Face Your Fears

Greeting dear Friends,

I will start this article with a quote from Les Brown: “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” Growth is a very hard process. Growth comes in different shapes and sizes, but what is important is we are growing. Some people grow with joy, while others grow with fear. Regardless of where your fear is coming from, it should be accepted with joy because fear itself comes with its own blessing if only you can see from the brighter side of life. Fear itself is indeed necessary for our growth.

We all have fear living in us. Politicians have the fear of the unknown, and entrepreneurs of succeeding in their craft. We all have dreams and visions we will like to see come through.

What really is fear? Fear can be defined as a feeling induced by perceived danger or threat that occurs in certain types of organisms, which causes a change in metabolic and organ functions and ultimately a change in behavior, such as fleeing, hiding, or freezing from perceived traumatic events. At various points in our life, we have experienced fear. The fear of the unknown can be regarded as one of the worst forms of fear. In politics, politicians are always skeptical of what their fate might be during the election because of the unstable nature of politics. Entrepreneurs and business managers are always afraid of how their products might be accepted in the market. Leaders sometimes are afraid of how their decision might affect the company, students are afraid if they’ll pass their exams, pregnant women always experience anxiety and some element of fear about their unborn child. Parents have fears about their children safety and also how they’ll turn up to be responsible citizens. Some travelers are always afraid of flying in the air, by road or sea. While some have a phobia for traveling. The list is just endless.

Fear has limited many people from reaching their potentials. Fear can be likened to taking a risk. It’s often said that great achievers are risk-takers. These sets of individuals look at their circumstances and dare to succeed. They are not deterred by what they are experiencing, rather, they are concerned they are where they are going. These are the people that are called visionaries because they conquered their fear. It’s instructive to note that the fear of taking risk is risk itself.

Let’s discuss how we can face our fears.

Nothing is permanent. Just like life has its own up and down, fear itself is only temporary if we allow it to have to its position. Regret is what lasts forever; but the unfortunate thing is that sometimes, we all allow fear to last for a long period of time. Fear will respect you if you position it where it is supposed to be. But if you allow it to conquer you, you’ll forever regret it and that’s one the saddest you want to regret in your life.

You have the control of your life, nothing even your parents, friends, employers, spouse, and whatever you may have in your life can control you only if you allow it to control you because you know what is good for you. I will share a personal experience with you, I once quit a job I had due to the interest and vision I had. To a lot of people, it was an irrational and senseless decision because there was little or no backup plan. In reality, I had the fear of the unknown. To be honest, my only and greatest confidence was that I was going to see my grandmother to seek her blessings for my life.  I remembered speaking to my mentor before quitting the job, and he asked me if my mind was at peace when I was quitting the job, I said yes, and he replied, that’s all that mattered. Fast forward the journey to two years time, I got two rare blessings that changed the course of my life (married a rare gem which my grandmother prayed for before leaving this sinful world and securing a priceless opportunity from a major financial institution which ordinarily, wouldn’t have occurred if not for the transient period of set back when I quit the job). The two lessons learned here are:  Don’t try to be fearless, just don’t allow your fear to make decisions for you, and, always have peace of mind whenever you are about to make a decision.

It is important to note that a little bit of fear is normal. In fact, fear helps you to instinctively protect yourself from harm. For example, if you have fear of failing exams, you’ll be inspired to work hard harder. Also if you look at the people who want to see you fail, you’ll be inspired to work harder and humble them with your success.

How to over overcome Fear

Be engaged:

You can challenge your fear by engaging it in it. For instance, if you are afraid of public speaking, the only way you can overcome it, is by engaging in public speaking. Your fear of public speaking might prevent you from advancing in your career and that can be frustrating. So challenge that fear by facing it squarely. You can start small by speaking to family members, friends who you are comfortable with or even friendly associations or communities. You can also have an internal conversation with yourself about what your fears are stopping you from doing, and consider if it’s a problem that you need to confront.

Evaluate Risk Level

Every risk has to ascertained to know if it is worth undertaking. Keep in mind that just because something feels scary, doesn’t mean it’s actually risky. Educate yourself about the facts and the risks you actually face by doing the things that scare you.

Create an Action Plan

The key to facing your fears is to take one small step at a time. Going too fast or doing something too scary before you are ready can backfire. This basically means you have to be prepared for any opportunity you want to explore. For instance,  if you are about to quit your job, it’s imperatively important for you to get sufficient experience, information, knowledge, skills, and confidence to begin the next phase of your life unless you longer have peace of mind on the current job. There will be some element of fear that’s okay because a moderate amount of anxiety is good and it’s important to keep moving forward. Moral: Don’t wait to take a step forward until your anxiety disappears. According to some school of thought, social parlance, never wait for the coast to clear before you move. Sometimes it’s good to swing through the wave.

Another way of creating an action plan is preparing before execution. If you want to develop your public speaking skills, you can eliminate fear by standing in front of a mirror and give a two-minute talk, record yourself giving a talk and watch it back, practice the talk in front of a spouse, family member, friend, and friends. You can also watch videos.

Seek Professional Help

Having mentors, experts, or even friends can play a significant role in eliminating fear from your life. If you have a specific phobia, you may not be able to conquer your fears on your own. If your fears are debilitating, or you aren’t having much success facing them on your own, seek help from tested and trusted persons. Treatment may involve talking about the thing that scares you, practicing relaxation strategies, and managing your anxiety as you face your fears head-on. A therapist, however, will help you go at a pace that is comfortable and healthy for you. It is always better to know whose hand you are holding physically or emotionally.  This helps with allaying of fears for the rest of your life..

Exercise.

Exercise has a role in eliminating fear. It can refocus you (your mind can only focus on one thing at a time). Whether you go on a short walk, running, jogging, etc it will help you to be comfortable. You can also use humor to deflate your worst fears. This is mostly applicable in public speaking. Isn’t it true that when you joke about something, it can help to reduce tension and anxiety?

Don’t Be a Victim of Fearing Fear Itself

You are what you feel and it is only a matter of time for what you feel to manifest. If you have fear, don’t show it, rather show the courage in your eyes. Nothing has power over us except the one we give it. So if you give fear power, it will overpower you and resonate in all parts of your body.

 Assume the Worst

A good way to overcome fear is by preparing for the best and expecting the worst. When you get to a stage in life that you don’t care about what people say about you, you have literally reached a high level of freedom. Even at work, once you make your boss understand you don’t really care if you fired why doing your legitimate assigned work to the best of your ability, he or she might respect you the more internally especially when you know your job very well as opposed to showing him/her fear by playing to the gallery. When you showy boss an element of fear, he/she might be tempted to take you for a ride because your life literally depends on the job, that’s why it’s not always good to show your fear.

You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

We are not defined by our circumstances, rather we are defined by what we overcome. Many people have faced so many challenges, but they were able to overcome with uncommon strength. The only positive thing fear does to you is that it gives you positive exposure if you learn from it. Fear is false evidence appearing real, it’s up you to face it and overcome it.

