Most people do not realise the incredible power that comes from being at peace with oneself. Congruence is this and, of course, a lot more. It means not constantly second-guessing yourself, or seeking outside approval. It’s being at peace with your desires and goals, not working to please another. The congruent individual does not look without for approval, sanction or blessings. They leap over the wall into battle without looking back to see whether the cavalry will follow. It is madness, but very powerful madness indeed.
The power of personal congruence works from the inside out. Instead of begging people to help you, the power of your convictions has people falling over themselves to give support to your cause and carry you to your victory. People of means and influence will cancel important appointments to give audience to the congruent individual. Funds are found, time is created and people beat a path to your door. When you speak, there is no tremor in your voice, only a conviction that causes others to believe, and invest, in your ideas. The world recognises that something amazing is unfolding in its midst and people, circumstances and, sometimes, even the universe itself seems to conspire to ensure your success. The pull of the extraordinary has people mired in mediocrity and the dullness of their shackled existence rush out of their homes to be part of something big. It is an irresistible force that has people sacrifice their time, effort and even their lives for what they feel is bigger than themselves.
Single-mindedness has a way of cutting a powerful swathe through obstacles that have lesser people turning back in despair. A congruent person does not see ‘NO’. It is as though the individual is in possession of powers and abilities beyond the rest of us. Where challenges exist, they see only stepping stones. This ability turns ordinary women and men into giants of history. In a congruent individual, every faculty is in agreement. Every muscle, every sinew, every impulse, thought or inclination, every part of their being is in agreement. There is zero dissent, a complete stillness in the being. This is a deeply personal state, and very, very powerful indeed. There is no fear. The road rises to meet you, the crowd parts before you and the arrow hits the target. Obstacles become trifles. The outcome is guaranteed. Congruence is a state that envelopes your entire being. An all-encompassing connection of your mind with your physical self. A sensation from your core, from your senses, from your sense of self, too subtle to be cognitively expressed. The noise in your head is gone. All is quiet. You know what to do.
If you are able to get to this point, you become unstoppable.
When discussing single-mindedness, Alexander the Great’s career in general, and his victory at the siege of the Sogdian Rock in particular, comes to mind. As told by Arrian, the second century Greek historian, in his historical work about the campaigns of Alexander called Anabis Alexandri, or The Campaigns of Alexander , it’s nail-biting stuff.[i]Alexander was on a winning streak on his conquests of various empires of the known world. Having nailed Persia, he set his eyes east towards India, easily toppling a number of kings in his path and sending folk fleeing. One of the monarchs, King Oxyartes of Bactria knew better than to take on Alexander directly in battle. To protect his family, he came up with what was actually a rather brilliant plan. He holed them up at a strategically placed fortress, set on a high rock surrounded on all sides by sheer cliff, the tops of which were covered with some snow and ice for good measure. The place was secured by a large number of soldiers and had provisions to last a good long while. Thus placed, the defenders were set to sit out a nice long siege. So confident were they with the plan that, when an ambassador was sent to parley with Alexander, something apparently they used to do before engaging in battle, the chap felt comfortable enough to reject Alexander’s demand that they surrender in return for safe passage back to their homes with a cheeky “you’ll have to find soldiers who can fly.”
It turns out that that was their only tactical mistake. Badly rankled by the remark, Alexander found it impossible to just leave them be. On the morning of the next day, Oxyartes’ men were absolutely staggered to wake up to the sight of Alexander’s men on top of the rock, waving bits of linen, as earlier directed, to signal victory. Shocked and panicked, they surrendered immediately, even though they outnumbered the enemy 100 to one. Alexander’s men had climbed the sheer, icy rock face at night, in the dark. Alexander had managed to motivate 300 men to volunteer to mount the rock. He lost only 30 in the exercise. 270 men were able to stand at the summit that dawn, completely killing the morale of the enemy. It was Alexander’s turn to make a goading remark, something to the effect of; “see, I did find soldiers who fly”.
Alexander, of course, already had a fearsome reputation, but stories like these spread to make people believe that he had some kind of supernatural ability.
Congruence is something any ordinary individual can achieve. It comes from being able to see past hype, nonsense, fallacies and myths to the Truth, which has the unchangeable effect of lighting a fire under in one’s mind. It can come suddenly as when someone has an epiphany, or after hours, days or even months of deliberation, fact gathering, ridding oneself of mind viruses and false premises. When you can see the real Truth about a situation, knowing what to do, even in the face of steep opposition, is clear as day and uncontainable.
When loveable rascal Thierry Guetta realised that he could do as well as any street artist, and make a fortune in the process, the decision of mortgaging his home for the project was an easy one to make. Alexander knew he had to make it to the top of the summit. The rest was just detail. Young Jadav saw clearly that ‘his’ barren sandbank needed trees. He did not beg the forest to come into being. He simply got started, one tree at a time. The elephants, tigers, and forest officials came later, of their own accord. When Barbara Arrowsmith Young got her epiphany about the plastic nature of the brain, she found the courage to remake her own. The truth that it could be done lit a fire in her mind and found a way to reshape her life.
Congruence can also arise from saying: “I’ve had enough! From now on, regardless of consequence or what the world thinks, I refuse to put up with this situation one minute longer. I don’t know how or where, but this is the end of things as they stand.”
Gandhi, Rosa Parks, and the Mandelas were powerless against their convictions. Once they understood, regardless of what the world told them about what ‘their sort’ of person should expect from life, they were completely unable to lie down and accept the status quo. They could accept nothing less than their God-given birthright.
