What is left when honour is lost? – Publilius Syrus
Every day, you rise. You join the rest of the world in the frenzied state of activities to make a difference and become relevant to your immediate environment. You select an area of interest you believe you are passionate about. You carefully put your skills to work and, with time, they notice you. They are the world and they are set to milk you dry… of your substance. You were meant to die empty, fully spent, anyway. Therefore, they constantly seek to benefit of your goods and expect top quality every single time you supply them your stuff. But, for how long can you supply them top quality; how soon will you burn out?
If you live here on planet earth, it is most likely you are familiar with the train of thought above. Have you ever wondered why we were created and brought into this world? After some initial struggles with finding meaning and one’s place in the scheme of things, many of us soon discover purpose and begin to walk in that chosen path. Growing unto maturity and establishing lasting success requires that we be consistent and deliberate in our actions. Malcolm Gladwell in his bestseller, “The Outliers”, mentions ‘deliberate practice’ as one of the key ingredients of (lasting) success, according to his research findings. This involves being consistent in whatever we do. But I ask again, how long would it take before one burns out?
Being consistently successful is a function of several variables and strategies, including discipline, integrity and effective communication. It is easy to score a fluke goal, win a big contract, write a masterpiece, or experience any other kind of significant success. However, what has cut many people short in life is that, after such initial success, they allow the world to take over their lives and soon lose balance. You suddenly start getting a deluge of calls and the letters of commendation from everyone pour in. Everyone wants to work with you and everyone wants you to deliver top-quality every time, all the time. They encroach into your space and you find yourself trying to fit them all into your schedule. Then, you over-flog yourself mentally when you do not meet up with their deadlines. Of course, like the popular idiom says, “he who pays the piper calls the tune.” But, how many people can you serve at once without breaking down?
It is plain stupidity trying to fit everybody into your schedule. I bet you already knew that. A man who wants to last, and enjoy lasting success must be ready to sieve through several opportunities and select the realistic number of options he can satisfactorily pursue. You must learn to and have the courage to say “No” to people when honestly you cannot fit them into your plans. It is of no use when you make a promise you know from the outset that you cannot fulfill. It is immature to do that. Beyond greed, it might just be the naïve idea of trying to please as many people as possible that makes one to hasten to make unrealistic promises. Nevertheless, on becoming a ‘man’ in whatever field of endeavour, especially in entrepreneurship, one must learn to plan properly, prioritize, and say ‘NO’ when an idea will not fly. I have learnt severally that when you will not be able to meet deadlines, it helps communicating to clients in time.
2012 is upon us and it is time to clean the cobwebs in our lives as we strive to consistently live in honesty and integrity. Overcome the temptation to grab more than you can successfully handle per time. It’s time to be more professional than you have ever been. In the words of the great Latin writer of maxims, ‘a good reputation is more valuable than money and… what is left when honour is lost?’ Let’s meet again in a fortnight!
Photo credit: thepersonhewantsmetobe.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. He believes in the inspirational power of words and pictures, which he explores in helping to make the world a better place. He blogs at Gbenga’s Notebook (www.gbengaawomodu.com).