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Elevate U with Ifeanyi: This Far and No Further

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‘You are too uneducated to think of getting that far.’
‘Nobody from your country has ever clenched that position.’
‘You are just an inquisitive poor young man, such lofty dreams and aspirations are left to those whose purse can bear the weight thereof’

How hard it is to make the mind truly realize that there is no boundary anywhere but the very ones we had tangled ourselves with? How long before we begin to realize that the chains that tightly holds us bound are more psychological than they are physical?

How much courage and confidence does it take to disagree with everybody else when they threw pitches at your head, spit on you, or attempted to injure you at every opportunity, or threaten to kill you if you continued holding the fort? Are you torn between accepting the submissions of your own thoughts and narrow imagination or of hate-spewing voices telling of boundaries beyond which you can’t advance?

‘The society’ had told Jackie Robinson that he could not amount to anything beyond a useless good-for-nothing baseball player. He was told that he’d better remain satisfied playing in the relegated ‘good-for-nothing’ negro teams and have no business playing in the major leagues. Jackie had known before he decided to play professional baseball that he wasn’t who they said he was. He was an unbelieved hero, raw talent on whom external pressure was really hard. He was struggling to avoid being poured into the society’s mold of mediocrity. Everybody knew that this guy was exceptionally talented, but they still told him to his face that he was good for nothing.

The moment Jackie Robinson began playing professional baseball, he had consciously hit the limit. Agreed, he was an awesome player with nearly as much professionalism as some of the best of the white players around, but he wasn’t on the right track. He and the Army had just parted ways after he rebelled fiercely against deep-seated cruel discriminatory practices older than himself. Worst of all, he was black. Black people didn’t play in the big leagues. They had been relegated to where they rightly belonged- the backyard teams, but this guy wasn’t ready to stay there. He was called ‘Negro’ to his face, he was attacked, he was threatened but Jackie was not going to let anyone decide how far he’d go in life. Eventually he became the first black man to play in the major league in the 20th century, opening the door for countless others.

The Nigerian economy was anything but good, and Chief Aliko Dangote rode on that same very platform to become Africa’s richest black man. James Blunt’s voice does not particularly strike many people as ‘sweet’, but he rode on that same voice to stardom and wealth.

Agreed, our academic system is in a mess, but it is still that same system that prepared women like Chimamanda Adichie for the wider world.

Think of the many young people that have nearly given up on amounting to anything world-class at all, simply because they are Nigerian – because people of other climes have looked down on them as useless. Think about the millions of others that have allowed their tribes, jobs, income, friends and even enemies define them and determine how far they’ll ever get in life.

What and who have you allowed define your limit this far? Your job, your education (or maybe lack of it), your society, your poverty or what exactly. What pictures will your tales paint when others who scarcely had half the opportunities you have now but overlooked begin to tell theirs? Remember we live in a world where nobody wants to hear about how much or how long you tried, but wants to see the evidence of good success. How would it feel in a few years’ time, when you see the folly of your unwarranted admission of defeat and crave that time be rolled back in order for your blunder to be corrected?

Until you succeed, until you are associated with good success, until you are celebrated, until you leave a good mark in the land, don’t let anybody talk you out of the heights of success you’d have achieved – if you tried a bit harder.

Photo Credit: auditieforum.eu
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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. He can be reached at [email protected]

24 Comments

  1. @edDREAMZ

    March 4, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Mehn…. This is story…..
    .
    .
    .
    ***CURRENTLY IN JUPITER***

  2. Thatgidigirl

    March 4, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    I couldn’t read past the first 3 paragraphs because thats where the fine boy’s picture ends mehn! Laaawd he fiiiine!

    • Sunshine

      March 4, 2014 at 8:52 pm

      Am soooooo ashamed to agree with you. I didn’t even get that far.

    • Dr. N

      March 5, 2014 at 9:10 am

      The 2 of u!!! Lol. You made me scoll back up to look at him. Get it together ladies, he’s only a picture. Nice article by the way. drnsmusings.wordpress.com

  3. JUMe

    March 4, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Love this piece Ifeanyi! So simple yet very inspiring. Indeed, the limitations exist in our minds. Despite the challenges and reality of our environment, there’s clearly a new breed of Nigerians (and Africans), at home and in the diaspora, defying all odds and pursuing their dreams, goals and purpose. A day at a time, a step at a time…we can create the society of our dreams.

