Wednesday, December 25, 2013

13 Life Lessons Learnt In 2013

1. Good things surely have a way of coming to those that wait. What happens in your waiting place truly defines you.

2. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your opinions, beliefs, and perceptions. Every man has a right to forge his own views.

3. Confronting the things you mostly dread is one of the most fulfilling ventures in life. Never forget the words of Madiba ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done.’

4. Opportunities will always come; it is your readiness to seize them when they come that makes all the difference.

5. Despite all her shortcomings, you can still be anything you want to be in Nigeria. The chances remain endless.

6. At times, you must learn to accept the bad with the good. It is life’s way of reminding us that the act of living is more of wrestling than dancing.

7. When all is said and done, when the accolades and the eulogies stops, when the torrent of criticisms creeps in, when life tweak you, when you look back at your life, you will discover that family remains the most important thing.

8. Education is a liberating factor that can change the mental and financial status of anyone. It is one sure way of breaking the shackles of poverty, while living your dreams.

9. At the end of your life, you will discover that it was not about the destination, but the things you learnt along the way.

10. Gratification can always wait; doing what ought to be done when it should be done is a principle that guarantees result. There will be time enough to chase frivolities.

11. People will hurt you, slander you, criticize you, hate you, jealous you and take advantage of you. However, to forgive everyone irrespective of their wrongs is both a sign of immense maturity and evidence that you are a son of God.

12. Trusting God even when he says no is one of the greatest lessons in life. A grateful attitude even when you don’t understand His ways always pays off in the long run.

13. The grace of God can make the difference in the life of any man. He can break protocols, shatter antecedents, erase precedents and nullify the odds to favour you. There is no stopping the man who the Lord remembers for good.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Intrigues Of Letters

The last has certainly not been heard of diverse open letters that have engulfed our national life of late. Such diatribes are not new in themselves, but the sting in these letters and the vituperations that are emanating from them, are simply unprecedented.

Known for his unguarded tongue and unrivalled wit, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo pounced on his latest causality, President Goodluck Jonathan. The content of his 18-page letter is now public knowledge, but the fallout from the sermon still reverberates. In more saner climes, it is difficult for a former president to openly undermine the office of the incumbent in the manner OBJ did in his diatribe. While some of the concerns he raised were dire, many of them had the sonorous sting of a bitter and drowning godfather whose script had gone unhatched. It is obvious that things have surely fallen apart between Baba and Jonathan. The love that seduced Jonathan to Baba that made him give a decisive blow to the political fortunes of Peter Odilli, has undoubtedly gone sour.

However, just as every well-meaning Nigerians, Obasanjo is surely entitled to his own opinions. What he should have known is that having been the rudder that steered the Nigerian ship for about twelve years (Military and democratic), he had attained a status of dignified statesmanship; a position that demands a lot from him. Without mincing words, Baba should never be in a position to preach a homily to any one on good governance and corruption. The foregoing statement is not to vindicate President Goodluck Jonathan, however, it leaves a smack of political irritation for a man who plunged us into untold national ills to try and act like a ‘Mandela’ overnight. OBJ’s place in the history of Nigeria is forever assured, but, how will he be remembered? No doubt, age and time might have changed Obasanjo, but there is a better way a former president should advice a sitting president.

Days after Baba’s December 2nd letter, a letter supposedly from his daughter, Iyabo, went viral. Debate still ensues on who the true identity behind the letter is. But, if feelers from several quarters are anything to go by, then the ink of that letter has Iyabo’s fingerprints all over it. It is very unfortunate that a child should ever write such a public letter to her father. Not only is it demeaning, it speaks volumes of the family decadence that is becoming prevalent in our society. Nonetheless, such is life in the Obasanjo clan. From father to daughter, logic is defiled. Yet, if that letter is truly from Iyabo, both father and daughter should bury their faces in eternal shame. In truth, their shenanigans have done Nigerians grave injustice.

And then, there is the December 20th letter from the office of Mr. President. Since OBJ’s letter became public knowledge, it has become the delicacy of pundits in the country. Like is the hope of all journalists, it was a dream story. However, GEJ avoided the knack to act swiftly. He was always going to respond, it was a matter of when. Though the letter had the skeletal frame of Goodluck Jonathan, it is likely that it was Reuben Abati that supplied it with flesh. Whatever be the case, it was typical of Jonathan to take on anyone who criticizes his government. One wonders if this was not one scenario where silence would have been golden. As much as he tried in addressing some of the issues raised by Baba, he was still guilty of throwing stones at the old man, by drawing comparisons of his government with that of the former leader. While that is not an entirely bad thing to do, it was not needful. Also, President Jonathan tried to vindicate himself by nullifying some of the charges labelled against him by the former leader. In all honesty, he struggled to convince many people. It is apt to state that the current Nigeria situation is in a state of debacle and it leaves plenty to be desired. The ills of corruption remains extant, unemployment continues to be a scourge, and the menace of Boko Haram has not abated (to rehash but a few). At times, actions speak louder than words. Jonathan does not owe Obasanjo an explanation. It is the Nigerian people that gave him his mandate, and it is to them he owes an allegiance. It is not likely that many Nigerians are happy with him either. In sum, he has not simply done enough.

Pen ultimately, beyond all the deceits and sincerity of letters, is an undeniable tussle for placements towards 2015. The signs remain ominous, and unless there is a swift intervention, the 2015 elections could be a messy affair.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

SHORT STORY: A Crooked Path!

It was a day of her dreams; a day that had only existed in the precarious part of her imagination. As Chikwendu moved up the podium, the crowd was thrown into the seventh heaven. The ovation was a stuff of fantasy. Men and women cheered, and even the entire hall knew it was hosting its finest moment.

Chikwendu was graduating from the famous University of Ibadan as not just the finest product of her dispensation, but as the best since inception of the citadel. Such feat is never a routine, and thus, was not going to be treated with kid gloves. Her face glowed in sheer ecstasy as she made her way to the front of the hall. Students, friends and well-wishers all gathered offered their hands as she moved through the isle. You will mistake her for a Serena Williams or a Beyonce Knowles. That moment had a “celebritique” vibe about it. Her face was radiant, her smile was profound, and her step was majestic. There was something worldly about her dress that almost betrayed her academic sublimity. Short and skimpy; you will assume it was tailored for models. However, her recent achievement was nothing short of a model for all.

Chikwendu was the first child in a family of eight. Though fertility have been prodigal to her parents, fortune have not been so kind. Chikwendu lost her father at the tender age of four. He was a victim of the notorious Lagos mob. Chikwendu’s father lost his life on a faithful Sunday morning when he was caught stealing some food items from a local shop. Poverty had driven him to such extremes, but the waiting mob that pounced on him was not interested in such fairy tales. Life without her father and other seven siblings to look after was both difficult for Chikwendu and her mother. Yet, in defiance, she fought her way through school, and today, she was graduating as the best student in the history of the University. Her mother’s joy knew no bounds. It was difficult for her fighting back the tears. It was tears formed in decades of toiling and suffering.

