Sunday, 23 July 2017

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.

Health habits of happy people



                              By Bayo Ogunmupe
    There are many ways to heighten your happiness. Actually, health is wealth. It is important to take care of your health. Good health creates happiness. No matter what, your health should be your first priority. Sadly, the moment it comes to taking care of ourselves, we procrastinate. Do you know that those tired, sunken eyes might not be due to lack of sleep or overwork? It could be prolonged dehydration. Those unexpected bolts of pain on your leg and back could be as a result of calcium deficiency.
    That giddy feeling and persistent headache could be low levels of haemoglobin. Put simply, you may look healthy from outside, but sickness often starts from inside. We should always keep in mind that sound health starts from within. Ignoring a problem only aggravate it and leading to further complications. So, whenever you feel changes within you, seek for help to restore your health without delay. Remember a law of medicine, prevention is better than cure.
    The steps you take to maintain your good health, definitely act as good and effective mechanism against most illnesses. They also contribute to your gaining a long and healthy life. Therefore, the best thing you can do for your happiness is to take care of yourself and your personal health. No matter how busy you are, find time to take care of your health. Regular checkups and tweaks in your diet and lifestyle will help you more than you ever think.
    What are the real health challenges you can face? If there is none, glory be to God. But if there is, tell a doctor or pharmacist without any further delay. Thereafter, savour the joy of simple pleasures. The best things in life are free. They are governed by Mother nature and appear right in front of you at various locations and times. Holding hands with someone you love, taking part in such moments frequently bring unpredictable bursts of happiness.into your life.
    Look for health and happiness in the right places. When we were young we looked for happiness in drugs, sex and alcohol, parties, fast cars and extreme sports. When we got older, we looked for happiness in more mature ways- a stable life partner; romantic getaways- walks along the beach; jazz music, the cinema and a night at the bar with friends. Surely some of these things make us happy and sane. They raise our health and happiness temporarily.
    Since humans have a baseline of happiness, certain events heighten our outlook: like an unexpected windfall. But the answer is for us to raise our happiness level, enjoying the moment but never ignoring our long term goals. What will you be proud to have accomplished or failed to gain, five years from now? To deepen your happiness, perform random acts of kindness on a regular basis. Pay a stranger's bus fare. Buy your office girl flowers, just to say thank you. Help an elderly with her groceries.
    Nothing is more rewarding than putting smiles on the faces of your neighbours. Always help others whenever you are able, you get what you give. When you make a positive impact on the life of others, you are making a positive impact on your own life as well. Share time with people you care about. The quality of your personal relationships correlates directly with your overall sense of worth and happiness. In the midst of life's chaos, we forget to do the little things that remind us we're part of something greater than ourselves.
    We need a certain amount of contact with others to feel fully human and alive. You need only a certain number of friends to be happy. You don't need many friends. Accept things when they are less than perfect. When in a fix during decision making, make an educated guess on the next logical step. Your failures along the road to your goals are opportunities to learn and grow. The world does not reward perfectionists, it rewards those who get things done. Which is why you should invest time, money and energy on yourself everyday. Happiness is a side-effect of learning new skills and bettering yourself.

