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Food for Living: Know Yourself, Know Your Business

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By Henry Ukazu

Greetings Friends,

I will like to begin this article by asking ‘what is the most difficult thing in life’?

If you ask a 1001 persons this question, you’ll get a 1001 different answers. Some will say getting a job, others will pitch tent with accommodation, finding a true friend, getting money, while some will equally say finding the right partner, knowing who to hire among great candidates, among many others.

For me, the answer should centre on knowing yourself. When I say knowing yourself, I mean mastering and understanding oneself. This is because, when you know yourself you can easily solve and navigate any challenge that comes your way. According to Socrates, “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”

During the course of this article, we shall be discussing how you can know yourself and your business. When I published my first book, Design Your Destiny- Actualizing Your Birthright to Success, one message that has resonated with a lot of people including schools, corporate organization and religious organizations is how the book gave them insight on how to discover their inner being. When you know yourself and your business, you will know what your purpose is; what you represent; your uniqueness; you will know how to make the right choice and how you to unleash your potentials. You’ll also know how to prioritize your time, and finally you will know how to network with the right people and associations.  Regrettably, many people don’t know themselves and what the companies or organizations they work for represent.

Even the book of life stated in Hosea 4:6: “My people perish for lack of knowledge”. This is a universal principle which when applied will generate so much opportunities, resources, in addition to making you an expert both for yourself and your business. Regrettably, many people don’t know themselves and their businesses, and this makes it difficult for them to truly succeed in life. We live in a complex world that is ever changing, and therefore, navigating life can sometimes be challenging. I will be sharing some guidelines on how we can know ourselves and businesses in order to truly succeed in life.

How to know yourself and business

  1. Identifying your strongest asset:  What’s your greatest strength? What are you truly good at when it comes to your personal and professional career? Are you great at bringing positive energy to a team? Are you good at influencing people?
  • Identifying your biggest weakness: This is one of the best ways to know a rational being. A rational person should be able to know his/her weakness and how to maximize them. Being able to master your weakness can set you apart because your can turn your failure to your strength if used judiciously.
  • Knowing how to learn from your mistakes: One of the rare quality of a great business and informed person is being able to admit you made a mistake. No one is perfect, even though we all try to attain perfection. One of the most admirable qualities is the work place is self honesty. When you can admit you made a mistake, you’re more likely to analyze and learn from it, as well as prevent said mistake from occurring in the future.
  • Being able to take constructive criticism: If you truly want to succeed in life both in your personal and professional life, you should be able to know that the people you work with simply want you to do your best, and as such when you are criticized objectively, look at the intent as opposed to the form. If it is justified, it is not a criticism, learn from it.
  •  Mediating: Regardless of how positive an office environment may be, there will always be conflicts. And some conflicts can be resolved without heading to HR. Being able to mediate a conflict in the office is a beneficial skill for maintaining office camaraderie, as well as showing younger employees that they can mediate as well. In order to achieve this skill, you must be able to listen to your inner still voice.
  • Be Yourself: You can do this by eliminating the impostor syndrome: The best thing you can do for yourself is be yourself because everyone else is taken. When you are yourself, you will attract the right kind of people, but when you fake your being, you stand the risk of attracting the wrong persons into your life. Life is too short to live some else life. One of the disservice you can do for yourself is to lie to yourself. You need confidence in order to believe in yourself.
  • Saying No:  If you truly want to succeed in life especially in your business, you must have the gut to say no. Saying no helps to attract what you want and makes your life much easier. Be advised, it is more much better to say no and the say yes later, than saying yes and then say no. You should be able to identify which tasks you need to do

We shall use this acronym (VITAL) to know how you can know yourself and your business.

