One typical rhetorical question used by most Nigerian parents to address their child’s inability to meet up with the social construct of success in the area in question of the child’s life goes thus: “Can’t you see your mates?”. The inclusion of the phrase, ‘your mates’ to sentences has become somewhat of a necessity to most parents in a bid to get them up & doing. The truth is that, for some people, this is enough motivation to boost their efforts. For me though, it has never been so.

Not very recently, I realized that including the supposed accomplishment of “my mates” when trying to motivate me did little to nothing. Instead, it did the opposite. So instead of me feeling motivated, I end up feeling dejected; then I lose sight of the little accomplishments I have made. It’s possible that I might eventually decide to do more, but that won’t be until I have encouraged a lot of thoughts detrimental to my mental health. So automatically, I won’t be doing whatever it is because I want to do it but because I want to meet up and maybe overtake the supposed standard I’m to look up to. For me, that’s not very good; If I don’t enjoy doing what I do, I won’t see the beauty in it.

Now, that’s my case, but like I said earlier, for some people, it’s different. I know of people who rely on competitions with everyone around them to be at their best. It’s not bad. I just feel it takes out the beauty in the accomplishment and at the end of the day, encourages miserableness. But hey, that’s just my opinion.

Another instance when the phrase, ‘your mates’ is usually included by parents or guardians is when trying to persuade or cajole their child or ward into doing what he/she (the child) has never done or does not feel comfortable doing but is the current trend. For instance; most youths everywhere are into graphic design and it pays, therefore, Nedu must learn graphic design because he’s a youth and his mates are in it; most youths everywhere are into bead making and are making money, therefore, Bisola must learn it because she’s a youth and her mates are in it. To me, that idea has always been ludicrous.

I can’t count how many people have come to me to learn graphic design and their sole purpose is to join the trend and make money.  I’ve always said, if you’ve not had any affinity or in plain terms, a natural attraction for a particularly endeavor you want to focus on, you can’t make it there. Everything I do now, I developed an interest for it long before trying it out. For instance; my graphics design brand, I made a post before about how I fell in love with graphic designs when I was little. It was the love and constant trying out that turned it into my business. My fashion design brand; I also made a post about how it started from scribbling sketches on different papers to releasing my first line. Even writing, I had always dreamt of owning my own magazine, and when the opportunity came, I founded my blog.

Now, what’s my take in this write-up? I’m not saying it’s wrong to be motivated or to have role models or people you look up to, I have a lot of those, they are important. I’m just saying, while looking up to them, do you. DO YOU!!! It’s the most important tool to getting to your destination. Let go of the imaginary competition; do your best, but don’t overstretch beyond your ability. You mustn’t be at the same pace with ‘your mates’. What matters is that you’re making an attempt and that should be your motivation. And please, always make fun an item on your part to success. No be you kill Jesus.

Happy New Week and expect a lot from this blog this week.

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About the author

I'm Dav-Oz, and  I'm the Chief Editor of The Dav-Oz Blog, a graphic designer and upcoming fashion designer.

I'm just your regular young Nigerian lad with dreams and hope for a better future.


  1. Nice piece. Competition in my opinion is never the way to go. Might bring temporary satisfaction but afterwards, all you have is misery and more competition. It’s great to find purpose and joy in whatever it is you do.

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