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Mfonobong Inyang: Profound Thoughts That Can Move The Needle In The Second Half

It’s easy to be a people-pleaser when you don’t know your onions, lack a healthy self-esteem, pandering to too many divergent interests or don’t have a vision.

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2024 has definitely been wild. Not gonna lie, the opps nearly had me in the first half. Even my bank account dey whine me but I no panic; I still maintain maximum composure. Amidst all the madness, an inspirational quote from the recently crowned “King of Steeze” at the colourful Ojude Oba ceremony, Farooq Oreagba, helped me put my thinking in perspective – “As long as you’re in the game, you can win the game.”

The Critical Third

Time is a leveller. Although many thought leaders have come up with plausible arguments on how successful people leverage others to increase their allotment of time, the fundamental truth is that everyone gets twenty-four hours to do whatever. Hypothetically, your day should be divided into three key parts: The social third – the amount of time you spend with family, friends and other informal relationships or leisure activities. The restful third – the amount of time you spend sleeping, recharging and relaxing your body. The critical third – the amount of time you invest in engaging your talents in the marketplace, service to humanity or fulfilling your purpose. These three blocks of eight hours are in no way set in stone as they easily overlap in reality but they give an insight as to how you should deploy your time and manage yourself.

My emphasis is the critical third – this means that most of what you become is largely determined by this block without disrespect to the other two. The first thing you were designed to be is fruitful (productive). It’s the secret of successful persons, businesses and countries. When you see first world country institute a system where workers are paid per hour, it’s intentional because they know the gross domestic product is simply the aggregate of individual productivity. You see them fix roads, security, electricity supply and public transportation, invest in education and technology, incentivize innovation by establishing patents et al – all to encourage productivity. Companies in those climes give huge bonuses, stock options and other fringe perks to staff members that are highly productive. However, before you talk about being fruitful, you must first be seedful. What do you have that the world needs?

Parallel Lines: Great Leadership and People-Pleasing

Leadership is about influence and impact; you cannot lead effectively without serving people. However, there is a difference between being of service and being subservient. In a bid to become more empathetic to others, many leaders fall into the trap of overcompensating. You see them give the people what they want instead of what they need all the name of vox populi, vox dei. Populist-styled leadership could get you votes or sell products but won’t build you a legacy. If it gets you through the door, you need to switch up and eventually clean house. Leadership sometimes requires you going against the grain, not necessarily becoming anti-people but realizing that the possibility exists that the majority could be wrong. It’s easy to be a people-pleaser when you don’t know your onions, lack a healthy self-esteem, pandering to too many divergent interests or don’t have a vision. Great leaders only change plans where necessary but never the overarching goal.

The Answer To Your Prayers Doesn’t Always Look Like It

Perspective is everything. When you ask God for a table, he will answer you by pointing you towards a tree because God is not in the furniture business. If you pray for an oak tree and you don’t recognize that the acorn is your answer, you will miss your blessings because God usually gives you things in seed or potential form. For example, if you pray for $1,000,000 – what God will give you is a million-dollar idea, not cash. If you don’t work it, it will not work. The people who made the most money from the pandemic were business persons who weren’t necessarily medically-inclined. They just saw the huge market for N5 masks and other supplies. Opportunities always come disguised as opposition and opportunities are seen with the mind, not the eyes. If David thought he would seat on the throne without confronting Goliath – who looked like a giant but was really a gate to unlocking his next level – make e dey play. He had better go and get his five stones and start taking shots at that uncircumcised Philistine. My friend and tech bro, Evans Akanno, once said something so profound that I DM-ed him right away and blatantly said I would steal it, “What you want is on the other side of the work you are unwilling to do”.

Epignosis

Job was a very complicated character, many speakers and writers seldom use his story for anecdotes – others cherry-pick bits and pieces of his submissions for their references. Who would blame them? One could almost conclude that the guy was bipolar but then again, that’s what trauma does to a person – science tells us that trauma literally changes how the brain works. Job would go from saying profound things like “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” To the other extreme, “Let the day perish wherein I was born and the night in which it was said, There is a man-child conceived.” He was a man who lost all ten children in one day, all his servants to marauders, all his livestock which formed a great part of his wealth and got struck with an incurable sickness. Before things went south, he was the GOAT and if correctly extrapolated, his wealth in today’s terms could have seen him top Forbes’ Billionaire List – few people if any at all, had an experiential reference point for the scale of his loss.

I would find words from Job’s much younger friend, Elihu, which helped me answer the question back in the day when people asked where I got the inspo whenever I wrote or spoke, “There is a spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.” Yet, somewhere within his rantings, rhetoric and retorts, Job said something equally thought-provoking that underpins my original point, “What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you.” This is seminal. Notice, Job didn’t say, “What you have (materially), I also have”. As much as he didn’t have an aversion for owning property, he didn’t define himself strictly by those terms. Even when he lost everything, Job still knew who he was. One wise person put it this way, “money is what you have in the bank but wealth is what you have in your heart”.

What makes you inferior to another person isn’t the car you aren’t driving, the house you aren’t living in or the designer clothes you aren’t wearing – it’s really what you don’t know. I have said a thousand times before, without education and critical thinking – a person is effectively subhuman. One of the key differences between first-world countries and third-world countries is their literacy rates. In fact, this forms one of three components of HDI. This is why I will forever loath feudalistic leadership with all of my being because one of their principal signature is the weaponization of poverty and illiteracy – both of which affects how you think. Any leader that attacks education via commission or omission is setting you up as a collective to be inferior to other countries. Neo-colonialism na your mate?

In the first installment of the Iron Man franchise, after being kidnapped by terrorists and whisked away to a cave in the middle of a desert with the help of his father’s devious business partner, Obadiah, Tony Stark experiences for the first time what it means to live without access to his high-tech suit. At the end of movie, he learns that he is not the suit by telling a room full of press people, “I am Iron Man!” If your huge social media following is taken from you, would you still consider yourself an influencer? If your political position is taken or stolen from you, would you still consider yourself a leader? If you somehow don’t get married, would you still consider yourself fulfilled in life? Indeed, a man’s life doesn’t consist of the abundance of things he owns.

You have got to love Paul of Tarsus, e get him own for body but on a norms the guy dey yarn solid. He was very particular about knowing. For example, he would write some profound things and conclude by saying, “that you might know”. What if I told you that Jesus didn’t really heal that woman who was bent-over? When he said, “Woman, thou are loose!” He merely told her the state of her sound health that she was oblivious to and she accordingly responded to the new information. The Greek word for it is epignosis – “exact or full knowledge, discernment and recognition.” Sinach was right when she sang, “I Know Who I Am!”

Now available in select bookshops and on my Selar Store - get your hands on my brand new book, Hope Is Not A Strategy; Faith Is Not A Business Model - Mfonobong Inyang is a creative genius who works with top individuals and institutions to achieve their media, tech and communication goals. He is a much sought-after public speaker and consummate culture connoisseur who brings uncanny insights and perspectives to contemporary issues. As a consummate writer, he offers ghostwriting, copy-writing and book consultancy services. A master storyteller that brilliantly churns out premium content for brands on corporate communications, book projects, scripts and social media. A graduate of Economics – he speaks the English, Ibibio, Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa languages. He appears to be a gentleman on the surface but the rumours are true - he get coconut head! Reach out to me let us work together on your content project(s) - [email protected].

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