As you read this article I am writing, I’ll like you to think about your life, and ask yourself questions that will move you from where you are to where you are capable of being.
I remember vividly an event that occurred about 11yrs ago back in OAU -Ile Ife. We had invited this preacher to school to come address students, his name if I remember correctly was -Taiwo Adelakun. We had a great session, I guess, like all sermons, we forget! There was however one statement he made that day that I have never forgotten and interestingly a number of my friends back then have also not forgotten. While he was preaching he started talking about how some of his friends were on fire, they were extraordinary, they were gifted, they had big dreams, but most of them had settled down to the complacency of life and of staying average or good. They had settled down to having jobs, having families and following routines. Their fire had gone down, their talents were not in use, their dreams discarded, they now worked with this and that, and live here and there. He shouted a prayer from the podium, and all of us found it difficult to respond with a resounding – Amen! His prayer was strange and shocking. The prayer was, “You will Never Settle Down!”
Today I marvel at how long and how far, I wonder if most of the ears that heard those words haven’t settled down. Even you, my friend and reader, have you settled down? Can you be classified as on fire and on the cutting edge of your talent? Have you bought into the worlds philosophy of can’t, impossibile and “make do with what you have”? Did life offer you something to fill your stomach with rather than a sumptous meal? Have you settled down to what is good at the expense of what is great? While my mind easily picks out the people we would have said were exceptional, my mind painfully sorrows over those who were not even able to discover their uniqueness back in school and had seemed to settle down since after secondary school. I’ve heard great stories that have a backdrop of a fantastic childhood and the current features of dull artwork. This morning, I’ll like you help you address and attack a few major good ideologies that prevent us from being great! You must not settle down!
“The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become” – Charles Dubois
1. Making Money is Good, Making People is Great!
Simplify what you are currently doing, your go to work, come back home, go to work, come back home. Are you making money, or are you making people? Many of our human drives, to work to get a job, to do business is centred mostly around making money. Money is good, don’t get me wrong, but making people is great!
When you are dead and gone, you will not be remembered for the money’s you make – we don’t know the richest 3people when we were in Primary School. You’ll be remembered for the people you made – we all remember our best 3 teachers when we were in Primary school. Greatness requires a conciously helping people, making people better, contributing something to peoples lives adding value.
Bill Gates retired from making money to making people, he’s focusing on Education, on Health and other people oriented issues. When Jesus approached his disciples, he told them follow me, and I will make you… When he finished he could go rest assured that he had duplicated himself in an inner circle of 12 people, who have expanded to the world. I met a young lady here in Malaysia, her name is Ana. She had been in Network Marketing for 2yrs, as soon as she graduated from University. I asked her how much she had made, and she answered very humbly, that even though she had made some good money, her greatest delight is how much she has changed, and how much she has helped others. From a shy unexpressive young girl who couldn’t talk to anybody outside her immediate family, she has become an international business lady and mentor.
I get myself involved with many people oriented projects from time to time, I am passionate about Network Marketing for this same reason, value is always followed by money, but if you chase the money you might miss the value.
Making money is good, making people is great. May you not settle down with making money!
2. Job Security is Good, Financial Freedom is Great
I was listening to Brad Sugar earlier today, and he made a statement I find really remarkable. He said that the most important phrase in the world is “I AM”. It forms the basic foundation for our individual identities, our beliefs, our values and ultimately our behaviour, decisions and actions. When people ask you who you are today, what do you say? “I am a Senior Manager in Nestle, I am the Head of IT in Unilever, e.t.c.” It’s so easy to allow our identity to rest on the shoulders of a secure Job? Job security was the ultimate some seasons ago, is it now?
Go to school, come out and get a good job with a good company. Don’t do just any job, do the one that adds value to you. Work your way to the top, don’t be distracted. Own your career, if you can’t get what you want where you are working, move to another company. Ask for what you want, you might just get it. These are all progressive philosophies in the ideology of Job security. They are good, there is nothing wrong with them. In pursuing security however, we trade off freedom. We offer our time for money and limit our choices. We are safe, or so it seems, but we are not free! Getting a good job that is secure is good, but working towards financial freedom is great. Selling your Time is good, but leveraging your time is better.
