Why is the adjective ‘true’ added to success? This is because a lot of things have been attributed as success which truly are not; coupled with the fact that we have emerged into a social media, or better put, “instant media” world. And suddenly, we can’t wait any more. Everything must happen “now!”. Every young person is now concerned with the “end” at the expense of the “means.” Get-rich quick; fame even at the expense of shame; living large and lavish have now become the pursuit of most young people. We need a mass action to change this mindset. We need a mass action for sound character. Any success devoid of sound character is at best a failure. Anything achieved which is not through honesty is not true success. We must change the cliché from “the end justifies the means” to “the end must be justified by a honest means.”
The Disservice of a Warped Meaning of Success
An evident damage has been done to our society by celebrating things that really are “no success”. The “instant success mindset” has reduced the quality of everything we do. The impact can be seen in the four key pillars of society – family, education, religion and the media. For the family unit for instance, the situation where young men think they must attain a level of ‘so-called success’ at any cost so as to impress the would-be wives before getting married, and also where the young ladies are waiting to be impressed with material wealth, sets a wrong success metrics for the family. “Instant success” has led to a collateral damage in education; a situation where a lot of students only think of passing examinations, and not seeking knowledge. The quality of outputs from our pulpits and the media also reflects the disservice that the “instant success” mindset has had on this nation.
Redefining Success for Nigerians
We must inspire the nation Nigeria back to true success. We Nigerians must redefine true success. True success is finding and fulfilling your work i.e. your purpose for living. The ‘things’ that come as a result of fulfilling your work is not the success; success is fulfilling your work on earth. Your work is the value you are to add to the world, the platform for delivering that is sound character. So, more important than a desire for success, should be a desire for work. A mindset to find purpose early in life and pursue it to the point of success should be what parents must work with their children to achieve. The education curriculum must include this; the pulpits must emphasize it while the media must celebrate it. True celebrity is a product of sound character.
Who Gains When Success is Truly Defined
The nation, meaning the people, gains when success is defined in the right context. Success is a function of honest work built on sound character, and nothing else. We need a mass action for sound character, and must employ every pillar of society to achieve this. Everybody gains when everybody lives by sound character.
We must re-define true success!
Author & Sound Character Coach
How Did We Get Here?
Nothing just happens. One of the key principles of geology is that “the past is the key to the future”. To understand today, we must look at the past; and to understand the future, we must look at what we do today. What you do today is your history, imagine it laced with sound character! What we see around us in Nigeria today should not make us expend energy on lamentation or abusing anyone.But to look to the past to see what we began to do that led to where we are today. “But we were not in the past”, you might say; all you need do is see what is prevalent today – the crave for prosperity, get-rich-quick. Life, when lived with sound character, is a progression to prosperity. But when prosperity becomes the die-hard focus, sound character is neglected, and the result is poverty. The poverty or prosperity of nations can be traced to a debasing or an embracing of sound character.
50 years is a Moment at a Time
50 years will never come en bloc, it is a moment at a time. When we watch what we do every time and align it to sound character, we will have a desirable nation. Let us all take up this challenge personally, because each one of us make up the nation. The mass action we need, is not of only carrying placards against corruption or other ills in the society, we need amass action for sound character. So, if the crave for prosperity has led to a degenerate society as we have it today, then what shall we do?
We must raise a new mindset in the society. We must raise a generation of young people who believe in the dignity of labour, enterprise, innovation and integrity. This mindset must be imbibed by a critical mass in every socio-economic segment of society. Your belief is seen in your character, you can’t hide it. This is a journey we must embark on over the next 50 years, and come to a point where what will make for winning in an election, is not how much money those vying for positions can throw around, but how much sound character they have displayed over the years. It looks like a dream; but another 50 years will soon be here.
Author & Sound Character Coach