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

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Be Yourself: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken”- Oscar Wilde

Greetings Friends,

One of the most difficult task in the world is discovering oneself. Discovering oneself can be very challenging because as human beings, we are always evolving. In my first published book Design Your Destiny- Actualizing Your Birthright To Success, which centers on self-discovery. I wrote about: “Understanding Your Uniqueness” in chapter two where I stressed that everyone is unique and wired to function differently.

As mentioned earlier, discovering yourself can be very challenging because you’ll be constantly asking yourself: Who am I? What do I want? What am I here for? If you are able to answer these questions, you can confidently say to yourself you know yourself. If no, I will strongly recommend you consider answering them for a better understanding of your life and business in general.

Being yourself is not limited to humanity alone, it also relates to engaging with life generally. For instance, if you want to venture into business, fashion, entertainment, sports, academic, or even being an artisan worker, you have to figure out a way which best suits your personality., otherwise you may be setting up yourself for failure. It’s quite unfortunate many people try to imitate and compare themselves to other people. This lifestyle doesn’t add up because it only comes with a temporary success if at all you will succeed. When you concentrate your energy on what you are naturally good and talented at, you have greater opportunities of producing excellent results.

 In our contemporary society, there’s so much competition everywhere among individuals, businesses, churches, and work environments. Everyone is trying to outsmart the other party or business just to remain the number one in the position. It’s instructive to note this is not a healthy lifestyle. This lifestyle is not limited to business alone, even job applicants are not left out. Amidst all this competition and depending on what you are looking out for, the best and surest way to stand out is by being yourself and showcasing what’s unique about you. Let’s say you have the passion to engage in business, your ability to know what kind of product/service to venture into in addition to knowing what best for you gives you an edge above your competitors. Most people venture into a business just because they see it is flourishing or their friends are thriving in it. They didn’t take their time to research or even learn the skill neither did they consider knowing if it’s something they are passionate or wired to do. Your ability to create a niche for yourself will go a long way in defining your path in life.

Let’s share some practical examples of how you can be yourself

Don’t compare yourself to others:

This is the fastest way to not only fail in life but also lose value. Comparing yourself to another person or comparing your business to another business is the worst thing that can ever happen to anyone. Don’t me get it twisted, competition and comparison are good if only it is a healthy one. You can learn from the person or the business just to see how they were able to succeed, but not trying to imitate their style. When you are the original version of yourself, there’s an uncommon brand and style you bring to the table that makes you unique.

Focus on your growth and ignore what people say

You need to come to the reality that in life, people will doubt your motives and question your authenticity, but that shouldn’t deter you from moving ahead. It is because the philosopher was too busy focusing on the mountain that’s ahead of him that he forgot to see the ditch that was in front of him and he fell into it.Stop caring about how people perceive you. Some of them will like you and some of them won’t. It is normal for individuals who have been a part of your life to use older versions of you as a reference, which might be discouraging considering the massive gap between who you were and who you want to be. Again, that shouldn’t bother you from becoming you who are trying to become.

Express your individuality

You can’t be anyone and no one can be you. Even two identical twins are not the same being. Originality and simplicity is the beauty of life. We live in a world where everyone wants you to conform to a particular standard or lifestyle. Your ability to differentiate yourself is very critical to your success. There’s something unique and special about you. As you grow more and more confident about what makes you a unique individual, you should find outlets that validate these characteristics. When you do, the onus is on you to exercise it and put yourself to test.

Stand up for your values

We all have values. Our values are what separates us from everyone. It should be noted that if you don’t stand for anything, you’ll fall for anything. Your values are what defines you. Every company/business has a value system.  You can call the values vision because it embodies the aims and objectives of the organization.  It’s not just your hobbies and your personality that makeup who you are. The things you stand for significantly reflect your identity. Even staying silent about specific controversies say a lot about you as a person, so choose your battles conscientiously. Be confident in who you are becoming: As you become more comfortable in your skin, you will face detractors who will challenge everything about you.

Quit Pleasing People

 Always wanting everyone’s love and respect is a totally pointless exercise, in the end that can harm your personal development and confidence. Who cares what other people say? As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent” . What matters most is that you listen to your own inner confidence and if it’s missing, you need to start developing it. The best way to quit pleasing people is by loving and appreciating yourself. Self-love is priceless! It is very normal for people to talk about you. If no one talks about you, it is either because you are not doing anything or you are nothing. However, that shouldn’t be your focus, your energy and attention should be how to better yourself and your business. According to Aristotle, the only way to avoid criticism is say nothing, do nothing and be nothing.

