By Debbie Olujobi
The view one has of the world is most of the time determined by the information one has at any present time. So you could be living a really different reality than what really obtains all around you. I have always held the view that my acceptable reality is one that helps me live the best life I possibly can, I don’t go digging for truths that sour my joy and where I am faced with ugly facets of people’s character, I just look away, it’s what I call calculated clarity.
The older one gets the more obvious it becomes that happiness (and contentment) is a daily choice one makes. Is everything really black and white? Or are there many shades of grey in between? Accepting my own limitations was the first step in maturity, the second was forgiving those limitations, third was accepting all that I was and was not and the greatest and most enlightening step was learning to extend the same courtesies to others.
Idealism is an admirable trait in the young, when one gets older it is foolishness, the reason being that ideas must translate into reality or give way to practicality. Last year, I was on the lookout for what I believed was a perfect location for a new store and came across a rather charming gentleman who was one of the caretakers/owners of the building. He spoke impeccable English and was obviously very well educated and very well travelled so why were all the expected trappings of success even if modest missing?
From the little information I had, he was born into a very rich family and had been educated at the best of schools in England, he also seemed to have stakes/interests in the property I was interested and that alone was worth hundreds of millions. For all of his charm, there was a desperation that could not be hidden and my suspicions of his desperation was confirmed when he tried severally to charge fees that were outright illegal in cash.
He comes back to mind because he is the best illustration of miscalculated vision that comes to mind. On his way to Sixty, he is full of hair brained ideas, get rich quick schemes, fully convinced that he is about to turn it all around and hit it big.
Faith is a wonderful thing but faith without works is a recipe for failure and it still goes back to the clarity of one’s vision. Life has taught me some hard lessons, its important to put practical plans in place to bring any vision to life. I get worried when I meet people with multiple visions, all skewed, unprocessed, ill researched and vague. Its particularly irksome, when their goal is to only get rich and not succeed in anything.
The truth is people whose goal is just to get rich without a clear vision will either end up disillusioned or criminals. I almost ended up loosing a substantial amount to the said gentleman and only the threat of a lengthy stay in jail brought some clarity to his desperate mind. He had grown up with opportunities that most of us can only imagine but had squandered it all.
His education had not been completed so he had returned to his family without any qualifications, just ideas that didn’t need certificates to make him a billionaire. His parents had finally disowned him after he sold off a few choice properties and ran off to live the jet set life at their expense. His siblings made him a nominal caretaker for some properties but he wielded no power and had no authority despite the fact that he was the first child, he had been left nothing in the very vast estate of his parents.
We all have vision, but how clear is it? It’s one thing to be consumed by passion to achieve great things, it’s another to just be focussed on riches without plans to work for anything. The reality is that most of the dreams we have need to be adapted to suit our reality, thats where careful calculations come in.
My late mother once gave what I thought was very dodgy advice to one of her friends. The woman in question was in the process of confronting her husband over an affair and was planning a major showdown. I fully expected my mother to be outraged on her friend’s behalf but her counsel which was dodgy then now makes sense. She had told her friend to respect herself and choose to believe her husband is faithful if she wanted to remain happy and married.
My mom made it clear that any confrontation would simply mean that her husband no longer had to pretend or sneak around and that it was possible that the confrontation would simply transform a hidden nightmare to a day time reality! To quote my mom “people are what you want them to be, so just think they are good,and as long as you are happy any information to the contrary is not necessary.
So what is vision really? Is it just a question of dreams fuelled by passion or could it be a God given ability to project life into dreams? I believe the latter to be true and I am of the view that information that serves no good to further the course of happiness is totally unnecessary. In the same vein a man without a vision is a disappointment both to himself and others because his lack of clarity blinds him to the singularity of purpose that can bring success and fulfilment. When one’s vision is subject to the approval of external forces then it will certainly lack clarity.
It helps to have a God given vision so that one can depend on divine help in times of trouble, to be like Job and trust God blindly when all is lost and like Joseph and remain steadfast even when the vision grows dim. Success in any manner or form will depend on a clear vision, on faith and the ability to choose the path of happiness even when we look like idiots, choosing what we see is not a dividend of ignorance its calculated clarity of vision.