Frankly Speaking Blog
Today, many of us are running helter skelter, up and down, back and forth in search of means for survival. We work really hard, hustling everyday just to make enough cash to pay our bills.
Basic needs is our entire commitment, we need a roof over our heads, food in our stomach, clothes on our back, comfortable means of transportation, communication and of course education.
We want to provide for ourselves, our families and possibly extended relatives. We also covet social relevance, we want to belong to a group of friends and associates with whom we share many views in life, culture, religion and survival – we seek social acceptance and we want to be loved and admired by all. These factors drive us daily as we go on with our lives.
These have become goals and priorities for many and so long as we're able to cope and maintain, we feel all is well.
The psychologist, Abraham Maslow in his theory of Man's hierarchy of needs stated the first three needs as physiological needs – that's food, clothes and shelter, the next is safety and security, then love and the desire to belong.
The last two that tops the pyramid - the hierarchy is self-esteem and self-actualisation.
In a materialistic society like ours, the way you appear, what you wear, how you carry yourself and how people choose to see you is how they'll treat you either good or bad.
As typical Nigerians, on first encounter with people, we tend to judge by the person's immediate appearance. Even after we become a bit familiar with that person, we rate the person more by possessions, positions and power rather than intelligence, character or good nature.
If subsequently we sense the person doesn't have much materially, isn't highly placed or not so famous or influential, we lose appreciation and basic respect for such a one. In a situation when we feel we have a higher level of power, possession and prosperity than such a one, we automatically assume a dominant role in the relationship and in fact demand respect from such a person even if the person is older or more advanced in life.
Sadly as Nigerians, money and material possessions are the basic factors we use to determine who we choose to respect and the degree of respect we accord. Power and influence are the next factors we use in matters of honour and respect. That, unfortunately is how our society rolls. This is my submission.
This being the nature of our society, many of us unfortunately believe the only way we can truly earn the respect of others is through material possession and financial surplus. We hence, hanker after money and material things by all means based on our craving for respect and popularity. We want respect so we opt to buy this respect from others.
He sat right in front of me very demoralised. He's done all he knows how to but it appears all his effort has been in vain. She wouldn't change, she wouldn't bulge.
He loves her very much and would want to marry her, but she's not interested, she's not willing and she's got other priorities. At 35 she's still not thinking marriage. She sees marriage as a trap, a bondage, a limitation and a restricting venture. What's more, she doesn't trust any man, she believes all men are cheats, liars, pretenders and abusive.
According to her, marriage is over rated. She's trying to negotiate with him to father just two kids for her out of wedlock; she'd have custody though; that's good enough for her. All his effort to convince her marry him wouldn't work. He came for me to advise him on what next to do.
I asked more questions about her and her upbringing and it was obvious this lady is actually reacting to a dysfunctional upbringing.
Much earlier in life she was familiar with a father who was a terror in the house. He would beat everyone including her mum to pieces anytime he's drunk and upset. This experience was very regular hence, it became a way of life for them. Subsequently at age 15, her mum decided to send her to live with the uncle, the mum's younger brother in another state to shield her from the abusive behaviour of her father as the only girl.
This uncle, her mum's younger brother whom she began to live with in another city, though wasn't violent or mean to his family or to her, had other unsuitable interest in her. He wanted to have an affair with her and very often touched her and spoke with her in inappropriate ways.
If your career life is to be analysed today based on your motive for all you do, are you leading your career or managing your career?
You see, it's very easy to get confused and assume everyone around you is chasing and running after the same things you're pursuing simply because they're also involved in your job or activity type.
They wake up early every day just like you, rush off to work every day, work very hard every day, return home late every day and maybe some even work in the same team as you. What will eventually tell the difference between you and all these people is the results and achievements at the end of a season or period.
The basis for competition, rivalry, envy, jealousy, strife and treachery anywhere is the assumption you're in the same race as everyone else around you and you're all after the same things.