Creating and manifesting your vision



                          By Bayo Ogunmupe
    As we approach the halfway point of this year 2017, it is a great opportunity to evaluate progress toward your goals and your vision. Are you clear on what you actually want to accomplish this year?  Try putting all your energy into it. Try taking the right steps to create  and manifest your goals into reality. Taking action is the lodestar of any achievement.
    First of all, you must be clear on what you want to achieve.  The clearer you are about what it is you  want, the easier you will be able to achieve it. If you are not sure what it is you want, think about what could boost your self esteem as the goal of your vision. Research has proven that those who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them. Write down what you want to achieve, how you want to act and what you need to do in order to make it happen.
    Then, you prioritize to get things done. It is easy to squander your time and energy across multiple projects. It is wrong to multitask, for best results, prioritize what you want to achieve: in order from most to least important. Then, throughout the year, ensure that your energy and focus is on those goals at the top of your list.
      Create a vision, use images that represent your cherished ambition, enhance your winning skill by creating your vision board or mastermind group. Ensure that your image makes you feel connected to your vision, so rather than using literal images, you are using ones that give you the feeling you want to create. Place your vision where you will see it everyday. And take the time to visualize yourself doing and achieving all that you imagine.
    However, taking action is the ultimate force. As much as the Almighty, the angels and the spirits of your ancestors are ready to work with you to manifest your goal; you cannot rely on yourself alone to get the job done. When you take action, you increase the momentum towards what you desire, which allows the angels to orchestrate even better outcomes or results for you.
    And believing in yourself is crucial to your success. This is one of the most important things you can do. By confidently believing in yourself; you are capable of achieving whatever you put your heart and mind to. Remember that the more you believe, the more you achieve.  What can hold you back is the one lie we learned when we were younger.
    This lie many of us still hold on to until the bitter end. The idea of starting all over  being a bad thing is baked right into the fabric of our society and its educational system. We send our children to the university at 18; telling them to choose the career they will be happy with for the next 40 years. In most cases they choose wrongly.
    Over the years however, through bouts of hardship and failure you learn the truth through experience. Then you change, sometimes you start all over again. You have learned your lessons. You can always change paths anytime you want to. Indeed, starting all over again is always feasible. And often it is a pretty darn good choice too. This is better than being stuck with a lifelong career you naively chose when you were a teenager.
    The truth is no one wins a game of chess by one only moving forward. Sometimes you have to move backward to put yourself in a position to win. This is a perfect metaphor for life. Sometimes when it feels  like you are running into one dead end after another. Actually, this is a sign you are not on the right path.
      Maybe, you were meant to hang a left back when you took a right. Life gradually teaches you that U turns are allowed. So turn around when you must. There is a big difference between giving up and starting over in the right direction. There are three words that can release you from your past mistakes and regrets; and get you back on track. These words are: "From now on..." So from now on what should you do? 
    It is anything no matter how small. As long as you are not just sitting idle, strapped down to a destiny that isn't yours. If you mess it up, start all over again. Try something else. Let go of the past, grow into a new order. One of the hardest lessons in life is letting go. But letting go is the healthiest path forward.
      Letting go clears out toxic thoughts. It paves the way to your making the most positive use of the present. You have to emotionally free yourself from the things that once meant a lot to you, so you can move beyond the past and the pain it brings you. Then you refocus and move forward to gain your goals in life. Letting go is changing your attitude about your past and present goals. Thinking better takes guidance and practice. Which is why thinking smart, thinking creatively are the hallmarks of creative problem solving.

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.

