Like the rest of us, many youth are going through hard times today and wondering whether they would ever amount to anything in life. A lot of young people in this country are really very frustrated because of lack of opportunities to improve their standard of living in the midst of growing economic difficulties.
Although there is a general feeling of despondency in the land as never before, you do not have to lie down and die. The truth is, most successful people in any generation, in any nation, started on a very rough note. Everyone goes through low and high moments. You can hardly find a success story without its fair share of failures.
The key point I want you to grasp in this piece is that how you start should not discourage you; what matters is how you end. Finishing well is the hallmark of all success stories. The history books are replete with stories of people who rose from grass to grace and back to grass at the end of their lives. That is an anti-climax. There are folks who were millionaires in their youth but died as paupers in old age.
There were presidents of countries who ruled for decades but died by public execution, or were toppled and jailed in old age. There are people who made first class in the university but ended up living like third class citizens all their lives. I am sure you do not want to be like any of those.
Therefore, starting well is not the issue, finishing well is by far the best option. It does not matter in sports what the score line is while the game is on. We only remember the match winner when the game is over. Every so often, soccer teams come from one, two or three goals down to beat opposing teams. It is the finisher, not the starter, that the world applauds or remembers.
Here is the gist, if you have an idea, find a way to implement it. The late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, once said that if you want to start something, start anyhow. There is hardy an ideal time to start. You would be lucky to be at the right place at the right time. Such perfect conditions are very rare. They don’t come often.
For me, I can’t remember anything I achieved by luck. Very often, I created the environment that brought me success. I don’t believe in luck. I believe that when opportunity knocks, take your chances. Great strikers like Ronaldo, Messi, Suarez and their ilk convert half chances to score goals. No player gives a lethal striker like that an opportunity in front of his goal.
When I started writing about 45 years ago, my initial effort was awful. My essays were shallow, lacking depth or beauty of narrative. Then I started studying great and successful writers like Jonathan Swift. I read a lot of Shakespear’s works- the plays and poems. I read many European classical writers like Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Dickens, Hemingway and, finally, when I stumbled on the collection, Great Books of the Western World, I read a lot of them at the old British Council Library at Yaba, Lagos.
I did not see the work of any African in that collection published by Encyclopedia Britannica. So, I said to myself, someday, my book will be listed alongside the immortal works of Plato, Faraday, Arisotle, Gibbon, Freud, Kepler, Tacitus, Homer, Shakespear, etc, that I saw in the collection of books that changed our world. My ambition was inspired by the greats of world literature. Once you get inspired, perspire and go to work, Nature has a way of rewarding the struggler. God rewards people who have faith. He says, “the just shall live by faith,” not luck or help from others. Most of the great devises we enjoy today were very crude when they were invented. They attained perfection over time, when others refined, modified, updated or remodelled them.
I want to challenge you to start building your empire today with little things that you lay your hands on. Every skyscraper started with a single block laid at the foundation stage.
I am not ashamed to tell you that I was once a motor mechanic, factory worker, errand boy, an unsuccessful publisher, etc. I failed many times in business and ministry but I never gave up. I am still fighting to succeed. I believe I would finish strong. Yes, I can; yes, you can. Yes, we can, to borrow President Barack Obama’s famous slogan.
It is great to start well, if you are able. There is nothing wrong with starting very well, so long as you can sustain the tempo and not burn out before you get to your Promised Land. I have read the stories of many great men and women and found that most of those who started well hardly finished well. Bottom line: burn out. Always have a good dose of residual power to enable you get to the finish line when you embark on a race.
Finish whatever you start. Don’t give up. God has no abandoned project.
Weekend Spice: The fear of failure is probably the greatest obstacle to success of all kinds in our society today
– Brian Tracy
OK folks. Let’s do it again next Friday. Stay motivated.
•Ladi Ayodeji is an author, rights Activist, pastor and life coach. He can be reached on 09059243004 (SMS & Whatsapp only).