The other day, I was having coffee with friends and the popular topic of wasta (Connections) came up. In our society there is no working environment free of this feature. We can even confirm that not everyone in any workplace is there for their own merits, or their skills. Whether we are talking about the private or public sector, we do get a percentage of people who are hired because they know someone or because of their family name, or because of the ties they have with a potential client, business partner, or influential team member.
For the longest time, these people have been looked upon with envy and hatred by many of their colleagues including myself, but in reality are they really worth our hatred? Are they even successful and worth our envy?
The truth is that they are not even successful, and they are only given a certain position because they cannot succeed on their own. Put these people out in the real world, and they will fail instantly because they don’t know what it is like to work hard in order to make a difference or even to survive. They even have the whole concept of success wrong, where they don’t mind telling their colleagues “I’m here as a wasta”.
If we agree that success isn’t having a fabulous idea, because let’s face it there are only a few fabulous ideas to go around, and if we confirm that most of us are working with existing ideas re-packaged and re-cycled to look new, then they could be seen as successful. Like it or not, anyone resorting to connections to get a job is void of ideas that would land him or her a job on their own.
If we say success isn’t about working 16 to 18 hours a day, because doing that will only make you feel tired and even frustrated, then they could be seen as successful too because anyone not working hard to get to where they are will not put in extra hours for anything.
But success isn’t about any of these things. In fact, success comes down to something a lot simpler than that. Success comes down to having the will, the commitment, and the confirmation that you will succeed.
It is a state of mind in which you stop taking no for an answer when it comes to people rejecting your ideas. It is a commitment from within where you confirm to yourself that you will do anything it takes to succeed. But, more importantly it is about believing that you deserve to succeed, that your thoughts and ideas are worth listening to, and that you actually do have something of value to offer this world.
Unfortunately, many people think they need to do what has never been done before in order to make their mark in life. But let’s face it, how many of us do something out of the ordinary. At the end of the day, we all eat, we all drink, we all create, and we all get up every morning and work. So, it isn’t about what we do because we all do more of less the same thing, but it is more about how we do it. Therefore, those being hired by their connections anywhere are not going to compete with anyone striving to succeed.
Those of us who really make a difference in the world take something very ordinary and implement it in an extraordinary way. They don’t have magic powers or anything of the sort, but they learn to be the best at what they do. They believe in what they do and they commit to doing it with passion.
Unfortunately, we do come from a society of spoilt people, whereby in any setting you are bound to find at least one person complaining about their bad luck, their negative society, and the horrible economic situation, or our corrupt system that forces unqualified people to work side by side with qualified. But, I can’t help but wonder what it is we are doing to change that. Why are we even paying too much attention to the person who clearly has no skills?
If so many people are just complaining, those succeeding are the people actually working to change their situation, and the people who believe they can and they deserve to be successful. Those successful are not the people waiting for the government to do something, their dad to do something, or the lottery to hand them money, because even the biggest stroke of luck wears thin after some time.
I went home that evening with the commitment to not mind those people, as they don’t add to any setting anything of significance.
So, success is simply about believing in one’s power to succeed. The truth is that we define our own success, and therefore we are only successful when we believe in what we do and more importantly who we are. Like most things in life it is about perception.
Food for Thought