Why you are not as successful as you should be.

Do you feel that you’re not successful enough? Do you believe that you are not where you want to be yet? How well can you say you’ve done and how far can you say you’ve gone? If your answers to these questions are “yes,” “yes” and “I don’t know” then you should probably read the following reasons why you are not as successful as you want to.

1. You are lazy- You might not want to accept this, but it is true. Laziness is a progress killer, it’s the quality of being unwilling to do work or exert energy. If all you do is to sit back and watch while other people work, when others are sleeping, you will be toiling under the sun. Remember the saying “let he who will not work, not eat” If you haven’t laboured in the past, you will not get any reward in the future. Sometimes, our labour is not for instant gratification but for future reward. The easiest way to deteriorate in value is to remain idle for a long time. So get to work, till the ground and expectantly wait for harvest.

2. You do not set goals- not setting goals is like walking on a treadmill, you may have speed but you have no destination. The reason why some people work twice as hard and get nowhere twice as fast is because they didn’t set any goals for themselves. All they do is to work, they cannot point at any tangible thing they have achieved so far. Goals are visions put in a time frame, once you put a thing in a time frame, you get the will power to achieve them quickly. If you still have the “whatever will be will be” attitude, trust me, you are set up for disaster.

3. You waste time– it’s probably because you spend so much time doing things that are not important and things that waste your time. If you spend time on less important things, you get unimportant results. If you work so tirelessly and have nothing to show for it, check what you’re doing, it’s either you are doing something wrong or you’re doing something that is very unproductive.

4. You are engulfed by fear– you are not as successful as you want because you fear failure, you fear taking risks, you fear the unknown. Fear is a general phenomenon. There isn’t anybody on earth who doesn’t experience fear. If Thomas Edison had allowed fear of failure to deter him, we wouldn’t be enjoying electricity today. So do it afraid, take the first steps because if you don’t, you’ll never know if you will succeed or not.

5. Unnecessary analysis- as much as having a goal is important, sometimes, analysing your plans too much can be a disaster. They say that “One good action is better than one thousand good intentions”. Planning, making strategies and overanalyzing issues when you’re supposed to take action is not a good way to live. Instead, plan and take action, that’s really how to succeed.

6. You have a negative mindset- a negative mind is an unhealthy mind. If you constantly think about ways by which it could all go wrong, you have a negative mindset. Sometimes, you could develop a negative mindset from the things you hear people say, especially the unsuccessful people around you. So get rid of them. Think positively, have a healthy mind and what you think of will surely happen to you.

7. You have self-doubt – the most important thing in the world is to believe in yourself. When you doubt yourself you won’t be able to take risks and life is all about taking risks. Doubt is indecision, and if you doubt, you won’t be focused, if you’re not focused you won’t be successful. Doubt can come as a result of improper planning. Therefore, set good plans and believe strongly in yourself.

8. You lack foresight – foresight is the ability to see far, to think about the future. Don’t only look at the next few days or few weeks, instead, look at the next few years. Don’t linger in your present, have a future plan.

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How I effectively fought Procrastination using these 10 steps

Like I wrote in my “about” page, I love to write about things that I’ve experienced or things I’ve learnt, but most especially things that have worked for me. Someone once said that “The things you were delivered from are the things you are called to teach others so that they also can be delivered.” The topic I picked for this post is no doubt something that has been and is still affecting lives in numerous ways, and the only way we can work around it is by taking deliberate steps.

Before now, I used to be a chronic procrastinator. The first time I heard the word “procrastination” was in secondary school. I knew I had the problem, but I couldn’t put a name on it, and after it was mentioned and critically explained, I realized it was a general problem and it will take a lot of mental and physical exertion to deal with it. I was a little bit mentally and physically lazy, my best state was the state of inactivity (now that I look at it, it seemed really laughable) I just loved staying put.

Few years ago, shortly after my degree, I decided that it was time for things to change. I had gone through a 4-year course that required the chronic use of my mental and physical energy and I almost gave in to pressure but one way or the other I scaled through.

Procrastination wasn’t my only problem, there was laziness, lack of motivation and lack of energy. To get rid of Procrastination, I knew I had to first deal with these other problems, especially laziness. So with a strong conviction and through God’s help, I got rid of laziness and by starting an effective reading habit, I got rid of lack of motivation.

