I was on radio last week with my buddy June Gachui and we ended up asking President Ruto for a job hehe. I think he was still in the Super Metro bus heading to Buckingham Palace for mazishi. The radio must have been off in that mathree because I didn’t see my name in the cabinet list that was announced juzi. Lakini ni sawa tu. There are still many opportunities to serve.

Just before the announcement, Ruto met with the previous cabinet which seemed odd to many Kenyans. I must say I was impressed by our new Prezzo. Meeting round a table with a lot that vehemently opposed him in the run-up to elections. Reminds me of when my mum would chastise her squabbling staff by reminding them that they don’t have to be in love to work together. Dear Mr President, please remain like that. You are called to a higher standard so be the bigger man and you will be the president this country needs. May Sir God help you.

A photo of Ruto holding hands with former interior Cabinet Secretary Matiangi at Statehouse caught my eye. They were sharing a joke but Matiangi’s laughter looked awkward. Like he was trying hard to cover up his discomfort after all the salvos he had fired at Ruto before the elections on August 9th. Well to his defense though, he was just doing his job as a loyal member of the previous regime. Actually, Ruto needs a few Matiangis to ensure his presidency succeeds.

I felt sorry for Matiangi in that photo. A friend on Instagram quoted an Igbo proverb describing that moment. “Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to swallow them”. We would be well advised to remember that as we do life especially when we are the ones on top.

My coaching version of that proverb is to plan your life using a pencil. Since life is fluid, nothing lasts forever and there are hardly any guarantees. So shouldn’t we make plans that are easy to rub off and amend on the go? A few exemptions here though. Our values and non-negotiables can be written with a biro or even a permanent marker depending on how strongly we feel about them.

I always carry a pencil to my coaching sessions to keep up with what my client is saying and to note thought-provoking questions to ask them for deeper reflection. I also encourage them to write down their thoughts and ideas with a pencil, especially when exploring options for achieving their goal. That leaves space to change course when new and better ideas come up. Pencil life (as I like calling it) keeps us agile too hence we maximize seasons of life more. It’s like seating a timed exam, you write an answer in pen and then realize it’s wrong. Trying to rub the wrong answer is messy and time-consuming. You could easily get time-barred and the paper is taken away but with the right answer still in your head instead of on the exam paper.

Folks, I’m not advocating for us to be wishy-washy, or watermelon as one of our politicians is branded. Write your story in pencil, even in caps if you must but remain open to what might be hapo mbele. Sometimes when we are too certain about a thing we risk getting too attached and struggle to let go when it’s time for the next thing. Getting fixated on current blessings can prevent more blessings from coming our way.

I find that writing my story in pencil keeps me exploring because what I have written can be erased and improved easily. Even in my office, I prefer writing on the whiteboard. The notice board only has pictures of my family and that’s ok as they are not being replaced. This pencil life is reinforced by my baby sharks because a lot of their school work is done in pencil. My older girl discovered her talent for painting through my photography. And now she has put down her painting brush for the pencil. She draws pictures very well in those huge drawing books. Every time I see her work I’m glad I decided to pursue my passion for photography as that gave her the impetus to get bolder with her painting and now drawing. So besides a pencil life helping us activate our passions easily because we won’t overthink new possibilities, it also can get positively contagious helping those around us activate their gifts and talents. And when we all live that way the world becomes more colorful.



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4 thoughts on “Pencil Life.”

  1. MG says:

    My take away
    “Sometimes when we are too certain about a thing we risk getting too attached and struggle to let go when it’s time for the next thing. ”
    Very profound.

  2. Mike Eldon says:

    My father’s painting led to my love of photography and writing. Couldn’t ever reach his stanard with the brushes.

  3. Angie says:

    Lucas just when I think you’ve written your best piece you outdo yourself with another. I absolutely love the idea of writing my story in pencil!

  4. MWANGI says:

    Thanks for the word Lucas, am writing mine in pencil

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