Separate yourself from the crowd

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” — Mark Twain

Greetings Friends,

One of the greatest beauty of life is innovation. Innovation has truly changed the way we live our life. According to President Barack Obama when Steve Jobs died, he said “Steve Jobs one of the greatest American innovators- brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it. President Obama also stated Steve Jobs changed the world we see the world.  It is on the basis of this premise we shall be discussing how we can separate our self from the crowd. In a nutshell, you can’t expect to go far in life by fitting in.

As human beings, we are all unique, we are all made in different shape, size, composition, and genes. However, the most interesting part of our being is our lifestyle. Put it in a different context. Life is about how you package yourself. If you’re in business, you ought to know how to make your product not only attractive but unique. If you’re a marketer or sales agent you must know how to use personal relation skill and emotional intelligence to sell your products.

Separating yourself from the crowd can be understood in different ways, but for the purpose of this article, we shall be looking at it from the vantage point of making not only making ourselves unique but also our products. If you truly want to make a name for yourself, you have to separate yourself from the bandwagon. We live in a world where there are so many competitions and envy. This feeling is not only limited to individuals, but it is also applicable to business, leadership, academics, entrepreneurs, and family in general.

According to an African proverb, if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to far in life, go with a team. This is an indisputable fact which underscores the power of teamwork. However, there’s a twist here, according to some schools of thought, the one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the one crowd.  This is true because sometimes, following the bandwagon might lead you to the wrong place/direction in life. Imagine driving a car on a highway, you’ll always have the tendency to follow the popular route as opposed to the less-traveled route, but if you truly know where you are headed, you won’t be bothered about the popular route of other commuters. That’s simply how life works in the real world. You simply have to make a niche for yourself in order for people to take you serious.

Let’s take the conversation a little further if you take a look at the species of birds you’ll notice that they all have feathers, but none can go farther than the eagle which is regarded as the king of birds because it can fly higher than other birds. The interesting thing about the eagle is that it takes its game higher when the needs call for it and it’s not easily swayed by little things. This ability makes the eagle to focus more on important issues.

A distinguishing quality of every business or organization is the kind of value and services they offer. As the saying goes, there’s literally nothing new under the sun. This is because you cannot really reinvent the wheel. Every business, organization, school, and the government has some level of similarity in what they are doing, the only difference is how they do it. For example, if you are in business, a critical skill to have is emotional intelligence. A lot of people lack empathy and this has led to the fall of many business, association, and organizations. Whether you are in business, classroom, pilot, or even in the hotel, an important question to ask your customers or guest is, what do you need; how can I help you? Always look out for them, in that way they’ll know you are not only interested in their money but you are also interested in their giving them value.

If you are in business, your ability to give your customers more than they require like using the double-platinum rule will go a long way to make your customers loyal and more trustworthy towards you. You can do this by giving value to your customers. Questions like, how are you feeling? How was your day? Take it easy, can go a long way to attract loyal customers. Every business has a secret, your ability to read the writings on the way in addition to having the right strategy will go a long to make your product unique.  Potential employees also need this knowledge in order to be gainfully employed. In order to stand out, some students burn the midnight candle, limit social outings, and the varieties of life which nature has offered them.

Furthermore, you have to separate yourself from the ordinary by working on improving yourself on a daily basis. Learning new skills, trade, acquiring new certificate, and training, working on your talents and networking with the right people amongst others.

The question now is, how do you separate yourself from the crowd?

1.      Define Your Value

Think about the value and experience, you are offering people. What do they see, hear and smell when they walk into your office or business? Think about your target audience; Think about the vision and mission you will like to be remembered when your time is up on earth. By so doing, you’ll be creatively making a name for yourself. You must define and differentiate yourself if you want to make a real impact and also if you want people to take your serious.

2.      Define or Create Your Personal Ambition

Without a definitive personal ambition, self-branding will lack direction. Having a definitive personal ambition will ensure you do not build a controversial brand i.e. a brand contrary to your actions. To avoid this, you need to define your mission and roles in life. Consider your dreams in life and how you intend to achieve them. Then, formulate a goal that will encapsulate what you want from life. Secondly, have an action plan (mission) that will help you achieve your goal in life. 

3.      Consistency

You have to be consistent and proactive for people to take you serious. It’s worthy to note that inconsistency is inconsistent with the lifestyle of greatness.  You can be consistent by setting a pace you can maintain. Once people know that you’re sharing something unique and valuable consistently, they will show up in droves. However, that only matters if you keep it genuine. 

4.      Develop a Personal Balance Sheet or Score Board

Your scoreboard needs to put a few things into consideration: your goals, strategies, monitoring methods and feedback. It is meant to measure your day-to-day activities against your brand promise. In that way, you’ll be keeping tracking of your performance.

In conclusion,

Being unique can be challenging, but at the tail end, it will stand the test of time. It is not really easy to stand out in business or in life generally due to the many push back you may face, that’s literally how difficult it is to be yourself. And as Ralf Waldo Emerson stated, “Do not go where the path may lead, instead go where there’s is no path and leave a thread”.  

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success.

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The Imagination that Triggers Success

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.” George Bernard Shaw

Greetings Friends,

I belong to the school of thoughts which opine that originality is the beauty of life. Originality is fundamental to innovation and the key to building sustainable businesses and brands in our contemporary world. You cannot underestimate the power of imagination and innovation. The world is currently being moved by visionaries who have the create change with their innovation. Beauty itself, is relative because it springs up from the taste and choice each individual has. Our imagination also works in same manner. We all have imaginations but sometimes we under utilize it.

The starting point of all success is imagination. The idea is first conceived in the mind before the implementation begins. Every goal you will ever reach starts off as something you imagine. This is because it is really hard for you to achieve what you never desired. You just have to believe in it, work on it, chase it and it will become your reality. According To Lao Tzu, “watch your thoughts they begin your words, watch your words they become your actions, watch your actions they become your habits and watch your habit they become your destiny”. This is because true success –whether it is financial, social, marital, or in finding your source of happiness and meaning was created in the mind first.

During the declaration of America’s independence, the following words was used “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Each time I read these words it really resonates with me because it makes me to think out of the box. We live in a world where most people feel they are entitled to X,YZ. In reality, the world owes you nothing. In the same vein, most third world countries look at America and wish they have all the infrastructural facilities and technology which makes their economy to flourish. They fail to understand that given every equal opportunity everybody is a potential achiever because we don’t have dull brains only brains undeveloped. It’s important to note that Americans are not an extraordinary beings because they only have one brain like any other rational mind, the only difference with them is that, they were able to use their imagination to creatively develop their country and make it what it is. We all have the same level of opportunity to succeed, but what we do with our imagination is what makes the difference.

In order to appreciate this article, we shall be looking at the component part of imagination and how it can trigger success. We shall be discussing about the component parts of imagination as it relates to the topic:

Visualization: Visualization is basically the process of imagining yourself having achieved your ideal life, down to the smallest details. Visualization is the most effective way to tap into the power of imagination.

