Important Life Lessons I've Learnt Recently

Apart from the covid-19 pandemic that shut down activities all over the world, people also experienced a lot of things that probably would change how they see the world. I have been fortunate to have been able to find my way into the circle of people who have some of the attributes I seek to acquire in myself. It was chance, it was opportunity but it was worth it.

Last year, dealing with depression, I got a job supervising a depot. Among the customers who came to load products were two young guys around my age. The job is a very strenuous job that demands a lot of heavy lifting. I am not much of a physical person so I struggled along with them. It amazed me that these young guys would deliberately choose such a stress filled business as what they would do for a living.

They were at the depot almost every day, ready to load up their vehicles with products which they will take to their shops to sell. They never seem to tire and when I had the opportunity to go to their shops, I found them always on their feet, moving, selling and they did sell a lot. It was inspiring to see these guys work. In fact because of their hard work, they were one of my boss’s biggest customers, moving large quantities every week. In my head, I knew that I could not do the job forever. I don’t have the physical fitness for that kind of daily stress.

After some time, I had to quit because it was time to do so. I changed states and moved in with a friend who had been asking me to come over to hustle in his city. My friend, a young man who has made money and lost it due to health issues, shared his dreams and aspirations for his business with me and I caught the fire of ambition within his dream. His dreams were similar to mine and because of this, we bounced ideas around and soon we had a paper ready to work with. Within weeks, this guy was pitching companies, agencies and government bodies.

I mean I enjoy writing but I am a lazy person. I mostly lack motivation to do stuff but when I saw this guy work, I was wowed. He goes on for hours on his laptop, doing something or the other. He does not like to be idle. Whenever the power goes out, he wanders about until he finds a book to lose himself in. He told me that his favourite pastime is working and I saw evidence of it. This young man told me that I can be great if I just believe and he is not a motivational speaker at all. He just has this ability to instil belief in you because he leaves no avenue for doubt in himself.

Through this friend, I have come across young people who are daring to be what they dreamt of becoming. They are actively pursuing their dreams, actively overcoming obstacles and it is amazing to see. I have come to see the world differently in the past year. This does not mean that I am no longer lazy or need to be motivated before I can do work but there’s a purpose to my actions now.

You see, in the past years, I have struggled with depression and the inability to believe that I can achieve something in my life. I have come across people like me dealing with mental health disorders, some even scarier than mine but despite it, they function and attempt to create the vision of the world they hope for. This has inspired me greatly and I can see for the first time, that I can achieve something, leave something grand behind despite my poor mental health.

In all of this, I suspect that you might have grasped the life lesson that I picked. Those two young men, my friend, and others that I met last year all had one thing in common, the readiness to do the work. They do not shift from the hard work or procrastinate as I am wont to do. In fact, everyone of them, go seeking these labours for it gives them satisfaction to get work done. I have always considered work to be too much and avoided it every way I can. I have learnt that for me to make my way in the world and be free to do what I like, I have to invest time doing those jobs I do not like to do.

My younger brother works from sunup until sundown, from Monday to Saturday. He is not an employee, he is operating his own business and his hard work pays him well. I just did not notice him. It took me travelling to realise what he had been trying to tell me back then. I ignored him because he is my brother and we are not alike. Now I know better. There is no other way to turn dreams into reality beyond working hard at it. It therefore made sense for me to pay attention to other things about my brother that I often ignored and that includes how to manage money.

If you think that working was the life lesson I learnt last year then you are wrong. Yes, learning about what work can do and give and how much strength it can give you was important but the most important life lesson I learnt was that we often take for granted the things that are close to us and as a result we miss out on many fine things. We want a sage to give us motivational speeches, a foreign billionaire to invest in our start-ups, we want to fall in love with a girl in a strange city, we like the strange, the exotic, and the unfamiliar. As the good book says, a prophet is not welcome in his own town.

I have learnt to see every common thing and learn what it has to teach. I have learnt that even a small child has something to teach and because a place is familiar, it doesn’t mean that it does not have its beauty, its mystery, its enchantments. This is giving me a better understanding of my world and it has helped in the way I work.

07 July 2022
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