The eulogies poured in their torrents for Chikwendu. Indeed, success had many relatives. It was a day Chikwendu and her family believed will end the many years of penury. Such hopes generally came with graduation of this caliber.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela: A Generation Passes On

In the thick of the night, while darkness gathered upon the clouds of Africa, as the continent made her bed to sleep, the dreaded news filtered in. It was a news that we all knew was carved in stone, yet we silently hoped that nature will give us an exception. We just didn’t want him to go. In a continent that have come to be associated with tyrannical leaders and despots of various degrees, he was the only true evidence that could plead our case that not every leader in the continent was intoxicated with avarice and untold power.

But, every journey they say has its own destination. His has been a long walk for an astonishing ninety five years. A journey that is a classic tale of how one man with an unflinching and uncommon will can change the world. As Pat Utomi aptly puts it, the long walk of dignity, has done a johnny walker to immortality. The world will continue to pour encomiums on the revered iconic figure. Perhaps, beyond the fleeting eulogies, what lessons are we to learn from the life of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

The tale of how he spent twenty seven years in the torture of Robben islands is one that is well chronicled. Madiba stood up for what he believed in, even when he stood alone. Such courage to fight the forces of injustices is one that is in short supply today in our world and particularly on the African continent. In addition, Mandela showed that you don’t need to do two terms, three terms or rule forever, to make meaningful impact. He was leader for only five years (1994-1999). Even when the option to run again was one that many South Africans clamored for, he deemed it fit to let another man steer the course. Perhaps, what I find most remarkable about Madiba is the fact that despite the atrocious onslaught and sophisticated injustice meted against him for almost three decades, he held no grudges against his perpetrators. It is an irony that a man who was named "Troublemaker" will now, forever, be remembered as an icon of peace, forgiveness and reconciliation. Mandela’s capacity to forgive and forget brought him global appeal, and portrayed a quality that will continue to resonates through many generations to come.

He was the conscience of the continent, an icon of the finest breed. He lived and died for a purpose. He was an epitome of justice, a one man riot, a hero of Olympian heights, an era himself, and a stalwart of the highest proportions. He was greatness personified. You could have all the trillion of dollars, but you can’t buy an ounce of such greatness. In all truism, Mandela never died, his life has been intertwined into millions of lives around the world.

As the iroko makes his short walk to immortality, it is a time to reflect upon our lives. What exactly are we living for? What is our belief system founded on? What principles are we ready to stake our lives for? Mandela’s once said “During my lifetime, I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal that I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

12 Lies People Love to Tell You

1. What you need in life is comfort and safety.

If you want to make an impact, big or small, get comfortable with being uncomfortable. All growth begins at the end of your comfort zone. Maybe the thing you’re scared of is exactly what you should do. Sometimes life is about risking it all for a dream no one can see but you.

2. You have way too much to lose.

In the end, you will not regret the things you have done nearly as much as the things you have left undone. It’s always better to be left with a few “oh wells,” than a bunch of “what ifs.” It’s better to have a lifetime full of experiences and mistakes you learned from, rather than a heart full of regrets and empty dreams. Someday you will want to look back at your life and say, “I can’t believe I did that!” instead of, “Gosh, I wish I would have…”

3. Your dream is impossible.

When a dream matters enough to a person, that person will find a way to achieve what at first seemed impossible. Let that person be YOU. It’s kind of fun to do the impossible. Go after your dream, no matter how unattainable others tell you it is. What’s impossible to them may not be impossible for you.

4. Being self-centered is always wrong.

You must choose yourself and live your life from beginning to end; no one else can do it for you. Claiming full control over your health, dreams, and well-being are some of the areas in your life where you get to be a little selfish and not feel bad about it. If you want to reach your goals, you have to be the center of this part of your journey. You have to make it work for you and you alone. It’s not selfishness, it’s self-care and self-improvement. Anything less is a setup for failure.

5. You need the approval of others.

People are sometimes too quick to judge, but slow to correct themselves. Don’t be one of them. Focus on your own growth, goals, and self-worth. Leave people to their opinions and judgments. Let them respect you for who you are, and not for who they want you to be… Or let them walk away if they choose. Either way, they can’t harm you; it’s their understanding that is faulty, not yours.

6. The strongest, happiest people have fewer problems.

Strength doesn’t come from what you can do; it comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t do. When you are at your lowest point, you are open to the greatest positive change. Happiness is not the absence of problems, but the strength to deal with them. The strongest people are the ones who feel pain, accept it, learn from it, and fight through it. They turn their wounds into wisdom.

7. Situations are either positive or negative.

The Chinese symbol for the word “crisis” is written using two strokes of a pen. One stroke stands for danger, and the other for opportunity. In other words, in a crisis, beware of the danger, but also recognize the opportunity. Life always balances itself out. Everything that happens is neither positive nor negative; it just depends on your perspective.

8. Perfect relationships exist.

The love of your life isn’t perfect, you aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if you can make each other laugh once in awhile, cause each other to think twice about the sweetness of life, and both admit to being human and making mistakes, your relationship is something special. No, you two may not always choose the most poetic words, and there will likely be inconsiderate slip-ups on occasion, but that’s what makes your bond real. Smile when they make you happy, speak up when they make you mad, and miss them when they’re gone. Love hard when there is love to be had. Perfect love doesn’t exist, but true love does, and it’s worth the effort.

9. Love is an obligation.

Love between two people comes because both people want to share their love, not because YOU want it from the other person. Your family, friends, co-workers, partner – they all love you because they choose to, not because you want them to. Love is meant to be felt, enjoyed and lived, not to be forced on anyone.

10. You can’t be kind to everyone.

Kindness is not to be mistaken for weakness, nor forgiveness for acceptance. It’s about knowing resentment is not on the path to happiness. Having confidence and class is the ability to walk away from a bad situation with a smile on your face and forgiveness in your heart.

11. You need more to be happy.

There are two ways of being rich: One is to have all you want, the other is to be satisfied with what you have. Accept and appreciate things now, and you’ll find more happiness in every moment you live. Happiness comes when you stop complaining about the troubles you have and offer thanks for all the troubles you don’t have. And remember, you have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.

12. It’s too late.

Anyone can run away; it’s super easy. Facing issues and working through them makes you strong. Focus on your dreams, not your problems. It’s not too late. A hundred disappointments in the past can’t equal the power of one positive action right now. Talk is cheap; action is priceless. Go for it! Give yourself another chance.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Battle To Salvage Our Educational Sector!

The last might not have been heard of the protracted ASUU strike. Even if this recent round of madness seizes, there are no guarantees that this will be the last of its kind. However, it is a futile venture to debate over who is to blame for the over five month’s academic redundancy that undergraduates of public universities have been condemned to. Enough punditry already exists in dissecting that, and opinions remain polarized.

