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The Empire States of the Mind: Activate Self Exploration

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By Tolulope A. Adegoke

“The ultimate goal of every exploration is to discover something(s) or unravel mysteries, and maximize those things to conquer: fears, flaws and limitations; thereby advancing one’s self for the benefits of those around us, especially our generation(s)” – Tolulope A. Adegoke

By the activation of the processes of what is termed to be self-exploration, the prodigal son came back to his senses and went back home. The prodigal son did not come to himself by determination or willingly; he rather came to himself by a process- the process of self- exploration.

How far a man conquers the world is a function of how well he conquers himself; hence, the greatest journey, the most prestigious journey, the most rewarding journey any man would ever embark on is the journey of self-exploration. The ultimate goal of every exploration is to discover something(s) or unravel mysteries, and maximize those things to conquer: fears, flaws and limitations; thereby advancing one’s self for the benefits of those around us, especially our generation(s).

A man will be stuck in ‘yesterday’ no matter how well read he is or how well he has explored the world around him, if he neglects to travel through himself; that is, to explore the industries that lies with him. Empowerment for change of levels or development does not come from travelling round the world; it comes from travelling through one’s self. Africa as a continent and government of its nations, for example, craves to attract Africans in diaspora to come back home to make Africa better is an unnecessary move. Africans that will develop Africa are not those that have travelled round the world, they are simply those that have ‘travelled into the industries that lies within their earthen vessels’. The prodigal son is a testimony of this fact; despite how well-travelled he was, he still fell from grace to grass, from a Hero to zero, but he got connected to a program of restoration when he embarked on the journey of self-exploration.

Self-exploration is the art and act of outgrowing childish dependences on individuals, as an individual, a people, a nation or continent, in acknowledging and celebration of the cultural values of developing and assigning one’s natural or innate potentials or gifts to the benefits of others. If you cannot lean on your inner grace (as given by God), you will end up becoming an unnecessary burden unto those around you. Treasures lies within everyone. To be honest, self-explorers out-grow and outshine childish nature of dependence on others. They do not just sit down and wait for others to make things work for them or better; rather, such category of people gets up and work-out things for the better by accepting responsibility for the well-being of peoples, or corporates or nations without any need of compulsion.

Self-explorers meet needs, they do not waste time to first think of who to call on to help them meet the needs when in need. Therefore, such a man or woman waits on him or herself, because he believes in what the Creator, God Almighty has embedded in him or her, which are consciously and continuously worked upon to become better and more useful to God, the society at large and not only to himself! We should be observant enough to know with empirical evidences that major life’s activities are usually done or carried out in seclusion. In quietness lies the truth. My daily mantra goes thus: ‘calm, quiet, available and useful is my soul before God Almighty, My Maker!’ For example, real banking transactions are carried out in the strong room and an organization’s behaviour is cultivated and strengthened and accounted for in a secluded company boardroom. Also, medical operations are usually carried out in secluded places known as the hospital-theatres. So, self-exploration is carried out in the empires of the mind!

Self-exploration involves securing personal independence for self-realization and self-productivity, which requires a secluded or serene atmosphere and the culture of practiced silence. Because, in silence lies the truth! A man that does not engage in silence is bound to perform below his potentials! The prodigal son as a powerful case study here was launched to self-realization and fulfilment of his potentials simply by engaging in silence; listen to the account: [Luke15:15-16]

15“And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; And he sent him into his fields to feed swine, 16And he would fain have filled is belly with the husks that swine did eat; and no man gave unto him.”

The prodigal son celebrated this truth: “…he sent him into his fields to feed swine.”

17“And when he came to himself, he said how many hired servants of my father have bread enough to spare, and I perish with hunger. I will arise and go to my father, and I will say unto him…am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.”

As we can see, the prodigal son became alone with pigs, he was disconnected from men, such that he had nobody to come to his aid or depend on. He became alone, disconnected himself from clubbing, from hanging out with sluts and macho guys. He indeed disconnected himself from distractions (the noises), so as to gain attention to the call of destiny!

