– By Joe Matogo –

The COVID 19 pandemic has put so much time in our hands. About two weeks ago, I was having one of those coffee chats with Nyamu. While at it, we decided to embark on a DIY project to make a bed for our son Mali from scratch. So we browsed through the internet looking for a design that would work for us. That was the easy part. We found this house bed that looked simple and cute and so we opted to go with it. The challenging part was yet to come.

Growing up, I struggled to get projects started. It is something that I am very aware of and I have since been quite deliberate in being intentional on. Being a sanguine, I not only struggled with starting projects, finishing them was quite an uphill task. Some years back, Nyamu bought me this wonderful mountain bike for my birthday. I had longed for it for a while. If anyone reading this knows a thing about bikes, this one is for you. It was a 2008 Silver Giant Rinkon, 24 speed, full aluminum frame, and double wall giant alloy rims with all Shimano components. This was the real deal. It was the best birthday gift I have ever received to date. A couple of months down the line, fueled by DIY bike enthusiasts online, I decided to take it apart piece by piece. I had these big plans of upgrading it to be even better than it was. Cut the story short, I was never able to put it back together. It was a disaster. I ended up giving it away as parts, something that pains Nyamu to date.

We are, to a good extent, a creative couple. We’ve started many projects and businesses because of this. Incidentally, it just happens that I am the one with an eye to detail. For me, everything had to be done in a special way and attention to detail was crucial. My need for projects to turn out perfect was so great that it would keep me from starting if I was not certain that it will be faultless.

Back to the bed story. At first, I was quite apprehensive about starting the project. Given my track record of starting DIY projects, I had massive fears that I did not have what it takes to build this bed from scratch. All I had was a hammer and lots of no experience. I was quite aware of my weaknesses but this did not stop me from embarking on the project. Here are 3 key lessons I learned from making Mail’s bed;

  1. Have a plan: I had to plan out this project with the end in mind. This means that I had to figure out everything I require to finish the bed. I carefully thought it through and spelled out everything I need for this project, including all measurements.
  2. Just start: There will be so many valid reasons not to start a project. At some point, I was very aware of the possibility of failing. The thought of it not being perfect really scared me. I do not have any experience in carpentry and all that I owned was a hammer. But I had to convince to start regardless of my limitations.
  3. Strive for excellence, not perfection: Perfection is farfetched but excellence is achieved. Nyamu has taught me this one golden nugget. It doesn’t have to be perfect, I just need to execute the project with utmost excellence. This is to make sure that I did my best to ensure the bed is functional.

I must say that I was really impressed by the outcome of the bed. I can confidently state that I can make a toddler bed now. What are the things that keep you from achieving your desires, dreams, or goals? What are you doing about them?



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