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Food for Living: Your Life Is Not Over Yet

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By Henry Ukazu

Greetings Dear Friends,

I officially welcome you to the last month of the year.  The year is gradually coming to an end. At the inception of the year, we all made resolutions and had plans and expectations of what we intend to do before the end of the year. Some of us measured our successes every quarter. The question we should be asking ourselves however, is if we have been able to accomplish our goals and desires. If your answer is no, just know it’s not over for you. If your answer is yes, just relish in the words of Les Brown, “it’s not late to set another goal”. Sometimes in life, we may not reach our goal, but at least it is expected we try our best. According to Bruce Lee “A goal is not always something to be reached, it often serve as something to be aimed”.

When 2020 came, we were all beaming with joy; no one saw the pandemic neither did anyone see the recession some countries experienced due to the pandemic. In the journey of life, nothing is guaranteed, as widely acclaimed, tax and death are the only things that are guaranteed because we all must pay tax and we all must die one day.  In the same way, life may have thrown tantrums at you, you may have lost your job, lost a loved one, experienced divorce, experienced a set back in your personal and professional life. I don’t know what your situation or story is, but I just want to let you know that it is not over for you.

It is generally believed you can never have a second chance to make a first impression, but we fail to realize that we all need a second chance.  A student needs a second chance, an employee needs a second chance, a businessman needs a second chance, a divorcee needs a second chance, the prodigal son was given a second chance, even Christ died for us to give us a second chance. Getting a second chance is about giving yourself the opportunity to grow beyond your past failures. It’s about positively adjusting your attitude toward future possibilities. According to Edgar Caycee, “Don’t feel sorry for yourself if you have gone the wrong road, turn around”.

As human beings, we are always in a haste to make the next step without even taking stock of previous steps or decisions we have made which may have consciously or unconsciously led us to where we are today.  It is because the philosopher was so busy focusing on the journey ahead of him that he forgot there was a ditch in front of him, and the rest is history. Human beings are very important in our journey to success. According to Roy Bennet, “Good things happened when you surround yourself with good people”.

Challenges come in different shapes and styles, but what makes the difference is not only the way you managed it but what you learn from it. According to Robert Schuler, problems are stop signs, they are guide less”. Some of us go through different challenges, and we allow the experience, circumstance, or situation to define and shape us. Regardless of what you may be facing or have experienced, just know that your life is not over yet, there’s still a ray of hope for you. If you have ever watched a football or soccer match, you’ll realize that nothing is guaranteed until the referee officially ends the match. That’s simply how life works.

Furthermore, just like education is the greatest leveler, the child of a certified pauper can become a man of means tomorrow if properly educated. This simply tells you the only thing that is permanent is change. The mistake most of us make is that we measure and compare our progress with that of others. The only comparison you have to make is with yourself. That’s simply how to measure matured growth otherwise you may be heading into defective success.

If you are feeling downcast or thinking that your life is messed up, please note that there are people who are in a worst situation and have not given up. If you have plans of opening a new page in your life or business and you are afraid of what the future upholds, just take a leap of faith. Do you know you have a voice, and a message the world is itching to hear? There’s somebody crying and literally begging to be where you are today in addition to having what you have.

Sometimes in life, we feel it is over for us, we feel that there’s no other path, we feel we have lost it completely just because you lost a family member, business, or even an election, but we fail to understand that there’s a lesson and experience for us to learn. If you continue to worry and be afraid in your mind, it will be hard, Charlie Chaplin has a word for you “You will never find a rainbow if you are looking down”.

Learning how to overcome life is not rocket science; all you need to do is know what you want and what you don’t want. For example, you should know how to say no in a polite way without being offended. Saying no makes you focus on the needful because whatever “distracts” you can serve as an “attraction” if you are working on focus.

Another way of overcoming challenges is by finding what you love. In a world filled with so many distractions and negativity, you need to channel your energy on what you truly love and build on it. It’s by doing that you overcome unnecessary pressures and challenges. In order to move ahead, here are some guidelines

1.    Let go of the past

Sometimes, we are used to holding on to past experiences or hurt we suffered. These guilt feelings make us feel we can’t move ahead; most of us are always tormented by this feeling. We fail to understand that every difficult moment in our lives is accompanied by an opportunity for personal growth and creativity. When life throws dirt at you, dust yourself and move on, nobody cares what happens to you, rather they are concerned about what you were able to do with what was thrown at you. When you do this, you identify the lesson or situation that put you in such a mess and never allow it to reoccur.

