Greetings my good friends. It’s a pleasure to be here once more. Please find time to read  a speech I wrote when  I was humbled to address  the Black Students of Borough of Manhattan Community College on March 30, 2016. Happy reading. Comments are welcome.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am deeply humbled and honored to be here today. It gives me profound pleasure to address this noble gathering today on the all important topic, “Designing Your Future.”
While I am a firm believer in destiny, I also believe that, all things being equal, your future lies in your hands. In the contemporary society in which we find ourselves today, nobody will simply give you what you want or desire on a silver platter. There being no free lunch anywhere, you will have to stand up and go all out to achieve your desires by thinking out of the box.
During the course of this presentation, we shall be looking at various sub-topics, ranging from personality and dreams to networking, in order to effectively do justice to this topic. I discussing this topic, we shall also be drawing a corollary from architecture. This is because, a great way to design your future is to see yourself as an architect. According to Winston Churchill, “We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us.” How true this is! Your life is a building in progress. Before a house, or a beautiful mansion is built, an architect must have drawn out the layout and structure. It is that structure that will determine the shape of the house.


According to Albert Einstein, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” It is on this premise that we shall be addressing this topic. In order for you to design your future, you have to know yourself. Fundamentally, knowing yourself entails knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and what you really want out of life. The foundation of any project is very important if anyone truly wants to succeed in life, regardless of the career or the problem at hand. This is because when you properly identify and articulate a problem, it is fifty percent solved. Conversely, an inability to identify a problem and its cause will inevitably result in a difficulty in finding the solution to the problem. According to Rick Warren, in the first chapter of his book, “Purpose Driven Life,” entitled “What on Earth am I here for?” He declares that “You are not an accident.” In chapter 5, entitled “You were made for a Mission,” he emphasized the point that you are “Made for a Mission.”
In reconciling Rick Warren’s book with your future, it’s important to know you are on earth for a purpose and without an intimate knowledge of that purpose, you will merely exist, rather than truly live. Therefore, it’s important to note the fact that, you are not an accident. You were created for a purpose. Furthermore, it’s important to note that you were made for a mission, and that mission will only be manifested if you know your true life calling, and your personality.

Having established these truths, the starting point of designing your future is knowing yourself. I ask you a salient question. “Do you know yourself?”

You can only know yourself if you understand yourself. Again, I ask, “do you understand yourself?” You can only understand yourself if you know self.

You can now see understanding and knowing oneself as the key factor in designing yourself and your future. Isn’t it true the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step?
In designing your future, it is pertinent to ask yourself, “who am l?” You have to know your inner self because that is one of the ways in you will not only define yourself, but also define your future. Some of the ways in which you can know yourself include asking other people what they think about you, knowing what you do with relative ease, and by which you can serve and volunteer in communities and organizations, apart from networking, and most importantly reaching out to your creator.
Your personality plays a very significant role in designing your future. This is because you have to know yourself, know what you are passionate about and what you want to achieve on this earthly plane. As rational human beings, we are created and endowed with different gifts and skills which will make us distinct from other beings


As an architect, you may have a mental picture of the sort of house you would like to build. Conversely, as a young man or woman, you are more than likely to have at the back of your mind the kind of woman or man you would like to marry, and the kind of home you would love to live in. The same precept is applicable to a student in the university. You may have an idea of the kind of Lawyer, doctor, entrepreneur or creativity person you would like to be in the future. These are all lofty dreams, but it should be noted that they remain dreams which are in the figment of your imagination until and unless you decide to roll up your sleeves and walk the walk because talk is cheap. In order to succeed with your plans, you must plan to win, prepare to win and expect to win. This is the summary of how dream works. Nothing happens by chance. Yes, there are simply no chance occurrences. There must be a force before you can get a corresponding action. You simply cannot build something on nothing.
If you don’t resolutely decide to live your dreams, you will end up living the lives and dreams of other people. It is highly advisable to live your dreams after dreaming your life. This is because, according to C.S Lewis, “you are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.”
In order to design your future, you must dream about it. In one of my blogs, entitled “DREAMS COME TRUE,” I stated that empathized dreams are the fuel which keep our hopes alive. According to Oprah Winfrey, “The biggest adventure you can take in life is to live the life of your dreams.” This is an absolute truism. Your future is shaped by the thoughts you allow into your subconscious mind. The law of attraction has always thought us to have positive thoughts, ideas, dreams and to always believe we will have anything we want in life by imagining and associating with it.
According to Lao Tzu “Watch your thoughts, they become your words, watch your words they become actions, watch your actions, they become your character, watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” In order to reap the fruit of your labor, everything you do must be in unison with your personality and dreams. The society or community in which you live should be able to give an insightful and informed opinion about you by merely observing your personality and the dreams you radiate. As rational human beings, we are shaped by what we repeatedly do and not we say. You may have thought of lofty ideas of what you wish to accomplish in life, but fear and circumstances may have hindered you from reaching for the peak. If you ever find yourself in such a difficult situation, applying the words of Walt Disney will be very inspiring and encouraging. According to him “all dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” It should be noted, if your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough. Therefore, don’t be afraid to design your future the way you want it. So, if you can dream it, you can achieve it, because according to Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” Ultimately, however, the distance between your dreams and realty is action.


You can never underscore the role of networking in the 21st century. The role of networking cannot be over-emphasized. Networking is very a resourceful tool in the hands of a progressively-minded person. Networking has a big role to play in the design of your life. To a larger extent, your life is shaped by the people you meet and relate with in life. According to Charlie Tremendous Jones — “You’re the same today as you’ll be in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
Networking has really shaped the life, and life style of many people. It is the center point of human existence because it cuts across virtually all human endeavors, which is not limited to relationships, business, career, opportunities, connections, success, amongst others. In one of my most widely read blogs entitled, “Your Network Determines Your Net Worth,” I emphasized how the internet, attending events, volunteering in association and communities have helped shape the lives of many people. One of the great ways to discover yourself is through networking. You are bound to achieve success if you network effectively.

Networking offers a great platform for exchanging and sharing information. In this century, you cannot over emphasis the role of information. According to Henry Ukazu, “if you are not informed, you are deformed, and once you are deformed you can’t perform because information leads to reformation and transformation.” Networking offers us enlightenment, orientation, inspiration, information and education all of which can’t be taught and learnt in the classroom. According to Robert Ingersoll, “It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education and to have education without common sense.” It is through networking that you learn common sense, how to be street smart and how to pitch your point to successful people. With networking you are bound to learn many priceless skills.
As you look at the future with high hopes and expectations, it’s important to know the future is in your hands and it’s important to know your future will be shaped by what you decide to do today and what you do with all information available within your environment.
In designing your future, adopting the words of Jack Welch will be very resourceful, according to Jack Welch, “good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to conclusion.”

In conclusion, as you live and move along in life, always have at the back of your mind, your personality, dreams and network will influence you to a larger extent if you decide to possess your possession by designing your future. Let’s live well and succeed.

I thank you, most sincerely, for your patience.

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Henry Ukazu is a graduate of New York Law School. He is Founder and President at Global Empowerment & Mentoring Initiative. A trained life coach, prolific writer, and passionate youth advocate, he is also a highly sought-after public speaker. He is author of the acclaimed book, “Design Your Destiny- Actualizing Your Birthright to Success.

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