Tuesday, 17 February 2015

What Success is...n't

One of those questions that will always be of interest to people irrespective of their generation is what exactly success is. Then quickly comes to mind the question of if success is exactly anything. I say this because success to one person may actually be utter failure to another. As it is said, “One man’s food can be another’s poison.”
Earl Nightingale once said, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” I like that – progressive realization – which means it isn’t just a destination but a journey. As for definitions of success, Earl’s ranks at the top of my list. In as much as a clear-cut definition may not universally do it for us all, it is possible to earmark what success is NOT. In doing this we will knock off some very popular perceptions and, in all chances, begin to earmark what success really means. So let’s begin.
Success is not money. Money has become a very popular gauge that measures how successful people are. Society has pushed us to points where we erroneously feel successful when our bank accounts are swelled and in effect feel unsuccessful at times they are otherwise. Rather than have this perception, know that it is possible to be successful or a failure with or without a swelled bank balance.
Success is not a destination. I have alluded to this earlier. We customarily perceive success as a point that we must attain before we think we have succeeded. Although attaining a set goal is certainly a part of the success formula, it isn’t the whole. When you keep a fixed paradigm of success as a destination and nothing else you make the journey towards that destination a difficult chore. This greatly takes from the joy of attainment.
Success is not a part of your life. It is common to perceive success as a part of a human being. “He is a successful counselor but failed in his health,” or “She is a great mother but a terrible wife,” we often say. We speak this way because we think a human being is compartmentalized like a department store. On the contrary a human is ONE and hence success must also be the whole ONE life and not a part of it.

These are not all that success isn’t but having highlighted these three, I would proceed in the next a few other articles to state what success exactly (maybe) is.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

How to be alive while breathing

Are you living or simply breathing? This isn't a trick question. It is obvious that the only thing that qualifies you to be biologically referred to as a living thing is to be able to breathe in and out. If you are accomplishing this, you are alive.

But I have experienced times when I was breathing alright but not living! What I was accomplishing was surviving. I had no drive, a battered self-esteem, confused values, and short of being moral. I was not pursuing any worthwhile ideal, not planning effectively for my day and the days ahead, and not envisioning a life of social relevance and impact. This isn't far from death to me. But that wasn't what I wanted. I wanted to live everyday of my life!

There are many people who fall into this class of breathing but not living. If you want to know if you fall into this class you must be sincere enough with yourself to tell yourself the truth and also be courageous enough to face the truth when you tell it to yourself.

If you are both sincere and courageous then lets proceed to answer the 4 questions of the living-dead:

1. Do you have a present vision for your life? Without a life vision living becomes an unbearable trek down a lonely road. This is because human beings are creatures of purpose and what truly keeps us alive is the hope that we have a worthy assignment to do and that we will do it. People that have no life vision are often suicidal (given to frequent suicidal thoughts and actions) and also act in ways that suggest other people's life isn't worth living.
2. Do you have goals in every aspect of your life - financial, spiritual, family, health, career, vocation? If our human experience can be likened to the Atlantic Ocean, then our lives are the mighty ships on the Atlantic and goals are the rudder (steering wheel) of the ship. Just like without a rudder a ship will never successfully navigate the vast Atlantic Ocean to any intended destination, without goals our lives will move aimlessly in life's journey! You must have goals to live!
3. Are you doing something daily towards achieving your goals? To achieve your goals you must do something about them daily no matter how small that thing seems. Taking actions towards your goals is like taking steps towards a far destination. One step often seems insignificant in major treks but when you keep taking those steps you will eventually get there!
4. Are you socially relevant? Finally, human life isn't designed for isolation. We need people and people need us. Imagine waking up one morning to discover that you are the only person in a thousand kilometers radius of your location. You will certainly not be calm or even sane! To move from just breathing to living you must be socially relevant. Give a part of you to your society. Share yourself. Make your life significant to others. This is what is meant to be truly alive!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

How to Develop Creative Vision

To create anything you must first envision it. I like to say it this way: you must see it to create it. A common word we use to explain vision is imagination. Nothing comes to fruition without imagination. Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, states that, “Everything is created twice.” You first envision and create it within you then you fabricate and create it without.

We all have two pairs of eyes – our outer pair and an inner pair. Our outer pair is held down by limitations and boundaries. They feed us with the helpful but limited information to go about our everyday life. With your inner pair, sight has no boundary. You can see and be wherever you want to see and be. You can be in a village on the outskirts of Zungeru and yet travel in your mind to the Avenue of Stars in Hong Kong, or the Eiffel tower of Paris. You can experience the snow peak of Mount Kilimanjaro while living in a valley near Lokoja!

So, to create you must first see your boundless creation!

In addition, it isn’t simply enough to see it. You must be able to see it clearly. You must be able to define it in your mind. A blur is not enough. The blueprint in your mind must be specific and clear cut. Below is an excerpt from the autobiography of one of the greatest inventors of his generation, Nikola Telsa, which explains my thought:

“… I observed to my delight that I could visualise with the greatest facility. I needed no models, drawings or experiments. I could picture them all as real in my mind. Thus I have been led unconsciously to evolve what I consider a new method of materialising inventive concepts and ideas, which is radically opposite to the purely experimental and is in my opinion ever so much more expeditious and efficient.

