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Food for Living: The Rules of Success

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

Everything in life has rules and processes. There is every tendency that one may hit the rocks if for any reason he fails to adhere to the set rules and processes. It is only on rare occasions that the luck or “grace factor” can come to one’s rescue. In legal matters, one must understand the laws, rules and exceptions to win a case. In mathematics, one must know the formula while in medicine, diagnosis is a prerequisite to ascertain the cause of any illness.

The focus of this article is on the necessity of soft skills in achieving success. Note that rules bordering on success are not exhaustive; they are more like basic and insightful ideas one can explore if one is determined to succeed.

Just like there are many ways to kill a rat, there are also many ways to succeed. However, one thing is certain, one must follow and adopt relevant principles. Principles are universal, and once rightly applied, one is bound to reap the benefits. I will be sharing some of the principles a diligent, progressive and success-prone mind can adopt.

While reading, working hard and smart on your business are important, it is imperative to note that learning a skill, developing your talent and gifts are equally important success magnets a rational mind must adopt. Some of these success principles which I call success magnets are built into soft skills among which are building capacity, having a good reputation, being diligent, consistency, networking, personal relationship, good attitude, good communication, problem solving skills, creativity and empathy.

You may be wondering how one applies these soft skills? Let’s start from the area of building capacity. In any area you would like to get prominence, you must endeavor to learn as much as possible to gain credibility. When you have developed capacity, it will be easy to apply soft skills.  It is sad to note that sometimes, some people put the cart before the horse, and think the universe will favour them. No, you must understand the process. No serious mind will give you an opportunity when you are yet to develop capacity. When you develop capacity, it will be easy to apply the soft skills.

Even if you haven’t developed capacity, you can creatively use soft skills to learn how to develop capacity if you have a good communication skill, great mindset and attitude.

These soft skills might sound ordinary, but trust me, they are very fundamental. This is because, even with theoretical and practical knowledge, if you don’t have these soft skills, you might appear unattractive. But if you have these soft skills, you can learn both theoretical and practical knowledge.

It is easy to say ‘I want to succeed’, but when we are exposed to the diligent and consistent work we must do, we’ll rather remain in our comfort zone. Trust me, I have been there, but I refuse to stay there because I have since understood that there’s no gain in playing little when you can play big.

On a personal note, I normally do all within my reach to give my best shot by preparing for the best and expecting the worst to the extent it goes south. As you may know, nothing is guaranteed in life, no matter how hard you work, or how much trust you may have in your work. You can do all you are expected to do and still fail. Yes, you can have theoretical, practical and social skills and still fail. In such a situation, just know that your time has not come yet.

It’s important to note that there’s no substitute for excellence.  It’s either the work is good or not. To achieve excellence, endeavor to spend one percent of your time in an area of your life you have a strong interest in or whatever you are passionate about. By doing, you will develop expertise.

Another great rule for success is surrounding yourself with greatness. By this, I mean people who are exceptionally good in what they do. They might not be in your areas of interest, but if they are, that’s a plus. These people might be younger or older than you, they must have certain traits or values you admire, but more importantly, they should bring out the best in you.

Most times, in our quest to make an impact in life, we tend to focus on hard work which is good, but experience and life has taught me to focus on what ignites your spirit and soft silks can be the game-changer. When you channel your energy on where you are celebrated, you will understand the importance of value. Imagine working with someone who doesn’t understand the value you bring to the table, all your work will be considered as mere service, but someone with a heart of service, gratitude and appreciation knows the importance of value when they see one. This is the simple reason why most employers and resourceful beings make conscious efforts to retain certain people despite the noise outside.

When you are successful, there’s this level of happiness and fulfillment that comes to you. This success comes to you because you have done something unique like having mentors or role models. Let’s take a minute to discuss mentors and role models, and their importance.

If you will agree with me, success leaves clues where it derived its strength and foundation. There’s nothing in life that doesn’t have a foundation. As you journey through life, find mentors and role models who have already achieved what you would like to achieve. Just like you study what the happiest couples have done to stay together for decades if want true love; you can also learn from the experience of those whose marriage didn’t work, they might give you one or two advice that might be more beneficial to you than couples whose marriage never broke up.