 As long as you are a living being, human beings will talk about you. So, what’s the way forward? Be yourself. Remember, you have just one life to live and it’s not a borrowed life, so be happy with yourself and enjoy it while it lasts….

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

Build Your Success

Greetings Friends,

You may have heard of the word “overnight success”. If I may ask, is there here anything like overnight success? Does it really exist? In reality, there’s nothing like an overnight success. Genuine success takes time. Real success can be likened to being organic. It has to take time and lots of strategies and mistakes. The question we need to ask is, how do we build true success? It should be noted that nothing is achieved without taking action, consistently and frequently. Achieving goals requires a fervent focus on taking action, regardless of the barriers or obstacles that present themselves.

Success means a lot of things to different people depending on what you define and see success to be. In one of my articles which I published a couple of years ago titled: The Relativity of Success, I stated that success means different things to different people. This is because, according to some people, if they attain a particular academic qualification, have a particular amount of money in their account, attain a particular level or even reach the peak in their professional career, or even get married and being able to train their kids, they are successful. In all these instances, they are right, but one thing is certain, they all built their success to make it what it is.

Each and every one of us wants to be successful, but are we doing the needful? Most times, we wait for other people or organizations to support us forgetting that we have to do our part first. Take, for instance, you want to gain a better shape, lose weight, gain muscle, but you go to a gyms instructor to train you, but you don’t spend time to take care for of you eat of even exercise on a daily basis. Most people fail to hit their fitness goals simply because it becomes too difficult to get to a gym. You can literally get into shape without an instructor because they are merely facilitators.

In order to attain true success, the question now becomes how do you build your success? Building success entails creating time for what you truly value and believe in. It can be your business, academics, organization, association or even yourself. However, the best way to build your success is by investing your time and resources into it. During the course of this article, we shall be discussing various ways we can build success.

Lets’ explore avenues we can build our success

1.     Define your success

If you don’t define it, you will keep yourself subjected to confusion about your success and your failures. Find out what’s important for you in your personal life, career, and health and then focus your energy on it. Remember, you’ll only be excellent and extraordinarily on what you are naturally good at.

2.     Invest Time:

 Do you truly and really want to build your business? If yes, you must invest time in your business. You must spend precious time for whatever you need in life. If you want to learn a new language, a new trade, learn how to speak in public, communicate, or even lead, you must invest t your time in learning the secrets. Desire is not enough to acquire the skill and knowledge, you must dedicate your time to the task.

Time is the most important converter of time to whatever you desire to acquire. This is because everything you get will come back to you if you give your time to it. For example, if you invest your time in a family; relationship; or even school, you will get the commensurate result. It should be noted that you can spend money on anything you like, but you’ll only spend time on anything you love. Time is the most valuable asset we have in our passion. No success has ever be recorded in life without the application of time. Your ability to make use of your time is very critical and to your success.  Time is life and life is time.  This is because when you waste time, you commit suicide, but when you waste your time you commit murder. Nor matter how intelligent, skillful, and talented, you are, if you don’t use your time wisely to build/invest in your business or study well, nobody is going to pay you.  Time also involves learning, networking, reading, researching and adding value to the work you do.

3.     Set goals

 Based on the three basics of life: work, relationships, and health. Maintaining a steady balance on these three areas will ensure that you minimize the pressure and that comes with working hard.

4.     Find Inspiration and Motivation

Take your time to find strength and passion on what motivates and inspires you, it can be good friends, music, books, mentors, etc. As human beings, we are wired and composed of different genes and as such, we need the right energy to focus on the needful.

5.     Create habits surrounding your goal

If you’re not habitual about doing things that are needed for achieving your goals, your motivation levels will deplete more quickly. You must be intentional about your purpose. Habits are what we do on a daily/continual basis in order to maintain consistency. Create a routine around your habits. Successful people have one noticeable thing in their lives: they live their success, whether anyone notices them or not. Make it a routine to commit yourself to that habitual activity, and demand exceptional performance from yourself.

