Saturday, December 5, 2015

The jOhN Syndrome: A Lesson for Entrepreneurs

Cinematography is one of my end games & Photography is one of the roads that will lead me there. In lieu of that fact, I've made it a habit to visit the cinemas at least once a month. Its as if I get divine revelations whenever I visit to watch a movie. I even had to borrow money from a friend last week just to see one of those true life epics. I cried to tears by the time the movie was over. I can be emotional like that sometimes but that's beside my point.

One of those movies that almost always brings me to tears is the movie titled WHITE HOUSE DOWN. Honestly, I don't think any Nigerian alive has watched that movie as much as I have. I place it in my top 5 movies of all time (right beside Pursuit of Happyness & John Q). There are at least 100 lessons you can get from watching the film.

One of my favorite scenes is when the main actor, John, was being interviewed for a position as a secret service agent in the White House. According to all the credentials he had accumulated until that time, he was not qualified for the position. He had graduated University with average scores, been divorced, been dismissed from the army, engulfed in serious debt & never seemed to finish successfully anything he started. But somewhere within him he knew he was qualified for the position.

At the end of the interview, you could see the determination & desperation in his eyes when he concluded his plea to the interviewer (who coincidentally happened to be his ex-girlfriend while he was in George Washington University): JUST GIVE ME A CHANCE. His past qualifications & misachievements was what was visible in the eyes of the interviewer. His application was denied.

Fast forward to 2 hours later. He had surmounted many impossible challenges & situations and was the main reason the President of the United States was alive. He literally saved the President. The stone that the builders, architects & engineers rejected became the chief stone wherein the House would stand on. Despite his CV, he proved to himself &  the world that all he indeed needed was JUST A CHANCE.

He had what I call the jOhN syndrome: that diagnosis that has concluded that one isn't fit for a position or post because of one's past achievements or mistakes. But it is that very syndrome that seems to have driven many into achieving the monumental success that has been ascribed to their names till date. Moses was a stammerer, Saul was shy, David was an errand boy, Ruth was a widow, Solomon was a ************* (not too sure what you'll call someone with 1000 babes), Joseph was a prisoner (though not his fault) & Seun was a deported felon.

Yet that syndrome drove them unconsciously into being qualified to be "stones" that will be significant in the building of success & greatness. It is the reason I seem to gravitate towards the person whose past or present seems to be akin to the fall of Humpty Dumpty. For History has proven that it is mostly people with the jOhN syndrome that have made History.

My encouragement to all reading this who sense they have this type of syndrome is this: do not loose hope for one day, your achievements might save/strengthen a President or a generation. At the end of the film, even John's ex-wife was obviously proud of the achievement of his John. At the end, even your ex & enemies would brag to people about the fact that they once knew a guy like you with the jOhN syndrome.

Oh well, enough of my epistle. I can hear John calling me to go watch the film for the 73rd time this year.

Written by:
'Seun Akisanmi
[Photographer & Writer]

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