Whenever I hear people say, "We learn every day," I sincerely hope that they understand how deep that sentence is. It's not just about learning new things or finding a new way of doing things; it could be about gaining a new perspective on life based on a single, seemingly insignificant moment or occurrence. It should interest you that one of such experiences gave me a motto that constantly repeats itself in my head every day.
It was one of those hot afternoons in February when I attended court sittings during the holiday for the experience. As a law student, these things are very important, and even though they weren’t made compulsory, I did it anyway because anything is better than sitting idly at home, and what better way to learn than first-hand experience? So if you’re a law student reading this and plan to do this at least once, I digress.
After going a few times, I discovered a particular courtroom that sat only on Thursdays and the presiding judge was a woman, so I decided that it was the perfect place for me, and then I began to go to the court only on Thursdays, not just because the judge was a woman, but because she was very disciplined, strict, and she always sounded so firm and intelligent whenever she spoke.
On this fateful day, it was the end of the court sitting and I was one of the last people to leave, so as is the common practice in the court, you have to take a bow as a sign of respect to the presiding judge as long as they’re still sitting whenever you want to leave the courtroom, and so on my way out I did a half bow because it felt awkward, but before I could step out of the court, the judge called me back and told me some things that will forever be etched in my memory and probably even my personality. She called me back and asked, "Are you a lawyer?"
I replied, "No ma’am, I’m a law student."
"Is that why you gave that mediocre bow?" she said. She asked me if I saw how the lawyers all gave deliberate bows and went on to tell me how important it is to be deliberate in every endeavor I undertake.
Speaking of being deliberate, we might have heard this same lecture in one form or the other, the most common form of which is "be intentional". Well, "intentional" and "deliberate" are synonyms, so you see where I’m headed.
We hear things like, "be intentional about your growth," "be intentional about your goals," etc., etc., but how about being deliberate about any and everything you do, any task you’re faced with? If you have to wash a car, make sure to wash it so deliberately that whoever sees that car when you’re done commends the washer. How about that?
When you begin deliberately putting effort into doing little things, then being intentional about bigger things like personal goals, growth and development become more feasible.
I used to be a firm believer in inadvertently stumbling upon a life-changing opportunity, and I’ll tell you why. Take a look at famous people like Elsa Majimbo or Khaby Lame and how they made it big by literally just having fun with their social media accounts. I mean, Elsa Majimbo went from eating Pringles and laughing to being invited to the MET Gala, having an interview with THE Naomi Campbell, and bagging endorsement deals with big brands like Ray Bans, Valentino, MAC, and Fenty, to name a few. I’m sure even she didn’t know how big she was about to become when she started making those funny videos. Rare cases like this are why I believe that you can get everything you’ve ever wanted by a fluke. I may not have been entirely wrong, but what are the chances that it would ever be the fate of you or me? Why wait for a stroke of good luck that might never come when you can deliberately pave your path in life to exactly where you want to be?
I hope to return to that courtroom to thank that judge (whose name I, unfortunately, don’t know) for giving me a better approach to life. She probably doesn’t even remember me or the encounter, but it did inspire me to be more intentional about everything I do.
It would amuse you to know that since then, whenever I try to do anything half-heartedly, I hear her reprimanding me for not bowing properly. If I can't put my all into it, then why do it? It's go hard or go home in this house!
I hope you’re inspired too. I hope you make it a point of duty to be deliberate in your actions and put measures in place to ensure you get where you want to go; develop a well-thought-out strategy; and find a platform to promote yourself.