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Food for Living: Success and the All-Important First Step

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step” – Martin Luther King Jnr.

The journey of a thousand miles, it has variously been said, begins with a step; the all important first step. Therefore, when the first step is taken, and the journey through life begins, we will encounter many roads and paths, some we wished we never passed, some we wished we passed, and some we experience with mixed feelings with special emphasis to matters like marriage. The moral here is that the challenges and experiences of life offer us many options. But one thing is certain, we took a step from the beginning, whether it turned out negative or positive is another issue.

For every step taken, there are no basis for regrets knowing that one was not blind or “fooled” into taking them. We are technically and subconsciously aware of the first step, which invariably affects the outcome of our life.

The importance of the first step cannot be overemphasized, however. The first step affects every area of life. This is because there’s nothing one does on earth that does not involve a first step.

The first step, for all intent and purpose, creates awareness. According to Nathaniel Branden, “the first step toward change is awareness”. When you discover there’s a lacuna which needs to be filled, the onus will be on you to fix it. The second step is acceptance. It is however, very unfortunate, that many people don’t accept the realities of life.

The late famous American author, Zig Ziglar, made us understand that the “first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist”. When you have a problem, for example, a medical or emotional problem, Dean Ornish made us understand that “awareness is the first step in healing”.

If you have the desire of becoming a professor, you must first begin by taking the entrance examination as a pupil/student and then walk through the ranks. As a man, if you see a lady you would like to marry, the first step will be to get her attention and that entails speaking to and with her. If you have a desire to be a President, Governor, Chief Executive Officer, Captain of industry among others, you must begin by doing the needful. A once popular Nigerian television sitcom, Basi and Company, always reminds viewers through its main character, Basi, that ‘to be a millionaire, think like a millionaire’.

Most people, unfortunately, put the cart before the horse, and fail to stock in deciding if they have the expertise, knowledge, and technical know-how to successfully execute a particular project.

There’s no major success which did not begin with the first step. Notwithstanding, the first step comes with its own risks and opportunities. It can either go well or otherwise, depending on how it’s executed.

It’s instructive to note that no reasonable man will begin a journey he has not weighed the options. The first step in life can be said to be the most important step in every adventure. It takes courage to take the first step. According to Martin Luther King Jnr, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

On a personal note, I have taken many first steps which changed my perspective and understanding of life, both in business, academic, marriage, social, personal, professional, and spiritual life. I can remember that one of my first major first steps in life was when I applied to be the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Lawyers Association while I was a student in New York Law school.

In all sincerity and honesty, I wasn’t prepared for the job’s responsibilities because the culture was quite different from what I was exposed to in Nigeria. I also had difficulty in writing well, and that strained my relationship with my President and Vice President.

Despite taking the risk of contesting for the position, that was one of the best things that happened to me, because it exposed and connected me to lots of opportunities and resourceful people, who have continually served as strong allies.

If you have a vision or dream, the best thing that can happen to you is to take the first step. You may not have everything or see everything, but if you feel it’s right,  and believe in it, trust me, it will work out good. All you need is the belief factor. The universe, without an iota of doubt, always conspire to help every progressive mind working on purpose. It’s one thing to have a dream and it’s another to implement it with the right actions.

Sometimes however, even when we have a belief system, and faith in ourselves and our project, we can still experience setbacks, betrayal, and challenges. Sometimes, we are tempted to, and even question our creator, mentor, parent, teacher and friend for leaving us on the road when the odds don’t add up.

Whenever you experience such a feeling, please be strong and don’t give up. It’s part of the process leading you to the right place.

Actions are the engine that drives your productivity. Without actions nothing happens, or worse, things that you have no control over will happen taking you to no place. According to Maurer, Director of Behavioral Sciences at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center in Santa Monica, the challenge of taking the first step has to do with fear.

Before you take the first step, trust your intuition, trust your creator, believe in yourself, believe in your project and most importantly, be courageous.

In conclusion, What’s that project you have in mind, take the first step, and watch your intended positive change come to life. Remember, according to Chauncey Depew. The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.

Whatever be the case, one can never be successful in an chosen endeavor if the all-important first step is not taken.

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

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Food for Living: Sow That Seed

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By Henry Ukazu

Greetings Destiny Friends,

The death of a seed is the burial of a forest – Dr. Myles Munroe

The journey of a thousand miles, they say, begins with a single step, in the right direction. Imagine driving a car with Global Positioning System (G.P.S) and you miss an exit. What do you think will happen? The GPS will automatically reroute you to another direction.

Imagine solving a mathematical problem and you have the wrong formula, you are likely to have the wrong answer. Imagine having a legal case and you have the wrong legal principle or issue; you are more than likely to lose the case.

The significance of this narrative is to show you the importance of having the right foundation in whatever endeavor you want to engage in. When you miss the first step, sometimes you don’t have a second chance. The same principle applies to plants, you can’t sow a seed and reap a stone. When you sow the right seed for an orange, you are bound to get an orange. Life simply gives you what you give it to it.

If you are desirous of making an impact in society, you must sow the seed of success, love, favor, discipline, courage, knowledge, etc.

Do you know a seed can mean investment. When we talk of a seed, it means several things to different people. A seed in the hand of a farmer means something different, a seed in the hand of an investor means something else, a seed in the hands of a believer who wants to give it to a pastor means something else, a seed for a volunteer means something else.

