“I have camped around some great men and I know that there is a price to pay…”
Bishop David O. Oyedepo.
I am a young Nigerian who is aiming for the top; I am also surrounded by many young people who equally want to make it to the top. I, however, notice that while many people aim for the top not many know what to do to get there. Our nation is one in which people make all sorts of complaints and give flimsy excuses as reasons for not making it in life, regrettably, many up and coming young persons are already arming themselves with these excuses as possible alibis should they not make it. I am sharing this with you so you know that there is a price to pay for every ‘crown.’
It was Archimedes (287 BC – 212 BC), a preeminent Greek mathematician and inventor best known for discovering the law of hydrostatics, often called Archimedes’ principle) who said
“Give me a firm place to stand, and I will move the earth”.
The answer he was said to have gotten from one of his contemporaries is worthy of note, which is,
“Let him that will move the earth first move himself!”
This dialogue above is one I love so much, particularly the answer to Archimedes’ desire that a place be created for him. I love the dialogue because it echoes a universal and eternal truth –that space won’t be created for you! Throughout the ages, not once has space been created for anybody, rather you demand and fight for it yourself!
Whenever I consider the issue of a person getting an opportunity for the world to make way, my mind quickly races to the unique story of Joshua in the Bible who had the sun stand still for him to complete his work, but did you notice that the sun didn’t stop at its own accord? He spoke to the Lord concerning that issue; notably, however, the Bible says that there will be no day like it ever again! Thus, every man will always do and achieve all within the bounds and limits of the world – amidst challenges and difficulties. You will always need to create your space yourself!
No nation is totally free of troubles, neither is there any life that is absolutely devoid of challenges. Everyone that has made it did it within the bounds of limits and odds placed against them. There is no success story without its challenges. All over the world people always work their way to the top because there is no short cut. Whatever challenge thrown at you only makes your ascent unique. Every problem is a solution in disguise. A good illustration is the story of the donkey that used the sand thrown at it to rise out of the pit that was dug for it. Rather than accept to be buried alive, the donkey shook off the sand and made it a stepping ‘stone’ rather than a set-back.
There is no challenge you will face that will be enough reason to justify your failure. I can re-echo the word of the apostle Paul that there is no situation you will pass through that someone hasn’t passed through. With courage, determination and resilience you will be smiling at the other side. A great story of determination is that of Helen Keller who went blind and deaf at the age of 19 months (and thus lost contact with the world) and yet went ahead to graduate from Radcliffe College with honours and also become a public speaker. Napoleon Hill had something like Helen Keller’s story in mind when he said,
“nature could send me [an affliction] but nature could not induce me to accept the reality of the affliction.”
It therefore means that you are the architect of your life and you can turn around any evil to your own good. A wise man said “who you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.”
I will tell you a firsthand story about determination. While in the university I had this friend who, during one of our discussions as freshmen, told me confidently that he was going to make a 1st class. Now, this was a high dream because up till that time only one person had made a 1st class in our faculty in it’s over forty (40) years of existence. He indeed went ahead to make a 1st class. The faculty didn’t lower its standard for him, rather he worked towards it. He paid the price.
The world won’t create space for you but the world will give you your space if you pay the price, that’s what is called your niche. Your niche is that space the world has conceded to you because you paid your price.
There is a man in our country who is affecting his generation from his niche. He was born Ahmed. Ahmed was only armed with a National Diploma (ND) when he set out to do what he was created for, the world didn’t make room for Ahmed but rather he forced his way to limelight. Today, he is called when decisions that will affect our nation and the globe is to be taken, in fact he was instrumental to the electoral success of Barack Obama! Ahmed’s story is one for another day.
I hope the point I have set out to make is clear, that the world won’t concede success to you unless and until you have paid the price, hence don’t complain about your challenges as every man has a dose of his own.
I will like to conclude with this poem that summarises the irony of life:
“I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store.
For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages.
Why, you must bear the task.
I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have willingly paid.”
See you at the top.