“What works well for Taiye might not work well for Kehinde”, is a Yoruba (a Nigerian language) adage that suggests that everyone has a unique way his/her life will follow. In military, to gain advantage at a war front, specialised personnel are placed at strategic positions to help bring down their enemies with precise but anonymous shots. They are called snipers. A sniper is relieved of the stress on the battlefield. He has the rare opportunity to fight as an external influence – having everyone within range while being out of sight. It’s like having to write an open test from the comfort of your home while your mates are under a tense condition- who wouldn’t want that?!


Having in mind the sniper and his rifle, here are few things we can learn:

📌 Some people get rare privileges, don’t compare your life with theirs.
This is how life plays out for some people; they have rare privileges, opportunities for second shots and a chance to display their expertise. Hence, they become models that others want to build their lives after. Just as the adage, everyone’s life has a unique course; you cannot live someone else’s life. So, there is really no need for the comparison. If I desire to live my life like yours, I won’t end up being me and the best I can be, is second best.

📌 We are all unique and have different paths
If two snipers are positioned in the same location, though they may have the same distance and wind directions to consider, there will be a slight difference in the trajectory to the enemy. This explains life! Even when in the same position with anyone, one must discover his/her path and walk in it. You need to know that because something works for your friend doesn’t mean it will work for you, even twins often have different paths.

📌 Don’t run your life on another man’s plan
Circumstances might be generic but it’s effect on an individual is often specific. Imagine yourself crossing a busy road with the observation of the person next to you. He might have decided to walk through the first Lane, stand by the barricade at the middle while the oncoming vehicle on the other side, passes by. You on the other hand, might assume he would want to run across the road and so, follow suit. If you do so, you might be unlucky to be run down by the oncoming vehicle. Do you now see why everyone has to plan for life? Focusing on the success of someone else can make you derail from yours because no one else can live your life but YOU. You can admire people’s lifestyle and success, use it as an example but do not plan to live exactly the way they do.


There is more to explore using the sniper’s perspective. The difference in opportunities, talents, paths, timing and success rate. We can not live like another, one person one life! Little wonder the Egyptian army died in the Red Sea – they saw the children of Israel walk through it like a parade on a red carpet and so did likewise. They did not think of how to cross the sea themselves instead, they trusted someone else’s faith. Many humans drown in the challenges of life because they trust in the fate of others. Your success or failure cannot be recorded in another person’s name. If a sniper takes a shot from the calculations of his neighbour, he might miss his target and hence, expose his location.

Take advice as you go through life, learn from others, admire their success but endeavour to live life from your perspective. 

Ayodeji Oluwatosin

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