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Food for Living: Never Lose Hope

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

Globally, the world is at a loss as to what the future holds for businesses, relationships, governance and life in generally. One of the questions that is on the lips of everyone is, will life ever return to normal again? in fact, so many questions begging for answers. Even as government officials, doctors, scientists and lab technicians are working tooth and nail to find the cure for Coronavirus, the world remains at standstill not knowing what the new order, with respect to business and life, will be. It is therefore, with great joy I bring you the good news of a better tomorrow – hope. Hope is everything we need to change our mindset. Without hope, it will be difficult to behold the foreseeable future.

As Christians, we were taught to have hope because Christ was raised from the dead, otherwise our preaching and believing in Christ will be in vain. As motivational and inspiration life coach teachers, we teach business leaders, government officials, technocrats, academicians and students to plan for a better tomorrow by securing knowledge and skill. It is because of the hope that great minds were able to live their dreams.

We all go through one life situation or another which makes us lose our passions, reduces our attitude and make us react differently. It is possible that you are contending with a particular situation now, I got information for you; don’t get defeated, stay afloat because what you think is the valley of dissatisfaction and disappointment can still turn out to be a blessing and breakthrough.

Patience is the harbinger of hope, and one must have loads of it. When you face though time , don’t lose hope; face the fear and rise. Always see every tough time as the opportunity to break through and break even. Be rest assured that you have the capacity to think out of the box.

There’s always a blessing in every valley. The experience of today will definitely make meaning to you in another 10 years time or less. You need to learn the experience in order to move to the next stage of life. Don’t complain about your problem. Trouble is inevitable, but misery is optional. Don’t be limited in you thought process. Be proactive and positive towards life.

Hope has no limit if you truly believe in your dreams and passion. Hope fuels passion in life. Some people feel they are too old to go to school, start a business, or get married; that’s a huge fallacy. It only becomes true when you believe in them. Let me share some insightful examples of five great individuals who chose not to give up. They chose to keep pushing forward despite imminent hardships and failures, and ultimately found great success in their lives:

1. Henry Ford – He had five major business failures before founding Ford Motor Company.

2. Lucille Ball – Early in her career, she was considered a failure as an actress, unable to land anything but B movie roles. She went on to win four Emmys and a lifetime achievement award.

3. Soichiro Honda – After being turned down for a job with Toyota, he decided to make scooters from his own home until his neighbors talked him into starting his own company, Honda.

4. Bill Gates – He dropped out of Harvard and started a business called Traf-O-Data which failed. Instead of giving up, he decided to start a little company called Microsoft .

5. Walt Disney – He was fired from his job with a newspaper company. He was told he lacked imagination and didn’t have any good ideas. He went on to create Disney’s empire.

These five people learnt a valuable lesson, and that is, “You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.” I truly believe we can accomplish just about anything if we are willing to do what it takes to work for it and if we stay determined in our resolve. And when hard times come, as they most assuredly will, we must never allow ourselves to lose hope, knowing that the best is yet to come.

According to Martin Luther king Jr. “We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.”

When you have hope, you are not concerned about the wave and wind that is blowing outside. When you have internal hope, you’ll be less distracted about the noise outside. Hope is what keeps our dream alive. When you have hope, though you may feel the pain of the moment, you’ll not really be concerned about the brief pain because of the greater tomorrow. According to an African proverb, a hunger that has hope won’t kill someone. As a student going to school you have a hope for a better future if you do the needful. As a parent, you have hope that if you train your children very well they will take care of you in your old age.  As a businessman/woman, you have hope in spite of the lockdown and ups and down of life; your business will rise again for a greater success. The list is endless.

Hope is one of the greatest virtues any productive mind must have in order to succeed. This is because no matter how life treats you, tomorrow always look good and promising. I don’t really know what you are experiencing at the moment. Are you looking for financial stability, are you looking/hoping for the right partner? Are you looking for a job? Are you currently going through a situation? I don’t know what your situation is at the moment, but I will strongly advise you to be patient while learning all the experiences inherent. In the journey of life, even if you lose all options, never lose hope.

