Thursday, 6 July 2017

Adventures in university governance



                            By Bayo Ogunmupe

    'I smell a rat, Adventures in University Governance' is the title of Professor Biyi Afonja's book on his experience as a university teacher  and administrator. Written in a lucid and captivating language, 'I smell a rat' chronicles the pro-chancellor's exciting experience in the governance of three universities: the Obafemi Awolowo University, the University of Ibadan and Olabisi Onabanjo University. Afonja's stint as Commissioner of Education in Western Nigeria provided him with useful enlightenment on nigeria's educational system.
    Apart from being the chair of the governing council of Tai Solarin College of Education (now Tai Solarin University of Education) Afonja had also functioned as the pro-chancellor and chairman of Olabisi Onabanjo University. The richness of diversity of his experience in educational management  is without parallel among Nigerian educators of his time. The breath and intimacy of his experience were helpful in coping with the challenges of leadership which ultimately faced kindred tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
    In his award winning book: In His hands, The Autobiography of a nigerian Village Boy, published in 2005, Professor Afonja said that "The story of my service as chairman of the Ogun State College of Education and as Pro-chancellor and chairman of Council of Olabisi Onabanjo University will, by God's grace, be told in a separate publication on my contributions to the governance of higher institutions in Nigeria." I smell a rat was written in fulfillment of that promise. This book is a case study in education administration in Nigeria. Which was why he tried to back up his statements in it with  incontrovertible documentary evidence.
    Adventures in University governance is in paperback, has 348 pages; 67 pages of appendices and nine pages of index. It has 12 chapters. Afonja's unforgettable experiences as a lecturer at the University of Ife, as OAU was called then, made fascinating reading. In 1963, the Midwestern Region was created from Western Region. Following the restructuring of Nigeria from four regions to a twelve state system in 1975, each region was split into several states. That made regional universities to be taken over by the federal government. 
    The name of the University of Northern Nigeria was changed to Ahmadu Bello University- in honour of Sir Ahmadu Bello, the first premier of Northern Nigeria. Ife, Nsukka retained their founding names. It was in 1987 that Ife was changed to Obafemi Awolowo University following the death of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the first premier of Western Nigeria. Further restructuring took place leading in 1996 to Nigeria's  present day 36 states. The then Western state was split into the present five states of Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo.
    Right now, nigeria has two categories of universities namely, public universities and private universities. Public universities are those owned by the states and the federal government. Federal universities are those acquired by it from the regions in the 1970s and those it has built since then. Going by the rate universities are being created, their numbers by the end of the new millennium would be in hundreds. As at March 2016, there are 141 universities in Nigeria, made up of 40 federal, 40 state and 61 private universities.
    At the top of public university governance is the Visitor who is the founder or proprietor. At federal universities the Visitor is the President. In the case of a state university, the visitor is the Governor of the state. As the chief security officer of the university, the power of the visitor is limitless. The decisions of the visitor are binding and can only be challenged in a law court. In private universities, the Board Of Trustees (BOT) acts in most policy matters on behalf of the proprietor. The president of the board and other members are appointed by the proprietor.
    In governance hierarchy the BOT lies between the University Council and the Proprietor. While most universities in Nigeria use Vice Chancellor for  the chief executive, some private universities use President as its title like in American universities. The senate comprising professors constitute the academic soul of the university. It handles every matter pertaining to the academic activities of the university.
