Some things have been on my mind for quite some time now about the way life operates. The more I look at some of those things, the less I see. I remember quite vividly how disappointed I was that I couldn’t register my name on the distinction list throughout my year one in the university. Did I just say “disappointed”? Well, not really!
I was in that parlance then, “given” (not as a gift though) a department I did not even know about prior to that time, so there was no way I could have desired it in the first place. I wanted only one thing “Medicine and Surgery” or nothing and I was going all out for it.
I have always known that if I persist enough, I would always get what I want, for prior to this time, I’ve always had my way in that department of my life so far my mind is made up. Looking back today, I couldn’t help but smile, how societal expectations conformed my mind to the medical profession as the noblest of careers and the zone meant only for the most brilliant of mind. The society has a way of telling us things. It takes a man of courage to swim against the tides.
If you want to prove your mettle as a sound science student, let us see you excel in medical school they say. What a delusion! All these informed my decision and I wasn’t the least bothered about what becomes of me in that department. My gaze was solely on finding my way to the college of health sciences. I could trace my abysmal performance in my 100 level to that singular factor. Looking at my results at the end of the day, I “pitied” myself.
My highest grade was one 67B in PHY 105 and I had to talk to myself “Oyelere, this is not the stuff you were made off”. I had to take out my WAEC certificate (please don’t laugh O!) and drew inspiration from it. I talked to and encouraged myself. If you had all these in times past, you can do better in the future. I settled down and accepted my “fate” in that faculty against all odds! A word for somebody! What is worth doing at all, is worth doing well. If you don’t like that job or that academic discipline, pull out. Don’t just make do with it, your work is the signature of your identity.
That is not even the bone of contention! I settled down to business in the second year and my first casualty was a “White house course” I did not take in year one. I checked the result board that evening after the weekly bible study meeting and a 97A was right in front of my name.
Wao! Elation is an understatement. My very first A was one in a grand style. I worked pretty hard but it never occurred to me that I could score that high. My confidence was restored and I was set on the path of exploit.Where I am going is not far, it is the detours that are many.
In my mind, I would like to see all the 90s, 80s and high 70s decorating my transcript after leaving Ife. After all, I had, E, D, C, B in year one, my high A’s from year two upward should be more than enough to compensate for my lacklustre year one. There and then I was told! Only your grades and not the scores appear on your transcript. At the end of the day, the scores do not really matter…and that is the bone of contention.
Think of it this way. Goat and Dog put in for a course. Dog does nothing towards excelling in that course. Dog didn’t go to class, does not even have notes nor textbooks while Goat had been zealous without knowledge. Goat attends classes regularly, bought all the recommended textbooks and the day of examination came.
Dog had nothing to write in the examination. Of course that is no news! He ended up with 0 F, since there was no room for cheating. Goat ended up with 39 F to the greatest surprise of himself and many others. He thought he had put in his best, to the best of his knowledge, but his best wasn’t enough. Few of the times when people are sincere, but unfortunately sincerely wrong! You can be sincere that you don’t know about the law of gravity, but if you jump from a three-storey building, you would be sincerely wrong!
Now to the summary of this piece that you shouldn’t miss “only few people fail in life because they don’t know at all, many people fail in life because they don’t know enough”. Goat knew, but it wasn’t enough and Dog didn’t know at all, but they both ended up with the same grade. The figures didn’t matter at the end of the day. Failure is failure. The difference in their knowledge didn’t reflect in their grades. Thus, for a man to excel in life, he must know more than just enough to get by, he must know to the point of results.
No one would ask you if you finished with 3.50 or 4.00 or 4.49 in school, humbly admit that you finished with second class upper, even if it is in the upper range or the lower range, 2:1 is 2:1! The figure would not matter, just make sure you do enough to break into the result you desire in life. A man in the bible only knew the baptism of John. He thought he was right. It makes no difference whether you know or not, principles are constant.
When children ask questions, they are not content with explanations, they demand answers. They do not want to know how hard you are working as a father, so far you can’t put good food on the table, clothe them and give them quality education, your work is not enough, even if it is 16 hours in a day…A hunter has no story to tell of his expedition if he has no animal in his bag. Nearly does not kill a bird, so make sure what you know is enough. Do not get to the examination hall or the result board to discover. It would be too late by then.
Seek to know more so that your work can deliver at the threshold of your expectation. When I see a man who says he is married for 40 years, I listen take up my pen and begin to write. I know his story can either challenge me or be an example to me. But either way, it would not leave me the same. Dr Oyedepo said “Your cheapest way up is to locate the steps of those who are already there”. He said he studied about 50 autobiographies of proven ministers before he came into ministry and when he started, he was fifty years ahead of his colleague.
But a folk might ask, do you know if he has been enduring the marriage for 40 years? Sincerely, I care less!!! You can learn from a failure how not to do something as much as you can learn from a success, how to go about it. It all depends on you.
Come to think of it, I have seen the demonstration of the pride of this generation expressed in the belief that we know better than the previous ones. While I am not pushing for an argument, but we can check out for the divorce rate 100 years ago in Africa and the present rate. How come with little or nonexistent knowledge of Agriculture, Nigeria tops the chart in the world in some tuber crops and our groundnut pyramid made nations green with envy?
What happened to our cocoa after we have learnt about agronomy and pathology and should be doing better? This generation prides itself in knowledge without results. We think we know better than our fathers because technology gives us “false speed” but time is telling. We raise billions to preserve the sharks from extinction, but we deny unborn children the right to live and our kids are asleep each day before dad and mum are back from work.
Rev Areogun said in his message “Requirements for higher level performance in life”…one of the things a man must do as a matter of necessity in preparation to break into the next level/phase of his life is to have friends in that his/her aspiring level. For example, you can’t be in the final year in the university/Polytechnic and you have no friend who is already working or observing the mandatory 1 year NYSC.
He would be the one to tell you of his mistakes and prepare you towards doing better than him. But if all your friends are single and you would soon be getting married, you wouldn’t do better than the “untested”, and I think “untrue” advice from such colleagues of yours. Don’t forget that a man can’t give what he doesn’t have. The figures rarely matter….[lease go for that which does!!!
I am going for the results not the figures.