Life Lessons with Ayo Arowolo :Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 09067059433 (sms only)
“Treat Your Mind As Your Most Important Asset”
When he tells his rag-to-riches story Sam Adeyemi sometimes laces it with a tinge of humour. “When I moved to Lagos from Kwara in 1991, I remember I had on a white shirt, a pair of brown trousers, and a pair of white shoes. Weird colour combinations! I had a travelling bag hung on my shoulder, and nobody looked a second time at the guy who had just arrived the city”
The story has since changed. Today, only a few brands in the country have been able to command such an across-the-board influence laced with integrity that appeals to secular and non-secular audiences as he has been able to do. Adeyemi has created and nurtured a network of mega organisations all built to last including Daystar Christian Center, Daystar Leadership Academy, Success Power Media, a one- of- its- kind primary school and a few others. He has created influential platforms in and outside Nigeria that allow him dispense wisdom to those who are far ahead of him in ministry. In a few months’ time Adeyemi would be picking a doctoral degree on Leadership at the Regent University, Virginia, USA. I once asked him what was the secret behind the seemingly effortless ways in which he gets things done. His answer: “systems!”. I create systems and stand behind them to make them work. He is the first we are featuring in the life lessons series. Enjoy the insights.
Your Mind is the most important asset
Candidly, the most difficult problem I have encountered is changing my thinking. I teach people that they need to change their thinking. If their thinking can change, their lives would change. But I always add that the reason many peoples’ lives don’t change is that it is hard to change one’s thinking. In fact, it is warfare. Thoughts have a way of strengthening themselves in the mind overtime to the extent that the Bible describes a mindset as a stronghold. When thoughts come into our minds, they are in a fluid state. If they stay there long enough, they solidify. I found out that with persistence, mindsets do change and with that success beyond imaginations follows.
Worry Won’t Solve Any Problem
Many things did not work out as I had planned when I graduated. I was not getting satisfaction in the engineering company I was working with. My dad’s construction business I was banking on had crashed before I graduated. I was a director in the company with plans that I could take over.
With the future appearing bleak, I would always retire to a lonely place brooding over my lot. This was almost a daily affair until one day the Holy Spirit asked me to put what was not working in my life and the things that were working on a scale and decide which one weighed on my side. I discovered there were so many things working in my favour that made worrying a foolish pastime. I repented immediately and things started to move in my favour from then on.
When you worry, you are paying interest on an overdraft you never took! Does it make any sense?
Success Is Not A Day’s Job
I remember during those twenty months when I was trying to get a job after graduation. I had begun to learn lessons on faith as a spiritual force for creating whatever you want and I decided to try it out. I had wanted to use my faith to get ticket to travel out of the country out of frustration. None worked out. That got me frustrated a little bit to the point of doubting the workability of faith. I later realised that there is no quick fix route to success. Give yourself time. Today, travelling is no longer an issue for me.
More Money Won’t Make You Rich Without Discipline
Several years ago, when I was a student, something happened. A friend requested to use my bank account to keep his money because he did not have a bank account and that became one of the greatest temptations that I had experienced until that time. Without giving thought to my action, I began to borrow my friend’s money without asking him. It was with the intention that I would return the money somewhere along the line. But I was borrowing money that I had no capacity to pay back. Eventually it became a big issue, a big source of embarrassment to me. Of course it has long been resolved. Here is the truth: if you don’t have character, you don’t have anything.
Success Always Comes With A Balance
Some people who have been deprived like I was when I was young want to get money by all means. The important thing to them is breaking through financially. However, I have discovered it is one of the tricks life plays on us.
If you make all the money in the world but in the process you break your health, how will you enjoy the money? Success must, therefore, come with a balance. When I was still young in the ministry I used to honour all manner of invitations just to earn money and this was to the utter neglect of my family.
I discovered, if you don’t have values, you won’t have value. True success comes with a balance. Now I set goals for my spiritual life, for my family, for my career, for my finances and for my health.
Location won’t change who you are
Archbishop Benson Idahosa once said that a lizard in Nigeria will not become a crocodile in America. He was trying to address a mindset that many of us in the third world have. We say that if only we could go to the western nations, if only we could go to the countries that look so beautiful in the movies and in the magazines, then our lives would change.
Now the lesson; if you really, really want to change your life, change your thinking. Right where you are, you are sitting on acres of diamonds. There was a time I wanted to run away from my country but when my mindset changed and I began to look for opportunities to add value to people’s lives, to identify their needs, I became an asset, no longer a liability to the community. And the more I have committed myself to adding value to people’s lives, all the dreams that I had, cars that I wanted to drive, the places I wanted to go, they have come to pass.
I remember an experience I had with reinventing myself with respect to marriage. I went on a weekend retreat and I took along with me, Men Are from Mars, Women are From Venus by John Gray. By the time I came back I was a different man. I was on a new level as a married man. Why? John Gray explained that the way men communicate is different from the way women communicate. Men use words to express facts while women use words to express emotions. Most times when men listen to women they take what a woman is saying as fact when all that a woman is trying to communicate is her emotion. As I was reading the book, I saw myself in the book. I had made so many mistakes. I was smiling to myself. When I came back I was a different man.
You Need Your Body to Achieve Your Goals
This is one of the greatest lessons that life has taught me. You need your body to achieve your goals. However lofty your dreams may be, if you breakdown your health, you’ll have nothing else to do. The health will become your vision. The health will become your preoccupation; you won’t be able to achieve anything. Just a slight change of attitude, trying to eat a balanced diet and checking your health regularly, can go a long way in keeping you alive and long enough to see the fulfilment of all your dreams. I give the required attention to my body now.
Books that have shaped my life
- The Bible.
- The Fourth Dimension – David Yonggi Cho
- Towards Excellence in Life and Ministry- David O. Oyedepo
- The Purpose Driven Church – Rick Warren
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
Pray for your greatest success to happen in the evening of your life and not in the morning. It can be frustrating to expire too soon (Rev. B. Johnson, 1997))
Instead of you inviting guest speakers so they can attract a crowd, why don’t you become the person people want to listen to? (Dr David Oyedepo, 1996)
Don’t think you have seen your best yet. Life is a journey, life is not a station. Those who try to make it a station end up in frustration (Dr David Oyedepo, 1997)