Plans, Purposes, and Pursuits

imagesPlanning is so important that even God in all his might doesn’t fail to plan. He always has a plan- A plan for the whole world and a plan for you and i. That’s why he is way ahead of the adversary because the next set of moves he’d make are plain before him. He is never caught off guard. (Jer 29:11)

So if God makes plans, why don’t you?

Some take consolation in verses in Matt 6 which advices that we take no thought of what we will eat and drink and of our tomorrow. But really, that verse had no reference to planning! What Jesus was addressing in that portion of scripture is worry; and even though there is a thin line between both, there is also a huge difference between them.

So if God makes plans, why don’t you?

Worry is negative. It drains you. It is an abuse of your imagination and as such should be avoided. Planning is positive. It requires you to stretch yourself, task your imagination, and exercise your faith in God and his abilities in you and through you.

In Luke 14:28 Jesus advises that whoever who set out on a project must first sit to count his cost to see if he has enough to complete it. He said that whoever fails to do so is at risk of failure and shame. Planning is a preparatory act that can’t be ignored. Opportunity only favors the prepared; the man who has planned.

Many people refuse to plan because they don’t want to risk failure. They have probably set goals in the past that they failed to meet and are afraid to repeat the same. I heard once that If you aim at nothing, you will hit it a 100% of the time. Refusal to plan and set goals for those people will never make them better. If you refuse to take risks, you might not fail, but you’d definitely not win. So I advise that you set those goals. Really, you have nothing to lose but everything to gain.

Opportunity only favors the prepared; the man who has planned.

When you make plans and set goals properly, you’d most like succeed at them. Properly means that you set appropriate and worthy goals and that you map out strategies to score them.

Other people fear making wrong plans that are contrary to what God has planned for them. In someone’s opinion, why make plans for myself when God has already made some for me? My question to that is- is that a submission to fate or a confession of faith? The former I dare to say. God indeed has plans for you but he won’t force them on you. He needs you to take those plans for yourself and work them out through his help. Proverbs 16:3 (GNB)- Ask the LORD to bless your plans, and you will be successful in carrying them out.

is that a submission to fate or a confession of faith?

My plans? I want God plans! So do I. Nothing stops you from making God’s plans for yourself. God is always trying to let us on in on the plans he has for us. Php 2:13(GNB) says God is always at work in you to make you willing and able to obey his own purpose. Isa 55:8 wasn’t referring to you. It is the wicked man that God asked to forsake his ways. Yes, God’s thoughts and plans are higher and better than the ones we can make for ourselves. But God wants us to know that we can attain those thoughts (1Cor2:9-10). He has no glory in hiding them from us but takes all glory in us living them out.

So, don’t be afraid to make plans for your life. Set BHAGs and pursue them. Commit your desires to God who is able to do immeasurably than you can plan for yourself and watch him do wonders through you and for you. You’ve got nothing to lose!

 

Afolabi Soaga

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In the face of Disappointments

Depressed Person

Everyone gets their own dose of it at some point in their existence on the earth. Disappointments in the story of our lives are like Snow fall in winter, you can bet on it. For some people it could be a failed examination, interview, business contract or relationship; or even the betrayal of friends and family; everyone of us at some point in life set our hearts on certain things and we just don’t get them while some others get certain things they never really wanted.

In a good number of cases, we don’t get what we want because we are not qualified for it or because someone else was more qualified than us. Relationships fail because people who were not ready for it delved into it. Interviews fail because people don’t prepare adequately and so goes the same for examinations.

Solution to this isn’t difficult to see. You don’t need to understand rocket science or see a prophet to know what to do here. If its qualification, get it. If its preparation, get it! If its timing, wait and be patient till you are ready. Whatever the case maybe, keep a positive attitude and try again more intelligently and appropriately.

But at times, the disappointments we face are entirely not our faults. There are times you felt that you’ve covered every possible angle and done all you can do and in all honestly feel you deserve the government contract or the A grade in that course but you still don’t get it. You’ve done your best and maybe didn’t even leave any ‘rest’ to God and yet still got disappointed. Such was my case in a recent project I embarked upon; uhm…..I did leave a ‘rest’ to God though 😀

The question then is, what do we do next after such?

Every disappointment poses a question to you. What are you gonna do next? You’ve got only 2 options. React or respond.

People that react either over react or under react. Hardly can anyone ever find balance when they are reacting because reaction is often outside your control. It is you taking action based solely on what occurred to you- in other words you become a thermometer whose results are influenced by external conditions. You are not in control, you are controlled and so you most likely act out-of-control. When the query is the right you also become right, but when its wrong like a disappointment then you become wrong too.

Responding to issues on the other hand is bringing things under control. It is you being a thermostat which regulates external conditions. It is you giving a reply based on the quality of yourself and not the disappointment of the stimuli. It’s is you being the influencer and not the influenced. You don’t just get to do what is normal or what you are expected to do; rather you do what is better, sometimes abnormal and most times extraordinary or what you ought to do.