Prayers that the Almighty answers



                       By Bayo Ogunmupe
    Why are some prayers answered and others ignored? This is the topic of this column today. As you pray, be very aware your intentions are behind your prayers. If it is a fear based reason you are praying, you must recognise and pray for only things that you cannot fulfill externally. For example, if you believe you lack happiness and are praying for an object or situation to give you happiness, this prayer cannot be answered. At times, prayers are blocked or delayed because God Almighty is withholding due a universal block because the focus of the prayer has taken a detour from love.
    Your prayer is equal to demanding that 2 plus 2  equals 3; not taking the natural process. No matter how long you beg God, making sacrifices and fasting, 2 plus 2 can never equal 3. Praying for happiness, fulfillment or peace can only succeed spiritually. As you can see from the arithmetic, your prayer cannot be answered because they do not comply with the natural order of nature. The same lack of results occurs when you outline how you wish your prayers to be answered.
    For instance, if you desire a new home; you may pray to win a lottery to pay for it. This idea of handing God a script of how you expect everything to work out, cannot work. The fear in this scenario manifests as a lack of trust in God's infinite wisdom to take care of the details. You are afraid that you won't get help with your housing needs unless you give God ideas on how to fulfill this prayer. The path of love in praying for yourself is filled with gratitude and faith in the Almighty providing for your earthly needs. It is a thing of joy to know that Jehovah is moving you somewhere wonderful, where your services will bring blessings for others.
    With love based prayer, you have absolute faith in God's wisdom to take care of all the details. Since God's mind is merged with yours, you immediately receive guidance if your actions are needed. For example, you may have a hunch to drive down a certain street; as you follow this guidance-voila!- you find a wonderful house in your price range. Besides, assuming you are divinely guided to be a healer. Perhaps you have already given to some friends. You experience great joy and fulfillment whenever you are engaged in healing work. This is a love based vocation. 
    However, if you doubt your abilities for healing, you have veered off the path of love. You may unconsciously be looking for external ways to validate your healing abilities; such as personally deciding because of insecurity, that you need to own a healing centre; publish books on healing; hold a degree or receive some mundane validation before you are able to practise healing, the profession God had ordained you to practice. Such prayers are not answered like a genie granting your wish - because they are preposterous to the Almighty.
    The only type of prayer, that God hears, is a love based intention, where you joyfully intend to share your joy, light, healing energy and other assets with others. Now opening a healing centre, publishing a book on healing and earning a degree on healing are only fear based paths; if you desire them because of fear. In contrast, if you are joyfully guided towards these endeavours, this is your love based path. Even with a love based path, you may still experience insecurity and self doubt. The answer is to handle these fears internally, listening to your inner voice, your intuition and taking measures to calm yourself or externally by deciding to have an accomplishment prop up your ego.
    The path of love and answered prayer is centred internally. It is the road of fear that always looks for external solutions. The higher vibration of love is always harmonious, like beauty, melody and love. A love based prayer is one along the lines of asking Allah for assignments providing healing services. You have faith that God knows exactly who could be matched with your healing and the best place for healing to occur. You also have no concerns about financial remuneration for your healing work because you know that as long as you walk through the doors God opens for you, all of your earthly needs are met. The lower pathways of fear and insecurity can never connect with God. The pathways of fear and insecurity delivers emptiness and loneliness.

Pop Errors in English, writers beware



                      By Bayo Ogunmupe
    Pop Errors in English, writers beware is Segun Omolayo's contribution to Nigerian education and enlightenment in this knowledge driven age. Omolayo, a United Nations trained draftman and analyst wrote the book while serving as a UN diplomat. Pop errors in English unpacks, articulates and examines popular errors writers commit in various ways. The book discusses rules often violated by writers and suggests ways to avoid them. It explains why what is right is right and what is wrong. The author emphasizes how to enhance writers' use of the English language  for effective communication. The author imparts the skills and techniques that separates the tutored  from the untrained  instinctive writers.
      This book is for journalists, legal and legislative draft men, editors of journals and newspapers and diplomats. Pop Errors in English is paperback; published in 2017, it has 558 pages a preface, twelve chapters and three pages of references. In his capacity as a reporter and draft man  for the United Nations, Omolayo has written a great deal, edited, re-written and analysed diverse texts from various fields. It is through such  rich exposure that he was able to identify the errors in this book.
    Omolayo explains applicable principles and rules; suggesting improvements  with copious examples, some of which I shall show you anon. The book aims to share with you- writing skills, tools and principles. It demonstrates that little things matter just as we unconsciously destroy our mother tongues and good English through government promotion of pidgin English which belongs to no ethnic grouping. The correction of these errors shows editing sensitivities that a good writer must be mindful of.
    The following examples are being paraphrased for brevity and judicious use of space to enable me cover as many examples as possible. On redundancy, the author explains it as a phrase, clause, sentence or text in any word or group of words considered unnecessary, in the sense that it can be removed without detracting the meaning. This means, such a word or phrase has no function in the sentence; it neither adds value nor meaning. Sources of redundancies are rampart. They include: tautology- which refers to the repetition of words.
    Verbosity- this comes when you use too many words where fewer would convey the same meaning. Next comes circumlocution- meaning that you are simply beating about the bush. Grammarians consider circumlocutions dangerous because they 'shut down readers'. Here are examples of circumlocutions: "I agree with the idea,"(instead of I agree.); "during the time that", (when); "in view of the fact that", (because); "within the framework of," (in); " within the context of," (regarding); "for the purpose of," (to); "in order to" (to); "in the event that," ( if); " in the field of," (in); "in the year 2012" ( in 2012); "until such time," (until); " and prior to" (before).
    Though sources of redundancies are legion, let us see how they arise, how they affect conversations and how they can be cured; using examples drawn different writings. Here we go: A two day workshop, organized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Peace Building Office on Conflict sensitivity with the theme "Strengthening Government Capacity  in Conflict Sensitivity Programming and Development," began in katata on 12 February. Since the purpose of the phrase: "on conflict sensitivity" is to distinctly identify the workshop, that has been adequately done by the theme.  Thus, the phrase is a repetition; which should be removed.
    So the message above sounds better as: A two day workshop, organized by the Ministry of Justice and the Peace Building Office with the theme: Strengthening Government Capacity in Conflict Sensitivity Programming and Development" began in Kakata on 12 February.
    Malapropism is another writer's headache. It is the misuse of certain words instead of another. This is an amusing mistake somebody makes  when they use a word which sounds similar to the word they wanted to use, but means something different. Webster's Dictionary called it a ludicrous misuse of words. A writer desirous of conveying  precise meaning will do his best to avoid malapropisms.  
    Great writers appreciate correct choice of words or ideas by noting that the synonyms of the same word will not always convey the same meaning. This means a writer must spare no effort to perfect his diction. Here is an example of malapropism: Consummation of honey by humans has rules and regulations. Consummation means completion of something, which is why it isn't appropriate. Actually, consummation goes with the action of making a marriage  complete by having coitus.
      Consumption, which is the appropriate word means, the action of eating or drinking something. This is a very good book for speech writers and press secretaries.It will cut down much of the tautology that goes for journalism and broadcasting inNigeria today. Omolayo has written, reviewed and edited scripts for decades. He is a former Nigerian diplomat, he is a registered advertiser and broadcaster.

