Talent is never enough

Talent without discipline is useless, and knowledge without character is perilous…

Amberton University

I wanna get this book

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,

Temiville. xoxo

0 comments

  1. yeaaa character development is very necessary else yhu see brains that are completely silly in life but I also think that the whole character thing is a choice,nobody will let go of a brain with no xter or attitude but no one will hold on to a nice,smiley,relationship-builder dolo,loadz of people that are talented without good xters are envied,hated but greatly admired,it’s a choice,that’s all I mean.
    Sorry about the cramps,by his stripes yhu are healed and congrats on yhur diet lifestyle,keep the good work going.
    Xoxo

    1. Thanks a lot Gretel. I feel much better already. Never used to have the monthly cramps. I bind the devil, lol.

      Re your comment: I have actually seen a person being let go of though he was very brainy. He always got the job done but would trample all over people on his way there. In the end, he was sacked and people rejoiced. However rare, it does happen o

      🙂

  2. This is definitely on point Temi! Alot of foreign graduates most especially think that they have this omnipotent degrees and go into nigeria with this “i am that i am” believing attitude. The truth is at the end of the day if you are not humble and dont have a fine character, you are just as good as any other lot in the graduate sector.
    I have herad alot from my friends that have gone to naija to serve that they learnt patience and humility, and most of all….reformed in their attitude. In as much as having a 1st class from a fab uni is Hot, still as they say personality open doors but it is your character that keeps it open

  3. Great post Temi.
    Talent is definitely not enough. In the entertainment world, there are musicians that don’t have great voices but are selling records and some that have really good voices and are hustling. It’s just the grace of God that causes someone with very little qualifications to succeed compared to the other fellow who has all the degrees in the world. I believe that God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. So we should go around with the mindset that our gifts are from God, and if we don’t invest in them, we are not fulfilling God’s plan and purpose. I definitely agree with you on character building. Your talent can elevate your status but it’s your character that will keep you on top.There are many people who have lost out on various opportunities because of their bad character. I have some tips as well on character building.
    1. Work as if you are working for God and not for man.
    2. Strive to make a positive difference wherever you find yourself.
    3. Make your first impressions count.
    4. Wear humility all the time.
    5. Be a blessing to somebody else.
    6. Wear a smile, It attracts people to you.

    Cheers,
    http://www.shanday.wordpress.com

    1. Thanks Shanday!

      You make a fine point with the musicians bit. Kirk Franklin would be the first to admit that his voice is not exactly like the nightingale’s but yet, he has the Midas’ touch when it comes to music…he touches it, it turns to gold!

      I’m loving your tips. Thanks a lot!!!

      xoxo

  4. Temi,
    you are so right!
    I have learnt that greatly at my intern placement. I always came to work and I focused on my work with less interaction with my colleagues. I thought it showed that I was a hardworker. My manager informed me that it’s about relationship-building within the team, screen break and she also said we can’t concentrate from 9-5.
    I’ve learnt a great deal. I thought focusing on your work makes someone better at work. However, I have later realised that it’s combination of being brainy, good sense of humour, knowing how to be scarsitic and being extremely friendly to everyone including the manager.
    The only problem that I had is that I wasnt comfortable in speaking to my manager as I usually speak to my friend whereas the other student spoke to the manager as if she was talking to her friend. Maybe it’s a 9ja thing..respecting your manager but it doesn’t go well in an English culture-if not the manager and the individual will have a weird relationship.
    I also learnt that it’s good to be nice to admin as they help us staff a lot.

    Well done on your diet. Remember to commit it to God’s hands. If it is God’s will for you to lose weight you will surely lose weight.

  5. Let me quickly comment on the video first…. What ????? that was my reaction. All I did was gape in some comments or words that came out of the ladies (I cant be bothered to even dissect lol, it is well)…

    Moving to the article. I like it, it is on point and includes key advice such as character, humility etc. I agree with u on every note, I could not have explained it better than u have done.

    In addition, we need to have self belief, in our selves, abilities etc, it also makes us stand out more and people are generally drawn to self confident people because they know themselves … I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13. I also agree with on Philippians 4: 8 ohh.. no wonder Great great great Uncle Solomon said as a man thinketh so he is… and Jesus said out of the abundance of a man’s heart comes out all sort which reflects the character of man ur heart says alot Matt 12:34…. so if u think ungodly we will know through ur actions…
    God will continue to help us to help ourselves to be better.. AMEN..

