“I’ll never live in Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Kano or Abuja, the standard of living is too expensive, though the quality of life is alright and ample opportunities to succeed abound, I just cannot bring myself to live in these cities”. This was my rant in my heart as far back as only 4 years ago. My thoughts continued, “I would feel like a small fish in an ocean”.
But at the root of it all, was fear of the unknown. Yes, that’s my admission, fear of the unknown. I was afraid that I would fail, I was afraid that I was too introverted to succeed in the cauldron called Lagos or any of the “big” cities… and yes, you read it right, my thoughts suggested at that time, “I’d be like a small fish in a huge ocean”.
I struggled to accept that any of these I could go to, and become a better man, to grab challenges by the scruff of the neck and literally make success out of them; to fail in some yes, but not wallow in self-pity and accept the event as finality… I failed to realize that many others had indeed gone to live in many a larger city and become successful.
I had made up my mind sub-consciously, that as long as it wasn’t a small town where everybody knew everyone, and getting to the next street didn’t have to take hours of commute, and I was a ready-made “hero” to boot, I wasn’t gonna amount to anything….hmm small-town-syndrome i hear you say?
Fast-forward three years later, I got married in the city of Lagos to an adorable woman of great virtue, who had lived all her life in the “large” city, and four years later, I live in, you guessed right, the “large” city. What changed, I hear you ask? Perception and Perspective…
Perception: I realized that my thinking was flawed to start with… As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” or to put it more in lay man’s terms, the way I perceived myself would be the outcome I would experience.
Perspective: I experienced a shift in perspective in that I realized that as much as I feared failure, what was stopping me from choosing success instead?
What made me think I was a “small fish in an ocean”?
It was the way I saw myself… in my mind, I had nothing to offer that made any reasonable sense to me so how would it make any sense to anyone and also, what was I gonna offer that someone else wasn’t offering? You see, what you believe at any point in time is always true until you challenge the “truth” and it may turn out that your truth had been false all along.
I CHOSE to move away from the “I-am-not-cut-out-to-live-there” or “I-am-not-cut-out-to-have-it-going-great” mindset, to the “I-deserve-to-have-it-all” one.
Thinking back on it, it wasn’t as though these cities where skewed or as bad as my mind painted the picture, I had only approached the thought with so much negativity, fear and pessimism.
A key thing that I learned and willingly changed was that, my perception of me was to a great extent influential in way i made my decisions, and consequently, the actions that followed. So, before I ramble on, what’s your expectation? What’s the price to be paid? What are the choices to be made?