Personal congruence, like rain that falls on good and bad alike, is unfortunately one of those powers that works equally well for good or evil. Some of the most hated figures in history have been able to co-opt the best minds into their dastardly schemes, simply by the force of their convictions. Examples abound. But when used for good, the miracles it creates are a force to reckon with. A true phenomenon.
The first man in the world to single-handedly float a mass consumer telecommunications company once worked as a security guard and taxi driver in New York to make ends meet. Today, Forbes lists Nigerian business mogul Mike Adenuga’s personal fortune at 5.1 billion US dollars,[ii] earned from his telecommunications, oil and banking business interests. With more than double her fortune, he is richer than Oprah, or, to put this even more in context, the man who’s taxi was a ramshackle old tin which he could only use to ply shabbier parts of New York is now richer than David Rockefeller Sr, the eldest member of the famous dynasty and the only living grandchild of Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller. Adenuga is the founder and sole owner of Globacom, a Nigerian mobile phone network that has more than 24 million subscribers. The telecoms company is so successful, it’s a formidable rival to the multinational giant MTN.
Mike Adenuga was born in Ibadan in Nigeria to modest enough beginnings. His father was a schoolteacher and his mother a businesswoman. He was educated up to secondary school in Ibadan. The reason he was driving taxis in the US was to fund his university education, where he earned an undergraduate and a master’s degree in Business Administration. The story of his phenomenal rise to incredible wealth on his return to Nigeria is filled with tales of guts, fearlessness and blistering single-mindedness. He made his first million by age 26, running his mother’s sawmill business, selling lace and distributing soft drinks.[iii] His foray into the oil business is where he really came into his own. A beneficiary of the Nigerian government’s policy to grant oil block prospecting licences to individuals in order to encourage private sector participation in oil exploration and exploitation, Adenuga balanced on knife-edge. It was madness for a single individual to take on the mantle of an oil company and go prospecting for oil, an expensive and risky venture with no sure guarantees. Being an already reasonably wealthy man, he stood to lose everything should things go wrong. Taking the safe route, the other beneficiaries all sold their interests to multinationals. Adenuga alone risked all his money to go prospecting himself. In less than a year, he struck oil and went on to found the very first indigenous Nigerian company to discover, drill and produce oil.
The man is completely blind to any idea of self limits. Extremely driven, Adenuga has set his sights on conquering not just Africa, but is pitting himself against powerful multinationals in order to move towards establishing a global business empire.[iv]
When the world is against you, you need to stop and think. Who am I? Media, ‘science’, and religion constantly tell people like Adenuga that they are born ‘wrong’. The world told Adenuga that he was born to the wrong continent, race, and circumstance. He disagreed. The world constantly reminded him of his place and told him to be realistic about what his sort could expect of his existence on this earth. He ignores it.
Who are you?
You are the custodian of the most powerful piece of cognitive machinery this planet has seen. You are descendant of a race of winners, the human race that never took no for an answer, always forging ahead and always finding a way. That’s why you are here. Because you WON. Against extinction, obliteration, disease, war, famine, displacement, and time itself—you won. You made it to this moment of existence and that fact alone makes you a phenomenon that would make the Titans tremble.
Only you don’t know it.
Because you have filled your mind with lies.
A lie says you are defeated. A lie says this is not for you. A lie says you are unworthy, damaged and useless. A lie says there’s no hope, and that there is no other way. A lie says it cannot be done, that it’s too late. A lie says: ‘this is just how the world is’. A lie says you were born bad. That someone with your background is destined for a life of pain. That someone like you could never make it, or hope to be happy. That someone like you is predestined for nothing but trouble. A lie says you are not beautiful, intelligent, or glamorous enough. A lie says you have no pedigree. That you are the wrong weight, gender, age, colour, nationality or demographic. A lie says, ‘know your place, this is not for you.’ A lie says sit down and wait for others better than you to act. A lie says your mistakes define you. That your flaws are a blot on existence and that you should seek redemption, purification and perfection before you can be deemed a worthy citizen of the earth.
A lie makes you forget that you have the most amazing brain in existence. It makes you forget that with every failure, it’s learning, re-figuring out its world, re-strategising. The same brain that gets you to the front door will get you to the ends of the earth.
To walk this earth as you should, you MUST rid yourself of nasty mind viruses. Stop believing in pre-packaged, beautifully presented lies. Lies about yourself, your lot and your chances. Stop thinking that you are somehow flawed and that the rest of humanity is perfect. Stop thinking that you have to apologise for who or what you are. You have a right to all that is good on this earth, simply by virtue of your existence. Regardless of your circumstances, you are a child of this earth, of this universe, and you do indeed have a right to be here.
True, unbeatable congruence is born from realising this.
[i] Digitised by the Internet Archive in 2011 with funding from Brigham Young University. Full text of “Alexander: a history of the origin and growth of the art of war from the earliest times to the battle of Ipsus, B.C. 301, with a detailed account of the campaigns of the great Macedonian”. Web: http://archive.org/stream/alexanderhistory02dodg/alexanderhistory02dodg_djvu.txt
[ii] Forbes. “The World’s Billionaires: #305 Mike Adenuga”. (accessed 24 June 2014) Web: http://www.forbes.com/profile/mike-adenuga/#
[iv] The Richest.com. “About Mike Adenuga”. (accessed June 24, 2014) Web: http://www.therichest.com/celebnetworth/celebrity-business/men/mike-adenuga-net-worth/