Procrastination is a time waster and time killer, it’s also a dream killer. Putting till tomorrow what could be done today is like pushing back your success 10 miles each day. Through determination and conviction, I finally got around it, and dealt with it as it comes using these few techniques

#Step 1 I slept earlier and woke up earlier than usual- I am a major nocturnal individual. Sleeping early isn’t just my thing. Even when my work required that I wake up early, I still slept late. But when I looked at it deeply, I found out that it was the unimportant things that kept me up late. Things like late night movies, TV shows, gisting with my siblings etc. Just because I was determined to kill procrastination, I decided to let go of all those things and I started to go to bed early. It was difficult at first, at times I forgot that I was on an assignment to change things for myself and I chatted away excitedly into the night. But after few days, it worked. I began to sleep early and woke up early. This made me feel refreshed in the mornings and ready to do work. My muscles were well relaxed and my body had a good rest.

#Step 2- I wrote out my work list-Sometimes, the task seemed to be colossal and unattainable, what I did instead was to write them down (for example, wake up, wash the dishes, dry clean some clothes, cook, write, finish reading, clean my room). By so doing, that plethora of task that seemed to be the size of a mountain wasn’t even up to the 10 points when I wrote them down.

#Step 3- I stopped planning and took action- it’s true that one thousand good intentions aren’t as important as one good action. Rigorous planning only made the work I was about to do look unattainable, instead I lept out of bed and ran to the kitchen to do the dishes, once the first mountain came down, the rest was easy.

#Step 4- I arranged the tools for the work the night before – the dishes were in the zinc, the clothes were in the washer, the food ingredients were available, my laptop and books slept on my bed throughout the night. So as I got up in the morning, I just went straight to get them done.

#Step 5- I stayed off social media for a while- there’s a way social media effortless messes up your life. In fact It does so on a daily basis, (except you are the type that has found a way to make money from it, a lot of people have) but you’re unaware, your phone is just glued to your hands. So I kept my phone(this is hilarious) under my bed. After my morning prayer, it’s straight to do the first thing on that list. But before, I used to open my phone and surf the Internet hungrily first thing in the morning while there’s a truckload of dishes waiting for me in the zinc.

#Step 6- I made it a habit – it became a habit. Wake up, wash dishes, cook, clean, write, read etc. Habits can be consciously or unconsciously formed. They are the things we do on a daily basis, so I deliberately made my daily routine my habit. So once I got them out of the way, doing the remaining things became really easy.

#Step 7- I listened to music- music is food for the soul, yes true, but I will tell you what is the medicine for the soul, it’s listening to audio tapes (mp3) of topics you love. I have nothing less than 80 mp3 messages on my phone and a very good ear piece. Whenever I want to do a chore, I listen to them. In fact, ever since I got those messages, I’ve always been eager to take on huge tasks. I have messages on personal development, entrepreneurship, customer relationship, social media marketing including spiritual messages and so on. I just play them while I’m washing the dishes or cooking, or cleaning, or washing.

#Step 8- I envisioned the future and thought of reward- as a blogger, I have to constantly post contents on my blog, quality contents. So instead of procrastinating my life away, I think of what I will write in my next post, I think of the many books in my closet that needs to be reviewed. So I think of what it will be like if I end up not posting on my blog or not finishing the book I want to review, it’s catastrophic. This has made me realize that Procrastination does no good, so I just do it. Also, I think of how clean the house will be when I get back, how quickly I will eat breakfast and get to work and how smooth my life will be (laughing out loud).

#Step 9- I realized that I’m not a perfectionist- someone once said that “A piece of good art work on the wall is more appreciated than a perfect work which was never finished” You don’t have to be a perfectionist, just get the work done.

#Step 10- Finally, but not least, I ask for help- I like to bring in people to help me do work, especially things that can be done by anyone. I do the ones I need to do myself and I get help on others. No man is an island, and like I said, I’m not a perfectionist. Sometimes, when you get other people to look at your work, they see it from a different angle and a different perspective from yours, they help to spice up your work and give it a good look.

These are all my tips of getting rid of Procrastination. Although they are not limited to these, there are thousands of ways to shut it out. It’s your job to find out those ways, remember, what works for me might not work for you, so be careful and be deliberate. And remember that you can’t afford to relax, it’s a continual effort, always fight it as it comes.

I love feed backs, kindly share how you deal with Procrastination in the comment section below. Thanks and kisses.

10 ways to be indispensable at work

Once in a while, I will try to dish out to you guys some topics on career success. I had the opportunity to speak on a platform which it’s main focus was on raising new career giants, and it birthed this post.

