By Ubong Essien, CSP (Mister Motivator)
“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” – Horace Mann, The Educator
“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” – Chuck Palahniuk
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said that “Lives of great men all remind us that we can make our lives sublime, and departing, leave behind us, footprints on the sands of time.” There is no doubt that the former Managing Director of GTBank, Tayo Aderinokun and Nigeria’s Lady of Songs, Christy Essien Igbokwe, both embody this truth. Both achieved greatness in their respective fields by the sheer impacts of their contributions to our lives. They understood what William James meant about the great use of life to spend it for something that will outlast it.
Even though they both have departed this earth, they did not live in vain for we all can truly testify that the value they added to humanity far outlasts the length of days they enjoyed. They had in their lifetimes won some victories for humanity. Neither of them, in my view, as a motivationalist, died an unlived life. Neither the size of their bank accounts nor the model of their cars can tell the story better than the living testimonials of their impact on their generation and beyond. A subtle advisory, yet again, to this material-crazed society of ours is to rethink our values.
Christy Essien could not have been said to have nearly as much money as Tayo Aderinokun, a bank CEO. But then what does that matter. They both impacted their fields and left their marks uniquely on their nation. While Christy became the voice of millions through her songs, Tayo in no small measure helped to democratize qualitative banking services across the length and breadth of this country. That we no longer have to sleep in our banking halls with the good old “tally number” is a true testament to his contribution.
These 2 lives will no doubt be judged favourably by history as lives well lived. They will be used as examples to those coming behind to inspire them to the effect that if Tayo Aderinokun could do it in his time, so can you. If Christy Essien Igbokwe could do it, so can you.
Someone once said that 2 dates will be inscribed on every man’s tombstone: his date of birth and his date of death but what will matter most will be the dash between both dates.
Whether we like it or not, there is what is called the law of succession. You and I have no power over it because that’s the way life has been designed. This law will someday take its effect on all of us players on this success journey. The law of succession demands that you leave something behind. And whatever you leave behind must be a legacy. Do not leave anything by default. Leave something behind by design.
Tayo Aderinokun will always be celebrated because by design, he was part of something bigger than himself; he played his role in revolutionizing the banking sector. While Christy Essien Igbokwe’s musical and other contributions did not come by default, she chose to make a difference. What legacy will you be leaving behind when your time comes? Bear in mind that we are daily creating this legacy either by design or by default.
Alas, they could have a little longer. But we cannot the Creator judge. Perhaps we can hopefully find consolation in the words of Benjamin Franklin when he said, “A long life may not be good enough, but a good life is long enough.”
How fully alive are you?