History is replete of stories about people who came into hard times, lost hope, and gave up. We rarely come to learn what would have happened with these individuals if they had not given up. We are left to wonder what great successes these people might have achieved if they had chosen to hold on to hope. And how they might have gone on to shape our world for the better?

The truth is life can be unfair, think of life as a white piece of paper that’s divided into individual portions for each chapter of our lives, that these portions are just waiting for us to colour them with our adventures, our journeys and our experiences, both the good and the bad. The different colours represent the various happenings, our feelings and the emotions we experience. So, go out and live your life, dance through the storms, embrace whatever happens and lies ahead.

How to Avoid Losing Hope

1.      Be Grateful For What You Still Have

It doesn’t matter how you choose to be grateful. You can write out ten things right now you’re grateful for. You can sing to the heavens all the beautiful aspects of your life. You can take a big, giant breath, hold it for ten seconds, give it a powerful exhale and yell, “I’m grateful for this breath of life life because a lot of people are gasping for breath via ventilators”. There’s always something to be grateful about you if you’re honest with yourself.  I’m specially gratueful to God for the ability to write and speak creatively.

Before I published my book, I was afraid how will the world receive it. Will it make sense? Is what I’m writing worthwhile, or is it hogwash? The list of insecure questions goes on and on. The point I’m wanting to make is: Keep your head up, believe in yourself, and take life head on.

2.      Embrace Tough Times and Explore Options to Recreate

During tough times you can’t give up, ever. Even during the toughest times you must keep your hopes alive by pushing through. Work on what needs to get done, try and build some momentum, and then build on it further. Moral: Hold on pain endures

That last thing you should be doing is quitting, which I slightly hesitate to say because there are some very good reasons to quit sometimes. If you’re passionate about what you want to do, then don’t quit.

3.      Know Your Why

Because, when we set goals or we have some hope or dream that we’re driving towards, we have to ensure that we addressed the three W’s of Goal setting. What, Why, and When. If we didn’t have a strong enough reason why we wanted to achieve something, then we might have subconsciously given up on that goal long before we consciously realized it.

4.       Be Honest with Yourself

When you can change your approach along the way, you can move towards your goals much quicker because you won’t find yourself surprised suddenly if things don’t end up working out. Always be honest in all situations. it will breed a much happier and healthier path towards your goals.

5.      Get Support from Your Base

Sometimes, the best way to take stock of the positives that we can gain from a situation that might seem bleak, is through the support of others. Whether it’s friends, family members, religious denominations, or support groups, other people can help us to look at things in perspective and offer us a guiding light towards the shores of hope.

6.      Have Faith

No matter what you believe in: God, Allah, Buda, or the Singular. No situation, no matter how dire or bleak, can defeat you if you don’t let it. We are all a product of the lens of focus from our mind’s eyes.

In conclusion, remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and countless people have failed more times than they’ve succeeded. So don’t loose hope. And finally, remember, if you loose all options, don’t loose hope.

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 henrous@gmail.com

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Opinion: The Parable of the ‘Bees’

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By Tolulope A. Adegoke

“Our experiences in life are most times like the stingers of the Bees…we scream when stung by it, yet can’t resist the sweetness of its honey. We even groan and often complain of the pain, forgetting the sweetness, healing, and blessings that come thereafter. Be vigilantly wise! The terrible pain will soon lead to sweet gain! Stop pitying yourself, rather start gently till you get to find your health and values restored, then get to your promised land and become greater. Simply understand that life is just like the Bees. In them, lies both the pain and gain…what you can see is what you will get, your perception of it determines what you will get.”Tolulope A. Adegoke

The flow of love saturates the flower by the presence of the Bees,

It kisses the flowers so tenderly and lovingly in ways that purify the flowers with its so-called bee-venoms of healing, fragrance and sweetness which has no adverse effect on the flower and owners of the flowers.

