At certain points in life, those with hearts that can reflect look back. The crave to achieve so much is at stake for hasty people but those who are thankful and appreciative of where they are in spite of where they want to get to gratefully look back. As you reflect soberly, there are milestones that can never be forgotten, because those unprintable but memorable spots define where you currently are. Where you are may not really be where your mental picture perceives, but at least, it is obvious that you are in the right direction, making progress, and being self motivated to keep your progress going undermining the potholes, sink holes and bumps that act as barriers to your movement.
Some people may not want to embark on historical journeys because they are deeply chagrined by the chasm between their current state and what they consider to be illusion of success, but taking a second peep into life, one must be thankful for where he is. Why? Where you are is a route to where you want to be no matter how obdurate your condition may be. As someone who has walked on waters, I understand what it means to be terrified by the overwhelming floods of life; so, I speak not as an armchair counselor, but from personal experiences, I can tell that if you keep your focus, you will reach where you want to be.
What is one or two of the past encounters that make you a hero?
1. That first step: before I commenced writing, I was a real talker, but never penned what I said. A few of the people around me especially my wife encouraged me to put on paper what I usually told people as they imagined that they would become reference points. For years, I said I would but didn’t. Procrastination was my major problem until I took that first step. Today, that first step is the best history I have. If I forget everything in my past, I can never forget the very day I woke up one early morning to begin my writing career as a motivational person. It is one experience that has made me a hero, maybe not to the world, but at least, to my dream.
2. That first decision: to do or not to do is always what keeps people in the valley between action and inaction. “Should I take the risk or should I not?” Big question – big decision to be made when at a crossroad. But somehow, some people take the chance, and that decision makes them. Those who didn’t because they’re scared of the cons regret. Action is a decision; inaction is also a decision. When you look back at the great decisions you made, you feel like a superstar because today, you feed from them. That great decision made you a hero in your own right.
3. That first person: there are people you meet, and you never want to see them again, but there some, who in spite of meeting them once, changed your life and perception. The interview for the job you got was great because you met that first person. The presentation that made people think you were a hero went well because you met that first person. You were given access into that office or event because you met that first person. Look back and be thankful for that first person. If you hadn’t met him or her, imagine how life would have been today!
4. That first pay: I have said it a number of times that as a student in the university in Africa, I had no sponsor. Saying I was broke was an understatement because it takes those who have to get broke – in my situation, I had nothing. One day, I became so frustrated because of lack of financial support, and decided to go see one of my uncles in another town for help. But my major problem was that I had no transport fare; all that was in my pocket was an insignificant coin. Despite that, I went to the coach station determined to board. Beside the coach station was a gambling shop where they had roulette machines. I walked in, and threw my only coin into the machine, and that was one of my luckiest days and pay. I got my transport fare; exactly what I needed as my win.
5. That small information: a man laboured to build an expensive beautiful skyscraper. After the construction, he left it without a roof because he didn’t know whether the building needed a roof or not. Even if he knew, he didn’t know how to go about it. One day, a beggar was walking by, saw the beautiful edifice and said, “If only this house had a cover, apart from being beautiful, it would have had a great function.” Then it dawn on the owner that putting a roof would make a huge difference and add more value to the building. To an ordinary person, the beggar’s statement is just one irrelevant talk, but to the owner of the building, it is an eye opener. Once or more in our endeavours, someone has made an ‘insignificant’ statement that changed our status quo for life, and when we look back, we realised that that statement brought us where we are today. We are heroes because someone said something. We didn’t get here like lone rangers; we were made by someone’s insignificant statement.
6. That subtle insult: about ten years ago, I went to TESCO; Britain’s biggest supermarket chain to conduct a market research. While interviewing this woman, using my African pronunciation, instead of ‘price,’ I said ‘prize.’ She looked around in a very mocking way and said “Where is the prize?” and then walked away without completing the survey. I felt so downcast and irritated but l learnt something. Not only will I never call price prize again in life, but I started using the dictionary to check how to pronounce words the right way.
7. That sack letter: some people’s sack letters made them who they are today. Instead of moaning, they took up the challenge to do their own things.
Talking about sack letters; what is as bad as being sacked by the company you founded? Steve Jobs after founding Apple was fired by the board when it was already a household name. Rather than sit in regrets or commence time wasting court cases, Jobs decided to launch another company called NeXT and later came up with Pixar Animation Studios. As Apple under another leadership began to crumble, Jobs’ companies thrived. In 1996, Apple Computer, by now struggling, acquired NeXT, returning Jobs to the company he helped to create. And the following year Jobs became Apple’s CEO, driving the company to its greatest successes, from the iPod to the iPhone to the iPad.
8. That little crack on the wall that made you see the light: you have a past you don’t want anyone to know, but only your ‘best’ friend knows. It has always been a secret, but one day, out of jealousy, she decided to tell your new date, and without proper verification, he left you heartbroken. And you thought that was the end of life, but from that little crack, you met the best man in the world; your caring husband and the father of your kids. That crack on the wall made you a hero or heroine as you may choose to call it.
9. That bad network: “out of the eater comes meat, and out of the strong comes honey,” says Samson in the Bible. The meeting produced nothing but from it, you met just one person that gave you a clue on how you can tweak your talent in such a way that it will make a hit, and it did. You’re a hero because of that bad network; shouldn’t you be thankful?
10. That demeaning job: I don’t get it when some men sit at home to watch their families suffer because they refused doing some so called demeaning jobs. What do you prefer; your ego or your family’s happiness? If you have to be a cleaner, be a cleaner to fend for your home if that is what is available, in spite of your PH.D. That job will open bigger doors for you. When you do what is available, somehow, what you need gets created for you. I have seen it happen many times.
You are a hero not because you’re a superstar, but because you were calm to observe and make sensible decisions. You may not be a hero to the world, but in your own right, you are. Don’t stop; keep beating the odds!