WHO ARE THEY???

Fela Durotoye (FD), nation builder, leadership expert and CEO Gemstone group, shared an interesting story with me during our time together recently. The story was about “they” and the lesson in it was quite remarkable.

Who or what are ‘they’ you may ask? You just read on a little further and find out!

One time, he had arrived at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos; and the place was really hot. He moved close to one of the air conditioning systems and realized that the temperature was set at an inappropriate 30 degrees.

FD recalled that he drew the attention of an airport official to this issue, saying: “Sir, this place is hot because the temperature is set at 30 degrees. If you press this button right here to reduce the temperature to about 16 degrees, this whole place will become more conducive for everyone”

The official however responded in our conventional pidgin English saying; “Oga, that is how ‘they’ set am”. FD wondered who the ‘they’ in question were, just the way you wondered when you started reading this piece.

I mean, if anyone was in a position to do something about the temperature inside the airport on that faithful day, the airport official was one such person and here he was practically refusing to do so because of some ‘they’ somewhere that no one knows about.

FD then went on to adjust the settings of the AC by himself. While he was at it, the official kept saying that ‘Oga, if it spoil, they go hold you o”.  Once again FD wondered to himself: “Who are they? Where are they? Why should ‘they’ stop you from doing what you ought to do?”

Most of us are like that airport official. There are certain things we have decided not to do anything about, not because we cannot, but because we are too concerned, we bother ourselves too much about “what ‘they’ would think, say, do, or how ‘they’ would react”.

You might wonder, “If I quit my job, ‘they’ would say I’m crazy?” “If I leave this abusive relationship, ‘they’ would think I cannot suffer long” “If I start my business, ‘they’ will not patronize me”. “If I forgive, ‘they’ would probably do it again”.

Now I ask you, who are ‘they’?

FD adjusted the AC that day and ‘they’ never showed up. ‘They’ didn’t show up because let me shock you; ‘they’ don’t even exist! Even if they do exist, they are never as powerful as we make them to be in our minds.

If there is something that needs to be done, go ahead and do it! Regardless of what others may do or think. For all we know, They are not real! They are not powerful enough to stop you!! You are the one stopping yourself. Only YOU can stop YOU!

This is to challenge you to just do it like Nike. (If you just pronounced that as Nike, the girl that sells Indomie down your street; please know that I am praying for you. LOL). But really, you need to rise above whatever is holding you back, above those things playing around in your heads.

You are powerful enough to make that change happen!

Go for greatness!

Afolabi.

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Dont just take NO for an answer, ask WHY!

Several research studies have revealed that most non-routine sales occur only after 5 follow-ups. This means that it takes at least 5 continuous and consistent follow up efforts after the initial sales contact, before a prospective customer agrees to patronize your product. That’s an equivalent of 4 NOs before you get 1 YES.

This highlights the importance of a list of things. Top of that list is persistence; but also important, though not often spoken about, is feedback.

Here is what I mean, 4 NOs don’t always ordinarily guarantee a YES at the 5th trial. It is foolish to do things the same way and expect a different result. What you do with rejection is what decides what happens at your next try. The issue is that often, people don’t make an effort to find out why they are being turned down. They just turn away without asking for feedback.

What we ought to do when a prospective customer refuses to patronize our business is to find out why he/she didn’t. You ought to take every rejection moment as a learning opportunity- What did I get wrong? What can I make better? What extras can give me an advantage in my next outing? What can I do to change this customer’s mind? Why do you prefer my competitors to me? Don’t just accept being rejected, ask why!

This finds its application not just in sales. Whether it is a prospective lover turning down your advances, or a prospective employer showing you the door after an interview, sometimes what you need to do to guarantee that you don’t get rejected again is to ask and receive feedback.

Don’t just accept being rejected, ask why!

In some cases, you’d find out that what asking that all important question does is to make the prospect see that they really don’t have a reason for rejecting you. Their inability to point you to your flaws could bring to the fore front their own bias and in certain cases cause them to rethink on their decision.

Whatever the case might be, whether there is a flaw identified, or a bias revealed, or even neither of the two, we are presented with a winning opportunity when we choose to ask questions rather than accept fate when faced with rejection.  This winning opportunity might perhaps be the reason why you don’t need to try 3 more times before you get your desired ‘YES’.

 

proverbs 26: Make sense or Shut Up

Shut-up

Pro 26:4-5         Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

                                      Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

It takes wisdom to discern when speech is silver while silence is gold. It is not every word spoken to you that deserves a response; and not every action (in most case offensive) towards you that requires a reaction.

Wisdom will teach you to be still when need be; and it will also teach you when plus ‘how-to- speak’ where it is necessary. The how-to-speak in any situation is of utmost and critical importance because it decides and says a whole lot of things.(see prov29:20)s-COMMUNICATION-SKILLS-large

The grace of a man’s speech can attract kings and noble men to him (pro22:11); likewise the disgrace of his speech can and will also repel mere men from him.

The entirety of what a man is made of can be discerned from the words of his mouth for we can only speak out of the abundance of our heart. Therefore a wise man knows that when how-to-speak isn’t known, silence is essential. Even a fool is counted wise when he simply shuts up! (pro 17:28)

So rightly put; what decides which is a better option between speaking/replying and silence is the availability of a proper/correct reply or answer. That means that the how-to-speak is what determines the when-to-speak. if you cannot make sense with your words, you can do so with your silence.

