When I was a child, there was a religious song that always played on TV, it was also popular in church.
The popular lines from the song went: “…he holds the key to your life.” “He” in the song, of course referred to God …and that was okay.
I mean I still agree to all that the song preached to a certain extent. God does orchestrate everything that happens in our lives, but about God being a “he” is a topic for another day.
As you would imagine, my friends and I made a catchphrase from the song. We would say that someone held the key to our life if we were indebted to them in some way.
For instance, my friend could say something like: “ better don’t break that plate if you don’t want your mom on your neck…you know she holds the key to your life.” Or “You better tell him you like him before he goes for another girl, you know he holds the key to your life.”
I can’t exactly remember how and when we eventually dropped that phrase.
Recently, though, I was going through Twitter and I saw a trending post by some lady. In the post, she had stated that : “Dear men, if you have struggled so hard and money hasn’t come, get married because some women hold the key to success.”
Instantly, the phrase “hold the key” triggered something in my mind that got me analyzing her comment and realizing the sad idea behind her assertion.
First of all, no human holds the key to succes at all. Second, no human holds the key to another person’s life nor determines what can or cannot happen to another person’s life, good or bad.
I feel like the comment throws light to the victim mentality that seems to have enslaved a majority of us in Nigeria, and is one of the reason most of us are not reaching our potential.
We believe that we can only succeed when we tie ourselves to someone else or we “marry” our visions to another person’s vision.
This, in turn, incapacitates us as we now believe we do not have what it takes to achieve our dreams or goals in life, and we no longer make required efforts to achieve on our own.
We wait for “the one” with the key to come and raise us. We look to marry someone richer or someone smarter. Someone we believe can take us “ there”.
Sure, most leaders, business owners and entrepreneurs agree that no one really succeeds alone. Even the most talented and driven person benefits from having good mentorship and connections; or at least from having the occasional door opened.
No one should attach themselves to another person because they are convinced that, doing so will uplift them either financially, emotionally, socially or otherwise.
Success comes from a sequence of efforts made by the person looking to achieve that success.
When you have an internal locus of control, you believe YOU are in charge of your life.
You can influence what happens to you.
On the other hand, when you have an external locus of control, you believe that what happens to you in life is influenced by external forces such as luck or fate.
Psychological research has found that people with an internal locus of control tend to be more achievement-oriented.
They are more motivated, more willing to take initiative, and just generally turn out to be more successful than those who believe outside forces or someone else controls their ability to succeed.
Comments like the one made by the girl on Twitter are an example of how a majority of Nigerians actually think. This is extremely disheartening.
We need a great deal of mental stretching from conventional and societal ways of thinking. We need to stop playing the victim to external circumstances and take responsibility for our lives.
Indeed, we must realize that, we do not need a man or woman to come into our lives and make us achieve our goals.
Quit waiting for that aunty, uncle or “godsent” that will recommend or give you a boost in the labour force by connecting you to a major job. We are responsible for how we respond to life. We are responsible for our success on our own.
Success, health, and happiness are all consequences. They are by-products. They are effects, not causes. You can’t control the effects; principles control these.
However, you can control the causes of these things, which are your behaviors.
The mentality that your success lies with someone else or that you can only find happiness when you have someone else? Change them. Once you’ve made the first mental shift, you know that your success is your own responsibility; and your success will eventually be the product of your choices.
If you want to be successful, that’s up to you.
If you want to be happy, that’s up to you.
Realize today that the outcomes of your life is entirely up to you….not someone else.