Connect with us

Opinion

Opinion: Interrogating President Muhammadu Buhari’s Oversized Integrity

Published

on

By Raymond Nkannebe

It has become a pastime of sorts for the APC crowd to inundate anybody who wants to listen, how the so called Integrity of President Muhammadu Buhari is the best thing to have happened to post-colonial Nigeria. They do this with a certain air of arrogance elevating Buhari to something of a Saint without a single foible.

As the 2019 general elections draw near, the craze has reached even new proportions, and the latest scheme (but which is bound to fail), is to make “personal integrity” ( or the lack of it), a defining factor in the forthcoming elections as against the score card of the administration and it’s impact on the welfare of the generality of Nigerians. The target, understandably of this defeatist campaign strategy is candidate Atiku Abubakar, who have forced a disquiet in the camp of the ruling APC on account of his towering popularity which looks certain to guarantee his victory by the 16th of February, 2019 so as to Get Nigeria Working Again. The modus operandi of the strategy is simple: emphasize Buhari’s so called integrity, and contrast same with Atiku’s.

At the official launch of the APC Presidential campaign in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom state last Friday, this chorus of integrity was chanted with reckless abandon by the numerous party members who mounted the rostrum reiterating the vaunted integrity of candidate Buhari, and why that is a quality enough to earn him a hard-sought re-election. From the Director General of the Campaign Organization-Rotimi Amaechi to Adams Oshiomole amongst others, the so-called Integrity of President Muhammadu Buhari was adumbrated notwithstanding the fact that many of them sounded like a broken record.

Controversial party chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomole in an interview with The Daily Sun Newspapers some three weeks ago put it in black and white thus, “I believe the president will be re-elected on the basis of his personal integrity”. Even the president himself seem to be playing the part. At a religious function in Kano a fortnight ago, he told his audience to elect only candidates with credibility and integrity in 2019. Making a veiled reference to his overrated integrity.

When the spokesman of the Buhari Campaign Organization, Mr. Festus Keyamo played host to a political programme on Channels TV the other day, he was also seen singing this swan song. Ditto Garba Shehu, Femi Adesina and the numerous other image makers of this president. With the manner in which they go about it, it gives away the impression of a well rehearsed plot behind the scene namely, to present president Muhammadu Buhari to Nigerians once again, as the only chief priest before whom divination to the ifa Oracle is possible, as they did in the run up to the 2015 polls.

The reason for this however is not hard to seek. There is nothing the government of the day has to show for its stewardship three and a half years after it promised Nigerians a Change that has proven to be a mirage. Whereas it campaigned at the time on the three pillars of Fighting Corruption, Improving the Economy and Enhancing our National Security, a one-off look at these heads of campaign thrust shows that we have only progressed in retrogression under its watch. And the facts out there bear us out that they need no demonstration in this intervention.

Having come to this realisation, the only alternative is to latch on to the time worn “mai gaskiya” narrative, and re-present him as the last of the ‘saints’ without who the survival of Nigeria will be forgotten. Hence why Nigerians are inundated every other day with rhetorics around an overpriced integrity that is not supported by verifiable facts. I shall return to this soon.

Now, it is not that this writer discounts “integrity” as an integral quality of leadership. No serious person should be heard advancing such proposition. Indeed ancient scientist and Greek philosopher, Aristotle underscored the importance of same in leadership when he intsructively observed, “because rulers have power, they’ll be tempted to use it for personal gain. It is important that politicians withstand this temptation, and that requires integrity”. He concluded by delimiting it’s fundamentals thus, “integrity is about having the right ethical values that become visible in a pattern of behaviour”. Our own professor Chunua Achebe (May he rest well), weighed in on the matter in latter years, and defined the truest test of integrity as the blunt refusal to compromise, writing on the subject in his pamphletter, The Trouble with Nigeria.

A common denominator to be seen in the quality of integrity as laid down by the two great men, is that it is not a feat attained by undue repetition informed by prejudice of political party megaphones. On the contrary it is a serious character-trait whose visibility must flesh out from a consistent pattern of behaviour to paraphrase Aristotle. A deeper insight into the matter would also reveal that it is not synonyms with ascetism, or the ability to hold extreme religious views. Quite to the contrary it is the quality of being honest and having strong moral values.

