Opinion: Still waiting for the motivation?

by Ifeanyi Igbokwe

motivation

Many people are waiting for motivation, believing in the myth that it kick-starts a great idea or paves way for the next big thing; they sit all day waiting for motivation, failing to realise that no time is perfect, no time could be more perfect than now.

Olaudah Equiano was about twelve years old when he was kidnapped from his home by his kinsmen and sold to slave traders. His dad had been a local chief and had enough money for Olaudah to go through life without the slightest hitch.

As with other slaves, the day eventually came when he was to meet the white man, he was chained like a captured animal with other slaves on the coast for examination and transportation across the Atlantic.

Broken Equiano watched in indescribable horror, pain and agony as he and his other slave mates were bundled into their various cells not much different from how soft drink bottles are packed into crates.

These alone were enough to make a man go through life with his head buried somewhere in his stomach, beaten and left for dead by the billy club of cruelty and blaming all on some fate he had no control over, but Olaudah began to master his circumstance.

As the days went by, the little Nigerian slave had his name changed over and again as owners came and went but he would not give up. He told himself that those people who are free are not better than he is and he worked hard till he began to earn allowances, saving all he could lay his hands on until he purchased his freedom, so to speak. A feat many of today’s young people would have given up on even before they started out.

Not only did Oloudah work hard till he became free, he self-educated himself until he gave England and the wider world his autobiography – one of the earliest, not just by a black man but a one-time slave, and he fought to see the abolition of slave trade.

Many people are waiting for motivation, believing in the myth that it kick-starts a great idea or paves way for the next big thing; they sit all day waiting for motivation, failing to realise that no time is perfect, no time could be more perfect than now.

Abraham Lincoln woke up to the realities of life after his mother died. He loved her and had wished things were better, and that she hadn’t died.

His parents were impoverished illiterates, living conditions were hell and he had to work all day in the farm. Resenting that kind of life; he began working hard to succeed, walking miles and miles of wood often in hunger to borrow books and reading them after long wearying hours in the farm.

Soon he left home; took up a job and began teaching himself, studying until he felt he could pass the Bar exams. By the time he began practicing law, he worked so hard that in a few months, demand for his services started to mount.

A few years down the line, his clientele consisted mostly of the very crème of the society and all the major firms in town – making him earn even more than his state governor.

But here’s a quick thought. There were a thousand and one people who grew up with Lincoln, who cajoled and called him names like Flat Foot Abe, and other such names; they still worked on the farms from sun up to sun down and died in their poverty.

Same thing with the life of a bazillion others out there, all waiting for motivation and doing nothing.

The truth is,  if your present situation and conditions don’t motivate you, then nothing else probably will.

If Lincoln waited for his father to buy him books, he would have as well waited all his life for it.

In the early 1990’s, Alek Wek came to the UK. She had only come to take refuge from the Sudanese war back home that had claimed the lives of her father and other relatives.

Having acquired little education from her motherland, she needed a means to survive so she took up a job cleaning toilets and began schooling again. Not long afterwards, Alek announced that she would become a model.

What a joke.

She wasn’t English, she didn’t belong there. She wasn’t famous and had no class. She was not rated as someone who could make heads turn.  She wasn’t rich, she wasn’t even white and she was a toilet cleaner.

But Alek was not joking.

Out of her distressing circumstances, she broke all and found the motivation to become the woman of her dream. By the time she was featured in a few shows, demand for Alek had hit the roof and today, the woman that would have been set aside as just another refugee face in the crowd, reduced to mere statistic ,could motivate herself.

So the question is; why not you?

Scarcely would anyone with lesser opportunities than Alek read these lines.

This is perhaps all the motivation you ever need.

 

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

 

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