  1.  Values: Value simple means what you attach so much importance to. To know about any rational being and corporate organization, look at their values. It will give you a better insight on what they cherish.
  • Interests: These include your passions, hobbies, and anything that draws your attention over a sustained period of time. To figure out your interests, ask yourself these questions: What do you pay attention to? What are you curious about? What concerns you?
  • Temperament: Your temperament sometimes defines how you handle situations and stress. It is said that life is 10% percent what happens to you and 90% how you react. To understand how your temperament works, ask yourself if you make decisions more on the basis of feelings or thoughts and facts. A good way to understand temperament is by figuring if you are an introvert or extrovert.
  • The “around-the-clock” This refers to when you like to do things. Everyone works differently. Are you a morning person or a night person? At what time of day does your energy peak?
  • Life Mission and Goals: What are your ultimate goals in life? To truly achieve this life mission and goals, you need strengths, skills, and talents, but also character strengths such as loyalty, respect for others, love of learning, and emotional intelligence.

Advantages of Knowing Yourself and Your Business

  1. Happiness: When you know your product and yourself, you’ll have this inner sense of fulfillment and happiness in addition to being relaxed. If you’ll agree with me, true happiness is internal as opposed to being external, though external factors can influence your happiness. There’s always a sense of fulfillment when you express who you are. True happiness and peace of mind occurs hen your outside actions are in accordance with your inside feelings and values, you will experience less inner conflict.
  • Better decision making: Great business leaders are known for their decisive way of making decisions. When you know your strength and weakness, you’ll be able to use your discerning mindset and understanding to decipher the right decisions. When you know yourself, you understand what motivates you to resist bad habits and develop good ones. You’ll also have the insight to know which values and goals your business or organization should be built upon.
  • Resistance to social pressure. When you truly know yourself, you’ll know what you need and want. You’ll also know what your business or organization needs. Big corporations know which Corporate Social Responsibility their company focusses and engages in.
  1. Tolerance and understanding of others. Knowing your business and yourself helps you to understand how to understand and relate with people. As mentioned above, human beings are the most difficult people to deal with both at workplace and the society at large.

In conclusion, knowing yourself and business is one of the best things that can happen to anyone. I charge you to go into soul searching today and try to listen to your inner still voice. By so doing, you’ll know how you are wired, and what kind of business you are likely to succeed in.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with 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.

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Food for Living: No Pain, No Gain

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

Suffer the pain of discipline, or suffer the pain of regret.

Nothing gladdens the heart more than success. With success, making an impact in the society and being a blessing to others become much easier. As a matter of fact, one gets a listening ear because every other person believes they have experience to share which can impact their lives.

The interesting thing about attaining success is that, in most cases, the work is done in secret. It’s just like a website designer who does most of the work at the back end via coding or use of templates, and when the work is completed, the website will go live. The impact of this analysis is that the website designer will experience pain fixing the website for people to have ease navigating it.

In the grand scheme of things, most people celebrate the glory, but they don’t take time to appreciate the associated pain that birthed the success. It’s instructive to note that every success has a painful story, and every painful positive undertaking, with value normally has a successful ending. Therefore, it’s important for one to accept the pain and get ready for success because there can never be success without a corresponding pain.

The sad reality of life however, is that many of us are not ready to undergo the pain of success.

Every successful person travels a painful journey. Suffering, in more than a literary sense, is an integral and essential part of any real pursuit of success. Nothing about success comes easy, but every perseverance attached story has the potential to have a successful ending. You may as well accept suffering as a traveling companion, rather than resist it, and create more struggle.

Did you know that a single book, song, skill, or movie can make a difference in life if properly done? If you understand this principle, you will know that success in life comes with associated pain.

Did you know that success has a psychological pattern? It is working hard in silence and allowing the positive outcome to make the noise. To understand this philosophy, imagine an author who published a trailblazer book; the process of writing the book might be tedious; he might have experienced numerous sleepless nights, reading and researching, but when the work is finally released and appreciated, most people won’t understand the amount of work that was put in at the back end.

To understand how the pain of success works, imagine how tired you feel when you reading, but notice that you never get bore when on social media gallivanting and having fun. Again, imagine a pregnant lady in labour, her pain will be over when she delivers.