"The moment one constructs a device to carry into practice a crude idea, he finds himself unavoidably engrossed with the details of the apparatus. As he goes on improving and reconstructing, his force of concentration diminishes and he loses sight of the great underlying principle. Results may be obtained, but always at the sacrifice of quality. My method is different. I do not rush into actual work. When I get an idea, I start at once building it up in my imagination. I change the construction, make improvements and operate the device in my mind. It is absolutely immaterial to me whether I run my turbine in thought or test it in my shop. I even note if it is out of balance. There is no difference whatever; the results are the same. In this way I am able to rapidly develop and perfect a conception without touching anything. When I have gone so far as to embody in the invention every possible improvement I can think of and see no fault anywhere, I put into concrete form this final product of my brain. Invariably my device works as I conceived that it should, and the experiment comes out exactly as I planned it. In twenty years there has not been a single exception. Why should it be otherwise?”

Nikola Telsa went on to visualize and invent the Alternating Current, electric bulbs, discovered X-rays, Radio, Remote Control, Electric Motor, Robotics, Laser, Wireless Communications and Limitless Free Energy

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

In Your Image

Have you considered the question, “What is creativity?” What does it mean to create something that hasn’t been there before? What makes creative people creative? Can you and I be creative? Without considering such probing questions it will be noteworthy to realize that everything that we have around us was created by someone – the chairs, the hall, the microphone, the sound system, your mobile devices – everything!

The underlying principle to the best of creativity is in creating something in your own image. The best creation that will ever come from you must have your image and carry your own life within it. The great writer, Chinua Achebe, wrote Things Fall Apart when he was 26 years old. This is what he had to say about it:

“I was conscripted by the story, and I was writing it at all times – whenever there was an opening. It felt like a sentence, an imprisonment of creativity. I worked on my writing mostly at night. I was seized by the story and I found myself totally ensconced in it. It was almost like living a parallel realm, a dual existence not in any negative sense but in the way a hand has two surfaces, united in purpose but very different in tone, appearance, character, and structure.”

Things Fall Apart has so far sold over 10 million copies worldwide in addition to being translated into various foreign languages and turned into a movie series. Your perfect creation must have not just your signature but your image and life.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

10 Powerful Quotes from the Last One Year

I felt I should take some quotes from articles I really enjoyed reading from the last one year. All the quotes are from my writings in this blog. Enjoy reading:

1. To make progress you must be on your own unique path. You must be pursuing a predetermined goal and taking premeditated actions toward it. Progress is intentional. It does not come on you but you work and walk toward it. Culled from: Are You making Progress in a Rat Race?

2. You may find yourself deadlocked and immobile but for as long as you know you are on the right path, your success is simply a matter of time. Also, even though you may be in the same situation you were months earlier, you know that as long as time has passed you are not on the same spot. Culled from: Immobile Progress

3. To educate and develop my mind I needed to read books related to the fields I wanted to be outstanding ... if you want to be the best manufacturer of furniture in your city, your library should be filled with books on types of wood, wood finishing, business and factory ethics, etc., and not books on motivational public speaking. Culled from: Intentional Education

4. Two things stop folks from living their dreams. 1: The fear of the untested. We often allow the darkness of fear to envelop our hearts. 2: The gruesome voice of sameness that speaks through your mental airwaves telling you, “You are not ready,” and, “It isn’t time.” You must change the dial and listen rather to the sweet melodious rhythm which says, “Now is the right time for your salvation.” Culled from: Swimming on Land?

5. A parasitic person will gain from you but in return harm you. In essence it is what he gains from you that destroy you. Culled from: Associations (Types)

6. To be a leader you must have a mandate – a clearly defined and outlined assignment – that keeps you on course. Without this you are simply on a lonely stroll and, if unfortunately you have a portfolio, wasting peoples precious time. Culled from: Here is Your Assignment

7. If you would produce great results, irrespective of the environment you are in, you must learn to concentrate in chaos. Your perfect environment will never be so you must learn to do your stuff anyway and do it well. Culled from: The Perfect Success Journey

8. In your success journey it is important to keep trying and not stop even when it seems you are at the end of your game. You should develop the attitude that says to daunting situations, “I will rise again!” Culled from: It's Never Too Late to RE-start

9. If you have identified an unhealthy habit stop it now. Not next year. Not next month. Not next week. Not later today. All these lie in your future and the only time you really have is this moment here and now. Culled from: Kill or be Killed

10. Why sit in our conditions and die? Why sit in poverty and die? Why sit in confusion and die? Why sit in ignorance and die? Nothing moves until you move. Nature responds to movement and never to inaction. If you remain the way you are things will remain the way they are. Culled from: The Power of Movement