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Facts of Life: You Are Not Educated until You can Create Ideas

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By Henry Ukazu

 

Hearty Greetings my dear friends!

Communicating and relating with you on a regular basis gives me not only joy and satisfaction but also fulfillment. As one of my positive mentors, Chief Dele Momodu, will say, ‘in order to remain relevant on social media, you must continually endeavor to feed your followers with information and updates to keep them engaged, otherwise they might lose interest in your work’. It is on this note, I try to update my tribe every week on resourceful topics that will not only inspire them, but also assist them in attaining success. This is my own little way of giving back to the society.  By so doing, I’m educating progressive minds with resourceful information that has empowered me.

Today, we shall be discussing education and how it can serve as a pathway to success. We shall also be looking at various ways education can serve as a pathway to success and other component parts. Not only that, we will be discussing the contemporary and smart ways of educating oneself as opposed to the traditional style of education.

I was inspired to write about education being a pathway to success after listening to two terms former Governor of Anambra State and Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi’s speech at an event which was organised by the Christian Covenant Centre under the auspices of Platform. Honestly, it is always good to listen to intelligent people when they speak or write because one has a great opportunity to learn from their secret of success.

Please permit me to share a word or two about the background of Mr. Peter Obi.

Mr. Obi is a trained and experienced Economist, Administrator and Politician. He sees himself priviledged to have attended some of the best schools in the world such as Harvard Business School, Boston, USA; London School of Economics UK; Columbia Business School, New York and Lagos Business School in Nigeria. Mr. Obi is also the Vice Presidential Candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party for the 2019 Nigerian presidential election; He was a Governor of Anambra State, one of the most resourceful and viable states in Nigeria.

In his speech, Mr. Peter Obi mentioned education as one of the most resourceful and viable tools to stimulate the economy. That speech really resonated in me, and I thought it nice to write about education but on a different note.

The focus of this article is how resourceful minds can tap into the indirect form of education to achieve their dreams. In this twenty-first century, you cannot underestimate the power and role of education for an emerging economy, and countries that have truly distinguished themselves in the comity of Nations. Education plays a great role in shaping the life of a progressive mind.  This is because all civilized countries know that the only way to stamp their feet in the global world is by planning for tomorrow, and how does one plan for tomorrow? You plan for tomorrow by investing for the future through education. Investment in education is synonymous to your future. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. In civilized climes, they have taken education to the next level by investing in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). They didn’t stop at that; they try to empower their citizens through Research and Development to solve some of the challenges facing them.

I strongly believe that one of the greatest investment you can have in life is education. Education secures the future because it’s a form of security.  Even the book of life states in Proverbs 4:13 “Your education is your life, guard it very well” and Hosea 4:6 “My people perish for lack of knowledge”.

That being said, we shall be looking at the component and the relative part of education as a way of leveraging oneself. There’s nothing good in life that comes easy. Every good product or success comes with a price tag. The same theory goes for education. The price of education is very expensive. I remember when I was seeking admission into one of Nigerian state universities to study Law. I met one of the admission officers who promised to assist me secure admission. I was excited about this opportunity until he told me the amount I have to pay as a kickback. The price sounded outrageous to me. When I asked him why I have to pay such amount of money as a kickback, he said: “young man if you think education is expensive, try ignorance”. That statement has always remained in my heart till date. I definitely agreed with him because if you compare and contrast the value of education and the price of ignorance, you will realize that education will definitely pay in the long run. Moral: If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.

What do we therefore mean by traditional form and style of education? It simply involves attending classes and preparing for exams. However, it should be noted that education is not only limited to getting degrees and certificates. Education also entails thinking out of the box, reading books outside your discipline, researching, learning from resourceful minds and developing oneself.

 

During one of my classes as graduate student studying Taxation at the New York Law School, a particular professor had told the students; ‘it is good to get good grades like As; but networking and developing oneself and following your passion are some of the things that will give you the desired opportunity you want in addition to defining you. What I literally got from that advice is, yes, it’s good to get good grades, but there’s more to success than getting the grades. He ended the class by telling us ‘you’ll understand what I’m saying when you graduate and start exploring job opportunities’.

