Wednesday, 24 September 2014

YOU ARE WHAT YOU CAN BE, BY bAYO OGUNMUPE



T every turning point in your life, a person is usually standing there guiding you, opening or closing a door for you. Baron de Rothschild, Europe’s richest man in the 19th century once wrote: ‘‘Make no useless acquaintances.” All of these are caused by complacency, meaning taking action is the seed of greatness. What we think or know or what we believe in is of no consequence. The only consequence is what we do.
  If you are serious about succeeding at what you are doing, there are three steps you must take. One, do something. Nobody ever made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he didn’t know what to do. Praying and planning are good but doing something is better. He prays the most who works hardest.
  God promised to part the waters of the Jordan River so that His people could enter the Promised Land. But the waters parted only after they stepped in, Joshua 3:11-17. Apply the same principle. Just get moving, you cannot do a thing correctly until you have started doing it. If you don’t know exactly what to do, just start doing something. The first step to success is, Do something. Two, Do something today. If you want to achieve your dream, you cannot follow the crowd.
  Germany’s Shakespeare, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, whatever you can do, or think, begin it, for boldness has power and genius in it. The three essential steps to success are one, do something, two, do something today and finally, do something everyday. Stories of great people have always revolved around persistence: Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Disraeli and Nelson Mandela. If you want to know your future, look at your daily routine. You don’t determine your future, you determine your habits and your habits determine your future.
  The secret of success is doing the right things day after day. But beware, in your desire to build a reputation, don’t lose your character. Reputation is what people think you are, character is what God and your relatives know you are. Never sacrifice your family for your career. If you do, you will end up winning the admiration of mediocres while losing the love of those who matter. Don’t sacrifice your spirituality (relationship with God) for material things. God told His people: ‘‘You may say to yourself, my power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember your Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, if you ever forget the Lord, you will surely be destroyed,” Deu 8: 17-18.
  Aside of the do it now law of success, another characteristic of leaders is vision. Just as Walt Disney saw a happy family oriented Amusement Park many years before Disneyland was built, you also must carry the vision of this kind of goal. Every time you think about someone, remember a past event you are visualizing. Just learn to manage and control your visualizing capacity. Champions visualize their success in advance as they want to savour it as a new experience.
  But failures usually visualize their failures even before the actual event. As a result, their subconscious have been programmed for failure rather than success. Apart from the Rozicrucian aphorism: Whatsoever thou resolveth to do, do it immediately, reserve not to the evening what the morning can accomplish, you must constantly feed your mind with exciting images of success. Through visualization George Washington, America’s first president and Benjamin Franklin, America’s first millionaire made themselves champions of world politics. For many years, week after week, they thought of a characteristic quality they wanted to embody. They visualized by imagining themselves as possessors of that quality. Over time these images became so deeply impressed on their subconscious such that the mannerisms and the person became one.
  Piero Ferucci, in his book: What We May Be, explains how you can develop any quality you desire by dwelling upon it continually and imagining that you have that quality already. Read about what you desire, you are what you can be. Like professional athletes, rehearse your success in advance. Continuously recall your best performances at every stage of your life. Frequently, visualize your goal with such vividness and intensity that you can almost act it as your role. How clearly you can see this your goal will determine how quickly it comes into your reality. The reason why you need clarity is that casualness bring casualties. If you don’t have a clear idea of what you want, you end up getting worse things. As within, so without, so visualize your ideal life and with patience you will realize it in no time.
  Our champion this week is Sir William Arthur Lewis, the black West Indies economist who shared with Theodore Shultz the 1979 Nobel prize for Economics for his studies of economic development and his construction of an innovative model relating the terms of trade between less developed and more advanced nations to their respective levels of labour producing in agriculture.
  Lewis was born in 1915 in Castries Saint Lucia, British West Indies. He got his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees from the London School of Economics after winning scholarships between 1930 and 1940. He was a lecturer at the LSE from 1938 to 1947.
