Let’s be honest- this is one of the biggest things holding so many people back
She was intelligent without doubt, her confidence was contagious and her dreams were big. She had everyone in the room convinced her future was as bright as the sun. Her name I can’t remember, the passion in her voice, I’ll never forget. She was one of 35 inspiring girls I met while volunteering at the Wimbiz Big Sister Program, a two day event focused on mentoring public secondary school students. Watching these girls actively participate in discussions with mentors on topics ranging from self confidence, to goal setting, to budgeting, I hoped they’d never forget all they learnt; and prayed they’ll value the role character would play in the achievement of their goals.
How many of us were once like this girl? Long term plans put in place for ourselves, people and events that would ultimately matter to us. Yet we wonder why our dreams haven’t fully blossomed. We tell ourselves life happened. Afterall, we’ve applied common principles that underlie success. We’ve gotten used to the late or sleepless nights, early mornings and fatigue. We are steadfast in our religious practices: increasing our tithes and offerings, giving more alms, praying and fasting relentlessly and attending more vigils. So what if life actually did NOT happen? What if we’re actually the problem? Not people, not the economic system, just WE OURSELVES standing in our own way. What if we’ve failed to realize that we are the ones hampering our promotion, preventing our businesses from moving to the next level, hindering our marriages from being blissful and stopping our children from being the best they can ever be?
Listening to a group of FRSC officers at a christening ceremony in Abuja, an aspect of their conversation made an impression on me. One of them, a senior officer told the others about a junior officer who applied to be transferred to Abuja. He mentioned that he was in the position to effect the transfer, but chose to reassign her to another state in the North-Central part of Nigeria. Due to negative character traits he had observed in her when he once worked with her, he decided against having her work under his direct supervision the second time. I assume the junior officer may have wondered why she was not relocated to her state of preference; that she may have prayed tirelessly or maybe had faith that could move mountains. Whichever the case she may never know the reason why she did not get what she desired.
As employees, business owners, wives and mothers, there are key questions we need to constantly ask ourselves. Do we relate with others as we would have them relate with us? Do we treat others with dignity and respect, regardless of age or socio-economic status? Are we humble enough to admit our mistakes and willing to apologize when we are wrong? Do our actions speak louder than our words? Are we open to learning from those around us? Do we make allowances for the weaknesses of others or do we judge them? Do we deport ourselves with calmness when under pressure or do we lash out at those in our vicinity?
Character, often undermined, is who we are when no one is watching and how we choose to respond to those who constantly irritate us. It is by far the most valuable asset we will ever acquire, the only thing that stays with us when all else is gone.
Guest Moyomoluwa lives in /writes from Lagos. She studied Psychology, and is passionate about development issues in Nigeria. She is inspired by the saying “You can’t make anyone walk the journey home, but you can light the way. That is the most valuable thing that you can give to the world.”
picture credit: pexels