This week is special. It reminds me of the feeling I had when I was joining form one in Lenana School years back. I’m excited yet anxious. I am packing my brand-new uniform (with that smell from school outfitters) into a metal suitcase Dad bought me from the Gikomba market. The one that has prints of Brut perfume on the inside. Guys my age can remember that was the coolest masculine scent during our teenage years. You spray that on when visiting chic’s at Precious Blood, BOMA (Kenya High) or Moi Nairobi Girls and your chances of landing (we all dreaded floating i.e. ending an event without talking to a girl) was almost guaranteed. Now I’m all set to go out into a new world called boarding school
That’s my state of mind this week as we approach the weekend. Folks be careful what you wish for. It might just come true. My word for this year is Manifest and manifesting it is if what’s happening this weekend is anything to go by. You see last year I was invited to a leadership program by a friend. In that program, I met some fine Kenyans. James was one of them. Having run the three-month program online guys decided we have to meet in person before we go our separate ways. James offered to host us at his amazing hotel in Naivasha. Enashipai Resort and Spa is more of an experience than an establishment. They have this rooms that have outdoor showers where the sky is your ceiling. You can almost shower in the rain. I have not seen that anywhere else. And their disco is easily the best on the continent. This hotel has lifted the profile of Naivasha significantly.
In that last session, our facilitators required us to share insights from our journey through the program. To achieve the goals, we set for ourselves we were encouraged to ask for specific help from our classmates. I was honored to have my colleagues seek my support for their journeys ahead. The blending in of Enashipai with nature made me miss my camera. So, I asked James if I could decorate his walls with some of my wildlife and landscape photos. He said we could look into that. That was a good day.
Life continued until a few weeks ago when James sent me a text asking if I’m still open to showing my work at their hotel during Valentines weekend. They are hosting my celeb buddy June Gachui to hypnotize their guests with her great singing talent. I said yes immediately as per Richard Branson’s advice when asked if you can do something, then figure out the how later. Little did I know the work one has to put in to have a good photo exhibition. Plus, it has to be at par with the standards of this classy resort. I got to work immediately. It’s been a case of learning on the job.
The excitement of something new is what is driving me. My goal in life is to live my Ikigai. It’s a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being”. It refers to having a direction or purpose in life. I have my version of this written on a wall in my office. My Ikigai is – I have something I’m good at doing, the world needs it and I get paid for it. That is the best life ever and I’m not settling until I live it. Folks imagine doing what you love and earning good money from it. Any effort we make towards that is well worth it. This weekend is a manifestation of my ikigai. Or at least the beginning of it. I hope to sell the prints on display and through that open other doors to color people’s lives and spaces. What’s your ikigai ?
I once listened to a clip by Steve Harvey on YouTube. He said that we will never live the life we deserve and desire until we make the jump into what we want. Until we jump and give our dreams a chance we will remain where we are. A life much less than one we are capable of living. This is my jump. Scary yet necessary. Surprisingly though the minute I decided to do this help appeared. Good-hearted and experienced creatives have gone out of their way to hold my hand so that I maximize on this opportunity. I’m eternally grateful to Sylvia Njenga and Caroline Muchekehu.
There is help waiting on the other side of fear. But it’s available only after we take the leap. That should nudge us forward. What’s holding you back good people? I still don’t know the outcome of this exhibition but I have a good feeling about it. Sunny Bindra’s thoughts in his article last Sunday were timely. He says, “the only one you’re waiting for is you. Do the work. Make it creative, authentic, original, generous work- work that’s you. Ship the work. Put it out there. See what happens. Learn as you go. Get better. Keep going.”
Life is full of jumps. One jump will lead to another. This goes against our self-preservation nature so it won’t be easy. Our education system didn’t help either because we were taught to follow a script that is safe and avoids risk. But we still have to get ourselves off the edge of the cliff. Corona did push some of us off that cliff.
Another lesson here is preparation. Luck is defined as the point where preparation meets opportunity. The great tragedy would be for us to live our lives waiting for our big moment to appear instead of living our lives preparing for when that moment appears. Many times, we wonder why our ideal opportunities are delaying yet they appear pretty easy for others. Could it be we stare at others doing their thing for so long that we fail to notice when our opportunities show up?
My online gallery collected over the last two years must have made me worth taking a risk on. I will ensure I do all I can to impress the hotel and its guests. I’m even taking my family along as my sales team. Free labor pap he he.
If you’re in Naivasha this weekend feel free to pass by Enashipai and enjoy some good food, great music, and of course buy a nice photo on canvas to remind you of the great weekend that was. If you can’t make it there check out my collection on LucaShots in www.lucasmaranga.com and buy a snap. It might just be the reminder for you to make the jump you need.
Happy Valentines folks.