BREAKING THE SACRED SPARK

So when Winston Churchill says “Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm,” he really does have a point.

At some point or the other, in our drive to success, we would encounter failure. But does that kill our passion?

Now, when we trace it back, what we see is the constancy of purpose formed at the initial stage through motivation. But since motivation isn’t enough and as it ebbs and flows in a continuous flux dependent on our emotional state at any one time, we must develop the discipline of creating successful habits.

At this stage, we have so internalised certain behaviours that we now run on auto-pilot. But even habits can be broken.

So we again develop discipline to stay true to successful habits. This is character. And it is conscious.

How many times have we been so excited about a new idea or something we just began? We are thrilled, we climb up an emotional peak and decide we will do so and so to get so and so. And then, after a while we find ourselves going slowly backwards to where we were at the start.

Now, listen to Cavett who says, “Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.”

* * *

Let’s move on.

Naturally, people are wired to treasure the bird in hand over two in the bush. The question then is, are you worth the gamble?

Yesterday, it was something more than innovation. Today, it is another dot in the picture.

Can you see the pattern? Can you join the dots?

Breaking the Sacred Spark is simple. But whoever said it was easy?

© Breaking the Sacred Spark

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BREAKING THE SACRED SPARK

Now, one favourite question that helps me most prove this point is the one about mountains,

“Before MOUNT EVEREST was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?”

Answer this before you read on.

* * *

Seth Godin has some rather interesting things to say about this too. “You’re either boring or you stand out. You’re either invisible or remarkable. And, all your life, everyone has been pushing you to fit in. All your life you’re told to keep your head down, work hard, don’t make waves and get it done. What rubbish.”

Yes. What rubbish.

John Obidi has this very fine phrase I find appropriate. Be Phenomenal or Be Forgotten. There really is not a middle ground. If you aren’t phenomenal, you will be forgotten. Simple.

At work. In business. People would tell you not to be dramatic. Not to be different. They will tell you they want the familiar. But you know what? Most often, they don’t know what they want.

A quip, erroneously attributed to Henry Ford goes, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” But he gave them the car. And they bought it. A lot of it.

People say they want you to blend in and just be normal. But they would always choose those who stand out.

Some people have this very terrible deception that guides their lives- if you are doing a great job, that should be enough. They believe that reality should beat perception. But that is their perception. And it does not reflect reality.

If people don’t think you’re doing a great job, and can’t be made to see that, someone else would get all the credit you think you deserve.

Not fair? It’s the way the world works.

* * *

Okay, have you answered the question about the mountain? Well I have told you the answer already. Look again at all I have written. It is in here somewhere- the only thing that “stands out” from the rest of the text.

If you still haven’t gotten it, I may be able to help you.

© Breaking the Sacred Spark

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#‎DearMrMan‬ 7

NOW THAT YOU’RE A MAN

Dear Mr Man,

This is my final letter to you for the present.

Have you heard of the man they call Apostle Paul? He once wrote a letter to the church in Corinth where he said something I have always found inspiring. “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I reasoned like a child, I understood like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside.”

At some point during your growth into manhood, Mr Man, you must be able to say to yourself, “When I was a boy, these things fascinated me. These are the things that took most of my time. I was a slave to these things. But as I have grown older into manhood, I have shed these things and assumed a toga of responsibility.”

What may some of these things be? Perhaps I should share.

1. Boys THINK like boys. They exhibit a curious blend of extremes. On the one hand, they are gullible and believe the first thing they are told on any subject. On the other hand, as soon as they accept that fixed thought into their heads, it becomes a herculean task to dislodge it and give them superior information. Boys do not reason for themselves. Boys are the most closed-minded people you can find. You see them everywhere, arguing for arguing sake, like children, without a point.

Mr Man, I know you are not like this. You are a man.

2. Boys SPEAK like boys. The distance between their brains and their mouths is virtually infinitesimal. Whatever occurs to them, they don’t filter. They just open their mouths and spill it out. Boys don’t understand that there is a time to speak and a time to be silent. Every time is a time to talk. They feel it is a duty to fill up every silence- whether what they have to say is relevant or not.

Mr Man, I know you are not like this. You are a man.

3. Boys ACT like boys. When boys take actions, they have a disjointed sense of time, actions and consequences. Their actions, per time, are determined by their feelings- not guided by an understanding of time, the demands of their future, or long term consequences. Indeed, boys have an extremely brief time-sense. Short-term benefits becloud long-term considerations.