    Afonja's adventure into university governance started at Unife where he was elected into the senate in 1971 and into the Council in 1973. Both the senate and the Council are the topmost organs of the university. According to Afonja, Obafemi Awolowo University was founded via a memorandum presented to the Executive Council of Western Region on 24 October, 1960 by Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, the premier. In the memorandum Akintola suggested "that the university be sited at or near Ife, that its name be Ife University, Nigeria." The university was formally established in 1962. It later excelled in law, pharmacy and agriculture.
    This book's author, Biyi Afonja joined OAU as a lecturer in the Faculty of Agriculture in 1966, coming from the Federal Department of Agricultural Research, Moor Plantation, Ibadan where he was senior research officer. Hardly had he settled down at Ife than he was headlong drawn into the university politics whereby he was elected into the university senate by the Congregation of the university. He contested in order to achieve his personal goal of the 3Ls; of what a university ought to be: a place of Light; of Liberty, and of Learning; as was prescribed by the former British prime minister, Benjamin Disraeli.
    Afonja's unforgettable experience at OAU senate was chronicled in his autobiography. thereafter, he settled into the monthly senate meetings lasting into ten gruelling hours. He found the exposure most helpful in his later assignment as the pro-chancellor and the chairman of the Council, Ogun State University, now Olabisi Onabanjo University. Luckily, just before the expiration of his 2 year term as a member of senate, he was rewarded with a promotion to the university council the highest level of university governance. Afonja's tenure as a member of OAU Council was abruptly terminated by his appointment as the Commissioner for Education, Western Nigeria i September 1973.
      He stayed for only 18 months as Commissioner. His tenure gave him further insight into policy formulation and implementation. For example, it was at that time government was cancelling the two year Higher School Certificate (HSC) system. The course was transferred to a one year course at the Ibadan Polytechnic, which was to prepare students for entry into the University of Ife. However, the Polytechnic, the OAU, the teachers' unions; the parents' associations; and the proprietors have to agree.
    Government directed the institutions to work out the modalities. But the stakeholders disagreed with the policy. It turned out that Afonja had to implement a policy opposed by the proprietors, his officials, the religious bodies and the unions. Afonja refused to budge knowing fully well the stand of the governor and his own conviction that their  decision was right. For being offered a readership by the University of Ibadan, Afonja left the cabinet of Brigadier Oluwole Rotimi in 1974.
    For returning to academics instead of clinging to the more luscious public office as commissioner, Afonja was named guest of honour at Premier Hotel, Ibadan by the Conference of Principals  in May 1975. He returned to teaching as Acting Head of the Department of Statistics, University of Ibadan. Thereafter, he became chairman of council, Tai Solarin College of Education in Ogun State. His divinely inspired  forebodings were helpful in coping with the challenges of leadership in the institutions he chaired. Moreover, his experience was a facilitating factor informing his decision to voluntarily quit the stage at various times during his public service.
    Events following his exits were suggestive of having had a sniff of something in the air, which gave rise to 'I smell a rat' as being part of the title of this book. Biyi Afonja is a retired professor of statistics. he was educated at Government College Ibadan; the University of Ibadan, the university of Aberdeen, Scotland and the University of Wisconsin,USA. He is a fellow and past president of Nigerian Statistical Association. He was also pro-chancellor and chairman of council, Olabisi Onabanjo University. He was once the chairman of the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of State Universities  in Nigeria. Married with children, Afonja is glowing in a graceful old age at his home, Ogun state.

