Prospect of Stardom; Promise of Failure

Have you ever wondered why some celebrities get rocked with scandals they never recover from? Or why some just simply take a long walk to obscurity after huge expectations? Or why do some promising young football stars never live up to the promise?

Apart from the fact that some are more hyped than talented, life is a chronology. Skipping one stage has a huge impact on the performance in the next. He who skips the rehearsal will miss a step before the audience.

He who skips the rehearsal will miss a step before the audience.

One common denominator for humans is the hunger for success, in whatever form. Be it CEO of a Fortune 500 company, graduating from University, having millions in savings, being able to afford the next meal, becoming a landlord, getting paid every month, being your own boss… We all define success with divergent metrics.

When I read the Paddy Adenuga’s article of how he, at 29, almost acquired Chevron Netherlands, all I saw, which was one of the things that inspired this article, was a young man who had used the opportunities he had early in life as learning platforms; a young man who leveraged his vantage to acquire the requisite skills, knowledge and experience while handling the businesses entrusted to him. His business acumen and shrewdness in the uncommon privilege he had early in life prepared him for such a lofty goal as acquiring Chevron Netherlands at 29, to the extent that even though he lost, it has been counted unto him as a win.

When David faced Goliath, he was not a novice. His CV was not blank. In his experience column, he had:

” In my day to day employment at Jesse & Sons’ Farms, while keeping my employer’s sheep, whenever a lion or bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. If it ever turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it.”

No employer was going to see that and ignore, not even King Saul.

That was enough for his confidence and enough to impress Saul, who gave David his own royal tunic after conducting a hurried job interview for him.

Unfortunately today, we have people who desire stardom but wish to get there at the speed of light. Being in the jet and information age will not jet a man to success without learning the ropes.

There is a need for patience in the process of desiring and working toward stardom. Take your time in learning and development. You need to acquire the requisite tenacity and experience for some levels in life.

Build the capacity for your desired place. If you skip the learning stage, you will end up as a disaster in a place that may be rightfully yours.

When you dream, be patient enough to develop the capacity and capability to handle the dream when it comes to fruition.

Not all who desire stardom can handle it. There are platforms a 25-year old will step onto and handle with poise, grace and confidence. If a 35-year old gets to the same platform, he or she will cringe and crumble. It is not a function of age but the capability to function at such a level.

Like the celebrity whose undoing is the fame he never prepared for; like the football star who could not shine beyond a night, one thing is instructive: you cannot give what you do not have. But you can have what is yours if you give yourself to patience, purpose and practice.

The prospect of stardom without the requisite capability is a promise of failure.

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​IDENTITY CRISIS: KNOWING THE REAL YOU!


We all want to have successful careers, goals, objectives or pursuits that wake us up every morning with an acute sense of purpose. It is even keener these days, realising the world has been connected easily with breakthroughs in technology and social media. You can seamlessly connect with many successful people at the other end of the earth. You can drool over their pictures, articles and videos where they look like the perfect examples of success. Yet it seems you just cannot get your acts together.
Craving it is one thing. Knowing how to go about it is another. And this craving, most times, whether exposed to social media or not, kicks in at a tender age. Success is a natural tendency for humans.

 Unfortunately, lack of clarity as to the path to follow to actualize the craving creates a bigger problem that a young boy or girl, if not careful, can grapple with for years or for life. This lack of clarity can be summed up as “identity crisis”.

Found through Google image search

We all want to have a sense of direction; we all crave to be the go-to guy for some things; we all desire to be relevant. In short, we all want a unique identity. 
A sense of identity gives one’s life a meaningful meaning. But with chaotic upbringing, directionless early relationships (not necessarily romantic), lack of exposure to life defining experiences, identity crisis can spring up; with an unresolved identity crisis, mid life crisis can occur; with mid life crisis unabated, an individual can become a permanent example of what not to be in and how not to live life. Try get an opportunity to speak with some (not all) criminals in correctional facilities.

Having what psychologists refer to as ‘identity achievement’ – coming to a substantial resolution as to the path to embark on in adulthood – is very vital to leading a happy and fulfilling life.

