3 Very Simple Ways To Solve All Your Problems

Living happily and successfully is mostly a matter of how you solve all your problems.  My objective in this very brief post is to show you 3 powerful problem-solving attitudes.  They are:

  1. Avoid a quick-fix and jerky approach towards solving your problems.
  2. Determine the specific underlying causes of your problems.
  3. Diligently implement solutions that address the roots of your problems.

Avoid a quick-fix and jerky approach towards solving your problems

This is because quick-fixes and jerky solutions are often deceptively dangerous, and could ultimately have unforeseeable fatal consequences.  I mean, you could be jumping from the frying pan into the fire.  In other words, in the bid to escape the immediate dangers and pain posed by current problems, avoid quick-fixes, short-cuts, and jerky solutions that could ultimately plunge you into greater pain and anguish.

If, for instance, you’ve been sliding steadily and rapidly into financial debts and are now at the brink of total economic ruin, you might be tempted to embrace jerky, impulsive, spontaneous, and short-term solutions such as:

  • Borrow more money in the pseudo-optimistic hope that ‘somehow’ you’ll pay up in the future.
  • Get another job.  You should have known by now that more money is never an enduring solution to the problem of endemic debt.
  • Fall for any of the numerous get-rich-quick-while-you-sleep investment scams available today.

The list of quick-fixes that could lure you into long-term financial slavery is practically endless.  Your current economic scenario might be gloomy and life-threatening, yet you must resist the temptation to adopt a knee-jerk response and rather seek for durable solutions.

Life is an art, and successful living requires a skilful approach to the art of living.  Quick-fixes, jerky responses, and short-cuts are not the way to go.  They are neither artful, nor graceful, and ultimately can actually be quite destructive.

If you are currently trapped in a deteriorating debt, weight, or any other situation, I encourage you first of all to not lose hope.  It is always very important to have hope.  Never lose your hope and dreams of a better tomorrow.

However, you must mix hope with a fundamentalist and pragmatic approach to problem-solving, based on a thorough appreciation of the underlying causes  and coupled with a long-term perspective.

Determine the specific underlying causes of your problems

For instance, why are you trapped in debt?  The answer to that question could be one or more of the following:

  • Un-planned and spontaneous buying of unnecessary, and even necessary commodities.
  • A low self-esteem that leads to trying to keep up with the Joneses.
  • Failure to develop and monetize your unique set of talents and skills.
  • Selfishness – the number one cause of poverty and lack.
  • Insufficient cash flow.

Any of the circumstance above could result in endemic personal debt and lack.  Take time to determine what is responsible for your particular situation.

Or, if you are faced with a weight situation, then you need to determine why you are gaining weight.   Most weight problems, except for those associated with genetic ill health conditions, are products of bad habits.  Yet, rather than address the roots of the problem such as bad eating habits, inadequate exercising and rest, most people would rather go for dangerous quick-fixes like the so-called magic drugs, diets, and surgeries.

A lot of us would spend our scarce and diminishing resources seeking help from so-called experts, when all we really need is to come to terms with ourselves, and our problems will  evaporate as ‘mysteriously’ as they came.

Diligently implement solutions that address the roots of your problems

Of course, when you determine the exact causes of your problem(s), you must diligently implement suitable solutions.

The most important thing, however, is to understand why the problem came in the first case, and why it’s recurring.  A comprehensive appreciation of the underlying causes of your problems is a very powerful awareness that puts you in a more strategic position to create effective solutions.

Time Waster?

I came across an article recently that listed the following as time wasters:

  • Watching TV
  • Online Social Networking – Twitter, Digg, Facebook,
  • Playing Video Games.

Are they really time wasters?

Well, for someone like me, they are not!

I mean, think of how my work and ministry has been impacted and built up by Twitter.. I’ve already shared some of it in the post My Twitter Experience.

I can’t even begin to enumerate the hundreds of sermons and articles that have been inspired just by movies and documentaries on TV!

I spend lots of time with my kids playing computer and video games.  It’s a bonding activity that my kids love, and one I’ll rather do than anything else.

Once again, it’s all about understanding your own uniqueness and not allowing yourself be intimidated by other people’s opinions.

Let me ask you a very simple question, Are there things you enjoy doing, but which folks would normally regard as a time waster?

Share some of these things with us and let us know the benefits you personally benefit from them.

Be inspired!
Discover Yourself!

Human Opinion is Plastic 3

My blog posts this week have been focused on the subject of human opinion and I’ve consistently stated that human opinion is plastic.  What people think of you does not matter as much as what you think of yourself.

You can click on the following links for a quick look at what we’ve covered so far:

Greatness Attracts Criticisms
Human Opinion is Plastic
Human Opinion is Plastic 2

I encourage you to bookmark the pages and print them out later, if you need to, for later reference.  I believe that the contents of this series on human opinion ,and dealing with criticisms, will inspire and empower you to rise above whatever folks think of you, and create your own personal success.

At this stage in the series, let me take you beyond the point that you should never be a victim of human opinion, to the point that you should become a master, or moulder instead.  In other words, you can actually use the plasticity of human opinion to enhance your career, leadership, influence, business, and personal success.  When you recognize human opinion for what it is, a fickle, non-dependable, but very tangible leadership resource, the awareness empowers you to harness it, or ignore it, as the situation demands. 

Ultimately, though, you must retain control over your destiny and your life.

The dynamics of human opinion…

In other to be in this very powerful position of being able to take advantage of the plasticity of human opinion, you should be able to study and master the dynamics of the phenomenon.  This is not a very difficult thing to do, in fact, it is extremely simple.  It’s all summarized in the following verse:

“…Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” ~ God to Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7c

God looks at the heart, and so bases His judgement on what He sees there.  As I wrote in How To Manifest More of What You Want in Life God does not judge us strictly by our words or actions.  He weighs our deeds and words on the scale of our hearts, motives, and intentions.  Man, on the other hand, looks at the outward, and so bases his judgement and responses on what he sees there.  Intentions are not always obvious to us, we can only hear words and see actions and we make our decisions primarily on the basis of what we see and hear.

So, in order to influence God, your heart, or intentions/motives  must be right, whereas in order to influence man, your deeds, or actions must be right.  I believe that’s a very interesting distinction in view of the fact that success in life has a lot to do with the favourable disposition of both God and man towards you.  If you can influence God and man to be favourably disposed towards you, you will enjoy ‘sweatless’ success.  By implication, therefore, your intentions and actions need to by synchronized if you must enjoy favour with God and man.  Never excuse wrong actions on the grounds that your intentions are right.  Equally, don’t be fooled by the apparent ‘rightness’ of your actions, when your intentions are not pure.

Vital questions…

You should be able to engage your intentions and actions in such a manner as to be able to mould human opinion according to your own purposes.  This is a position of great strength and power.  It allows you to lead, influence, and guide others, hopefully, towards worthy ends.

What I mean is this, as I’ve often told Christian leaders, preachers, evangelists, and so on, people will not follow you if you lack proof – that is, convincing results.  For instance, I made a statement recently at the Success Academy Nigeria that, “Your personal success is as important as, if not more important than, your religious lifestyle in influencing your world for God.” Why would I worship your God if He has no practical and effective solutions to my daily challenges?  If you ignore this question in your gospel or missionary efforts, don’t complain when you are generally ignored by those you are trying to reach.

Why should I adopt your ideas and principles if they do not provide solutions to my problems?  If you ignore this question in the formulation and presentation of your ideas as a leader, don’t complain when you lack fans and followers.

Why should I use your products if they provide no lasting values for me?  If you ignore this question in the packaging and marketing of your products, don’t feel frustrated when you are unable to attract and hold customers and buyers.

It’s entirely up to you!

There is a time to respect human opinion.
There is a time to ignore human opinion.
There is a time to exploit human opinion.
But, you should never be a slave or victim to human opinion.

You must be in control of what you chose to do with human opinion.  Freedom is your capacity to think your own thoughts and reach your own conclusions.  Wisdom is your capacity to discern differences; to know the actions that suit any situation.  So, whether you chose to respect, ignore, or exploit human opinion should be entirely up to you.  It’s your right, never give it up.

Be inspired!
Discover yourself!

Human Opinion is Plastic 2

Continued from here…

My model in not paying much attention to human opinion is Jesus Christ.

In modern terms, you’d say He didn’t give a damn about what others thought of Him.

I think that’s cool.

"Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man." ~ John 2:23-25

I understand that to mean that praise and criticisms weighed exactly the same to Him!

There was so much fuss around him because of the miracles he was performing, but He was not carried away by all the adulation! In fact, He seemed to have deliberately avoided the praise-singers.

He made it very clear that He placed little weight on human opinion when He said, "I do not accept praise from men." ~ John 5:41. The wisdom of His approach was later borne out by the fact that people who hailed Him as the ‘Messiah’ one day, choose a murderer over Him less than a week later!

Human opinion is a very plastic commodity and I (quite frankly) rarely give too much weight to what others think about me.

They changed their minds…

A very long time ago, I came across this story regarding the Apostle Paul:

Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, "This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live." But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god. ~ Acts 28: 3-6

I find it particularly interesting that ‘they changed their minds…’ 🙂 . Those guys initially gossiped about Paul being a murderer because of his unpleasant external circumstances. Such is life. Folks are always going to judge you by your external circumstances, you know, what you have and what you don’t have. They’ll class you, brand you, categorize you on the basis of what they can see. What a shame.

Yet notice how quickly they changed their minds when Paul’s external circumstances changed. From saying to each other, "This man must be a murderer…" they changed to "He is a god."

Truly, human opinion is plastic and fickle. Don’t place too much weight on it.

Whether they think you are a ‘murderer’ or a ‘god’ doesn’t really matter. What is important is your personal opinion about yourself.

Most importantly though, don’t make the same mistake that other people make about you – that of judging yourself by externals, what you have and what you don’t have. You are more that what happens or doesn’t happen to you.

Be inspired!
Discover yourself!

Human Opinion is Plastic

During my early twenties, I reached the conclusion that human opinion is plastic, in other words, it’s not something to build on.

Ultimately, what others think about you doesn’t really count as much as what you think about yourself.  It doesn’t matter who they are – spouses, children, parents, siblings, friends, well wishers, colleagues, critics, detractors, enemies and any other categories of people you might be able to come up with.  What they think about you does not matter as much as what you think about yourself.

If you are living your life to impress and please others, you are still a foolish slave who is in need of emancipation.

Harsh, huh? 
That’s because I want you to be free from human opinion. 
That’s what this blog is about, anyway.

To rate yourself on the basis of another’s estimation of you is the height of slavery and bondage.

Does your spouse think that you are not as beautiful and shapely as that model on TV?  That’s their privilege! Opinion is cheap and anyone can form theirs for all that it’s worth. But if you freak out and think less of yourself because of that opinion, yours is the greater silliness!

