About a year ago, I was asked to speak to a group of young people at Mzumbe, Morogoro. Below is the script!
My little brother who’s just seven has a very inspiring life—I mean if you look at it with inspired eyes. So one morning I call him, “Ebenezer… come here” and he comes. I give him some money and send him to the shop to get me a something, anything. He has been watching some super hero movies and cartoons, and he admires them, he wants to be them. He has been watching, BEN 1O, Spider man, Superman, Fantastic four, yes—and he thinks he can carry anything heavy or even run as fast as any of them. So when I give him the money—in fact I don’t give him the money, he grabs it from my hand and he, he’s like “Now see Spiderman…Spiderman goo…” then he runs, jumps, skipping stairs and yelling, thinking he could probably become a superhero someday. And I know that’s crazy, but one thing that’s certain is that my little brother is not abnormal; just to mean, every kid, even at our young ages, if we were exposed to any of these characters, we so believed we could become as great as they are. Or at times we wished to be somebody else big, and never cared about anything so called reality. Sometimes in the little role games we played with friends, we wanted to be the big people and the strong characters, the police, the rich guy or the star who never dies. Whenever we wanted to know something, we struggled to know it, and we never stopped until we did. We tried everything to see what happens next, in that we broke stuff and messed them and never cared. We asked same questions to adults who kept shunning us sometimes, but we still did.
What I’m saying is we had an attitude to life that said “I can achieve it no matter what, I deserve to be great!” In one word we had conquered FEAR! Now, this attitude manifested at the very childhood, is a firsthand proof that we are more naturally bold and ambitious than we are fearful in this relevance. We are not fearful in nature, we learn to be fearful. You see life is a playground; we all know that when we are kids, but forget it somewhere in life because as we grow up, we face life challenges and decide to call them obstacles. We think we have become more matured than kids and that we know reality more than we did years ago. In fact “Childish” has been a synonym for “unrealistic”. But the sad thing is that, the more we think we know of reality, the less we know of truth. The more we think we can’t do this or that, whenever we set limits—in fact we even have ridiculous statements like, “The sky is the limit” while we have foot prints in on the moon. Whenever we say it’s impossible, we narrow our possibilities and we doom ourselves to achieving less. And so Nigeria’s first president Nnamdi Azikiwe was right to say, “There is plenty of room at the top because very few people care to travel beyond the average route. And so most of us seem satisfied to remain within the confines of mediocrity.”
And if you ask me, it’s all because of FEAR! The four letter word, “False Evidence Appears Real”. People fear that what they dream might not happen, or it might cost them a lifetime to achieve. It’s the risk that people can’t dare. It’s the so called maturity that makes people lose the human fearless nature of childhood to the mediocrity of reality. And even right now you might be thinking that this is simply motivational and it can’t be true, but trust me there’s not a better explanation for that, than FEAR. And you see, the fact in life that I so much love is that, only those who remain kids their whole lives are the ones who shake the world, are the ones who make headlines in the world. It’s only those who grow in their reality while dreaming like they were born dreaming, the thinking of a kid. Look at people like Nelson Mandela, Aliko Dangote, Reginald Mengi, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffet, Ralph Lauren, Myles Munroe, Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr; if you get down to their stories, all these people never stopped to think like kids. They dreamt fantasies like kids, and like adults they worked them to reality. They didn’t accept reality, they made their own reality, they took risks, they didn’t fear.
It is my contention that we stop living out of nature. That we should never grow from being kids and that we become more natural, which means more fearless. We should become like kids and reach for Mars, so that if we fall, we at least fall on the skies of earth!
And before I go, I want to leave you with this quote of mine—and I want you to meditate on it and to let it inspire you in your dreaming and planning. It says,
Don’t fear to dream fantasies, they are the only kind of dreams people ever give much attention!