  He was appointed professor of economics by the University of Manchester from 1947 to 1958. He became principal of the University College of the West Indies between 1959 and 1962. He also worked as professor of economics at Princeton University from 1963 to 1983. He helped establish and between 1970 and 1973 headed the Caribbean Development Bank. Lewis was knighted by the British Queen in 1963. His several books included The Principles of Economic Planning (1949), The Theory of Economic Growth (1955), Development Planning (1966) and Growth and Fluctuations (1978). He died in 1991 at Bridgetown Barbados. He was the first blackman to win the Nobel prize in Economics.
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BE INDISPENSABLE TO YOUR CUSTOMERS, Bayo Ogunmupe



SINCE your goal is to become a moneybag, charity makes your dreams become your realities. Which is why you must brood your goals all of the time. The more you visualize them, the faster they will materialize in your life. Begin the process by clarifying your goals, and becoming a more focused and definitive person. You move from being a wandering generalist to becoming a specificist. Thereby you reach a point where your resolve lifts you into great and extraordinary accomplishment.
  Indeed, the one most important quality you must possess to win is definiteness of purpose, becoming an expert in your field and a burning desire to possess your goal. These qualities activate our subconscious which in turn brings your aim into reality. But it is good for you to analyze your beliefs. An important mental law is the law of Belief. That law says whatever you belief with utmost conviction becomes your reality.
  Proverbs 23:7 says that ‘‘As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” This means your actions are determined by your beliefs. Accordingly, Mathew 9:29 says: ‘‘According to your faith, it will be done unto you.” This is another way of saying that your beliefs become your realities. These your beliefs determine what happen to you. Indeed, Professor William James of Harvard once said that your beliefs create the facts. James went on to affirm that the greatest revolution of his generation was the discovery that individuals can change their circumstances simply by changing the attitude of their minds. Things always happen that you really believe in, and the belief in a thing always makes it happen.
  The best way to become indispensable to anyone, particularly your customers is to become a lifelong do-it-yourself project. Be prepared to invest years to become an expert in a critical area. Be willing to pay any price, make any sacrifice to be the best at what you do. There is the three plus one formula for mastering any skill you want. And this formula works every time. First read in the skill area each day for at least one hour. Knowledge is cumulative. The more you read and learn about a vocation, the more confident you become that you can do this job in an excellent way.
  Secondly, listen to experts, audio programmes on the subject at home or in your car. You can become an expert in your field by simply listening to audio programmes in your car rather than music. Thirdly, attend seminars and workshops on the subject. Finally, practice what you learn at the earliest possible opportunity. Every time you hear a good idea, take action on it. The more you practice what you are learning, the faster you will become skilled in that area. There are no limits to your ability to excel.
  Also, giving of yourself without any expectation of reward is another principle of being indispensable. But the more you give like that, the more that will come back to you from the most unexpected sources. Which is why you should make every effort to expand your contacts. But beware, the people with whom you habitually associate majorly determine your success or failure in life. Therefore, if you want to fly with the eagles, you cannot continue to scratch with the turkeys.
  Always associate with the kind of people that are compatible with your ambition. Make it a potent to associate with people that you respect, admire and want to be like in the future. Mingle with such people that you can look up to and will be proud to introduce to your friends. The choice of positive goal-oriented reference group can do more to supercharge your career than any other factor. A change in your status in life will be associated with a change in the people you live or work with. 
  Baron de Rothschild, the richest man in Europe in his time once wrote: ‘‘Make no useless acquaintances.” If you are really serious about being the best, and becoming a top notcher of your profession, you cannot afford to mingle with mediocre. Ortega Gasset, the greatest Spanish philosopher and humanist once said that you must be selfish with regard to your ambitions since self-centeredness is the very basis of ambition and that you must set high standards with regard to your associates and refuse to compromise. It is unforgivable to continue in a relationship that is holding you back from your realizing your full human potential.
  Once you have decided upon the people, groups, and organizations whose help and cooperation you will need in your march toward greatness, resolve to become a relationship expert. In modern politics, power is moving toward influence not authority. This means an influential person is more important than the person in authority because authority is transient.
