One thing that is rampant in our day is the mad rush to the limelight. Not that such impulse is an invention of the recent years, but it certainly has become more pronounced now than before and shows no signs of abating any time soon.
You meet a young writer, entrepreneur, physician, lawyer, or whatever young professional, and the first thing he asks you is how to get to the top of his field. Granted that this is a good question to ask, the problem is however the unreadiness of these young chaps to accept the answer that is about to come.
Many of them desire to know the ten steps to apply to become like JK Rowling, Ben Carson, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffet in less than 5 years. In fact, if it were possible to reduce the timeframe to less than a year, they would be overly excited. And this is why many young, motivated kids get their hearts pierced through with many sorrows because they follow such teachers who promise massive growth and wealth within an abbreviated time with little or no effort. Or they follow people who aren’t interested in building the right foundations, growing solid roots or understanding self. The end is often disastrous and years, including lives, are wasted in the process of such irrational pursuits.
Whenever I’m privileged to meet such people, my counsel is always the same: grow in the dark before you shine in the light. Because it is what has been built in the dark years that will sustain a man in the light years.
Your dark years are some of the most important years in your business, career, and pursuit. Those years away from the public eyes is when you define who you are as a person, your values, your vision, your mission, your target audience, your true friends, your counsellors, your source(s) of happiness, your stress reliever, and your fixed points.
You learn to fail and rise from your failures during your dark days. Failing away from public view helps you to better process the failure, understand what made you fail and draw up a comeback plan. But when the lights are on you, it’s quite difficult to process failures well. It’s either you have a great circle of friends/family around you, or you’ll crash so much that from depression you might end up in suicide.
During the dark years, you can afford to make some silly mistakes and correct them with no one noticing. But when lights are constantly shining on you, every tiny thing gets amplified. Light amplifies your mistakes. Light amplifies your faults. Light amplifies your defects. Light unveils every dark corner of your life. Light shows your nakedness.
The Bible has this to say of John the Baptist in Luke 1:80, “And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until the time of his public appearance to Israel.” Basically, John the Baptist spent a good chunk of his days away from the public, maturing physically, in character, intellectually, in vision, and spiritually, in purpose. This he did until the right time for him to appear publicly to accomplish the assignment of being a forerunner for Jesus Christ.
Don’t be in a haste to be in front of the cameras. Grow in the dark. Shine in the light.