Be a Visionary: According to –Albert Einstein “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Great visionary leaders who have truly changed our world perspectives like  President Nelson Mandela, President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs Mr. Tony Elumelu, Dr.  Mike Adenuga and Walt Disney amongst were all visionaries who tapped into their subconscious power of imagination.

Two things happen when we visualize:

1. Inwardly, we are opening up the creativity of the subconscious mind. That is why when we combine affirmations with visualization in order to produce a very powerful tool.

2. Then by adding the power of emotion, we give a command to our subconscious mind to figure out how to make this image a reality.

Everything we see manifested in our lives is a reflection of what’s happening in the brain. Our brains do a couple of major things, first, they keep us alive and secondly, they make sure our outside world is an absolute mirror image of our internal world.

Our imagination is phenomenal. For instance, somebody was using phone and couldn’t go beyond a spot and thought of having a cell phone. Somebody imagined airplane, car, television, computer, interment, clock, etc. Imagination is evidence of things not seen.  Imagination was put into you by God to do something great. As a creative writer, I get inspiration to write where most people don’t inspired.

According to Steve Harvey, when he was in High School, his teacher asked the students to write what they wanted to be in future, he wrote in a book that he wanted to be on TV. His teacher made mockery of him because he was a stutterer. He never looked at his shortcomings in life, he was even homeless for about three years, sleeping in a car, but still, he believed in himself. Today, he’s on the Television doing what he imagined. I can imagine his teacher watching him on television. There’s power in imagination if you truly believe and work towards the actualization of your dreams. You might be fired from your job, faced eviction, lose a relationship/marriage or even loose a loved one, etc., that’s not the end of life. You can still achieve success in life if you tap into the power of imagination.

The power of imagination is not taught in schools. Albert Einstein was able to think in picture. He recognized that visual thinking can strip a problem down to its essence, leading to profoundly simple conclusions that ordinary language might not be able to reach. It doesn’t matter where you are and what you are doing, a sportsman, academician, politicians, leader, entrepreneur, cooperate organizations, etc. that truly once to get to the peak of his/her career must tap into the power imagination. If you can’t imagine it, you can’t see it. According to Carl Sagan, “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” Albert Einstein sums up imagination when he said “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

Let’s share some component part of imagination.

Socialize: The saying “Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are is not a political statement” because the people around are likely to have a significant impact on you. If you surround yourself with people of wide imagination, some of it should rub off on you.

Read:In order to spark your imagination, you should always be asking questions like Why? Where? How? What? Who? If there are things or events that you don’t understand, ask. You might be surprised at what you find out. ,

DaydreamYou can amuse yourself by speculating on these things, and it will soon become a habit. It can one day trigger an idea for a book, or for a new product that may just change your life. Personally, I never imagined writing a book until the idea was triggered by one of my mentors.

Create: Seeing something take shape even as you are contemplating your next step is inspiring, and it will drive your imagination to new heights. The problem that many people have however is, they lack belief. And with that, dreams are denied any possibility of materializing.

Think of successful people: professional athletes, business executives, world leaders. They started off with a dream. They imagined what they wanted to become. How did they achieve it? They didn’t destroy it. They didn’t refer to it as impossible. They worked on it every day. And at some point they turned something that was once a figment of their imagination, into their reality.

When you have imagined your idea in your brain, the next step is to imagine how exactly you’re going to get it. Break it down into achievable stages. If it’s a successful career, imagine the company and the position. Vision yourself at the interview. Doing everything you will need to do in order to obtain it.

Finally, build the whole story in your mind. Spend a few minutes every day just thinking about it. Only in a positive way. Tell yourself that one-day you will get there. There is nothing that will stop you. The more you make this a routine, the more likely you are to act upon it. You will realize that it’s not so unachievable after all.

In conclusion, I will leave you with this nugget, Turn your intentions into actions and your dreams will become your reality.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success. He can be reached via henrous@gmail.com

Time to Leave Your Comfort Zone

Greetings Friends,

If we are truly honest to ourselves, we like to be comfortable with all the good things the world has offered to us. There’s hardly anyone who doesn’t like comfort. We like to be financially stable/independent, we like our business to boom, we like our family and friends to be comfortable. We always like it when things go our ways. In general, we like our path to be comfortable. Nobody likes to be stressed. Stress itself is toxic to human nature.  This comfort has had left a dent in the minds of some lazy beings which made them remain in their comfort zone. However, it should be noted that being comfortable in this context is relative. We are not concerned with the literal, denotative and connotative meaning of being comfortable like being complacent and docile. Our focus here our is to go over and beyond by appreciating yourself, your business and being true to whatever you are doing as opposed to looking and wishing you have what other people have.

In order for you to move on in life, you need to leave your comfort zone. Becoming the best version of yourself means that you’re going to move away from where you are, so you must be willing to shred your old self. When you’re raising your own bar, you’re essentially creating a gap between you and people around you. As usual, your old self is going to resist, but it’s up to you to reject by not allowing the resistance to have its way.

Human beings by nature, are insatiable, we always have the urge to get the good things of life even it means going the extra mile just to please our appetite. For example, we always look for title in order to appear successful in the sight of men or even for human approval. We believe if we become a partner in a major law firm we’ll be happy and successful; we believe if we have hundreds of thousands of dollar or even millions of dollar in our bank account we’ll literally be happy, we believe, if we become a lead supervisor in a reputable company or organization or even attain a particular position in life, we’ll feel fulfilled. In reality, it doesn’t work that way.

We all have what it takes to succeed in life, all you have to do is look internally and figure out one of the problem/challenges facing the world and then use your creative skill, knowledge, talent, etc. to solve it. We all have the potentials of succeeding in life I call it the seeds of greatness living in us. All we need to do is to activate it and watch it grow. Don’t look down on your gift, talent or the little work of your hands, it might be the secret to your turnaround in life. You might even be solving one of the greatest problem/challenge facing the world today if you stay committed to your purpose. As a word of advice and encouragement, start small and build, but always have the big picture in your mind.

There’s always an underlying pressure to be the number one in the world. Nobody wants to play the second fiddle. We all want our business to top the brand/market, we all want to be seen as the most talented, successful, best entertainer, student, worker, writer, etc.  Sometimes, we need these affirmations to feel good about ourselves, otherwise, we won’t feel good about ourselves. But we fail to realize that every case is different and each and every one of us is running a different race. Most times as human beings, we seem to forget who we are and the power we have in our possession. If only we can work on ourselves by striving to be a better person than what we were yesterday we’ll literally outstand ourselves. Sometimes, we even wish to imitate our friends or colleagues who go on vacation, gain promotion, etc. This attitude makes us to wish we have what other people have, and if this habit is not controlled we might begin to breed jealousy in our hearts. But if you can stay true to your lane by appreciating yourself, your business in addition to looking internally and hearing the inner still voice speaking to you, you’ll succeed if you play by the rules, work hard and do what you have to do.