I’m personally convinced that the greatest freedom of all is the freedom from human opinion, the freedom to think your own thoughts and be your own self.

The trap…

The tragedy of this situation is that even those of us who might be inclined to think that we are free from this form of slavery might still be in it in some other less obvious ways.

For instance, when you accept an external definition of success without consulting your own inner values and uniqueness, you’ve fallen into the trap.

If you enjoyed a particular activity and helped add value to the life of another human being, but suddenly felt it was all worthless simply because you didn’t realize any immediate monetary profits, you’ve probably fallen victim to other people’s opinion.

WD Shock Therapy

When I was pastoring at the University of Nigeria, a student came to me crying because her result was so poor.  She cried to me in desperation, “this is my life!  This is my life!” I stared at her in shock and asked her, “What is your life?”
She threw her Statement of Result at me, “look at this,” she continued, “they gave me a poor pass.  Can I ever be able to get a job with this?  I’m finished!” 

I was so pissed off!  Yes, really really pissed off!! 

“That’s just a piece of paper!”I retorted, “and if all your life is worth is a piece of paper, then you really have no life at all!”  

It was now her turn to stare at me in shock.  The tears dried out from her eyes instantly.  I knew she couldn’t believe I’d talk to her like that.  She came to me expecting some ‘baby-sitting’ and to be ‘breast-fed’ some litres of sympathy, and rather than that, I gave her what my International Director calls the ‘WD Shock Therapy’!

Well, that did the job because I saw a flash of defiance in her countenance and instinctively knew my response had triggered off her innate determination to rise above the report on that scrap of paper.

Back then, I was already aware that the certificate from any academic institution is merely the opinion of other people – a board or committee of flawed humans!

Why would you use that to rate yourself or other people for that matter?

You are who you say you are!

I dropped out of the university in my third year and have no single ‘degree’ today.  Yet that hasn’t stopped me from becoming a Christian Pastor, Self-Discovery Coach, Leadership Consultant, International Conference Speaker, Multi-media evangelist, Chancellor of the Success Academy Nigeria, a Magazine publisher, a book author and so on!

No, you are who say you are, period!

Other people’s opinion about you do not matter as much as your personal opinion of yourself.

If past circumstances within or beyond your control resulted in your not having a scrap of paper signed by a bunch of flawed men, so be it!  But realize that the height you reach in life is not a function of that incident, but rather one of your own determination.

I pray that this brief post will inspire you to attain the awareness that human opinion is plastic.

Discover yourself!

3 Reasons To Pursue Your Joy!

Beat the hype!

With bills to pay, mouths to feed, and deadlines to meet, it’s not hard to recognize the importance of money for daily living. The importance of money in the 21st century cannot be ignored by any intelligent mind.  Yet, I believe that the money’s importance is so disproportionately hyped that it drives multitudes to poverty by deluding them into pursuing it at the expense of more important values.  Yes, when you pursue money at the expense of more important values, you don’t get richer, you rather get poorer.

For instance, how else would you explain the following situations?

  • Multitudes slaving daily at jobs they do not enjoy, just to make a few miserable dollars.
  • Parents abandoning the destinies of their tender kids to be shaped by unscrupulous, and greedy media influences, just because they are trying to ‘make ends meet.’
  • Couples sabotaging their relationships because of financial concerns.
  • Politicians sacrificing their integrity just to make some money.

This is just a brief list to illustrate how the 21st century mindset has so deteriorated as to elevate money to an undeserved pedestal.

The reality, however, and this is what  most of us need to realize, is that you would begin to accelerate towards greater fulfilment, happiness and personal success the moment you beat the hype of money, and overcome it’s pull and power. 

Pursue your joy!

The first instance I listed above is a situation where multitudes slave daily at jobs they do not enjoy, just to make a few miserable dollars.  I think that this is pathetic and unjustifiable.  It’s a gross abuse of self, and a waste of potential.

You have a mission, and should never sacrifice the ultimate for the immediate.  Do not live a life that is dominated by monetary concerns.  Don’t be a slave to currency notes.  I have never been a part of the rat race in any area of my life, and will never be.

The fact that I grew up in the world’s poorest continent and experienced the worst forms of poverty imaginable, was no excuse for me to make money my chief object of pursuit.  Instead I decided to pursue my joy.  I dropped out of the University in my third year as an Electronic Engineering Student to follow my dream.  I’m happy I did because that decision is now among the top three that I consider ‘the best decisions of my life.’

I encourage you today to pursue your joy!  In other words, pour your heart and soul, invest your time and resources in doing things that you enjoy.  I understand that it could seem like a life-threatening decision when you have so much pressing needs, yet, when you turn your back on money in order to pursue your joy, you actually end up with more money than you will ever be able to spend!

Joy is a very powerful indicator of ‘alignment’ which controls the dynamics of success and failure.  The more aligned you are with God, yourself, and the natural laws of the universe, the more successful, happy, relevant, and fulfilled you will be.

Below are a few of the more powerful reasons to pursue your joy:

#1.  Joy indicates that God is present!

I understand joy to be a deep and abiding inner sense of wellbeing, relevance, and fulfilment.  It’s not a superficial emotion, it’s a deep spiritual experience. Now read what the bible says about joy…

…in Your presence is fullness of joy…”
~ Psalm 16:11b

This is a very significant revelation, it means that one of the signs of God’s presence is Joy – fullness of Joy.

The import of the scripture above is that joy is one evidence of God’s presence.  When you have that deep inner and abiding sense of wellbeing, relevance, and fulfilment, it’s a sure sign that God is actively present with you.  And when this sense is associated with any activity, it’s a sure sign that God is with that enterprise.  In other words, any activity or enterprise that fills your heart and soul with joy lies at the core of God’s vocation for your life.

This is why it’s so easy to excel in something that you enjoy doing – the fact that God is connected with it! 

So whenever you are doing something that releases joy into your heart, you are walking, and working with God!

#2.  Joy is the essence of strength!

I believe that joy is more significant than technical skills in determining the core of your personal success.  This is because, in reality, joy is the essence of any strength!

“The joy of the Lord is your strength.”
~ Nehemiah 8:10c 

As I wrote in 4 Keys To Boost Your Productivity, a key requirement for success in life is the ability to deal with troubles [tough times, difficulties, delays, challenges and so on].  Troubles must come. No matter how smart you are, no matter how careful you are, and no matter how spiritual you are.

It is not the difficulties and storms of life that defeat people, it’s their lack of strength.

“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”
~ Proverbs 24:10

So rather than naively wishing for an adversity-free life, develop your strength, cultivate your capacity to deal with the storms of life.  This strength is hidden in your joy.  When you are joyful, you are strong, whereas when you are sad and depressed, you are weak, and so vulnerable to the predators of life.

When you initiate a new venture, sooner than later, you’ll encounter the inevitable challenges that will attend that enterprise.  You will definitely quit if you lack sustained passion for the object of your pursuit.  It is the passion for your purpose that will get you across the point of quitting.  This is why it is almost impossible to excel at anything that does not give you joy.

Majority of the so-called richest people of this planet never really set out to pursue money, success, or fame.  They simply pursued their joy. They invested their time, money, talent, energy, and other resources doing things that they enjoyed.  They embraced the core of their obsessions, and money had no other choice than to abundantly manifest in their lives.

I enjoy learning and sharing my discoveries with individuals and groups by speaking, writing, or singing to them.  I enjoy talking, writing, reading, singing, playing the piano. I enjoy seeing people discover themselves and begin to create their own personal successes.  I enjoy spending time in fellowship with my God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. These are my joys, my obsessions, my pursuit!

I don’t need money less than anyone.  In fact, I should need it a whole lot considering the fact that I live in one of the most economically challenged nations of the earth.  Yet, I really don’t care about money, not because I have so much of it, but because I’m so busy with other things!  I’m so busy enjoying my joys that money just takes care of itself!

That’s the way to live.

#3.  Joy is good medicine!

Longevity is more of a function of joy, than of any other factor.  People who live long are those who are happy with their lives.  And the happiest people are those who are functioning at the core of their personal success by doing things that they really enjoy.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
~ Proverbs 17:22

When you are doing something that gives you joy, you really don’t notice how long and hard you work at it.  In reality, work is supposed to be fun refreshing, and re-creative!

People are stressed out today and prey to all kinds of horrible so-called stress related diseases, not because they are working harder, but because they are working harder at things they have no pleasure in.

When you engage in something that you enjoy, no matter how long or how hard you work at it, you’ll still experience pleasure, renewal, and re-creation at the end of the day.

Closing thoughts…

What are your joys? What are the things that you enjoy doing? 

As a way of internalizing and crystallizing this principle within your inner consciousness, list the things you enjoy doing in the comment section below.

4 Steps To Boost Your Productivity

What do you so desperately want to change in your business and career?
Do you have life threatening, complicated, and depressing difficulties littered across the landscape of your life at this time?

What are the most irritating problems facing you right now?
What are the outstanding challenges in your personal life at this time?

First of all, I’d like for you to take comfort in the fact that life is full of troubles.  Troubles are a part of the normal course of life. So it’s not strange for you to have a couple or more of troubles.  In fact, a key requirement for success in life is the ability to deal with troubles [tough times, difficulties, delays, challenges and so on].  Troubles must come. No matter how smart you are, no matter how careful you are, and no matter how spiritual you are.

So, don’t be overly and unnecessarily worried about the things that don’t seem to be working in your life, relationships, business, and career at the moment.

Secondly, I want you to also take solace in the fact that there are simple, practical, and effective steps that you can take to boost your productivity in all areas of your life.  Below are 4 of such steps:

#1. What Do You Want?
Identify your personal success indices

A lot of people have a very vague picture of what they really want in life.  They complain about how bad things and how that things are not working out for them. Yet, when you ask them to define in clear terms what it is that they really want, they respond with a blank stare, or at the very best, an incoherent answer.  The reality is that you would never be able to boost your productivity or personal success if you don’t know in very clear terms what it is that you really want.

In resolving this issue, you must forget about what men have already set forth as the tangible indices of success.  Think rather in terms of what resonates with your personality – what creates that inner sense of fulfilment, ‘specialness’, and relevance.  In very specific terms, what are the tangible and intangible results that you desire to see in your life from your various efforts? Those should define what I’ve termed your ‘personal success indices’.

Your personal success indices should fall into two broad categories:

  • Intangible inner personal pleasure, and
  • Positive impact on others.

For instance, here’s a list of my personal success indices grouped according to the two broad categories I defined above.

Intangible inner personal pleasures

  • A sense of growth in my awareness and understanding of the laws, mysteries, and principles of life.
  • Happiness
  • Feeling of uniqueness, and specialness

I usually experience the above listed thrills from a variety of activities like:- reading books, magazines, and other like materials; watching movies, news, and documentaries; browsing the internet, and personal interaction with interesting and intelligent minds; toying with computers and electronic gadgets, playing electronic games, and listening to worship instrumentals and jazz music.

