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Paying the price for change

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“A farmer does not boast he has had good harvest until his stock of yams lasts till the following harvest season.” -The words of our elders

In life, everything has a price. For liberation, the price is vigilance. For excellence, the price is diligence. To live your life, you must pay the price of breathing. And to breath in oxygen, you have no choice but to exhale carbon dioxide. This is an irreducible fact of life. And life balances its act by logic of give and take.

Admittedly, everyone desires meaningful change. But the question is, are we all prepared to pay the price for change? Change, like everything else in nature, has its price. The price for profound change can be found in the realm of consistency and diligence. It can also be located at the borders of patience, but more at the precincts of smart work and hard work. It is simply a false assumption that you can make the difference while resting on your oars; you must row all the time.

The words of our elders say it all: “A farmer does not boast that he has had a good harvest until his stock of yams lasts till the following season.” Only through dint of hard work does the farmer ensure that there are enough yams in the barn to last him till the next harvest. This is a sort of safety device that caters for any uncertainty that would rear as he waits for the next harvest. He does not just feel content with a particular harvest but ensures that he has enough to rely on even in the advent of unexpected change in the yields of the land.

Success is one sweet experience but the road to the top is often rough and unexciting. Ask those who dared odds to climb the highest peak, Mt. Everest; they did not find it easy at all. But because they persevered and worked real hard at overcoming their apparent limitations, and because they were determined to succeed where others had failed, victory became theirs at the end.

Thomas Edison paid the price for creativity while trying to invent the electric bulb. He failed 3,000 times in his attempt to bequeath humanity with a legacy– the electric bulb. He refused nevertheless to give in to defeat. History of course vindicates his persistent spirit because he finally achieved his dream after 3,000 trials. Asked why he failed 3,000 times, Edison blurted proudly, “No, I didn’t fail 3,000 times. I only found ways of how not to invent the bulb.”

To me, that is a man who understood what it means to pay the price for change. Nothing good comes of its own accord. Part of growing up is making your own decisions and living with the consequences. To desire change is not enough; you must live with the implications of the outcome. Positive change presupposes a bettered self and society, yet without adapting to emergent needs of the outcome and sustaining it by way of smart work and a renewed sense of determination, the change will not endure the test of time. But we all know in our heart of hearts that our greatest desire is enduring outcomes.

It took James Mitchener well over twenty years of research to pen his bestseller, The Source. Those enthralling dance steps of the late Michael Jackson took eight hours of practice daily to perfect. Who knows the countless hours of honing Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Tiger Woods, Carl Lewis, John McEnroe, Steffi Graf, Venus and Serena Williams, John Fashanu, Jay Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, and all the great sportsmen and women of the modern world spent daily to hone their art?

What about great artists like Beethoven, Mozart, Michelangelo, Lionel Ritchie, George Benson, Whitney Houston, Onyeka Owenu, late Christy Essien Igbokwe, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Sunny Okosun, Sunny Ade, to mention but a few? Do you imagine their greatness was without a price? People only get to know about the fame of people like Mahatma Gandhi, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Nelson Mandela, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello, and not the pain associated with them. “No pain, no gain,” the saying goes. True.

“It is not enough to run, one must arrive and know one has arrived,” an African proverb says. To desire change is to run the race of life; to pay the price for change is to know when one has arrived by knowing that which would meaningfully sustain the momentum of change.

If you are willing to pay the price for change, if you are ready to adopt the “never say die” attitude of Thomas Edison, and the meticulous preparations of Michelangelo and Michael Jackson, and add those elements to the focused stead and humility of spirit of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jnr., then you are assured of success at the end of the tunnel.

Success is the exclusive preserve of the hard and smart working lot, but never the prerogative of the lazy bunch. Show me the man or woman who slept in the day time and also slept in the night time and still achieved something worthwhile. While it is permissible to sleep at night, it is considered a misnomer for someone to sleep in the day time which is regarded as the time when dreams are given the colours of reality.

Arguably, there are two distinct kinds of people; those who relish in night time dreams and those who are given to daytime dreams. The latter group represents the achievers because they do not only discover themselves in those daytime dreams but find ways to create themselves uniquely. You can create a unique new you by willing to pay the price that every unique achiever paid not only to find their true potential but to create themselves and the kind of world they desire.

In everything you do, develop the habit of consistency, critically evaluate your dreams and actions, meditate often on your set goals, work smart at them and patiently bring them to logical conclusion. An intent amounts to nothing if it is not measured by an outcome. Let your outcome become larger than ordinary; only then can it be said that you made the difference in life. It’s your turn to make the difference!

Hints: In life, everything has a price. For liberation, the price is vigilance. For excellence, the price is diligence. It is simply a false assumption that you can make the difference while resting on your oars; you must row all the time. Success is one sweet experience but the road to the top is often rough and unexciting.

To desire change is not enough, you must live with the implications of the outcome. If you are willing to pay the price for change, if you are ready to adopt the “never say die” attitude of Thomas Edison, and the meticulous preparations of Michelangelo and Michael Jackson, and add those elements to the focused stead and humility of spirit of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jnr., then you are assured of success at the end of the tunnel.

Show me the man or woman who slept in the day time and also slept in the night time and still achieved something worthwhile. There are two distinct kinds of people; those who relish in night time dreams and those who are given to daytime dreams. The latter group represents the achievers. An intent amounts to nothing if it is not measured by an outcome.

Stock taking: What have you identified as the price you have to pay for the change you envisage in life? Are you willing to be consistent in paying this price no matter the challenges therein? How would you invest your limited time and resources in relation to paying the price for the change you desire?

Do you realise that a goal is a dream with a date on it? If so, now that you have a burning desire to make a difference in life, what exactly is your dream and what time frame do you have in mind to bring it to fruition? Would your intent and outcome be measurable and meaningful to all concerned?

Are there any practical steps you would take to ensure that you meet your target objectives? Which one of these would you prefer: night time dreamers or daytime dreamers?

Last line:

“These individuals have so far operated with impunity at the expense of the Nigerian people and have undermined democratic principles.”

-United States Secretary in the US Department of State, Mike Pompeo not only urging stakeholders in the Edo governorship election to uphold the tenets of democracy before, during and after the election or face consequences, but also disclosing punishment on specific individuals for past misdeeds. .

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