Arodan - the wild goose chase

“Many of our pursuit in life are needless arodan. Perhaps if we take a step back to see the trend, we will refocus our lives.”

Arodan in 2022?

The poor boy had been going up and down the male dormitories looking for the textbook titled Arodan all morning.

At the last count, he had been to 8 seniors with each one directing him to another in search of the textbook. He was starting to wonder what the book was about. One senior searched frantically for the book under his mattress and in his travel boxes for a few minutes before he feigned recollection of its location and in whose custody. The poor boy was starting to get irritated with all the back and forth and his curiosity about the book had started to wane.

But the seniors were not done yet. One even asked him to join in the search for the book. They combed through school bags and wooden cupboards. At a point, the poor boy asked what exactly he was to look out for.

One senior claimed it was a textbook that had a distinct blue cover, another swore that the cover of the book was brilliant red!

“Why are they so confused?” the poor boy wondered.

He had been to four dormitories by now and had been up the staircase six times. His legs were tired out and he refused to complete the fool’s errand by sitting defiantly on the concrete stairs away from the last senior.

At this point, he wondered if there was indeed a book titled “Arodan”.

The poor boy wasn’t me o! Just in case you were wondering…lol

But there are tons of stories about many unsuspecting young and naïve boys and girls who chased with gusto the errand to retrieve a certain fruitless Arodan.

Some were lucky to be warned off by empathetic older ones who were conscripted into the scheme unknowingly too.

While others bore the full brunt of the wild-goose-chase without mercy, often enduring the accompanying snide remarks and chuckle after they turned their backs to continue the journey to no-where with droopy shoulders.

There are many variances to this game, but it typically requires the “victim” to chase shadows.

The fool’s errand!

The Arodan sequence does not need prior arrangements or foretelling, one only acts at the mention of “Arodan” in any circumstance.

For example, if a father directs his child to collect Arodan from the mother and she happened to be pre-occupied or busy, she might re-direct the child to another within the household who understands the game. The mere mention of Arodan was all it took to continue the fool’s errand.

In real life

While the game sounds like something fun, a lot of us in real life are in the “Arodan” cycle – constantly running about chasing shadows with nothing much to show for it. Just like in the game, the “victim” starts with good energy determined to quickly fetch the Arodan only to be re-directed constantly to other places and people until they are worn out and completely disappointed.

In summary, it is a complete waste of time!

Time itself is a valuable resource and as my father would say.

Time lost can never be regained” – Baba Akin

When we chase the wrong things in life, we could easily be caught up in the Arodan web – starting our pursuit with gusto and ending it in abject dejection, losing time in the process.

While that cycle is not limited to chasing the wrong things in life alone, it is important to note that people without a good plan will fall needlessly into other people’s plan.

Please allow me reiterate;

“If you do not have a solid plan of your own to work with, you will fall into other people’s plan and help them achieve their goals. Often at the expense of yours”

People are naturally self-centered and thus would enlist any one to make their dream come through often at their own expense.

Remember that time lost cannot be regained and that there is yet time for everything! 

What an irony?

The best scenario would be to work together to achieve a win-win situation, where whilst chasing your dream, you also help others achieve theirs!

All in good time!

The year in view

We have come to the end of another interesting 52-week cycle and at the dearth we often try to assess how far we have come and how well we have done. Typically, we take stock, learn our lessons and prepare for the next cycle. Don’t get caught up in Arodan in 2022!

Be more deliberate and intentional about your plan for the coming year. Look inwards and prepare to set practical goals and work assiduously towards bringing them to life.

Here I will share 5 tips on how to set enviable goals for the new year and how to become accountable to yourself.

Leave behind any pre-conceived thought you had about setting a series of new year resolutions based on a whim. Let’s go through this easy 5 pointer in the next few minutes.

Shall we?

1, Envision a desired future state

The simple truth about this first step is; if you can not see it, dream it, imagine it or visualize it, there is a big chance you will not achieve it.

It echoes a widely popular Tai Solarin quote that says “If you can dream it, you can achieve it”

Think about a desired state for any aspect of your life – your education, career, family, relationship, marriage, or acquisition. Think first about what future state you desire to be in any of those parts of your life.

For example, in 2022, you may desire to buy a property, a car, get married, complete a degree, have a baby, invest in a new business or relocate out of the country.

For each one of these goals, you must feel it, see it, smell it, touch it in your mind. There must be absolute clarity. You must first convince yourself that they are worth pursuing and achievable.