  Our champion today is Sir Thomas Gresham, the English merchant and financier who founded The British Royal Exchange. Born in London in 1579, Gresham was educated at the University of Cambridge, he later trained as a lawyer. He became a spy for the British government in Eastern Europe where he engaged in espionage, smuggled military weapons and the bullion. He also negotiated on behalf of the British creditors.
  Gresham operated in the foreign exchange market to alleviate exchange fluctuations. He urged government to fix the rate of exchange, advising Queen Elizabeth 1, to recoin the currency following her father’s debasement of it with inferior metal. Which was why his name was associated with the monetary principle known as Gresham’s law which is summarized by the aphorism that ‘‘bad money drives out good money.” In economics it means if two coins with the same nominal value but are made from metals of unequal value, the cheaper will drive the other out of circulation.
  It is believed that Gresham’s law is operating in Nigeria affairs. When partisan politics started in 1999, there were many good people who notified Nigerians of their intentions to participate in governance. How many of these good people are left in the political firmament today? The current corrupt power brokers have now driven the good people out of circulation.

YOU CANNOT WIN FROM WHERE YOU ARE



N order for you to transit from where you are now, to where you want to be, you have to undertake multiple jobs and embrace new careers. It is estimated that on average, a person starting work today will have 14 full-time jobs lasting two years or more and four full time careers in different businesses before he reaches retirement age.
  Thus, it is inevitable that your career will change continually as you grow and advance in your march toward financial freedom. Therefore, you must be constantly looking down your road on acquiring new skills and competencies for the attainment of your goals. Every job is made up to five to seven key result areas. In sales for example you have: one, prospecting; two, establishing rapport, three: identifying needs; four: proffering solutions, five: answering objections; six: closing the sale and seven, getting resales and references from satisfied customers.
  Then as a salesman, you have to grade yourself on these seven areas. You should take the list to some of your customers for them to grade you. That will be an eye opener for you. Whatever your grades, select your weakest points and work on them, for your weakest skill sets the height of your income, determining how fast and how far you go in your career.
  In order to move onto the fast track of your life, you would need to develop the skill that would have the greatest positive impact on your career. It should become your focal point for personal and professional development. Once you have achieved mastery in your weakest area, you then broaden your knowledge in preparation to excel in your career. Thereafter, you set personal improvement as a goal, then you go to work to improve yourself in that area everyday. In a year, you will be absolutely excellent in that skill area. You will have become a champion of your vocation.
  A most important step in your career is to identify what it is that you are really good at, then put your whole heart into becoming excellent in that area. Mary Parker Follett, an American management consultant in the 19th century wrote: ‘‘The very best direction to ride a horse is in the direction it is going.” The very best way to develop yourself is in the direction of your natural talents. Nurture your nature is the best advice that you should follow throughout your life.
  There are eight ways for you to identify your forte in life. First, you will always be happiest at doing something that you love to do. This brings out the best in you, and you are tremendously happy doing it. Second, you do it well. It is a cinch for you to do. Thirdly, this talent has been responsible for your success, recognition and happiness in life up till now. It has brought you the greatest rewards and compliments from other people. Fourthly, it is something that is easy for you to learn and do. Fifthly, it holds your attention all the time. It fascinates you. It attracts you like a moth to a flame. Six, you love to learn about it. You have a deep inner desire to excel in this particular area. Seven, when you do it, time stands still. When working in this area, you don’t remember to even eat, and eight, you really admire and respect other people who are good at what you are most suited to do. You like them, want to be like them, and emulate them in every way.
  If the above descriptions apply to what you are doing now, then they can lead you to what you were uniquely put on earth to do, to your heart’s desire. Your natural talents are inborn and easy to develop. They are programmed into your subconscious as what you were put on this earth to do. Your job is to discover it and develop it throughout your life. Skills are complementary to each other. This means, you must have one skill at a certain level in order to use your other skills at a higher level. Sometimes, you have to learn and develop skills that you don’t love.
 This is the price you have to pay to be able to achieve excellence in your chosen field. Hence, you could be only one skill away from doubling your productivity and income. You may only need to bring up your skill in one area for you to be able to use all of your other skills at a higher level.