According to the findings in psychology, there are about four identity statuses which explain the state of an individual’s identity:

Identity foreclosure: as the name implies, the identity of such a person with this is foreclosed. He or she has had an identity handed down to him or her by parents or others who had an overwhelming influence on the individual at the defining period of his or her life. Such an individual did not have a period where he or she had to choose between alternatives, where he or she had to make a conscious effort in defining or charting the course of his or her life personally. 
Unfortunately, the foreclosure can snowball into a crisis when the ‘security blanket’ of their assumed identity is removed; for instance if the parents die or whatever thing that ties them to the assumed identity is no longer available.

Identity diffusion: for this status, an individual neither has a defined identity nor is he searching for one. The identity remains unresolved and there is also no crisis. For instance, asking a teenager what he wants to do in life and he replies, “I don’t know. I’ve not really thought about it”.

Identity Moratorium: a status where an individual is in a frantic search of his or her identity. Such an individual is open minded and willing to commit to so many things but still in a crisis as to which particular path to follow to realise his passion and purpose.

Identity Achievement: This is when a person has resolved the crisis and has come to the realisation of the path he or she wants to follow in life. This path may not be the most popular path but the individual is courageous and convinced that that’s the way he should go.
Getting to identity achievement is knowing ‘you’ and defining your role in life and it may spare you a lifetime of directionlessness. 

Let’s have a few metrics for preventing or dealing with identity crisis.

1. Guide but allow: this is basically for parents. Guide your children in their formative years but allow them to choose the paths they want to follow. Encourage them to explore and be supportive when they fail. They will discover their unique identities in the process. Parents are not to reproduce themselves in their children. They have lives of their own.

2. Volunteer: volunteering for different organizations and projects has a potent way of making you discover what you want to do with your life along the line. You can form your identity from interacting and socializing with other volunteers and in engaging in selfless causes.

3. Take responsibility: one of the surest ways of slipping into an identity crisis is by dodging responsibilities anywhere and everywhere. Take responsibilities, take initiatives. They will define your life’s journey somewhere along the line. One of the things that helped me in my identity formation stage was because I took responsibilities a lot and I discovered what I wanted to do in the process.

4. Explore: while growing up, dabble into many things and explore several options if you are yet to get to identity achievement. This is mostly important for teenagers who still have age on their side. Never hold back. And then…

5. Be courageous: in the process of exploring several options, have the courage to take the ‘jump’. Be courageous enough to go all out for one thing at every point in time. It is okay to fail in the process. Your courage to keep trying even after failing will pay off eventually, both in getting to identity achievement and in personality building.

Identity crisis, surprisingly, is not limited to teenagers. It can be found in adulthood also and in any stage of an individual’s life.

Getting to identity achievement can make your life a whole lot better. And the truth is, nobody is going to do that for you. It is your duty. It is your life.

Sunfad

​TO THYSELF BE TRUE!

After I woke up from sleep following the crossover service, one catchphrase that kept disturbing my thought process was this:

To thyself be true.”

I’ve not heard it in recent times and neither have I seen it. So, I knew straight away that this is my guiding principle for the year.  

It was a line in Act I Scene III of Shakespeare’s Hamlet rendered by Polonius fully as follows:

This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man”.



Really, as humans and as we undertake the journey of a new year, we need to learn to be true to ourselves in all ways, at all times. Being true to yourself will make you expend less energy on things not beneficial for your growth and advancement.

• No matter your level of expertise in your chosen field or career path, there’s always one person better than you. You can genuinely aspire to be better than such a person. You can put in all the hard work for your own personal and professional development. But to thyself be true, envying and hating on such a person won’t bring him down and put you up.

• At this present stage of your life, look deep within you. You know what to do to move to the next stage of your life that you so much crave. To thyself be true; do it. Do it even with your fear of failure. It may not be easy. Actually, it won’t be. It will require consistency and patience. Beautiful things take time to build. 

To thyself be true; many people, due to their circumstances of birth or some other factors, will have better opportunities than you do. Rather than throw yourself a pity party, put in the required work and pray for grace. A pinch of grace can make an ordinary man look like a superman. 

