I was in conversation with a young lad, fourteen years old, who told me an interesting story of an event that occurred in his school. A story about a group of young teenagers in year ten, all friends, all in the same class, and all wanting to do sports.

Most of the boys opted for football. They were mostly fans of top European clubs and football enthusiast hence, they all wanted to be in the soccer team.

There was this one boy, however, who didn’t really like football or could play football, but because all his friends chose football, he went with football as well.

However, when it’s time for training, no team wanted him on their side. He was a terrible player. He couldn’t shoot, pass accurately, tackle, defend, run with the ball or score. He lacked ball control and didn’t even understand clearly the rules of the game. He was a terrible footballer but he decided to remain with the soccer team because his closest and best friends were in the soccer team.

He was consequently converted to a ball boy. Though well kitted to play, he was never offered the opportunity to play, he spent all the time by the sidelines picking up balls that crossed the lines and making it available for players to throw in.

He didn’t fit in, he didn’t have it, he couldn’t play, but because he wanted to stay with his friends who could play, he didn’t mind being a ball boy.

One day the game master saw him loafing around the football pitch, he wondered what a boy with such a good height was doing around the football pitch. He summoned him and insisted he joined the basketball team.

Fast forward 4 months later, this boy became the captain of the school basketball team. He became the best basketball player in the school, he had the energy, stamina, control, speed, dribbles, and skills. He did more baskets way more than all other players put together in a single game.

This boy became an instant star in the school. He became famous and really liked, all the girls began to pay him attention; the school authority also recognized him as a star of the school.

Eventually, he led the school basketball team in interschool competitions in Nigeria and they emerged champions, now they are bid to travel and compete against other schools outside the country and ultimately in the US.

This boy has eventually become a high school star. Admired by everyone in his school and other schools especially his football playing friends and surely, the girls in the cheerleading groups in most schools.

This boy today is proud, confident, and has better self-esteem. His good change happened because he changed his place of value.

Ladies and gentlemen, you are valuable, you are very precious, important and useful. You may however, remain rejected, disdained, maltreated, disrespected and inconsequential if you keep hanging with people and in places where what you have is not needed, appreciated or valued.

A great basketball star was wasting away as a ball boy out of his desperation to hang out with his friends who didn’t see any value in him or had any use for him.

My dear friend, where are you? Who are you hanging out with, who are your friends and associates?

Are you hanging around people or working in a place or committed to an association where what you have is not needed, valued, appreciated or wanted?

Are you trying so hard to exhibit skills you naturally lack just for people you love to accept you?

See, leave that boy alone, walk away, must you marry him, he doesn’t love you, respect you, value you or appreciate you, he insults you, he’s rude and arrogant yet you want to die there! You’re competing with other girls to win him, chai, babe believe me you don’t know your worth. My guy, stop spending, stop wasting your hard-earned cash, she will never appreciate it; money can’t by true love. Give another lady a chance to show you how you should truly be loved.

It’s sad, but most of us today feel cheap, worthless, irrelevant and unimportant because we ignore the great things we carry and covet the great things others have. We think the only way to be valuable and to shine in life is to be like them, do what they do, do what they want and be in their clique. This, unfortunately, has made many of us non-achievers in life.

Dear friend, you carry so much value in you, there is greatness in you, there is something in you the world is in dire need of but if you hang around people who don’t really need what you carry, you will not be recognized, valued, appreciated or rewarded adequately.

The same you in different places and with different people will attract different values and extent of appreciation. Who you are should determine where you go, don’t just go where everyone else is going.

A towing vehicle parked close to your house when all your cars are intact for example means nothing to you. In fact, you may not even notice it or pay any attention to it. This same towing vehicle along a dark, lonely expressway at 7pm, in the middle of nowhere when your car breaks down would mean everything to you, you’ll be asked to pay a very high price for towing and you will pay and even be thankful. Your location my friend determines your value appreciation.

A chilled bottle of water while you’re standing at a bus stop with rain pouring down on you from the night skies on your way home; 9pm at night can be unattractive, unappealing and in fact a turn of. This same chilled bottle of water on a hot Sunday afternoon, while you’re in traffic in a car without air conditioner is most appealing and valuable.

The same you can experience rejection and can become very attractive depending on time, place and who.

Dear friend, you’ve perhaps been stagnant and haven’t achieved much in life all these years because you’re stuck with people you want, love and admire who don’t value or see what you have. In fact, they really don’t need you for anything, hence can’t reward you, promote you or celebrate you.

You’re perhaps stuck in a location, a business, an employment, a relationship you love and want so much, but your real worth and capacities are undervalued, unwanted and unappreciated. Hence no one is rewarding you adequately and you’re broke and struggling.

You’re perhaps hanging out with some people or a group right now; you want them around you because you love them and want the association but they don’t value you because they can’t see what you have, they don’t need what you have, they don’t value what you have, hence you’re useless to them no matter how much they love you and you love them.

Dear friend, it’s better to be with unfamiliar people in unfriendly places, people that can’t even stand you but need you desperately and can pay and reward you greatly, than to serve people who claim to love you but don’t see or appreciate your worth hence, won’t invest in you and you remain a non-achiever and broke all lifelong. Succeeding in life requires rising above sentiments and emotions.

It is better to remain a big fish in a little pond than to be a small fish in a big pond. If you, however, want to move to a big pond, make sure you become a big fish there if not, you’ll get eaten up by bigger fishes.

Where you are and those around you can make you or damage your destiny in life. Find the right place and association for your real value, that’s how to excel in life.



  1. This is more like talking to me, thank you Mr Afolabi ,
    I have potentials I feel are not tapped from where I am operating from. I have worked with people that under paid my efforts , sometimes I feel used and I become resentful .
    For example I love unconventional kind of jobs, meeting and having intellectual friends talk about business projects and how best to execute them ,
    but yet like you wrote am still lost in the crowd feeling unfulfilled .just like you said and I quote you

    “You’re perhaps stuck in a location, a business, an employment, a relationship you love and want so much, but your real worth and capacities are undervalued, unwanted and unappreciated. Hence no one is rewarding you adequately and you’re broke and struggling.”

    I really wish some day my location determines my value and how ought to be appreciated in my career.

    God bless you for making me personalise this write up
    Kudos and thumb up


  2. This is motivating and inspiring!
    I pray God continually increase your knowledge, sir.

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