2.    Accept accountability & eesponsibility

One of the greatest disservices we can do to ourselves is to lie to ourselves. Most times, we don’t tell ourselves the honest truth. Sometimes we put ourselves in a difficult situation and expect someone to clean our mess. For example, if you don’t manage your money, you’ll lose it, if you don’t manage your marriage, you’ll lose it, if you don’t manage your business, you’ll lose it. If you don’t manage your anger, you’ll lose it, if you don’t manage a good loyal friend, you’ll lose it. Accepting responsibly is the first step in owning a problem. You are the only one who can directly control the outcome of your life. Moral: You must take accountability for your situation and overcome these obstacles.  Choosing not to is giving up.

3.    Focus on the things you can change.

Another mistake we make is feeling we can solve every problem. For instance, a man who has an ego problem will find it difficult to ask for help when he needs assistance, and by the time challenge gets to the peak, the issue might have deteriorated. Getting assistance from professional or trained personnel will go a long way to fix any problem. Don’t channel your energy on what you can’t solve, rather channel it on what you can change or fix. In that way, you get peace of mind. Wasting your time, talent and emotional energy on things that are beyond your control is a recipe for frustration, misery, and stagnation. Moral:  Invest your energy in the things you can change.

4.    Figure out what you really want.

In some situations, we don’t know what we actually need. As a bachelor, you must know the kind of woman you want, and the same principle is applicable to a woman. As an entrepreneur, you must know what your skills set are, as a businessman, you must know what business you can manage in addition to having a good background and understanding, as a student, you must know the subject that interests you. Failure to do your due diligence might make you frustrated down the line, and it won’t take long for your life will be over.

The journey of life is truly not for the feeble minded. Just like marriage, you must brace up. From birth, you grow up, go to school, get a job, get married, start a family, have grandkid/ great-grandchildren before meeting your creator at the appointed time if life does not take us earlier.  So, as you journey through life, don’t give up, no matter the challenges that come your way.  According to Winston Churchill, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.

We all have different experiences which shape our life. To put it in a proper perspective, an encounter is an experience that makes your life story incomplete without the mention of that experience. To know if you have had an encounter, look at your life before that experience came and after it has made an impact on you.  An encounter can result on account of somebody you met, a job, your spouse, or even a spiritual transformation.

In conclusion, I don’t know what your storyline is, but I will leave you with the words of Roy Bennet, “be happy for everything that happened to you, is an experience”.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He’s a mindset coach and self-discovery expert. 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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Lagos Extends Work-From-Home Directive by Four Weeks

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The Lagos State Government has further extended the work-from-home directive to civil servants on Salary Grade Levels 12 and below.

A statement issued by the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, said this is in a bid to further stem the spread of COVID-19 within the public service and other stakeholders.

He expressed the government’s delight that measures put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state has resulted in a steady decline in the number of recorded cases in the preceding weeks.

Muri-Okunola maintained that in order to sustain the success so far recorded, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has reviewed the directive to all public servants on Salary Grade Levels 12 and below for four weeks, with effect from Monday, 1st to Friday, 26th March 2021.

The HoS said the directive does not preclude any of the exempted Grade Levels from reporting for duty whenever the Accounting Officer deems it necessary.

He said, “All Public Servants are advised to continue to stay safe by observing all COVID-19 protocols such as Physical Distancing, regular use of face masks and hand hygiene.

“Also, Accounting Officers are to ensure strict adherence to all extant directives aimed to guarantee physical distancing in the workplace by preparation of weekly Duty Rosters as considered germane to effective service delivery in respective MDAs.”

The Lagos State Government has witnessed a decline in the number of infections in the recent past due to the government’s regular updates on preventive measures as well as public enlightenment campaigns to create awareness about measures to stem the spread of the deadly virus.

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Security Expert, Ibadin Lauds Buhari on Choice of Youth As EFCC Chairman

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The CEO Badison Security Services, Mr. Matthew Ibadin, has taken to his social media platform to thank the president of the federal republic of Nigeria, president Muhammed Buhari, on the appointment of a youth in person of Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa as the Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The security expert in a statement in Lagos said he sees the appointment as a bold step towards curbing the rising state of corruption in the country, and also as a way of encouraging the youths in the country to participate in governance. He has also taken time to congratulate Bawa on his confirmation for appointment as he urged the 40 years old chairman to not disappoint the youths.

