DON’T FOCUS ON THE FUTURE… – Soriyan Tells Nigerian Youths

By ‘Femi Asu

Olakunle Soriyan

Olakunle Soriyan, a Transformation Strategist and prominent Nigerian motivational speaker, yesterday challenged Nigerian youths to change the current system by living in the present and putting their brains to work. He spoke at the ongoing World Changers’ Forum at the National Sickle Cell Centre, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria.

Speaking on “Innovation and Change” at the 3-day programme organised by School of Success International, a human capital development and youth empowerment organization founded by Seyi Olawunmi, Soriyan said: “The reason why we are backwards in Africa…the critical challenge we have is that we are not masters in using our brains,” adding that we are consumers while developed nations are producers and controllers of innovation.

“We are living in times of great complexities. Foolishness has become a standard and excellence has taken back stage. The reality of honour, excellence, integrity and merit have become so scarce…The wise men in our land are not people who are wise by their contents, but by the praises of the majority. We now have foolishness in high places. It is possible to be a rich fool; wealth is not a proof of wisdom,” he said, generating a loud roar from the audience.

“If five billion fools say you are the only wise person, how wise are you?” he asked rhetorically. “It is not how many people believe in you, it is who they are. The strength of a material is in its universal appeal,” he added.

Expressing concern over the craze for popularity, fame and riches among young people, he said; “Something is wrong with our system…Our system is due for change. You have heard it all your life that ‘you are the leaders of tomorrow’. Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook) did not wait for ‘tomorrow’; he is a leader of his time.”

He, therefore, urged Nigerian youths to stop waiting for ‘tomorrow’ saying, “you can’t be so concerned about the future and forget that there are actions you have to take today…Don’t focus on the future; get pictures of the future, but return to today.”

In a veiled reference to young people who look up to government for the solutions to all their problems, PK as he is fondly called, said: “Government is as stranded as you are. The government is a victim as you are a victim…You can’t insult Nigeria and forget that you are part of it. You will soon be there and if your thinking does not change, you will reproduce what we are experiencing now.”

“Your head is your secret…God has created a mental resource to help us navigate…Physical disability is not an indication of unproductivity. A ‘disabled’ person can employ an able person. As long as the brain is working, your championship remains a possibility.”

He, however, pointed out that  “the best things in life don’t come cheap. And the things that come cheap, any fool can have them. If you can sleep very well, can you be paid (for it)?” he asked. “The things that are easy to do don’t bring critical value, it is those that are tough to do.”

He urged participants to improve the quality of their thinking saying, “the books you read, the knowledge you acquire define who you are…Engage your head. Stop giving excuses. Start thinking seriously. Stop asking God for shoes, perfumes, cars…ask God to give you answers to the problems in our society.”

Welcoming participants to what he called “a different world, a world of superior thinking”, he said: “The future is in our hands; God will use us to solve the world’s complex problems. Grow big; stretch your mind.”

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