Playing The Long Game Instead of Giving Up

BY Wonu Temowo


Have you ever been in a situation you never envisaged? An obstacle standing in the way of your dream? Or your lack of passion for anything in particular which is allowing others to dictate the direction your life is going to take? If none of these have happened to you, count yourself lucky while warily looking into the future. The hope is that you would not have to learn how to combat any of these scenarios at a later point in life when the risk of failure is too great.

I have had experiences and most of us of the current generation with our first world problems actually believe we have seen it all when the worst thing that has happened to us is our parents refusing to replace our laptops or phones with a newer version. For those who have had it more difficult and made it out, a sincere kudos to you because you are the few that actually know what life entails.

What is giving up exactly? Giving up comes in all forms. Is it that diet you tried to stay on but you have convinced yourself you cannot possibly live the rest of your life in such a manner? How can all those doughnuts, candy and frappes waiting in my future be forfeited? Generally it means you may end up overweight but not morbidly obese. I can still pull off the high waisted bikini right? My summer body may not be on a 100 but 70 never hurt anyone. That is not the form of giving up being addressed here. It is the form in which you are letting go of a passion, an aspiration you could not imagine your life without.

Someone, somehow, circumstance, the cruel hand of fate has suddenly taken away from you the chance of experiencing what true fulfilment feels like. In the case of Lisa Bu, a Ted talk speaker, it was her dream to be an opera singer. Since her capacity to reach that dream was dependent on other people (parents) and time, her dream was quickly tossed out at the age of 15 because she was too old to train by then. However, with the loss of this dream, she could develop a passion for something as failure gives you the chance to get in touch with areas of the brain where passion, dreams and zest for life comes from. Lisa could turn her failed dream into a genuine undeterred passion for books.

For those who are young like Lisa was, is your quest for greatness dependent on your parents’ finances or limited by the circumstances of your birth? Why not take charge of your life by playing the long game. Just because someone restricts your path to success does not mean the path has been completely removed. If it has, build one yourself. Why not make multiple plans for different scenarios all ending at one goal. Your dream.

Be patient, get what you can from the powers that may be because that is what they can offer at this point, and see the current opportunities as a little detour in your journey to fulfilment. Just because your dream doesn’t fit into your 5-year plan doesn’t mean it would not happen in 10 years. An extra 5 years is a small price to pay to experience fulfilment for the rest of your life. The good thing is you are young, you have time on your side so what is the rush to give up and spend the rest of your life miserable, studying a course you hate to get you a job you do not want.

Find a way to make your dream come true from the circumstances presented. For example, if your dream of being a doctor is hindered by finances or grades that direct you towards a pharmacy course for the time being. Do not give up. Get a degree in Pharmacy; it is better than being unqualified and moping around. Work around taking your exams to apply for medical school. Work part-time and get your finances up. Get a scholarship. Take your independence. The only person who can kill your dream is you yourself. People can spit on your dream, insult you for it or disappoint you but they cannot take it away if you truly believe. The Bible leads us to believe, if your faith is as small as a mustard seed you can move mountains. It can be done, but do you know why you think it cannot? A lot of people do not believe just speaking to a mountain to move will actually make it move.

We all want to be successful because nothing supersedes a feeling of genuine fulfilment. The kind that helps you wake up happy in the morning without thinking of rocking in a chair years down the line with the thought of regret and missed opportunities just because you gave up. However, how much hard work, patience and sacrifice can you afford to experience this feeling? Life may throw you curve balls but as Kanye said “I refuse to accept other people’s ideas of happiness for me. As if there’s a ‘one size fits all’ standard for happiness.” “Know your worth! People always act like they’re doing more for you than you’re doing for them”. People may call him crazy but those are golden nuggets of wisdom. Why settle when you can be the best at what you put your mind at. Do not give up. No one can make a definite decision on your life unless you let them to. So why let them? Put up a fight and be patient.

Always remember to show empathy, say something nice to someone today. This may be your first step in the right direction. Always know someone out there is dealing with something greater than yours. You may not be living your dream today but who says you cannot tomorrow. Be good to people, never lose sight of what is important and always stay happy. You can do it!

Just a final thought. Psalm 118:22 “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone”. Go be a chief cornerstone and shock your world.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s