The place that we work play a major role in our lives, it goes a long way in determining how our lives will be shaped. For the career individual, the best way to help yourself is to create a good working environment for yourself, it’s one thing to work in a suitable environment, it’s another thing to make the work place suitable. To be dispensable in your work place is not an easy job, as the work place is considered an organism, every part working in synchronization to get the whole organism moving.

Nevertheless, follow these simple procedures and you will be on your way to becoming indispensable.

1. Familiarize yourself with the ethics and culture of your work place – This advice is especially for newbies. Once you get on board, it becomes necessary to acclimatize yourself with the way things are handled, you wouldn’t want to be part of the organism and instead of improving the quality of work, you are working against the body. Do what is required of you and blend in. For instance, in your work place, there might be a tacit cooperation among the young and older staff, do all you can to imbibe that work culture. Don’t segregate yourself or become a lone ranger. Mix with the others, and bond. If you are not a people person, and you enjoy being on your own, find time, usually break time, to engage in discussions once in a while with them. If your colleagues love to eat at their desks but you like to eat in the kitchen, you can eat up your food quickly and join them few minutes before the end of break. Remember that team playing is all about being part of the team.

2. Seek to gain more knowledge on your role – The only way to remain irrelevant in your field is to simply refuse to add to your knowledge. So many people start work on a good foot but after a while, they become irrelevant because they fail to increase their knowledge on the job. The quality of experience is more important than the number of years used in an organization. They fail to go for courses to improve on their knowledge and obtain higher qualifications. Complacency is often the reason some people stay in an organization for more than ten years and remain in their positions, they do not clamour for promotion or improvement so long as their salary isn’t delayed. To become relevant in your work place and in your field generally, you must improve yourself daily, take up classes, attend trainings and seminars, go for lectures and obtain degrees. You never can tell when you’ll get a better opportunity.

3. Stay mentally sharp and have a positive attitude – Exercise your brain as much as you exercise your muscles, read books in your field and read on general subjects, books will improve the quality of your mind. Games can also help improve your mental alertness and sharpen your brain. Play games that increase brain power. A positive attitude will also help you get more things done. For instance, if you have been given a task that seem impossible or difficult, don’t complain or grumble, show a positive attitude. If all what you need to complete an assignment is unavailable or incomplete, don’t murmur or grumble, attack work with positivity everyday and you’ll achieve more.

4. Always go the extra mile needed to do your work – Do not always display the “it’s not my job” attitude. Every organ of the body work together for the good of the organism. Do your job and if you have enough time take on work of other people, assist them, doing other people’s work will make you understand how other organs of the body work, it will make you versatile and improves your skill. Don’t run away from tasks assigned to you, don’t be afraid to take the lead. Take responsibility of your actions, put in extra effort, you don’t have to take up more than you can do. Remember, the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the ‘extra’.

5. Seek to add value to the organization – Every organization employs staff with the hope that each of will add value to their organization. As an employee, seek new ways by which you can add value, that should be your aim. Don’t just sit there and take from your company, instead give back to them and the only way you can do that is by going the extra mile to get things done. Vacancies exist because an organization is in need of a valuable individual to fill a space and not because they wish to pay salaries. Look for ways by which you can create value in your organization. Resume work few minutes early and don’t always be in a hurry to leave. Know the company’s objectives and take deliberate steps that will allow you meet the goals. Also, never forget to aim for excellence in every piece of work that you do, derive and offer solutions to problems and be the “go-to” person.

6. Embrace change – Changes occur in organizations every time. They occur because things have to run smoothly. Don’t rebel against any kind of change that happens in your work place. Hold the mindset that change provides opportunities, change is inevitable and it is seen as an opportunity to improve on what they’ve been doing and to do better. Refusing to accept or embrace changes shows that you are lazy and uninspired and you lack the motivation to do well.

7. Network and build connections – in a corporate organization, there is enough space and a lot of people to network with. Build connections with other people and network with as many people as you can. As I stated early, segregation is never a good option. Seclusion or isolation will get you nowhere twice as fast as networking would. Connection is all about knowing someone who knows someone who knows someone who is friends with someone important. Meet people and be friendly. Don’t limit yourself.

8. Avoid every form of distractions – Distractions are anything that prevent you from doing what you’re supposed to be doing, and at the end of the day nothing tangible is derived from it. Long talks and gossips during work hours are a major distractions for employees, so stay away from it. Ignore any other thing that will distract you. I find it really surprising to see people chatting on their phones during work hours. Phones should only be used after close of the day, your work time is not yours, it has been paid for by your employer. The only thing you should be doing at that time is doing your job. During break, most employees chat away idly and waste time allotted for eating to gossip. Chatting idly when there’s a lot of work to be done is simply doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. Remember our first rule, always go the extra mile needed to do the work you are paid to do. Distractions will prevent you from doing that.