Even, Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists ever lived was bearing witness with the prodigal son’s engagement to silence, when he revealed that:

“I am truly a ‘lone-traveller’ and never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family with my whole heart. In face of all these ties, I have never lost a sense of distance and a need for solitude, feeling that increase with the year.”

What the above simply means is to practically engage in silence beyond locking yourself in a room, disconnected from all manner of human and mechanical noise. It simply means disengaging your mind from all manner of desires, lust, pursuits, values and associations that are not loyal, subject or beneficial to the discovery, development and deployment of your God given or innate potentials.

“In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15 (KJV).

The Hero called Michael Jordan, the man whom God had in mind in blessing and entertaining mankind with the basketball skills. The game of basketball would have become boring without the legendary exploits of Michael Jordan. With a divine sense of understanding, there are reasons beyond the visible that made Michael Jordan such a timeless star, which has helped to inspire a lot of individuals across the world and lured many of us study several respective versions of his biographies.

It has been discovered that Michael Jordan’s winning edge is his mastery of the ageless art of silence. He once wrote this powerful piece online:

“When I am out there, no one can bother me. Being out there is one of the most private parts of my life…during the game; for a few times in my life, I feel untouchable…I mean that about a game being like meditation period for me. Anytime I am playing serious basketball, it’s like meditation.

Sometimes even in the middle of the game, I am able to think about things as loud as it is; it’s almost a quiet time for me. I know that basketball game can be very exciting, but for me the game is one of the calmest parts of my life.”

Michael Jordan’s winning edge no doubt is his discipline to play the game on the platter of silence, by being united- spirit, soul and body-with the game of basketball; not minding external applauds or distracting forces which surrounded him- the process with such force that would break any unfocused man. By this, he is able to initiate and maximize communication and application with the unusual and inherent basketball energy he is endowed with.

Silence is the strong force that connects the physical into the spiritual, if properly harnessed to yielding the manifestations of possibilities. Silence, therefore, is the art of being immune to distracting-external forces in order for one to initiate or propel or maximize communication with inherent and invisible resources endowed in man by God. But the art of silence has been neglected by vast majority of mankind; yet it is as important as the art of prayer. Surprisingly, those that are master of the art of ‘prayer’ without mastering the art of ‘silence’ make little or no contribution to human existence. But, those that master the art of ‘silence’ enjoy the grace to maximize, expand, explore, exploit and contribute meaningfully to the advancement of humanity!

Attesting to the reality of this fact, Bishop David O. Oyedepo revealed in his book titled: “Maximizing your Destiny” that:

“Quietness enhances the quality of thinking. Quietness enhances productive reasoning. I cherish quietness and I will do anything to have it…that is why although we have many rooms in our house. I sometimes have to put certain guest in the hotel, to avoid the noise they will make in my home. Quietness is precious to me. It has great spiritual value…”

A prolific and industrious writer, Samson Adah Paul wrote this mind blowing piece that reminds me of the Divine creation techniques:

“When God Almighty saw the need to create woman for man, he did not inspire man to employ the ‘art of prayer’, he simply inspired man to connect to the art of silence…”

“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs…and the rib which God had taken from man, made He woman.” [Genesis2:21]

Silence informs! It is the factory house of progress and development. Any quest for progress and development that is pursued without the art of silence will ever be in vain. Samson Adah Paul writes again: “Africans that will experience the fulfilment of the ‘African Dream’ will have to be masters of the art of silence. Mind you, silence in this context is not about being mute and dumb, it’s rather about being immune to distracting external-forces in order for one to initiate and maximize communication with the inherent resources endowed in man by God.”

