Don’t Let Age Stop You From Becoming A Positive Change Agent!

Don’t Let Age Stop You From Becoming A Positive Change Agent!

I learnt a long time ago that one will only be as old as one thinks s/he is. That knowledge makes me very comfortable relating with people of all ages and across social strata, without bothering about their age, color, income class or educational level.

What I look for is a desire for self-improvement, evidence of commitment to a worthy cause (or willingness to do so), and authentic honesty/integrity. I am also a believer is seeing the world through the eyes of a child. I love to wonder openly, and without pretence, at the miracle of new knowledge/insight that I encounter daily.

But I think where I push my luck is that I also expect (STUPIDLY of course!) that other people will behave/think in the same way.

Why do I say this? Well it’s because I continue to find that much younger people who I choose to engage on an “equal level” (the way people like Sola Olokode – a senior manager & HR departmental head – did for me during my “formative” years in Guinness ‘Nigeria) in order to help them gain insight beyond their years, tend to miss the point.

What Mr. Olokode did for me, gave me the self-confidence to fearlessly pursue the ideas I had, by applying my creative instincts to influence major changes in the Guinness Benin workplace in spite of my relative youth. By the time I was 2 years old in the company (and 26 years old), I was already developing (in my spare time) custom automated spreadsheet solutions adopted by the brewery for official use.

Read my the story in my article titled “Achieve Recognition and Attract Career Advancement Opportunities By Being A Change Agent”.

You do not prove you are older by standing aloof from younger people!

I’ll admit (from painful experience) that there is the danger of abuse – some younger persons may feel they can “disrespect” you because you’ve made yourself familiar to them. But that should only help you “weed” them out of your inner circle of influence, till you find those who value the opportunity for access to wisdom and insight beyond their years, that you offer them as an older person, through your friendship.

So, in spite of this strategy blowing up in my face many times, the successes I have recorded with it continue to encourage me to do it.

I do this because a few have benefitted from my method(I call it Spontaneous Coaching), and expressed appreciation to me, for it.

In essence, I am saying that the reader should (if s/he does not already do so):

1. Forget about being a very young man/woman/girl or younger than another person s/he relates with. It does not matter – at least it will NOT matter to people who have decent levels of self-esteem. And such people are the ones YOU should aim to relate with, otherwise you will have many frustrating experiences!

2. Never limit yourself because you think you are younger than others who do not know what you know. Sometimes YOUR awareness is the reason why you have been placed amongst such people – and keeping quiet or looking for audiences comprising people mainly YOUR age would actually be the wrong thing to do!

Imagine if the founder of Facebook had allowed himself to worry that he was too young to initiate the Facebook idea, when older gurus like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs etc were not looking in that direction…

“…You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you…” – Marianne Williamson.

3. Begin to look beyond pushing your thinking about religion or spirituality to people. Begin to LIVE what you know and believe. And let those who see you/your work, or who read/hear you gradually seek you out, or open up to discovering what makes you tick.

I LIVE this stuff I’m telling you. And it is the smartest way to influence people i.e. using subtlety.

FINAL WORDS: If you still do not get it, I’ll share this. I recently got a phone SMS from a young man I’ve been trying to “influence” on Facebook, (by making periodic suggestions on posts he made). In the SMS, he asked “So, how do I find paid speaking opportunities here in Lagos?”

THAT unsolicited enquiry from him did not come as a surprise, because I’d periodically referred him to related online resources in making my “suggestions”. But it is instructive to note that before then, we had never communicated outside the Facebook medium. Note also, that he must have gone out of his way to find my phone number himself (possibly from my profile or website) – because I did not give it to him.

So you see ( and I am sure you will agree) that I have made reasonable progress towards my goal of “influencing him using subtlety”. YOU can do the same, regardless of your age.

Self-Development/Performance Enhancement Specialist – Tayo Solagbade – works as a Multipreneur, helping individuals/businesses develop and implement strategies to achieve their goals, faster and more profitably.

Depending on his availability, Tayo accepts invitations to deliver customisable talks and keynote speeches (on Self-Development, Best Practice/Workplace Performance Improvement, and Spontaneous Coaching) for an affordable fee.