I remember my friend, Faith (not real name) with fond memories.

She was my seat mate in junior secondary school three and we shared many lovely memories together.

I remember it was that period I used to have serious eye pain and try to reduce the pain by shining my eyes.

I remember how we stayed together during JSCE extension and were naughty together.

It was lovely all together.

But I have not come to regale you so much about stories of my time with Faith. That is not the intent of this write up.

Although I really loved Faith and enjoyed her company because apart from all these, she was also a very good story-teller and considering I like stories, she was always ready to indulge me.

However I had a problem with something she used to do back then. And I know you are expecting something spectacular or at least, really serious.

It isn’t but I am going somewhere. I hated the way she used to sing. Oh my God, she had this shrill way she went about it that irritated the hell out of me.

I complained bitterly but later learned to tolerate it.

Others were not so gracious. They constantly complained about how her voice was not “sweet” and she would be doing us a world of favour by not bothering us with her singing.

But you see, my friend did not bother about the criticism.

She had a goal; she was trying to train her voice to sing tenor.

I can sincerely say that I cannot remember any time that she replied us. She completely ignored us when we complained and continued her singing.

I remember that I used to wonder how she did it; block all the voices of criticism and focus on her goal.

Now to the point I am trying to make.

By the time we got to SS3, lo and behold, my friend could sing tenor. It was no longer an irritating shrill, it actually became pleasant.

See, my people, the world would talk, people would bicker. I cannot promise not to as well if I am around you.

It doesn’t matter. What matters is your goal.

What is that particular thing you want to achieve and everybody is against you?

Please, don’t let us discourage you.

It is a universal law; when you work hard at it, you will achieve it.

Keep working hard at your goal, one day, it will pay off.

work hard