5 Regretful Lies and Excuses Your Mind Likes to Tell You


The mind is a wonderful thing.  It’s also a liar and an excuse machine that frequently tries to convince us not to take actions we know are good for us.  This ultimately prevents many positive changes from taking place in our lives.

I’ve had to learn to watch these lies and excuses very carefully in order to make the positive changes I’ve made in my life: a healthier diet, regular exercise, meditation, more sleep, daily writing, better planning, less procrastination, more focus, etc.

If I hadn’t learned about these lies and excuses, and how to suppress them, I would never have succeeded in making these positive changes.  In fact, until I knew better, I had failed countless times when I was young because my mind’s deceptive tendencies used to get the best of me.

So why does the mind lie to us and make irrational excuses?

Because the mind wants comfort – that’s why.  It’s afraid of discomfort, pressure and change.  The mind is used to its comfort zone, and anytime we try to stretch that zone too far, for too long, the mind tries desperately to get back to ground zero at any cost… including sacrificing our long-term health, happiness and success.

So let’s expose five of the cowardly mind’s most regretful lies and excuses once and for all – Marc and I have literally seen these specific lies and excuses plaguing hundreds of our course students over the past decade:

1.  "I can’t do it." – It seems too difficult at first, so you think you can’t stick to the positive change you’re making.  You subconsciously don’t believe in yourself enough to take another step.  This is a common lie/excuse that can be countered by looking at the fact that other people no more capable than you have done it.  For example, my 60-year-old next-door neighbor ran a marathon a little before I started training for my first half-marathon, and so I told myself, “If she can do it, so can I!”  And I was right.  Truth be told, the only person who can tell you “I can’t” is you.  If you hear those words echoing in the back of your mind, tune them out.  In the end, your doubts and your faith have something in common.  They both ask you to believe in something you can’t see; you simply have to decide which one you want to believe.  (covered in the "Goals & Growth" module of "Getting Back to Happy")

2.  "They can do it, but that doesn’t apply to me because they have it better than me." – Just because someone else can, doesn’t mean you can, right?  You look for reasons they can do it but you can’t – maybe he’s an internet entrepreneur or freelance writer because he has no kids.  Maybe she’s way fitter than I am, so she can run a marathon.  Maybe she doesn’t have all the work and family obligations I have, or has a supportive spouse, or doesn’t have bad knees.  OK, fine, it’s easy to find excuses: but look at all the other people who have considerable obstacles too who’ve done it.  Marc and I have a family, and have dealt with significant loss in our lives, and still managed to succeed on many fronts.  And just as we’ve turned things around for ourselves, we know hundreds of other people who’ve done the same.  Through a decade of life coaching, we’ve witnessed people reinventing themselves at all ages – 48-year olds starting families, 57-year-olds graduating from college for the first time, 71-year-olds starting successful businesses, and so forth.  And stories abound of people with disabilities or illnesses who overcame their obstacles to achieve great things.  Your obstacles can be overcome.  (covered in the "Getting Out of Your Own Way" lesson of "Getting Back to Happy")

3.  "It’ll be too hard because I can’t get by without _______." – Fill in the blank: I need my wine, my cheese, my sweets, my TV shows, my nine hours of sleep, my big house, my fancy wardrobe, etc.  These are luxuries we convince ourselves we can’t live without, so we can justify not making positive changes like eating healthier or exercising daily or saving money or simplifying our lives or building a profitable side hustle.  And like I said, I’m not immune either – in the past I’ve made these excuses myself, but they all turned out to be lies.  I didn’t need any of these things in my life, and believing that I did was only getting in the way of the positive changes I was capable of creating for myself.  (covered in the "Letting Go of What's No Longer Serving You" lesson of "Getting Back to Happy")

4.  "Life is meant to be easier and enjoyed more." – Sure, I agree that life should be enjoyed (as many of us do) but the problem is that the idea that life should ALWAYS be easy and enjoyable is used to justify all kinds of lazy behavior.  Might as well sit on the couch and scarf down those Twinkies, because hey, life is meant to be enjoyed, right?  Nope.  You can do without junk food and still enjoy life.  You can exercise and enjoy it.  You can give up a lot of comfort in your life and not lose a thing.  In fact, the path of least resistance is often the path of least reward.  You need to do hard things.  There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.  As Einstein once said, “Genius is 1% talent and 99% hard work.”  You must run to be a runner.  You must write to be a writer.  You must actively work on a business venture to learn how to run a successful business.  There is no substitute for doing the work.  So meditate on this every day: “I will do the work.  It won’t be easy.  It will be worth it!”  (covered in the "Increasing Your Willpower" lesson of "Getting Back to Happy")

5.  "I can do it later." – Sure, you can always do it later… but your later self will feel the same exact way.  Think about it: Why should your later self be more disciplined than your present self?  In fact, because you’re allowing yourself to slack off now, you’re building a habit of procrastination and actually making it less likely that your later self will be more disciplined.  So today, stop making excuses for why you can’t get it done and start focusing on all the reasons why you must make it happen.  Stop talking about what you have done or what you are going to do.  Just do it and let your actions speak for themselves.  Most great things in life don’t happen by chance, they happen by choice.  You never know what’s possible until you risk finding out.  In the end, there is only one thing that makes your dreams and goals completely impossible to achieve:  Your lack of action today. (covered in the "Goals & Growth" module of "Getting Back to Happy")

And of course, if you're struggling with any of this, know that you are not alone. Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and get our lives back on track. This is precisely why Marc and I built “Getting Back to Happy.” The course is filled with time-tested steps on how to do just that. And I'm thrilled to let you know that the full Getting Back to Happy course is now OPEN again to early access members.