Secrets of productivity from the Stoics



                      By Bayo Ogunmupe
    Everybody wants more of the right things done. But how does Stoicism fit into this? The word productivity seems new and sleek; and Stoicism is old, ancient. Facebook and email may be recent but people have always wasted time and their lives throughout history. But smart people have been thinking of how to stop wasting their time and maximizing their time. Most productivity advice is focused on work. 
    Following such advice feels like you are turning to a machine. No one wants to become the transformer machine. A more pragmatic approach to getting your jobs done is very useful, because sometimes you don't get your duties done early enough. You want to have fun hanging out with friends, much of which get shoved off the calendar by the work schedule. 
      As we shall see, the productivity beliefs of the Stoics are actually backed by modern science. They advise: protect your time like your money. This correlates with the old saying, time is money. If people come to you all day asking for N500. You will tell them to get lost, But people do come up to you all day in person, by email, by text messages or call preying on your time. And you just hand it over to them.
      However, the great Stoic philosopher, Seneca rebukes every time you offer up an hour of your day without thinking it through. No person hands out his money to passersby, but to how many do each of us hand out our lives. We're tightfisted with property and money, yet we think too little of wasting time, the only thing about which we should all be the toughest misers.
    Moreover, research has shown that your mood drastically affects how much you accomplish. You procrastinate the most when you are in a bad mood, and think you can improve it with something funny. So procrastination is a mood management technique, albeit like eating or taking drugs, a shortsighted drive. But we're most prone to it when we think it will actually help. Never manage your mood by procrastinating.  
    As yourself what beliefs underlie your feelings and question them. Are you afraid of the task? Does the task have a knife pointed at you? Perhaps you are afraid you will do a lousy job of it. However, you are going to do an even worse job if you do not get started. Change your beliefs and you change your feelings. Change your feelings and you get more done. Better do an important task first than doing an urgent one. You usually know what's important; but often you do something else, that is right in front of you or screaming for your attention.
    Often, less than wisdom, you do what's easy or urgent, not what matters the most. The Stoics say, it is essential for you to remember that the attention you give to any action should be in due proportion to its worth; for then you wont tire and give up; if you are not buying yourself with lesser things beyond what should be allowed. Since the vast majority of our words and actions are unnecessary, corralling them will create an abundance of leisure and tranquility.
    As a result we shouldn't forget at each moment to ask, is this one necessary? Even here, productivity gurus like Peter Drucker and Tim Fernss agree that doing something well does not make it important. This is one of the problems of time management and productivity advice. A vast majority of things people do quickly should not be done at all; because they are unimportant.
    Another ritual the Stoics recommend is focus on effort, not the outcome. The  Stoics think you don't have control over anything but your own choices. And if you have no control over something you shouldn't worry about it. Worrying over things you cannot control is wasted time and energy. Always worry about things you have control over, never on other things. Always focus on the effort, not the outcome. Heavens alone know the importance of our efforts.