These are important activities in my life.  Never underestimate the impact of intangible inner personal pleasures even if there are no accompanying tangible and visible results.  This is because the energy and sense of well-being derived from one area of activity (even when there are no physical results) can drive efforts and results in other areas.

As someone commented on my blog, “…that FEELING AWESOME will do more for us than any To-Do list on the planet!

Positive impact on others

  • I’m thrilled each time any individual experiences positive results – such as improved business productivity, or more personal success – as a result (particularly) of my personal teaching and counselling.
  • The smile, happiness, shock, surprise (and any other positive expressions and experiences) that I see on someone’s face when I give them a material gift.
  • Quality attention from people to my teachings, writings, and information products.
  • Healing and miraculous answers for others as a result of my prayers.

The things I listed in the two categories above lie at the core of my personal success indices.  It doesn’t matter what else happens, if I do not experience any of these intangible and tangible results, I feel unfulfilled.

So what do you want?  what are the tangible and intangible results that you desire to see in your life from your various efforts?  What are your personal success indices?

 

#2. Where Are You Already Getting Desired Results?
Identify current productivity areas

 

A common mistake people make is to focus on what’s not working in their lives.  This is a negative focus and is not effective at all.  If you want to boost your personal productivity, you must learn to overcome this negative pull and focus rather on areas where you are already getting desired results.

There are areas of your life where you already have one or more of your desired results.  What are they?

Recently, for instance, I experienced one of my positive success indices – a young man that I’d known since he was 16 just bought a very expensive laptop PC for me.  He has experienced tremendous business growth as a result of my personal spiritual counselling and coaching.  About a year ago, this young man was just starting out in business and had no resources at all except his raw talents, and dreams.  Today his business transactions has moved into the realm of millions in just a little over a year!

That’s thrilling!

Of course, there are several areas of my life where I don’t see any of my desired results in spite of all my efforts, yet as in the instance I cited above, there are others where I’m already getting desired results.

Listen, I don’t think there’s anyone on the face of this planet who is experiencing zero productivity in all areas of their lives.  The problem is that people tend to be negative in their orientation and so it’s easier to see what’s not working.  If you want to boost your productivity, you must identify your current productivity areas where you are already getting desired results.

#3. What Are You Already Doing Well?
Identify past and present effective actions

 

Of course, all activities do not create the desired results.
Some, however do.

Which of your actions are already producing the kind of results that you desire to see in your life?

In reflecting over the experience I shared above, I kept thinking, “What specific actions of mine could possibly have been responsible for that result?” In the end, I could think of at least five:

  1. I’ve had several multi-houred counselling and discussion sessions with him.
  2. During those sessions, I gained a deep understanding of his dreams, aspirations, passions, and specific talents.
  3. I also discerned his potentials clearly and the heights he could possibly reach with those abilities.
  4. After a thorough analysis of all these about a year ago, I understood his specific challenges and knew the most critical resource he needed to take off in his business.
  5. I had that stuff at home at the time and gave it to him as a gift with this word, “the only way I want you to say thank-you is to succeed.”

In my case, this sequence of 5 actions shows represents what I refer to as ‘effective actions’.

The effort you make to identify your past and present effective actions is a very rewarding exercise because it forces you to think in terms of what you want and what is working, rather than in terms of all the things that are not working in your life.  In order to boost your productivity, you really need to carry out this exercise – find out what you are already doing well.

#4. Do More of What You Are Already Doing Well 
Improve the quality and volume of your effective actions

 

The moment I outlined the specific actions that I could connect with the impact I had on my young friend, I realized that I’d probably stumbled upon another ‘working formula.’ By the way, I have accumulated several of these over the years 🙂 .

I knew that in order to multiply the kind of results I had with this young man, I needed to focus on improving the quality and volume of the very set of actions that produced those results.

So, rather than focus on my problems and all the things that aren’t working out as I would want, I identified the ones that were already working, understood why they were working, and developed strategies and plans to improve the quality and volume of effective actions.  That’s the way to boost your productivity!  I call it the ‘champion’s focus’ or the ‘winning focus’.

When you follow these steps, you’ll be able to:

  • Experience a greater sense of fulfillment, relevance, and personal success.
  • Experience greater motivation to achieve more.
  • Leverage success from more to less successful areas.

Ultimately, when you follow these four simple and practical steps, you’ll actually be able to boost your productivity and expand your sphere of personal success.

How To Overcome Unpleasant Experiences

What’s the most undesirable and unpleasant experience of your life right now?

Is it mounting debts that’s threatening to bury you in a nervous breakdown?
Is it the death of a loved one?
Is it a chronic illness?
Is it a painful divorce?
Or is it a sense of stagnation in your life as a whole?

I wrote this post out of a firm conviction that you can overcome any unpleasant experiences in your life. In this post, I’ll offer simple and practical ways to overcome unpleasant experiences, rejoice in difficult times, and achieve your dreams in spite of temporary setbacks.

Life is full of troubles, and none of us is smart enough to completely avoid the unpleasant experiences of life. Every now and then, you’ll run into one unpleasant experience or the other, often unexpectedly. I personally have had more than my own share of unpleasant experiences, from the torturing betrayal of trust, to a near fatal car accident; from a chronic and painful illness, to a persistent sense of stagnation in life and business. Severally, I’ve come to the point where I felt like quitting.

And that is the greatest temptation in unpleasant experiences – that inner pressure to abandon your dreams. I understand that feeling, and I know how tough it can be to not yield to it. But, I also understand that the point at which you seriously want to quit usually coincides with the point of breakthrough! Your miracle, victory, or success, is actually closest at the point you want to give up.

Are you feeling like abandoning your dreams, projects, and enterprise at this time? My challenge to you is 2-fold:

#1. Resolve to put in your best efforts for another 12 months!

The mental shift to put in your best efforts for another 12 months will,

  • Free you from that 21st century demon called ‘haste.’
  • Give you a long-term perspective of your situation and challenges.
  • Ultimately enable you remain in position for the inevitable favorable turn in the tides which will carry you to new and greater heights.

Please, don’t be under any illusions with regards to the pressure to quit; it’s a very capricious devil that will resort to any rationalizations in order to distract you or force you into a cowardly retreat. Some of the most common of these rationalizations include:

“You are not cut out for this”
“You don’t have the talent for this.”
“People will laugh at you if you fail.”
“You are not in the right business, or profession.”
“The situation is hopeless.”

The real challenge is that all of these suggestions are quite logical and sensible. Yet, don’t forget that illusions normally masquerade as realities. The suggestions that attempt to pressure you to quit are so deceptively real as to be hard to ignore. Yet, and here’s my point based on personal experiences and years of pastoral counseling, the pressure to quit heightens as you get closer to victory and breakthrough.

This is why I advise you to put in your best efforts for another 12 months.

Don’t shut down that blog yet.
Don’t quit that enterprise yet.
Don’t give up your expectations for a miracle yet.
Don’t run out of your country yet.
Don’t abandon that dream yet.

Something different and positive is about to break forth upon you, and it will unfold sooner than you expected. New realities will soon emerge that will flood your soul with pleasure and release new and desirable experiences for you.

In the meantime, shift your mental gear into a firm resolve to hold on for another 12 months. Then put in your best efforts into what you are doing and resolve to do so for at least another 12 months, regardless of your results.

#2. Chose to smile, not to sulk

Any of us can feel great and give thanks to God in times when everything is proceeding according to expectations. But it is even more important to give thanks when everything appears to be going against us.

It is a truly great man or woman who can choose to smile and maintain a positive attitude (of gratitude, and thanksgiving to God) in the midst of disappointments, failures, and unpleasant experiences. What you do amidst unpleasant experiences, the way you handle your adversities, has a tremendous impact on how things eventually turn out for you.

During unpleasant experiences, don’t shrink back. Don’t get bitter. Do not lose your enthusiasm. Do not allow the unpleasant experiences bury you. Don’t be scared away from your dreams. Put a smile on your face and resolve to press forward till the very end. It is this kind of positive attitude that produces great faith, great strength, and greatness in you.

Please, note that you don’t have to ‘feel’ like smiling or rejoicing before you do so. You don’t have to ‘feel’ grateful before you can give thanks or express gratitude. It’s not a feeling, it’s a choice. It’s not an emotion, it’s an act of your will. You choose, and resolve to smile, to express gratitude, regardless of how you feel.

From a black coal to a priceless diamond

The only difference between a piece of black coal and a priceless diamond is the amount of pressure that it has endured. When you resolve to put in your best efforts, and smile in the midst of the unpleasant experiences of life, it’s like going from a piece of coal to a priceless diamond.

Those unpleasant experiences are going to give way to new growth, new potential, new talent, new friendship, new opportunities, new vision.

Unpleasant experiences are the tests and sieves that life uses to separate the weak from the strong, in order to decide who will go forward to the next level. This is why it’s been said that quitters never win, and winners never quit.

Resolve to put in your best efforts for at least another 12 months, put a smile on your face and begin to express unwavering gratitude to God for present blessings.

If you choose to do these amidst your unpleasant experiences, and regardless of how you feel, you’ll begin to experience more strength and victory in your life.

 

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How To Experience More Personal Success

A dear friend of mine asked me a question recently, “Pastor WD, what is it about you that you enjoy the most?” It was a beautiful question…so beautiful. I reflected on it for a while because I don’t like to jump to answers, even when I think I know. However, unknown to her, I’d been reflecting on the answer to that question all week!

My answer to her was simple and straightforward, “I love and enjoy the fact that I think my own thoughts, reach my own conclusions, and don’t care about other people’s opinion of me.” I decided to not let others do my thinking for me at the age of 20. I believe that was when life began for me. You see, I don’t think you are free until you can choose what to believe and discard whatever does not resonate with your spirit.

Life’s greatest gift to you is the right to take possession of your own mind and think your own thoughts. It’s up to you to accept that gift and enjoy it.

Success

One thing I’ve pondered on for as long as I can remember, is the concept of success, and particularly, personal success. What does it really mean to be successful?

I don’t think it’s possible to experience enduring personal success if you don’t know what the term means. I also believe that it is up to you to determine, or discover, what success means to you personally.

If you allow others to define success for you, you’ll forever be pursuing an elusive ideal. Success becomes a very elusive and unattainable experience when you let others define it for you.

I wrote this post to guide you on how to experience more personal success, and below are 4 of my best ideas on the matter.

Continue reading “How To Experience More Personal Success”

How To Manifest More of What You Want In Life

How can I manifest more of what I want in my life?

Most of the mails that I’ve received in the last couple of weeks from readers of this blog, and I received quite a lot, have bothered on the issue of “How do I manifest more of what I want in my life?” These mails have come in from readers with diverse religious and philosophical backgrounds – Christians, New Age, Buddhism, and others.

