I am a leadership teacher and I have the responsibility to share nuggets of truth that will help leaders shape their leadership skills. There are many individuals who have heard or read the lyrics of Bob Marley music in a song titled The Heathen saying
Rise up fallen fighters,
Rise and take your stance again,
It’s he who fight and run away,
Live to fight another day,
With de heathen back dey pon de wall.
Do you belong to the school of thought of those who say he who fights and run away live to fight another day? Let’s simplify the question, do you believe it is right to quit today so you can start all over again tomorrow?
Let’s take a few moments to do some reflections. What are the days that you are sure of, yesterday, today or tomorrow? Obviously, yesterday is gone and you can do very little about your past. Today is reality and you can take charge of it to change what will happen in the immediate or in the future. Tomorrow is not certain because it is not within your control. The wisdom to use today maximally to achieve your dream far exceeds quitting.
I had a friend at the University who was exceptionally brilliant in our first year of study. He had an edge over most of the other students in the class because he had done A levels in another school before his matriculation examination. He was ahead of several other students in Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics. During lectures, he will not even allow the lecturer to finish his teaching before saying “na small thing na, abeg forget”. The rest of us who didn’t have the A level experience felt very threatened. We had to work extra hard to match his knowledge prowess, yet it was very tiring.
By the second year in the University, we have almost equalized his expertise and were competing on a fair ground. Unfortunately for him, when the results were released at the end of the second year, our friend failed almost all the courses and he left the University out of shame. I remember how he cried and what he said – Dem don show man oooo. There were other students in similar circumstances who were advised to withdraw from that faculty, who went to other faculties and made success of their studies. Today, our friend is not within radar of graduate students because he choose to quit instead of fighting to win.
When you quit, you cheat your future and the future of those who believe in you. Do you have a dream, work hard at it and never quit. There is never a bright future for quitters because they never arrive at a destination. The tenets of leadership don’t subscribe to quitting, leaving or cheating in a calling where the choice to make a difference exists. Quitters are short journey lovers.