If your dream is to be the best lawyer in your city or State, study what the best lawyers in your city or country did to achieve their reputations. If you want to be a World Champion, study the lives of World Champions, and learn how they did it. If you want to be a millionaire, find millionaire role models who you would like to be someday. If you want to be an entrepreneur, find a few entrepreneurs who inspire you and study how they achieved what they have. Without a doubt, mentors and role models are your shortcuts to unleashing your greatness. By learning from the experiences of others, you will increase your possibility of succeeding, and avoid unnecessary mistakes.

Give and Give: This principle is mind-blowing. As humans, we are naturally selfish, we do care for ourselves most times more than others do. Don’t get me wrong, you need to care for yourself first. However, for the purpose of this principle, I want you to know that you will get what you want faster when you help other people to achieve what they want. Life is not about you, neither is it centered on you . The average man seeks what he can receive from the world. The extraordinary man seeks what he can give to the world. When you assist other people without having an expectation, they will be glad to go the extra mile for you if they have an appreciative mindset. And of course, a lot of people do!

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s a Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate and creative writer. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright to Success. He can be reached info@gloemi.com

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Food for Living: The Power of Persistence

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

The difference between success and failure is persistence – Dr. Yomi Garnett

There’s no doubt that there are many components of success. Some of them are courage, sacrifice, hard work, element of luck, role of mentors, destiny helpers, consistency, persistence, networking and grace of God.

But persistence happens to be one critical factor that determines whether one will go far in life or otherwise. All however, are dependent on ability to exhaust all options.

The power of persistence in everyday activity cannot be overemphasized. In reality, it’s usually difficult for one to pursue a task when the odds are against the person,  and that’s where persistence becomes pronounced.

Persisting comes in various ways. As a student, it takes persistence for a student to continue reading a particular course or material even if the they find it difficult to comprehend. As a business owner, it takes persistence to continue trading when a loss is recorded. And as a husband or wife, it takes a combination of patience and persistence for to forge ahead in spite of challenges.

What really is persistence? It is ordinarily the quality that allows someone to continue doing something or trying to do something even when the odds are against him. Persistence shows how dedicated and passionate a person can be in the cause of pursuing a project.

Being persistent is a crucial factor in achieving success both in personal living, career, academics and in every walk of life. Being persistent is a key to unlocking the doors of opportunity and progress as well as helps to maintain focus on what really matters.

In the journey of life, it is persistence that shows the distinguishing trait between great leaders and achievers. If we look through every industry and culture across the globe, there’s one consistent trend among successful individuals, and that trend is the ability to persevere. Some of the greatest leaders of the world, who have achieved greatness through persistence include Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Colonel Sanders, Mark Victor Hansen and Steve Jobs. These persons persisted beyond the norm, and reached their goal.

A case study of Abraham Lincoln is very symbolic because he lost several elections, had challenges in marriage, failed in business, but he persisted and became the Presidential of the United States of America.

It’s instructive to note that persistence is about believing in oneself and finding a way to reach the result when the odds are against you. A further analysis of Abraham Lincoln shows that he failed in business at the age of 21, was defeated in a legislative race at age 22, failed again at business at age 24, overcame the death of his lover at age 26, had a nervous breakdown at age 27, lost a congressional race at 34 and 36, lost a senatorial race at 45, failed to become vice president at 47, lost a senatorial race at 49, and then finally was elected president of the United States of America at age 52.

There’s also the famous story of Thomas Edison trying 9,999 times to perfect the light bulb – and he couldn’t do it. Someone asked him, “Are you going to have 10,000 failures?” And he responded, “I didn’t fail; I just discovered another way not to invent the electric light bulb.”

Time and time again, individuals are stopped along their journey because of a certain failure. Note that just because you failed once doesn’t mean you or your project are defined by the failures. It simply means, as Thomas Edison believed, you found one more way it can’t work. It also implies that you are one step closer to achieving the result.

The major step in overcoming the adversity that comes with persistence is clarifying your why. By identifying the purpose behind your goal, your “why” will push you through challenging times.

It is your persistence that can show passerby how passionate you are about a cause.

Let me share a personal story with you; as an author and prolific creative writer, I have always loved the idea of having a large audience reading my weekly contents. I decided to take the bull by the horns by visiting one of the biggest media houses in Nigeria (Sun Newspaper) to seek an opportunity to showcase my work. After engaging with one of the managerial editors, he advised me to send my weekly articles to him for review. The moral of this story is the importance of being persistent. No one embarks on a journey just to waste time and money on projects one is not passionate about.

