Back in the university, we were planning a love feast and apart from the fact that each individual was expected to bring something (food) to share with the group, we were also arranging for a general meal.
My department opted for Pounded Yam and Egusi soup. Good choice yeah? Then the big (literal) boys were automatically chosen to pound the yam. Yours truly was among.
I have experience pounding yam so no biggie. We got the mortar and pestle, the yams were fresh out of the stove and yours truly was the one selected to begin pounding.
I started pounding and all of a sudden two of the guys started mocking me, albeit jokingly. “You think being big translates to being able to pound yam?” one of them said.
“Come, it’s not by IK oh,” another said, referring to “IK” as big body (strength). I was really doing this thing well, but these guys felt I wasn’t doing it well. I was moving, hitting the yams and mixing them with the pestle but they felt I was only being active without actually making Pounded Yam.
That experience got me thinking, and there’s a lesson in there. Activity is NOT the same as achievement. You know, many times people emphasize the importance of work, “get things done,” “start doing something” e.t.c neglecting a simple aspect, which is to work with a purpose in mind.
If you intend to travel to the U.S from Nigeria, but you decided to head to Europe with your final destination being Australia, you are actually moving (working), but doing so in the wrong direction.
If your intent is to leave a room and you tell yourself, “all I need to do is to move,” you can actually move in one spot or around the room without progress – leaving the room. Another thing is you will keep moving round the room if you do not know where the door is.
So, as important as motion/activity is, what is more important is intent. Why am I doing this? What do I hope to achieve with this action? How does this contribute to my goals or what I want to achieve? These questions will reduce the time spent on irrelevant stuff.
Time is a limited resource, don’t waste it.