Back in my days of paid employment, some of my colleagues and superiors criticised my approach to work and my work relationship style. I was definitely not interested in rising through the ranks and becoming a director or something of that sort, no, I've always wanted to own my own establishment. Hence, I was building friendships and relationships across the whole business and had exciting friendships with colleagues in rival teams because I wanted to learn how the entire business system worked. I related well with colleagues in corporate affairs, finance, logistics, production and even admin and even with non-management staff. I had good friends amongst non-management employees; why? I was seeking knowledge and experience I will be needing when eventually I start my own company.
Many of us sometimes get discouraged and frustrated about the issues of life. We have dreams, hopes, expectations and desires that appear to be quite difficult apprehending.
Life is definitely beyond just existing, life and living is also measured in quality and impact. A quality life is what most of us are working very hard for. We want to eat well, we want to be healthy, we want dress well and look really cool, live in nice homes and nice neighbourhoods, send our kids to very good schools, go to places we like, be with people we like and sort out sudden financial developments without breaking a sweat. We all want quality life, good quality life.
I believe we all want maximum peace, health, comfort, security and influence. Good quality life is absolutely gratifying. When your life is good, you'll be happy.
Happiness is an important emotion to humanity, at the end of the day every human pursuit is in search of happiness, even that quality life is consequently expected to bring us happiness.
Happiness is the reward when we apprehend all that we want and desire in life in good time. Good things; good quality life is expected to bring us happiness; or so we think.
There are two main fallacies to this line of thinking. First, a good quality life does not really come by pursuit or hard work or labour, there is more to apprehending that good quality life. Secondly, happiness is not a product of what you have, what you've accomplished, or acquired. In fact fulfilling your dreams won't make you happy because in life, happiness is not tied to things or people, happiness comes from your personal interpretation of life and your experiences.
Organisations become very successful and rich because they plan for success, profit and growth. Every year, the leadership and management of every progressive business will sit down and plan the strategy for growth, progress and profitability for their business. If they fail to do this, the business will soon die. The reason why they do this is because it's been proven over time as a wise behaviour that works.
Success and profit in life is hardly accidental, it must be planned and deliberately executed. This is how businesses grow and earn billions of dollars annually, hence become respected and valued worldwide. Successful businesses plan for success.
The same principle of planning for profit business organisations apply to become multibillion dollar worth is the same principle you need as a person to become a multibillionaire. Your personal success, profiting and growth must be planned if you want to be great and successful in life. If it works for business enterprises, it will definitely work for you as an individual.
Becoming a billionaire in life is very easy if you have your personal plans for success, profit and healthy growth into billions. Unfortunately, many of us have no personal plans, strategy or ambition for multibillion dollar successes. We mostly think of survival and that's all we get – survival. Many of us can never become legitimate billionaires not because it's impossible but because we cannot attract into our lives what we don't think about, plan for and work for in this life.
A couple of weeks ago I was in conversation with a middle aged man who was fighting depression. He was looking for someone to talk to, open up too and just pour out all his mind to. He was tired of life and tired of everything. Life to him has lost colour or flavour, nothing appeared interesting, exciting or fun. He didn't see anything great in his future, all that he loved, wanted, worked for and struggled for now seemed useless and pointless. His job, marriage, children, assets, properties, friendships and relationships appeared needless. He had lost his essence and the need to keep on living. Even religion to him now appeared powerless and ineffective. He just wanted to be by himself and shut out everything and everyone. He was depressed.
In the course of pouring out his mind and as I paid rapt attention to all he had to say without interrupting; just occasional nods to show I'm following, something remarkable struck me. Every single story and experience he shared with me about how he came to this sad state in his life had to do 100 percent with his relationships. The casual factors of his depression included and were exclusive to his parents, his siblings, his in-laws, his children, his business partners, his wife, his friends and investors. There was no single mention of any stranger as also responsible for his crisis.
Now, these are all people with whom, once upon a time he had exciting, interesting and quality relationships. These are people he love, valued, respected, wanted and enjoyed their company.
A major human limitation is the inability to correctly predict the future. No man can correctly tell you what will happen to you within the next hour. Mankind in the desperation to know and control tomorrow has in fact made consultations with divinity and mysticism even with that, control isn't guaranteed. In this life, no one knows tomorrow, no one can absolutely manipulate tomorrow.
