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 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Authentic ‘Place’ of Sacrifice for Empowerment
Tolulope A. Adegoke
Scars that makes ‘stars’.
Actions with the right motives.
Creativities that guarantees productivities.
Responsiveness that unveils passion.
Favour that compels envy.
Crosses, crowns, cares & cures.
Expectant, experienced, expressions & excellence.
“Sacrifice is the scar(s) we bear in the processes of carrying our ‘crosses’ (responsibilities) towards getting our ‘crowns’ (desired results)” – Tolulope A. Adegoke
Sacrifice is the scar(s) we bear in the processes of carrying our ‘crosses’ towards getting our ‘crowns’. There is no star without a scar! The scar of every star is sacrifice. It is nothing else! It is simply the ticket towards delivering possibilities. Sacrifice is going the extra mile, paying the extra-price and taking the extra steps to deliver your mandates! Your extra-ordinary inputs determine your extra-ordinary impacts! You need to go the extra mile in your “disciplined” life. You must pay the extra-price in your “diligence”; then, the star in you emerges! Do not envy success, envy sacrifice!
Many around the world are embodiments of extra-ordinary potentials (gifts), but have found themselves in fields that are different from their real (divine) calling(s). For example, some are gifted footballers but have found themselves in the Engineering sector… Not until they subject themselves into the diligent sacrifices of football training and timings (age-wise), such people will not manifest or fulfil their original destiny. They would only be engineering stars by chance or by force. It takes sacrifice for the star in us to manifest!
You cannot eat your cake and have it! You cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs! Not even faith is a substitute for sacrifice. Vision is not a substitute for sacrifice! Sacrifice is a covenant requirement of every kingdom star! Apostle Paul in the scripture (Philippians1:21) said: “For me to die is gain, for me to live is Christ.” I will rather die than allow anyone make my glory in Christ vain is a typical description of the term Sacrifice. Being crucified with Jesus Christ is Sacrifice! Every star has a story of sacrifice to tell! Bishop David O. Oyedepo is used to saying: “If you do not improve on where we live of, then you are a failure!”
The above means that, you must wake up from your slumber and invest your time in creating the future that you desire! Until you do what others do not do, you will still remain on the same spot as others! You must therefore wake up and tell yourself the bitter truth and design for yourself a new programme and do not let the year to end without a schedule for next year and a lifetime goal…This would show that you are really a serious entity on a mission to deliver your world from its aches!
Even Jesus Christ, the most anointed said in Luke12:49-50 (KJV): “I have come to set fire on the Earth…I have a baptism to be baptized with and now am I stretched until it be accomplished.” Anyone that desires to have a “global impact” must pay a “global price”!
You cannot have it until you pay its ultimate worth! You cannot have your crown, not until you are done with the cross!
“Every seed of Abraham is a seed with potentials for global impacts (Genesis22:17-18)” “And if ye be Christ’s, ye are Abraham’s seed and according to the promise (Galatians3:29).”
You are here on Earth for global impacts; you are not here for survival! Global Impacts is about being a positive influence all across the world on humanity in your area of calling(s), chosen career(s) or field(s).
I strongly believe that there are readers of this write-up that would manifest greater grace of positive impacts all across the world all to the glory of God Almighty, if they would be willing to pay greater prices than many great men have paid in the past in order to be the “moves” and “waves” of the “movements and trends” and affluence in their generation(s). Until you pay the greater price(s), you cannot generate greater value(s). For whatsoever a man sows, he shall reap! What is only waiting for you in the future is simply your investment in today! We need to be prepared to at least start aspiring to do a few things we can do, then the grace will flow in on us to do more/greater! It is then we would be able to soar higher than the Eagles because the skies would have simply been transformed into our starting point!
Ultimately, you must discover your area of calling(s) or field(s), so as to be sure that you are no investing in the wrong direction. Your vision must be clearly defined so as to fully understand your mission and then empower yourself for possibilities in that field. According to 2Timothy 2:15 (KJV): “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Acquire relevant skills, apply the spiritual knowledge and understand the needs of your environment in relation to your “Empowered Zero.”