    Thanks again for reinforcing values. I like it…

    God bless u hun…. xoxoxoxox

  6. @ Shandey I like the pointers, I will take it on board too for reinforcement.

    @ Lafunky I am sorry, but pls I dont mean to come across as if am attacking ur comment. But the last sentence just caught my attention in a different way. ” If it is God’s will for you to lose weight you will surely lose weight”

    I just want to say, I don’t agree with the sentence for many reasons… For instance, if your tummy is above a particular size u are prone to diabetics, difficulty to take in and give birth, high cholesterol etc kills the body little by little. So I do not think it wont be God will for her to lose weight if she is doing it for reasons that will keep her healthy not image conscious… Besides, we should look good and feel good in it, after all this body is borrowed take care of it and it will take care of u.. (I better take my own advice sha, am back to cutting off my fizzy drinks and back to jogging in one wk.. I am dreading it because I am coming out of my comfort zone again oh well.. sacrifices has to be made…)

  7. You’re right Temi. No matter how “brainy”,”hard working” or “talented” one may be,it all comes down to ones character. As my people say, “iwa le wa”. Simply put, “character is the beauty of ones existence”. God bless n have a great wk.

  8. on point, i get that feeling too from colleagues…i have a first class, i am deserving ish.

    Success is not just based on qualification, hard work and God’s favor is also required. After all quality is user defined.

    On the weight loss you are making progress, dont expect overnight results! i am pleased you are leaning more towards a healthier lifestyle as opposed to just loosing weight fast

  9. Sorry Purplelicious. I feel that if it is a problem, God will intervene. We have to commit all our ways to God (Psalms 37:5). Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans (Proverbs 16:3). He does want us to have good health even as our soul prosperity (3John 2).
    I’ve been studying the Lord’s prayer in depth in relation to my prayer life..and I noticed that Jesus want us to say that ‘let His will be done in our life’ even before we make our request. It takes courage to say that.
    I might not be making sense but that’s how I see it sha.

  10. Temi, this is another masterpiece!! Your points were succinct and unambiguous. When one fails to add character to talent, trust me, dat is a recipe for disaster.
    I really appreciate your write up, I will invite my folks to come be a part of this wonderful blog!

  11. wow..I just love reading your blog..amazing..dont think u deserve dat job just see it as a ministry.. your attitude will take you to the top but character will keep you there..it definitely boils down to pride..when u ask God to humble you, be ready to meet some of the most annoying and arrogant people..if you can handle it and be broken down, then humility comes forth…. I love the idea of relationship building. I should take it to consideration..I have always hated group work, so this article is definitely important.. thanks for sharing.

  12. Wow Temi, intelligent write-up. Reminds me of the saying ‘No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.’ Its a principle that applys to every aspect of our lives not just career wise.

    Another warning to people: don’t stay in a company too long thinking your dedication will keep your job. From what ive seen, those people that have spent 8 years in an organisation are asked to go in favour of those who have spent just 3, during an organisational restructuring.Keep looking at the job market frequently. There are loads of opportunities especially through networking.

    And while you hold your current job position, maintain an entrepreneural spirit of starting your own business some day. Broaden your horizon. Do a postgraduate degree for yourself and not just the organisation or job you want to get into. I also believe that the unemployed should utilise their talents and do what they’ve always dreamed of doing independently, rather than waiting and crying for that job to come.

  13. By the way, what weight are you watching? Are you the one in the picture wearing a black dress and white collar? Pls pls pls, you are fine the way you are.

  14. Eye-opener. Used to feel like that but I know better now. On other notes, I can’t help but think how “funny” this life is, every time I read about your diet. I’m a size 4/6 so yeah, I’m a proper “lepa”. Gosh, I dislike that word. I’ve been trying sooo hard to put on a few pounds. What I’d do, just to achieve that!!! I eat anything and everything and yet, no luck! Still as skinny as ever! Then I read and hear about people who want to lose weight like you and I’m like “if only, you could just give me some of the weight u want to lose, I’d gladly take it”. Such is life. All the same…good luck with the weight loss…

  15. Temi, love love your blog. So you used to fel entitled eh? Nothing wrong with that. E easy? When your mates were playing, you were reading. E easy to spend money on overseas education?

