After a long while I decided to re-read one book that significantly shaped the person I have become. You know how people would usually ask “What book has shaped your life the most?” implying that the answer you give should be some high-up, intellectually sound piece of literature, well, my answer to this question is a rather unassuming title that I’m not sure that many people have heard about, the book is Abidemi Sanusi’s novel, Kemi’s Journal.

I met that book nine years ago while I was an undergrad and we were required to read it and I’m not sure it meant anything to me at the time, but while on my mandatory youth service, I found myself reading the book monthly, and I’d started to take journaling rather seriously. Because of that book I started to journal consistently and have been doing so for nine years now; some of the most profound thoughts from me have come because of journaling.

You’re probably waiting for me to tie what I’ve been saying to the title of this article and I’ve got you. Remember I said that book is an unassuming one? If we were to rank it based on the number of copies sold I don’t even know that it’ll hit the bestsellers list, but it did something for me that most other books didn’t, it left a tangible mark on me. I often think about the self-doubt that went into writing that book and what my life would be if the author, deciding the idea wasn’t Nobel Prize worthy, decided not to write it. Oftentimes we undervalue our ideas because of how little we esteem them but every idea – and I dare to say this – has lasting value for someone.

Musings on Paper might not have a million followers but you are reading this now and thinking about the ideas you’ve left to fester. The iPhone was somebody’s idea, not that mobile phones weren’t already available for people, and there are countless other ideas, some of which you might never hear about but is no less impactful. So what? What if only one person is changed by the impact of your work? The point remains that those ideas in your head are someone’s miracle, it is the answer to someone’s prayers and you giving in to self-doubt is hoarding that person’s miracle to yourself. You don’t want to do that, do you?

I know you’re scared, I know you don’t think that idea is good enough, but think about it, what is the drive behind that idea? What need birthed it? Because if you saw that need in one person, best believe there are loads of other people with it. Take a chance on those ideas, what’s the most you stand to loose? Your courage will inspire someone else’s idea, make life easier for someone, or just direct you on a clearer path for your future and that’s worth taking a chance on. I’ll leave you with Dennis Crowley’s quote: “If you throw away ideas when they exist only on a whiteboard, you miss the point a lot of the time.”

Written by:


Hadassah Okuse