Have we been sending you more emails than usual about this over the past several weeks?

YES! Because we’re closing the doors Friday, July 7th to early access members and sometimes we need a little nudge to invest in ourselves.

This is not some ebook that you read and forget about. It's a revolutionary, self-paced online course and community with 60 HD video lessons, and hundreds of time-tested strategies and techniques that will teach you scientifically proven methods for Conquering Pain, Eliminating Insecurity, Beating Procrastination, Healing Toxic Relationships, Taming Life’s Complications, and Building Consistent Growth into Your Life and Career -- the exact proven strategies and techniques Marc and I have used in our coaching practice to help tens of thousands of people over the past decade.

It took 17 iterations, and thousands of dollars, to get it right.

These techniques work no matter where you stand in your current situation or what you’re up against going forward. Even if you have limited experience with self-improvement and personal development tactics. And even if you don't know what you really want for yourself…yet.

For a limited time the Getting Back to Happy (Early Access) course includes…
  • New, Revolutionary online course and supportive community packed with 60 HD video trainings – includes hundreds of scientifically proven methods for getting back on track, and member-only discussion forums where you can discuss each lesson with Marc, me and other course members. All videos are mobile friendly for iPad/iPhone/Android for your commute -- so you can have an "invisible coach" every day.
  • A full year of personalized email support (and phone support when needed) by Marc and me (not outsourced to someone else) – to make sure you’re getting the daily support you need to create the life you deserve.
  • One hour of two-on-one Skype, FaceTime or phone coaching with both Marc and me (can be used whenever you're ready) – so we can help you with the course material, or any issue you need help with, face-to-face.
  • Audio versions of all Getting Back to Happy course lessons – so you can listen and re-listen and learn on the go.
  • Lifetime access -- If you need to "pause" the course for any reason -- like a vacation, wedding, whatever -- you can pick right back up. These materials are yours for life.
  • A 100% money-back guarantee -- All of this completely protected -- risk-free -- for 30-Days. You can go through the course and THEN decide if it's right for you.
You don't need to spend $15,000 on annual coaching (a realistic average) or even more on live seminars to get back to being...

Effective. Confident. Energetic. Successful. Connected. Clear-headed. Courageous. Attractive. Comfortable in your skin. Free from addictions and habits that hold you back. Free from toxic relationships. Propelled by a sense of purpose. Secure in your zone of inner, creative genius. Driven by your true potential to the point of realizing your dreams. Awakened to the positive changes you're making in your life and the lives around you on a major scale. Slim, trim, and uninterested in french fries.

Seriously, how many times have you wished these qualities would just wash over you, and that you'd wake up one day as an unstoppable version of YOU? That’s exactly what this course will do for you. In fact, this material is so valuable that when we gave our prior members the chance to join a few days early, dozens of them signed up immediately.

Again, the Getting Back to Happy course is officially OPEN TODAY -- and it closes Friday (July 7) at 11:59pm Pacific to early access members.  Don't wait to "figure it out" someday -- check out the details now.

