I know of a driver who prides in being a driver for over 30 years but who doesn’t have anything to show for it. He brags that he has driven to virtually every part of the country but unfortunately success isn’t measured by the mileage a man has covered. Sadly enough, the present salary of the driver in question (who’s unfortunately a widower with many children to cater for) is less than $150 in a month (30 working days) even after he has worked as a driver for over 30 years in different establishments. He doesn’t listen to corrections neither does he want to change his methods as he believes he knows it all. Since he’s a talkative, he keeps broadcasting his sad story and at any slight opportunity he’ll make you see reasons why he needs some tip to augment his meager salary. He even refers to himself as a poor, unhappy man. I once asked him why he didn’t make a conscious effort to climb higher than the position of a driver and he told me that he had nowhere else he could fit in. How wrong! Many are in the category of this man in our world today - they are stagnant and poor, not because there are no better opportunities, but because they have refused to raise the bar. At the time the man in question got the job as a driver when he was a bachelor, it was not a bad idea. But instead of him using the job as a platform to launch himself, he CHOSE to remain there. No wonder why he has been a driver for that long without having anything to show for it. No wonder why he’s poor. No wonder why he’s unhappy. No wonder why he’ll spend his retirement in uncertainty. Can you call this man a success? Do you think he can adequately provide for his children? What kind of role model do you think he will be as a father? What kind of ideas do you think he would have inculcated in the minds of his children? What will become of our world if everybody were to be like him? Judge.
Whereas, I also know of a man in my lineage that joined the civil service as a Messenger but who retired as a Director General when majority of his friends that he joined the service with retired still as Messengers. How come he started from the least rank and ended in a high rank? Did God decide to smile on him alone? Was life unkind to the rest by restricting their growth? Certainly not! When his mates were spending their meager salaries on clothes, women, drinks, and other side attractions that could wait then, he chose to save for his future. When his contemporaries were sleeping and partying, he was busy studying. With his savings, he was able to educate himself through school. He went for courses upon courses, seminars upon seminars. And then, the promotions came, obviously not on a platter of gold, but through years of hard work, dedication, self denial, and determination. This man retired fulfilled.
Life’s all about being ambitious. Life’s all about planning. Life’s all about sacrifices. Life’s all about choices. People often remain in mediocrity not because they can’t leave the level but because they are not doing what it takes to leave the status for a higher status. The reason why many are where they are today is because they stopped growing as soon as they got a place to stand. That’s why I love High Jump - a sporting event in which people try to jump over a high bar that is gradually raised higher and higher. Once you scale a height, the bar is usually raised higher till you can scale no further. Life should be approached in this manner. Once you achieve an objective, you should set another higher objective. Once the higher objective is achieved, a higher one should be set again. And this should continue till you breathe your last. From one objective to another, little by little, you’ll eventually climb the height you never imagined you could climb.
Your today shouldn’t tie down your tomorrow. There’s nothing wrong in a man having to start climbing the ladder of success from the status of a driver, messenger or even a lower rank, but everything is wrong in him remaining in that status till he retires from active work. Your ultimate goal should be to scale the utmost height and your present position should be used as a launch pad to propel you to a much higher ground. You don’t have to be glued to a vocation for so long if it won’t take you to the caucus of successful people. Once you attain a position, you should start planning of moving to the next level. If it means adding more qualifications or learning more trade, do so. By all means, empower yourself for the next phase because the crown usually goes to whom it’ll fit; higher responsibilities cannot be entrusted in your hands if you can’t handle them.
Are you satisfied with your present position? Can your present position make you financially independent someday? Are you happy with where you are? Is your retirement secure? If not, then it’s time to raise the bar so that you can fly higher. It’s time to plan for the future. It’s time to dream bigger dreams. It’s time to map out goals that will make your dreams a reality. It’s time to act.
There are still higher grounds than the one you’re presently occupying and you can get there. You can do better than you’re doing presently. You can make a change. So, never settle for less. Be ambitious. Be empowered. Be determined. Kiss mediocrity goodbye!