Sunday, 10 August 2014

Cultivate The Company Of Honest People


On The Path Of Winners
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE
Cultivate The Company Of Honest People

JACK Welch, Chief Executive of the U.S. General Electric for decades once said that the most important quality of leadership is the ‘reality principle’ which he defined as the ability to see the world as it is, not as you wish it were. He would begin every meeting to discuss a problem with the question, ‘‘What is the reality?” Peter Drucker referred to the same quality as ‘‘intellectual honesty.”
  Thus, if you want to be the best you can be and achieve what is truly possible for you, you must be brutally honest about yourself and on your point of departure. Intellectual honesty is the single  most important ingredient of success missing among Nigerians. It is this quality that we lack that is responsible for our backwardness in the world.
  Examples of intellectual dishonesty abound in our society. The first is on Alhaji Lamido Sanusi’s revelation alleging that $49.8 billion was missing since NNPC failed to remit it from Nigeria’s crude oil sales. Lamido Sanusi, as he then was, now Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, Emir of Kano, was the immediate past Central Bank governor. After the rumpus created by the allegation, the senate requested its committee on Finance to investigate the matter. In adopting the committee report on July 10, 2014, Senate noted through the report that $10.61 billion due to the Federation Account was withheld and spent by the NNPC without appropriation. While the Daily Trust caption for that report was ‘Senate indicts NNPC over $49.8bn unremitted funds,” that of The Guardian was ‘‘Sanusi wrong over alleged missing $49.8b, says Senate.”
  From the foregoing, you can measure the mindset of the reporters. The mindset of a person is determined by the level of his honesty. In journalism we say: facts are sacred, opinion is free. Unfortunately, the Nigerian, no matter his level of education and his religious persuasion, does not appreciate the difference between opinion and fact. A Guardian colleague of mine, Omiko Awa avers that our disregard for honesty is caused by our polygamous upbringing. He said that the traditional Nigerian family before the coming of the colonialist was polygamous, which does not permit candour in family conversations.
  Thus, the father cannot tell the whole truth to his family for fear of being misunderstood. Sadly, modernity has not changed anything since this ingrained behavior had not been mitigated by religion, which had been commercialized by prosperity evangelists. Just as the American philosopher, George Santayana wrote, ‘‘Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it,” since we don’t keep records, we nearly always repeat our past. But there is an iron law of self development. It says you can learn anything you need to learn to achieve any goal. There are no limits on what you can accomplish, except the limits you place on your own mind and imagination. If you decide to become excellent to join the top ten per cent of your field, nothing on earth can stop you from getting there, except yourself.
  But that might not be easy. Nothing good comes easy. However, for you to achieve something you have never achieved before, you must become someone that you have never been before. To become the best you can be, you must ask, How do I achieve it? The fact that others have achieved similar ambitions before is proof you too can achieve it. In most areas of life, it is hard work and dedication rather than natural ability and talent that lead to excellence and great success. It isn’t education per se that leads you to success, it is awareness that leads you to success in your chosen field.
  In an analysis of the Forbes 400, the 400 richest Americans, conducted in the 1970s, researchers found that a person who dropped out of high school, and made it into Forbes 400 was worth more than $330 million more than those who had completed university. It isn’t educational qualifications that lead you to success. Most of the wealthiest people world did poorly in school. Bill Gates, the richest man in the world today, dropped out of Harvard University in his second year. Basically, college education trains you to work for others, not to grant you financial independence.
  You become excellent in what you do bit by bit. You move to the top step by step, skill by skill with one small improvement at a time. Nowadays, your earning ability depends on how fast you can innovate. The fact is that current levels of knowledge and skill are becoming obsolete at a faster rate than ever before. Earning ability is a depreciating asset. Never allow your skills and knowledge become obsolete. This is a choice you have to make.
  In order to maintain an appreciating earning ability, you have to continuously upgrade your skills. At first it will be as if you are running a race and you are the only one running. You very soon move ahead of your pack and into the lead position. Your dedication to excellence will soon propel you to the top. To keep your rank at the top, identify the knowledge you will need and learn it, make a career move, meaning: you did another specialty to your generalist past. You are to diversify, enlarge your career. With diverse skills and competencies, you open the way for multiple streams of income.
  Our champion this week is Nadine Gordimer, the South African novelist and short story writer whose major theme was exile and alienation. She received the 1991 Nobel Prize for Literature. Gordimer was born in November 1923 in Springs, Transvaal to a wealthy white middle class family. She began reading at an early age. By the age of nine, she had been writing short stories. She got her story published by a magazine at the age of 15.
  Gordimer’s wide reading got her informed about the harsh life conditions in the other side of apartheid – the official South African policy of racial segregation at the time. Her discovery of apartheid developed into her strong political opposition to apartheid. She attended the University of Witwaterstrand for a year. She later devoted her life to writing, lecturing and teaching in various schools in the United States between 1970 and 1990.
  Gordimer’s first book was The Soft Voice of the Serpent (1952), it was a collection of short stories. In 1953, a novel, The Lying Days, was published. Both exhibit the clear, controlled and unsentimental technique that became her hallmark. Her stories concern the devastating effects of apartheid on the lives of South Africans. These effects are the constant tension between personal isolation and the commitment to social justice, the numbness caused by the unwillingness to accept apartheid, the inability to change it and the refusal of exile. Her book, A World of Strangers, was the prescribed literature textbook for the West African School Certificate and the General Certificate of Education in the 1960s. Her novel, The Conservationist (1974) won the Booker McConnell Prize in 1974. She continued to write until her death earlier this month at the age of 90.