See Proverbs 25:4-5. Don’t answer fools according to their folly, or you will become like them yourself. Answer fools according to their folly, or they will deem themselves wise.

Don’t the two statements sound contradictory to one another? Maybe not if you put sequence and scenario to it. The author there was saying that you shouldn’t hastily react to a fool’s utterance; you should respond to it. Hence, first it says don’t answer/react, then it says answer/respond.

Now lets talk about answering disappointments.

Its a mind thing. Disappointment troubles your mind. It tries to reconfigure your heart status. Hope took you on a high and reality is pulling you back…..managing the instability of this process is what dealing with disappointment is.

How do you win?

Stay hopeful by keeping your eyes on the bigger picture. Give substance to your hope by having faith and faith is a product of a belief in certain things like ‘all things are working together for your good’; ‘God loves you and wants the best for you’; ‘You are God’s investment in the world and his attention is on you as he is interested in every detail of your life’. He won’t let you fail.

He is able to do exceedingly and his plans are always better. And as he has begun a good work in your life, he is faithful to complete them. You didn’t come this far to lose.

When you shift focus from the disappointment of the hour to the bigger hopeful picture of life, then there becomes no challenge greater; no valley too deep and no mountain too big. We draw strength from our knowledge that the adversary has been defeated and so we are victors through God. And though a chapter of our lives may contain pain, suffering, and disappointment; we know that this book has a happy ending.

I’ll end on this note is stumbled upon once. It read “Sometimes when we don’t get what we want, it is because we are about to get better things”.

Soaga Afolabihopeful__always_by_sweetxxxgirlxxxjo-d4u7nxw

photo credit: Google

Those annoying Bc’s

Have you also received a Whatsapp message from Jesus in which he threatened to kill all your family members and destroy your life if you don’t re-post the message?  Or a BBM Bc from God in which he promised that you’ll received an unexpected breakthrough if you send the message to 16 other people? Or seen a Facebook wall post that promised you supernatural money once you type amen or liked the prayer?IMG_20150603_133458_edit

Chances are YES! We all have received these annoying messages from well-meaning friends of ours on different social media platforms.

Now what’s my problem with these people?

They don’t self-evaluate to check what works and what doesn’t. They are just like dead fish that always goes with the flow. They’ll do anything and everything they are told to do and are thus ineffective in life. They are usually ordinary people who do not stand for anything and thus fall for everything. My take is- they are ambassadors of mediocrity. No offense intended.

It’s just a lazy attitude to keep doing certain things over and over without checking to see the rewards or consequences. I mean, if someone promises you that if you do a certain thing you’ll get a certain thing; it’s only responsible that after doing that thing, you check to see if you actually got what was promised. That’s how to be purposeful about life. If you don’t see what was promised then you ask questions. Did I do it right? Should I have done something else in addition? Or was I just fooled and simply added up to someone else’s numbers.

Someone noted once that life is too short to be fooled over and over again. The first time fell for it, you were exploited, the seIMG_20150603_132954_editcond time you were foolish.

These Bc people are the same set of people that will pray for something and then forget that they prayed for it. So the next time they go to church, they are praying for the same thing. They forget simply because they are not really expectant which also means they lack faith. They are luck depending prayerists who hope to get lucky with God soon. It’s that same attitude of doing things and not checking for effectiveness they put on the social media that they also take to the house of prayer and other aspects of their lives.

If you pray for a thing without result, ask questions. Did I pray right? Is there something I’m missing? I’m asking for the wrong things? Or is it just an issue of timing?

All I’m trying to say is simple. Live a CEL– consistently evaluated life. Question your actions and inactions. Seek out your bc1most effective activities and dump the rest. Focus on the things that bring you most profit and reduce those that waste your time and yes megabyte.

I’ll end on this note; the purpose of activity isn’t activity, but rather to generate results. A method should be justified by a positive result; the end should justify the means. When it doesn’t, the means should be dropped and effort stop being wasted.

Receive wisdom! LOL

Soaga Afolabi Olusegun  download (1)

Baby Again: the future of the African child

Fear and the inability to take risks are man created. We were not born that way. We were informally trained to be afraid, to lack courage and to avoid risk. We were brought up to think that it’s best to always play it safe. But I have come to realize that although a ship in the harbor is safe; that’s not what ships are made for. They are designed and purposed to sail the high seas and surf through the turbulent storms; and they are specially designed to serve that purpose.

Risks are a part of life; boldness i  s often essential and it is innate. Fear though seems natural, it isn’t our default setting. We picked it up along the way and dropped the courage we were born with not realizing that although fear will take us to a destination faster and safer; often it leads to the wrong one and at when best, to a destination far lesser than where we ought to and could reach.

Take a look at a baby. Regardless of who her father is or how uneducated his mother is. Even if the baby is an orphan from theimages (1) poorest of families; when you place him or her in a room filled with the most honourable and noble dignitaries of the world, the baby would still end up doing whatever it is it wants to do. If it wants to cry, cry it would; or smile or make noise or cause trouble. A baby acts without inhibition and without fear. They are a great example of courage and boldness.