I love the fact that though I’m a Christian Pastor and often present issues from a Christian’s perspective, a lot of my readers are actually non-Christians (at least in the traditional sense).

What’s important, though, is the fact that people who come to this site are searching for effective solutions to their daily challenges. I did not author this blog to convert anyone to Christianity. My aim rather is to inspire you, Christian or non-Christian, to discover yourself! As my site tagline reads, this blog promises ‘self discovery for open hearts.’

In this article, I want to show you how to manifest more of what you want in your life.

The quest

“…’Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves and you have not noticed’…” ~ Isaiah 58:3a

This is a common question particularly among religious minds. I often hear it in the following form, “I prayed, but God didn’t answer; why?” “Pastor, I sowed my seeds (ie gave money to God), yet no harvest (promised financial increase) came; why?”

I regularly receive complaints such as, “I’ve done everything the pundits have prescribed, yet I don’t see the promised results; why?”

What most people who seek to manifest more of what they want in life have missed is the point that success does not respond to ‘methods’, it responds more to ‘heart’.

Continue reading “How To Manifest More of What You Want In Life”

My Twitter experience

Twitter power

Here’s Jill Rapley’s opening comments in the interview I gave on her blog, Mindset For Living:

“I recently met Pastor WD Favour when he began to follow me on twitter. (If you are not on twitter, you are missing out on meeting some very cool people). Pastor Favour really caught my attention when he wrote his post “The Cure For Poverty”, where he states that poverty is not about money but rather it is spiritual.”

I live in Nigeria, Jill lives in Texas, and we’ve not yet met in person, yet we are working together to spread the message of hope through our blogs around the internet. Our encounter began through Twitter, then spread to e-mail, and Jill has actually donated some money to some projects that I’m running here in Nigeria (just like others that I’ve met on Twitter).

As I shared in 9 Very Inspiring Benefits of Blogging , several tremendous opportunities have opened up to me as a result of my active engagement in blogging and participation in online social networks; the internet is a marvelous media for spreading hope and inspiration!

Truly, online social media is alive, well, and flourishing! In fact, these are still early days. The way I see it, the social media will impact the world, bringing people, businesses, and opportunities together in ways that no one can ever foresee today.

Qwitting

Yet, in an imperfect world, nothing can be absolutely rosy, thanks to selfish, greedy, and downright evil activities. In fact, in spite of the power and potential benefits of social media like Twitter, lots of people are actually quitting – it’s called ‘qwitting’ in Twitter lingo!

Some of my friends have already dropped out from Twitter 🙁 , and for very good reasons IMO (In My Opinion; another chat lingo). They came to a cross-roads and decided that they would not continue with Twitter for similar (or exactly identical) reasons that almost made me quit too.

Here are some of those reasons:

#1. Pseudo Twitter expertise

Everyone who knows how to type on a computer keyboard, log on to the internet, and who can hitch up a web page, can now claim to be a twitter expert and spam the twitterville with links to pages containing his or her so-called expert counsel. A lot of these pathetic experts have even less number of followers than those they are trying to lecture…This is very disgusting to thinking minds.

#2. Link Spamming

A lot of people who see Twitter as a place to build friendships, relationships, communities and so on are irritated when they find out that it’s being used rather for marketing and plain spamming purposes. Thousands of people and business groups are merely pumping out thousands of links daily with little or no value to people. This too is irritating to anyone who cares about the well being of people.

#3. Number game

Twitter is rapidly becoming a number game; in other words, a matter of how many people you have following you. A dear friend of mine referred to it as a ‘popularity contest’. Those with the personal relationship paradigm on twitter, cannot imagine how anyone can sincerely build a meaningful relationship with tens of thousands of people.

#4. Insufficient character allowance..

A lot of those who’ve left complained that 140 characters is insufficient for building quality relationships and connections.

There are even more reasons, depending on who you meet.

Continue reading “My Twitter experience”

How much are you really worth?

My mission in authoring this blog is to inspire you to discover yourself and create your own personal success. In this particularly article, I want to motivate you to free your consciousness from the trappings of materialism and realize your true worth. At the end of the day, it’s all about self discovery.

Interesting observation

In recent months, there’s been a spate of kidnappings and demands for ransom here in Nigeria. This situation is primarily due to the frustrations of the people in the Niger Delta region of our country. They feel that the benefits they get from the Federal Government and Oil Companies are not worth the degradation of their environment. Consequently, in other to express this frustration and anger, they formed militant groups who began to kidnap foreign nationals working in those regions.

Unfortunately, as the government clamped down on the militants, the spate of kidnappings escalated into other areas. These militants, and other crooks taking a cue from them, began to carry out kidnappings for purely monetary motivations. They would kidnap someone (usually a person with high and wealthy connections) then demand that the family of such individuals pay a ransom to have them back. My hope is that this sordid state of affairs will soon come to an end. I also pray to God daily that He will rescue innocent men and women in this nation from the snares of evil people.

Nevertheless, in the course of these kidnapping activities, I observed that the amount of money demanded by the kidnappers was normally a function of their estimate of the worth of the person held captive visavis the financial capacity of the redeemer; in other words, how much the redeemer is able and willing to pay to recover the person. On this basis, kidnappers have demanded as high as $400000 and as low as $8000.

So a ransom of say, $400000, represents the monetary value of a captive from the perspective of his kidnappers. In this sense, the value of the individual becomes a function of the cost of his or her redemption.

Yet, can a person’s worth be calculated in terms of money? Is it possible to evaluate the value of an individual on the basis of financial and material considerations?

Well, I happen not to think so.

Human beings are yet to realize the worth of human beings

When Jesus asked the questions,

“…what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Mark 8:36,37

He underscored the invaluable worth of the human being. In other words, if it were possible to place all the wealth and resources of this entire universe on a scale in comparison to you, your intrinsic worth will outweigh them all!

Continue reading “How much are you really worth?”

Self Discovery

So far, we’ve been examining various aspects of the self discovery process. Below are aspects we’ve already covered:

#1. Become aware of your vital connection to God.
#2. Acknowledge the infiniteness of the varieties of divinity.
#3. Understand that you are a unique variety of divinity.
#4. Discern your message.
#5. Capture your passion
#6. Identify your abilities.

There are other aspects of the process, but I want to deal with them in a second edition of this series. For now let me put down some of my concluding thoughts on the present edition.

The entire series is appropriately titled ‘How To Discover Yourself and Achieve Personal Success’ because, you must discover yourself if you want to enjoy personal success, influence, and lasting greatness. In my opinion, self discovery is probably the most powerful tool for a life of impact.

Majority of people passing through this planet are completely estranged from their true selves, living as inferior clones of others! This is pathetic. Don’t let it happen to you!

Life actually begins for you the day you discover yourself. Until then, you are merely existing. Extraordinary men and women are individuals who have come to terms with their true selves and are translating that awareness into tangible and intangible benefits to the rest of humanity.

Your true self is your personal key to success, and impact. Your true self is hidden in you. He or she is not always obvious! This is why I use the word ‘discovery’…this is why I say, discover yourself.

Continue reading “Self Discovery”

Yes, you have a mission!

Last week I wrote a post ‘9 Very Inspiring Benefits of Blogging‘ which has already had over 1000 page-views. That article captured my personal reflections on the impact of my blogging so far on my own life and that of others. I wrote about the challenges that my results have brought to me, particularly, the inspiration to provide better services to my readers.

As I wrote in that article, I recently went through all of the messages in my email and social network inboxes in order to review my interactions with readers over the past 7 months; my intention was to locate what my readers wanted to know the most from me. I observed a trend, particularly from the point that I wrote The Cure For Poverty and gave the blog interview at Mindset For Living. Most of the questions seemed to revolve around issues related to “how did you go from being a poor Nigerian village boy, to authoring a widely read blog, gaining so much spiritual, pastoral, and leadership influence online and offline, and getting invitations to international events?”

Consequently, I decided to do a series of posts offering more practical counsel on how to discover yourself and achieve your own personal success. I also indicated that I’m working with two dear friends from Pittsburgh and Illinois to create ‘Discover Yourself’ and ‘Personal Success’ tele-seminars which I intend to offer FREE on this site.

I’m firmly committed towards fulfilling these promises as we head into the month of April.
Let me begin by sharing a few of my thoughts on the concept of self-discovery…

Discover yourself: What’s it all about?

Some have described life as a journey; that it’s not a destination but rather an ever unfolding process. In my opinion, however, life is much more than a journey, and it’s also more than a destination: Life is a mission, that is to say, a journey with a purpose. I also believe that you cannot complete that mission if you are disconnected from your origin, or your source, because the blueprint for that mission, as well as the power to accomplish it, are contained within your source.

Whether you are consciously aware of this or not, you are not a creature of chance, neither are you an accident of nature. You were deliberately designed to fulfill a definite mission in time, space, and ultimately, in eternity. Yes, you have a mission!

Interestingly too, you came into time and space with a sense (‘knowing’, or ‘perception’) of your mission and your origin built into you. I know that most people have no clues as to what these are, yet that sense, or ‘knowing’ is there; it’s embedded or programmed into you. So, you don’t determine, or define this mission, you discover it.

Relative to this sense of mission, or destiny, is the quest for happiness, which is just a search for personal identity. Yes, happiness is your search for your origin, for your identity, for who you are, and for why you are. This is why I believe that the happiest people on earth are those who have found the source of their being, and their mission for being; they are united with their source and are pursuing their mission.

So, your quest for happiness, and your search for personal identity, are inextricably linked; you can’t achieve the one without the other. The quest for happiness and fulfillment was built into you from the onset in order to lead you to your sense of origin, mission, and destiny.

The moment you reconnect with this sense, and recognize your mission, you automatically trigger off the passion or energy to pursue and achieve it. It is impossible to silence the voice of destiny once it’s awakened by knowledge.

Now, this whole experience of reconnecting with your sense of mission and origin, of recognizing your destiny, and awakening the voice of destiny, is what I refer to as self-discovery.

You would have observed that I always refer to ‘mission’ constantly in connection with ‘origin’. This is deliberate because, as I wrote in Discover Your Personal Brand , your identity is the same as your mission. In order words, ‘who you are’ is one and the same with ‘why you are’; the two can never be separated! It is clear then that you don’t determine or define yourself, you discover yourself.

Of course, self-discovery entails a whole lot more than what I’ve just written in this paragraph. Nevertheless what you have here is a good handle on the subject.

Discover yourself: It leads to personal success

Self-discovery is a deeply spiritual experience. It’s an awakening, a return to your origin, to your source; it’s a return to your Maker. Self-discovery is coming back home, a realization of who you are; it’s a re-union with your Creator. I often refer to it as a re-birth.

