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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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UN Confirms Boko Haram Attack on Facility in Borno Town

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The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has confirmed an attack on its facility in Damasak, Borno State, on Saturday.

Humanitarian Coordinator and head of the UN mission in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, confirmed the incident in a statement shared with PREMIUM TIMES.

Mr Kallon said he was “deeply concerned about recurrent reports of violent attacks by non-state armed groups putting the lives of civilians under risks.

“Last night and through the morning, a violent attack in Damasak town, in Borno State, was reported with three international aid partners’ facilities directly targeted, set ablaze, and sustained damage.

“I continue to be concerned about the safety and security of civilians and humanitarian workers.

The top UN official strongly condemned the attack on humanitarian aid operations and facilities that are the “lifeline for people affected by violence and conflict in north-east Nigeria who are dependent on assistance to survive.”

He said humanitarian operations in Damasak to be reduced due to the violent attack.

This, he said, will “affect the support to 8,800 internally displaced people and 76,000 people in the host community receiving humanitarian assistance and protection there.”

Mr Kallon said “Civilians and aid workers, their facilities and assets should never be a target. They must always be protected and respected. I call on armed parties to observe and commit to international humanitarian law and human rights law, and ensure the protection of civilians, humanitarian property, and personnel.”

Mr Kallon had also appealed to donors and stakeholders for support in funding the nine humanitarian hubs and to the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), which are “vital enablers of the humanitarian operations in north-east Nigeria.

“I also appeal to donors to urgently continue their support for the Humanitarian Response Plan for northeast Nigeria to provide life-saving and life-sustaining support to some 6.4 million displaced people and host communities affected by the humanitarian crisis there.”

Premium Times had earlier reported that four persons, including two soldiers, died during the attack. We also reported that a civilian residence, where a naming ceremony was taking place, was bombed by a military jet.

A source in Damasak has, however, confirmed that two women were killed in the bomb attack, which brings the death toll to at least seven.

A police source, who craved anonymity, in this report said it happened at about 5 p.m. on Saturday.

“The insurgents penetrated the town through waterside of Geidam Chuku exit.”

While the terrorists were engaging the troops of 145 Battalion at their camp, some of them were burning an NGO’S warehouse near the HUB, residence of Lawan Ali Asaga near the police station.

“They burnt the NRC resident at Fulatari ward as well as some vehicles.

“While withdrawing, they carted away an unspecified number of NGO vehicles and other civilian vehicles.

“They also looted food items worth millions of naira,” the source said.

“Meanwhile, as the result of the incident, two women and a man lost their lives and three of our troops were injured alongside many civilians that sustain different injures.”

Premium Times

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Ramadan: Look Out for New Moon, Sultan Charges Muslims

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The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, has advised Nigerian Muslims to look out for the crescent (moon) of Ramadan 1442AH from Monday.

Sultan Abubakar, who is the president of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) gave the directive on Sunday in a statement issued by Prof. Sambo Junaidu, Chairman, Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, Sultanate Council, Sokoto.

“This is to inform the Muslim Ummah that Monday, April 12, which is equivalent to the 29th day of Sha’aban 1442AH shall be the day to look for the new moon of Ramadan 1442AH.

“Muslim are, therefore, requested to start looking for the crescent moon on Monday and report its sighting to the nearest District or Village Head for onward communication to the Sultan,’’ the statement read.

The Sultan prayed Allah to assist Muslims in the discharge of their religious duty.

Junaidu gave telephone numbers that could be used directly to report the sighting of the new Ramadan moon to the committee.

The numbers are 08037157100, 07067416900, 08066303077, 08036149757, 08035965322 and 08035945903.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar observed by Muslims worldwide as a month for fasting, prayer, reflection and assisting the needy.

NAN

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Food for Living: Just Begin

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

We are familiar with the slogan of Nike, which says “Just Do It”. It sounds easy at face value, but in reality, it portends a lot. This simply means that if it is easy, everyone will be doing it. The starting point of any worthwhile endeavor or task is very tasking. It’s just like laying the foundation of a house, where a lot of concrete goes into the ground to hold the pillars.

As humans, we have so many plans, ambitions, dreams, goals, and wishes which we desire to accomplish either at a specific time or before we leave the surface of the earth. Some of us even have great vision, but the question we need to ask ourselves is, am I ready to do the needful.

It is sad to know that many of us have great ideas which follow us to the grave. If I may ask, will you be happy to go to the grave with your talent, dream, money, and the blessings God, your creator has bestowed on you? Many people don’t know they have an assignment to perform on earth, and that it is their responsibility to fulfill their purpose. However, they failed to take the bold step, and consequently remain in their comfort zone.

No doubt, the beginning of any endeavor can be challenging. Challenges come to everyone; even sailors experience waves while at sea, but they don’t give up. Challenges come to everyone both in their personal and professional lives. If you want to start a business, you definitely need funds, experience, the right people, and logistics. Even if you have the funds, you will definitely have one form of concern. You’ll quite agree with me that there’s the fear of the unknown lurking around because business on its own is at risk.

As a student, you are afraid of beginning a course/major; just begin. As a full grown adult, you have the fear of getting married. As a person who loves to travel, you are afraid of traveling due to the fear of space, height or flying; I say, just begin.

One of the reasons many of us fail to begin any task is fear. But we fail to understand that when we begin, the universe has a way of meeting us halfway. Just that you know the universe conspires with you to bring your desires into manifestation. When you speak, the walls hear your words, the ground stamps and confirms it and the air carries it. As a single man, do you have an interest in a lady, approach her, send her that message, express your thoughts to her and let her know what you think/feel about her. You may be surprised to know she likes you and maybe waiting for you to take the first step.

Let me share a secret with you; did you know that when I began to write my first book, I had no clue of what to write, but because I took the bold step of writing the topics, ideas began to flow, the more I write, read and engage with people both online and in real life, the more I began to see more concepts to incorporate into my work.

Do you know you are the solution and answer to many people’s requests, challenges, and prayers? The world has not gotten one-tenth of your ideas

Do you know that many ideas go to the coffin just because of perfection? You can never have a perfect time to begin a project, that’s why it’s necessary to take the most important step which is ‘begin’.  You’ll be surprised to know how you’ll improve in a month, year, or even a decade, when you look back.

Do you know you can literally begin an institution just by beginning a project or following up with an idea? The world celebrates Steve Jobs just because of his ingenious ideas in technology. The world celebrates Nelson Mandela because he fought for justice against the apartheid policy. Martin Luther King Jr fought against the injustices in America against the Blacks. The interesting thing about these great men is that they didn’t just conceive an idea, they took the leap of fate, and had massive follower-ship. I ask you, what are you waiting for?

It should be noted that you cannot improve on any task you haven’t started. Isn’t it true that most people learn to dance on their feet and not when they are on their chairs? That tells you, you must get up to dance if you really want to enjoy your dance. In order to run, you must stand up. So in the journey of life, you may not have everything you need, but you have all that is needed and necessary to begin just where you are. The world is literally waiting for you. Just start.

Today, I ask you, what is that task that you are feeling reluctant to start? What is that business, idea, vision, book, music, dream, passion, etc. you are feeling uneasy to begin? I say to you, just begin and see how the universe will conspire to work in your favour

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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