• Give no room for negativity and do not hesitate to axe dead woods from your life. One attribute which doubles as both a strength and a weakness in my life is that I believe in people to a fault. I was denying the latter until about three friends pointed it out to me towards the end of 2017. 

I hardly cut people off from my life but I had to deliberately do it at the tail end of 2017 when it was clear that two friends were giving me some negative energy and needless drama. To thine own self be true; not everybody in your life is needed to make your life glow. Too many chefs will spoil a food. Too much make-up will make a woman look like Klitschko in the hands of Anthony Joshua.

To thine own self be true; there will be many women more beautiful than your wife. There will be many men richer than your husband. Contentment is all you need.

Finally, while being true to yourself, find some real people. Build your lives together. Be true to yourselves. Life is not fair. Life is filled with some bunch of bestial hypocrites. Social media is replete with incredible façade. 

But in the midst of it all, good people still exist. Find them. Don’t say “may we be one of them.” Be one of them.

One of the things I advocate for is quality relationships. Build true and enduring relationships. Lean on one another. Life is easier that way. As you are true to thine own self, be true to yourselves. 

As the world is wasting away in self deception and delusion, know ye that thou canst not be false to any man.

Becoming A Better Person Every Day; Let’s Help Each Other!

Hello, friends.

This is the first video I’m posting on this blog and I’m very excited. It is coming at a time when I feel the need to do more in terms of how I contribute to the lives of people around me. 

Every day of my life, I am passionately driven towards personal and professional development. To live life to the fullest, there is a need to push and expand our boundaries as humans. That is why I describe myself as, apart from being a lawyer and a public speaker, a leadership and self-development enthusiast and advocate.

So, in the process of rigorously pursuing my personal development, I feel the need to share my thoughts, experiences and knowledge in helping others in this journey of becoming better persons. Most people I am close to know that one of the foremost questions I ask is “so, what are you doing with your life?”

This is the first of many videos in this journey. If you want to go on this exciting journey of committing our lives to becoming persons with me, kindly drop your message, comment and you can follow my blog so you will be the first to be informed as soon as I post each video.

Thank you.

From me,

Sunday,

Your buddy in this journey of life.

Do you have content or you are contented with no content? (2)

About two months ago, I wrote the first part of this topic. I did not know at the time that I would have a cause to write another part of it but here it is. If you have not read the first one, click here to do so. 

When people talk about their most embarrassing moments, I always get lost in the conversation for lack of any experience or better still, any significant one in that common conversational topic. The reason is simple. It’s hard for you to find me in an embarrassing situation. I detest it. I consciously avoid embarrassment like I avoid approaching a lady I do not know on the street (except for ‘aro‘ purposes in University days in Zik Hall 😂😂), like I avoid pestering a lady for attention, like I avoid leading praise and worship session anywhere outside my private room ( I don’t remember follow-up songs and I think I am tone-deaf 😂😂). 

In a similar vein, countless times, I have found myself under pressure and tension for people close to me not to get embarrassed. When a friend or colleague is standing in a position where he has to deliver a speech or make a presentation, my heart does not leave my mouth until he or she is done and gives a great performance. This was always my lot during my public speaking involvements in University of Ibadan. Even when I was part of the preparation process of the speakers, an air of unease would still swirl round about me during the delivery. It was worse if a speaker observed a deliberate pause but the pause was becoming unnecessarily long.

However, most times, I have come to realise that my self-induced pressure and tension is needless and it is just a sheer pill for another person’s good health. These people neither fail nor get embarrassed because they are assured and well-grounded in what they say or do. This is the power of content. 

It is however necessary to distinguish between ‘situation-content‘ and ‘expert-content‘. Situation-content describes when a person is not well-grounded in an area but has to conduct an extensive study or make an in-depth research for the purpose of a particular occasion or situation. For instance, for the purpose of delivering a lecture or making a presentation or offering an opinion on a subject before an audience. 

Expert-content on the other hand, as the name implies, describes the expertise of a person in a particular subject who out of training, formal or informal, has become well versed in that subject matter, or simply put, has become an ‘authority.’

