Personal Finance

Do not go for quick-fix solutions from ‘experts’

We have to question those who claim to possess special skills that can benefit us in one way or another. file photo | nmg
We have to question those who claim to possess special skills that can benefit us in one way or another. file photo | nmg 

It is not by chance that you are reading this article today. I strongly sense that you are in some way brought here because of a situation in your personal and professional life. You are at a place where your goals sometimes sound unrealistic and you’re not sure whether they are actually achievable.

I also sense that you are very nimble and effective on some tasks but fail to get started until the eleventh hour on some very crucial projects. You are a very self-assured individual.

Your Ideas make a lot of sense, it’s just that there is rarely an opportunity for you to express yourself. Other people who make much less sense can take up a lot of airtime, can’t they? And one of your superiors’ name starts with an ‘S’.

You enjoy the challenge in a variety of engagements but have difficulty being stifled in a job that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. You’re a dedicated member of staff, it’s simply that work-life balance that is difficult to achieve.

So while it may seem that you run out of the door like a bat from hell at 5pm, you know in your heart of hearts that once you get a better maid, your spouse becomes more supportive, the kids grow up a little more, you buy a better car... well, when things become less demanding at home, and you will give your career more attention.

I could go on and with every sentence seem to speak to seven out of ten people reading this article today. How does it sound with regard to you so far? This is not the point at which you start seeking to join my congregation and seek to “plant a seed”.

I am not a seer, a reader, a medium of any sort, a fortune-teller and I am certainly not acting on God’s behalf here. However close to the truth this may seem for you, kindly do not start viewing me as your solution. This is very general and the situations I describe could fit just about anyone.

To be clear, I do not have a congregation and I do not help anyone by planting seeds at any fee in exchange for personalised readings, prayers, predictions or any such engagement.

I also probably do not know you as an individual. I know humanity in general because I am older, have taken the time to study the subject and spent a tremendous amount of time working with people as they seek to grow themselves.

That does not anoint me in some special way, it simply gives me more experience than many have. That is all.

Many of us are desperately looking for easy quick fix solutions to all manner of situations from job loss to stagnant careers to weight management and everything in-between.

The ability to read and interpret other people’s situations is very powerful. If you were with me in person and I could watch you more closely, I would only need to be wielding a weird-looking jagged-edged stick, a small bottle with a mysterious liquid in it, throw in a few inaudible noises and abrupt hand signals and I could even impress your cat enough to “plant a seed with me” for special prayers to change its life’s outcomes for the better.

Understand that everybody is born selfish. Few will hesitate to indulge this selfishness at the slightest opportunity to exploit others.

We must begin to see life as it really is and not through the eyes of others who would not hesitate to take advantage of us. Others do this forcefully on the streets as you’ve noted lately while others are non-violent in their approach.

We have got to learn to question those who claim to possess special skills that can benefit us in one way or another. We are largely conditioned to embrace blind faith.

It is important to recognise that the world that we live in today is a totally different one from the one that we were taught to practice faith in.

Back then, most specialists, priests, pastors and other experts were not repeatedly exposed to the current material attractions and heavily commercialised life that serves largely to distract them from practicing integrity.

You want to be crystal clear about the rules of engagement in any undertaking especially if a specialist possesses a skill that you feel can dramatically change the course of your life in any sphere.

Because common sense takes a back seat after our emotions when faced with various situations, let us go over this together. The specialist should give you an opinion.

You should understand what this opinion is from the onset. If you should decide to engage your specialist, his/her responsibility towards you on the process needs to be spelled out.

It is imperative to understand exactly what you should expect to do, spend and for how long. You should also know what your responsibility is and what your obligations to the specialist are.

These among other prerequisites make for a much smoother interaction devoid of abuse of any kind.