This post was inspired by another awesome post out there. The title was inspired by one really good rock band.
I grew up as a very mischievous kid (with a killer mouth I must add), confounding my parents and their friends everywhere they took me to. As I grew older in the typical African setting, proverbs were used to provide insights and admonish me when I went wrong. The good thing was I saw the truth in some of these proverbs. The bad thing was that they became subject to my cynical examination- just for the fun of it. In any case, I end up twisting them in a way that will generously bequeath headaches to my forefathers.
So when I came across a popular motivational quote in my university days, my mischievous imagination went into overdrive again. The quote that got into trouble was the “is your glass half full or half empty” question (usually applied in classifying an optimistic or pessimistic person) and I thought, “Do I care? Nah, i don’t think i bother myself with such issues of global importance. As long as it quenches my thirst, no problem!” I clearly got the message being passed but like the saying goes, old habits die hard. Someone else said that while the pessimist and optimist were mulling over the glass being half-full or half-empty, the opportunist simply drank what was in the cup. Sue him!
Most of the time, we get saturated with some “motivational” statements that only end up achieving a placebo effect. They make us feel good in the short term but have very little lasting effects on us. The poser is: do they work? I’ll let you answer that in the end.
For instance, someone tells you that having a positive attitude is everything but what good is a positive attitude without faith (yeah I’m a person of faith, deal with it.)? You might argue that having a positive attitude is akin to having faith but what is faith without the works manifest it? What good is a positive attitude without action? I can have a positive attitude and still wear disaster like a suit. So if it’s positive to get a little negative, do so. By this, I mean that it’s okay to be sick of the way things are so you will take action to change things. Get angry enough to realize you deserve better and that you aren’t going to be satisfied with anything less than the best for yourself and for your family. Sometimes, we need to get negative to take positive action (whoever said opposites attract wasn’t a dunce).
Here goes another one, “There are no problems, only opportunities.” This one is just too ridiculous. I have problems. ‘Gbam’! I bet you do too. And I find it insulting when someone tells me otherwise. Sometimes, there is no way to dress up a problem and call it an opportunity. If you’ve got a headache, you’ve got a headache; not an opportunity and that’s a problem enough for me. To me, problems aren’t opportunities, they present challenges instead. So face the problem, acknowledge the problem for what it is and tackle it head on! Then when the problem’s solved, it can become an opportunity. Whatever you do, just call a spade a spade.Have I said too much? That’s my big mouth and my mischievous imagination in sync (which might end up crucifying me one day) but I believe a cord has been struck. Be careful what you buy into and act upon. When you hear something, make sure it makes good sense, and then try it. If it works, run with it. If it doesn’t work, dump it and scram. But what do I know? My glass isn’t full by the way- knowledge is an undying thirst. Adios!