Success and greatness are achievable, attainable and possible. But the important question is, Are you ready to pay the price? It took me 104 weeks of writing, re-writing, learning, un-learning and re-learning to write my first book titled Maximize Your Life. Every month within this period I spent more than half of my monthly allowance to buy books and tapes, attending seminars, researching and travelling. I can vividly remember that in August 2009, I spent my all my money on a seminar at the cost of celebrating my birthday. Most times, I have to travel once or twice a week to meet great, experienced and successful individuals to tap from their God-given knowledge and learn from their success stories. I sacrificed frivolities for a better life and an expensive lifestyle for a rich knowledge bank. But here is what happened after; three months after I published and launched Maximize Your Life, my life was transformed. The press was anxious to know my success story, television stations, radio stations and tabloids were not left out in this quest.
Another valuable gain I enjoyed was the calibre of people from all walks of life that became my friends. From the Managing Director of a multi-million naira company to the security guard, that a lot of people were touched by the message of my book. From revered pastors to well-respected Imams, religious leaders agree with the gospel of Maximize Your Life. From emeritus professors to secondary school students, diverse people were challenged and inspired by the content of my book. They became my friends, advisers, mentors or protégés. I enjoy easy access to men and women of high calibre, captains of industries, business magnates, technocrats per excellence, religious leaders, and ambitious boys and girls who aspire to become high achievers. I once visited a Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology of a particular state in Nigeria. The secretary said the guests could not see him because he was very busy. I picked up my phone and called him. In the blink of an eye, he instructed the secretary to let me in and that was how I was able to see him. These are some of the numerous gains you will experience if you are ready to pay the price of success.
The life struggle of President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela lucidly illustrates that there is always a price to pay and that the higher the price, the better the reward. President Nelson Mandela is an African icon, an international hero, a vital force in the fight against injustice, and the struggle for human rights and racial equality. He is the most significant African leader and has won the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize and many accolades in his lifetime. But success did not come on a platter of gold; it came to him at a solemn sacrifice and huge prize. President Nelson Mandela spent 27 years within prison walls. He was transferred from one prison to the other in South Africa. During his days in prison he was given various options for freedom which he rejected. He personifies struggle and he leads the fight against apartheid with extraordinary resilience and vigour. He has sacrificed his private life and youth for his people. The result of his unflinching sacrifice is a just and progressive South Africa, where the black are not inferior to the white. And the white are not superior to the black. There is always a price to pay for greatness.
President Mandela paid the price of success and persevered through the tough times. In his book, Long Walk to Freedom, he said, “I have walked the long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds out that there are many more hills to come. I have taken a moment to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back at the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.” (Italics mine.) If you are ready to always pay the price of success the world will continuously pay your prize.
My Invaluable friend let me share with you another story that depicts “nothing comes for free”. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, his speech I Have a Dream is one of the most popular speeches in the history of mankind. He was a hero and was well-respected across the globe. But all these didn’t come without a huge prize. When he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955, his house was bombed, he was arrested and he suffered a lot of pains. In fact, he was assassinated due to his struggle for justice and equity. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. is dead but his dream came to fruition when in 2008 President Barrack Obama became the first black person to become the United States President. In one of his numerous quotes, he said, “Human progress is neither automatic, nor inevitable… Every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle, the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
It is worthy of note to say at this juncture, that it is not every one of your achievements you have to struggle for. But, it is therefore now truism that the most rewarding victories of your life will come with a lot of sacrifices and pains. Merriment, fulfillments, greatness, joy, success and profound ecstasy are the final products for those who pay their dues and go through the pains stage of turning their dreams to realities and becoming high achievers. Be prepared to pay the price of success.