However, the decadence in our educational sector is beyond the ASUU strike, and all the union’s demands. In this sector, we have truly lost the way. It is now a mantra that we produce graduates that is not worth their certificates. It has been said, and not without reason that education is not meant to fill the mind, it is meant to open the mind. It should not just teach one how to make a living, but how to live a life. Thus, education is a better safeguard than a standing army. For over two decades, our universities, polytechnics and colleges of education, have specialized in producing men and women that are not armed with the prerequisite skills to face the many demands of our generation. Our curriculum has outlived their uses. Our laboratories are havens of scientific archives. The entire system has become too obstinate, and adapting the culture of our universities to meet the challenges of today, has proven to be abortive. Today, there is a hue and cry over how thousands of our youths now pursue the Golden Fleece abroad. The statistics are startling. A report in 2010 reported that Nigerians fuel the UK educational sector to the tune of 246 billion naira; over 60 percent of the Nigeria 2012 education allocation. The figures in 2012 suggest that Nigerians studying abroad spends a total of 1.5 trillion naira annually. No doubt, the economies of Ghana, United Kingdom and the United States are the biggest beneficiary of this fortune. These realities give the ASUU Movement some impetus, but one wonders if the current modus operandi of the movement is the best path to thread.

It’s worth saying that it is not only our universities that have brought about a state of debacle in our educational sector, the primary and secondary schools share a part of the blame. Many of these schools are below acceptable standard. There is a huge level of lukewarm attitude in our public secondary schools that needs sacrosanct attention. The apathy of many of the teachers towards their jobs is a testimony to why all sorts of unwholesome activities now take place in our schools. Suffice it to say, one should mention that despite government efforts to ensure that teachers of public primary and secondary schools are adequately remunerated, a lot still needs to be done in that regard.

Surely, the educational sector is one area of our national life that cannot be treated with kid gloves. All stakeholders must be sincere in their quest to salvage our education. We must understand that an investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

12 Universal Skills You Need to Succeed at Anything

1. Prioritizing and time management. – If success depends on effective action, effective action depends on the ability to focus your attention where it is needed most, when it is needed most. This is the ability to separate the important from the unimportant, which is a much needed skill in all walks of life, especially where there are ever increasing opportunities and distractions.

2. Keeping a clean, organized space. – Successful people have systems in place to help them find what they need when they need it – they can quickly locate the information required to support their activities. When you’re disorganized, that extra time spent looking for a phone number, email address or a certain file forces you to drop your focus. Once it’s gone, it takes a while to get it back – and that’s where the real time is wasted. Keeping both your living and working spaces organized is crucial.

3. Critical thinking and information analysis. – We are living in the information age where, on a daily basis, we are constantly exposed to an ever growing and rapidly changing pool of information. Being able to evaluate this information, sort the valuable from the trivial, analyze its relevance and meaning, and relate it to other information is a priceless skill with universal applicability.

4. Logical, informed decision making. – Decision making is simply knowing what to do based on the information available. Being able to respond quickly and effectively with the information you have in your head is essential to accomplishing anything.

5. Using Google proficiently for online research. – You don’t have to know everything, but you should be able to quickly and painlessly find out what you need to know. Google is a gateway to nearly infinite knowledge; it has indexed websites containing information on just about everything and everyone. If you’re having trouble finding something using Google, it’s time to learn a few new tricks.

6. Basic accounting and money management. – It’s a simple fact that our modern society is governed by the constant exchange of money. Money allows you to maintain a roof over your head and put food on the table each night. Knowing how to properly manage your money – tracking and recording your expenses and income, saving and investing – is not only an important skill for thriving, it’s an important skill that helps you survive.

7. Effective communication and negotiating. – Give the people in your life the information they need rather than expecting them to know the unknowable. Don’t try to read other people’s minds, and don’t make other people try to read yours. Most problems, big and small, within a family, friendship, or business relationship, start with bad communication. Speak honestly, and then give others a voice and show them that their words matter. And remember that compromise and effective negotiating are vital parts of effective communication.

8. Relaxation. – Stress leads to poor health, poor decision-making, poor thinking, and poor socialization. So be attentive to your stress level and take short breaks when you need to. Slow down. Breathe. Give yourself permission to pause, regroup and move forward with clarity and purpose. When you’re at your busiest, a brief recess can rejuvenate your mind and increase your productivity. These short breaks will help you regain your sanity, and allow you to reflect on your recent actions so you can be sure they’re in line with your goals.

9. Proficient writing and note-taking. – The written word isn’t going away; it is used in every walk of life. Learning to write proficiently so that others can understand you is critical. Also, using your writing skills to take useful notes is one of the most productive things you can do, regardless of the task at hand. Writing things down – taking notes – helps us remember what we hear, see, or read when we’re learning something new, or trying to remember something specific.

10. Relationship networking. – In a world dominated by constant innovation and information exchange, relationship networking creates the channel through which ideas and information flow, and in which new ideas are shared, discussed and perfected. A large relationship network, carefully cultivated, can be leveraged to meet the right people, find jobs, build businesses, learn about new trends, spread ideas, etc.

11. Positivity. – Research shows that although we think that we act because of the way we feel, in fact, we often feel because of the way we act. A great attitude always leads to great experiences. People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times. Be positive, smile, and make it count. Pretend today is going to be great. Do so, and it will be.

12. Self-discipline. – Self-discipline is a skill. It is the ability to focus and overcome distractions. It involves acting according to what you think instead of how you feel in the moment. It often requires sacrificing the pleasure and thrill for what matters most in life. Therefore it is self-discipline that drives you to succeed in the long-term. (MANDG).

Monday, November 18, 2013

Lessons From The Anambra Governorship Elections!

As if to confirm the fears of many about the entire process, the Anambra gubernatorial elections have ended in shambles, and has raised more dust than it has settled. After weeks of intrigues, crude politicking, insane bickering and unending tension, the poll has created a state of debacle. Indeed, INEC claims the final outcome remain inconclusive, and are yet to declare Willie Obniano of APGA as the legitimate winner of the poll, although it is almost carved in stone that he will be the next governor of the Light of the Nation. As numerous punditry begin to emerge from the aftermath of the process, the elections have already taught us more than a handful of lessons.

Without throwing stones unnecessarily, it is a truism that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), was ill prepared for the elections. These inefficiences are not novel, however, with the diatribe of assuring words from Prof Attahiru Jega and his commission, many were expecting INEC to score some points, and restore the confidence of many Nigerians and the global community about it's integrity and competence, even as 2015 looms. Yet, in what was considered a dress rehearsal for 2015, INEC failed grossly. Inadequate materials, delay of officials and electoral facilities, compromise of some of the commission's staff, illegitimate disenfranchisement of some registered voters, rescheduling of voting in some wards, have all provided sufficient evidences to show that INEC has not learned from history. At the first time of asking, INEC has failed it's litmus test.

