There is this man (probably in his 60’s or 70’s) I often come across when I go for my walkout. I have noticed him for several days now. This man is always in shop very early, around 6 to 7am. I wonder if he sleeps in shop everyday but I doubt that. Anyway, that’s not why I am sharing this.
Today, I took my time to see what he was selling or the services he was rendering, I later discovered after thorough examination of his shop that he is a shoemaker Or should I say a cobbler (to make the name sound more interesting).
Now, while other Shoemakers are at home sleeping or doing other things, this man is awake and already positioned in shop ready for the day’s work. Take it or leave it, this man already has an edge over his colleagues in the shoe making industry. You’ve probably heard the phrase that “Punctuality is the sole of business”. This man understands this principle and plays by it.
Getting early to shop already gives him competitive advantage over others. He already has an edge over his competitor. Peradventure, this man is very good with his job; he will definitely make more money. While others are complaining about customers, he would have attracted the “morning walkers” in the morning. He has an opportunity to make more money than others.
While growing up, I used to be a perpetual latecomer to every place. Be it school or church. Everybody in school and church recognizes me as a latecomer. If there is an award set aside for “Best latecomer”, I won’t have any competitor. That is to show you how intense my late coming was. Even, when my church was beside my house, I mean we share the same fence; I still go late to church. It was as if I was cursed to always come late. As a matter of fact, people who know me are surprised when I come early to meetings. Imagine that type of bad recognition.
Getting to the University, it didn’t stop. It’s already a habit that has become a lifestyle. I maintained my status as a perpetual latecomer from my 100 level to my third year in the University. I arrived late for lectures except on few occasions. If I wasn’t 10 minutes late, I will be 5 minutes late and sometimes even more than 10 minutes lateness. I arrive late on almost every fellowship day. I’m bad like that.
Indeed how you do one thing is how you do others. I remembered missing an insightful session with Richard Mofe-Damijo when I traveled to Lagos for “Excellence in leadership summit” in Daystar Christian Center just because I came late. I was lost in the trap of lateness.
I knew my problem and I know I had to work on it. The problem is not that many of us aren’t aware about our challenges; the problem is that we are not working towards overcoming our challenges. I knew I was a latecomer from primary school till my secondary school days but nothing was done to change. And since nothing was done on my part to change, nothing changed. That is to tell you once again that “Things don’t just change, Things are made to change through one’s effort.” I am deviating already; let’s go back to why this chapter was written.
Knowing that I had to change, I make commitment to always get to fellowship early and I kept to that commitment.
You see, one of the attributes of those that have Become MESSIAH of themselves is PUNCTUALITY.
Successful people keep to time. You have to work on being PUNCTUAL in anything you do. Lateness is a disadvantage anytime, any day and in any setting. Punctuality gives you an edge in anything you engage in. A punctual student will be respected in school then a latecomer, a punctual employee has higher percent job security than a colleague who comes late to work. Punctuality will always trump lateness.
Several years ago (more than 2000 years), there were two brothers; they had a sick father lying on the bed waiting for death to call.
Knowing fully well that his days here on earth was near, he called his eldest son to prepare him a sumptuous meal so that his soul may bless him. In those days, fathers mostly bless their children especially the eldest son.
The mother who loved the younger one heard this, made the meal and handed it over to the youngest son so that he will be blessed rather than his brother who was yet to come back from the field. In a nutshell, the youngest received the blessing and just immediately he left the eldest returned with the meal but he was too late.
The father already blessed the youngest son. He wept for coming so late after his brother received his blessing but unfortunately the deed had been done.
Of course, you already know the story; it’s the story of the biblical Esau and Jacob. The story is in Genesis 27. Esau lost his blessings to Jacob because of Lateness. Hear this “Lateness will rip you off certain benefits that you should have access to”. I am not saying what Jacob did was right with his attitude.
Lateness will deprive you of numerous privileges. Lateness to job interview might cost you to lose the job to less qualified candidates who came earlier; lateness in responding to your customer’s complaint may cause you to lose them to your biggest competitor. Lateness to conferences will make you lose access to life-changing ideas etc. Always strive to do the right thing at the right time, be in the right place at the right time.
Esau was at the right place at the wrong time and you know what that cost him.
You don’t have to experience what Esau experienced when you can actually learn from Esau mistake. We don’t need more Esau in the world, we need more PUNCTUAL individuals.
I will advice that you take action on the following:
1.Be Committed: You see, everything starts with a commitment. If you’re a perpetual latecomer (like I used to be), make the commitment to start being punctual to everywhere, punctual with decision making, etc. Make the commitment, stop giving excuses for coming late. Remember, no excuse is good enough. If you will lose anything, don’t let the reason be because you were late.
Early this year, two of my friends fell sick so we had to join them in the hospital. They were admitted into separate rooms and I was with one of them. I discovered that in the same room was a man who needs urgent attention unfortunately the doctor wasn’t available. He was breathing heavily but no Doctor was available to save the innocent man. Long story short, the man died few minutes after the Doctors arrival.
My friend who was really sick was afraid at this point. I had to encourage him that the fact the man died doesn’t mean he will. Lack of Punctuality is one of the cause of the Young mans death. Had the Doctor came earlier, he might not give up the ghost at such a tender age. No excuse for coming late could revive the lost soul. You just have to make it a lifestyle to always be punctual.
2.Make your Plans ahead of time: Adequate planning is important in anything you lay your hands upon. It’s important you plan your movement before time to avoid getting late. While growing up, I get to know the 5P’s and the P’s stand for PROPER PLANNING PREVENT POOR PERFORMANCE.
In the same vein, cultivate the habits of planning your time. When you plan your time ahead, you will know what to do and the time to do it. Plan your time, do first what needs to be done first and do last what needs to be done last.
3.Stop procrastination: Procrastinating will always stop you from doing what you should do when you should do it. Don’t postpone what should be done now till later. Doing so will stop you from doing what should be done when you should do it and this will affect your punctuality.
4.Consistency is Key: Denzel Washington once said “Without Commitment, you will never start, but more importantly, without consistency, you’ll never finish.” Its Commitment that keep you started which is very good however, consistency makes you finish. You must be consistent with previous points stated to be able to overcome the habit of getting late to anywhere. So don’t just stop at commitment, add to your commitment, consistency.
Learn from the old man with a divine wisdom and you’ll be grateful you did. Any question? Kindly ask. .