I have been totally unable to post on the Victory Path for almost a month now due to an important duty as a university graduate. My duty is to serve my country Nigeria for the next 1 year, through a program called NYSC (National Youth Service Corps). A 3 week orientation camp always comes first, which is to foster discipline, team work, service, and coexistence between different people of different ages, tribes and religions in a camp with the same prototypes running concurrently in different states. The graduates are divided into 10 platoons, headed by a soldier and inspectors. Something that makes it unique is that there isn’t dad, mum or any relative to warn or chastise you about what is good or bad. So people can live their lives the way they always desired it, and above all it’s a serious test of one’s character and values.
I had a great time, met all sorts of people, and learnt a lot of lessons that I will be sharing with you now. As I look over my experience, I realize there was a lot I learnt and I would not forget in a hurry. Please note that every lesson stated here was gotten and learnt from the camp, right out of real life experiences, and not a book. Enjoy!
Lesson 1: Anytime you are in a new environment, learn to be patient to understand it before you start acting: Patience is one virtue that everyone must have and many lack. Many people just get into new places and want to do their thing without caring. Well people like this get corrected the wrong way, they make too many mistakes because they didn’t understand the system and modes of operation. But those that got a good hang of the environment were able to survive easily. This is applicable everywhere, try to observe more, wherever you are right now. The reason why you may be struggling may be simply because you have not waited long enough to see and learn how it’s done.
Lesson 2: That everyone is doing it doesn’t make it right: Yes! When there is no leader, the crowd seems to be the best leader. We follow the crowd, and earn what the crowd earns, totally forgetting that we are individuals with different destinies. With so many youths in the same place, I could clearly see that many youths lack direction (God help us). They don’t know what they want to do, so they end up doing anything and everything that they see others doing or that comes to mind. Though I must state here, following others also matters as it pertains to doing the right thing. Doing right is always right all the time.
Lesson 3: You can’t give what you don’t have: I saw and experienced the greatest victories and losses in the camp. My platoon was the theme for loss. We had bad leaders that couldn’t carry us through. These guys had probably never led in their lives, or were always critics of other leaders who got the chance to lead and totally messed up. They just did not have the capacity to lead. They could not give the victory to a group of people because they didn’t have victory personally. Defeat is easier to share, and that’s what they did, helped us lose. There was no coordination, bad communication, and no plans. You can give food only because you have food, you can only borrow from someone that has because he has. Learn to build your capacity to be able to give something, if you don’t have, then you have nothing to give.
Lesson 4: Don’t be too shy not to relate with others, you’ll need them: I sincerely can’t count how many people I spoke with, smiled at, and related with. They were quite a number, but I could have decided to not speak with them as well. As it seems, it’s easier to remain in your shell than stick out yourself to be probably mocked or shamed. Is there anything that isn’t a risk or wouldn’t cost you? You don’t need to show knowledge to make friends, just discuss sensible things that you have in common, and you’ve started a conversation (guys take note). Well people are important, so I don’t hesitate to make friends. Many of them have been of help to me like I have been to them as well. Make that move today, make new friends.
Lesson 5: Try something new: Aha! Gotcha! You don’t like this one eh? Because it is easier to just keep doing what you do, and have done and you know will bring results right? Yeah, we all are at that point most of the time. Let’s just use this illustration: We all remember when posting letters were the best means of communicating, some letters took about 3 weeks to get to their destinations. If someone didn’t try something new, would we have the internet? No! When we are outside is when we want to hold on to what we have the most. We must learn to add a little flexibility to life or we’ll get broken. Well I tried some new soups I had never tasted, related in ways I hadn’t, joined the band, and they all made sense at the end. Then I was able to encourage others to do the same as I did, only because I tried something new. I can’t wait to lay my hands on the next new good thing. You too should
Lesson 6: Don’t be quick to judge: Now this applies to a lot of us. We are later proved wrong of what we thought about someone (although I must confess many times that we are right). It’s just that immediately we see someone our brain quickly analyzes what we see, and we come up with a perception about a person without having even met them. We must learn not to be quick to judge. We must also learn to give others a second chance. Can you recount how many good first impression chances you’ve ruined? Come on, you can do better! Learn to give others a chance to be who they are before you make a choice about them. And if they are even far from what we expect, let’s stretch out a helping hand. I am glad we got that point.
Lesson 7: Ask yourself what you really want: “What do I really want?” If we can ask ourselves this question in every situation, we will help ourselves from confusion. It brings purpose. Sometimes we are just not sincere enough with ourselves. Ask yourself, what do I really want from the Victory path by reading this post? Wherever you are, ask yourself what you really want. You can adjust if it is wrong, or simply go ahead to achieve it if it is right. Checking for our motives is important to achieving all we need to, and discarding what we don’t need too. I asked many people what they really wanted, and they seemed more confused than before the question came. It’s a question we must learn to answer every day. May I ask now, what do you really want from life?
Lesson 8: Watch your words: This can be summed up in a simple statement: “Say what you mean, and mean what you say”. Don’t join the league of people who use their words to claim who they aren’t and build high castles in the air. Be simple and truthful. You also must try as much as possible to be full of optimism and positivity. The more people complained about their environment, the less zeal and strength they had to accomplish anything. But the people that saw a lot of fun in the experience, had a great time and learnt a lot. Complaining destroys a person, but speaking positively helps build one up. Let your word be your bond.
The lessons from my experience continue: MY LESSONS FROM NYSC CAMP 2. Please ensure you finish up on these great lessons. They would be useful for you sooner than you think and are very applicable.
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