For reasons too obvious to rehash here, the Anambra governorship elections has always been the crux of elections in the south-east. APC and it's candidate Chris Ngige were looking to build a forte by clinching the state. If that had been the case, it would have helped to salvage the widely held view of APC as a party of Western and Northern bed fellows. The average man or woman from Anambra, and indeed the East as a whole, is still very sceptical of the APC and it's agenda. The logic holds sway that since GEJ rule is being considered as "Eastern Nigeria" serving their own turn, the APC would remain an infidel and dangerous partner. It has been said and not without reason, that Ngige's sin was to have opted to pitch his tent with APC. In hindsight, one wonders if Ngige would have taken the rest of his contestants to the cleaners if he was of any other party affiliation. Perhaps, the question many has failed to ask is this: Did Ngige do enough during his first stint as governor, for him to demand the mandate of the electorate again?

Suffice it to say, the emergence of Willie Obiano as governor could usher in a return to the politics of godfatherism in the state. The tales of Chris Uba and Chris Ngige is still fresh in our minds. Anambra politics have been hallmarked by years of untold impunity, where godfathers seek blood from their godsons the moment they decline in doing their bidding. Is Peter Obi in the mould of such shenanigans that will unleash the ultimate pressure on Obiano? We can only permutate at the moment, as only time will reveal how far the union of Obi and Obiano will last.

While it is true that many of our elections are far from free and fair, it is also very true that those that are defeated in the course of elections hardly takes defeat in good faith. If any politician is vanquished in an electoral process, the process must have been flawed. This mindset makes them perennial enemy of the government of the day. There is no harm in finding recourse in the electoral tribunal, it just should not be a baseless routine. Moreover, history is replenished with adequate instances of electoral petitions remaining at the tribunal, while the tenure of the concerned politician has almost elapsed.

It remains to be seen if the gubernatorial polls would be abruptly cancelled. This is a very unlikely scenario in this part of the world, especially when it is the incumbent that is been contested against. Whatever the outcome, INEC has given us enough reasons to be very concerned about the elections in 2015.

Monday, November 11, 2013

20 Things Life Will Teach You!

Good day friends.
I hope this helps you in your walk of life.

1. You must create and look for opportunities: Opportunities rarely ever come knocking on the door of someone who's not seeking them. You have to create and seek opportunities for yourself. You have to take the initiative to get the ball rolling and the doors opening.

2. Negativity will only bring more of it: When you focus only on negativity, obviously that's all you will see. You will not seek out positivity, and even when positivity comes into your life, you'll look for the negative part of it.

3. Where you are does not determine where you can go: It doesn't matter if you're homeless or living in a mansion, poor or rich, or if you have a 4.0 grade point average or "failing", it won't make any difference in the future. There are countless rags to riches stories to back this point up. If you have the drive and talents, you can go anywhere. You create your own limitations and horizon.

4. If you can't help others, you can't help yourself: Even if it's just to hold the door for someone or some other simple gesture, it will do wonders for your life. You'll feel great and you'll eventually be returned the favor sometime during your life, whether you realize it or not. If you don't want to help others, then others won't want to help you, and nor should they.

5. Follow your passion, money will follow: If you have passion and have fun doing your job, then I wouldn't consider it a job. You can focus on creating even more passion for that subject and money will eventually follow you. If you focus only on the money, it won't come because you're focused on the quantity of your work and not the quality.

6. Put God first: No matter what your aspirations are, irrespective of your innate talents, you must realize that the greatest men on earth are not the smartest. The God factor makes a difference in a man's life. Not only must you recognize the place of God in your life, you must make that place the priority.

7. Planning is good but so is being spontaneous: Planning ahead in business and in life is important but so is being able to quickly change that plan. Various people and events will get in the way of your plans, so you have to be able to modify or forget your plans at times. Be spontaneous once and awhile, it makes life interesting.

8. You have many talents: You may be a talented athlete or musician but you probably have ten more talents you don't even know about. When people find something they're good at, they only focus on that instead of seeing what else they can do.

9. Don't work hard without rewards: What's the point of working hard to follow your dreams if you aren't going to treat yourself along the way. Each little or big goal you accomplish should be rewarded with a proportionate treat, maybe a day off or a big slice of cake.

10. Money does bring happiness: As I said, you shouldn't be chasing money but when you do earn it, you know you've been accomplishing something. It feels great and brings you happiness because you know you'll have more freedom and time to do what you want.

11. Someone always has it worse: At times you may be having a bad day, but stop yourself and think about it; there has to be millions of other people are having a worse day than you.

12. You'll need others: Make as many friends as you possibly can and never burn bridges. You will need others for your success.

13. Being open-minded is the key to more knowledge: If you want to know more about the world you have to be open-minded. Give everything a chance.

14. Failure is great: One of the most important, if not the most important steps to success is failure. You have to fail at least once, but it's better if you've failed multiple times. You can learn so much more from your failures than you could any other way. And when you finally achieve success, you'll appreciate it so much more.

15. Most people are actually nice: This is something I've only recently realized. Most people are nice, but not usually to strangers. Once they get to know you and you get to know them, they will most likely seem like very nice people.

16. Words and thoughts control everything: What you say and think will ultimately become reality. If you say you're going to fail, then you will because you'll find a way to make it happen. If you say you're going to succeed, the same will happen, you'll find a way.

17. Your view is the reality: How you see an event or situation is how it exists. If you see something as tragic and negative then that's what it means to you. If you see something as exciting and positive, then that's what it is.

18. Inspiration and motivation are everywhere: I don't care where you are, there is something there that can motivate and inspire you. You can be at war is some far away country, in horrible conditions, but there will be something there to keep you going and strive for something better. You just have to recognize it and keep it with you.

19. You can change the world: Every single person has the ability to change the world whether directly or indirectly. When you change your life and the lives of those around you, you've changed the world. Small things that you do can make a huge impact on the world.

20.If it were easy everyone would do it: This is why get rich quick schemes will never be true. If it was so quick and easy then everyone would be millionaires. Making money and accomplishing tasks is hard work, but well worth it.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

30 Questions To Make You Think!

1.How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

2.Which is worse, failing or never trying?

3.If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

4.When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

5.What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?

6.If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?

7.Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

8.If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

9.To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?

10.Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

11.You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do?

12.If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?

13.Would you break the law to save a loved one?

14.Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?

15.What’s something you know you do differently than most people?

16.How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?

17.What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?

18.Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?

19.If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?

20.Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?

21.Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?

22.Why are you, you?

23.Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?

24.Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?

25.What are you most grateful for?

26.Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?

27.Is it possible to know the truth without challenging it first?

28.Has your greatest fear ever come true?

29.Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now?

30.What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

10 Things You Should Never Say About Yourself

1. “I’m not good enough yet.”

