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Monday, April 16, 2018

/ by Adamawa Celebrities
In Africa, we make a lot use of didactic stories, sayings, proverbs, idioms, and figurative expressions to teach moral lessons and to motivate people to actions that are productive and beneficial to both the individual and the society. These sayings and expressions are deliberately crafted to instruct as well as delight the listener.

The Bible, speaking about such words and expressions in Proverbs 25:11, says:
“A word fitly spoken is like gold in pictures of silver”

This scriptural proverb alludes to the fact that such expressions are beautiful and expensive all at the same time. There expensiveness stems from the fact that the lessons they teach and the motivation they bring can change a person's life for good and eventually lead to success and fortune. Well-articulated thoughts and ideas are a captivating fascination Worldwide chiefly because they facilitate human growth and development.

I want to use one such expression to bring out one or two lessons about life that I trust you will find very useful going forward. This particular expression is one of my favorite and ever since I came across it over two decades ago, I have used it to motivate myself and others with great results. It is a saying attributed to several people but the most likely author is Mark Twain. 

It says:
“It is not the size of the dog that is in the fight but the size of the fight that is in the dog”

This saying underlines the universal truth that the fastest does not automatically win races; the strongest does not automatically win fights; the wisest does not automatically win the best places; the most skillful does not automatically win favor; the most talented does not automatically win fortune; the most gifted does not automatically win wealth; the most connected does not automatically win the best positions. No!

Other factors and forces come into play – factors such as how well you make use of your time, how smartly you take the opportunities that come your way from time to time, and how strongly determined and highly motivated you are in your pursuits – and these factors can and will tilt the equation to balance out in favor of the disadvantaged.

This means that if you are highly motivated and strongly determined, and you use your time and chances productively and purposefully; you can beat the odds stacked against you and end up successful in this life.

German author and poet, Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749 – 1832) agrees. He says:
“Motivation will almost always beat talent”Mary Kay Ash (1918 – 2001), entrepreneur and cosmetologist, adds:

“Those who are blessed with the most talent don't necessarily outperform everyone else. It's the people with follow-through who excel”

Italian actress, Sophia Loren, also agrees. She says:
“Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent”
Financial and investment counselor, Charles Schwab, also agrees.

 He says:
“A man will succeed in almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm”

There you have it; confirmation coming from the mouth of people who know. You may be a small dog right now, do not give up or lose hope. Smallness is not a foregone conclusion that you will end small. Your case has not been foreclosed. You can end up as the top dog. Whatever you do, do not give up the fight. Stir yourself up. Stand tall and strong. Refuel your motivation and determination. Refire your enthusiasm. Go at your goals with an unflinching zeal. Pay the price, in time and labor, and the prize will be yours.

Professor Adebayo Williams started school at the age of 12, owing to his disadvantaged background. He studied and worked hard, and today he is one of the leading African scholars in the United States of America and the World at large.

Sir Olatunbosun Ige Olumide, a renowned educationist and theologian of international repute, also had a disadvantaged background. He pushed “amalanke” at the Lagos ports during holidays to make money to pay his way through school. By the time he died a few years ago, he had become one of the most educated and decorated human beings on the planet with six doctorate degrees that he studied for and earned in Business Management, Management Science, International Affairs, Hebrew Literature, Religious Education, and Theology, plus over 50 honorary doctorate degrees from leading universities and seminaries around the World.

Arch Bishop Benson Idahosa was born an ordinary man with an extra-ordinary inner drive and a forceful personality. He came from such a poor background that he wore his first shoes at the age of 18! But by the time he died 42 years later, he had become one of the richest and most influential clergymen, not only in Nigeria, but in the whole World.

Life is full of such inspiring stories where a combination of inner drive, determination, diligence, discipline, desire, etc, work together, overcome daunting challenges and serious disadvantage to rise to the top and accomplish great things.

Your story can not be different. Your disadvantaged background and unfavorable circumstances are not strong enough to hold you back as long as you are motivated enough to push forward against all odds. You will eventually breakthrough. You will come to the limelight. You will shine in this life. Nothing is impossible.

Keep moving forward and upward.
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