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Demola Olarewaju @DemolaRewaju
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One of the messages that changed my approach to life and my life itself was by Pastor Poju a few years ago and it was titled “How Your Thoughts About Others Affect Your Own Life.”

For the past few years, that teaching has shaped my attitude towards others and changed my life.
I was born into a church where the mantra was that for it to be well with you, it must be woeful for someone else - and this is reflective of African society where people believe that their inadequacies are the fault of someone else blocking them or taking away their shine.
I must have listened to that message over 100 times since then and internalised the lessons to a point where I now find it difficult to wish ill on anyone else, even when the person clearly manifests to me as an adversary.

A heart filled with hate can rarely make progress.
I remember someone engaging me on here to meet with someone else and work with them and I facilitated the meeting. They got very close but never met and I asked the person why.

The response was that they didn’t want to be demystified with that other person and so they never met.
But they were closer than the initial person was to me.

When that person got close to me though and asked to meet, I obliged out of character: I enjoy being demystified away from whatever imaginations people have about me from twitter.

I like people to see me as I am in person.
Sometimes, they go away telling people that “Demola isn’t really all that in person.”

And I smile.

Because you see: the ability to recognise greatness in its raw form is not one possessed by many but those who see it, two things immediately happen to them...
One is that they continue to honour what they’ve seen as they had been doing - even though they’ve now seen the flaws.

(For Christians, think of Noah’s son who saw his father naked and mocked - while the other two coveted that nakedness).

And by that honour comes promotion.
Second thing is that having seen you in a different light, they can also be inspired - that “If this Demola guy that is so ordinary, can still exhibit so much greatness, then even I in my ordinary state (like him) can also exhibit greatness”.

And this really is what I want.
To inspire.

Because those who inspired me the most were the men who at the peak of their greatness, delighted in telling me about how they had not even come close to me in achievement when they were my age.

And because of that, they respect me - even though they’re higher.
Lol, @Adetunji1212 - remember you and your friend coming into my room in Akure when I came for your programme and I was sitting very ordinary, in only boxers? 😂

I could sense you both wanted to go out quickly to preserve some sort of mystique about me - and I sometimes do too.
Once I sense someone is worthy, I open myself up so that they see that beyond what outsiders see, there’s just an ordinariness from which greatness proceeds.

And usually, most people preserve that respect and honour.

But sometimes, people return from there into a dark place.
Some people see the ordinariness and forget the greatness they saw initially and develop all sorts of negative emotions - the worst of these is Envy.

“So this guy is even like this and everybody thinks he’s all that? I’m far better than him jo.”

And I concede: “Yes, You Are.”
But you see: the wisdom that an elder uses to eat hot moinmoin quickly is hidden under the leaves of the moinmoin.

In other words: what makes anyone great is not something you can ever observe conclusively - because even if you see them stark naked, you can’t see their heart.
The transition from Admirer to Hater sometimes surprises people - but some of us know that only a thing line separates these emotions.

Envy and Admiration are not strangers, they’re twins - closer to each other than you can understand.

Envy and Admiration are very identical.
Admiration says “I love this person. I want to be like them.”

Envy also says “I love this person. I want to be like them.”

The subtle difference is that demystification of seeing them ordinarily:

“I’m morally better than this person so I deserve to be them, more than them.”
The moment admiration adds that little bit to itself, it becomes Envy.

And then the schemes start - the manipulation to possess what the other person has.

It starts with imitation - you’re trying to be like them - but results differ: so you start to nurse resentment.
You start to struggle: because your heart is being consumed by Envy, you compensate by outwardly going overboard with effusive praise - so that the subject of your Envy doesn’t suspect the emotions you’re having.

But their next success finally drives you insane with Envy.
To be fair, like Nietzsche said “all of us are all too human.”

These things are natural to the African mind - the idea that you’re poor because someone else is rich.

