Lessons On My Birthday – January 7th, 2024

In a land of reality, and a time of technology, the destinies of a great many people rests on the shoulders of a young man. His name… Samuel.

And today’s his birthday!

And as is my wont to do since a few years now, I will share some of the lessons I’ve learned in the past year.

Usually, before I continue, this is the part where I appreciate every Tom, Dick and Harry for their contributions, both real and imagined. So Tom, Dick, Harry, here is your appreciation for everything you have done for me in the past year, and the ones you have not done but you think you have.

Now, with Tom, Dick and Harry placated, here goes:

1. Take That Bold Step First, The Answers Will Come As You Go

One of the major highlights of this past year for me was a new responsibility I was given at work. It wasn’t exactly handed to me, I asked for it, although I had no idea what I was doing at the time.

We were implementing a new system into the company, and a representative was needed for it. Knowing that this was more responsibility than I’d ever handled in my life, and this was a completely new field that I had zero knowledge in, I went ahead and asked (rather, made a humble request) that I be given the responsibility.

I almost regretted it immediately, because it was much more than I’d expected, but as we have progressed, I am immensely happy that I took that step. In the short time since I’ve assumed this responsibility, I’ve learned more things than I would have learned in years if I’d simply continued in my previous capacity. I have also learned a lot about myself and my capabilities.

I have learned a valuable lesson that I’ll be using in the future.

Why did I take on this responsibility? Because over the years, I’ve learned from books and from people I look up to that you should strive to move beyond your comfort zone. That growth happens when you stretch beyond your current capacity.

And that is the lesson I’m passing on to you now – don’t wait until you feel capable before taking on the next stage of your journey. You probably already have the capability, but it will not be manifest until you take on the responsibility.

2. Lack Of Money Is Often Not The Problem

Since 2019, there are three things I’ve been wanting to do (needed to do, in fact), but had been putting off because “I don’t have the money yet”. Two of them are time-bound if I wanted to get the best out of them.

As the year rolled towards the end and I realized if I don’t do these things now, it will become too late, I was forced to start working on them. And what do you know, I started making the moves in October of 2023, and already completed two out of three before the end of December, and am very much ahead on the third one.

Did it cost me money? Yes. Did I have the money before I started working on them? Not exactly. Did I have to use ALL of my savings? Oh, yes! How do I feel now? Like… Samuel! If you’d known it would be this simple? These things should have been over and done by now!

Simple though, not easy.

Truth is, all those years I’d been waiting and postponing, I was busy inventing the challenges I would likely face if I started. I invented a lot of challenges that never showed up when I started executing.

Seneca said “we suffer more often in imagination than in reality”.

So take a bold step today, and have faith that resources will come.

Where the determination is, the way can be found.

– The Richest Man in Babylon

3. If You’re Ready, You’re Late

Pastor Kunle Soriyan wrote this statement in an email, and it stayed with me.

In my short time on earth, experience has taught me that the best time to prepare for an opportunity is before you even know the opportunity is coming. The time to prepare for war is not on the battlefield.

I know my first point was that you should take a bold step before you have all the answers, but I did not say you should not be prepared.

You don’t go into an exam hall knowing the questions you’ll meet (ideally), so you read the whole course material, in preparation for whatever questions come.

As a human being, you have to be a constant learner. You must take learning, not as an activity you do sometimes, but a natural part of your lifestyle, like eating or bathing (if you bathe regularly, that is).

This is how you get yourself ready for ANY opportunity that comes.

If you carry an empty head into the next level, you’re going to be back to your previous position in no time, like a spoilt brat of a woman who gets married, but is soon deported back to her father’s house.

“To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.”

― Sir Winston Churchill

Remember, when opportunity comes and it meets you ready, then men say you’re lucky.

4. People Are… People

I said this two years ago, and I’m saying it again. We’re all human beings (unless you’re an alien, in which case this may or may not apply to you).

People, by definition, are not perfect. Stop placing too much expectation on people. Know that we all have flaws. Every single one of us, even that “perfect” person you admire so much.

In other words, give people some slacks.

Adjust the expectations you place on people, and learn to see the world for what it truly is. If you do this, you will avoid most disappointments.

5. Learn to be Content With Just Four Lessons

In other words, no fifth lesson. Go and think on these ones.

Now, let me enjoy the birthday food that I don’t have. If we suffer in imagination, abeg allow me to enjoy this very delicious food in my imagination too.

Samuel is an avid reader and a freelance writer, in that order. He fancies himself funny, but his friends regularly don't laugh at his jokes. I have been a student of personal development for several years, and I created this blog to share my knowledge with others and help them become better versions of themselves.

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