Thursday 31 July 2008


It is not uncommon to see old folks who are still actively working to make ends meet; the thought alone rips my heart apart. But, it shouldn’t be so. Old age is meant for rest and harvest, but unfortunately that is the period majority come to their senses (They’ll wish they could turn back the hands of time to right the wrongs, but unfortunately time is irrecoverable.). It is my earnest prayer that none reading this write-up will have to toil in his/her old age for bread. I bet your “amen” was loud (laugh). Be that as it may, you have to support your “amen” with action if your prayer will be answered because life will not just relinquish rest and bountiful harvest to you in your latter days, you have to earn them. And how can you earn rest and bountiful harvest in your old age? You can only earn rest and bountiful harvest in your old age if you maximize your youth.

So what is youth? Who is a youth? What is the significance? Does it lapse? Those were the questions that came to mind when I thought of the subject. According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, youth is “the time of life when a person is young”. Thus, a youth is a young person. As a youth, you have the wonderful opportunity to build the future of your dreams from the start; it’s synonymous to an artist being given a new canvass to paint on. The youthful age is characterized with newness, strength, and wisdom. And the youthful age is significant because it’s the best time to lay the foundation for success, to work, and to sow the seeds which can later be reaped in old age. And yes, it elapses; it comes but once in a lifetime.

Without being sarcastic, your future depends on how you make use of your youth. To further guide you in this adventure called life, I have painstakingly put up the “ABC” of success. They are:

A - Acknowledge your Maker.
B - Be bold. Be decisive. Be dynamic. Be efficient. Be informed. Be prepared. Be resolute.
C - Carry your cross, accept responsibility.
D - Don’t be lost in the crowd. Discover your potentials. Discover your purpose.
E - Expect more, your expectation determines what you get from life. Exceed your target.
F - Fail forward. When you fail, as you sometimes will, learn from it, re-strategize and try again!
G - Go for gold: dream big, think big, map out plans to achieve your goals and follow through.
H – Harness your resources.
I - Intensify your efforts.
J - Jink when need be, provided it’s in line with the master plan for your life.
K - Keep raising the bar.
L - Learn to say “No”.
M - Maximize your potentials. Make the best use of opportunities.
N – Never procrastinate. Never take “NO” for an answer. Never settle for less.
O - Open up to new ideas.
P – Practice, Patience and Persistence work wonders. With these three, you can achieve seemingly impossible feats.
Q - Quarantine bad friends, they can only decrease you.
R – Race against time, every second counts.
S - Spend wisely. Save and invest so that your “night” can be secured. Sow in season so that you can reap in harvest.
T – Turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones. Turn calamities into opportunities. Take risks.
U - Use help: To receive, ask. To obtain, seek. Stand on the shoulders of giants.
V - Venture into the impossible, redefine possibilities.
W – Work hard because life operates on the “no sweat, no sweet” principle.
X - X-ray people to identify great minds. Then, associate with great minds because they’ll inevitably add to you.
Y - Yield to corrections and instructions.
Z - Zero in on your strengths, therein lies your breakthrough.

If you walk and live by the statute above, success is guaranteed. I may not know your name, I may not know your location, I may not know your situation, but I know and I’m persuaded that you are important to your generation because you’ve been equipped at birth with talents with which you require to alleviate your situation and to make exploits. So, identify and make the best use of your endowments now when you have the strength because “night” cometh. Don’t also disappoint your generation; posterity will not forgive you if you die with all your potentials untapped.

Maximize your potentials. Secure your future. Fulfill your purpose. Die empty!

Friday 25 July 2008


That majority are myopic is no longer news. I jokingly interviewed some people (youngsters, grown-ups and even some old people) recently and as I anticipated, I discovered that not everybody expects much from life. And this explains why everybody cannot live life to the full. It’s harsh, but it’s the sad truth.

Let me share a personal experience with you. When I took my first job some years back, my employer demanded for the salary I was expecting but I left it open because I was young and naïve. So, he just made me an offer and I took it. Six months after, another person was interviewed to assist me with the project I was handling and I was shocked that my boss agreed to pay him his expectation which was exactly double my salary as at that time. However, I summoned up courage to talk to my employer a month after the other dude was employed and I expressed my dissatisfaction with the salary difference. Guess what? He increased my salary! I was devastated because it suddenly dawned on me that I was responsible for what I was receiving all the while because I didn’t have an expectation when I joined the company.