The journey of life is not a competition, though a healthy competition is good. Let me share a little story with you, there was a story where two laborers Mr. A and Mr. B were digging the ground to get gold. Both of them spent a considerable amount of time but all to no avail. They had the hope and believe that will eventually find gold. In fact, at a stage, they were almost giving up hope because they didn’t see any hope/chance of finding gold. While one of the men felt all hope was gone, the other continued to strike the wall and luckily for him, he was able to find gold and he happily went home feeling good. When Mr. B saw his colleague had found gold, he left his spot to concentrate on his partner’s spot with hope luck will favor him, he didn’t know there were piles of gold were in front of him. In fact, all he needed was little patience to reap the fruits of the labor. That’s how life works, most times, we are always busy focusing on other people’s work not knowing that we can spend the same considerable amount of time building ourselves and our empire. The moral of this post was that it’s better to concentrate on your craft than believing its green on the side of the lawn. Mr. B was too myopic to find out that he was merely surrounded by gold.

 Be informed, in the journey of life, you are not running anybody’s race, you’re ruining your race, and don’t make the mistake of competing with anyone, otherwise, you might be frustrated. Quit driving to outperform someone. Be comfortable with who you are, your business, and whom God has called you to be.  It takes a secure person to say I’m comfortable with what I am, who I am and what I am doing or building.  Don’t be concerned with another person’s story, rather, write your own story and chart your path. Don’t compare the sun and the moon, they shine when it is their time.  Your race is made up of no other person but you.

Let’s share some ways on how we can be the best version of ourselves.

1.      Amplify your strengths. You can be anything, but you can’t be everything. Concentrate your energy on what makes you happy. Always maximize your strength and minimize your energy. You can do this by majoring on your strength and working on your weakness. One of the best ways to figure out what you can do well is doing any positive work whenever you are called. It doesn’t matter if you are just waking up or you are not paid to do it.

2.      Live your every day to the fullest by doing what’s necessary. Learn to differentiate what’s within and beyond your circle of control. Once you’ve done your best, what happens, happens for a reason. Be patient and keep grinding.

As long as you’re working in the right direction, things will work out. The most important of all, enjoy the journey — even if it sucks sometimes. In summary, let me give you a rule of thumb, don’t compare yourself, celebrate yourself. It is only by so doing, we’ll be comfortable with our lives and business.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success. He can be reached via henrous@gmail.com

Exceed Expectations:“The first step in exceeding your customer’s expectations is to know those expectations.” – Roy H. Williams

Greetings Friends,

In today’s world, everybody wants to succeed. Nobody wants to fail. Hence, the saying, success has many fathers while failure is an orphan. The desire of every progressive and rational mind is to be successful. No company, organization, entrepreneur or even association wants to fail. No student wants to fail. This is the more reason why every parent trains his/her child not only to be morally sound in character but also academically empowered. The same goes for every cooperate organization who provides training opportunities to their employees in order to for them to be properly equipped to do the job. Entrepreneurs on the other hand never give up in their struggle to succeed especially when they look back to see how far they have come. They put in so much work by researching, learning, and unlearning in order to be relevant in our contemporary society. Service providers are not left out, they go all out to give their customers the best services by exceeding their expectations.

During the course of this article, we shall be discussing in a holistic and detailed manner dynamic ways on how we can exceed expectations. But the bigger picture will be on how you can exceed your expectations, the expectations of your clients, and the expectations of naysayers who didn’t believe in you nor saw the big picture. You may have had dreams of becoming a distinguished Captain of an industry, you may even have a desire of going higher in the corporate ladder, but your supervisor or director tends to limit your opportunities due to roadblocks which have programmed to make you fail on arrival. You may have never had the desire of going over and beyond due to the limiting factors like your environment, financial circumstances, physical disability or even health condition which might have limited your capability. All these are the strange voice which might tend to limit your dreams or chances of succeeding in life.

To exceed is to go over and beyond expectations. It can even be an inspiration to someone.  It takes a lot of courage to exceed expectations just like it takes a lot to succeed in life and business.  In order to truly exceed expectation, you must create something of value which must be appreciated. When you create value or become a person of substance who addresses problems, the world will celebrate you. Value is the hallmark of exceeding expectations.  A typical example of someone who exceeded expectation is Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba. Billionaire Alibaba founder Jack Ma was rejected from every job he applied to after college, even KFC. After college, Maapplied for 30 jobs in his home city of Hangzhou, China. He was rejected from every one. At KFC, 24 people applied for the job, and while 23 were hired — he wasn’t one of them. The same thing happened when he tried to be a cop. This time four of five applicants were hired, all except Ma. According to Jack Ma “My cousin and I waited for two hours in a long queue to be the waiter for the four-star hotel in my city, on a very hot day,”. “My cousin’s score was much lower than mine, but he was accepted and I was rejected!” Ma was even turned down by Harvard 10 times. Ma says the continued rejection was painful. But it prepared him for his entrepreneurial future. Ma believed in himself. His fortitude came in handy when he founded Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba in 1999. In the beginning, Ma heard “no” a lot, but never doubted his capacity to exceed expectations. According to Ma “When you share a lot of failure stories, you learn.”

Jack Ma turns 55 on Sept. 10, 2019, and is currently worth $38.2 billion. Yet Ma once made $12 dollar per month as an English teacher. His achievements are practically unbelievable considering his meager, humble beginnings. Along the way, he failed more times (and more spectacularly) than most of us could stomach in a lifetime.

Exceeding your expectations are not limited to only to you, but it also transcends to other people who have never believed you in you. We all have experienced one form of a disservice in one or way or the other. This can be either from an employee, an elderly person who never saw anything good in you, a friend, colleague or even a sibling or parent who had a form of doubt about your ability to succeed in life. In order for you to cast out their fears and doubts, the onus is on you to exceed their expectations by humbling them with your success.  According to Roy H. Williams, “The first step in exceeding your customer’s expectations is to know those expectations.”

We shall be discussing how to exceed expectations. The first step and requirement of exceeding expectation are believing in yourself. You just have to think positive regardless of the opinion people have around. Yes, sometimes it can be challenging when the odds are against you, for instance, you may have great ideas, but lack resources to execute it. Let me share a personal experience with you during my formative years in the USA, I had terrible writing skills. My writing skills were horrible, to say the least. I had “supposed mentors” who were meant to assist me in honing my writing skills, but the experience wasn’t rosy as expected. I was technically helpless, but fortunately, my networking and personal relationship skills connected me to resourceful mentors who look beyond my horrible writing skills to horn my writing skills. They were kind enough to edit my works at regular intervals. This process enabled me to learn and in turn improved my writing skills. The teachings and mistakes I made enabled me to write my first book. Mere looking back I can say, my supposed mentors wouldn’t believe I will come this far. I exceeded their expectations.