And each and everyone of us was once like that baby. We were all born that way. And that’s what we need to get back to being. Fear is a habit we learnt while unlearning courage and we need to reverse that to unlearn fear and relearn courage.

We were born that way for a reason. The world we are in is one filled with opportunities. But despite the huge opportunities that lie around, what we find also is great inequality.  The resources available are not equally distributed and no matter the kind of socialist system any government tries to run, they can never be. Resources are not necessarily scarce; or let me say scarcity is relative. Resources can go round but it just won’t.  I believe that an interplay of fear, faith, courage and boldness is what decides who gets what and how much of the resources available gets to a person.

It takes the bold and courageous to stretch forth and reach for his own share. It takes a lion heart to have a lion’s share. And that courage lies within your heart. You just need to find it.

And to young parents and intending parents especially my fellow African people i have this to add: We tend to teach our children not to speak where elders are instead of teaching them how to speak where elders are. We teach our daughters to be subservient to their male counterparts rather than making them know how to be achievers in themselves as well as humble afterwards. These are the things that sniff out the boldness and courage we were born with. Little wonder we are the way we are. I believe it is important that we change some part of how we train our children. No doubt our system has given birth to really strong and defiant people and time won’t permit me to name examples, but like always said, there is always room for improvement.  Ability to adapt and to survive are not the only things we can have. images (2)Courage, confidence and boldness could be added to the character of the African child.so we need to adopt systems that would model these traits in our kids. We need to make them start seeing that the white man isn’t better and that the foreign land isn’t more blessed. That they can compete against anyone in the world because they are equally as good as anyone else of any skin type. Our children must see beyond their immediate environment; beyond their history, they must see their future. The must see that they also have a role to play, an impact to make ; a contribution to give towards making the world a better place. They have a share in greatness, and we must show them the path that leads there.

I believe in the future of the African child. I see a future where we also contribute positively to the growth and development of this world. Where we are not just a spectator as to what happens; but rather active partners in change. But to reach that future, we must re-become what we were; re-discover the baby in us and find that boldness, faith and courage God equipped us with for the prize of greatness he has destined us for.

O dabo

Soaga Afolabitumblr_ngbu62KOXQ1rrnn7po1_1280

clutter: guttermost or uttermost

What we call store room in most homes and offices is actually where we have chosen to keep all our clutters. Clutters refer to those numerous possessions we have but don’t really need, or those we no longer use but then for some strange reason or the other, have simply refused to dispose.
In elementary science, I remember being taught that matter is anything that has weight and occupies space. Well, I have reached a conclusion that this definition applies to our subject matter today. Clutters have weight and occupy precious space; Space that ought to be used for something else is what most of us use to store up unnecessary clutter. One obstacle to progress and increase in life I believe is clutter. Clutter isn’t meant to be kept, but rather thrown away. And the following few paragraphs will attempt to convince you on why you clear your homes, offices and yes heart of all that is unnecessary.
Although, Clutters generally refer to materials and stuffs, but in the context I am writing from, it could also mean habits, character behaviour, desires, goals and ambitions. The morale and what needs to be done is the same. Whether it’s an idle ambition or an old skateboard, or some familiar habit, or that old shirt in your wardrobe; all clutter pose the same problem and so require the same type of counter measure.
You have probably heard about the sermon on the old wine bottle and new wine (Luke 5). These 2 Jesus taught are non-compactible. They simply can’t go together. If new wine is gonna come, old wine bottle must go. And this applies also to other life in general because if new stuffs will come in, old stuffs must go. Unaware to most people, the Clutters we keep prevent new stuff from coming in. if new stuff meets clutter inside your home, there would be chaos everywhere. And so the new prefers to stay away until you make room for it.
But then, have you ever wondered why do people tend to keep clutter? I learnt something called the revealed preference hypothesis in micro economics. Basically, this says if the new is better, the new is preferred. And this is the psychological reasoning of every rational person. So everyone wants better and everyone wants the new. So if clutter keeps stuff from coming in, why do people still keep it? The great rabbi Jesus also reasoned along this line and proffered some answer to this. He explained that no one who takes the old wine straightaway desires the new because he will feel the old is better. This is a classical problem of the human mind.
This is what I call an illusion of abundance. It has been our general assumption that having is always better than not having and that half bread is always better than none. But in reality, half bread at times is what keeps full bread from coming in. our human nature of always wanting and acquiring has mis-programmed us such that we are deceived into thinking we have abundance when we don’t dispose unnecessary stuff away. But then, it is only an illusion because that abundance is of little or no use and so doesn’t profit or bring gain. The truth however is that plenty doesn’t always represent prosperity and there are times when less is more.
There is a law that says until there is a release, there can’t be an increase. Jesus told his disciples that there is a man that scatters and yet increases but another that gathers and yet tends to nothing. The illusion that this false abundance brings is only temporary because we soon discover (even though we mostly choose to disbelieve) that the clutters we have refused to let go of so it can cause new to come in soon becomes so stale that without choice it has to go but this time it is without the ability to reproduce and cause new things to come in.