But how has president Muhammadu Buhari fared in his much vaunted claim to being the very paragon of integrity? A closer look at the behavioural pattern of the Daura born septuagenerian since he found himself as a democratically elected president, shows that he is anything but a man of high integrity as the APC crowd tries to force down our throats. There is nothing in the behavioural pattern of this president three and a half years since after he took on the “Babar Riga”, that suggests he has a distaste for suspicious, nay “improper behaviour”. Up until today, even the most ardent APC supporter cannot point to a peculiar and distinctive conduct of this president that supports these outlandish claims to integrity. Unlike as was seen in the leadership choices of say, Burkina Faso’s Thomas Sankara who typifies integrity, President Muhammadu Buhari’s claim to integrity have been more of an exercise in cosmeticism. And the indications are there for all to see.

First of, any keen observer would notice that this president has observed in the breach the sort of lifestyle he promised to lead if elected into power pre-2015. From maintaining the number of jets in the presidential fleet, to traveling abroad to treat headache and sore throat, and what not, president Muhammadu Buhari has proven to be a turn coat, whose word is not his bond. A character trait which should not be seen in a man that lays so much claim to having integrity. But that is not all.

If compromise as pointed out by Achebe is the yardstick for measuring integrity, then president Muhammadu Buhari should not be decorated as a man of integrity by Keyamo and friends. This is because we have seen him condone corrupt behaviour right under his nose, and even received into his party, persons who are flagged for corruption by the anti-graft agency, EFCC. In this connection, the particular case of the former SGF, Babachir Lawal sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb. While he was reluctantly shoved aside for the infamous grass cutting scandal, he remains until today un-prosecuted and was even rumoured to have single-handedly nominated his successor. In the wake of the scandal rocking the Kano State governor, who promised to deliver some 2 million votes towards his re-election, President Muhammadu Buhari told a stunned world, that Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje was the best thing to have happened to governance. Long before this time, he had absolved late General Sani Abacha of any financial impropriety. Referring to him as a good man. But up until today, continues to purportedly recover the Abacha loots from every corner of the world.

Through and through, he has been a typical party man condoning the rot from within his party and calling out those outside his party. As at today, at least three of his appointees are alleged to have been involved in a certificate forgery scandal. Yet this Mr. “integrity” has not summoned the balls to ask them to take a walk from his government pending when they are able to clear their names with the appropriate authorities. Here, we speak of Mr. Okoi- Obono Obla and the minister of communications, Abdur-raheem Adebayo Shittu. If the former minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun resigned, it is widely believed that it was on her honour and not informed by signals from the presidential quarters.

In the context of financial prudence and management, president Muhammadu Buhari’s “integrity” have also been caught flat footed. Beyond the fact that no one has told Nigerians how much was expended in the campaign that brought PMB to power in 2015, the much talked about recovered Abacha loot, have been enmeshed in secrecy that it is only rational to conclude that they have been re-looted as pointed out by critics. Ditto the recoveries made by the EFCC and other anti graft agencies.

Even inside PMB’s “Oza Room”, we have heard tales from his wife of a certain cabal that runs the show from behind the scene. Buhari’s closest attempt at debunking same was to ask his detractors to point out the cabals. Describing his wife’s remonstrations as “her business”. Such an easy and simplistic obfuscation of the real issue. But we know that it will be fool hardy for anybody to dismiss Aisha’s consistent criticisms with a wave of the hand given the position she occupies in Buhari’s life.

While chewing with that, consider the sudden and alarming rate at which old friends, relatives and acquaintances of this president have risen into stupendous wealth since he came to power! Of course we have the fire eating Buba Galadima to thank for this earth shaking revelations. At a Channels TV program last week, the veteran politician (and an old acquaintance of Buhari), called out the president specifically and put his much vaunted “integrity” in the ‘dock’ before eventually passing a vote of “Zero Integrity” on him on account of how he has corruptly enriched his old friends and associates who are today living in eye popping mansions scattered in and about Daura-GRA.