Let me share a valuable tip on how to exceed expectations for business-minded people. You can exceed expectations by providing quality service to your customers. Nobody likes shady work. You can also exceed expectations with speed and accuracy. When you deliver great service to your clients, you gain not only their confidence but also their loyalty.  Another way of succeeding is by connecting with your customers by applying the three communication rule: 1. Golden Rule: Treat people the way you want them to treat you; 2. Platinum Rule: Treat people the way they wish to be treated and, and 3. The double-platinum rule which literary means give people more than they deserve. Your customers can literally be loyal if you connect with them. Don’t be interested only in their money, but also let them know they are appreciated. Moral: Try to think of something memorable you can do for every customer. Also if you ever get an opportunity to do more, then do it.

Furthermore, you can give value by doing more than is expected or required from you. Do more than expected. You can exceed expectations in quality or service. A great customer service leaves a lasting memory. The expectations you exceed today become the seed for new opportunities in the future. This may seem to be an obvious fact, but many people fail to connect today’s actions with future opportunities.

1.    Manage  Expectations:

Depending on where you work, you can exceed expectations by managing your boss expectations. You must make time to understand what your boss expects when it comes to project deadlines and deliverables.

2.    Keep your skills up-to-date

As technology evolves, so must professionals. Whether it is the latest version of the software or regulatory changes, “Staying abreast of the latest developments in your industry can show continuous improvement and help you become a more efficient and effective employee.”

3.    Differentiate yourself

Last but not least, identify what differentiates you professionally from the rest and make it a characteristic that your boss can depend on. Making small efforts such as routinely showing up to work early each day or consistently finding new, more efficient ways to accomplish everyday tasks can help you position yourself as a valuable resource to your boss and team. While many professionals may have the qualifications to do the job, differentiating yourself and what unique elements you can bring to the table will set you apart. You want to demonstrate to your boss that you can continue to add value to the team and its goals. Ask yourself each day ‘how can I make my boss’s job easier?’ and you can begin to meet and exceed their expectations.”

I’ll end this article by sharing some inspiring secrets about Jack Ma on his entrepreneurial journey to inspire you.

1. Didn’t give up after failing many exams at school; Surprisingly, Ma’s not alone. There’s a tradition of other great minds, including Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and Abraham Lincoln.

2. He scored 1 out of 120 points on the math portion of his college entrance exam.

3. He wasn’t deterred after being rejected from Harvard 10 times.

4. He stayed optimistic after being turned down for 30 jobsAfter graduating from college, he applied to 30 different jobs and was subsequently rejected by all of them.He even applied to be a police officer, but he was rejected with three simple words: “You’re no good.”

5. He was the only interviewee (out of 24) rejected by KFC.

6. He couldn’t convince Silicon Valley to fund Alibaba: Even after he started Alibaba, he suffered multiple failures. It wasn’t profitable in the first three years.

In summary, if Jack Ma can exceed expectations, you too can do succeed regardless of your setbacks. Jack Ma is a classic rags-to-riches, but even more impressive than his fabulous wealth is his uncanny level of persistence. He is proof that no series of failures despite how depressing can keep someone from achieving their dreams. What this shows us is that Ma is the paradigm of persistence. As Ma says: “If you don’t give up, you still have a chance. Giving up is the greatest failure.”

In conclusion, I will like to end by asking you a question, what expectations would you like to exceed?

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success.

The Test of Life

Greetings Friends,

One of the truest fact in life is that we all must be tested in one way or the other. Life itself is a test because it continuously tests you every day. It tests you to know how prepared, strong and matured you are. There’s hardly anyone who hasn’t been tested in life. Students get tested, marriage is always tested, politicians get tested, relationship always gets tested, business is always tested, beliefs in religions is always tasted, and employees also get tested. The list is virtually endless. Despite all the testing, one thing is certain, the test you go through in life can either make or mar you, and it can also define you depending on your attitude or response to it. For example, during the electioneering campaign, politicians are always tested to know their thoughts on social and contemporary issues affecting their society or the world in general. Their response always helps citizens to be informed on where the politicians stand on a particular issue affecting them.

The focus of this article is to showcase how we can be strengthened during the course of building our business, relationship/marriage, personal and professional life in general. The test we all go through comes in different shapes and sizes. It’s just like the saying, the bigger the head the bigger the crown. Nor matter what you are facing in life, it should be noted that there’s no challenge that comes to you that is bigger than you. Every problem has a solution. According to Samuel Johnson, “knowledge is of two kinds, its either you know the answer of you know where to find”. In any situation you find yourself, there’s always a solution to it, the only challenge one will have in solving the problem is locating the right person who is informed in about the problem. For example, if you want to open a locked door, you’ll have a hard time opening it unless you have the right key.

As mentioned above, you’ll have to be bested in one way or the other before you can make a name for yourself. Let’s look at some test we all have to pass through in the journey of life.

The Test of Love

Love is the greatest force in life. I call it the magical wand. It is the reason why most people do what they do. It is also the unspoken reason why some people can’t explain why they do certain things. For example, a lady might like a male just because she likes the way he smiles, or the shape of his nose, eyes, or even because of his voice. Another lady might have another reason, and if asked, what the attraction she sees in the man is, she might opine, she can’t really explain. That’s true love right there. The test of love begins to manifest when a lover begins to sacrifice his/her time and resources for another person in addition to accommodating the excesses of that person. True love is normally tested, it’s beyond infatuation and materials things. Amidst all these, true love is always tested.

The Test of Passion:

There’s hardly any person who has truly succeeded in life who didn’t have an interest in what he/she did to truly succeed. Passionate minds are not concerned about money in their pursuit of happiness and success. Their main goal in life is to succeed in whatever task they have set their minds on. It is because of the passion an individual has in the industry, organization, business, association or even in an academic major will make the person intern just to get experience in that area. Furthermore, passion has made rational minds to work for free. The moral of the points mentioned above go a long way to let you know that the individual is being tested. In one of my articles which was published a couple of months ago, I was of the opinion Passion is Stronger than Power. If you want to know a person who loves his/job, look at the amount of time he/she spends on the project. An individual who loves his/her job might have no problem working and learning about the job in addition to finding any valuable and resourceful information about the job which he/she finds interesting. You can easily know if a person loves his or her job by mere looking at the person’s attitude. An individual who truly loves his/her job will go over and beyond to get the job done in addition to learning more about the job, but an individual who has little or no interest in the job will barely do the least requirement of the job.

Your business has to be tested:

This is one of the best ways to test any creative mind who has an idea to start a business or already started a business.  A new business might have some challenge succeeding in an already saturated environment unless it comes off as a great problem solver. Most business takes an average of 5 years depending on its viability to stabilize. Regardless of what your case is, your product will have to be tested. Apart from being tested, the standard, quality and competitive nature of the business will also be tested to know if it will stand the test of time.

Test of Character:

Character is the sum today of an individual lifestyle. If you really want to know any individual, study how he/she behaves/reacts. Character transcends more than our thoughts, words action, habits, personality and integrity. As humans, we are not infallible, we all have limitations.  At every stage of our life, our character will have to be tested. Just like gold is tested by fire, our character will be tested in order for one to have any opinion of who we truly are and represent.

