Choose This Day

•July 19, 2009 • 8 Comments

The greatest power that a person possesses is the power to choose. J Martin Kohe

Of all the gift that God gave mankind, the ability for us to decide or choose what we want is the greatest. The fact that you can choose to live life, to be happy, to love, to hate, to kill, to serve, to steal, to smile, to put smile on people’s face, to become born again, it’s simply great. God for all who believe in Him, sure did not make us to be pawns but human beings who can make quality decisions. I just want to look at some options we get to have in our journey through life.

  • Vital Few or Trivial Many

Drawing a quick lesson from Pareto, 20% of the people of the world bring about 80% of the change we experience. Jesus Christ, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Isaac Newton, Ronald Reagan, Nelson Mandela, Michael Jackson, etc are people who at different times have set a new path for us all to take in science, politics, vision, freedom, love, religion, entertainment, sports economics, engineering etc, this vital few basically direct the path that the trivial many goes. They dictate the tune and the rest simply sing along, they choose the venue the rest just show up, they write the cheque the rest just cash it. Men join this elite vital few when they stand up and take action where others have hesitated. They change history when with courage they stand and face the world saying the world is round not flat, when they say we can land on the moon, when they say apartheid must end.

But all this didn’t fall on them, it all started with a decision to go all the way, to see a flicker of fire and fan it to flame, to see a little ray of hope and broaden it to become a shower, to see a candle light and make it sunlight. These guys simply decided, decided not to see men in slavery, decided to make life better for us all, decided not to exploit men, decided not to put the world in bondage, decided to make men have hope and smile. In your choosen field and in life generally, where do you belong – the vital few or the trivial many? Choose this day. Continue reading ‘Choose This Day’

Advertisements

You Too Can Be Great

•July 8, 2009 • 4 Comments

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can somehow become great. Mark Twain

Michael Jackson, Martin Luther, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, Desmond Tutu, Wole Soyinka, Enoch Adeboye to name just a few are people that I consider as great. these men rose beyond various obstacles, trials, limitations, mountains,  valleys, hatred, criticism etc to be the people they are today, some are dead yet they still live. I watched in amazement the burial of Michael Jackson, an event that had 1.7 million people who applied to attend and I heard the great things people said about this man and I simply concluded beyond doubt that MJ was and is great. On the congress wall of the United States, he would be honoured with a plaque but the fact is just anyone can be great, the question is how. I want to share some few things I have seen at work in the life of these great men and I want us to see how we can put them to work in our own lives as well.

1) Focus On One Thing

You can do anything, but not everything. David Allen

I discovered that in the lives of the people I term great, they are not regarded as great in plenty things, for most of them they are regarded as great in one thing i.e. Tiger Woods = golf, Michael Jackson = pop music, Roger Federer = tennis, Wole Soyinka = literature. No denying that this guys may have other abilities and skills but for them to be great they chose not to be jack of all trade and master of none but instead jack of one trade and master of that one. They stayed focused on one particular thing which is what they loved doing the most and today the world honours them for it. In what area do you want the world to call you great in, then focus on it now.

2) Start Early

Another thing I discovered is that for most of this guys they started early, Tiger Woods started with golf at age 2, Michael  Jackson at age  5. Starting early is an important virtue that guarantees greatness in any field. The age called early might differ for various field but it is important to start out  in your field early enough because it would always give you an edge and guarantee greatness and if by chance you have passed the age called early in your chosen field, you can still start now, it’s better late than never you know. Continue reading ‘You Too Can Be Great’

If Only

•July 4, 2009 • 6 Comments

Whoa, it’s 3 days into the 2nd half of the new month and for the wise I am sure you intend to do better this half than you did the first. I have a few words to share and I believe that it would help you bring the best out of the remaining half of the year.

Have you ever walked past a car store and for a moment imagined yourself driving a particular model that you love or better still, have you ever imagined or pictured yourself doing or having something you desire i.e. sitting down on a chair on the 244th floor of a 300 storey skyscraper and yes you are the C.E.O of a fortune 500 company and you are earning way over a million dollars per annum, that’s cool isn’t it. I discovered something that dreaming like this is cool but the fact is the dream is free but guys the journey ain’t.

I love dreaming and I encourage you to do the same, a life without a dream is a life without a destination but I need you to understand soon enough that the journey to the dream is not free rather it is costly and expensive. I guess some of us know that by now as in probably you started the year with the popular new year resolution or with a goal, you had plenty plans for 2009, they looked so cool writing them down and even beautiful when you dream about them but 6 months later you are faced with reality and you are nowhere near it, don’t feel bad at all it’s not too late, at least you tried.