While it may be contested that these are mere allegations, the fact that the Presidency have not officially reacted to Galadima’s allegations suggests their truism. Nobody knows if Buhari’s handlers are afraid of being sent to the “market square” as Alhaji Buba Galadima threatened at that program.

One could go on and on to chronicle the different behavioural pattern of this president that robs him of any claim to integrity. Upon a further look, one notices that this has been so since in his days as the military head of state. And the particular episode of the 53 notorious suit cases, and General Muhammadu Buhari’s role in same bear us out here. If one might also add, the unresolved case of $2.8 billion allegedly looted while he served as petroleum minister in 1977 further casts a doubt on this vaunted integrity.

If President Muhammadu Buhari has anything, it is a cult following in his North Western political base pre-2015. A followership which it must be mentioned, was not anchored on any proven integrity, but on ideological/religious sentiments.

Assuming, but without conceding however that this president has the wealth of integrity that have been arrogated to him, it is submitted that integrity as a leadership quality is not of itself, determinative of performance. Nations become great not on the dry bones of a leader’s integrity, but their ability to make core decisions and choices that impact the overall well-being of the state. What is more, while it is good for a leader to have personal integrity, there are no guarantees that members of his administration will also be of equal integrity. Hence the need for leadership not to be based on the moral credentials of one man, but through the building and sustenance of strong institutions that will deliver, independent of the driver of the process. In essence therefore, nations do not need SAINTS. They need PERFORMERS to grow and become developed. Adams Oshiomole was therefore in the wrong when he professed that Buhari’s “personal integrity” is enough to earn him another slice of the pie. If indeed Buhari has integrity, it is however not in doubt that he has failed to transform same into any meaningful developmental impact on Nigeria and Nigerians.

Which brings us finally to the forthcoming elections. Assuming Buhari has all the integrity as credited to him, we have seen the limits of what could be achieved with that: the annexation of towns and communities in Borno state by Boko Haram; the overbloated debt profile of the nation running into a staggering 22 Trillion Naira; the high rate of unemployment that has reached an all-time-high of 23%; double digit inflation at the rate of 18.8%; the shut down of our tertiary institutions for upwards of two months due to strike action by academic staff; the threatened shut down of the economy by the organised labour; the mindless killings from Zamfara to Benue, Plateau and elsewhere; a wobbling stock market and an economy headed for the rocks from the analysis of financial experts.

With this score card, no leader should merit a second bite at the cherry. Including President Muhammadu Buhari. His so called integrity is a fraud, a wool over the eyes to further hoodwink Nigerians to repeat the mistake of 2015. This is more so when the facts out there suggests that this over priced “integrity” cannot withstand any serious stricture as Alhaji Buba Galadima demonstrated the other day.

Raymond Nkannebe is a legal practitioner and public affairs commentator based in Lagos. Comments and reactions to raymondnkannebe@gmail.com.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Leadership in Trying Times (Pt. IV)

Published

on

By Tolulope A. Adegoke

Don’t believe in what you are called; it can trap you! I don’t trust your titles. You have not done what you could have done yet! What they have seen so far is only a fraction of who you are. Don’t allow what you have done to prevent what you could do! “ – Tolulope A. Adegoke

It is pertinent to note at this juncture that leaders initiate change. Leadership naturally demands change. Nigerians are not the problem, but the leaders. You can only lead people as far as you have gone yourself. If you do not improve, your organization will never improve. I have discovered something about developing countries, because I was born in one and still live in one; when you give them a title, they stop learning. Nothing is worse for a Third-World man than giving him promotion and a title, because he believes he has made it. When you call someone a manager or CEO or honorable, reverend, or bishop, they stop learning. And that’s when an organization stops working or growing. When you are given authority or a title, you should buy more books and take more courses. Because you are not just leading your own life, you have lives to lead to a higher future and a higher level. This is why true leaders never graduate from the school of life; they are always learning. Because I must constantly re-educate myself, Dr Myles Monroe (of blessed memory) says, “I read four to five books a month. I have been doing that for the past years… that means one book per week.” I am an eternal student.” You are reading this article right now because you are willing to expand your mind. You can never grow beyond what you know, unless you grow what you know. To lead in difficult times, you must be a reader, because readers may end up becoming leaders when they apply what they have learned in school.This is why you should never allow anyone to prevent you from studying and growing. Also, never believe that you have made it. Don’t trust your titles. Don’t believe in what they call you, it can trap you. I am a recipient of several awards, but I do not allow them to get into my head, because the greatest enemy of your progress is your last success. Don’t trust what you have achieved. Don’t believe anybody’s accolades, because it is a trap. You have not done what you could do yet.  What they have seen so far is only a fraction of who you are. Stop being mediocre! It’s time for you to stop complaining, and start studying. Don’t allow what you have done to prevent what you could do. The act of leadership is taking followers from where they are to a place they have never been. As a true leader, you have to be able to take people to where they have never been. That’s your role. Leadership is not about maintenance, it’s about innovation, exploration (that is, going beyond the box).