I also recall that there were many instances when I actually intended to pay higher for some services but which I ended up paying less because the providers of the services expected and requested for less. With these reasons and many more too voluminous to write on these pages, I have reasonably concluded that one of the reasons why majority do not get the best from life is because they do not expect much from life.

Expectation matters a lot. Believe me, where you are presently is a function of the expectations you had in the past and where you’ll be in the years to come, to a large extent, will be a function of your present expectation for the years ahead. Expect big! Life, just like my former stern employer, delivers only your expectation to you. So, when you don’t have an expectation, what you are simply doing is leaving yourself at the mercy of circumstances. You’ll end up somewhere though, but definitely not where you’ll be if you had expectations. However, when your expectations are high, you won’t be able to settle for less because it’ll propel you to think big, plan big, act big and ask big. And inevitably, you’ll receive big!

What are your expectations? Are they in line with your mapped out goals and plans? Are they reasonable? Will they take you closer to your dreams or they just offer mere survival? Are they big enough to distinguish you? Can they liberate you? Think again and redefine your expectations so that you can get the best from life.

There are miracles in the offing, but you must expect them to receive them. Though you are unlimited, your expectations can still limit you. So, I urge you not to stand on your own path. Know your worth, expect big!

You have the exclusive right to dictate the occurrences in your life. Be ambitious. Be expectant. Be pro-active. Be successful!

Friday 18 July 2008


Why is it that some people feed from hand to mouth? Why is it that majority live an average life? And why is it that only a fraction of the world’s population attains financial independence? Those were the questions that filled my thoughts earlier this week. With a lot of thinking and soliloquizing, I was able to conclude that “the paths we choose determine our destinies to a large extent”. Call it an ambiguous statement, but see what I mean…

While appreciating the architecture of a building some years back, I made a discovery that has since kept me on my toes. The laborers were sweating it out under the scorching sun carrying out their various duties when a young man arrived in a sleek car. The young man inspected the ongoing construction work and from the way he was dishing out instructions to the middle-aged bricklayer/foreman while making references to the plan of the building, I figured out that he was the engineer attached to the building project. Shortly afterwards, he handed over some money to the bricklayer and then he left. The middle-aged bricklayer then communicated the observations of the engineer to his men and then they continued with their various obligations. And then I pondered on the scenario. The laborers were the ones handling the hard and dirty part of the job. On the other hand, the young engineer only visits the site for inspection and to give expert advice. Upon completion of the project however, the engineer will certainly take credit for the erection of the building and he would have received multiples of whatever the laborers must have earned, even with the hard part they handled. It was at that point that I reasoned that there are two major categories of vocation, viz.:

1. The Easy Vocation: This category of vocation comprises of skilled workers. Those that fall within this category work more with their brain than with strength. The reward is usually handsome and the task is usually dignifying. Those in this category rule over those in the second category. They work in the convenience of their offices with sophisticated gadgets.

2. The Arduous Vocation: This category of vocation comprises of unskilled workers. Those that fall within this category work more with their strength than with their brain. Though they sweat more than those in the Easy Vocation, the reward is usually paltry and the task is usually demeaning. Those in this category are usually at the mercy of those that belong to the Easy Vocation. Most times, they sweat it out under the sun.

Take it or leave it, everyone falls within the two categories and this explains why we have variations in the destinies of men and women. Where do you belong? What is your vocation presently? Can it take you to the winners’ caucus? Can it make you financially independent someday? Does the remuneration give room for savings? Does it have provision for retirement? Does it give you freedom and dignity? Will it help you build the future of your dreams? Are you satisfied? If not, then it’s time to switch. Do a thorough analysis and be truthful to yourself. If you need to change vocation, do so. Get more degrees and professional certificates if you have to. Learn a new trade if you must. Change location if you have to. By all means, get yourself on the right path because your chosen path has a lot to do with what you get from life.