Being persistent in life can help you to stand out among your peers, it will help you to secure promotions or job opportunities. It will also help you to grow personally and professionally.

To receive the blessings of persistence, one must set specific and measurable goals; one must have a positive mindset and outlook towards life; one must have a good support system in times of adversaries; one must learn from setbacks, challenges and experiences of life; one must be proactive by being flexible if initial plans don’t work as planned, and finally but not the least, one must endeavor to celebrate small wins.

Below are some reasons persistence is important.

Overcoming Obstacles: Persistence allows you to push through difficulties and obstacles, and also navigate round roadblocks.

Learning from Failures: Persistence helps you learn from your mistakes. When you encounter failures, you don’t see them as permanent defeats. Instead, you view them as experience and opportunities for growth and improvement. Persistence will make one gain valuable insights and refine one’s strategies.

Developing Resilience: Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. Persistent individuals build resilience because they don’t let setbacks crush their spirit.

Inspiring Others: Do you know your persistence can motivate other people? When people see your relentless pursuit of a goal, they may feel inspired to overcome their own challenges.  Your example becomes a beacon of hope and determination to others.

Overcome Fear and Self -doubt

One of the biggest challenges one will face when developing persistence is overcoming fear and doubt. Fear can take different forms, such as the fear of poverty, fear of flying, fear of failure, etc.

For persistence to work, it requires dedication, determination, and a willingness to keeping going even when things don’t go as planned. With the right attitude, anyone can learn how to use persistence as a way of leading with failure and overcoming obstacles in their life.

Being persistent is necessary for any progressive being who wants to achieve success in life or their career because it will help the person to stay motivated, overcome obstacles, gain experience, and ultimately reach their goals and vision in life.

In leadership, persistence is determined by adversity, commitment to vision, resilience against criticism, in spirituality, persistence is determined when one’s faith and uncertainty is tested, or exercising patience when waiting for divine timing, as an entrepreneur, persistence is determined by one’s ability to be resilient during setbacks.

In conclusion, it is important to state that persistence is a critical trait for anyone who wants to achieve their goals and turn challenges into opportunities, staying motivated, and having a good support system to overcome any challenges because it requires dedication and commitment.

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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APC Declares Monday Okpebholo Winner of Edo Guber Primary Election

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has declared Monday Okpebholo, the Senator representing Edo Central in the National Assembly, as the winner of its rerun governorship primary election for the September 21 gubernatorial poll in Edo State.

The APC, on Thursday, held a fresh direct primary election across the 192 wards in the 18 local government areas of Edo State, after it declared last Saturday’s shadow election inconclusive.

Nine aspirants contested the election after three aspirants, including Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, former Deputy Governor, Lucky Imasuen, and a former Permanent Secretary, Earnest Afolabi Umakhihe, withdrew from the race.

Earlier, the APC had mandated a seven-man Gubernatorial Primary Election Committee chaired by Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, to supervise the direct primary election.

The party, however, replaced Uzodimma with Cross River State Governor, Bassey Otu.

Declaring the results of the shadow election on Friday at the collation centre, Lushville Hotel and Suites, Gapiona Avenue, Government Reservation Area (GRA), Benin City, Otu said Okpekholo polled 12,433 votes to defeat his closest rival, the lawmaker representing Ovia constituency in the House of Representatives, Dennis Idahosa, who scored 6,541 votes.

Born on August 29, 1970, in Udomi-Uwesan, Irrua, Edo Central, Okpebholo, whose name also coincides with his Okpebholo ancestry, was popularly nicknamed Akpakomisa from childhood because of his survival of the tough times occasioned by the numerous water borne disease at the time.

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Economic Hardship: Sanwo-Olu Slashes Fares by 25%, Approves 3-Day

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Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced a 25 per cent slash in transport fares for government-owned transport schemes.

Sanwo-Olu, who made this announcement during a live media chat tagged: ‘Sanwo Speaks,’ on Thursday, said that civil servants from levels 1–14 will begin to work three days a week as part of measures to ease the economic challenges.

He explained that the forum was meant to intimate residents of measures adopted to reduce the economic burden on Lagosians.

The governor noted that workers in the teaching sector will, however, maintain the five-day-a-week work schedule, while the government will ensure additional transportation support for them.

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