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Tunji Andrews: Dear Millennials, Breathe! It’ll All Come Together

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I stumbled upon a book I have owned for about 12 years now. I bought it during my LASU days, as I envisioned the future with great optimism. Inside the first page it read, MY LIFE IN 20 YEARS in bright colors. Flipping over the pages, I could feel the energy I had writing those words, the belief in myself came rushing back, so much vigor, so much gusto… so much delusion.

I had planned that in 20 years from that time, I would have a mega mall (called The Dome) in every major city in the world (Thank you, Amazon). I had plans to own a worldwide record label, a global fashion label, mega investments in the billions of dollars and an academy for Hip-hop.

While none of these are exactly unachievable, I mean, there are outliers like Mark Zuckerberg and the rest, who from their dorm rooms, went on to build billion dollar enterprises; I however, omitted the single, most important variable in it all, LIFE. By some act of arrogance, I felt that all that was needed for success, was for me to want it; and boy, was I wrong.

To start with, as I grew, my interests began to change; but more importantly, life, as I was later to understand, was waiting for me at every turn. It showed up at my first job, where I wasn’t paid for 10 months and then fired unceremoniously.

It showed up while I was squatting with my friend that eventually kicked me out, for needing more floor space. It showed up in my first startup, where I was sorely unprepared for the logistics of inventory and also in my second startup, where after walking the length of Lagos, introducing a new product to stores, some guy goes to China and floods the market with a similar brand that was half my landing cost. No, I didn’t factor in LIFE.

Also, because I hadn’t factored in LIFE, I started to look outside myself for the reasons for my failures. Could it be my step mother? Was it an attack from my father’s village? Was it that ex from our bad breakup, tipping karma my way? Since I wasn’t given to going traditional, I became deeply religious. I went through deliverance four times, fasted regularly, prayed and prayed, till one day I got fed up of not getting any results and I gave up on everything; GOALS, VISION, FUTURE, EVERYTHING.

Then I decided to (as I termed it then) settle, I chose to take my eyes off becoming and (by mistake), decided to picture what I would want present around me on the day I died (weird right). If you dared to do this for a moment, you’d realize that private jets, yachts and skyscrapers don’t come to mind. All of a sudden, what’s most important rises to the surface, everything becomes clear and all that pressure falls away. Why was I under pressure? Who was I trying to impress? Why did I think the world would not function if I didn’t become? Why? Why? Why?

Anyway, with the pressure gone and taking one day at a time, expectations were re-calibrated, victories were momentary, and failures weren’t crushing. Life all together became better. The super irony is that I have achieved more in these last four years since making this decision than the previous 8 since I set the goals in the book.

So, if I could speak to me 12 years ago, I’d say, dream big, remain focused on your goals but slow down to treasure the journey, taste the food, love with all your heart and live this life like it’s the only one you will get.

Dear millennial, I know you’re antsy, it’s a new year and you feel like you want to do and be so many things that there’s hardly any time at all to waste… breathe, it will all come together.

Tunji Andrews is the Lead economist at TTAC Africa, a European Union consultant, under the EU SUFEGOR project, a financial literacy advocate and a renowned media personality.His work, which brings him in contact with thousands of people, continues to help bridge the knowledge gap within the Nigerian society, in the areas of Macro economics, personal finance and entrepreneurship.He's an award winning business radio show host, with various radio shows across the country, Co-host on Ndani TV's analyse this and celebrity blogger hosting the #DearEntrepreneur series on Pulse TV.

10 Comments

  1. Tolu

    January 18, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    I loved how real the article was…you spoke the reality that plays in many minds today.

    If we could all just breathe and take one day at a time… There is so much more to come.

    God bless you for sharing your truth Tunji.

  2. Nengi

    January 18, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Cool

  3. LL

    January 18, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Oh Tunji! Thank you again! I’m currently on a hiatus and so much clarity has come to me. I’m learning to find out what matters and keep my mind at peace. I’m learning that some things I think I want may destroy me and I will have to choose which way is best. Funny enough it has helped me to reshape my goals and I see that I may achieve much more than I thought I would with ‘gra-gra’. Thanks for sharing your experiences as it makes it even more real. Happy New Year.

  4. Ezinne

    January 18, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    I’m breaking to pieces from the sheer pressure of my life. Everything is crumbling at the same time. My dad that I always thought will be my plan Z when all else fails, has indirectly told me I’m on my own. I cry to sleep, I cry to work. I wish one day at a time could cut it. Even a weird sound in my car and panicking like “Dear lord I can’t fix car this month… or next…” I know I’ll be fine in the end. Thanks for your words Tunji, I guess I’ll try to breathe and find happiness in this chaos.

  5. Northern lights

    January 18, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    This message is so timely and reassuring to me. Needed to hear this.

  6. Chika

    January 19, 2018 at 1:39 am

    Deeply moving. What matters at the end is how much one lived life. How do you live life? By loving your maker, loving and embracing yourself, accepting yourself, your deepest self, and by loving your neighbour. Forgiveness of yourself and others, hope for a better tommorrow, believing that you and others mean well = joyful bliss. God bless you, friend.

  7. Namo

    January 19, 2018 at 7:44 am

    Thanks for this write-up Tunji. So timely for me. Anxiety has been my friend for the past couple of years as a result of constantly feeling like I’m underachieving and not getting anywhere with achieving my dreams. I’m settling into a place of feeling like I just need to take it one day at a time. One foot in front of another. I have also been thinking about the legacy I want to leave when I’m gone and what it is I want people to remember about me, which has also clarified things a bit for me. I still want to achieve certain goals of course, but I’m no longer attaching my self worth and identity to those achievements. This article and the peace I feel of accepting what is has solidified that I am indeed on the right path. Thanks once again.

  8. bijouthisbijouthat

    January 19, 2018 at 11:00 am

    Is it Andrew whose picture is up there? or stock photo? if YES then daayyyuummmmmm…
    #notwrongtoadmireamarried anyway

  9. ChizzyA

    January 19, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    I totally relate with this, life is a journey not a destination, enjoy it. Nice One Tunjiano!

  10. OLUWAFEMI LAWAL

    January 19, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Yes brother, LIFE isn’t fair, it doesn’t always follow that logic of if I ignite the match, then comes the fire. I wish we know better. I’m still searching for the knowledge, I couldn’t be all wrong in the end.

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