Mr Man, I know you are not like this. You are a man.

* * *

Mr Man, if the boy you were, meets the man you are becoming, would he be proud? Would he tell you, “I might have had some boyish dreams, but I love this reality you are making happen”?

Mr Man, it really doesn’t matter much what you used to be. What matters most is who you are becoming. What matters is that you deliberately choose to consistent and never-ending improvement. I hope, every day, you are putting one foot in front of the other in a conscious decision to move forward despite whatever happens to you. I hope you are keeping your goals in perspective and your dreams alive. I hope you understand that as you live, you learn, you may fall but you must rise, you may make mistakes but you must make amendments, you may start small, but you mustn’t remain small. What happened to growing big?

Mr Man, I wish you strength for life’s challenges and wisdom to handle the storms. I wish you discernment to pick your friends wisely, to choose your battles, to pick your allies. I wish you steady advancement in the pursuit of your dreams. I wish you fulfillment in life.

Mr Man, however harsh I may sound sometimes, I hope you know it’s for the best.

#‎DearMrMan‬ 6

BE A MAN

Dear Mr Man,

“How are you sir? I want to share a true life story. It happened in my days in FUTA.

This boy, let us call him Solomon Grandy, used to be someone we all knew in the SUG. One day, we were having a meeting when the president got a call that an emergency had occurred and he was needed. He rushed off home.

What actually happened?

Solomon Grandy had just received the most terrible news of his life. And he had swallowed some pills to kill himself.

No, his business hadn’t crashed. He didn’t even have a business. No, his whole family hadn’t been killed by mysterious thunder from above. No, he hadn’t been expelled from the university.

His girlfriend had just broken up with him. So he took some pills to kill himself rather than commit suicide.

And that was nearly the end of Solomon Akpors Grandy, but for the timely intervention of people who rushed him to the health centre.

For. A. Girl.”

* * *

People can be funny. Very funny.

You, Mr Man, what can make you contemplate the suicide option?

Ok, I know, sometimes, it just seems everything that can possibly go wrong is already going wrong in your life. Things are falling apart and your best attempts don’t seem to yield any results.

But giving up is never the answer. Neither is running away. Boys may be allowed to run away and throw tantrums when faced with tough issues. But you don’t have that luxury.

Mr Man, be a man.

Every challenge has an answer. It helps to find the right people too.

Mr Man, you cannot know how strong you are, until you are taken to task.

Handle Your Challenges. Like a Man.

#‎DearMrMan‬ 5

SHE LOVES THE GOOD THINGS OF LIFE

Dear Mr Man,

I got your request yesterday. You got my response, I believe?

This morning, I am writing to you on something of a follow-up to yesterday’s first letter.

You see, I believe that there are some girls who have built themselves into a walking, ‘prettified’ version of human mental invalids. These are the ones who think they cannot think or survive on their own, much less thrive on their own. These ones depend on men for everything- from the Brazilian hair on their coconut heads; to the eyelashes on their visionless eyes to the fixed nails on their idle hands; to the clothes on their lazy bodies.

Mr Man, from this girls, flee- with the back of your legs touching the back of your head.

But Mr Man, this is NOT a LICENSE for LAZINESS on your part.

I have seen EXTREMELY LAZY MEN LOSE WOMEN OF VALUE in their lives yet say three funny things.

1. Whatever is rightfully mine, nobody can take from me. [Mr Man, have you never heard of Godogodo, the one-eyed armed robbery czar who terrorised Lagos and other south-west states, taking what rightfully belonged to others? People can take what is rightfully yours. But in this case, Mr Man, nobody took her. She saw your perpetual laziness and advised herself wisely.]

2. If you love her, let her go. If she comes back, she is yours. [Mr Man, who are you deceiving? People are moving forward, you’re waiting for her to come backwards. She was yours. But she’s gone. And if she knows what she is doing, she isn’t coming backwards.]

3. Any woman who leaves a man of vision to date a boyfriend with television will one day watch that man of vision on her boyfriend’s television. [What kind of “-ision” motivational quote are you consoling yourself with? Keep making yourself happy. The wise woman has found out that you don’t have “VI” not to talk about “SION”]

Look here Mr Man… women, like men, love the good things of life. And women of vision and value, willing to work, invest, reach for their goals and not give excuses, won’t stay long with a lazy man whose only possession is his “big dreams” and no results or positive actions.

Eagles congregate with eagles. Only eagles.