Some sensitive aspects of Thomas Edison’s life has been a great lesson and positive example to me as a person after series of comprehensive study about him. I discovered too that his greatest strength was his mastery over the art of ‘silence’. His life showed impeccable discoveries and exploits, but were all as a result of paying attention to necessary matters; it is much more a function of withdrawing attention or refraining from unnecessary matters. He refused to submit to his medical science advancement for the treatment of 100% deafness which he suffered from birth on one ear and 80% deafness on his other ear. Edison rather preferred to bear the burden of deafness, for him to become better; because to him, that was an advantage. He wrote this mind-blowing piece:

“Even though I am nearly deaf, I seem to be gifted with a kind of inner hearing which enables me to detect sounds and noises that the ordinary person does not hear.” Edison did not consider hearing disability as pain but as gain which helped to strengthen his concentration levels in the areas of discoveries and impeccable inventions, thereby serving as a plus to humanity, rather than living on the guise of excuses! This, I call the Empire States of the Mind!

Learn, Apply & Share.

Thank You!

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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The Authentic ‘Place’ of Sacrifice for Empowerment

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Tolulope A. Adegoke

Scars that makes ‘stars’.

Actions with the right motives.

Creativities that guarantees productivities.

Responsiveness that unveils passion.

Illuminant.

Favour that compels envy.

Independent.

Crosses, crowns, cares & cures.

Expectant, experienced, expressions & excellence.

“Sacrifice is the scar(s) we bear in the processes of carrying our ‘crosses’ (responsibilities) towards getting our ‘crowns’ (desired results)” – Tolulope A. Adegoke

Sacrifice is the scar(s) we bear in the processes of carrying our ‘crosses’ towards getting our ‘crowns’. There is no star without a scar! The scar of every star is sacrifice. It is nothing else! It is simply the ticket towards delivering possibilities. Sacrifice is going the extra mile, paying the extra-price and taking the extra steps to deliver your mandates! Your extra-ordinary inputs determine your extra-ordinary impacts! You need to go the extra mile in your “disciplined” life. You must pay the extra-price in your “diligence”; then, the star in you emerges! Do not envy success, envy sacrifice!

Many around the world are embodiments of extra-ordinary potentials (gifts), but have found themselves in fields that are different from their real (divine) calling(s). For example, some are gifted footballers but have found themselves in the Engineering sector… Not until they subject themselves into the diligent sacrifices of football training and timings (age-wise), such people will not manifest or fulfil their original destiny. They would only be engineering stars by chance or by force. It takes sacrifice for the star in us to manifest!

You cannot eat your cake and have it! You cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs! Not even faith is a substitute for sacrifice. Vision is not a substitute for sacrifice! Sacrifice is a covenant requirement of every kingdom star! Apostle Paul in the scripture (Philippians1:21) said: “For me to die is gain, for me to live is Christ.” I will rather die than allow anyone make my glory in Christ vain is a typical description of the term Sacrifice. Being crucified with Jesus Christ is Sacrifice! Every star has a story of sacrifice to tell! Bishop David O. Oyedepo is used to saying: “If you do not improve on where we live of, then you are a failure!”

The above means that, you must wake up from your slumber and invest your time in creating the future that you desire! Until you do what others do not do, you will still remain on the same spot as others! You must therefore wake up and tell yourself the bitter truth and design for yourself a new programme and do not let the year to end without a schedule for next year and a lifetime goal…This would show that you are really a serious entity on a mission to deliver your world from its aches!

Even Jesus Christ, the most anointed said in Luke12:49-50 (KJV): “I have come to set fire on the Earth…I have a baptism to be baptized with and now am I stretched until it be accomplished.”  Anyone that desires to have a “global impact” must pay a “global price”!

You cannot have it until you pay its ultimate worth! You cannot have your crown, not until you are done with the cross!

“Every seed of Abraham is a seed with potentials for global impacts (Genesis22:17-18)” “And if ye be Christ’s, ye are Abraham’s seed and according to the promise (Galatians3:29).”

You are here on Earth for global impacts; you are not here for survival! Global Impacts is about being a positive influence all across the world on humanity in your area of calling(s), chosen career(s) or field(s).

