(Background music) …..mirror on the wall, oh, here we are again Through my rise and fall, you’ve been my only friend You told me that they can understand the man I am SO WHY ARE WE HERE TALKIN’ TO EACH OTHER AGAIN?
Have you ever thought there is a dream you cannot achieve or there is a place you can never reach? If such thought persists, you need to ask yourself if you are living right.
I should be quoted for saying a man’s ultimate mission in life is not to compete with people in their fields, it is to compete with himself and make the best out of his situation. After all, a lion is not meant to rule in the river and a fish is not to be the king of the jungle. A man cannot achieve a feat meant for another. If a man tries to run through others’ track in the noble race of life, he gets disqualified and lives a life of no relevance. The ignorance of the above is probably the reason why many tend to come, see and end their sojourn without the ability to conquer.
I have come to realize that a man tends to give all it takes to achieve the exploit meant for another at the expense of his own dreams. The reason for this is not far-fetched; they either look upon their ultimate assignment as nothing, some, out of blotted foresight. Others, the think a field is more recognized than theirs. While the last are those without the mind of their own; they dance to the tune others play for them.
There were days when one could say age is equal to experience. We are in the 21st century where everything has changed. There is a new breeze with a new rhythm. Age may be equal to exposure on several occurrences, but the ability to learn lessons from those numerous circumstances make one an experienced person. Put illustratively, an octogenarian who has encountered several life experiences but has refused to learn from them may be placed below a person of the millennial age bracket who has witnessed relatively little but has learnt and utilized the lessons from such experiences.
Everybody dreams big. The role model of every youth aspiring for a political office is Abraham Lincoln. Activists strive to be like Martin Luther King Jnr. Budding writers want to be like Wole Soyinka or Chimamanda Adichie. These aspirations and benchmarks are quite valid. It is not wrong to dream big or an error to set out to achieve a dream by having a role model. But all goes wrong when we become enslaved by our desires and long to be the carbon copy of a celebrated pace-setter.
I have the strong conviction that there is no limitation to what a man can achieve if he sets his mind on it. Charles H. Duel once said all that could be invented has been invented. Yet, new discoveries and inventions proved him wrong. If Lincoln had set to be another Leonardo Da Vinci, we may not have reckoned with the highly-placed leader. If Wole Soyinka had longed after being another Thomas Edison, the Nobel laureate might have been missing in the African continent. Isn’t striking that with the zeal to live a life of relevance, Leonardo Da Vinci comes to mind when one talks about a great artist, Isaac Newton’s law of motion remains in science and the invention of Edison can never be forgotten in history.
The sky is roomy enough for a million stars to shine at the same time. Do not limit yourself; do not hide behind others’ achievement. You are not a local champion. The pivotal questions (amongst the avalanche of questions) are, when will all men recognize the need to stop placing limitation on themselves? When will men stop chasing shadows in the guise of ambitions?
There is a limitation to how far one can achieve when one gets modelled after another man’s life, but there is no constraint to what a man can be only if he can be himself. As far as no man is born ungifted, no job is insignificant and change remains a constant thing, we can all get celebrated if we discover our potentials and make good use of it.
“I want to keep afro hair because Wole Soyinka does the same”, “I do not value education because Michael Jackson made it with no single degree”. What a twisted perception! A success premised on being another man at the expense of one’s purpose in life is like the coronation of a king without a crown. It comes with little or no value. The best person a man can be is himself. Being the next man might yield regret and such regret often linger on.
There can only be one Einstein just as there can be no other Aristotle. Martin Luther King has no replacement and no other Fela will come after the one we knew. Trying to be like any of them at the expense of one’s distinctive dreams and purpose of existence can only make one second to them, notwithstanding the efforts. However, with ease, a diligent and consistent effort towards one’s dream, you can carve a niche, be a hero in your field and the world will be propelled to celebrate you.
’You’re the person who has to decide, whether you will do it or toss it aside. You’re the person who makes up your mind whether you’ll lead or linger behind; whether you’ll try for the goal that is afar or just be content to stay where you are”