In conclusion, what are you afraid of? It’s hight you overcame and succeed.

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

Develop Your Craft

Greetings Dear Friends,

It is an indisputable fact that succeeding in life can be a very challenging feat. Whether you are in business, school, church, corporate organizations, sports or even politics, you need an element of luck, hard and smart work, God factor (which I call grace), great network and both theoretical and practical knowledge amongst other factors in order for you to succeed. Just like the parable of the sower, on the journey to success, some of us fell along the way, some germinated, but weren’t strong enough to withstand the storms of life, while some were able to bear the much-desired fruits with the right nutrients needed for growth. In all these, one thing is certain; to attain any particular level of success, it is important for one to understand or master the art required. This is an uncommon skill which most people don’t have and therefore, it has contributed to some of the challenges militating against their success.

In the course of this article, we shall be discussing how we can develop or master our craft with the mindset of succeeding in any field of endeavor one is passionate about. It’s quite unfortunate to note that a lot of people desire success, but they are not willing to pay the price. Developing or mastering your craft is very critical to succeeding in any endeavor. In civilized climes, most people learn before they earn. Even the word learn confirms the saying by encouraging us to (L)earn before we (E)arn or develop the skill before we can earn.

Developing or learning a skill can be difficult and rewarding at the same time if we are diligent enough to pay the price. We all have the capacity to master any skill, but many of us succumb to pitfalls such as impatience, uncertainty, and fear which cripple our learning and halt progress. In a similar way, we all have the potential to succeed, but we don’t take time to understand and develop our selves/ businesses.

WAYS TO MASTER/SUCCEED IN YOUR CRAFT

Reconnect to Your Roots — Discover Your Calling

The first key to succeeding in life is by knowing yourself and what you are passionate about. In one of my articles which I published a couple of months ago, titled Passion is Stronger than Power, I opined that there’s more to success and life if we focus on passion and value as opposed to focusing on money and material things. I also stated that you’ll get more in life in addition to succeeding if you love what you do more than what you are paid for. Therefore, identifying your areas of interest is a critical part of self-discovery. According to Robert Greene, “The first move toward mastery is always inward — learning who you really are and reconnecting with that innate force. Knowing it with clarity, you will find your way to the proper career path and everything else will fall into place.” It’s worthy of mention that some of us discovered this as children, but it couldn’t see the light of the day as a result of parental or societal pressures which suppressed our ambition.

The Mentor Dynamic

In our contemporary society, we cannot underestimate the power of mentorship in the lives of a progressive-minded person. In one of my most informed articles titled Mentors Are Life Savers, I stressed the importance and role of mentors in fast-tracking the success of any person or organization. Mastering and developing your craft requires mentorship. You cannot underestimate the power of mentors. It is important to note that mentors will not work for you, but they’ll be instrumental in facilitating a smarter way of achieving your vision in a more realistic and dynamic manner. I am a product of mentorship. In the words of Robert Greene, “To learn requires a sense of humility. We must admit that there are people out there who know our field much more deeply than we do. Their superiority is not a function of natural talent or privilege, but rather of time and experience.” According to Greene, he advised four Strategies for finding the perfect Mentor:

1.      Choose a mentor according to your needs and inclination: It is important to really know what you want in life. Most people choose mentors for the fun or just to associate with the name. It For instance if you are interested in politics, governance, leadership, academics, writing, sports, entertainment, religion etc., it will be of your own best interest to know the role each of them will play for you as opposed to having one mentor and generalizing him/her. In choosing your a mentor, it’s important to note that, the more specific you are the better for you to get what you need or desire or what output you are looking for. Mentors do provide informal training such as support, confidence, direction, space to discover things on your own.”

2.      Gaze deep into the mentor’s mirror: There’s a big difference between a mentor and a role model. In simplest terms, a mentor is someone who teaches and guides you in your area of interest. He/she must be an expert in his/her chosen field of practice. You can have several mentors for several projects. Your mentors can be online or offline. Your mentor can also serve as a role model to you depending on your mission and vision in life. On the other hand, a role model is someone you definitely want to be like. In this sense, you imitate the works of the person, you reading about the person and his/her works in addition to the philosophy and lifestyles. The person can also serve as an inspiration to you. You may not have access to the person like you do for mentors because the person may be far from reach (dead or alive), but the works of the being in question warms your heart. Mentors will point out your weakness, embrace it like constructive because you will gain more confidence through objective feedback.

3.      Transfigure their ideas: As you continually learn concepts from your mentor, apply them with your own creative spin. As mentioned, mentors won’t do the work for you, they’ll guide you on the most rational and informed way of succeeding or expanding your vision or business.

4.      Create a back and forth dynamic: This isn’t a one-sided relationship. Be very clear about what you want to learn and adjust their instruction to fit your needs. You can appreciate your mentor by adding value to their work. In that way, it becomes a mutualistic friendship as opposed to a symbiotic relationship.

Practice

A sense of purpose amplifies grit, ambition, focus and virtually every other characteristic that is needed to achieve mastery.  A person could have all of the natural talents in the world, but without practice, that talent will never enable them to achieve mastery. The hallmark of deliberate practice is that you try to do something that you cannot do- that takes you out of your comfort zone. According to Durant “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” Isn’t it true that practice makes perfect? Developing your craft entails practicing. Continuous practice horns your skill. With continuous practicing, you develop more insight into your craft. The interesting thing about hard work is that it doesn’t kill, rather it is lack of work that can kill. We rarely see what went into when we practice, we only see the results. Practice leads to proficiency and determines performance. Practice can be likened to performance: This is because We practice an instrument to play in front of an audience. An athlete practices his sport to play in a game. An actor rehearses to film a movie. A writer writes every day to publish a book. Continuous practice leads to performance, and this is where your level of mastery gets tested and measured.

Purpose:

Discovering your purpose is probably one of the most important decisions to make. When you know your purpose, it will be hard for you to lose interest when you fail. This is because your desire for success should always outweigh your fear of failure. Studies have shown that purpose, autonomy, and mastery are among three forces that drive people to do what they do. It’s instructive to note that passion follows engagement.

Failure

You can never master or develop your craft without experiencing failure. Failure is necessary for our growth. So, if you have not experienced failure yet, wait for it and if it comes, turn it into your friend. In the words of Robert Greene, Masters are those who by nature have suffered to get to where they are. They have experienced endless criticisms of their work, doubts about their progress, and setbacks along the way.

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

Choose Your Name Wisely

Greetings Dear Friends,

We all have names which our parents, godfather/mother, or even good relatives and friends gave to us at birth, and we always like to be addressed rightly and with respect before we respond. Just to let you know how powerful your name can be, if you are called a name that is not yours, there’s every tendency you won’t respond, nor matter how nice it may sound. Even if you are called the right name but with the wrong pronunciation, you might also feel slighted to respond, and even if you respond, you’ll react in a way as to offer correction. This is because names are very symbolic, and according to the platinum rule, people are treated the way they wish to be addressed.