I also believe that not all vocations can lead to financial independence. An unrepentant gardener for instance can never be wealthy; even if he works very hard. Your path matters most, thus it is important that you choose the path that will make your dreams come true. I’m not alone on this, my theory is in conformity with a Yoruba adage that says “Ise ree, alaseje. Owo ree, alasela.” (meaning work tends to survival while business tends to wealth). Think about it, every billionaire worthy of the title sells something! Bill Gates sells software. Alhaji Aliko Dangote sells essential goods; even the poorest of the poor buys his goods. What are you selling?

Stop blaming witches and wizards for your situation, a change of vocation might be all you need. Stop playing religion. Think, think, think. Look around, find a need and fill it. Look within to identify your talent(s) and strength(s). Then, choose your path and create a niche for yourself. I tell you, Henry Thierry didn’t have to work for Exxon Mobil Corporation, yet he’s doing better than good financially. Jennifer Lopez didn’t have to work as a journalist for CNN to be famous, yet she’s a star. Wole Soyinka didn’t have to discover the cure for any disease before he came into limelight, yet he’s an international figure today. Find your path!

Don’t be forever trapped in the rat race, work out a development plan that will emancipate you from mediocrity. Partner with destiny, choose a noble path today!

Friday 11 July 2008


While having a tête-à-tête with a lady sometime ago, I was able to pinpoint the root of her issue. According to her, she was raped while she was very young. To worsen it all, her parents died early so she had to live with an uncle of hers who continually exploited her sexually. By the time she was 21years old, she had totally lost her self-esteem. She no longer sees “sex” as a big deal. Now, she’s so bitter about men that she has vowed not to ever marry but to use men to her own advantage. She doesn’t believe in love again because it has been imprinted on her memory that her body is meant to be exploited. She’s even planning to have two children outside wedlock. Sad story, isn’t it? I tried to brainwash her but my sermon fell on deaf ears. Then, it occurred to me that most people fail in life because they refuse to let go of the past.

I certainly feel sorry for the lady in question for the inhumane treatment she received from men while growing up. But, still I hold her responsible for holding on dearly to her past. To start with, it’s pointless for her to allow the rape event that can’t be reversed to define her future. Secondly, now that she’s free from that pervert uncle of hers, and since she’s still young and beautiful, she could still find true love, build a happy home, and live happily thereafter with her family. But instead, she chose to wallow in her past. Her prime objective now is to milk all men that cross her path dry. How bad!

I don’t know what you’ve been through in the past but what I certainly know is that it cannot define your future unless you allow it to. The past is history – it’s a phase of your life that you can’t reverse; it’s like an episode of a play that has already been staged - the die is cast. You should concentrate on other episodes that are yet to be staged irrespective of the mistakes made while staging the earlier episodes so that you can finish strong.

Is it that you once served some term in prison? It’s in the past dude. You now have a second chance to make things right. You can still contribute your quota positively to the development of our dear world. It’s never too late for you to rewrite your name in gold.

Are you a victim of rape or do you feel used and useless because you have been jilted by many men? Weep no more. You’re so much better than you even know. If only those men knew what an asset you’re, they wouldn’t have treated you like trash. Believe me, they have missed the singular opportunity to be part of a grand design. Keep your head up high!

Or is it that you have a terrible past as a lady? Everybody makes mistakes my dear. Repent and forsake your old ways. Work on yourself. Change location if you have to. By all means, repackage yourself and see if good suitors won’t surface. You bet.

Or is it that you’re scared of venturing into new grounds because of past failures and betrayals? Don’t! Success eventually favors those that refuse to take “NO” for an answer. Besides, will you rather remain stagnant because of past failures and betrayals? God forbid. Learn to trust again and try again, just be careful.

Whatever the case may be, I implore you not to let your past inhibit the good you stand to gain in your future. No matter what transpired in the past, let it die; let go of all the bitter experiences in your past. Since your past is already history, I strongly suggest you grant it the rest required.

Relax, it’s not over yet. Given that the future is still ahead and considering the fact that it holds many possibilities, I suggest you focus on making the best use of the present and the future. Start anew.