Our dreams, ambition and aspirations for the future are all a matter of hope, not certainty. So we work, plan, strategize and pray hoping our expectations from the future shall be met, at times things turn out in our favour but at other times things turn out different.
Not knowing tomorrow is a critical reason for mankind's dependence and relying on God. We pray to God to bring to pass all our hopes and aspirations, we pray our dreams come true, we wish for a bright, fulfilling and rewarding future. We all want a happier tomorrow than today, incidentally the power of tomorrow does not lie with us.
As impossible as it is to tell accurately and with precision the details of how your tomorrow will unfold, and as the control of your future is beyond you as mere human, there are however, some rules, some principles, some ordinances and habits that can to a degree help influence and shape the quality of your future and make your future almost predictable.
In this life, the law of sowing and reaping is rife and real.
I've been working on a project for a while now and a couple of months ago I contracted a part of the job to a man I believed was a professional. He came highly recommended from someone I trust, so I thought it wise to engage him.
During our pre activation meetings when I was briefing him on the job I wanted him to do and how I wanted him to go about it, he came across as responsible, honest and sincere. As I kept taking him through the designs; sharing visuals with him and ideas on concepts and adaptations – also asking if he could do it precisely, his response always had this religious undertone. Do you understand? "yes sir by God's grace." was his response. "Can you do this and that?" "I can do all things sir, through Him who strengthens me"
"Can you meet the deadline?" all things are possible sir, he replied. Most of our conversations at these meetings had strong religious undertone and remarks in his response. Without prejudice, I'm usually weary of people who at the slightest opportunity want to display religiosity, it makes me suspicious. You know, these days it's very easy to learn the language of religion even if you're not religious because religion has become very popular and entertaining especially in Nigeria. "Christianese", the religious language of Christians was what this man kept speaking throughout our business meeting.
Eventually I gave him the job and subsequently in retrospect I wish I never did. He messed up the job completely; wasted time, wasted money and wasted materials. He was always full of excuses and covered up all his faults, failures, incompetence and bad decisions speaking religious language.
Very common with many people in the workplace is the situation of holding some colleagues prisoners in their minds. Many of us are today not very happy with one or two of our colleagues because they have wronged us terribly in some ways. Some colleagues are in fact even now doing terrible things to us and we are not very happy with them. We can't stand, We don't wish them well, and in extreme cases we sometimes pray and wish something evil will befall them.
Offence is very common in the work place and in fact it's a natural part of the corporate world. The work environment is competitive in nature, we all try to outdo one another so as to benefit the elevations that will quickly move us to the top in leadership. We want to become powerful, prosperous and relevant within the business, hence the competitive consciousness of all employees.
This ambition can however become intense and negative to the point where wickedness, betrayal, set up, deceit, gossip, slander and dirty politics become dominant within the business. Of course with all these in place, offence would be frequent and widespread. Your colleagues will offend you, betray you, lie against you, speak ill of you to the boss; try to make you look pretty bad so they can look a better candidate for a promotion and a reward.
Frankly speaking, many of your colleagues may have nothing personal against you, I mean outside of work they can be nice, sweet, loving, generous, kind and caring as individuals, but as long as you work within the same organisation and you're in competition for rapid progress, you'll see the worst of them.
As glaring as it is, many times we still do not see the true essence of our actualities, our lives and our purposes. Though occasionally, we sit still in our alone moments, when we really come to ourselves, not overwhelmed by the pressures of life and we think deep, trying to find a meaning and a reason for our being and in such moments, many of us are not really pleased with our discoveries vis a vis our accomplishments.
Many of us occasionally switch on the self-assessment mode when something shocking or tragic happens like the sudden death of a loved one a relative or a familiar person. We also at times think about our lives when it's a new year or a birthday. We also reconsider our lives when someone we know and underrate accomplishes something noble, phenomenal and praise worthy. We admire them and then begin to measure our lives against theirs and many times we don't like what we realise.
Obviously, a natural tendency for human beings is to socialise. We are communal in nature, we mix, relate and interrelate with one another, we are not designed or wired to be independent, exclusive and private; we are not designed for loneliness. Hence we want to do things with other people all the time.
