Monthly Archives: January 2014

SMALL BEGINNINGS

The young girl showed up on the dilapidated stage of a half-filled theatre hall, her thin voice competing with the noise of an unruly audience. Midway through the first verse of her song, a bottle smashed on the floor just a yard in front of her. The child’s voice quaked momentarily but she continued to sing. ‘The show must go on’ mentality had been ingrained in her. As she neared the end of the musical number, she struggled to find the breath to finish her performance. The smoke-filled air made it hard to sing and the girl missed a couple of notes as the song ended courtesy and then made her exit with a mixture of applause and boos.

Today when we think of the academy award winner Julie Andrews, we can easily picture her twirling arm outstretched against the beautiful backdrop of the Austrian Alps, melodiously singing the opening stanza of the Sound of Music. She sings effortlessly that we can assume that she was born a star. It is very easy to overlook her humble beginnings as we noted in our opening paragraph, the years she spent as a child touring with troupes, performing in seedy auditoriums in front of working class crowds in the United Kingdom.

In the same breath, we are tempted to imagine successful individuals as been specially endowed with superhuman talents that are not within reach. The secrets of successful individuals hinges largely on a life built on truth, ethics and discipline in life pursuits.

We can make each day in 2014 counts when we make a decision to start with what we have, from where we are. Appraise whatever you do and decide to do something different this year.

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7 AREAS TO PAY ATTENTION TO IN 2014

Today, I want to enjoin you to pay attention to these 7 areas of your life in 2014. There is still time for you to build a solid foundation to the year that will cause you to be established.

7 areas to pay attention to in 2014
1. Pay attention to your family. If you are married, pay attention to your spouse. Be an advocate for a great family this year.
– There is nothing like Family. You can travel from North to South, from Australia to America, from Madagascar to Canada. You would definitely come back home. Where you rest your head on your pillow and you sleep so deep, a thousand shouts would not wake you up easily. Your spouse is your mirror; making out time for your spouse and children only gives you inner peace and ensures you survive the stress of the world.

2. Pay attention to your health – It is a healthy mind that is a productive mind. Choose a healthy and balanced diet. Plan for rest and holidays throughout the year. Don’t burn out.
– Health is wealth, the sum of all your everyday job should be a healthier you. How can you explain wealth when you can’t breathe well, or feeding is aided by machines? Let your day end with your head calm and system slowing down for a rest.

3. Pay attention to your ‘service to humanity’ – Your life is beyond just working to put food on the table and living the life. You are here for a purpose that will benefit humanity, pay attention to it.
– Turn around to see the people beside you who need one thing or the other, people who lack some things you call excess. People who wish they had your snack as their lunch. Pay attention to this and see how you would succeed.

4. Pay attention to your finances – Be a good steward of the resources you have been given. This year manage your finances better.
– Money answers all things…this is from the Bible. So we need to ensure that all our needs are answered. Be judicious. Be prudent with all your spending. There is no room for extravagance. There no point in trying to impress others who really do not care about what you do. Never live your life cos of what people say, how others would feel. This is the worst thing that can happen to you living a lie and impressing people.

5. Pay attention to your business. Be creative and innovative.
– God would only bless the fruit of your labour; He would only bless you with what you are doing now. If you remain idle, He has nothing to bless. Pay close attention to your business. Be creative, dedicated, make yourself indispensable and useful. Then you would succeed.

6. Pay attention to your career path. Don’t go through your career haphazardly. Be strategic in your career moves.
– Well spelt out, be careful on your career movement. Know when to move and look before you leap. 2014 should not be a year of regrets, so make calculated moves before you act.

7. Pay attention to your relationships. Don’t trivialize relationships. A famous quote reads – “If I have seen far, it is because I stand on the shoulders of men”

– A man is as successful as his network. Your network defines your networth. Do not trivialize relationships. Your success is 5 relationships away. Keep every relationship and ensure you nurture everyone of them to bear good fruits

Year 2014 is a great year and you will be established in everything that you do.