9. Take the initiative – An indispensable employee doesn’t wait until they are assigned they task, they offer themselves to do work and they give it their best. Waiting for an assignment to land on your desk makes you an ordinary employee like everyone else. To be dispensable, you must be proactive and take the bull by the horn.

10. Move into territories belonging to others – I have seen an accountant that only knows how to reconcile cheques. She is clueless about what other accountants do just because cheque reconciliation is the only task she’s given to do at work. Don’t limit yourself to knowing only what you do, go into other departments and find out how they carry out their jobs. Work like you depend on the knowledge you get at that job to start your own business, of which you actually do. Remember that they way you handle other people’s business is the way you will handle yours.

HOW TO BE RUTHLESS WITH SELF-DOUBT

Self-doubt is defined as a lack of confidence in one’s own ability. It’s a creativity killer, and it’s simply doubting oneself. If you intend to succeed in life, you mustn’t give self doubt a chance, what you must do is to completely get rid of it. Self doubt practically exits self confidence, creativity and even your imaginative prowess. A man that doubts himself will never get anything done.

The various causes of self doubt and how to eliminate it include the following:

1. Fear and Anxiety: Exhibiting fear and anxiety constantly because of a past experience or an unclear future is a major cause of self doubt. Whatever you concentrate on becomes magnified. If you show so much fear concerning an issue, your fear only blows the issue out of proportion. Fear is an enemy of faith, when fear sets in faith exits totally. Fear causes anxiety which then lead to worry and eventually blows things out of proportion. They choke off the creative flow of power and insight, we automatically become numb. Worry is a route which leads from somewhere to nowhere.

How to deal with this?

Make a deliberate effort to see every situation from the point of faith, have faith in the system, the universe will work things out for you. When you begin to fear, tell yourself that things will work well and visualize it.

2. Comparing yourself with others: Most times, we use the achievements of other people as a yard stick for measuring our own accomplishments, and when we find out that they’ve gone farther than us, we begin to feel differently about ourselves, we feel defeated and lose faith. Comparison is a major killer of self confidence, because we are unclear about what others did to achieve success, the sacrifices they made and so on, but the things that we see on the outside, bite us hard when we fail to accomplish what they have accomplished. We gauge success and failure by the paradigms set by other people and when we cannot meet up, we get plagued by self doubt.

How to deal with this? It’s chiefly obtainable,  it starts by first deciding not to compare yourself with other people. Understand that everyone has certain characteristics peculiar to them. What works for some might not work for others so set standards and norms for yourself and beat your own records. Do things your own way but don’t be over confident. Have self love.

3. Past Experiences: Dwelling on your experiences have a huge impact on your self confidence. Unpleasant experiences rattle our beliefs, quivering our self confidence. You may have had an experience in your childhood that was so devastating it made you lose confidence in yourself. Often times, the experiences we had in our childhood stick to us so much that they affect us and alter our thought pattern. For instance, a child who went to a school where children were heavily judged based on their grades will have a degrading perception about himself for the rest of his life. Perhaps you left a paid job to start working for yourself, and your first attempt at it was unpleasant, you then begin to doubt your self and ultimately accept that you are a failure. In these two examples, both of them had bad experiences, one during his childhood and the other in a not so distant past. Both have been dominated by their past which in turn influence their future. The more we look backward, the less we are able to look forward.

How to deal with this?

Understand that the past cannot be altered. Be forward-focused and not past- possessed, learn to profit from the past and invest in the future.

4. Our Environment: What kind of environment do you find yourself? Is the atmosphere favourable? These are the questions you need to ask yourself if you are plagued by self doubt. If you stay among people that constantly belittle you, you can never get rid of self doubt. Some family members or neighbours and can be so inadvertently toxic, usually because they have lost their own battle with self doubt. Others can deliberately attack you with their toxic nature, they fill you with disbelief and unpreparedness by their constant nagging and spewing of venomous words.

How to deal with this? 

Shut them out of your mind, never let their words take root in your heart otherwise they will cripple the very legs you stand upon. Eventually, you will have to move out of that environment.

5. Friends and Associates: Who are your counsellors and advisers and who are you likely to take your problems to and accept their counsel? Answer these questions correctly and you are in your way to conquering low self esteem. Hanging with friends that constantly walk in self defeat will cause you to become like them. They have probably failed in something but instead of waking up and taking the initiative, they try to de-motivate you simply because they cannot bear to see you succeed at what they have failed at. They begin to fan the flames of self doubt that they have ignited within you hoping that you combust and end up like them.

