It was at the wee hours of the morning, just right before the busy streets of Lagos starts buzzing and teeming with people, I woke up to get ready for my trip. The next day I had a workshop to facilitate so I had to get to the venue that day. Thanks to my alarm clock for getting me out of bed on time. Couple of days prior to this time, I planned on flying but couldn’t make up my mind to do so since my ibo man’s mentality suggested otherwise. And thanks to my friends who encouraged me to take a public bus since it was cost effective and almost the same experience. Well, poor me, I agreed to the conspiracy and embarked on a supposed 10 hours journey on the road. Almost ready to leave my apartment, I beckoned for a friend to drop me off at the bus station, which he did but we ended up spending more than 2 hours at the chaotic Lagos traffic. We finally arrived at the Ojuelegba bus station where I was supposed to board a bus.
Getting there, I realized I had missed the last bus. ‘It’s not my fault, I left my house 5am’, I lamented to the management. A seemingly compassionate bus driver called me aside and told me not to worry they would blow a bus for me. As I couldn’t picture what he meant by the word blow, I agreed and waited for them to blow me away to my destination. Finally, a bus was out and I was the only passenger that left from the bus station. I finally was relaxed counting down my 10 hours on the road. Just couple of minutes outside the station, the driver stopped and picked up a couple of passengers on the road. I was calm about it. Just another 20 minutes he stopped and dropped those he picked up and another set boarded the bus. This continued till we arrived to Aba after spending over 13 hours on the road picking and dropping passengers.
In Aba, the money- possessed driver pleaded with the 5 passengers (including me) on the bus to step down so he could maneuver their company patrol team at the next junction. I couldn’t utter a single word as I was busy observing the whole scene and angry for taking the road. I watched this driver bundle us into a kabu kabu to take us to the next town. He made some kind of arrangement with the driver to drop us off where he would pick us up at the next town. Well, this is not the end of the story. Our kabu kabu got stuck on the road, and the engine knocked-out. I was stuck in the middle of nowhere. Some of the passengers were screaming at the top of their voice to the driver, ‘Oga driver, this is a dangerous place to stop!’ It was at that point I realized that when you are face to face with negativity, silence is your only friend. I looked at my luggage, and thought of what I would do if anything happened to my laptop – ‘my whole life is inside that machine’, I muttered. I couldn’t do anything but to pray. After spending almost 45 minutes at that spot, another bus driving through that road stopped for us and we were transferred to the bus. By the time we finally arrived at the next town, our driver was nowhere to be found. As God may have it, it took us another 30 minutes to find this man. Finally, I arrived at my destination after another 2 hours plus. This time, the driver couldn’t say a word because he knew I wasn’t happy with him and could punch him to his grave if he did. So he kept his foot steady on peddle till I got to my destination.
On getting to the place, my contact came and picked me up. Approximately, I spent 16 hours on the road that day and was all over the place. I didn’t want to see or greet anybody that night, though it was impossible. At the end of the day, I was dropped off at a really fancy hotel where a reservation had being booked for me already. Getting to my hotel room, I immediately unpacked myself for a hot shower. After which I was alive again. I took a long, deep look at myself in the mirror and my spirit whispered to me ‘comfort is priceless’. I learned this great lesson that day: Never to deny myself of comfort at the expense of my health, life or career. In a moment, I began to reflect and question myself dementedly: ‘What if I was robbed or kidnapped when the bus engine knocked-out? What if there was no bus to pick us up after our bus got stock?’ Not to mention the body pain I sustained from the trip. I learned a great lesson that comfort is indeed priceless.
The term comfort is used to describe a feeling of contentment, a sense of coziness, or a state of physical and mental well-being. A place of comfort is that special place for creativity. It is about having an oasis of things that help us to completely relax, let go of stress and problems and forget for a time about outside issues. This helps our concentration and creativity and inspires us to think beyond our current level. If I had flown, I would have arrived conveniently on time, with enough time and energy to prepare for my workshop the next day. But after 16 hours+ journey on the road, my system was completely shutting down. Making classy choices that will usher you into your own special place is required to always stay on top of things.
My point is. We all need comfort at times. Do you know that the choices you make today can be a determining factor to the kind of challenges that will naturally gravitate towards you? As leaders, we need to discover our own ways of being in that special place where we are most effective and productive. The choices we make in terms of leadership determine the shape and colour of our business. “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt. Are you making the often priceless, choices that lead to success?
Comfort is priceless and worth every penny!