The average human is a reactive creature. We tend to want to wait for something to happen before we respond. When we have exams to sit, we wait till the eleventh hour before we get the inspiration to prepare. We often go late to an important meeting, simply because the venue is nearby and love the coziness of our comfort zone. We’d not only fight to remain there but see anything that tries to make us leave it as a threat.
God forbid it, but what would your determination to succeed be like, if the doctor told you that you have five more years to live? What will it look like, if you have no fears at all?
Many times we wish we were in business for ourselves and even though we have the capital to start out and the expertise necessary to make it fly, we still keep ourselves from launching out often preferring the security of a nine-to-five job to our financial independence and success. We stay hoping that one day, we’ll wake up from our slumber of fear. Some other times, we have resolved and resolved so much that resolutions don’t make no meaning anymore. And we see all the reasons why it wouldn’t work.
Anthony Burgess was around 40 years old when he was informed that he had just a year to live. He had been diagnosed of a brain tumor that doctors believed would have him dead in less than a year. At this point, he began thinking of the next thing to do. He was completely broke at the time, and he didn’t have anything to leave behind for his wife, Lynne, who’d soon become a widow. Anthony had never been a professional novelist in the past, but it occurred to him that he could try it out. So, for the sole purpose of leaving royalties behind for his wife, he put a piece of paper into a typewriter and began writing. He had no certainty that he would even be published, but he couldn’t think of anything else to do.
Who’d believe that that man, who had struggled all this time had as much potential as some of the best novelists of his time? Being in a hurry to achieve something before death overtakes him, Burgess wrote energetically, finishing five and a half novels before the year wound to an end (an output far more than what some novelists achieved in their entire lifetime)
Amazingly, Burgess did not die. His cancer went into remission and then disappeared completely. In his long and full life as a novelist, that man that began writing because of cancer wrote more than 70 books, but without the death sentence from cancer, he may not have written at all.
Just like someone rightly said, many of us are like Anthony Burgess, hiding greatness inside, waiting for some external emergency to bring it out. What if cancer did not come to Anthony, he may have died a poor wretch with all of that potential wasted.
Many of us are potentially successful people. We wait, wait and keep waiting for some event to propel us into action. Some are waiting for their employer to fire them before they’d realize that they have all it takes to launch out into business on their own. Others are waiting for someone who has already launched out to give them a ruthless dose of verbal abuse before they’d realize that they can excel themselves.
But what if that doesn’t happen to you? What if all these while, you have as much potential and experience as the CEO of the company you worked for but decided to spend the rest of your life building his dream and enriching him when you could have done better and more amazing things with your life? Do you think you can forgive yourself when you eventually become exhausted and he has left you for more energetic younger employees?
Think about it.
Photo Credit: whur.com
Ifeanyi J. Igbokwe is a peak performance expert, motivational speaker, consultant and an action coach with special interest with personal and corporate growth and effectiveness.