The Test of Politics:

Politics is one of the most accessible ways to know any being who is grounded and accepted in his/her locality. In a nutshell, politics not only spells out a being, it defines how popular a candidate for an election is known. As the saying goes, every politics is local. If you are interested in serving humanity in any capacity, you’ll have to present yourself as a candidate and once your candidacy is accepted, you’re more than likely going to have an opportunity to serve your people. Most politicians test the water by way of surfing public opinion before contesting for an elective position. If you don’t take the risk of presenting yourself, it might be hard to get an opportunity to serve unless you are given an appointment/nomination to serve.

The Test of Religion:

Deepening on your religion, you will have to be tested.  Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Buddhist all have different religions and beliefs. At every stage, their faith is being put into practice or even tested. As Christians we are taught, sometimes God allows or even arranges for us to go through difficulties in this life because it’s during those times that we grow in our faith and develop more of the character of Christ. 

That said, it’s worthy to mention that in the journey of life, we’ll have to undergo various test in order to be successful. Isn’t it true that nothing good comes easy? Do you have a business? What are you are passionate about? Do you have any creative idea you’ll like to experiment? Will allow you complain, feel upset if things don’t go your way? Do you have any shortfall you’ll want to overcome? Do you have any interest in any sports, academic major, religion, relationship, political interest, etc.? If yes, please bear in mind life you will have to be tested. Life has a way of testing you. There are tests of life we have to endure. Every day we are confronted with setbacks and trials that leave us unguarded, the question now becomes, will you allow fear to take the upper part of you or will you overcome fear? I guess you’ll have to overcome fear by facing every situation and rise from it.

In summary, if you are seeking to make a great impact on the society, the greatest test you’ll ever have to overcome is integrity and in order to overcome the test, you must have the courage to do the right thing by standing on your values and true convictions. By so doing, you’ll be defining not only yourself but your business and life in general.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success.

The Right Attitude for Success

Dear Friends,

If you’ll agree with me there are many ways to be successful because success has many dimensions.  All great beings who have truly achieved success in life have one thing in common, they desired and worked for it in addition to having the right attitude. According to Keith Harrell in his book ‘Attitude is Everything”, he opined there’s power in thinking positive. In whatever you do in life, if you have the right attitude, you’ll definitely succeed all things being equal. I liken attitude to having a good personal relation skill. Are you a business owner, employee, entrepreneur, student, job seeker, marketer, leader, etc. you need the right attitude to get work done.

Succeeding in life can be very challenging. It doesn’t matter where you are, though your environment can play a role, If you don’t have the right attitude you’ll definitely hit the rock. One of the true secrets to success is having the right attitude. Whether you are experiencing financial challenge, relationship/marriage, academic or business challenge, if you have the right mental attitude there’s tendency you can overcome and succeed.

 During the course of this article, we shall take a holistic look at how we can succeed by having the right attitude. Attitude can be defined as a “settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior”. In a nutshell, attitude is your reaction to any situation you find yourself. Many people react in different ways when faced with the same situation.

Question: Do you have a dream, vision or goal? If yes, believe your dreams are valid, believe it will come to pass. Don’t look at the odds facing you, rather looking at opportunities you stand to benefit if all goes well. Let me share a personal experience with you, when I was in New York Law School studying a graduate program in Taxation Law, I had challenges understanding the concept of taxation. I had the fear of the unknown to the extent I wondered if I will be able to graduate from the program because the major was very demanding. While preparing for one of my semester examinations, a friend of mine reached out to me and said: “Henry if your exam is tomorrow how do you feel you will perform”? Honestly, I do know the best I can score in the exam will be a D or C+ if all goes well, but because my friend is one of the smartest student in an Ivy League school (Princeton University), I told her the worst grade I may get is a B+ or A-, but am looking towards getting A in my grade. Guess what, the worst grade I scored in that semester was a B+ and the best grade I scored was A-. At the end of the day, I not only graduated top of my class, but I was also given a scholarship of $3,000 by the Dean of my faculty. The moral of this story is to let you know there’s power in the spoken words and having the right attitude.

Attitude is a choice we all have to make. If you experience misfortune in your relationship, marriage, finance, academic or even in your workplace, the choice of moving on with your life is up to you. On a personal note, I don’t allow situations to stress me. I treasure and value my peace of mind and so I tend to eschew from any situation that may want to deter me from moving on. I don’t know the situation you are finding yourself in, however, I do know you have the will power to think straight and overcome any situation facing you. It may be tough, but trust me, if you occupy your mind with the right thoughts, interact with the right people and learn from the situation by seeing it as a lesson as opposed to seeing it as a problem, you’ll be overcome and come out stronger.

How can we practice having a good attitude?

Practice Gratitude:  

As you may know, happiness is a state of mind, having a good attitude is also a state of mind. One of the great ways to have a good attitude is to be grateful. Find something to be grateful for every day. It can be that you are alive, hale and hearty, therefore there’s room for another opportunity, you have food to eat, you have a car, you can afford public transport, you have a loving spouse, you have a job/source of income or even your parents, siblings and friends appreciate you.  Every day you wake up, be grateful and speak into the future and what you want the day to look like. When you speak into the future, the air hears it and carries out, the ground hears you and stamps it and the walls feel and absorb it.

Focus on the bright side of life:

As human beings, most of the times we always have the tendency to focus on what we don’t have as opposed to appreciating what we have. We become too comfortable to the extent we have an entitlement mentality. When faced with challenging situations, always see it like a temporary setback which won’t last. See it like a risk that is poised to bringing out an opportunity of interest. See it like a positive energy that will make you stronger when you learn from the lessons it brings your way. This is because what won’t kill you will make you stronger. A negative attitude will limit your life. You stand to gain nothing when you worry about situations you can’t change. As a matter of advice, always focus on possibilities and not on the problems.

Appreciate Yourself:

Always appreciate every challenge that comes your way. Never wait for everything to get well before you have a good attitude. Many people build their happiness and attitude around material things. Some feel when they have money, build a house, start a new relationship or even get married, get a job, buy a car or even attain a particular status in life before they can be happy, but in reality, that’s not the case because you may not get all this and still remain frustrated. Don’t get me wrong, having these goodies of life is good, but there’s more to life. There are many cases of people who have attained financial, social, marital and social status but are not happy. Having the right attitude will make you fulfilled.

As Christians, we are taught nothing happens without the permission of God, we are taught to see challenges as a test. It should be noted that it is our attitude that makes us sad and not our circumstances. This is because several people may experience similar situations but react differently while having different outcomes. Having the right approach to life will give you the right attitude. Remember you cannot change what’s beyond your control. For instance, you can’t control traffic, rain, and sunshine. In this situation, your best bet is to have a positive mental attitude by seeing the positive side as opposed to the negative side.

When you have a positive attitude, you’ll expect people to be good to you, you’ll cause situations to favor you, and the law of attraction will work for you. In summary, you’ll learn to think thoughts on purpose which might attract opportunities to you.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success.