  However, business skills are not genetically determined. They are learnable. If you need to learn any business skill in order to realize and utilize your full potential, you must learn it by practice and repetition. But don’t fall into the trap of the poor performer who ditches responsibility by saying: ‘‘I am really not very good in that area.” Or, ‘‘I don’t have talent or ability in that skill.” If any skill is important, you should learn it. Your very worst decision is to allow yourself to be held back because  you lacked a skill that is readily learnable through dedication and determination.
  Excellence is a journey. It is imperfect practice that makes perfect. You must pay the price of success. That price often involves the hard work of mastering a difficult skill that you need to move to the top of your profession. Your magic wand of success is the need for you to become a lifelong do-it-yourself project. Invest two or three years to become absolutely excellent in your chosen field. Be willing to pay any price, make any sacrifice to become the best at what you do.
  Our champion this week is Maurice Blondel, the French Philosopher whose influential works aimed at establishing the correct relationship between reasoning and religion. He formulated a philosophy of action that integrated classical thought with modern Pragmatism in the context of a Christian philosophy of religion. Blondel was born in Dijon, France, in November 1861. He came from a family of lawyers but chose early in life to follow a career in philosophy. He was educated in Ecole Normale Superieure of Paris.
  In 1893, he finished his thesis, Action, a critical essay of life and of a science of practice. Because his philosophical conclusions were deemed to be too Christian and therefore compromising of philosophical reason, he was refused a teaching post. But in 1895, he became a master of ceremonies in Lille, then shortly after at Aix-en Provence, where he became a professor in 1897. He remained there for the rest of his career.
  In Action, Blondel developed a philosophy of action. For him, the term action was comprehensive and meant the dynamism of life, including all the conditions that contribute to the gestation, birth and expansion of the free act. He argued that proving that God exists is not the question, it is determining what attitude a man should take regarding the possibility of his receiving eternal life with God. This and subsequent works unleashed enormous controversy at the time of publication. Pope Pius X’s encyclical of 1907 targeted Blondel’s thought and for decades Blondel remained associated with the Modernists in Western philosophy and the school of French Spiritualism. Between 1934 and 1937 Blondel published a trilogy dedicated to thought, being and action. In 1946, he published the Christian Spirit. He died in 1949. A nine volume edition of his complete works is being published. Two volumes have been published as of 2013.

Title: Girl-Child Education In Biu Emirate


Title: Girl-Child Education In Biu Emirate
Publisher: Klamidas Books, Utako District, Abuja, year 2014
Author: Bukar Usman,
Reviwer: Bayo Ogunmupe
THIS is the first book of a series of Biu Emirate Studies Series on Women education in Northern Nigeria. This volume is about the travails of the trail-blazing girls of Biu who battled gender discrimination parental opposition, early marriage and other barriers to become the first girls to acquire western education. This occurred between 1930 and 1960.
  Early years of Girl-Child education in Biu Emirate is a book, which chronicles the odds against these trail blazers who grew up to become forces of positive change. One of them stood up to a Prince, another endured regular 24 kilometre trek to and from school except during the holidays. Moreover, a precious eight year old among them defied her parents to enroll herself in school. Vigorously animating in this social chronicle is author Bukar Usman’s focus on the girls and the challenges of their quest for education. This book is empirical rather than polemic. The story is anchored on testimonies given by the heroines of the saga. They are vivid illustrations of the fact that empowering girls and women is one fo the most effective ways of ending poverty and ignorance in Northern Nigeria. Besides, girl-child education will not only boost employment, it will build a healthier, wealthier and enlightened communities. Beyond the pioneering spirit of Usman’s Biu emirate as against the Chibok girls of Borno. Thus, the girls’ lives affirm the aphorism: ‘‘Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” That charge was given by Nora Ephron, the great 20th century American educator.
  This book has 138 pages,  seven chapters, five pages of endnotes and 40 pages of appendices. With the introduction of the Universal Basic Education Scheme in 1999, Nigeria signed the covenant to educate all of her children as a fundamental right. But despite this commitment to educate every child of school age, one out of every five children of school age is out of the Nigerian school today.
