I heard the sound, pa3n! pa3n! pa3n!
Then I quickly came out to my living room and peeped through my louvers in an obvious frightening posture. I saw nobody but I heard some voices from a distance. It was as though one was wailing "woe woe woe..."
I checked my wall clock and it was 1:00am.
At that time, I realised it was not wise to go out considering the level of insecurity in our country, especially in festive seasons. I stood still trying to make meaning out of the voices. For sometime, all I could hear was "ki ki ki" from the thick of my clock. Later, I realised that what I heard was nowhere close to any conflict or robbery. Indeed, it was the 31st night and people were celebrating the cross over to 2019.
Usually, some people prefer to engage in a harmless gun salute and others "hoot" to say goodbye to the "passing year" to make room for a "newly born year."
After realising this and overcoming my fears, I went back to bed with a lot of work in my mind.
Apparently, if not for the cacophony of the night that brought my mind to the new year, I had taken my mind off that festival because I had very "perforated pockets" at the time. As a responsible person with much responsibility, I had no option available so I decided to forget about any festive activity marking the new year.
While I was on bed, I encountered a serious meditation, focussing on where I want to be by the end of 2019. I took my pen and catalogued a number of objectives and prayed almost half of the night left for divine intervention.
Frankly speaking, praying over the night with that level of deep spiritual inclination is unusual of me though I am a baptized Christian. I was actually in the spiritual realm and seeing everything too simple and easy, so my objectives, if they were to parade on top of one another, would have been comparable to the height of the pyramid that was built in the era of the early Egyptian civilization. Undoubtedly, if all those objectives I set were to be achieved, then I would have been an accomplished man by all standards.
31st December of 2019 was not different at all except that I have become very much focused than before. The dream for 2019 though dead.
The time is gone and in fact, it has added to my age. I am reluctantly growing old yet my objectives remain numerous. I know I am not in this lamentation mood alone. There are many people who are in my shoes and thinking that all hopes are lost. In my case, I have achieved something big outside the bracket of my objectives but I believe all other objectives, though deferred, can be achieved within that big thing I have achieved. It is, simply, a rejuvenated hope and the desire to fight on and on!!
It does appear that in our quest to make it, we hurriedly put together lofty objectives that are not achievable within current circumstances. We do forget that we must build on a foundation but we mostly try to start building without a foundation and in the event of any storm, our building collapses and we start all over again.
The adverse effect is that our efforts are wasted because they are not manifesting in our lives. What is obvious is absolute stagnation, frustration and battle of ideas. With frustration, we are likely to give up, and in a situation of a battle of ideas within the individual, there is confusion and indecision. All these can retard progress.
This piece is intended to provoke our thoughts on how to set realistic objectives for ourselves and how we measure, assess and restrategize to have them achieved. I am not a hero yet, I have not made it myself, but by trying many times and failing severally, there is a new dawn of life in me that I believe, I can make it. It does not mean, that, doing same will make you achieve but it will serve as a guide, motivation and challenge to redefine to perfection, or near perfection, possibly, to get to our destinations.
Our objectives must be simple, measurable, achievable, realistic and time specific. In setting these objectives we must have some key considerations.
1. Set reasonable targets. You cannot desire a luxurious car when you cannot fuel a motorbike. You cannot desire a luxurious house if you do not have any savings anywhere. Life is step by step. The steps are very necessary. Trying to jump over the process may cause you entirely.
2. We must be focused and not be swayed by unplanned things. The most difficult part of life is keeping our eyes on our dreams. We tend to chase the world in no particular direction. In 2020, do your best possible to stick to your plans without distraction. If you have planned to further your education for instance, take a move. Do not get to the middle of the year and think that marrying should come first. That isn't a plan. If it is marriage that is paramount for you in this year, take a move. Do not change the decision in the middle of the year. Indecision is a dream killer. Just be mindful!!
3. Savings: we the youth in particular must see the essence in developing the habit of savings and reducing our budget on fashion. We do not need any researcher to tell us that we spend so much on drinking, partying and fashion. Let's reduce expenditure and increase our savings.
4. Any plan without a serious commitment and hard work is like a flower that will soon wither beyond recognition. You may have the best of objectives, but if you sit down aloof awaiting any magic, then you are being engaged in self-deception. We must discipline ourselves and work very hard.
5. Always remember that we have limited time. The year has just begun but will take us by surprise. If care is not taken, it will end without you attaining your dream. Do not waste any time. Remember you are growing old too with many objectives left unachieved. Days make a week, weeks make a month and months make a year. Any seconds or minutes wasted cumulatively affects the entire year. However, if we try to achieve in bits, we may end up achieving more by the end of the year.
6. Constantly evaluate your objectives. By constantly reflecting on the progress of work, you commit your mind and heart. That is how passion is generated to propel progress.
To conclude, let me leave you with these strong words from Michelle Obama. "You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world's problems at once but don't ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own."
Again, we must remember that our destinies lie in our own hands and if a man chooses to play with his own fate, he makes no difference with the mad man. I am challenged this year to live differently. I challenge all my readers to challenge the situation and make a difference. Design your strategy today and begin to implement it with serious commitment. Do not rely on somebody to transform your live. We are capable enough to make a bright future. Others have done it even under bad situations.
Countrymen and women, I wish you all a prosperous new year. Let's live life with care.