I remember my first day in boarding school. I was excited to be attending what was undoubtedly the best second cycle institution in Ghana, ST. Augustine’s College (yes, you’ll still be hearing this from me in 2018).
Now, I live in Cape Coast, a mere 20 minutes away from the school, to be exact, so I didn’t have to rush. I took my time to pack, say goodbye to everyone before setting off from home around half past four.
I got there at what I thought was a pretty civilised time, only to discover that all of my mates coming in from Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and other corners of the country had already arrived and chosen the best beds for themselves.
Suffice it to say, I had to spend the rest of the year on the top bunk of a rickety, bed-bug-ridden death trap, which did indeed collapse during the last week of the 3rd term – while I was on it. Luckily, nobody was hurt (in the making of this message of motivation).
So what’s the point of this story, I hear you ask? Well, you’ve probably heard people say, “It doesn’t matter how you start, what matters is how you finish”, right? The thing is, I’ve always held a slightly differing view. I concede that not starting well doesn’t necessarily put you out of the race, but I am also acutely aware of the millions of ways in which having a good start puts you at a massive advantage, and pretty much sets you up with the highest chance of finishing well. So in actual fact, it really does matter how you start.
The story I told is a great example. I started wrong. I was late to school on my first day. And I suffered the consequence for an entire year. There are also countless examples of how a good start gives the best chance of a good finish.
In Cape Coast, the most successful fishermen head out while it’s still completely dark. They end up catching the fish that are yet to cotton on to the danger of swimming near a net. By the time the other canoes join them, most of the fish have wandered off beyond their reach because the area has become too dangerous for them. So the early fishermen invariably have the bigger harvest.
Chefs of five-star restaurants are the first in the market, so they get the freshest of fruit and vegetables.
Those who first bought land in East Legon were obviously taking a risk (I doubt anyone wanted to be the only one living in the bush), but clearly, their bold – and early – decision has yielded massive results. They got the land at the cheapest rates, and the community was built around them, making their homes prime real estate at the centre of East Legon. Now, you can’t even buy a plot in East Legon if you had the cash.
The first language I learnt was English. That has certainly been an advantage throughout my life, because my enhanced comprehension of Ghana’s language of instruction helped me in the study of all subjects in school. Even today, it remains a useful tool in my job.
The first producers of any product gain recognition for it. Ask Coca Cola, Tippex, Kleenex or Xerox. The first person in any queue has the widest range of choices. The first motorists in the morning avoid the rush. Starting well is an obvious advantage.
So this morning, on this brand new day, I want us to focus on giving ourselves every advantage. In our personal and professional lives, in our health, wealth, our education, our religion, whatever matters to you, take advantage of this fresh day, and start it right. You’ve already given yourself the best chance of having a great day by starting the day right with us here on the Super Morning Show. Don’t stop there. Start every week right. Start every month right. Start every year right.
All the things you want to achieve in your life will become greater possibilities if you start right. Now, you know I’m in this with you, so I promise I will be with you every step of the way. I promise to start right with you every day, every week, every month of every year. Starting today. Are you ready? Good. Let’s begin.
My name is Kojo Yankson, and it doesn’t matter how I ended yesterday. What matters is how I start today.
GOOD MORNING, GHANAFO!