Equipped for Success – A Thinkpiece
“We have been equipped for everything that we have need of in this journey of life, but we need to discover the toolkit that we have been equipped with” - Uwem Umana
I would like to talk about how we are equipped for life's journey using the duck and other animals for illustrative purposes. One of the birds that have always fascinated me is the duck. The duck is a very special type of bird that is equipped for life on the land, pond and lake. The duck has the capacity to do very well in both environments. Looking at the physical property of the duck one cannot fail to notice the webbed feet, the wings, and the beak. It is interesting to notice that the duck can fly and very gracious in flight. I have always enjoyed watching a swarm of ducks land on the lake. It looks like an airplane landing on a runway. The duck can also swim very nicely and survive underwater. The duck can put its face inside the water for a lengthy period. The duck can also graze on grassland. These properties of the duck have always fascinated me and made me to realize that we have all been equally equipped for life's journey just like the duck has been.
If we were to look at other animals like the leopard. After killing its prey, the leopard takes the prey up the tree to eat its meal there. The leopard has been equipped with the ability and capability to drag its prey up the tree and settle nicely to enjoy the meal. If the leopard were to stay on the ground to enjoy its meal, other predators like the lion, tiger, hyenas would probably come to distract its attention and want to share the meal with the leopard. But the Creator had equipped the leopard with that ability to drag the prey up the tree. Now the leopard understands this capability and utilizes this capability very well to adapt to its environment.
The giraffe is another animal specifically designed in an incredibly unique way. It is an animal that has a very long neck and very long legs. The legs are very powerful, so if the giraffe gives you a kick you would feel the impact heavily. The giraffe also has the long neck that it uses to stretch forth and pluck leaves from trees to eat. That is how the giraffe was designed. You will never see the giraffe wanting to or pretending to be a lion, jaguar or leopard or elephant. The cheetah was designed for speed. It can hunt its prey at very terrific speed. It can also escape from predators by lightning speed. In fact, cheetahs have been recorded to travel with speeds reaching up to 75 kilometers per hour. The eagle has very powerful eyesight and very powerful claws. The eagle has also been equipped with powerful wings that spans about 14 feet. With these powerful wings, the eagle can lift its prey to very high heights where it can sit nicely and comfortably while feasting on its meal. From a very high altitude, the eagle can sight its prey and make such an accurate dive with near 100% precision all the time to capture its prey and take it up to this height for enjoyment.
Why am I sharing all these?
It is to make us understand that just like these animals have been created and equipped for their sojourn here on earth so have we as humans been equipped also for our sojourn here on earth. You will never see these animals trying to impersonate animals whose functions they have not been equipped to carry out. This is why they utilize their toolkit to survive nicely. You can never see a fish out of water wanting to be a land creature. You can never see a land creature wanting to be a bird. In the case of the human beings, we find out that majority of us on earth have not yet understood or discovered our toolkit, talk less of mastering our toolkit and utilizing them effectively to live life and overcome life’s challenges. Often, you find out that humans do trial and error, trying out one thing or the other and accidentally bumping into the correct thing or accidentally striking success. The first and most important thing for us to do as humans when we are born is to discover ourselves – our toolkit and then develop these toolkits. The next most important question is how do we do this?
It will take a very liberal approach to be able to identify our strengths, talents, and our skills for us to be able to develop them. There are some people that are just very nice people in life. They smile very effortlessly, they warm up to people very effortlessly, people feel very comfortable around them and it's just very natural with them. These people always end up doing very well in jobs and occupations that involve interpersonal relationships and people skills. Because at the end of the day, they utilize that natural strength that they have, and do very well in it. Jobs that have to do with serving people and having an excellent relationship with people to succeed are the ‘in thing’ for these sorts of people. They excel at these customers and people-oriented careers.
We also find out that there are some people who are very good with their hands. Right from when they were born, they spend a lot of their time either dismantling toys and trying to re assemble the toys and always trying to investigate how things work, trying to build things, etc. These people always end up being engineers or technicians and they are always very good with building/fixing and repairing things.
This is where it all starts from - childhood, allowing children to develop naturally and not trying to hinder them in whatever they are trying to do if they are safe, healthy and whatever they are doing does not cause a nuisance to other people. I think it is imperative to allow them to be expressive and themselves. That is why it is important to always encourage children to play, use toys, Legos to build things, role play, problem solve, use creativity, do logic, art, music, and physical exercises. Through these we can discover the skills, the strengths, talents that these children are endued with. By the time, they get to secondary school, it is important to allow them to choose their own subjects based on personal preferences, talents, and strengths. When they are being forced to make choices that they do not enjoy, it always ends up being counterproductive. Even when they get to college and University, it is also important to allow them to choose courses, careers, pathways that they feel most comfortable with, confident with and adventurous with. This way their passion will be sustained, and they will also be able to enjoy whatever they do, making it a win-win for them. I am not saying that they should not be counseled, they should not be given advice, no not at all. After all, whatever course, and choices they make, they must be able to put food on the table and pay bills and if what they choose to do does not put food on the table for them, we would be doing them a great disservice by not giving them the right advice.
In conclusion we have all been equipped for life's journey. It is our responsibility to discover our skills, talents, and strengths. It is also our responsibility to develop these skills, talents, and strengths to maximize productivity. It is also our responsibility to make sure that we immerse ourselves in the right environment that will help us to flourish and nurture our strengths, skills, and talents. This way we will succeed in life. This way we would have known our toolkit and adapt these toolkits to live life day to day.
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Uwem Mbot Umana is the Founder and Author of EnrichYourMind, a UK-based content writing, consulting, mentorship, and training web outreach.