Mr Ibadin has commended president Muhammed Buhari for acknowledging the fact that his appointment of a youth as the new EFCC Chairman has given the Nigerian youths hope of a better and greater Nigeria.

He said “this is the age and time for technological implementations, this is the era of social media and technology, and we need someone with the vast knowledge of technology and how it operates, and the choice of the president is very recommendable because of the youthful exuberance of the new chairman”.

“The youths are the future of the country, engaging and involving them in governance is a good way of restoring constitutional responsibilities of checkmating corruption towards enhancing economic and national development, therefore the use of mobile gadgets and technologies should not be strange to the new chairman” says the Esan born security expert.

He said it was time for the youths to be given opportunities to exercise their constitutional rights in the area of governance, internet fraudsters use the internet to perform fraudulent acts, therefore, the chairman should not be obsolete, as the technology world is evolving he should also evolve with it.

He advised the new chairman to make use of the new police act and partner with private investigators and also make use of professional consultants and the chairman should be able to Harness the power of the internet. Mr. Ibadin advised that the new chairman make use of the youth in his quest to curb corruption explaining that the youth are on trend with the latest technology and how to curb cybercrime, because before you can apprehend criminals you have to be able to think and work like them. Also the training of the EFCC personnel in state of the art strategies for combating corruption is a vital aspect that must be implemented, the personnel must be well trained in security knowledge, so they can carry out their jobs effectively.

Mr. Ibadin stated that the EFCC was implemented to drive Nigeria’s anti-corruption activities. Since the EFCC has been given the mandate to investigate and prosecute cases of bribery, fraud, money laundering, smuggling and a host of other financial crimes, hence, it is pertinent for the new chairman to learn from the successes and failures of his predecessors, he should also focus on staff salaries, enumeration and accommodation because when your staffs are happy the work becomes easier for the chairman.

Mr. Ibadin stated that this is not the time and era of carrying files and looking for criminals, that every data and information should be archived on the internet accessories like icloud, google drive etc. for proper documentation, so as not to be having the issues of fire burning down the file storage house or animals swallowing money that’s supposed to be used for the general public.

He urged the new chairman to equip himself with people that can lead him in the right direction, “the chairman should build or form a good advisory team who can lead him to conscientiously and faithfully discharge its constitutional responsibilities of thwarting corruption towards improving national development.

He also likened the appointment of the new chairman to the case of current France president Emmanuel Macron who became the president of France at the age of 39 and Jean Castex the current prime minister of France who was appointed at the age of 46 as the France Prime Minister and our very own former head of state, Gen. Yakubu Gowon who was 31 years of age when he became the Nigerian head of state in 1966
Mr. Ibadin has also urged the new EFCC Chairman to not single out members of one political party or ethnic group for investigation or prosecution, he advised that anyone suspected to have gone against the principles of his office or abused his office by siphoning funds from the public purse should not be allowed to go scott free irrespective of his position in the public, ethnicity, or creed.

He implored him to work with the knowledge that his success and failure as the EFCC Chairman would either motivate the youths or demotivate them to hope and cheer for a better Nigeria. In his words “I am looking forward to an EFCC that would motivate the youths to do better in the area of governance and not demotivate them”.

He also stated that the EFCC should be accountable and transparent in its dealings as an agency and also an EFCC that is disciplined and neutral in its dealings with both the privileged and non-privileged. His office should mark the end of utter disregard to the rule of law and fundamental human rights of citizens.

Mr ibadin has also promised the new EFCC chairman that the Nigerian youths are solidly behind him, supporting and encouraging him to succeed in the fight against corruption, and he also urged him to give the youth the opportunity to do so not forgetting that the youth will also not fail to criticize his actions or inactions that may not be directed towards achieving a greater Nigeria.

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Food for Living: The Strategy for Success

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By Henry Ukazu

Greetings Destiny Friends,

I’m sure that many thoughts run through your mind whenever you hear of success; thoughts such as accomplished entrepreneurship, academic achievement, money, or even vision. What most fail people to realize however, is that there’s no success without a strategy. Just like every business has a selling secret, every success has a secret. Success is like an all-round fruitful marriage. Most people just see couples celebrating a decade and silver jubilee of marital bliss, but don’t see the numerous challenges they had to overcome in order to get to where they are. Just like every business has a secret, every marriage also has its own unique secret. The most important thing is to work out a strategy that works for you.