You might think you’re not good enough, but you’ll surprise yourself if you keep trying. Your past does not determine who you are. Your past prepares you for who you are capable of becoming. What ultimately defines you is how well you rise after falling. Don’t ever be afraid to give yourself a chance to be everything you are capable of being. Forget the haters. Never undervalue who you are and what you’re capable of. Excellence is the result of loving more than others think is necessary, dreaming more than others think is practical, risking more than others think is safe, and doing more than others think is possible.

2. “I should be living up to other people’s expectations.”

Remember, it’s always better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than the top of the one you don’t. Happiness and success is all about spending your life in your own way. Always be yourself and walk your own path. No one can ever tell you you’re doing it wrong. Everyone has their own dreams, their own struggles, and a different path that makes sense for them. You are YOU for a reason.

If you end up living a boring, miserable life because you ignored yourself and instead listened to a parent, a teacher, or some gal on TV telling you how to live your life, then you have no one but yourself to blame. Just remember, the smartest and most courageous act is simply to think for yourself and listen to you own intuition. In the end, it’s better to die your way, than live someone else’s idea of your life. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Self-Love” and “Relationships” chapters of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

3. “What they think and say about me matters.”

What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

Don’t let others crush your dreams. Do just once what they say you can’t do, and you will never pay attention to their negativity again. Don’t walk away from these negative people… RUN! Good things happen when you distance yourself from negativity and those who create it.

Truth be told, no one has the right to judge you. People may have heard your stories, but they can’t feel what you are going through; they aren’t living YOUR life. So forget what they say about you. Focus on how you feel about yourself, and do what you know in your heart is right.

4. “I need recognition for my actions to be worthwhile.”

Do what you know is right. Integrity is doing the right thing, no matter what, even when nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not. Life always finds its balance. Don’t expect to get back everything you give. Don’t expect recognition for every effort you make. And don’t expect your kindness to be instantly recognized or your love to be understood by everyone you encounter.

What seems like the right thing to do could also be the hardest thing you have ever done. Do it anyway. There is no greatness or peace of mind where there is betrayal of your own goodwill. Always aim at complete sincerity of your thoughts, words and deeds. If it is wrong, don’t do it. If it is untrue, don’t repeat it. Do what you do because you believe it’s the right thing to do. Do the right thing even when nobody is looking. Be one of the people who make a true difference in the world by leaving it a little better and more wholesome than you found it.

5. “It’s too late for me.”

Don’t let yesterday steal your present. Don’t judge yourself by your past… you don’t live there anymore. Let go, grow, and move forward. As we grow older and wiser, we begin to realize what we need and what we need to leave behind. Sometimes walking away is a step forward. Sometimes a break from your routine is exactly what you need. Unless you try to master something beyond what you already know, you will feel forever stuck.

Don’t waste another minute regretting what you did yesterday, and start doing what you have to do now, so tomorrow you won’t regret what you did today. It’s not too late. If you feel like it is, it’s just your inner fears lying to you. But remember, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in your mind. It’s difficult to follow your heart, but it’s a tragedy to let the lies of fear stop you. (Read Awaken the Giant Within.)

6. “I need to have it all figured out.”

Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker? Believe it or not, sometimes it’s the latter.

Sometimes the greatest dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had. It’s about open-minded exploration. There are no wrong turns in life, only paths you didn’t know you were meant to walk. You never can be certain what’s around the corner. It could be everything, or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and realize you’ve climbed to the peak of the most beautiful mountaintop.

7. “I do not have enough to be positive and grateful.”

Some days you’ll find diamonds and some days all you’ll see is coal. However, every day is a golden opportunity to learn, practice gratitude, and positively impact the world around you. Do not ask for instant fulfillment in your life, but for patience to accept your current frustrations. Do not ask for perfection in all you do, but for the wisdom to not repeat past mistakes. Do not ask for more before saying, “THANK YOU” for everything you have already received.

And remember, everything in life is temporary. So if things are good, enjoy it. It won’t last forever. If things are bad, don’t worry because it won’t last forever either. Just because life isn’t stress-free right now, doesn’t mean you can’t laugh. Just because something is bothering you, doesn’t mean you can’t smile. The trick is to be grateful when your mood is high and graceful when it is low.

8. “My life should be easier and free of discomfort.”

Great challenges make life interesting; overcoming them makes life meaningful. It’s how you deal with failure and discomfort that determines your level of success and happiness. Laugh at your mistakes and learn from them. Joke about your troubles and gather strength from them. Have fun with the challenges you face and then conquer them.

Emotional discomfort in life, when accepted, rises, crests and crashes in a series of waves. Each wave washes an old layer of you away and deposits treasures you never expected to find. Out goes inexperience, in comes awareness; out goes frustration, in comes resilience; out goes hatred, in comes kindness. No one would say these waves of emotional experience are easy to ride, but the rhythm of emotional discomfort that you learn to tolerate while doing so is natural, helpful and prevalent. The discomfort eventually leaves you stronger and healthier than it found you. (Read Man’s Search for Meaning.)

9. “I can’t forgive them.”

Forgiveness is a promise. When you forgive someone you are making a promise not to hold the unchangeable past against your present self. Forgiveness doesn’t mean what happened was completely excusable, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that person should still be welcome in your life. It simply means you have made peace with the pain, and are ready to let it go and move on with your life.

Forgiveness has nothing to do with freeing a criminal of his or her crime. It has everything to do with freeing yourself of the burden of being a victim – letting go of the pain and transforming yourself from victim to victor.

10. “I am alone.”

You can’t make it through on your own. None of us can. That’s why, thank goodness, you are never as alone as you sometimes feel. So many of us are fighting the same exact battle alongside you. You may feel alone sometimes, but you are not alone in being alone.

To lose sleep worrying about a loved one. To have trouble picking yourself up after someone lets you down. To feel rejected because someone didn’t care about you enough to stay. To be afraid to try something new for fear you may fail. None of this means you’re weird or dysfunctional. It just means you’re human, and that you need a little time to regroup and recalibrate yourself.

No matter how embarrassed or pathetic you feel about your own situation, there are others out there experiencing the same emotions. When you hear yourself say, “I am all alone,” it’s just your mind trying to sell you a lie. There’s always someone who can relate to you. Perhaps you can’t immediately talk to them, but they are out there, and that’s all you need to know right now.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Arsenal’s Revival and United’s Problems: An Analysis

It might not be the best league in the world in terms of quality and style of football, but the entire world agrees that it’s the most glamorous and competitive on the planet. The battle for the top is as intriguing as the dog fight at the bottom of the table. No match is a given. No bookmaker smiles every week. The suspense is neck-breaking.

As we all anticipated, Manchester United were never going to find it easy with the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson. Many United fans and players have only known one man at the helm; Sir Alex. Twenty-six years at one club is legendary in itself, and to have decorated those years with a myriad of trophies is simply exquisite. Following his departure, Moyes became the Chosen one. Many have questioned the rationale behind the appointment, but it beggars believe that Sir Alex would have faulted in perhaps the most important decision of his career. However, with United’s shambolic start to the season, the detractors and the cynics seem to be making their voices heard.