Your field is the “green pastures” where your flocks feeds through your properly “Empowered Zero” which is harnessed/directed as solutions towards meeting demands, needs of peoples, corporates and nations. Harnessing your “Empowered Zero” is the full-scale methodological applications in a bid to impart your world with the treasures that lies in your earthen vessel!
To empower in this context means to positively influence affect or fuel something or someone or a place to become useful or better towards emerging/fulfilling or serving the real and full purpose of which it was originally created! Having thoroughly studied my Zero to Hero series, a majority across the world have come to understand that no one is indispensable, nothing last forever, change is constant and there is always room for improvement to be able to transit from Zero to Hero. Zero to Hero, in this context, is not limited or restricted to individuals or peoples alone but it touches as well the Corporate world and Nations; illuminating us that we can always be better, come what may!
Empowerment is both a value orientation for working in the community (practical) and a theoretical model for understanding the process and consequences of efforts to exert control and influence over the decision(s) that affect one’s life, organizational functioning, and the quality of Community life; so said Perkins and Zimmerman, 1995; Rappaport,1981; Zimmerman and Warschausky 1998.
The value of the orientation of empowerment suggests goals, aims and strategies for implementing change. Empowerment provides principles and a framework for organizing our knowledge and lifestyle. Robert Adams points to the limitations of any single definition of empowerment “empowerment” and the danger that academic or specialist definitions might take away the wood the connected practices from the very person they are supposed to belong to. Still, he offers a minimal definition of the term: Empowerment as the capacity of individuals, groups and/or communities to take control of their circumstances exercise power and achieve their own goal, and the process by which, individually and collectively, they are able to help themselves and others to maximize the quality of their lives. According to Cornell, Empowerment Group, “it is an intentional, ongoing process centred in the local community involving mutual respect, critical reflection, caring and group participation, through which people lacking an equal share of resources gain greater access to and control over those resources.”
Learn, Apply & Share.
Watch out for the Book titled: “The Power of an Empowered Zero” (From Zero to HERO) by Tolulope A. Adegoke. Foreword by Dr Yomi Garnett (CEO/Chancellor, Royal Biographical Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S.A., U.K., Abuja, Nigeria.) Edited by Ola Aboderin.
Food for Living: Don’t Allow People’s Perception Define You
By Henry Ukazu
Greetings Destiny Friends,
In our contemporary society, perception is everything, most especially in this era of social media where people share information which either depicts their business, interest or passion. The good thing about sharing information however, is that it gives visibility which in turn attracts value. In communication, it is important to relate with people with resourceful messages. Regardless of what one is sharing, it is instructive also to note that you are sharing information which you like people to know about.
However, the negative effect of sharing different content on the social media, and depending on what you share, is that the society merely finds it as either controversial or socially ignominious or irritating. This can adversely affect or destroy your brand and also label you in certain ways.
When we talk about labeling, several thoughts naturally come to mind. Generally, labelling is seen as a way of identifying people. Labeling can be positive or negative, depending on usage. Depending on how you may have been described or labelled, it is important to note that perception doesn’t define you in a holistic manner. It only gives an impression based on the perception of the person describing you.
Labeling comes in different ways. Some come across as judgments based on hearsay, some create stereotypes, bias, fears and stigma. Labels don’t see people — they describe an oversimplified version of who they are. When you label yourself, you are following the same pattern. Labelling tends to discard all sense of individual identity, and this can be detrimental to not only our personality, but our society in general.
When people label you, they are merely telling you how their thought process works. They stick a label to define us, and if we are not strong, we’ll wear the label like it’s the truth. In one way or the other we may have been defined, but the true definition of a human being is to look at the challenges the person has been able to overcome.
