While You Sleep…

Photo Credit: www.anonymousartofrevolution.com
Photo Credit: www.anonymousartofrevolution.com

“If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”- Martin Luther King Jnr

If like me you live in Lagos, or any other city in the world that is characterized by the kind of fast paced life and madness that is synonymous with metropolitan cities, then I can hardly blame you if all you desire to do at times is crawl into bed and do absolutely nothing. One of my best moments is time spent in the solace of my room and on the comfort of my bed, away from all the commotion and pressures of our crazy world. Sometimes, one really wonders what all the hustle is all about since life is short and we aren’t going to take anything out of it anyway. All the degrees, material acquisitions, relationships and achievements will end one day, so why don’t we just pack it all up and go to sleep? It is a valid argument I suppose. Even the good book says everything is vanity. But then again, the same good book warns that a love for sleep guarantees poverty.

In a rapidly changing world where it is hard to keep up with the almost supersonic rate of happenings and events, not to talk of technological advancements, it is dangerous to be caught sleeping. Now, sleep in this context can be literal or figurative. You may be one who literally loves to spend a good amount of time sleeping on one hand. On the other hand, you may be “sleeping” in terms of being complacent. It doesn’t matter which of the two is your Achilles heel, you really should snap out of it. Sleep can be the devil. Complacency is a thief of progress.

You see, the thing is that while you get comfortable in that cosy spot of yours, the world is moving. The world doesn’t wait. Often times, we see someone who seems to have suddenly hit the jack pot. We say they made it out of the blue without having an idea of how many years they spent burning the midnight oil while their contemporaries were partying. We are oblivious of the amount of pain, sweat and blood that got them to the enviable place they currently occupy. We are ignorant of the amount of hard work and drudgery they had to endure to get to that point. Because we live in a society where many have assumed influential positions that they do not deserve or amassed questionable wealth within a short space of time, sometimes there’s the tendency to always attribute any success to some dubious means. No, it is not always that way. There are people who are where they are today through good old hard work and determination.

I know quite a number of people who started their businesses way back during University days. Those days when many were still utterly clueless about what they wanted to do with their lives. These people got an early start no doubt, but it is only because they were forward thinking and knew what they wanted out of life early enough. But those who don’t know their story, and now see them growing in leaps and bounds assume that they must have had things easy or were even born with a silver spoon. I also know people who didn’t have that early head start, who had to get into the labour market before deciding on what exactly they wanted to do. But you know what? When they found that thing, they never looked back. They worked over time to make up for the lost years. While you got comfortable on that nine to five job that you absolutely detest, but have found yourself trapped in because you need the money and cannot dare to quit, they pursued their passion relentlessly even while doing the same dissatisfying job as you.

The makeup of the world today does not permit anyone to be idle or complacent. It is extremely risky to be caught napping in these times. Maybe the very few who are born into stupendous wealth can afford to be a little laid back, but for most of us who are from barely average families or even poor ones, there is absolutely no excuse or reason to be found sleeping.

The reality is that while you sleep, your contemporaries are busy thinking of the next frontier to push. While you sleep people are strategizing on the next barrier to break. While you sleep, your mates are in the process of obtaining that masters degree that will give their career the much needed boost. While you daydream about having Dangote’s type of wealth, someone else is taking practical steps towards making it their reality. While you have become smug because you can now afford a Tokunbo car and pay your rent, someone else knows that those who buy brand new cars and live in their own houses do not have two heads.

While you sleep, the world is moving.

23 Replies to “While You Sleep…”

    1. You have the knack for reading minds, I sometimes wonder myself, about this business of running around all in the name of making money, like you rightly said, it is all vanity. We shouldn’t now say that because it is vanity, we will become complacent, and not pursue money, my own take on this issue is that we should try as much as possible to pursue what makes us happy, and of course, we should strive to be best in our respective profession, I quote Olamide in one of the interviews, he granted a while ago, when he said “Dangote does not sleep, why should I sleep” Invite
      We should learn from these rich people they hardly sleep, they are always looking for ways to make money, while some people will be sleeping and blaming the government for everything that went wrong in their lives, another brilliant piece, I must say.