It's another working day and you're not looking forward to it. You're probably unhappy, depressed and distressed. You feel so down and reluctant and the last place you'll really want to be is at the office. Maybe It's really not about work, oh no, work may still be fun and interesting. Maybe you love your job and you're working where you want. Your company may also be a successful establishment and the pay might be pretty good. You've risen through the ranks and without a doubt everyone knows you're very good at what you do.
In fact you're looking very good for another promotion and your performance is speaking well for you. The organization does need you and would do anything to keep you, you're comfortable with your salary and your perks and frequent bonuses are enviable. Looking at you, you're obviously a depiction of the so called upwardly mobile in career – doing well, looking well and delivering again and again.
So what's the issue? Why the distress? Why are you unhappy? Simple - you're probably having people problems. Other members of the organization don't like you, can't stand you and can't wait for your down fall.
You see, in many organizations, outstanding employees are not usually loved by other employees. This is because they make other employees look ordinary. Outstanding employees make difficult tasks look easy and make the extra mile the standard. They have a way of making every other employee look lazy, laid back and bland. Top management keep making them the point of reference for real effectiveness and performance and would keep rewarding them and appreciating them.
It's quite common, it's in fact the way everyone, well; most organisations and people go about it these days, much less individuals.
In as much as it's true that power is critical in business and career, it is still not as important as performance. This is because power has its limits, everyone's power is limited to a department, a territory, a duration or a tenure, but performance is continuous, in fact it's expected to keep improving, it never expires or runs out of fashion.
Within industries today, immediately a new person is appointed into a position of power, almost everyone connected or relevant to that office begin to investigate and check on the person; the profile, preference and personality of this new power broker.
They want to know him, they research his history; they're interested in his temperament, his character, his experience, his competence, his integrity and pleasures.
Is he corruptible? Does he have a weakness for the opposite gender, or for money? Is he biased on grounds of religion, ethnicity, race or even gender? Is he hardworking or indolent? The gist begin to spread, everyone is asking, wanting to know simply because they want to know how to relate and deal with this new power broker.
Today many of us appear helpless in dealing with issues of life, we grumble and mumble and complain about everyone and everything. We are overwhelmed by so many questions on our minds; so many things we wonder about and can't stop bothering about why they are so.
Prominent amongst our many worries are people. This of course is understandable because you can't control people; you can hardly make people do what you want them to do, hence your frustration, disappointment and in fact at times pain when people in your life, people you love, people you adore act in ways contrary to your desire and expectations.
Some of the many questions on our minds could include, why can't my husband be faithful and honest in this marriage, why can't my wife be more supportive, understanding and sensitive, why can't my children behave appropriately, why can't my parents be more selfless and reasonable in their dealings with me.
Some will also question, why can't my boss be humble, open minded and respectful, why can't my subordinates be more responsible and committed, when will my colleagues stop playing this cheap politics, when will I be recommended for that overdue promotion?
For how long will I keep tolerating this marriage with this lazy and broke husband? For how long will I keep tolerating this nagging and complaining wife? For how long will I keep tolerating this extravagant spouse, for how long will I keep enduring this stingy husband?
A Potential is having or showing the capacity to develop into something in the future. I want you to take a good look at yourself this morning, just think of you and consider how far you have grown and developed over the years. Remember, if you can, the cute and lovely you as a kid of five years old, how you used to jump and play and run around the whole place and get excited and attracted to so many kiddie stuff like toys, cartoon movies and just playing and having fun with other little kids your age.
Then with time you evolved, became older and more mature. You became a teenager and other things began to interest you, began to attract you and occupy you. You also changed in appearance. You became bigger, more masculine or feminine in appearance, your body changed and your adulthood began to emerge. Then at last you became a full grown adult. And of course, teenage stuff was no longer that exciting or attractive; your thinking, priorities, interest, activities and perspectives in life changed considerably, and you began to behave differently from when you were a teenager – from when you were a child.
Dear friend, do you realise how you are today in physical appearance was not acquired from the outside? You always had it on your inside. Your adult body features were not acquired from the environment, the market place or the hospital, you had it all along on the inside of you even as a child. You didn't buy your beard, or buy your natural hips, backside, boobs or your husky voice; your height or your matured looks, you always had these features in you right from when you were a little child.
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