Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Location, Time and Opportunities

I do not stay in Lagos because my family is not resident there. But does it matter where I am located? I know Lagos has the pomp, style, and energy that is curiously different from every other state in Nigeria. I don’t take that away from the city of excellence not with what Fashola has done and is doing. I have friends in Ilorin, Kaduna, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Maiduguri, Umuahia, Jos, Akure, Asaba, Owerri but I have a large percentage of friends and family members in Lagos. If I had my way I would also like to be a Lagosian. Who no like better thing? It’s like, as in, you know, excuse me (a la Jenifa).

The fact that I do not reside in Lagos has not made my life to be put on hold and I am not living lower than I imagined that I ought to be living. I have a job that I love and get paid well to do. I enjoy my location as much as I would have enjoyed being in Lagos. I am currently reading Richard Branson’s autobiography “Losing my virginity” and he mentioned that it was an exciting time to be young back then in the ‘60’s. He lived in Shamley Green, a small village in Surrey which was close to London and he schooled in Scaitcliffe. He did not live or school in London which can be compared to Lagos of Nigeria. I am sure that at that time there were young people who felt that life sucked because they weren’t living in London and that life would have been better only in London and not in Surrey or anywhere else for that matter. Not Richard Branson, he saw opportunities in his environment and harnessed them with the exuberance of a young man who had no fear of failure. The outcome of that passion is evident for everyone to see. So, what that says to one is that it doesn’t matter where you are physically located, what matters is your attitude to your environment. With the right attitude, your eyes will be opened to see the opportunities that abound in an otherwise “empty” place. It reminds me of the bible story of Abraham and Lot. Lot chose the green fields of Jordan (well watered plains) as he had the opportunity to choose first but the Abraham’s seemingly parched portion yielded much more prosperity than before and he remained safe in the land (the area Lot chose was later destroyed completely).

What better time is there to be alive, I ask myself sometimes. Information is easy to get and relay regardless of where you are. I then say to myself, it is exciting to be young in this age and time because there are lots and lots of things one could do without getting bored whilst earning something by the side. I really want to challenge someone to open their eyes to see the opportunities around them. There is a feeling of contentment and security when you are in your own place and you can make a worthwhile venture right there and then. Do not follow the Nigerian crowd of doing business. When someone sells drinks and thrives in it, everyone will begin to open shops to sell similar products. It could be clothes, shoes, provisions, electronics or house wares. I am not discouraging doing business rather I’m encouraging creativity and innovation – creating value in a unique way by giving thought to it and utilizing your God given talents.

The earth is such that if you put seed into it, it will yield but you need to put the right seed for the right soil and climate of your location. Note that if your land is clayey it won’t yield if you try to plant carrots but potatoes will do well in such condition. But there is a guarantee that when you sow the seed, there will be a harvest and in no time you will bring in the sheaves.

It’s an exciting period to be alive, let me hear you say uh, uh, uh, uh!

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