Names are very powerful and they have deep meanings, and as a result, must be chosen wisely. Names are regarded as trademarks/logos and come in different shapes and sizes. Some people even have nicknames which have defined them in different ways. Even in business; the name you choose has an impact on people’s perception, especially your potential clients. Therefore, it is imperatively and critically important for you to consider whatever name you will like to be associated with.

A name is an identity. It is a descriptor that allows people to make quick judgments and assumptions about us. When a particular name is mentioned, a lot of questions normally come to mind. We can even assume what it is likely to be. Our names and identities are regarded as the first impressions people have about us. For example, how we dress, the way we wear our hair, how we behave, and even where we go; all begin with our identity and what we call ourselves. Whether it is religion, sexuality or gender, it is part of an identity that can influence how you present yourself to the world, and how you interact with the world. Depending on the situation and circumstance, what we call ourselves may change. That is why it is important for you to consider the name, group or network you are associated with.

The big question we have to answer is what name do I respond to? As human beings, some of us are very sensitive, some are conservative while others tend to have a liberal attitude towards life. Depending on which category you belong to, you can decide to be the game-changer in whatever situation you are into. You may have been called a dull person, lazy being, slow, ugly, fat, etc., but how you respond is actually what makes the ultimate difference. As you may know, life is not what happens to you, but how you react to it. It should be noted that you can’t stop people calling you negative names, but you can decide to choose what you answer to. As a an advice, don’t answer names you are called, when they call you hello depressed, short, unattractive, unqualified, sick, orphan, just calmly respond, ‘sorry there’s no one by that name around here, I guess you may have gotten the wrong address’. In a rhetoric way, you can also respond, do you mean positive, tall, smart, healthy, blessed, beautiful, handsome, extraordinary, talented, skillful, etc.

Studies suggest that liking your own name is predictive of well-being and happiness, and it also positively affects your self-esteem. But does your name affect how other people treat you? According to Dale Carnegie.

“A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”   Why then is it so important to call people their true names? A person’s name is the greatest connection to their own identity and individuality. Some might say it is the most important word in the world to that person. This is because it is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get someone’s attention especially when they are teased or praised.

Here are some tips on how you can use your name to influence your brand.

Make it a commitment:

Make a commitment to answer whatever uplifts and support your vision. Once you are subconsciously aware of what happens around you, do yourself a favor to international change the narrative by changing the negative news or information that surrounds you or your business. For example, you can work on your self, business, brand, organization, etc; to the extent, people will recognize you as an excellent or reliable person/brand as opposed to the different labels that bring negative vibes to you. As you may know, the world is governed by perception.

Practice:

Practicing whatever name brand you want to be associated with is a great way to bring change to not only your personal life but your business or brand. You can do this by calling yourself names of interest that appeal to you. You may be surprised to know it will come back to you. Don’t be concerned about the negative voices you may be hearing from friends or even family members, just continue to work on your craft. There have been testimonies of people who dreamt of being a governor, president, leader of an industry, etc. despite not having what it takes to be the person in the picture. They were able to act it in addition to calling themselves the names and guess what, it’s it came to pass. In one of my articles I published five years ago titled: Dreams Come True, I opined that your dreams are valid and it will come true if you work hard, believe in yourself and have the God factor around you.

Ignore the name tag:

As mentioned earlier, it is up to you to respond to whatever name you decide to answer. Names don’t matter anything unless you give it the needed power/energy it needs to feed on.  Names are like dead woods, but you can activate life into it when you speak life into it. Names work with our minds, when you decide to call yourself love, love will automatically follow you.

Furthermore, Ignore the nay-sayers and give your attention to what brings you life, and when you do, the desired transformation will begin to rear up. Personally, I was called names because of my horrible writing skills, but I have been able to author a book by the special grace of God which my detractors have not been able to accomplish. The secret is simple, I never answered the negative names I was called.

Creating Opportunity:

Knowing how to relate with people is a powerful skill that is in high demand. A good personal relation skill will create opportunities for you. It’s like a charm that can disarm even the most hardened person to respond to stimuli. As popularly opined in some social parlance, if a man can make a lady to smile, he’s halfway into her heart. It is important to note that people want to be treated as human beings, not objects. Using their name is the fastest and most reliable way of building rapport and creating a good first impression. Everyone has a name — use it to better connect to them, especially if you work in the customer service position. You will notice a difference in your relationships.

In conclusion, what is your name?

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

Be Prepared

Greetings Dear Friends,

Growing up as kids we all had desires, dreams, and visions of the kind of profession we wished to be identified with or engaged in. We all had that fantasy personality we wished to be. Fast forward to two or more decades later, we realise that while we have been able to achieve some, some are still in process and a lot more may have eluded us.

However, regardless of where you are, just know that it is never too late to live your dream. According to George Elliot, It’s never too late to be what you might have been”.  Even if you have been able to achieve your childhood dream of being a lawyer, doctor, engineer, etc., C.S Lewis opined “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” The difference between remaining first and being the first is that the former engage in a productive activity in order to remain on top while the latter just attained the position. The underlying factor responsible for our success and failure is summed up in preparation.

What is preparation? Preparation is simply the act of preparing — getting ready, planning, training, or studying with a goal in mind. According to Alexander Graham Bell “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.

We all have desires in life, but some of us are not doing much to achieve those desires. For example, you may have desires of being the president of your country, governor, chief executive officer of a company, etc., but you need to ask yourself if you are doing enough to get to the position/title

There’s no limit to what preparation can do; take for instance, you want to prepare a delicious meal, and you will definitely need to have all the ingredients ready in addition to adding them in the right proportion. That’s simply the way success in life works. It can never be in the reverse position. You may be hoping and trusting God for a car, job, wife/husband, or a particular opportunity of interest, but you are not doing enough to receive the blessings/opportunity. It’s instructive to note that opportunity meets prepared minds. So, if you are hoping to get a car from an angel, you must learn to drive, get a license and then work towards getting the car.

We shall be discussing how we can prepare in addition to sharing instructive notes relevant to preparation.

One of the most important parts of success is preparation. You must plan for success, otherwise, you’ll fail. Isn’t it true that failing to prepare is preparing to fail? There’s nothing like luck. According to Bobby Unser, “Luck is where preparation meets opportunity” If you are not prepared for any job, even if you get it, you’ll fail. You must be positively intentional about anything you plan to do. Success is like faith in action. You must put in the work and allow it to work for you. Even the Holy book made us understand that faith without work is dead.

If you are an in business, a strong skill to have in order to succeed is being proactive. Let’s say you are a public speaker and you are called for an impromptu event, your ability to succeed at the event will more or likely be as a result of previous speaking events or even practicing by listening to accomplished speakers. Furthermore, if you a public servant or a good consultant, for you to succeed in your profession, you must prepare for whatever situations you encounter from your clients. This is because a question might be thrown at you at any point in time and your ability to answer them will add more caps to your glory. You can be prepared by reading vast, researching to know what’s trending in the industry, or listening to the news.

