What CRACKS have you adpated to?

Feedback can be either constructive or destructive depending on how it is either given and/or received. A feedback could be constructively given but wrongly received and as such be unproductive and another could be poorly stated and yet be productive in a case where it is properly received.

So this piece would be from two perspectives.

The first is that if you would give feedback, do it right. Lots of people give criticism just to feel better about themselves or worst still, to make other people feel bad and guilty. If your purpose or intention of giving feedback is any of these, you shouldn’t bother giving it. But if your motive is to help people get better, then you should ensure that your feedback reflects this intent. Your tone of voice, point of emphasis, manner of approach, delivery of information should all tilt and be constructed in a way that it is without doubt that you do not think less of the criticized person but rather you are only suggestive of ways things and he or she can be better.

The second is that when feedback is given to you, regardless of how impolite or unconstructive it may be, always seek to use that information to be better rather than be bitter and pick up fights. Even in cases where you feel that the criticism is unwarranted, there is a saying that there is always an iota of truth in every rumor, there would be one or two things to learn from the feedback. If at all nothing, you can at least decide not to give occasion for your work or person to be criticized again by doing your best work possible and be one step better than you are at the moment.

Feedback helps you see such cracks that you have adapted to and as such allowed to remain in your life and work.

When we first moved to our house, an incident occurred that led to a window getting cracked. For the first few weeks after the incident, the crack was all we could see when we entered that room. After a while, it became as if it was never there. We had become comfortable in our discomfort. Feedback helps you see such cracks that you have adapted to and as such allowed to remain in your life and work. It might not always be a good experience like a bank credit alert on your phone, but its benefits are without any doubt great! so give it well when you give it, receive it in good spirits when it is given to you. bottomline, be better and help others do so too.

Be Great!

 

Afolabi Soaga

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my pursuit of perfection and the fear of counter-success. 1

Is the habitperfect and ideal life really an unattainable fantasy? Well I believe the answer to that would be based on our individual definitions of what the perfect life is.

To me, the perfect life isn’t the life without problems and challenges, but rather it is the life of a man who has learnt to overcome them when they come his way. Is it a life without flaws? I don’t think so. I believe it’s the life of a man who is consistently improving on himself and besting his life daily. In short the perfect life is not the one situated in a perfect world for such world remains evidently physically un-existent today, but rather it is the life of a man who is committed to being his best self daily.

By my definition, is the perfect life an attainable goal? Yes, most certainly. Not only is it attainable, it is a noble pursuit.

We live in an imperfect world and the imperfection of this world tends to rub itself on us from time to time. Nobody is born a thief, a murderer, a harlot, a liar, or a fraudster. People who become this were influenced at some point or the other. The negative influences from society and media makes it difficult for us to be our best self.10-habits

Change they say is inevitable. You can’t fight it; it will always occur. Wherever change isn’t found, death has found an abode. however, automatic change I have come to find, is never positive. The only change that ordinarily occurs with time is decay. So the best way to relate with change is to be proactive about it. As life is trying to rub all its imperfection on you, you should also be putting efforts to find your perfection back. There is no getting defensive about this by attempting to ‘avoid’ being corrupted by the world’s negative influences. That has never worked and it never will. The best form of defence is attack!

So just like clothes we wear, so also are norms and bad habits we pick up. The same way we can decide to change clothes, we can also decide to change habits. We can choose what we become just as we can choose what we wear. No character came with us from the womb, we picked them all up thereafter.habits

The pursuit of a good life is also a pursuit to meet needs; material and non material needs. Some of those needs are necessities while some others are luxuries. As you go about them, it’s important to ensure that we don’t allow society’s influence on us turn our needs to greed and like earlier said, this we need to be proactive about .

A wise man named Rajinikanth said ‘whether you have a maruti or a BMW, the road remains the same. Whether you travel economy class or business class, our destination doesn’t change. Whether you have a titan or a Rolex, the time is the same. Whether you have apple, Samsung or lava, people who call you remain the same.
There is nothing wrong in dreaming a luxurious life. What needs to be taken care of is to not let the need become greed because needs can always be met but greed can never be fulfilled’.

the concluding part of this would be posted soon. watch this space for it.

