Many years ago, there were two farmers who wanted to become rich but had no seeds, no advantages, no land of their own or means. They had the knowledge and passion for farming but had no means to actualize their dreams.
Not only were they poor, they also lived in a poor village and the priority of most of the villagers was to make ends meet – eat, clothe and have a decent accommodation.
Fortunately one day, the two farmers came across a stranger – a traveler whom they assisted on his journey and in return he rewarded them with enough money to buy small parcels of land each, from the village head and he also gave them a cob of fertile maize each to plant.
These two farmers were very excited, happy, and grateful to this stranger and they rushed to the village head to purchase their lands and begin the cultivation.
After a planting season, they both enjoyed bountiful harvest, they both had a big basket full of maize each from the single cob they were given.
The first farmer was excited about his returns and he decided to celebrate and impress the villagers. He cooked some of the maize, ate with his family and offered also to friends, neighbours and loved ones. He however retained only a cob to plant in the new season. Everyone loved him, appreciated him and praised his generosity, even the village head appreciated him for sending some boiled maize to the palace. He became popular and loved, he impressed his people and showed off how much wealth he’d come into.
The second farmer however did different with his basketful of harvest, he didn’t celebrate, cook or share, he sold half of the maize, used the proceeds to purchase more parcels of land and planted the remaining half of the harvest.
He was not interested in impressing anyone, the opinions of people didn’t matter to him, he didn’t care what people thought or said; he wasn’t even interested in the accolades from the village chief. He didn’t live to impress anyone, he didn’t let their criticism bother him, even the nagging from his wife and kids didn’t move him, his mind was on a different ambition – superior to the opinions of the villagers.
By the second season, the first famer, reaped only one basket as usual from the single cob of maize he planted again. The second farmer on the other hand reaped very many baskets from half of his initial basketful of maize cobs he reserved for planting instead of eating them or giving them out.
The first farmer continued to show off and give out his basketful of harvest season upon season, reserving only one cob of maize to plant in a new season, while the second farmer kept selling half of his harvest to acquire more land and plant half of his total harvest on the land acquired, thereby increasing his farmlands and quantity of harvest.
After 10 seasons, the first farmer was still at the level of planting a cob of maize every season, he would, as usual, eat some and give out most to keep impressing and soliciting for love and accolades, he liked the attention and the thought that people saw him as rich. But the second farmer had become very wealthy with several parcels of land, thousands of basket in harvest and the capacity to easily keep acquiring land and expanding his quantity of seed sown and overall harvest.
Within 10 seasons, the first farmer was only as rich as a cob of maize, a parcel of land and a basket of harvest, the second farmer, on the other hand, had become very wealthy with several parcels of land, thousands of baskets in harvest and so much money from sales.
The second farmer eventually become the riches man not only in that village but the neighboring villages too. He built the biggest house in the village, built a new palace for their chief, built a school in the village and gave out maize cobs to people who wanted to lease farmlands from him to start farming maize like him.
The second farmer consequently became the superstar in the village. Everyone wanted to associate and relate, he had become the really generous one, and the chief honored him with a chieftaincy title, he became influential, powerful and had a say in everything concerning the village. His wife and kids become instant celebrities and were proud of him. The first farmer who from the start gave out his maize and was seen as more generous become irrelevant, forgotten and inferior. In fact, every looked down at him and considered him poor compared to his friend in the same maize cultivating business. Just after 10 seasons, time indeed separated the real from the fake.
My dear friends, ladies and gentlemen, the goal of why you work is not to look rich, the goal is to be rich.
Many of us have the opportunity and privilege of paid employment, you earn your monthly salary and you eat most of it, you show of with some more and survive on what’s left until your next payday, if you live this way, I’m sorry, you may very soon emerge as very broke, busted, rejected and discarded.
It’s a pity many of us live such lives to make people assume we are rich or comfortable, not that we’re truly rich or comfortable.
We live off loans, credits, bribes, settlement, hot deals, hustle and gratification on the account of our current employment and business positions. We perhaps live beyond our means to impress and oppress others. We try so hard to make people believe we have so much when in truth we have nothing. With all the loans we currently owe, our realistic bank balance is perhaps subzero.
We are too focused on now, on today, on making fancy impressions, at the expense of a better and more comfortable tomorrow.
We have closed our eyes to the future, we keep spending on things instead of investing in ourselves so as to fit well into tomorrow. Our skills, capacity and competence is as good as when we graduated or as good as the trainings our employers send us for. We are not conscious, aware or interested in the dynamics of life and the new normal. We don’t bother about tomorrow hence we’ve refused to improve ourselves, make investments, acquire new relevant skills that will make us useful, valuable and well-positioned for the tomorrow of robotics, artificial intelligence and mental prowess.
You’re perhaps investing little or nothing in you or in your future, you’re investing in things: Cars, clothes, jewelry, designer wears, aso ebi, hair extensions, drinks, parties, clubs, or a house with an expensive rent so that people will hail you and see you as a big boy or girl, thinking you have money.
You can pay your bills today yes, but will you be able to pay the higher bills of tomorrow? Is your strategy for the future based on the hope that Nigeria will get better, the economy will improve and there will be free money everywhere? Better wake up and smell the coffee.
For how long have you been working, how old are you now, how much do you have now, what form of income-generating venture or investment is yours and absolutely within your control to grow and increase at will?
What do you own? What wealth packages do you have, how do you intend to multiply your wealth? Can you see the future? Your future is advancing and coming at you much faster than you think, can you see it?
You want to have it easier now, you cannot kill yourself, you don’t want stress in your life, you want to enjoy your life today, you want the praises of men today, you want the admiration, the respect, the accolade, you want to pepper your so-called enemies, dear friend, how sustainable is this ambition?
When will you learn discipline – the capacity to delay gratification, endure hardship, ignore people, learn, read, develop yourself, acquire new skills, build rewarding capacities, acquire new and profitable knowledge and improve your worth in the career, trade and money making markets?
Look into your future, five years; ten years from today, what do you see? Who do you see? How do you see you in a few years? Your future is coming, and very fast it’s coming? Get ready today for a great future – make sure you don’t regret, do something wise and meaningful your future self will thank you for. Stop looking for who and what to blame, aren’t you tired of the blame game?
Dear friend, have foresight; invest in your future today!