There is something people do that I find very interesting. I’m sure you’ve done it before. So you’re watching someone, maybe a sports person, and you say, “If it was me, I would have performed much better” or you see someone who has now become a celebrity and you say, “What’s the big deal about her. Is it not just to read lines? I can do it better.”
Back in uni, I used to be so addicted to watching America’s Next Top Model (ANTM). I never missed an episode. As much as I enjoyed the show, I also enjoyed criticizing the models. In fact, I became an unappointed judge. “Ordinary pose, this girl can’t pose. She should go home abeg.”
I would judge every performance like I had expert knowledge on what it takes to be a model. Then I was involved in a fashion show at the end of my first year in uni. That was when I realised modelling is not a piece of cake.
The whole process stressed me out; fitting the clothes, getting make up done, the noise backstage, having to deal with the fright of cat-walking in front of hundreds of people. It was a lot of work. Thankfully, I did well but after that day, I was less critical of the models on ANTM.
It’s easy to look at something someone does so effortlessly and you believe that it is simple to do. You will be shocked when you are given the opportunity to fill the person’s shoes. Don’t criticize what you don’t know or understand.
If you are a singer and there is someone with less talent than you (according to your opinion) who is achieving more success than you, don’t despise or belittle the person. Instead you should ask yourself, “What is this person doing differently?”
That is what I always ask myself when someone is getting results that I have been struggling to get. I find a way to get closer to that person just to learn from them. In the process of doing that, I have discovered that what comes off as easy on surface actually takes a lot work, time and planning.
You may feel that you are better than the person who stands in front of you to train you on a particular subject. You may believe that you can preach better than the person who mounts the pulpit every service day. In your opinion, you are much better than the most popular blogger in Nigeria. This is my question to you; if it is so simple and you can do much better, why are you not doing it?
Why aren’t you a bigger blogger than Linda Ikeji? Why aren’t you a pastor or the lead choir singer yet? Why isn’t your fashion brand bigger than Tiffany Amber’s?
The truth is that it is not as easy as you think and these people you feel you are better than are obviously doing something that you are not doing. Success is not about being the best at a particular skill or the most talented. The best people don’t always succeed. The most intelligent people often fail in life simply because there are other ingredients to add to the recipe of success.
Yes there is hard work and having the basic talent, but there is also grace, knowledge, the ability to spot opportunities when they come, divine connection and so on. There is also the fact that once it is a person’s season, there’s just nothing you can do about it. That person will shine whether or not they are the most talented.
A lot of people insult Kim Kardashian and they say she has no talent. I laugh when I hear those comments. While I don’t endorse everything she does, I do respect her business acumen. Agree with me or not, she knows her brand and she has monetized it very well. I mean, the lady just made $45 million from her game. I’ve learnt a lot from her in recent times.
As you plan to climb the ladder of success, learn from those who are ahead. You don’t need to like them (although it will be better if you do), just learn how they were able to get to the top. I’m not shy to walk up to anyone to ask them questions. I remember when I went for the Daystar Leaderhip Academy. As I sat down during one of the lectures, the thought crossed my mind to ask if I could meet the head of their social media team. It took some days because of the busy schedule but I was eventually taken to the person’s office and all I said was “I want to learn what you’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong.” I learnt so much that day which helped me to become better at what I do.
So next time you’re tempted to belittle someone’s effort or gift, remember they are already ahead while you are just on your way.