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“Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He whose gaze is fixed to a star does not change his mind”- Leonardo Da Vinci. (Italian polymath whose areas of interest included invention, painting, sculpting, architecture and other diverse fields of the arts and sciences).


I remember the first time I got denied admission to my first choice university. I was at work at an orthodox factory in Lagos about to have lunch. It was a bright sunny day. I came out of the factory, washed my hands, changed from my factory robe and trudged with my friends towards the kitchen. As we approached our destination, scents from the kitchen intensified the ache in our stomach. We hurriedly placed our orders and went to sit. Soon our food arrived, and we started eating. Laughter reverberated through the air as jokes were being cracked while we happily munched our jollof rice. Ironically, these jokes were targeted at people within the same space. That is, a friend of mine making fun of another friend of mine’s oversized cloth, his old phone or even his worn out shoes.

In the midst of this, I refreshed my email inbox only to receive an email stating that my application portal had been updated. My heartbeat increased. Immediately, I decided to check out my application status on the application portal of the university I applied to. I checked out the website, inserted my application ID, put in my password and behold, the news was staring at my face right there on my small Nokia C1. I was denied. Immediately, my countenance changed. As people kept laughing at the jokes being thrown around, my thoughts wandered away to seek for an answer to the question of “What Next?” “I’ll wait for my other applications to other universities” was the thought that came to my head.

Guy, Man, People, Dark, Shadow, Hands

But that was the genesis of my denials. I got more denials and more and even more until I missed the chance to further proceed with my studies that same year. Then I waited for the next year planning and strategizing on how I’ll make the best of the applications and hopefully come out victorious in the end. In a nutshell, I got into two universities in the end and had to pick one that suits my needs and desires.

To get what I wanted, I learned about certain qualities I had to possess to have my way.

Firstly, I had a dream. I knew what I wanted. It was clear as crystal. I knew this was where I wanted to be, but initially, I didn’t know how I was going to get there, but I knew that this was the dream. Your dream needs to be fastened to your heart and mind. Then you can map out a trajectory that will eventually lead you to this unique dream of yours.

Secondly, I decided on what I want to do to get to the top. I asked myself questions like “what can I do to get to this self-created dream of mine? How do I achieve that which I want? What steps do I need to take to get there?” When you start asking these questions, you’ll start making conscious efforts on what to do and which steps to take to get there.

Also, I was determined to meet up with that dream. Whichever legit way I was going to take to get there; I was ready to tread on that path. That is what I call determination. This term does not look at the demotivating comments or ridicules other people say or throw at it; determination never feels tired or weary of its dream; determination perseveres, and that is the mentality that should guide your steps.


Diligence was the next personality I imbibed. Anything good that comes your way most of the time comes the hard way. It is not always rosy. I had to fold up my sleeves, dip my hands into the soil and toil really hard to get what I wanted. Hard-work is key to anything good in life.

Finally, I declared the positive. Death and life are in the power of the tongue. You become what you profess. Therefore, I kept telling myself what I wanted with full assurance that I will get it. The more you profess negativity, the more you start feeling pessimistic about things in your life, and ultimately, that will breed negative results and vice versa.

With this article, I hope I have inspired you one way or the other. Always remember that good things do not come easy; only the ones that dare to persevere until the end eventually make it.