I strongly believe that there are readers of this write-up that would manifest greater grace of positive impacts all across the world all to the glory of God Almighty, if they would be willing to pay greater prices than many great men have paid in the past in order to be the “moves” and “waves” of the “movements and trends” and affluence in their generation(s). Until you pay the greater price(s), you cannot generate greater value(s). For whatsoever a man sows, he shall reap!  What is only waiting for you in the future is simply your investment in today! We need to be prepared to at least start aspiring to do a few things we can do, then the grace will flow in on us to do more/greater! It is then we would be able to soar higher than the Eagles because the skies would have simply been transformed into our starting point!

Ultimately, you must discover your area of calling(s) or field(s), so as to be sure that you are no investing in the wrong direction. Your vision must be clearly defined so as to fully understand your mission and then empower yourself for possibilities in that field. According to 2Timothy 2:15 (KJV): “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Acquire relevant skills, apply the spiritual knowledge and understand the needs of your environment in relation to your “Empowered Zero.”

Your field is the “green pastures” where your flocks feeds through your properly “Empowered Zero” which is harnessed/directed as solutions towards meeting demands, needs of peoples, corporates and nations. Harnessing your “Empowered Zero” is the full-scale methodological applications in a bid to impart your world with the treasures that lies in your earthen vessel!

To empower in this context means to positively influence affect or fuel something or someone or a place to become useful or better towards emerging/fulfilling or serving the real and full purpose of which it was originally created! Having thoroughly studied my Zero to Hero series, a majority across the world have come to understand that no one is indispensable, nothing last forever, change is constant and there is always room for improvement to be able to transit from Zero to Hero. Zero to Hero, in this context, is not limited or restricted to individuals or peoples alone but it touches as well the Corporate world and Nations; illuminating us that we can always be better, come what may!

Empowerment is both a value orientation for working in the community (practical) and a theoretical model for understanding the process and consequences of efforts to exert control and influence over the decision(s) that affect one’s life, organizational functioning, and the quality of Community life; so said Perkins and Zimmerman, 1995; Rappaport,1981; Zimmerman and Warschausky 1998.

The value of the orientation of empowerment suggests goals, aims and strategies for implementing change. Empowerment provides principles and a framework for organizing our knowledge and lifestyle. Robert Adams points to the limitations of any single definition of empowerment “empowerment” and the danger that academic or specialist definitions might take away the wood the connected practices from the very person they are supposed to belong to. Still, he offers a minimal definition of the term: Empowerment as the capacity of individuals, groups and/or communities to take control of their circumstances exercise power and achieve their own goal, and the process by which, individually and collectively, they are able to help themselves and others to maximize the quality of their lives. According to Cornell, Empowerment Group, “it is an intentional, ongoing process centred in the local community involving mutual respect, critical reflection, caring and group participation, through which people lacking an equal share of resources gain greater access to and control over those resources.”

Learn, Apply & Share.

Thank You!

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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Food for Living: Don’t Allow People’s Perception Define You

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By Henry Ukazu

Greetings Destiny Friends,

In our contemporary society, perception is everything, most especially in this era of social media where people share information which either depicts their business, interest or passion. The good thing about sharing information however, is that it gives visibility which in turn attracts value. In communication, it is important to relate with people with resourceful messages. Regardless of what one is sharing, it is instructive also to note that you are sharing information which you like people to know about.

However, the negative effect of sharing different content on the social media, and depending on what you share, is that the society merely finds it as either controversial or socially ignominious or irritating. This can adversely affect or destroy your brand and also label you in certain ways.

When we talk about labeling, several thoughts naturally come to mind. Generally, labelling is seen as a way of identifying people. Labeling can be positive or negative, depending on usage. Depending on how you may have been described or labelled, it is important to note that perception doesn’t define you in a holistic manner. It only gives an impression based on the perception of the person describing you.

Labeling comes in different ways. Some come across as judgments based on hearsay, some create stereotypes, bias, fears and stigma. Labels don’t see people — they describe an oversimplified version of who they are. When you label yourself, you are following the same pattern. Labelling tends to discard all sense of individual identity, and this can be detrimental to not only our personality, but our society in general.

