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
Food for Living: The Experience of Life
By Henry Ukazu
Greetings Dear Friends,
Life is an experience every one of us must surely pass through. It is often said that our experience shapes/defines who we are. Regardless of how true or false you may feel about life, you’ll agree with me that to a reasonable extent, your experience has helped to shape some of your thoughts and actions. Isn’t it true that it is only the person who wears the shoe who can tell where the pinches? It is a well-established fact that experience is the best teacher. This is because we all feel pains differently. According to a philosopher, life is about experiences. We all have to dream, strive, and fail before we can achieve success. Maybe we’ll discover along the way that the journey is more important than the destination
In one of my articles, published a couple of years ago what is life and how can one live through it? I defined life as a woman because you cannot “really” know her. During the course of this article, we shall be discussing many components of life and how the experience can shape you. We all need experience to survive through life because it helps to shape us in addition to giving us more exposure, opportunity, and respect. For instance, we all sit in the same classroom, but we don’t hear and understand the same thing; we all look at a picture but we don’t see the same thing; we all might be walking to a location but we all have a different vision; we all have a business but we run it differently based on our experiences, knowledge and even networks. The same theory is applicable to marriage, job, academics, business, sports etc.
Let’s share some practical details on how experience can shape us.
This is one of the most complicated and sensitive part of life any human can relate to. Marriage in simple term is life itself. As fondly opined by many rational minds, it is the school one can never graduate from, because you’ll continue to learn until the end of life. In our contemporary society, we have recorded so many divorces and questions flood the mind as what the secret to a successful marriage relationship actually is. Well, in my own humble opinion, there’s no clear cut secret to marriage except the presence of true love between both parties. This is because lots of factors contribute to a make a successful marriage. Every marriage is different and only the partners themselves can decide how they can manage their affairs. Where there’s a misunderstanding between both partners, it will be in their best interest to settle it themselves, and where they can’t settle it, a married or informed counselor can assist. I’m not insinuating that unmarried counselors with insightful positive experience can’t advise married couples, but I do know that whenever couples have problems, they are the only ones who can address their concerns better because nobody knows the root and fundamental cause of the problem more than do especially when they are not comfortable letting it out which leaves the counselor with the only option of speaking from his/her own experience. There have been cases where unmarried couples give advice to married people, in as much I won’t kick against that idea, I feel that sometimes, if not most times, experience plays a huge role in solving problems especially a sensitive one like marriage. Moral: somethings are best experienced than imagined. This is because of the practicality that comes with it. It’s just like driving, having sex, running a business etc.
Just like the saying, old wine tastes better, the same can be said for business. The more time you spend learning the ropes in addition to equipping yourself with knowledge can play a huge role in shaping your business. Just like every great work takes time to manifest, business takes time to grow. I doubt if there’s any overnight successful in business. If at all one ever exist, it’s an exceptional circumstance it’s quite unfortunate many people jump into a business with the mindset of having a great turn over/profit just because they see it is flourishing or they see their friends/colleagues making great strides in the industry. What they fail to understand is that it is not greener out there and every business has a secret.
It’s imperative to note that one of the greatest ways to succeed in business is by having a great network. People find it comfortable to relate with people they know. According to Robin Sharma, “the business of business is relationship, but the business of life human connection”. In business, a lot of factors come into consideration before one can have a headway. First and foremost you must know what you are passionate about and what your skills set is composed of. Then, give yourself the necessary time to learn the business/trade. This learning can take several forms such as reading, volunteering, taking a class, networking and gaining exposure in the sector.
Furthermore, to succeed in business, you must learn soft skills in addition to being creative with emotional intelligence. For example, a creative and proactive businessman/woman must meet people where are as opposed to having the clients meet him/her where he/she is. A prudent business-minded fellow must have a great attitude to listen to customers, he/she must take the initiative of providing ideas on what might be beneficial to the business, and he/she must have a great attitude to relate with not only his/her clients but the public at large. According to John Maxell, ‘Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them’.