Stakeholders seek traffic management plan for Apapa/Wharf Road




Stakeholders seek traffic management plan for Apapa/Wharf Road
* Reconstruction to take off July 7

By Victor Gbonegun

  To forestall total collapse of business activities in Apapa as the
reconstruction works on the road begins July 7, stakeholders have
resolved that a meeting should be convened between traffic regulatory
agencies, Law enforcement agencies and the Lagos State Traffic
Management Authority (LASTMA), on July 3 to fashion out a traffic
management/diversion plan for the project.
  Rising from a meeting held at the Federal Ministry of Power, Works
and Housing complex in Lagos, they agreed that the  Federal Ministry
of Power, Works and Housing and the NPA should collaborate to repair
all bad portion of the diversion routes, including Tin Can Island
Road, Creek Road and Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, which will experience
heavy traffic.
  Presenting a communiqué at the end of the meeting, the Federal
Controller, Works, Lagos Godwin Eke and a Consultant of AG Dangote
Construction Company Limited, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, said: “We have all
resolve to ensure that parked trucks be removed from Apapa Wharf Road
for construction works to commence in phases on July 7; it will never
be a total closure of all the roads, but only on sections of the road
where work will be done”.
“That all stakeholders will corporate with any changes in time line of
traffic management which will be communicated to all parties by both
the NPA and the contractor through LASTMA, for effective traffic
diversions during the period. The stakeholders also resolved that
traffic management agencies would come up with a periodic traffic
management plan backed by security provided by the security agencies”,
they stated.
Those in attendance at the meeting  include;  representatives of the
Fuel distributor logistics, representatives of traffic regulatory and
management agencies, transport unions, Petroleum Products  Unions,
Port Terminal Operators and the Nigerian Port Authority,
telecommunication service providers, Apapa local authority,
representative of federal ministry of power, work and housing, AG
Dangote construction Company Ltd who will handle the reconstruction.
  According to the communiqué, the sole administrator of Apapa Local
Government, Mr. Luqman Alao would work with all traffic management
agencies, security agencies and the NPA to coordinate activities
between them and the military. Similar meeting has also been held with
utility and service providers in Apapa for clear understanding on
management of cables.
  The Federal Government through the Ministry of Power, Works and
Housing on June 17, 2017 signed a N4.34Billion Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) for the revamp of the Apapa/Wharf Road with the
stakeholders. The Project is funded by AG. Dangote Construction
Company Limited, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Flour Mill of
Nigeria.
The reconstruction work which is a concrete design is expected to be
delivered within One year.

President Trump Poland speech





President Trump departs for Poland Wednesday, where he is due to meet Eastern European leaders before making a public speech in the center of Warsaw on Thursday. The White House says the president will reiterate his commitment to NATO, but also repeat his demand that all alliance members must contribute their share of defense spending. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the Polish capital, where many Poles fear Russian aggression to the east, and are hoping for concrete assurances from the U.S.

