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On Becoming a Man: Short Notes to the Multi-Talented – Part 2



“The only prudence in life is concentration.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Time flies! It is already the last of day November 2012 – a great time to be alive. It is also that time of the month when credit alerts flood our inbox and the world smiles.

Four (and a half) months ago, I wrote the first part of this post, exploring how as children we develop interest in so many things and the multi-talented often get their plates so full that life eventually becomes a nightmare. In summary, no one can have it all.

I suggested a mid-year assessment with a view to cutting back on unnecessary activities and tiring engagements that could hinder excellence in the areas of life that matter most. Career builders as well as entrepreneurs should relate well with this.

After fiddling with a ‘crazy’ goal of reading at least 100 books in 2012, I realized soon enough the unrealistic nature of that dream. I even listed most of those titles on my blog so I could keep tabs on them and remind myself of the ‘trouble’ I had got myself into. Of course, there is nothing wrong with tall dreams, except the need to dig deep into the motives behind them and count the cost. I had not fully considered the level of entropy associated with the stage of life I would be entering into; the various commitments that would drain my energy and demand long hours of the day from me.

In a world where uncertainty is a major constant; and Web 2.0 developments translate to more information, multiple platforms, and other interesting ideas, I had to focus on the most important items on the long list. Even humans with the best of memories could only keep track of so much.

In these times, when being multifaceted and having a wide range of skills are required for one to excel despite global economic challenges, there is the need to find a balance of sorts. Wisdom lies in defining exactly we want and spending more time growing competencies in the most relevant subjects and activities. Greed must be put to rest whilst we desist from building castles in the air. We need to focus on following through on the most important because like Harry A. Overstreet sums it all up, “the immature mind hops from one thing to another; the mature mind seeks to follow through.” When we do too much, often times it means we do too little.

Dear friends, as this week, month and year shuts down, let us begin to reflect on the happenings of the past eleven months and resolve to give the world the best we have got to offer. It is my hope that going forward, we would rather excel in a single art than settle for mediocrity in many things.

The On Becoming a Man Series is a bi-monthly column – a collection of musings that seek to unravel the mind of the young man, and are not necessarily autobiographical. 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. Michelle.

    November 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Good ideas to ponder on. A great writer we have here. I’m proud of you.

  2. Ada

    November 30, 2012 at 8:39 pm

  3. iamfascinating

    November 30, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    very true. your posts always get me thinking.well done!

  4. Ajoke

    December 1, 2012 at 2:52 am

    Articles like this are why I like Bella Naija. Nice one.

  5. tkhearts

    December 4, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Nice one Gbenga. I had this same thought a few days back when i realized i’d be a year older soon. It pained me to think i didn’t have things to hold on to in this year… so this coming year, hard decisions will have to be made.

  6. Precious M

    February 7, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Gbenga, write 100 books in a year? Like seriously???? I used to think I set unrealistic goals but you surpass me on this one! Very inspiring article by the way. Thank u!

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