I recently completed a study about giraffe and I’ll like to share with you few ideas. A giraffe is an amazing African creature that belongs to the Giraffidae family. It’s regarded as the tallest, living, ruminant animal with an average height of 20ft, and known for its exceptionally long neck that’s over 5ft in length. The maximum lifespan of a giraffe is between 25years and 30years. Ironically, a giraffe is not a fast animal despite its long legs.
In fact, the maximum speed of a giraffe is pegged at 56km/h, which makes it a vulnerable prey to fast, carnivorous animals like lions, leopards, and hyenas. Now, here comes the part I find absolutely fascinating. When a female giraffe gives birth, after fifteen months of gestation, the calf falls 10ft from its womb and usually lands on its back. And within 20minutes of that unceremonious fall, the calf is able to stand on its own feet. But this is what happens during those 20minutes. Shortly after the baby is born, the mother giraffe begins to subject it to stiff trainings. While her baby is still on the ground, she swings her long, pendulous leg outward and violently kicks it. If the baby doesn’t get up, she kicks it again and again and again. She continues doing this until the baby giraffe is able to stand on its feet, and then she does it again because she wants it to remember how it got up in the first instance. “But why does she carry out all these hard stuffs on her young baby?” you may ask. Well, she does them to prepare and strengthen her calf to face life. In other words, if the baby giraffe must survive in the wild, if it must escape from the dangers posed by its predators, then it must learn how to get on its own feet, fast.
Just like the baby giraffe, most times life confronts us with series of tests that cause us to want to give up on our great dreams. And when it appears as if we’re about to find our feet, another test hits us to the ground! Unfortunately, it’s not every dream that goes through these tests that survive. In fact, many great dreams have been abandoned, sliced into chunks of mediocrity, slaughtered, or wrongly substituted when their bearers got hit by life’s kicks. Those who couldn’t continue with the rest of the journey ahead, as a result of those kicks, stopped halfway or even retreated to where they started from. Sure, I’ve seen individuals—individuals with enormous potentials and talents—who started out with beautiful dreams for their lives, but who threw in the towel when they felt they couldn’t continue to go through the trials involved. In other words, they got kicked by life and they stopped, leaving their dreams behind!
The truth is that you can’t run away from life’s kicks. It’s the thread with which the fabric of life is beautifully designed. As long as you’re a denizen of this planet, as long as you’re living, you must participate in the tests that come with it. Well, this test-principle may sound rather obvious (and it is actually), yet it’s rather sad that many people still don’t see it. Because if they do, they’d never run away from those tests; they’d face them. Life is just like the mother giraffe: she takes you through her series of test not to kill you, but to bring out the best in you and keep you truly alive. Oftentimes, she kicks you here and then kicks you there, but they’re all programmed to bring you up on your feet. Hence, don’t allow the tests of life to put a stop on your great dreams or make you believe less about yourself. When you’re faced with circumstances that appear over your head, please don’t despair. Rather, see them as invaluable experiences that provide you with the right capacity and wisdom that you need to successfully navigate through life, attain your great dreams, and maximize your limitless potentials. When you’re faced with life’s kicks, don’t begin to give in to self-pity either. Instead, get up, learn from those kicks, and then move forward. If you develop this attitude, if you consistently follow the lesson of a giraffe, you’ll realize that challenges are amazing opportunities for growth and success. Therefore, I pray that you remain persistent as you go through your own share of life’s kicks. And I wish you success after the kicks.
Chinonso Ogbogu is a management consultant, highly sought-after conference speaker, gifted writer, blogger, and on-air-radio personality. He is the radio host of the popular SuccessMatters™, and conveyor of the GET INSIGHT, GET INSPIRED event. THE VOICES is his soon to be released book.