Talent without discipline is useless, and knowledge without character is perilous…
So I have been thinking for a while now…is talent all we need? I didn’t have to look very far to find my answer: NO. There’s much more to success and greatness than what gifts and abilities you have. I have seen very gifted people who are ‘just there’ at work. They are not low staff, neither are they at the top of their league (where really their talents should have elevated them to). Conversely, I have seen some ‘3 class’ holders who are the top of their fields, doing big things for their companies and getting promoted ever so often. So what exactly is up here? What does the 1st class holder lack that his 3 class counterpart knows?
Never rely on the first class you have from that Ivy League or Red brick institution. Never rely on that Level 2 CFA you hold. Without doubt, these things open doors and get you to great places but they, of themselves, will not keep you there or lift you high whilst there. I’ll mention a few things I have learned that if combined with 10% of talent (or even less) will get you to that height you seek.
Are you friendly at work or you rush off to your desk and do your work efficiently without understanding the importance of relationship-building? How patient are you? How teachable are you? How willing are you to get you hands dirty? Are you the type of intern who would never help carry chairs for example? Do you mix well and treat the domestics with respect or do you not even notice they exist? Do you keep your ears to the ground and find out the latest stuff happening at work or do you believe-if it’s mine, it will come to me as a result of my hardwork? Do you mix with colleagues outside work or have they never seen you in jeans and tee-shirt? Are you helpful with tasks? Are you pro-active or always believe in minding your business? Do you respect hierarchy? Do you learn from how the bosses do stuff? Is it simply about getting to work at 7:15am and leaving at 8pm for you? Trust me, I know of some who get there at 9 and leave at the dot of 5 yet are excelling greatly and are doing their jobs well and are still getting recognised and promoted. So what exactly is the deal?
It is important to have a good character.
So many times, I’ve heard people speak and I can see that they have this feeling of entitlement. ‘I deserve to work here because of my degree’, ‘I should get a promotion because I work so hard’. Let me be honest, I used to be like that a year ago. I’d say, ‘as soon as I get to Naij, in fact from the airport, employers will be fighting for me’ lol. No I didn’t go that far. But on the real though, I felt it was all about doing well and gbam! that will be all. No siree, that is NOT all. There’s so much more because do you want me to roll out the number of amazing Nigerian graduates around? As they say, ‘you go fear’. From Unilag 1st class degree holders in Law (that’s a huge deal) to Ife to UNN to schools abroad to OSU to Babcock to Covenant… I could go on and on.
There are so many well deserving graduates out there so please, don’t be feeling special. If you think you went to almighty Sheffield, then I’ll show you 10 people from Imperial, Cambridge, Duke, Yale etc. If you think you went to Imperial, then I’ll show you others who not only went to Imperial but came out in the top 5% of their class and are currently in Princeton on a full scholarship. The point is this: no matter the height you think you have attained, there are people higher. So humility is key. Especially in a country like Naij were brains are everywhere, your laurels mean a lot but don’t rest on them.
We need to steer clear of the feeling that it is our birthright to have that job. Everything should be thought of as a gift. Even if you feel you deserve it, keep this feeling to yourself. No one else needs to be schooled on how hard you work and how the next guy who got the job did not shine as bright as you did at the group exercise. Character is key.
Even aside of the career aspect, you will find that no matter how handsome or beautiful a person is, if they have a bad attitude, they will repel you-eventually. There has to be much more to you that the things you had no say in getting/acquiring such as beauty, brains, wealth. You need to put in the work and add to these things like humility, approachability, integrity, honesty, drive etc.
I have noticed that employers can smell this feeling of entitlement from a mile away and except you are so darn great and you have some capabilities that no one else has, they’d rather not employ you if only to ‘show’ you. This does not mean you should dismiss and not celebrate your worth, but you gotta do it with wisdom, tact. Don’t ever aim to intimidate.
What character also does is to protect your talent. It is impossible to ascend higher than the limitations of your character. So many times, we don’t get to where we want because without being well equipped for that place, it will destroy us.
I am on a character-building assignment. It’s not easy to build up an excellent character but at the end of the day, it is well worth it. Here are some things I have learned:
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9
That pretty much, is the sum total. When we dwell on good stuff, good stuff come out of us.
Like we have learned over and over again, there is nowhere else to learn that from the Word of God.
And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. Acts 20:32.
I think when we mix the gift God has given us with the no-how found in His Word, we become unstoppable!
Now, on a different note, I’ve been nursing some horrible cramps from 3 am this morning! God is my Healer. I am at work (it’s all good).
Quick Update on my Weight loss Progress:
I have managed to steer clear of fizzy drinks for a week now. I’m very proud of myself. I have actually improved-not only have I reduced my portions, I have totally changed the kind of stuff on my plate. If you ever catch me eating rice, you can practically count the grains. Now it’s about the proteins, vegetables and chicken (I love the skin though it is actually terribly fattening). I drink loads of water now and I have ONE cup of either tea or coffee daily. I’m gradually beginning to skip breakfast. Not out of choice but because the kind of food they bring for breakfast are every dieter’s worst nightmare-bread, meat pies, sausage rolls, cakes, etc. So I have loads of fruits instead. I also read weight loss success stories online and they encourage me.
As for the actual result, hmm. The results are supposed to be the koko right.?Well, they are not exactly glaring yet. The changes are things I feel or even things that I alone know such as more frequent and much easier bowel movement (from 2-3ce a week on a good week to 2ce a day-everyday). I feel lighter too. My clothes however still feel the same. There’s another small change though: before no matter how much I tuck in my tummy, there’s still this light bulge. Now I can squeeze it in and it is concave although once I release, it’s back to normal.
One thing is true: I am no more trying to lose weight fast. I am now making a lifestyle change. The weight might not fall off as quickly as I would have hoped but I trust that with the little changes I am making, the effect will be sustainable and lasting.
I had a cupcake on Sunday though-I got it as a newcomer gift at House on the Rock and it was yummy and very sugary lol. Well, I guess a small cupcake won’t entirely ruin my efforts. I’ll be publishing a post about my experience at HOTR soon. It was quite an experience. Me and my friends absolutely loved it. Very enlightening.
They are having another combined service on Sunday at the Eko Hotel from 8 am so be there.
I have to go now but before I do, I leave you with this hoping it leaves you as speechless as it did me.
Take care people,