It’s risky, and yes you will lose at times, but there only 5 ways you’ll ever achieve freedom, and a Secure job is not one of them. Your job at best will become a source that you must divert to any of these 5 or freedom is an illusion. 1% of a prosperous nation like America is financially free at 65. 4% are financially independent, 5% still working, 54% dependent on others and 36% dead. Of this 1%, 74% run their own businesses, 10% are professionals, 10% CEOs and 6% others. If you want more information on this, you’ll need to come for a seminar, it’s free.
Job security is fast becoming a thing of the past, and even when you can hang in their till you are 65 what next? Not everybody should be in business, right? Well, what about that verse in the bible that says everyone should mind their business :)? Believe it or not, your business is anything that concerns you, and if you don’t have any, you are good as dead. There are more people in Jobs than following the way to freedom or failure, so I don’t expect mass celebration for this thought. But…
“To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform” – Theodore White
3. Good People is Good, Great Nation is Great.
Yeah, if you read it again you’ll see similarities with the rebranding project, but it’s much more than that. I think in Nigeria we have good people, even great people, but it’s better to have a great nation than good people. In my last few days in Malaysia, I have been watching them keenly and really looking around.
There is nothing fantastic about the people, they are diverse people, some of them are lazy, some of them are narrow minded, and they are averagely not as diehard and passionate as we are, but their nation is great. Malaysia is so green, looking around here, I’m beginning to feel that Nigeria is yellow or lemon green. They have very well cultivated parks, very clean environments, very lovely greenry, lovely structures, great farms, huge malls and consequently a great nation. Malaysia is about the same age with us, and they are clearly 1st world. Malaysia’s primary source of income they got from us – Palm Seeds. We don’t enjoy any royalty from them, but we have plenty we can learn.
In Nigeria, we need to work on Nationhood, oneness. We need to part with our differences and be one nation. Share common values – the P.A.T.R.I.O.T.I.C. Values, we need to live our individual desires behind and strive to be a Great Nation. We need to volounteer for leadership, take initiative, work towards the common good rather than individual good, be our brothers keeper, be a Great Nation.
It is not good enough that you are an icon in any industry, it is not good enough that we have great people scattered all over the world, it’s not good at all. A broom stick is easy to break, but a bunch of broom sticks withstands great pressures. United we stand, divided we fall! We live in a generation where if you are not seeking the good of the nation you will fail! The bible says – pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they will prosper that love thee. If you don’t love Nigeria nor pray for it’s peace, you will not succeed! Being good as an individual is not good enough, you must strive towards the greatness of your nation! Join the New Nigeria Club, it’s extremely easy now.
4. Being Cautious is Good, Being Courageous is Great.
It’s good to learn from the experience of others, to play it safe and take it easy. It’s predictable if we stick to what we are comfortable with, and take it one day at a time. It’s good when we don’t rock the boat, when we take it really easy and go with the flow. This school of thinking is another good school of thought that has won the hearts of many. It’s a civil service mind frame, let’s follow the path of least resistance.
Following the path of least resistance however, is what is repsonsible for making people and rivers crooked. The Message Bible says in Matthew 25, that cautious living is actually criminal. Growing requires constantly going out of our comfort zones, when it’s all painless, it’s likely to be indicative of no progress. To grow, you need to stretch. Courage is the ability to act inspite of fear, to venture beyond the boundaries of caution lured by the pull of desire and the push of faith.
When was the last time you took action without thorough analysis and paralysis? When was the last time you said like Virgin CEO – “Screw it, let’s do it!” When was the last time you acted out of courage? Are you a yes sir individual, or you are a go go person? Do you ever stand for what you believe in, or do you watch your values and beliefs being raped, then go into the toilet to cry? Seneca is quoted as saying – After a bad harvest, there must be sowing! We shouldn’t just give up and pack up because we have experienced negative before, we should braze up and move forward more intelligently. How high is acceptability on your list of values? I urge you to reduce the value you place on it. Whatever you do, people will criticize you anyway, so go ahead and do things not because of people, but because of yourself. Quit playing it safe, dream big and go for it!
“Only dead fish go with the flow” – Unknown.
Quit going with the regular mindset and philosophy that we met and are largely unfounded. Some of these schools of thoughts are good, but not great. It’s good to be good, but great to strive towards greatness.