If your parents have ever looked at you like you’re a disappointment, this is for you.

If you have ever thought you aren’t at the point where you should be, then this is for you too.

“Read your books oo, so that you go make am for this life.” (So that you’ll be successful) That was the mantra we heard while growing up.

Our parents and teachers never let us forget the importance of getting good grades because there lies “the keys to success” in their words.

So we tried, we all did.

Every child wanted to be the best; the child other parents used as an example to their children, the typical see-your-mate or be-like-your-mate-reference child.

Despite what our parents might think, we did want to secure a promising future. No one wants to be seen as a disappointment.

Knowledge ≠ Power

They taught us that knowledge is power, but when you look at the world today, it feels like that is not valid anymore, or maybe it never was.

It’s apparent now that the swift ones do not always win the race, nor do the intelligent have the riches.

I used to have a classmate; who always came out top of the class after the terminal exams.

I wished I was like him. 

I envied him. Everyone did because we could already imagine him having the proverbial Nigerian Dream’s perfect future.

“The Nigerian dream “, proudly sponsored by Nollywood, is where the brilliant kid gets a scholarship to the University and becomes the manager of one firm or a scholarship to a foreign university and becomes a “big man” (wealthy person).

Imagine my surprise when I saw him on Facebook a while back, and he was none of the things I thought he would be after 17 years.

To say I was pained is an understatement because he was a genius at that time, and I felt like there ought to be a reward for all that intelligence and hard work.

Unfortunately, it didn’t happen that way. ( Nigerian dream in the mud)

We Ended Before We Ever Started

There are many people like that, brilliant, but they don’t get “a success story” (at least not immediately)

While some, maybe not as intelligent, went to tertiary institutions believing that it would guarantee them a well-paying job. But they have nothing, barely enough to survive.

Another group decided to get a skill, a vocational skill, tech skill, or digital skill to get a job with high earnings immediately after.

But the story might not always go that way.

The truth is; Having good grades, degrees, skills, certificates, and entrepreneurship does not guarantee that you will arrive at the destination you had in mind.


Because life is synonymous with unexpected events.

Life is like the sea waves while we are on a boat. It’s weird because even the waves have no idea where they will take you, so it’s not fate or destiny.

The waves might throw you off course, or you might be washed ashore with no idea where you are.

What’s next? 

Sit down and wait for another wave to take you back?

I think not.

Either get back on track or, better yet, plot a new course, maybe with a different destination.

And that’s how life goes.

Hey, Our Story Isn’t Over

Like Columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr., said: “We talk about talent, we nod to luck, but so often, we ignore the most important things. The hard work and many failures. The arriving early and staying late.”

Unfortunately, we live in a world where everyone wants overnight results, but that’s not how the real world works. In the real world, ordinary people keep trying for years to build

The best castles are not those that appeared overnight but those that took years of hard work. Because on stormy days, the foundation remains strong, and the castle stands.

Your life is that castle.

No matter where life throws us, we have to make the best of it while remembering that no destination has a guarantee of fulfilment or contentment.

It might be the most challenging part, where you have to keep trying to achieve your goals and get the results you want. 

You can get discouraged, overwhelmed, or even depressed. 

But “if you do not give up, if you do not tire out, you shall reap the benefits in due season.”


6 thoughts on “The One Time Your Parents Got It Wrong

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