The Power of a Possibility Mentality: What a Childhood Experience Taught Me

In a woman’s world, few things compare to the deep emotion and ecstasy that accompanies a public romantic proposal that is simply breathtaking.

I figured this upon seeing the YouTube clip of a young woman’s animated reaction when her boyfriend set her up and flashed the knobbed ring in a public gathering.

The moment she realized what was about to happen; she screamed, leapt for joy and began dancing hysterically. It was a funny sight that combined elements of tipsy tottering, barley dancing and kung-fu fighting.

Her dream had come true.

Doing the unexpected (like this lady) when dreams come true isn’t an experience reserved only for women or adults; kids come along too. When they dream and it manifests, what happens after can be unpredictable.

At just 9 years, i knew the feeling of seeing dreams come true.

Those dreams-turned-realities that draw the craziest reactions often have one of three story lines. It may be something that seemed sorely impossible, one that tarried desperately in coming to pass, or one the individual had been largely obsessed with.

Mine was something that seemed quite impossible.

Starting out in grade school, my performance was so horrible the first three terms were spent at the bottom of the class.

The structure in the school was such that each class was divided into separate arms to optimize student-to-classroom ratio and, enhance overall teaching and classroom experience.

So in the first two terms of an academic session, the pupils were ranked by their academic performance only in their respective divisions.

By the third term – that is, at the end of the academic session, pupils were given an overall ranking. What this means is that, you could be back-to-back champion in your division for two terms and realize when the third term is assessed that you were only good enough for third place overall.

For me, it mattered less.

In the division or overall, my region was untouched. I was always at the bottom.

By the fourth term however – in grade 2, things began to improve dramatically. My transformation was inexplicable. I still can’t trace how it happened. At the end of my 10th term in school – in grade 4, i sat atop my division. I basked in the position for two terms.

And having come that far, i could only long for more – i desired the overall top spot.

The only problem with that was the weight of impossibility it dragged along.

There was a lad who had made that position his.

From term to term, he was always first – whether in his division or overall.  He was an undisputed champion who was miles ahead of his closest rivals. Somehow, a girl managed to beat him in grade 3. But that was the only time. And there was no sign it would happen again.

My school had an array of exceptional kids who rotated around the top 10 spots. That he had been ousted only once, in such a community says everything about his ability.

But, perhaps it is true that a personal transformation is one of the most powerful things that can happen to anyone. It revolutionizes a person’s thoughts and unleashes self-confidence. So, crossing from one extreme (at the bottom of the class) to the other (the top of the division), was potent enough to keep a seemingly impossible dream alive in me.

A giant that had once been beaten can be toppled again, i thought. I told myself, it was possible.

At the end of the 4th grade, my dream did not materialize. I kept my hopes alive still. I doubled my efforts.

And two terms into grade 5, my desire played out.

That sunny afternoon, on the school’s closing day, i walked from dream into reality. As the teacher echoed my name, i had no inkling of what to expect. But after a quick glance through the report, i screamed like one who had scored the winning goal of an otherwise scoreless world cup final.

I came first!

Our perennial champion was second.

I went crazy.

I dashed out of the room to run the race of my life. Sprinting awkwardly, gesticulating and shouting with every calorie in me, i covered the perimeter of the school.

Some friends came after me in jubilation; other curious pupils, thought it sane to cluster around me when adrenaline levels were lower.

Poor little kids, they had to wait a while.

Moments after, all the way back home, in the company of friends and school mates, the success of a young dreamer and his euphoria of achievement was the centre of discussion.

Many days on, my mind still couldn’t wander away from what, to me, was the biggest achievement of my young life.

The man i have become has had a number of momentous episodes but the experience of my younger self that day has its place among my most memorable dates. 


Get your FREE copy of my inspirational poetry chapbook, When I Became a Manhere


pp (7) new About the Author Ogaga Eruteya is a Nigerian Christian minister, writer and speaker. He writes on Faith, Personal Development, Youth Development, and Life Realities. With his words, he seeks to inspire, motivate, propagate life’s truths and represent a sincere Christian voice. Learn more about Ogaga here.

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