A scene I witnessed further reiterated my convictions against the lottery. At the entrance to the University of Ibadan, I watched an elderly man perusing a pools game sheet while selling ice cream to students, streaming out of the nearby high school. He squinted his eyes over the parchment as a medical doctor would at the body of a patient during surgery. He smiled tersely, ticked off some lines before his brow twisted suddenly into a delicate frown; he adjusted his lean frame on the rickety cart he used to convey his wares. I had been watching him for some time and was surprised at the fact that a man his age (he looked elderly) could be toying with such a “get-rich scheme”. I walked over to him and asked if he had struck it big, to which he replied that he had made some small lucky takings; but with a dry smile and a tinge of frustration in his voice added that he had some very bad blows bouts from the ‘lucky’ wheel.
The story detailed above is no critique on those who enjoy the lights and ballrooms of Las Vegas but an attempt to bring to the forefront of our innate desires for direction and distinction, that our lives are too precious to be gambled with. Our lives are bombarded daily by the pressures of society, encapsulated by intense competition to succeed, violent crimes, wars in different parts of the globe, the temptations of alcoholism and drug abuse, innuendos of uncontrolled sexual vices in the stead of the sanctity of romantic love and of course, pressure from our parents to do something positive with our lives.
The situation seems so precarious that many fall into the trap of manic depression and wonder at the validity of trying to make sense of their lives. The scenarios that play out in our individual minds make us pray that we do not end up like our ice-cream seller friend; dejected, frustrated and obsolete in a world that seems to offer little hope for the aspirations of today’s youth. The sad reality of that man’s condition is a pointer to us all that success in life can only be attained by a conscious, committed and coordinated plan of action. It should be evident to us all that our lives represent the greatest project of destiny, and if you must become who you desire to be, you must embark on a program of preparation to prevent frustration tomorrow.
Permit me then to sow seven sure seeds of wisdom into your hearts that will nurture the confident personae you will need to survive the challenges of life and launch you on the path of excellence. As you open your mind to absorb the truth of successful living, God will transform you into the best lady or man you can be.
The Big Question
Are you ready to take on the challenges life will throw at you? Can you really answer this question? First thing to do is to take a comprehensive inventory of your life and give an honest assessment to yourself, if you are making progress, are stagnant or even worse, going down the drain! Be your own impartial judge for a moment. Until you accept whom you are and where you seem to be going, you are swimming in a pool of deception. If you know deep down inside of you that you are vulnerable to the distractions that separate you from your goals, decide NOW to make definite changes. You can start with terminating relationships that weaken your resolve to achieve excellence and continuously affirm to yourself that you have it in you to make it in life. Can I let you on a little secret? You really do.
Picture your future
From today, begin to visualize the kind of person you want to be in the nearest future. Many people ‘look’ but now, you must begin to actually ‘see’ in your subconscious the awesome personality that lies within you; crying for expression. You would do yourself a favor and go a step further by acting in the manner of your future position. So I guess neighbors down the street should not be a little surprised to see you decorating the streets with a colorful swagger!
Okay. You may have an idea of what you are going to demand from life but how to access it may be your next question. Simple! Information. Information is the fuel for promotion in life. The dream you have can only be realized if you have a passion for knowing every detail that will assist you in birthing that dream to fruition. For example, if you have constant pictures of a spectacular invention that the world needs; grab all the books that deal with the subject and consume them as if they could go extinct soon. In those books lies the secret for your success, GO FOR IT!
You need some “life-savers” in your quest to wrestle from the chains of living the ordinary life and exchanging it for the more fulfilling type. The first I could suggest is that you strive to develop your mind by reading self-development, motivational and other literature that puts you in the right frame to tackle circumstances in a manner that will nurture your aspirations. Secondly, pamper your body; eat properly, exercise regularly and get adequate rest. Last of all; do your heart the pleasure of controlling your emotions.
Engage your mind
Learn to think. So many people out there do not settle down to plan how their daily routines go; so it’s no surprise for their entire lives going wrong. David Oyedepo was asked what he does in his spare time and without skipping a beat replied, “I read and I THINK”. No wonder he has excelled as one of Nigeria’s leading Ministers and speakers. Whatever you desire from life must begin as a thought. However, if it is not sown into the soil of your mind through quality thinking, it would not generate the fruit of excellence.
Get rid of fear
President Franklin Roosevelt is credited for the wonderful phrase ” the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. That single statement significantly extinguished the spirit of depression during that dark period of American history. Despite your doubts of ever being another President, Bill Gates or who ever your hero is; I want you to know that you are going to make it. Do not give into depression. Repel those negative voices in your head with words of faith. Your future is colorful no matter what seems to be happening right now, you know why? Because it’s true!
This is the most vital step to success. I know our generation has scooped the greatest deception that religion is irrelevant in the conduct of our lives, but watch how many proponents of that message scream “oh my god!!” when things go wrong. We are not all sufficient because God created us for his glory and he has so designed situations that cause us to rely on him always. So if you have a doubt about a future, it is call for you to engage your Maker in prayer, seeking counsel, favor and blessings.
I hope with these seven steps espoused, I have ignited the giant inside of you to become who you were made to become. Go forth and break forth!
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