Getting Prepared:

There’s a thin line of difference between preparing and be ready. When you are preparing, it basically means you are preparing for an opportunity, but when you are ready, it means you have finished preparing and now good to deliver. For instance, if you need a promotion or raise in your job, it’s imperatively important for you to prepare yourself by getting more knowledge which can come in form of academic qualification, certifications or more training like the acquisition of related skills needed for the job. When you finish preparing yourself, you can be termed ready for the position.

Another way of getting prepared is by surrounding yourself with people/experts who are knowledgeable about the area you are interested in. The more specific you are about your intentions, the more chance you’ll get to succeed. With so many free resources available, there is no excuse not to learn something about any subject matter. I’ve seen people with barely entry-level skills outshine the supposed experts simply because of how prepared they were.

Success entails preparation

Trust me, you have a duty to come prepared for anything that matters to you. I will share a personal secret to you; most of the success I have attained in recent times are consequences of preparation. I always prepare myself with the right message, network, resources, opportunity, and information before I explore any opportunity of interest. All these preparation add up in one way or the another to achieve a common goal. I have no choice but to do the hard work of preparing for the expected and the unexpected. I’m far from perfect, but by preparing again and again for each new situation, I get better and can deliver better results. Yes, it takes late nights and long hours, but if you aren’t willing to do the hard work of preparing, then you shouldn’t take on the task in the first place. If, however, you have taken on a project, you have an obligation to yourself and to the client to be willing to dive in and prepare so that you can really deliver.

Benefits of preparation

I cannot underestimate the benefits that come with preparation. It is truly priceless. I belong to the school of thought which believes that hard work is prayer in action. This is because you can attain success when you put in the desired work. While some people are academically and scientifically gifted, others are naturally talented and skillful, while some succeed by learning how to do the job.

Being Prepared Enhances Self Discipline

Nothing disciplines the human race more than preparing for a lifetime opportunity. Imagine having an opportunity to meet your dream investor to pitch your idea, or being asked by the president of your country to meet him/her in a week’s time to discuss your business proposal. I will imagine you’ll take all the time the world to prepare for this meeting and this preparation entails disciplining yourself.

Being Prepared Enhances Our Strategic Thinking

Preparation also enables you to think out of the box. Preparation will make you to reason. Preparation will make you to explore options and opportunities. A strategic thinker is very proactive because they prepare for the next move when the desirable is not available.  The more complex the task, the higher the degree of strategic thinking is required. Strategic thinking is a skill that is born through practice and experience. On a daily basis, our brain process so much information without you knowing. We may not always recognise our thoughts as being strategic but each act of preparation is working with our brain.

Being Prepared Develops Our Resilience

Resilience is the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad has happened.  It is in preparation that we develop our mental resilience and it is through failure that we develop a life of resilience.  We all know that not every plan leads to success and it is through failure that we reach success. Having resilience allows us to stand up ten times after we’ve been knocked down ten times and to continue on our course by making adjustments and realignments.

Leadership:

All great leaders are readers. You cannot be an effective leader if you are not prepared for the task. According to John Quincy Adams, “if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” As mentioned earlier, any height you want to reach in life, you must prepare for it, otherwise, you stand a great chance of failing when you get the opportunity even if you have great advisers because in one way or another your intuitive and rational skills must be tested at different moments.  A great way of succeeding in this area is by applying the SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely goals for all you want to do.

Yes, you are prepared, I know you will say, but how prepared are 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. He can be reached via henrous@gmail.com

The Experience of Life

Greetings Dear Friends,

Life is an experience every one of us must surely pass through. It is often said that our experience shapes/defines who we are. Regardless of how true or false you may feel about life, you’ll agree with me that to a reasonable extent, your experience has helped to shape some of your thoughts and actions. Isn’t it true that it is only the person who wears the shoe who can tell where it pinches? It is a well-established fact that experience is the best teacher. This is because we all feel pains differently. According to a philosopher, life is about experiences. We all have to dream, strive, and fail before we can achieve success. Maybe we’ll discover along the way that the journey is more important than the destination

In one of my articles, published a couple of years ago what is life and how can one live through it? I defined life as a woman because you cannot “really” know her. During the course of this article, we shall be discussing many components of life and how the experience can shape you. We all need experience to survive through life because it helps to shape us in addition to giving us more exposure, opportunity, and respect. For instance, we all sit in the same classroom, but we don’t hear and understand the same thing; we all look at a picture but we don’t see the same thing; we all might be walking to a location but we all have a different vision; we all have a business but we run it differently based on our experiences, knowledge and even networks. The same theory is applicable to marriage, job, academics, business, sports etc.

Let’s share some practical details on how experience can shape us.

Marriage/Relationship

This is one of the most complicated and sensitive part of life any human can relate to. Marriage in simple term is life itself. As fondly opined by many rational minds, it is the school one can never graduate from, because you’ll continue to learn until the end of life. In our contemporary society, we have recorded so many divorces and questions flood the mind as what the secret to a successful marriage relationship actually is. Well, in my own humble opinion, there’s no clear cut secret to marriage except the presence of true love between both parties. This is because lots of factors contribute to a make a successful marriage. Every marriage is different and only the partners themselves can decide how they can manage their affairs. Where there’s a misunderstanding between both partners, it will be in their best interest to settle it themselves, and where they can’t settle it, a married or informed counselor can assist. I’m not insinuating that unmarried counselors with insightful positive experience can’t advise married couples, but I do know that whenever couples have problems, they are the only ones who can address their concerns better because nobody knows the root and fundamental cause of the problem more than do especially when they are not comfortable letting it out which leaves the counselor with the only option of speaking from his/her own experience.  There have been cases where unmarried couples give advice to married people, in as much I won’t kick against that idea, I feel that sometimes, if not most times, experience plays a huge role in solving problems especially a sensitive one like marriage. Moral: somethings are best experienced than imagined. This is because of the practicality that comes with it. It’s just like driving, having sex, running a business etc.

Business

Just like the saying, old wine tastes better, the same can be said for business. The more time you spend learning the ropes in addition to equipping yourself with knowledge can play a huge role in shaping your business. Just like every great work takes time to manifest, business takes time to grow. I doubt if there’s any overnight successful in business. If at all one ever exist, it’s an exceptional circumstance it’s quite unfortunate many people jump into a business with the mindset of having a great turn over/profit just because they see it is flourishing or they see their friends/colleagues making great strides in the industry. What they fail to understand is that it is not greener out there and every business has a secret.

It’s imperative to note that one of the greatest ways to succeed in business is by having a great network. People find it comfortable to relate with people they know. According to Robin Sharma, “the business of business is relationship, but the business of life human connection”. In business, a lot of factors come into consideration before one can have a headway. First and foremost you must know what you are passionate about and what your skills set is composed of. Then, give yourself the necessary time to learn the business/trade. This learning can take several forms such as reading, volunteering, taking a class, networking and gaining exposure in the sector.