“My greatest concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.” Abraham Lincoln

A lot of us dream but forget soon enough that the road would not be smooth, Jesus had a dream of saving the world from their sin but guys you know the story he died to get it down, Mandela had a dream to end apartheid in South Africa, he had to go to prison on the journey to achieving it, Martin Luther had a dream he died fighting for it.

Friend, looking back at the goals, dreams and tasks you failed to accomplish in the first half of the year you probably can see the reasons why you failed and now you are thinking to yourself ‘if only I had read more I would have …’, ‘if only I saved more or spent less I would have…’, ‘if only I prayed more or if only I asked for help, I would have …’. It’s painful when we get to this point, it leaves a bad taste in our mouth as we wonder and ponder on the reasons for our failure, and it sends that shocking feeling of regret through our vein but guys I didn’t write this to make you feel regret I am writing this to tell you that you still have 6 months before 2009 ends and that means you can still make something happen this year.

“Never Quit.”Don’t ever, ever quit. Recognize that stopping now, regrouping to try a new approach isn’t quitting. If you quit you’ll regret it forever.“. Rudy Ruettiger.

Set new goals, dream new dreams if you don’t have one before and set out knowing sacrifices would be made, set out knowing the road would be rough, set out knowing you might not be able to pay the price once and sit back because the full cost of a dream is not apparent until we begin the journey, set out knowing that you must not allow your dreams dictate your values, set out knowing you can do all things if you believe, set out knowing you are unstoppable, set out knowing the only real obstacle you have is you.

“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”Thomas Paine

I wish you all the best and I hope that by the time you finish this half and you are taking stock, you would not have any ‘if only’ but instead you would end saying ‘I did’. Cheers.

Courage

•June 23, 2009 • 2 Comments

Go forward into battle and do not shrink away since there is no escape from death…By God, in whose hands my life is, a thousand sword blows on the head is easier than death in bed. Abu Abdullah Muhammad al-Harithi al-Baghdadi al-Mufid

I was watching the movie troy again and something struck me that I feel I should share. Two nations were going to war, Greece and Thessalonica and they had hundreds of thousands of men ready to fight against each other.  The king of Greece then made a suggestion that instead of making this guys kill each other let’s have your best fighter fight against mine. The best fighter for Thessalonica was a giant but the best guy for Greece was not even on the battlefield, a boy was sent to call him and when the boy saw him he advised him that if he was in his shoes he would not fight the giant and the fighter (Achilles) said and I quote “that is why you would not be remembered”.

God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right, even though I think it is hopeless. Chester W. Nimitz

Now what is courage, it is the quality of being brave, it is the ability to face danger, uncertainty, or pain with confidence and determination, without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action.

If the creator had a purpose in equipping us with a neck, he surely meant us to stick it out. Arthur Koestler

I discovered that for anyone that wants to achieve greatness, fulfill purpose, get results and leave a legacy or want to be remembered an important virtue that cannot be dropped is COURAGE. A lot of men run away in the face of danger, when we see a risky situation our head begins to blow the alarm saying run away, run away but courage says stay on, yes there could be danger but there is light behind the tunnel.

Fortune favors the bold. Virgil

A lot of men choose a course of action, decide to embark on a journey in career, life etc but when the going gets tough they step aside saying maybe they took the wrong route, they step aside feeling it’s too much for them to handle, they see the obstacles and they feel whoa it’s too great I won’t fight but great men like Achilles in the face of a giant stepped out without fear and brought him down, like David we need to bring down every Goliath in our way.

I am…ready to risk my life against his in single combat to decide whether the kingdom of England should be his or mine. William the Conqueror Continue reading ‘Courage’

Lessons From My Mentor 2

•June 17, 2009 • 2 Comments

Ok, let me say thanks to all that read the part 1 of this series and I want to believe you got something that inspired you as you journey towards greatness. This is the continuation of what I learnt from my mentor when he visited my school to speak to a group of 30 and then 400.

–          Follow the Bus

In life like Solomon would say there is nothing new under the sun, whatever we seek to do or achieve there is someone already on that path and it is only wisdom for us to place our footsteps in their foot print.

My mentor used his experience while coming to Ife to further sink this truth in. while on his way to Ife, it was late, raining and the Ibadan – Ife road was (and still is) in a very terrible shape, they decided to follow a bus that obviously knew the path better than them, as they followed the bus it helped them avoid major pot holes, ditches, in short every unnecessary trouble on their path and then for a little less than a minute, the driver of my mentor’s car decided to take another path different from that which the bus driver took and then the unthinkable happened, they lost two tires to an unknown element. In the middle of nowhere, with just 1 spare tire, they were basically almost stranded.

As we journey through life, we need to learn from those who have walked this path before us and to do that we need to empty our cup in order for them to fill it for us. Even at times, we want to do it our own way, take another path from the bus driver and then we lose two tires oh sorry loose a job, a friend etc. what we must learn is to shut up, listen and do even if we don’t entirely understand, they obviously know better.