Let’s take a case study of Albeit Einstein; his teacher told him, he’s a dull student and as such he won’t be able to get a good job. He was advised to look for the lowest skill job. Albert Einstein believed what his teacher told him and lived with it for a while, until one day he applied for a job in a company and he was required to do an aptitude test. After reviewing his grade, the Chief Executive Officer of the company called him and inquired why he applied for the lowliest position in the company as opposed to a more advanced position, he responded, that’s what he felt he could do. The manager then told him his score was the highest the company has ever received. From that day, Albert Einstein started to think highly of himself as opposed to believing what his teacher labeled him.
The moral of this story is that people don’t determine our destiny, God does. They might know your name, but they don’t know your story, they might know your history, but they don’t know your future, they might know your past but don’t know your present.
We live in a competitive world where people tend to copy the works, or fit into the standard of the world for social recognition. Don’t fall into the pressure of following the bandwagon. Stick to your calling and maintain your lane. Don’t allow that label to stick. You’re perfect in your way. In the journey of life, people will laugh at you for reading a book, they might call you a nerd; they might mock you for working extra hours to grow your business or learn a trade or even start a course that is not popular. They won’t believe in your project; they might tag you with names. Don’t be deterred; they are only seeing today, they are not aware you might be their boss tomorrow.
It is normal for people to say stuff about you or call you names simply because, either they can’t be like you or they are jealous of what you have been able to accomplish. When people label you, it goes to show their level of understating about who you are and their vision of life. Sometimes, human beings love to take advantage of people, especially when you are down. For example, they might say, ‘is this not the carpenter’s son’; that’s what they used to know you as, but you are no longer the names they used to call or tag you. It is important to note that you don’t need to prove yourself to people, your success and reputation will show them over time.
Have you been labeled or defined in a certain way? If yes, work on yourself and tell yourself, you are not where you used to be, and vow never to remain where or be the name you have been associated with, and the best way to do it is to challenge yourself to do better than you were yesterday.
Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success and President of gloemi.com. He can be reached via email@example.com
A Little Sleep, A Little Slumber: Much Sleep Equals Death
By Tolulope A. Adegoke
“Time sees everyone, yet concentrates on nobody…It is too busy for that! It is a trend that is always willing to give its best to those (who) are ready and willing to sacrifice their best for its proper investment” – Tolulope A. Adegoke
Time is the most and indispensable currency for exploits if invested wisely!
Time is cheap, yet expensive! Time is light, yet heavy and loaded with events (Naturally-Spiritual and Artificial-Physical).
Time can be spent or invested! Time can be handled, managed by effective planning, programming and wise steps/actions for undeniable and reliable results.
Time is no respecter of persons; it does not stop a while for any reason or person(s), it is not controlled by man but by God Almighty, Creator of the Creator of all things!
Time does not cheat! It works its way through from its beginning to that which is called its end (REVELATION).
Time sees everyone, yet concentrates on nobody…It is too busy for that! It is a trend that is always willing to give its best to those ready and willing to sacrifice their best for its proper investment.
Time expires…It evolves into phases!
Time is beyond the physical senses of MAN; it is beyond the tools (seconds, minutes and hours) that make up the clock to reading its trends and moves! It is life…It goes on and on… It cannot be measured but can only be maximized by investing in steady
meditation in serenity for its revelations and illuminations of ideas and creativities at the speed of shock!
Time shocks man, but not God! Time if ‘fact’ and blunt! It works without patience…It is steady and consistent; the sluggard and the ignorant never likes it!
The enemy of time is PLEASURE which generates into PROCRASTINATION! Pleasure abuses its (time) schedules and duties in the creations and manifestations of purpose from IDEALISM into REALISM.
Time flies! It never gives up! It has wings! Time is never tired! It does not wait to be motivated!
Time, if acknowledged and referenced with God Almighty heals! Only God Almighty can recover time; for time cannot recover itself.
Time has no friend or foe, it only relates and works for those that takes/makes out time to seclude themselves in SERENITY to ponder on facts and meditate for reasons so as to become the REASON in the SEASON (Time).
