You wake up every morning, brush your teeth, take your bath and change your clothes, go out to visit old friends, or go to work, or stay back at home expecting visitors.you jump on your phones and change your WhatsApp profile picture and status; you check your notification box on Facebook and Instagram to see how many likes and comments on your last posts.
Then you go on to check out other peoples post, pictures, and videos, and react to them. Your battery goes low, and you suddenly remember that your country’s electricity is incompetent. You begin to wait for “NEPA to bring back your light” because there is this one post that you were reading, and need to finish it.
Later, you sleep off. And waking up, it is evening already. You sort out what to eat for the night, and then go to bed – not because its bed time, but because you need to resume chatting, and replying of messages, and all that, up until late in the night when you sleep off. End of the day.
That’s the same 24 hours someone else with the same brain size, number of hands, legs, eyes and ears like yours has and is making influence in his own sphere, and of course, making money too. Later on, you pray that God should make tomorrow bright for you, or blame the devil for snatching your glory away from you. Really?
My cousin once asked me, “Hey bro, do you know why new year resolutions don’t last?” I replied, “No”. He continued, “Because the date doesn’t mean more than a celebration period to people.” “Does that mean we shouldn’t make New Year resolution?” I asked. He smiled. “You can if you want to. But, as for me, I have come to realize that my resolution works more when I make them on my birthday, because, unlike New Year, it’s me and me alone”.
“You see” he continues, “on my birthday eve, I sat beside myself in a quiet place and make a careful review and evaluation of my life from the last year I clocked a year older to the one I’m about to clock. Often times, the things I promised myself to do, stop doing, add or reduce, I don’t reach the target. So, on that eve of my birthday, I tried to figure out the challenges, chastise myself where need be, and re-strategize. With that, I produced a better result by the following birthday eve.”
After that conversation, I got thinking. I adopted the method, but, later, I met people who had both New Year resolutions and birthday resolutions, and they worked. Some people don’t even make resolutions on any of these days, and yet, with each experience or knowledge they come across in life, they make decisions to change and adjust to it. And it works.
My decision to change everything about me affected how I see myself. My background, size, color, nationality, tribe is not a determinant of what I will be in future. But that I could be whatever I could imagine. That broke chains in me and brought out a lion in me that could dare any monster of self-pity, low self-esteem, poor mindset, and inferiority complex.
Now, to change is to give up something for something, to turn towards a certain direction, to readjust your focus, perspective or way of doing things. And that does not come without a sacrifice, because change itself is not easy.
Your change can start even now. And it doesn’t have to start with something big, like replacing your wooden window with a glass one. No. It can begin simply with the way you think. Then move on to your daily activities.
You can always write your plans for the day, and bring your evaluation down to every night, asking yourself what you have achieved so far that day, rather than wait for the end of a full year before doing that. Stagnancy is the opposite of progress.
Back in those days, Africans hated books. They would rather stick to their hoe, cutlasses, and fishing tools than to learn to read the white man’s jargon. Now imagine if we still refused to read till today. You probably wouldn’t understand a single word from what you are presently reading.
Your mind is the greatest hall of change. Once you can feed your mind with the right things through what you see, and what you hear, you can be sure of what you will think, and eventually become. When you stick to the status quo and join in raising the banner of “this is how it is always done” high, you will live to repeat history of stagnation.
There is a popular saying, “Don’t let the fear of what will happen make nothing happen”. Nobody is really ready to listen to what we are passing through now. But they would pay to listen to those who made it after passing through a lot. Result is what drives people nowadays.
So, if you have passion for anything at all; if there is a thing around you that you don’t like, and you wish could be done in some different way, it all starts with you. Don’t wait another day. Resolve in your mind to tell a different story. Be the change that you want.
Death is not just the absence of life, but the inability to grow, change, move forward, or think. How you respond to circumstances really matters. For instance, in a country like this where we always have new reasons to lament about the government, corruption, and the anomalies taking place, how do you fit in?
Are you the type that joins the masses to criticize the leaders? How about quitting the criticism that yields no result and think of a way to affect the country positively, and probably be our next hero? Instead of sticking to the status quo and joining in raising the banner of “this is how it is always done” high, you can choose to be the next Martin Luther King.
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Written by Istifanus Sarki