Friday, 28 March 2008


Many attribute their failure in life to the absence of luck and then refer to the winners in the society as the lucky ones. Whereas, opportunity presents itself to everyone at some point or the other, just that when it does, it meets some unprepared while it meets some fully prepared – the unprepared inevitably cannot make use of the opportunity while the fully prepared make the best use of it. Even in sports generally, winners don’t just emerge without having worked for the trophy; it’s usually the endless hours they must have put into training that pays off. Thus, I dare to disagree with the dictionary meaning of “luck” (good things that happen to you by chance, not because of your own efforts or abilities). To me, a man can only be said to be lucky when he emerges victorious in an endeavor because of his preparedness and readiness at the time an opportunity presented itself. Call me a controversial writer, but see what I mean…

Tell me, if a sprinter that has been training everyday for over a year emerges as the winner in a competition, will you attribute the success to luck or adequate preparation? If a student that has been preparing hard for an examination eventually gets a distinction, will you attribute the success to luck or adequate preparation? If a contractor wins a contract because he submitted a detailed proposal and made an impressive presentation to the client, will you attribute the success to luck or adequate preparation? Judge.

In life, as it is in sports, victory usually goes to the most prepared. If you don’t prepare adequately for an endeavor, you will inevitably fail. Thus, for you to excel triumphantly in life’s battlefield, you must be prepared at all times for opportunities; that’s simply the recipe for luck. To get WHATEVER you want from life, make adequate preparations, be ready to make sacrifices, persevere and most importantly be smart enough to plug-in to opportunities at the nick of time.

If you’re aiming for gold in a sporting event, you better be fully prepared, else you might just fumble. Before you sit for that examination, you better be fully prepared, else you might just waste your time and money. Before you submit that application, you better ensure that you submit all the requirements with it, else you might just waste your time and money. If you’re vying for an exalted position, you had better be prepared, else you might be disgraced out of the contest. Preparation is the key.

Lucky designate, I charge you to influence your destiny by preparing adequately for the set tasks before you. Overpower the wild horse called LIFE and ride her gallantly till you are rewarded someday with a crown. Ride her to stardom. Ride her to opulence. Ride her to fulfillment.

Friday, 21 March 2008


Despite the fact that opportunities abound everywhere, only few dynamic individuals maximize them which explains why only a fraction of the world’s population make it to the winner’s caucus. Frankly, not all professions can even make you financially independent. But if you’re dynamic, you can achieve it irrespective of your vocation. Thus, dynamism is the key to survival in our ever changing world. Call it another ambiguous statement, but see what I mean…

Since human wants are insatiable, you can’t even take care of your pressing needs not to even talk of saving or investing for the future if your resources are defined and limited. Thus, the need for you to add to your means cannot be overemphasized if you are to achieve more. Being dynamic is one of the ways you can add to your means. So what is dynamism? How can a person be dynamic? How can being dynamic help one succeed?

According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, “dynamism is the energy and enthusiasm to make new things happen or to make things succeed.” A dynamic person is always changing and making progress. Unfortunately, many are too rigid and lazy; which explains why they are static. I know of a Home Economics teacher who is an expert in making anything with flour: meat pie, fish pie, doughnut, sausage, cake, name it. She’s also skilled in interior decorations. But instead of her to use her skills to augment her meager salary since she closes from work as early as 2pm, she goes home to sleep after school when some of her colleagues even use the time to coach students for extra cash. She could even bake cakes, pies, and other snacks to sell in schools, or she could even own a small shop to sell after school hours for extra cash but instead she’s waiting for a big raise to come from heaven so that she can open a big eatery. She could also collect interior decoration jobs for a fee, but instead she’s waiting for the time she’ll have all the money to buy all the accessories needed before she would start. Is she not the enemy of herself? Judge.

Unfortunately, majority are in the category of this Home Economics teacher in our world today. They cry for breakthrough when all they need to do to alleviate their situation is to utilize the opportunities around them. You don’t necessarily have to get a job with an oil company before you achieve financial independence, all you have to do is to maximize the opportunities around you irrespective of your vocation. Even a messenger can take part in network marketing like GNLD, Tianshi, to name a few and eventually become a millionaire. A cyber cafĂ© attendant can take part in FOREX trading and eventually make more money than the owner of the cyber cafe in a month. The list is endless.

Thus, this is a call for all and sundry that desires a higher ground to be dynamic. Don’t be stiff, always be on the look-out for opportunities and move with the trend. Use your present ground as a means to attain a higher ground. Find the advantages within your vocation and fully utilize them to your betterment. Even convert the disadvantages into advantages. By all means, add more means to your means.

Success does not come in a vacuum; you have to earn it. The breakthrough you’re looking for is not far-fetched, just that it’s tied to your ability to think and work out solutions. Whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever your vocation may be, you can succeed. Financial independence is not a birthright of the few neither is it a mirage, it can be attained. So, I charge you to assess your vocation thoroughly and think of opportunities you can tap into and then act on them because your success depends on them.

Don’t rest on your oars. Keep progressing. Keep evolving. Keep attaining.

