Wednesday, August 08, 2018

How to make something of your life? A simple and practical guide

I don’t like motivational writing and I had second thoughts about writing this. The more I thought about it however, the more I felt I should. If it gets just one person to act differently, then it is worth it.

My friend from university, Tobi Ogunsina, will be 30 in a few days. She started a countdown on Instagram and I found myself looking forward to her daily posts. We spoke recently, and our conversation got me thinking about the passing of time and how one makes something of their life. Writing this followed from there.

My friend from university, Tobi (Akinbo) Ogunsina, will be 30 in a few days.
How does one make something of their life? Is there a road map for making the most of your talents and skills? I will present a simple and actionable framework based on my limited experience and learning from books and people. It is so simple that there is nothing here you didn’t already know.

I will assume you already aspire to something, so the first step is to plan. Maybe you would like West African men to wear clothes from your fashion line someday. Great! What’s the plan? Will you start by learning to design? When will you start? What will you do after that? This is so obvious and powerful that it is surprising that many people don’t do it.

Your plan does not need to be grandiose, fancy, or very detailed. It just needs to exist. In fact, maybe you’ll pivot. Maybe you’ll find out you’re better suited to making shoes instead. Whether you pivot or not, a plan is important because it brings direction. Can you imagine the calamity that would result from putting bricks together without following a plan to build a house? That’s what people are doing when they go through life without a plan. Life then becomes something that happens to them. They wake up one day and realize they were passengers in their own lives.

Imagine the calamity that would result from attempting to build a house without first making a plan.
Second, you’ve got to act. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Excluding people who are hungry, sick, or otherwise incapable of acting, people don’t act for various reasons: there’s no plan to follow, the next step is not clear, or there’s no motivation to act. So, they spend hours on Twitter and Facebook instead. I can understand this. Inactivity feels great when you’re not starving. I binge-watched The Crown on Netflix and I loved it. The only problem is: time and tide wait for no man.

Whether you do what you should or you don’t, the clock keeps ticking. Spend some time each day taking steps in the direction you want to go in. Save a small amount each month for the training course. Apply to one job every week. Read a few pages of that book every day. Keep going if you miss a few days here and there. You will feel yourself making progress and your life will be better for it.

Credit: Adela Rubio. Even the greatest was once a beginner.

There you have it. Plan and act. There are many other things I could add but I promised to keep this simple. You will learn and adjust your approach as you go. Things don’t work out sometimes despite your best efforts, and that’s okay. You may fail, or people may reject your ideas. Everyone needs a lucky break, and you might get yours if you’re prepared when opportunity passes. You should make good friends and give to the needy, but you knew that too already. 

Follow this simple guide, and maybe you’ll make something of your life that makes you proud.

May the wind be always at your back.

Note: this was written to my younger audience.

1 comment:

  1. It’s simple but makes such a big difference when we actually do it! Thank you Koye!