‘Highway to Success’ is a compilation of motivational articles written by Brian Tapatapa. The book serves as a guide to individuals who are in pursuit of success. Each chapter of the book is made up of a short article that focuses on an inspirational or advisory topic.
Dr Farai Katiro’s foreword endorses the book as a powerful tool for workers and young people who have a genuine passion for success. Katiro also points out that the book helps individuals make relevant choices to determine how they end up in life.
As I read the book, I noticed that the author has a unique way which he uses to arrange the topics. The book starts with chapters on self-development and one’s immediate environment. Chapters that follow then focus on external factors that are mainly influenced by society or one’s interactions with different people.
In the first four chapters, the author focuses on topics that encourage good behaviour that is likely to lead to success. Tapatapa argues that self-discipline combined with good habits such as good time management and consistency are important if one is working towards success.
I agree with his assessment because I think success is determined first by one’s behaviour and work ethic. I found topics on self-discipline and character self-explanatory as they encourage the reader to take responsibility to develop a positive attitude towards life.
“Many People go into interviews with the right answers but lose out due to their lack of confidence”
Here he illustrates that besides having all the right answers, one needs to be confident about themselves in order to prove that they are actually capable of what they are saying.
In chapter four, the author turns attention from personal attributes to goals and dreams. He starts the chapter with a quote on child birth:
“…you were born with a special giant in you. This giant needs recognition to work…”
I find his choice of the word ‘giant’ encouraging in that the reader is challenged to believe that whatever ability they may have is powerful.
Tapatapa links positive thinking and a good attitude with action. He explains the reality that one has to act towards their goals in order to achieve success. This is clearly spelt out in the chapter titled ‘Rise to Action’, which he concludes by saying,
“Success is hidden in action; act, act and the results will follow.”
This chapter sums up all the characteristics the author has been explaining as catalysts that should propel the reader to act and achieve their goals. In short, he is saying a good mind-set followed by action leads to good results.
Following chapters which include, ‘Enemies of progress’, ‘Common but Risky’, ‘Mistakes’ and ‘Challenges’ prepare one for obstacles that they are likely to encounter on their journey to success. Tapatapa’s approach is ideal as it portrays realities that we all face in life. He does this by ridiculing bad unproductive relationships that have the potential to divert one’s attention from working towards their goal.
Tapatapa advises teenagers against drug abuse, cheating and laziness. These are stated as vices that may be a result of the company that one keeps. I find this relevant as the aspects cited by the author are real life problems, especially for teenagers.
The last two chapters of the book ‘Seize the Opportunity’ and ‘Finish the Race’ advice the reader to make good use of every opportunity that they come across in order to achieve their goals. In those chapters, the author also focuses on education as a good foundation for one to be successful in life. Since his primary target audience are the school going age, I think it is good to encourage them to aim for good grades as they will be going through the most important phase of education.
I appreciate the use of very simple language, short sentences and short chapters. These make it easy to read and understand the book. I think even the non-avid readers among teenagers can easily go through the text with ease. Sometimes comprehension of the message is more important than the author trying to impress readers with tongue twisters.
However, the author could have made use of images or pictorial illustrations. He could have done this with topics like ‘Awakening the Giant’, ‘Watering Your Vision’, ‘Raise your Flag’ and ‘Rise up for your Dream’. This could have helped the readers visualise the messages.
For parents or guardians who intend to encourage their teenage children to excel in various aspects of life, ‘Highway To Success’ is an ideal read.
Main image by Daphne Jena