Leadership entails an adventure of thriving in creating a future, even in trying times, when all hope seems to be fading off. I believe that many of you (readers) are tired of the majority of the difficult situations that you face.I sense strongly that you complain so much about it. It may be about your nation, family, continents, or low-level leaders or governments who tend to take you on a journey to nowhere. But if you truly desire a genuine change, you have to be willing to take an adventure into the unknown.

Thriving could entail some form of discomfort.

Leaders will always create discomforts that are worthwhile. Why? Because they are uprooting people from their own familiarity. This is why true leaders seem not to be liked by a majority. They disturb your laziness and also irritate your comfort. They make people do things that are uncommon, probably things that they have never done before. They make people change their behaviour. In short, they frustrate your comfort zones but re-shape our cultures, ethics, norms, and values. True leaders thrive the most in trying times, because they are ‘eruptors’, they are catalysts! They always act as leverage, taking you from a place you know to a place that you do not know. The major problem with the majority across the world is that they like the familiar. It’s amazing how much we say we want change, and when it’s time to change, we tend to hate it.

The Crisis is increasing-it is called Trying Times.

Thriving comes with a brand of leadership that naturally creates change, and this comes with crisis. We tend to talk about crisis in the world today, even globally in diverse facets of life. But sincerely, all of that is not true. To me, there is no such thing as a crisis. It doesn’t exist! A lot of people are doing so well, achieving great feats in the middle of crisis, simply because they could see beyond the ordeals. Such people, like me, see opportunities! Mentality is key! Leaders create crises so that there can be more opportunities to thrive. They are not victims of them. Simply ask me how?

Leadership is an exercise in the management or the creation of crisis. A true leader says we would construct a six lane road network. That’s a crisis! Because many people are used to the single lane-road, where they sell and hawk their goods in the middle of its pot-holes. Now it’s a crisis because the government is trying to make a change happen on such a road network, and many people may not be able to sell and hawk their goods anymore. But it takes a leader to take such a drastic step for a good change to occur within the system. These actions create discomfort for those benefiting from the bad road network. It is a crisis to take people to the level that they have never been, even though it may be a good place. Leaders initiate change… This change tends to change or reshape the patterns of people’s lives daily.

The Change Factor

You are a leader only if you initiate change. Managers only maintain things, while leaders change things. This is why a manager and a leader are completely different. Managers focus on systems, while leaders focus on people. Managers focus on the bottom line, while leaders focus on the issues that arise. Managers focus on what to do, while leaders focus on ‘why’ we are doing it. They think differently. And I strongly believe that you are finding this write-up interesting because it’s time for you to move into leadership. This moment in this write-up was a divine appointment, because you are tired of being what you are. You’ve most likely been faking it for the last few years, telling your parents you’re having a good time.But why is this happening to you? It’s simple. You are bigger than who you really are. You are far stronger than what they say you are. You can do much more than they told you that you could do. You are far better than what they say you are. And I am doing this writ-up to irritate you. You do not change until you are angry. Anger could be a crisis, but it could also be a weapon for a good change. Whatever you tolerate will never be changed by you. This is why what you call crisis comes into your life. A crisis comes to take you out of the ordinary and force you to dream bigger! It forces you to be creative! There is no problem in your life or around you, they are only opportunities to be better and bigger.

