I went for my usual 10k run the other day and about 1k into the run, I saw a runner about 10 metres from me running at good pace. I suddenly found myself running at a fast pace determined to maintain the distance between myself and the runner in front of me.
When I was beginning to think I was going too fast too soon, she had disappeared at a bend and as you would expect, I picked up speed. As I emerged from the bend, I met the runner walking back towards me. I occurred to me just then that we were running different races.
This was about 3.5k into my run and I had not attained half point, yet I was feeling tired. I spent the next minutes trying to shake off the negative thoughts building up in my heart. What helped me was the question I asked.
I asked myself, what lessons can I learn as an individual and as a nation-builder from this incident?
Each person is running their own race, find yours: This is the obvious lesson but it doesn’t stop us from falling for it again and again. This is because it is so easy to translate the inspiration we get from others beside or ahead of us, into duplication.
But we must focus on our own race as individuals and we must also focus on our own race as a nation.
A well-researched plan is essential: To achieve the focus we’ve just talked about, it is critical for us to have a well-researched plan. It is this plan that will sound the alarm bells when we go off the plan, and it will also show where to plug back in when we get back in line.
Nation-builders must have plans for personal, spiritual and national development. Subsequently, we will have citizens in government who will commission proper research to develop a development plan with realistic targets for the short, medium and long term.
When you discover you’re moving too fast, slow down: But even with the best plan, we can get carried away as we stated in the first point. When this occurs, we must slow down and when the negative emotions come, we should accept we got it wrong but we must also get back on the plan.
Most times the plan will suggest we slow down and on the rare occasion, we may have to stop or even step up. The plan is critical to provide a guide.
Observe others and take what you can learn from them: It must be said that there is much we can learn from others. We can learn better processes, better techniques, better policies, better attitudes, etc. These lessons will contribute significantly to the research and implementation phases of our plan.
As much as it is critical for us as a nation to develop our plan that seeks our own solutions, there is so much as can learn from nations ahead of us.
Observing others brings out more from us: It is amazing to note that this run was one of my fastest due to the quick start. This highlights the fact that observing others can bring out more from us than we ever knew existed.
When we copy the ingredients for the success of others, we are likely to achieve success much quicker. For this reason, I believe Nigeria can attain a developed nation status in a shorter time than it took Western nations
What other lesson could we learn from this discourse?