When I was learning a foreign language several years ago, one of my teachers told me that until I dreamt in that language, I wouldn’t be sure that I really knew it. On hearing that I got intentional about it and began to not only attend classes, study the texts, but also attempt to use a bit of it in my daily conversation.
Because I’d chip in some words that weren’t English nor Igbo during conversations, one of my roommates soon nicknamed me ‘Espresso’. It didn’t take long, I finally dreamt in Italian language. And the rest è storia. What we think or dream about is so powerful that it goes a long way in defining who we eventually become.
“We are what our thoughts have made us; so, take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.” (Swami Vivekananda)
In this episode, I’ll be sharing one of the greatest secrets to becoming successful in life. I’d plead that you calmly read every word, and if you find it helpful, share with family and friends to inspire them as well.
Ready to be inspired? Let’s go:
E= Think beyond the limits of your Environment.
For you to achieve that big dream you must think beyond the real and virtual barriers your environment has imposed on you.
It was not my choice to be born in a small town, east of the Niger, though I thank who (God) made that choice. But we know that a child born in a remote rural area of Nigeria has limited chances of survival, not to talk of becoming successful on the world stage.
He lives in poverty, breathes a decayed sociopolitical system, sees poor sanitary conditions and hears death knocking. His highest aspiration is to become a palm wine tapper, a shoe repairer, a local vendor on the streets or at most a local headmaster (only village boys and girls like me will understand these aspirations).
Not that these jobs aren’t dignifying but your environment tends to limit the scope of your imagination.
You may come from a poor home, where no one has a formal education; you were born out of wedlock; your Dad/Mom abandoned you; you live in an unsafe neighbourhood; you were diagnosed with a disease; your country’s economy is a mess etc.
Now, I understand that all these factors can place both real and artificial ceilings on your imagination. But you can’t give in. You need to both unroof and destroy these structures and think beyond those physical, social, political, economic/financial limitations.
Yes, I’ll be rich someday, I’ll have a formal education, I’ll marry and be a great parent, I’ll be an agent of change someday… These should be your thoughts.
Derive motivation from your background no matter how difficult things are. You owe it to yourself and to your generation to be better than what you were given.
Please I want you to always remember this: Money is never the problem. The moment you think that money is the problem you’ll get stuck.
I came to this understanding a couple of months ago and it changed my perspective on things: Every day there are billions of euros/dollars/naira exchanging hands on your street, in your city or country.
You might not have seen them but that’s what happens. You just need to be at the right place, at the right time, doing that right thing, and of course with God’s help, to receive your portion.
The money will come to you while you’re chasing your dreams not while you’re chasing money. Nobody wants to pay you for nothing, but people are willing to support a credible idea. Well, if they don’t support it, they’ll regret it by the time you ‘blow’.
Don’t ever think that your skin colour is a limitation, no matter the story you heard/read. Those stories might be true but always remind yourself that there are people with your skin colour who made it to great heights.
And by the way, when you have what others don’t have, no matter how they try to neglect you, you’ll stand out someday.
Also, your marital status should be an added advantage, whether as a single because you’re free to fly or as married because two heads are better than one. See the positive side of it.
As you think beyond the limits of your environment, it’s important that you watch the company you keep. The company you keep plays a fundamental role in who you become.
S= Think SOLUTIONS.
This is a very important point [that] I’ve come to realise lately. Nobody gets a reward for narrating all the problems in the world, except historians maybe. I mean, when you open a search engine, you aren’t just searching for someone to explain what’s wrong with you or your device.
You want something more – the way out, a solution; you’re searching for “how to solve a problem.” You are paid or crowned when you’re a value to society, an organization, a company; when you offer goods and services or when you proffer solutions to problems.
So, one secret to success is to become a problem solver and not just a problem describer. Yes, understanding that there’s a problem, and what the problem is forms the basis for finding a solution. But your thinking should go beyond that.