One of the places that experience plays an influential role is the aspect of a job. Most employers always look for candidates with experience during the hiring process. It’s only in a few and rare instance they accept a candidate without experience. An experienced candidate tends to do a better job than a new hire. For example, a new hire may do the job in the right way, but an experienced being may do it in an efficient way.
In our contemporary society, many people seem people to downplay the role of education as it relates to succeeding in life. They opine that you can always “learn from the street”, you can also learn in an informal way as opposed to formal education. However, they fail to realize that education itself is an experience because you need to get theoretical knowledge before applying practical knowledge. It should be noted that academic education gives you an edge over a person who doesn’t have any opportunity/exposure to one. It is a well-established fact that no knowledge is a waste and having a basic theoretical knowledge can take the place of experience in certain situations.
This is another great area where experience plays a role. Sports is one of the great areas where experience is needed. It doesn’t matter if you play football, soccer, table tennis, volleyball, basketball, track and felid events and wresting. Your experience will definitely make a difference if you harness it well.
In conclusion, regardless of what you may have experienced through life, having a positive attitude is a guaranteed way of overcoming negative experience. According to Reno Omokri, an author and Pastor, “the secret of love is sacrifice. The secret of happiness is giving; the secret of life is GOD.” This nugget may have informed his line of thought. I don’t know your experience, but whatever it is continue to learn from it because one day it will add up and when you look back, you’ll understand why you have to have to go through the whole experience.
Just like every taste bud is different, each and every one of us experience different things in life. According to Eleanor Roosevelt, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” If you ask anyone what’s the purpose of life, you’ll likely receive different responses. The answer to this question is subjective and deeply personal. Different things are important to us throughout the course of our lives. Yet one thing stays with us no matter where we go: our experiences. With respect to personal experience, definitely it’s important to note that your network determines your net worth. Therefore, cultivate your friendships and find companies that fulfill you. It’s from those experiences in life that you’ll learn and grow. In this process, we can learn valuable lessons about ourselves and the world around us. So, don’t be hard on yourself.
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. He can be reached via email@example.com
Food for Living: Inspire Yourself
By Henry Ukazu
Greetings Dear Friends,
I guess you may have heard the saying, ‘the joy of life is not how happy you are but how happy others can be because of you’.
There’s always an internal feeling of warmth and fulfillment to know that because of the role you played in the life of someone, who can be a mentee or subordinate, they were able to succeed. I once highlighted that Mentors Are Life Savers in one of my articles with the same title.
Every being loves to be happy because happiness brings peace, tranquility, and clarity of mind. Once you have peace within yourself, family, organization and business, you are bound to have clarity of mind which will, in turn, make you focus very well in addition to being inspired to make right decisions. Therefore, it will be wise to say, peace is necessary for any rational and progressive mind/business to succeed. In the course of this article, we shall be exploring different ways we can inspire ourselves.
Every successful or great person was inspired in one way or the other. Every successful business was also inspired by another business, mentor or even the desire to solve a challenging problem in the society. We all need inspiration to move to the next stage in life. Thus the question now becomes, how can one get inspired?
Inspiration comes in different shapes and sizes. It can be internal or external.
Internal motivational comes from within. It’s just like the act of intuition. Internal inspiration is the best form of inspiration. This is because when the force is from within, it opens up with unlimited opportunities and potentials. It’s important to note that nobody can inspire you more than you can inspire yourself. Genuine inspiration always comes from within.
According to a philosopher, “I was thinking one day and I realized that if I just had somebody behind me all the way to motivate me I could make a big difference. Nobody came along like that so I just became that person for myself.”
This is the motivation that is derived from outside forces, e.g. music, mentors, books or even situations like hunger, poverty and life challenges. According to some schools of thought, external inspiration has been the reason they succeeded in life (business, home and academics). This group of people believes that without these external forces they wouldn’t have been able to achieve a great deal in life. Proponents of this theory fail to understand that, they were able to succeed because they had the internal zeal to succeed and the external forces only came as a catalyst. For example, publishing inspirational and motivating articles every week can be a challenging task because it takes discipline to commit to the task. However, as a prolific writer and author, I strongly believe, if one is not inspired, it will be hard for one to write nor matter how inspired the external factors are at play.