We must not build in vain



                      By Bayo Ogunmupe
    "We must not build in vain" is the title of the opening address of the Grand Administrator and director, Supreme Board of AMORC, Dr Kenneth Idiodi at 2017 Lagos conclave of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, held on 13 May, 2017 in Ikeja, Lagos. The seminar was attended by hundreds of AMORC members and thousands of their friends. In his address Dr Idiodi said socio economic development was a most welcome theme for Lagos zone's conclave, coming as it did during these austere times in Nigeria. He said because of the enormous blessings that God has bestowed on Nigeria in human and material resources, our country has often been described as the jewel of Africa.
    According to Idiodi, Nigeria should have been an advanced nation by now with multiple highways and fly-overs crisscrossing the land; elegant suspension bridges hanging over valleys and rivers; high speed electric trains running on railways and sub-ways below; clean mega-cities efficiently administered with uninterrupted power supply and adorned with beautiful environmentally friendly buildings; world class educational institutions churning out acclaimed scholars; vast farms producing  quality food; industries of all types producing equipment and various devices  for the populace; tourist friendly recreational facilities bustling with activity and a place where peace, security, prosperity and opportunity abide.
    The grand administrator continued, "when you visualize this and compare it to the present situation in Nigeria, the contrast is so stark that it is pitiful. And why is it that Nigeria has failed to become the pride of Africa and the black race?"  The blame falls on all of us as citizens.  There isn't any justification to place the blame on our leaders. Our leaders are the products of this society. The problems of the leadership are rooted in this society.
    "And this is why Rosicrucianism is of vital importance in the world today. The greater the number of individuals equipped with the techniques of resolving personal problems, the better the society will be  and of course the better nation. "The Rosicrucian path incorporates both metaphysics and mysticism. Metaphysics is that which covers intuition, visualization and healing techniques. Mysticism is simply the process by which you may experience the conscious union with your creator, Divine mind, universal intelligence or what some Rosicrucians call the God of their Hearts."
    This is done by learning and applying natural laws which allow you to experience Cosmic consciousness. The Rosicrucian Order does not define the deity. It leaves you free to discover this by reflection. Soon a deep yearning for self improvement and moral rectitude develops in the Rosicrucian student  as progress is made along the path of self mastery. Chief Idiodi concludes by saying, "the pursuit of health, wealth, happiness  and peace are the main goals essential for national prosperity."
    Rosicrucianism for socio economic development as the theme of the conclave was amplified by Dr Augustine Agugua of the Department of Sociology, University of Lagos in his lecture. Therein he discussed a heart rending scenario upon which Nigeria was adjudged the worst  country for a baby to be born in as at 2016. For the welcome address on behalf of the Lagos Zone of the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC), its chairman for the 2017 planning committee, Chief Amobi Nwokafor thanked everyone in attendance, rejoicing over the tumultuous presence of members and well wishers. Chief Nwokafor further disclosed that the global events today, particularly the current economic recession in Nigeria  necessitated that "we  develop the capacity to frequently engage our minds in activities that will shape the thinking of of the members of our society." 
    Nwokafor said that it was for that purpose that the Rosicrucians convened the gathering. he said it was part of their contribution to the socio economic development of Nigeria. He intimated us of Dr Agugua's Improvement Agenda for the Socio economic  development  of Nigeria. As he had predicted, after the lecture, our lives were never the same again.

We must not build in vain



                      By Bayo Ogunmupe
    "We must not build in vain" is the title of the opening address of the Grand Administrator and director, Supreme Board of AMORC, Dr Kenneth Idiodi at 2017 Lagos conclave of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, held on 13 May, 2017 in Ikeja, Lagos. The seminar was attended by hundreds of AMORC members and thousands of their friends. In his address Dr Idiodi said socio economic development was a most welcome theme for Lagos zone's conclave, coming as it did during these austere times in Nigeria. He said because of the enormous blessings that God has bestowed on Nigeria in human and material resources, our country has often been described as the jewel of Africa.
    According to Idiodi, Nigeria should have been an advanced nation by now with multiple highways and fly-overs crisscrossing the land; elegant suspension bridges hanging over valleys and rivers; high speed electric trains running on railways and sub-ways below; clean mega-cities efficiently administered with uninterrupted power supply and adorned with beautiful environmentally friendly buildings; world class educational institutions churning out acclaimed scholars; vast farms producing  quality food; industries of all types producing equipment and various devices  for the populace; tourist friendly recreational facilities bustling with activity and a place where peace, security, prosperity and opportunity abide.
    The grand administrator continued, "when you visualize this and compare it to the present situation in Nigeria, the contrast is so stark that it is pitiful. And why is it that Nigeria has failed to become the pride of Africa and the black race?"  The blame falls on all of us as citizens.  There isn't any justification to place the blame on our leaders. Our leaders are the products of this society. The problems of the leadership are rooted in this society.
    "And this is why Rosicrucianism is of vital importance in the world today. The greater the number of individuals equipped with the techniques of resolving personal problems, the better the society will be  and of course the better nation. "The Rosicrucian path incorporates both metaphysics and mysticism. Metaphysics is that which covers intuition, visualization and healing techniques. Mysticism is simply the process by which you may experience the conscious union with your creator, Divine mind, universal intelligence or what some Rosicrucians call the God of their Hearts."
    This is done by learning and applying natural laws which allow you to experience Cosmic consciousness. The Rosicrucian Order does not define the deity. It leaves you free to discover this by reflection. Soon a deep yearning for self improvement and moral rectitude develops in the Rosicrucian student  as progress is made along the path of self mastery. Chief Idiodi concludes by saying, "the pursuit of health, wealth, happiness  and peace are the main goals essential for national prosperity."
    Rosicrucianism for socio economic development as the theme of the conclave was amplified by Dr Augustine Agugua of the Department of Sociology, University of Lagos in his lecture. Therein he discussed a heart rending scenario upon which Nigeria was adjudged the worst  country for a baby to be born in as at 2016. For the welcome address on behalf of the Lagos Zone of the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (AMORC), its chairman for the 2017 planning committee, Chief Amobi Nwokafor thanked everyone in attendance, rejoicing over the tumultuous presence of members and well wishers. Chief Nwokafor further disclosed that the global events today, particularly the current economic recession in Nigeria  necessitated that "we  develop the capacity to frequently engage our minds in activities that will shape the thinking of of the members of our society." 
    Nwokafor said that it was for that purpose that the Rosicrucians convened the gathering. he said it was part of their contribution to the socio economic development of Nigeria. He intimated us of Dr Agugua's Improvement Agenda for the Socio economic  development  of Nigeria. As he had predicted, after the lecture, our lives were never the same again.