When people label you, they are merely telling you how their thought process works. They stick a label to define us, and if we are not strong, we’ll wear the label like it’s the truth. In one way or the other we may have been defined, but the true definition of a human being is to look at the challenges the person has been able to overcome.

Let’s take a case study of Albeit Einstein; his teacher told him, he’s a dull student and as such he won’t be able to get a good job. He was advised to look for the lowest skill job. Albert Einstein believed what his teacher told him and lived with it for a while, until one day he applied for a job in a company and he was required to do an aptitude test. After reviewing his grade, the Chief Executive Officer of the company called him and inquired why he applied for the lowliest position in the company as opposed to a more advanced position, he responded, that’s what he felt he could do. The manager then told him his score was the highest the company has ever received. From that day, Albert Einstein started to think highly of himself as opposed to believing what his teacher labeled him.

The moral of this story is that people don’t determine our destiny, God does. They might know your name, but they don’t know your story, they might know your history, but they don’t know your future, they might know your past but don’t know your present.

We live in a competitive world where people tend to copy the works, or fit into the standard of the world for social recognition. Don’t fall into the pressure of following the bandwagon. Stick to your calling and maintain your lane.  Don’t allow that label to stick. You’re perfect in your way. In the journey of life, people will laugh at you for reading a book,  they might call you a nerd; they might mock you for working extra hours to grow your business or learn a trade or even start a course that is not popular. They won’t believe in your project; they might tag you with names. Don’t be deterred; they are only seeing today, they are not aware you might be their boss tomorrow.

It is normal for people to say stuff about you or call you names simply because, either they can’t be like you or they are jealous of what you have been able to accomplish. When people label you, it goes to show their level of understating about who you are and their vision of life. Sometimes, human beings love to take advantage of people, especially when you are down. For example, they might say, ‘is this not the carpenter’s son’; that’s what they used to know you as, but you are no longer the names they used to call or tag you. It is important to note that you don’t need to prove yourself to people, your success and reputation will show them over time.

Have you been labeled or defined in a certain way? If yes, work on yourself and tell yourself, you are not where you used to be, and vow never to remain where or be the name you have been associated with, and the best way to do it is to challenge yourself to do better than you were yesterday.

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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A Little Sleep, A Little Slumber: Much Sleep Equals Death

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By Tolulope A. Adegoke

Time sees everyone, yet concentrates on nobody…It is too busy for that! It is a trend that is always willing to give its best to those (who) are ready and willing to sacrifice their best for its proper investment” – Tolulope A. Adegoke

Time is the most and indispensable currency for exploits if invested wisely!

Time is cheap, yet expensive! Time is light, yet heavy and loaded with events (Naturally-Spiritual and Artificial-Physical).

Time can be spent or invested! Time can be handled, managed by effective planning, programming and wise steps/actions for undeniable and reliable results.

Time is no respecter of persons; it does not stop a while for any reason or person(s), it is not controlled by man but by God Almighty, Creator of the Creator of all things!

Time does not cheat! It works its way through from its beginning to that which is called its end (REVELATION).

Time sees everyone, yet concentrates on nobody…It is too busy for that! It is a trend that is always willing to give its best to those ready and willing to sacrifice their best for its proper investment.

Time expires…It evolves into phases!

Time is beyond the physical senses of MAN; it is beyond the tools (seconds, minutes and hours) that make up the clock to reading its trends and moves! It is life…It goes on and on… It cannot be measured but can only be maximized by investing in steady

meditation in serenity for its revelations and illuminations of ideas and creativities at the speed of shock!

Time shocks man, but not God! Time if ‘fact’ and blunt! It works without patience…It is steady and consistent; the sluggard and the ignorant never likes it!

The enemy of time is PLEASURE which generates into PROCRASTINATION! Pleasure abuses its (time) schedules and duties in the creations and manifestations of purpose from IDEALISM into REALISM.

Time flies! It never gives up! It has wings! Time is never tired! It does not wait to be motivated!