Change is not always without pain and sacrifice but still yet it is one thing I life that is inevitable. Everything changes with time either for the better or the worse. When we don’t allow for positive change that though painful, makes us better; then negative change which is even more painful would be imposed on us.
A seed needs to be killed for it to reproduce. A seed not released and sowed (killed) cannot reproduce itself. And seed just like opportunities have life span. When stored longer than necessary, they become stale and unable to reproduce. When your seed goes stale, it becomes a total loss. You can make that clutter a seed. Its your choice; will you rather sow it and let it multiply or keep it while it decays and rusts away.
In conclusion, your old wine or clutter are not necessary bad things or spoilt things nor are they bad habits or failed goals and ambitions. They could be good stuff. They don’t just refer to obsolete possessions of yours; in fact at times they might still very useful stuff. Yet, we still need to let them go. Realize this, the best enemy of the best at times is the good and so if we let go of these good stuffs, better ones can come.
The message here is to clear our clutter. Get rid of the unnecessary and stale. Give away the ones you can, sell some and others are best in the dustbin. Check your habits too. Some don’t make for greatness. Get rid of them too. Re-examine your vision, goals and ambition. Some of them need to be re-casted; others are just not in tune with what God as revealed to you as his intentions for you. No matter how wonderful they are, let them go. Re-appraise your knowledge base. The illiterate of this century are not those who can’t read or write, but rather those that can’t learn, un-learn and re-learn. Equip your mind and be willing to let some things go so that better ones can come in.
To go up, we need to give up. When we release we increase. When we clear our clutter, it moves us from the gutters to the utters of life. It teleports us from the lowest grounds we might have been struggling in to life’s peak and zenith. It’s your time to shine. Succeed
Soaga Afolabi

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shift: from backseat to center stage

I recently told a friend that if people tell you after seeing you for the first time after a long while of no contact that you haven’t changed, you shouldn’t regard it as a compliment but as a remark of failure. Abraham Lincoln said once that “I don’t think much of a man who isn’t wiser today than he was yesterday”. And so in the church I attend, it’s our custom to conclude each service by saying to ourselves ‘every day and in every way, I’m getting better and better’.

I pleased to say that this has been the testimony of my life. I’ve moved from being that guy that sits at the backseats of meetings to the man who owns the centre stage. You might have heard me say it before that there was a point in my life I could barely speak to one person, talk less of addressing a crowd, but today I look forward to opportunities to speak before multitudes of any size. In fact the bigger the crowd, the more excited I am about speaking. I’d love to share some of the keys that helped me practically break out of that limitation timidity placed on me. If you want to build your self-esteem, confidence and move from back seats to having the spot light on you, you could also adopt them.

First, solve your identity crisis and come to terms with who you are. When a man identifies the purpose for his life and the reasons for his existence, then and only then can he move from merely existing to really living life. To solve this crisis, ask yourself the following questions.
Who am I?
Why am I here?
What do I have?
What can I do?
Where am I going to?
Providing answers to this both spiritually and otherwise will start you along the path of self-confidence. There is something that makes you unique and special, when you find it, it will transform the way you view yourself and view things and people around you. Discover your purpose

Second, build your knowledge base. One of the reasons why some people can’t face a crowd is usually because they don’t have anything to say. A lot changed for me when I started reading books. Even the bible tells us plainly, that knowledge puffs up (1cor8:1).i.e. It has the inherent ability to make proud and boost confidence. Pride is evidently not a good thing but confidence is a quality characteristic to develop. Seek to know; when you know, you’d be known. Not because you’d be shouting your name on the rooftop, but there is a way knowledge announces itself. Remember, when the clouds are full, they empty on the earth. In the account of job, Elihu was too loaded with sound knowledge to be timid in the presence of Job and his friends.

Thirdly, work and earn yourself some cash. If you aren’t already doing this, you need to start planning to. There is something money being in your Pocket does to even the way you walk. It just has a way of influencing you and boosting your confidence. Being rich even has a way a people and crowd respond to you. Trust me, there is no easier audience to face than a willing and receptive one.

Fourthly, make impact. Do something with your life and touch someone’s heart no matter how little that touch is. There is a kind of feeling that helping someone especially when they can’t repay you gives you that nothing else does. It could be of your knowledge, skill, substance, time or whatever it is that you can use to be a blessing. I can assure you that as you do your confidence and esteem would grow and grow.

Last but not the least is to know God. This has worked wonders for me. In all sincerity, life really started for me when I got to know God for myself. Not just knowing about him like I did all my life, I got to really know him. Not as what the pastor or books said, nor what friends suggested, but what my spirit came to understand. I came to a realization of his plans for me, his will, and his love and that revolutionized the way I perceived myself. I’m not talking mere religion as I do not regard myself a religious fellow but a personal deep rooted knowing of who your creator is to you.