  Indeed, statistics aver that about 10.5 million Nigerian children are out of school. This amounts to 47 per cent of the global out of school population. The majority of these children live in North East of Nigeria with a disproportionately large number of these kids being girls. In fact for every three boys in school, there is only one girl. This Bukar Usman’s book is a historical account of the struggle of every community in Biu Emirate of Borno State. The book narrates, through key informants or research assistants how tentative acceptance of western education excluded the girl child.
  Often, girls were educated only because boys, who had the right of first refusal were unwilling or unable to enroll. Thus this narrative on education in Borno State, now a war torn area, mirrors the reality of illiteracy in Northern Nigeria. This encapsulates the synergy of efforts by parents, community leaders, colonialists and indigenous public servants to educate and develop the North. Usman showcased the success stories of women in Biu Emirate of Borno State.
  However, apart from the constraints imposed by religion, culture and the economy, the Boko Haram religious war has critically amplified the constraints to education and the girl-child education in particular. But the kernel of this book is the fervent hope that girl-child education remains the cornerstone to unlocking underdevelopment and sectarian conflict in North Eastern Nigeria.
  The author, Bukar Usman retired as permanent secretary in 1999. Since then he has devoted his time to writing, social commentary and folklore revival in Nigeria. He is the president of the Nigerian Folklore Society, serving on the board of trustees of the Centre for the Preservation and Promotion of Hausa Language and Culture in Nigeria. His books include a compendium of Hausa folktales and three English short stories, two autobiographies, The Twin Rivers of World Heritage and this history of girl-child education in Biu Emirate. For more on the author, visit: www.bukarusman.com

Title: Cracking the Code of Possibilities in Business


Review
Title: Cracking the Code of Possibilities in Business
Publisher: Westbow Press, Bloomington, USA, April 2014
Author: Taiwo Fajolu
Reviewr: Bayo Ogunmupe
CRACKING the Code of Possibilities in Business is a book that lives its name. it is the evolution of a new command in business in an age of creative entrepreneurship. Its author, Taiwo Fajolu is a World Bank trained consultant on sustainable business development in developing countries. This book is the testimony of his experience and training in entrepreneurship development. This volume is about acquiring skills of competence development with an executive orientation.
  In cracking the Code of Possibilities in Business, a robust platform is created to be able to constantly evaluate and audit our performance on executed tasks, cultivate research skill, set achievable time bound goals, develop time management skills, be focused and commit our vision to paper and the need to leverage organizational performance with the discipline of getting things done.
  Moreover, this text teaches that competence cannot be achieved without being tied to organizations with individuals tapping into resources made available through globalization. Also, technology has created the situation where tools, and ability to connect, compete and collaborate with various economic forces and circumstances are made possible, where anybody can connect all the knowledge platforms on the globe, giving rise to an era of prosperity innovation and collaboration.
  Indeed, this book also reveals the critical tangent of success and the fundamental problems bedeviling Nigeria, one of which is institutional failure or inefficient institutions. This leads to questions. This leads us to question the integrity of our citizens, vis-avis the quality of our educational system. The pervasive human incompetence has led to deep-rooted corruption that has consistently weakened Nigeria’s potential for greatness. Hence, the author herein proposes a sustainable cure for this malady as President Goodluck Jonathan launches us into the transformation agenda for economic and social repositioning.
  And suffice to say that to reposition Nigeria, we need vision, a lot of courage, objectivity, integrity, lots of sacrifice, purposeful patience and a genuine competitive system, which traditionally goes along a high degree of equality of opportunity. For success with applied creativity, innovation and decisiveness. This book contains eight chapters, an introduction, a glossary of strange words and terms and the foreword by Professor Emeritus Akinjide Osuntokun who was also a former ambassador of Nigeria to the Federal Republic of Germany. This book also has 136 pages. In his terse foreword, Professor Osuntokun, the current Pro-chancellor of Ekiti State University urged young people in the depressed economies of the West to read the book because they will benefit therefrom for the book is meant for budding entrepreneurs.
