Finishing high school, it was time to write my country's college entrance exams (UTME) and this was when it all started.
I easily passed the primary exam the first year - thanks to cheating - but then, there was another exam (POST-UTME) left to write and this one was closely monitored and the chances of cheating this one was very slim.
So, since I had no opportunity to cheat, I failed that exam that year. And the way it works is that, once you fail, you have to wait to write the exam the next year as this exam is only conducted once a year.
But it then happened that the following year, the regulatory bodies in my country tightened their grip on the primary exam as well, transitioning from Paper Based Test to Computer Based Test. What this meant was that the questions were now going to be stored on computers and could only be accessed with codes. The idea was to make it difficult for "Special Centres" to get this questions, solve them and then pass the solutions to students - like myself.
So all this "grip" tightening meant failing and failing was what happened, I kept on failing this exam year in year out for 6 years and during this period, I went through depression and literally almost commited suicide and would sleep in my room and wake up in the bathroom because my head was heavily disturbed and didn't know what I was doing. I watched as years went by with me not making any headway, no progress at all and my life was at a complete standstill.
All I did during this period was sleep, eat and repeat. My siblings were making progress and my jealousy would show in my actions; and the only way I could get attention was to cause trouble and that I did. I was a nuisance to everybody and in every way.
Now, because of how education was revered in my country and in my household, it wasn't a very pleasant thing to say that your child has been failing year in year out for the last 6 years so whenever friends and families came visiting, they sometimes always had to hide me and then inform everyone to say Tobi was not around. Reason being that, that same visitor came last week and a certain lie was told to him/her about why Tobi was at home so in order to be safe, it was better to hide Tobi and say he wasn't at home.
During this period also, I liked a particular girl and of course asked her out but as you may already be able to guess, she told me NO. But because of the fact that my confidence was heavily low and I felt I could never get any other girl to like me, I kept on asking this same girl out day in day out for 4 good years. Yes, you read that correctly. Four years of me asking the same girl if she would be my girlfriend. And yes! She told me NO every time and I never got a YES.
During this period as well, I picked up certain bad habits and addictions as a way to gain comfort and soothe myself. This continued and continued until one day...
I immediately took Barbara Oakley's course, Learning How to Learn on Coursera and applied everything she said. I then wrote this exam the next year and passed it.
After that encounter, I was no longer the same. I started reading heavily, wide and broad. I became deeply interested in International Politics. I started learning a Foreign language (Spanish). I joined Quora and started loading my brain with quality contents. I became a student of success. Started reading about Billionaires, High Achievers and started following them and before I knew it, I had become a beast. I sharpened my programming skills and started my Web Design company and 8 months later, at age 21, I was staring at a Million naira in my bank account. I had changed my life!.
I had now become an inspiration to everyone and my siblings started quoting me for the reasons they started doing certain positive things.
One day, my younger brother looked at me and said, "Brother Tobi, you know you are the reason I started reading these books, I just noticed you changed, your words, your actions. Everything just changed." My brother doesn't know this, but that day, after he told me this, I went into the bathroom to cry. I cried for several minutes and marveled at how everything had changed.
I have picked up my life and now live on my OWN money. I own a Web Design Company that has worked with over 70 businesses in numerous states in my country and 5 other countries around the globe and I am presently building another technology company, Picsible that seeks to explore and unlock unlimited possibilities for the pictures in our devices.
I believe so much in this message I am sharing. I strongly believe that if people can see themselves as completely responsible for their lives that everything will change for them. I strongly believe that if everyone can see - just as I later saw - that they are the primary reason they are currently where they are and are the only person that can take their life to where they want it to be. I strongly believe this and as someone who has cracked the code to monumental living, I am on a mission to sharing this message to everyone!