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the smallest bones in the human body are found in your ear
During my second year in school we had this lecturer who was one of the older lecturers. I can’t recall the incident that occurred but what he said in response has stuck with me all these years, more than a decade now.
He said, “It is not just the container that got placed in the rain first that gets filled first, it is the one with a wider opening and has enough room for water to go in.” This proverb is highly debatable in the 21st century, but then, in the 21st century everything is debatable.
Yes, it may be debatable, but you will not deny that there is some truth in that statement. Just take a look around you and you will see it glaring in your face.
A guy leaves high school and starts working in a factory and immediately starts making some money. And in his five block radius neighborhood he is able to make some noise and impress the young ladies.
Another guy moves on to college and spends the next four years to become a trained engineer. The first guy already has a car, is now a foreman in that factory, and probably two or more kids from different ladies. But the second guy graduates from college and is employed by that same company as a manager, and in one year earns all the money the first guy spent the last four years working for.
One got into the rain first; the other had a wider opening for the rain to pour in.
Never before in all of human history has there been a stronger desire to succeed than the time we are in. Just take a look around you – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. – people are doing anything and everything to succeed. We all want to be rich and famous.
While there is nothing wrong with being rich and famous I think there is need for caution. There is no overnight success. Years and years of preparation is what births overnight success. That you are talented is not enough. You’ve got to hone your talent. You’ve got to be refined.
Some things take time. So even if you are talented you still have to go through the process. Your talent may only make it easier for you. But if you get into the rain before you are ready someone else who gets in after you but is better prepared will still overtake you.
If the axe is dull, more strength is needed. I know the temptations that abound. Seeing someone whom you are obviously better than appearing to be making it; posting pictures of speaking engagements every now and then; traveling across the country; and it appears like you are not getting any results. Hang in there, Sir. Just hang in there. Keep preparing. Your moment will come.
Not everything is the way it seems. Principles rarely fail. Don’t you know of musicians who made waves with one single track? And while they were the rave of the moment it appeared like they will never fade. Where are they today? Anybody can reign for a short moment, but that is not what you want. What you want is lasting success; generational success.
While the first guy was working in the factory as an operator and earning some money the second guy was still preparing – education wise. Now assuming they lived in the same neighborhood the first guy would come back from work and have some money to throw around. Depending on the kind of neighborhood he may be seen as a “big boy,” and the ladies will be all over him.
Meanwhile no one even recognizes the second guy. He is just that invisible guy in the neighborhood. And it goes on that way for the next four years. Then the table turns and in one year he overtakes the first guy simply because he spent the last four years preparing.
Time spent in preparation is never wasted. Preparation is not necessarily classroom preparation though that should not be ruled out entirely. At least have a good level of formal education. But if your purpose does not have to do with conventional jobs then you must invest your own time and resources in developing yourself.
Now let’s go back to what my lecturer said, “It is not just the container that got placed in the rain first that gets filled first. It is the one with a wider opening and has enough room for water to go in.”
Does that mean it does not matter when you get into the rain? It does. But when you understand personal leadership you will not just want to get in the rain first you will also want to make sure you have a wide opening to receive. That way you have a double advantage.
But even if you have made some mistakes in life and you have lost some time like I did, there is still hope. You only have to make sure you put in more effort, avoid distractions, stay focused and you will still make something beautiful with your life. That is why a good understanding of personal leadership is important.
Have I added any value to you today? I will be delighted to read your comments and contributions and also answer your questions If you have any. Also share the article for others to read it.
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