Motivation Today - Tunde Alabi-Hundeyin II blog

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?


Raw rice is of no use to the stomach if it’s not boiled. Bricks are useless until they’re cemented together and arranged to form a definite structure. Much is the same for a man who doesn’t transform himself from the state into which formal education might have moulded him. You are like gold extracted from the earth, conditioned by the soil composition and other elements. Formal education is like the soil composition. If you fail to improve upon your formal education, you will be of little use to yourself, your family and the society.

Self-development matters
Personal development is achieved through a deliberate effort, commitment and determination to improve one’s intellect, personality and drive for success. It’s an exercise geared towards improving human capital, self worth and employability. As gold in its raw state is refined to bring out its worth, so does everyone need to constantly engage in self development. Formal education cannot wholly transform a man; it only provides a platform for equipping him with basic knowledge in language, arts, science or whatever field of endeavour he might choose. Beyond these basics, however, personal development brings self refinement for success, excellence and personal worth. Personal development can be summarised as capacity building measures taken to improve one’s knowledge, skills and attitude.

Information as intellectual capital
Knowledge is a resource. It is an asset used to create money. Gone are the days agriculture and industry were the mainstay of the global economy. The contemporary world thrives on information – intellectual capital. Teams, groups, small and medium-scale organisations and corporations succeed through the collective working of the minds of their people. That’s the substance which employers search for during job interviews. They want to know what you know – which every other person on the street doesn’t know. Knowledge is, however, progressive. You therefore need to constantly empty your purse into your head in an effort to update your information bank. Keep gathering current information suitable for your need, put some value on them and get pecuniary values in return. Buy and read books, journals, newspapers and magazines. Enrol for courses, browse the internet for relevant information, ask questions, for questions are keys to knowledge. Besides, engage like minds in your area(s) of interest. Find information wherever it may be.


The skilful edge
Develop your skills too. Knowledge is not enough. Skill is the difference between an expert and a novice. Distinguish yourself from the crowd through deploying excellent skills. But you must first develop those talents into skills. Talent is in-born, skill is developed talent. Talent is the raw material for skill; skill is the raw material for wealth. Some skills are polished by education, others are developed by practice. Usually, practice, practice, practice is the key to skill development. The world number one golfer, Tiger Woods, is said to have begun practising with his dad at age 4! Practice is the secret of the best entertainers, sportsmen/women, writers and so on.

From self-discovery to self-development
The truth is that jobs are available (though limited) in Nigeria, but skilled people are scarce. The majority of the skilled people escape to developed nations for better opportunities, thereby contributing to the brain drain in the country. No one is ready to contribute in the arduous task of personal and national development. Without personal development, however, national development will continue to be a mirage. This therefore puts the responsibility of development on all of us. Charles Schwab captures this truth when he said, ‘Everyone thinks of changing the world but no one thinks about changing himself.’ National development is the culmination of personal development. Skill development is impossible without self discovery – the discovery of one’s core competencies. What do you enjoy doing most of the time? What would you like to do without being paid? What captures your interest? What do people usually commend you for doing? These questions will show you the way to your in-born talent/passion/skill.

Attitude is it!
Improve your attitude. An attitude is like a car tyre. Having a tyre burst in motion can change a car’s direction, cause damage and even terminate the driver’s life. Attitudes are personality enhancers. They’re the substance of your behaviour and determine how you respond to the issues which confront you. Lou Holtz said, ‘Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it.’ Attitude determines whether people call you good or bad. Develop an attitude of integrity, excellence, resilience, morality, godliness, gratitude, positivism and so on. You can better yourself and be the person people would like to do business with when you improve your attitude.

More than spare time
So what do you do in your spare time? Do you gist, watch TV, visit friends, browse the net, read, build relationships, hone your skills, think or study? What you do in your spare time determines whether you’re engaging in personal development or not. The point here is not that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Rather, the point is that opportunities for personal development will come regularly during your spare time. Your passion will never leave you (except you let it) even in your spare time and you’ll usually find yourself gravitating towards developing it better at such times, especially if you are a student or you have a job which takes a chunk of your time. Self development is an hourly, daily and a lifetime adventure. It should never stop because the paradigms of the world keep advancing. Keep in step. Find time to develop yourself; find your voice and be the best!

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