One enduring fact about life is the fact that it isn’t comparable to a hundred metre dash, even if one lived just a few days on earth.
We are primed to go get all we need and want for as short as possible a time as we can manage by the many motivational speakers and other ‘know-it-all’ people who most of the times were people whose kernels were broken for them by a benevolent spirit, rather than some form of attitude they possessed or invested into work (a key factor to success, but not necessarily the only factor).
We will find that the old time saying that ”there’s no hurry in life” rings true at the end of the day, and that even though we may not sit idly just because we await some destiny, yet what will be will be.
Without disparaging hard work and the go-getting spirit, I make bold to say that in doing so it is important to exert less pressure, for what will eventually come to you will come to you, oft-times regardless of your effort and at other times even the exertion of mind, body and soul may not yield desired results concerning a particular thing we are chasing.
Wisdom therefore needs to be applied when dealing with our wants and needs. We must ensure to separate wants from needs and then find out if we truly need those necessities and then how soon.
It is also important to understand what and where our motivations lie, for most times we find that our aims and aspirations are driven by external forces (this is more often than not), and this not totally wrong if this happens. What is wrong however is when we fail to internalize the motivations when we find that they weren’t ours in the first place.
We are social beings and happenings around us can certainly not be ignored, hence in attempting to do what our peers are doing and be where they are must be such that is devoid of envy. Our response should be positively set to walk in exemplary ways set by those who have careered through the paths we have chosen not necessarily to antagonize, oppose or to outdo or outrun them.
Competition is necessary and is a major driving force, but we must cautiously walk the tight rope that keeps it healthy over the one that makes it dangerously obsessive and deadly, because once we are on the destructive path it soon becomes a labyrinth from which and where escape might be impossible.
Understanding that the race of life isn’t for the swift helps to mellow the urge to embark on a negatively competitive path, that sees competition in everything even when there’s none.
Life is a big laboratory, unfortunately conditions are varied to every individual including and most importantly ‘time’. An Igbo adage says ”Your morning is when you wake up” and since we do not all wake at the same time, it simply goes without saying.
Sometimes we strive for what can’t and won’t be ours. We find it difficult to let go because we do not understand that it must not always be as we want it, and even though it sounds fine to pick ourselves up and try again if at first we don’t succeed, it is not also an act of cowardice to abandon a path that seems difficult to peruse.
There is no one way to success in life. There is also not one definition of success in life. Many a times history has proven and called successful those who were not thought of as such while they lived. Yea, I hear you saying ”if it’s not happening now that I’m alive, then it’s not success”, which again brings me to inform you that the fact that you don’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
Success is subjective, and it is associated with other emotions such as contentment, and I won’t like to use contentment in the same way as satisfaction, for one can be content but not necessarily satisfied. We mustn’t be satisfied while we yet draw breath, for that must drive our desire to need and want, but in acquiring the needful we must be content with what we have.
When we understand these things and the concept of time and the fact that life isn’t only about us getting but also giving, and to learn that our careers are not majors but actually minors to the bigger picture of what we can make of life, then we will understand why we need to take a break to notice the true nature of our calling, which at the end of the day is more to contributing to the good of mankind than is necessarily to our private good!
In saying this I’ve not meant to relegate satisfying oneself to the background in favour of satisfying others, but rather I’m saying that commiting to the good of humanity eventually brings to us the deeper satisfaction we yearn for but find totally missing in our physical acquisitions or the satisfaction of our needs only.
We should make the best of what life offers us without begrudging our fate, accepting that no condition is permanent and that as long as we are alive to witness it, things will ultimately change and change can go either way. When it goes negatively, we must accept those we cannot salvage, and work to make positive those we can influence and enjoy influencing it while at it.
We can make even the shortest span of life meaningful if we understand the little things about life, and even though our world has become more materialistic, those who look will find those immaterial things that make life worth it’s while.