How To Waste Your Life (Part 3)

Read part 1 and part 2 also.

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Do you have any skill?

I don’t mean Microsoft Office. That’s not a real skill. Advanced Microsoft Excel Automation is a skill.

So, do you have a skill?

Is there anything you can do right now which can help organisations and people, and can be exchanged for money today?

If you do have a skill, ask yourself this: “Compared to the top 5% in my industry, where am I?”

Grade yourself on a scale of 1-10 before you continue. (Be honest with yourself)

Here’s why I’m doing this.

The Lies We Tell

We twenty-somethings like lying to ourselves.

Meet Kore, a 24 year old guy who completed NYSC six months ago.

Kore goes to hang out with his friends.

One of his friends, Daniel, talks about how he has been learning web design over the past few weeks. Kore’s ears stand alert. He gets interested and tells Daniel that he will come to see him later about learning web design. They meet at Daniel’s house. Daniel gives Kore a few ebooks in a flash drive. Kore gets home, copies them from the flash drive into his computer, and promptly leans back in his chair to watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones, with the mind to go through the ebooks later.

A week passes.

Then two weeks.

Then three weeks.

One day while idly going through folders on his computer, he sees the ebooks Daniel gave him. Everything floods back to his memory—the conversation when they all hung out, the meeting at Daniel’s house and their discussion there when Daniel told him how to use the books—everything.

He quickly sits up and starts browsing through the first ebook.

The next day, over the phone, his cousin asks him what he does to occupy himself. He says, “I’m learning web design.”

End of story.

My question: Is Kore learning web design or is he deceiving himself?

The Love of An Idea

Ramit Sethi once wrote:

There’s a difference between loving something and loving the idea of something.

Kore loved the idea of charging and collecting money for designing websites. That’s why he collected the ebooks in the first place. But he didn’t love web design. He didn’t love the boring process of learning HTML5, CSS, PHP, SQL and other things involved in web design.

But skimming an ebook for less than an hour made him feel he was doing something worthwhile.

And Kore is not the only one.

There are many of us twenty-somethings who are literally wasting time loving ideas. For example:

1. Kemi can cook. She loves the idea of being a caterer for weddings and corporate events and wants to do it. But she has neither started classes at any catering school nor internship at any catering company for more than 3 years.

2. Emeka’s friends always go to him for their computer issues. He just seems to know his way around a computer. He has watched movies that made him really like the idea of computer hacking, and he wants to be a computer security consultant. It’s just that in the past 2 years he has not finished reading a single book on Ethical Hacking.

3. Zainab loves Linda Ikeji. She wants to own a blog like that that brings her millions every month like Linda Ikeji. However since when she opened her blog 8 months ago, she has only posted twice.

Can you see the pattern?

Many of us twenty-somethings live in a dream world, expecting that one day, we’ll find the inspiration to get up and do the work needed for success to happen, and then everything will be alright.

This is what I like to call extreme nonsense.

The people who regret in their thirties and forties are typically those who make this endless procrastination a way of life in their twenties. Success does not just come because you want it. The many people in their forties and fifties we know, who come back home every day in a car they don’t like, to an apartment they don’t like, in an area they don’t like, to meet a landlord they don’t like, how do you think It happens to them?

Like I explained in part 2 of this series, the best thing you can do to have a successful future is to start early. Jim Rohn said:

Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.

It is as simple as that. Your future, good or bad, is your fault.

Conclusion

Now is the best time we have to choose a skill and develop it.

We have energy in our bodies in a level of abundance that we may never have again. We have the ability to learn fast now, which will be more difficult for us in future. We are more creative at this age in our lives than we will be at any other age. We have more freedom to take risks at this age than at any other age.

This is the easiest time to learn a skill and become good at it. If there is a skill you want to learn, go and seriously start learning it now.

Opportunities will definitely meet us in the future. But will it meet us prepared to take advantage or pitifully unprepared?

Only your skills will tell.

Start now.

What Can You Do Now?

1. Tell me (in the comments) what skill you have been procrastinating on learning, and what you plan to do about it today. Also tick the box marked, “Check before you leave your comment to get these in your mail”

2. Think about a friend who really needs this. Copy the link from the address bar and send it directly to him or her or scroll down and share it on Facebook and Twitter.

