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The Truth Behind Success

Sative Magazine cover


Exactly a year ago today, we opened our virtual doors to launch the Sative store. What an exciting journey it has been for us so far. May you please join us in celebrating this milestone.


A woman celebrating


When we started, we held a lot of preconceived notions on how to be a success. We were going to work very hard. Harder than anyone.


You hear this a lot in terms of any success, that if you want to succeed, you have to outwork everyone. But when you look around you, everyone is stressed out. People are overworked and not getting enough rest.

Take no days off cause the grind does not stop - That is the most popular advice right now. You need to work more than 16 hours a day. That is a bit of terrible advice. 


Unless you want to have a nervous breakdown and completely squash any glimmer of well-being and fulfilment in your life. It is a marathon. It is not a sprint. If you run yourself into the ground, you are no good to your friends or your family. You have got to approach this with a long-term view. 


I had to learn that lesson the hard way. If I was not working on improving even the most minute details that no one would even notice. I was reading on something that would further our chances of succeeding. I kept working until I burned out. I went through a period where zero work got done. I was feeling empty and mentally exhausted all the time. The most terrible thing about burnout is you lose all care and interest. And trying to push through the exhaustion and continuing as you have been will only cause further emotional and physical damage. Eventually, you may feel like you have nothing more to give. Anyone can become exhausted. What is poignant about burnout is that it mainly strikes people who are highly committed to their work. You can only "burn out" if you have been "alight" in the first place.


Yes, if you want to make something of yourself, you have to put in the effort. You have to stay persistent. You have to work hard. But that does not mean you have to neglect your physical and emotional needs. It does not mean work has to be the only thing you care about in the world, the only thing that matters.


I know how easy it is to get consumed with your passion. When you are determined to make something of yourself, nothing you do is ever enough. It does not matter how many hours you spent working because you never feel comfortable taking a break. It does not matter how hard you have been pushing yourself because you still feel like you have not been doing enough. 


On some days, you consider yourself lazy, even though you spent the majority of your day running from place to place, bouncing from task to task, trying to get everything done. You rarely take a step back to admire everything you have accomplished. You are always focused on how much more you could have done. You dwell on the fact you took a slightly longer break than usual to eat your lunch or wasted time talking to your friend on the phone for an hour. You frown on yourself for spending a few minutes on Netflix streaming your favourite show. You feel guilty whenever you take a second to yourself. 


When you are determined to succeed, you come up with excuses for treating yourself poorly. You convince yourself you are doing the right thing by working until you burn yourself out. You do not think you need a break because you have to make sacrifices. But, It will not be long before you start paying the ultimate price. Our bodies need rest. We need to reset. Refocus, so we can do more of what we love and achieve more.


Here is the simple truth behind any success. Doing the work. Not doing the work that is easy for you to do. Not doing the work that makes you look good. Not doing things when you feel inspired. Just doing the work.


You might not be a brilliant writer, but if you write something each week, then you will be better than most because you are doing the work. You might not be an incredible content creator, but if you stay consistent, then you will be better than most because you are doing the work. You might not be a savvy business person, but if you make a point to serve your customers every single day, then you will be better than most because you are doing the work.

And so it goes for any and every challenge we face. 


Working long hours on end does not mean you are doing the work that matters. Take that break when you need it.


Before I conclude this article, I need to reiterate that the success we have experienced is by the grace of God. From ranking on first pages on Google search results to many others. We credit all of them to God's blessings. It was not because of outworking anyone. But we strongly trust our gut instincts to lead us when we do the work.


If there is nothing else in this world that you can trust, please know that your heart knows what is true. Your heart can sense what is right for you, what is on the path you are supposed to follow. Listen to your intuition when making decisions. And watch how things will unfold. 


Thank you for being here. I love you guys.



  • Everything Refiloe

    This month’s issue was meant for me! I relate so much because I haven’t had the desire to write for so long because of the pressure brought on by the other facets of my life. Thank you for especially highlighting burnout. I enjoyed reading this. xxx

  • Sative

    @Ryan I think society celebrates the glorious end results of entrepreneurship and not so much of the journey getting there…

    Thank you so much for commenting ❤

  • Sative

    @Precious, wow thank you so much… if you ever need a writing gig please let us know 😉 you pointed out so many incredible points.. you just provided the missing piece to this article..

    Thank you so much for commenting ❤

  • Ryan Mapfumo

    This one hit deep, got me feeling every emotion in every single step from the start to the end and it helps one realize how hard it is and thay if you want to achieve anything great you have to be willing to go hard every day.

  • Precious Makaringe

    This was a very interesting read!!! I think like most concepts success has become one of those socially constructed concepts. we find ourselves chasing what others have proposed it to be. Another issue is we’ve over glamorised what hard work and success should look like…. There’s nothing cute about fatigue, mental and physical exhaustion… if anything (like the article mentioned) it produces less results…

    This reminds me of a book I’ve been reading. Although the book speaks on growth, it’s changed my perspective because I’ve started applying it to every area of my life. It’s helped me identify how to make my strengths even more strong, so that I am more excellent. The book buys into the ideology that yes we have limits as people but we can go beyond them and do something about them.

    It’s also important that we understand our energy capacities as individuals and a big part of this requires us to interrogate who and what drains you and perhaps start spending less time on that. When we distinguish those we are able to increase our creativity and production capacity without reaching a space of burnout. I think it’s important to give the body the rest it deserves or the body will choose for you.

    Also I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article. It touches on a lot issues that we face on the journey to “success”

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