You all must come to understand that change is your best friend! It is the only thing that is guaranteed and has your best interest at heart. Some nations are excelling more in these trying periods because they are not seeing crisis in the common senses or language of ordinary thinkers or seers. These categories of nations are only seeing opportunity! And they all keep maximizing it, whether you like it or not. You must also come to understand that a thing is what you call it! They say opportunity, while shallow thinkers say crisis!

Come on! You need to align yourself with creative people. You need to start reading and studying the right books! Being with the wrong people and a bunch of complainers will only keep you stagnated and wanting or wishing for life, if you are not careful. I charge you to change your relationships. As a matter of fact, you can never rise above your company. If you are the smartest person in a group, then it’s time to leave the group… Waking up from mental slumber is one of the greatest make-ups which fine-tunes our beings into stepping up in the right order and lanes to thrive at any point in time in life.

Continue Reading

News

Food for Living: Overcoming Anxiety, Fear, Stress and Anger

Published

on

Dear Destiny Friends,

As human beings, we are confronted with fear, stress, anxiety and anger in the course of our daily activities. These, if not properly handled and managed, can destroy any organization or a productive being.

Arguably, one of the most dreaded emotions human beings face is stress. Stress can be a silent killer. When the mind and body is stressed, it has a way of affecting productivity. Just like anger is one of the fastest ways of destroying someone, fear is regarded as the greatest force limiting productivity.

Anxiety is another deadly type of fear because it deals more with worry, and the future, rather than the present. Anyone suffering from anxiety is likely to have an increased heartbeat, shortness of breath, difficulty in sleeping, and will always forget and lack focus.

The origin of negative feelings is traced to failed expectations from people, and situations which sometimes do not meet our expectations. When this situation occurs, we tend to have anxiety, anger, stress or even fear of the future.

As a human capacity coach, I constantly come across youths, adults, and parents who are constantly dealing with diverse kinds of pains, stress, anger, and anxiety in their lives. Any productive mind who wants to grow will have to eschew fear, anxiety, anger, and stress. This might be hard, but trust me, it is doable if you are able to train your mind and work with the right people. However, if you have fallen short of any, it’s okay to have regrets because we are all humans.

Anxiety normally creeps in due to expectations of the future, but it can be managed by a combination of medication and cognitive psychotherapy. However, neither lasts forever. A therapist can be used to manage these symptoms.

Happiness is the resultant feeling we have when we are at peace with ourselves and humanity. However, constant negative emotions can also get in the way of happiness, and it has the capacity to compound our level of stress and worry and ultimately damage our health. While there is no magic wand to change negative emotions to positive ones, there are ways to lessen the intensity of the emotion and shorten its duration. With practice, you can learn to disrupt and tame negative emotions.

What Caused This Feeling?

The first step in healing is asking the wh questions? Why did it happen? What caused it? When you understand the cause of a problem, you will be better poised to solve it. You will better understand and interpret memories, judgments, beliefs, values, expectations, and observations. When you understand these thoughts, the next big task is asking yourself if these thoughts will help you to solve any of your problems. You can ask yourself, does this feeling warrant me to be angry or fearful? Who can help me overcome this challenge/problem? How can I fix the problem or focus on the present as opposed to what I can’t change?

Physical exercise

Anxiety and anger can be reduced when you exercise. Exercise has a way of reducing worries, especially when you have music in the background. On a personal note, whenever I am exercising, I usually have music in the background because it has a way of making me feel present. The same is applicable whenever I’m stressed, I usually play music or sleep.

Take a Walk

 Whenever you feel stressed, depressed, pained, or uncomfortable with the way life is treating you, try taking a walk and enjoy the beauty of life. You can decide to go to the beach, walk around the garden, or even take a random walk across the town. It’s normal to always see our deficiencies which blinds us to the beauty of life. When you take a walk, you see people of all kinds, some will be begging on the streets, some might be walking, others might be in a bus. If you can think out of the box, you will discover, you are far better than some of them with what you have.

You can also decide to visualize a happy place. For instance, imagine being in a resort, imagine how life will be when you overcome the stress, pain, anger, or even the tension with the thoughts. This feeling can make it more humane to control your human reaction.

