"Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for

yourself. It's what you do for others."-DannyThomas

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


By Obagidi Victor

Many people give many reasons for not going in line with what they have written down as goals. some call those reasons tangible excuses and some call it justifiable reasons. No matter the name you use to qualify it, the fact still remains that you deviated from those goals. however, hitting the target of your goals are dependent on you ability to set realistic goals. Most goals deviated from, are mostly unrealistic. That is why deviating from them seems so easy to accomplish. For example, Maya, who has a lot to do for his parents/guardian sets a goal to read for the whole day without a break. He therefore, begins to follow these goals because the parents/guardian travelled.

Their return absolutely renders that goal paralyzed because he has to create time to attend to them. Femmy is a student who doesn't work but lives on what the parent sends (#5000 monthly) sets a goal of saving #20,000 monthly. On the other hand, Seun sets a goal of reading the whole bible/quran at once without mastering consistency on one chapter. These are what we call unrealistic goals. Goals that have no true source of accomplishment. It might look like its gonna work out for a start, but the momentum drops gradually until a permanent deviation is observed.

Therefore, the first and foremost thing to do is to set realistic goals. Goals that has a high feasibility. Attainable and achievable goals. You must note here that a goal should always graduate from simple to complex and not from complex to simple. This means that you should set realistic goals no matter how small they might look. When you have mastered the consistency in that set goals, you can then proceed to setting higher goals. Don't take it other way round.
Focus is what keeps you on track when you are trying to reach your goals. If you think of an archer as s/he aims at a target, it is essential that the archer has focus in order to hit the bulls eye. Likewise, when a person wants to create something in their life, they must maintain focus in order to achieve the goal.

There are many reasons why a person loses focus while pursuing their goals. The constant distractions in today's world mean that maintaining focus can be very difficult. Distraction of work, home, friends, socialising, events and everything else constantly compete for your attention and dedicated time. It takes time to stay focused on achieving your goals and it's so easy to fail in your attempt to maintain enough momentum, desire, energy and persistence needed to achieve your goals. As a result you often give up and think your goal is unachievable you then deviate from it.

Another reason why you might lose focus in pursuing your goals is that you may talk yourself out of pursuing your dreams. When you first begin pursuing your goals, you may be motivated by the fact that you are improving your life and achieving your wishes and dreams. Shortly after starting the process of taking action towards achieving our goals, you can often begin to question the plausibility of achieving what you want. As soon as you start questioning your ability, you start to loose focus.
So what can we do to ensure we maintain the focus we need to achieve our goals? Here are some tips that will help us stay focused.
Write our goals down. Put your goals, reasons, objectives and beliefs in writing. When they are in writing it makes them more real and they can be reviewed and used as a constant source of encouragement. Eventually your goals will become branded in your mind.

