We are all motivated by desires, expectations and achievements. The reason many work so hard, study so hard and make sacrifices daily is essentially based on certain expectations which they hope will make them happy and satisfied in life.
Everyone's got a dream, some are big dreams, some are not that big but we all have dreams. Our dreams are the things we hope to get, have, experience or enjoy in the future. Whatever you've experienced or apprehended is no longer a dream, a dream is always about the future; an expectation, a reward, a harvest.
Many of us however are not happy because we are today, not living our dreams. The dreams we had in time past about our today is not really our experience. Many of us looked forward to a great, exciting, rewarding and comfortable future but alas; far from it, we today, wake up daily to a life of struggle, hustle, extreme hard work, uncertainties, fear and social insecurity. Many of us are enduring not enjoying our lives. This was not our dream.
Many of us today have relinquished the power and charge over our lives to our helpers, benefactors, employers, spiritual authorities and even the government. If these guys can't help us, we are finished. We daily depend on others to make our lives meaningful. Dear friend, this is not how to live a great life. What you can't control, you can't predict and you definitely can't determine.
Many times and from many teachers, self-control has been taught and related from the perspective of an individual having self-restrain. This simply means the ability to stop yourself from indulging when lured, tempted and seduced unto destructive behaviours and tendencies.
It's about not responding to the lust of the flesh and carnal cravings with negative consequences. It's about being disciplined – doing what is right instead of what you like at all times. In summary, self-control has been preached from the perspective of stopping yourself from doing wrong.
This morning however, I'd like to explain in a more extended fashion the real meaning of self-control. I'll want to explain it properly within absolute context and as it relates to good growth, performance, wellbeing and success in life.
Self-control is not just the power to stop yourself from doing wrong or yielding to temptation.
Self-control is actually about you being in control of yourself. It's you being in charge of your whole being.
Control is about being in charge, having the power to determine what happens and to a large extent determine outcomes.
The easiest thing to do in this life is to waste your time. Time as precious as it is, is so easy to waste. Time is the most precious irrecoverable resource yet, the most wasted of human resource.
Many of us from the start of each year to the end keep going through survival routines and motions without a precise plan or action on how we can deliberately improve our worth, relevance, value, importance and impact in this life.
If being laid back or indifferent about the issues of life have no consequences, probably it would have been okay. But a decision to do nothing about key issues in your life will naturally generate very bad consequences.
For example if you refuse to get an education, you will eventually lack so much in social worth, relevance and significance. You won’t command the attention of the important and the general in this life, hardly would anyone reckon with you. If you refuse to pay attention to your spouse, you will eventually lose that spouse probably to someone else or something else and this will subsequently bring you emotional pain. If you refuse to raise and train and build your children, they will eventually bring you shame, disgrace and disappointment eventually in life.
The smartest and the most legitimate approach to escaping insufficiency, mediocrity, obscurity, lack and stagnation is to identify opportunities and do all we can to utilise them.
A major difference between very successful people and those who are not so successful is recognising opportunities when they see one. Opportunities present themselves every day in our lives. Opportunities don't show up once in a while in fact, you practically swim in opportunities especially if you live in a country like Nigeria, the only problem is; you can't recognise these opportunities.
The reason many can't recognise great opportunities is because they already have a preconceived way by which they expect their opportunities to show up and unfold.
Many times when people want something, they already have their minds set on how it should come, when it should come, from whom it should come and the way it should come.
Most times if there's any major alteration in any of these fixed expectations, they wouldn't recognise it as the opportunity they've been waiting for.
You want a job in a particular kind of organisation judging by how much you hear they pay, anything other than that is a no, no, even if a different organisation offers lower remuneration but superior prospects, exposure and experience; simply because it's not marked by the same monetary appeal, it's not a good opportunity.
Lately I ran into one of my old colleague. She looked very tired, exhausted and distressed. We hadn't seen in a long while and we were glad to meet again. I asked how she was doing and she let off a sad smile, her eyes were tired and dull, she had eye bags and a few wrinkles were beginning to show on her, once upon a time very smooth and bright face.
She didn't look or sound excited, she was withdrawn and almost cold. She was obviously tired, not just physically but emotionally, and I sense someone trying hard not to give up or throw in the towel.
She works with a very good, well established company and she is actually a very top management staff. She is well paid too and has no money problems. After engaging in discussion with her for a while, it was clear what the main problem was.
At her place of work, she leads a critical team of very discouraged, demotivated and troublesome employees. The role of the team is very important to the business and she is in charge, however the pressure was just becoming unbearable as her team members aren't willing, supportive or committed and consequently, the directorate and the MD are daily ‘crucifying' her for back to back failures on projects and deadlines.