Don’t Beat Yourself

One of the worst things that can happen to you as a human being is trying to be hard on yourself. As a human being, you can’t hide from your shadows. Your shadow is like your thoughts. You can’t hide from your thoughts.  It’s like closing your eyes to the sky. You can reduce looking at the sky by using a goggle. So whenever you have negative emotions, acknowledge them instead of trying to shut them down, and see how you can work on them.

Face Your Fear

The fastest way to kill your fear is by facing them. If you don’t confront your fears, it has a way of robbing you and reminding you of how doomed you are. Facing your fears simply means doing what you dreads. For instance, the best way to become a good writer is by writing as opposed to procrastinating. When you start to write, you will kill the spirit of fear associated with writing. You will be happy you took the bold step. When I began writing many years ago, it felt like writing was stressful, but over time, I became addicted to writing and it’s now fun to me.

Another great way of dealing with fear is by imagining the worst that will happen if you face your fear. Do you know that whether you face your fears or not, the worst will still happen? How about you face it, you never can tell if you will overcome it. You can overcome fear by practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness allows you to become more aware of your fear because it creates awareness that helps you overcome your fear and anxiety.

Share Your Pain

Many people don’t understand the importance of sharing. Do you know that problem shared is a problem solved? When you have pain or feel stressed, please endeavor to speak out. I understand, each one of us is dealing with one pain, but then, there’s no harm in sharing. Keeping it to yourself might not solve the problem. The only concern you should have is the person you will share the pain with. Even if it means sharing it with a professional or trusted person, please do. You can talk to a family member, friend, a trusted clergyman, your doctor or a therapist. Depression is real, anger is real, pain is real, but they can be managed.

Rejoice/Reward Yourself

Celebrating yourself is the best thing that can happen to you. Take time to give yourself a little treat. Most times we are always looking for people to celebrate us. If nobody gives you a platform, create one for yourself. Try and reward yourself with any little success you have recorded. It has a way of boosting your ego and human capacity nature.

Eliminate Triggers

Figure out what are the biggest cause of negative emotions in your life. Is it your job, your schoolwork, your colleague? If you’re able to identify what they are, see if you are able to eliminate them from your life, or at least reduce them.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He’s a Human Capacity & mindset coach. He’s also a  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

Continue Reading

News

Food for Living: How Your Choice Affects Your Life

Published

on

By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

The greatest power that a person possesses is the power to choose – J. Martin Kohe

One of the most powerful desires of every individual is freedom. Freedom is characterised by true independence of any human being. When you have freedom, you can decide what you want, and what you don’t want. When you have freedom, you call the shots, and you won’t be deterred by what others feel or think about you.

This is how freedom works; as an employee, you are always at the beck and call of your employer, you will have to do the wish of your boss if you want to keep your job. As a child or apprentice, you are technically bound to obey your parents or boss pending when you are capable of standing on your feet. As a government official, you are bound to protect the government you serve, and where you feel the government is derailing, you can either resign or forever keep your mouth shut.

The origin of freedom can be traced back to the Book of life (Bible) when Adam and Eve were instructed by God to eat all fruits except a particular fruit. Due to the curious nature of man, they were deceived by the serpent which told them that when they eat the fruit, they will see and know what God knows. The point here is that Adam and Eve had unfettered freedom in the garden of Eden, but they messed up the freedom due to the choice and decision they settled for.

Why is freedom important? Freedom is important because it enables us to have a choice. Our choice determines the kind of freedom we will eventually have. If you make the right choice, you are more likely to have more opportunities to succeed, but when you make the wrong choice, you are bound to pay for it. Every choice we settle for has its own consequences, but the good thing about choice is that it prepares us for the greater journey ahead. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, while some people were complaining, creative minds were exploring opportunities because every problem provides corresponding opportunities if you can think out of the box.

It should be noted that every choice you make affect other people. That’s why it’s important to always consider your family and close friends before taking any risk. Avoid making important decisions under any influence. It is imperative we act responsibly because the choice we settle for can define us. According to Winston Churchill “The price of greatness is responsibility”.