Laws that will transform your life


 
                          By Bayo Ogunmupe
    Our lives can be seen as a box; when we do good, we fill the box with good things and vice versa, when we do something bad, we fill it with bad things. Throughout our lives, we randomly pull something out of that box. The more good things you do, the more likely that you will pull something good out of the box. Most of the choices are not conscious choices, everything is left to chance. This means that doing good deeds will not always  be rewarded; and doing bad deeds will not always be punished.
    There is something much more significant and important. That important thing is how you choose to live your whole life. Really, if you want something to happen in your life, you should actively act to achieve it. This is something you forget at some stages in your life. You cannot always hope that things will just happen as you want, without necessary effort. You should never rely on things happening spontaneously without propelling them with action. You should always control yourself.
    Indeed, it is yourself you can only control. You cannot control what others do. But you bear full responsibility for your own actions. Your life is your own creation. You decide which direction to take while you are the sole controller of your destiny. Failure will continue to persist in your life until the lesson is learned. One of the rules of karma is that until the lesson is learned, we will continue to make the same mistakes. The story will continue to repeat until you learn something. This is true for both nations and individuals.
    The successes that happen to us have value only when we have worked to achieve them. The true value of things does not come from how much we have spent on them; but of how assiduously we worked to get them. The biggest personal victories are those that are beneficial to everyone. If you get rich, it is good for you, but you are just an individual. The greatest victories are those that benefit the whole community. Dedication to the good of a nation brings positive karmic influences which in turn provides a tremendous popular support.
    And the most important universal law of abundance is being happy all the time. The energy of happiness is very powerful and does erase bad karma. Bad karma can be cleaned through making others happy. Meditation, visualization and chakra cleaning can also erase bad karma. To be happy, invest time, energy and money into yourself everyday. Happiness comes as a side effect of learning new skills, challenging yourself and helping others. Adapt and stretch yourself to accommodate new ideas and new information.
    When you invest in yourself, you develop higher levels of creativity and you can never lose the battle for prominence. And over time you will change the trajectory of your life, since you are the product of what you know. The more time, energy and money you invest acquiring pertinent knowledge,  the more control you have over your life. The one lie you learned when you were young is still holding you back. Starting all over again isn't an option. That is the great lie that is hindering your progress.  
    The idea that starting all over as being bad is baked right into our educational system. We send children to universities at 18; telling them to choose careers that  they will be happy with for the next 40 years. But what if you choose wrong? And that is what often happens. Over time through bouts of failure and hardship, you learn the truth through experience. Then you change to new career paths. The truth is that no one wins in a game of chess by only moving forward. Sometimes, you have to move backwards to put yourself in a position to win. This is a perfect metaphor for life. Often, you feel running into a dead end. That is actually a sign you are not on the right path. Gradually, life teaches us U turns are allowed. So, turn around when you must.