I walked out of his office inspired. All I could immediately recall were those soft-spoken words, "STAY WITH IT". They were from no less a person than Rev. Sam Adeyemi of Success Power fame, on whom I had gone to pay a courtesy call. The first time we met was two years earlier when he came to my campus to speak to students about success. Then I was an undergraduate with a fledging media outfit and, most naturally, the privilege fell on me to interview him for a story for my readers.
"How time flies", he began. "Only two years ago you were a student. Now you're out?on your own." Thus began an almost 20-minute motivational talk that climaxed in his use of those encouraging words, "STAY WITH IT." In his characteristic openness, he acknowledged how at the outset of his career he kept planting and uprooting his seedlings of efforts, all in a bid to find that "golden spot".
But alas, in retrospect, such wandering activity only served to take him further and further away from his desired goals of real success, until he decided to focus. And today the results of his progress couldn't be more obvious. But it all came when he decided to "stay with it".
Ironically, those soft-spoken words have become marbled in my thoughts as they have continued to serve as a guide for me in my endeavours, especially against the background of that ever increasing tendency of vagrancy associated with one's youthfulness. It has been my observation that this tendency is so strong in men that it requires a committed sense of discipline to adequately checkmate.
Look around you and you will see what I mean. The average young man today thinks that if he could only get a visa to leave our shores to Britain or the US, or if he could go to South Africa, Dubai, or almost anywhere but where he happens to be, he could succeed. But isn't it amazing that all the time and energy invested in developing one's self to this point becomes suddenly lost and wasted as he will need to start afresh? Why can't we stay with it; right where we are with just what we have and give our efforts and resources the needed time to compound till we reach the threshold of victory?
Sydney Bremer Newton remarked that, "It is a sorry day for a young man who cannot see opportunities where he is, but thinks he can do better else where". We need to understand that our future is at home with us, near at hand. I have seen people start particular businesses only to switch the next year to what they were told was "the next big thing" and then to another, and another all within five years. The result: nothing to show for all those years but wasted resources and time.
Were these people poor in ideas or incapable of making a great success of their endeavours? Certainly not! They simply lacked that sense of discipline and concentration. That's why it's so important when you start out on your peculiar success path, which you believe so strongly in, to close your ears. Because no sooner than you have begun, they'll all come calling, telling you, "Hey, it's happening the other way, come along." And if you are not careful, you will leave the path you begun creating uncompleted, to join these beaten men in their beaten paths.
Don't be "here" today and be found "there" tomorrow for many a bright young man have developed such a roving disposition, such a habit of going about, that they have ruined their rooting ability. They cannot stay on one spot- planting a tree today, pulling it up tomorrow and setting it out somewhere else the next day. The consequences of this wandering attitude are serious and give cause for worry. According to Dr. Orsen Marden, "this roving habit is dead to concentration. It ruins the ability to focus upon one thing; it destroys the aim; it develops the habit of discontent. It ruins continuity of purpose, so that there is no thread running through the life. It is fragmentary instead of being one continuous fabric.
"No life can be very successful which does not have a strong, steady, persistent purpose running through it. There must be an aim, and all the power must be applied to this aim to carry it out - broadening, deepening, widening and enlarging the life along the line of purpose. Fragmentary, piecemeal work never amounts to much."
Only 2 years ago I was bombarded with numerous counsels to drop the publishing of my dream magazine, Achiever's Manual for an "apparently more lucrative" Science text/Journal for senior secondary schools. My advisers, speaking probably from experience and observation, provided ample evidence of a mass market just awaiting the sickle. Additionally, my BSc Degree in the field was available to add credibility to the whole project. Besides, I also needed the money. Who doesn't?
It was tempting though, but I remembered those words, "Stay with it." They came to my rescue and I knew I had no other decision to make save that of continuing; that of staying the present course. I told my well-intentioned advisors, "Sorry, I'm here to stay." In retrospect, I ask my self: What would have happened to the, then, over one year of efforts already sown and presently emerging as seedling if I had budged? It would have been all wasted. I feel better off today and it's getting better by the day. Now I see the horizon gradually emerging.
I tell you, when you come to a point of full persuasion about your dreams and pursuits, staying with it becomes fun and second nature. Your miracle is ever at hand. So beware of not just selling out too soon but selling out at all in the first place. If only Ali Hafed, the wealthy farmer in "Acres Of Diamonds" had known, he would not have left his farm and family to journey to distant lands in search of diamonds. The man who bought his farm, together with one of the wise men of the East discovered "acres of diamonds" in the same farm.
Had Ali Hafed been content to remain at home, had he dug in his garden instead of going abroad in search of wealth, and reaping poverty, hardships, starvation and death, he would have been one of the richest men in the world, for the entire farm abounded in the richest of gems. Simply put; Had Ali Hafed STAYED WITH IT, he would have hit it BIG and turned out the better for it. This is one great lesson I have learned on this success journey. I tell you friends, I aint going nowhere. I've taken Sam Adeyemi's words to "STAY WITH IT".
You should too. So find out what your "IT" is and then STAY WITH IT!
Ubong Essien is a leading motivational speaking professional, success coach, author, creative consultant and TV personality in Lagos, Nigeria. He is also the publisher of the Achiever's Manual, CEO of Inspiration Resources and author of 2 books - Dare to Dream and Succeed & The Gates' Way to Riches. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Visit him at http://www.mistermotivator.