I’m a late bloomer as far as social media is concerned. I remember the first time I considered opening a Twitter and Facebook account. Miriam my office assistant politely suggested that I get my own account. I think she was feeling I was crossing the boundary as far as privacy is concerned because I would use her account severally. Though I was doing it to check activity on our company social media accounts. I was reluctant to open my own accounts because I thought I had to visit Huduma Centre and queue to apply for a Twitter or Facebook account. I can see you all on the floor laughing at me yet I highly suspect I’m not alone in that thinking. Miriam finally sorted me on that.

I have realized that social media is a powerful tool to grow my personal brand especially when used correctly. I have come to discover a whole new world of people making a living out of it. I hear the coveted status one should aim for is to be an influencer. Once you get there then chums start flowing in. I must confess that sometimes I catch feelings when I post an article and I get three likes yet when I check some folks accounts I see several thousand. My pal Biko recently reminded me that the largest constituency of my readers remain those that say nothing. No comment or like. They just read and move on. That was consoling although I wouldn’t mind some more responses from my readers. Hint hint good people.

As I was mulling over this I realized that some of my social media role models have been playing in this space for quite some time. It’s unreasonable therefore for me to expect to attract the attention they do yet I’ve been here for a much lesser time. Another key realization came to me at this point. A lot of the folks who are influencing us by dominating the social media space were unknown to the majority of their followers some time back.

One of this celebs is a personal friend who is a former Boston marathon winner. Even in retirement he is still a popular guy and attracts the attention of serious individuals both locally and globally. He once told me that for years before winning at the global stage he would run an average of 300 kilometers a week. Yes, guys you read that right. 300 kms not 30. My mind is already panting from trying to process how tired he must have got every weekly. At that time no cameras followed him and Nike didn’t know about him to give him custom made shoes. He probably ran on tired sneakers or maybe even bare feet at some point.

Then after his hard labor of love paid off we all turned our cameras on him. It’s also similar how we flood Twitter with congratulatory messages when our rugby boys win a major match at the global stage. Its ok to brag with our fellow countrymen but its peculiar that most of us don’t look at what effort it took to get them on top.

Many times I have felt like I’m putting in so much effort to living the life I desire yet I often feel like there’s little or nothing to show for it. I’m now being reminded that I need to remain in obscurity for a while longer before I get to my desired destination. It seems heroes (influencers) are made when no one’s watching. And when there’s little or no external motivation. Trying to rush the process to self-actualization could lead to self-destruction. The battle for our destiny and purpose seems to be won or lost in private.

For this reason, I have decided to slow down on some conversations I was pushing for in the hope that some particular doors will open. I think the good Lord above knows I will one day thank him for not answering some prayers. Maybe the way to resist this temptation to harakisha our success is to introspect and identify signs or clues that confirm we have already been approved in private. My sign was being invited to join a board that I didn’t campaign for. This way we are rest assured that our reward is certain. We are the ones who are being prepared to be fit for it.

It goes against human nature to want to succeed and remain silent. Success seems sweeter when the whole world knows about it. Many of us have this fake humility of thanking God in public but what we are really doing is showing off. A quote I’ve used here before makes for a good mantra. Work hard in silence and let success make the noise.

Perhaps as a taste of my own medicine, there is stuff that I’m doing that I shouldn’t write about here. Maybe I should just work hard in silence and surprise you guys one day. Food for thought hapo. We should celebrate obscurity more and the journey of it. Those seasons in the grind when tears and sweat is all our efforts produce. Maybe our current influencers focused on the grind at hand and one day suddenly realized they had achieved success. Most of the folks we admire have experienced huge setbacks that in turn seem to have qualified them for the limelight they enjoy now.

Folks whatever setbacks you may be going through currently, try and focus on the learnings meant for that season. That may be the requirement for graduation with a first class degree in bachelor of influencing. And remember one day when you are all celebs, you may miss these days of enjoying the freedom that comes with obscurity. I hear our president, Uhuru craves for those days again. Happy obscurity day. Just waiting for Matiangi to gazette it. hehe



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6 thoughts on “Obscurity.”

  1. Anne says:

    I guess I should comment more but believe Biko when he tells you that most of us read but don’t say a thing…
    I look forward to Biko’s articles every Tuesday and yours every Friday.
    Keep writing, we are reading!

  2. André says:

    TD Jakes faithfully pastored a church of 100 attendees for over 10 years before he started gaining national prominence..

  3. Bett says:

    We are reading you, Lucas! You post every Friday and we read you every Friday. Never forget that. Even in those moments where you feel that you are baring your soul to an empty room, remember that that room is never really empty.

    Also, 10 hours to chop a tree asks for eight hours of sharpening that axe. Keep sharpening your axe, Lucas. The time to chop the tree is not yet here. But it will come. No doubt.

  4. We’re definitely reading your article every time you post it…. keep up the good work.

  5. Nya says:

    Don’t believe what Biko says…we do comment in our minds. Isn’t it the thought that counts? I always look forward to your articles..

  6. MG says:

    We are reading. Have no fear. Then again we’re the generation that is still probably conservative about posting comments. We grew up reading books, enjoyed them and that was that! So posting comments is probably very nascent to us.

    What you wrote reminds me of Stephen Covey’s first things first, where he says that private victory happens before public victory. It also reminds me of Dolly Parton who started singing in 1963 but only made it to the charts in 1976! Those 13 years in obscurity were the building blocks for her eventual success.

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