A mixture of these 5 keys alongside some other principles that time, space, and purpose will not permit me to tell here was my recipe for breaking out of timidity into the realm of good esteem and confidence. It basically moved me from the backseat to the centre stage. With this basic 5, I’m sure any timid man can be transformed. If I who was the least of timid people could get over it, so can you. I charge you to go for it, do what you’ve gotta and be what you ought to. Don’t be satisfied with the status quo timidity and shyness limits you to. Remember, our greatest fear isn’t that we are inadequate, but that we are more powerful, beyond what we can phantom. Be the best you. Succeed!

Afolabi Soaga.

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AP: lincoln’s real secret to success.

Probably the greatest example of persistence is Abraham Lincoln. If you want to learn about somebody who didn’t quit, look no further. But is persistence the only lesson we can learn from one of the greatest presidents america has ever had? I don’t think so.

Here is a sketch of Lincoln’s road to the White House and underneath it is a brief comment on some other things I think we can learn from him.
1816: His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
1818: His mother died.
1831: Failed in business.
1832: Ran for state legislature – lost.
1832: Also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
1833: Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
1834: Ran for state legislature again – won.
1838: Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
1840: Sought to become elector – defeated.
1843: Ran for Congress – lost.
1846: Ran for Congress again – this time he won – went to Washington and did a good job.
1848: Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
1849 Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
1854: Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
1856: Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – got less than 100 votes.
1858: Ran for U.S. Senate again – again he lost.
1860: Elected president of the United States.
 
Lincoln himself once said “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure” For a man who lived the life just narrated above, its clear he was speaking from experience and that he lived his own advice. I however believe that his discontent with failure not only moved him to try again, but also to learn, un-learn and re-learn certain things.

Ordinarily, we’ve been taught that persistent was the major tool he used in his life and somehow we have believed it was the only tool. But I discovered that persistence alone can’t achieve much. A wise man commented once that “it is foolishness to do the same thing the same way and expect a different result”. If you persistently do things the wrong way, you’ll consistently be wrong and you’d consistently fail.

I discovered that lincoln was a progressive learner. He learnt new strategies and increased in wisdom. And though he was persistent in his pursuits, he understood the importance of growth. He didn’t allow failure at one exam stop him from preparing for another. He kept on advancing and progressing, seeking greater things. Contesting for higher positions showed that he didn’t remain at one level of development as what is required to contest at stage 2 is always higher than that at stage 1.

We need opportunities for success; and opportunity comes to everyone. But opportunity alone is not enough, as opportunity without corresponding strength, ability and preparation would end up being a waste. Benjami disreali said that “the secret to success is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes”.

There is such a thing as active patience(AP). Its something we all have to learn. It is what makes persistence profitable. It means doing the required things while being persistent. It is taking the bull by the horn and not just waiting for life to swing luck your way. It is understanding that opportunity is attracted like a magnet to those actively positioned for it. This is what distinguished lincoln and what made him a success. Whether you fail or succeed, there is always something you need to do to maintain or repeat success. Success is never automatic.

So the message today is this: keep learning, growing, and improving. Acquire new strategies, there are times when winning strategies fail (for the first time). Don’t just relax and call it persistence. Great men who make impact and register themselves in life’s history books are always on the offensive. Lincoln was a learner; you should be too.

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value: the eliab concept

Imagine yourself lost in the desert for like a week with no food no water and nobody to talk to; Just you and this vast expanse of dry land. And then maybe somewhere along the way you get to a junction that leads to two different destinations. You can only make one option and so choosing one is forgoing the other. In taking option A you are sure to find a million dollars in cash along the way; while in option B you’d find a store where you could get water and food and people to talk with (remember you have been lost for like a week with no food or water). Well, I believe the obvious option most people will go for is the latter. Reason is because, of what use is a million dollars if there is nobody to sell stuffs to you and nothing to buy. Moreover, if you choose the former option and go for the money, what use is money to a dead man (Just in case you don’t know, they don’t spend dollars in heaven). So to a man near death who is lost in the desert, a cup of water to revive his thirsty self is of more value than a million dollars that can’t buy him anything. Of course if he wasn’t near death and if he had hope of one day surviving through the desert without that water, his option would have been totally different. In fact, if we add an additional clause to the previous scenario saying that if he walks just a little further down that million dollar road, he’d find a place where a glass of water sells for $1000 and an helicopter for hire to fly you anywhere in the world for say $100000; even if he was near death, some would probably still go for the money.
This illustration points us to the fact that value is a very relative term. One man’s meat is indeed another’s poison. What is termed valuable to one man, might be perceived worthless to another. Beauty in life is always in the eyes of the beholder; the woman who one man would die for, another might not even wish to be sick for.