On the other hand, personal success is a subjective experience, the only proof of which is a deep and abiding inner joy and happiness. There is no other proof of personal success. In this sense, no man can tell you whether you are successful or not; you are your own judge on the matter. If you need another person to tell you whether or not you’ve been successful, then that success is hollow and empty. True personal success is a subjective experience that can only be validated by a deep and abiding inner joy and happiness within you.

And I want you to know that personal success is connected to self-discovery. One cannot experience personal success without an intimate and conscious acquaintance with one’s true self and mission. This is why I’ve always written and taught that self-discovery is the foundation of personal success, fulfillment, and relevance. So, until you discover yourself, you really cannot experience genuine personal success

Discover yourself: It is the basis for self-expression

Self-discovery is a sort of mystic journey into the core and epicenter of your being. This journey is usually attended by the following discoveries:

  • Your core beliefs
  • Your abiding passion
  • What you are very good at
  • Your original, unique, and divine design

These attendant discoveries then accelerate the self-discovery process itself, as well as empower the acceptance, embrace, and expression of self. Obviously, self-expression – which is the key to relevance and impact – is difficult without self-discovery.

Courage

Let me point out here that self-discovery does not automatically lead to self-acceptance and self-embrace. In fact, the bridge between self-discovery, self-acceptance, and self-expression, is courage. That is to say that when you discover yourself, you need the courage to embrace this discovery and express it fully.

In other words, even when you discover yourself, you still need the courage to translate that discovery into a life of impact and relevance by embracing and expressing yourself.

This month’s focus

My emphasis in the month of April will be on the theme ‘Discover yourself’ and ‘Personal success’. These are already the main emphasis of this site, however, as I wrote earlier, I will be offering a series of posts in the month of April dealing with more practical counsel on how to discover yourself and achieve your own personal success.

I will also be offering FREE tele-seminars on ‘Discover Yourself’ and ‘Personal Success’ on this site. More information will be available on this in the coming days.

I invite you to be a part of this thrilling journey of enlightenment and awareness of who and why you are. Beginning from tomorrow, the very first day of April, we’ll begin to explore the subject of ‘How to discover yourself and achieve your own personal success’.

Don’t miss a thing!!!

 

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How to think for yourself

People who think for themselves are a rarity on this planet. This is because our planet has become hijacked by fearful and insecure personalities who are threatened by any form of free thinking and independent individual expressions. In fact, so entrenched is this condition of things that even individuals who started off as proponents of freedom of thought and expression sadly degenerated into oppressors of independent thinking.

Martin Luther, for instance, is famous for his efforts to protect each person’s right to act only in ways that are congruent with his or her conscience. Yet, he too succumbed to fear and insecurity; religious and political power corrupted him. At first, he opposed coercing religious dissidents, but later encouraged his political friends to execute by burning those who held opposing religious positions. Unfortunately, human history is littered with such testimonies of fear, insecurity, and intolerance.

Because of my firm belief that human peace and progress will be enhanced the more people like you take hold of their own minds and think for themselves without fear, I hope to inspire you through this post to think for yourself.

A very empowering and energizing experience…

I like to think for myself. In other words, I do not swallow any theories, principles, expert opinions, ideas, ideologies, concepts, teachings, doctrines, and so on, hook, line and sinker. I take time to examine each piece by piece over time, and then grow into an awareness of my own personal convictions.

During this period – while I’m interacting with any concept – I maintain a very open mind on the subject as I soak into my consciousness all that’s available to me on it, letting all the thought-streams flow through my heart and consciousness. I’ll eventually lock-in what resonates with me and let others just keep streaming by.

I do not even dogmatically or emotionally attach myself strongly to any of the personal convictions that I become aware of. I maintain a very open-mind connection that allows these convictions to automatically drop off once I’ve evolved into a new level of awareness.

This is very empowering and energizing for me. It’s hard to describe the thrill of freedom that you experience as you begin to think for yourself. I can only tell you that it’s a very empowering and energizing experience; its a great place to be in.

Not too convenient though…

But I can assure you that it’s not a very convenient place to be in. My open minded attitude and approach to doctrinal and religious issues has often, and continues to be misunderstood by my more conservative brethren who would rather prefer that I use my position and opportunities to bind others to narrow-minded and poorly conceived religious views.

Well, I pray I never do that.

Though I encourage you to take hold of your own mind, and think for yourself, because its your right and it’s up to you to exercise it, I’m not in any way suggesting that this is an easy or convenient path. It isn’t, particularly if you’ve been used to swallowing ready-made, officially processed thoughts and conclusions, and if you are needy of human acceptance and affection.

But if you are seriously determined to think for yourself, here are my suggestions.

5 ways to think for yourself

#1. Spend time alone with yourself

To think for yourself demands that you painstakingly cultivate and develop your own inner awareness and consciousness – through personal meditation and solitude. During this periods, think about your own answers to the questions of life. Forget about the answers and solutions that you’ve swallowed unquestioningly and try to obtain your own answers – those that resonate with you.

#2. Put a question mark on all conclusions

Deliberately treat all conclusions with suspicion and learn to enjoy and feel at home with contradictions. That way you can relish the various paradoxes of reality without the need to resolve them. Oh, how I love contradictions!!! I literaly thrive in them! As a matter of fact, I’m suspicious of all conclusions…I just can’t help it. 🙁

In 1994, as an undergraduate of Electronic Engineering at the University of Nigeria, I put question marks on all the biblical doctrines that I’d been taught from childhood. This was no easy feat, considering the fact that I started reading the bible in my native language at the age of 5 and started public preaching at the age of 6! The moment I did that, however, I experienced an opening of my mind that is still difficult to describe. I believe that was when I acquired the capacity to think for myself – a gift I’m so grateful for today.

Try this and see what happens. 🙂

#3. Challenge your own conclusions

Continuously challenge your personal assumptions and beliefs to see if they can withstand the evolution of your inner self.

Sharon, my wife, and I have a game that we play regularly. First of all, one person states his or her beliefs, conclusions, and convictions in certain areas, using the bible as the foundation. The other person will then try to argue against that position using arguments from the bible, logic, and natural laws and principles. At the end of the day, our perspectives and perceptions are broadened and enriched through this process.

#4. Engage in conversations with everyone… 🙂

Particularly those who don’t agree with you or share your views. They have their reasons and those reasons can help strengthen or modify your own perspectives.

This is an integral aspect of my strategy for challenging my own conclusions; I constantly subject them to discussions with those who are not in agreement with my positions. I listen to their points and reasoning. Sometimes, I come out strengthened in my own position; at other times, I modify or completely abandon my position to accommodate new perspectives.

Examine and observe the perspectives that are diametrically opposed to your most cherished views. Not necessarily to change or modify them, but with the higher aim of learning, growing, and broadening your awareness of reality. Remember, reality is multi-dimensional.

If you converse only with those that agree with and share your pet views, you’ll fall prey to what I call ‘ideological in-breeding’. This weakens your perspectives and tends to narrow-mindedness and bigotry.

Of course, this strategy demands an open mind and lots of courage.

#5. Don’t jump to conclusions.

Allow your convictions to gradually dawn on you.

Final thoughts…

An open mind on all subjects is one of the greatest riches of life. I believe it’s a virtue you should diligently cultivate. Don’t be afraid of change, it’s a constant in the equation of life. In fact, your capacity to change is a true measure of your ability to remain relevant through the passing of time. A closed mind will impede your capacity to think for yourself thereby hinder your spiritual and intellectual evolution.

Take hold of your mind today and think for yourself.

How to create wealth

There’s a mindset that locks people into lack inspite of their efforts to create wealth; that is the attitude that expects something for nothing.

If your attitude is to always expect something for nothing, there’s really no difference between you and a common beggar.

A close relative of this attitude is the mentality that measures wealth and success solely in monetary terms: to measure wealth and success solely in terms of cash is to be a very poor person and live a very miserable and frustrated life.

People who view wealth and success as matters of bank notes and material acquisitions tend to become penny-wise and pound-foolish. For instance:

  • They’ll most likely sacrifice valuable relationships because of money.
  • They’ll probably sacrifice integrity and a good name because of money.
  • They may betray trust because of money.
  • They may sacrifice quality because of money.
  • They may sacrifice truth because of cash.

Components of genuine wealth

In reality, wealth is a long-term reward for serving the greatest number of people; it is not measured strictly in cash but in:

  • The goodwill of your fellow human beings; networks of useful, helpful, supportive, and loyal relationships.
  • A good and dependable name.
  • The deep abiding inner joy, happiness, and fulfillment that comes from service.
  • The power and motivation that comes from a sense of relevance, knowing that you have something that your world needs.
  • Of course, monetary and material abundance too. 🙂

Some productivity questions

If you want to achieve genuine success and wealth, think and operate in terms of value creation and distribution – by finding your own personal answers to these productivity questions.

  1. What value have you created for the benefit of your fellow human beings?
  2. Are you a contributor (creator) of resources, or a consumer?
  3. Of what use are you to your nation, community, church, neighborhood, school, and place of work? What are your contributions there?
  4. How many people have you put smiles on their faces with your talents and abilities?
  5. How many people’s profits have you increased with your services?
  6. How many people’s quality of life have you enhanced with your skills and services?

Until you shift your focus from money and start thinking in terms of value creation and distribution, you will live a very miserable and frustrated life.

More productivity questions

  1. What can you do?
  2. What can you contribute?
  3. How many people are benefiting from your substance?
  4. What are you doing daily to improve the quality of your performance?
  5. What are you doing daily to reach a wider group of people with your substance – products and services?

These are productivity questions; they are wealth creation questions.

Until you genuinely create wealth for others by adding more value to their lives, you have no right to expect wealth for yourself.

Most wealthy people today never set out to make money. They discovered something that they were genuinely interested in and good at. Then they sought and found ways to exploit those things for the greater good of others. Money was just a by-product of their efforts.

If you shift your focus from money to value creation and services, you’ll evolve into a truly wealthy person.

My contributions…

I continually ask myself, “What are my substances, values, contributions, and so on? What can I offer to my world for the greater benefit of humanity?” Below are the values and contributions that I strive daily to invest into the lives of others.

  1. The inspiration to discover yourself and courageously express yourself to God’s glory and the benefit of mankind.
  2. Hope for a better tomorrow.
  3. Wisdom to live a struggle-free and suffering-free life.
  4. An enhanced capacity to believe and receive more miracles from God.

I strive to make these contributions through:

  1. Word of mouth: Speaking, teaching, preaching, personal counseling, even telephone conversations.
  2. Inspirational products: audio and video cds, magazines, books, and booklets.
  3. Online resources: blog posts and articles, podcasts.
  4. Events and meetings: Metamorphosis (weekly teaching seminar at the Success Academy Nigeria), Ultimate Experience (Weekly worship service of the Citizens Family Nigeria), Leadership Classes and Seminars.
  5. Media outreaches: Radio and Television broadcasts.

