It is only well with me when I have a chisel in my hand. -Michelangelo
Our village had twenty houses and almost every adult in the village was a farmer. My dad has the habit of rising up very early in the morning, sharpen his cutlass and head for his farm before daybreak, while other men in the village were still sleeping.
I was born when Papa was about sixty-five years old. As the second child of his third wife, Papa love me so dearly. When I was a teenager, Papa would wake me up very early in the morning, tell me to take firewood and we would go to his farm. Immediately we get there, he would apportion a part of the farm for me to weed and sometimes tell me to hewn down some trees. In our village, we usually farm in the same area. Papa would have worked so hard for about three to four hours early in the morning before his breakfast would be brought from the village. For Papa, work is food. He worked to hard. As I write this piece, we still have his rubber, wood and kolanut plantations in our village.
I have observed ants carrying a huge cockroach. I have watched them converge around a cube of sugar. I don’t know of any other insect that has such great passion for work like ants. Human’s have a lot to learn from the work ethics of ants.
I believe each and everyone of us can live a life so colourful and so beautiful beyond our wildest imagination. Let me tell you something, there is no position you cannot get to in this Life. As a matter of fact, every good thing of life is yours for the asking but all of these are possible on one condition. You must be prepared to work.
Take it from me, there is nothing that can make you survive, make progress and enjoy life more than a creative, diligent, honest, purposeful and productive life. On the other hand, there is no other catalyst to misery and ever -increasing suffering other than laziness, cheating, gambling, stealing and all forms of dishonest work.
Life will never give you what you want. Life will only give you what you work for.
I believe that Every man should be known for his work. Let your work take most part of your day. For example when you hear the name EA Adeboye – Preacher, Tony Elumelu – Banker, Bill Gate – Computer, Michael Jordan – Basketball, Usain Bolt – Athletes, Rotimi Williams – Lawyer, Olusegun Adeniyi – Journalist, Ali Baba – Comedian and many more others. What separates these people from others? It is because they are known for the work they do. Many people don’t even even know what most of them do. Therefore, for you to be successful in life, you must be engaged in a work that you truly believe is a grand work. Let us say here that there is no small or big work, it all depends on the person doing the work. It depends on the passion and the attitude with which you are doing the work as Martin Luther King Jnr. Said if you are called to be a Street Sweeper, you must sweep the street so clean that it would be said of you that angels cannot sweep it better. Plain simple, your work is what you do and it does not matter whether you are a Vulcaniser, Carpenter, Dish Washer, Journalist, Driver, Senator, Teacher, Lawyer. Whatever work you do, you’ve got to do very very well.
Apart from work, there is what is called ‘labour’ which psychologist Mihaly Csiksentmihalyi described as ‘flow’. Flow as a labour is something you are doing singlemindedly and you forget about yourself, you lose a sense of time and and you can do that work all night and not get tired. This is creative labour and nobody can pay you enough money for that. That is your calling. Late Steve Jobs of Apple, pits it eloquently well in his 2005 Stanford University commencement address when he said “your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work”. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle! As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.
Fall in love with your work. Work on one thing until you finish it before you go and do another thing. Work everyday but use one day in a week for rest. If you rest every day of the week and work for only one or two days, you will not make much out of life. Do the hardest part of your work first thing everyday. Exercise regularly so that you can have enough energy to work.
I personally believe that as a nation, we need to work harder so that we can pull our nation out of the present economic doldrum. All our leaders in the executive and legislature must put their acts together and work for the good of this great Nation. As individuals we should not wait on the government to provide bread on our table, we should put in more effort in our work. It does not matter where you are working, either in a factory or teaching a kindergarten school, do your work well and go the extra mile. Don’t think that because you are not the owner of the business you can do it haphazardly. Do the work as if it is your own.
What many people don’t know is that the way you do your employer’s work is the way you will do your own when you eventually set up your own business. You might be thinking you are working for somebody else now but the truth is that you are working for yourself.
As we all know, in every religion, in every culture, in every nation, lazy people are condemned. In fact, the Good Book described laziness as the worst form of wickedness. It does not matter how valuable the talent or money you give to a lazy person he will waste everything. Why are you wasting all your life sleeping when you will have enough time to sleep when you are gone? Why are you resting when you are not tired? The Bible says if you will not work, you should not eat. Hunger is the price for laziness. It does not matter how hard things are in this country, a hardworking person will still find something to do to take care of himself and his family but a slothful man will go about plate on hands begging for money and food.
Intentionally decide to work harder from today because the harder you work, the luckier you will become. It is not your fault at all that you were born poor but if you die poor that is your big fault. Nigerians, it is time to arise and work.
**Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article/publication lies entirely with the author**
Copyright 2020. The Afropreneur Podcast