He was a four year old boy at the time and the only concern he seemed to have was the lure of adulthood. He desperately wanted to be a grown up. He would ask questions, show interest in discussions and attempt the simple things that adults do, such as drink very cold water. My nephew was ready to do everything within his power to be a “bigger boy”. (By the way, this is NOT my nephew’s picture)

A few reasons he desperately wanted to be a ‘bigger boy’ includes:

1.)    Bigger boys walk different. He learnt that strictly from me. I walk with confidence (street name: swag), and he wanted to do so too.

2.)    Bigger boys are intelligent.

3.)    Bigger boys enjoy life – From a 4 year olds perspective, the ‘more meat’, ‘more cake’ ‘choose first’ hospitality that uncle and daddy receives were enticing. And he believes you needed to be a bigger boy to enjoy those privileges.

However, once the desire was there, we took full advantage too and explained that:

1.)    Bigger boys don’t cry for things.

2.)    Bigger boys concentrate in nursery class.

3.)    Bigger boys do a lot of exercise.

4.)    Bigger boys must read very well to go to Bigger boys’ school (primary school).

As summer approached, we came up with a plan that I’ll tutor him in preparation for bigger boys’ school so that he will be among the most intelligent bigger boys in primary school. He agreed wholeheartedly. Anything to make my nephew a bigger boy is considered done.

On the first day of the summer coaching, all excited and ready, we sat down to learn, and as I went from activity to activity (counting, arithmetic, online games, puzzles) I could see the enthusiasm drain out of him. We stopped the lesson just in the nick of time for the day. My Nephew was not prepared for the reality of the bigger boy life. By day 3, the unexpected happened. After having his shower and eaten breakfast, as I prepared him for lesson time, he busted into tears, crying profusely. I asked him what the problem was, he just kept saying “I want daddy”, “I want mummy”. They’ve all gone to work and won’t be back until evening, I explained with no success, so I decided to give mummy a call and have her speak to her son. When mummy came on the phone, my nephew spoke with tears and a determination that says ‘having considered all options’

“Mummy, I don’t want to be a bigger boy anymore”

I guess that was the first time he realized the responsibility that comes with being a bigger boy.

Like my 4 year old nephew, I also remember as an adult there are many things I got myself into that I wasn’t prepared for. Maybe you can count some as well

  • Buying a car you didn’t quite calculate the maintenance cost.
  • Getting married when you couldn’t properly cater for your new family.
  • Get into debt that you couldn’t properly service.
  • Volunteering but didn’t quite work out the commitment required.
  • Running a business without proper planning. Etc

This year you can do better by taking  initiative with the way you live your life. The following are another 4 things you can do (plus the ones we listed last week for careers) to start taking initiative in your own life:

1.)    Research before you register – Do adequate research before you put your head into anything.

2.)    Count the cost – Simply put, count the cost. Don’t plan to fail by failing to plan. See the end from the beginning.

3.)   It requires hard work – For some reason, some people think hard work is not necessary. It does not matter which field, hard-work is required. Nothing comes easy or free.

4.)  Don’t quit – Quitters are never winners. There is something about achieving a goal or a target or a dream that energizes and inspires. Keep moving, keep achieving.

As young as my nephew was, I found a way to teach him these 4 things, especially ‘don’t quit’. So he kept at it and when he resumed in bigger boys’ school (primary school), his performances made him stand out as a ‘Big Boy’. Today he’s a big boy, not a bigger boy yet because his hand cannot yet touch is ear when he stretches it over his head. (That’s one of my criteria to make him qualify as a ‘bigger boy’.)


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