Some of my distribution formats or channels allow me to make my contributions one on one,that is to one person at a time- such as during personal counseling. Others allow me to make it to a group of people per time, such as during events and radio broadcasts. But others allow me to make those contributions to one person, groups, and diverse audiences repeatedly because they are now in permanent forms – such as my blog posts, audio and video cds, books, magazines, and so on.

In the end, I get to make my contributions to my fellow human beings to God’s glory, using what He’s already deposited in me. This is why I can never be poor, but can only get wealthier.

If I may ask you again, what are your contributions?

 

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9 Very Inspiring Benefits of Blogging

I’ve been blogging now for just about 7 months, but am already enjoying several benefits. Here are is a brief list of 9 very inspiring benefits I’ve derived so far from blogging:

Expanded opportunities for service and influence

#1. I’ve had the privilege of reaching and serving tens of thousands of readers from over 70 countries (according to my Google Analytics stats)

#2. I’ve given a blog interview that drew lots of attention to my work in Nigeria, as well as to this site.

#3. I’ve received numerous requests to have my articles re-published on other blogs.

Valuable friendships

#4. I’ve made hundreds of friends at Facebook, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Blog Catalog… and counting.

#5. I’ve met several lovely men and women with whom I’m now collaborating to create more value for others online and offline.

More money

#6. I’ve received cash donations (yes, money! 🙂 ) from readers in support of my work.

International exposure

#7. I’m getting ready now to fly to the USA to be the featured Guest Speaker at the 4 plenary sessions of the ‘Woman Discover Yourself ’09’ Conference in Pittsburgh,’ a direct result of a series or articles I wrote on the subject woman empowerment.

#8. I’m also preparing to preach at a church in Pittsburgh, PA – a direct result of the Conference invitation above.

#9. I’ve received invitation to a radio talk-show in far away New York (an interesting fact considering that I live and work in Nigeria and have never traveled to the USA!) The internet and online social networks are truly phenomenal connectors.

More amazing and very humbling experiences

It is so inspiring, motivating, and energizing to observe:

  • How the internet has continued to evolve into a phenomenal platform that enables the creation and distribution of more and better quality services.
  • How online social networks have made the world a truly global village. I work in Nigeria, but on a normal day, I get people from Sydney, New York, UK, Pittsburgh, Spain, and Montreal, making practical realtime input into my work. I’ve gotten blog ideas from places like Melbourne, Australia, and Montreal, Canada, as well as editorial suggestions from Atlanta!
  • It’s humbling to open my email, FB, SU, and Twitter inboxes and realize that hundreds of people now look up to me for mentorship, guidance, and spiritual leadership; and I’ve not met even one of them face to face!
  • I’m practically reaching more people through my blog than a combination of both my radio and offline pastoral ministry!

The more I ponder on these incredible experiences, the greater the awareness that the times offer us such tremendous opportunities for service like no other time in human history.

Greater motivation for higher quality value creation

Initially, as my blog traffic soared past the 1000 pageviews per day mark, it was thrilling to know that all I had to do was just click ‘publish’ and thousands will be able to read what I’d written. Now, however, it’s humbling and challenging as I ask myself, “How am I using this opportunity?”

Because of it’s ease of use and low entry barrier for those who are tech and web savvy, the internet is subject to so much abuse. Not necessarily just by the despicable acts of internet crooks who distribute pornographic content and indulge in paedophile, but also from those who exploit the online platform solely for selfish purposes.

Yet, as much as I’m concerned about these abuses, my greater concern is that those who have genuine content and value to give, might not be doing all that we could and should to elevate the quality, quantity and spread of our values.

In the light of these considerations, I recently decided to go through all of the messages in my email and social network inboxes in order to review my interactions with readers over the past 7 months; my intention was to locate what my readers want to know the most from me. What I discovered was fascinating!

Actually, I noticed a pattern; particularly from the point that I wrote The Cure For Poverty and gave the blog interview at Mindset For Living. Most of the questions seemed to revolve around issues related to “how did you go from a poor Nigerian village boy, to authoring a widely read blog, gaining so much spiritual, pastoral, and leadership influence online an offline, and getting invitations to international events?”

These are no easy questions; but I can’t avoid them if I want to help more people grow and achieve their own personal successes. This is why I’ve decided to expand and intensify my spiritual research into the mysteries of life and success both from my personal experiences and exposures, and those of others. I intend to do a series of posts on this site that are aimed at enhancing your personal process of self-discovery as well as showing you how to apply the principles of self-discovery towards achieving greater personal success.

I’m also working with two dear friends from Pittsburgh and Illinois to create a ‘Discover Yourself’ and ‘Personal Success’ teleseminar which I intend to offer for free to you.

In order to be more relevant to you and provide more pragmatic, effective, as well as deeply spiritual answers to your life quests, I’m motivated to push myself harder beyond all limits to acquire the solutions that you need.

Have a gorgeous weekend!

As you move into this weekend, however, I’d like you to settle down with some of my already published thoughts on the subject of self-discovery and personal success. Below are some of my favorite writings so far (and as also indicated by my blog stats) on how to discover yourself and achieve greater personal success.

Personal Branding in 17 Words.
Your personal answer to the question, “Who are you?” is very critical to your success, distinction, and influence in life. Not many people are able to answer this question in any generation. In fact, most people never even get to ask the question of themselves! This particular post – the most popular on this site – will inspire you to reduce your life mission to just less than 17 words! Be sure to read the second part of the series.

The Core of Your Expertise.
This is the second most popular post on this site and it’s not surprising as it takes a complex subject – how to discover yourself – and reduces it to a few simple steps. It is the first in a 3-part series or articles that includes the following:
Find and Pursue Your Own Success
Your Personal Success Formula

You can also visit my Home Page to see a feature of 12 of the most read and inspiring articles on this site. I wish you a gorgeous and restful weekend. God bless you.

Why bad things happen to good people…

One of the toughest questions I’ve ever been asked as a Pastor during seminars, conferences, and personal counseling is this, “Why do bad things happen to good people…and why do good things happen to bad people?” 🙂

Well, I have four answers to that question:

First of all, there are no good or bad people…there are only right and wrong actions.

The question, “Why do bad things happen to good people, and why do good things happen to bad people?” is basically flawed because it’s based on a wrong premise – the assumption that there are good and bad people. In reality, there are no good or bad people, there are only right and wrong actions (I like to include thoughts as actions because they have consequences).

Based on some narrow dogmatic interpretations of religious writings, you and others of your kind may label people as good or bad. Well, that doesn’t make them so. This is why the Creator of this Universe doesn’t seek any individual’s opinion before giving out favors or curses to inhabitants of our planet.

I know a lot of people might not like this answer because we all like to feed our egos and claim that we are good; we also like to point our fingers at the other fellow and say that that he or she is bad. Yet, in reality, there are no good or bad people, there are only right and wrong actions.

This understanding is basic to unraveling the riddle of why bad things happen to good people and vice versa. Before you throw your flames at me for my assertion, read what Jesus Himself said when someone called Him, “Good Master…”

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good – except God alone.” ~ Luke 18:19

One reason I do not subscribe to organized religions (I referred to them as ‘religious uniformities’ somewhere) is because they reinforce the base human instinct of branding those outside our circle of belief as evil.

Once upon a time, I was called a devil and labeled a false prophet by the Christian denomination to which I belonged, simply because I dared to think for myself and pursue my personal convictions. It was then that I came face to face with the wickedness and hostility inherent in organized religion.

Organized religion has for centuries been a tool for the oppression, suppression, and subjugation of the free will of man. Centuries of murders, wars, treachery, and betrayals, have borne out the fact that organized religions are bastions of ignorance and intolerance used to suppress free thought and retard human progress and evolution. One of it’s chief enterprises is the branding and labeling of individuals and groups of people as good or evil based on some silly and foolish fantasies and superstitions.

When any of the brainless drones of any of these organized religions peer out of the narrow confines of their religious cells and see those outside their cocoons and caves thriving and flourishing, they ask, “Why do good things happen to ‘bad’ people?” And when they observe the wretchedness and barrenness of any of their kind – usually the natural result of ignorance and adherence to hollow and meaningless traditions – they wonder, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

In a sudden burst of elevated awareness, an ex-religious bigot made this statement:

“I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.” ~ St. Peter, Acts 10:34,35

Peter in essence realized these basic facts:

  • God does not show favoritism. 🙂 This is quite contrary to what religious bigots think.
  • He accepts men from every nation, as long as they fear Him, and do what is right. Again this is contrary to what most members of each organized religion believe. They would rather that God accepted only members of their narrow circles.

In reality, however, God is not a respecter of persons; He is rather a respecter of the principles and laws He has set in place to govern the Universe. This article emphasizes the aspect of ‘what is right’, but I promise you another post would dwells on the aspect of they that ‘fear Him.’

Secondly, the rightness or wrongness of any action is not a function of religious beliefs, or human traditions; it is rather a function of the immutable and self-evident universal laws of nature

For this reason, I encourage you to invest more time in trying to understand the universal laws and principles of life, than you do trying to become another religious bigot.

There are many categories of laws; I’ll divide them first into two broad categories, then I’ll subdivide the other one into more subs.

  • Manmade laws: The majority of religious, traditional, and cultural laws that we find in organized religions and ethnic cultures, are simply man-made laws. They bind people and enslave millions without offering any significant benefits – in fact they impede human progress and hinder true insight into the real spiritual and material principles that govern the universe. This is why slavish adherents to organized religious laws tend to live such impoverished and un-productive lives.
  • Universal spiritual and material laws: These are the authentic laws and principles governing all aspects of human and non-human interactions at all levels of being in the universe. They are self evident for those who have the eyes to recognize them. They do not respect creed or culture. Adherence to these set of laws enrich, empower, nourish, and prosper those that live by them unlike the man-made laws.

Universal spiritual and material laws can further be sub-divided into more categories according to the different aspects of human interactions that they govern. Here’s a very brief list to give you an idea of what I have in mind:

  • Moral laws: honesty, integrity, justice…
  • Economic laws: Parkinson’s, demand and supply…
  • Laws of relationships: tolerance, understanding…
  • Health laws: Diets, exercise, rest…
  • Physical laws (scientific): Gravity, motion, floatation…

Of course, there are others.

An action is right or good when it is in positive alignment with the universal spiritual and material laws; in the same vein, an action is bad or wrong if it is in negative alignment with the universal spiritual and material laws. My aim is to get you to shift your thinking from ‘good and bad people’ to ‘right and wrong actions.’ I also want you to align that thinking with the universal laws rather than religious beliefs.

Thirdly, positive consequences attend right actions, and negative consequences attend wrong actions.