The Bee stings, yet it is praised for doing so if modestly executed due to the healing impacts it has on whatsoever and whosoever it stings.

The Bees! What a rare type of insect fly. Even, its anger could be a blessing unto its enemies, let alone friends.

This special insect is often harvested by some people who extract its so-called venom, while some individuals even submit themselves to the power of the Bees to be stung intentionally. To them, it’s a blessing, it is a cure, it is sweetness and pain, fragrance and naturally supernatural!

Either deliberately or not, angrily or happily, the Bee stings, yet it comes with a gift of cure and supernatural blessings beyond the knowledge of science.

Why not be like the Bees? Why not emulate its patterns of flow of healing nature…no matter what comes the ways of the Bees, they still pass healings, cure and blessings? Everything about them is the productivity of naturalness and blessings which are its original essence of wonderful creation, even as an effective pollinating agent…

The pains of the stings at first may be much, but why not consider its cure, healings and blessings…the pain is just for a while, it is the blessings that matters!

Put your mind off the pains of the moment and focus your heart and strengths on the blessings that come with those pains…

Focus on where and what you would get in return at the end and not what you are going through!

Focus on the crown, not the cross! I must confess, it will end in praise.

Sweetness leads to praise…the pain must come first if it is really true healing and sweetness that will last forever…

Our experiences in life are most times like the stingers of the Bees…we scream when stung by it, yet can’t resist the sweetness of its honey. We even groan and complain of the pain, forgetting the sweetness, healing and blessings that comes thereafter. Be vigilantly wise! The terrible pain will soon lead to sweet gain! Stop pitying yourself, rather pick yourself up by the strength of your faith, start gently till you get to find your health and values restored, then get to your promised land and become greater. Simply understand that life is just like the Bees. In them, lies both the pain and gain…what you can see is what you will get; your perception of it determines what you will get: if your focus is on the pain only, you will hate the Bees, forgetting that in the same Bees, there lies peace for your health and vitality.

Thank you for reading.

Watch out for the Book titled: “The Power of an Empowered Zero” (Awakening the Giant Within You!) byTolulope 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.

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Food for Living: Don’t Settle for Less

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

Talk, they say, is cheap. I doubt if there is any human on earth who doesn’t have ambition. The issue is what are you doing to change the status quo? Do you have any strategy? Are you limited by your environment, academics, finance, health challenge, or spiritual cause? There can be many sides to what the cause might be. The cause might not be listed here, whatever is the case, you don’t have to limit yourself. This is because the world does not celebrate failure, but success.

In our contemporary society, we are defined by what we do, what we overcome, and what we settle for. One of the major problems facing humanity is accepting the limiting belief that they cannot reach a height in life. These words are not only said by friends, teachers and supervisors, parents are also included. These words have a way of living in the memory of the child/adult and if proper care is not taken, it will forever remain in their subconscious mind. The saddest part of these harmful words is that they have the spiritual effect of limiting progress no matter how hard one try in life unless they don’t deserve the curse or harsh words, especially if they are said by parents.

However, it’s important to note that the greatest disservice one can do to oneself is to believe in those limiting words by superior people. If you renounce those words and work hard towards overcoming those limitations, posterity will be kind to you. If we ae honest to ourselves, we all may have faced one form of criticism growing up. I experienced one when I was the Public Relations Officer for the Nigerian Lawyers Association, my president and vice president weren’t comfortable with my style of writing. The honest truth was that my grammar was horrible, and to make matters worse I was the Public Relations Officer for the association, and as such, I can imagine the trauma they face on a daily basis because of my writing skills, but the truth of the matter was that they way they handled the issue was unbecoming of a leader to a mentor. I was literally torn apart when the President once told me I will go back to Nigeria after my program at New York Law School because according to her, I can’t compete with the system in the USA. I felt humiliated but smiled in my heart. I also remembered when the Vice President told “I have to hard on you” just because she was editing my work.

