Monthly Archives: May 2012

WHAT WOULD YOU BE REMEMBERED FOR?

A cold wet Thursday evening and I had just come back into the office after about 1 hour in an unusual traffic, I met a cluster of staff in the kitchen wondering what is going on, I saw someone with head bowed down and hands glued to the eyes, the nose continuously dragging, struggling hard to hold back the smooth liquid which threatens to pour out if not properly controlled. I hear a husky voice fighting back hot tears, now seriously I was eager to find out what has happened, it’s been a long time we had violence in the office, and with the caliber of people around now I am confident nobody has fallen victim of a vicious punch. Then someone whispered Muyiwa has resigned and it hurts him so much that he cannot bear to walk out on his family, yes I say his family.

Muyiwa Adelanwa is a colleague I admire so much, he is one of those whom I respect and emulate; he has an admirable character, very calm, dedicated, hardworking, deeply involved and committed. As a dude J when I walk past his desk at times, I stop to either commend his commitment, or his appearance, Muyiwa occurs to me as a natural born leader. He never gives up, as a pioneer staff of the operations department, he has groomed everyone in the department and is the final port of call whenever there is an issue, he is leaving the company after 5 years of meritious service that even the MD appreciates.

This perfectly explains why he has been having a one on one session with the MD for the past 4 hours. Staff of the department I can see are trying hard to hold back tears of having to work without him, they all have something good to say about Muyiwa, how much he has helped in the Unit. This brings me back to my topic…”What would you be remembered for” if you tender your resignation letter today, who would cry for you? Who would feel bad that you are leaving? Who would miss you? Who would talk about you? In your family, when you travel would people miss you? What legacy are you leaving behind? What would people have to say about you?

We walk through life everyday and we meet different people, these people defines our lives practically, everyone you encounter in life rubs off on you, negatively or positively, your interaction everyday matters a great deal for who you are. The beauty of life is the footprint you make on the sand of time, are you indispensable? Would people gather round to plead with you to stay a few more years? Would they try to offer you more or just accept your departure with a smile? What you do today re-echoes in future. The level of dedication to work would ultimately speak for you when the time arrives. I work hard to put in my best to the job to ensure good tales adorn my departure. For some people this is done effortlessly. Wherever you are today, do those things that years afterwards when you move on your story would motivate others.

Like my brothers would say SAIL ON….Muyiwa I wish you the best and happy things in life, with the more accolades to follow. Cheers mate. The one we all call Eniowo (Honourable)

What would you be remembered for?

 

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YOUR ASSOCIATIONS

 We can never underestimate the power of influence; association imparts on our lives – business, career, family and life endeavours. It is possible to be blown off course as you share your life with others but at whatever point you find yourself this Monday morning, we can retrace our steps with these basic questions:

 

How did I get here?

Who am I constantly around?

What impact has this association had on me?

What do I need to change for the better?

What is my detailed pilot plan for change?

 

We live in a world that is constantly evolving. We need to take a closer look at how others can influence us both negatively and positively. Maybe everyone you associate with has been a positive energizing influence or maybe there are some bad apples in the bunch. We need to take an objective look today because everything is worth a second look, especially the power of association. Good association will surely take one in the right direction we need to go in life. This is called association on purpose which means we are around people who consistently influences us positively to expand our horizon in life. ‘We can become wise by walking with wise but when we hang out with wrong crowd, we can watch our lives fall to pieces’.

 

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HANDLING CRITICISM THE RIGHT WAY

Criticism will make you a better person if you do these three things:

1) Look beyond the criticism and see the critic. If it’s someone you respect, listen to what they say. If it’s someone who’s constantly critical, don’t place too much value on what they say; they’re probably just projecting their frustrations onto you. The story’s told of a twelve-year-old boy who hadn’t spoken since he was born. After being served oatmeal for breakfast several weeks in a row, he shouted, ‘Yuck, I hate this stuff!’ His mother jumped up, hugged him and said, ‘We thought you couldn’t talk. Why haven’t you ever spoken to us?’ Bluntly he exclaimed, ‘Because up until now everything’s been okay.’ Some folks only talk when they’re upset. The important question is, does your critic sincerely want to help you?

2) Try not to take yourself too seriously. Let’s face it, we all do things we regret. But when you can laugh at yourself and learn from it, you’re growing into maturity.

3) Know the difference between constructive and destructive criticism. Learn how to interpret criticism by asking:

a) In what spirit is it given? If your critic’s attitude is kind, rest assured it’s meant to be constructive.

b) When is the criticism given? When somebody criticizes you publicly, usually their intentions aren’t the best.

c) Why is the criticism given? ‘The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out’ (Proverbs 20:5 NIV). When people are hurting, they tend to hurt others. So always ask, ‘Was this criticism given for my benefit or out of personal hurt?’

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THE AMAZING TRICK

A student was taking a walk with a professor one day who was commonly called the students’ friend because of his kindness and his being a life coach. As they went along, lying in the path was a pair of old shoes which belonged to a poor man who was employed alone in a field close by for a day’s wage. The student turned to the professor: “Let us play a trick on the man. We will hide his shoes, hide behind those bushes and wait to see his perplexity when he cannot find them.” My young friend answered the professor, “we should never amuse ourselves at the expense of the poor rather let us put a coin in each shoe, let’s hide ourselves and watch how the discovery affects him.”

