“Wisdom does not always come with age, sometimes age comes alone.”
Many years ago I read the book The Art of Leadership by Dag Heward Mills. Some things I learnt from that book have stayed with me for years. One of them is what I will be sharing here.
Most humans hate snakes. I would do anything to kill any snake I see before asking whether it was a venomous snake or not. Better safe than sorry. But why then does the bible say we should be wise as serpents? A creature so hated by man.
Despite the hatred man has for snakes, snakes still thrive because they’ve learnt the art of moving without being noticed. They’ve learnt the art of not attracting attention to themselves and they usually reside in places that are difficult for man to access.
We are admonished to learn this wisdom from the snake. There is a time for everything under the sun. Something done before its time may yield an undesired result. People rejoice when a married woman gets pregnant but are not happy when a teenage girl in secondary school gets pregnant. The difference was time.
In the journey to success and achieving our dreams many of us are not patient with ourselves. We don’t want to go through the process, especially the very talented ones. The love for money, fame, power, etc. has made a lot of people to go shipwreck and many there are that will yet experience shipwrecks in their journey.
Attracting something to yourself before the time is not wise. Fully ripe and almost ripe are not the same. Wisdom is in knowing what to do per time; Knowing what battles to fight because it is not all battles that you are mature enough to fight. That is why one should not attract undue attention to themselves which could mean attracting conflicts that you are not yet fully developed to handle.
Like Dag Heward-Mills wrote, If you kick a dog when it is a few days old, it may die, but try kicking a fully grown Doberman or Alsatian dog, you may die. The difference is in development.
There are many half-baked people around. Be patient with yourself. Give yourself time to grow. When you go through the process you become well rounded. The appropriate challenges are what come to you to help you grow. To develop a muscle you need a little more load than normal but placing too much load on the muscle will break it. As I journey through life I come across too many young people that are in a hurry to make it (and please don’t ask me what my definition of “young” is as you might be offended). They won’t sit down to learn from those above them, around them, and below them. Such people are on a self-destruct mode.
Saying “No” to good things can sometimes be the best decision of your life. Some people will innocently bring offers to you that will lead to your downfall. Not because that was their intention but because you accepted an offer that you were not mature enough to handle. We live in a world where we desire the title more than the function. But titles mean nothing without function. That is why traditional rulers are gradually losing their respect among the people. Because being called ‘Chief’ means nothing if there is no function attached. What value do you add to those around you?
True success is one where your function supersedes your title.
That means your desire to heal people must be stronger than your desire to be called a Doctor. Your desire to teach must be stronger than your desire to be called a teacher. Your desire to sing must be greater than your desire to be called a singer. Your desire to give must be greater than your desire to be called a philanthropist. Having this paradigm will help you in responding to the noise around you. You are not competing with anybody.
When you are truly in love with the process instead of the destination, it gives you the strength to endure the process. The growth process is not rosy all through. Pain is also a part of the growth process. That is why it is important to understand personal leadership principles because they will help you with the right perspective to life.
The wisdom of the serpent is to remain hidden and grow until the right time to be seen comes.
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