yusuf olalekan From Cradle to Maturity 28-Sep-2020



here is this popular Arabian proverb “Whoever discovers himself will never perish ”. It can also be said that any student who discovers himself will never fail. Everybody knows that the business of a student is to study. What to study? How to study? When to study? And even where to study? Are critical questions that beg for answers. You cannotjust choose a course of study, when it does not correlate with your talents. Who you are should be in line with what you are doing. When it comes to argument, some people do better than their peers. Reasonable points come to their mind one after the others without stress, without racking their brains. Such people will surely perform better if they study law or law-related courses. As a student, if you choose to study a course related to your talent, you will excel with ease rather than labouring on something outside your strength Zone. John C Maxwell wrote, “To be successful, you can't just run on the fast track; run on your true ”. It looks funny to me when I see Some students who decide to study a course just because other People love to study this course in their environment or simply because they believe that such a course pays off in the society.

Discovering your talent means you have known your strength zone. Then, find a course in relation to your natural endowment and see how successful you will become. Former British Prime Minister William Gladstone, said “He Is a wise man who wastes no energy on pursuits for which is not fitted; and he is wiser still who from among the things he can do well, chooses and resolutely follows the best." Sometimes it is possible for you to be multi-talented or have the ability to do many things with ease. If care is not taken, your multitalents which is suppose to be an advantage may become disadvantage, because having more than one talent, or being able to do more than one thing with ease, may land you in to problem of choice.

Your ability to choose the best among the things you can do well, and follow it up matters here. Do not let money or popular view incline you towards studying a course for which you have no natural ability. It is all about you and your talents.

Choose Your Career According To Your Calling

The question I got most of the time I discussed the subject of choosin g a career corresponding to one's natural ability, is “How can one discover one’s natural ability?” or “How can one realize one’s life task?” The answer. It is good to know that there was a path you were destined to follow it is a divine call you are here on eanh to answer and no good or greatness can come from deviating from the natural path. The seed of uniqueness and talents is inborn in each and ~eyeryone of us. Our life task is to bring the seed to flower through and make it bear fruits for the benefit of the world.

An American psychologist and author of “The soul's code,” James Hillman wrote: “There is more to human life than our theories of it allow. Sooner or later something seems to call us onto a particular path. You may remember this “something” as a signal calling in childhood when an urge out of nowhere, a fascination, a peculiar turn of events struck like an annunciation. This is what I must do, this is what I've got to have. This is who I am... If not this vivid and sure, the call may have been more like gentle pushings in the stream in which you drifted unknowingly to a baMculars spot on the bank. Looking back you sense that fate had a hand in it.... A calling may be postponed, avoided, intermittently missed. It may also possess you completely. Whatever; '. Wenaaally it wiIlTbe om. It makes its claim.....extraordinary people display calling most evidently, Perhaps, that's why they fascinate. Perhaps, too, they are extraordinary because their chlling comes through so clearly and they are so loyal to it....Extraordinary people hear the better witness because they show what ordinary mortals simply can't. we seem to have less motivation and more distraction. Yet our destiny is driven by the same universal engine. Extraordinary people are not a different category; the workings of this engine in them are simply more transparent ... ”

The only way to attain true greatness and suceess in life is by following one's natural path. Remember that meetin g your material needs or making good money from a vocation does not translate to true greatness, if you are not on your track. True greatness gives you the inner satisfaction of selfactualization, public admiration, appreciation and social applause.

To identify the seed is very simple because it triggers an inner force or emotional feelings in you when you come in contact with the ‘stimulant'.

The stimulants are the things that make you become aware of your natural inclinations and future career paths in your childhood or any time you come across them. J ust as talents, the stimulants vary with every individual. What is very certain is that you will be transfixed by the stimulant and an idea, a voice or an image of yourself in an ideal being will appear in your mind. It can be more evidently clear and compelling in some people than in others. All you need do when you experience this kind of urge or fascination is to try to influence the repetition of the event or encounter that stimulates the feelings. Give it the correct interpretation and the future career path it prefigures. If the signs are not clear enough to you, contact a right mentor or counsellor for better understanding and interpretations.

Listen to the voice when it calls.

The Spanish liberal philosopher, Jose Ortega Y Gasset, in the early 1900s, said, “Among his various beings each man always finds out which is his genuine and authentic being. The voice which calls him to that authentic being is what we call “ VOCATION ”. But the majority of men devote themselves to silencing that voice of the vacation and refusing to hear it. They manage to make noise within themselves... to distract their own attention in order not to hear it; and they defraud themselves by substituting for their genuine selves a false course of life”.