I have come to discover that value is seldom a function of the object in question but rather it is more about the subject. In the example used in the first paragraph, the object is the cup of water or million dollars while the subject is the pathetic fellow who was lost in the desert. What that means is that what determined the value of the object wasn’t the object in itself but rather the person who wanted to acquire it. And so what person A might be willing to pay 1000 bucks for, person B might feel it isn’t worth more than 200bucks. A real life example was the case with the recent signing of soccer player Gareth Bale by giants Real Madrid FC for £100 million. The transfer caused a lot of bubbles in the media with all sorts of person giving their own opinion on the matter. Most people said he’s not worth that much but as far as the Madrid guys were concerned, it was the right price and they paid it.

However, despite value being more dependent on the subject than on the object, the object however can influence the subject’s opinion of it. This implies that a lady that is not getting noticed by a guy she has a crush on can hit a bit of luck and get that guy to notice her if she can invest little bit more into what I call ‘the magic of cosmetics’(there are always exceptions to this. No amounts of makeup or make-down make some people change their minds. A friend recently described it as “the kind of ugly that makes ordinary ugly people feel like prom kings and queens” just kiddingJ). In Madrid’s case, though they were the ones who placed such huge figures on Bale, there must have been something they saw in him or saw him do that probably other teams didn’t and so they valued him more than other teams were willing to.
What all this is about is how to influence anybody or any subject to place as much value on you as you desire or probably deserve or how to sell yourself well to any individual or organization. In this season of valentine and love, this might be a life saver for some persons.

First thing to do is to pay attention to your image. Many Christians refer to the story in 1Sam16 to imply that God looks at the heart. True! But often we neglect what God was also trying to communicate which is that men look at the face and so we fail to take wisdom from that. I believe this was one of the secrets to joseph’s success story as recorded in the famous book of Genesis. When he was going to appear before Pharaoh, he shaved his beards so as to make a solid impression on the king. If he was just looking like a prisoner with all the beards and all, all Pharaoh would have probably had for him was pity and so the best he would have gotten from that encounter would have been a royal pardon and a release from jail but definitely not an appointment as prime minister. But he shaved and cleaned up, he looked like he could be a prime minister and so he was appointed the prime minister. My pastor will always tell you, men look on the outward, and so if you’ll be dealing with men, it’s always important to make a good impression there. In Malcolm Gladwell’s blink, the chapter ‘the Warren Harding error- why we all fall for tall and handsome men’ discussed this a little further. If not for God’s special intervention because of his special purpose and intention for Israel, even the mighty Prophet Samuel would have fallen like most men do and Eliab (king David eldest brother) would have charmed his way into being king!
Pay attention to the way you look even in pictures. The way you dress is the way you’d be addressed. But not only dressing because that’s just one part of your image. 3 places where you need to make a statement of a good image include your face, body and voice. So the way you walk, talk, smile, smell and even sit in a chair matter. Prov22:11 says , ‘for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend’. So just by talking, a king can value a mere man enough to want to be his friend. Eccl 9 tells of a wise man (i.e. he had substance) who wasn’t paid attention or justly rewarded because he was poor. Joseph could have been that man but thank God he was smarter…..he paid attention to his image.

Let’s look at the part B of this ‘value’ thing. A Russian proverb says that when you meet a man, you judge him by his clothes but when you leave a man, you’ll judge him by his character. Image without substance is like death cased in a medicine. A medicine is supposed to administer health but this one will ultimately steal health away. This was the error of the fig tree in mark11 (you can do a little study of it). It is said that one good service will bring you 3 customers but 1 bad one will drive away 30. The emphasis of this is that for a greater good, we must place character over beauty i.e. more emphasis on content than the packaging. We have established why beauty and image is very important. But beauty can only attract people and value to you, what sustains that is substance. While beauty is a necessary condition for patronage, it is usually not a sufficient condition. Value not deserved but gotten is soon so easily lost. So having said that you should pay attention to the way you are perceived by people by looking convincing on the outside, make sure you don’t do that at the expense of your quality on the inside. Perhaps if Eliab had the kind of heart David had, the value and respect Samuel placed on him would have been sustained and God would have allowed Samuel to crown him king.
And so although the value people attach to us is entirely their opinion which they are very entitled to, there is still something we can do to influence their opinion and thus a part to play in how people perceive and respond to us. The strength of any brand is 2 ways: quality on the inside; quality on the outside. Do your best to have both, when you do, people will see your outstanding-ness and how you are truly a one-in-a-million.
Have a splendid week.

