Who else wants a better life?

Written by
Written by

Deolu Akinyemi


It’s very depressing observing people in my environment everyday. Right now as I write, I am on the road, and I’m writing and staring out the side glass, I see different people, different shapes and sizes, different classes and at different stages. Sometimes I look beyond what I can see, and try to ask myself what some people could be thinking? Many people are so bothered about the basics, that they are clearly stuck in the present. The immediate gratification of our basic human desires, kind of mortgage our future possibilities. It’s either that our quests to satisfy the immediate that blinds us from the ultimate, or the fact that we haven’t set our ultimates is what makes us slaves to the immediate. Even I am inclined once in a while to stray and think in the line of our regular excuse, the fault of our leaders, the lack of accountable leadership, the lack of systems that can bring to office people that have visions and the capabilities to drive us to achieve. My mind strays, but not for long. Leaders are men like you and I. They were not born with crowns, nor with leadership tattooed on their butts. They were born like you and I, crying and wailing, wondering why they had to come to this world at this time. If we must get a better life, we must stop looking outside ourselves but inside. We must know that to fix the king, we must train the child. Yes we need great leadership, much more we need a system that will make it impossible for mediocre leadership to reach the throne, but most importantly we need to be a people that deserve a better life. We need to be an enlightened people, people that are easy to govern, difficult to rule and impossible to enslave.

I’m in the office now, I made it through the car park, lift and corridor of the office without closing my laptop. Yeah, every morning that’s my routine, I always keep the laptop opened. I wonder what my neighbors at home and at work think J. So back to the quest for a better life. My assumption is that I want it, and some other people do too. We need to get a few things right. We know some of these things already, but few of us put them to practice. In the cause of last weekend, I spent a considerable amount of time with an Australian friend, and it occurred to me that there are many things I know that I don’t practice, yet this guy knows a few things, but practices them like a religion. I got challenged to take some things more seriously, and I consider it a privilege to remind you about a few of them.

1. Goals per Match

I made a bold statement on my facebook status last week that elicited 35 comments in 2 days. I wrote that I had just confirmed that 97% of mortals don’t have clearly documented goals. It raised a lot of counter perspectives, but I just discovered after then however, that if that data was western in origin, as it is, it might actually be worse in Africa. My friend asked me a question, “this particular business that you are doing, what is your goal?” It got me tongue tied. I have goals for my life, but I didn’t have goals for the particular match. Sportsmen know that they must have a goal per match, the whole strategy of playing the particular game is a function of the goal that you have for that game. He went ahead to explain to me, and practically show me how he had clear goals from each milestone, and how he has pictures of what he wanted all around him – laptop, wallet, e.t.c., and how he actually goes out ever month to test drive his dream car. His goal is different from a dream, because he’s engaged in business that should get him his dreams, he only refreshes the picture of his goal in his mind regularly to motivate and stimulate him.

What’s your goal in that Job? How long will you spend in that company, and what will you achieve that will make you know that you have accomplished your goal? What is your goal for that trade? What is your goal for that stock? Have goals per match, and form your plan and strategy based on those goals. Don’t set them alone, review your goals regularly – millionaires do it averagely once a day, billionaires twice a day. Can you imagine a football match without goal posts? It robs the game of a lot of fun, and reduces the players to idiots. 

2. Failure is Golden

Thomas J. Watson  is being reputed to have said, “If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate”. That quote is one statement I feel like downloading into my psyche this year. Success doesn’t come when we stop, it comes because we fail but refuse to stop. I’m afraid to take advice from someone who has never failed before, he/she will have no clue where things can go wrong. Failure means you are one step closer to success. My friend told me how the last 19yrs of his life (he’s currently 45) has been moving from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm, and how he got his big breaks. The reason why we fail and stop is because we have other options. For successful and wealthy people, the real option is to start again more intelligently. A child tries and fails averagely about 10,000 times before he/she walks. Many wealthy people failed very many times before they succeeded, we don’t know, because it doesn’t matter.

How many times have you failed? Yes you did Nospetco, yes you did Clubfreedom, yes you were caught in the stock market plunge, count your losses but don’t stop. Just learn a better way to do it. Some people didn’t do, yes they didn’t lose anything, but they also didn’t learn anything, and you know the funny thing, you and them still have the same account balance. They didn’t invest, they didn’t venture, but they spent the money anyway. Failure is used to scare the feeble minded from venturing for more. Keep going, success is on the way.

3. Risk doesn’t equal Loss

Many people are afraid of losing. They are afraid of failing, afraid of falling short, afraid afraid afraid! 

Risk is a concept that denotes the precise probability of specific eventualities. Technically, the notion of risk is independent from the notion of value and, as such, eventualities may have both beneficial and adverse consequences. However, in general usage the convention is to focus only on potential negative impact to some characteristic of value that may arise from a future event. {wikipedia}

When the pessimist sees a risk, he sees loss, when an optimist sees risk he sees reward. An entrepreneur however is someone who in the face of risk and uncertainty is able to identify opportunities and bring resources together to capitalize on it. Risk does not always mean loss. I have heard people give their reasons for not taking part in a venture, as saying it is risky. Of course it has to be risky, if it’s not risky, why should if be of benefit? Life itself has it’s attendant risks, and when we risk nothing we gain nothing. Imagine if you had stayed at home all of your life and never gone out, imagine you did this because your parents felt going out was risky? Or if they had carried you all through your childhood because it was risky for you to fall? Yeah, you would not have forgiven them yet. 

What is that thing you are afraid to lose? You will still lose it. Go and check it out, when successful people lose money for example, it’s no big deal, it happens all the time. When poor people (it’s a state of mind) lose money, they whine and grind! Take risks, calculate before you make them, but make them. Which would you rather be, one who tries and fails, but has battle scars he/she can use to tell quality autobiographies or be amongst the company of those who never dare anything, but know 101 ways it could have been done?

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