It is true that Moyes had not won a trophy or anything that resembles one in his career. This surely doesn’t help his case. Yet, it is very difficult to argue that he had not enjoyed success, considering the circumstances of his reign at Everton. To manage Everton and United is a different kettle of fish entirely (a point that should be noted while moaning about Lukaku’s loan move to Everton from Chelsea). In addition, one has to doubt if Moyes has the Character to handle a footballing empire like Manchester United. He doesn’t have to possess Mourinho’s theatrics or even Fergie’s vindictive style. On the evidence so far, he lacks the charisma. Also, to bring an overhaul to the entire back room staff is a rash decision that was never going to help David Moyes. Having said that, Moyes was never going to come in and continue a reign of glory immediately. A transitional period was always going to kick in. Suffice it to say, one point that has been glossed over while Moyes have been castigated, is that United left an ailing team. While Robin Van Persie is class, he was never the future. The United midfield was and still is a can of worms, and the duo of Ferdinand and Vidic in defence was always going to be a disaster at some point. The duo were once world class, but those days are gone. Patrice Evra at left back has had his best days behind him, while the search for a formidable right back continues. David De Gea is surely class, but we know he has some real flaws that are still a part of his game. The purchase of Maroune Fellani was more of a desperate attempt to save face, than it is a ‘transfer ingenuity’. Some will argue that a core of this same team won the league the season before, but a perspective is required here. The Ferguson factor was huge, but beyond that, United’s main rivals were disastrous. The unending change of managers had a toll on Chelsea’s campaign, City were not up for the challenge, and Arsenal were still busy being Arsenal. Thus, this is the core of United’s misdemeanor.

However, across North London, it is a different song. After losing at home on match day one to an average Aston Villa team, Arsene Wenger’s boys have emerged in ruthless form. Though the real test so far has been Spurs, Napoli and Dortmund (all at home), the results have not been bad. A lot has been said about the reasons why Arsenal have suddenly regained their swagger. In terms of transfer, they did not do a lot business, but, boy! Is the capture of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid not a real steal! Such is the impact one real quality signing brings to a team. The purchase of Ozil doesn’t just improve Arsenal’s football; it lifts the morale of the entire team. Special mention should go to Aaron Ramsey, who has found a devastating form. It is a wonder what would have become of Ramsey had Yohan Cabaye purchase from Newcastle had been a success, as many of their fans clamored for. Arsenal’s recent progress is again a vindication to Wenger’s way of life at the Emirate. For their fans that have lived in almost a decade of heartbreaks, they surely deserve the right to hope again. It is dangerous for Arsenal to get carried away. However, Arsenal badly needs a trophy, any trophy. Before the start of the season, few Arsenal fans expected their team to challenge for the trophy and become champions, but the change of events at the Emirate has changed their aspirations. We can surely say that Arsenal is back if they remain on top of the league at the turn of the year, and are still in with a loud shout of winning at least, another silverware.

It remains to be seen if Moyes appointment was a masterstroke, or a deft calamity. To get the jury out now on his reign at United will be too premature. The critics must learn to criticize with a perspective. Sir Alex left United in bad shape. Sad as it sounds, it is the reality. But, Moyes must begin to show some signs of ingenuity in his tactics and style to allay the fears and great expectations that comes with being a coach at Manchester United. For Arsenal, it is good to dream again. However, the trio of Wenger, the players and the fans must realize that nothing is won yet. The season is still a marathon. At the end of the campaign, the slick football, the Ozilmanic, the ecstacy will all be forgotten. What will matter is if they have been able to end the decade of barrenness. However, you have to admit that for the first time since the days of the invincible, there is a particular mojo about the gunners now. Is it a false dawn that will fizzle away? Or are Arsenal really back? These are questions that only time will answer. For now, let’s give Arsenal their due, as their football at times; have kept us in cloud nine so far this season.

Monday, October 14, 2013

7 Shortcuts You Will Regret Taking in Life

1. Taking the easiest route possible.
Someday you will look back on your life and realize that everything worthwhile you’ve ever accomplished initially challenged you. And that is as it should be, because big challenges often prepare ordinary people for extraordinary success.

Every struggle arises for a reason – for experience or a lesson. A great journey is never easy, and no dose of adversity along the way is ever a waste of time if you learn and grow from it.

Remember, an arrow can only be shot by pulling it backwards, and such is life. When life is pulling you back with difficulties, it means it’s going to eventually launch you forward in a positive direction. So keep focusing, and keep aiming!

2. Settling for the way things are by default.
The decision to settle for mediocrity is a real killer. If you settle for just anything, you’ll never know what you’re truly worthy of. There is ample time for you to be who you want to be. Despite the struggles that you might be facing, never give up on yourself. Don’t just take the easy way out and settle for less than what you know you are capable of.

Realize that it’s not always about trying to fix something that’s broken either. Sometimes it’s about starting over and creating something new. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly. Sometimes growing stronger means growing apart from old habits, relationships, and situations, and finding something different that truly moves you – something that gets you so excited you can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning. That’s what LIVING is all about. Don’t settle.

3. Leaving everything to chance.
It’s not what you do every once in a while, but what you dedicate yourself to on a daily basis that makes a difference in the end. Having a plan, even a flawed one at first, is better than no plan at all.

Don’t trap yourself, endlessly, in a state where you are unable to ask for directions, even though you’re terribly lost, simply because you don’t know your destination. Figure out what you want. When you get real about the true feelings you crave, you end up surprising yourself with an abundance of new opportunities and possibilities.

Bottom line: One day your life will flash before your eyes. Do your best every day to make sure it’s worth watching. Work towards something that brings meaning to your moments.

4. Following the crowd.
Allen Ginsberg once said, “Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” In other words, in this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, find the courage to be your incredible self.

Never let what other people expect from you dictate what you expect from yourself. Clarity about your true desires is so liberating because you get to stop proving yourself to everyone, including yourself.

We have all been placed on this earth to discover our own way, and we will never be happy if we live someone else’s idea of life. So stop being ashamed of how you feel. You have the right to feel any emotion that comes to you, and to follow a path that makes you happy. Don’t compare yourself to others, or get discouraged by the success of others. Follow your intuition, never give up on yourself, and stop expecting others to understand your journey, especially if they have not walked your same path.

5. Putting things off.
Be frank with yourself. The things you say you will deal with later rarely get done. It’s time to get up and make an immediate difference in your life. You know all those things you’ve been meaning to get done for the past month, year, etc.? Pick one right now and start doing it. Get your hands dirty, challenge your mind, and get sweaty if you have to. Break out of your comforting lull and get involved. If you feel crummy, it’ll make you feel better. If you already feel good, it will make you feel great.