  • Watch for Negative Self Talk. Caution the thoughts that makes your written goals look too big to be accomplished. Note here that the goal must however be realistic.
  • Plan your action. Build your plan for reaching your goal. Your plan becomes your road map and helps you determine the best course to follow.
  •   MinimizeDistractions. Get rid of as much temptation as possible that deviates from your focus on your goal. If your goal is to loose weight, throw away all takeaway and foods that contributes to your fat. If your goal is to save money and reduce money spent on non necessities, unsubscribe from any online shopping, gaming, promotional newsletters, email or text alerts. If for example your goal is to exercise more and you have identified watching TV as a distraction, don't turn on the TV until you have achieved the tasks relating to your goal. Use every method you can think of to remove distractions from your situation and it will certainly help your focus.
  • Use the Power of Visualization. To have something to focus on we must have a strong visual picture of our target so we can maintain focus on the end result. The more you bring what it is you wish to obtain to the forefront of your mind, the more focus you can give to it.
  • Measure Your Progress. You can't control your progress unless you can analyze your progress. Create a system and timetable to measure your progress. Record your daily progress. This can tell you if you are on track or if you need to make adjustments to either your plan or activities. You need to measure your progress on a regular basis as it gives you some control.
  • Prioritise your Goal. Focus on a few goals at one time. Try not to overburden yourself as it will limit your chance of achieving your goal and demotivate you. Concentrate on the important ones first, achieve them and then you can look at addressing the other goals.
  • Work your Goals into your Daily Plan. Do something towards achieving your goals everyday. The best way to achieve your goals and maintain your focus is to do something that will make it happen each and every day. Even if its only 15 minutes each day, it is better than not doing any goal related activity at all. Give your goal daily attention and you'll remain more focused and at a better chance of achieving your goal.
  • Use the Power of Positive Affirminations. Keep telling yourself in the present tense and in a positive statement of what you want to achieve. When someone's goal is to climb a mountain, his/her affirmation will detail being at the top of the mountain, not on getting from the bottom to the top. Positive affirmation can help you maintain focus and help you believe in yourself and your ability to obtain your goal.
  • Celebrate your Milestones. Mark your successes and acknowledge your progress towards your desired goal. Set milestones and as you achieve them reward yourself. This will motivate you and make you see your milestone in a very positive way.
Also remember that there is no quick fix to achieving your goals. It requires your motivation, effort, research and time. However our goals are far more attainable when you stay focused on them.
You must however note that there's no excuse for you to deviate from your goals.
I so much believe in you and what you can do.

Re-broadcast to inspire someone into action.
Your friend;
Obagidi Victor.

Youths as future leaders of tomorrow: Are we there yet?

(By Kolapo Abidemi)
The Nigerian government is still using antiquated approaches that are antithetical to the principles of sustainable development as regard the policy affecting the youths. The National confab which comprises recycled crops of aging politicians whose interests are not predicated on issues affecting the Nigerian youths have further substantiated this fact. The confab should have been youth centred, providing avenue of expression and civic engagement.

IF we recall the popular catch-phrase: ‘Youths are the future leaders of tomorrow ‘ made by our leaders of yesterday who are still voraciously clinging on to the baton of power, we wonder when exactly is the future going to arrive for the youths. Unfortunately, this has robbed the youths of their potential, their ability and responsibility to be the leaders of today, thus subjecting them to a state of passivity, ineptitude and gross irresponsibility towards promoting national growth and productivity.
  The fundamental component and major investment of society that remains underutilised and neglected are the youths. It is the youths who are the bedrock for effective and sustainable development. Young people are in the critical and uninhibited process of learning and inventing, therefore if they are given incarnate responsibility, they will accept the challenge and will be a driving force in making a progressive impact in our economy.

  In this present day and age, a typical Nigerian youth seem to have discarded the core values and principles of moral dignity, intellectual pursuits of excellence and the need to integrate themselves in the collective responsibility towards national development.
   In my days as a youth corps member, I went with zeal to make a long lasting impact in the place of my primary assignment but I was shocked to see the youths frustrating all efforts to welcome change and progress. Majority prefer to tread the path of shame and dishonour by engaging themselves in inglorious vices such as oil bunkering, pipeline vandalisation, kidnapping, political thuggery, prostitution, etc. I was also shocked to see the youths being taught ‘Olumba Olumba ‘ in a Christian religious class. Are these the future leaders of tomorrow?

   The national youth development policy (2001, P.1) asserts that ‘‘Youths are the foundation of a society. Their energies, inventiveness, character and orientation define the pace of development and security of a nation. Through their creative talents and labour power, a nation makes giant strides in economic development and socio-political attainment. In their dreams and hopes, a nation founds her motivation on their energies; she builds her vitality and purpose. And because of their dreams and aspiration, the future of a nation is assured.’’