Furthermore, to succeed in business, you must learn soft skills in addition to being creative with emotional intelligence. For example, a creative and proactive businessman/woman must meet people where are as opposed to having the clients meet him/her where he/she is. A prudent business-minded fellow must have a great attitude to listen to customers, he/she must take the initiative of providing ideas on what might be beneficial to the business, and he/she must have a great attitude to relate with not only his/her clients but the public at large. According to John Maxell, ‘Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them’.

Job

One of the places that experience plays an influential role is the aspect of a job. Most employers always look for candidates with experience during the hiring process. It’s only in a few and rare instance they accept a candidate without experience. An experienced candidate tends to do a better job than a new hire. For example, a new hire may do the job in the right way, but an experienced being may do it in an efficient way.

Academic

In our contemporary society, many people seem people to downplay the role of education as it relates to succeeding in life. They opine that you can always “learn from the street”, you can also learn in an informal way as opposed to formal education. However,  they fail to realize that education itself is an experience because you need to get theoretical knowledge before applying practical knowledge. It should be noted that academic education gives you an edge over a person who doesn’t have any opportunity/exposure to one. It is a well-established fact that no knowledge is a waste and having a basic theoretical knowledge can take the place of experience in certain situations.

Sports

This is another great area where experience plays a role. Sports is one of the great areas where experience is needed. It doesn’t matter if you play football, soccer, table tennis, volleyball, basketball, track and felid events and wresting. Your experience will definitely make a difference if you harness it well.

Personal

Just like every taste bud is different, each and every one of us experience different things in life.  According to Eleanor Roosevelt, The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” If you ask anyone what’s the purpose of life, you’ll likely receive different responses. The answer to this question is subjective and deeply personal. Different things are important to us throughout the course of our lives. Yet one thing stays with us no matter where we go: our experiences.With respect to personal experience, definitely it’s important to note that your network determines your net worth. Therefore, cultivate your friendships and find companies that fulfill you. It’s from those experiences in life that you’ll learn and grow. In this process, we can learn valuable lessons about ourselves and the world around us. So, don’t be hard on yourself.

In conclusion, regardless of what you may have experienced through life, having a positive attitude is a guaranteed way of overcoming negative experience. According to Reno Omokri, an author and Pastor, “the secret of love is sacrifice. The secret of happiness is giving; the secret of life is GOD.” This nugget may have informed his line of thought. I don’t know your experience, but whatever it is continue to learn from it because one day it will add up and when you look back, you’ll understand why you have to have to go through the whole experience.

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

Inspire Yourself

Greetings Dear Friends,

I guess you may have heard the saying, ‘the joy of life is not how happy you are but how happy others can be because of you’.

There’s always an internal feeling of warmth and fulfillment to know that because of the role you played in the life of someone, who can be a mentee or subordinate, they were able to succeed. I once highlighted that Mentors Are Life Savers in one of my articles with the same title.

Every being loves to be happy because happiness brings peace, tranquility, and clarity of mind. Once you have peace within yourself, family, organization and business, you are bound to have clarity of mind which will, in turn, make you focus very well in addition to being inspired to make the right decisions. Therefore, it will be wise to say, peace is necessary for any rational and progressive mind/business to succeed. In the course of this article, we shall be exploring different ways we can inspire ourselves.

Every successful or great person was inspired in one way or the other. Every successful business was also inspired by another business, mentor or even the desire to solve a challenging problem in the society. We all need inspiration to move to the next stage in life. Thus the question now becomes, how can one get inspired?

Inspiration comes in different shapes and sizes. It can be internal or external.

Internal Inspiration:

Internal motivational comes from within. It’s just like the act of intuition. Internal inspiration is the best form of inspiration. This is because when the force is from within, it opens up with unlimited opportunities and potentials. It’s important to note that nobody can inspire you more than you can inspire yourself. Genuine inspiration always comes from within.

According to a philosopher, “I was thinking one day and I realized that if I just had somebody behind me all the way to motivate me I could make a big difference. Nobody came along like that so I just became that person for myself.”

External Inspiration:

This is the motivation that is derived from outside forces, e.g. music, mentors, books or even situations like hunger, poverty and life challenges. According to some schools of thought, external inspiration has been the reason they succeeded in life (business, home, and academics). This group of people believes that without these external forces they wouldn’t have been able to achieve a great deal in life. Proponents of this theory fail to understand that, they were able to succeed because they had the internal zeal to succeed and the external forces only came as a catalyst. For example, publishing inspirational and motivating articles every week can be a challenging task because it takes discipline to commit to the task. However, as a prolific writer and author, I strongly believe, if one is not inspired, it will be hard for one to write nor matter how inspired the external factors are at play.

Techniques to get inspired:

Get Started:

The beginning of any task is usually the most challenging part. If you can begin a task with little or no resources, you can be sure of everything coming true if you are diligent. Take, for instance, you want to start a business, write a book, begin a Ph.D. program, contest for election, or even starting a good cause/campaign, etc. All you need is just a starting line for the universe to know you have a vision. A little push or inspiration can do the magic. Once you commit to this task, the universe has a way of coming around to support your work. You can also begin by breaking all your tasks in a little piece and taking them one step at a time.

Write your plan

Having a concrete blueprint on what you plan to do is another way to get inspiration. For example, you need to have an idea where you plan to be between 6 to one year, 3 years, 5years, 10 years as the case may be all things being equal. This plan will enable you to inspire yourself. Also, you can write down all of your goals and vision to keep track of where you are, and where you want to be. By so doing, you will keep track of how far you have come in life.

Reduce the daily distractions

Just like success needs concentration and positive energy, inspiration doesn’t work well with distractions.  When you are easily accessible it will definitely become hard for you to focus. It’s quite unfortunate to note that many people spend less time on what really matters and spend more time on what doesn’t really matters. In order to change this habit, you’ll need to reduce the influx of distractions that are surrounding you. By so doing, you’ll be truly inspired to focus well.

Play music

Music can be a form of inspiration. I personally use music to get work done depending on my state of mind and what I am working on. A typical example was when I was writing my first book, music was one of my biggest inspirational energy, especially when I was down.

Be grateful

Most times we get caught trying to get to the finish point without taking time to take stock how far we have come. Being grateful for who you are and what you have been able to achieve in life can inspire you to do more. It’s always good to reward yourself and celebrate your successes (no matter how big or small they are).

In conclusion, it is pertinent to note that you are the ultimate measure of how far you’ll go in life. According to Wayne Dyer, “Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” If you don’t do the work, nobody will do it for you. Therefore, I charge you today, to inspire yourself.

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

Expand Your Knowledge, Expand Your Business

Greetings Dear Friends,

There’s a general presumption that knowledge is power, but in reality, the real power is applied knowledge. This is because if you have knowledge only stored in your brain without the actual application, you might not have the same respect as someone who takes advantage of the opportunity of expressing his/her thoughts. We live in a digital age where innovation and creativity runs like light. Knowledge can be likened to information because when you are duly informed, you’ll have more opportunities, confidence and financial rewards. What most people don’t know is that you’ll only get paid for what you know, and therefore, in order to get money you need to learn more.