Ultimately, you will not be judged by what you say; you will be judged by what you do. Wake up each morning determined, so you can go to bed satisfied. Have the courage and discipline today to do what is needed instead of simply what is convenient. Or as Pablo Picasso once said, “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”

6. Ignoring people instead of forgiving them.
Forgetting people who hurt you is your gift to them; forgiving people who hurt you is your gift to yourself. Always forgive others, not because they necessarily deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace of mind. We are all one, so when we forgive others we forgive ourselves, which is the first step in the healing process. Without forgiveness, the potential for true happiness in your life is limited.

In addition, we often tell ourselves that we’re better off without some people in our lives, and while this can be true, you should also build forgiveness into your character. Keep in mind that some relationships will temporarily split, only to come back together twice as strong as before. Forgiveness alone makes this possible.

7. Cutting too many corners with your important relationships.
It hurts to love someone and not be loved in return, but what hurts even more is to love someone and never find the time to let them know how you feel. There is no greater sadness than holding on to the loving words and deeds you never delivered to those you love.

The people you take for granted today may turn out to be the only ones you need tomorrow. So make plenty of time for those who truly matter. The best gift you can give them is the purity of your full attention. Just be present with them and pay attention to the little things, because when you really miss someone, you miss the little things the most, like just laughing together.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

National Dialogue Committee: A Panacea or Another Jamboree?

For over a decade, many have clamoured for a soverign national conference as a solution to the many devils bedeviling the nation. In their permutations, unity among Nigerians is a mere mirage and in the face of the Boko Haram plague, only such a conference will bring about sanity. However, these calls have met a strong reistance from many, among whom is the ruling class. In the calculations of those who oppose it, Nigeria is not ripe for such a conference at the time. The reasoning is that we are too guilable to ethnic and religious sentiments, and such a gathering might create more divisions.

Whatever the odds, the president has decided to toll this path. In his independence day address to the nation, he announced the formation of the advisory national dialogue committee that has six weeks to come up with recommendations, findings and the way forward in this regard. Saddled with this unenviable task is Dr. Femi Okurounmu as chairman, and Dr. Akilu Indabawa as secertary. True to our nature, the divisions and cynicism has already began. Some sections of the igbo community are already trading out sentiments as to why an Igbo was not given either of the aforementioned roles. This school of thought believe that since the Igbo have been the most maligned in the history of the nation, it is only normal that they steer any discourse that involves reintegration and lasting reconcilation.

Thus, fears abound if this commitee will not become another play to the gallery. Committees are not a new phenomenon in this part of the world. We have seen many. What we have not seen more often is the productivity thereafter, and the holistic implementations of their findings. Where their recommendations are not outrightly discarded, they are selectively chosen.

What exactly is this committee supposed to achieve? What will be their modus operandi? How will they come up with their findings and recommendations? What will be the way forward? Perhaps, some have asked, why have the president waited this long to constitue such a committee? Why did it take the blood of many victims of the Boko Haram reign of terror to make the presidency see the saliency of this conference? Yet, one wonders if we truly need a national conference at this point. It has been said and not without reason that we do not need a "talk shop" to solve the Nigerian question. It is difficult to believe that the powers that be do not know the solution to solving the ills of our land. The insincerity of our government is smacking. They talk of high government expenditure, but their salaries remain a luxury. They talk of how they give priority to education, but our schools have been under lock and key for over hundred days. And even when it is not, the standard is a sham. They talk of a new health care sector, but they travel abroad to even treat an headache. Hence, the cynicism of another "talk" called "national dialogue".

Be that as it may, one should give the National Dialogue Committee the benefit of the doubt. One should hope that it will take a new path from the plethora of committees before it. Penultimately, we can only clamour that the committee does not spend a fortune of taxpayers money in carrying out its duty, and that there must be an indicies upon which to judge if the committee has succeeded, or if it ended up being another jamboree.

Friday, October 4, 2013

20 Things To Start Doing For Yourself!

1.Start spending time with the right people. – These are the people you enjoy, who love and appreciate you, and who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways. They are the ones who make you feel more alive, and not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be, unconditionally.
2.Start facing your problems head on. – It isn’t your problems that define you, but how you react to them and recover from them. Problems will not disappear unless you take action. Do what you can, when you can, and acknowledge what you’ve done. It’s all about taking baby steps in the right direction, inch by inch. These inches count, they add up to yards and miles in the long run.
3.Start being honest with yourself about everything. – Be honest about what’s right, as well as what needs to be changed. Be honest about what you want to achieve and who you want to become. Be honest with every aspect of your life, always. Because you are the one person you can forever count on. Search your soul, for the truth, so that you truly know who you are. Once you do, you’ll have a better understanding of where you are now and how you got here, and you’ll be better equipped to identify where you want to go and how to get there. Read The Road Less Traveled.
4.Start making your own happiness a priority. – Your needs matter. If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you’re sabotaging yourself. Remember, it IS possible to take care of your own needs while simultaneously caring for those around you. And once your needs are met, you will likely be far more capable of helping those who need you most.
5.Start being yourself, genuinely and proudly. – Trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are. Be yourself. Embrace that individual inside you that has ideas, strengths and beauty like no one else. Be the person you know yourself to be – the best version of you – on your terms. Above all, be true to YOU, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.
6.Start noticing and living in the present. – Right now is a miracle. Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life. So stop thinking about how great things will be in the future. Stop dwelling on what did or didn’t happen in the past. Learn to be in the ‘here and now’ and experience life as it’s happening. Appreciate the world for the beauty that it holds, right now.
7.Start valuing the lessons your mistakes teach you. – Mistakes are okay; they’re the stepping stones of progress. If you’re not failing from time to time, you’re not trying hard enough and you’re not learning. Take risks, stumble, fall, and then get up and try again. Appreciate that you are pushing yourself, learning, growing and improving. Significant achievements are almost invariably realized at the end of a long road of failures. One of the ‘mistakes’ you fear might just be the link to your greatest achievement yet.
8.Start being more polite to yourself. – If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend? The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. You must love who you are or no one else will.
9.Start enjoying the things you already have. – The problem with many of us is that we think we’ll be happy when we reach a certain level in life – a level we see others operating at – your boss with her corner office, that friend of a friend who owns a mansion on the beach, etc. Unfortunately, it takes awhile before you get there, and when you get there you’ll likely have a new destination in mind. You’ll end up spending your whole life working toward something new without ever stopping to enjoy the things you have now. So take a quiet moment every morning when you first awake to appreciate where you are and what you already have.
10.Start creating your own happiness. – If you are waiting for someone else to make you happy, you’re missing out. Smile because you can. Choose happiness. Be the change you want to see in the world. Be happy with who you are now, and let your positivity inspire your journey into tomorrow. Happiness is often found when and where you decide to seek it. If you look for happiness within the opportunities you have, you will eventually find it. But if you constantly look for something else, unfortunately, you’ll find that too. Read Stumbling on Happiness.
11.Start giving your ideas and dreams a chance. – In life, it’s rarely about getting a chance; it’s about taking a chance. You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work. Most of the time you just have to go for it! And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be. Either you succeed or you learn something. Win-Win.
12.Start believing that you’re ready for the next step. – You are ready! Think about it. You have everything you need right now to take the next small, realistic step forward. So embrace the opportunities that come your way, and accept the challenges – they’re gifts that will help you to grow.
13.Start entering new relationships for the right reasons. – Enter new relationships with dependable, honest people who reflect the person you are and the person you want to be. Choose friends you are proud to know, people you admire, who show you love and respect – people who reciprocate your kindness and commitment. And pay attention to what people do, because a person’s actions are much more important than their words or how others represent them.
14.Start giving new people you meet a chance. – It sounds harsh, but you cannot keep every friend you’ve ever made. People and priorities change. As some relationships fade others will grow. Appreciate the possibility of new relationships as you naturally let go of old ones that no longer work. Trust your judgment. Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory. Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to meet someone that might just change your life forever.
15.Start competing against an earlier version of yourself. – Be inspired by others, appreciate others, learn from others, but know that competing against them is a waste of time. You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself. You are competing to be the best you can be. Aim to break your own personal records.
16.Start cheering for other people’s victories. – Start noticing what you like about others and tell them. Having an appreciation for how amazing the people around you are leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places. So be happy for those who are making progress. Cheer for their victories. Be thankful for their blessings, openly. What goes around comes around, and sooner or later the people you’re cheering for will start cheering for you.
17.Start looking for the silver lining in tough situations. – When things are hard, and you feel down, take a few deep breaths and look for the silver lining – the small glimmers of hope. Remind yourself that you can and will grow stronger from these hard times. And remain conscious of your blessings and victories – all the things in your life that are right. Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.
18.Start forgiving yourself and others. – We’ve all been hurt by our own decisions and by others. And while the pain of these experiences is normal, sometimes it lingers for too long. We relive the pain over and over and have a hard time letting go. Forgiveness is the remedy. It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened. It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.
19.Start helping those around you. – Care about people. Guide them if you know a better way. The more you help others, the more they will want to help you. Love and kindness begets love and kindness. And so on and so forth.
20.Start listening to your own inner voice. – If it helps, discuss your ideas with those closest to you, but give yourself enough room to follow your own intuition. Be true to yourself. Say what you need to say. Do what you know in your heart is right.

