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The Regular, The Spectacular, Or The Original – what would you prefer?

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People decide what they want and where they occupy – the top, the middle or the bottom.  Decisions aren’t made by mere verbal declarations but by actions. Your actions put you in your true position; what you say may not actually be too important if it isn’t matched with corresponding actions. A lot of people say what they want to be or wish to be, but until they “do,” they don’t become.

I have realized that opportunities stare you in the face in different ways – some stare at you with beautiful smiles, some stare at you motionless, and others frown at you. The ones that smile at you reflect a “come get me” attractive invite. For these ones, everyone can easily see that opportunities abide in such places. The ones that are motionless always mute, and expect you to use your perception to discern if they are embodiments of opportunities or not. For these, you have to uncap the can to access what is within. The opportunities that frown scare you to bits, and never admit that they are opportunities – they fight you, they resist you, they frustrate you. This type of opportunity isn’t for the faint-hearted, the impatient, or the one without character.

Just very recently, a popular Nigerian artist TuFace got fed up with the way the government treated his people and decided to call a protest for two days. As expected, the police force of any nation will discourage such actions and give some bogus reasons why protests like that shouldn’t take place. And for Africa where the rule of law is still miles away from set standards, some threats will be made by the police in order to support the government of the day. The call for protest went viral on the social media and millions of people started getting ready for it. As people got prepared for the D-day, the police continued with a combination of threats and appeal – appeal because they faced heavy criticisms on attempting to stop the people from exercising their constitutional rights. Two nights before the protest day, TuFace cowered – he cancelled the protest making spurious excuses. According to him, he doesn’t want lives to be lost – but he should have counted the cost before making such a very important call – backtracking was a major PR disaster for him. In my opinion, because of the popularity of the protest internationally, and how the police was criticized for their intended response, they would have exercised some  restraints, especially as the government of the day was trying to garner some credibility before the world.

The protest was an opportunity staring TuFace in the face with a frown. Imagine what this would have done for him as a person – he would have positioned himself as an indelible icon; his rating would have soared far and wide the world. Imagine what it would have done for the youth – maybe the youth would have positioned themselves as those ready to take over the reins of leadership, not through a coup or riotous revolution, but through ideological and philosophical revolution. TuFace had no idea what was at stake; maybe he didn’t mean to make the call, maybe he meant but got scared, or maybe he was bought over. But whatever it was, it ended up being a loss for him and the youth, in my very strong opinion!

The faint-hearted, the mediocre and the indifferent go for the regular. The regular does not demand additional sacrifice – it does not need you to go out of your way to make something unusual happen – inasmuch as you do the usual, you’re okay with what is regular. With your eyes shut, you know what to do and the result to expect when the structured routine is adhered to, but as you do that, don’t think you will go beyond what you’ve always had.

For the past three years, I have majored on a specific route; I have mastered the route, and it no longer gives me stress to make that route work – and in my head, I know what to expect as I tread that same way I have walked for 36 months. These days, I am beginning to get bored by following that ONLY PATTERN. It is regular, it is acceptable but it won’t take me farther than it has done if I don’t input some additional innovations and entirely new approaches to it.

Every product needs an upgrade; otherwise, it will be overrun by emerging products that are considered far behind. Nokia was far ahead in mobile phone technology, but maintained the regular until iPhone and Samsung sped pass them like lightening; today, they’re no more. Sony is coming speedily from behind, and if iPhone and Samsung rely only on their pole positions, they will be surprised by other emerging markets.

Conformity with the regular is the easiest way to get dated. This also occurs in personal development – imagine an old employee assuming that long years in an organization is equivalent to job security. No; it isn’t. Everyday, technology is defining and redefining the directions of almost every organization; if you don’t embrace change, you get thrown out by surging competitions. An inflexible employee can’t keep his job when he can’t embrace change; you become too expensive to manage when you’re rigid. Even a woman will hardly keep her man these days, if all she puts on are aged people’s clothes. There isn’t pains with being regular, but in the end, you lose out to a competitive world where the standards are daily upgrading.

The spectacular is a charm, but hardly ever original. Sometimes, most people who don’t want the regular, but can’t be original, go for the spectacular. In short, the highest percentage of people these days go for the spectacular. In the spectacular, you glitter like gold, but you aren’t actually gold. The spectacular is seductive – many people fall for it, but it is fake. It is the painting of a seductive woman which is only an art enveloping a raging storm. The spectacular makes a man take loans to fund hedonistic lifestyles. The spectacular makes a man abandon his family to run after a perceived ostentatious woman. Many who copy flamboyance don’t really know its source until they become a reference point for stupidity.

Being original means you have to be in the shade for maybe, a long while. Sometimes, you may have to be backstage to help those on stage until you’re ripe enough to take your own place. Originality is taking your own place; not living in another man’s shadows. You write your own ‘poem’ when you’re original, and that poem bears your own name – no one will sue you for infringement of copyright laws when you ride on the wings of your own destiny. What would you prefer? The regular, the spectacular or the original!

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Ken is a leadership Motivation, Strategy and Personal Development Writer, Blogger and Speaker. He writes for a number of magazines and blogs. He is also a mentor and published author of several books.

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