People with quality content do not struggle. They do not overheat in their “content-zone“. They seamlessly deliver and perform to the awe of onlookers because they have tarried in the place of building. They perform ordinarily but it is accorded to them as extraordinary.

Unfortunately, we have placed prominence in the things that matter less. We have elevated the container above the content; the packaging above the package; external above internal. We now have more people interested in building abs rather than the brain; more people interested in painting faces rather than adorning the mind.  It’s not that these things are wrong. But the caution is not to major in the minor. 

As a personal adaptation of what a facilitator said at a virtual conference (The Refinery 1.0) I was part of yesterday, we think we are perceived in the following order:

1. How we appear

2. How we say what we say

3. What we say

However, in the long run we are assessed and judged worthy of respect in the following order:

1. What we say

2. How we say what we say

3. How we appear

Below is a piece I wrote sometime ago while thinking about something similar to this topic:
“Warn these young boys…

They are more interested in broadening their shoulders with hours working out than broadening their horizons in the place of thorough study;

They are more interested in starching their garments looking like bloated balloons than pursuing enduring personal development.

Tell them…

The world will accord them fickle respect from afar but give them a good dressing down on a closer look, if their words reek of mediocrity.”

Even the Bible says:

What matters is not your outer appearance–the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes–but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.”

1 Peter 3:3-4 (TMB)

Ours is a generation of shallowness and superficiality. The few that focus on depth are those who will remain relevant in the long haul.

Selah!

PS: If you have not read the first part where I shared a few points on how to build content, you can still read it here.

Do you have content or you are contented with no content?

Young, vigorous, creative and bold men and women are on the rise. They are taking the world by storm and turning traditions on their heads. Traditional thinking has for too long held our nation in the shackles of motion without progress, restricting the spate of invention and innovation.

A few weeks ago, I was at the 11th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association-Section on Business Law, there were various sessions handled by many speakers both from within and outside the legal profession. The speakers had a very great impression on the audience. Many of us wished the Conference would not end soon. In actual fact, the ones who made the greatest impression were the young lawyers who are just about 2-4 years at the bar. These young lawyers, standing on the elevated platform to speak to some juniors, few mates and countless seniors at the other divide, held the audience spellbound, spewing wisdom, truth and drawing more attention to the disruptive and/or enabling work they do.

In my usual reflective state, I pondered on what earned these young and vibrant men and women the enviable stage they were sharing with men and women of the highest pedigree in the profession. They were not stuttering. They were not intimidated. They were assured. They had content! 

Yes! That’s it! They had content. They had one of the primary requirements for relevance in the present-day society: the depth of content.
I’ve seen many young people direly crave prominence and relevance but are not ready to build the requisite content for such a level.

viajesmundus.com

In whatever field or career, content is a crown. Musicians with no depth of content fade away like puff of smoke. We know them already. They are the ones who take a walk into obscurity after one hit single. At other times, they share similarities with ‘abiku‘. A doctor with no content is called a quack. Lawyers with no content, empty barrels look up to them.

So, there is a need for each person to tarry in the place of learning and building. There is a need for filling and refilling till your cups are full enough to share quality quantity with others. How so?

1
. Learn the ropes of your craft: Be diligent. Learn the workings of your chosen field. Be competent. Competence makes people look like superhumans.

2
. Exposure: Be curious. Explore. Broaden your horizon. Go out of your normal and daily habitat. Mix with people of opposing views and divergent professions.

3
. Association: Associate yourself with the right people. Be challenged. Be pushed out of your comfort zone. If you isolate yourself when you ought to associate yourself, you would limit yourself.

4
. Personal and professional development: Daily, strive to be better. Go to conferences. Take courses that make you better. Be forward looking at all times. There’s no ceiling on the sky.

5
. Your mind food: Feed your mind properly. Read great books. Watch great videos. Listen to relevant audio clips necessary for your growth. What you feed your mind with is important.

Do you have content or you are contented with no content? Remember, content is a crown. Those who have it are Kings! Well, everybody cannot be a King. Some are meant to be towncriers.