Dare To Succeed

Greetings Friends,

The dream of every progressive mentor or parent is for the mentee or child to be greater than him or her. Anybody who wants to be greater than whoever succeeds him/her doesn’t have the interest of the successor at heart. One of the best ways to access the performance of an out-going leader is to look at who succeeds him or her.  If you’ll agree with me success brings joy and fulfillment in life. However, succeeding in life requires a lot of work namely: sacrifice, handwork, patience, connections, God factor, persistence/consistency, determination, and knowledge amongst other attributes which you can add.

We all want to succeed, but the question you need to ask yourself is, are you willing to do the work? If you really want to succeed in life you have to dare to succeed. By daring to succeed, you must be courageous. It takes courage to succeed in life. Nor matter what you are doing in life, it takes courage to succeed. This is because you must get many no’s and a few yes, but all you need is one yes to succeed. For you to truly succeed, it takes courage. It takes courage to be exceptional, rich, knowledgeable, and truthful in the society in which we live.

While in High schools and College we always have the desire to study a particular major in addition to working in a particular industry. While working in a particular industry most times we have a plan of where we want to be in five and ten year’s time. After college, we step into the labor market to get our dream job, sometimes we don’t even get the desired job we need, even at that, we have plans of getting the desired job of interest that will be fulfilling. When these plans don’t go as planned, some of us do give up, while some still forge ahead with determination to get to the peak of our career and passion in life.

In order to succeed, we need to be persistent and consistent because persistency comes from consistency, you need to continuous practice, you need to be focused and you need to learn something new every day. Your determination to succeed must always supersede your fear of failure. Daring to succeed requires risk, you don’t have to wait to see the clear picture before you hit the ground moving. If you are truly hungry for success, you must seek to stand out, you don’t have to conform to the ordinary standard of docile people who sometimes have an entitlement mentality, you must seek to leave your conform zone.

One of the strongest advice I have always given to friends and clients is considering those who have believed in you by sacrificing and supporting them and also looking at those who want to see them fail. You can’t afford to fail your mentors, parents, friends and even your children and mentees who are strongly looking up to you. When you give up, you give cause to people to question your ability to succeed.

Be informed, you didn’t come into this world to conform, neither did you come in to fit in. You must have the courage to go after your dream. The courage to succeed in life can be challenging when you have many obstacles and competition, however, there’s always a room if you strongly believe you are called to be in that industry. Speaking about courage, this is an uncommon inner strength to thread in strange lands. Just like Thomas Dexter Jakes Sr. aka TD Jakes said in one of this messages I recently listened to, “It doesn’t matter how saturated the room is, if God has God called you, there’s room for you.

In my first published book, Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success, the cardinal message inherent in the book is you hold the keys to your success. Let me share some insights on how you can dare to succeed in life from Lahcen Haddad, a former Minister of Tourism from the Government of Morocco

1. Don’t be afraid to fail The fear of failure is a hidden fear of success. Take big strides, jump higher, and dare to challenge conventional wisdom and common sense. If you don’t risk anything, you won’t gain anything. As Jack Canfield said, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” Mandela spent 27 years in jail but refused to give up the struggle against apartheid, when presented with a fudged compromise. He was not afraid to say no and remain in jail, knowing that behind the indomitable image of fear and failure lies the bright picture of success. 

2. Great success is built on great failures Robert Kennedy once said that “only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” If you want humans to get to Mars or Venus, you need to be prepared to get space missions to fail, shuttles to never reach destinations, technological devices to explode in the wide space, and obstacles to emerge by the hour, if not by the minute. Because your dream is big, so are your failures to achieve it. See your big failures as great lessons to learn. The Jamaican Usain Bolt, the greatest sprinter of all time, once said, “I don’t think limits,” meaning that his dream to be a hero doesn’t know limits, but only open vistas, limitless horizons. If you think limits, you create psychological hurdles to success. Dream big, fail big and enjoy huge successes all through. 

3. Failure is the mother of inventiveness Thomas Edison said that he had not failed, but had found thousands of ways what he had invented did not work. Experimenting and failing, again and again, is common to the great inventors who have changed our lives forever. Electricity in every home, thousands of planes buzzing in our skies on a daily basis, comfortable cars making far places within our reach in a few hours, smartphones making the world available to us through small screens that we gently tap with one finger, sophisticated machines that scan our bodies for malfunctions or illnesses, and a million other inventions- all of these would not have been possible if the inventors did not accept the rule that “if you don’t fail and learn, you cannot succeed.”

4. Failure is success suspended, until the moment is ripe Sometimes we fail because we are ahead of our time, or because we are getting there but we need to think harder, work harder, and be more persistent. As Denis Waitley said, “Failure is a delay, not defeat.” It is a matter of finding the right solution for the right problem and selling it to the right people, in the right conditions. The recipe to success takes special ingredients, and every minute and detailed dosage when it comes to seasoning. Failure can be intrinsic to the solution itself, but it may be also a problem of packaging, marketing, and communication. Therefore, failure is a matter of time- finding the right recipe to make the solution attractive and sellable in a timely fashion. Timing is key. Try again later but never give up. 

5. You can know success only if you have experienced failure The best perspective on success is through failure. “Its failure that gives you the proper perspective on success,” as Ellen DeGeneres said. Success is built on held assumptions and found solutions. Some assumptions work and others don’t. Therefore, every failed attempt gives you a sense of what doesn’t work and what should work. Failure gives you perspective, it helps you focus and hone in on the right obstacles and the right solutions- things you could not have seen, had you not failed, had you not made assumptions that did not work. 

6. it’s okay to make mistakes, it’s NOT okay not to learn from them Mistakes are the imperfections that push us to aspire to perfection. In fact, they are not mistakes. They are our life lessons about what works and what does not work. That is why it is imperative to study our falls and our mistakes carefully to learn from them, to understand what could be key to success. As Henry Ford said, “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” Study carefully what does not work: therein lie the seeds that make you successful.  The secret to achievement is made up of failures understood as warm-up exercises designed to help you learn to jump higher, aim better and get it right. 

Success is a dream. But the road to success is paved with bold moves and brave acts. You have to risk something if you want to get something. In so doing, you are more vulnerable because you are exposed to danger, factoring in failure in a key characteristics of the bold entrepreneurs. Yes, they are afraid; but they know that overcoming fear can only happen when they espouse it and own it; if they fall, their fear does not grow; on the contrary, they become bolder, braver; they are vulnerable to bigger falls but also to greater achievements. Success is a thousand failures turned into a thousand lessons that allow you to overcome fear and catch the dream as it flies by you in a dark night. Don’t be afraid to fail; be ready to succeed. 

How do you dare to succeed: Let’s see what Madanmohan Rad have this to say:

 Dare

Dreaming is essential to make meaning of life, find your inner voice, truly grow up, and show the next generation how to dream. “Dreaming is an inalienable right,” says Johnson. Though difficulties and challenges may take us off course in life, it is important to make meaning of these challenges by daring to dream again.

Dream

You must boldly follow your dreams as well: become the hero of your story; make space and time for your dreams; map and track your competencies; know your beliefs; build on your strengths; and fine-tune your dreams as you align them with current circumstances.

