Motivation to Success: 1 Outlier’s Perspective

“A revolution cannot be improvised but is prepared for.” 

Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Harvey, Oprah Winfrey, Amina of Zaria (Warrior Queen), Les Brown, Aliko Dangote, Abdussamad Rabiu BUA, Mike Adenuga, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, Okocha, Ahmed Musa, etc. I am sure, reading these names, you might wonder, if not conclude, that something exciting or weird must be going on here. Listing famous people randomly as such. I agree; if I read a piece of writing that starts with random dates or names, I probably would opt out for something better. But I happen to be a curious person, which I reckon you are as well. Otherwise, why read while you can lay on your bed aimlessly. “Curiosity kills the cat,” they say, I propose “curiosity enhances the cat”. Because it’s all a matter of perspectives and depth. Your belief or thought directs and controls your actions. 

Regardless of your situation, the up directs the down. That is, your thought and beliefs control how you act. You may rightfully object to my conclusion, saying something like this, “but sometimes I do things that I don’t believe or never thought of doing”. To this, I would never object. Because awareness is of three levels. Ranging from fully aware, somewhat aware, and not aware. To use the psychological terminologies, awareness consists of conscious, subconscious, and unconscious levels. Deep down, I believe our actions are somewhat in parallel with one of our awareness levels. Exploring and discovering our motives that guide our actions mark the beginning of self-awareness. But let’s keep self-awareness aside for now.

So what could be said about the names? To probe this question, I would like to introduce and define a word that I think to unite them all, the outlier. An “Out-li-er” is something that is situated away from or classed differently from a main or related body; a person or thing that is atypical within a particular class, group, or category; in statistics, it’s a statistical observation that is markedly different in value from the others of the sample. Let’s clarify the meaning. To be an outlier, you have to be outside the threshold of a standard value, which is an average of something. For example, Nigerians who attend university on average have a good command of English. So, if you are a Nigerian who attended a university and have no good command of English, you can be referred to as an outlier. Another example would be, a person of poor financial background, mounting to the top, hence differing from equals, can be considered an outlier. As seen, an outlier can be both positive and negative.

Needless to say, the type of outlier reviewed here is the latter. What unites all the mentioned names is that they are all outliers of different categories. They are the sort of people who, in addition to luck, were able to harness advantages or disadvantages in some cases to passion and success. Outlier is a word used here to refer to the success mindset successful people adopted. A kind that is possible for others to use, to have a similar mindset. So, what made them outliers? Looking at the names, the image of success is probably what would come to your mind, not the struggle. However, those who mount from nothing to something were continuously downgraded, disgraced, embarrassed, told they didn’t have it in them to be someone. Fortunately, it’s these kinds of people that are telling us what they were told, not the other way around. It’s not their teachers, mentors, parents, or friends that are proud to have guessed rightly. They tried hard to extinguish the motivation of young people by pointing fingers at something they wanted but weren’t ready yet. They ridicule them, belittle them and their dreams, make fun of them. All because they weren’t someone but wanted to be someone.

Satisfyingly, for some, their ridicule is a source of energy and focus. The more you make fun of them, the more they have it in them to focus on their passion for proving you wrong. Because people’s words have an impact only when you let them. It’s all a matter of perspective, we said. Do you have a quality people consider to be a disadvantage? If yes, think again, deep down, do you desire to be someone? If yes, I have something for you. Practice success imagination and failure imagination. Visualize yourself as someone you aspired to be, the kind of life you and your family would have, the good impact you would have on others, and most importantly, the way you would feel about yourself. Now envision the opposite. I am sure you would lean to the first. But mind you, “no pain, no gain”. 

Regardless of the challenging circumstances, Elon Musk, Oprah, Steve, Ronaldo, Messi, Ahmed Musa, Les Brown, Amina, etc., had it in them to be someone. They harnessed their disadvantages to advantages. They strived and worked hard to be where they were. Elon was an expatriate in America, studying with almost no sustainable financial support. Steve Harvey used to stutter when he aspired to be a radio broadcaster. Oprah was molested and exploited. Footballers trained endlessly. Les brown’s day and night intertwined in pursuit of success. Because he was repeatedly told, he couldn’t make it. Are these people icons? I think they are, and they made it because they are passionate enough to endure the process. Are you passionate enough to endure? Do you have it in you to be someone? Are you aware of your potentials? What directs and controls your actions? Is it the first class you want? Is it confidence in public speaking? Do you want to be a businessman or a businesswoman? What is it? Narrow that down. It’s that simple, but never as said. The beginning, but never the end. It’s the foundation. Hence its strength is focal. 

Success is of various routes. So, let’s not use someone’s route as an excuse for our inaction. For others like Dangote, Bill Gates, Zuckerberg, etc., were somewhat more advantageous. Their background and environment were resourceful. But that wasn’t all. They had the zeal and passion for being someone. They harnessed their advantages to greatness. Else, we would have had many of them. Bringing excuses is the easiest way out. A strategy for simpletons. We don’t hear about excusers’ success stories. Because they don’t exist! And when you don’t have it in you to be, being would be mere wishful thinking. Shakespeare puts it perfectly, “to be, or not to be, that is the question”. So, do you have it in you to be? Are you ready to harness your advantage to greatness? Get out of your comfort zone and show the world what you got, that you are powerful beyond measure. For “We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Let your light of aspiration inspire.