love ya dearly!_IL_OMOIKE George Osabuohien_NG__301641

the maximin approach to the start small theory

Ever had anyone advice you to always start small and then build whatever project or business you have into a big deal. Well I have… and for a long while even though I see sense in what they are saying, I have always struggled with settling with that in my mind. Some may call it greed, others ambition, all I can say is that I like big stuff, I have big dreams and I serve a big God too( and he does things big). So an advice to do anything small is usually a bit difficult for me to accept or settle for.
So today, I wanna do a little challenging of this ancient advice. I’m not really disputing its credibility because for as long as I know, many big things today started small; but then I want to take a more critical and analytical look at the theory so as to come to terms with what it really means. I’m gonna take a differing perspective looking at the same concept and draw up possible new (innovative and not necessarily inventive) meanings from it.
This is my take:
The idea behind the theory I believe is that there is and should always be room for improvement. What this implies is that things can grow and would grow; all things being equal, if given time. Therefore, size shouldn’t stop you from starting a business project or acting on your idea because when you launch out and do what you are supposed to do, in time it would grow.
The other idea behind this wisdom is to prevent people from procrastination. You should begin with what you have and from where you are. The need to have it big usually prevents people from starting and if you don’t start, how can one achieve anything or succeed?
Its 3rd emphasis I also belief is contentment. Ambition without contentment is what births greed. Ambition I would call a virtue but without any form of contest, greed is obviously a vice. So by starting small, it shows that while in pursuit of the big things ahead, one can be contented enough with whatever he has no matter how small and thus not despise the days of little beginnings. Contentment always holds great promises for us but greed sooner or later fails. Just like impatience, it may work for you at some point and earn you things, but one day, sooner or later, it will be the source of trouble, delay, and problems for you if you keep it at it.
Small is a relative term. You’d agree with me that what bill gates will call ‘chicken change’ is no chicken anything to most of us. So what qualifies a thing as small isn’t the thing itself but rather the person qualifying it. So if you are starting a business, your starting capital could be a million dollars or just a thousand naira….both could be small or big depending on who’s looking at it. Likewise when you are searching for your first employment; small could be a 6 digit salary or a humble 4 digit figure.
In the same vein, ‘big’ which is what small is supposed to grow into is very relative. So the guy who started ‘small’ by earning N150,000 could say in 5 years grow into earning N5,000,000(which we will now call big) while the other one who started with just N9500 could grow big and start earning N120000 in 5 years. They both started small and grew big but the terms small and big are relative.

And so I believe that starting small shouldn’t be an excuse to justify and glorify mediocrity or non-excellence like most people nowadays do. Under the cover of starting small they refuse to maximize opportunities and potentials. So they believe (or at least act as if they do) it has to be bad first before it gets better forgetting that the true trend and flow of things is good-better-best and not bad-better-okay. Like it is usually said, good is usually the enemy of best and we have seen people abandon the best to settle for just good just because they want to start small.
My question to you today is this. Who says your first job as to be a crappy one? Or that your first car must be a jalopy? Can’t your small be so good and yet still get better?
My submission basically is this: yes, it is good to start small and to always begin with what you have where you are; but while starting small, make sure you adopt what we call in risk assessment the MAXIMIN approach. i.e. go for the best among the least. Start small, but make sure it is your best small and not just any small. Since the goal is to eliminate procrastination, ensure you do just that. While seeking out your best-small; avoid or reduce procrastination to the bearest minimum and while eliminating procrastination, keep in mind the consequences of undue haste and so balance up your planning, targeting, and timing between undue haste and procrastination.
In all you do, never lose sight of the need of excellence. A famous movie I watched some yearsback had this to say about excellence- pursue after excellence and then real success will chase you all around. Shun mediocrity with all your heart. If you wanna dream, dream big, start the biggest you can. Aim for the moon because even if you miss it, you’ll land among the stars. Never settle for anything less than what you could have had or been
And regardless of where you start, keep striving to grow bigger and bigger because there is always room for growth. When we stop growing, we start dying. It is the nature of life to grow if the right conditions are available…so keep creating the right atmosphere and conditions for growth. When that is in place, growth is always automatic regardless of size and level.
Truth is, if 2 different people start the same business, with the same set of skills and management strategy; all other things kept equal, the person with better capital for instance, 10yrs down the line probably has a better chance at more success than the other guy. I believe it’s better to start from 100 than to start from 1. If you can start from 100, it is laziness and mediocrity to be satisfied with 1, but if all you have is 1 and if that’s truly the best you can do, then 1 is the golden number for you to begin from.
With this, I hope I’ve been able to convince and not confusr you about the start small theory. I hope to develop this into a mini e-book soon. You guys would be the first to hear if I do. Any questions or comments could be directed to me via the reply feature underneath. Also please endeavour to share this link with your other friends and colleagues. Thanks and God bless!
Soaga Afolabi Olusegun

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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.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.