Reflecting on childhood experiences and happiness is a good way to begin understanding your dreams. Through the twists and turns of life, it is necessary to embrace one’s constraints and even tap ‘fortunate frustrations’ by downsizing, re-directing or deferring dreams.

Introspection helps reveal your own innate talents, accumulated competencies, beliefs and identities. Some deeply-held beliefs put boundaries on dreams, others are scaffolding. For people of many faiths, their religion is a source of drive and values.

Do

Having fleshed out your dreams, you need to embrace discovery, explore your domain, create your dream team, bootstrap your dream, and ‘date’ or dabble with your dreams. Making dreams come true calls for support from mentors, experts, fellow dreamers, and cheerleaders. Dreams can also change via serendipitous un-anticipated events

In conclusion, if I ask you, what is the one thing you cannot fail in life, what will be your response? Again, what is the one thing you have always wished to do in life? I encourage you to, therefore, take the bold step and dare to succeed in any dream, vision and mission you strongly believed you cannot fail it.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success.

Are You Prepared?

Greetings Friends,

Life is full of so many challenges and opportunities. At every stage in life, we are always called upon to act or perform a particular task. The challenge and question before you may want to ask yourself are, are you prepared for the opportunity; or you are ready to hit the ground moving. A few years ago, I wrote an entitled Youths and Nation Building – A Case Study of Nigeria,in that article I was able to share some insightful points on how the youths can contribute to Nation- Building. What really inspired that article was theallegation a colleague mention on Facebook that the youths of Nigeria are not prepared to serve in certain committees and positions of authority. According To him, even if they are given the opportunity, they lack the necessary skills and qualifications to serve or contribute to Nation Building.

During the course of this article, we shall be discussing how preparation can be a catalyst to your success.Preparation in life cuts across every barrier namely: academic, business, marriage,economic and leadership. In whatever you do in life, you definitely have to plan if you want to truly want to succeed in life as a progressive human being. According to Benjamin Franklin, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”. Just like wesay in some social parlance, organization is the first law in heaven, in the same vein, preparation is the first key to any opportunity. Nor matter how good. skillful or knowledgeable you’re in life in any particular industry, if you are not prepared for the task ahead, you are definitely going to hit the rock. For instance, Anthony Joshua Lost his first-ever boxing battle to Andy Ruiz Jr in one of the biggest shocks in the history of the sport. According to some people who watched the fight, Anthony Joshua Lost because he wasn’t fully prepared for the fight.

When people say they need an opportunity to work or serve in a particular capacity, what really comes to my mind is, are they really prepared if the opportunity becomes available?  What they don’t really know is that opportunity never comes, you create it by working hard and smart. Working hard is different from working smart. When you work hard, you exert so much energy to get the word out there, but when you work smart, you use logistics to plan verywell. It’s funny to know that most people want to achieve success, but at the sametime, they don’t want to do the work. In the voice of one of the most celebrated Nigerian artist in the world Innocent Idibia, aka Tuface, he said, “some people want to go heaven, but they don’t want to go to die”. What this really means is that most people want to succeed, but they are not willing to do the work by preparing. 

The question now is how do you the work? You do the work by planning your life, your study, your business, your family and life generally. You also prepare by volunteering, serving, reading, learning the trade, getting theoretical and practical guidelines and empowering yourself with all necessary skills to succeed in the particular area of interest you are passionate about. For example,if you are a man who wants to marry, it’s strongly advisable to do the courtingin order to know your intending spouse to a reasonable extent. Then you secure a stable source of income to care for the family as the Head of the house when you finally decide to settle down.

 It’s pertinent to note that the journey of a thousand steps begins with a step inthe right direction. If you want to be a doctor, lawyer, teacher, engineer, politician or even artisan, you have to learn the trade in order to succeed in the industry. Failing to do the needful might make you to crash when the opportunity becomes available. In order to achieve success, you must pay your dues. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. There’s nothing like luck in life. Most of the opportunities that have come across me didn’t really come as a result of my hard work, most of them came because I created them by preparing myself.

In conclusion, it’s pertinent for you to sit down and evaluate where you are and where you want to be in life in a year’s time, five years and ten years time. Then ask yourself, are you doing what you’re supposed to do? If no, ask yourself again, what you are supposed to do to get yourself prepared for the task ahead.

Henry Ukazuwrites from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction asthe Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design YourDestiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success.

Desire For Success

Greetings Friends,


The desire of every living being on earth is to be successful? If I may ask you what do you stand to gain if you are not successful? If you are not “successful” in life, you may live at the mercy of others. As human beings, one of our primary aim in life is to be successful. This is because once you are successful you will attract opportunities.  Isn’t it true that success attracts many fathers while failure is an orphan? Success in itself is not easy, you must desire it. Success is like money if you don’t desire for it you won’t get it.


 What does it mean for a person to be successful? In my humble opinion, being successful means the achievement of desired visions and planned goals.  During the course of this article, we shall be discussing how we can desire for success while attracting it. In one of my articles I wrote a few years ago entitled “The Relativity of Success, I shared valuable information on what success means to different people. For example, Mr. A’s definition of success is different from Mr. B’s definition of success. This is because what Mr. A likes may differ from what Mr. B likes. This is why most people engage in difference business, disciplines and careers in life. They do this because they have figured who they are, their interest and how they want to be remembered.


 Amidst all this, one outstanding difference among all successful people is that they made a conscious decision and choice to achieve success. They didn’t just wake up and became successful. No, they put in the work while desiring for a positive result.


 Everyone has a desire to be successful. However, with most people, the focus generally tends to be towards career success. Personal life success is also important. For you to be successful, you must plan and works towards it. For example, all successful people ever existed had a burning desire that made them wake up every morning and pursue their dream.
If you are asked, what do you desire most in life, what will be your response? Money, title, children, academic qualification, etc. In order for you to desire and achieve success, you must be passionate about a particular area of life. We shall be discussing how we can desire and achieve success.


1. Find your passion and purpose: This is the starting point of all interest and desire in life. This is where your imagination and subconscious mindset comes in. Whatever you want to do in life, starts with a thought.  Whether you are a student, businessman/woman, career professional, artisan, politician or even comedian you must desire to get to the pinnacle of your career. Let me share a hidden secret with you, just like you can’t serve two masters are the same time and give them apt attention, the same way you can’t have passion for two areas of life and expect to get the same result. Once you distinguish yourself from an area of life, you will have the leverage to engage in another industry. Just like having many streams of income, one of the income may serve as door open opener which brings other business opportunities to you. Hence, as a matter of advice, always spend a considerable amount of time on your passion and then spend a little bit of time managing other areas of interest. 

2. Set your Goals: Once you discover your passion, the next target is to set your goals and work towards achieving it. Goals are very important in life. You can do this by seeking for knowledge as opposed to results. The results will gradually come down when people see how knowledgeable you are.  Your goals help to discipline you by making you focused in your set objectives.  Once your goals are properly set, don’t just look for money immediately, your primary aim should be to provide values and services by solving problems to your targeted audience. Once you do, gradually, resources will begin to come your way. Your goals help you to stay committed in addition to being motivated. Once you are committed to a task, it is easy for people to identify and support you.

