No matter what people think about you and the possibility for your life, never let their opinion about you, most especially the negative ones to become your reality. No matter your situation, you have the power to revolutionize your thinking and that will give you the opportunity to change the way you think, feel or react, thus helping you to realize your true potential to be able to change everything about you and your environment. Refusing to do this might likely provide you with no further option than becoming a liability to society rather than building a legacy for the next generation. It is what it is because, you yourself, consciously or unconsciously help to make things the way they are, at different times and for varying reasons.
History has been written in favor of famous personalities like Nelson Mandela of South Africa, J. F. Kennedy, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther, Les Brown, Michael Jackson all of the United States, Christiano Ronaldo of Portugal, etc and we feel so pleased just by hearing these names or reading about their stories. Sometimes, people consciously adopt these names for recognition and to be respected by others in society. Much as we adore these personalities, it is important to note that, they realized their dreams with a hard fight. The road to success is not an easy one, so be prepared to fight for what you want. You won’t definitely be great at what you do from the beginning; it might necessarily not make meaning to people around you or yourself. One has got to trust the process you are going through and appreciate the mini progresses you are making by stages. Soon, you will realize that your little effort will inspire you to go the next stage and other states until you will finally realize a significant progress in what you are doing. All these require lot of sacrifices and endurance in order to get you what you want. It is important to know that not all successful men today were born with fortune and not necessarily all those who were born without fortune end up as under achievers. The Possibility of becoming successful in life fundamentally depends on the individual to change situation from zero to hero and ordinary to extra-ordinary person. This is absolutely possible as long as you make up your mind to be. Since it was possible for those whose legacy we continue to celebrate year long, then it can be possible with you too.
Life is difficult and sometimes it takes us to the extreme in pursuit of goals. The good news is that, in the midst of difficulties, “as long as you have the Will, there will always be a way”. This process is all about self branding towards a legacy. A name that will continue to live, honored and celebrated even after death. According to Mr. Ebo Hammond, a lecturer in Logistic and Transport at Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Branding is a process that involves creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding is all about establishing a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.
It tells customers what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be. Something unique about your product or services, be it high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option, your product or services can’t be both, and they can’t also be all things to all people. The value they perceive should be based to some extent on who your target customers are or that which you want your product to be recognized for. It is precisely this same principle that you can use to create a strong brand for your name; and this is possible with anyone who has made up his mind to be someone visible.
According to Martha Stewart, an American businesswoman, writer, and television personality, “If you keep your products superior and never diminish your quality, you will remain strong through obstacles.” How I see it, it is about maintaining and preferably improving upon that which you are good at with no room for instability. If you are a sportsman, musician, speaker etc. keep on practicing so that you get better and better until you can retire because that is what you are recognized and celebrated for. Yes, it is your calling and you have every right to exhibit it to the fullest without recourse. The focus of this script is to help you re-brand yourself with a strong and indelible image into prosperous legacy.
Step One (1) The first stage of this process is to discover who you are and what you want for your life.
It is about discovering the kind of person you are in terms of your strength and weaknesses, accessing opportunities available to you and also measuring the magnitude of possible threat from your immediate and distance environment. If you will do it well, it will help you to project a sound plan of action for yourself. Hardly has anyone ever succeeded by mistake; it all require hard work, careful planning and prudence use of resources.
In most part of Sub-Saharan Africa however, we brand ourselves with two Rs representing Reasons and Results. For Reasons, we always keep explaining why we are unable to reach our goals. Reasons vary from person to person, such as poverty, the family we come from, the community we hailed from, our religious faith, educational background etc. Even if some of these are really not the reason for holding us back, we have already developed a mindset on the possibilities of life for us. What I will say to you is that, even if people try to discourage you from reaching your goals, you have every right to accept or reject their opinion and turn the situation around. You cannot control the thoughts that comes to your mind but we can control that which you dwell on every day. For Result, these people have profound confidence in themselves and believe that, no matter what the struggle, no matter how long it takes and how much investment of time, energy funds that is required, there will always be a result, and a good one. They see themselves beyond every obstacle that comes their way in pursuit of their goals. These people are generational thinkers who see their investment as a seed that will most certainly grow for the benefit of others as well as themselves.