When God saw that the earth was without form, void and full of darkness, He quickly made light and filled the void with living and non-living things— SOLUTION
When God saw that Adam/Eve had sinned, He didn’t stop at punishing them; He thought of a solution, Jesus Christ because punishment isn’t a solution to sin.
When there was a famine in Egypt, Pharaoh sought problem solvers, not just interpreters. No wonder Joseph was chosen because he knew the solution that no one else was able to come up with.
Our world is submerged in serious problems begging for answers and only men and women with solutions will emerge above others. Simple. So, to become successful, begin to think of solving problems in your home, city, country, continent and the world.
Now, I know that success shouldn’t be simply equated to being financially rich. But there’s a good chance you’re reading this because you not only want to be successful, you also want to have some cash while being successful. So, if you need more than a few bucks in your wallet, here’s an idea:
If you want to become a millionaire, solve a million-dollar problem. If you want to be a billionaire, solve a billion-dollar problem. For example? Provide good drinking water to a million people in Nigeria for one naira a bottle and in six months you’re a millionaire.
Do the same in the healthcare system, food sector, power sector, IT sector, fashion and design world and you’re there. These are basic human needs, and until Jesus comes to take us home, men will always need these items and more.
You see, coming from a low to the middle-class family can make you detest very rich people sometimes, calling them dishonest, unhappy fraudsters who made their wealth illegally. But that’s a wrong way of thinking.
Granted that there are frauds among the rich, many of them worked tirelessly to unearth solutions to problems. Those solutions shot them into the limelight. And guess what? A good number of them came from very poor homes too. Money is not the root of all evil, but the love of it says the Bible.
Problems are everywhere, only the solutions are lacking.
See problems as opportunities. Look at things not as they are, but as they can be.
O: Think Outside the box.
The concept of thinking outside the box is one that has seen so much literature dedicated to it. I’m sure you’ve heard of it or even used it many times.
By thinking outside the box, I simply mean bringing your own unique perspective into the solution of a problem.
In the previous section, I talked about ‘think Solutions.’ So, to think outside the box implies that you should think of new unconventional methods of solving a problem. Obviously, you must know the old way used in solving that problem before you can come up with a new one.
So, bring your uniqueness and your unique approach into problem-solving; let’s see your fingerprint, something distinctive in the solution you proffer.
You don’t need to become the new Edison, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk. You can just be you, with your new approach to solving energy problems, creating a new and more efficient operating system and devices.
See what your mentors have done in your field of interest and improve on their work. With few exceptions, there’s nothing new under the sun; every invention picked up something from a/some previous invention(s).
So, instead of dreaming to invent a new iPhone, think of a weightless paper zphone for example.
Ralph Emerson said, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”. So, yeah, be a trailblazer. Don’t bother if it doesn’t make sense now. It’ll make sense eventually.
B: Think BIG.
I want to quickly point out that you can’t scare God with your big dreams.
God doesn’t get intimidated that your dreams are out of this world. He owns the entire universe, so, no dream is out of his reach of possibilities. He’s able to give you exceeding abundantly beyond all that you can ever ask or think of Him.
Don’t pity God by limiting your imagination. Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the gate shall be opened to you. For every one that asks receives, he that seeks finds, and to him that knocks the door will be opened. So, why limit the bigness (size) of your dream?
You must think big to become big. And don’t listen to people who tell you that it’s too big and so cannot be achieved.
Dream so big that your dreams blow your mind. Joseph’s dream was far bigger than himself, but it came to pass.
When you have a big picture of where you’re going in mind, you’re less prone to the past and present gossips around. That doesn’t mean that you neglect the simple present, it just means that you don’t allow the past to become your future.
What you don’t see, you cannot become.
To think big, you must constantly feed your mind with things that will literally blow it. That’s why you must constantly come back to this blog to feed your mind with tasty articles and stories that inspire.
“It is better to aim high and miss than to aim low and hit.” (Les Brown)
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GROW GREAT.
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