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NAIRA SWAP: ANOTHER MOMENT FOR PERSONAL REINVENTION?
When Covid-19 struck, it came like a sudden storm that caught everyone unawares and left in its trail palpable disruptions. But it also created a series of opportunities for those who were able to reinvent themselves.
With the brewing crisis arising from the twin issues of naira swap and the lingering fuel scarcity , not a few experts are already suggesting it would be wise for discerning persons to start planning for personal reinvention if they want to coast through the turbulence with little or no disruption. I am persuaded that you would find these eight tips and lessons on attitude shared with me a while ago by Dr. Sam Adeyemi, a global leadership coach and expert on personal development and self mastery, to be very relevant and useful .
Enjoy Reinvent yourself
This key to success is very, very critical. Reinventing yourself. Once you have a dream, you begin to set goals, you make plans, and you take action. It is inevitable; things will begin to work for you. Things may not work perfectly. We do not live in a perfect world. But with persistence, when you learn from your mistakes, you try again. However, how do you move from one level of success to the other?
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. When she is feeling extremely unhappy, she exaggerates, and uses hyperbolic words like “never take me out”. A man takes that as facts and begins to argue with her and produces proof of how he has taken her out before. The more he punctures her argument the more frustrated she is because he is not hearing her, she wants him to take her out. That is the solution. 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.
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 people’s 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 over time to the extent that the Bible describes a mindset as a stronghold. You see 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 imagination 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 I heard the still small voice in my heart and I knew it was God’s voice. He said, “Write down all the things that are working positively in your life right now.” I took my pen and I wrote, I am 23 years old. I am a site engineer on a multi-million-naira project. I am an associate pastor in the fastest-growing church in the city. My parents are alive, and my siblings are alive. I am healthy. As I went on and on, it dawned on me that God was trying to get a message across to me. My mind was focused on what was not working in my life and God wanted me to realise there were many things that were working positively in my life.
Then I heard that voice in my heart; “There is no amount of worrying you will do today that will make me do today, what I have decided to do tomorrow.” Oh my God, that was a blast. 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 20 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 a ticket to travel out of the country out of frustration. None worked out. That got me frustrated a little bit more. I said, “Hold on, are you sure these principles really work?” What am I saying? Give yourself time. There is no amount of heat that can make a block of ice melt instantly. I know sometimes when we have experienced failure, when we have experienced deprivation, we want things to happen all of a sudden, but it just doesn’t work like that. It takes 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 in school, something happened. A friend asked to use my bank account to keep his money. The Federal Government at that time had decided to change the currency for the whole country. Everybody was required to take their cash and dump it in their bank accounts. Then the bank would give us new notes.
My friend didn’t have a bank account so he gave me his money to keep in my account and that became one of the greatest temptations that I had experienced until that time. The money was in my account and I began to give out my friend’s money as loans 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.
Anyway, I have learnt my lesson. You don’t spend money that is not yours. You don’t spend money that you don’t have. You may feel good temporarily when you are spending the money. However, it will catch up with you and the embarrassment will be enormous.
There are many excuses that we give ourselves, especially when it comes to the issue of money. We have those excuses that seem to be genuine for breaking the rules. The truth is, 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. When we are deprived of something, we tend to overvalue the importance of that thing in our lives to the point where we can throw our lives out of balance.
If you make all the money in the world and in the process, you break your health, how will you enjoy the money when your health is broken? Success must therefore come with a balance. When I was still young in the ministry, invitations were pouring in and I was all over keeping all those appointments without paying any attention to my family.
I made a hard choice to turn down most of those invitations so I could spend time with my family. I decided to prioritise my family. I decided to put my life in balance. I discovered that whenever I set my goals at the beginning of the year, the only written goals that I set were for my job. I did not have any written goals for the family; I did not even have them for my health.
So I began to set my goals in all areas. I would set goals first for my spiritual life; my prayer life, how I would read the bible and my worship of God. Then I set goals for the family–the birthdays we will celebrate, the wedding anniversary with my wife. I decided to take a week off with my wife every year. We would go someplace where nobody knows us and spend time together, giving her full attention. I decided we were going to have family vacations once every year, three or four weeks, a time for family bonding.
I discovered, if you don’t have values, you won’t have value. True success comes with a balance. So I set goals for my spiritual life, my family, my career, my finances and my health.
You Need Your Body to Achieve Your Goals
There is a need to take a break once in a while. That is why I take vacations a few times during the year. Do you know what I discovered? I discovered that during vacation when I am not exerting myself, I get some of the most innovative and creative ideas that I put into my work.
So 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 break down your health, you’ll have nothing else to do. Health will become your vision. 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.
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. There are many who assume that if they could just land at the airport, they would just change instantly. Their fortunes would change if they arrived in a developed country.
Now the lesson; if you really, really want to change your life, change your thinking. You can change your thinking right where you are. There is nowhere on earth where there is no opportunity as long as there are people around us who have needs in their lives. When we develop the capacity to meet their needs, then we realise that we have the capacity to create wealth and succeed.
Right where you are, you are sitting on acres of diamonds. There are phenomenal opportunities around you. 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 and to identify their needs, I became an asset, no longer a liability to the community. I did not realise that people needed what I had so much. 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, and the places I wanted to go, they have come to pass.