I heard an interesting comment recently. “Either all the women in Nairobi are suddenly gorgeous, or they’ve just learnt how to dress well.” Yes, it was a man. Yes, he was my date. Yes, he was looking at a voluptuous female. No, the voluptuous female wasn’t me.

But he had a point. Take a look around. Suddenly the whole world is gorgeous. Nursery schools look like beauty pageants, the kids are all so cute! Even my gorgeous little one is only top five in her class. She moves up to first place for her friendly, beautiful heart – even the janitors adore her.

Are we evolving? Personally, I blame it on mixed marriages. Fuse intertribal and interracial gene pools and you get beautiful babies. I pity judges of beauty pageants.

But in this beautiful world, you need to work harder to stand out. It’s not enough to just look like Halle Berry. Intelligence helps, so does personality. But you need more. You need the X-factor.

The trouble with the X-factor is nobody can define it. They all say It’s that extra something … you’ll know it when you see it. And you can’t learn it, you either have it or you don’t. Ajuma has it. Alek Wek has it. And the common factor there is…

So, if we don’t all have the X-factor, and we can’t acquire it, how do we get the goodies that X-factor offers? Here’s a suggestion. Acquire a Y-factor. As in “Why you should pick me instead of anyone else.” This Y-factor will get you what you want. It will define why you should get that job instead of the 500 other candidates. Why you should be asked out instead of the other boys in the class. Why you should have your dreams come true.

Every human being has a gift that is uniquely theirs. That’s your Y-factor. Find it. Build it. Make it work. It can be as simple as knowing song lyrics or as complex as learning dance moves instantly. It could be the ability to listen endlessly (to music or nagging spouses), the power to talk non-stop (Radio presenters!) or even just being nice to people you hate – not everyone can do that. They’re called PR Managers!

Think about it. Everyone runs. And everyone can outrrun a dog when they need to. But not everyone is Marion Jones – eh, I mean Kip Keino. Everyone can write (at least their name) but not everyone is JK Rowlings. Everyone can eat, but not everyone can win eating competitions. Find that one passion you do better than anyone else, and then use it.

These days we have competitions for everything from texting to mosquito-killing (Italy). So stop trying to be like everyone else. Stop forcing X-factors. Find your Y-factor and shine, shine, shine.

15 thoughts on “C before the B – November 2007

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