My family knew if said I would not do something, it was not getting done. To a Ugandan father this looked like disrespect. But they soon found a loophole which was getting me to declare my intention to do something, however big it looked and they would leave me to struggle with it. So when I told my family that I wanted to attend an Ivy League School; not any Ivy League, but the one with the top architectural program in the country, Cornell University, they knew it would happen. Although it did not seem likely to others, to the Muumba family, it was a done deal. Once I had declared my intention we all knew it would come to pass.  Not only did I attend Cornell but I graduated from Cornell after five years with exactly what I wanted, a degree in Architecture.

Say it

So, talk about your dreams. Talk about the person you aspire to be. Choose to be extraordinary. Choose to be exceptional. I strongly believe every single person reading this is going to be excellent at whatever they set their mind to. I always hoped to be an impact maker. I always asked God to just put me in a space where I can make a difference. And for so long that space was solely in the design field but recently it morphed into the educational field as well. Now it’s a perfect amalgamation of the two with my vision as the captain of the ship.

I remember at a very young age, I chose three things I wanted in life, I wanted to pursue the best education I could, be extraordinary at whatever I chose to do and when not if, because I do not believe in luck but strongly believe in destiny. I vowed that when I got all of that, I would be indebted to leave the world a little better than I found it. By the grace of God, the sacrifice of my parents and my determination and hard work, I am a few weeks from graduating from graduate school with my Masters in Education and three months away from starting my full-time career as an educator. I have my architectural design degree in my bag which officially gives me the two skillsets that I need to morph into what I have always wanted; to create spaces that stimulate and fully engage children in the learning process.

Take control of your life

Education was my first love from when I walked through the doors of Green Hill Academy in Kampala, Uganda, as a five-year-old. It was a privilege to attend school in a place where the quality of the school determined what you learned.  The New Building at Green Hill Kibuli Campus shaped the mind that I am today. I have such an unorthodox career path but one that I have made my own and I have fallen hopelessly in love with. I wake up every morning so excited to go to work. For me, that is the biggest indicator that I am in the career I want. Shaping minds is my honor but also my greatest responsibility.

During my interaction with different people while researching for my upcoming Instagram series on success vs. greatness, I discovered that their journeys were anything but smooth. Some of us had to balance work, school, family, being a varsity athlete, some of us had to take a break from school and some of us had to move away from home to pursue what we truly are passionate about. But what I like to believe brought all of us to where we are today, is that we dreamed to be something, set goals, focused on them and the rest is history.

My mother ingrained two things in me. One is,why try to be like everyone one else when God clearly created you to be so much more.” And two, “No one makes a difference by being like everyone else.”

So take chances professionally. Do not be afraid to fail. Failure as Oprah says, “Is just a redirection on the path to greatness.Do not be afraid to dream big. Do not be afraid to think outside the box. Boxes are the easiest road trodden to mediocrity. And how frustrating can that be? This is where all the regrets reside.

But most importantly, do not compare your journey to anyone else’s. You are the author of your own story, so write it. For so long I lived for other people, my parents, my friends, my teachers. Then one day I had had enough. I took back the reins of my life. And from that day, life has been and continues to be a fulfilling journey. It is filled with so many risks, lessons, and victories but it’s all worth it at the end of the day. And for me, I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Write it down

Remember, dreams without goals are just dreams. And this ultimately will lead to disappointment. So, set goals, weekly, monthly, yearly goals. Write them down! Don’t just store them in your mind. How will you hold yourself accountable? Once you have set these goals, start to work at making them happen. Discipline and consistency will need to be employed to get these dreams to happen. The work you put in will get you to where you want to be.

The greatest mantra in my life to date is;

“Don’t confuse movement with progress. Because you are doing a lot more does not necessarily mean you are getting a lot more done.” Work smart not hard. If you want something, dream it, work at it. You will get it. And once you get it, turn back and help another.

Finally, don’t aspire just to make a living. Aspire to make a difference.

Patricia Muumba is a Ugandan educator, architectural designer and Keynote Speaker living in the USA. For more inspiring posts, check her out at

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