I have walked a journey that has been inspired from the onset by a man I call my father. He has been able to inspire me in his journey, he not only spoke words of wisdom into my life, but he too was the set example of what it looks like to walk in those words of wisdom. I have been fortunate enough to be inspired and planted into by people who deemed my journey worth planting into. I am the classic definition of – it takes a village to raise a child. I have had people mentor me from all walks of life, I have had people plant wisdom into me, not because they wanted anything in return, but simply because they saw a burning desire in my heart to want to do better and do better.

I have been able to learn from the common man on the street, who is able to  laugh in the midst of unfavorable economic situations. The ability to smile in the midst of misfortunate taught me gratitude. It was in seeing the kind eyes of a stranger who is selling food at the side of the road to make ends meet for a family of 6. It is in seeing a child derive joy from playing in the mud after a rainy day. It is in every aspect of my life, because I realized that true joy comes from gratitude, regardless what it is you do not have, because in focusing and having your eyes set on what you do have, takes away the misery.

I have over the years taught myself an ability to learn from everyone I encounter, because in as long as I remain teachable in all I do, I will be able to grow into the best version of myself.

I have been able to learn from Namibians who excel in their respective industries, without limiting myself. Opportunities to watch and learn from power forces like Dawie Fourie, Kauna Ndilula, Daisry Mathias and Afra Schimming-Chase have taught me that it matters little which industry an individual comes from, what matters is that you can learn something from everyone. There is no greater ability than that of a teachable spirit. It means that as you walk this journey of life, there remains an opportunity to better yourself at every opportunity.

When you shed the misconception that you can only learn from people of a specific caliber, or profession, you open up a world of possibilities. It means you develop a hunger for growth and self-betterment, and in turn you excel in what you do. In learning, there too is application, and in as long as you allow yourself to be taught, learn and grow, you have taken the first step to self-improvement.

There are 3 limiting factors that hinder us from learning to become teachable;

  1. An unteachable attitude
  2. An inability to respect people
  3. An inability to humble yourself

There is no harm in being confident and self-assured, the harm comes from depriving yourself an opportunity to learn because you are not open to it. Sometimes, you aren’t placed in a room to prove yourself, sometimes you are placed in a room full of influential people to be the student.

The student soon becomes the master, but first, you must learn.


Mavis Elias, is a young female black Civil Engineering graduate with 2 years full time experience. Mavis is a dynamic young leader in her community having founded the EM Love Foundation and serves as a director for the One Economy Foundation. Mavis has won the Queens Young Leader Award in the year 2018.

For more information email – eliasmavis@gmail.com


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