Soaga Afolabi Olusegun

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

value: the eliab concept

Imagine yourself lost in the desert for like a week with no food no water and nobody to talk to; Just you and this vast expanse of dry land. And then maybe somewhere along the way you get to a junction that leads to two different destinations. You can only make one option and so choosing one is forgoing the other. In taking option A you are sure to find a million dollars in cash along the way; while in option B you’d find a store where you could get water and food and people to talk with (remember you have been lost for like a week with no food or water). Well, I believe the obvious option most people will go for is the latter. Reason is because, of what use is a million dollars if there is nobody to sell stuffs to you and nothing to buy. Moreover, if you choose the former option and go for the money, what use is money to a dead man (Just in case you don’t know, they don’t spend dollars in heaven). So to a man near death who is lost in the desert, a cup of water to revive his thirsty self is of more value than a million dollars that can’t buy him anything. Of course if he wasn’t near death and if he had hope of one day surviving through the desert without that water, his option would have been totally different. In fact, if we add an additional clause to the previous scenario saying that if he walks just a little further down that million dollar road, he’d find a place where a glass of water sells for $1000 and an helicopter for hire to fly you anywhere in the world for say $100000; even if he was near death, some would probably still go for the money.
This illustration points us to the fact that value is a very relative term. One man’s meat is indeed another’s poison. What is termed valuable to one man, might be perceived worthless to another. Beauty in life is always in the eyes of the beholder; the woman who one man would die for, another might not even wish to be sick for.

I have come to discover that value is seldom a function of the object in question but rather it is more about the subject. In the example used in the first paragraph, the object is the cup of water or million dollars while the subject is the pathetic fellow who was lost in the desert. What that means is that what determined the value of the object wasn’t the object in itself but rather the person who wanted to acquire it. And so what person A might be willing to pay 1000 bucks for, person B might feel it isn’t worth more than 200bucks. A real life example was the case with the recent signing of soccer player Gareth Bale by giants Real Madrid FC for £100 million. The transfer caused a lot of bubbles in the media with all sorts of person giving their own opinion on the matter. Most people said he’s not worth that much but as far as the Madrid guys were concerned, it was the right price and they paid it.

However, despite value being more dependent on the subject than on the object, the object however can influence the subject’s opinion of it. This implies that a lady that is not getting noticed by a guy she has a crush on can hit a bit of luck and get that guy to notice her if she can invest little bit more into what I call ‘the magic of cosmetics’(there are always exceptions to this. No amounts of makeup or make-down make some people change their minds. A friend recently described it as “the kind of ugly that makes ordinary ugly people feel like prom kings and queens” just kiddingJ). In Madrid’s case, though they were the ones who placed such huge figures on Bale, there must have been something they saw in him or saw him do that probably other teams didn’t and so they valued him more than other teams were willing to.
What all this is about is how to influence anybody or any subject to place as much value on you as you desire or probably deserve or how to sell yourself well to any individual or organization. In this season of valentine and love, this might be a life saver for some persons.

First thing to do is to pay attention to your image. Many Christians refer to the story in 1Sam16 to imply that God looks at the heart. True! But often we neglect what God was also trying to communicate which is that men look at the face and so we fail to take wisdom from that. I believe this was one of the secrets to joseph’s success story as recorded in the famous book of Genesis. When he was going to appear before Pharaoh, he shaved his beards so as to make a solid impression on the king. If he was just looking like a prisoner with all the beards and all, all Pharaoh would have probably had for him was pity and so the best he would have gotten from that encounter would have been a royal pardon and a release from jail but definitely not an appointment as prime minister. But he shaved and cleaned up, he looked like he could be a prime minister and so he was appointed the prime minister. My pastor will always tell you, men look on the outward, and so if you’ll be dealing with men, it’s always important to make a good impression there. In Malcolm Gladwell’s blink, the chapter ‘the Warren Harding error- why we all fall for tall and handsome men’ discussed this a little further. If not for God’s special intervention because of his special purpose and intention for Israel, even the mighty Prophet Samuel would have fallen like most men do and Eliab (king David eldest brother) would have charmed his way into being king!
Pay attention to the way you look even in pictures. The way you dress is the way you’d be addressed. But not only dressing because that’s just one part of your image. 3 places where you need to make a statement of a good image include your face, body and voice. So the way you walk, talk, smile, smell and even sit in a chair matter. Prov22:11 says , ‘for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend’. So just by talking, a king can value a mere man enough to want to be his friend. Eccl 9 tells of a wise man (i.e. he had substance) who wasn’t paid attention or justly rewarded because he was poor. Joseph could have been that man but thank God he was smarter…..he paid attention to his image.

Let’s look at the part B of this ‘value’ thing. A Russian proverb says that when you meet a man, you judge him by his clothes but when you leave a man, you’ll judge him by his character. Image without substance is like death cased in a medicine. A medicine is supposed to administer health but this one will ultimately steal health away. This was the error of the fig tree in mark11 (you can do a little study of it). It is said that one good service will bring you 3 customers but 1 bad one will drive away 30. The emphasis of this is that for a greater good, we must place character over beauty i.e. more emphasis on content than the packaging. We have established why beauty and image is very important. But beauty can only attract people and value to you, what sustains that is substance. While beauty is a necessary condition for patronage, it is usually not a sufficient condition. Value not deserved but gotten is soon so easily lost. So having said that you should pay attention to the way you are perceived by people by looking convincing on the outside, make sure you don’t do that at the expense of your quality on the inside. Perhaps if Eliab had the kind of heart David had, the value and respect Samuel placed on him would have been sustained and God would have allowed Samuel to crown him king.
And so although the value people attach to us is entirely their opinion which they are very entitled to, there is still something we can do to influence their opinion and thus a part to play in how people perceive and respond to us. The strength of any brand is 2 ways: quality on the inside; quality on the outside. Do your best to have both, when you do, people will see your outstanding-ness and how you are truly a one-in-a-million.
Have a splendid week.