After 27 years of prison life for his role in fighting for the freedom for South Africa and bearing in mind all the ordeals he experienced in the hands of the apathy according to history, Nelson Mandela, an activist, late South African president, and Nobel Peace Award winner has this to say: “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner. He was elected president and ruled South Africa for just one term comprising of four (4) years after realizing his dreams by restructuring the government and ensuring that his people are at peace. Today, Nelson Mandela is a household name across the globe even thought he is dead and gone. This is a hard earned result he achieved.
Step Two (2) Upon knowing about you as described above, the next step is to align yourself with powerful and influential people in society. People that you can learn from, people you can grow with, people who are stretching and searching and seeking some higher ground in life, people who can appreciate you and are ready, able and willing to lead you to a good path in life.
Whilst it is recommended for you to align yourself with these people, it is also necessary to know whether they really on your side. Some powerful and influential people can misuse their power or influence to deny you growth and even mislead you. Positive and progressive human centered people who are also known as well-wishers always see their contribution to others’ life as their personal and moral obligation regardless of race, time, situation, religion etc. They are always interested in what your dreams are and not necessarily theirs. They will always ask questions on your progress, their level of involvement needed and advise you when required and give in cash and kind. They are always curious about your welfare and identify with you regardless of the situation. If you can’t find any; read about them, listen to their work, and research them as source of motivation. Be it known, you are never too old to take your life forward and to create life changing opportunities for others. You are never too old to take steps towards goals that stimulate you. Don’t let the naysayers impact what you see possible for you. If you are involved with constantly complaining about life and people, then it will help if you could avoid this act of playing victim. If even you had experienced bitter lessons in your life, let the past go and open new page in your life to grow. Your past does not have to determine what the future holds for you.
Step Three (3) The third step in Branding your life into legacy is to have the ability to dream. According to Jim Rhom, a powerful American Motivational speaker, “Despite all of the factors that affect our lives—like the kind of parents we have, the schools we attended, the part of the country we grew up in—none has as much potential power for affecting our futures as our ability to dream. Dreams are a projection of the kind of life you want to lead. Dreams can drive you. Dreams can make you skip over obstacles. When you allow your dreams to pull you, they unleash a creative force that can overpower any obstacle in your path.
To unleash this power, though, your dreams must be well defined. A fuzzy future has little pulling power. Well-defined dreams are not fuzzy. Wishes are fuzzy. To really achieve your dreams, to really have your future plans pull you forward, your dreams must be vivid”. Having read and listen to this, it helped me to see reason behind my stringent focus on expanding Cradle of Hope for Relief and Development, an NGO that I founded to cater to vulnerable children in society. I dream of a future where thousands of street children and those whose parents cannot evidently afford to assist them, graduate from colleges and those with special talent assisted to exhibit their fullest potential through the help of this organization. If such dreams were manifested in our communities when some of us where children, life for us would have been preferably better than now. I therefore take up the challenge believing that, everyone has a role to play to make society much better than we are seeing.
Pursuant to the narrative above, I am very hopeful that, with a careful reading and understanding of the concept of this article, it will inspire to see the need to leave a legacy especially in this era of accelerated change, overwhelming complexity and tremendous competition. Never see yourself too old or very etc to make a significant change on the life of others. Even if you’re your cause of action has not yielded expected results, never lose hope as there are times for planting and times for harvesting. It might necessarily not matter how long you wait but what matters is what you are doing in the process of waiting. Denis Waitley stated that, in life, we got two primary choices; to accept situation as they exist or accept the responsibility of changing them. To brand your life into legacy, it requires that, you accept responsibility to change situation to match your desire expectation. Even if no in your family has made a break through, nominate yourself and work towards it so that, your name will surely become a house hold name.
Thank you so much for reading.
Written by: Lawrence Saah Varnie, Director CHRAD