"Leaders take responsibility" they tell her, hence she can't honestly put the blame on the attitude and disposition of her team, yet her team members in truth are actually the main problem.
Money is very important in life. Money however should not be a goal in life, whoever sets riches as a goal in life will end up very frustrated and dissatisfied. Money is not an end in itself but a means to an end. Money itself means nothing, it is what it can do that makes it important and attractive.
My dear friends, do you want money? Do you really want to be rich, the question is why?
If you're yet to determine and articulate a meaningful reason for your pursuit of cash, you'll be enslaved by money. Money is a beautiful servant but a terrible master. Lacking purpose for your desire for riches will automatically make money your master and this can ruin you.
To every man alive, there is a point you get to when you make enough to live comfortably and afford the basic needs of life if you work hard enough.
Once you have a roof over your head, clothes on your back and can feed well and sustain all these including paying essential bills, you're very okay.
Truth is, there is a big difference between what you want in life and what you really need to survive, once you can conveniently pay for your needs, you're fine.
Anything you can survive well without is tantamount to a want, not a need.
Without a doubt, creativity is the currency of success in today's world. The most creative people are the most progressive, the most prosperous and the most influential people in the world today. As a country, no matter the volume of your natural resources, and the number of your human citizens, you will remain controlled and dominated by smaller nations with creative citizens.
As an individual, no matter your course of study or profession, no matter your grade upon graduation, no matter how outstanding you were amongst your peers while in school, if in your practice or vocation you are not given to creativity, you will struggle very hard to succeed.
The world is dynamic, systems are changing, processes are changing, technology is changing; human preferences keep changing and these changes are occurring very fast.
However, with new developments come new problems, new complexities and new opportunities. Societal dynamics and evolution birth new and sometimes complex problems. These problems are both organic and inorganic, in other words it can be about people or things.
For example the creation of the internet gave rise to cybercrimes. The growth of information technology and easy access to information by many people is one of the factors fuelling rebellion and terrorism globally.
Success is the ability to set goals and accomplish them. Success is the ability to apply action to a predetermined course and accomplish the desired outcome. Success is simply when you achieve what you want.
Success is as varied as we are. Success is not universal in manifestation, it's as unique as we are unique in our persons. This implies your success is not my success and my success is not your success. My own success would depend on my dreams, vision, ambition, action and results. If these are different from yours, then my success cannot be same as yours.
Using money as a denominator, success for me may be 10 million naira net worth by year end. And for some other person, 10 million naira bank balance by the end of this year is utter failure and a cause to be worried. So even if it's the same interest, we still vary in our ambition and definition of success.
Dear friend, what is your definition of success? What is success to you? Without a well-defined personal success notion, you'll become confused in life and will lack a required sense of direction.
Your success journey begins with having a personal vision and a dream.
It's only natural for us humans to eventually disdain and criticise anything we can't understand, contain, comprehend or apprehend.
For example, it's natural for a man to after some time, begin to criticise and disdain a lady he's been wooing for a very long time without success. It's also natural for someone to begin to speak ill of an organisation he's been seeking employment into for a very long time without success. It's also normal to disdain travelling to a country that has denied you visa again and again without any good reason.
Its natural as humans to start speaking ill and criticising anything we wanted initially but couldn't get eventually.
Dear friends, I've never come across a young child or even a teenager that wants to turn out a poor adult in life. I've never met a teenager who subscribes to poverty as a preferred way of life. Every young person I know looks forward to a very rich and successful financial future. They want good cars, beautiful homes, lovely clothes, exciting travels and a very rich and respectable life of financial abundance. No young person wants to live a life of poverty or penury.
However, after trying so hard and working so hard, if things don't align with their expectations and the money appears to be eluding them as adults, they then change their perspective and opinion about becoming rich, they begin to criticise and even condemn the pursuit of riches and the rich in general.
Of a truth times are difficult economically. The gist is everywhere, the evidence is everywhere. The economic recession is no longer news. Everybody knows we're officially in a recession.
In the city, in the fields, rural and urban areas, male female, young and old everybody is talking about the recession. Many are complaining and lamenting and sharing their strong opinions about what really is the cause, who is really responsible and who can and should fix the problem.
Devastating is the effect of the recession that we're daily experiencing back to back news of untold hardship, hunger, job cuts, several months of unpaid salaries and even suicide attempts. Many people have taken their own lives simply because they couldn't stand the pressure of enduring these hard times.
Truth be told, yes there is a recession, there's economic hardship but I assure you the impact and intensity varies from person to person. The true impact of this economic crisis varies from person to person, from location to location and from business to business.
The uniqueness of our individual lives, businesses, vocation and responsibilities would naturally influence how these hard times would affect us.
