Plain Ol’ Wisdom

Over the weekend, I did some soul searching on some of the principles that are shaping my life and some I would love to do more. The list goes on and on but I will share some of them with you. I would also love to learn some of yours. Happy reading.

Be Happy For Your Friends When They Succeed

Everyone will say yes, it is a normal thing to be happy for friends when they are on top. But many find it very difficult to practice same and I have seen a lot of it. The mistake such people make is that they think they are being left out of the race when in reality, there is no race. Each person’s life, dream and ambition is personal and taking part in a rat race often leads to trouble. When I went back to Great Ife to see out my extra year; most of my friends were already working for big companies and were doing their NYSC. Some bought cars when I was still struggling with a moral justification for taking taxis instead of buses :). But one thing I learned from my father shaped my life – he doesn’t envy people and I keyed into that mentality. None of my friends could say I beefed them, in fact I am always praying for them to succeed more and the prayer usually rubs off on me because when my friends succeed, I also succeed. How? you might ask. My first job in Lagos was in 2003 and the person who gave me a note to the MD is none other than my brother and friend, ‘Gbenga Sesan. GS got a job in Lagos even before his official graduation and he met a lot of top shots. It was one of those big boys who gave me the job first due to GS’ note and then listening to what I could do. Now imagine if I am one of those who envy their friends – I won’t be helped by my friend. I also remember that I practically dragged my brother from another mother – Niyi Oladeji to Lagos after his NYSC. He came down and got a job the first day he started looking for one. Niyi went on to work for Vmobile Nigeria whilst I was still struggling in an IT company (My second job, where they usually owed us 3 1/2 months salary 🙂 ). Was I happy for him? YES. And the happiness paid off as he submitted my resume and I got a job in my dream industry in 2005. I can count a lot of these encounters as the list is endless. God has a way of blessing us when we have a clean heart towards people, whether they are our friends, families or even enemies (For those who have such). I hope we all understand the gains behind this principle and obtain grace from it.

Be Careful Who You Roll With
The popular saying goes thus – Birds of a feather flock together. Nothing can be truer than this. The people you surround yourself with will eventually determine where you reach in life. If you are one of those who hanged out with back benchers in primary and secondary schools, you will know what I am talking about. If you also hanged out with the best students in class, you understand me very well. The people you discuss with also determine the level of your thought and how articulate you can be. The kind of books you read and your choice of music most likely also come from these interactions. For me, I will say the friends I made especially in Secondary and in a bigger way University helped me in a very big way. Being a first born most times can be very challenging as there is no elder sibling to learn from. I developed a lot of confidence and believe in my abilities mostly due to the caliber of friends I kept in Great Ife. Those guys are big thinkers and looking at them today, I am so proud of them and their achievements. I am also proud of their convictions and moral even though we are not saints but we know when we err and seek to correct such. None of my friends will do a bad thing and come out to boast about it to us. He will rather be ashamed of it and make corrections. Those are the kind of people to walk with, people with integrity, willing to admit it when they are wrong (cos we are humans) and who understand the importance of finishing strong. They also know that they are not in this world to just pass through but that an impact must be felt by their coming. Those are the kind of people I love to roll with. You won’t adore these people until you have friends who boast to you about the number of mistresses he keeps and he is not ashamed of it. I don’t condone hypocrisy but I love people who understand some things are wrong, some people just don’t have a clue.

Never, Never Look Down On Anyone
The end of that sentence is – ‘cos you don’t know the heights they will reach. Yeah right. We tend to look down on people we meet without giving them a chance to prove themselves. Africans are very guilty of judging people by their appearance and hence, shutting doors on future help. That is why I try to relate with people on a good basis notwithstanding their age, color, where they work or status in the society. Most times, I get things done easily in government institutions just because of the way I relate with the man that is the messenger in the office. I also learned that the man you meet on the street might be the same guy who will take your file up to be treated. As usual, I have a story to back up my claim. In my undergraduate days in Ife, I was popular with the non-academic staff in my department. When I went back to collect my transcript, one of them was so selfless that I got my transcript in one day (A big record if you know Ife). Recently, I went to collect my certificate and 7 years after, it was still not ready but I met a woman who was a typist in my department and she recognized me immediately. She took me to meet her boss (A top gun in Great Ife Administration) who turned out to be my former Guidance and Counselor in Secondary school and also GS’ aunt. She personally went to see if the VC was around so they could treat my case individually (Another first) but he was not around. I left the country afterward and guess what, the madam (Former typist in my dept) gave me a call few days ago to tell me I can send someone to collect the certificate for me. If you have the habit of looking down on people, they might come back to haunt you later.

Even When The End Is Known To Be Rosy, We Must Still Be Prepared For Pain

Mark 15:34
“And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

Jesus knew from the start that he was going to die for the sake of saving humanity. He also knew that he would resurrect in 3 days to be forever glorified. But that did not stop him from cringing at the 9th hour though he did not plan to give up on saving us. If this can happen to Jesus Christ, I guess we all have a right to be afraid sometimes. But the lesson to learn from it all is that after the cloud – there is a silver lining and great light. Many times we come to crossroads where we have to make decisions that would affect our destinies and those of others. We can either go for the short term gain or decide to do what is right. I reckon that one word from Jesus, and his killers would have been struck dead but he forgot the pains because he saw the higher glory in view and that is why even those who don’t believe in him can’t but talk about him till date. His death and resurrection has been a subject for many philosophers and scholars and will continue to be until the end of the world. If you have not thought of this angle to the crucifixion, I guess you will agree with me now that there are more lessons to be learned from that sacrifice. Knowing that the end of something will bring joy does not mean we won’t be discouraged to do same, but our Lord has taught us how to endure to the end.

Execute The Vision Before It Gets Cold

Most of us are guilty of having visions and not carrying them out. We are also very fond of bouncing the ideas around the wrong people and those are vision killers who only have bad news to tell us. Thus, we start getting cold feet and fail to execute our plans. Many great businesses would have started and empires built but the story keeps repeating itself in our lives. I understand the need to brainstorm and decide if our visions are real enough but we also tend to forget that the best person to discuss with is God. God then points us in the direction of those who can help us nurture our dreams and not vision killers. That same idea that they ruled on as nonsense has now turned another man to a star. Why not close your eyes to pessimists and register that company today? Write that business plan and proposal and distribute such now? Why must you procrastinate and end up losing out? I guess this is a time to act fast, else that inspiration from God where those ideas come to your mind will dry up! Forget those who keep telling you only the connected ones are making it in business, rubbish – it is a lie from the pit of hell to keep shackled. We will talk more on this later.

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