A few things in life make us dance to the stream of cockiness. The first is winning. With every win and every victory, comes a confidence that makes you think you are, somehow, infallible. As such, a series of consecutive wins will give you, and a few watching others, the idea that you are some sort of genius or success overlord. The other thing that that exposes us this witty susceptibility is knowledge. Books, research materials, Ted talks! They always come with a well coated ideology that success, wealth, and power are things that come to the extraordinary in mind or those who can follow the laid down principles and tenets they offer you. Honestly, these things work – to a good extent. Knowledge equips you and success motivates you. They can, however, trap you in an illusion that may not be known until it is extreme.

I was having a conversation with a friend sometime yesterday and an issue sprung out from this. For some reason, I have been known to create a perception of ‘smart’ around a few people. To him, it was more of a truth than a façade. He felt I was trying to be modest about it or, in his own words, it was just false humility. That was when I explained. You see, because I read a whole lot of books and basically pursue knowledge, I have a very high tendency to sound smart. In essence, I could motivate people and urge them to take cogent steps towards success or any other achievement, but that does not guarantee that I actually follow them myself. My articles or advices may propel a positive move in others but if for that reason I posit that I follow them flawlessly, then I’m undeniably a liar.

I gave an explanation of how I have read big books on saving like The Richest Man in Babylon, amongst others, but have battled with saving. So, I can tell you all you need to know about saving but it does not guarantee that I actually follow them. Largely cynical but that’s off the surface right? Nothing serious. The thing is that this same thing can be traced to a number of bigger problems and controversies. Like how, Robert Kiyosaki, the author of the all-time bestselling finance book “Rich Dad Poor Dad”, went bankrupt. Also how Dale Carnegie – a legendary author of the bestselling self-help book, “how to win friends and influence people”, committed Suicide. How can you preach on positivity, speak against worrying, talk about staying happy, and commit suicide? Hypocrisy? It is the same way coaches are not as fit, if at all, as the athletes they train; heathy living cooks are fat resulting from an overdose on sugar, and writers advocate writing daily without always following it.

There are a few probable reasons people do not follow their own advices. First, it could be basic rubbish. It might not just have worked because the idea itself is faulty; that’s logical. Next, we could have too much information. Anybody who knows anything would assure you that there is something like too much information. In this case it is easy to filter what you say but when it comes to applying them, there is probably another way to deal with that or it just plainly does not apply. There is also the case of doubt. “What do I know?” “Am I sure that is really the case?” “Maybe it only works for some people”. Other times, we just look away from ourselves. An answer on Quora reads: “It may be hard to follow one’s advice because it comes from the mind (ego), not from the heart (soul).” Since the truth lies within our hearts, it could be why.

The only thing common with all of these is uncertainty. There is no real or explainable reason why these things happen. As such, you can only dance around finding the problem – a complete waste of time, I would say. But how many problems are solved when the problem itself is not known. The only suggestion I propose is for us, (being that I am on the list as well) is to consciously listen to ourselves when we speak. Listening to the point of believing and believing to the point of actually making them happen. I mean, who says this would actually work? Maybe it could work in some cases. I can’t guarantee if that’ll work. See what I mean?

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Lawretta Egba is a professional writer, ghostwriter, editor, and poet. She is the founder of Cyno Group, a boutique content creation/content marketing firm meeting the varying content needs of individuals and businesses towards effective storytelling, problem-solving and economic growth. The company offers in-house ghostwriting, editing, and content writing services for large corporations, businesspeople and economic leaders. Lawretta’s articles have been featured on a plethora of platforms within Nigeria and the diaspora. Some of these include the Premier Pan-African media group reporting on African affairs – Face2Face Africa, Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global, Exquisite Magazine, YNaija, and a host of others. She runs two blogs: lawrettawrites.com, where she reviews books, writes on mythology, peeks into transformational African topics, and analyzes matters of the human psyche; and newcommas.com, a brainchild created towards documenting everyday African stories. For info and inquiries, contact via: lawretta@cynogroup.com


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