Techniques to get inspired:
The beginning of any task is usually the most challenging part. If you can begin a task with little or no resources, you can be sure of everything coming true if you are diligent. Take, for instance, you want to start a business, write a book, begin a Ph.D. program, contest for election, or even starting a good cause/campaign, etc. All you need is just a starting line for the universe to know you have a vision. A little push or inspiration can do the magic. Once you commit to this task, the universe has a way of coming around to support your work. You can also begin by breaking all your tasks in a little piece and taking them one step at a time.
Write your plan
Having a concrete blueprint on what you plan to do is another way to get inspiration. For example, you need to have an idea where you plan to be between 6 to one year, 3 years, 5years, 10 years as the case may be all things being equal. This plan will enable you to inspire yourself. Also, you can write down all of your goals and vision to keep track of where you are, and where you want to be. By so doing, you will keep track of how far you have come in life.
Reduce the daily distractions
Just like success needs concentration and positive energy, inspiration doesn’t work well with distractions. When you are easily accessible it will definitely become hard for you to focus. It’s quite unfortunate to note that many people spend less time on what really matters and spend more time on what doesn’t really matters. In order to change this habit, you’ll need to reduce the influx of distractions that is surrounding you. By so doing, you’ll be truly inspired to focus well.
Music can be a form of inspiration. I personally use music to get work done depending on my state of mind and what I am working on. A typical example was when I was writing my first book, music was one of my biggest inspirational energy, especially when I was down.
Most times we get caught trying to get to the finish point without taking time to take stock how far we have come. Being grateful for who you are and what you have been able to achieve in life can inspire you to do more. It’s always good to reward yourself and celebrate your successes (no matter how big or small they are).
In conclusion, it is pertinent to note that you are the ultimate measure of how far you’ll go in life. According to Wayne Dyer, “Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” If you don’t do the work, nobody will do it for you. Therefore, I charge you today, to inspire yourself.
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. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org
Opinion: Be Illimitable Pt. 2
By Tolulope A. Adegoke
“Let your presence on earth add values to life. Be responsible”! – Tolulope A. Adegoke
God did not assign His angels to create NATURE, HUMANS and everything. He did not seek supports, he seized personal consultation.
If you wait for others, you will waste like others in frustration. Majority of times, you do not need to rely on other people’s opinion or supports. You need personal SACRIFICE.
The right place and time to create are when things are not okay: “FROM DARKNESS into LIGHT”! God did not give an excuse not to have created something out of nothing, light out of darkness!
Your Spirit must work with your CREATIVITY
Destiny doesn’t answer to your work alone; it answers to your spirit man. It takes you to be blind enough to be able to achieve the unimaginable. It takes “rituals” to solve problems and produce, then reproduce. It takes selflessness to be a ritualist. It requires your blood and sweat. Your spirit must leave you and must settle on the face of the deep!
God sacrificed His Son (Jesus Christ) to save the world. He also asked Abraham to sacrifice his Son (Isaac) to Him.
Rituals require sacrifices either “self” or your “valuables”. Give offering with a knife in your hand to cut your pocket. Give selflessly. Be a “ritualist”! because you are a spiRITUAL being! It takes ritual grace to commit rituals. Babies give offerings, but kings give sacrifices! Gather seeds and commit rituals. You are a government. Don’t live like a refugee. If you cannot sacrifice, you end up a “money-pie”, instead of multiply, and you will only be “food-ful” and not fruitful.
It takes sacrificial rituals to multiply and fruitful! Think the unimaginable, do the unimaginable to achieve the unimaginable results for outstanding profits and change. Sow to acquire and connect into God’s divine inspiration to acquire and connect into God’s divine inspiration.
