Wisdom to live successfully

Keys to success and greatness in life – V.P Prof Osinbajo

One of the steps to success is to sit down at the feet of the elders and learn from their wealth of experience. It is by doing so that one can equip himself or herself with the wisdom needed to succeed in life. Isaac Newton said “I see farther because I stand on the shoulders of elders”

Professor Yemi Osinbajo gave the keys to success and greatness during the 10th convocation of Lead City University in Ibadan. The keys are listed below:



He defined character as a set of values that shapes the conduct of an individual. It is the set of principles, spoken and unspoken, that a person observes and lives by.

He said “I have learnt would make the crucial difference in life. These are trustworthiness, courage, hard work especially (innovation) and self-discipline. Let us take trustworthiness, the currency of business, commerce and social interaction is trust. If you can be trusted, if people find you trustworthy, your class of degree or what your family name is will not matter.” Everyone wants faithful partners or employees. Even thieves are in search of trustworthy people to keep their money with.

(i) Repay when you borrow

You must repay when you borrow, whether it is from a friend, relation or a bank. Credit is the lifeblood of business, the life blood of commerce. You are dead if your credit sources dry up. And let me just go on quickly, l think it is important for us to just look at one or two other issues along the lines of character and hard work.

To buttress this point, he told a story of a friend named Remi Morgan who owns perhaps the largest Christian bookstore in Nigeria. He was able to achieve this mile because he built a trust and show that he could be trustworthy by publishers in US at a time no publisher in the US wanted to give credit to Nigerians.

The moment you show that you can be trusted, everything changes.

(ii) Hard work and diligence

Simple as it may sound, hard work and diligence is one of those character attributes that will set you apart. And let me dwell on this point; from here on, it really doesn’t matter what you are hired as at your first job, whether you are hired as lowly as a receptionist, or as a personal assistant, no matter how lowly it may be, what is important  is how much hard work and diligence you put to it.  This is what will recommend you in the future, and l want you to remember that  it doesn’t really matter how that job is, it does not matter whether it’s an important  job or not, but what will recommend  you is hard work  and diligence.



And I’m sure many of us are familiar with that saying, opportunity knocks once as they say. But I think it’s probably more true to say that sometimes opportunity whispers.  Besides, as Ravenhill an intellectual said, “the opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity.” In order words, opportunity itself has a lifespan and you must seize it within that lifespan.

But to seize opportunity, you must be prepared. Most people have great hopes and dreams. But they are hardly ready for the opportunity when it comes.



I think that aside from hard work, innovation will be very important. Social Media is possibly the internet’s most outstanding phenomenon. It has created its own economy, and the only limits of opportunity are those of your imagination. For example, see how many young people have taken advantage of it to innovatively redefine the press, journalism and communication.


He concluded by saying “I have learnt that success is more easily attainable than greatness. You may be a successful businessman, politician, or professional but greatness is not for everyone.  But I think I learnt the secret of greatness, you will only be great if you devote your life, and your efforts, to serving others. The path to greatness is self-sacrifice for the good of others.”

Bolarinwa Olajire

An associate lecturer at MAPOLY with demonstrated history of working in the education industry. Skilled in analytical skills, C++, Fortran, and Entrepreneurship. Strong education professional with a M. SC focused in condensed matter from University of Ibadan and PhD student at FUNAAB.

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