  1. As true as words these words are, we cannot totally deny ourselves some sleep. Literally speaking, for every living thing, sleep is compulsory!

    In as much as I don’t want to love sleep, a good sleep does feel good
    And irrespective of how the world keeps moving, humans still have to sleep regularly to remain in existence;

    Even when sleep seems to be described as the enemy, Doctors still recommend it for obvious health reasons especially in a fast paced world like ours;

    You can’t deny the fact that, in keeping life’s balance, we still need to sleep.

    …I’m feeling sleepy right now, so I had to write the above in Sleep’s defense …. …. ….. … I sound sleepy right? ;)….(*yawn) ..what was the topic again?, was it actually “don’t sleep”???

    1. You got me laughing there! Of course it’s impossible not to sleep, that’s certainly not what I was trying to pass across. As much as I’m not a heavy sleeper, I sure love my sleep regardless. Classic Korede to put up this kind of defense for sleep. Sure good to read from you. Thanks girl!

  2. I must admit that I was asleep for many years but some unfortunate circumstance reawakened me and it’s as though I’m racing against time to make inroads as man isn’t getting any younger. I think it’s best one develops himself in what he is good at because it will give a headway even if you aren’t sure of what the future holds. You at least know something is in the bag which is what you have developed unlike those who don’t spot what they are good at and make it waste away.

    1. Many of us “sleep” at one time or the other in our lives. Time goes by so fast that one just wakes up one day only to realise that ten, fifteen years have gone by! Glad you got yourself back on track.

  3. Another angle on this topic just came to mind. It’s as though young people today think they can get rich without doing anything meaningful as some people have made wealth and fame by doing practically nothing and this is talking about the Kardashians. People are citing Kim as an inspiration but isn’t that a wrong person to mimic? I don’t want to start saying her history as quite a number of people who watch the popular TV show I see no fun in know the story. Why should anyone be like Kim? Why not be inspired by Oprah, Serena that walked their way up the ladder? I think she’s a very bad example for the society. That’s why I pondered in your previous post about Kanye’s presidential ambitions how having Kim as First Lady would sound. Something isn’t right and we need to have a reality check on who we see as role models to follow.

  4. Hmm… I often ponder on some of the contents of this write up prior to this time. I came to a conclusion that there is no formula in working one’s way up the ladder as so many determining factors come to play. While you are absolutely right on many fronts because logically to make it out there, you may need to toil a bit in some cases, toil much more in some and TOIL a whole very lot in most other cases, the luck factor or should I call it divine favour from the Supreme being have been the lot of some other people who got spiraled up the ladder in a rather accelerated manner. Many have sweated it, burnt the midnight oil, laboured and even lobbied in addition for donkey years… yet, the result is no where near commensurate to the painstaking efforts invested over time. How do we then explain that? Spiritually, it may be argued that it is not just meant to be that way for them. It is not their destiny, maybe riches is not their portion. .. bla bla bla.

    Keeping in mind all these, I came to the conclusion of – whatever will be will be. Yes, one should definitely not be laid back, however, I shall not strain beyond my capabilities in an effort to “make it”. The motto is “do my best (not to extreme limits) and pray”. While this may just be an opinion of mine and somehow it has worked for me over years, I still wish to re-iterate that there is really no formula to it all. I guess the logic is to find what works for one and adopt that because for someone like me; “mi o le waku!”. That’s my way… what is yours???

    Another brilliant piece Lolade. You got our minds working yet again. Well done!

    1. You’re right Abayomi, working very hard doesn’t necessarily amount to riches or wealth, if it were so, labourers would probably be one of the wealthiest set of people in our society. However, you also mentioned doing one’s best, which is the crux of this piece. Let us do our best and leave the rest to providence. At least we will know we are doing our part. There’s something about the universe aligning with a man who knows what he wants out of life.

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