All prizes do come with prices. We have been trying to put our fingers on why people quit. Another reason is that we have a tendency to underestimate what it takes to attain our objectives until those costs are staring us in the face. One author, Rick Warren, rightly named this phenomenon ‘Uneducated Enthusiasm ‘ or should I call it ‘Unfounded Optimism’.
One reason why I personally grew disillusioned with the success motivation movement that swept through my world recently, was that after reading a huge number of their resources, all of them began to sound alike, recommending the same shallow platitudes for the transformation of my life. I found that unacceptable.
The second gap I noticed was an absence of pragmatic processes by which the goals they were touting could be achieved. It is not enough to tell me I can do all things if you can’t show me how to get it done. One ancient biblical writer was right when he suggested that the labour of the foolish wearies every one of them because they don’t know how to go to the City. ‘How’ is superior to ‘what’.
Of course, I was asking for too much, because, all most of these authors had ever done was to give a speech or write a book. They hadn’t built things. I have since settled for the writings of doers, rather than the writings of mere thinkers and talkers. This is not to say that there’s no place for thinkers and talkers in literature, but the focus of a leader and builder should be the study of other builders and leaders. And if any time is left, we will consider mere talkers and thinkers.
Enthusiasm and Optimism
Enthusiasm and optimism are great but it should be founded upon objective reality. This means that we must unravel the cost structure for every single one of our objectives. And for heaven’s sake, if we are unwilling to pay the price, then there is no point in towing the path.
True leaders aren’t delusional. They are brutally frank about what it will take to attain their objectives. After assessing what it takes, they juxtapose the costs with their current resources to practically find out if they have what it takes to finish before they even start it. And that’s why they seldom quit.
Of course, if they come to the conclusion that they don’t have what it takes, they would answer the question, ‘Can I get it from elsewhere?’ If the answer is no, they would often realign their objectives with reality. That will be the subject of a subsequent discussion.
Feel free to join me for the Leadership and Lifestyle Conclave every Sunday by 7:30 am at NECA House, Plot A2, Hakeem Balogun Street, Central Business District, Alausa Ikeja.