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Akanna Okeke: 5 Things You Need But Don’t Want

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“The one rule you need for acing life: Always do the thing that’s emotionally most difficult to do in whatever situation you find yourself in” –Leo Gura.

That is the exact opposite of what we do in most situations. And that, right there, is the cause of most of our problems.  If I do not like how I was treated by someone, instead of confronting them to have a discussion about it, I find it easier to just keep quiet and maybe begin to avoid them.

I don’t know why we are wired that way –to look for the easiest way out of situations.  It means that everyone is inclined to do same and if we want to stand out, all we have to do is the opposite of what everyone else does.

Success is created out scarcity –doing what most people won’t do.  We need success, innately, and we want it also.  But the things to do to have it, are things that we do not want to do; but, we need to do them for our lives to be better.

Here are 5 examples of things we really need but we don’t want.  They are the emotionally difficult things that, if done, will help us ace life!

Or I should say ‘changing’.  We do like the idea of change, but we don’t like the process of changing.  To become a better version of ourselves, we need to go through changes.  We need to accept new ways of thinking, which is a very hard thing emotionally to do because no one likes to be proven wrong, especially in something they have believed for many years.

Now, there are good and bad changes.  I think we have to be careful when we clamour for change.  There are things that should never change.  These are principles and laws that hurt us when we begin to redefine them to suit our short term pursuits.

Changing for the better is painful.  It requires us shedding some parts of ourselves.  Before things get better, they generally get worse first, because of that shedding.  We are currently going through change as a nation and it is painful right now –nobody likes it. But we all liked the idea of change as was seen by the clamour during the campaign period.

Who wants to suffer? Who wants some hardship? No one really.  But the truth is, we all need it.  It gives us the right perspective on life.  We don’t feel entitled anymore and then we can understand why we should appreciate people and things.

A rich man who got his wealth by striving for it always seems to manage his money better than a trust fund kid.

I remember reading a newspaper interview of the Coscharis CEO, Cosmos Maduka.  Apparently, he suffered a bit before acquiring his wealth.  His kids on the other hand, not so much.  He said he does not buy anything without having times two of what that thing costs, saved up in his bank account.  He then went on to narrate how his son was spending money lavishly at some point and he called him to confront him on that.  His son responded with the epic line: “Dad, my father is a rich man, yours isn’t”.

Suffering and hardship is necessary for us to appreciate life and teach others how to appreciate it too.  We may lie to ourselves that we don’t need it to grow, but if you looked closely at life you would notice that great things are born out of suffering – just think about childbirth and how caterpillars gruesomely turn into butterflies.

I’ve heard it said that the highest form of intelligence is the ability to look at life (including our own lives) objectively.  Once we’re able to do this, then taking corrections will be very easy.

The ego comes into play here.  No one wants their ego bruised, especially us men.  So it becomes very hard to live with a nagging wife or a parent who constantly criticizes you for what you did or didn’t do.

But if we think about it, we need correction.  We need someone to tell us when we’re wrong so that we can adjust before it is too late.

Now, I agree that people should work on the way they go about correcting others.  Correct others the way you would want to be corrected.

My inclination is to avoid correcting others so that no one will correct me.  I can see a guy driving with his car door a little open and not tell him.  I’ll be like “if that’s what he wants to do then let’s leave him to do it”.  My friends always call me out on that and I’ve started working on changing –on being bold enough to point out people’s mistakes to them, tactfully.

Think about working out at the gym.  If you carry very light weights, you won’t build up much muscle.  That is what resistance is.  It is an opportunity to build muscle.

Resistance is what happens just when you’re about to achieve something great.  So you get a good business idea but you are resisted by lack of money; you find a good girl to marry but you’re resisted by your parents who want you to marry from your tribe;  or you just wake up in the morning and you start having a bad day from then on.

If you look closely to see the muscles being built in those situations, you will notice that your ability to source for funds is being built; an opportunity to have a conversation with your parents and present your preferences and be convicted in your choice is being presented; and the opportunity to look beyond yourself and decide that you are not actually having a bad day, but you had a bad five minutes that you are trying to milk all day -an opportunity to change your perspective -is being presented.

Resistance kind of goes hand-in-hand with rejection.  When you try and try again after being rejected, your muscles are being built, your threshold for pain is being increased, and your creativity is being enhanced as you look for better ways to present your ideas so that they are not rejected this time.

There are things we should give up and times when we should give up.  Life has a flow to it and it is beneficial to us that we understand that flow and go along with it.  Going against the flow will never take us to that end goal that we have in mind.  We might build some muscle because of the resistance that comes with going against the flow, but of what good are the muscles if we never get to the end goal every time?  What can we possibly teach others from that? I guess we can advise them not to even try; to just surrender and embrace our inability to control everything in life.

Authority is one huge thing we should all submit to.  Going against authority is just bringing huge resistance against yourself.  In our personal lives, we should also seek whom to submit to.  As men, I believe we should submit to male mentors who would teach and show us how to become better men, because they themselves have achieved that feat.  This gives the women in our lives a certain peace of mind to know who their men look up to, because that’s inevitably what they will become. “Show me your mentor and I will show you your future”.  Once this is sure then their submission (which all men crave) becomes easier to give.

These are thoughts I’ve been playing with in my head the past few days.  I would like for you to tell me what you think.  Do you agree that there are things we need but don’t want? And what others can you think of?

Photo Credit: Phartisan |

Akanna is an avid reader, writer, Risk Analyst and a budding Social Entrepreneur. He’s passionate about personal development, and influencing others to succeed!

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