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THE POWER OF WORDS

It was in the 1970’s; there was a young man with brown wavy hair, sad green eyes and a mouth that never seemed to smile. His name was Edward and he stood a little over 6 feet tall. He presented a mood of quiet, shy and almost pitiful demure. Edward had enrolled in a music theory class.

It was hard not to notice the only six foot boy, Edward, as he walked into the classroom a few minutes late and positioned himself in the back row. He slumped into his chair and lowered his head with his arms folded across his chest in a defying manner. This would be his general entrance into class for the remainder of the semester.
As weeks progressed and tests were given, Edward did not do well. He managed to turn in homework which was marked way below his ability level with my notes. He never participated in class discussion or offered to answer any questions. His teacher noticed he had no friends at school. Sometimes, during lunch, he would sit on the grass, under a tree, munching on a sandwich and staring into space.

Edward missed too many classes and when he did come, he carried himself like an old man as though he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders. At the end of the academic year, it was time to reveal student’s grade and based on Edward’s conduct throughout the year it didn’t seem like things were going to get better.
Here’s a record of turn-around day for Edward by his music teacher –
“I sat in my office looking at the long line of students waiting to come in and receive their final grade. I allowed one person at a time to come in, take a seat, close the door and prepare to be “judged”. After each student left my office, I would take a peek at the line to see where Edward was. After an hour or so, the line became shorter and still there was no Edward. I began to worry. Did something happen at home to delay him? Was there an accident on the way to school? Maybe he was stopped by a policeman? Perhaps he is sick.

The last student in line met with me, received their grades and left.
Where is Edward? Shall I wait a little longer? Am I fooling myself ? He is not coming. I decided to lock up my office and go home. I had done all I could. But something deep within continued to gnaw at me. I felt sick to my stomach. My eyes filled with tears.

What is wrong with me? I took some deep breaths, sat back and closed my eyes. In front of me lay the papers, the final exam for Edward. I had not decided what kind of grade to give him. Well, it didn’t matter as he didn’t show up anyhow. I looked down at the exam with his name printed on it and saw an imaginary D as his final grade.
I got up from my chair, gathered my things, closed the office door behind me. As I reached for my keys to lock up my office, I heard footsteps approaching me. I held my breath as I turned to see Edward standing behind me. He apologized for being late and asked if I would please give him his final exam and grade. I hesitated for a few seconds, then cautiously open the door and asked him to have a seat.

He looked just terrible. His eyes were sunk with dark black circles under them and the hollows of his cheeks were drawn. His swollen lips were cracked with dried blood in the creases. His skin was pale and his hair matted. He was wearing the same clothes he had worn for the last few weeks.
“Would you like some water?” I asked him. He replied “No thank you,” as he sat trembling. Then he spoke to me for the first time.

“I know that I am getting a low grade on my final. I realize that I have not been participating in class and that I am an embarrassment to others. I am lazy, selfish, stupid and an ugly no-good-for-anything person. I have no place on this earth and what’s more, no one can ever love a person like me. I am a hopeless case with absolutely no future”.

I could not believe my ears. I wanted to interrupt him, to convince him that he was none of these things. Instead – I let him talk. I listened with my heart and not my head. I fought back my own tears to manifest my strength and professionalism.
When he had finished, I faced him, looked directly into his very sad eyes and said, “Edward, your final grade is an A”. His reaction was one of total and complete surprise. “You are giving me an A? Me? Why would you give me an A when I did such a poor job in class, on my assignments and on my final exam? Why would you do that?”

My answer to Edward was this. “You may appear to be a D student, but you are an A person. I believe in you now and I will always believe in you. I am here for you now and I will always be here for you. Never, ever forget that. Now, go and create the life you dream of. Believe in yourself. I will be watching. And by the way Edward – I love you”

In all my years of teaching, I have never graded a student this way…

To be continued!