How to deal with this?

Put an end to such friendships and go after people that are focused and successful and will not in any way extinguish your spirit.

I end with a quote by  William Shakespeare which says “our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”

CHANGE…a constant

Change is a process of becoming different, a process of improvement or imbalance. Change is the only constant thing in life but constant is an unchanged phenomenon. How then can CHANGE be a CONSTANT ?

Constant is a consistent and persistent recurrence so then change is a constant. The problem nowadays is that many people fear change much more than they fear their current state and much more than they fear stagnancy, they have become so used to the regular order and arrangement of things that they find it difficult to welcome change.

They fear that they might lose the opportunities they have if things go differently, they are held in captivity by STATUS QUO. Hebert Spencer, an English philosopher said “A living thing is distinguished from a dead thing by the multiplicity of changes at any moment taking place inside of it.” The only thing that differentiates the dead from the living is its capacity to change, therefore, a man that doesn’t embrace change is a dead man.

The complexity of change is very broad that its not enough to only change one thing in our existence, but one must change in every way, every aspect and every dimension. 

You must change your thinking- If you have been harbouring erroneous thoughts all your life, it’s probably why you fear  change, you must change your thinking. Some people have some crazy philosophies that they have accepted over the course of time and it has formed the basis of their thought pattern. If you are this kind of person, why not seek the truth and accept it. The most powerful agreement is life is the one between your thoughts and what actually happens to you. 

You must change your mind- Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. Don’t be so driven by will that you become so rigid, the earth itself changes, it evolves, so evolve. Don’t be too driven by policy that you err on the right side. 

You must change your life by changing the state of your mind- It could be that things have been so disadvantageous and unpleasant for you and you have strongly concluded that that’s how they will be. Instead of accepting the ‘normal’ state of things, try to effect a change from your heart, because truly, that’s where the change starts from.

Change your opinion- What are your values and beliefs? How have they contributed to your growth? In this modern world, you cannot afford to be a traditionalist, that is a person who accepts old facts and hold them as the truth. You’ll find that there are many people that still believe in the old system of things, they don’t believe that yesterday’s formula for success is today’s recipe for failure. They’ve refused to accept the modern life style, little wonder they carry the burdens of life alone. Changing your beliefs and values doesn’t mean that you are fickle, it only shows that you’re willing to drop the baggages that weigh you down.

You must change your environment- The thing about stagnancy is that when you think you are stagnant, you are actually retrogressing. This world itself moves forward, therefore if you are not moving forward with it, you are moving backward from it. You must change your environment, move from where you are, go after opportunities, seek to change your self, tackle challenges head , emembrace opportunities for change. Don’t sink into your comfort zone, change your physical location. Don’t be scared when you get assigned to a different work or when you get a new boss, see it as an opportunity to work with a different person. Also, don’t be scared that your working environment has changed, some people feel threatened when things change, rather, get acclimated with the new situation and be in the control room.

Sadly enough, many people desire progress but fear change, but that’s an impossibility.

GET AHEAD OF YOURSELF

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It’s surprising how we tend to be comfortable being idle while we dream about things we want to achieve. Every human on earth has wishes they would like to see come true and goals they aim to achieve. Whether you are aware of it or not,  we all have dreams, but if we do nothing about it,  they will remain as just dreams. If we want to be wealthy and satisfied with life but do not take any steps to achieve it, we will only remain as dreamers.

There’s a saying that “If wishes were horses beggars will ride.” In my own interpretation, it means that we must snap out of our dreams and get ahead of ourselves. Getting ahead of yourself simply put, is to do more than you’ve ever done before. Great men and women of today quickly took to this statement and so they started to work on themselves, they didn’t just become great by sitting down idle or by wishful thinking.  They got busy and accomplished great things.

Everyday,  set new records for yourself and break them, outstrip your yesterdays by your today, don’t only dare to dream, strive to bring the dreams to reality. Live as if today is your last day on earth. In the process of getting ahead of yourself, focus excessively on your future plans, and on prospective future events.

The quality of your output determines how valuable you are, if your result is not commendable you will never be of value. Certainly, if anyone strives to do better, they will be enormously equipped and relevant in their field. Think and decide on how  you want things to be in years to come, forget about past events and focus on the future, let your present way of life be a platform for a successful future. A man that dwells in his past is afraid of the future, don’t be like that man.