  Conversely, with the high level of indiscipline, religious extremism, ethnic jingoism, political shenanigan and other vices being displayed by our youths who are considered the future leaders of tomorrow, is the future of our great nation not at stake?
  Unemployment in Nigeria today has become every youth nightmare. It is no longer about going to school and graduating or learning a trade, but about how to face the reality of graduating and joining the brigade of the unemployed youths.
The Nigerian government is still using antiquated approaches that are antithetical to the principles of sustainable development as regard the policy affecting the youths. The National confab which comprises recycled crops of aging politicians whose interests are not predicated on issues affecting the Nigerian youths have further substantiated this fact. The confab should have been youth centred, providing avenue of expression and civic engagement. There seem to be a new face of emerging challenges seriously affecting the youths and this may cause a drift to anarchy if the government refuses to beam the searchlight on issues affecting the youths.

   The government in advanced countries has placed high priority on matters regarding the welfare of their youths and their policy has in some way positively affected the young people by institutionalising many youth centered organisations primarily focused on reflecting the views and serving the needs of the young people. They provide a space where young people can organise for action to meet community needs and experience group processes, strengthening youth vigilance in combating corruption through advocacy and networking.

  Our youths should begin to view themselves as the leaders of today capable of creating incremental changes by making their ambitious ideas a reality today rather than waiting for the future. The Nigerian youths should begin to embark on a transformational process by creating a political paradigm shift strong enough to sweep away our aged economic predators through unrestricted creativity, inspirited action and ardent activism. The future begins now!

Dr Abidemi wrote from Kots Integrated Services, Lagos. bideklink@yahoo.com

Adaora Egwuonwu: The Art of Saying “NO”

The word “no” is a very difficult one for many people, but over time I’ve realized it’s one of the most important words to incorporate if we want to excel as individuals, and in leadership. Nothing demoralizes a person when more than when being told ‘no’. Some people see it as being rude or impolite, and may take offense to it; but truth be told, you are actually exercising self-care. Finding yourself is not primarily what you add to your life, but essentially what you take away.

I vividly recall when I went for a job interview in the NGO I currently volunteer for. Being my first, although prepared, I was quite nervous. On arrival, having observed the interviewer was a free-spirited guy who knew just how to break the ice, I felt a bit relaxed. Then, he asked me a a totally unexpected question: “If you are assigned a task you are unable to carry out, how would you reject it?” Oh my! That sounded like a tricky question I didn’t want to fall prey to. I felt very uneasy. I tried to be very cautious with my response in order not to be denied the position, especially because I had come in very energetic – with an “i-can-do-it-all” kind of attitude.

I don’t quite recall exact answer I gave since I kept beating about the bush. I will never forget his response. “Do not be afraid to say ‘No!’. It’s part of setting your priorities straight and taking care of yourself. Whatever task given to you that you find uncomfortable, you have the right let us know and to refuse it” Pheww!! Just like that? That didn’t go as bad as I thought. Easier said than done huh? but all the same I felt a sense of relief which was all I needed at that moment.
There are so many opportunities and of course, responsibilities which present themselves as we succeed in life. The key challenge here becomes prioritizing the many opportunities we are faced with. We often try to do this without saying “no” conclusively. We still want to keep our options open. Although, this may result in a lack of clarity and most of the time, overcommitment, we end up disappointing people, exhausting ourselves, or simply just failing. To prevent this mishap, we need to learn to say “no” gracefully but firmly; maintaining the relationship while making it clear that this is one path we’re choosing not to pursue.

According to my Communications lecturer, Mrs. Gaboury: the first step to reject a proposal is by buffering it.  That way you don’t sound too harsh, mean or straight forward to the other party. Here’s a sneak peek of one of my course works on how we were taught to write an indirect letter.
We truly appreciate your enthusiasm towards introducing new features to the improvement of the project at hand. It’s indeed our utmost priority to render good quality services to our high esteemed customer like you. I agree with you on the introduction of these recent features but as it stands; it’s not favorably possible to incorporate the new requirements as a result of the limited time-frame
In this scenario, you have indirectly passed your message across and that message is simply saying ‘NO’. I’d say it’s like an interpersonal skill that develops overtime although it feels very discomforting at first. Be clear of your vision. Does this request help me to further my goals? If it does, that is the only thing you want to say “YES” to.
There are no laid down rules to follow on how to say ‘no’, but here are some helpful tips and phrases I do apply when I find myself in situations like this:

Pay proper attention and ensure they know they are being heard. Make them understand you likewise know the importance of what they are asking you for. In response, you can say “I know how much this project really means to you and I really appreciate you asking me but I’m sorry I can’t”.

