In hindsight, nursery school was really fun—I played a lot! Although my journey to maturity has washed out some great memories, I still remember quite a good number of them. My nursery school was a local one, but it appeared to be the best in the neighbourhood. Since the school wasn’t that close to my home, it was a routine for mum to drop me in the morning and then pick me up at approximately noon.
Unfortunately, I made washing terrible for her. I mean, by the time mum returned to pick me up, I always looked like something the cat brought in, while beaming from ear to ear—yet mum didn’t complain. After play, the next thing I enjoyed doing was reciting of poems. Of course, there was one particular poem I loved so much. It was a poem that had to do with a pussy cat. Just for the record, please allow me to recite the poem once again:
“Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?
I have been to London to see the queen.
Pussy cat, pussy cat, what did you do?
I frightened a little mouse under the chair.”
It’s been over two decades since I recited the above poem as a nursery school student. Yet, this time lag recently revealed to me an amazing, ever-present wisdom that’s hidden in the short poem—a wisdom that, unfortunately, has eluded many grown-ups. Therefore, my assignment today is to share with you that wisdom. But before I do that, and in order to be contextually coherent, I’ll love to convert the above popular poem into a short story.
Once upon a time, a certain pussy cat was asked by his boss to travel to London to meet with the queen. Just before the pussy cat left for the trip, his boss called him into his office and gave him the resources he needed to get the assignment executed and then told him that his time was limited. It was indeed a great opportunity for the pussy cat, since that would be his first—and perhaps only—time to meet with the Queen of England. His life was about to change! When the pussy cat arrived at the Buckingham Palace, he was asked to proceed to the room where he was to meet with the Queen. As he walked towards the room, he noticed a little mouse under a chair. Now, instead of him to continue with the rest of the journey to the room, he decided to spend the entire day chasing after the little mouse. By the time he eventually got to the room, he was told that the Queen had just left for another country, and that she wasn’t coming back anytime soon. Regretfully, he turned back and returned to meet with his boss—without seeing the queen. Okay, at this point, before you read further, I’ll really love you to go back and recite the poem above.
If you just did that, then welcome to my next train of thought.
There are several lessons to extrapolate from that poem, but let’s just take a look at one. That pussy cat goofed, no argument. He simply picked up a great opportunity and hurled it out the window! But wait a second! Isn’t it rather unfortunate that we also have many human pussy cats still traversing the earth surface today? Instead of living out their true assignments, many humans have continued to chase after little mice. Many humans have lost focus—yet the figures keep rising geometrically! And if we do a tripartite classification of this growing population, the following are what we may arrive at: One, those who don’t know ‘why’ The Boss sent them to this planet; Two, those who know the ‘why’ but who’ve simply allowed the currents of life to provide them with the lead; and then three, those who don’t give a damn about the ‘why’. Now, it doesn’t matter which class is actually topping the charts, the truth is that enormous loss abounds whenever a single human losses focus of his or her assignment. Therefore, there is strong need for us to collectively rise up and address this monster—before this monster finally addresses us!
Just like that pussy cat, the day will certainly come when we’ll be required to return to The Boss to give account of our sojourn. Whether The Boss will go ballistic with us or He will give us a pat on the back and say, “Well done,” is a product of how well we stay focused through the journey of life. Don’t use the little time you’ve to engage in things that don’t add value to your life, while you allow your true assignment to gather dust. Surely, living a life of true focus is hard, more so that we’ve throng of seemingly beautiful, raucous mice waving their flags trying to capture our attention. But I believe if you stay focused, you’ll not only gain control of your life but you’ll successfully execute The Boss’s assignment. So, let the pussy cat’s mistake be that of the pussy cat, QED.
– Chinonso Ogbogu is a business trainer, success coach, highly sought-after conference speaker, gifted writer, and a radio personality. He is the radio host of the popular SuccessMatters™ and the conveyor of the monthly GET INSIGHT, GET INSPIRED™ event. He is also the author of the soon-to-be released book known as THE VOICES!