In the course of this article, we shall be discussing how resourceful information and knowledge can trigger huge financial and rewarding opportunities for your business or career. The study of philosophy has taught me that there are five forms of knowledge namely: authoritative knowledge which is the knowledge from a person who is regarded as an expert in a particular industry e.g. Medicine, law, accounting or engineer; empirical knowledge which is the knowledge derived from symbols; rational knowledge which is the knowledge derived from solving rational problems like mathematics; divine knowledge which is the knowledge from the creator (God) to man to understand heavenly teachings, and intuitive knowledge which is the knowledge from within a person during impromptu and sane moments. It is well settled that people with informed knowledge and information are always respected, if for nothing else, for what they have upstairs and what they share.

Do you truly and really want to expand your business? If yes, then you have to read. It is said often said that readers are leaders because they tend to make better decisions that produce better results. According to Francis Bacon, “Writing maketh an exact man, conference maketh a ready man, but reading maketh a full man”. Succeeding in life and business entails reading, researching and networking. Starving yourself of knowledge is limiting your earning capacity. Imagine driving a car with an empty gas and expecting to get to your destination. That is basically how limiting yourself and expecting to succeed in life. Your brain needs muscles, exercise them by reading and meditating. Avoid starving your brain the fuel it needs to progress.

Therefore, in order for you to expand your business, you need to figure out your weakness, then look for a mentor/coach in your specific area of interest. According to some schools of thought, one of the ways to decipher how successful or viable a person or organization is by looking at their financial status. Money can be likened to a magnet. You have to attract it by earning it the right way and the best way to attract money is developing your brain by reading. Regardless of your environment, industry, organization or institution you are working on, if you really want to go far, you have to be hungry for information that pertains to the industry, customers and competitors. This is a sure way of expanding your business and net worth.

Just like money can’t be hidden, knowledge can’t be hidden, it is like rays of light. It has a way of showcasing itself. Most rational and informed people with insightful knowledge and intelligence are always humble. These set of people don’t hoard information of interest to the public. People with useful information are always invited to critical meetings where critical information are taken. However, it should be noted that the burden of knowledge is humility. It’s all about your intentions. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. It’s unfortunate to note that lesser minds tend to show case their ignorance by making people feel dumb especially when they have facts and figures.

Let’s see how we can increase our fortunes with the right knowledge.

  1. Find a Mentor and Improve Your Business Knowledge Immediately: Their business knowledge can help you a lot. Another way to find a great mentor in your community is through networking events related to the industry you plan on focusing your business.
  2. Research Information to Increase Your Business Knowledge: Try doing some targeted internet research about your chosen industry. Look around the web for significant articles about successful businesses that are similar to your concept.
  3. Get a Business Degree: Many business owners who have reached high levels of success were able to because of their strong amount of knowledge. You can learn more about the details of running a business by taking formal classes or even enrolling in a graduate degree MBA program through the
  4. Get Hands-On: An effective way to gain knowledge about the business world is to simply go out and get experience. Before running a business in a specific field, it’s important to develop experience as a worker. If you want to open your own restaurant, try working in a kitchen first. Opening your own retail store could be a better idea if you have worked in sales at some point. If you’re dreaming of running your own car wash, try your hand at helping out an operator before you take the plunge with your own cash investment. Learning to run a business the right way takes a strong amount of dedication to reading, understanding, and meeting potential mentors. Once you gain expertise, you’ll have a much easier time of creating a business that will stand out and find its niche.
  5. Education: according to Albert Einstein “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” Being open to new and useful knowledge boosts your business, benefits your employees and stimulates your brain.
  6. You should also participate in ongoing education. Educate yourself to ensure that you know how to keep your business competitive and relevant in your field. Ongoing education can benefit professionals at any level, but it is especially important for entrepreneurs and those holding upper-level or management positions. Adding to your knowledge can be the difference between seeing mediocre and spectacular growth in your business. Ongoing education shows your clients or customers that you are committed to progress. Take advantage of informal learning as an education source. You don’t need to go back to college or enroll in courses at your local university to enhance your knowledge. Seminars, webinars, conferences, podcasts, blogs, and more are all excellent sources to continue your education. As a business leader, you can learn from other leaders in your field or other fields who have figured out better ways of doing things. You can take free online course on the internet.  Reading is the most resourceful way of searching for this information knowledge attracts respect because they are always informed. Education helps to keep you abreast with contemporary information in your industry.

Furthermore, it is important to note that knowledge is not necessarily expensive, ignorance is. Knowledge increases your success rate. As a business leader, your business is only as strong as the people behind it. As a business owner, you need to strive for personal growth to enable you to thrive professionally. The market is not what it was ten years ago, it most certainly wasn’t the same 5 years ago. It is important to stay current and competitive to win. If you aren’t exposing yourself to new ideas, you are making it easier for your competition to eat your lunch. On the long run, innovation wins, and the most ignorant entrepreneur tends to lose.

Finally, its worthy to note that in order for you to lead, you must read and in order for you to earn you must learn.

STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE YOUR BUSINESS KNOWLEDGE FAST

Here are five strategies to improve your knowledge about business.

Customer knowledge – you should know your customers’ needs and what they think of you. You may be able to develop mutually beneficial knowledge sharing relationships with customers by talking to them about their future requirements, and discussing how you might be able to develop your own products or services to ensure that you meet their needs.

  • Employee and supplier relationships– seek the opinions of your employees and your suppliers because they’ll have their own impressions of how you’re performing. You can use formal surveys to gather this knowledge or ask for their views on a more informal basis.
  • Market knowledge– Watch developments in your sector. How are your competitors performing? How much are they charging? Are there any new entrants to the market? Have any significant new products been launched?
  • Knowledge of the business environment– Your business can be affected by numerous outside factors. Developments in politics, the economy, technology, society and the environment could all affect your business’ development, so you need to keep yourself informed.
  • Professional associations and trade bodies Read publications, academic publications, government publications, reports from research bodies, trade and technical magazines.           
  • Trade exhibitions and conferences – These can provide an easy way of finding out what your competitors are doing and to see the latest innovations in your sector.
  • Product research and development – Scientific and technical research and development can be a vital source of knowledge that can help you create innovative new products – retaining your competitive edge..

In conclusion, I will say, the key to expanding your knowledge and financial life is by gaining resourceful information, knowledge and networking right. The combination of this three factors will definitely make you triumph

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

Run Your Race

Greetings Friends,

Every living being has a race to run provided you are alive. Every animal has a race to run. Every business, organization, and government has a race to run.  Have you ever wondered why newborn babies cry after delivery? On a literal note, they cry because they are about to begin their journey. 