Weigh your options
This is a very crucial part. At this moment, you know the implication of saying ‘yes’. You shouldn’t give the person an answer because your options haven’t been evaluated. Therefore, it’s wrong to commit yourself. Use helpful phrases like:
• I’ll get back to you.
• I’m going to say no for now; I’ll do let you know if something changes.
• I’m sorry, but it’s not just possible for me at this time.
• You can choose not to get back to the person at all. Silence is a form of reply.

Offer an alternative
By doing this, the person knows you really want to help in as much as you can’t be fully involved. Use words like:
• I think I know someone who can handle this much better. Do you mind?
• No I can’t do that but this is what I am able to do.

Follow up
This totally depends on you if you feel the need to. You can say: “I’m just checking to know the status of the work done”

Do not defend your decisions
“No” does not require any justification or explanation. It’s a part of success. Remember, each time you say yes to someone, you are actually saying no to your priorities. I’ve been in positions where I almost felt like freaking out. “What part of the NO don’t you understand?” Some people are just a pain in the neck. Of course, we are humans. We will feel that way sometimes. Success in this light is based on the ability to manage the emotions that come up when we close a door or extinguish an option. Consider if it’s worth the try. If it’s going to deter you from your purpose and utmost priority, let it go.

I’ll wrap up by saying this “It takes valor to identify your breaking points and refuse to allow people or circumstances use them to force you say or do things you don’t believe”- Assegid Habtewold.

About Adaora Vivian Egwuonwu

Adaora, author of several inspirational articles is a strong, energetic young lady with an educational and professional background in Economics and Project Management. A strong supporter of non-profit organizations that help fight against poverty, hunger, health challenges, harassment or any form of abuse. Through writing, she aspires to create more positive impact the best way she can to the society and be a source of encouragement to youths and young adults on how to succeed in life if only they believe.
You can follow her on Instagram: @dark_insta_diva

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Time Flies!

It seems that everyone's busy these days. And life shows no sign of slowing down. Are your efforts effective? Or do you sometimes feel like you're spinning your wheels? Now more than ever, we seem to have more work than time to do it. But time, according to Denis Waitley, "is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day." So since we can't increase the amount of time we have, we need to learn how to control our use of it.

Here are some tips to help you grow in the area of time management.
Keep a detailed time log of your work. Break down every day for a week into 15-minute increments. Write in every single thing you do. This means what you actually spend time doing - not what you intended to do.
Identify your major time wasters and work to eliminate them. Everyone falls prey to certain time wasters, based on personality or work habits. Use your time log to discover yours. Then target and try to eliminate one each week.

Identify the activities you value. The greatest time management tool I ever learned came from the 19th century economist Vilfredo Pareto. The Pareto Principle (which I quote a LOT) states that if we devote our energy, time, and resources to the top 20% of our priorities, we'll achieve 80% of the results we desire.

Use your time log to clarify which activities are important to you. Then focus your schedule on the top 20%. Use planning to gain time. Every minute spent in planning saves ten in execution. End each day with just five minutes spent planning and prioritizing for the next.

Create systems to simplify. Here's a truth to live by: You can't devote 80% of your time to your top priorities when you've just wasted 40% of your time trying to find your to-do list. I've created systems for nearly everything in my life. My best rule is to touch any piece of paper only once - then I either throw it away, act on it, or file it.

Become results-oriented. You already know that activity does not necessarily equal accomplishment. If your busyness is not yielding results, it's time to adjust. Begin prioritizing, planning, and organizing. And use deadlines. They'll point you toward results.
Heartsill Wilson said, "God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it - or use it for good, but what I do today is important, because I am exchanging a day of my life for it!" When you open your eyes tomorrow morning, remind yourself that it holds incredible possibilities. You can allow that day to slip away from you, or you can use it to make things happen. The choice is yours.