Next week, you’ll read about the astonishing events that preceded Edwards appearance in school and how words can save a life.

This week, save a life, encourage someone, speak positive words only.

Ayo D

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WHERE ARE YOU …1962 OR?

Or have we moved on?

Dear loved one,
I want to share this post with you from my friend Ayo Daniels.
At the end of the reading, I want you to answer a simple question. Please ensure you read to the end.

NIGERIANS!

Lord Lugard, the former governor-general of Nigeria, in 1926, wrote his unfiltered thought about Nigerians. From his book, The Dual Mandates, comes these excerpts:

“In character and temperament, the typical African of this race-type is a happy, thriftless, excitable person, lacking in self-control, discipline, and foresight. Naturally courageous, and naturally courteous and polite, full of personal vanity, with little sense of veracity, fond of music and loving weapons as an oriental loves jewellery. His thoughts are concentrated on the events and feelings of the moment, and he suffers little from the apprehension for the future or grief for the past. His mind is far nearer to the animal world than that of the European or Asiatic, and exhibits something of the animals’ placidity and want of desire to rise beyond the state he has reached. “Through the ages, the African appears to have evolved no organised religious creed, and though some tribes appear to believe in a deity, the religious sense seldom rises above pantheistic animalism and seems more often to take the form of a vague dread of the supernatural.

He lacks the power of organisation, and is conspicuously deficient in the management and control alike of men or business. He loves the display of power, but fails to realize its responsibility – he will work hard with a less incentive than most races. He has the courage of the fighting animal, an instinct for survival rather than a moral virtue. In brief, the virtues and defects of his race type are those of attractive children whose confidence when it is won is given ungrudgingly as to an older and wiser superior and without envy. Perhaps, the two traits which have impressed me as those most characteristic of the African native are his lack of apprehension and his lack of ability to visualize the future”

Nigerians are solidly united by the following: love of money, love of power, corruption, culture of impunity, passion for mediocrity, lack of focus and incessant national holidays. We are far more united by national holidays than any other factor. Whenever Christians are having their holidays Muslims are always there to celebrate with them. Same stride goes for Muslim holidays. If only we quantify the economic losses due to national holidays, we may adopt the Chinese work model. The Chinese work real hard and they don’t go on holiday frequently. The Chinese holiday is once in a year and it is for about two weeks. Here, the president and state governors declare holidays abnormally without any consideration of the economic implication. Too much cook spoils the broth. We are a lazy nation.

Question: Are these still true today in our society? What is your plan for forward movement in 2014? Please drop your comment in the space provided below

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SMALL BEGINNINGS

The young girl showed up on the dilapidated stage of a half-filled theatre hall, her thin voice competing with the noise of an unruly audience. Midway through the first verse of her song, a bottle smashed on the floor just a yard in front of her. The child’s voice quaked momentarily but she continued to sing. ‘The show must go on’ mentality had been ingrained in her. As she neared the end of the musical number, she struggled to find the breath to finish her performance. The smoke-filled air made it hard to sing and the girl missed a couple of notes as the song ended courtesy and then made her exit with a mixture of applause and boos.

Today when we think of the academy award winner Julie Andrews, we can easily picture her twirling arm outstretched against the beautiful backdrop of the Austrian Alps, melodiously singing the opening stanza of the Sound of Music. She sings effortlessly that we can assume that she was born a star. It is very easy to overlook her humble beginnings as we noted in our opening paragraph, the years she spent as a child touring with troupes, performing in seedy auditoriums in front of working class crowds in the United Kingdom.

In the same breath, we are tempted to imagine successful individuals as been specially endowed with superhuman talents that are not within reach. The secrets of successful individuals hinges largely on a life built on truth, ethics and discipline in life pursuits.

We can make each day in 2014 counts when we make a decision to start with what we have, from where we are. Appraise whatever you do and decide to do something different this year.

Leave a comment

Filed under Liberation, unlimited power