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On Becoming a Man: “Wake Me Up!” It’s the Sixth Week Already



“The plans of the diligent lead to profit” – Prov. 21:5

It feels weird greeting you “Happy New Year!” at this time of the year – the sixth week. I admit I have been MIA since the year two thousand and eleven took a bow, and twenty twelve gave ‘the exhausted guy’ a firm, but very brief, handshake and dashed into the world, as in a crucial football match. The spectators shouted, whistled, clapped and hailed the change across the globe even as fireworks heralded the coming of the new messiah that is twenty twelve. Twenty eleven tried its best and brought with it mixed blessings, but we need to score more goals, hence the substitution.

Many people are perpetual fans of New Year resolutions. The smoker just hopes to end his romance with the stick; his bottle-breaking buddy must also go teetotal; there is another who has yet to find the right butcher to sever him from umbilical cord of extra-marital affairs. On more official notes, there is the careerist who must beat official deadlines to position himself for that long-overdue promotion; the soon-to-be graduate student must score 1560 in the Graduate Record Exam; there is an endless list of goals and resolutions! And, I have quite a few aspirations too.

Reflecting on the past year, I have experimented a bit with my writing and gradually connected better with a handful of faithful readers of my notes, rants and reviews. It’s been a year of further self-discovery largely because I have had the ‘luxury of time’ to read a lot and ‘write a lot’ too. My internship at BN gave a big room for me to further explore those two crucial reasons why I started blogging some twenty two months ago (wow! Time is indeed on steroids!). Relocating to the middle belt for the National Youth Service programme mid-year and a number of other events have seen my writing routine suffer in terms of regularity and frequency of posts, but being away from Lagos, the ‘chaotic city’, has also helped me to truly explore my reflective side. It birthed this series (OBM), which I hope to maintain beyond this sixth episode.

Talking about that milestone, I must admit I sometimes feel overwhelmed at the possibilities and options that lie ahead. This is a season that demands utmost care and precision in decision making. As one grows older, the room for experimenting with certain aspects of life continue to shrink and you just have to think twice, pray fiercely, and calm down to take the right steps in the right direction. I hardly join the bandwagon of resolution makers these days, but that is not to belittle the concept – it’s more about attitude with which we approach the goals set. In the New Year, it’s ‘back to school’ time. Maybe not grad school yet, but tonnes of reading exercises lie ahead; we’ve been told a countless number of times that readers are leaders. Recently, I realized I had not read over seventy percent of the books in my personal library [of at least 250 books (print)]. So, this year, it’s either I read 100 books or 20,000 words, whichever comes first – and that translates to 60 pages per day or 2 books per week.

True, other aspects are under wraps for now, but I must say that the New Year calls for a more result-oriented approach to life. The American College Dictionary defines diligence as a ‘constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken’. Microsoft Encarta (2009) says it is ‘a persistent and hard-working effort in doing something’. This means you take your responsibilities seriously and work through the obstacles and hurdles that always appear to hinder you from finishing the job. Diligence is hanging in there, even when you feel like giving up. Deadlines don’t motivate until goals have meaning to you. We must ensure we personally own our goals so that deadlines create that much needed sense of urgency, focus, decisiveness, direction and action. Work for people and organisations you truly love so you can easily work as a problem solver and ‘stakeholder’ – not just because of the money. Blend action and diligence together with planning and deliberate actions in 2012, and you’ve got the makings of success.

See you in a fortnight!

Photo Credits:

Gbenga Awomodu is an Editorial Assistant at Bainstone Ltd./ 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: | Facebook Page: Gbenga Awomodu

Digital Content Strategist | Creative Writer. Copy Editor. Storyteller. Vocalist. Amateur Pianist. Spoken Word Poetry recording artiste. Lover of Words & Images. #ArsenalFC. Twitter: @gbengaawomodu


  1. Tobechi.daniel

    February 16, 2012 at 8:11 am

    I am inspired. I have always been inspired. To continue through that inspiration is the crucial factor. We can all be inspired but be warned! That steam needs to be maintained, in order not to slow… Goodmorning.


    February 16, 2012 at 8:44 am

    hmmn, tanx. very filling.

  3. OmogeNaija

    February 16, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Gbenga, you are dong well, before I started reading your writeup, I took a quick mental check on what I had achieved this year, i told myself, not much physically, but a lot mentally, I’m quite confident of fine year cos change start from within.
    big ups man!

  4. wumi

    February 16, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Your article makes a lot of sense! Diligence has always been my watchword!

  5. Chinazar

    February 16, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    100 books this year??? I hope I’ll remember to ask you by the end of the year. I have a list of books I plan to get at the next UNILAG book fair (and the list is almost endless).

    I’ll be back in a fortnight, of course 😀

  6. NMBW

    February 16, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Nice write Gbenga. I must say it’s much easier to pick up projects and then drop them once one starts to face various hurdles and challenges. However, to achieve success, Diligence is the price to pay. One that ascertains great results through perseverance.

  7. pynk

    February 16, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Readers are leaders- i agree. Ever heard the saying that if you want to keep information away from most people, put it in a book? As for me, no more libraries, i am in the middle of a ridiculously loveing bad romance with my kindle. lol. I probably read a book a nite or one book every 2days.

    • Gbenga

      February 19, 2012 at 7:31 am

      Great to hear. E-books rock! For those of us ‘addicted’ to the screen, the ‘e-way’ is the way to go!

  8. Idowu Taiwo

    February 16, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Uncle Gbenga, it feels good reading your blog posts on OBM series which seem very motivational to me. The bottom line of this musing is to be ‘diligent’ at all cost. Thanks for unleasing another success recipe. Looking forward to get more of your factful and interesting posts in a forthnight’s time. Bye!

  9. Idowu Taiwo

    February 17, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Uncle Gbenga! This is very factful and interesting.

  10. thrive

    February 23, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Gbenga,nice one keep the flag flying.

  11. Pingback: In Case You Missed it! Here’s the Sixth OBM Post – Gbenga's Notebook

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