Leaders of Tommorow #2 by Remi Adeoye

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Dear Youth,
Education is good but not everyone is cut out for academic rigor.
That you could not go beyond School Cert does not mean you are condemned to failure.
Your aptitude may lie elsewhere. There are many great men and women who had no aptitude for academics but are icons in their different callings today.
Let me give you a few quick examples:
Richard Branson is the owner of Virgin Group. One of his companies is Virgin Atlantic, an International Airline of which he is the CEO. He dropped out of school at the age of 15. He is an international powerhouse according to Business Insider. He is worth a princely $4.6Billion.
French Businessman, Francois Pinault dropped out of school when his classmates made fun of his poor background. He is the third richest man in France today and number 53 on Forbes World’s Billionaire list.
British Businessman, Joe Lewis left school at the age of 15 to run his father’s restaurant business. Today he is the eighth richest man in Britain. He has more than 150 companies and is the owner of Totenham Hotspurs a Premiership Football club.
That is not to say education is useless.
Infact good education is important. But lack of it does not mean you cannot succeed in life. If your aptitude lies elsewhere than academics, follow your passion. But do not mistake laziness for absence of academic disposition.
First, make the effort.
In primary school I was an average student in maths.
The first exam I did in JSS 1, I scored a poor 20% in Mathematics and I wanted to be a doctor!
In English Language I scored 98%. My form master called me.
He told me I did poorly in maths because my interest was not there. He asked me to imagine myself in a hospital treating sick patients. How did I like it? I told him it would make me happy. He said my poor grade in maths was the obstacle I needed to overcome to get there. I promised to work harder.

Before that talk, when maths class was on, I would be reading a novel tucked under my locker, glancing up once in a while, pretending I was following the lesson. I stopped that and started concentrating. At the end of the term I scored 56%
By third term in JSS 3, I got 76% and I was allowed to opt for science.
But it was when WASC/GCE exam was approaching that I worked really hard.

On my own I spent a year preparing for the maths exam.
I started with the New General Mathematics Book 1 chapter 1.
I would study each example and repeat the workings on my own till I got the same answer. Then I will attempt the questions at the end of each chapter and checked my answer with those provided at the end of the text book. If I got it wrong, I would try again and again until I got it right.

The ones I couldn’t solve, I took to my class teacher. He was happy to help.
Then I went to Book 2 and then 3 and finally to 4. Book 5 was revision mostly. I did the WASC GCE exam and got A3 in Maths. I did JAMB and got admitted to OAU, Ile-Ife for Medicine and Surgery. That was in 1983.

The only reason I didn’t study Medicine was because my Biology Result was withheld and when it was eventually released with an A3 grade, I had opted for another course and was in Year 3. I later appreciated the withholding of that result as divine intervention to steer me from a chosen path that probably wouldn’t have offered fulfilment. We will discuss that one another day.

The point I am trying to make is that sometimes we don’t make the effort and we expect results. I thought I could never do well in maths but it was because I never applied my mind to it. When I did, it turned out to be one of my most enjoyable subjects. Till today, solving mathematical problems is something I enjoy doing.

But if your aptitude does not lie in academics despite diligent and persistent effort, it may be that you are more inclined to business or handwork. Learn a trade. Learn the basics of business. Try your hand at various things. Find where your skills lie. Discover your niche. Identify a need in your environment and provide goods or services needed to fill that need and you will prosper.



Have you learnt a thing or two, please drop it in the comments section. Don’t forget to share this post so that your friends can learn too.

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