A couple of weeks ago I got a call from an old friend whom we used to be together as class mate in my secondary school days. It took a while recollecting his name and matching it with his face but I eventually did.
We used to be close and we played a lot of football together back in the days in secondary school. He was quite excited speaking with me after so long. He got my number from my website and he decided to call and speak to me. I was glad he made the phone call too as I always love to reconnect with old friends and school mates long after separation.
We spoke for a long while in both English and Hausa language and I was amazed; almost shocked at how much he remembered about me, about our lives and times in secondary school and all the interesting and naughty things we used to do.
He kept talking and I was just laughing and listening, the nicknames, the mischief, the several punishment and flogging at the assembly for misconduct; sneaking out of school, fights and quarrels – men, I was blown away, he remembered everybody by name and even sitting positions in class; he remembered the names of the teachers, the nicknames we gave them, experiences with them and everything.
He remembered all the eating joints we used to sneak out of school and go to back in those days in Malali and Anguwar Rimi in Kaduna, I was into sports and several social activities and he reminded me of school competitions and experiences way back in those days between many of the popular schools then including Command Kaduna, Labayi International, Essence International, Capital School, Hawad international, Zamani college and FGC Kaduna. He blew my mind away; I had forgotten almost everyone and many of the experiences.
My former classmate, though no longer residing in Kaduna remembered everything and everyone in those days as though it all happened yesterday. After talking of our past together, I began to inquire about how he is and what he was doing right now.
At that point, his tone of voice dropped and the excitement was gone. Well at the moment I’m really not doing anything, he explained. He said he used to work for a construction company and five years ago he was retrenched and since then he’s not been able to secure another employment.
He is married of course with four children and his wife and elder brother have been carrying his responsibilities. I asked why he’s not been able to secure another job in five years and him; like many Nigerians just went on blaming the government, the economy and everyone else but him.
I wasn’t very pleased with this my friend. After all these years, he still led a life without purpose, direction, vision or significance. He seems not to be able to connect effectively with his future and in my conclusion, it’s probably because he’s yet to say goodbye to the past.
Dear friend, life is all about seasons, times, stages, experiences and definitely progress. Everyone is expected to move forward and ahead in life. You enter a season, a stage; fulfil its requirement and move on to a higher level and state in life.
No matter the pleasure and excitement of a stage or level in life, you must know when it’s time to say goodbye to that level and move on. One of my colleagues at work, ChiChi, told me of someone she used to know many years ago in her university days whom she still heard recently is still at the school.
Another of my colleague, Tolu running her master’s program at the same university now, also confirmed this reality that there are some people she used to know and see back then when she was in the university as an undergraduate many years ago and these people are still there today; still running undergraduate programs.
These people I conclude are tragically overwhelmed and possibly intoxicated by the life on campus; they find it difficult letting go of the stage. They embrace the excitement, fun and social pleasures of university life and think life after school can never be as exciting or fun, so they don’t do the needful to move to their next stage in life as quickly as possible.
They are popularly referred to as unserious by those who know them, because they do not know how to say goodbye to every stage in life.
Succeeding in life is about continuous progress from stage to stage from level to level. Failure to let go of a seemingly exciting stage in life keeps you locked down and stagnant; hence you’re bereft of a well-rounded progressive life.
Many bachelors who ought to have been married as long as ten years ago are still single because they love their lives like that, they are afraid or avoiding responsibility, or probably waiting for that perfect lady forgetting the older they themselves become, the more imperfect they are getting. As a man, why are you single at thirty seven, thirty eight or even forty? Be sure you’ll pay school fees till you’re probably seventy if you don’t act fast now.
Progress in life is moving forward and ahead to the next stage and level. No matter the pleasure of your current level and the challenges of the next level, succeeding is about moving ahead anyways, no matter the obstacle or opposition.
You must embrace your next stage and level no matter what and how you feel. Our life’s journey is insensitive to feelings, it’s about action and reaction, choices and decisions; it’s about a resolve to keep going no matter what.
You see, our attitude is always a reflection of our thinking and mindset. It’s difficult moving forward in your life if you can’t move forward in your mind. Many today have become victims of mind conditioning. Your mind has refused to move away from certain things and certain levels hence, your life cannot move away from it. Your life moves in the direction of your thoughts and mind set. As a man thinks so is he. You can’t be better or faster than your thinking. A man is only as good or progressive as his mind.
What is your dominant thought? Are you filling your mind with the thought of yesterday or the thought of today; not giving much thought to tomorrow?
Are you daily living in the pleasure and excitement and memories of your past?
Are you a prisoner of once upon a time? I mean like, once upon a time I had a good job, once upon a time I had a lot of money, once upon a time, I had a good spouse, once upon a time I wasn’t a widow, once upon a time my parents were alive, once upon a time I was popular and influential.
Are you daily reminding yourself of those good old days and basking in the memory so much so you have refused to see a better, more rewarding future? Are you absolutely tied to yesterday – the people, places, occasions, events and great experiences of yesterday?
Or you’re so into the fun and pleasure of today you don’t want to even think of going into your tomorrow.
Some are so comfortable in paid employment they abhor the thought of moving on to self-employment; in fact some don’t even want to be promoted because of the power, influence and benefits tied to their current office and positions.
Dear friend, please don’t get stuck in today, your life is sure better than whatever the pleasure is today; I assure you, you can be much better than this. Just make the effort to progress. Learn to say goodbye when it’s time to every stage and level in your life and go for the next level no matter what.
You see if you don’t move in your mind, your thinking can’t change, if your thinking does not change your attitude would not change and if your attitude does not change your outcomes remain the same.
Why would you chose to remain the same and probably stagnant in an ever changing world just because of the pleasure of the season. Move on!
You see, when you refuse to take on your next level or challenge, you don’t grow, you don’t become mature and you don’t imbibe the discipline required for you to be at the top of your career and life.
The rigor and pressure of our journeys prepare us psychologically and emotionally for leadership and capacity.
A fresh graduate no matter how old, even at fifty cannot be a director of a multinational. It comes by experience acquired through training not academics. The ability comes by that journey through stages.
My dear friend say goodbye to that purposeless relationship and get married, say goodbye to that income and go for more, say goodbye to that employment and go for something better, say goodbye to the best of your experience to embrace something much better. There is something always better than your current best out there.
Saying goodbye to a stage is always easier when you openly embrace, welcome and accept the next stage; your next season. Dear friend, don’t focus on the challenges of your next season; look out for the good in it too and go for it.
Look forward and move forward. Dear friend, what is your next season, say goodbye to this season and move today. Enjoy your day.
Written By: Muyiwa Afolabi