Gentlemen, success in life is about dreams, goals and the determination to pursue and apprehend whatever it is you desire. Achieving your goals and dreams is what success is all about. However, for many of us, as lofty, as valuable, as interesting and as rewarding as our dreams portend, we are not willing to pay the price it takes to apprehend and fulfill.

Yes, we dream, as teenagers, as youths, as grownups we do have great dreams, we want the best of cars, the best of homes, the best of families, the best of education, the best of exposure; we dream about what we would like to become, the lives we would like to touch, the fame, relevance and influence we’d like to come into, and how our lives should be meaningful. We want to impact our generation and leave a legacy. Unfortunately, we don’t want to pay the right price for all these. We want all these at our price.

Permit me to ask a few soul-searching questions. Are you happy with your life; really, are you satisfied with your quality of life and standard of living? Is this really your dream life, your dream job, your dream marriage, your dream income? Is this what you really wanted for yourself or what you had no choice but to settle for?

Is there a huge gap between what you’d really want and what you’re currently managing? Have you become a victim of life instead of a champion in life? Is your life characterized by embarrassment? How rich are you? How wealthy are you? Is your low level of income a source of embarrassment to you? Can you confidently pay all your bills with a good balance left in your accounts? Can you travel at will, take a holiday to desired destinations at will? Are you a victim of landlord harassment, are you frequently indebted to friends and family and employer? Are your kids frequently issued letters to you from school based on outstanding tuition bills? If you happen to lose your employment today, (God forbid) can you sustain your livelihood without a salary for the next six months to a year?

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Are you a comfortable, happy and satisfied person, or it’s one fire after another you’re trying to put out? Have you become overwhelmed by the demands of life and you’ve become extremely religious thinking your enemies must be hard on your case? Are you happy?

Many times, we find ourselves in embarrassing situations and conditions in life because we are unwilling to pay the full price for values that will preserve us and protect us in future because we think they’re too expensive at the moment.

Life’s cost benefit ratio is the cost at which a future benefit is obtained. It’s about how much do I need to give or sacrifice now to obtain something I want or need in future?

Using figures, do I need to give up 10 points in cost to obtain only one point as benefits? No, it appears too much, but dear friend, that one point, that one mark could make a huge difference in your future.

One mark can make you lose a very valuable employment opportunity many people are contesting for. When you think extra two hours of preparation is too much for just one more mark in preparation for a written interview, you may refuse to give it and you consequently lose the one mark. Losing that one mark however, may be why someone else other than you got the job.  In reality you didn’t lose one mark, you lost the real value of that one mark which is a fantastic employment, simply because you wouldn’t sacrifice extra two hours. The value of one mark is that great job in that world Class Company and a transformed lifestyle, that’s the real loss – that’s the benefit forfeited.

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One mark can change your grade from F to E and deliver you from a carryover – and extra semester or even an extra year.

Ladies and gentlemen, many of us are struggling in life today because we misinterpret the cost and benefit ratio of life, we look at the costs, and the benefits in isolation without considering the eventual total benefits and implication.

What must you give up now to save yourself from a future perhaps filled with series of problems and embarrassment?

Just envision your future and consider the weight and enormity of responsibilities waiting, what sacrifices are you willing to make today that will make that future free of regret and back to back frustration?

Is it too much to read a good book overnight instead of clubbing overnight? Is it too much to use your weekends learning a craft or art like sewing, hair dressing, farming, carpentry, barbing, public speaking, property development, a trade, interior decoration despite the fact you’re a lawyer, banker, doctor, engineer? Will you remain employed forever or a time could come when acquired skills and self-employment would be a major escape and a life saver?

Are your weekend football matches too much to sacrifice for a secure and prosperous future in self-employment in case your employment ends abruptly or you retire?

Is it too much to give up that association and time investment with friends and neighbors with whom all you do is gossip, gist, slander the government and indulge in social and material competition with one another and join a superior group of thinkers, professionals, business gurus and progressive people?

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Is it too much to give up the extra hours of sleep in order to obtain another degree, a master’s degree, a professional qualification, new certifications and superior capacities?

What are you enjoying now, what are the pleasures of today that will perhaps cost you and make your life uncomfortable tomorrow? A little sleep, a little slumber and poverty shall creep up on you like an armed bandit.

What are you willing to give up, what sacrifices are you willing to make for your tomorrow my dear friend?

Gentlemen, don’t spend cheap on your future, don’t buy a very cheap future for yourself, pay good value and make worthy sacrifices for your future, no matter the personal inconvenience cost, pay it and you’ll thank yourself in future.

It is by far more important to endure hardship today that you’re younger, because much sooner than you anticipate, physical weakness will have set in and your health will no longer be as intact due to age.

Pay the price today.

Culled from Muyiwa Afolabi