Stress: The Pathway to Growth, Renewal, and Success

By The John Maxwell Company.

To live stress-free would be to deny our responsibility as leaders. Stress accompanies growth. We have to accept that all worthwhile change, every amazing transformation and renewal, brings about temporary stress.
For example, think about an expectant mother. Her pregnancy begins with morning sickness, and queasiness lingers throughout the first trimester. Her nose becomes keenly sensitive to smells, and pungent odors can instantly trigger bouts of nausea.  As her hormones go through turbulent changes, the mom-to-be experiences a roller coaster of emotional highs and lows.

Later in the pregnancy, her body expands to make room for the baby. Some days she feels as big as a blimp. As ligaments stretch and tear, and she gains weight, simple movements are more of a chore. Sleep becomes more and more difficult, and dozens of perfectly placed pillows are necessary to minimize her discomfort at night.

Lastly, the expectant mother goes into labor. Contractions begin, and then gradually intensify, culminating in some of the most excruciating pain known to humankind. After several hours of agonizing labor, nine months of pregnancy finally reach their conclusion.
With the birth of her son, a new mother’s heart is flooded with joy. All of the pains fade from memory as she holds her newborn baby close to her chest, gazing at his face for the first time and marveling at his tiny fingers and toes. All of the stresses her body has endured have led to this miraculous moment—the birth of new life!
Though physically exhausted, the sight of her baby boy instantly reenergizes her spirit.

Accept that change brings about temporary stress.
A lot of people think that pain is bad and ought to be avoided. However, the stress that leads to positive change is healthy. It brings newness that refreshes and revitalizes our lives.

Revel in the goodness birthed by change. 
As each change or transition draws to a close, you not only sense less stress, 
but you are strengthened and energized by the process. As you begin to “come through” the process you feel motivated and renewed within.Change looks different on the back end than on the front side. Initially, the challenges of change are daunting. We see the sacrifices that are required of us in order to change, and we can only imagine the good things we’ll gain by making them. Once the change is completed, however, we delight in the benefits it has brought, and the earlier stresses seem insignificant in comparison to the joys we have gained.

Brace yourself for continual stress as a leader.
Returning to the analogy of motherhood, the end of pregnancy is only the beginning of many more changes in a mom’s life. She will begin to breastfeed, change diapers, and adjust to a schedule that allows for only a few hours of sleep at a time. That is, she will continue to experience new sources of stress. However, these stresses will also eventually go away, too, and when her son smiles at her for the first time, takes his first steps, or looks up and proclaims “I love you, Mommy!” all of them will feel incredibly worthwhile as well.

Closing Thoughts
This is the time of year when those in the Christian tradition celebrate a leader who endured unimaginable stress, sweating drops of blood, and made the ultimate sacrifice, giving up his life, so that others might experience renewal. Jesus’s pain had a purpose, and it’s likely that the burdens you carry do to.
What makes the stresses and sacrifices in your life worthwhile? What good things will come about as the result of your present pains?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Leadership is not an exclusive club reserved for those who were “born with it.” The traits comprising the raw materials of leadership can be acquired. Link them up with desire and nothing can keep you from becoming a leader. Some people have a more intuitive grasp of how to lead than others. These “natural-born leaders” will always emerge, but their influence hinges upon their ability to supplement inborn talent with learned skills. Ultimately, leadership is developed, not discovered.

The Three E’s of Leadership Development
1) Environment
People accustom themselves to their environment and take cues from their surroundings. In the 1980s, social scientists came up with the broken-windows theory which indicated that the physical appearance of a community affects its crime rate. Run-down properties, widespread graffiti, and trash strewn about in a neighborhood invite crime by signaling that no one is watching and that no one cares what happens. Oppositely, a clean and well-kept neighborhood gives the impression that people are monitoring their community and willing to take action to ensure its safety.
Every organization is permeated by an invisible culture which communicates an unspoken message that shapes its people. As has often been said, “leadership is more caught than taught.” Be attentive to the influence of the following five elements of your organizational environment: habits of social interaction, physical design and decoration, morale / emotional tone, level of intellectual stimulation, and spiritual wellbeing.

