Here’s a true story of a poor Scottish farmer that once lived by the name of Flemings. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.
The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman’s sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved. I want to repay you, said the nobleman, you saved my son’s life. No, I can’t accept payment for what I did the Scottish farmer replied waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer’s own son came to the door of the family hovel. Is that your son? the nobleman asked. Yes, the farmer replied proudly. I’ll make you a deal. Let me provide him with the level of education my own son will enjoy. If the lad is anything like his father, he’ll no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of. And that he did. Farmer, Fleming’s son attended the very best schools and in time, graduated from St Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted. Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin. Years afterward, the same nobleman’s son who was saved from the bog was stricken with pneumonia. What saved his life this time? Penicillin. The name of the nobleman is Lord Randolph Churchill and his son’s name is what the world knows as Sir Winston Churchill- Arguably UK’s greatest prime minister to date.
Today’s article is not technical; it’s on the simple things that lead to greatness and success. Permit me to call it the 101’s of life. I will state them as small nuggets of wisdom that create catalysts in our lives.
First of all, irrespective of our skills and network, what is more desirable by the universe and all the principles to succeed is on those that proactively go the extra mile. While on that mile, it is having a kind and open-minded disposition. It’s on being opened to everything and attached to nothing that we find better things. It’s on losing ourselves in the service of others that we gain more. It’s on ensuring you empty your pocket in your brain and your time on the path to a better tomorrow that we find that yellow brick road. Learn to make sacrifices. Remember to love more without losing your assertiveness. While at it, shield your self with a clean heart. Keep a big picture of where you want to be, a picture that shows a place much farther from where you are yet closer to your heart. And please start the journey to that future through your actions today because tomorrow is just a now away.
Be the best, live your life with excellence. But at times when you fall short, be quick to get up. Don’t take your social status or even its failures too seriously; so it’s okay to laugh at yourself first, it dilutes the effect when others do. No one in history has ever choked to death from swallowing his/ her pride. Be a stand-up, even if you need to fight. But don’t consciously leave people wounded for too long. When you’re wrong, say you’re sorry, be sincere about it and then move on. Move forward, no regrets, not backward to the pain. Don’t wallow in guilt. Don’t apologize too much. Always remember that the bad thing about good times is that it’s really never that good and the good thing about bad time is that its never really that bad. Keep a mentality that things are never really as they seem. To expect a favorable yes, don’t walk around looking like a “no”. You can’t always keep that pity face because this universe is designed to attack the wounded. Life is too short to dwell in errors; so don’t get to the end of your life to realize that you haven’t lived.
Every day, I see a lot of people who walk around looking defeated due to backlog of unfavorable and past events. It’s called learned helplessness. Learned helplessness is a disease. It is a condition in which a person suffers from a sense of powerlessness, guilt or fear arising from a traumatic event or persistent failure on something. It is a potent weapon to hinder moving on to greater things. But the reality should be to realize that strength can emerge from your weakness. In the words of the NBA legend Michael Jordan, he said “ I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed”.
So many people are time traveling while forgetting now. NOW IS A GIFT, that’s why it’s called PRESENT. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worries; TOO MUCH FUTURE, and not enough PRESSENCE often cause all forms of fear. TOO MUCH PAST AND NOT ENOUGH PRESENCE often causes guilt, regret, depression resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness in the present.
Help people with no expectations for a return, although some way it will. Learn to communicate, especially at times when expected outcomes seems difficult. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Socialize; leave every place and anybody feeling better than before you met them. Have a positive disposition, give compliments and accept criticisms. In a world of negative vibes, you still can live without enemies; simply by not acknowledging their existence.
Find your purpose, we all was put in this earth for a reason so finds out yours.
At every point in your life, have a groundbreaking project you are working on. Be futuristic for its only he that sees the future that can seize the future. Everyday we see people and brands fail for the lack of this. Take for example, 15 years ago (back when phone screens were greyscaled, ringtones were beepy, batteries lasted over a week, and I rocked a Nokia 3310). Back then Nokia’s market capitalization (value) was somewhere around a staggering $245 billion. About 3 years later, Blackberry came through to hit an all-time high of $144.5Billion. Today Nokia is worth barely 14.7Billion and Blackberry 4.7Billion with both kicked out of the top 500s. Brands rise and fall for their lack of vision, and futurism.
We all make errors at times. An error does not become a mistake until you avoid correcting it. Empires, people and brands fall and rise. Listen. Don’t be caught sleeping. Welcome to life, where tables turn. When you’re on top, the aerial view is the ‘wrongest’ view of the world. Till date, I wonder, how could Blackberry not have sorted out their Bold 5 hanging problems for years and their battery life issue? Why did they not open up their chat system to other devices on time? How did they fall from being the inventors of smartphones and pop emails into not being mentioned on top Apps? What did they do with all our feedback? Why did they not listen? And when they were failing why did they not earn swiftly? Failure isn’t always an enemy but the down payment for school fees on how to succeed better next time when you learn from it. On the other hand, as you win, congratulations sometimes becomes the main enemy, “nice job” most times is the word you should be afraid of. Well, I guess success is the greatest enemy of success.
To me, success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking that they cannot lose. After you stand on your feet, stay on your toes. In the words of David Ben Gurion, “It’s not enough to be up to date. You have to be up to tomorrow. In a nutshell, never feel comfortable with your success knowing that you can do much more.
Think big; have rolling wave and progressively elaborative dreams. Layout your plans document your visions. Keep it close to you. Focus on what excites you. And don’t ever put the keys to your future or even happiness in someone else’s pocket. I hope these nuggets of what I call, life 101, a basic yet most important class on success. I look forward to working on your growth.
Written By Eizu Uwaoma,
About Eizu Uwaoma
Eizu Uwaoma is the founder & lead strategist of Hexavia, a business, brand, training & management consulting firm. Through his weekly features nationwide on radio, he connects with more than 5 million professionals, personally interacting with over 500 top executives & has intervened in over 50 businesses. He has a proficient gift, skill and experience in enterprise development. He is an authority in brand, human capital and business training as well as project consultancy.
He runs the Decoded, a monthly hangout for professionals in all major Nigerian cities facilitates at the Hexavian Masterclass and is the founder of the Hexavian Business Club.