Ground Zero… A peep into the future of man on earth


Ground Zero… A peep into the future of man on earth

By Bayo Ogunmupe

THIS book Ground Zero (AuthorHouse, U.S.; 2013) is a memoir, the personal reminiscences of a Nigerian, Mr. Dotman who hails from the minorities’ oil producing Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The volume is an attempt to break codes with which artists and intellectuals pass on their information from generation to generation. In his attempt to unravel the mysteries of the intellect, Dotman describes how they ponder answers to questions spurred by their progressive ideology towards the emancipation of the people from the misery they find themselves.
  Through the book, Dotman strives to predict a less conflicting future where the anti-Christ and others fear the loss of their cultural diversity, of their humanity, expressing bias toward secularity and religion. Indeed, as the old ideological conflicts give rise to today’s controversies, a novel fire of ideology flares up in Dotman and he shares it with us here in this text, unexpectedly. Thus, Dotman has found a powerful doctrine that is so anomalous to perceived culture, knowledge and ingenuity of the people. This newly found theory also known as zero, is structured to use the works of renowned geniuses of yore.
  This book is subtitled, Further Relativity – meaning the text is on a particular theory of life. Therefore, this book contains a philosophical theory as propounded by the author, Dotman. Thus, Dotman has produced a new fire of ideology where one would not have expected: at the borderlines where the foundations of cultures are considered inviolable. Ground Zero is a paperback, has 204 pages and clearly printed for the perusal of the young and old. It has 13 chapters with a Foreword and Prelude. It starts with Truth is the enemy of superstition, ending with Psychic Encounters.
  Events occurring simultaneously as a concept of nature can be applied to varying conditions. It could occur due to time dilation. Differences in time are made possible by frames of reference or cultural and religious differences. These varieties of time dilations are the preoccupation of Ground Zero. The aim of the relativist view of life is to espouse an ideology of or philosophy of life in which time anchors the meaning and purpose of human existence.
  The book also contains the author’s prophecy that synchronization will not begin until after a thousand years, when many of us would have arrived in heaven. According to Dotman, the da Vinci code, which Leonardo possessed that enabled him to survive a stroke that immobilized him before he died in 1519, that code, has a special power; the undiscovered coded knowledge would be placed or made available to any awakened man. The code contains gnostic wisdom, which can be used to set goals and accomplish them.
  This da Vinci mark enables humans to make choices and know why things like 9/11 happened and many more. This da Vinci mark can be traced to the origin of knowledge. And that knowledge originated from the source of the universe. The code also proposes that knowledge is as old as the universe. That postulation leads to the position occupied by man in the universe. This is revealed when we model the universe in the form of an atom. In that scenario, the planets become the electrons revolving around the nucleus.
  In Ground Zero, Dotman eulogizes Satan for opening our eyes to the nakedness we were at the Garden of Eden. He avers that sin was good, suggesting that we declared for Satan for clothing us. He says that Satan enables us to thirst for knowledge. But if we do not quest for knowledge, we would suffer ignorance which could be self-inflicted.
  Dotman says it was good we chose knowledge. The decision to discern falsehood from truth was good, doing so awakened us from ignorance which meant death. Painting God as a white butterfly and the devil as a black butterfly showcases the talent of a relativist.
  According to Dotman, man’s success is showing signs that we are overreaching ourselves. Our success had made incalculable impact on the environment, greater than all the other species on our planet combined. The opportunity to ascertain why we are here has been presented by the discovery of Ground Zero. For the avoidance of doubts, the place now named Ground Zero used to be the site of the World Trade Centre, which was destroyed on September 9, 2011, due to Osama bin Laden’s terrorist attack on the United States of America.
  Thus, Dotman tells us at the end of the book that we should not be surprised by the lawlessness and insanity that have overtaken the earth at this point in time. He affirms this state of affairs as predicted in both the Bible and the Quran. Due to genetic programming, prophecy is bound to be fulfilled and man faces extinction within the next millennium.
  Reading Dotman’s Ground Zero is a tasking but uplifting adventure that will wake the reader from his slumbers.
  Ground Zero, still in e-book format, is yet to be available in Nigeria in paperback, but it can be obtained online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Decide Upon Your Main Purpose


