Tool #28 of 104 is to focus on the big picture: catching fish or men?

Luke 5:1-11 But Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on it is men you will catch.’ Then, bringing their boats

Luke 5:1-11 But Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on it is men you will catch.’ Then, bringing their boats back to land, they left everything and followed him.

Your thinking will determine your future success potential and the ability to impact others.

As parents complete the race of placing their children in ‘good’ schools, some of us who were not that lucky can only look. The school my wife and I had indicated as first choice for our daughter, did not give her a place. That is when she opened-up and said, “I really did not want to go to that school.” When we were called to complete the application forms for senior one, we did not sit with her to agree. I was like, “I know this country. I know the best schools where the folks who lead all of us have studied. That is the school I would love my daughter to go.” She had her own ideas. Apparently primary seven children of today are highly exposed. They understand what they need.

I was surprised when the child told us to try for her at Uganda Martyrs or St Joseph Girls School, Nsambya. One of these welcomed us with open arms and she is heading to where her heart it.

Personally, at her age, I was not that lucky. I had no choice. After failing entry exams for an admission at Munteme Technical School (TECO), my grandfather advised me to apply to Munteme Fatima College (MUFACO). I did not even know about the business of first choice. I went at MUFACO for my secondary. I scored first grade in the UCE exams of 1996 and set a record. At the time, we used tadooba for night preps. There was no electricity. No lamps. Just candles and tadooba. I was so organized that one parent with a child in S.3 who knew me, bought my S.4 revision file with my notes and workings at a fee that I recall afforded me all my needs for S.5!

Not anymore.  It is not where you study. But what you do when you are at that school that make a difference. Our English teacher taught us to read every word in any book we pick to read, from cover to cover. And when we come across a word we do not know, to look it up instantly in the dictionary. And of course, to take the lead. Join sports. And be disciplined. It worked.

I joined a Progressive Secondary School (PSS) Hoima. I had been admitted to great schools in Hoima including St Andrew Kaahwa’s College and Kabalega SS; which I did not make because of lack of school fees to get there. PSS was a new school and the founder wanted bring people in his pioneer Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) Class.  He offered me a scholarship thanks to my great scores at UCE. I went there and read. I did MEG in Advanced level and passed. However, the school was so bad that the founder felt none of his students would make it to Makerere. Solution: He ate all the money we had paid for codding sheets for University Admissions. I remember in senior six, we filled forms, paid money and wrote our A level exams.

Results came, I had passed very well in my class. I had met the required marks for government sponsorship at MAK. I waited for my admission from MAK in vein. Only to visit and get told that to MAK, I do not exist. Our school did not submit any forms (visit to read about this story in detail)!

Rather than do B. Com External, the option which I was presented at the time by a career advisor who felt so sorry for me, I went for ACCA – an accountancy course they told me was trending. I like challenges. I took it head on. I passed so well that at my first attempt of four papers I got an average score of 75% and got recognized globally as one of the top students. And word went around. I started teaching fellow students ACCA at a small fee that helped me survive in Kampala. I became so good that one day a top bank executive invited me to his office to help him revise his tax papers.

On the first day, I taught him so well better than the lecturer that he got from his pocket US $200 and offered it to me as a thank you. I looked at him and said “No. I have not yet earned this money. First pass, and I will gladly take it.” This is what I call focusing on the big picture. This person had been told that I teach for a living. Refusing that money made him understand that all they had told him about me were wrong.

This man became my friend. I taught him amid his busy schedules. He passed his papers. And at one time when I did not have money to pay for my own exams, he gave me his VISA card and paid over US$ 500 instantly. He then later offered me a job in the bank which exposed me a lot early in my career. I am sure if I had accepted the US $200 cash, I would not have gone far with him as far as friendship was concerned. Getting a job at the time was not easy. Mine was offered to me even before I completed.

Focusing on the long picture helps you fish men for they transform your life instead of catching fish which rot immediately they get out of water. Think big. Focus.

Be Blessed.
Bernabas M. Mugisa, Mr. Strategy, helps plant the seed of transformation. Visit to transform your life today. No one is too good to be great. Are you?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.