Dear friend, you see, your mind is a very complex and tricky system, how you program your mind can actually enrich or diminish your emotional and psychological wellbeing even in this season.
Today is a new day, we get up and we're off to work again. This is our life, this is life; we are creatures of productivity. We manage the earth, we rule the world, the responsibility of keeping all things running effectively is placed on mankind, and as a human being you must take responsibility, if not, you'll not benefit from the system.
It's not like the jungle or the animal kingdom where stronger animals prey on and kill the weaker ones to stay alive, no, in this human kingdom, you must earn a living, there are rules and you must live by these rules. That's what civilisation is all about.
You want to earn a living, live a good life, pay your bills and accomplish good dreams? You must work within the matrix of the worlds system to benefit.
Waking up every weekday and going to create value in exchange for a good reward is the pattern of our lives; at least most of us. This is what we call career. Your career is the venture and the opportunity to earn a living through service and performance.
Truth is, many times as mankind we get tired, frustrated and discouraged in life. When we work pretty hard and we feel we're not enjoying commensurate reward for our efforts, we become discouraged.
The frequency of change and dynamics as currently obtainable in this century is extremely fast and daunting. Before getting adjusted to something new, a better and higher version or degree is out. Take a look around you and you’ll observe it cuts across almost every area of our lives, from science to technology, fashion, music, movies, information, education, sports, discoveries, inventions, constitutions, policies, morals and belief systems.
Check out even your phones, computers, cars, TV sets and the likes; your latest model in a few, years, months or even weeks has become an old model. A reigning song or music artiste in a few months is no longer topping the chart.
New movies breaking records on budget, production, directing and performance make recent ones look like child’s play.
Everyone loves a great life. We all want to be successful and great. We want to achieve our dreams, goal and purposes. We don't want to lag behind colleagues and contemporaries in life, we want to be comfortable, secured; relevant and respected. We want a good life, at least everyone I know does, but not everyone is actually experiencing a great life; in fact more people are struggling in life than succeeding.
We are daily inspired, encouraged, motivated and told the naked truth about the need to succeed, we're told the secrets and ways to success, many of us know the secrets and principles by heart, in fact some of us have taught other people one-on-one or in groups about the need and the principles of success, but ironically, we are also struggling in life.
We're struggling with our finances, our relationships, our marriages; our careers our behaviours and other critical aspects of our lives.
We have the answers, we have the knowledge, we see the opportunities and guess what, we have the choice, we know what is right and needful; and we know what is destructive and unnecessary. Yet were unable to do anything about our lives and our situations.
In a conversation with a young teenager recently I listened as with excitement she began to share with me her dreams, vision and ambition in life.
She talked about her plans and dreams regarding finance, relationship, marriage, and career success. She was very excited as she continued to speak; she began to reel out all her plans, the ideas, the step by step approach to accomplishing all she wants; the considerations and well thought out strategy and with her failure wasn't an option.
I liked her spirit and attitude to life. I was more than willing to encourage her, most teenagers aren't that thoughtful these days; they are mostly distracted by fun and entertainment, not too many of them have solid dreams, so coming across this one with a dream, I was delighted.
However, as she shared her thoughts, I had so many questions around what ifs, but I didn't say, I didn't want to quell her fire, I believed she would grow stronger as she matures to handle all my concerns.
She had it all planned out; the year she would be done with secondary school and obtain admission into the university, the course she wants to study, the number of years she'll be in the university for, her year of graduation, her grades, the year of her master's program, the year she would conclude, the year she wants to get married, the kind of man she wants to marry-his profile, looks, qualifications and relevance, the kind of organization she wants to work with, her year of starting her own company and all she plans to accomplish as a business owner.
A rubber band never fulfils its purpose until it is stretched. Everyone loves to be comfortable. We hardly want to be disturbed, inconvenienced or moved. Once we become comfortable with a circumstance, process, situation or order we don't want to change. We want to remain like that because it's really easy to remain on the same spot.
The key drivers that would compel most employees to desire promotion and change in level are financial reward, power and control. Imagine a set up where hierarchy is not in place and the income is not determined by the level of responsibility, I assure you; no one would take on any new task or responsibility. If there's no benefit tied to any position in cash or power or control, I don't see anyone fascinated about taking up such roles.
For example why would I want to take on the role of a supervisor in a team if I won't get additional income and won't be in charge of the team or anybody? The additional responsibility as a supervisor then becomes a stress factor and not a promotion.
From Christ Society International Outreach under:
From Frankly Speaking With Muyiwa Afolabi under:
From Frankly Speaking With Muyiwa Afolabi under:
From Frankly Speaking With Muyiwa Afolabi under:
From Frankly Speaking With Muyiwa Afolabi under: