Motivate yourself

Our world today largely revolves around peoples’ opinions and judgements. Right from the early stage of education, there are remarks and judgements about academic ability and character. At the end of formal education as well, certain pronouncements are made in terms of testimonials and results that shape usually, even if not always, our destinies.

However, it is not in all situations that people’s opinions and assessments are true reflections of the individuals being judged. This is why it is important for people to motivate themselves regardless of the negative assessments that may come from teachers and superiors who may want to demoralize them.

For instance, it is in this world that Albert Einstein, who did not speak until he was four, was told by his teachers that he would “never amount to much” in this life – as if they were the ones who created him! Besides, Walt Disney was dismissed from a newspaper because of “lacking imagination” and “having no original ideas.”

Therefore, if you have been judged harshly or considered a failure, you are in good company. What did they not say about President Buhari? So, motivate yourself. Afterall, Oprah Winfrey was demoted from her job as a news anchor by her superiors who said she “wasn’t fit for television”. Also, The Beatles were rejected by a recording studio because their sound was horrible and “they have no future in show business.”

So, if people say you cannot succeed, go ahead and succeed anyway by motivating yourself. It is by succeeding, not capitulating or accepting defeat, that you deal fatal blows to negative judgements.

Teachers and superiors should not play God because no one knows tomorrow and no condition is permanent. And for individuals, as Steve Maraboli admonishes, “learn to care less about what others think of you and more about what you think of yourself”. You are simply what you think.

Everyone has heard of the story of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of modern India and proponent of nonviolent resistance, and how he dealt with prejudice. All right, if you have not, it is recorded that when Gandhi was studying law at the University College of London, a white professor, whose last name was Peters, disliked him intensely and always displayed animosity towards him.

“Also, because Gandhi never lowered his head when addressing him as expected, there were always ‘arguments’ and confrontations. One day, Mr Peters was having lunch at the dining room of the University, and Gandhi came along with his tray and sat next to the professor. The professor said, ‘Mr Gandhi, you do not understand. A pig and a bird do not sit together to eat.’

“Gandhi looked at him as a parent would a rude child and calmly replied, ‘You do not worry, Professor. I’ll fly away,’ and he went to sit at another table. Mr Peters, reddened with annoyance, decided to take revenge on the next test paper, but Gandhi responded brilliantly to all questions.

“Mr Peters, unhappy and frustrated, asked him the following question: ‘Mr Gandhi, if you were walking down the street and found a package, and within was a bag of wisdom and another bag with a lot of money, which one would you take?’ Without hesitating, Gandhi responded, ‘The one with the money, of course.’

“Mr Peters, smiling sarcastically, said, ‘I, in your place, would have taken wisdom, don’t you think?’ Gandhi shrugged indifferently and responded, ‘Each one takes what he doesn’t have.’

“Mr Peters by this time was filled with rage. So great was his anger that he wrote on Gandhi’s exam sheet the word “idiot” and gave it to Gandhi. Gandhi took the exam sheet and sat down at his desk, trying hard to remain calm while he contemplated his next move.

“A few minutes later, Gandhi got up, went to the professor and said to him in a dignified but sarcastic polite tone, “Mr Peters, you signed the sheet but you did not give me the grade.”

If people want to bring you down, motivate yourself and be wise.

Re: Pleasure is pain

Pleasure has made man to be empty and suffer pain. Pleasure has made some people to be infected with Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), failure in businesses, loss of dignity, etc. 2 Timothy 2:22. So, flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. May your urge be put under control and make us better persons. – Aina Akindele Oyebanji, Ketu, Lagos State.