I was at a programme many years ago when I heard the speaker make the statement above. It set off millions of light bulbs in my head and literally shook me to my foundations. Many years have come and gone since that conference but this is the only thing I remember hearing that day.
Now, here is why this statement is so profound. Many times we want to have successful outcomes in the different areas of our lives without actually sitting down to count the cost and then deliberately putting in the work it will require.
If I ask you or any other young person what you want to become in future, I’ll hear lots of nice and wonderful ambitions from career to relationships to wealth to impact to influence.
Now, this is beautiful and I totally support having goals and dreams for your future. But many are oblivious of what it will take to attain the level of success that they desire.
There is a level of preparation required today for the future you dream of. There are investments that must be made in your personality, character and skills today that will deliver the beautiful future you want to have tomorrow. There are intentional steps you must take today that will lead you into that future of ‘you’ that you talk about everyday.
Success does not happen by chance. It is not random or as a result of luck. Success is planned for and you must start now to plan for it.
Look at your study habits today. How far will it take you? Do you need to increase the amount of time you allot to studying your books or even improve your study method?
Check your character, is it sufficient to attain the lofty heights you want to get to? Do you have core values such as Integrity and Discipline as the guiding principles of your life?
How about your skills (both soft and hard skills)? What is your plan to acquire or improve your skills in timeliness, communication, networking, etiquette etc that are so necessary for success in life?
What of your work ethics? Success requires a lot of hard and smart work. How many hours are you putting into gaining mastery in that area you want to dominate in? It will not happen by merely wishing for it or by saying ‘amen’ to all the prayers and declarations in church. You must have solid work ethics to create and sustain it.
My intent in writing this article is to prod you to actually begin to think and plan for your future. It is your responsibility. Yes, your parents, guardians or other well-meaning adults can guide you, but ultimately it is in your hands.
When you begin to think like this, you get rid of the entitlement mentality that so often plagues young people and which greatly stunts their growth.
Remember, you cannot enter a future that you have not planned for. And planning that future is your responsibility.
Ifeoma Okafor is a Life Coach, Youth Advocate & Mentor and Founder, Set For Life Africa. She helps young people discover their purpose, develop values and skills, and create opportunities to make impact and lead change in the society. Book a FREE 1hour Coaching session with her on any area of your life you need help with. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on WhatsApp 08063474104.