Message from Kenyan My Talent Africa Ambassador: Miss. Bahja Abdullahi

"Dare To Be Different"
If you want to get what everyone is getting, do what everyone is doing.
my article is not simply about me, but also about being different. I have chosen this topic because it is something that is very dear to me and something I have made a personal philosophy and which I endeavor to live by.
I think it all started when I was 20 years old and in my first year at campus. That was about the time that I started to observe people’s behaviour and just to think about life. I was taking a walk with two friends and was in deep thought. They were chatting, but I was not paying attention to what they were saying. Then suddenly I said
“You know guys; I am pretty disappointed with the adult world.”
One of them asked me why and I explained that when I was going to campus I expected a lot of change and difference in the behavior of the people around me. After all, they were adults. I always thought being an “adult” was a lot different from being a kid. However I felt after being on campus for a few months that the adult world was not what I had expected.
Everyone just seemed to behave like they were still teenagers. Nobody seemed to be outstanding in any way. There was no distinction, as far as I could see, between the 18 year old and the 50 year old apart from their age! Where was the wisdom and excellence I had come to expect. There was no change!
I did not know it then, but over the years I have come to see that the reason people don’t change is simply that they do not dare to be different.

Being different means:- Not being afraid to challenge the norm.- Being willing to take a chance.- Asking why.- Making your own track, not just following the well trodden path.- Charting your own course and destiny.- Being the person that you were meant to be.
I believe that everyone is born unique. But through the years we work very hard to be like everyone else. We conform to society’s so-called “common-sense.” Unfortunately it is just that – “common sense.” That does not mean its “good sense.”

If I were to take just the people in this room, it is likely that most of you have spent anything from 15 to 20 years getting an education so you can get the jobs you have. Doesn’t it strike you as irresponsible that one can spend so much time getting an education and yet so many people don’t make any deliberate effort to develop their greatest asset – themselves!
Most people think once they have a qualification that’s it. They have arrived. Is it any wonder they don’t grow? They are stagnant. Stuck at 18!
Most of us won’t even read unless there’s an exam in sight. But you know what? Everyday of your life is an exam. Everyday you either pass or fail the test of life. Everyday is an opportunity to grow beyond your present barriers and circumstances. Everyday is a chance to become a better person.
The saddest part is most of people don’t realize this. If they had to be graded at the end of their lives you know what they’d get? D, D and more D’s. And yet they thought they were doing very well. They let society’s “common sense” grade them.

If I can leave you with one piece of advice it would be this: READ
Society celebrates mediocrity so much that it does not take much to set yourself above the rest. Doing that one thing regularly will put you way above the rest. Read books that challenge you and that make you think.
I have decided to read at least one book every month. I’m already amazed at the results. 

In closing I’d like to say to those of you that are skeptics out there, those of you that are saying “oh, he is just drink with the omnipotence of youth. He’ll get over it, and then he’ll be just like everyone else.”
My words to you are:
“I ain’t going out like that. I know that I have an abundance of potential within me and I will bring it out to fruition. Why?”
“Because…I’M DIFFERENT!”