Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent time reconnecting with old friends who I’d lost touch with for some reason. A particular friend, who spent the past six months of 2016 in Dubai, particularly intrigued me. We spoke on various issues and as we went on, our discussion invariably moved on to “exposure” and new experiences.
As he told me of the various technological innovations he encountered over there, and how new and novel they were to him, I laughed and pointed out to him that some of those technologies and even more exist in Nigeria. He was referring to innovations such as automated doors, sensor flushing toilets, human heat activated room lights and air-conditioning etc. that I had seen in some hotels and residences here in Nigeria. Rest assured, we surely don’t match Dubai in terms of city planning, the management of their national wealth (spread across the provinces of the United Arab Emirates) and with transportation systems like the metro line.
I like new experiences and I’m always grateful for them. I was recently privileged enough to join the super awesome team at Anakle, even though it is for a short two months period. I’m just three weeks in at the moment, and I must say it has been beyond amazing. Whilst he narrated his bewildering experience in Dubai, I couldn’t help but call to mind my experiences here. The constant push to dream big. The culture of doing your best work no matter the conditions. It’s so evident amongst everyone who works here. From Editi, who always comes up with the greatest and most mind blowing ideas which sometimes leave me as bewildered as my guy from Dubai, to Muna who has the Midas touch, to my team lead, Ifeoma, who spends more time dotting her “I’s” and crossing her “T’s” than she spends writing the actual articles, and eventually to every single staff of Anakle, they’re never satisfied till they have delivered their very best.
Sometimes, I wonder at the minds of those great men and women of past centuries, people who without any visible motivation and with a herd of handicaps dreamed up great things that were totally unheard of. The Wright brothers came up with the idea that man could fly, an almost impossible dream if you’ve never seen any airplane before. Many felt that “if God wanted us to fly, He would have given us wings” and although that was true in a sense, the airplane proves that when a man says “yes”, every thing else says yes in return.
The reality you see around you can influence how big your dream is. It is the dream of some to just get married in a small house, live within a small budget and just live a life of contentment with small things; a noble dream but one that may one day put them closer to poverty than wealth. Some of us witnessed the destruction of the middle class about two decades ago and know that the most dangerous place to be is in the middle. If you’re going to be anywhere, be in a place of abundance. To live a life of average is to have just enough for yourself, nothing for anyone else and that is downright selfish.
Indeed, we were made to do great things. Dream bigger dreams for your life. Plan to be the best you can be and get all that you can get, not to use it all up for yourself but to share with others. There is nothing wrong with working with your present reality but imagine a better future for yourself and never stop aspiring for that better future. Spend time with people who are far ahead of you. Visit places that are outside your sphere of experience. Such open up your mind to the fact that there is a reality different from the one you presently live in.
In the Bible, Joseph’s first dream was of his brothers’ sheaves bowing to his own and he was criticised for it. He went away and came back with an even bigger dream; the sun, moon and stars all bowed down to him this time. His father gave him a robe – call it a kingly robe if you like – and his imagination expanded. He went to Potiphar’s house and saw a level of affluence. I’m sure he must have glimpsed the majesty of the Pharaoh once or twice and his dreams got closer to reality. The easiest way to convince yourself that something can be done is to observe someone else doing it.
To dream bigger dreams, you have to experience bigger things. If you’ve got kids, drum this into them. Let them know that there is a better life than the one you’re currently living. Some of my peers I grew up with at a younger age still get scared to use the escalator today. Agreed, nobody was born using an escalator, but if as a kid you mastered it, you will be running up and down its steps by the time you become a teenager. Let your kids get used to experiences that will fire up their imagination and increase the size of their dreams.
These days, my dreams rarely last three months before I’m craving newer experiences to dream bigger. I have dreams for my life, dreams for my future businesses, dreams to write a book, dreams for my family, dreams to be on Forbes, dreams for a better Nigeria and they just keep getting bigger. I don’t rest on my oars until I slowly actualize these dreams and make them reality. I used to go to those very exclusive hotels, sit in the bar and just order a bottle of Coke and watch how things happen at this stage. I would always come back with bigger dreams.
In the present reality of our society, your small dreams today will become even smaller tomorrow.
Dream bigger dreams.
– Chris “Spy” Opara (Content and Strategy)