The idea of lessons learnt implies mistakes were made. I definitely made some in 2012 and learnt lessons from them but I also learnt lessons just by living through specific experiences both personally and vicariously.
F.E.A.R often is False Evidence Appearing Real: I always thought this was a pithy saying and mocked that it should be told to someone being chased by a cheetah. But in 2012, I realized that there is some truth to it. I became well-acquainted with fear in 2012 as I changed jobs and moved residence. I was afraid I would not find a home to live, and then I was afraid I would not get a rental agreement, and later I was afraid that I would not be able to register the girls in school… At a point, I was afraid of making a move in any direction. So many steps caused a paralysis fear that when they eventually turned out right, I was stunned by how much I had feared the outcomes. I realized that some things I built into gruesome obstacles were mere puny challenges that with the right strategy could be overcome. Now, I know to feel the fear and do it anyway. I know not to let fear be a paralyzing emotion by remembering that it is false evidence appearing real.
Following your dreams takes hard work: forget ‘work smart not hard’ and other fanciful ideas which sound great in theory but are impractical. You must WORK HARD to achieve your dreams. I learnt that running my own business means that I have to be on top of everything going on. I must vision, plan, and see to the timely execution of my plans. I must keep the agenda and also the books. Sure, I am learning to strategically employ others to help me achieve my dreams (by the way, beware of web designers who promise an awesome website and deliver malware), but ultimately, the accomplishment of anything depends on me. Its either I do what needs to be done or I lean heavily on someone I pay to do what needs to be done. Period.
We are all connected one way or another: My aunt said of 2012, “the highs were really high and the lows really low.” Indeed, the lows of 2012 had greater global impact than in previous years. The crash of Dana Flight 992 brought home the reality of our global village not just for Nigerians but for Indians, Chinese, Americans, and others connected to the victims of the ill-fated plane. It taught me that turning a blind eye to corruption is not a viable option nor is it an approach for dealing with the kind of sanctioned evil perpetrated against innocent children in Newtown, Connecticut. We must fight evil with everything we’ve got before it gets us.
Some people are really not worth the time: I used to be a sucker for intellect. Give me a guy spouting ideas and I am a goner (correction, I was a goner). No more. In 2012, I encountered more time-wasting intellectuals than you could count on your fingers. Folks who spun brilliant ideas, inspired others to “work towards the goal,” and came up empty. Very disappointing. I am officially cured, thank you.
Other lessons of 2012 include: don’t expect Nigerians to RSVP, simply prepare for a horde; don’t expect the same group to keep time, you should simply keep your own time; and what you eat matters, quit the junk habit and get with the program or into a program as the case may be. Finally, there’s a difference between potential and performance – a person might have the potential to do a big something but may never do it. So, I am building on my lessons and moving from potential to performance in 2013. See you next year by God’s grace.