On The Path Of Winners
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE

Decide Upon Your Main Purpose
SUCCESSFUL people fail more often than unsuccessful people. Successful people try more things, fail, pick themselves up and try again until they succeed. Unsuccessful people try a few things, if they try at all and give-up, to go back to their normal routine. For the champion however, his purpose will give him the focus to win. The more you think of your purpose, how to achieve it, the more you activate the Law of Attraction in your life. There and then, you begin to attract the people, opportunities and the circumstances that will help you accomplish your purpose.
  A definite purpose also activates your subconscious on your behalf. Any thought, plan, or goal that you can clearly define will immediately start to be brought into reality by your subconscious. Your main purpose may be defined as the one goal that is most important to you. Usually, it is the one goal that will help you achieve more of your other goals. However, the main question you should ask yourself was: What major thing would you dare to dream if you know you could not fail? If you could be guaranteed of successfully achieving any goal, what one goal would it be? If you could write down your answer, you can achieve it. From then on, the only question remaining is: How? Your only limit is how badly you want it and how long you are willing to work for it.
  My only Nigerian hero is Wole Soyinka, winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature. I met him while he gave the First Daily Independent Lecture in 2002. He was the guest speaker at the event. He was very punctual which forced me to ask if he believed in African time. He answered that lateness to events is caused by poor preparation. Of course, I hailed him as the only Nigerian to win the coveted prize among 150 million people. He told me that when he started his academic career after serving apprenticeship in the theatre in Britain, he decided he wanted to make a contribution in Literature. That was his major goal. He focused on it for more than thirty years. Eventually, he was successful, the first African to be so honoured. He told me: ‘‘I was happy when it happened but it was not a surprise.” Yes, it could not have been a surprise since he applied for it.
  You want to be a billionaire. The question is whether you can provide the necessary, investing all the years required to achieve that financial goal. If you are willing to pay the price, then, there is nothing that can stop you. You must think about your goal all the time. Choosing a definite goal with your decision to concentrate single-mindedly on that purpose, overcoming all obstacles until it is achieved will change your life for the better than any other decision you ever make. Whatever your definite purpose, write it down and begin working on it from this moment on. King David of ancient Israel says: ‘‘As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he, Proverbs 23:7. That means you always act based on your beliefs and convictions about yourself. Jesus said: ‘‘According to your faith, it will be done unto you,” Matt 9:29. Here he is saying that your beliefs become your realities.
  In: Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill said, ‘‘Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, you can achieve.” You are better than you know. Programme your greatness into your subconscious. If you believe that you are destined for greatness, you will walk, talk and act as if all that is happening to you in life is part of a great plan to make you successful. That is how great people think. Also, within every difficulty is the seed of an equal or greater advantage. With this attitude you benefit from whatever happens to you. Your job is to mentally create what you want to be in life.
  The three keys to achieving your purpose are commitment, completion and closure. A firm commitment to achieving your goals puts aside all excuses. Completion as an ingredient in peak performance doing your tasks hundred per cent instead of ninety per cent. For closure, it is the difference between an open loop and a closed one. Bringing closure to an issue is absolutely essential for you to be happy engendering a sense of accomplishment. Lack of closure meaning incomplete action on an issue is a major source of dissatisfaction and failure in life. Whereas, nothing will propel you to greatness faster than developing a reputation for getting your tasks done quickly, well and on schedule. Always write your goals down. A goal without a deadline is merely a discussion. Don’t be afraid to set a deadline. If you failed to meet a deadline, set another. If you want to fastrack your career, listen to inspirational radio programmes, take additional courses of study whenever you can. These investments in knowledge will propel you unfailingly into greatness. If financial freedom is your goal, from today begin to question every single expense. As your income increases, increase the amount you save. Become a learned man by reading a book a week.
  Our champion this week is Abraham Harold Maslow, the American psychologist and philosopher best known for his self actualization theory of psychology which argued that the primary goal of psychotherapy should be the integration of the self. Maslow was born on All Fools Day April 1908. He died in 1970. He studied psychology at the University of Winsconsin and Gestalt psychology at the New School for Social Research in New York City. Then, he joined the staff of Brooklyn College in 1937. By 1951 he had become head of psychology department of Brandeis University, Massachusetts, where he remained until 1969.
  Maslow’s major works were: Motivation and Personality (1954) and Towards a Psychology of Being (I962). Maslow argued that each person has a hierarchy of needs that must be satisfied ranging from the requirements to love, esteem, and self actualization. As each need is satisfied, the next higher level dominates conscious functioning, thus people who lack food and shelter are unable to express higher needs. He believed that truly healthy people satisfied needs and were self actualizers. His papers published posthumously, were issued in 1971 as The Further Reaches of Human Nature.

