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Opinion: Thriving in Trying Times – Part 2

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By Tolulope A. Adegoke

“Until you are tried (pushed), you will not strive, if you do not strive, you may not thrive! To thrive is to lead, to lead is to overcome barriers or win. But our Trying-times may differ.” – Tolulope A. Adegoke

The aim of this write-up is to enlighten the reader on how to thrive, lead and conquer in trying times, and as well on how to overcome challenges and to benefit from unexpected changes in your life. This will be one of the very most important hours that you will spend reading. I, therefore, charge you to kindly invest it in yourself and I hope that you will take the contents in here to help deliver others around you too; so as to move them also to the higher levels of their life.

We must understand that living beyond just surviving is the point at which a man starts ‘living’, not merely existing in this earthly plane.

I have personally decided some years ago in my life that I was not going to be a survival, but a ‘thriver’. I wanted to be someone who will not live under any circumstances of life, but I will create my own circumstances. And this is where taking charge of your circumstances comes to play its vital roles through the power of personal leadership (response-ability) for effective and efficient lifestyle. A simple thought about thriving which also connotes leading.

I will be painting two unique animals on the canvass of the word ‘thriving’, which connotes Personal Responsibility for effective individual or corporate efficiency in trying moments that God Almighty- the Creator identified Himself with, in the Scriptures which are: i. The Lion and the other is ii. The Eagle. These two animals are important to be carefully studied because He identified Himself with them. He calls Himself the Lion of the Tribe of Judah; also He says, “I will bear you up as an Eagle bears her Eaglet”. Both of these animals are unique because they are both leaders in their areas of authority. The Lion is a leader in the Animal Kingdom, while the Eagle is the leader in the Bird’s Kingdom; so I am not surprised that God identified with them. He created them, and He knows their unique qualities and characteristics. He built into them certain qualities that cause them to continue to thrive come what may happen, rise to the top and become Heads of their own territories.

The Eagle

What makes the Eagle thrive, even in trying times? What makes it the king of Birds?

It is vision and ability (strength) to maximize the storm and gracefully glides peacefully, even to the highest mountains. It is the vision of the Eagle that gives it an advantage over other birds. An Eagle can see in detail what is over five to six miles away. There are several other qualities in an Eagle, but its sight (vision) is the most outstanding; its capacity to see from distance in details.

The Lion

Here is another mystery Dr Myles Monroe (of blessed memory) once said that: ‘an army of sheep led by a lion will always defeat an army of lions if they are led by a sheep’. The paradox here is clear enough for our individual, corporate and national comprehension and adoption. In other words, to thrive at any given time is to lead anytime, and to lead every time is to thrive every day. Leadership determines the quality of the followers. The Lion has the capacity to transform a Sheep into Lion-thinkers (that is, having a Lion Mentality) because leadership can transform cowards into warriors. Put in clearer words, followers cannot rise above their leaders. You become just like the people that lead you. So, if you desire to improve your individual lives, there is a need to improve the leadership that you follow; and you cannot lead people to thrive farther than you have gone yourself.

To thrive at all times, it is important to have a re-think on the kind of leader that you are following or yielding to; it could in any ramification of life (religion, finance, politics, friendship among others). Who are you allowing to influence you? this will determine how far you can go in life and how much you well you will surmount the hurdles in your trying moments. That is why if a football team fails, the Management does not sack the players but sacks the coach of the team because he controls the team and the team yield to his tactics and gimmicks. The coach is responsible for the team. This means that the followers or team are either retarded ore released by (who they follow) the quality of leadership. This is why leadership is the key to succeeding life, even in trying moments.

The lion is still a mystery because it is a rare example of leadership. The Lion is not the strongest in the animal kingdom, not even the tallest nor the most powerful, heaviest and most intelligent, yet the leader- which is an indication that there is hope for everyone who is currently termed a zero (nobody) or not-good-enough. I charge to kindly take a good look of those lists which you have been using as excuses not to become an effective leader or not to thrive in your trying times. The Lion cancels all of your excuses for not becoming great and effective. Why then does a Lion thrive as a leader despite its shortcomings? The answer is ATTITUDE!

The power of the right attitude matters in every aspect of our lives. The Lion is the leader of the jungle which comprises of the bigger, faster, tougher and taller animals just it possesses and demonstrates the right attitude. The Lion thinks differently! (the Lion-Mentality). But Attitude comes from something very important which is BELIEF; so, I suffice to say that ‘Attitude’ is a product of ‘Belief’, which can be likened to FAITH in the Hebrew language; and I call it the ‘Faith-posture’. The Lion believes in itself- this makes it control itself and deploys it towards life. Put in another word, Belief is another word for Self-Awareness (Self Knowledge). When you discover the truths about yourself- that is about who you truly are according to Scriptures, it changes your approach to life and the way you carry yourself.