  The first quarter of the book averred that the world changed after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in the USA. The attack affirms that the next world war would not involve a battle against a war machine, instead it would involve a protracted series of skirmishes with elusive enemies. All that would be known is their motive, a motive defined by fanaticism, unlike the motives of the Soviet Union.
  Thus, the September 11, 2001 (9/11) attacks constituted a clinical execution of seemingly impossible actions resulting in a massive global impact. With that scenario, business can never be the same again. It is imperative therefore, that owners of corporations, revisit their operational commands and their tactics and intelligence. Then, nobody can evade this massive trade and threats to businesses and populations. This is thus serious concern for emerging economies of Africa.
  In history, battles were fought aimed at obtaining economic power from one empire to another, or from one civilization to another. But after 9/11 nothing showed power being transferred into the hands of soldiers. Thus, sources of wealth evolving from the new command in the business world include software, brainpower, knowledge workers and breakthroughs in engineering.
  In the second quarter of the book, we find methods by which you can develop sustainable creative faculty for business. The foundation of any enterprise is rooted in an idea created through the creative faculty. Author Fajolu showcased brains behind great corporations, some of which are US Fortune 500 companies.
  Among these business geniuses are Sam Walton (1918-1992), he invented the modern retailing system. Alfred Sloan (1876-1966), he not only built the behemoth General Motors, he also created a corporate management system that persisted for centuries. Sara Blakely, now 43, is the youngest self made female billionaire who turned her life around by creating a new line of flattering undergarments. She reached the yearly list of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine.
  It is germane that we understand that any genuine creation of a great business must be founded on a sustainable creative faculty innovative enough to produce ideas that could birth varying enterprises of one’s choice.
  The author, Taiwo Fajolu is a trained thinker, speaker and development consultant. Tutored on Sustainable Development in Developing Countries by the World Bank, Fajolu was a consultant to the Federal Government on training youth empowerment in government’s campaign for youth empowerment. He has created a competence development technique called vacuum analysis, making a lasting impact on businesses by facilitating their partnership with global brands. He facilitated the partnership of Newave Energy with the Nigerian partner.

How Creative Thinking Bolsters Success


On The Path Of Winners
By Bayo Ogiunmupe

How Creative Thinking Bolsters Success
THINKING creatively is the swiftest road to success. Creative thinking is a new phenomenon in the field of entrepreneurship. The Creative Education Foundation, New York, United States discovered brainstorming as the weapon of problem solving. The best way to hasten your way to stardom is to learn to think creatively. So, if you wish to become a champion, learn to think creatively. You can learn to think better. If you want to make the true decision that will lift you to the stars, to change jobs or become a millionaire.
  Through the study of creative thinking and creative problem solving online, I have achieved 80 per cent accurate decisions in my present life. My aim therefore is to provide you with up to date information on how to improve your thinking skills. For centuries, educators have assumed that all you had to do was go to school. That if you absorbed a lot of information, you would automatically learn to think. That assumption has turned out to be wrong, and the problems spawned by it are now being felt. In Nigeria, thinking is particularly rare. Which is why we are overwhelmed with problems. Despite our oil wealth, we belong to the list of the poorest nations on earth.
  China, Japan and Germany are second, third and fourth in that order as the richest nations of the world though without oil wealth. Nigeria has one Nobel laureate to 170 million people whereas, it is one Nobel prizewinner to one million in Britain, Germany and Israel. Creative thinking made all of them great. So by learning to think creatively you can excel beyond your wildest dreams. Knowing how to read and learning to think are not the same.
  A recent Rockefeller Foundation report recommends that training in thinking be among the basic skills taught in schools because thinking is a skill that can be learned. The habit of thinking does not grow inevitably from the accumulation of facts from reading.
  Thinking isn’t an activity for the classroom or for the long hours of reading you put in at work. It is something you must do all the time. The question is whether you will do it well or poorly. Poor thinking is responsible for failure at work, failure at school, failure in marriage or failure to excel at your career. If you can improve your thinking skills, and everybody can, it will help you improve in your struggle for financial freedom.
