Win or Perish

The availability of jobs is somewhat scarce in Ghana. The citizens have to create opportunities for themselves. They are hungry for survival. Therefore, entrepreneurship comes second nature to them. Daybreak begins not only with the cocks crowing but the clanging of bells, the beat of a drum or a loud cry indicating a product or service to render. To name a few products and services offered door to door: manicure and pedicure (I personally wouldn’t partake in this service), an assortment of fruit, breakfast porridge, pest control services, boiled eggs, beans and peas, homemade pastries and beverages, belts, men’s boxer shorts, fresh coconut water served by the hacking of a machete upon ordering. Lightweight goods are normally carried on the head of the proprietor. With the clenching of the teeth to make a sound similar to the hissing of a snake informs the proprietor that you want to patronize them. Their responsiveness to the call is rather amazing.

Neighborhoods are lined with small businesses – provision stores, seamstress shops, hair salons, shoemakers, sports (another name for bars), pharmacies, hotels, and restaurants. Most of the stationary businesses are either attached to or near the proprietor’s home. The Ghanaian people are hardworking. During my morning jog at 5:30 am, the proprietor themselves or their apprentices or children are up preparing for another day’s work, sweeping the front of the business, fetching water, pounding fufu, burning refuse, the mates of tro tros are announcing their final destination sounding similar to an auctioneer’s gibberish, the taxis are acquiring patrons via hand signals. On my return jog home, the businesses are ready to accommodate the passersby on their daily route.

Accra is a small business mecca. People come from other regions to seek opportunity here. Sometimes with only the clothes on their backs, a small travel bag, money for transport and a DESIRE to succeed. Napoleon Hill explains in his book, Think & Grow Rich, that

DESIRE is the starting point of all achievement and the first step toward riches.”

The migrating Ghanaians are in search of greener pastures. They possess a “win or perish” mentality or as defined by Napoleon Hill, “a burning desire to win.” He illustrates that a burning desire state of mind is like a great warrior’s determination to succeed on the battlefield by sailing to the enemy’s country and burning the ships that carried him and his army. The great warrior’s words to his army prior to battle,

“You see the boats going up in smoke. That means that we cannot leave these shores alive unless we win! We now have no choice–

we win or we perish!

They won.

Somewhat similar to my life story, I sold all my belongings, resigned from my job and moved thousands of miles away from my support group for love and in search of my purpose. I will either win or perish. I plan to win at this game called life. 128 days abroad and I’m still alive and moving closer to identifying my purpose through life experiences, self-education and trial and error.

I’m inspired by watching the local’s daily grind combined with inherent struggles (tropical climate, poor infrastructure, laborious work) and their persistence to win and not perish. Observation of the Ghanaian people’s daily work ethic has exposed me to a new way of working which will aid me in reaching the highest, truest, fullest expression of myself. Join me in “finding yourself”, and discovering new ways of thinking, new ways of working and new ways of living. You’re invited!

One Comment

  • Charlesetta (Zetta) Wilson-Glover

    Thank you for sharing another great story!!!. I plan to WIN as well at this game called life too.

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