Success means different things to different people, but they have distinct or similar attributes. Success can take different shapes depending on one’s area of work. For example, success entails having experience, networking with a diverse set of people to achieve a common goal, preparation, making mistakes and learning from it, punctuality, building bridges, overcoming the fear of failure, discipline, and above all relying on God for grace. If you don’t have a good strategy, no matter how good your plans are, they will fall by the wayside.

Did you know that success does not come easy? In the pursuit of success, you will lose money and friends. Many people will dismiss you as crazy, others will discourage; you cry and possibly fail often; you will experience disappointments among many other vicissitudes of life, but then, you must never give up; that’s the price for success. The truth is that you’ll be 100% uncomfortable on your journey to success, but in the end, it will worth the while.

Would you like to pay and play later, or would you like to play now and pay later?

One of the first steps to succeed in life is to find people who have the same mindset as you. When you hire or work with people who are passionate about the work at hand, the work becomes relatively easy. When you have a good team, innovation becomes easy.

You can have a good product or idea, but poor execution can lead to failure. Poor execution can include your way of branding, poor customer relations, and social skills which relate to networking or interpersonal relation skills. Success is truly a consequence of strategy because if you have a good product, and you don’t know how to market it, the product will never see the light of the day. It’s just like a beautiful lady who is not smart, her beauty won’t be enough to win the pageant. The beauty is just the entrance form, but her exposure and intelligence will come in handy to make her a force to reckon with.

Sometimes, we look for opportunities where there are little or no opportunities, and in some cases when we get the opportunity, we lack the capacity to execute it or the foresight to recognise it. What most people fail to understand is that whatever is supposed to come to your life will be there when you have developed the capacity to receive and execute it. For example, if you may have a product that is thriving, but you lack the capacity to manage people and resources, it will be hard for the universe to attract those opportunities to you, and even if you happen to get them by chance, you’ll lack the mental capacity to properly manage them. It’s just like having a wealthy friend, who if you fail manage well, the friendship will fall apart.

What therefore, is the strategy for success? Since every success involves strategic planning, I have developed a little framework with the acronym P.L.A.N.

 Plan

The hallmark of success entails planning. In planning, you must know what works for you in the industry you are passionate about. You must be very strategic in your plan. For instance, if you have an interest in entertainment, you can shoot your shot by associating with people you know have access to the people you need. You can even volunteer to work for free for the people or associate yourself with the target person like researching to know what they like and by liking and commenting on their post on social media, and even send a copy of your work.

Launch

After planning, the next stage is to launch your product. Don’t be scared to launch your product. If you make a mistake, you’ll learn from the criticisms you will receive. You may have a good product, but if you don’t have the right execution, you will lose out. Execution is very important. Before you launch, examine all options and see what’s best for you depending on your product, environment and industry.

In launching your product, you must make sure you have a good finishing and your execution must be top-notch. Note that before anyone appreciates a product, the product must come across as an attractive one.

Adjust

One of the distinct natures of man is adaptability. Succeeding in the corporate world entails adjusting to the times and seasons. Adjust as you move along. This approach is very important. How you approach issues is very important in whatever you do. A good approach involves your manner of talking writing, presentation of issues and innovation abilities. Rational minds adjust their plans if it’s not working out just to just meet up with their target. Isn’t it true that you cannot be doing something the same way, and expect a different result?

Networking

The aim of strategic networking is to locate the right people to work with. The value of networking cannot be overemphasized. Networking entails engaging people from different walks of life. No matter who you are, you need good people to get your product across. Sometimes, success is not about what you have upstairs, but who’s in your network. Most people fail to realize that their success can come from unexpected persons in unexpected places. So as a way of advice, be kind to everyone you meet along the way because you never know how resourceful they may be to your life. Do you know, you can get what you want faster when you help people to achieve what they want?

In summary, to have strategic success, you need to establish a clear and meaningful strategic planning process. Engage all levels of employees or partners and communicate effectively with them to ensure success. Use an innovation process for all new product development, service delivery, etc. Re-shape the organisational culture to be more adaptive to the changes the strategic plan requires.

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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