This is simply the law of sowing and reaping in action. There are practically two broad categories of human experiences – fortunes, and misfortunes. Fortunes are the results of good understanding and masterful application of the principles governing the universe – in other words, of right actions. Misfortunes, on the other hand, are the consequences of violating (knowingly, or ignorantly) the principles governing the universe – in other words, of wrong actions.

The wise man Solomon noted that:

“Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.” Proverbs 13:15

Another word for wrong action is ‘sin’ – one of the most commonly misunderstood and abused words of all time. ‘Sin’ is a popular word among certain religious groups. But they define it in narrow terms – the violation of some man-made religious rules and views. Yet, sin is a universal concept. It’s not even a religious concept at all. In my way of thinking, sin is fundamentally a scientific concept.

I define sin as any violation of any truly universal spiritual and material principles. I really don’t care if you buy this definition or not, it doesn’t change a thing!

“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law for sin is a transgression of the law” ~ I John 3:4

I can almost hear someone screaming that the law here speaks of the law of Moses, and that’s exactly my point; you define a good person as someone who slavishly and ignorantly adheres to a set of humanly biased and prejudiced interpretations of religious writings. That is why you wonder when bad things happen to your so-called ‘good’ people.

My friend, you can paraphrase the Scripture I just quoted to read; “sin is any violation of any genuine universal spiritual and material principles.” That’s the more enlightened view of the concept. And when you understand it, the puzzle as to why bad things happen to good people, and vice versa, vanish. You then understand that there are no good people…there are only right and wrong actions.

A sinner is someone who violates any of the governing laws of the universe – knowingly or ignorantly. When some one performs a wrong action with respect to a true universal law, the fellow has sinned, and there are consequences. This Universe is governed by principles and laws. Anyone can avoid, or at least minimize suffering if they understand and diligently apply the principles governing this universe. Hardships and unnecessary suffering in life come from transgression – the willful, or ignorant violation of universal laws and principles.

You may think that you are righteous because you hold certain religious creeds and affirmations…I can only pity you because thats why you would never understand the cause of your misfortunes.

For instance, what happens when an individual jumps off a 100 storey skyscraper? Thats a clear violation of the Law of Gravity; in other words, the fellow has committed a sin against a planetary law of physics! Now the universe does not know whether the fellow is a pagan, Hindu, spiritualist, Christian, or Moslem, it gives them exactly the same reward – broken bones! 🙂

So it is in other aspects of reality. There are laws governing every aspect of interactions in this Universe and at any time you violate any of them, you introduce hardship and suffering in the sphere of life that they govern.

Imagine the measure of suffering that is in this world as a result of people violating the laws of health. Those laws don’t make any distinctions based on religious affiliations.

The laws of economics and wealth creation do not recognize religious affiliations either. This is why so many slavish adherents to the world’s organized religions languish in poverty, and suffering.

On ‘incurable’ diseases and ‘disabilities’

What about those that are plagued with serious illnesses – such as, cancer, AIDS, and those other illnesses that have been labeled as ‘incurable’ by medical experts? Am I saying that they brought it on themselves and that they are being punished for some sin? What if they were born that way, how is that their fault?

Well, first of all, no disease is ‘incurable.’ So, the moment you accept a mindset that insults the capacity and power of God, you’ve performed a wrong action. When you elevate the opinions and expertise of men above the power of God, that’s idolatry (a wrong action). You now understand why I say that sin is not a religious, but rather a scientific phenomenon.

I cannot in anyway blame someone who’s going through pain and suffering as a result of illness for their physical condition; but I’ll hold them responsible for their attitude and mindset towards their condition and the possibility of their getting better and living normal lives. You do not violate the principles of the universe just by doing the wrong thing, but also by failing to do the right things . So, when a sick person gives up hope because of the medical reports of a fellow human being, I believe that’s a wrong action that can worsen that condition, intensify suffering, and prolong the process of recovery.

The right action is to have a positive attitude and expect a miracle!

Miracles…

When we speak of miracles, I do appreciate that we are making reference to occurrences and manifestations that transcend the present understanding of universal laws by some, and that’s ok. In this sense, I do believe in miracles. Technically speaking, though, there really should be nothing like ‘miracles’ because everything is natural. In my way of thinking, miracles do happen and they are perfectly in harmony with universal laws and principles.

I was miraculously healed of five debilitating diseases as I wrote in Supernatural Healing ;medical science had given me practically no hope. I’m also a healing evangelist and have witnessed and continue to witness all kinds of miracles in my meetings. Yet I agree with St. Augustine when he says that “Miracles are not contrary to the laws of nature, but are only contrary to our understanding of them.”

At the age of 24, I became the youngest self-published author in my state of origin here in Nigeria. My book, ‘Rivers in the desert’, earned me hundreds of thousands of Naira, lots newspaper publicity, as well as a tele-speech to Nigerian youths in Washington and Maryland, USA. Let me quote a line from that book:

“…the dictionary didn’t say that miracles are against the laws of nature. No. This is because those laws were instituted by God and are the very laws that hold the entire universe together. The dictionary rather says that miracles do not follow the known laws of nature. They are beyond the realms of man’s present knowledge and understanding at any point in time. In other words, humans at any point in time do not know all there is to know of the laws of nature; so any occurrence beyond the borders of our knowledge is considered a miracle. So miracles follow divine, natural, eternal laws, but are usually beyond the realms of human understanding at any point in time.”

My point in making reference to miracles is to give you hope if you are going through some challenging physical sickness and suffering. I’m saying that the right action for your situation would include a belief in the possibility of miracles to pull you out where the doctors have given you no hope. I’m saying that it would be wrong to accept a man’s statement that your case is incurable and hopeless; that would be an insult to the power of the God who created the Universe. You’ve got to do whatever you can to cultivate faith and a positive attitude in your heart. I’ll encourage you to read this post, “Supernatural Healing,” as it will boost your faith and point out some practical steps towards experiencing miraculous and supernatural healing.

People on sick beds love sympathy – wrong action :(.
I understand that because, as I’ve already written, I was in that state for the greater part of 17 years.
But what sick people do need is greater responsibility over their lives – right action:).
They may like to play the victim; so when you offer sympathy, you reinforce their feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.

What sick people need is the challenge to change their mindset and take more responsibility over their lives and outcomes. They need solutions, not sympathies.

I’ve been a pastor and healing evangelist now for 18 years. I have visited several hospitals and continue to make pastoral visits to the sick in hospitals and homes. I’ve had hospital presidents come to my office to ask me to visit their hospitals to talk and pray with their patients. I’ve seen thousands of undisputable healings and miracles take place throughout my ministry. So I’m not insensitive to the ordeals of sick people, as you might be tempted to think.

Besides, I was sick for 17 years. I was so tortured by pain and infirmities that I contemplated suicide several times. So I understand what sick people want, versus what they really need. They want sympathy and pity; but they need inspiration to greater responsibility, right thinking, and effective solutions.

Jesus said to them, “Rise and be healed…” He also said to them, “Your faith has healed you…” And that’s exactly my message to you if you are in such a situation, or you do have a loved one in such a situation. Rise and be healed, in other words, assume responsibility for your situation and do something about it, even if so-called experts have given you no hope. It is your faith that counts; it’s what you believe and think about the situation that matters. I believe that there’s hope for you and that you can be healed and live a normal life.

And even if you don’t get healed in the form of a miraculous restoration to total physical wholeness, you can still enjoy a happy and fulfilled life by developing and maintaining a positive, grateful, and thankful attitude for the various blessings that you already have.

Fourthly, faithful adherence to one category of universal laws does not spare you from the painful consequences of violating some other set of laws.

You can keep your so-called religious laws faithfully – and thereby qualify yourself as a ‘good’ person – but if you violate the laws of health, you’ve committed sin against those laws. 🙂 The consequence may be sicknesses and diseases, depending on the gravity of your offense.

Your religious group might brand you a righteous man because you pay your dues to the system and adhere blindly to their silly rituals, but if you violate the laws of wealth creation, you’ve committed sin against those laws. The consequence may be that you’ll live in poverty, and lack.

I believe you get my point. Faithful adherence to one category of universal laws does not spare you from the painful consequences of violating some other set of laws. For instance, what would be the fate of a man who has become wealthy as a result of masterful application of the universal laws of wealth creation, but who violates the laws of health? He’ll end up as a very rich, but very sick person. This is why balance is very important in life.

In Conclusion…

There’s really no injustice in creation…in the natural order of things. Everything proceeds according to precise and set laws, even if we do not have a perfect understanding of these laws. So the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people, and vice versa?” suggests the presence of injustice in the Universe, and so is fundamentally flawed.

The challenge, in my point of view, is for you and I to pursue an expanding and growing insight into the laws governing all aspects of creation. That way we’ll live richer and happier lives, and quit passing judgments on other people.

I also discourage blind adherence and passive allegiance to the ignorant and uninformed dogmas of organized religions. Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, understand the true laws of creation, master them and live like the god you were designed to be.

So there you have it: my four dimensional answers to the question of why bad things happen to good people, and why good things happen to bad people.

So what do you think? Share your thoughts…

Greatness attracts criticisms

Have you ever been criticized?
Have you ever felt the pang of emotional hurt as a result of the unfair comments of others?

Who hasn’t?

In fact, lots of people today are totally frustrated because they are trying so hard to live up to the expectations of others; to please everybody and avoid criticisms.

We all love compliments and affection, but if you live your life trying to get everyone to like and compliment your efforts, you’ll live a very miserable and frustrated life.

Because I have an overwhelming passion to see you express yourself without fear, and in spite of public opinion, let me show you how to deal with criticisms.

Greatness attracts criticisms

Greatness and success attract criticisms just as honey attracts bees! You must learn to feel at home with criticisms – to either ignore them or use them. If you can’t handle criticisms, slandering, and false accusations, don’t aspire for greatness, because the top is full of them; the top is very very hot!

If you are a man or woman who is on a mission and who manifests significant achievements, be sure that you’ll be attacked. If you have worthwhile goals and dreams, be sure that you’ll be criticized and slandered; it’s part of the package.

If you stand out from the crowd, if you are visible, be sure that you’ll be unjustly criticized. So rejoice when you receive criticisms because it means that you are visible, that you are somebody significant. Criticisms signify visibility; the people in the audience notice those on the stage, those who are in the spotlight. People on stage, on the other hand, are normally so blinded by the spotlight and busy with their stage demands that they do not notice those in the audience. The fact of the matter is that if nobody is criticizing you, you are not visible.

In life, we’re always going to have critics. We’ll always have difficult people who try to upset us and steal our peace and joy. But, you don’t have to respond to every critic. You can decide to take the high road and let your results speak for themselves. And even if you don’t have any results, it’s nobody’s business; it’s your life, learn to enjoy it, however it is.

Continue reading “Greatness attracts criticisms”

How to transform your problems into fortunes

 

They can’t destroy you!

 

Do you know that the challenges you face are the stepping-stones to your promotion, and that they can’t destroy you?

