Friday 20 June 2008


I had an encounter with a final year university student who is rapaciously chasing money illegally at the expense of his academics during the week. From our discussion, it occurred to me that majority fail in life because they do not get their priorities right. Here’s a brilliant young man from a poor background who could be leading his class academically but who is unfortunately heading towards doom. He told me of his determination to buy a car and a mansion before he graduates and I laughed hysterically. Clearly, he lacks understanding. To me, he’s simply chasing “the end” instead of “securing the means to the end”. He’s chasing the things money can buy instead of being empowered to make money legitimately. He wants to reach the top without having to climb the ladder of success. He wants to tap palm wine without having to climb the palm wine tree. Even if he succeeds with his plan, I can bet that his accomplishment will be short-lived because lasting success with peace of mind cannot be secured with his approach. Rather, what he needs to do, considering his background, is to face his academics squarely so that he can get good grades (with his determination, I can tell that he’ll lead his class). With good grades, he’ll be able to secure a good job after school. And with a good job, he’ll be able to buy all the good things money can buy. He can even start his own company someday if he so wishes by then. But, he won’t just listen!

Tell me…what came first for a gold medalist in an Olympic tournament… the rigorous training prior to the competition or the medal and fame after the competition? Judge. What came first for a serving president of a country… the grandeur and privileges associated with the office or the years of planning and political tussle before the election? Judge.

One step at a time, first thing first – that’s how things work. If you want to build a structure for instance, ordering for roofing sheets should not be the first thing to be done. You should first acquire some piece of land where the building will be erected. After that, you can then draw the plan of the structure to be erected taking into cognizance the size and shape of the land. It is based on the plan that the requirements for the building to be erected will be calculated (the number of blocks to be used, cement, roofing sheets, iron rods, to name a few). Anything short of that will be messy.

Whatever the plan is, ensure you’re on the right rung of the ladder. Even if you have made terrible mistakes in the past, retrace your steps; swallow your pride and set things right. Prioritize right. Using the scale of preference, list your goals and map out the best plan to bring them to fruition. Then, concentrate on the most important thing and channel all your energies towards its realization. The rest will then be possible.

Deny yourself of some luxuries now so that you can enjoy them on a larger scale for much longer later. Be wise, some things can wait!

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