Greatness is not the same as success.
Africa has produced several successful people, but few great people.
While success is about accomplishments based on variables like knowledge and hard work.
However greatness hinges on service, sacrifice, empathy, ability to inspire and a life of responsibility.
I am passionate about greatness, that even though I value success, I regard it as a bus stop, not a destination.
Too many people concentrate on success and lose the sight of greatness.
Choose rather to influence a generation, inspire a smile, and impact positively on your space.
With success we can live on the best Islands, taste the best wines and have as much women in a life-time as the monarch Solomon did.
With Success we can build mansions, dine with the milk of the crop, and enjoy the corridors of power.
With success we can live in the tallest buildings and wear diamonds on each toe.
With success we can have a thousand slaves, ten thousand subjects, and tons of people at our beck and call.
But with Greatness we can have even more!
With Greatness we can build a legacy for the unborn.
With Greatness we can see hope in the face of the child who won’t have had a meal if you did not show up.
With Greatness like Madiba, you can become an Icon of Credibility, strength and hope for an entire generation.
With Greatness we can change the way people live, love and learn like Jobs of Apple and Gates of Microsoft.
With Greatness we can teach civil disobedience, “Satyagraha” like Ghandi did.
With Greatness we can teach hope for a race (the Black Race) like Martin Luther King Jnr.
With Greatness we can change social behavior, influence attitudes, affect cultures and forge new policies.
So we all need a change of focus.
This was the little secret I learned when I was fourteen.
This day is very key in my life. June 16th 2004 was the day of d African Child I first learned about Youth Insecurity.
I was to write an article on “Youth Insecurity in Africa; the way Forward”
I was in high school and that topic, if you agree with me is quite a mouthful for an S.S.2 Student.
That topic exposed me to the reality of the African Child.
So I made a decision that I would live for something much bigger.
Something bigger than cars, houses, degrees and women.
I started learning about ‘the future’, ‘decisions’, ‘discipline’, ‘vision’ and so many things that were intangible and meaningful.
I distracted myself with learning to write better and speak in public instead of the ‘break-time’ football.
I was never really the best in class, I was somewhere in the middle.
I was aware that life, the future is more than what every other person thought about: university, graduation, work, survival, death.
That was the path for the majority.
Again: university, graduation, work, survival, death.
I made up my mind to be relevant by all means.
All means to me, meant all possible positive avenue to etch my name, my work, my gifting on d sands of time bless the world with them.
Today, 10 years after that day in 2004, I am still not where I saw, but I am far away from my initial point.
I am on a path to critical relevance in my work and career.
I am a growing GROWTH CONSULTANT, an author, a researcher, and a mentor to a few hundreds of people.
My radio sessions are aired on 9 Nigerian states with a potential 27,000 listeners.
I volunteer on more than 8 community projects locally and internationally and I am tech savvy.
A few things contributed to my growth immensely:
Great parents not rich parents, but committed parents. They had their errors too, but mostly they were sincere, they inspired me.
My mother has sold everything legal from groundnut to tissue paper, to Kerosene to ice water. She is running her 3rd degree.
My Dad is a mentor, he was a math teacher. Today he is a philosopher of some sort and a politician of rare pedigree.
I learned discipline and contentment from them, and we all should teach our children same.
We did not have a ceiling fan until the year I was Nine.
But that same year, they sent me to the best secondary school in my state at the time.
Another set of contributors were key associates. They did a lot in helping me grow.
From my Karate Instructor, Darmie Sholademi, to my lesson teacher turned medical doctor, Segun. They all gave me a chance to express my difference.
I learned closely from a few highly successful mentors, Toyosi Akerele of RISE, Sesan of PIN, Kunle Soriyan of STN, Fela Durotoye of GEMSTONE.
I learned from Niyi Adesanya, Dayo Israel, Mosunmola Umoru, from Gbenga Onipede, Tope Adebanjo, Lekan Ayejimiwo.
Every young person who must grow should value the need for GREATNESS by ASSOCIATION
MENTORSHIP in this regard is extremely crucial.
I rode on the wings of technology to connect with the best minds in my field.
I gained followership by being a voice of change.
Don’t be deceived by my tone, all of these things are still in progress.
In today’s world, any young person who must be relevant must value the need to embrace TECHNOLOGY.
Though I’m a public speaker and trainer, I am also a mobile application developer. Some of my apps have over 5,000 downloads.
I started only a year ago when I realized that my computer science degree must be useful for something – aid my relevance.
I asked over 18,000 people I’ve spoken to directly in the past 4 years the same questions.
- What learning sacrifices will you make?
- What new things will you learn to sustain your critical relevance?
- What new relationships will you strike up?
- What’s your strategy for life exactly?
People of greatness and relevance ask themselves these questions repeatedly.
Chance can make you become a medical doctor. But Chance cannot make you a Ben Carson.
Chance can make you a lawyer, but chance cannot make you the first black president of the United States.
INTENTIONAL EXISTENCE IS THE HALLMARK OF LIVING A LIFE OF GREATNESS.
Make friends differently.
Party differently, if you must at all.
Associate differently so you can ‘up’ your game.
In my book Branded or Stranded, one of the fundamental things I Identified is ‘the Need to be Immune to distraction.’
What distraction? The distraction of Mediocrity set by the fact that we were born in Africa, and we are set back.
Instead, we must break the back of mediocrity and embrace excellence at every cost it comes with.
In my next book, I am helping more young people realize that we have a critical role to play in transforming our own story.
Technology will shape our future, and we must be the shapers of that future.
I wish you well in all your endeavours, and trust that we all meet in corridors of GREATNESS as the future unfolds.
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