Sowing a good seed is one of the best things that can happen to anyone, especially if it’s a good seed that is sowed in fertile ground. Anything you want to do in life, you must endeavor to sow a seed. The sad reality about life is that most people are not willing to sow the seed of success. For instance, if you want to be a receiver you must be a giver, if you want to lead, you must learn to serve, if you want to be a great communicator, you must learn to listen well. If you want to be loved, you must appreciate people.

Most of the success that has been recorded in life came because of the seeds sowed. Martin Luther King Jnr sowed a seed of love and detest injustice. Success managers, employers, mentors etc. are reaping the fruits they sowed when they were employees.  For instance, as an entrepreneur, you must learn the ropes of the business from a mentor, as a student, you must learn the art of internship and volunteering, as a child, you must sow the seed of respect and love to your parents to reap benefits of love and respect at our old age. It’s instructive to note that You see the financial seed you sow today may leave your hand, but it will never leave your life.

On a personal note, when I was in College, I once asked my late dad for money, and he told me if he gives me money, I will use it for school politics. I wasn’t comfortable with the response because that’s not the reality. I remember telling him, if I want to take extra money from him to run a personal business, I will do it and he will bless me not knowing, it’s side money. I told him, if I save him one naira, my children will save me two naira even if I am the richest man on earth, but if I take extra money from him, my children will take extra money from me even if I am as poor as a church rat.

The moral of this analysis is that you sow what you reap. If you take care of your parents, your children will take care of you. If you support your parents, your children will support you.

The question you need to ask yourself is what seed are you sowing for your future? Each and everyone of us have the seeds of greatness in us, but sometimes, we don’t activate the greatness. To understand how resourceful a seed is, when a seed is properly nurtured, it will yield the desired fruit. Do you know a seed that is properly nurtured can metamorphose into a tree, and the tree can metamorphose into a plantation. That’s how powerful a seed can be if properly sowed and nurtured.

If you have a desire to write a book, start a business, go to school, lead, etc., you must sow the seed today, and this seed can take several ways. It can take the form of sacrifice, patience, finance, etc. depending on the seed you want to sow.  It’s instructive to note that the seed you sow today may leave your hand, but it will never leave your life.  As a piece of advice, don’t delay in planting that seed, because the reward can come in years to come when you won’t even remember when you sowed it.

As moral advice, if you have a business, church, school, hospital, organization, family, etc., you must endeavor to seed the seed that will make the desired impact you want to see. That seed can serve as the cause or vision you want to represent to the world. Question: what seed are you willing to sow and what seed would you want to reap?

In conclusion, always remember, if you keep your seed, that is the most it will be, but if you will sow your seed, that is the least it will be. So, sow that seed today.

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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Gambaryan Likely to Jump Bail, Court Says, Denies Binance Executive Bail

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Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court Abuja, on Friday, refused to grant bail to an executive of Binance Holdings Limited, Tigran Gambaryan.

Justice Nwite held that Gambaryan is likely to jump bail if granted to him.

The company and its executive were arraigned on a five-count charge bordering on money laundering before Emeka Nwite, judge of a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Moving an application, Counsel to the Defendant, Mark Mordi, argued that the court had the power to grant bail to the defendant and impose conditions to ensure his presence in court.

The prosecution counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, however opposed the bail application, stating that the defendant is a flight risk.

He stated that the defendant attempted to obtain a new passport, which he claimed was stolen, and this is a suspicious act given the proximity to his colleague’s escape from custody.

He added that the court cannot risk granting Gambaryan bail, especially as he is not attached to any community in Nigeria.

“The fact that the passport of the defendant is with the complainant does not guarantee that he will remain in Nigeria because the defendant is not only an American citizen but also an Armenian citizen by birth.

He urged the court to refuse the application and instead remand him in EFCC custody to ensure his safety and prevent potential flight risk.

Delivering ruling, the judge said several factors including the nature of offence and its severity must be considered when trying to decide whether or not bail should be granted to the defendant applicant.

Justice Nwite agreed with the depositions made by prosecution and was of the view that the applicant will jump bail if bail is granted to him.

He subsequently ordered that the trial be given an accelerated hearing.

After the ruling, the EFCC called its first witness, a staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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Notorious Terrorist, Adamu, 46 Others Surrender to MNJTF

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A total of 47 persons, suspected to be associated with Boko Haram and the Islamic States of West Africa Province (ISWAP), have surrendered to troops of 403 Amphibious Brigade of MNJTF Sector 3, Nigeria.

The suspects, according to a statement signed by the Chief, Military Public Relations, Lt. Col. Abubakar Abdullahi, includes 7 men, 9 women, and 31 children, who turned themselves in at Kwatan Turare and Doron Baga, Kukawa LGA Borno State Nigeria.

During the initial investigation, it was revealed that these individuals managed to escape from Sharama, located in the Lake Chad Islands. Among those who surrendered was Mallam Muazu Adamu, a known fighter within the Jama’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihad (JAS) faction, who operated under Commander Alai Gana. He surrendered alongside his wife.

Other members of the group disclosed that they had been engaged in farming activities before deciding to make their escape. The items found in their possession include clothes, blankets, mats, pots, plates, and various other personal belongings.

The surrendered individuals are currently in custody and undergoing further investigation to ascertain more details regarding their activities and affiliations. The MNJTF remains committed to maintaining peace and security in Lake Chad basin region.

This development marks a step in the ongoing efforts to weaken the operational capabilities of terrorist groups in the region. The MNJTF continues to encourage those still involved in terrorist activities to surrender and embrace peace.

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