While arranging all the books strewed all over my wardrobe, I came across an old exercise book; ‘Beyond the Walls of the University’ was boldly written on it, in my unclear handwriting. Without much enthusiasm, I flipped through the creased pages of the book but halted on a particular page where I had written in capital letters ‘I WILL BE A MULTIMILLIONAIRE WHEN I AM THIRTY.’ Beneath those words, I had written in bold letters that I would employ 50,000 staff. 50,000 staff! I looked at the sheet for a while before I laughed mockingly at the naiveness of the hand that had written those words. I am only a year from thirty, yet, I cannot boast of any stable employment not to talk of employing 50,000 people at the age of thirty. I laughed again at the grandiosity of an unrealistic dream I had ten years ago.
What courage did I have that made me write those words unassumingly? I questioned myself. Then I remembered, I was just nineteen when I wrote down those words. I must have believed that money was very easy to make. Besides, I had convincingly written those words under the influence of a ‘sugar-coated’ motivational speaker at a programme called ‘Beyond the Walls of University’ Which I attended while I was in my first year at the University of Lagos.
I recalled vividly that in the course of the programme, one of the speakers, a short and stout man, displayed a picture of a grave yard using a projector before he told members of the audience how the grave yard was the wealthiest place on earth in light of the fact that in a grave yard there are diverse dead potentials that were never actualized. He bounced back and forth the dais of the seminar room as he said in a boisterous voice that everyone in that room was a potential millionaire. I recollected how I grinned from a happy heart since I believed his words. He also listed out few business ideas to explore to become rich which I wrote down thinking they were quite easy to accomplish. Moreover, I thought that I had a great deal of time ahead of me to accomplish them. I thought the future was far. Tragically, it arrived so quickly and I am only a year from that age I am supposed to be a multimillionaire. Indignantly, I put the book away. However, on a second thought, I picked up the book and critically examined all the business ideas I had written down, then I asked myself ‘what exactly had I done toward achieving the goal of becoming a multimillionaire at the age of thirty?’ It obviously looked like a grandiose dream, but I hadn’t made any attempt to execute any of the business ideas. Yes, I don’t have the huge capital required to start-up a real estate business, one of the business I had listed out, but what other business idea have I attempted?
From that moment, I realised that the problem was not with the motivational speaker, the problem was with me. I looked at the page again, detached it from the book and glued it on the wardrobe facing my bed with the aim that I would wake up to see it consistently. I put it there for two reasons, one was to remind me that the future is closer than I could ever imagine. Although I had written the statement ten years ago, those years had flown by! The second reason was to remind me that my impressive dream would stay unfulfilled with no exertion on my part.
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