For any of these, carefully connect the desire to your value proposition and ponder on how it connects to your overall long-term plan for your life. Answer the “why” and “how” question?

How does achieving these goals contribute to the overall long-term plan for your life. If you don’t already have a long-term/medium and short-term plan, I suppose this is where you start to think of one.

Why is it important that you chase these goals now?

Does it contribute to your happiness, wellbeing and peace?

2, Bring the goals to life

Write done the plan. Document each plan breaking them down into clear details. How do you intend to achieve a goal when you have not carefully documented it?

Assign timelines to each goal. Use a range, be practical, Don’t make it super-convenient to achieve. We bring our creative selves to bear when we work against time and lack of resources.

Select the months you would like each goal achieved and match them to each of the desired state or goals. You will be held accountable for each one.

Remember to assign resources to each goal. Who and what would be needed to achieve these goals? Do you leverage your social capital? How much would be required to make this happen and how do you intend to raise the money? It doesn’t have to be vague; you must see it and write it.

The mere fact that you have written down these goals gives them life as they are registered in your sub-conscious and would inadvertently guide you towards achieving them. They are now growing and living with you. Every action you take, every step you make either brings you closer to the goals or keeps them far at bay!

Listen, it doesn’t matter if you do not achieve the goals at the set time. Even when you miss the months allotted to each desired state, you will not be far off from that set date.

Enough said -on to the third pointer.

3, Create tactics and sub-plans

You must understand that each of the future desired state need to be approached differently. Although they all connect to the long-term plan, they must be executed differently and this must be clearly expressed in the plan.

For example, to buy the new property you could deconstruct the plan this way;

  • What sort of house would you like to buy – A duplex, terrace or a flat?
  • Where would this house be located? This would determine the cost!
  • How much would practically buy the property? Ask around casually. You don’t need to be exact.
  • How much have you got saved?
  • How much do you need to raise/borrow or get? And from where? How would borrowing the money affect your cash flow. If you are bereft of ideas, then speak to an expert to guide you on the best way to approach this.

This is how tactics are berth.

Apply this to all the other plans.

4; Execute the plan

You must be accountable for your plans, and you should therefore be deliberate about executing them.

Execution is another kettle of fish. A lot of people throw in the towel the moment the first setback pops. You should anticipate these sorts of delays, challenges, and distraction. They make achieving the goals worth your while.

When you get into a lull and get discouraged, look inward first at the overall long-term goal that would be disrupted. Then rethink the tactics and decide whether to approach the goal differently, hold it at bay for some time or jettison it (and count your losses) if it is inimical to other goals.

You will need people to work with you on your plan (not for Arodan)and to help you get past the challenges as no man can do anything by himself. We are social beings!

There is also a price to pay to achieve any sort of goal. It could be self-denial of the things that you are used to doing like partying, socializing and other well-meaning activities. Please note that the denial is most often for a while and it pales in comparison to the lofty goals you have set for yourself.

One sure formula for success in execution is to be consistent, determined, focus and to be flexible. There are probably a lot more than these simple 3, but these ones would keep you going doggedly.

5; Take Stock and be accountable

It is important to measure how far you have come during execution. Sometimes the goal gets expanded- perhaps because you have under-estimated the dream, or small unanticipated wins color the journey and may cause mild distraction. At some point, you must take some time to measure what is left to be done and how best to approach the plan.

You are accountable to yourself and until you realize how not achieving your goals turns you into a victim of Arodan, you must jealously guard your plans and ensure that you see it through to the end.

Anything that doesn’t align with your plan is a distraction and you will have more time for friends, parties or social events many years after that goal is achieved. But first you must make that sacrifice to jettison distractions for the period.

It’s a small price to pay!

Please don’t get caught in the Arodan of life in 2022. Put your hands in the dirt and give yourself a chance to surpass the targets you have set for yourself.

I hope this post will be a reference point sometimes in the future. I would probably need it too.


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5 thoughts on “Arodan – the wild goose chase”

  1. Adebayo Ogunrinde

    Very very inspirational. The mysterious Arodan. There is hardly a child that didn’t fall for it if you are from the typical Yoruba setting full of our parents and grandparents.
    I so much love the perspective from which you have taken it. It is full of wisdom.

    Very on point.

  2. Brilliant! I always thought setting goals were cheesy but now I know better. It gives you a sense of direction and makes you feel responsible. Thank you Duke for your consistency. Your posts are so impactful. Happy new year. Cheers!

  3. Nice one Akin, couldn’t help but laugh at the first line of this write up. Thanks for this moral boosting writeup

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