Note that in the journey of success, one must surely experience pain, and there will be the urge to give up; one might even lose relationships, doubt themselves, their decision, their knowledge, and experience untold fears of failure.

There will be situations that foretell discouragement and encouragement juxtaposed, but never get deterred especially, if you feel and heard right on the project and vision.

In summary, just like the rewards of success can be great, so will the corresponding opportunity cost be, but in the end, it will be worth the effort. So, accept the pain, understand that it is the path to success, and keep moving forward with unwavering determination.

As you navigate the inevitable challenges and hardships, remember that your success story is being written one page at a time, and it will be more glorious because of the pain you’ve overcome.

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 Design Your  and Unleash Your Destiny .  He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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Food for Living: Go the Extra Mile

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

“One of the most important principles of success is developing the habit of going the extra mile” – Napoleon Hill

Going the extra mile is the habit of champions…it’s the key behavior that separates the professionals from the amateurs, and the champs form the chumps” – Gary Ryan Blair

The journey to greatness is not a joke. It’s not for the faint hearted because it takes a lot to be great. Whoever wishes to achieve success must dare to succeed. It’s either one dies trying to succeed or they don’t try at all, and still die. So, why not take the risk to succeed by going the extra mile.

Did you know that giving success a try is like wooing a lady. The worst one will get is a no, which is an indication to restrategise and start again, and apply the principle of going the extra mile. Going the extra mile is a strategic step in business, and a risk worth taking for the unfolding of maximum success.

If you ask a thousand and one persons, their desires in life, you will be surprised at the responses you will get. But if you ask them what they are willing to do to get to their desired destination, you will also be shocked to know that some of them, if not the majority of them, are not willing to go the extra mile. It’s sad to note that most people want to go to heaven, but they are not willing to die. How ironic can that be?

It’s sad to see promising people settling for less than they deserve. It’s pertinent to note that the top is scanty while the bottom is crowded. If you want to associate with the top 1%, you must distinguish yourself by going the extra mile.  Per Gary Ryan Blair, “Average is over. Mediocrity is a death sentence. You must embrace the fact that for you to remain competitive, relevant and of value…you have no choice but to go the extra mile and always exceed expectations.”

Most of the successful people we celebrate today dared to succeed by going the extra mile. They didn’t succeed because they were lucky, though luck contributed to some extent, but the greater part of their success can be attributed to the extra work they did because the more they explored opportunities, the luckier they got.

If you truly want to succeed in life, you must be intentional in going the extra mile. Nothing happens in life if there’s no action. Every action comes with a corresponding reaction. When you go the extra mile, most people will see and reward you generously in due time.

On a personal note, I have taken the extra steps in the pursuit of success. Writing a weekly article is not a joke. Being an author of two books and a co-author is quite tasking, being interviewed by New York Times, being on television several times, partnering with the United Nations Development Programme amongst others did not come easy. All these acts didn’t happen overnight; they happened because I went the extra mile, and my extra work attracted the opportunities.

So, if you are interested in succeeding, you must be intentional in going the extra mile.

It’s instructive to note that your success in life will come because of the corresponding effort you are willing to put into your work. This is called going the extra mile. It should be noted that, on this extra mile journey, there are usually no traffic jams. It is a lonely stretch, and takes so much effort.

According to Gary Ryan Blair “The distance between those who achieve their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following has everything to do with one’s ability to go the extra mile.”  So, for those, who work in a corporate environment, the fastest way to get the attention of your boss is to go the extra mile. When you go the extra mile, management will notice you, your boss will notice you.

Gary Blair further stated that “It’s simply not enough to just show up and do your work. Superior performance is not, never has been, nor will it ever be, the by-product of ordinary efforts.” He further stated that The masses are always foolishly on the lookout for a new gimmick, a shiny new performance hack, a shortcut…but the truth is, the quickest way to advance your career, earn trust, persuade people to buy from you and to be first in line for new opportunity is by developing the habit of going the extra mile.” — Gary Ryan Blair

Going the extra mile does not entail working extremely hard, but what it really means is doing just a little bit more strategically. So, if you are advised to work eight hours a day and you work ten hours, that’s extra mile; if you are supposed to resume work 9am and you resume 8am that’s extra mile; if you are supposed to leave 5pm and you leave 6 or 7pm, that’s extra time you can use to do some work. In all of these, your boss and management will notice you are investing in the company and in yourself and you might be surprised when you are rewarded with financial and managerial position.