God is very kind in that He bestows the guiding light, voice, force or sense of destiny on everyone of us to guide us to our paths of destiny, paths of greatness.

As students or youths craving for greatness in life, it is essential to find and follow the hidden force or voice within you. This will guide and keep you on your own track, not just on the fast truck. Remember, it is only your own track that leads to your greatness.

Possible Forms Of Stimulants Towards Your True Path

(1) Objects As Stimulants: Sometimes, some simple objects may serve as stimulants for one's natural inclination. When you come in contact with them for the first time, you will feel an unusual fascination. And you will begin to imagine yourself working with the objects, (if they are tools) or certain ideas and thoughts spring into your mind and you will become obsessed with such thoughts.

That was exactly what happened to Albert Einstern, a Germanbom physicist, in 1884. He was five years old, when hisfather gave him a compass as a present. The needle of the compass which changed direction as he moved the compass about transfixed him. He was immediately touched by the idea that there was some kind of magnetic force that acted on the needle which was invisible to the eyes. And other ideas and questions followed, which later formed the bases for all of his interests and ideas for the rest ofhis life. The compass was the object that sparked the initial fascination that later produced the most influential physicist of the 20th century, who won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1921 for his explanation of the photoelectric effect.

[2] Activity And Event: A lot of great men and women have discovered their true paths and natural inclinations through

activities and events. A host of media personalities, Nollywood, Hollywood, Bollywood artistes and musicians of fame across the globe will tell you they actually discovered their callings entertainers through their practices in their school days. They known globally today, because they are on the right tracks. Nature has its ways of creating events that lead to self-discovery for self conscious people, sometimes in form of challenges.

[3] Encounter With An Actual Personality: This occurs when one's true inclinations are revealed when one sees, meets or reads about an established individual who has mastered a particular field of interests. There can be a sudden increase in the intensity of your spiritual and emotional longings on seeing a man or woman who has successfully traveled your path of destiny.

You are sitting down watching somebody giving a lecture, acting, performing, e.t.c and you are feeling deep inside you as if you are on the stage being watched by others. Not out of empty or idle wishes, but with creative imagination showing you areas where you can do better. If you can re-enact the encounter and you get the same inner responses, you can be assured to some degree of certainty that you have found your calling.

Let me mention to you that sometimes, your life's task can appear in the guise of deficiencies and disabilities, making you focus on those things you can do with ease or you are good at. It is not compulsory for you to be good at what seems to be a common ability to everyone. Remember we are talking about uniqueness what singles you out of many others. You may not know what you can do until you have tried.

Avoid The False Path

Understand: It is either you are on the true path and your own track or you are on the false path.

One of the misleading factors for youths and students in this part of the world is the monetisation of success. In fact, most youths define success and achievement only in monetary terms. How fat your bank account is determines how successful you are. Therefore, those who have enough money, drive exotic cars apd have amassed many material wealth in a field of interest are seen and regarded as successful. This has seriously misled and is still misleading a great number of our youths and students into choosin g the false path that seems smoother and more lucrative than their life's task. What differentiates your true path from the false path is the reason for choosing the path. Your track is the only right track that leads to greatness. Any other track, no matter how fast, is wrong and will lead you to a dead-end.

Ignore The Wrong Voice

The only right voice that calls you to your true path of nature is that of your natural abilities and talents. Every other Voice is wrong and must be i gnored.

From Cradle to Maturity is a life journey that requires an intellectual guide of this kind. To keep you on the right course in spite of the numerous side attractions and wrong voices, and to successfully tread the path that has many unknown turns and bends, this book is a gift of inestimable value for you.

it is not about who is calling, it is all about what you are being called into. Some students and youths are victims of their parents’ choices,

Some follow peer infiuence. When it comes to your life's task, your parents can be wrong. Many people are into alien vocations today due to their parental force. A path unknown to your talents cannot earn you greatness. Even if your hard work and diligence fetch you material gains or money, this can never give you the sense of selfactualization. '

No profession is so easy that it has no odds of its own.

In the face of challenges, what keeps you going is the drive and enthusiasm you derive from your natural inclinations and not the false attraction influenced by the desires of other people.

“The misery that oppresses you lies not in your profession but in yourself! Wh at man in the world would not find his situation intolerable if he chooses a craft, an art, indeed any form of life, with out experiencing an inner calling? Whoever is born with a talent or to a talent must surely find in that the most pleasin g of occupations ? ” Everything on this earth has its difficult sides! Only some inner drive Pleasure, lo ve-can help uS overcome obstacles, prepare a path and lift us out of the narrow circle in which others tread out their anguished, miserable existences. ”

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe.

Choose a course of study and career according to your calling. Avoid the false path and ignore the wrong voices of others. Only your own track leads to your greatness. Define the true success in terms of self-actualization, prosperity, and legacy.