    • Ifeanyi Igbokwe

      March 5, 2014 at 8:33 pm

      Thank you JUMe. We all can, if we move past our mental limitations.

  4. X- Factor

    March 4, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    inspiring!

    • Ifeanyi Igbokwe

      March 5, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      Thanks X-Factor for taking the time to read it.

  5. Pico de Gallo

    March 4, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Exquisite write up! God bless your hustle with the Life coach gig. I’m glad you used a race example to motivate, because indeed the hustle is real. . .But you can’t keep a good brother or sister down.

    • Ifeanyi Igbokwe

      March 5, 2014 at 8:52 pm

      Thanks Pico de Gallo for dropping by, I’m glad you got the message.

  6. Anon

    March 5, 2014 at 12:29 am

    Not everyone is going to get fame or become a billionaire. This assumption puts a lot of pressure on young people.

    There can be success in being content as a cleaner, driver, secretary, teacher, doctor, nurse, civil servant, housewife, lawyer, etc.

    Figure out your purpose. ACCEPT IT.

    • Ifeanyi Igbokwe

      March 5, 2014 at 9:09 pm

      Thank you for dropping by in the first place. While I agree with you, you will note that words like ‘fame’, ‘billionaire’ and so on did not appear in this article. Just like you said, the central message is that each and every one holds unto his or her dreams, fight for it and emerge victorious and therefore successful. Don’t forget that success is not only defined by money. Thanks for reading.

  7. temi

    March 5, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Thank you ANON , WELLSAID!!!!!!!!

  8. C*Witty

    March 5, 2014 at 10:25 am

    @Anon don’t know you but i can say i love your maturity and your comment. Didnt get to finish reading this post but i knew exactly where it was heading. everyone now wants to be an artist or a politician to be famous in Nigeria. the pressure on the youth now push them to do all sort of things just to be famous starting from singing meaningless songs( do a hit club bang and mtn,glo, airtel n co. is signing you) to doing extreme measures to make money(Groupies/induced bloggers now feel they are more important than doctors and engineers). the essence of Gods’ Gift to each of us is it to touch lives in any area we find ourselves not to be famous. just a few of our so- called famous people in Nigeria are actually doing things to help with the unemployment, and corruption in this country, the rest, if they are not flaunting their dubai/paris trip and wardrobes/cars they are launching make-up lines/boutiques to extort money from people. So people we all cant be famous. like Anon said Figure out your purpose in life, accept it, be content with your gift and use it to touch lives no matter how small. i read an article here by Tools about knowing your selling point and another one earlier this year by a Lawyer i think about the man who passed the mic to them in law school and how he does it with great personality, we all have different unique Grace from God, some gifts are quite like the songwriters Tools talked about, the nannies that help with children, the cleaners, drivers,directors, editors, managers, personal assistants,etc while other gifts are easily known or should i say flashy but whatever your gift is, find fulfillment in it and use it to help others.

    • TheresaO

      March 5, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      @C*Witty, well said, I couldn’t agree more!

  9. Nosey

    March 5, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Ifeanyi is that you in the pic??? 🙂

    • Ifeanyi Igbokwe

      March 5, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      Nah it’s not me. I hope the article made sense.

  10. funmi

    March 5, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    I definitely agree that our problems are more psychological than physical. We all need to fight the battles of our mind and take a chance on ourselves. You never know the possibilities that await you on the other side of life. So why continue to be held bound by your limiting beliefs and false stereotypes we or others place on ourselves.

    • Ifeanyi Igbokwe

      March 5, 2014 at 8:46 pm

      Thanks Funmi, the battle of the mind needs to be fought and won. Again, thanks for dropping by.

  11. Nanciejul

    March 5, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    I believe he is encouraging us to pursue our dreams/goals no matter how big or small. We all cannot be rich or famous however we know deep down what we can achieve that was discarded due to our mental limitations.

    • Ifeanyi Igbokwe

      March 5, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      Thank you so much Nanciejul. You got the exact message I was trying to pass across.

  12. SASSYCASSIE

    March 5, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Insightful write up. Is Ifeanyi single? A friend wants to know

  13. Ifeanyi Igbokwe

    March 5, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Yes, but he is not the guy in the pix o (lolz). Thanks for dropping by all the same.

  14. frances

    March 7, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    if we can only work harder and not listen to the voices of others that tell us we aren’t enough, but also not listen to the voices in our heads that tell us we cant..
    thanks Ifeanyi, this spoke to me

    imperfectlyperfect92.wordpress.com

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