Yes, People Can Give You What They Don’t Have!
By: Kayode Olatuyi
I am unhappy about the opportunities that young people miss out on because it is not coming from the ‘right’ source. There seems to be general consensus on the saying “people can’t give what they don’t have”. At surface level, the thinking makes sense. But a little scratch below the surface reveals it is not entirely true.
It is not always true that only those who have achieved success in a particular area can help you achieve it (i.e. give it to you). Rather, I am here to suggest that “Yes, people can give you what they do not have”!
Let me explain…
Misinterpretation of the concept
The problem is that many young people misinterpret and are being misled by this well intentioned but often misleading mindset. ‘Give’ in this case is interpreted in a direct and literary manner. It is used in the sense that I cannot give you N1000.00 if I do not have that amount. It is used in the sense that only Aliko Dangote can teach you how to run a successful business; only Novak Djokovic can teach you to play tennis; only Whizz Kid can teach you to compose songs and only Wole Soyinka can teach you to write etc.
Whereas it is true that only a Physicist can teach physics, and only surgeons can teach how to dissect an animal; it is important to understand that life is not technical matter; rather it is emotional and by that fact does not conform to
simple and straight forward rules.
Success is more about behaviours than skill
Yes, success is more about behaviours than skill. To this end, people may not be able to teach you skills they do not have, but they can teach behaviour they do not have. For example, AA was founded by alcoholics who wanted to teach people how to have control over alcohol.
As a Career Mentor, I come across people who miss out on fantastic opportunities because the opportunity comes from people they do not consider as being successful. Many youths hold on to the direct interpretation of the concept. Too many people often refuse to listen to someone they consider as not meeting their ‘success’ criteria.
For example, recently, Sandra (an acquaintance) told me that she cannot take marriage advice from a colleague who has had a marriage breakdown. When I questioned the premise of her decision, she replied, “She is a divorcee for goodness sake”. Sandra is obviously schooled in the ‘if she does not have it she can’t give it’ thinking.
Sandra in this case overlooks the critical factors in choosing who to take advice from – that of care, awareness and devotion. She forgets that the adviser may have been so pained by her marriage breakdown that she has vowed to help other women avoid the agony of marriage breakdown.
What to consider before taking an advice
The number one ingredient for achieving success is the element of ‘Care’. Do you have one or a number of people who ‘care’ enough to give a listening ear, a kind word, attention and time towards the attainment of your ambition?
Anyone who has ever watched kids at play will testify to this fact. I once witnessed one little boy climbed onto his brother’s shoulders to pick a ball from on top of a high shelf when the mother refused to let them have it. Imagine if they had waited until mummy was willing to oblige them?
Awareness is also a big factor. Does the adviser have the awareness of what is at stake? Do they have any forward thinking attitude regarding the matters at stake? What relevant mistakes can they draw from to support the attainment of your goal?
The secret for getting anything is not only by looking for those who have it, but also by looking for people who care, who are aware and are supportive enough to help you get it.
Often those who have it neither have the patience nor care enough to help you get it, much less ‘give it’ to you. It is a fact that many who have it do not even know how to teach it. The notion that only millionaires can help you become a millionaire is false.
My parents never went to school, but somehow knew the value of education and toiled through rain and high temperatures to pay for my education. Imagine if Serena and Venus Williams had refused the advice of their father (Richard) – because he never won any tennis championship? What would have happened if the first astronauts to the moon had refused to take the advice of the advising scientist on the condition that the advisers left their laboratory?
In conclusion, it is important to emphasize that people do not necessarily ‘give’; but they do equip, encourage and most importantly, support others to get what they want. Everybody who crosses your path has something to teach you towards the achievement of your goals. Jettison the idea that only millionaires can make you rich. Look for the quality of care. Ask yourself “Do they care”? “Do they believe in me”? Once you are sure this is the case, then, you are on the right path to recruiting another great member into your fighting army.