Wednesday, October 21, 2020
You are here: Home » Latest News » The Grass Is Greenest Where It Is Watered – Bih Bookmark This Page

The Grass Is Greenest Where It Is Watered – Bih 

With a foundation in Anthropology laid at the University of Yaounde I and later solidified with a major in Public Policy in the US, Bih, in this exclusive interview, prescribes a time-tested formula for achieving success through thick and thin. In the 117-page paperback, Bih also attempts to demystify the myth that grass is greener on the other side and that Cameroonians can be self-reliant if they want. Read on:

The Post: Can you tell us about yourself?

Marcelin Bih: Well, I am a public speaker; a motivational or an inspirational speaker. For example, I have partnered with the Cameroon Teachers’ Trade Union, CATTU. We are on a national tour giving seminars to teachers on how to improve on their self-esteem, and I am the main resource person.

You have just published a book, "Journey to Success"; why did you write this book at all?

I had many reasons. First, even though success principals are universal, I was very selective and I wanted Cameroonians to be my audience because I wanted to give back to Cameroon and the world at large after benefiting from the generosity of so many good will people. Second, I wanted to demystify the myth that the grass is greener on the other side.

From my person experience and opinion, after living in both Cameroon and the US, the grass is greenest where it is watered; it is not greener on the other side. That is just a myth, so the book is out to demystify that concept. Third, I felt that in the 21st Century, the message of self-reliance is desperately needed in Cameroon.

From your choice of audience, one gets the impression that Cameroonians have not been succeeding in their lives…

I am not insinuating that Cameroonians have not been succeeding. There are very, very successful Cameroonians; they have and will always be succeeding. Success is not a destination, it is a journey and while on the journey, one still needs a pat on the shoulder; you need to be encouraged; you need to be inspired, motivated. And this is exactly what my book is intended to do.

In the first pages of the book, you have inscribed the motto: Determination + Discipline + Dedication + Desire + Decision = Success; is this a cast iron formula for success?

Like I said before, success is a journey. People take different routes to their various destinations. Nothing is actually carved out on stone; the journey to success is never carved out on a golden stone. It is just that they are universal principles that have been used by the highest pedigree of successful people. So you are only going to be successful if you do exactly what other successful people have done in the past.

Some people will try the principles and succeed; others will try and fail because of a combination of different factors. This is how the motto works; you have to make up your mind about what you want to do and you must follow it with self-discipline. You must have control of yourself and be dedicated to the cause you have undertaken. Of course, you must have a strong desire to go with it. You don’t procrastinate here; because as they say, procrastination is a thief of time.

Your book has a bibliography which probably means you studied some works on success; have you any personal testimony that might have inspired you to write this book?

Wahoo! Definitely. You know, the book by itself written by me is a success story on its own. I hail from a single mother; I grew up from a single parent and I think that to have arrived at the point at which I am now, should be a success story to anybody; an inspiration to anybody who thinks that just because you are from a single parent, you cannot be a successful person. You know, I have had to do it all on my own, just with the support of my mother. I know that many people believe that you have to come from a two-parent family before you can be a successful person. Again, that is a myth that I am trying to demystify because I hail from a single-parent family and I have been able to make it in life.

What are the success tips you received from your mother?

My mother told me I had everything that any other person had out there to be able to make it. She always reminded me of that. She told me that there is the courage; that was instilled in me by my mother and my grandmother who recently passed away.

So what are your own tips that you added?

Reading; I am an ardent reader. That is what I am trying to encourage Cameroonians who have a low reading culture right now to do; that you are going to be as successful as you can if you can cultivate the habit of reading.

You studied Anthropology and Public Policy; how have these studies impacted on your life and this book?

Well, they have impacted so much. Anthropology is the study of man; Public Policy is the study of how to make decisions in society, country, government or whatever. When I put the combination together, I was able to come up with "Your Journey to Success" because the principles there work for individuals, they work for nations and for corporations; they work for everybody.

Tell us some very agonising emotional experience that enabled you to weather hard times up to this point.

The worst one would have been when I lost my investments in the US worth 2.5 million dollars in real estate. That was last year; it was very emotional but I considered it a temporary setback, because according to Napoleon Hill in his book "Think and Grow Rich", to every temporary setback, there is a seat of greater or equal opportunity within it.

Let me put it this way; every disappointment is a blessing.  I think we have the propensity to focus more on disappointment that we miss our blessing. I made sure that I didn’t focus on my disappointment because my blessings were there. How did I look for my blessings in that? By developing what I call in my book a positive mental attitude – look at the bright side of things other than focusing on the negative side.

In your foreword you elaborate that each and every one of us is born with a potential to succeed in whatever we do here on earth. How does one get to knowing that they have a potential; a talent, and put it to good use?

We all have different passions. You can turn your passion into profit. My passion is talking. That is why I decided to become a public speaker. I would do it all day long and all night long if money were not a factor and I would still be happy. That is exactly what I have done right now; I have turned it into profit; I am making money, I am being paid to talk. So, you have to look deep within you and find out where our strengths are and where our weaknesses are.

There is an outrageous joke that has gained currency that if you want to hide something from a Cameroonian, hide it inside a book. Don’t you think that you have conveniently hidden a treasure where Cameroonians won’t find it?

I have a different opinion. Yes, Cameroonians have a low reading culture. People have the tendency of doing what they can best with the resources that they have. What Cameroonians have at their disposal has been something else other than good books. We have Cameroonians authors, yes. But they have been writing academic books and political books! And very few Cameroonianswant to read political books now.

But "Your Journey to Success" is a book on inspiration; it is quite a novel concept for Cameroonians and it is a book that is needed in the 21st Century. And from the sales that I have made from the book, I think Cameroonians are great readers. Do you know that according to the State Department, Cameroonians are the most educated people in West Africa? Therefore, Cameroonians do read. Unfortunately, they don’t have what they are supposed to read. They need good books.