Going the extra mile also means showing people you care. For instance, sometimes, people care less about your money, they need your presence and attention. In customer service, the extra mile means asking a customer if there’s any other thing you can help the person with. You can give your clients a little more to show appreciation. This helps to set you apart from them.  According to  Nelson Boswell, “Here is the simple but powerful rule… always give people more than they expect to get.” – Nelson Boswell

Going the extra mile in life and in your career, endeavor is not about fantasy. It takes love to go the extra mile for what you like. It’s on a few occasions some progressive minds engage in careers they don’t really like just to pay the bills. In some situations, when they get what they want, they tend to follow their passion. Gary Blair was right when he stated “Going the extra mile is about love; it’s a passionate obsession with excellence. It is the result of good intention, uncompromising standards, sincere effort, intelligent design, attention to detail and skillful execution.” — Gary Ryan Blair.

It is easy for one to say he’s passionate about a cause, but one might not be involved in any activity. It may surprise you to note that people see those that participate. The easiest way to show people you are interested or passionate about a cause is by showing your work.

Let me share a practical experience with you. In 2019, I was invited by Harvard University for an information session to study master’s in public administration program, from my understanding during the interview session, my trajectory path played a critical role in considering me for the admission because I have worked as a Case Manager, written articles, published a book, and had videos which portray my interest in leadership and human capacity development. Why is this important, despite studying taxation in New York Law School, I wasn’t passionate about the tax major.

Assuming I settled for a Taxation job, it will be hard for me to align my profession, vocation, and ministry. As a matter of fact, I turned down a good paying job by the New York City Department of Finance to work as a Tax Associate for a low paying Case Manager job which offered almost three times less pay compared to the New York City Department of Finance.

In retrospect, do I regret my decision, no, as a matter fact the Case Manager job has continued to serve as a litmus test to my passion for humanity. So, I’m going to ask you a question by Gary Blair, “What is the one thing you can do to persuade people that you are the one for the job, the one thing you can do to earn someone’s vote, the one thing you can do to persuade people to open the doors of opportunity? The answer is as simple as it is profound. Develop a reputation for going the extra mile.”  The moral here is that whenever you go the extra mile, there’s this feeling one normally gets knowing fully, they have done their part for posterity to judge.

I will conclude with a quote from Gary Ryan Blair to assist you in going the extra mile“To win big in life, the solution is simple. Go overboard…do everything you can to overwhelm, over-deliver and overcompensate, and you will overcome any obstacle that stands between you and the goal you desire.

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 Design Your  and Unleash Your Destiny .  He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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Food for Living: Succeeding with Grace and Favour

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

Everyone needs a support system as they journey through life. This support system can come from any source; family member, friend, associate, colleague, mentor, mentee, boss, spiritual leader, or even a stranger. Without a strong support system, the journey to life will be an arduous task.

It’s imperative to note that we live in a wicked world where not everyone wants to see you succeed. They fail to understand they are not the creator who destined everyone to succeed at different times and seasons. These set of people have the Pull Him Down (PhD.) mentality, and don’t want to see the success of their perceived enemy.

Success is not limited to any shape, size and colour, it only produces results, and that’s what people care about.

It’s worthy to note that nobody achieves genuine success without favour and grace. Favor is like a perfume, which when sprinkled on someone, the aroma will attract people to them.

Overtime, I have come to the sublime realization that when you shower people with favour and love, it has a way of coming back to you in ways and manners one may not understand. However, some uninformed people think that when they have money, they are blessed and favored.

