Hello Starters, this article is written specially for you. I was planning to drop this yesterday but due to some reasons, I couldn't. Sunday the 14th of Aprill added one more year in my life and during that day I was pondering on our community and the problems we face. This state of introspection also led me do some research on the mistakes people make when they are young and how they affect our lives and the lives of those around us. Well we all learn from mistakes and there is no human born of a woman (and of a man......if there is......) that hasn't made mistakes. Inasmuch as mistakes make us learn, as entrepreneurs and people who want to change our country and the society as a whole, there are certain mistakes which are not worth the risk when we are still young. As usual, you are free to open discussions on the points I will be giving because I might be wrong and I don't claim to know it all. These points are from my personal opinion and based on some resarch and I will like to share them with you. Consider these points as a competitive advantage I am giving you .
1. Most Young People are Focused on Passing Exams Rather than Learning: Our Educational system rewards those that pass exams and score high marks in competitive examinations. We all know that examination isn't the true test of knowledge and I thank God that I realized that very early before completing my Engineering course. I think the Founder of The Starterbook, DURRELL NGOUANET can testifty how this applies especially at Polytechnique Yaounde. Our brains are formatted to validate courses and we fail to learn how to learn and we instead focus on passing exams. This catches up with us when we complete our courses and find ourselves stuck in life with no competitive advantage and no technical know-how. Even those that find jobs in some institutions have a hard time proving their worth. We should all focus our efforts on learning how to assimiliate rather than validating courses.
2. Most Young People Think IQ or Talent is Enough to be Successful: Most young people think IQ or Talent is everything. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it is nothing; if used very well it can be a competitive advantage. But IQ isn't everything. Cristiano Ronaldo once said "Hardwork Beats Talent when Talent refuses to work hard". It is not sufficient to have IQ and you also need to work hard like a beast. Most young people think because they have a high IQ, the world owes them and they became misearble later in life. Let me be straight with you; you are wrong. The World doesn't owe you a dime and you need to put the blood and sweat necessary for you to get where you want to be. Remember, nothing good comes easy.
3. Most Young People don't know When to Listen to their Parents and when not to Listen to their Parents: This particular point is very delicate. It is either we do not listen to our parents and regret later because of our lack of knowledge or we listen to our parents and regret later beacuse of our lack of vision. I will share a personal story of mine in order to backup this point. After completing my GCE Advanced level studies, I decided to do engineering. Luckily for me, the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Buea was opened and entry was based on the examination of our total grades in mathematics and physics. Unfortunately for me, I was not selected and I decided I will prepare for the Polytechnique entrance examination that year and will not go to school. Before leaving I told the woman who was in charge of studying the documents that next year I will still apply for the Faculty of Engineering and I will pass but I will not come because I will aready be in polytechnique Yaounde! The woman laughed at me. After expplaining the whole situation to my Dad, he told me to do maths and become a teacher. I refused and told him it is engineering or nothing else. My Dad was so mad at me that he told me not to come to his house and I had to live with my aunty without hearing anything from Dad for a whole year. I focused on my dream and next year I succeeded. The Funniest thing is the faculty of engineering accepted me but I had already begin classes at polytechnique. Today my Dad is my greatest support and encourages me all the way. My advice on this is that you should listen to your parents when the target at hand is within their domain of expertise and in the other case you should be wise about your decision.
4. Most Young People Get into Debt: One of the worst mistakes we can make is to get into debt. The moment you are in debt, your time is not your time and you have to work your butt (excuse me if it is offensive) in order to pay your debt. Most young people get into unnecessary debts and they do not use the money to invest in their cash flow. You can seek for a loan if the aim is to us the money to generate profits.
5. Most Young People Equate Happiness with Money: It is a common misconception that money is the source of happiness. That is a false genjutsu (Forgive me I watch Naruto too much. Genjustu is a Japaneese word for reality) as they think money will solve all of their problems. The truth is, money will solve some of their problems. True happiness comes from deeply connecting with other people and making others smile. If money was the source of happiness, why do most celebrities suffer from drug addiction and other psychological issues?
6. Most Young People Give Up When Things Get Tough: Most young people like it when things are easy and go their way. They tend to look for easy escape routes when faced with problems and challenges. The downside is this attitude gives you the inability to plan and work hard for a longterm vision and you realize your mistake when you are old and incapable of taking action. Just look at how this affects our lives today. Most of us are unable to grow as people because we spent 22 hours a day on social media for mundane resaons. In a world where young boys and girls are so addicted to an easy life to the extent that they change partners within the twinkle of an eye, perseverance is a very good competitive advantage for anyone with a clear vision. We should all learn to never give up no matter the consequences and trust me , I've been there and I know what its like to secure victory after the world turns against you.
7. Most Young People Think Friendships will Last Forever: According to Maslow's Hierarchy of needs, Friendships fall in the psychological section of the pyramid. We all feel that need to have friends and to belong to a group. It is great but friendship based on vicinity or peer pressure do not last forever. As time goes on, you will come to realize that most of the friends you had while in secondary school are not part of your circle this time around. True Friendship that last is based on core values among individuals who are ready to motivate you and want to see you succeed.
8. Most Young People Don't Invest In Themselves: One of the worst mistakes we can make at this stage in life is to waste our time not investing in ourselves. Most young people spend their time watching TV shows (Novelas and Company,......Sorry Girls) rather than facing the real world and investing in themselves. Investing in yourself helps you know who you really are and what you can do. Knowing who you are helps you develop your own Identity and makes you know what you stand for in life. Young people should read books and travel alot in order to increase their knowledge base and see things from a different perspective. I recommend starting with the book "Rich dad Poor Dad" by Robert T. Kiyosaki for a start.
9. Most Young People Stay in Unhealthy Realtionships: As young people, we tend to fall in love at first sight and this at times clouds our judgement and we indulge ourselves in early relationships. The aim of a relationship is to help one another grow. There is no perfect boy or girl but there exist a perfect couple, which is made up of an imperfect girl and boy who complements one another where the other partner is lacking. This means you need to reason with your brain and not with your heart. Being with the wrong person is unhealthy and will only bring about your discomfort and downfall.
10. Most Young People Spend Money Carelessly: Most Young People are dumb with money. Maybe this is because the money is given and we don't earn it. Even those that earn it spend their money in liabilities rather than assets. Saving money is a skill that will give you a competitive advantage in life. We should learn to save money or spend it in assets rather than liabilities.
I will end here for Today fellow starters, we should all learn to avoid most of these mistakes and define clear visions for our goals. Hope this helps you and feel free to discuss any of these points with me; afterall, knowledge shared is knowledge gained.
Joseph Ayuk EGBENCHONG II