3. Surround Yourself with Positive People: You may have heard of the saying, if you are the smartest person in the room, leave the room and if ten of your friends are millionaires, you are next in life. What this literally means is that your network determines your net worth. Good friends help to inspire you with empowering information and mentorship. Once you have a good team you are working with, there’s high probability you will be successful. Isn’t it true that if you want to go fast in life, go alone, but if you want to go far, go with a team?

4. Create a study/ strategic plan: This is by far one of the most resourceful ways of achieving success.  If you are serious about your plan, you must be strategic about by impoverishing new ideas on how to leverage the market. Some of the ways you can achieve this are by learning new skills necessary for business, networking with the right people/associations/organizations; and being educated. 


If you have a burning interest in something or a burning desire to do something, you will make out time to do it. Everybody is busy in life, but we only make out time for what we desire/ want to do and then make an excuse for what we don’t want to do.


In conclusion, do you desire for success? If yes, what are you doing to achieve it?


Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with New York City Department of Correction as the legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success.

The Test of Confidence

Greetings Friends,

Self-confidence is one of the greatest skills any progressive and productive minded being must have. Self-confidence is truly priceless because it cuts across all levels of life. During interviews, one of the qualities interviewers look for in a candidate is your level of confidence. At work environments, supervisors, Directors look for confidence, capability, and competence in a candidate before any task is delegated to them. Students, athletics, public speakers, sportsmen, actors, leaders, etc. all need confidence to succeed.

The test of confidence is truly a hard one when we try to be practical with our beliefs. This is because there are so many distractions begging for our attention. Confidence is one of the greatest skills a leader must possess because it helps to conquer a lot of fears in addition to conquering new grounds. It’s sad to note that a lot of people have failed in life despite having the background knowledge and information they need to succeed simply because they lack confidence in expressing their thoughts and following their dreams and passion.

Confidence people don’t follow the bandwagon. They walk alone when the world is moving in a different direction. Confident people know themselves, they know what’s unique about them. They know their strengths and weakness and above all, they know themselves. In the journey of life, you must surely go through test for your confidence to be established. So, always appreciate and value your journey.  During the course of this article, we shall be discussing how we can develop self-confidence.

A person with high self-confidence seems to live life with passion and enthusiasm.  People tend to trust and follow confident people. Confident people are not deterred by adversaries. Just to understand how confidence plays a role plays in real life, imagine having a lion leading a flock of sheep for a war versus having a sheep leading a troop of lions. Who will be respected most?

At any point in life, we’ll be required to prove ourselves. This proof might result in us being tested in what we believe in. This can be a test of faith, business, relationship, careers, and life generally. It is this test that will define and probably shape you. Let’s take a classic case of an entrepreneur who feels working 9-5 job is not for him or her. He/she decides to quit his/her job to follow his/her dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. If you’ll agree with me, it takes courage and confidence to quit your job in order to be an entrepreneur. There have been cases of people who left good jobs to follow their dreams. Some of these people relocated to thousands of miles outside their comfort zone just to follow their passion. These are some of the examples of the test of confidence.

We live in a world where a lot of people play to the gallery by trying to impress people. These set of individuals fail to realize the fact that, the best way of living a fulfilling life is by being themselves. Impressing people is like living a fake life and expecting people to take you serious. In the worlds Oscar Wilde “Be yourself, everyone is taken”. Anyone who wants to be part of your success story will support your works. You won’t need to beg for their confirmation. Just so you know, people who truly care don’t matter and those who matter don’t care.

Confident people don’t care what others think about them. They don’t try to impress people with their clothes, money, knowledge, network, and strength because they truly know themselves. Confident people are talented and gifted set of people who know their craft very well. I have seen cases in life where Human Resource managers hire people with less qualified certificates for a position over someone with certificates just because of the skills, personality, attitude and their confidence to learn and grow which the person brings to the table as opposed to a candidate with great “qualifications” with little or confidence or undertaking a new task.

The first test of lack of confidence you can see in an individual is insecurity. Insecure people always have fear and doubt in their minds. Most times our insecurity makes us seek validation from other people, but the truly confident people know that a free being is one who does not care about what other people think about him. In the words of Bill Cosby, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone’.

Let me share a true story. During my graduate program in New York Law School, I had fears of the unknown. I thought I wouldn’t be able to graduate from taxation, but when I looked back and see the people looking up to me, I told myself, I will not only graduate, but I will finish strong, which by God’s grace I did. The moral here is that I believed in myself despite obvious challenges. Furthermore, when I was writing my first book, I had fears about how the production will be, grammatical errors and how the world will receive the work, all these fears didn’t deter me from moving ahead despite many voices telling me 1001 different messages on how to proceed and not proceed with the production.  At the end of the day, I followed my inner instincts and dared to succeed. And the work came out almost perfectly fine if not perfectly fine.

If you know who you are, you won’t need to explain yourself to people. Isn’t it true that the whole world sets apart for the man who knows where he’s headed?

If people have high self-efficacy in an area, then they think, feel, and behave in a way that contributes to and reinforces their success, and improves their personal satisfaction. They’re more likely to view obstacles as challenges to overcome, so they aren’t afraid to face new things. They recover quickly from setbacks because they view failure more as a result of external circumstances than internal weaknesses. In general, believing in your abilities affects your motivation, your choices, your toughness, and your determination.

The question now is how do you building self-confidence?  I will list a few ways you can build self confidence.

Mastery experiences – things you have succeeded at in the past.

Vicarious experiences – seeing people who are similar to you succeed.

Social persuasion – hearing from others that you’re capable of.

Emotional status – staying positive, and managing stress.

Three of these sources (the first, second, and fourth) are within your control, so we’ll look at them more closely. However, while we can’t force people to say good things about us (the third source), we can increase the likelihood of receiving positive feedback by being more confident in general.

A few days ago, the internet was awash with the history of  Cori Gauff, the 15-year-old American who set a record by becoming the youngest player to qualify for the main draw of Wimbledon. She was able to beat one of her idols Venus Williams in the first round at Wimbledon. Cori wouldn’t have been able to do this she lacked confidence.

 In order to gain confidence, try practicing these few nuggets: Never try to be someone else;  Always stick to your ideas when necessary; Have a sense of direction in life; Don’t be  easily influenced by what others say; Be comfortable with yourself; Don’t seek approval from others; Groom yourselfDress nicelyThink positiveKill negative thoughts Get prepared; Know your principles and live them; Speak slowly; Increase competenceSet a small goal and achieve it; Focus on solutions; Volunteer and learn; Exercise Empower yourself with knowledge; Work on small things and finally but not the least get to you know yourself because when you do, you will win all battles.

 In conclusion. How confident are you? Are you ready to take a leap of faith to prove your confidence? Remember the words of Henry Ford “Whether you think you can, or you think you can‘t – you‘re right,”.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with New York City Department of Correction as the legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success.