They did so and the man soon finished his work, came across the field to the path where he had left his shoes. While putting on his coat he slipped his foot into one of his shoes but feeling something hard, he stooped to see what it was and he found a coin. Astonishment and wonder overwhelmed his countenance. He gazed at the coin, turned and looked all around fervently to see if someone had dropped it for him but no one was there. He held the money and proceeded to put on his other shoe but his surprise was doubled on finding the other coin.

The overwhelming feeling was beyond expectation. He fell upon his knees and uttered aloud a fervent thanksgiving in which he spoke of his wife, sick and helpless. He mentioned his children who are without bread, but whom this timely intervention from some unknown hand would save from perishing. The student stood there speechless deeply affected, tears filled his eyes. Now said the professor I think you are better pleased than if you had played your intended trick? The youth responded, today you have indeed taught me a lesson which I will never forget. I now understand the truth in those words: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’. We also may not probably realise that a little act of kindness in words, disposition and attitude adjustment can  make life better for our neighbours, colleagues, friends and family members rather than the intended trick of harsh words supposedly to put them in check. Let’s apply the reality check 101 this week and stretch ourselves to make life better for others.

 

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PERCEPTION!!

A man sat at Washington DC Metro Station on a cold morning with a violin playing six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. Over this period approximately two thousand people went through that station most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticing a musician playing slowed his pace, stopped for a few seconds and then he went off to meet his schedule. At exactly 4 minutes later the violinist received his first dollar from a woman who threw the money in the hat while walking on. 6 minutes later a young man leaned against the wall to listen but then looked at his watch and walked off. At exactly 10 minutes, a 3-year old boy stopped as his mother tugged him along hurriedly while he looked back at intervals until they were out of sight. This action was repeated by several other children with their parents without exception.  45 minutes after this musician started playing only 6 people had stopped to listen for a short while. 20 gave money but continued walking at their normal pace.  After 1 hour, the man successfully collected a total sum of $32. After he finished, silence filled the station. No one noticed, applauded nor was there any recognition. No one knew that the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians of all times who played one of the most intricate pieces ever written that morning with a violin worth $3.5 million. Two days before this experience, Joshua Bell sold out tickets for a theatre concert in Boston.

Joshua Bell played incognito in the metro station courtesy of the Washington Post as part of a social campaign about human perception, taste and priorities. The question addressed was, in a common place at an inappropriate hour do people still perceive and appreciate beauty? Can we recognize talent in an unexpected setting?  One possible conclusion was that we often all miss out on valuable things in life’s journey. This week we must learn how to walk through each day with our hearts open combined with seeing eyes to recognise opportunities. Eyes which look are common but the ones who actually see are rare. The valuables of the earth are not easily recognised by many people but it is the honour of kings to seek understanding.

 

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WHY SHOUT?

A professor was teaching his students about anger. He asked, why do people shout at each other in anger when they are upset?  The students reasoned, one said we shout because we lose our calm but the professor asked again, why shout when the other person is just next to you?  Isn’t it possible to just speak with a soft voice? Why do we have to shout at others when we are angry?” The students gave some other answers but none satisfied the professor. Finally he explained whenever two people are angry at each other, their hearts have psychologically distanced themselves from each other and to cover such distance they must shout to be able to hear each other.  The angrier they become, the harder they will have to shout to hear each other through that great distance. The professor then further asked, what happens when two people fall in love?  They don’t shout at each other but talk softly, why?  It is because their hearts are psychologically knitted.  The distance between them is very short.  The professor continued, when they love each other even more, what happens?  They do not speak, but only whisper and the closer they further become in love, they only look at each other to communicate.

 So next time you shout at a loved one or a colleague, note that you are indirectly creating a distance between your hearts. The true test of growth in our lives is not always found in what we say, but largely in what we choose NOT to say.  Even though we may have every right to respond harshly to someone who has wronged us personally, please learn to recall how many times you have been spared in spite of your imperfections.  Grace empowers us to approach each day in reflection on things we may have taken for granted.  In appreciation for all that you have been given, choose to give up your right to hold offense against others.  Your capacity to thrive in life will be a direct reflection of your ability to forgive and forget because “Smart people know how to hold their tongue; their grandeur is to forgive and forget”.

 

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THINK LIKE A FARMER!

One of the challenges of this age is impatience that makes many people lose their sense of seasons. Unlike the farmer whose priorities change with each season, we have all become impervious to the natural rhythm of life. We seem to have our priorities out-of-place. For a farmer, springtime is the most active time where they work around the clock. They are up before the sun and toil till the stroke of midnight. He keeps his equipment running at full capacity because he has only a window period of time for the planting of his crop. The winter comes when there is less to keep him busy.

 We must learn to use the seasons of our lives effectively. We must be alive to our environment to know when to pour in and when to ease back, when to take advantage and when to let things just ride. For example it is easy to keep going from nine to five jobs, year in and year out and lose a natural sense of priorities in cycles. Don’t let one year blend into another in a seemingly endless parade of tasks and responsibilities. Keep your eye on your own seasons otherwise you may lose sight of value and substance. For everything in life there is a season, a time for every purpose. And so teach us to number our days so we may apply our hearts to your wisdom!

 

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