Eureka! in a barber chair

It is amazing how life is always teaching us something new everyday. The only problem is most of the time we are not paying attention. There are lessons in every little thing, event and situation it is only the searching eye and the attentive mind that is able to decode the lessons within.
 I think I may have had one of those “Eureka” moments when I woke up and found myself in a barber‘s chair somewhere in Achimota. Now that wasn’t my usual barber… in fact I do not have a usual or favorite barber like some of the guys do. But I realize now- that could well be the reason why they always look better than me. I mean these guys take their time to make sure they look the way they want to look. Sharp!

Now I am not very big on looking after my appearance. I won’t have an answer for you if you asked me why so let’s not even go there. At least not yet. So you can imagine that I do not particularly like going to the barbers. I usually go there when someone who cares about me starts complaining. Well this was one of those occasions. My hair had practically overgrown to a disastrous degree and my lady friend who I was visiting in the area won’t walk around with me looking like that- or so went the threat; so off I went to the barbershop as I was ordered.

Of course that is not the end of the story, if anything it was the beginning. I sat in the chair looking at my face in the mirror. After a while I told the confused looking barber to starting cutting away. But he didn’t know where to start or what exactly to do with my hair. “Just cut it… you know- like you do for everybody else”. After what seemed like a long debate about hair styles he showed me a chart with hundreds of different styles on it. I was to pick a style. God! I didn’t even know there were so many styles for men. What planet have I been living on. I still couldn’t choose anything. Frankly I didn’t know what I wanted. I had come to the shop in the hope of looking better but without a clear picture of what I wanted. Well that is how I ended up again with a haircut that I was not exactly happy with. But did I even know I wasn’t happy with it. I didn’t know what I wanted.
Normally this wouldn’t matter much but to day I had a lady friend to impress. I paid my two cedis and started complaining.  It finally dawned on me- most of the guys will go to a barber shop every weekend. The regular visit ensures that the hair doesn’t outgrow the style. Also they maintain one barber who knows what they like so there is hardly any misunderstanding when the y need a haircut. They put real effort in maintaining a style which explains why they always seem to have a clean cut. They know exactly what they want!

Well that was my “eureka” moment: going to the barber shop is like doing anything else. You embark on a mission without a specific goal in mind you could end up with anything. As long as there is activity there will be a result. Of course I did get a hair cut. Unfortunately I didn’t like the result but who is to blame. If I had clear picture of what I wanted, I am sure my barber friend would have done his best to give me that.

Frankly I still never got to the barber shop enough and I still don’t have a barber of choice but believe me, I have decided on a new look and I am going to fight tooth and nail to get it and maintain it. At least it provides me with something to measure my looks against. I can decide whether I look right or not. Now this should pass for a punch line of some sort. If you don’t have a yardstick, how can you measure anything? You have no way of telling whether it is right or not. It is like saying I am going to hit a target when you can’t really see it clearly.
I suppose that is what specific goals do for you. Well this epiphany starts my library of eureka moments which I intend to share with you as we go along. But perhaps if you look for lessons within your own environment you will find a few.

So what the lesson here? Whatever you want to do for the day, the month or even the year; be as specific as life will allow. I mean to the tiniest details. You will find that you will get what you really want most of the time. I think it was Anthony Robbins who said that life will give you what you ask of it. When you are no precise about what you want, life will give you a rough idea of what you want. Don’t blame life. It is what you asked for.

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About Markus Kennedy Katey

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