Friday, 14 March 2008


I know of a driver who prides in being a driver for over 30 years but who doesn’t have anything to show for it. He brags that he has driven to virtually every part of the country but unfortunately success isn’t measured by the mileage a man has covered. Sadly enough, the present salary of the driver in question (who’s unfortunately a widower with many children to cater for) is less than $150 in a month (30 working days) even after he has worked as a driver for over 30 years in different establishments. He doesn’t listen to corrections neither does he want to change his methods as he believes he knows it all. Since he’s a talkative, he keeps broadcasting his sad story and at any slight opportunity he’ll make you see reasons why he needs some tip to augment his meager salary. He even refers to himself as a poor, unhappy man. I once asked him why he didn’t make a conscious effort to climb higher than the position of a driver and he told me that he had nowhere else he could fit in. How wrong! Many are in the category of this man in our world today - they are stagnant and poor, not because there are no better opportunities, but because they have refused to raise the bar. At the time the man in question got the job as a driver when he was a bachelor, it was not a bad idea. But instead of him using the job as a platform to launch himself, he CHOSE to remain there. No wonder why he has been a driver for that long without having anything to show for it. No wonder why he’s poor. No wonder why he’s unhappy. No wonder why he’ll spend his retirement in uncertainty. Can you call this man a success? Do you think he can adequately provide for his children? What kind of role model do you think he will be as a father? What kind of ideas do you think he would have inculcated in the minds of his children? What will become of our world if everybody were to be like him? Judge.

Whereas, I also know of a man in my lineage that joined the civil service as a Messenger but who retired as a Director General when majority of his friends that he joined the service with retired still as Messengers. How come he started from the least rank and ended in a high rank? Did God decide to smile on him alone? Was life unkind to the rest by restricting their growth? Certainly not! When his mates were spending their meager salaries on clothes, women, drinks, and other side attractions that could wait then, he chose to save for his future. When his contemporaries were sleeping and partying, he was busy studying. With his savings, he was able to educate himself through school. He went for courses upon courses, seminars upon seminars. And then, the promotions came, obviously not on a platter of gold, but through years of hard work, dedication, self denial, and determination. This man retired fulfilled.

Life’s all about being ambitious. Life’s all about planning. Life’s all about sacrifices. Life’s all about choices. People often remain in mediocrity not because they can’t leave the level but because they are not doing what it takes to leave the status for a higher status. The reason why many are where they are today is because they stopped growing as soon as they got a place to stand. That’s why I love High Jump - a sporting event in which people try to jump over a high bar that is gradually raised higher and higher. Once you scale a height, the bar is usually raised higher till you can scale no further. Life should be approached in this manner. Once you achieve an objective, you should set another higher objective. Once the higher objective is achieved, a higher one should be set again. And this should continue till you breathe your last. From one objective to another, little by little, you’ll eventually climb the height you never imagined you could climb.

Your today shouldn’t tie down your tomorrow. There’s nothing wrong in a man having to start climbing the ladder of success from the status of a driver, messenger or even a lower rank, but everything is wrong in him remaining in that status till he retires from active work. Your ultimate goal should be to scale the utmost height and your present position should be used as a launch pad to propel you to a much higher ground. You don’t have to be glued to a vocation for so long if it won’t take you to the caucus of successful people. Once you attain a position, you should start planning of moving to the next level. If it means adding more qualifications or learning more trade, do so. By all means, empower yourself for the next phase because the crown usually goes to whom it’ll fit; higher responsibilities cannot be entrusted in your hands if you can’t handle them.

Are you satisfied with your present position? Can your present position make you financially independent someday? Are you happy with where you are? Is your retirement secure? If not, then it’s time to raise the bar so that you can fly higher. It’s time to plan for the future. It’s time to dream bigger dreams. It’s time to map out goals that will make your dreams a reality. It’s time to act.

There are still higher grounds than the one you’re presently occupying and you can get there. You can do better than you’re doing presently. You can make a change. So, never settle for less. Be ambitious. Be empowered. Be determined. Kiss mediocrity goodbye!

Friday, 7 March 2008


As interesting as our world is to live in, you cannot possibly please the inhabitants. If you are meek, the world might mistake it for slackness. If you always have answers to questions, your colleagues might take it as a ploy to outshine them. If a leader is tender, he will be regarded as weak. If his methods are harsh, he will be regarded as a tyrant. No matter how laudable a government’s reforms might be, some will still complain. If a president is prudent in awarding contracts, he will be regarded as a miser. If however he is generous in awarding contracts, he will be regarded as a squanderer. If you are an introvert, it might be mistaken for pride. If you are an extrovert, the world will still complain. If you are honest, the world will take you for a fool. If however you are not, the world will dub you corrupt. Human beings will always have an adjective to qualify every deed, no wonder why every language (English, French, name it) has an antonym for every adjective. Funny, isn’t it?

Human beings are selfish. Once an action or decision is not in their favour, they vehemently condemn it no matter how laudable and timely it might be. For instance, a government might decide to stop the importation of rice into the country to encourage local production. Such a laudable decision will definitely be condemned by the cartel of rice importers as it means the end of their business. Nevertheless, if the government is committed to the growth of the economy, the importation of rice should still be stopped without minding the reaction of the cartel. It’s always a two-way thing, every decision must affect some positively while it will affect some negatively but that does not imply that the right decision shouldn’t be taken. If you are to please everybody, you will never carry out any decision or action. Thus, if you are to make a meaningful impact in life, you must be able to act without minding whose ox is goad.

I have reasoned that one of the mistakes people make in life is that they try to please everybody. Show me a man that is trying to please the world, and I’ll show you a potential failure. An attempt to please the world will inevitably lead to failure because no matter what you do, you can’t possibly satisfy everybody. So, it behoves you to be decisive. Never consent to do things against your will, nor be influenced by what people might say. Before taking any action or decision, ensure you think it through - weigh the pros and cons. Once you judge it right and it aligns with the values you live by, go for it no matter what people will say. Just ensure that the right thing is done and leave the whiners to whine. However, care should be taken so as not to become too insensitive. Your sense of judgment must be sound.

Be independent. Be a visionary. Be a go-getter. Be tactful. Be decisive. Be victorious.