I agree that money is necessary for success, but there are certain levels of blessings that money cannot buy, and this form of blessings come with favour and grace, especially when one is not qualified to have it. Just to give you an example; there are people money cannot buy, and so, one’s prayer should be they agree to work with you because they are literally priceless.

In life, we all need the blessings of our parents, mentors, boss, and authentic spiritual leaders to speak into our life. This is because no matter how hard you work in life, there’s a limit you can go, especially when you don’t have a favor following you. You can have favor, but favor comes in different ways. For instance, if you are destined to be an Accountant, and you decide to study Law or Business Administration just because you feel they are lucrative courses or you just like the name, you might “succeed” but may not get the true fulfilment.

To understand how this works, at creation, everyone has an assigned angel following them. This angle is designed to help you succeed in your place of assignment.

Did you know there are people who have been positioned to assist you in your place of assignment?

So, imagine if you decide to study Law while your destiny helper is an Accountant, you might be frustrated having a boss, who is an accountant or even a colleague who is making life unbearable for you despite having money. This ordinarily might not happen if you have studied Accounting. In fact you’ll thrive with relative ease in the profession and might be offered more lucrative offers just simply because the universe is working in your favour.

To understand how the grace of success works, when you have it in your journey, you will attract favour from men, you won’t have to work as hard as your counterparts, your product will receive recognition even though it might not be the best. In the journey of life, most of us struggle too much and get little or no result, while some of us work less and get more results. One may be wondering why. Well, the answer is not far-fetched. I call it the spirituality of success because the universe has a way of connecting people when they are working according to its purpose.

Let me share a practical experience: In 2019, I met a great mind, Sulyman Sodeeq A’akeem who reached out to me on X According to him, he has been following me on the app. He requested me to be his mentor, an offer I gladly accepted, especially when he showed me a series of quotes he got from reading my articles.

When we began to relate closely, he shared touching information based on his trajectory in life. We didn’t spend more than six months relating closely, I made him the Chief Operating Officer of my company when I saw enormous and ingenious talent in him. For a lack of better word, he is extremely resourceful. He’s simply awesome! I call him an ideal hand for every progressive mind interested on resourcefulness.

Fast forward to four years, many people have a disdainful attitude towards him and look up to him for succor. The moral of this post is that not only did I bless him, but I also became the greatest recipient of his knowledge, wisdom, loyalty, profound articulation and understanding and most especially, honesty and steadfastness. The interesting part of our friendship and brotherhood is the grace that has found both of us. It’s instructive to note that, I’m not the richest nor the best to work with, neither is he the best of the most resourceful, but we tend to have bonded and mutually benefited from each other because we greatly share similar interests and values. I call it grace and favour.

When you have the grace of success following you, you will attract favour like a magnet. Whether you are in business, academic, pastoral ministry, or marriage, you will receive mercy wherever you step.

You might be the least in a company, you may not even look or have all the qualifications or experience, but when favour locates you, the rules will not only be broken for you, you will see people agreeing to work together just to make sure you succeed.

Did you know that when favour is at work, people will buy your books and share it among their friends and network as an author; your business will be referred to people of interest, people will unusually trust and like you. When people google your kind of business, despite seeing other people doing what you are doing, they will be attracted to settle for you for reasons they can’t understand or explain. When you have favour and grace following you, it will be easier for your talent to be unleashed.

While most people work hard, strategic, and smart people understand the role luck has to play in order to actualize their vision.

According to a renowned Economist and philanthropist, Tony Elumelu, luck played a big role in making him who he is today. While he acknowledged the role of hard work, he knows truly well, there’s a limitation to hard work because luck can trump hard work.

Did you know that if you can do everything in life without anyone assisting you, you are not favored. You should be able to get to a stage in life where people will naturally assist you in doing somethings for free. For example, if you are a success, you don’t need to pay for all the services you get.

In conclusion, as your journey through life, be intentional in seeking favour because it will save you numerous stress.

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 Design Your  and Unleash Your Destiny .  He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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