Monday, September 30, 2013


Five decades and three years have elapsed, but the teething problems of nationhood lingers. For fifty three years, we have lived in the unending optimism that our day of liberation as a nation is lingering around. However, with every bomb that explodes in Borno, we are reminded of the deterioration in our security system. With the universities under lock and key for more than three months, we are brought to a rude reminder that the cankerworms that have feasted on the fabrics of our turf, are yet to have their last bites. For every day we live in darkness and in the quagmire of noise pollution steaming from generators, we are flogged with the harsh reality that hope for the Power sector is like clutching on straws. Yet, with all these avalanche of odds, the only thing that seem to matter to those that we pay to show concern, is the 2015 elections. Whatever was the spell that the forces that be had casted upon us, it surely has complete potency. It’s another independence anniversary, one to usher in the centenary celebration next year. Yet, almost every where one turns to, there are a plethora of challenges to wrestle with. These challenges and nagging problems that have bedevilled us do not require a rehash here. We live with the menace everyday, and hardly anyone will require a reminder. The numerous policemen that will continue to thrive on 20 naira bribe irrespective of the dismissal of their colleague that was caught on camera, enunciates the rot in the system. The bickering between the President (Goodluck Jonathan) and the Rivers state governor (Rotimi Ameachi), tells a lot the crude and “dog eats dog” politics that we are practising. The myriads of public officials that will always treat their duties with sheer negligence no matter whose ox is gored, helps to beg the question: How long do we continue on this path? In more ways than one, so much depends on leadership. Without mincing words, leadership at all levels have failed our nation. At the national level, the shenanigans of those elected to steer the affairs of this nation is legendary. We have the most expensive tiers of government. A fortune of tax payers money, and the spoils of our “oil” goes into the pockets of men and women who don’t know jack about transformation (forget that they sing it as a slogan). These are men and women that don’t give a damn about what happens to the well-being of average Nigerians. They come cap in hand every four years, demanding for our votes. If we don’t give them by refusing their dangling carrot, they take it by a sleight of force that can only be described as broad day light robbery. A majority of these leaders have been around for donkey years; dating back to 1960 when we became a sovereign state. Something keeps telling them that they have a divine mandate to rule this nation forever. They have destroyed their own generation, they are seizing ours, and they are threatening to rule that of our unborn children. At 53, we are still a nation grappling with the basic things of life. Our roads remain in a state of debacle. Portable water is still a luxury. Proper health care remain a distant dream. Adequate power supply is still a mirage for us. Our educational sector continues to take a nose dive. And yet, Jonathan and his array of ministers will have us believe that we are making progress? Unless progress has taken on a new meaning, we are still fighting with our chains. Having said that, what is the way forward? Though the incessant criticisms, punditries, analysis, editorials, tweets and diatribes we see in different platforms about the state of nation helps our democracy, so much is needed to actually make it work. Genuinely concerned Nigerians cannot simply fold their hands and expect that that “lady luck” will someday smile upon our nation. Such scenario only exists in the world of fantasy. It is about time that the citizenry become more involved. This is in no way a call for a revolution in the mould of the Arab spring of 2011. All those that still believe that a bloody revolution is the way out should always remember history. Egypt has not fared any better since the bloody revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak from power. Rather, that revolution has only begets more killings. For Nigeria to cross the Rubicon, we don’t need thousands of Nigerians to lose their lives. The thirty months carnage we witnessed in the 1967 Civil war has left enough miseries that we still grappling with. We don’t need another. Rather, we require a mental purge; a watershed in the resolve of the followership. We need men and women that will stand up for what is right, even if they stand alone. Instead of our youths pitching tents with corrupt politicians, they have to stand up and demand good leadership. It is no gainsaying that though our challenges are daunting, they are not beyond us. However, we must awake from the delusion that change will come searching for us. The passivity of many Nigerians towards national change must be eroded. If our leaders will not steer us in the path we should go, we must hold them to ransom. One of the ways to do this is by ensuring that the election in 2015 does not become the charade almost all previous elections have been. Pen ultimately, it is of utmost important that we keep faith with the Nigerian Dream and the Nigerian project. Giving up on the greatest of this country will not help anyone. We have to hope beyond hope that Nigeria will flourish again. It is with this mindset that we the people, can drive for that lasting change we crave. One last word for our leaders: There is such a thing as posterity, and remember that you can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.