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Gbadegesin Muftau Adewale
University of Ilorin 

To watch Dr. Tella Adeyinka; a common wealth scholar punching his HP laptop in his office is to witness attention in focus. Tall and bespectacled, Dr. Tella moves his hands perpetually, squeezing out academic papers that for the past five years have neither been rejected nor dumb into dustbin.             
As at the last count, Dr. Tella has twice been coveted with the outstanding award of the most Published Librarian in Nigeria — and sits royally as external examiner for about ten South African Universities including University of South Africa making him one of those few Nigerian eggheads with International acclaim.
 When I sat with Dr. Tella in his nondescript office (the office is book stuffed) one bright Tuesday morning, to ask about his method and rise to academic stardom in spite of the seemingly arduous — and not so friendly Nigeria environment, he told me plainly his journey from grass to grace.                                                               
Though what essentially drew me to him wasn’t his rag to riches story but specifically his method in rolling out sharp stream of thoughts typified by his papers among which he enthusiastically proclaimed to be: Willpower, a concept authors have devoted several books on. But beneath this mojo of inspiration lies what he silently tells me to be: Mindset.

If you are like Carol Dweck, a Psychologist at Standford University, you would believe mindsets are two: fixed and growth. Then if you further probe the two concepts, you would as well be confronted with welter of studies pointing to how thoughts influence lives.
Fixed mindset hypothesises that concept like intelligent is permanent and can neither be stretched nor expanded. From day one till the last day, fixed mind setters believe everything about them is sealed with no room for improvement, tinkering and changes.  
Growth mindset on the contrary is built on the notion that our intelligent is elastic or to borrow from neuroscience is neuroplasticity. That our understanding of the world can be stretched and pull to the edge. Think of a rubber band. The more you stretch it, the more it expanded. Or imagine trying to walk out muscles. You don’t sit and watch your six packs grow without a trial or training. You’ve got to swing into action, lift weight, eat well and exercise daily, as time prance by, your muscle develops and changes started to surface.                                  
 “Every success story” Dr.Tella told me “begins with success and growth mindset”. The moment he uttered those few words, everything seem to standstill as if the we’ve been told Nigeria is the new America. “Since day one” he furthered “I have always believe nothing is impossible and that once I lay my hands on something, it turn out gold and become massive success”        

“I believe success is in me” he intoned “but I needed to work out where it lies and ensure it is fed with massive actions and actions” .

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“The desire to do something because you find it deeply satisfying and personally challenging” Teresa Amabile enthused “inspires the highest levels of creativity, whether it’s in the arts, sciences, or business…”.
Cal Newport’s So good they can’t ignore you explore the passion hypothesis pushing forward arguments on why the punchy advice of follow your passion should be discarded with a wave of hand.
“When people started out in life” he writes “they aren’t really sure of what their passion is or what their life mission will be — and for those who believe they have discovered their gold mines, sometimes they are devastated to discover passion is a confusing word”
Back to Dr.Tella. After his SSCE exam, he enrolled to the foremost saint Andrew College of education for his teachers training. Freshly minted from the college, he proceeded to Nigeria Premier University, Ibadan for his B.ed in counseling Psychology then went ahead to bag his Masters too in the department. At that time, one would have concluded that his sweet spot would be in counseling psychology but his soon to be discipline was just lying in the offing.
“Someone whispered to me” Dr.Tella Continued “that the next decades will witness exponential growth in information and any one with qualification in such field as Library and Information science stands a chance to carve a niche for himself”. With that he proceeded to go for another masters in LIS then Ph.D.
What makes Dr.Tella story intriguing isn’t that he is etching his name in gold of scholarship with passion but that he has been an obsess with books since day one. It wasn’t as if he knew already his calling or his purpose but he seems to enjoy books more than anything else. If he was to follow his “passion”, counseling psychology would have been his choice but because he was always on the lookout, it doesn’t take long before he hit the jackpot.

Everyone holds his fortune in his own hands. Like the sculptor the raw material he will fashion into a future. But it’s the same with that type of artistic activity as with all others: We are merely born with the capability to do it. The skill to mold the material into what we want must be learned and attentively cultivated~ Von Goethe.
Imagine you are among 100 most influential Scientist in a country of 198 million people. Think of how proud you will of yourself if per chance you were handed a key of brand new Toyota corolla as university best researcher of the year. Or reflect on this: In 2016, you bagged your Ph.D and two years later, your star is already shinning all over. Pause for a moment. How will you fill?
Dr. Nasir Farouk is of northern extraction but his compelling and intimidating profile is a gem on its own. You will never see people from that side of the country the same way again once you interact with him. Though he is still a senior lecturer, his depth of work, quality of papers and reach of research has earned him accolades that in 2018, he was awarded researcher of the year, University of Ilorin.
While calling Dr. Faruk to have his car keys, the VC Professor Sulyman Age Abdulkareem quixotically joked that Lecturers should find more solace in their offices and borrows a leaf from Dr. Faruk who loves his office even at night more than anything else. What the VC was insinuating drag down to the fact that if growths were to be gift from only God know where, people like Dr. Faruk would be better of cooling their feet in the confine of their room than waking in the deep the of night to peruse papers.

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I have spent close to four hours on this metal chair typing on my mini laptop. No breakfast yet. No bathe yet. No social media or any other daily activities that have registered themselves though strangely into our mental box. If you think I am not hungry, starve yourself for a day and tell me you are still the bouncing fellow you were yesterday and I will put aside my hunger. Growth can’t be more painful.
From the cited examples of those two juggernauts in this write up, I think you’ve seen how crucial mindset is to success and how bidding bye to one’s bed is significant to achieving Olumo-size life achievement.
 Let me leave you with the words of Viktol Frankl who declared “Don’t aim at success – the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued: it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other oneself”.