  The first problem of one who wants to think creatively is that our thinking becomes rigid. We respond to new situations with the same old ideas. Our thinking falls into a well-worn pattern – a rut. We think in clich├ęs. Our mind has many layers, but is preeminently a pattern making system. But that is good because if our minds did not form patterns, we would be completely overwhelmed by the huge mass of information that press in upon us every hour of the day. This information has to be handled and organized. To do this our minds create patterns.
  But this pattern-making properties of our minds can be applied inappropriately. They become maladaptive. But they don’t work for us anymore, instead, they work against us. That is why we think of the same things and do the same things that didn’t work before. However, creative thinking teaches us that there is another and better way of achieving the same goal. From time to time, you have probably been asked to get new ideas or think creatively, or be more open to new ideas. But there are simple exercises you can do to help you break out of your rigid patterns of thinking.
  However, the way geniuses come up with their discoveries is exemplified by Markus Zusak of the United States. In 2002, Zusak sat down to write a book. Through a sypnosis, he mapped out his story from the beginning to the end. He then listed out the chapters, allocating pages to each. When he started writing out the body of the story from the perspectives of Death, it didn’t cohere in the way he wanted it. Then he rewrote it from the eyes of a protagonist in the first person. It didn’t fly. He tried the historical way. Yet it didn’t flow the way he desired it. Thereafter, he revised, changed and edited it, the 200th time, then it felt right. He titled it The Book Thief. In an interview after the book was published, Zusak said, ‘‘In three years, I must have failed over a thousand times, but each failure brought me closer to what I needed, for that I am grateful.”
  The Book Thief became a bestseller. It occupies the New York Times best-seller list for over 230 weeks. It sold more than eight million copies. It has been translated into 40 languages. A few years later, Hollywood turned it into a box office buster movie. Thus, the secret of good luck is hard work and unrelenting patience. Indeed, Zusak is proof that perseverance, rewriting your work 200 times to get the grove of your ideas ensures luck coming your way.
  Dreams do not come true just because you dreamed them. You have to act on them before they become reality. Brainstorming is the best way to generate ideas. Edward de Bono, the apostle of lateral thinking believes brainstorming is an extremely useful way of getting new ideas. Here are rules for a productive brainstorming session. The ideal size of the group for a session is about a dozen. Larger groups of between 15 and 20 become unwieldly with some members being overlooked and never getting chances to contribute. Smaller groups of half a dozen or less tend to break down into arguments between individuals or factions.
  The session needs a chairman, a father figure being respectable owing to his experience and knowledge. The chairman is to enforce the rules of etiquette, guide the meeting not to control it. The chair’s duties are to define the problem, keep members from criticizing or even evaluating the ideas presented by others. If the question is too broad, like a solution to unsteady power supply, the discussion is likely to be diffuse to be of much value as a training in lateral-thinking. While the free flow of ideas should be encouraged, the chair has to set boundaries and keep pulling the members back to the topic.
  Research has shown that review is the best way for the brain to remember new materials, so here are a review of thoughts on creative thinking. One, the mind is a pattern-making system, so try to break the pattern. Two, question every assumption, nothing is sacred. Three, you have only your experience to think with. Four, our view of the world is selective. Five, don’t be afraid to admit errors. Six, you can never change another person’s mind. Seven, in thinking, specificity is essential. Eight, the mind defends itself by shutting out unpleasantness. Nine,  never underestimate your own intuition. Ten, intuition is the starting-point of great ideas, they have to be developed and tested to become real. Here are some useful tips to improve your memory and excellence. A, your memory is lousy. If you need to remember something accurately, write it down. B, everybody’s memory is lousy, if you need accurate information, rely on written or printed sources. C, know the time of day your mind is at its peak and arrange your schedule accordingly. D, don’t be afraid to consider a ridiculous idea, such ideas often lead to ingenuity. E, if you feel frustrated by a problem, sleep on it. F, when caught up with a difficult problem, talk it over with others. G, always write down your solutions as clearly as possible. H, examine motives, yours and others on why you should believe the opinions of others. K, keep in mind that every word has two definitions, a dictionary definition and an emotional definition, and in any argument, be sure you know both of them.