Happy New Year!
It’s 2015, fresh, a clean slate, never experienced before. Whether you entered the New Year in a religious mode, or at home sleeping, in a bar emptying bottles, in a park (or street) shooting or watching fireworks, or anything else, welcome to 2015.
One year ends as another begins. The year 2014 was a good one for me. I had reasons to be thankful all through the year. I think we would all imbibe the habit of gratitude when we realise that nobody owes us anything; not even God.
I sat down with my notebook, and began reviewing my 2014, jotting down as I remembered the events of the year. Here’s a look at my 2014:
The year 2014 was a huge learning opportunity for me. For one, I became better as a team player. I had been involved in many teams before this time, but all consisted of members who already knew themselves. Now I was in a team whose members had volunteered to join, and had to start getting to know themselves.
2014 taught me how to start a new idea from scratch. As my department’s chief editor charged with creating a team to run the editorial unit, I learnt communication skills that allowed me to clearly elucidate the new vision to team members, other students and staff members.
I added two software applications to my knowledge set—SPSS & Microsoft Project—and became better at the ones I already knew. Different situations led me to learning both applications, and I was able to make some money from the new knowledge. Not bad I think, for a new learner.
I learnt a bit of how to handle little kids. Three months of 2014 were spent with a family that has a four-year-old child. It was quite an experience.
Looking back at 2014, I am definite that my ability to lead has improved. In 2009 I began a policy to discard leadership by position and coercion (in whatever form), which I was used to, for a new policy of leadership by influence. Thanks to John C. Maxwell and others, whose books made me see the need for a paradigm change. 2014 continued that policy, and I am glad at the huge improvement so far.
I was offered leadership roles in different organisations, and in retrospect, I did a good job. My head got swollen the day a classmate approached a lecturer to ask for permission to join my group for a term paper, despite the fact that the group’s maximum number had been reached. He had been in my group for a term paper in a different course, and felt he had to join me on this one. The lecturer approved his request, and I was sure proud of myself.
My last undergraduate semester was in 2014, and as is the custom, dinners are held and awards are given by different organisations. My classmates looked at my contributions to the class, and all they had seen me do from our 100 Level days, and voted me as the “Most Talented Student”. At last, there was an official recognition for the class’ “Mr. Fix It”.
At my Christian fellowship (yeah! I was active everywhere), fellow finalists (final year brethren) nominated me for a slew of awards, and I won two of them—“Most Influential Male” and “FYB of the Year”.
Beyond awards, people knew I was an asset with a pretty wide knowledge base, so I was contacted to offer assistance or advice for various tasks where I appeared to know a bit more than the average person.
As a final year student, some persons assume you have gained so much knowledge, and some erroneously assume that your final year project must have put you in a pool of money. I became a de facto counsellor, and I was always willing to offer advice, and help people see things right, especially when they were heading on a wrong path. Since people assumed I was Google, and I could not fail them, I learnt to contact other persons whom I knew had more knowledge and experience in specific fields, so I became a conduit for advice (just like Google).
Giving back is something I am always willing to do. My time was appropriated from me so many times. Willingly, I gave my time, though I had to schedule things wisely so I did not neglect other important things. I appreciated the good financial privilege I enjoyed, and so, whenever someone contacted me for financial assistance, I gave what I could. When I did not have free cash, I tried to contact people whom I knew likely had some extra and asked them to offer the assistance.
These ones are “randoms” because I am at a loss as to how to categorise them. My academic results were good. Better time management really proved its worth. I completed my undergraduate programme, and was present for the convocation ceremony. Throughout the year, I practically had extra cash. In biblical terms, my needs were met and I had extra to spare. I did lots of travelling and never had an accident. I slept while on the road, confident that no matter the driver, I could not have an accident. While at school, I did not receive any bad news from home. In fact, no bad news came throughout my undergraduate programme. Two of my siblings gained admission to reputable universities (Ife is still at the top). I bought a new laptop, with specifications that can run practically all available software programmes. This post is being typed on it. I started a personal blog, and continued my affinity for jotting at odd times. Finally, I have a family that loves me, friends that care, and a girlfriend that is sui generis.
- The Not-Too-Goods
I spent over an hour trying to remember personal bad events of 2014. Sincerely, I could only remember two. I had malaria thrice, and I got a C, some Bs and As in my final semester, instead of the straight As I expected.
Let me add one more. I almost got depressed when I wrote an internship test and was not called for an interview. I could not believe that I could flunk an aptitude test that my classmates passed. Luckily, it was an email mix up.
Here’s the end…
2014 was a great year for me. God was faithful. He kept me safely engraved in his palm. Thanks to everyone who made the year a good one. People, who were there whenever I called for help, people who could look into my eyes and call me to order. Miebaka.
2015 would be much more than 2014. I know it, I am fully persuaded of better things—a great year for me, for Nigeria and for the world.
If you succeeded in reading every word of this long post, I must specially thank you for accommodating my lengthy talk.
Have a fulfilled new year.