No one can, therefore, live beyond the limits of their belief. A lot of people have been trapped as a result of their belief system. This is why I have decided to remind you of this principle for overcoming life and its fiery darts; while this is an eye-opener to others who have never seen life in this light. I didn’t write this to arouse your individual intellects, but to cause a change for a ‘divini-stic’ encounter by disrupting your mind to rediscover yourself, not just as ordinary, subordinate and natural man, but a Supernatural-unique being through the lenses of an overcomer. That you can surmount any height, that you can become anything as long as you believe and engage the Faith-posture in your trying moments to thrive and conquer.

Kindly come down from the clouds of excuses of lack of money, time and chances; what you may be truly lacking is the Sight-belief-system. So, the key to life is knowing and having a clear understanding of ‘how’ to live beyond your present belief. The word Belief as said earlier means FAITH, the word Faith means ‘Belief’. According to Dr Myles Monroe (of blessed memory), “Leadership is 20% Skill and 80% Attitude”. This is why majority across the world, even nations are followers- they wait for things to happen because they can’t make things to happen.

You can go to a university and obtain certain levels of degrees in leadership, yet be unable to decree in the leadership space as a genuine leader. Or obtain international certifications in Management, yet unable to manifest fully and thrive in trying times, because information does not necessarily change the Belief-systems. Beliefs come from your environment, the people you permit into you circle or caucus, those powerful enough to influence your thought-patterns, it could come from your parents, family, religious organization, educational system, movies that you watch and the Books that you refuse to read. Your beliefs come from your environment which you have resolved to settle-in, and have assimilated with the life-patterns or system therein; not until you break out of such system, you may never breakthrough but would remain retarded or restrained by the limitations which come from the system. As individuals, corporate organizations and nations, we all need a release from limiting-systemic patterns and that could be solved through visionary and effective leaders with efficient leadership structures and patterns. This connotes that, one careless error from a leader or head of a family, organization or nation would likely affect and inflict a majority, even across the world or the total structure of an organization or the destroy the family and also the individual in question. To thrive is to lead, to lead is to overcome barriers or win. But our Trying-times may differ.

Currently, humanity (across the world) is going through its Trying-moments and world leaders are coming together to find or proffer solution to a common (global) issue, called the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Decisions from these leaders could affect the over 7billion of the world population.

 (Thriving in Trying-Times continues next week….)

Thank you all for reading.

Watch out for the Book titled: “The Power of an Empowered Zero” (From Zero to HERO) by Tolulope A. Adegoke. Foreword by Dr Yomi Garnett (CEO/Chancellor, Royal Biographical Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S.A., U.K., Abuja, Nigeria.) Edited by Ola Aboderin.

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Court Slams N50m Fine on Senator Abbo for Assaulting Woman at Sex-Toy Shop

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The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama, Abuja, on Monday, awarded N50m damages against the senator representing Adamawa North, Elisha Abbo, to be paid as compensation to a female attendant at a sex-toy shop, Osimibibra Warmate, whom he assaulted.

Justice Samira Bature gave the order in her judgment on the fundamental rights enforcement suit instituted by Warmate against the senator.

The video clip of the alleged assault of the woman by the senator had gone viral.

The police had in 2019 charged before a magistrate court in Zuba, Abuja with one count of assaulting Warmate at a sex-toy shop in Abuja.

But the presiding magistrate, Abdullahi Ilelah, had dismissed the case after upholding the no-case submission filed by the senator.

Warmate, through her legal team including Esosa Omo-Usoh and Nelson Onuoha, went on to sue Abbo in a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed before the FCT High Court and marked FCT/CV/2393/19.

Justice Bature upheld the plaintiff’s case in a judgment on Monday by ordering the senator to pay N50m to the applicant.

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Boko Haram Ambushes Zulum’s Convoy, Kills 15 Officers

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At least 15 security personnel comprising eight policemen, three soldiers and four Civilian-JTF personnel died today after suspected Boko Haram gunmen ambushed a convoy of Borno officials travelling to Baga town.

The attacked officials, according to sources familiar with the attack, were heading to Baga town ahead of government’s planned return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Maiduguri to the camps.

A battery of armed soldiers and police officers, as well as Civilian-JTF personnel, were deployed to provide escort to the officials.