Soaga Afolabi Olusegun

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

turning threats into opportunity: a simple strategy

In the 1960s and 1970s, Albert Humphrey using data from Fortune 500 developed a technique that involves specifying the objective of a business venture or project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieving that objective. His technique is called a SWOT analysis. It is an analysis of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture. Although it was primarily applied to businesses, its principle could also be applied to products, places, industries and very importantly, people.
As humans we all have our SWOTs. Your strengths are those things or areas you can do better than others while your weaknesses are the reverse of that. Your opportunities are those things that you can explore to your advantage while threats are those things or situations that can cause you trouble. Peak performance in life requires that you seek ways to perfect and sustain your strengths, deal with your weaknesses, maximize your opportunities and protect yourself from your threats.
However, Eccl9:11 talks about the fallibility of strength. Strength without corresponding opportunities is a waste and likewise opportunities without strenght(empowerment/preparation) is also a waste. Benjami Disrealli said that the secret of success is for a man to be ready for his opportunity before it comes. But for the sake of today’s discourse, I’ll stick to talking about opportunities with an underlying assumption that we all have strengths of some sort that God has equipped us with. What many people lack is not ability, but rather a platform to exhibit it. All men are born equal, but differing opportunities come our way. The difference often time between the successful and the unsuccessful is what kind and amount of opportunity that life serve them. As it were, even strenght, skill and ability are sometimes the product of opportunity. If there is thus a way one could increase his opportunities, I believe such a one could also increase his success and one way we can do that is by turning your threats into opportunities. Stated below is a strategy anyone could apply.

CONFRONT YOUR FEAR.
We have earlier defined a threat as something that possess danger to us. They come in different forms to different people. What constitute a threat to a shy person might not be what is a threat to an extrovert. But whatever personality type we call ourself or whatever situation we find ourselves in, one thing common is that whenever a threat confronts us, our default response to it usually is fear. Fear is one of the most common and regular emotion in people. Though it looks normal to be afraid when faced with a threat but in truth, it’s the worst thing we do to ourselves. Because although a threat is what introduces fear, the fear it introduces is a greater threat than whatever threat introduced the fear in the first place. A man who is afraid is half defeated before the battle even begins. Have you noticed that champion boxers are usually good talkers? This is because they understand that if they can talk fear into the heart of their opponents, then their victory is half won already.
The first thing you should always bear in mind when faced with a threat of whatever kind is that whatever you are confronting is a lesser enemy than the fear it introduces. In fact, its strength is the fear. And so as it were, the strength of your enemy is usually within you. This is what made me come to a conclusion that whether I win or lose a battle is not of how strong my opponent is but rather how strong I am or can be before the match. And so If you can deal with your fear( which is your weakest link) and retain your peace, then there is really nothing you can’t overcome.

Confronting fear: become the boss
Fear exists in the common room of our mind. It is not real. Like defined in the movie ‘after earth’, it is False Evidence Appearing Real. You can confront fear by seeing things differently and taking a proper perspective to the situation you find yourself. What this means is that a student about to write an examination shouldn’t see an examination as an avenue schools use to fail their students but rather as an assessment of what they’ve been taught and thus an opportunity to show them what he has learnt. A shy person shouldn’t see addressing a crowd as a suicide mission but rather as chance to show the world what he’s got. Personally, I noticed that when I stand before a crowd with a mentality of being examined, I get frightened and nervous and that always affect my performance. But when I stand before a crowd with the mindset that they want to hear me speak and learn from me, I do it very differently and more excellently. The difference is not what I’m sharing; nor the crowd size or type; but rather on what grounds am I standing before them. So if I can programme my mind to think in a particular way about the challenge I’m facing, then I can decide what level of performance I’ll operate in. As a man thinks, so is he. And so even if I am standing before a panel which obviously means that I am to be examined, we have the ability to switch the scenario in our heads and act like we are not to be examined but rather to perform and that gives us a chance to show the great stuff we are made of. Once you can take control of the environment of your mind and customize the conditioning of it to suit your objective and not the objective of your opposition or whatever is confronting you, then you’d have turned what seemed like a threat into an opportunity.

This could be applied to almost anything. For me, I apply it to get over my shyness, others could apply it to a difficult examination Or any other challenge you might face. A crowd by default possess a threat to me. But when I’m faced with such as I do often these days, I remember quickly that I can turn any threat into an opportunity by ceasing the fear it introduces, gaining mastery over it, counter it with boldness and then release myself for a great performance. I urge you to try it out as well. Multiply your opportunities, multiply your success.
God bless.
Soaga Afolabi Olusegun

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.