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Opinions of Thursday, 27 October 2011

Columnist: Baafi, Alex Bossman

Beware of the “Three Ghosts” in Life

By Alex Bossman Baafi

I have grown up to come to terms with the fact that ‘Procrastination is the Thief of Time’. This is true because ‘Time and Tide Wait for no Man’. We as a people, as leaders, or as individuals are confronted with decision-making process every now and then. In the modern world where the pace of change really exceeds the pace at which we learn, we need to be aware of certain “Ghosts” that prevent many from realizing their dreams, or goals wherever they may be in the fields of endeavour, whether academic, social, political, economic, recreation including the provision of visionary leadership.

More often than not, most of us have NOT been able to move forward meaningfully because of what I called the ‘ghost’ of Indecision. Yes, indecision is a ghost. It is one of the fatal handicaps in human life that hampers progress. The other two ghost friends of indecision are ‘Doubt’ and ‘Fear’. We need to be aware of these ‘three ghosts’ because they hound us to failure in our lives everyday everywhere until we become conscious of and eliminate them.

Future is unknown and that brings us in confrontation with indecision, doubt and fear most of the times. It therefore takes visionary, courageous, ambitious and bold people to break new grounds by departing from the status quo syndrome to bring out new things or new ways of doing things in order to experience or find themselves in a new world or situation. These same attitudes are needed to improve upon situations by taking a bold decision to break away from the past in order to experience the future.

A ghost is a remarkable thing making sudden appearance. It is an apparition of a dead person, which is believed to appear to the living, typically as a nebulous image according to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary. It means when a person is dead, he/she has no life and therefore ceases to exist but our figment of imagination could bring the dead to appear even though we cannot touch or see them physically. I lost my both parents at the age of eleven (11) and have never met any of them for over four decades now. They are ghosts now who could be seen only through my mind’s eye in a sudden in my figment of imagination but they really do not exist anymore and therefore could not support me physically as they used to be.

Indecision means not been able to take decisions quickly and decisively. It is indulging in the habit of postponing decisions. Doubt is feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction or better still, questioning the truth or facts about a situation or something. Fear on the other hand, is an unpleasant emotion caused by a threat of danger, pain or harm.

Indeed, these ghosts become virtually visible when we are not too sure of ourselves because of lack of vision, clear objectives, or lack of adequate planning or careful preparation. When we entertain these imaginary ghosts in our lives, they tend to hound us to failure. Viable solutions and projects are abandoned unexecuted for fear of failure, criticisms, or both.

I once found myself amongst many friends sojourning in another country after pursuing some academic interests. Every now and then, we were confronted with the options of either returning home or continue to stay and suffer in silence for doing menial jobs in the midst of harsh weather and ‘unfriendly’ food. These ghosts were equally hounding us about the future prospects at home. I can say with adequate certainty that those of us who braved the storm by defeating these ghosts and returned home have known no fears at all. As I write, the friends who could not decide because they were in doubt and afraid of failure, and stayed are suffering in silence and have been complaining every day. ‘It is not easy’ has become their mantra.

My advice to my friends still sojourning outside the country after their academic projects is that, you can only emancipate yourselves from this self-inflicted bondage by removing indecision, doubt and fear. Decided to pack bag and baggage and move without thinking of what job offers are available for you. Just move and that is it. Remember the encounter of Moses with the Israelites at the banks of the Red Sea. They were trapped with the red sea before them and the Egyptian army behind. In that terrified situation God told Moses ‘Go Forward’ whilst stretching his rod on the sea (Exodus 14:15). Sometimes the pressures of life are so strong that we feel helpless. As we frantically try to solve our problems, we often feel that they are getting worse. Yet if we allow God to take control during such stressful times, we will see God’s saving power.

Indecision means irresolution or wavering. It means hesitancy or uncertainty and it hampers progress at all levels of our everyday lives. We must be conscious of the fact that time is priceless and one of the most precious commodities. Time is unemotional and uncontrolled. It waits for no man.

In this world, every failure brings with it the seed of its equivalent success. Indecision is the seed of doubt. The two blend together to become fear. The blending process is slow but sure and dangerous. We have to know that fear is a state of mind and nothing else but it is sufficient to destroy every meaningful progress in life. Fear paralyses the faculty of reasoning and destroys the power of imagination. It undermines enthusiasm, discourages initiatives thereby encourages procrastination. Fear turns will power to nothingness and invites failure in every conceivable form.

In conclusion, we need to take stock of these ghosts and remove them from our lives in our quest to move forward. We will be successful irrespective of terrified situations that we encounter on our journey in life. Whatever be the case, make a point to go forward. Best wishes.

Email: abkbossman@yahoo.co.uk