Time, if acknowledged and referenced with God Almighty heals! Only God Almighty can recover time; for time cannot recover itself.

Time has no friend or foe, it only relates and works for those that takes/makes out time to seclude themselves in SERENITY to ponder on facts and meditate for reasons so as to become the REASON in the SEASON (Time).

“Time and chance happens to them all (Ecclesiastes 9:11).” Time is for everyone and with no person!

Time speaks and its voices echoes! Its impacts are daily! Time trend always in all medium of communication; Time cannot be caged; it cannot be saved but maximized with Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding and their applicability.

It is true there is “time” for everything, but it (Time) is always ready and available for everything right! Everything right must be done, adopted, implemented and executed and actualized per time.

Time is ever positive…Only the deed of men corrupts/pollutes it! Time is light, it illuminates, it reveals and exposes the deeds of men.

Light is life eternal; everyman is like a candlestick. Your impact lights each candlestick that represent each life.

Time is deeper and sharper than sword! Every word spoken by time is WORK (i.e. IMPACT!)

Time motions…It does not sleep, it does not wait, so why wait till tomorrow before you do that which is right? Why wait till tomorrow before you light up another candlestick around you to lighten up/ illuminate the world? Why wait till tomorrow before you love, before you invest?

You do not know true investment, until you learn time investment. Time is always NOW! It is always TODAY, it is clockwise and always today for the right CAUSE…But only the deed of men pollutes it!

Make today right, make it count and worthwhile for a better tomorrow! Time is ever productive! Always available for everyman’s efforts!

Time is ever prepared today to give you a better tomorrow! Time is invaluable…It is one of the greatest asset given to mankind.

Time has respect for ideas in thoughts and reasoning and mostly for its full actualizations.

Time worked and produced YESTERDAY! Time works TODAY to produce a grand and brand new day called TOMORROW!

Time is official and must be guarded and maximized with care and responsiveness and respect! “Make hay while the sun shines!” Indolence is foolishness! No food for a lazy man.

“Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which having no captain or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer.

And gathers her food in the harvest; How long will you slumber, oh sluggard?”

“A little sleep, a little slumber,

A little folding of the hands to sleep,

So shall your poverty come as one that travelleth;

And your want as an armed man.” (Proverbs 24:33)

It takes the value of wisdom to enjoy the trends of TIME. Time is the principal raw material needed in the factory of ideas. Ideas answer only to those who have “time” for it.

Without setting “time” apart to reason (think), your rising is not in view! Time is where it all begins! Time is therefore of utmost essence in the school of ideas!

Act Now! Every move you make moves you! For every action, there is a REACTION! Time will tell of every of your efforts and rewards.

Time has targets…Its target is always TODAY for a TOMORROW (the future). The certainty of a better tomorrow is determined by well-planned and structured today!

“Time is therefore an asset of universal equality.” Most importantly, time is equal! It all depends on how much you invest it or spend it.

Time is always available for everyman’s efforts but only God rewards all accordingly (Paul plants, Apollo waters but only God doeth the blessings) with blessings of man’s deeds! Time records the deeds of men; be it good or evil… God rewards all accordingly!

Time is specific on goals and facts! Time is ever deliberate; depending on how smart you play your cards (work) and how prayerful you are.

The more time you have for reasoning, the more insight you gain and the greater result you command. The mobile phones you carry about for example most time are working against you. When an idea is coming, it rings and by the time you finish answering the call, the idea has flown away.

Time is an invaluable asset. Unfortunately, most people are abusers of time. We therefore must redeem our time from pollutions (cultural bastardization, tradition and unrelated issues) scrambling for out “time” during business/thinking hours.

Every ‘time’ INVESTORS invariably ends up an INVENTOR.

Life is all about timing! Time is life…Life goes on and on; only the life of man is short! Time is infinite, but its moment expires and evolves into phases and realms in the reality cycle of life. Therefore, maximize your time judiciously!

Learn, Apply & Share.

Thank You!

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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