Kirubi vs. Obama


Kirubi vs. Obama. In change and hope, that is.

This sounds cheeky, but a blog by a Kenyan yesterday has inspired me more than Peter Baker’s interview of Obama. Anybody disagree?

Peter Baker’s in-depth interview of Obama published Tuesday in the New York Times really depressed me, and so what does a progressive American do when depressed? Obviously, read a Kenyan blog!

The Kenyans did only a little bit better than so-so in the recent Commonwealth Games, and Chris Kirubi’s blog pulled in readers with a “don’t worry it was great” congratulations before continuing on a lengthy discourse of what makes excellence.

I began to wonder if I were reading the text of one of my middle school teachers? It was pure American idealism. So different from what in my opinion is the state of America, today, as shown in Baker’s interview. It seems that in America, hard work and vision just doesn’t mean a lot any more.

Whereas in Kenya, hard work is really paying off with a surging economy and exploding modern culture. And Kenya’s Vision 2030 is one of the most ambitious and yet likely to be achieved goals any nation has ever set.

Here’s some of Kirubi’s blog:

“When I look at the lives of these athletes one thing I admire is their attitude and determination to excel. This got me thinking. What if we were to embrace the same spirit and adopt this attitude, determination in every aspect of our lives and businesses? Wouldn’t we be far off than we are now?

As a society we’ve accepted the incredibly durable myth that some people are born with special talents and gifts, and that the potential to truly excel in any given pursuit is largely determined by our genetic inheritance.

This is not so.

Excellence for me is derived from working and building what you have. It is not an inherited trait which determines how good you become at something, but rather how hard you’re willing to work.

Bear in mind that excellence comes at a price and you must be willing to pay that price.

If you want to be really good at something, it is going to involve relentlessly pushing past your comfort zone, along with the frustrations, struggles, setbacks and failures that you encounter. In the end, becoming really good at something you’ve earned through your own hard work can be immensely satisfying.

Remember that you have the remarkable capacity to influence your own outcome and that each time you fail is a chance to begin again this time more intelligently.

As my friend and renowned motivational speaker, Azim Jamal once said, “obstacles are part of the journey of life. When we keep our eye on the goal, obstacles are not threats. In fact, they become opportunities to create breakthroughs.”

If only Obama read my blog.