Activate Courage To Pursue Your Goals


..On The Path Of Winners
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE

Activate Courage To Pursue Your Goals

MOST people give up trying to achieve their goals even before the first day. And the reason why they give up is because of the obstacles that appear as soon as they decide to do something they have never done before. But as of fact, great people fail more often than mediocre. You should expect to fail several times before you attain your goals. Failure and temporary defeat are part of the price you pay on your road to financial freedom. Failure is an opportunity to achieve a grand triumph.
  When you decide upon your goal, identifying all the obstacles that stand on your way. Write them down in detail. Then, think in terms of solutions. Great people have the solution mindset. They brood about solutions most of the time. Activate the solution orientation in your life. Solution oriented people are always looking for solutions to their problems. Problem oriented people always whine over their problems. Always, there are problems between you and your goals, which is why success is often defined as the ability to solve problems. And leadership is the ability to solve problems. So is effectiveness. Thus, champions are people who have developed the ability to solve the problems that stand between them and their goals.
  Problem solving is a skill that you must acquire. A skill is like riding a bicycle or typing with a typewriter or keyboard, which you can learn. The more you focus on solutions, the more and better solutions come to you. The better you get at solving problems, the faster you get at gaining your goals. The faster you are solving problems, the more you solve problems that can have significant financial impact for you and others. This is how the world works. You can win because you have all the intelligence and ability you will ever need to overcome any obstacle on the path of your purpose. Celebrate your journey, not your destination. Always feel good about where you are now, and confident about where you will be tomorrow.
  Incidentally, there have been important breakthroughs in decision-making. This was described by Eliyahu Goldratt in his book, The Goal, as ‘‘the theory of constraints.” This theory says that between you and anything you want to achieve, - there is a constraint or limiting factor. That determines how fast you get to where you want to be. For example, if you are driving down a freeway and traffic construction is narrowing the vehicles into a single lane. This bottleneck becomes the constraint that determines how fast you will get to your destination. The speed at which you pass through this bottleneck largely determines the speed of your entire journey.
  In achieving your goal, your ability to remove this bottleneck will help you move ahead faster than any other step you can take. Yet, there is another rule of constraint. This rule says eighty per cent of your constraints are within you. Only twenty per cent of your constraints are outside of yourself, contained in other people, and situations. Put another way, it is you personally who is the roadblock that is setting the speed at which you achieve your goal.
  For most people, it is hard to accept that you are your own enemy. But great people are more concerned with what is right rather than who is right. Champions are more concerned with the truth of the situation and the solution to the problem than they are with protecting their ego. Ask what is in you that is holding you back. Is it hate? Hate is like acid, it damages the container in which it is stored and destroys the vessel on which it is poured. To be safe, hate no one!
  Identify the key constraints in your personality, skills, ability, habits, education and experience that might be holding you back from financial freedom. Be completely honest with yourself. Here in Nigeria, we fail more often because of jealousy, hatred, greed and cowardice. We trust nebulous and superstitious beliefs such as luck, destiny, fate and various other myths. In a nation that has commercialized education, religion and politics, working creatively is the safest road to prosperity.