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For speaking enquiries, send an email to uchendutalks@gmail.com with your details.

Comments

  1. Sam says

    Wow….i have once again been jolted back to consciousness by your words. This part 3 seems to be so right about our age group….chai! I’m taking that step today!

  2. Fayiga Kunle says

    Wow! Uchendu has said it all. We sometimes buy an idea because its cool but don’t have the passion to want to do it. I’ve been a victim of this and I think I still am where I need to read contents but drop them. Its not good but the important thing is when you have missed an opportunity that could have come by, try to make it up. Its not the end of the road. I always believe another one will come even if its not as great as the last one. Doing that brings out the zeal and determination in you to succeed. God help us all.

  3. darlington nnamani says

    Bro I have been procrastinating for a long time,that am gonna start my online marketing business,I have the knowledge and the skills needed,bt I was was waiting till when I have enough fund to run ads on facebook nd other nigerian papers,bt I was missing one thing,which is” there is no successful business or career that didn’t start small.after reading part 1 nd 2 of this article I was forced to do something.I created this blog yesterday http://www.creatingwealthng.blogspot.com the aim of the blog is to teach aspiring upcoming nigerians what it takes and the knowledge they need to have to run there online business,mostly for info marketers this was what I learnt from akin alabi,the no1 internet marketer in nigeria and the ceo of nairabet.com.so what am saying is that ur articles has motivated me to take action.am currently into photography services(wedding,birthdays,all kind of event that requires a photographers services).have been also improving my self in that field by checking out serminals online,learning from expert both foreign and within from the likes of alakija studios,bonds photography and other prominent celebrity photographers.I believe nothing good comes easy,but we have to be persistent and hardworking.and with this I guess I will aquire more advanced skills.tnks once again for this article.

    • Uchendu E. UchenduUchendu E. Uchendu says

      You’re welcome Darlington.

      Action is the most important thing, and I’m glad you’re doing exactly that. That is the only thing that can change any situation.

      Send an email to uchendutalks@gmail.com. I’ll send you some articles I don’t share with many people. They have helped me and I believe they’ll help you.

      Cheers!

      • Kaynaf says

        Wow…saw dis link on nairaland and i’ve read parts 1-3..so inspiring ..thanks.also started my events company late last year.its not been easy but I believe things can only get better.God bless d owner of dis blog…pls I wont mind u sending me any article dat could inspire or teach me some things I need to know ..thanks

        • Uchendu E. UchenduUchendu E. Uchendu says

          You’re welcome Kaynaf…

          Subscribe to the blog by typing in your email below and click “Get Started Now”

          Also for those articles, send me an email on uchendutalks@gmail.com

          All the best on your business

  4. Gibson Samuel says

    I saw this link on nairaland, after reading it, i feel very guilty. I think it is time to start correcting my wrongs. I have few question to as, some may sound sily, buh i really really need answers.

    1. How do I know am good at something? I’m a keyboardist, a singer, and i love writing songs but i don’t know if i should get my own album ready, looking @ d situation in d music industry, were there are lots of musicians competin wit u. Sometimes it is very discouraging. Please how do i start, do u advice i go to d studio and get myself an album?

    2. Acquiring a skil is sometimes very expensive, how do i get one if it is very expensive and i don’t have enough finance to go about it.

    • Uchendu E. UchenduUchendu E. Uchendu says

      Hi Gibson,

      I’m glad this article struck a chord with you. But I need more detail to answer.

      Send me an email on uchendutalks@gmail.com with your question in a bit more detail, and I’ll answer your questions.

      Cheers!

  5. slickest says

    Nice one..buh u 4got 2 indicate d dominant factor…MONEY…@ our age group, we av d time nd strength buh wat demoralises most is d fact dat d fund is just not there…

    Take me 4 example, I have this great interest in photography nd cinematography, wit Gods grace I just concluded ma photography programme that costs 70k, (bear in mind, am unemployed) planned on solving the capital conundrum by getting a camera to work so I can raise money 2 pay 4 d cinematography course…now a standard camera costs 130k there about, nd d cinematography course cost 200k…dats d greatest challenge most of us face buh God will see us through…nd also kudos 2u for awakening ppls consciousness

    • Uchendu E. UchenduUchendu E. Uchendu says

      You’re welcome Slickest, I appreciate your comment.