Per Sam Silverstein said, “Making choices also mean accepting the idea that we are part of a bigger picture. We are not alone in our choices. Our choices affect not only ourselves but the people around us. Our choices shape our actions. Our actions are received and interpreted by those around us. These actions shape the opinions and feelings of those individuals, and ultimately, the actions they take for or against our behalf.”

Choice is a powerful weapon in the minds of rational beings. To know the importance of choice, take an inventory of your life for the last 10, 20, 30, or even 40 years since you came of age, and evaluate all the mistakes, successes, opportunities and disappointments you may have encountered. One thing is certain, you will wish you can roll back the hands of the clock to either fix the past, or wished you would have done certain things differently.

The good news about making a bad choice or mistake is that it doesn’t define you. Each of us has made mistakes in life and as such it will be foolhardy to be hard on yourself. If you make a mistake, see it as an experience and truly appreciate it because it means you are doing something and learning at the same time. Yesterday can be defined as what happened in the past, and today can be defined as what is currently happening which can translate into opportunities if properly nurtured in order to attract the opportunities of tomorrow.

Why do I make this analysis? It is your mistakes or choices that made it possible for you to have experience which enables you to make a better choice. If you had not made the mistakes, would you be in a better position to make an informed decision? Your answer is as good as mine, so don’t be hard on yourself. The irony of life is that anyone making a mockery of you might have the worst experience. It is just that it’s not seen in public because every one of us is battling with a secret frustration.

Do you know that your choice can be used to determine your interest in life? Choice plays a great role in choosing who you will be your life partner. Choice determines your interest in any academic discipline. Choice determines the kind of businesses you engage in. Choice shows your preference for the food you eat, the cloth you wear and the religion you prefer.

Choice can be related to feelings. But feelings is more attached to emotions. Your emotions can be controlled by how you programme what happens in your mind. Feelings allow you to follow sheepishly without ascertaining the facts. But you have the correct facts, you will know how to act in a normal way. Question. Can you have feelings for a goat? No. When you have facts, you will know it’s improper to have feelings for a family member.

Facts give you awareness to make the right choice – it’s just like when society justify that men are natural cheats. Let me ask you if the creator made it possible for anyone to die when they have sex with someone other than their lawful married partner, will men or ladies engage in indiscriminate sex? The point here is that you can control your emotions and feelings with your choice of thoughts. You can control your feeling because you’re the one having them. Moral: Principles make you calculative, while fidelity makes you intentional.

It’s important to stress that you can control your desires in life because you are in charge of your life. You own and control what you want people to hear, see and feel. It’s just like driving a car. Who controls and directs the car? I agree as humans, we have an impulse, but let’s analyze the issue of impulse with a mad man or woman. We have seen one before, if they are mad, why don’t we jump into a lagoon since we know they are mad instead of walking by the sideway. Why don’t they bump into a moving car as opposed to walking by the sideway? That tells you they have some control; no one is controlling them like a robot. If a mad man or woman can have such control, how much more a rational mind?

Let me share with you how to make the right choice

Follow your conscience

The best way to determine if you are on the right side of life is when you have peace of mind. You can never have peace of mind if you are not at peace with your conscience. Any human being who doesn’t have a conscience is a living corpse.

Explore Options

Before you decide, explore other alternatives. Don’t be in a hurry to make a choice. The more options you have, the better opportunity you have to make the right choice. Take your time to gather all your facts and information until you feel satisfied. Remember, when in doubt, do not act.

Think about the positive outcomes 

Always think of the big picture. Quit thinking of the short term. Refuse to make a choice that will make you regret tomorrow. When you make a choice/decision, try and stick to them even if it’s unpopular. No one knows what you feel more than you, neither do they know you better than you know yourself.

In conclusion, we can choose to be happy, or not. We can choose how we react to hard times in our life, with positivity or negativity. We can choose to take responsibility for our actions or blame others for our failures. We can choose to be a victor or take on the role of a victim. What choices are you making in your life?  Are they the ones that result in positive consequences?

Remember that according to Any Rand “Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice.”

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He’s a Human Capacity & mindset coach. He’s also a  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

Continue Reading