Welcome to #InspireAfricaProject! If what you’re doing presently does not put positive pressure on you, kindly look for another profession. The champion in you will never emerge until pressure pay you a special visit. Pressure is your friend, not your enemy. Pressure is a special coach whose job is to push us to the limit so that the greatness in us will manifest.
In case you don’t know, it takes pressure to unleash the treasures that are crying for expressing on the inside of you. If you are one of those who usually dodge big responsibilities, you will never grow. The more you accept big tasks, the more you develop yourself.
As a speaker, I discovered that the more I accept challenging invitations, the more I develop myself to speak better. One challenging speaking engagement I accepted few years ago gave me over five years experience in the business. Your treasure will remain untapped until you put pressure on yourself.
A young bank executives shared the following. “one of the other executives in our bank left us with very short notice. This put our department on the spot. The fellow leaving had filled an important job, and his work couldn’t be postponed or left undone.
The day after he left, the Vice President in charge of my department called me in. He explained to me that he had already talked individually to the two others in my group, asking them if they could divide the work of the man who had just left until a replacement could be found. Neither of them flatly refused, said the president, but each stated that he is up to his neck now with his own pressing work. I’m wondering if you could handle some of the overload temporarily?
Throughout my working career, I’ve learned that it never pays to turn down what looks like an opportunity. So I agreed and promised to do my very best to handle all the vacated job as well as keep up with my own work. The Vice President was pleased at this.
I walked out of his office knowing I had taken on a big job. I was just as busy as the two others in my department who had wiggled out of this extra duty. But I was determined to find a way to handle both jobs. I finished up my work that afternoon, and when the offices were closed, I sat down to figure out how I could increase my personal efficiency.
I got a pencil and started writing down every idea I could think of. And you know what, I came up with some good ones: like working out an arrangement with my secretary to channel all routine telephone calls to me during a certain hour each day, placing all outgoing calls during a certain hour, cutting my usual conference periods from fifteen minutes to ten, giving all my dictation at one time each day. I also discovered my secretary could- and was eager to take over a number of little time-consuming details for me.
I had been handling my present job for over two years, and frankly, I was amazed to discover how much inefficiency I had let creep in. Within a week’s time, I was dictating twice as many letters, handling fifty percent more calls, attending half again as many meetings, all with no strain.
A couple more weeks passed. The Vice President called me in. He complimented me on doing a fine job. He went on to say that he had looked over a number of people from both inside and outside the bank but he had not yet found the right man. Then he confessed the he had already cleared with the bank’s executive committee, and they had authorized him to combine the two jobs, put them both in my charge, and give me a substantial increase in salary.
The young bank executives went on to say, “I proved to myself that how much I can do depends on how much I think I can do.” Every day, it seems, this takes place in the fast-moving world of business. The boss calls in an employee and explains that a special task must be accomplished. Then He says, “I know you’ve got a lot of work to do, but can you handle this?”
Too often the employee replies, “I’m awfully sorry, but I’m all loaded down now. I wish I could take it on, but I’m just too busy.” Under the circumstances, the boss doesn’t hold it against the employee, because it is “extra duty,” so to speak. But the boss realizes the task must be done, and he’ll keep looking until he finds an employee who is just as busy as the rest but who feels he can take on more. And this employee is the fellow who will forge ahead.
If you want to stand out in life, you must accept every opportunity to do more even if it is a big task. It is a compliment to be asked to take on a new responsibility. Accepting greater responsibility makes you stand out and shows that you’re more valuable. When your neighbors ask you to go and represent them somewhere, accept it. It helps you to become a community leader.
The easiest way to deal with tasking assignments or jobs is to ask yourself how you can do more. Creative answers will come. Some of these answers may be better planning and organization of your present assignment or taking intelligent shortcuts in your daily routine, or possibly dropping unimportant activities altogether. But you must understand that the solution to do more will come if you accept the challenge.
I strongly believe that one of the major challenges most Africans face is the habit of running away from anything that will make us feel uncomfortable. We love to live a simple and pressure free life. That’s is why we dance in every occasion, including funeral ceremonies. We love the comfort zone. We love the status quo even when the quo has left the status. Some of us are not daring.
No wonder we are raising mediocre leaders. Our leaders come from us, they won’t fall from heaven. We produce who we are. That’s why governors in our clime are still talking about building roads, providing transformers and building boreholes when the world is talking about building apartments in the moon.
From my interaction with people whose businesses are not thriving as they anticipated, I discovered that the number one demon in Africa is the feeling of helplessness, and our inability to take big risks. Little challenge disorganizes people in our clime. No wonder seers and magicians are everywhere. Because the people who run away from pressure will definitely look for ways to circumvent it. And the only way is to meet someone who will pray the pressure away. We need reorientation!
J. Cole said that, “I put a lot of pressure on myself. I think something is not good enough, and I won’t stop until I feel like I’ve made it. I’m never satisfied.” Peter Marshall opined, “When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.” Earl Wilson puts it this way, “One way to get high blood pressure is to go mountain climbing over molehill.” Kobe Bryant, the famous basketball player said, “Everything negative- pressure, challenges- is an opportunity for me to rise.” Wisdom is profitable to direct!
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