Know Your Study Ability

It is very important for a student to know his or her study ability. It is equally important to know that the level of understanding and assimilation varies with individual. Some students understand vely quickly when they are taught while some have to be taught and taught again several times before they can comprehend what they are being taught. Based on the level of comprehension, students can be categorized into three (3) Levels.

1: Quick Learners with Excellent and Photographic Memory (QLEM).

These are the students that quickly understand whatever they are taught and they never forget the lessons.

When they read on their own, they comprehend better. These types of students are often referred to as geniuses because they are highly intelligent.

2: Quick Learner with Short Memory: (QLSM)

The set of students under this category do understand things as quick as possible but they do forget things after a shont time. They are also very fast in learning, alike the first categony. The only but major problem they have is their low retentive memory. For the students under this category to be successful in their studies, they .must engage in continuous reading. This will improve their retentive memory.

3: Slow Learner with Excellent Memory: (SLEM) The students in this category are somehow slow in learning. They

don't usually grasp what they are being taught in time but once comprehended, they never forget it. Their memory is as

photographic as those of the first category. Once they understand something, they can recall such a thing in detail, no matter how voluminous or how Ion g they have learnt it. As a student, if you are in this category, you may not understand what you are being taught in the class or lecture room at the first hearing. That does not mean you would not understand it. All you need do is revise the lecture or lesson again from the quick learners in the class. Learning from a classmate does not mean you cannot perform academically better than him, depending on his retentive memory. Also, as a slow learner, you may not grasp an idea at first glance while reading; you have to read and re-read again in order to understand the details. I have deliberately limited the categorization to three because the fourth category, which is slow learner with short memory (SLSM), does not appeal to me. In fact, in the course of my research, I was not able to find any student under this category, except students with the case of loss of memory, mental retardation, or imbecility, etc. -~ You can see that it is very important for you as a student to know where you belong, so as to know how hard or frequently you must study, if you are to graduate out with flying colours in your course ofstudy. The good news is that whichever category you belong to, you can become the best student of your department, in your class, of your school and even graduate with the highest GP in the institution, if you prepare well by continuously studying. “If you can read it, you can understand it”. No course is too hard for anyone to study. It all depends on your devotion and enthusiasm. In fact, every Student must know that “lf a course or subject seems difficult, then he must study it hard”. It is not the category to which you belong but how serious and studious you are that count. Abraham Lincoln had said it best, “Whatever you are, bea good one ”.

Besides the above categorization, research showed that students can be further grouped 'based on when (time) and where (environment) they can study or read and assimilate. It is very important to bring to your notice that there are some students who can read and understand only in a perfectly silent environment, while some will still assimilate even when they study in a noisy area. Some understand best when they read or study alone while some enjoy group reading. Are you the type of student who enjoys night reading, or one who can only understand best during the day? Do you believe in selfteaching, or you need someone else to explain to you before you understand?Are you the type that grasps the idea when explained once? Or you need repeated explanations before you can understand? The list is inexhaustible. As a good student, your reading or study-ability should determ ine your study habits. If you are the type that can only understand during the day, do not study at night. Discover yourself with respect to the above ' highlighted qualitative categorization and grouping.

Your Study -Ability Must Determine Your Study Habits

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best night and day to make you everybody elSe means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting ”

_e. e. Cummings.

Be original, don't be a copy of someone else. Must you read when

and where your best friend reads? I f you don't share the same study ability with someone, you should not share the same study habits with him. Know yourself and do your own thing in your own way, Studying to know is better than studying to pass. When you study to know, you read beyond the scope of an examination but when you study to pass, you read within the scope of the examination. It is not necessary that your best friend outside the lecture room must also be your best study friend. Once you have discovered your study ability, you need to "Cultivate the study' habits that are suitable for your ability. An Ekiti adage says, “Those who can 't runfast should start their race earlier”. When you know that you can't assimilate as quickly as your friend does, you don't need to wait for such a friend before you start reading. The best way to become who you want to be is to make use of whom you are.

Points To Ponder

1: Whoever d iscovers himself will never perish.

2: You must consider your talents before choosing a course of study.

3: To be successful, you cannot just run on the fast track. Run on your track.

4: He is a wise man who wastes no energy on pursuits for which he is not fitted; and he is wiser still who from among the things he can do well, chooses and resolutely follows the best.

5: It is important for a student to know his or her study ability in order to make a good study habit.

6: If you can read it, then you can understand it.

7: If a course or a subject seems hard, then study it hard.

8: Whatever you are, be a good one.

9: Those that can't run fast should start their race earlier.

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