I used to take the words of motivational speakers with a pinch of salt for the simple reason that, in my opinion, some of them push people to breaking point. For example, a motivational speaker could tell you how, with just a single feather, he built a poultry that multiplied into over a thousand birds in a week; or that with ruptured tyres and no fuel, he drove from Lagos to Abuja in less than 9 hours!
I am not saying we can’t use a motivational talk every now and then. No. The point is, when motivating people, we need to be realistic. Or how would one explain a situation where a motivational speaker wrote a book titled How To Be A Millionaire In Two Week, yet could not afford money to print the work?
… how would one explain a situation where a motivational speaker wrote a book titled How To Be A Millionaire In Two Week, yet could not afford money to print the work? @dopplerfilmzTweet
This is the reason why I reluctantly accepted when my friend and sister Blessing Otagbo told me about the launch of her motivational book and her desire to have me review it. And even when I finally accepted and started reading the book, I did so with some level of disinterest.
However, the first few chapters blew me away. Digesting this debut book, and realizing how moving her personal story is, I began ruminating on the remarkable journey of this thing we call ‘book’ through the ages – since the invention of the printing press; and how powerful a tool it can be in changing someone’s mindset.
There was a time on this planet when there was no single copy of book as we know it today anywhere. That was prior to the evolution of the printing press, made famous by the Gutenberg Bible. What existed before then were cuneiform writing, clay tablets, papyrus and so on.
Then came a time when only few people had access to and owned books: kings, scholars, religious people, the wealthy and the likes. In fact, only few copies of books existed in the entire world at that time. To consult a library or access knowledge then, one had to travel, for days sometimes.
But today, at just a few clicks, you can instantly access some of the best book, and relatively, all the libraries available in the world right from where you are.
No wonder the late Dr. Carl Sagan, the American astronaut, wrote about how, at one glance at a good book, one could readily be in the mind of another person, maybe even someone who had died thousands of years ago, whom one may never have met. Yet across the millennia, across cultures, the author could still speak, clearly and silently, inside one’s head, directly to each individual at a time.
Writing, Sagan insisted, is the greatest of human invention because it binds peoples together, people who never knew one another, citizens of distant epochs. Truly, there is a lot more to the book and its power to restore or destroy, to make or mar, to save or set ablaze.
Writing, Sagan insisted, is the greatest of human invention because it binds peoples together… there is a lot more to the book and its power to restore or destroy, to make or mar, to save or set ablaze. @dopplerfilmzTweet
This is exactly what Blessing Otagbo has proven with her remarkable work. And with this, she has left a message in a bottle, a message of motivation, of consistence, of sheer perseverance, of faith in God and of her secret to success, not only for today’s generation, but for many more unborn. She has shown to those who are going through all manners of challenges, especially in today’s Nigeria, they are not alone, and that because someone has walked that path before them and they can come out of it.
Going through this eleven-chapter book, I could not but agree with my uncle and friend, Christopher Akinlade who, in his own review, pointed out the fact that three major points can be drawn from the book namely; her very challenging childhood memoir, her business growth advise to youths, and her general advice to the reader on the perfect outlook to life.
… three major points can be drawn from the book namely; her very challenging childhood memoir, her business growth advise to youths, and her general advice to the reader on the perfect outlook to life. @dopplerfilmzTweet
In her introduction she talked about her daunting childhood and the sheer determination to get education, despite the discouragement, which sometimes included severe beating, from her aunt’s kids, those who should ordinarily be her protectors. She explained how she came by the name Blessing, which was something that came to her at an instant by accident, without which she might have missed her chance at education, since the teacher who was to enroll her into primary school could neither spell nor pronounce her native name.
She also explained how the refusal of her aunty to pay her school fees pushed her into a life of economic independence and entrepreneurial life at the very young age of 9, when she would go into the bushes in those days to pick ripe pawpaw fruits, wash and hawk them by the road side.
From Aponmu in Ondo State to Ososo in Edo State to Lagos, from her aunties even to her own parents, the story was the same: “Do not go to school because we can’t afford it”. But sheer perseverance and determination would not allow her take this advice, and the same would ultimately see her through.
Chapter 1 is based on Nigeria’s business mogul Aliko Dangote’s life philosophy, something that no doubt propelled the man into the colossus that he is in business today. She insists that to succeed, especially in business, one must imbibe the philosophy that ‘Enjoyment and money Making… don’t work together. You must choose one, and follow that one aggressively. You must reach a point before you start that enjoyment..’
She explains how a conscious decision can propel one to great success, insisting that even though one may not be blamed for the circumstances of one’s birth, whether one was born rich or poor one can certainly be blamed for how he ends.
If you want to be successful, suspend sensual gratification and work very hard at it, understand also that failure is very possible. You can fail as many times as possible, but never give in to self-defeat. Rise up as many times as you fall.
Life is a matter of choices she writes. Some choices we regret, others we’re proud of; some will haunt us forever, others we will relish forever. And even though every choice we make, makes us, one must never let anything take his happiness away. This, she insists is true perfection.
Writing about making the right decisions and understanding that life is like a canvas and we are all Picassos, she says what matters in creating the perfect picture is choosing the right and matching colours.
She spoke about apprenticeship and the need to seek experience, especially in the face of Nigeria’s 6-3-3-4 educational system, a system she believes trains without adequately preparing students for challenges beyond book knowledge.
About depression she explains that the condition is perfectly treatable, and as a matter of fact it is ‘a dark night of the soul’, following which there would come a ‘time of rebirth’. She however advised that avoiding societal gratification is the surest way to escape chances of depression. She mentioned a few of Nigeria’s biggest celebrities who once suffered depression, but got better, insisting that the condition is not invincible.
She also touched on the age-long mantra, which says, ‘readers are leaders’, explaining that when we read books, we connect personally with the lessons therein and feel them make an impact in our lives; and that she calls growth.
She emphasizes destructive effects of social media and how to avoid falling victim, and then went on to write about dreaming big dreams. She insisted that having a dream and working to actualize it… never giving up and making a living out of it should be the focus of the one who wants to ‘Become A Boss Faster Than You Think’ .
Then in drawing the work to a close, she warns that it would be difficult to become a boss if you kept wrong company. She believes inferiority complex, lack of proper initiative, habitual timidity, covetousness, etc., are all fertile grounds upon which the longings for the wrong associations are deeply rooted, something one much guard against.
Finally, she urged the reader to be desperate for the right things, concluding the book with a prayer to God in the following words;
‘Dear Lord, fill my empty with your plenty; remind me constantly that when I abide in you there is always an overflow.
‘Dear Lord, fill my empty with your plenty; remind me constantly that when I abide in you there is always an overflow.Tweet
This work is most definitely a must read for anyone who wants to reach the top in his chosen field.