The cliché never wears out: ‘It’s mid-year already!’ With the first day of January still extant in the mind, it is no gainsaying that the year has simply flown by. A year that arrived pregnant with great tidings, expectations and hopes is already mid-way and the soul searching question is ‘How far have you gone?’ For those who believe in resolutions, it is that time of the year to dust the old dairy and tick the boxes on how far you were faithful with your commitments. For the realist who simply penned down a couple of headline feats to achieve, it is also time to take stock. No doubt, a re-evaluation for many will be a rewarding experience as the mileage that would have been covered gives unquantifiable joy and renewed zeal for the rest of the year. However, for those with a heave of sadness with how the first half of the year has panned out, I have got word for you.
The year in itself is a marathon, and a lot depends on how much you have paced yourself. Perhaps, the lack of adequate mileage has a lot to do with the unrealistic ambitious targets you had set for yourself in the first place. Truth is you must pace yourself rightly, considering the plethora of factors, both pros and cons. Having said that, with a risk of sounding like a broken record one cannot overemphasize the point that ‘Plans only attain meaning when they are broken down to granular and tangible actions.’ It is time to work the plan and work it well. Ask yourself: what is it within your control? What are the factors you have the say on? These are places to focus your energy. For all the doom and gloom story about how bad the current national conditions are, it is a familiar creed. It has always been bad and truth is with population explosion and a vast majority of our leaders determined not to shed their old feathers, it will only get worse. If ever there is a time to think outside the box, here is the moment. It is not conventions that stands out today; it is the unfamiliar, the slightly out of place, the odd one, and the out-of-the-box ideas that will win today.
As July ushers in the last two laps of this marathon, you must do things differently to have a different outcome. It is worth saying here that success is not found in the big things, it is a set of routine, a pack of habits and an aggregation of lifestyle that snowballs into success. More than ever before we must reassess what we spend our gift of 24 hours doing. When all is said and done, the daily pattern of your life is the fine line on which success or failure hinges. For all its advantages, one must say that usage of social media has not just become a lifestyle but an obsession for many. The mantra is simple; if you derive your daily bread directly or indirectly from social media frenzy, by all means live in that space. However, if all you do on the platform is get a dose of news, fun, and reconnect, then moderation has to be applied. Overtly retweeting hashtags and putting Linda Ikeji Blog on a permanent refresh tab for one who visits social media for pure fun might be stretching it. It is worth saying that in an age where proliferation of blogs have become a venture for many the smacking reality is that only few will attain a Bella Naija or a Linda Ikeji status. This reality speaks to the point that it is time to do things differently. Make no mistakes about it, opportunities still abounds. A familiar story that drives home the point is that of LinkedIn. In the days when Reid Hoffman tinkered with the dream of an online platform solely for professional basis, the sceptics and even well-meaning friends advised him that the idea was a dream that will be dead on arrival. Their advice was hinged on the premise that with Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Empire and Jack Dorsey’s Twitter dominance, the world has no place for LinkedIn. But, nothing can be more inspiring. Today, Linkedin has membership strength of about half a billion users and the stats say that the growth today is such that two new users sign up to the platform every second. The morale of the story is simple: Carve a niche for yourself and pursue it wherever it leads.
Indeed, not for the lack of trying, many have stayed in same spot in this first half of the year and their cadence of hope is gradually giving way to the open hands of frustration and bitterness. It should never get to this. It has been said and not without reason that the moment you lose your hope, you lose your appetite to try. In the midst of a militating socio-economic and political environment, you must keep the faith; and like the old tale of Robinson Crusoe instructed us, we must make necessity the mother of invention. Never let anyone tell you otherwise ‘It could still be a great year.’ Geloven!