One day in the 90s, a young boy was in his school’s playground along with his classmates and other schoolchildren, observing what was called “assembly” – the first school activity of the day in many Nigerian schools.
During “assembly,” School children will line up according to their classes and sexes and observe prayers. The head teacher or a representative also passes on all necessary information to the children.
If it’s the beginning of the term, that is the time children whose parents haven’t paid their fees are sent home. It is also the time when nails are checked. School uniforms are also properly checked from head to toe.
That is also the time for catching up with your friends, especially if it’s a new week.
So, this young boy was catching up with his friends when the head teacher told him, “Isaac, pay attention!” he was confused, but nodding his head as if it say he understood. He continued chatting with his friends and the teacher repeated the same thing and Isaac will nod his head, still confused. The teacher was obviously in a good mood that morning as she did not use her cane to do the talking. Isaac was afraid to ask his teacher to explain what she meant, so he kept mum till he went home.
Isaac got home that afternoon, he decided to ask his mother to explain what got him confused in the morning. “Mama,” he said. “I know you have paid my school fees but there is one thing you have not paid for”. “What is it?” his mother quipped. “It is for attention,” he said. “Attention? Which one is payment for attention?”. Isaac went on to explain that while they were observing “assembly” that morning, his teacher asked him to PAY ATTENTION several times and so he thought it was part of the school’s fees. That was when his mother burst into laughter and even invited his older siblings and other neighbours to laugh with her.
She later on went on to explain to him what the teacher meant by “Pay Attention”.
For your information, that was a true life story, and I know this because I was the young boy.
I’m still being laughed at to this day by people who were aware of the events of that day, including those who were told about it a couple of years later and of course, myself.
I remembered this story as I was thinking about what to talk about today. Here is a lesson that this story inspired.
The easiest way to get things done is to focus on one at a time. Give your attention to one goal, and see it achieved in little time. You may need to sacrifice other activities for that one thing, but it will definitely be worth it in the end.
The reality of life is that you may need to juggle goals and activities at times, but that should be an exception to the rule of focusing on one thing at a time. That is why delegation is being preached – getting different people to focus on one thing each. In the end numerous things are done in little time.
Have a beautiful week!