On Becoming a Man: Short Notes to the Multi-Talented – Part 1Posted on Friday, July 13th, 2012 at 3:07 PM
By Gbenga Awomodu
“Devoting a little of yourself to everything means committing a great deal of yourself to nothing.” – Michael LeBoef
Are you one of us – the multi-talented, multi-gifted, able-to-do-many-things? Anyway, I think you know where we are headed today. Let’s enjoy this short trip.
It all started when you were just a little child. Like most children, you were very inquisitive and would hardly allow any moment pass without learning something. You could observe your environment and take in so many details in such a little time. Then you were enrolled in elementary school and almost everything you read and were taught in class stuck around in your memory – your little head, pretty well. It was such a delight when the music teacher taught the class how to play the recorder, then the flute, and then the piano. Art work was splendid and you still remember the dozens of papier-mâché you created with your own hands. You always picked up skills really fast and you never found it difficult to spend long hours perfecting your new skill.
Then, you found yourself in high school and everybody wanted you to be involved in every activity – debates, inter-class and inter-school quiz competitions, football, chess, scrabble, volley ball, and the list is endless! You did all you could and still excelled in academics. University was the ultimate – politics in your department and faculty, leadership in your religious affiliations, and much more. You always had that midas touch and everybody wanted you on their next ‘crack team’ because of your brilliant ideas…
You wake up one day and realize that honestly, you are no more that little child; you’re grown up now and you cannot be everywhere, doing everything, all the time! You need to answer the most crucial question on earth – “Why!?” After this, you decide what, when, where, who, and how to go about the specifics. You finally acknowledge that for you to be effective and efficient in leading the kind of life you should, and would, love to lead there is the need to chisel out the minor elements as you focus on the major.
I can do several things and in fact many of these things aid one another – they usually blend together to form a beautiful picture. Nevertheless, it has struck me differently and in an urgent manner that for one to be successful in the core area in which one has been called to make maximum positive impact and be truly successful, there is the need to prioritize. Like that expression goes, one must be careful not to ‘major on the minor and minor on the major’. Of course, life is about discovery and we are all free to dream, but there should be limits to certain things.
In the last episode, I mentioned the idea of conducting a personal mid-year assessment. I think this is needful; in case you have not done this, please endeavour to do so. A surgery of sorts might just be what you need to deal with your priority challenges. Maybe you are just involved in too many things. One thing I am working on this month is my rate of response to mails and requests vis-à-vis deciding as fast as possible what engagements to do without. I tell you, life gets better when we admit we cannot fill our plates with everything in the world and we become more focused on the really important and relevant things.
Like Michael LeBoef, I charge you to commit a great deal of yourself to something and desist from devoting a little of yourself to everything on earth that you can find.
Are you multi-talented? How are you doing and what has been your experience with prioritizing several commitments; have you had to painfully cut off some activities and engagements in your life simply because they were not adding up or contributing meaningfully to what and who you really want to be? I’d love to hear from you.
We’ll meet again in a fortnight!
Photo Credit: aaciblog.wordpress.com
Gbenga Awomodu is an Editorial Assistant at Bainstone Ltd./BellaNaija.com. When he is not reading or writing, Gbenga is listening to good music or playing the piano. Follow him on Twitter: @gbengaawomodu | Gbenga’s Notebook: www.gbengaawomodu.com | Facebook Page: Gbenga Awomodu