Does success in life depend on oneâ€™s educational background? Is it not surprising how we have suddenly shifted our gaze from what matters most to what is not too important. Isnâ€™t it sad that people are now employed based on their university degrees and not their ability to deliver? Isnâ€™t it surprising how we have allowed people keep us at a standstill simply because we have no formal education or university certificate to flaunt?
â€œA university is important in being successful, but it is never a priority for achieving success,â€ says Stephanie Attahiru. Education is very important and come to think of it, we all are educated in one way or the other. The only difference is the setting under which we acquire whatever knowledge we have. Education is a continuous process and it takes place wherever you are.
People start getting education right from the moment they are born and this does not stop until one goes down the grave. Education, as we all know, can be formal as well as informal and both help to shape us up to what we should be. The problem with us and our economy is that we have shifted completely from a place where vocational skills and natural intelligence are appreciated to a place where all that matters is some university certificate; how it is acquired doesnâ€™t matter.
There are stories of exam malpractices and a drop in the quality of education. Exam results are getting worse by the day and we keep looking for solutions where there is none. What do we expect from a nation whose education directors and ministers could have reached where they are by some crooked means? What do we expect in a nation where all that matters is what you have on your certificate and not your head?
Children play a lot of games just to get into the university. Girls sleep with lecturers who are old enough to be their fathers just because they must get into the university. Parents even assist their wards in buying their way through. Isnâ€™t it surprising how some shameless parents pay for their children to obtain good grades in JAMB and SSCE? Some special centres exist just for exam malpractices and all sorts.
All these are happening because we have succeeded in telling the children that all they need to make it in life is a university degree. Corporate organisations no longer employ HND holders just because they want to be identified with some degree wrongly acquired. Our polytechnics are gradually being converted to universities and we fold our hands doing nothing.
You shouldnâ€™t be brainwashed into believing you are a failure just because you didnâ€™t pass through the university. There are very successful people I know in life who didnâ€™t go through the university or who were drop-outs. Look around you and you can see that many successful men and women never had the opportunity of a university education.
How many degrees does the chairman of Coscharis Motors have? How many degrees does Innoson Motors have? How many degrees does Dangote have? How many degrees did Steve Jobs acquire in his lifetime? What about Bill Gates and Mark Zukerberg? Success is a thing of the mind and you are the only one who has the right to call yourself a failure.
That you earn more than a person without a degree doesnâ€™t make you more successful. You can earn all the billions in this world with people singing your praise all over the world, but the fact is that right within, you know you are not successful.
Many successful entrepreneurs have become millionaires through hard work and great common sense. It is a fact that we have professors working for and depending on those â€œilliteratesâ€ for a living? Our youths are educated to be employed and never to become employers of labour. We speak all the grammar and move about town with all the PhDs while those we see as uneducated are out there doing exploits.
Our parents are also not helping matters. We all want to become parents of medical doctors, lawyers, bankers, and engineers. We force our children to become, not what they want to become, but what we want them to become. I have a friend who was forced by his father to follow his footsteps by going for mathematics in the university. The guy was very good in mathematics, but never had a flair for it. He had to obey the father and did mathematics for three years only to sit for JAMB again after which he was admitted for Architecture. Today, he is a very fulfilled and successful architect.
When you are in the wrong place, it doesnâ€™t matter how much you earn, you are not successful until you identify your calling in life. I remember when I left my corporate affairs job; several mouth-watering offers came from friends. I was told by people to take up those good jobs in oil companies and financial institutions. But because I know what I am here on earth for, I refused to let those goodies get my eyes off the goal. I left my job because I wasnâ€™t fulfilled in it even though I was the boss, but thatâ€™s not where I should be. Now I am in my place of calling and I am enjoying every bit of it, touching lives for good.
When you find yourself in your place of calling, you may not necessarily make money instantly, but money comes only when you persevere. You can get all the promotions in this life with your numerous degrees, but if you are not in your place of calling, you will still not be fulfilled.
I tell people that academic intelligence is good, but never to be compared with God given natural intelligence. You should ask God for that divine wisdom and intelligence because that is the only thing that can make a difference. I am not a medical doctor (though I wanted to be one), but I help many people when it comes to health issues. I have not been trained as a beauty therapist, but I have so much knowledge of it that those in it may not have. I am not a trained journalist, but I write as a hobby and I see lives being touched by my articles. Everything in this life is about your calling and passion; this is the only way to your fulfilment in life.
You are not a failure because you had no opportunity to go to university. You are not failing because your father didnâ€™t leave you with enough properties to start on. I always tell people to stop giving excuses in life or blaming others for their failure. The only thing I gained from my father is a godly foundation and that has kept me strong. I remember when I was locked out of my home and I had to sleep on a bare floor for some days before moving in to a friendâ€™s place.
I remember all the insults and negative words I received from friends who were enemies in disguise. Negative words and false publications against me would have ruined me forever if I had allowed them to (I almost did), but thank God for some good friends around me who were able to speak some positive words into me; my life came back to me. Today, I am more than fulfilled and happy because I did not allow my situation to pull me down. You may be in that same position today and you feel all hope is gone; you can still make it. I told someone who recently lost his job to begin to see himself as a boss and work towards it. A woman, who was living in a one bedroom apartment built on top of a sewage pit, was given a letter of ejection. When she came to me, I told her to look for a better place. She saw it as a joke, but after working on her mind-set, that poverty mentality left her and today, this woman lives in a three bedroom flat.
The fact is that you are what you think you are. If you think you are a landlord, you will be someday. If you stop your mind from thinking negatives about you and dedicate your time to some positive thoughts, you will surely make it. I also know that successful people donâ€™t spend their time talking about others, but issues. If you want to be successful spend no time talking about people and if you must talk about them, let it be for something beneficial to you and the society.
If your father failed to send you to school, work hard and model your life after those millionaires who had no formal education, but are successful entrepreneurs today. Take a decision that your children must go to school and the best schools in the world. I was challenged by what my driver once told me; he said he has to work hard and do all he can to send his own children to school to avoid them being in the same position he is today.
If you are a victim of poverty, you must get up and fight poverty with everything in you. If you are one of those who went to school and had no food to eat on return, you should work hard to be able to feed those little children who go to school on empty stomach. I have always seen myself as a change agent for whatever I go through in life. I cannot live and die just like that without making impact.
Remember, success is not about the number of degrees you have or the salary you earn. Success is about you living your purpose on earth and finding inner satisfaction in it. Success is about the number of lives you are able to affect in your generation. You can agree with me now that university education does not make you successful; it helps you see the world better, but is never a guarantee for success.