No doubt, education is good, and the advantages numerous. A very big advantage of education is that it is the greatest leveler known to mankind just like money. Let me explain a bit. You can study in the same classroom with the son or daughter of any great man or woman and can even fall in love with the said being, especially when you know or understand the love language of the person in addition to being compatible to the being. This opportunity can even lead to marriage if properly nurtured. What I’m trying to say is that the son of certified pauper can be a man of means tomorrow if properly nurtured. Let me share a practical experience with you, I was privileged to attend one of the most expensive private universities in Nigeria, and I had the opportunity of meeting the children of top government officials, politicians, businessmen, ambassadors, and technocrats. Ordinarily, I felt a little bit uneasy relating with them because of the class status, but it didn’t take me long to adjust to the system when I saw the value I was bringing to the table and knowing full well we are the same. The secret to this feat was because of the exposure I got from education. Furthermore, I have been privileged to meet high profile people in the world in the USA because of the value I bring to the table, but more especially, because I have been properly educated to speak and communicate in the language they understand.

Be informed however, that education does not guarantee success; stories abound of so many great people who have been able to succeed in life without getting the traditional style of education. For example, the wealthiest Black woman in the world, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija; Henry Ford, Shawn Corey Carter popularly know as Jay -Z, Richard Branson and many more are accomplished individuals who believed in themselves, explored their talents and worked hard to develop themselves by learning from their failures.

Again, education creates opportunities. According to Steve Jobs, innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower. When you create a product that solves a problem, there’s a high tendency you will find people who will need your products. According to Albert Einstein, “try not to be a man of success, try to be a man of value. A good education makes you to think out of the box. It makes you creative. It broadens your mind in addition to exposing you to resourceful information. A good education is like traveling because it gets you exposed to world affairs. It’s quite unfortunate that sometimes we complain of not having time, money, or opportunities. We forget that time is like money. Whenever you say you don’t have money, it invariably means you don’t have time to read and research. It’s important to note that ideas are what creates money. Education will not literally give you money, it will open doors of opportunity for you to explore. For example, instead of waiting to get funds for a formal education, how about visiting websites, researching for online and offline companies that offer free courses and equip yourself with knowledge. Moral: Never allow an opportunity to meet you unprepared.

You might have the best of education, but you might not be as successful as someone who has empowered his/her mind. Having faith and belief in oneself is very critical to success.

According to Muhammed Ali “The man who has no imagination has no wings”. This is the reason some entrepreneurs who never had the opportunity of going to a school were able to succeed more than those who attended universities.

According to Robert Collier “Your chances of success in any undertaking can always be measured by your belief in yourself”.  One story of interest that comes to mind is that of John Sculley, the former CEO of Pepsi who left Pepsi to join Steve jobs in his company. Steve Jobs told John Sculley “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?” The rest they say is history. The interesting part of this analysis is that Steve Jobs trusted his innate ability to achieve success and the knowledge he had can’t be acquired within the four walls of a classroom. It was this same innate ability that made the bank to give him and Bill Gate two million dollars when they presented their ideas to them. The question now is did they go to school to acquire this knowledge? The answer is no. They developed their minds, believed in themselves and above all, educated themselves by learning from their failures.

Finally, a major form of indirect knowledge and education in our contemporary society is social media. Testimonies abound of people who have gained a lot by mere listening to a podcast, videos, and reading online messages on Twitters, Facebooks, LinkedIn, Instagram and relevant articles from resourceful minds. Education has truly gone global. Social media has made the world much closer and easier to learn. What literally took Mr. A five to ten years to acquire in the classroom can simply be gotten via researching and listening to people with authoritative form of knowledge who have expertise in the subject matter in question. But it’s quite unfortunate a lot of people spend valuable time and resources listening and watching online information that won’t add value to their lives

In conclusion, I’m not insinuating that formal education is not important, please it is very important. If you have the opportunity to get one, please do, because that alone is education itself. However, as mentioned earlier, it is not the yardstick for success.

Have a great weekend!

 

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He can be reached via henrous@gmail.com

 

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Food for Living: Of Fear and Faith

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

Fear and faith are two great rivals in the affairs of man. Where one is found, the other takes a leave. They can either make or mar any progressive being, and anybody who truly wants to succeed must know how to activate and control the inherent powers of these two great forces.