    Abegi feel entitled but NEVER NEVER NEVER UNDERESTIMATE others at any time. i mean anyone, illiterate, semi-illiterate, naija grad, overseas grad, anyone.

    I don talk say, temi who dey fearless and poised before go go Nigeria come become shivering sheep.

    You sef be, GBAM. You be person. NEVER LET ANYONE belittle your laurels cos you need them as stepping stones, DEFINITELY NOT as backrests.

    Never be intimidated. Respect others but NEVER allow anyone intimidate you. You could pretend to be intimidated (for naija corporate-scape sake) but IN YOUR HEART, Don’t be.

    You sef be, GBAM. You be person. NEVER LET ANYONE belittle your laurels cos you need them as stepping stones.

    You don’t have to reply anybody but in your mind know who you are.

    People can tell you going to Sheffield is NO BIG DEAL BUT you DO not have to BELIEVE that in your own heart.

    Some of them want similar good things for thier relatives and (future?)children.

    Some of them are confidence-busters(also breakthru-busters) in mufti and some are just envious or jealous.

    Respect all but also respect YOURSELF.

  16. Temi, love love your blog.

    So you used to fel entitled eh? Nothing wrong with that. E easy? When your mates were playing, you were reading. E easy to spend money on overseas education?

    Abegi feel entitled but NEVER NEVER NEVER UNDERESTIMATE others at any time. i mean anyone, illiterate, semi-illiterate, naija grad, overseas grad, anyone.

    I don talk say, temi who dey fearless and poised before go go Nigeria come become shivering sheep.

    You sef be, GBAM. You be person. NEVER LET ANYONE belittle your laurels cos you need them as stepping stones, DEFINITELY NOT as backrests.

    Never be intimidated. Respect others but NEVER allow anyone intimidate you. You could pretend to be intimidated (for naija corporate-scape sake) but IN YOUR HEART, Don’t be.

    You sef be, GBAM. You be person. NEVER LET ANYONE belittle your laurels cos you need them as stepping stones.

    You don’t have to reply anybody but in your mind know who you are.

    People can tell you going to Sheffield is NO BIG DEAL BUT you DO not have to BELIEVE that in your own heart.

    Some of them want similar good things for thier relatives and (future?)children.

    Some of them are confidence-busters(also breakthru-busters) in mufti and some are just envious or jealous.

    Respect all but also respect YOURSELF.

    P.S. I get what you re saying about character, its essential.

    1. hahhhaaaa! I used to feel entitled o. But thank God for opening my eyes. Now i see. lol.

      I love this: NEVER LET ANYONE belittle your laurels cos you need them as stepping stones, DEFINITELY NOT as backrests.

  17. Hello Temi…
    I just came across your blog for the very first time and i have been reading for about two hours straight.

    What do you know…this is about me. I not only graduated with a first class but i was also the best graduating student in my school and my CGPA was just 0.12 short of 5 points. Somehow i must have let it get to me without even noticing it. I have NEVER wanted to work in a corporate environment, so i have been in business since graduation last year, but at a point, i did feel like “All these companies would kill just to have me work for them”. I must have come off as pretty obnoxious… 🙁

    Now i know it’s not even about me, after all i wasn’t the book loving student in school. I don’t even know wher the libraries are. The first time i entered one was during clearance. Did i endow myself with the intellect? NO? Now my eyes are open to the truth that i must develop character and become humble. Virtue will only make talent more desireable and will actually make room for it anywhere it goes.

    Thank you for this piece and God bless you.
    Ps: i am currently undergoing a lifestyle change too, so i feel you on the diet thingy. Congrats on your progress so far and God keep you.

    1. nHey Nutella!!! Wow, you are a bright one! But I thank God for enlightening you to see that talent, without more, will not do. Thanks for visiting my blog and sharing your personal experience. Very inspiring!

      1. Hey Temi…
        Thanks, girl…the things God can do for us mere mortals. Please keep it coming.
        Blessings…xoxo

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