“Time and chance happens to them all (Ecclesiastes 9:11).” Time is for everyone and with no person!
Time speaks and its voices echoes! Its impacts are daily! Time trend always in all medium of communication; Time cannot be caged; it cannot be saved but maximized with Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding and their applicability.
It is true there is “time” for everything, but it (Time) is always ready and available for everything right! Everything right must be done, adopted, implemented and executed and actualized per time.
Time is ever positive…Only the deed of men corrupts/pollutes it! Time is light, it illuminates, it reveals and exposes the deeds of men.
Light is life eternal; everyman is like a candlestick. Your impact lights each candlestick that represent each life.
Time is deeper and sharper than sword! Every word spoken by time is WORK (i.e. IMPACT!)
Time motions…It does not sleep, it does not wait, so why wait till tomorrow before you do that which is right? Why wait till tomorrow before you light up another candlestick around you to lighten up/ illuminate the world? Why wait till tomorrow before you love, before you invest?
You do not know true investment, until you learn time investment. Time is always NOW! It is always TODAY, it is clockwise and always today for the right CAUSE…But only the deed of men pollutes it!
Make today right, make it count and worthwhile for a better tomorrow! Time is ever productive! Always available for everyman’s efforts!
Time is ever prepared today to give you a better tomorrow! Time is invaluable…It is one of the greatest asset given to mankind.
Time has respect for ideas in thoughts and reasoning and mostly for its full actualizations.
Time worked and produced YESTERDAY! Time works TODAY to produce a grand and brand new day called TOMORROW!
Time is official and must be guarded and maximized with care and responsiveness and respect! “Make hay while the sun shines!” Indolence is foolishness! No food for a lazy man.
“Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which having no captain or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer.
And gathers her food in the harvest; How long will you slumber, oh sluggard?”
“A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to sleep,
So shall your poverty come as one that travelleth;
And your want as an armed man.” (Proverbs 24:33)
It takes the value of wisdom to enjoy the trends of TIME. Time is the principal raw material needed in the factory of ideas. Ideas answer only to those who have “time” for it.
Without setting “time” apart to reason (think), your rising is not in view! Time is where it all begins! Time is therefore of utmost essence in the school of ideas!
Act Now! Every move you make moves you! For every action, there is a REACTION! Time will tell of every of your efforts and rewards.
Time has targets…Its target is always TODAY for a TOMORROW (the future). The certainty of a better tomorrow is determined by well-planned and structured today!
“Time is therefore an asset of universal equality.” Most importantly, time is equal! It all depends on how much you invest it or spend it.
Time is always available for everyman’s efforts but only God rewards all accordingly (Paul plants, Apollo waters but only God doeth the blessings) with blessings of man’s deeds! Time records the deeds of men; be it good or evil… God rewards all accordingly!
Time is specific on goals and facts! Time is ever deliberate; depending on how smart you play your cards (work) and how prayerful you are.
The more time you have for reasoning, the more insight you gain and the greater result you command. The mobile phones you carry about for example most time are working against you. When an idea is coming, it rings and by the time you finish answering the call, the idea has flown away.
Time is an invaluable asset. Unfortunately, most people are abusers of time. We therefore must redeem our time from pollutions (cultural bastardization, tradition and unrelated issues) scrambling for out “time” during business/thinking hours.
Every ‘time’ INVESTORS invariably ends up an INVENTOR.
Life is all about timing! Time is life…Life goes on and on; only the life of man is short! Time is infinite, but its moment expires and evolves into phases and realms in the reality cycle of life. Therefore, maximize your time judiciously!
Learn, Apply & Share.
Watch out for the Book titled: “The Power of an Empowered Zero” (From Zero to HERO) by Tolulope A. Adegoke. Foreword by Dr Yomi Garnett (CEO/Chancellor, Royal Biographical Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S.A., U.K., Abuja, Nigeria.) Edited by Ola Aboderin.