  The first obstacle to success is the fear of failure. It is why the average man tries to achieve a new goal only once. Fears overwhelm him, which extinguish his desire for success completely. The second mental obstacle closely aligned to fear is self doubt. He doubts his own abilities. He compares himself unfavourably to others, thinking others are better than himself. But happily, negative emotions can be unlearned. You can unlearn through practice and repetition. The antidotes to fear and doubt are courage and confidence. The higher the level of your courage and confidence, the lower your levels of fear and doubt.
  The keys to courage and confidence are knowledge and skill. Fear and doubt arise from ignorance and inadequate skill in matters relating to your subject. The more you acquire what you need to achieve your goals, the less you fear and doubt. The third mental obstacle you need to overcome is the comfort zone. You are in your comfort zone when you become complacent with your present status. You become so comfortable in your job or relationship such that you become reluctant to make any changes at all, even for the better. This comfort zone is a major obstacle to ambition, desire, determination and accomplishment. People who are stuck in a comfort zone can be helpless. Don’t let this happen to you.
  The way to evade obstacles is to list them in writing. To remove any obstacle, first define it in several ways before you solve it. Accurate diagnosis is half the cure. By accurate definition, you solve the problem. There is always a solution to any problem somewhere. Find the solution. Our champion this week is William Tecumseh Sherman, American civil war general and the architect of modern warfare. He led the union forces in crushing campaigns in 1864-5.
  Named Tecumseh in honour of the renowned American Indian chieftain, Sherman was born in February 1820, in Lancaster, Ohio. He was one of eight children of Judge Charles Sherman who died when the boy was nine. Thomas Ewing, a family friend and a Stalwart Whig politician adopted Tecumseh and his foster mother added William to his name.
  At 16, Ewing obtained an appointment to West Point Military Academy for him. Sherman graduated on top of his class in 1840. Thereafter, he was sent to fight Seminole Indians in Florida. In 1850, he married Ellen Ewing, daughter of his adoptive father. Ewing was then serving as the secretary of the Interior in Washington D.C. The new family settled in St. Louis. He resigned from the army to join a bank at its branch in California. The panic of 1857 interrupted his promising career in business and later friends found him employment in January 1860 as superintendent of a newly established military academy in Louisiana.
  When Louisiana seceded from the union in 1861, Sherman resigned his appointment. Then he obtained an appointment in the U.S. Army as a colonel. He was soon assigned to command a brigade in General Irvin McDowell’s army, fighting in the Battle of Bull Run. Later he was promoted Brigadier.
  President Abraham Lincoln thereafter sent him to Kentucky as second in command to General Robert Anderson. Later he became a divisional commander under General Ulysses Grant where Sherman distinguished himself at the Battle of Shiloh in 1862 – winning promotion to major general. Together with Grant they won victories in Vicksburg and Fort Hindman.
  When Grant assumed supreme command in the west, Sherman commanded the armies of Mississippi. Then Sherman presented Savannah to Lincoln as Christmas gift in 1864. By February 1865, he was approaching Virginia where General Robert Lee surrendered to Grant in the closing battles of the civil war. Sherman succeeded Grant as the head of the army. When Grant became President in 1869, he made Sherman commanding General of the Army, a post he held until 1884. He declined all entreaties to run for office. Sherman was one of the ablest union generals in the civil war. His march to the sea is regarded as the first example of total war in modern warfare. He died in 1891 a week after his 71st birthday.