feel like it is preparation for a better-suited engagement on a larger platform. The goal was to put myself out there, and that we did. At least I’ve now done my first interview before I turn 50 hehe.  Another highlight remains the halftime in the wild coaching that we did about a month ago.

It’s been positive vibes all around but I’m wondering what’s next. I have been advised to fan the flames of these achievements hard so that we can attract as much attention as possible. I’m doing that one conversation at a time. The lingering question in my head is, what next? It feels like I’m on both a finish and starting line of sorts. The flag is being waved both to start me off and to celebrate my win. A bit confusing but it’s where I am. Maybe the checkered flag can be used both to start and finish races.

What do you do when you achieve something significant? I’m motivated to keep moving on but also wondering how best to move on. In life sometimes we practice so much that when we win at some point we don’t know how to react or what to do with the breakthrough. Publicius Syrus said, “practice is the best of all instructors.” Hakuna shortcut to excellence. So do I just continue practising and refining my trade or are there additional moves I should make? What do you guys think?  I have a slight panic mixed with fear that I might snooze while in the current high and lose in the process.

Maybe we should just stay calm and keep practising and the next bigger win will come. We cannot escape a checkered life. Perhaps success lies in how we handle the black boxes (the learnings we take from tough times) and how we maximise the white boxes (making the most of the opportunities that come our way).

And that maybe just how to finish well and have the checkered flag waved at us in victory. Whatever you do folks, don’t stop moving.


Friday, November 11, 2022 | Just @40 Things, Musings |

4 thoughts on “Checkered Flag.”

  1. Mike Eldon says:

    Really well written Lucas

  2. Hannah Gatu says:

    What a timely reminder, keep moving! Fear stalls me in one place…need to keep moving

  3. David J.W.Kimani says:

    Powerful. Sobering. Need deep reflection-that truth to sink in. But yes, we must not be mindful of how we start or even what we start but how we move to the next level and how indeed we finish. Thank you Lucas for the reminder.

  4. Kirigo says:

    A day at a time. Keep joining the dots….Line is forming soon.

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