A hearty greetings to my esteemed friends!

We are already in the second week of the year. It seems like yesterday, but the year is gradually moving on. Some of you made resolutions and doing your best to maintain it, while some are already backsliding from it. Regardless of where you are, I have just one message for you: maintain your lane.

If you’ll agree with me, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step in the right direction. It’s easy to make a plan, but the difficulty lies in executing it. For example, most people have plans of losing weight, but the challenge they normally have is committing to it. And even when they get the desired shape and physique they want, maintaining it becomes another task.

I chose to write on this topic today because we are still in January and our ideas and plans are still fresh for the year. It’s always good to stay committed to the task at hand. You can achieve more by remaining focused. Last week, I wrote on The Magic of Focus. In that article, I stressed on the pivotal and critical role focus plays on your success and how you can avoid distraction. This week, we shall be discussing how we can maintain our goals for the year. I don’t know what your plans are for the year, but I already have mine figured out and I’m looking towards maintaining them by the special grace of God. Amen.

You must know yourself in order for you to succeed in life. Every human being is unique, we all have different roles to play in life and your ability to discover your passion is highly commendable because it sets you on the right path. Some of us started very early, some late, while some are yet to discover themselves. Regardless of where you are, don’t be hard on yourself. All that matters is where you are going and not where you are coming from. When you stay on course on your task, your breakthrough might not come easily, but if you stay purposeful, it will come in due time. Just to inspire you, do you know that the founder of KFC Colonel Sanders didn’t start KFC until we was 62; Henry Ford started his Ford Motors when he was 40 years old; Ronald Regan became the oldest American president at the age of 73 and Abraham Lincoln failed several times in life until he became the United States President. The list is endless. One thing that is permanent among these men is that they remained focused and committed to their dreams. They didn’t derail. They stayed on course.

What does maintaining your lane means to you? If you are a driver, it may mean maintain your lane to avoid accident or traffic violation; if you are a teacher, depending on your line of subject, it may mean staying on track, if you are an athlete, it may mean staying on track in order not be disqualified during a race competition. But for the purpose of this article, we shall be using the road as an example to buttress the message. To stay in your lane means do not switch lanes, just keep going straight and trust the process. Abstractly, the meaning can apply to anything and simply means keep doing what you have been doing. Maintaining your lane means staying on course on your mission, vision, and passion in life. If you have a plan, target, business idea or resolution you want to accomplish before the end of this year, this article is for you. Maintaining your lane cuts across all barriers in life. It comes with own challenges and success if you play by the rules. We shall be looking at the pros and cons later.

It’s important to stress that, you can’t do everything in life, that’s why it is highly recommended for you to know what you truly want. The more specific you are about what you need and want to do, the easier it is to get support. One of the great ways of succeeding in life is following your passion and being passionate about your cause as opposed to being an opportunist. There’s no luck in life; you just have to work hard and smart and believe somehow, everything will fall into place at the right time.
Miracles don’t just happen; you work towards it. Isn’t it true that opportunity meets only prepared mind?

If you really want to get to the peak of your career, you have to give it a sufficient amount of time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. No successful business or career was built or achieved overnight. Depending on your line of business, it takes approximately ten to fifteen years for one to be regarded as a professional or expert. It’s not wise to jump into different professions and expect people to take you serious, especially when they know your track record. Consistency is inconsistent with the lifestyle of all great men.

You need courage to maintain your lane, you have to strengthen your courage daily just like you go to the gym to strengthen your muscle. Having courage is like taking a risk on your business. You are not guaranteed tomorrow, but you are confident about what the future unfolds. Risk takers always believe that regardless of the outcomes they have something to learn from each adventure.

According to Jim Rohn, “If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you’ll have to settle for the ordinary.”

You don’t need to explain your story or journey to anyone, when you make it big, your story speaks for itself because your pathway can be traced. According to Malcolm S. Forbes “It is more fun to arrive at conclusion than to justify it”.

Climbing the ladder of success comes with failures and mistakes. But the interesting thing is that mistakes are the price you pay for a better life you plan to live in the nearest future if you learn from your mistakes. Remaining on course gives you the energy to learn and improve which thereafter can make you an expert. According to Bille Jean King, champions keep playing until they get it right.

Let’s look at some of the advantages of maintaining your lane

Credibility: One of the benefits of maintaining your lane is that it gives you credibility. Building of credibility is not an easy task. It takes a long people period of time for people to trust someone, unlike a person who has the tendency to act in a suspicious way. It’s easy for people to see through your actions when you build solid credibility because your personality and integrity comes into play. It’s instructive to know that your character is who you are, your reputation is what people think about you. When you maintain your lane, people watch you without you knowing. This is because you can tell more about a person by what he or she does with his or time.

Peace of Mind: There’s bound to be joy when you maintain your lane. Happiness comes from within. It comes from what you do. Once you are successful in your business, you will be happy because your hard work has paid off. Jackson Brown made us to understand that “Success is getting what you want and happiness is liking what you get”. Fulfillment is the fruit of peace of mind. When you are contented with what you have, you won’t be concerned with what think about you.

Humility: Being humble makes you receptive to other people’s line of thought or constructive criticisms. When you are humble, you have serenity and sanity of mind which makes you to listen when rational and intelligent people are talking and it will enable you to achieve more based on the ideas you’ll get.

Confidence: Confidence people are courageous people. Entrepreneurs are typical examples of people reposed with confidence and courage. They believe in themselves even when people don’t believe in their products or what they are doing. In the words of Robert Collier, “Your chance of success in any undertaking can always be measured by your belief in yourself”. A little puzzle for you: Do you believe in your hustle? Do you see light at the end of the tunnel? Do you have hope despite the obscurity and disparity facing you? If yes, I encourage you to stay steadfast in your dreams.

Perfection: Once you like what you are dong, you will put in more time to in order to perfect your work. Mastering perfection is not easy, it’s a process and a journey that’s has no end because we continue to learn and improve daily. In the words of Aristotle said, “Pleasure in the work brings perfection in the work”.

Maintaining your lane has its own challenges. Life is not a bed of roses. We need to plan very well if we are to reap the fruits of our labor. It is good to plan for the future, it is also good to be hopeful and courageous in your vision and passion towards life. However, it’s worthy to apply wisdom and understanding in whatever you are doing. When you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. When you make a bad choice and plan poorly, you are bound to hit the rock. Yes, it is good to be steadfast in your vision towards life, but wisdom permits you to think twice in addition to evaluating your plan occasionally. Kim Hubbard once said, “Lots of people confuse bad management with destiny”. Some examples of great men that maintained their lane are Steve Jobs, founder of iPhone, Benjamin Franklin – the founder of electricity, Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft Corporation; and the former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela. These great men know what they want and were passionate and focused enough to pursue it to a logical conclusion until they were able to achieve their dream.

In conclusion, as we approach this New Year, it’s important to know that, being prepared for the journey ahead can be challenging, you’ll need to think deeply against any challenges that may pop out on the road to success. I wish you good luck in 2019.

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

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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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