Depression is a state of unhappiness and hopelessness that nobody really desires. Then life has no meaning and all sense of confidence is gone.
After Sunday Mass one day, I spoke with a friend. The minutes our conversation lasted showed that he was really losing hope in life. He had lost his mother the previous year and he was still living with his father as an adult. He was underemployed in his job. His sibling lost admission into the university due to the problem of finance. And there he was at this stage in life; if left by himself he would long for support. I cannot say the effect of the encouragement I tried to give him.
Weeks later I was at his place. After spending about an hour and a half with him we got to the real talk. I asked him, “If I should give you one million naira now, what exactly would you do with it?” He had no answer. Then I made it clear to him that his primary problem was not finance but the lack of a goal. He agreed. I went on to let him know that even if one million naira was provided for him, he would end up wasting it because he had no plan. He also agreed to that.
There are people who feel stuck in life and I would not say it is entirely their fault. But the situation will persist until the person wakes up. When he wakes up, his morning has arrived. He is dissatisfied with his circumstance and he asks himself questions. He looks at his situation objectively and realizes that if he fails to do something or continue doing exactly what he is doing, he would find himself in the same situation if not worse in five years’ time. The reality is that there are opportunities all around him which he does not see because his head is bowed down instead of raised up.
I am in this country and I would not be the last to say that things are really tough and sometimes it gets rough. There are the problems of insecurity, infrastructure, power, embezzlement, all hinged on corruption. I say that many of our seniors have failed us. Their acts do not give hope to the youths but push them towards crime. However, their actions are no excuse for crime. What the youth should see is a challenge, an opportunity for growth.
Look inwards and ask yourself, “What can I do?” Then create a goal you are to pursue despite your circumstance. Lack of finance should not influence you into creating a goal that will not stretch you. Do this with the two simple but great tools – pen and paper. Following your goal should be your plan. Think out your plan. Think about how your job can serve as an aid in realizing your goal, how you can tap into opportunities, the various stages that would mark progress towards your goal, how to acquire the skills you need, how to get the finance you require. This is the work a number of youth run away from – thinking. Your journey to your goal may not be as outlined in your plan but your plan gives you direction and makes you ready to recognize and exploit opportunities that will surely come your way. In fact decisions are made automatically once you have a goal in mind.
Whatever success is to you, know that it involves 70% psychology and 30% action. If you are defeated mentally then you are right in saying that there is no hope. If you are fired up with a positive attitude, then you have 70% of what is required for your success.
Neither should the time it will take to reach your goal nor the hard work required discourage you. Success in any endeavour takes time and requires hard work. There is no shortcut. Rather see the path that will get you to your goal as one that improves you so that by the time you get to your goal, you look at yourself and say, “It was worth it.” Let that motivate you.