Less than three weeks ago, I turned 30. They always say that reaching this age is a big deal and going by what they call “life expectancy”, I am already way past the half-way mark. But I have lived well and I am certain that I have learnt a lot during my 30 years and below are some of the lessons (more like one for every three years lived) that have shaped and continue to shape my life. I wrote them this cold morning but they are not in any specific order and are not exhaustive.
1. God depends on me as much as I depend on Him: I am those kind of people who believe that I am a Christian because I was born in a Christian family. But then I grew up in this religion and adopted and accepted its doctrines. Therefore, I continue to serve the Christian God but respect all other religions believing that we all look up to the same Almighty. I have come to learn my dependence on God comes at a price as He also depends on me to be a leading light to others so that they may depend on him too. And the cycle continues. Keeping my belief in God is what keeps my faith firm. If I dint believe, I then think that it would be futile to keep the faith.
2. Life is too long to worry about each day: I will often shout YOLO – and it is true that I will only live once. However, this does not give me the right to be careless with life. Each day comes with its opportunities and challenges and how I handle the two is what determines what kind of future I will have. Live each day as its own. Work hard to achieve your goals. And don’t forget to give back to society.
3. I was born to be an anchor to myself and those around me
In the recent past, I have been running a sort of mentorship for young people, and especially boys. I realised that I often lacked guidance and some of the mistakes I made would have been avoided if I got direction at a tender age. Other than guiding them to help make good career decisions, my mentorship is based on helping them be wholesome. It involves making them believe in themselves, strive to be responsible and leading lights in all their relationships with family, friends and even lovers.
4. It is never too late: Before I started saving, I would keep picking the forms to open a savings account but would never fill them. I would console myself that I was still young and was also saving through a cooperative society. It was not until after like 3 years of working that I then opened a saving account which has come to my aid a lot. It is thus never too late to start over. It is the same way that I decided to quit smoking. On June 16, 2013 after a long struggle, I decided I was done and it was time to kill the 12-year-old habit.
5. All I need is within me: Self belief and confidence is the number one ingredient to a productive and successful life. Most of the times, challenges that we face in life make us think that we cannot do it and push us to desperation that lead us to killing our dreams. There is a reason why we were born as individuals under different circumstances. There is a reason that we carry different names, our bodies are different and have our own minds. That unique gene that makes us different is what should drive our dreams. I haven’t achieved all. I am still learning and figuring some things out.
6. My relationships and partnerships shape me: I have learnt that I always need to be strategic in my relationships with others. I also need trustworthy relationships and partnerships if I am to succeed in making a better life for all of us. I have older folks to learn from, age-mates who I can easily relate to and younger folks whom I can mentor and pass the baton too. The best way is to expose yourself to people as it helps one to network and identify opportunities that you can engage in. Surround yourself with people who help you build and realize your potential and not those who only drain you. Making friends, building new relationships and creating new bridges while strengthening the old ones drives me
7. I will live my own life: We all get to a point where we feel that were life is not as good as that of others. We then stretch ourselves to try ape others and their lifestyles and end up stressing ourselves psychologically and financially at the expense of our future.
8. The world does not revolve around me: This selfish nature is what has led to issues such as crime and corruption in our society. We live with the attitude that as long as I am comfortable with my life, that is good enough despite what everyone else including my family and friends are going through. Honesty is key to a good life and makes it easier to relate with people as they can trust you and thus can also be honest with you.
9. There is nothing as important as following my passion: When, I was young, I knew and was convinced that I wanted to spend my life writing. But then the school system confused me and I at one time wanted to be a lawyer (probably, why I am so opinionated) but it dawned to me that the only single passion that made me happy was writing and today I enjoy it fully and it pays my bills.
10. I have to be that person who deserves to be loved and it’s OK to wait: We all know the cliché that there is a person for each one of us and we have to wait to get them. It is actually not a cliché as such, waiting is important and while at it, work on being that person that is desirable and deserves to be loved. But also remember, love is never enough. Trust, care and compassion are important spices.
Well, I have learnt a lot more but these ones are key and are those that I could think of on a cold June morning at 6am…