“Inspiration, Motivation and Real Talk – Views of a Zimbabwean Youth”

It’s all about what you see, think and believe.

By Keagan May

Back when I was in high school, studying sociology at Advanced Level, I came across a very interesting topic which caught my attention and set off alarm bells. I remember the research of the looking glass self-theory, coined by George Horton Cooley. I choose not to get into much detail, but let me outline the 3 main components of this theory:

1. We imagine how we must appear to others.
2. We imagine and react to what we feel their judgment of that appearance must be.
3. We develop our self through the judgments of others.

The above components raised a lot of questions in my mind, and I arrived at the conclusion that it is because of this theory, that I feel contribute to many problems facing my generation. Let’s talk about these components and place them into context.

Imagination is perhaps one of the greatest tools given to mankind. Through imagination, one gets a sense of what they could become and how they would fit into that imagined phenomena. I have always imagined myself in a courtroom, arguing out cases, winning cases, and in all honesty, it’s a great feeling for those few minutes. I feel complete and happy, then suddenly, reality kicks in- and I’m not where I want to be nor doing what I love. Sad as it may be, this is the reality we have to face up to.

However it’s not just about the reality we’re face, but rather the size of our imagination and our determination to pursue that imagination. Albert Einstein said it best when he said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” It is therefore worth noting, that as important as knowledge may be, imagination is equally important.

When one imagines, they create an evolution of some sort. Their soul evolves, and it stimulates the mind. I would say that imagination opens our mind to a world we’d love to be in, and shows us how we can work to achieve that world. Your imagination inspires progress in your life, it gives you determination and drive – it becomes the driving force, don’t ignore it! No matter how tough the situation may be, or what the critics say, or what negativity may be around you, do not let anyone steal your imagination.

The second and third components speak of our reaction to other people’s perception and judgement concerning us, as well as how to develop our self around these judgements and perceptions. Sadly this is not true regarding our youth. What the next person thinks or determines regarding you should not then be a catalyst to cause you to react. It is natural to do so and attach a label to yourself.
As young people we need to rise above this, rise above the standard and prove our worth, not for their sake but for our own achievement, accomplishment and above all to fulfil the plan of the Almighty God. Living a life of reacting to other people’s labels or perceptions of us is not necessarily the ideal stance to take. Instead, what we think about ourselves is more important.

Who do you say you are? I’m Keagan May, that’s my name given to me by my mother and father. What matters more to me is who I say I am and what I think about myself. I strongly think and believe I will become a lawyer one day. I preach that to myself day in and day out, just like a pastor once said, “Prophesy to yourself every day,”

I pass this same advice to my fellow youths because you are what you perceive yourself to be.

Concerning the youth of today, we should look forward to a brighter future, always hoping for the best. We should always aim high, after all the sky is the limit, recites a famous saying. We need to move away from reacting to what people say we are, and focus on who we say we are and who God says we are. It may take a village to raise a child but it will take personal drive, positive thought, prayer and ability to make us successful.
This can be summed up in one picture below,

Let this be our motivation and daily practice. If you see yourself as a king, think like a king, believe you are a king. Do not go around life being the pawn at anyone’s gain. You are great and you are unstoppable.
Keagan May