In this article, I want to show you how to transform your problems into fortunes. Yes, your problems are blessings in disguise; you just need to develop the wisdom and courage to manage them wisely and creatively.

I live and work in Nigeria. But, according to the Google Analytics stats for this blog, over 70% of my traffic come from the USA, and that’s usually as much as 3000 USA visits per month. Next to that are Canada, UK, Australia, Nigeria…in that order. Consequently, I appreciate the fact that the majority of those who read this blog are going through tough times in your finances, marriages, and health.

I can imagine that you have piles of bills to pay with no clues as to how. A lot of you are scared that you may not be able to keep your homes because of the mortgage. You’ve got health problems without adequate health insurance; you’ve been diagnosed of sicknesses and diseases that are eating away not just at your life, but also at your pocket book at an alarming rate. Because of soaring unemployment rates, you’ve already lost your job, or are scared you’ll soon lose it. Your marriage, probably at this moment is practically broken and you are hurting deeply. Yes, I know, these are tough times.

But, I want you to know this: the challenges you face are the stepping-stones to your promotion; they can’t destroy you.

So don’t pack-up or give-up! And as I wrote sometime on this blog, Don’t panic! Hope and believe.

 

The song of champions

 

“Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness.”
~ Samson, Judges 14: 14

This riddle came out of Samson days after his victory over the lion. It is the song and testimony of champions. They transform problems into fortunes. They extract meat from devourers and sweetness from troubles and problems. Samson did not just kill a lion; he ate honey out of its carcass!

Part of the message of this article is this: problems are blessings in disguise. When you understand this simple principle, you’ll face the challenges of your life with hope and courage, rather than fear and hopelessness; then you’ll be able to transform your problems into fortunes.

I don’t know how Joseph, the 11th son of the patriarch Jacob felt when his brothers sold him as a slave to strangers. I imagine that he must have felt betrayed, and he must have been terribly hurt. But several years later, in retrospect he made the following powerful statement with respect to his brothers actions:

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…”
~ Joseph, Genesis 50:20

What a high-altitude awareness!

In the epic battle between David and Goliath, the very sword of Goliath that was meant to kill David became the tool in his hand for slaying the giant. Similarly, the gallows that the wicked Heman designed to use in destroying Mordecai, became Mordecai’s instrument of revenge against the Prime Minister.

The point is this, if you develop the wisdom and courage to manage your problems and challenges wisely and creatively, they’ll turn into blessings; not only will you kill the lions of life, but you’ll also eat honey from their carcasses. You can transform your problems into fortunes.

Always bear in mind as we go along that the key element is to wisely, creatively, and courageously manage your problems.

It all depends on you

If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. ~ Proverbs 24:10

In other words, your success or failure has very little to do with the strength of your problems; it has more to do with your strength! This is a profound thought…

In other words, whether or not your problems defeat or destroy you has nothing to do with their strength, intensity, or ferocity; it rather has to do with your own inner fortitude and strength. You are the key factor in determining the effect that difficult situations have on you – whether they end up as blessings or as curses.

Make no mistake about this, your problems do not just turn into blessings on their own. They have that potential, but it doesn’t just happen.

Problems can be gifts, but they can also be curses.
They can make you, but they can also mar you.

However, problems can only become what you make out of them.

If you manage your problems wisely, and creatively, you can transform them into fortunes; you’ll actually be able to look back several years later and say, “Wow! That was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

How to transform your problems into fortunes

 

#1 Attitude matters; be grateful, and thankful for the situation

How do you see that challenge or negative situation that you are currently faced with? What’s your perception and perspective of the situation?

“In everything give thanks…” ~ I Thessalonians 5:18

“When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other.” ~ Ecclesiastes 7:14

Every champion in the arena of life will quickly caution you not to conclude too soon that a circumstance is negative. They know from hindsight that what normally appears to be negative are usually disguised fortunes. In fact, the more attuned you become to the spiritual dynamics of the universe, the more you realize that nothing is really negative.

Everything is positive – sometimes obviously; at other times not so obviously.

I mean, think about the crucifixion, for instance; at the time, it appeared to be the darkest moment in the life of Jesus, yet it is written concerning that event that:

“None of the rulers of this age understood it (God’s secret wisdom), for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” ~ I Corinthians 2:8

That event became Jesus’ greatest monument, as well as eternal tool, of conquest and victory. Because of His perfect spiritual awareness, He knew even before He went to the cross that it was going to be His master stroke of victory! “And I,” He said in John 12:32, “if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” By the time His enemies realized what He meant, it was far too late.

Don’t miss the point: your present problems are fortunes in disguise. 🙂

Cultivate the attitude that gives thanks in all circumstances. Attune yourself spiritually to appreciate the mystery that there’s really no negative situation:

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28

Isn’t she an angel!

A friend of my dad who is a pastor in London recently lost so much weight that he is now looking 20 years younger…literaly!

Sometime this year, he was at the embassy here to renew his visa. Upon arrival, a very hostile receptionist informed him that he must obtain the new e-passport now being used in Nigerian. He tried to argue that his current passport was still valid for several more trips, all to no avail – the girl was simply impossible.

He shrugged and walked away. At that moment, he felt bad, wondering at his bad fortune to have met this girl and at the hostile treatment he’d just received from her.

He eventually got the new e-passport and after several days returned to the embassy to continue the process. This time, he noticed that the officials were practically ignoring him and attending to other people. He eventually observed the steadily increasing numbers of security personnel in the hall, though he never thought that their presence had anything to do with him.

Finally, one officer approached him with his documents and said, “Sir, there’s a problem with your application. We can’t seem to reconcile your physical appearance with the picture in this passport.” The pastor was told that his physical appearance was in stark contrast to the one in the picture – he was 20 years younger! He felt it was a light matter and began to protest that he was the same person. He eventually came face to face with the harsh reality that he needed more than verbal arguments to escape being labeled as an impostor. 🙁

Amidst the fiasco, someone suddenly remembered that the new e-passport contained a sample of the holders finger prints. It was suggested that they run a finger print test on the pastor, and when they did, his prints matched the sample on the passport.

The man escaped arrest, and of course got his visa renewed.

Now, here’s the interesting part: As he walked out the door, he saw the girl that had been ‘hostile’ to him a few days earlier – the girl that had demanded that he get the new e-passport. As he stared at her, the awareness slowly crept in on him that this girl must have been an angel in disguise! He immediately realized that he’d probably have gone to jail had it not been for this girl’s ‘hostility.’

“Isn’t she an angel,” he though as he walked away from the embassy. He told me that he was seriously considering sending her a thank-you gift for literaly saving him from jail!

Your life is what you make of it

What is happening around you, and to you, is not as important as what is happening within you.
Do not see yourself as a victim of circumstances; do not evaluate yourself with what’s happening to you.

You are a child of God.
You are strong beyond measure.
You are more than a conqueror.
You are beloved of God.
You are special.

Your self image shapes your attitude towards your life’s experiences. Your attitude then determines how you respond to challenges which in turn determines the outcome. Your life is what you make of it.

#2 Assume full responsibility for your life’s outcomes

Your present circumstances, to a large extent, is the sum of previous decisions and choices made by you. Assume full responsibility for your present situation as I wrote in choices .

My personal experience has been that each time I am able to assume total and complete responsibility over my circumstances, it results in a frame of mind that creates effective solutions. On the other hand, when I play the blame game and try to pass the buck over to some other person, my mind degenerates into a negative mode, making me feel grumpy and sour; this negative mode creates a kind of jam to my mental and spiritual processes, thereby inhibiting my capacity to envisage viable solutions.

You must never underestimate your capacity to alter your circumstances. But you must first assume full responsibility for your life.

So, ask yourself, “What particular decisions of mine positioned me for this situation?” Don’t do this in a self-condemnatory mode. Do it in a learning mode.

Pursue solutions, not sympathy

My observation as a counselor is that because most people see themselves as victims, they’ll rather have sympathy than solutions. This is pathetic and despicable.

Quit feeling sorry for yourself.
Quit looking for sympathy.
End your self-pity party.
Pursue solutions.

#3 Create a road-map to a preferred reality

I counseled with someone recently whose life was in a mess as a result of a faulty marital decision made several years ago. She was too young then to have known any better, but it was her decision nevertheless. I pointed out to her some dumb decisions she made back then including rejecting the counsel of more experienced elders.

She was expecting a miracle. I told her that the only miracle I’ll pray for was for an empowered and expanded understanding of the cause of her present predicament.

Many people make stupid decisions that mess up their lives. Then they come to a pastor and expect him to wave his hand in prayer and invoke God to swoop in and clear the mess. Well, God sure does miracles, but He’s not an irresponsible God! He will neither fund your folly, nor sponsor your stupidity. Often it took years of accumulated wrong decisions to bring you where you are and it’s unfair to expect a change in mere days or hours.

I told her, “It’s taken you years of bad decisions, and wrong actions to arrive where you are. You should not expect to reverse it all in a moment. What you need is a road map – a sequence of actions that you’ll patiently undertake to alter your situation.” I also told her that she must assume full responsibility for the entire process and be willing to invest the needed time needed to see the process through.

Ask yourself, “What temporary and permanent lifestyle adjustments do I have to make in order to reverse this situation?” Usually, the early stages of such processes are tough and painful, so much that you’d rather avoid them. Fortunately, however, it often turns out that when you are willing to invest enough time doing the right things necessary to reverse your circumstances, it takes less time. Sudden turns of fortune favor the prepared, persistent, and patient, rather than the hasty.

You might want to study the article I wrote on how you can beat the global economic recession.

So, what is the most important action you’ll need to take right now to move towards a viable solution? Seek professional and experienced counsel. Opinions and personal assumptions (including those of quacks) can complicate matters and prolong suffering.

#4 Patiently execute

How long you prepared to do the right thing to change your situation? Beware of quick fixes.

After carefully creating your road map to a preferred reality, you must keep your gaze straight ahead of you. You must focus on your objectives and not panic and pack-up at the least sign of trouble. Stay steady and execute your master plan to the finish.

Beware of distractions too. Sometimes, some easy alternatives will pop up in your mind while you are still working your master plan – particularly at those times where you encounter some tough obstacles. Don’t allow such easy alternatives to derail you from your highway (except when they are clearly better and smarter alternatives.)

#5 Expect a miracle!

Yes, if you are grateful and thankful for whatever circumstances you are in, then you have every right to expect a miracle.
If you courageously assume responsibility for your life’s decisions, choices, and actions, you can legitimately expect a miracle.
If you have wisely and painstakingly created a road map to a preferred reality, you can expect a miracle.
If you patiently execute your plan of action without letting yourself be distracted or discouraged, you can expect a miracle.
Yes, miracles do happen, but they usually attend those who put their faith into action.

My prayer is that these 5 keys will help you transform your problems into fortunes.