This is my forest….and I am not afraid
After having an interesting and eventful weekend, I thought to write on something that got quite impressed on my mind. I went to Ibadan, a city in Nigeria from Lagos on Saturday for about 3 meetings. The first being a members meeting for Holidays and Cash members in my team in Ibadan. I went to find out why the business was slowing down in Ibadan and what they needed to know or do if they desired change or financial freedom.
It was quite an interesting meeting and the participants were fired up.
Then we had a prospects’ meeting and afterward in the evening from about 10pm till 6am the next morning, we engaged in a financial intelligence training called BIT (Billionares-In-Training). It was very exciting and the education for the over 40 people in attendance was immense. Each person had something profound that they learnt from the experience of the training.
Actually the training is based on the playing of a financial game called cashflow 101. This game was designed by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter co-authors of the best-selling rich dad, poor dad book. In my opinion, everyone should play that game. It’s said that “the more you play, the richer you become”.
Then I left Ibadan at about 7am and took up another journey to Ilorin about 3 hours away without having slept. I had been informed the night before by the bride of the wedding I was attending in Ilorin that it’ll be an honour for the couple if I anchored at their reception. I immediately had cold feet and tried to say no, but she insisted that that will be my wedding gift to them and they didn’t want any other. I had never anchored at a wedding and I didn’t even have time to prepare. I also wasn’t very fluent in my native tongue (Yoruba) and didn’t want to look out of place as I guessed the crowd would be expecting an anchor who could and would speak yoruba fluently.
Well, I anchored the wedding and did my best. I didn’t feel myself though but at least, I dared to try and I just did it. You know, they say, “you’ll miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”.
Anyway, while charging the members of H&C in Ibadan, I told some of their leaders that Ibadan was their city and they needed to possess it and take the major influence as regards H&C before someone else does and they find that they were caught napping. I remembered a movie I watched a few years ago and I related the lessons I learned from the movie to them.
The movie was titled “Apocalypto” and was produced by Mel Gibson. Rudy Youndblood was the lead actor and in the movie was named Jaguar Paw. He according to wikipedia, must escape human sacrifice and rescue his family after the capture and destruction of his village. It was quite a gory but interesting movie. I was held in suspense and hightened anticipation through out the movie.
The scene that got to me was when while running away from his pursuers, Jaguar Paw had to jump down a waterfalls. His pursuers thought he was dead but when he came out of the water on the other side, he suddenly had news for them. He looked up defiantly at them and declared with a loud voice
” I am Jaguar Paw, son of Flint Sky, my father hunted this forest before me. I’m Jaguar Paw. I am a hunter, this is my forest and my sons will hunt it with their sons after I’m gone. Come on! Come on!”.
I broke up in a grin and hurled my fist into the palm of the other hand. “YES”, I shouted, “GET THEM”. My adrenaline was pumping and I felt like jumping into the TV screen to help him. He ended up turning the tables on his pursuers and killing them all save two with weapons that only one familiar with that forest could know about. Here are some lessons I learned.
1. Know your Forest
Had Jaguar paw not been familiar with that part of the forest, he may never have known his forest that well to turn it on his pursuers. He must have gone out to play with his friends most days and even nights in the forest. They must have hidden from, chased, fought and helped each other in the forest. Every one needs to develop an area of competence. Develop your skills in the area you are comfortable with. The area you are comfortable with is your forest and it can be speaking, comedy, fashion, business, strategy, security, software, IT etc…Know it first, recognise it, discover it and know it to the best of your ability.
2. Hunt your Forest
Jaguar Paw was a hunter. He said so himself. He had learnt to wait in patience for prey after having set a trap. He had learnt to run after prey till he caught up with it and killed it. He had learnt to run away from hunters(wild animals) as well. He knew where the snakes where and where the jaguars whre, he knew where the holes were and the posinous animals were. He knew which plants could heal and which ones had a scent. He had hunted his forest so well that he knew it’s strengths and weaknesses and could use them whenever the need to arose.
Are you hunting your forest? Do you know more than average in your area of competence or are you just mediocre? Do you seek knowledge continually by reading and acquiring information. Do you need to go for a course or take a lesson? How well have you exploited your opportunities, strengths etc…
3. Who’s leading you in your Forest
Jaguar Paw’s father taught him to hunt the forest. He showed him the dangers and thought him how to avoid them and use them to his benefit. He showed him the good side as well. He allayed his fears when he got afraid and pumped his confidence when he needed morale. He literally led him by the hand through the school of hunting and he did so well that when he was about to be murdered, he looked at his son as gasped “Don’t be afraid” as if to say, “Today, my lessons will begin to take effect more because now, you are no longer the student but the teacher.
” Who is leading you? who is teaching you? Who are your mentors? Who do you submit to to receive knowledge and/or grace? If you don’t get a leader, you may not survice the forest.
4. Return to your Forest
When Jaguar Paw was released to be used as target practice, he made a run in the direction of his forest. All through the day and night, while he was pursued, he had only one direction in mind – his forest.
When you find yourself adrift of your goals and dreams and destination, please return to your forest by all means. While you are fighting failures and opposition, return to your forest. Your forest is not your comfort zone. It is your base. It’s from where you plan and deploy. It’s your headquarters. It’s your area of core competence. It’s where you are in control. It’s from where you can take bearing and find out what direction and at what angle do you need to go. It’s your focal and locus point. It’s your place of retreat and restrengthening. It’s where God is.
5. Use your Forest
Don’t keep running in fear in your forest. Use your forest to win. Once Jaguar Paw entered into his forest, the game changed. He started to use his knowledge and skills acquired over the years to bring down his adversaries one-by-one. There were things in the forest that he went to get intuitively and found them where he knew they would be. He used his forest and brought down every single adversary.
Use your skills and area of core competence to your advantage. Use them as a base, as a fulcrum or pivot, as a herald. Don’t be afraid in your forest. Take risks and use your forest to win.
6. Have a Plan B in your Forest
Jaguar Paw when the village was attacked earlier in the movie first sought to save his pregnant wife and toddler son by lowering them into a pit hidden somewhere in the forest. He had a plan B which simply stated “If I fail or lose my life, I must make provision for my legacy to live on” The thought of his family trapped in the pit helped to drive him to the point of victory but it was a plan B.
What is your own plan B? What if you don’t survive the forest, how will those who come after you survive? Do you have a plan B? What if your skills and area of core competence don’t give you what you want? what is your plan B?
Remember, “This is your Forest!!!”