According to Dr. Yomi Garnett, “viewed from a spiritual perspective, fear and faith can be said to be opposites…and what each of them brings to our life is also opposites. Fear can lead to failure, while faith will lead to conquest”.

Question: Do you want to live in fear, or would you like to be associated with a conquered fellow?

One of the major killers of vision is fear,  and one of the enablers of life is faith. When one is possessed with the spirit of fear, it will be difficult for that person to achieve their heart desires, but when one’s spirit is activated with the right amount of faith, even the highest fear will fade out.

One may be wondering, how fear and faith can be positively activated to attract success, ab at the same time be the destruction of man, if not properly managed.

What actually inspires a success-oriented mind? Obviously, several things activate one’s mind. To a lot of people, their greatest fears in life is poverty. These sets of people abhor being poor can mitigate their success in life, and as such they put in all their efforts to succeed.

To some, their greatest fear in life is failure. They can’t imagine the shame and defeat that come with failure, and as such they put in their best in whatever productive work they engage in.

Wen fear becomes extrem, it turns to phobia and dreaded. It’s instructive to note that some people have the phobia of height and flying. Some others have the phobia of pregnancy, traveling on water, approaching, or talking to people due to rejection, making mistakes, threading on new ground, among others.

To conquer this fear however, one needs to activate the inherent power of faith. Faith is the belief in what is not seen but hoped for. Any creative mind that wants to succeed in life must have faith not only in themselves, but in their businesses, academics, personal and professional developmental endeavours.

No great person has ever succeeded in life without faith. They believed in the possibility of their business even when there’s little or no hope of survival. They dared to succeed.

In contrast, fear has been th singular reason for most of the failures men have recorded. Some people even give up before they begin their project because of lack confidence and hope.

In some cases, this fear is projected by friends, family members, mentors or even trusted persons who don’t really know or understand what the person is working on. They just simply believe the project is bound to fail based on the prevailing circumstances or challenges surrounding the person or business.

This is how to activate and stimulate the subconscious and inherent power of faith. Imagine as a young man, you have interest in a lady, but you are wondering how to approach her considering her perceived response. It is not out of place to have a perception of the kind of respinse expected, but then, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

One of the best things the guy can do is to dare to succeed by reaching out to the lady. In the worst-case scenario, the lady might say no. In that case, the man will be satisfied he tried his best because the worst feelings to have in life is the feeling of regret.

Alternatively, the lady might like the guy and just play to the gallery just to gauge the man’s intent and seriousness. If the latter is true, the man is deemed lucky for daring to ask.

As a student, business owner, parent, teacher, government official, or pastor just to name a few; if you have a project or task in mind, don’t allow the fear of failure, disappointment or obstacles to weigh you down, look into the future with bold eyes, and with the mindset of faith in the impossible.

In conclusion, fear and faith are two necessary criteria needed in the journey of life. The ability to nurture both will go a long way in shaping not only our personal lives, but also our professional lives.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s the founder of Gloemi. He’s a Transformative Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate, creative writer and author of Design Your Destiny and Unleash Your Destiny.  He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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Food for Living: The Power of Faith

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By Henry Ukazu

Greetings Destiny Friends,

“Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, Faith looks up”Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every journey of life undertaken without faith will surely end in frustration; nothing is guaranteed and there’s nothing worthwhile that can ever be achieved without faith. The reason is obvious; no one sees the end place before they begin a project. For instance, in business, one can never tell how far they can go if they do not begin; it is faith that makes a student believe a 4.0 or 5.O GPA on graduation is possible. It’s with faith an employee believes he will get to the managerial or topmost position in his field of endeavour.

Faith, ordinarily, is the capital to begin any enterprise, endeavour or life’s journey.

Let me make this disclosure, I’m nor referring to the spiritual kind of ‘faith’ in this article, rather I’m referring to the inspirational faith which progressive minds use to achieve the extraordinary.

It’s instructive to note that faith is a powerful force that can transform our lives and help us overcome obstacles. If you have a project or vision in mind you would like to accomplish, if you don’t have extraordinary faith, it will be hard to achieve your dreams.

Great and visionary leaders had absolute faith and believe in themselves and their projects. They were not deterred by the vicissitudes of life. As a matter of fact, they were inspired by their challenges because it enabled them to work hard.