But that Poju message freed me and Envy is something I’ve removed from my own life for a few years now by force.
And sometimes it’s a matter of force: you deliberately cut off any feeling of Envy by dragging it into the Light.

The Greek goddess of Envy lived in dark places - Envy thrives in darkness.

Force yourself to celebrate people in their greatness, or Envy will set in.
Pray for them.

Every time I start feeling someone is moving faster than me, I deliberately mention them in my prayers and thank God for their success without even asking for mine to come.

Because that it happened to someone close by, means it’s happening already: close to you.
You cannot wish evil towards others and hope to naturally find good in your own personal life: it is a universal law.

Salt water and fresh water never flow from the same source.

You can’t demote others out of malice and hope for promotion for yourself: it may come, but tainted.
Whatever you struggle to attain, you will struggle to retain.

Because Possession is different from Ownership - that you’re in possession of a car doesn’t mean you own it.

Whatever is not yours from within - you can only possess it outwardly but until you own it: you struggle.
The last time I went to Abuja before I went this last Tuesday, something that had never happened to me before happened.

I misplaced my phone and my tab as soon as I arrived and some hours to my leaving, my entire bag with everything in it also got stolen.

Strangely, I was calm.
I’ve never lost anything like that before: ever.

I’ve misplaced things and had them returned, months after - happened two different times in the past.

But when this happened, I wasn’t downcast, I felt a strange calm - my spirit had somehow prepared (or been prepared) for it.
I didn’t understand then - the meaning just came to me this morning as I’m sharing this here.

Weren’t we just discussing Caesar here the other day? And Cassius with a comment from @KingDouyeAlfred...

Those who envied Caesar, killed him - but they never attained his greatness.
I remember when I was to get married and an Ex found out about a month before the day.

She told me later that her first emotion was Envy - but she forced herself to call me and offered to plan the event for free.

Even though we’d parted amicably, as an African, I was wary too.
So I restricted her to only Aso-Ebi matters - and she did it with all pleasure and efficiency.

By her own words, she forced herself to pray for me and my soon-to-be wife.

By the day of my wedding, she’d met a guy and had picked a day for introduction.

Married 2 months after.
African China said “Food wey person go chop, e no go pass am.”

What is yours can never escape you - unless by wishing evil towards others, you push it away from yourself.

Because the heart cannot be conflicted - you either have goodwill to all (including yourself) or to none.
@tundeleye used to say to me when we first started this journey: “See, everyone will get to where he is going eventually.”

Simple something - but very deep.

You can either go up in life by scheming and pulling others down (Envy) or by pushing people up (Admiration).
Zig Ziglar said “You can get all you want in life by helping others to get what they also want in life.”

Makes so much sense on various levels - even business.

Wanted to end with that quote but let me add something:

That our humanity is also always before us in greatness.
Every single time people praise me anywhere, or even commend me: I’m humbled; truly humbled.

Because I’m thinking “this people don’t know me 100%, don’t see my flaws.” - I feel unworthy.

I swear to God: sometimes I go back to read the thread to see what the fuss is.
And this is the Way of the Masters that was bequeathed to us on our journey: to see greatness in ordinariness and to see ordinariness in our own greatness.

Let no man boast therefore: because we have these treasures in earthen vessels.

Our eyes are always trained on the future.
One thing I tell people: the day we start to look back on our achievements is the day we start to fall back into nothingness.

Nobody drives a car forward in any direction by looking into the rearview mirror.

As long as there is more to be done, all we have done is ordinary.
So when people praise me for my threads: I’m reading it again and spotting grammatical errors, fuzziness, a point I didn’t expound well enough etc.

And there’s a small whisper “You that you should be writing books, you’re doing thread and you’re happy.”

Always looking forward.
So wish people well - wish them well from the bottom of your heart.

Be genuinely excited when they attain great heights or when they’re about to attain them.

I wish you well - yes, you reading this: I wish you Love, Light and Life.

Love Lives Here - and always will.
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