The world we live in today is a very competitive one and everyone is doing what they can to stay relevant. It’s a good thing to try to beat other peoples records but our business in life is to beat our own records and stay away from anything that kills our value. Here are few of the value killers in man:

* Complacency- I call this the stage of inertia, sometimes,  we think that we have gotten to a higher level and so we relax and stop working. A feeling of self satisfaction comes upon us and sets us into a state of smugness, instead of moving ahead, we stay put and become idle. It’s not a crime to celebrate little feats of victory, but we must not let it delay us from moving ahead. Unknown to us, other people have moved on and moved ahead of us while we were resting. In the story “The tortoise and the hare” the two animals prepared fully for the race, and they started together. Along the way, the hare, seeing that it had come far and it’s opponent was still metres away from him decided to take a rest. So the awfully slow tortoise kept at it and overtook him, he breasted the rope at the finish line first simply because the hare made a wrong decision to relax. Don’t quit after a victory, look for opportunities on the other side once you get to the top, keep the forward momentum.

* Procrastination – putting until tomorrow what should be done today. 85% of the people suffer from chronic procrastination. They tend to always come up with excuses for not doing what ought to be done. This is a major value killer. When we are supposed to be equipping ourselves, we postpone it till when we feel like,  but the truth is, we will continue to postpone the necessary things we should be doing. Instead of sitting down glued to the TV,  why not pick up a book to study? Rather than surfing aimlessly on the internet, why not take up an online course and add value to yourself? Decide now that you don’t want to be ensnared by procrastination any longer and get rid of those excuses for not doing your job, don’t get lazy on your job because the gratification is little. Eliminate every reasons and excuses for not doing well. Procrastinators are good talkers but bad doers.

*Fear – this is one of the major problems faced by many people and it’s what keeps them from physical or mental exertion. Fear is the greatest enemy of faith, a mind filled with fear can never be courageous enough to step out. Fear can first materialize as doubt, goes on to become fear and ultimately failure. When you fear something over a long period of time there’s a tendency that your fear will help bring it to past. Fear and worry create conditions propitious to failure. Fear of failing is what grips people most of the time, they would rather succeed at nothing than to fail at something. Worrying about a situation only blows it out of proportion, it makes us unaware of the creative power of imagination God has embedded in us. You may succeed if no one believes in you, but you’ll never succeed if you don’t believe in yourself.

Other value killers are laziness, idleness, negative mindset,  lateness, low self-esteem and an unteachable spirit. If you find yourself in any of the above situations, it will be foolish to justify your reasons for remaining in them. A quick summary of what you can do to increase your value:

-Always believe in yourself, you are capable and whatever you do, try to do more. Don’t be overwhelmed by self adulation just because you’ve been inoculated with small doses of success.

– Faith is the opposite of fear, with faith you can overcome so shift your mind from fear to faith, do it afraid, turn your fear into passion, do you SWOT analysis.

– Have a time frame for all your goals,  set SMART ones, stop at nothing until you have reached the top and then again start from the other side. Don’t wait for the perfect moment to launch out, make do with the things you already have, do an estimation of your abilities.

I end with a quote by Louis XIV “There’s little that can withstand a man who can conquer himself.”

Unhappiness, the most common state of the human mind.

 

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So many times I find myself sitting down gloomingly with a glum and unhappy expression on my face, and I have come to realize that whenever I do that, there’s nothing wrong with me really, I have just being accustomed to sitting down gloomingly with that glum and unhappy expression on my face. In fact, when looking at it deeply, I notice that I’m perfectly okay and things are the way they ought to be, the only problem is that my subconscious is filled with worry and sometimes fear, therefore it gives out what it has been given.

So many of us are in this same fix too. Nothing is really wrong with us we are just used to worrying because we have fed it to our subconscious state. Ninety five percent of our thoughts are of worry and fear and a large percentage of them are usually about things that may not happen. For instance, the average man will think that he might lose his job or fail in his business and will become poor and end up on the streets. That is not likely to happen. The average woman will think that her child may fall sick and be hospitalized, the average lady will think that she might never find a good man to love and marry her, and so she will end up not getting married for the rest of her life. Again, not likely to happen, most of these things end up not happening.

The mindset of the average human is unhappiness, defeat or failure with their thoughts full of worry, fear or anxiety. But you see, when you fear something over a long period of time, there is a tendency that your mind will help to bring it to pass. Taking one of the above examples, the woman’s fear comes to pass and her child falls sick, she creates a condition in her mind that hence encourages the development of that fear, because her next line of thought is that the child will be hospitalized, it so happens and then she becomes filled with fear and tension. Her expectations became reality. How you think about a situation may defeat you even before doing anything about it, think defeat and you are bound to be defeated.