According to NapoleonHill, in his book, Think and Grow Rich, “whatsoever the mind can conceive, believe, it can achieve it”. This tells you how powerful the mind is. It should be noted, success and failure start from the mind. If you believe you can do something, you will do it and if you believe you can’t do anything, trust me, you can’t do it. Even the Book of life states 1 John 4:4 that “…greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world”.

What is faith? Faith is the confident belief in something that is not yet seen or fully understood. As mentioned earlier, without faith, it’s impossible to achieve any commendable feat. Uninformed minds think faith is having everything ready before they begin a project. They have this mindset, if all the t’s are crossed, and i’s are dotted, what’s left is do the necessary. They fail to understand that done is better than perfect when perfect is not done. Sometimes in life, you don’t wait for the coast to be clear before you can soar. 

Just imagine the ship thriving despite waves in the ocean and the plane flying the wind in the air. That’s simply how life works. We don’t give up due to the challenges of life. Sometimes, it’s through the challenges we are fashioned. It’s just like the gold and petroleum which must be processed before they become refined products. So also, we must pass through some challenges in order to be processed, refined and appreciated.

Furthermore, when one has faith and believes in a project, the universe has a way of bringing interested minds, who are either passionate about the project or cause to support the being.

One may be wondering how faith works, imagine being hungry as a student, one will not feel the hunger too much if one knows he has food in his refrigerator. Now compare that scenario to when there’s no food. My late mother will always say, the most painful part of being poor is, if one does not have money and doesn’t know anyone to borrow from. Trust me, it can be heartbreaking.

 The importance of faith cannot be overemphasized, faith gives us hope, it strengthens us, it brings blessings, and it inspires hope and confidence.

The power of faith can enrich one’s life in many ways. Here are some of the ways faith improves our work and life.

1. Faith Improves Your Daily Work

When you love what you do, you will be inspired to spend some time developing your project. Faith impacts what you do, how you do it and how you live your life.  With faith, you will be intentional. Faith keeps you going. If you want to do any task, you need to have faith that you will accomplish it. If you have faith, you feel motivated to get things done because the faith will serve as a propeller.

2. Faith Helps You in Difficult Times

There is a popular phrase, “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” If you have faith, you will have hope, and hope will help you endure difficult times and uncertainties in life. Times can be bad, and you may find yourself drowning in despair. But never lose hope. Even when you lose your job, suffer the pain of losing a beloved, don’t have enough money, or face any other challenge, having faith means to release control to a greater power, the universe or God.

3. Faith Encourages Others

Do you know your faith can inspire and encourage others? Have you wondered how creative-minded people come up with new ideas or directions to take after failing multiple times?  They have faith that they can achieve their goal. No matter what comes their way, they remain focused and motivated, even after facing backlash from people. Their example can encourage others to follow the same path. You too can be the same way by having faith. People around you will learn from you. They will follow your lead. When you have absolute faith and believe in a project, people will notice.

4. Faith Gives You Courage

Courage helps you do the things that scare you. It plays a significant role in motivating you to act on something despite the risks or dangers involved. If you have courage, you show more strength in times of pain or grief. Courage comes directly from faith. For instance, you gather the courage to go on a job interview. You think you won’t get the job, but there is always a chance you will. You have faith in yourself and your abilities and take a bold step in going after the job, which can lead you to success.

5. Faith Helps you Discover Purpose

The ups and downs of life can take a toll on you. In some cases, it leads you to question why you’re here. But when you do, faith can save you from falling. It guides you to move in the right direction and helps you discover your purpose in life.

In conclusion, we all travel by air and trust the pilot to take us to our destination safely, we all use the sea and trust the captains to arrive safely, we all have faith that when we turn on the light, it will lighten up, why can’t we trust the creator we have not seen? When you trust the creator, believe in your project and believe in yourself, trust me, you will not only get to the promised land, but you will also exceed expectations.  According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, “All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s the founder of Gloemi. He’s a Transformative Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate, creative writer and author of Design Your Destiny and Unleash Your Destiny.  He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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Food for Living: Be the Best Version of Yourself

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

It is a known fact that everyone wants to be the best in any field or activity they engage themselves in. But truth be told; being the best is not easy; it takes a lot of hard work, perseverance, consistency and patience. One must put in the work to bear the name he wants to be reckoned with because nothing good comes easy, apologies to the legendary Bongos Ikwue.

