On the 3rd of November 2018, I took a journey that was to be the most remarkable thing to happen to me in 2018. I had gotten a job with a firm and was required to take a course at their learning centre in Abu Dhabi. After the general class which lasted one week with over 90 participants from the world over, I started the class particular to my job description. Along with 16 other participants, I underwent the next 7 weeks building the most remarkable of memories. We started out as total strangers from different cultures, backgrounds and educational qualifications and became family in a little over five weeks.
Studying within that framework opened my eyes to certain keys that matter in becoming a better person. Here are four of them:
You are enough
When we take on new challenges, we often assess ourselves and our backgrounds and our failings and begin to think we are not good enough. But we are. Really. We are smart enough, intelligent enough, beautiful enough and good enough. Here I was, in a class with people of different backgrounds, mostly international. My two degrees had been in Nigeria with all its educational flaws. I was also the only African in the group. And yet, I was incredibly successful in the classes, made friends easily and was able to finish well.
Nigeria’s problems are not Nigeria’s alone
There are many problems in this country that are uniquely ours: power instability and security to mention two. But the majority of our problems are common to most other countries. I spoke of corruption and my Russian friends tell me they are worse (except that their corruption allows them 24/7 power). I complained about nepotism and my Azerbaijani friends tell me of how power has been held by a particular family for decades. Then I whined about tribalism and my US friend told me about growing up black. The thing is that the problems of our country are not uniquely ours. We only have to rise above them to build a better nation. Our country is terrible in many things but it is also good in others. Let’s focus on the good.
Do one thing at a time
This looks like a no-brainer right? It is not. I like languages especially international ones. In my class, people spoke Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Tamil, Bahasa, Russian and Azeri. I wanted to learn them all, except I did not. I did not focus on one to learn it well. Instead, I ended up picking passing phrases from the different languages. If you want to get something done, your chances improve significantly if you focus on one thing at a time and if you do that one thing as best as you can.
Your leader is everything
Our class was united in many ways simply because of the instructor we had: beautiful, charming Indonesian lady. She made us collaborate with each other, study together and helped us value teamwork. In many sense, she helped us to become a single unit. The kind of leaders that you have determines the performance of the team. This is true of a team and it is true of a country. I was impressed by the history of the UAE and how one man, Sheikh Zayed, made the shift in the economy from Oil to tourism and transformed the nation. One person can be a force for good anytime. And leadership always starts with taking responsibility. So be responsible for something.
You see, in the end, we have to become better every day. Every single day. Set goals, achieve them, set higher goals, take on them too. In your career, your personal life, your family, your health and your finances, make sure that things keep moving forward.
2018 was a great year, here is to a better 2019.
This first appeared on the writer’s Facebook page. | Follow @inquizimedia on Facebook and Twitter
You are reading inquizimedia.com, the nexus of Politics, Tech and Culture