Unhappiness also comes from over thinking, over analysing a situation, breaking it down mentally into smaller parts etc. This only gives us what we are looking for—–Unhappiness. A famous minister said “too much analysis causes paralysis.”

I had an aunt, a volatile, and angry woman who always had short outbursts of anger. All she ever did was to sit down on the sofa and stare, apparently lost in thought. We never really did understood why she did that until many years later, in a bid to get her to talk, I asked her for a piece of advice and relating it with her own experience, she explained to me, in her own words, “I always plan ahead, whatever it is I want to, I plan it all in my head,” she went on, “what I’m going to do in three to five years time, I sit down and think about it all, I analyze it all in my head.” Due to this reason, she was always so lost in thought, she never really lived in the moment because she was always “planning ahead in her head”

Sometimes, in fact, most of the time, her mind gets clogged up with worry from uneccesary thinking, and she fumed and snapped at everybody. Worry that had accumulated in her mind over the years began to dissipate her energy. Prior to her passing, she changed and decided that it was time to live in the moment.

Another major cause of unhappiness is unrealistic expectations. When those expectations are not met, we become sad and full of worry. We believe that where we are now is not where we ought to be, we even make the mistake of comparing ourselves with others, we want to achieve what our mates seem to have gotten and we begin to run their races. In so doing, we increase the tempo of our own pace and our thoughts become that of anxiety and apprehension.

Life itself comes with pressure and daily increase of tension, all of that, coupled with our contaminated thoughts distill nothing other than unhappiness. Suffice it to say, that we are the manufacturers of our own unhappiness by constant worry of things that are happening around us and of things that might not even happen, fear of the unknown, anxiety, tension, negative mindsets among others.

In conclusion, another cause of unhappiness is unforgiveness. Ill-will, keeping grudges, hate, resentment, and anger clogs up the pipeline of the heart and prevents power and energy from gaining access into the mind and the body. Unhappiness makes use of our fear and worry as ingredients. Make it a habit to be happy, it doesn’t matter what the problem is just tune your mind to happiness. There are so many problems life creates that dilutes our happiness, its simply foolish to further manufacture our own unhappiness through our thoughts, habits or actions. Happiness is achievable and the process isn’t even difficult, just desire it, will it and apply its formula to our daily life.

How Inspiration (ideas) can be limited.

Inspiration is a process of being mentally stimulated usually by someone or something, to do or to feel something. Inspiration can come when we hear someone speak, particularly about what they did to achieve a feat, we become stimulated to do that which is laid in our hearts. Sometimes when other people talk about their challenges and how they overcame it, we become inspired by their words and we determine to face any challenge that comes away just so we can achieve success. Martin Luther King was exceptional at this. He used inspirational words to summon us to better things, some of his words are still in use today.

Inspiration also comes as a sudden brilliant idea, a timely thought, a revelation or an influence. An unconscious burst of creativity or credibility awakens us to new possibilities and transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities. In Christianity, inspiration is a gift of the Holy Spirit.

A lot of times, we are surrounded by what inspires us but we don’t see it simply because we’re impervious to it or because we’ve not prepared or position ourselves well to receive it. There are lots of factors that influence inspiration.

1. Faith  Faith is a function of inspiration. When we are inspired to do something, we begin to do it by faith. Other times, our faith inspire us to do things.

2. Enthusiasm – It’s another function of inspiration. Enthusiasm is the vibrancy and ardour that flows in and out of an individual, it’s an intense energy or spirit that a person displays. Your enthusiasm toward anything in particular can influence others around you.

3. Knowledge –  Knowledge is really important, the knowledge of whatvothers have done is what inspires us to do more. We must seek knowledge at all times because when we get a timely idea by inspiration, knowledge is what we need to implement that idea. Indeed inspiration is limited in effect by the knowledge of the recipient.

As powerful as inspiration is, it’s limited in effect by the mental state of the recipient. The following are factors that limit inspiration.

1. Ignorance – No matter how strong an idea is, if we lack the knowledge to put it into effect, it will mean nothing. 

2. Depression – A depressed person can never be inspired tobdo anything, they are engulfed by heaviness.

3. Fear – Fear is an enemy of faith, a revelation, stimulation or an idea is limited by fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure or fear of the past.