Fast forward to a couple of years later, I an author of a trailblazer book. Design Your Destiny, while working on another book. By the special grace of God, I am the founder and President of Gloemi.  I am also a creative and prolific writer, I have been profiled New12  and interviewed by  New York Times and News12. By the special grace of God, I have also been on great platforms in addition to meeting great resourceful minds which have humbled and honored my life. Looking back, one might think it is impossible, but the truth of the matter is that with God all things are possible. It’s pertinent to mention that no one is in charge or responsible for your success. You are literally responsible for it. So don’t allow anyone’s perception to define or limit your capacity. Your mess can be turned into a message., your limitations and failures can be a set up for success.

Why am narrating this experience? I have to be vulnerable in order to share. I don’t know the situation you may be experiencing now, it could be an academic challenge, marriage/relationship, health, finance, business, personal or even spiritual, if you can hold on a little bit more and learn the lessons in the pain/challenge, you will come out stronger in addition to having a story to tell. If you feel stressed, you can reach out to me and we can have a decent conversation.

According to Mary Kay Ash, “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” Mary Kay Ash, entrepreneur and founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics

We all go through life challenges, but how we cope, manage and handle those situations will go a long way to make an impact in our life. To progress in life, you must do any productive work that makes you happy.  Anything that excites and energizes you is your passion. If you follow it, as long as it is not negative, it always leads to success. The biggest mistake most people make is to turn their passion into a hobby instead of a business or vocation. Don’t limit yourself to what others are doing. Be unique because you have a voice and the world is itching to hear your message.

To advance in life, you need good friends and books. Cultivate the habit of being intentional in all you do because the only thank you have for your detractors is to be successful. So, I ask you what are you doing with the time and the network you have with you? There are a lot of opportunities for everyone. The market is not saturated, forget the hype, just find your niche and see how the world will resonate with you.

How can you overcome your limit

1.      Improve your skills: You can never reach “success” because success is a journey and never a destination. Strive to learn something new daily. Believe in yourself and in your abilities while working in your weakness. As you continually do this, you’ll gain knowledge and experience in new areas.

2.      Get work done: Limiting yourself also ruins your productivity. But once you let go of that, you’ll get more work done and will be more focused. It should be noted hard work doesn’t kill but it’s the lack of work and laziness that can facilitate hunger that can kill you.

3.      You’ll enjoy life more: Life is meant to be enjoyed. All work and no play they make jack a dull boy. When you achieve success in life due to your productivity and you look back and see how far you have come in addition to overcoming challenges, trust me, you’ll proud of yourself.

4.      You’ll generate ideas: Once you’re confident and free from limitations and mental barriers, you’ll also get your creative juices flowing. You’ll start coming up with new ideas, will handle daily problems more easily, and will start working on new projects all the time.

5.   You’ll take action: Another great benefit of not limiting yourself is that you’ll become action-oriented. Most people have too many doubts and insecurities, fear of failure and distractions get in the way too. But once you have peace of mind and the right amount of confidence, you’ll also take initiative, act upon your goals and turn ideas into reality.

6.     You’ll become a role model: One of the best ways to inspire others is to do something great with your life. And if you’re purpose-oriented, know what you want, and are going after it, don’t waste time but work hard on what you believe in, and have fun at the same time, and are grateful, then you’ll be a great role model.

7.     People will look up to you:  You’ll motivate them to do the same without saying anything or making them do so, but simply by following your path and letting them see your progress. So that’s how the life of someone who’s not limiting himself looks like. And you can have the same very soon if you simply decide that you want more out of life and are ready to fight for it.