Do you have someone you are listening to, someone you are accountable to, someone who has journeyed the path you are taken before you, then you are on the right path, if not get one today because they are out there.

My mentor said Experience is a costly teacher but a fool would learn by no other.

 – Discover Your Passion

If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of youT. Alan Armstrong 

 Living life without something you are passionate about could make life very boring. A man needs passion to survive, life according to Helen Keller is a daring adventure and a man needs passion to follow after adventure. What are you passionate about, what can you do joyfully and with all your heart whether you are paid or not, what can you do and forget about food while doing, what are you happy doing, what do you enjoy doing, what do your friends say you are good at, these are the ways my mentor said you can discover your passion.

Plenty people put their passion aside and go sit down on a job doing something else, for some a job. The world, the academic environment  can say you are small, you have a 2nd class lower, a 3rd class etc but in the area where you have passion for, you are a first class material for sure if you dare to pursue it.

Chase down your passion like it’s the last bus of the nightGlade Byron Addams

Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark

Amiel, Journal, 17 December 1856
 
 – Dream

My mentor said a life without a dream is like a ship without a rudder. Every man needs to have a dream, it helps gives you an idea of your destination. My mentor said if you don’t know where, the road doesn’t matter. A dream gives us direction, points us to the way, guides our daily steps as we pursue and seek after it.

What is your dream, to become a CEO of a multinational, the most sought after motivational speaker, the president, whatever it is you need one and it is important to note that such dreams must be conceivable, measurable and achievable.

My mentor said that as important as your dream is, you definitely need courage to pursue your dream. Don’t blend in with life, STAND OUT. Don’t let anything hold you back from pursuing your dream, if you have to resign from a job do, my mentor said you cannot be stranded, yeah there are times when it appears as if your dream might not come true but the fact is except a grain of corn falls to the ground and dies, it cannot grow, living is dying, after the seeming death, with tenacity and perseverance you would experience it’s resurrection.

 All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence

 – God Doesn’t Play Dice

Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect. Ralph Waldo Emerson

 My mentor said there is no luck in life, life is built on principles and if we learn to live by them we would surely obtain the expected result.

 Be ready when opportunity comes…Luck is the time when preparation and opportunity meet. Roy D. Chapin Jr                                                                        

 I wish you all the best as you journey towards greatness. Don’t settle for good, shoot for greatness. Cheers

 Keep steadily before you the fact that all true success depends at last upon yourself. Theodore T. Hunger

Lessons From My Mentor

•June 14, 2009 • 5 Comments

Yesterday, i had another great opprtunity to learn from my mentor. After spending about 10 hours on a 3 hour journey due to bad roads and traffic on his way  to my school(Obafemi Awolowo University) alongside his wife and two friends ,he had a breakfast meeting with 30 students and then spoke  to  a group of about 400 students made up of 90% who are in their final year. Both  sessions were powerfuland i thought i should share with you some of the things i learnt. Relax, read, meditate and do.
Get Knowledge
Someone said that if you want to hide anything from a black man, put it in a book. I read in a book that an average american reads less than a book monthly and i wonder what it is for  an average nigerian…i leave that to you. Alot of us are not willing to part with what we have to get knowledge. My mentor said and i quote ” empty your pocket to fill your head and then let your head fill your pocket” and it goes with the saying of Solomon who said “buy the truth“. The bible says that with knowledge we fill a house with good things.
What are you doing inorder to get knowledge. My mentor said for you to be classed as being passionate about something, you need to have read books that equals your age, so if you are 18 and you are passionate about project management, read 18 books on it, if you are 40 and passionate about marketing, read 40 books. By knowing and learning new stuffs daily, we become better people.  Pay a price today for knowledge for nothing comes free.
…Everyday you don’t become stronger and better, you become weaker and worse…

Build Networks
My mentor said poor people build CVs but rich people build networks. The importance of networking cannot be overemphasized, we need each other to survive, that guy you abhor, that girl you feel is too low to you might be instrumental for you in the future. We need to value relationships, like Mr Pathman of the V network would say, don’t barb/make your hair in the same saloon, don’t always go to one restaurant, check out different supermarkets( i don’t think so for church anyway), why? to meet new people, we need each other to survive in life. Meet people, get more business cards because you don’t know when they would be useful to you, join social network sites online i.e. facebook and make things work for you.
My mentor would say relationship is everything.
Be A Blessing
My mentor quoted Einstein and he said you don’t have to think for long to know that has humans we live for one another. When you get your salary you spend a large chunk of it on or for others, when you buy a book  you are making someone richer, when you visit the market you are making someone richer but most importantly is that you are a blessing to someone. Alot of us especially here in Nigeria are busy fighting for ourselves but one person we neglect is our neigbour. Jesus would teach us to love our neighbour as ourselves, what we expect others to do to us let us do to them. Show someone love today, give hope to someone, give faith to someone, encourage someone, pray for someone, give someone a gift today, just be a blessing to someone.