Being the best in life is not just about people, it also extends to products, schools, hospitals, businesses, sports, etc.

To understand how the best works, imagine a football coach about to play a final match; will he use his second team or first team? A serious coach will surely go for his best team if he wants to win the match. Again, imagine, someone who is sick, they will look for the best of doctors to treat them even if that person is an enemy, if they truly want to be alive.

Let’s consider the definition of best. The new website Dictionary defines best as “something of the finest quality”. A closer look at the word “finest quality” will explain why every employer employs the best persons for a job. When you work with people who are talented, gifted and at the same time intelligent, the rewards and blessings are priceless.

I have been privileged to work with some intelligent folks, and I will say without equivocation that Abdulakeem Sodeeq Sulyman, Ohimai Amaize and Ebuka Uchem are some of the best exceptional beings on planet earth.

Again, there’s no doubt, we all want to be the best, the question we need to ask is. Are we ready to do the needful? According to Usain Bolt, “I trained 4 years to run 9 seconds and people give up when they don’t see results in two months.”

Now, you see it’s not easy to be the best in life?

Before you can be the best version of yourself, you must uncover your essential values, interest and passion that define who you are in life and the world.

Once you’ve identified the person you want to be, you can plan how to become the best version of yourself.

The benefits of being the best in life cannot be overemphasized. Being the best makes one unique, attracts fame, and makes one rich and successful.

One may be wondering how to become the best version of himself?

The first duty of a progressive mind is to know himself. No one, who doesn’t know himself can succeed or be the best in life. It’s like being successful in your craft. You can make money without loving what you do, but you can’t be successful without loving what you do. When you love what you do and what you do loves you, therein lies your authentic success.

Another way to be the best version of yourself is by being unique. According to Oscar Wilde, “be yourself because others are taken.” In our contemporary society, we see a lot of people trying to imitate other people just because they feel they are succeeding in their professions, business, or craft. These uniformed minds don’t know everyone is different. When you know what’s unique about you, you won’t spend time trying to be like another person. The person you are trying to imitate made himself by understanding himself.

Again, it’s like someone who is passionate about a cause or business. When you know what you love, it’ll be easier to develop interest in learning more, and trust me, there’s a certain level of spiritual blessing and ingenuity that comes to one who is working according to their purpose and passion. Other people might be engaging themselves in the business or craft, but their level of success and favour won’t be like yours. That’s why you can imitate someone’s style, but you can’t imitate their creativity.

Your ability to know what’s unique about you will make you make the right choice. It will help you to  focus on what’s important, you won’t be distracted by the noise around you; you will meditate, spend your time wisely and network with the right people.

According to Dr. Yomi Garnett, “to get the best, one must do three things: resolve to think only the best thoughts, work for the best and entertain and expect the best results”.

Even the Bible knows the value and importance of seeking the best. In the book of life, the word says, “….whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things”.

When one is so focused on achieving positive results, the person won’t be concerned about focusing on trivial things. Most of the great people that made an impact in the world had a powerful mindset and they devoted their attention to noble activities.

Being the best does not come easy. One will have to go through pains just like gold and oil will have to go through a furnace to be refined.

Being the best is like working on a purpose, for which the journey and process of refinement might not be easy. Here, people might laugh at you saying you don’t have money, you are wasting your time and so on. Some might even say, you will die wretched working for purpose and advise you to be wise. Here’s my advice; regardless of the negative opinion or thoughts you may have, if you are truly convinced in your purpose, don’t give up. Maybe you are being tested. You may get a temporary side job to support yourself or family while working on your craft, but don’t lose focus on the big picture.

The moral here is, don’t worry about being famous or making money, the most important thing is being the best. When you are the best in what you do, your enemies will seek you, leaders, kings, queens, and influential people will seek you. According to Anastasia Soare “You have to become a master of your craft, and everything else will come”.

In conclusion, as you sojourn through life, affirm positive thoughts to yourself every day by saying, I am the best. Also, endeavor to give your best in whatever you are doing, even if you don’t succeed, be glad you did the best.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s the founder of Gloemi. He’s a Transformative Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate, creative writer and author of Design Your Destiny and Unleash Your Destiny.  He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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