The Wisdom in Fifty Economics Classics



                      By Bayo Ogunmupe
    Just published in May, the 50 Economics Classics is the latest in the series of great books distilled into one volume; written by Tom Butler-Bowdon, an accomplished author and literary critic. Previously published volumes in the series include 50 Philosophy Classics; 50 politics Classics; 50 Prosperity Classics and 50 Success Classics. Published by Nicholas Brealey Publishing, London, 50 Economics Classics is your shortcut to the most important ideas on capitalism, finance and the world economy.
    In paperback,it has 50 chapters, 360 pages; seven pages of 50 More Economics Classics for those in need of further inquiry; then two pages of chronological list of titles; three pages of book editions used in researching this book and finally, a page of acknowledgements. The 50 Classics series has sold over 300,000 copies. This Economics volume is the smart person's guide to two centuries of conversation on the global economy.
    From Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations to Thomas Piketty's best selling Capital in the Twenty First century, here are the great bards, seminal ideas and    texts clarified and illuminated for all. This book is all the more relevant, coming as it did in Nigeria's period of economic turmoil and depression. Economics may drive the modern world but sadly, we lack the knowledge of the ideas, thinkers and writings which constitute the discipline.
    Spanning 50 books, hundreds of ideas and two centuries in time, 50 Economics Classics is an enquirer's guide to the global economy; taking you on a journey from the Industrial Revolution to the second machine age of the internet  and artificial intelligence. This is neither a history nor an encyclopedia of economics. This is only a guide to the great thinkers and their seminal ideas old and new.
    When in 1765, Edmund Burke (1729- 1797) said: "The age of Chivalry is gone; that of sophisters, economists and calculators has succeeded," he was right that economics, finance and money  are at the heart of modern civilization; in the way honor, chivalry and religion were to the Middle Ages. If in the past, a person's fate was settled by the social circumstances of his birth, today each of us is at the mercy of economics, for we must produce things of market value if we are to survive and thrive. "All your life," Economist Paul Samuelson said, "from cradle to grave and beyond- you will run up against the brutal truths of economics."
    The importance of economics is that it is at the root of human prosperity. If voting gives freedom and power in theory; in practice it means little if we cannot even sustain ourselves and our families. Which is why cracking the code of economic prosperity for a person, firm or nation is crucial to peace and well-being of the people. Fifty Economics Classics gives you the knowledge to make you prosperous as a person or nation. John Maynard Keynes, the creator of the Keynesian economic superstructure, thought economics was built so we could enjoy the good things in life.
    To Keynes, this was only possible with a stable and growing economy in which the damaging cycles of boom and bust were ironed out. Economists, Keynes said, are the trustees, not of civilization but of the possibility of civilization. The economist Hyman Minsky warned that, unless it is well regulated, capitalism will eventually go to extremes and produce instability. He went on to say that only an economics that is critical of capitalism can be a guide to successful policy making. Until economic policy stops being a tool for one group's advantage, it will be hard for capitalism to fully realize its goal of increasing the well-being of all.
    This book by Tom Butler-Bowdon is a terrific compendium of the greatest books ever written on finance, economics and prosperity from famous classics to the hidden; distilled to the point of poignant clarity. Tom was the one who announced to the world in 50 Prosperity Classics the arrival of Donald Trump on the world stage as the 47th greatest thinker on prosperity. And by his victory as the 45th president of the United States Trump validated Tom's foresight.
    The only African writer on the pack is Liaquat Ahamed, author of The Lords of Finance. In 2010, the chairman of the US Federal Reserve Bank, Ben Bernanke, was asked by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission what books he would recommend to understand the crisis. He mentioned just one, Lords of Finance, a work of economic history which won the Pulitzer prize in the same year.
    Then Federal Reserve Bank's investment adviser, Liaquat Ahamed first had the idea for his book when reading a 1999 Time magazine story on the Committee to save the World and its successful efforts of Alan Greenspan, then Federal Reserve Bank chairman to stave off the Asian financial crisis, which threatened to bring down the global economy. 
    In a nutshell, Lords of Finance says, fixed ideas in economics can have disastrous results. The world hung onto the gold standard long after it had stopped being a means of creating stability and growth in the world. Born in Kenya, Ahamed studied economics in Cambridge, UK and Harvard, United States. He became economist to the World Bank before becoming the chief executive of a New York firm of economists.
For the author, Butler-Bowdon is most  notable for the 50 Classics series, which provide key commentaries on the world of knowledge. An Australian by birth, Tom, Acting President of Nigeria Yemi Osinbajo and I did graduate work at the London School of Economics. While Tom researched on public policy, Yemi did his own in the law of evidence and i did mine in public finance. Tom gained experience while advising various Australian prime ministers. It was in the course of his job that he discovered the need for the Classics series. He sent me the book shortly before it was published last May. I recommend the book for the Aso Villa economic management group.