As I conclude, I will share these inspiring quotes with you. The only limits you have are the ones you believe – Dwyer Wayne

“You begin to fly when you let go of self-limiting beliefs and allow your mind and aspirations to rise to greater heights.” Brain Tracy“

Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” Jamie Paolineti

You need to ignore what everyone else is doing and achieving. Your life is about breaking your own limits and outgrowing yourself to live YOUR best life. You are not in competition with anyone else; plan to outdo your past, not other people.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He’s a mindset coach and public speaker. 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 info@gloemi.com 

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Nigeria: A Nation that Exists Only on Paper?

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By Joel Popoola

I am almost as old as Nigeria itself, and in all my time on Earth, I have never known our nation to face so many challenges.

Corruption. COVID-19. Kidnapping. Economic collapse. Climate Change. Civil insurrection from secessionists. Civil unrest in rural towns.

Last month alone, almost 600 civilians were killed across our nation – with at least 400 abducted by armed groups.

As I write this, senior lawmakers are urging President Buhari to declare a state of emergency, with one senator stating “our nation is on fire”.

This is why Yemi Osinbajo’s plea for unity this week is so important.

The Vice President has said: “If the political elite does not speak up, if we don’t see anything wrong in what is going on, if we allow it to continue to slide, we will endanger ourselves and endanger the future of our country.

“I know that every conflict is a result of elite failure, the elite failure to speak up and tell the truth to their communities, that’s the cause of every one of these civil conflicts. So, I would urge that we speak up. I would urge that we stand for something. Sometimes it’s dangerous to stand for something. But the greater danger of course, is to keep quiet.”

But who is this political elite speaking up to? How are they speaking to them? And how do we ensure that those who are not part of this elite have the opportunity to talk back? How are ordinary Nigerians supposed to get involved in this conversation?

The answer is digital.

Yemi Osinbajo is one of the leaders who best understands how Nigeria’s future must be driven by digital.

Just this week the Vice President announced a new partnership with global tech giant Microsoft which will digitally upskill 5 million Nigerians – designed to boost their employability and entrepreneurship – and improve internet connectivity and cloud access across our nation.

The Vice President has also this week spoken of the importance of the start-up ecosystem as a “catalyst for future economic activities that will bridge the divide between rich and developing countries” and Nigeria’s wider economic development.

At a time when it feels like the only expanding economic sector in Nigeria is industrial scale kidnapping, the promise of a digital and digitised economy becomes more and more critical to our national future – not least as economic inequality is one of the principle driving forces behind so many of our security issues.

But this goes deeper than economic development. Our democracy must digitise too.

As the digital democracy campaign I lead, we are working to build digital bridges between voters and elected politicians – developing personal relationships between local leaders and the communities they serve in the name of collaboration, co-operation and unity.
We have developed a free smartphone app called Rate Your Leader which connects verified political figures with verified voters in the divisions they serve.
The app gives local people the access only previous allowed by lobbyists and party donors, which giving politicians a real-time insight into what matters most to the people who elect them – allowing them to take action, make changes and win the respect, trust and affection of the people their serve.

Once these relationships are established it becomes a lot easier for Nigerians to come together in the national interest. These relationships don’t exist in isolation and aren’t limited to the digital space, the more of us who join hands across political philosophies, ethnicities and even geographies and agree that as Nigerians we will always have more in common than what separates us, the quicker we can move forward as a nation.
As one observer has written, the people of Nigerian too often “lack a shared sense of what it means to be “Nigerian” leaving our country “a state that only exists on paper, sustained by the recognition of the international community”.

But as many of our artists and creatives – not to mention our social movements – can tell you, communities can be created almost instantaneously online.

Digital democracy, using platforms like Rate Your Leader, makes this possible.
Nigerians are more likely to own a smartphone than voter’s card. Politicians must recognise that and utilise the power and potential of the online communication to build the connections that are so badly needed to hold our nation together. If not now, then when?

Joel Popoola is a Nigerian tech entrepreneur, digital democracy campaigner, political commentator and creator of the Rate Your Leader smartphone app. He can be reached via @JOPopoola

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