This is the concluding part of last week’s article, titled COVID-19: Lockdown is no knockout.
This column made a debut here three years ago, precisely on Friday, June 16, 2017. The recession was the order of the day then and, like most Nigerians, I had challenges in my media business and ministry. It was indeed a tough time for this nation. I decided to make a directional shift in my career, by exploring new frontiers. That was why I started this column.
Motivation Power is a product of hard times, it was produced by hard thinking. It was a stepping stone to the stumbling block of 2016/2017 national economic crisis, which locked down many businesses. It is Hendo Iyaku (changing poison into medicine). This column was, for me, thinking outside the box of limitations. I had to do that to get by.
In this lockdown, think deeper, you’d see a new beginning for you in your life and career. The last recession was the game changer for me. I moved from being a pastor to an author, life coach and educator, doing seminars in schools, training youth in different places.
Back to COVID-19. I have used this terrible period to complete five books and write six new ones. The big news is that young folks who play soccer near my home to kill boredom have been turned into an amateur soccer club under my tutelage. I have become a proprietor of a football team who doubles as a coach as well. Thanks to the lockdown.
I have discovered that when God wants to give you a big gift, he would package it in a box full of problems. After you have sorted out all the problems, you can then access the previous gift. If Jesus had not died on the cross, the world would have perished, but he died and his resurrection brought salvation to those who accept him as Lord Saviour.
The Bible says, the stone the builders refused became the cornerstone. That’s Hendo Iyaku, the Buddhist principle that says you can change adversity to success, or turn poison into medicine. Perhaps, Chief Olusegun Obansanjo would not have been President of Nigeria a second time, if he had not gone to jail; that’s Hendo Iyaku. Joseph the dreamer, in the popular Bible story, would not have been Prime Minister of Egypt, if he had not been sold into slavery by his treacherous brothers. Sometimes, we need those traitors in our life to make us succeed.
Albert Einstein, the famous scientist who formulated the theory of Relativity, said, if he had not been turned down many times, he would not have learned to do things by himself. Don’t cry because they rejected you. That rejection may be all you need to get right into your destiny.
During this lockdown, you’d make few friends. Many prosperous friends and relatives would block your phone number, if you pester them too much for help. It is just about time you learnt to do your own thing. Do not be angry because of rejection. Most great men and women were once rejected.
Adversity teaches us how to endure; we learn peaceful coexistence from living with bad marriage; we learn to stand up when we fall. Inside every problem, there is a hidden advantage. The world developed technologies to solve existentialist problems facing mankind in every dispensation.
Usually, you’d always find hidden advantages in any negative situation. To overcome cold, the heater was invented; to overcome heat, we created the air-conditioning system. The motor vehicle, ships, airplanes, rockets, bicycles, motor bikes and train have been invented to help us close the gap in travel. No one has to be a wayfarer again except by choice.
You have to respond to the economic problems and other negatives arising from COVID-19 with inventions that solve problems. There are three ways to respond to a problem. Cope with it, ignore it or solve it. I’d rather solve a problem I can’t cope with, than ignore it. Even if you cope with it, the problem will still linger; well, if you cope with it or ignore it, it will still be there.
My attitude is, COVID-19 is only a knockdown and it is an opportunity for a lifting up. When you are knocked down, you don’t lie down and sleep or die, you get up. For those who are down, I urge you to get up and dress your wound like a good boxer, then continue throwing your punches like a wounded lion. You’d find to your surprise that even problems give way to relentless attacks. Keep up the fight, otherwise, you can’t win. I have fought battles that I thought I’d lose, only to end up in victory. Sometimes, we lose battles in our minds; some defeats are products of the imagination.
The first opponent you have to conquer is yourself. It took me a long time to realise that. I wish I knew that 50 years ago. But then it really doesn’t matter how long it takes you to learn, just learn. Perhaps, this article is just all you need to wake up from the valley of despair and fight back from the position of defeat that COVID-19 has put you.
We’d keep exhorting and teaching you to get up and walk into your destiny. Never give up.
Weekend Spice: Your family is your first classroom in the pursuit of greatness – Mike Murdock
Ok folks, nice being here. Stay motivated. See you again next Friday.
•Ayodeji is an author, rights activist, pastor and life coach. He can be reached on [email protected] and 09059243004 (SMS only)