Tapping into the power of rituals

We can’t deny the fact that we are all struggling with one challenge or the other. Every single one of us have at many times hoped to do or to be better than what we are, achieve more than we ever have and live as higher human beings in every respect. We all have dreams to lead great lives, and live on top of our worlds.

Many times we’ve heard of how successful people attained success by simply practicing an act or a habit of growth every single day, habits practiced at the same time every day become a ritual. Every single one of us have habits, good or bad. Some of our habits simply grow out of happenstance, that is, we don’t plan to do them we just find oursleves doing them. For example, making our bed before going to sleep or brushing our teeth in the morning. Nobody said we couldn’t brush our teeth during the day right? Most of the habits we now have developed without us knowing. We start doing it one day and before you know it, we just do it without even thinking about it.

Other habits are formed deliberately, an example being, going for an early morning jog, others deliberately take water first thing in the morning and last thing before going to sleep for detoxification. After meditation, I check my mail first thing in the morning. That’s a habit. Benjamin Franklin wrote naked for an hour every morning just to refresh his mind in the cold air. That’s a deliberate habit.

Form a positive habit and mindfully transform it into a ritual just so you can accomplish a task. Great people of today adopted that principle, they knew what to do in order to become the best. A basket ball player aiming to become world’s best knows that he must practice regularly, ten times than he normally would. So he gets up before dawn and practices until day break, he then incorporates this habit into his lifestyle, he wakes up the same time and practices till the same time everyday. What makes us great is shaping positive habits into rituals so that we can attain success or accomplish a task.

Here are quick steps to creating a ritual.

  • Prepare the environment- if you plan to read a book for thirty minutes first thing in the morning, you will probably succeed in making it a ritual if you took time to lay the book on your bedside table the night before. If you plan to eat healthy, avoid junk foods, then store up your kitchen with healthy food. If you want to make jogging a ritual, jog for an hour first thing in the morning everyday, set your running kits out before going to bed. If your ritual is to stop checking your mail when you wake up but to do laundry, then you will have to keep your phone and computer away before sleeping and arrange the clothes to be washed. Make environmental preparation part of your daily ritual.
  • Find out when you’re most productive- this is called your productive window. For me, I always feel weak after waking up so reading a book at that time just puts me right back to sleep. So I found out that my productive window is after a bath and a good breakfast, at that time I know that there are no chores beckoning on me. So afternoon is the time I read and write mostly. A morning person is most likely to do all they plan to do right after waking up.
  • Do the things you don’t like doing first- I found out that most people don’t like making their beds when they get up from it in the morning. Pushing off the annoying work until the end of the day only makes you a slave to them because at the end of the day, you will still have to do them. If you work on the hardest tasks first, your day will become easier and better because the next thing you need to do will be the easier things.
  • Focus on completion not perfection- you don’t have to be completely perfect because you have started a ritual. It doesn’t work that way. Focus on getting things done first then you reach your end goal gradually. Consistency breeds results. You don’t have to be a perfectionist, you don’t have to make a masterpiece the more you nurture the embryo of self discipline, the more quickly it will mature and give you a desired result.

Ritual is all about taking the daily incremental steps needed to build a character and on the long run, they are what defines us.

THE SOCIETY’S PARADIGM OF AN IDEAL WOMAN 2

In a world where values and beliefs change and the definition of an ideal woman constantly evolves, the standards of who an ideal woman should be is solely based upon what the society dictates. This definition changes so easily due to the fickle nature of the society. 

Years ago, specifically in Africa, the definition of an ideal woman was one who lived to please her husband. Fast forward to this new age, an ideal woman is now defined by her strong career, a great job, independence and a particular body shape, a skin colour or a large social media following.

But the truth is that, just as it changed from what it used to be to what it is now, it will keep changing and won’t stop changing. The best advice for a woman is to not depend on the definition the society has about who she should be, instead she should strive to be who she wants to be.

Some say, a woman must not be too successful so that she doesn’t become richer than her husband, that’s the society dictating for her again. They have forgotten that once the man and his wife have been joined together in holy matrimony, they have become one flesh, what is for the husband becomes hers and what is hers is for him.

Others say that the woman must work to support her man because no man wants a liability. What infuriates me more is that some men begin to search for well-off ladies so that they can be financially secured, to the point that they refuse to pursue their career because after all, the woman is there to support.

Dear woman, don’t depend on the society’s definition. Define yourself. Be there for your husband, be a mother to your kids, chase your career, you were not created to be under anyone’s feet, you are an help meet.