Life is a banquet

My mentor said that life is not a small restaurant where you are limited to what they have, life is a banquet that offers everything and you get out of life what you demand of it.
Plenty of us sit and wait for life to happen to us rather than happen to life, we need to get off mediocrity, laziness and stand to take our place in life.We can’t afford to look and wait and hope that someday something will happen to us, NO, we need to stand, arise, take action, place demands, do something even if we fail on it, we don’t quit until we achieve and acquire what we want.

No Excuse for you

One thing alot of us do is give an excuse when things don’t happen the way we want them to. Clay Dyer, Hellen Keller and other great people who lived beyond limitations and obsatcles scream in our ears like the cloud of witnessses that we have no excuse. You have no excuse not to succeed, you have no excuse not to be great, you have no excuse not to live behind a good legacy, you have no excuse not to deliver your future.
We must learn to live beyond every obstacles, limitations or foe and deliver. Lets stop dreaming and waiting for the lion to leave the street, even a moron can dream.
My mentor said that excuses is the language of failures.

join me as i say with my mentor
I CAN, I MUST, I WILL DELIVER MY FUTURE…

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though chequered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat” — Theodore Roosevelt.

watch out for part 2

Selah

•May 30, 2009 • 2 Comments

Is it not interesting the way we want God to act even though He has made Himself clear on various issues. We go to God and we pray to Him to do this and do that. I have come to discover that in getting anything from God, there are two questions to ask
Exo 23:28 I will make the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites panic as you approach.
Exo 23:29 But I won’t do all this in the first year, because the land would become poor, and wild animals would be everywhere.
Exo 23:30 Instead, I will force out your enemies little by little and give your nation time to grow strong enough to take over the land.
i) Can God do it
Psa 78:19 Yes, they spoke against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?

Like the children of Israel, the first question we silently ask in our heart when we go to God is “can God do this”. Can God get me this house, can God get me this car, can God get me this job, can God get me that lady, can God make this work, can God…

Even God himself asked the prophet Jeremiah this question

Jer 32:27 “Stay alert! I am GOD, the God of everything living. Is there anything I can’t do?

And we get a clear answer below

Jer 32:17 ‘Dear GOD, my Master, you created earth and sky by your great power–by merely stretching out your arm! There is nothing you can’t do.

So we know for sure that there is nothing God cannot do, He can furnish a table in the wilderness, He can send the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites out in one year, He can get you that job, that house, that lady, that contract, that deal etc. YES, HE CAN.

The other important question is
ii) Will God do it
This is a very important question that we must get an answer to. In the verses above, God can chase out the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites in one year but He said I would not do it, so even though God can, He didn’t.

God could have rescued Jesus on the cross but He didn’t because there was a higher cause, God could have killed Saul from the moment he failed Him but he didn’t because David had to learn something from Him.
I was in a fellowship of about 1200 students on Sunday and I asked one of them to tell me a dream of his, he said and I quote “ I want a Ferrari before the end of this semester”, now can God do it, YES but will God do it, I can say with total confidence NO!

So why is it that at times God doesn’t do what He can do? Let’s examine the opening verses above and see why God didn’t chase out the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites in one year. He said I would not do it because you guys would be weak, you would not be strong, you would be lazy, again you guys are not many yet, so there would be so much land but no one to use it making weeds grow and wild animals take over, so He said I wouldn’t do that. I know what is best for you and that is what I would do.
Plenty times we go to God, give me this and give me that and even though he can easily give you, because the earth is the Lord and the fullness thereof, the world and all that dwells in it, he would not because you might not be able to handle it. Like the prodigal son, we go asking for sudden wealth not knowing its potential to destroy us and make us dine with swines.
Sometimes I wonder, if God had answered all of my prayers where would I be today? If God had answered every prayer ever prayed without thinking twice, where would the world be today? Selah
I believe God wants to give us things but because His thoughts towards us are of good not of evil, He would not give us somethings because it might just destroy us. Plenty times we ask the wrong things and when we don’t get it, we become angry with God forgetting whatever He does is the best for us. If only we can learn to trust God in every situation no matter what may.
A lot of times we ask God to give us this or that rather than tell him to increase us and make us strong enough to possess the land, we ask God to give us fish rather than ask Him to teach us how to fish. Making you is more important to God than giving you. Some of us have a little now and we are so proud and unapproachable, what happens if God blesses you more. Maybe we should start asking God to fix us, make us, mould us, change us so that we can be in the best position to receive of Him without it destroying us and so doing be a better channel to bless man.
At the end of the day the prodigal son came back and asked His father, MAKE ME…