Death is not when a man dies, it is when the gift(s) in him dies. When a man is not working with his gifts, he is dead! The gift of a man makes way for him- Psalm 68:18.
If you are not gifted or not working or operating by your gift, you are Godless! Gifts in its real sense are not limited to celestial gifts. It is your talents that will open ways and wave for you.
Man becomes a god at the point of his gift. Without your gift, you are an imbecile. Without your gift, you will face torments on earth, but with your gifts, you can enjoy Heaven on earth!
Serve God with your gifts to more gifted for outstanding creativity for productivity. The world has evolved into the age or realms of creativity at a shocking speed beyond the norm. A man’s destiny is not only tied to opportunity(s), but also to divine revelation! Your gift is not a gambling or begging ticket! If you know your value, you will not sell it cheaply.
BECOMING ILLIMITABLE: Activating Your Gifts
The major factor to becoming illimitable by activating our gifts is by divine revelation. Be inspired by God to be productive and well packaged. Prayer cannot displace process. Your dominion answers to what is in you. Poverty is the absence of observation. Poverty is not just the absence of provision, but observation!
Unemployment is the blockage of gifts by man- 2Kings 4:2-6.
Lock up yourself to observe! If you do not lock yourself indoor, you cannot become an industry. The power of observation is better than the power of education. Observation is another word for Thinking. Prayer is formen, while thinking is for gods! Ye are gods?” “
You have the mind of God. When last did you think? When you pray, you inform God; but when you think, you involve God! The greatest Professor is the Holy Ghost. The mind of a man is the superior tool for creativity. When you think, you receive the mind of God. If you are not a graduate of your mind, you are an illiterate! When you learn, you cultivate an absorb knowledge.
Think, Speak and Act to Create! Thinking is the act of generating excuses-eliminating tool-box! It is not only a mode of generating ideas for the ideal. It is better to better to be an inspired engineer than to be an academic engineer, by working in-line with your authentic calling which prolongs your impacts which avoids expiration through the roles of posterity!
Thinking is another medium of fasting-you abstain from any form of distraction. The greatest television on earth is the Human Mind! Selfless imagination is better than a selfless hard-work.
Pleasure is the greatest weapon which I refer to as a beautiful distraction adopted by the devil and its cohorts to bring man out of his dominion! There is nothing wrong in being a football fan, but don’t be a football fool! Pleasure should become a poison to you. Pleasure could be likened as honey coated with poison! Pleasure is the current poison that limits or stops a man from fulfilling his authentic purpose on earth. “A little Sleep, A little Slumber; Plenty Sleep. Plenty slavery and death!” If your work cannot make you work at night, you will end up in the prison of life!
If you subscribe to quietness, you will end up in blossom ideas and outputs, because in quietness lies the truth. Silence is the best place for inventions.
Thinking is a known secret. Use information to pass examinations; for effective and productive activities, engage revelation to grow in life and as well share for maximum impacts.
Most research works in the Third World Countries are simply “read-search”, and not “real search”! Re(al) search has to do with backing up with empirical evidence through secrets discovered or dug out by you in the course of searching for the truth in-line with target areas. Secrets mean to See, to visualize, to dream; then CREATE!
To maximally engage secrets, you must cut off from those seeking for survival and connect with DREAM chasers! therefore, you need to build a lion’s heart within you in order to be able to take giant steps!
It is therefore in your power to command your season! It is your turn and your time…do not give in to the pressures at hand! Live in the reality of your desired change and authentic purpose.
Thank you for reading. I trust that you have been activated!
Tolulope A. Adegoke is an acclaimed “globalpreneur”, with the mandate to enrich lives and provide the professional, spiritual, academic and leadership empowerment needed to birth, maximize and sustain possibilities in peoples, corporates and nations. He is a prolific writer, frequent keynote speaker and spoken word poet, among others, having written countless articles in diverse reputable fields and honoured many public invitations.
He is also a Senior Administrator.
Tolulope Adegoke can be booked for public events via the contacts below: