Most Likely to Succeed: The Pressure We Permit!
In most high schools, the award of Most Likely to Succeed is a big deal. In some other schools, you may not be given such an award; however, people — mostly your teachers — treat you and interact with you on the basis of being likely to succeed. Sometimes, having the best scores in class is their cue to ranking you as the most likely to succeed. They would make statements like, This one will turn out to be very successful in life. Sadly, they are just human beings who have, based on their experiences, misunderstood what success is. Also, they can’t see the next minute; hence, they are bad judges of what may become.
Unwittingly, and in good conscience, they tag you and mount a very subtle pressure on you — that may never come to life, until you are in your late twenties and your business ideas have generated enough money to get you an apartment on your father’s couch. Apparently, for people to demand that much of you or to rank you that highly, your life has been in the public sphere a bit. Nobody ranks a nobody as anything. This simply means, you have been scoring great grades, representing the school in competitions or have displayed extraordinary fits of intelligence; hence, the tags! All my life, I have always been a rebel. I hate tags! They could limit the scope of one’s horizon. As a result, I kick, bark and scratch at every one who comes with a broad smile, with a plan to tag me. Therefore, I live my life as I desire, yet not I (this is deep).
As a result of these tags, people begin to see themselves as failures if they don’t measure up to these expectations. People legit create these expectations without requesting for your input. In my society where the medical profession is assumed to be at the zenith of cash flow, people begin to call you doctor, just because you had 95 in integrated science. Shoot me! Funnily, they will never shut up about it. When they see you in church, Doctor; in school, Doctor; playing ball on the street, Doctor, go and read your book. Aaaaah! Lemme alone! If you are not properly helped, you end up believing that having enough money is equal to being successful — not completely true.
Dear Tagger, please stop! It is obvious that you do it in good conscience but let people become whatever they want to become, at their own pace. Life is so funny, and always ready to daze us, that it turns out, quite often, that those we may have ranked low, pull an underdog move on us. Let people understand that fulfilment is success. If I get fulfilment from being a writer, I am doing good! Once the fulfilment comes, the strength to generate money from my work will come. Every job is a successful one. Once you are working as you should, you are successful.
Dear Tagged, follow your dreams. Do not let the pressure of how people see you, hinder you from making the best decisions for yourself. You are not less of a success if you decide to go for what gives you complete fulfilment. Money can only satisfy you to the gates of fulfilment; doing what you love, leads you through the gate and gets you to the home of true satisfaction. Doing what you love stirs you towards hating mediocrity. It is just a matter of time before passion and hunger for fulfilment, kicks you off your father’s couch — if you are on that couch. You don’t want to turn eighty with a distaste for your life because of how you have danced to the rhythm of other’s songs but not to the rhythm of the songs you love.
Personally, my life is an example. I was in a primary school where my teachers thought I was going to go to one of the biggest secondary schools in my country by scholarship. They felt I was going to be a science genius because I passed math — although I hated it. Eventually I found myself in a public secondary school — that dwelt in the shadow of its past privateness…lmaooo — where they put me in a smart club called the Junior Electricians and Tech Society (or something like that). In all of this, I was built for the arts. My love for music was growing; my love for English was growing. I enjoyed thinking, reading (everything but New General Mathematics and Ababio), writing and speaking. I hated mathematics and chemistry — too abstract. I loved physics because it was easy to comprehend (it just required common sense and the ability to relate everything to the material universe). In all of this, I was doing good but not great and that was enough to camouflage the fact that I was not built for the sciences.
Four years ago, I made the greatest decision to unbuckle my science shoes and completely follow the arts. It has been painful and hard. However, I am glad that I get fulfilment from composing my own musical pieces — a satisfaction that supersedes the toe-curling and eye-rolling one. I wish I had made the decision years earlier but it is better late than not-in-this-life.
I urge you. We can all be successful but we cannot all be equally rich. Chase success; chase fulfilment.