Never too late to be great



                            By Bayo Ogunmupe

    This title was taken from the best selling book of my friend, Tom Butler-Bowdon. The book is titled: Why it's never too late to be great. There are three main freedoms linked to achieving greatness in life. They are, one, bravery: fear holds us back. It prevents us from becoming the person we were destined to be. The key to freeing yourself from fear is knowledge. Knowledge dispels fear. If we have the right kind of knowledge,  we can change our outlook from fear, to one of fearlessness.
    You can improve your karma through helping others. Another key to rising from your limitations of our ever changing environment is physically leaving your environment; since we may be redeemed from service rather than striving to become environment compliant or carrying the negative state of mind. Note that fearlessness should never be confused with foolishness or foolhardiness. There is nothing fearful about taking good care of yourself or taking necessary steps and precautions about your safety and well-beig. Bravery could in fact hardly be more different from being foolhardy- being, as it is, a key step on the path of wisdom.
    Two, love is much more than the emotion which many people think of as love. It is described by the angels as the natural energy, greater than the mind. Moreover, it is the state of man's whole being. We cannot experience this kind of love as ordinary mortals; this is love at its highest sense- until we have a degree of bravery, and as this love grows; it will in turn spur us onwards to ever greater degrees of bravery; gaining greater courage to help others.
    The third freedom is service. Service is described as love in action. If we have real, deep and genuine love for others, we will want to help them. And if we really want to help others, we will get the opportunity to do so. Service also requires bravery; of course, service is indeed the best possible application of bravery. And the more service you perform, the better your karma will be; which will in turn make you braver still. Also it will give you greater understanding of, and mastery of the wonderful power of love.
    These three freedoms lead to the fourth, the freedom of enlightenment. They empower you to attain your heart's desire at any stage of your earthly existence. These freedoms empowered Donald Trump at 70 years, to become the oldest and richest person to ever become the president of the United States of America. "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind," Romans 12:2. Sometimes we try to excuse our negativity by saying, "It was just a thought, it didn't mean anything."
      But thoughts matter. Thought is the seed of action. A wrong thought left to roam around your mind can take root and grow into what the Bible calls a "stronghold." And when a thought becomes that strong, it begins to control your outlook, your attitude, your mindset and your actions. Where the mind goes, the man follows. You are never too old to be great. So never allow yourself to think negatively, for as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Negative thinking prepares you for defeat. Devote yourself to a calling. Donald Trump, 47th world greatest prosperity thinker in the world thought politicians mismanaged America. He believed politicians deliberately caused poverty in America so as to make themselves indispensable. So instead of voting money for charity, he used his money to fight poverty by going into politics. William Wilberforce did the same thing. He devoted himself seeing slavery eradicated in Britain. So discover and follow your calling. It is never too late to be great.

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.