      In my experience, I’ve found that if a person wants to be something in life and is serious about it, he/she would have already started. When you act with courage on your dreams and people see it, they are willing to help you.

      I’m happy you’ve started. Money is important, but to be honest, there are more important things.

      All the best in your photography quest!

  6. Williams nwabueze says

    Am glad I read this, now i know what procastination will cost me and pray never to part take in it again no matter how small it is. My utmost gratitude goes to you and may your fountain of knowledge never diminish but keep growing in Jesus mighty name. Amen.

  7. Florence Osuagwu says

    Wow..
    This is truly inspiring!
    I have lots of interest in baking/catering,but i’ve been procastinating the whole period.
    I’m gon put a call through dz nyt to a frnd who’s a trained caterer nd start lessons before schl resumes.
    Also,im gon take my academic work more seriously.Procastination is really bad,it’s evil!
    Pray for consistency/discipline.. Itsnt gon be easy @first,but it’l be worth it in the end.
    Thanks alot for this write-up,saw it on Nairaland nd im gon share it on fb.
    Keep the good work up!
    Cheers

    • Uchendu E. UchenduUchendu E. Uchendu says

      Nice one Florence. Good to know you’re taking action fast. That’s the joy I derive from doing this.

      You can bookmark/save this page and come back to it from time to time, to always remind yourself.

      Thanks for sharing :)

  8. David King says

    Your motivational writing is not what the youths only need but the country at large.

    I have a very great passion for writing like poems, novels etc and equally singing songs that convey good morals. I have started towards the fulfillment except for some invisible fears dat showcase sometimes. Thumbs up anyway.

    • Uchendu E. UchenduUchendu E. Uchendu says

      Thanks David.

      It is a good thing you’re working towards it. Read part one of this series for some advice on that.

      As for fear, anybody who doesn’t feel some fear in taking action on his dreams has no real dream. It is normal. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

      All the best.

  9. olu says

    Please, I’m a programmer, but I want to learn graphic… Pls, where can I learn graphic in Lagos, weekend class….

    • Uchendu E. UchenduUchendu E. Uchendu says

      Hello Olu. If you really want to learn graphics design, I’m sure you must have already started learning it in some small way on your own.

      But for a tutoring centre, you can try
      Orange Academy Training School
      3B,Adesoye Street, Mende Maryland, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
      0706 438 4235
      (Google “Orange Academy” for more)

      They train people in Graphics design, branding and advertising.

  10. Dominic says

    I intended going into an importation business but so far I have tried downloading an ebook on it but the ones I have come across do not have much to offer and I’m looking for the safest and cheapest way to do that. I don’t know if you have any advice or help to offer me thanks sir.

    • Uchendu E. UchenduUchendu E. Uchendu says

      Hello Dominic.

      I’m glad you have something you want.

      You can start by working at a freight forwarding company to understand the technicalities of getting goods from foreign countries into Nigeria. This depends on what you want to import. You should also find people who want what you want to import before you pay any importer.

      But don’t be lazy. You can’t learn importation on a computer. Go out and speak with people in the business. Find importation forums on Nairaland and Linkedin. Put your best effort if this is what you want.

      All the best Dominic.

  11. taiwodaniels says

    You’re so inspiring. Though, I’ve not read part 1& 2, I’ll be doing that right away.

    I have an issue with procrastination, and I think it’s eating deeply into me. I need some help.

  12. maxim says

    Reluctantly, I clicked on this site and deep within me I am very grateful I did. Your writeup just jostle me back to senses. Thank you for this wonderful write up. I pray for persistence and zeal to do things at appropriate time and stop being busy doing nothing tangible.

  13. tunde says

    I’m so guilty of all. Sometime I believe I have it under control like “well this is simple ill just do it when the time is right” mentality I will start taking actions now! I want to know about software programming

  14. Oladavid says

    Wow! God bless the day i saw this link on nairaland, i was reluctact to click on it but thank God i did. Kudos to you and more ink to your pen, your post come at the right time i need something like this.

    i am in my early twenties very ambitious but lack encouragement, i will be grateful if you can send me motivatonal message and article that will help my life and i need your advice on some issues about my life that cannot be discus publicly.

    You can send message to me on oladavid4u@gmail.com. Thanks and God bless u

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