6.     Stop Procrastination

 Stop looking at success as a distant. Procrastination is the killer of success. You cannot succeed in life when procrastination is your middle name. In this era of social media, a second post can be the turning point in your career or business. As a rule of thumb, never leave for tomorrow what you can do today.

In summary, build your success because, at the end of the day, no one is going to build it for you. You are the architect of your life and the best version of your 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

Just Do Your Best

Greetings Friends,

The desire of every rational and progressive human being is to be successful. Succeeding in life can be very challenging because of the hassles that come with success. It is really hard forging ahead in life when the odds are really against you especially when you have done your best by investing time and resources in your business, project or work. The frustration can be humbling. It takes a man with sound judgmental and positive discretion to continue to forge ahead in life when he/she faces setbacks. Imagine the life of an entrepreneur who wakes up daily and invest his time and resources in his/ her business only to find out, he needs to start all over again due to a mistake or new development.  Whenever you feel this way, one of your strongest arsenal to keep your sanity of mind is to stay strong by having a strong mental positive attitude.

Giving your best in life entails a lot of meanings. Depending on the context in which you are using it for, it can mean giving your best by doing your best in any work/situation you find yourself. It can also mean good luck, you’ll be fine. I wish you the best. It is what it is. It’s also mean a subtle way of letting you off the hook. It also means being sincere about wanting to do anything you promise to do.

Regardless of which pendulum you belong to, one thing is certain only you can define your “best no one can fully describe what “just do your best” means because it means different things for every person. I belong to the school of thought which believe that he that is in you is greater and stronger than he that is in the world. This is because if the whole world is telling you can’t do it and you know you can do it, you’ll definitely succeed. But if the whole world is telling you can do it and you know you can’t do it, you’ll fail. This simply goes to tell you that you are the architect and masterpiece of your life who understands your strength, weakness, and limitations. In a simple and general term, doing your best literally means giving your best in any endeavor you find yourself. When you do your best, you get a lasting impression and peace of mind even when the odds are against you because you have sincerely done your best based on your ability and disposition.

True success is not an overnight victory, it takes several works which can be sleeping late at night, waking up early, going the extra mile, networking, learning a trade, reading, and researching etc. Sometimes with all these factors at play, we still don’t break even. Truly, it can truly be frustrating.

Today, I charge you, give your best in your business, school work, athletic competition, fashion, entertainment and in whatever you are passionate and skillful at. Believe it will work out in due time if it’s destined for you, and if it doesn’t workout our as planned, just know it’s either, it’s not for you; your time has not come yet, or you’re are not doing the right thing by networking/meeting with the right people, you’re not being strategic by learning the rope, etc.

Sometimes in life, it is better to work smart as opposed to working hard. You can achieve more in life if you are very strategic. According to   Abraham Lincoln, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the ax”. Abraham Lincoln was merely speaking on how to be smart and strategic as opposed to working hard. However, the best approach will be working both hard and smart. Doing your best entails appreciating the challenges and disappointments that come with the work. These challenges can turn out to be a turning point if you rightly apply the laws of gratitude.

Being consistent is one of the ways of doing your best. When you are consistent in your craft, you’ll separate yourself from the regular crowd. I recently watched a short presentation by Olufela Durotoye, a leadership expert, and motivational speaker. According to him, Consistency is what separates winners from champions. He went further to state that if you want to know the best in any industry ask for the champions. For example, if you are asked to name the best talk show, Oprah Winfrey’s name might be the first to pop out, in tennis, Serena Williams; in soccer, Ronaldo, Messi, Maradona, Abedi Pele, or even Augustine Jay jay Okocha might come to mind. One thing is certain among this set of creative, talented and industrious individuals- they gave their best and it worked out for them. They became champions by winning consistently and giving their best in what they do every day. It should be noted that winners win matches, while champions win tournaments, competitions, and seasons

A great way of doing or giving your best is by being great at what you do. This is because when you become great at what you do, you will not only attract value, you’ll gain respect/expertise, money and authority. You can succeed and be excellent at what you do, but you will be excellent and greater at what you are gifted at.  In order to attain true perfection, you must give your best. As a word of advice, give your best in what you are naturally good at and you’ll be celebrated.

In conclusion, don’t be the best among your contemporaries, but be your best.

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

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.

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.