Just like everyone is unique, every race is different. One of the greatest reasons why people fail in life is that they tend to run a race that is not meant for them. They fail to develop themselves instead of concentrating on their “trade secrets”. It’s important to note that you can imitate someone but you can never be like them neither can you imitate their style. Imagine you are running a race and you are on lane one, to avoid been disqualified you have to remain on track one until you finish your race. You have to own your race by maintaining your lane. It’s funny to note that most people will like to be on a particular lane with the hope they will get to the finish lane faster forgetting that every lane is different and it is the energy and skill they invest in themselves which will ultimately determine who wins the race. There’s an adage that says that it is because the philosopher was too busy to see what was ahead of him that he forgot there was a ditch in front of him and he fell into it.  

The question now becomes how do you run your race? In literal terms, running your race means, as you lay your bed, so you lie on it. Let’s share some insightful meanings on what running your race means. Running your own race means: always looking toward your goals while being aware of what’s around you. Running your own race means: not focusing too much on who’s next to you or who’s behind you. Running your own race means: beating your own best time, not anybody else’s. Running your race entails a lot of work, but first of all, you have to decide what you want to achieve. For instance, if you have a dream of becoming an attorney, a pilot or soccer player, the onus is on you to read, learn and train. If you don’t do it no one will do it for you.

Whether you’re launching a business, trying to finish school, or starting a blog, it is important for you to understand what’s needed in the industry in order for you to succeed. There will always be other people on the track, in the audience, and in the arena observing and watching you. Some will be there to cheer you up, some will be looking for faults, some will try to criticize you, while others will either mock, test or observe you to see what you are up to. In order for you to win the race, you must remain focus on the big picture. It doesn’t matter if you fail, just get up and learn from your mistakes. Always note that there will always be people ahead of or behind you. But if you spend all of your time looking at what others are doing, you’re going to trip over your own feet. Remember that you’re competing to be the best version of you, and everything else will fall into place at the appropriate time.

Most times we get caught up trying to make it big in life. You may put in so many hours at work, deprive yourself of sleep, wake up early, do research, maybe you need to invest in yourself  take a class, go to a conference/ seminar, work with a mentor, start that small business, put that website up or even learn a particular skill. All these are examples of running your race. Nobody will run it for you.  At the end of the day, you may discover you have little or nothing to show for it. My candid advice to you is don’t be hard on yourself. Just continue to build in addition to working on yourself, one day all your efforts will add up. 

In the race of life, you need to start from somewhere in order to get to where you want to be. You can start small, but you need to have the vision of your endpoint in mind. Starting small entails being consistent,  in all you are doing by building yourself and learning the necessary skills and information that is needed in the industry.

In conclusion, what race are you running and what are the race you need to run in order to succeed?

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

The Price of Success

Greetings Dear Friends,

It’s well established fact every success comes with a price. You may have heard of the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day. Just like the building of a house has a foundation, every worthwhile project must have a foundation.  In the same way, true success comes with a price. Per B.C Forbes, “A price has to be paid for success. Almost invariably those who have reached the summits worked harder and longer, studied and planned more assiduously, practiced more self-denial, overcame more difficulties than those of us who have not risen so far.”

In the journey of life, we are all bound by the decision/choice we make in life regardless of the consequence. That’s why it’s always important for one to critically evaluate every direction one decides to take. For instance, if you are driving and you miss an exit or a particular route, you’ll surely pay the price by taking the next available route/exit in order to get back on track. That said, it’s fair to say that every action we take comes with a corresponding reaction. In whatever you want to do in life, you have to pay the price for it. Just like parenting comes with responsibility, education, business, and succeeding comes with a price.

During the course of this article, we shall be addressing various component/price of success.

Success asks for Commitment:  

It’s worthy to note that the level of success that you achieve will be in direct proportion to the depth of your commitment. You must invest time and resources. It is the dedication and perseverance that you bring every day that will make all the difference in the end. Each and every one of us desires success, but the reality of the day is that only a few persons are ready to commit to the work. Just like relationship demands commitment from both parties, you have to pay the price before you can reap the fruit of your labor. When you decide to commit to a project, the whole world sets apart for you. According to Mario Andretti “Desire is the key to motivation, but its determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal — a commitment to excellence — that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”

Success demands hard work & Smart Work 

 The ultimate price that comes with success is hard work. You need to put in the work because nobody will do the work for you. Just like a farmer who plants crops with the hope of harvesting it, he/she must continually water and remove the weeds in order for the crops to mature very well. If he/she fails to do so, it will be hard to harvest the crops.  According to Vince Lombardi “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand”.

Sacrifice:

 In the words of Napoleon Hill “Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice and is never the result of selfishness. One of the greatest prices every progressive being must pay to get what he/she needs is sacrifice. Sacrifice is seen as the dues you have to pay to get what you don’t have. In law, sacrifice is likened to consideration, which is the detriment or loss a party may have to forgo in order to gain/benefit. In some social parlance, sacrifice is seen as love a party must show for the significant other. Just like success is relative, sacrifice is also relative. You must continually ask yourself what you need to sacrifice to get what you desire.Ask yourself: What specifically must I sacrifice to achieve my goal? What habits and rituals must I sacrifice to attain this goal? What habits could actually sabotage me from attaining my desired outcome? Finally, the ultimate question is: Am I willing to make these sacrifices to obtain this goal? You simply cannot have your goal without making some necessary physical, financial, emotional, mental, and social sacrifices. As a word of advice, spend your time instead on other areas that will provide you with a greater return on your time.

Success requires you to Continuous learn

Sometimes we fail to get what we want because we haven’t learnt enough. According to Brian Tracy “Those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future.” Constant education is necessary in order to be successful at anything. Therefore, you need to continually ask yourself if you need a piece of specific knowledge, skills, tools or resources.

Fear Elimination

Fear is something that is likely to consistently hold you back from your desired objectives. Success demands that you overcome your fears and develop the necessary courage you need to pursue your goals with vigor and passion. Success demands that you have no fear if you want to achieve any kind of success in your life, When you are fully committed to something, nothing will sidetrack you. It doesn’t matter whether or not the sun comes up tomorrow, or whether or not the earth stops spinning on its axis. You must believe that no matter what happens no matter how badly you fail and how horrible this might make you feel — that failure is never an option. 

Success Demands You Make Difficult Choices

As you make progress along your journey towards your desired outcomes, success will demand that you make difficult choices about what you will do and about what you won’t do. It demands that you choose what you will and won’t sacrifice. It demands that you decide what’s the most important thing to focus on at any one time. Success demands that you choose who you will spend your time with, most importantly success demands that you make difficult daily choices about how you spend your time, energy and money. You must consistently invest your energy into meaningful tasks and goal congruent activities that will provide you with the highest long-term benefits. Spending your time on the wrong things could very well spell the difference between success and failure.

Let’s conclude by sharing some habit of success

 Identify your core values

What is important to you? Finding your core values may seem a bit off-topic when it comes to success, but creating goals that are in line with your values is key to creating intrinsic motivation. Sit and reflect on what you value most. Pick a handful of things and actually write them down. Remind yourself of your values every day, and reflect on whether you are honoring those values through your work.