The convoy ran into an ambush by Boko Haram at a spot called Korochara, which is about 2km away from the base of the Multi-National Joint Task Force on the way to Baga from Monguno.

“Seven policemen, four C-JTF members and three soldiers died instantly as the insurgents rained bullets on the unsuspecting members of the convoy,” an official of the Borno state government who wouldn’t want to be named told our reporter.

The source said the attack happened at about 2 pm

Borno state governor, Babagana Zulum, who is expected to supervise the arrival of the IDPs at Baga, had left Maiduguri earlier in the day via a military chopper.

The Borno State government and the security agencies whose personnel were affected are yet to officially comment on the attack.

The attack happened four days after a colonel, D.C. Bako, died after another ambush by Boko Haram terrorists.

Mr Bako was until his death the commander of 25 Task Force Brigade in Damboa. He died in a military hospital where he was receiving treatment after the ambush.

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Food for Living: Listen to Your Inner Voice

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By Henry Ukazu

Greetings Friends,

In today’s contemporary world, we have many interests battling for our attention, especially with the advent of social media. Staying focused can therefore, be a challenge. As rational minds, we all have different thoughts and feelings, but what makes the difference is what we see and hear in our inner minds. For example, we all sit in the same classroom, but our level of comprehension and articulation is different. As a team working on a mission, your vision might be different from what others see, some might be there just to get paid while others might be there to transform the world. Even pain has a different feeling, some people might scream when they feel pain while another person might endure.

As a progressive on a journey to transform the world with your ideas, innovations, and personality, it might be difficult to get a team that believe in not only you, but also in your vision. Whether you are an entrepreneur, politician, student, religious leader, etc., you can challenge and change the status quo. Changing the world is not easy, in fact, it is not easy to change the world; it takes a lot to change a tradition that has been in place for decades, but it is interesting to know that it is easier to influence people than to change them, this is because human beings generally are resistant to change.

Question: Do you have a dream, vision, idea, or plan to bring a change in the society or government? Please bear in mind that it is not going to be easy. However, your concern should be on focusing on the reason it should work and not why it is not going to work. You may be wondering how you’ll achieve this feat when faced with glaring challenges. A great way to remain focused in the face of adversity is to listen to the still small voice in your inner mind. Your inner voice is the greatest strength you can muster when all other options fail. For instance, if you have a strong belief in your network, mentor, friend, parent, associate, or relation to support your work and they disappoint you, what will you do? Will you perish your idea?

Again, you may have strong networks, but they may not see hope in what you are doing. What then will you do?  If you strongly feel the vibe and urge to continue in your vision, please listen to your inner voice. A good way to know if your voice is leading you aright is the presence of peace of mind.

For instance, if you need to make a decision at the moment, but can’t figure out what to do, take a moment to take a deep breath, relax and meditate on the pros and cons of the idea. It’s called the law of mental transformation. Success is not a product of what you do alone, it is as a result of who you are becoming than what you are doing. True success is a product of who you are. It should be noted that the mind is like a garden. A garden won’t stay fallow. It either grows flowers and vegetables or weeds, depending on the seeds you sow on it. Your mind will either manifest success or failure depending on the thoughts you feed with it.

Furthermore, it is normal to complain when the line doesn’t add up. For instance, when you lose your biggest clients; feel cheated in business, or even lose a loved one, there are many voices that will give you cogent reasons you shouldn’t continue in that line of business or see the loss of the loved as the end of your vision, especially if the person serves as your biggest supporter or inspiration. But if you are able to think out of the box, you may realise that there are forces or circumstances that may work in your favour without you knowing due to the demise of the person.

Let me share a personal experience with you; three years ago, I quit a good job with no prospect of another job insight because I felt the urge to see my late grandmother, promote my book and get married. Amongst these three reasons, my grandmother has a bigger role and influence because I constantly see her in my dream pleading with me to see her. I didn’t know why, but maybe because I was one of her favourite grandchildren if not the most favourite grandchild. I took the bull by the horn and resigned and traveled to see her, not only did she bless me, she prayed for my book and professional career. I have no iota of doubt that her blessings and prayers have continued to play a huge role in my life. There is a saying that when you lose a loved one, don’t grief much because they have gone to prepare a better opportunity for you. In fact, they are seen as guardian angels.

In conclusion, just so you know, just like your greatest supporter can be your family member, friend, network or stranger, in the same way, they can serve as detractors. Your primary concern is how you can listen to your inner voice and dare to succeed.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success and President of gloemi.com. He can be reached via info@gloemi.com  

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