2) Equipping
Equipping begins with expectations. Namely, that leadership is influence, that leadership can be learned, and that leaders can multiply their influence by equipping others.
Equipping succeeds with training. Telling is not teaching, and listening is not learning.
We learn to do by doing; training must be interactive.
Equipping continues with teaching. The reward of a teacher is a changed life. Success comes through achievement, but significance results from helping others to grow.
Practically speaking, the equipping process can be broken down into five steps.
  • Say it: explain the task.
  • Show it: demonstrate how to perform the task.
  • Assign it: let the other person attempt the task.
  • Study it: observe how the person performed the task.
  • Assess it: offer feedback based on the person’s performance.
3) Exposure
A little exposure trumps a lot of theory. To develop leaders, expose your people to expert practitioners. These real-world educators model how to lead; they set a living example which serves as a source of inspiration. Whereas equipping delivers job-specific training, exposure provides a vision or picture of what successful leadership looks like.

Application Exercise
Grade your organization, from A-F on the Three E’s of people development. For each, list one thing you’re already doing well as well as one way in which you can improve.Grade your organization, from A-F on the Three E’s of people development. For each, list one thing you’re already doing well as well as one way in which you can improve.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


“Your hands are gifted just as mine” Dr. Benjamin Carson, consultant John Hopkins Hospital, USA

He was just a boy who once grew in the slums of Detroit. He was popularly called “the class dummy” because he would hardly get an answer right when asked by the teacher. He would quickly raise his hands up hoping to get it right but all the time he was always wrong.

The boy who was once called ‘class dummy’ a popular synonym here in Nigeria as ‘Olodo’ who was almost maimed and treated because of his dark skin, beaten and bullied, never knew that one day, he would be called a great surgeon’. According to him he said “I realized that I had a wonderful hand, eye, and brain co-ordination which motivated me to excel in neurosurgery”. He discovered that his hands are gifted and today he is a celebrated neuron-surgeon who broke a record as the first man on in the world to separate a Siamese

Your hands are gifted, my hands are also gifted. God fashioned every person with a unique gift that marked them out from the other. This post brings to mind the story of Moses in the book of Genesis. God had asked him to go to Egypt to lead the people of Israel to the promise Land. But Moses was headstrong giving God his shopping list of excuses. Moses said “No Lord, don’t send me. I have never been a good speaker, and I have not become one since you began to speak to me. I am a poor speaker, slow and hesitant

Wow! Did you see Moses’ excuse list? I am not a good speaker, I am poor, hesitant and the list goes on. But God was angry with Moses Exodus 4:14. God then ask Moses a revealing question “So the Lord asked him, what you are holding? Ex 4:2. Moses looked at his hands, he was holding a stick and he screamed “Just a stick!” and he was wondering was God would do with a stick, he was wondering if a stick which he used to lead livestock would also be used to lead the whole people of Israel.

And God shocked him by saying “throw it down. When Moses threw it down, it turned into a snake, and he ran away from”. Moses must have been a very timid guy, and I wonder how big that snake could be that made a livestock nomad to run away from just a snake. God made him realized that in his hands lie a great treasure chest, a great weapon, and a great evidence to lead the people of Israel to the promise land. But among the discussions Moses hand with God this was the most shocking and revealing. God told Moses “Take this stick with you, for with it you will perform (great) miracles” Ex 4:17

What is in your own hands? What gifts have God given to you? How have you been using that gift, talents, and potentials? Only if when you discover and use your gift will God bring blessings and favour to your life. Solomon, a great philosoper and politician said “the gift of a man makes room for him and brings him before great men”. What a phenomenal statement! I charge you today to start developing that gift, potential in you. That desire that keeps burning in you is a pointer to you gift. That problem you have always want to solve in the market place is a pointer to your potential. Why not start today?

Cyprian Henry