Build the right mindset and have a plan

Visualize yourself having completed your goal in the exact time-frame you have chosen and the breakdown goals by week and by day, setting up a plan to reach your overall objective. Keep the number of tasks per day as low as you can, and focus on completing only your planned tasks for each day. Do the hardest things during your peak energy level.

Take risks

You must take risk to succeed in life. Push yourself. Go out of your comfort zone. This is the best way to learn, and the best way to make progress quickly.

Finally, there’s a general saying that the price of success entails the following:

1.      Staying up late at night to do some extra work.

2.      Waking up early morning to do some work.

3.      Having very few friends who understand & share the same values and vision with you

4.      You’ll definitely be misunderstood and that’s okay.

5.      You’ll be definitely feel overwhelmed., and that’s okay

6.      People will continually question your sanity and that’s okay.

7.      You have to be your own cheerleader.

In conclusion, if you want to go from where you are to where you want to be, you need to identify the price that needs to be paid and then proceed to pay it. Everything has a price to pay. Are you willing to pay for it?

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

Don’t Settle for Less

Greetings Friends,

I will like to start today’s article with some positive affirmations. The joy of every progressive being is to get to the peak of their career in life. The joy of every young man/woman who wants to go into relationship or tie the nuts is to get the best love experience ever which is not limited to having a faithful, caring, understanding, peaceful, loyal and loving partner; The joy of every rational person is to get the best out of life nor matter what life throws at you. Nobody likes to be disrespected. As a rule of thumb, never you settle for less especially when you deserve the best. It doesn’t matter if you are searching for a job, or a marriage partner, setting up a business, etc. All that matters is for you to give and demand the best.

During the course of this article, we shall be discussing the relationship, job/career, personal life and life in general to appreciate this article.  It is instructive to know that you don’t have to agree with what you don’t want. A huge part of settling for less is by being a “yes man” or “woman”. If you agree to things you don’t really want, you are building a life that doesn’t reflect your own needs and identity.

Marriage/Relationship

This is one of the most interesting journeys every human being must undertake in one way or the other. Whether you are dating, or you are already in a relationship or even married, you definitely have a preference for who you are willing to date or spend the rest of your life with. Just like Gary Chapman stated in his book “The Five Love Languages”, he mentioned: Words affirmation, physical touch, gift services, and time as the five love languages. According to him, most human beings respond to one or two of these love languages, so your ability to know what works for a particular being can give you an opportunity to relate closely with the being. It’s quite unfortunate many people don’t know what they need in a relationship and in life and this singular factor/act makes them settle for less. You must continually demand for what you need and desire in life especially when you are ready to act/measure up with the same expectations. Requesting for more is not a crime, in fact, it is a requirement or prerequisite for you to have a blissful and harmonious relationship. When you settle for less than you desire in relationship, you will have to live with regret and unfulfillment.  To make it more practical, if you have a taste for a particular kind of woman or a man with a specific character; particular body feature;  academic qualification or career, please don’t settle for less, go for it because only you know what you want and desire in life that will make you happy. Your desire in life in life shouldn’t be compromised on the altar of sentiments. It is often said that that once a woman knows her worth she won’t settle for less again. As a word of advice, you deserve someone who is intentional and clear about their feelings for you. You should not have to sit around and wonder how they feel about you or where you stay in their life. Also, walk away from a relationship that isn’t making you a happier and better person.It is better to be single and alone than to be in a half-assed relationship that leads you to the deception that you are not good enough.

Let’s share some practical tips on how not to settle for less in a relationship

1.      Gain self-awareness about your choices in partners and their willingness to meet your emotional and personal needs. 

2.       Focus on finding your passions rather than finding a soulmate. Embrace some of the pleasures of being single – take a class, join a book club, watch your favorite movies, etc. A renowned author Holly Riordan writes: “Instead of searching every corner of the earth for someone you love, you should be searching for something you love for your passion.”

3.       Set an expectation of mutual respect. Look for friends and partners who admire and respect you for who you are. If they respect you, they’ll give you compliments, encourage you to do things that are in your best interest, and enjoy spending time with you.

4.      Don’t compromise your values. Figure out your core beliefs and stand by them. Ask for what you need and speak up when something bothers you. Be more assertive (not aggressive) by stating your needs in a positive way.

5.      Extend trust to a partner who is interested in planning a future with you. Does your partner call when they say they’re going to and follow through on commitments? When someone is interested in a relationship, they keep their agreements. Look for consistency between someone’s words and actions. Don’t waste your time on a relationship that doesn’t have a future. If he or she says they aren’t ready for a commitment, take them seriously!

Know Your Worth:

This is another interesting part of life. You need to know your worth as a human being. Knowing your worth is not limited to your lifestyle, it also transcends to your business. When you know your worth as a human being, you give yourself the due respect to know what you can tolerate and what you can’t tolerate. You also give other people the opportunity to know what you stand for in life. As you may know, if you are not willing to stand for something, you’ll for anything. Even if you have a business, your ability to define your value is very important for your people to take you serious. For instance, if you want to charge someone a service, it will be thoughtful to include the time you invest in delivery the service as opposed to the actual service you rendered. In concrete terms, you are really charging the person for your value and time as opposed to the price they are paying for the commodity. When you know your worth nobody will take you for a ride especially when you respect yourself. As a matter of fact, nobody will disrespect you without your consent. The better you feel, the easier it becomes for you to reject mistreatment. And when you resist the need to settle, you will be rewarded with opportunities. 

Job/Career/Business:

Financial stability is the joy of any prospective employee or career professional.  However, before you can get your dream career job you must have prepared yourself by learning the desired skills, have the required knowledge, understanding, information and training necessary to do the job. When you are fully equipped, you stand a better chance of demanding what you think you deserve. There are situations when people ask for a particular amount of money as a salary or even a raise in their pay but they fail to understand that nobody pays for you extra for what you do, except for the extra work or skill or even solution you offer. Furthermore, as a prospective employee, if you know what you truly deserve, don’t settle for less out of desperation. Sometimes, we miss greater and better opportunities out desperation when we take a cut and job that is far less than what we deserve. As a word of advice, always stand your ground with diplomacy by negotiating well for what you deserve.

Personal Life and Life in general:

 This is similar to knowing your worth but with a slight difference as it relates to personal life and life in general. Life has a way of throwing many blows at us, but how we react to it is what makes the difference. We all have different shock absorbers. Your ability to adapt to different challenges and situations can either make or mar you. In as much as your personal life is different from your reputation or what people think about you, you should be able to define yourself and know what you can settle for. Sometimes, life throws so many bullets at you and makes you accept the appearance as reality forgetting that appearance is not reality. Don’t settle for anything life offers you. The only time you can settle for what life has given to you is when you have done your best and even at that never you settle for less until you have done your best and never give you accept anything less than you think you deserve devoid of pride and entitlement mentality. Remember, you need to have a positive mindset to appreciate the challenges life offers to you. Recognize that not getting what you want is not a personal curse.

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