So the messagEmilysQuotes.Com-silence-fool-relationship-wisdom-advice-Imam-Alie is this: THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK. A word spoken can’t be taken back. There is no point in saying or doing things that will make you worse off. Two wrongs have never added up to one right. If your words or actions won’t solve problems or make things better, then it’s better you keep that ‘piece of your mind’ to yourself. if you must respond to situations and offenses in words or action, make sure you are giving a proper and appropraite response that will make both and your hearer/receiver better off.

In conclusion, it is worthy to note also that sometimes silence speaks louder than noise and inaction achieves more than wrong action. Selah

Soaga Afolabi Olusegun

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purposeday

If there is something that is often spoken about and generally agreed upon by motivational speakers, pastors, life coaches, etc., it would be the subject of purpose. The reason isn’t farfetched. It is one of the most important concepts of life. It is its discovery that gives meaning and focus to our lives. And that is why it is said that a man who is yet to find that one thing he is willing to die for is not fit to live.
It is an obvious fact that we are created beings and not biological or evolutionary accidents like some would argue. Neither is the world. The bible gives credible accounts in the book of genesis of how we and our world came to be and even though it’s not a firsthand personal witness account……something deep down within us agrees with its facts that there is a supreme being somewhere who made all these happen.
Therefore, like every other created thing. We are created for a purpose. There is a reason God created every one of us. Every product before its manufacturing has an intended need it is produced to solve; so do we. And it’s said that when the purpose of a thing isn’t known abuse (abnormal use) is inevitable. Invariable thus, the key to maximizing our lives and potentials; to making impact and achieving greatness is in discovering and attaining purpose.
Among more enlightened circles the pursuit of purpose is a common goal. But I discovered something funny from a recent peak performance class I attended. The facilitator spoke about purpose. He then decided to ask some people in the audience which claim to have discovered what their purpose is. Many people were very proud to say theirs. ‘I am created to shine light for the whole world to see” said one. “I am called to draw people out of darkness and show them the part God wants them to play in life” said another. Many others too were said but just like the first two I’ve given….they were all saying the same thing using different words. I dare you to try the exercise as well……your findings are 85% certain to be the same.
This could only mean either of two things. First is that we all have the same purpose in life. Or second, most people who claim to have discovered purpose really don’t have yet a clear grasp of it. The former when looked from a perspective is very true. There is a general purpose to every man and is along the line of the examples I’ve given. (there are scriptural references to back this up); and the latter isn’t too far from the truth as well maybe because the term purpose is a very broad and sometime ambiguous concept for which most of the time we might only know in part (1cor 13:) .
Either way, this led me to seeking a different perspective and approach to the pursuit of the purpose of our lives. Now I need you to pay attention here. Most of time when we are asked what our purpose is…..our minds often tend to fly over many years into our future..10, 20, 40, and sometimes even 60 years down the line. We think about what God wants us to be doing then and where God wants us to be then.
While that is not wrong or false, a lot can happen within one year that could be the very reason on why you won’t find yourself where you have dreamed of.1 year is too long a period for us to just fly over just like that. The question I ask is:
What happens before the future….what comes before tomorrow? The answer is now; today!
Like said, today is the gift from God so that we can live the tomorrow we’ve always dreamed of. Tomorrow is but a product of the thoughts and actions of today.
A famous bishop in Nigeria is noted for saying when asked about the level of success of their ministry that “I am not surprised about where we find ourselves today, if we were not here at this level, I’d have been surprised”. Why would he have said such a thing?
First is that success isn’t something that accidentally jumps on you; second would be because they walked in light of what I’m sharing about the subject purpose.
I believe purpose isn’t just what God will have you do in the future; it was rather what God will have you do per time. Your life isn’t composed of your future alone; it is composed of every single day of your life. And since God didn’t create a purpose of your future alone…he created a purpose for your life. Therefore pursuit of purpose shouldn’t be about what I will be dong in the future…but about what you ought to do per time.
Life is lived one day at a time. The same God who created you and I created also the times and seasons. He creates the day and the nights. I believe each day has its own God ordained purpose for us. It day; we would also be fulfilling the is my submission therefore that if we can be diligent enough to discover and fulfill the purpose of the day each day; we’d also be fulfilling the purpose of our lives. And then, 10, 20, 50, or 60 years down the line, when we loo and examine our lives, we’d be able to say just like that bishop that I am not surprised at my success or where I am today….if was not here, then I’d have been surprised.
Live each day of your life purposefully. Do what you are required to do. Wherever you find yourself per time, make sure you do to our best ability whatever you find in your hands. Gradually and steadily, bigger opportunities will come your way and the days will take you further towards the big dreams that have always lingered in your heart. Remember, this is only a perspective to examine your life’s purpose from…..it’s not all there is to it to purpose. But I believe its basic and simple enough to help you discover and maximize your God ordained purpose in life. Purpose is not something that will happen; it is something that is happening. So whether today is Monday, or Friday, or Wednesday; don’t forget that every day is purposeday. Succeed! It’s in you.
Soaga Afolabi O

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the blessing of a disability: a fable!

Everyone I’ve had to share this story with had a good laugh and also a great lesson to go home with. Today, I want you also to have a taste of it. Its source is not known but its morale is similar to what the bible teaches when it tells us in Rom8:28 that we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good(MSG).
The story starts with a powerful king of an ancient city and his faithful friend who seemed to have a quite disturbing problem. This friend that I’d today call tony for the sake of identification, had a problem of not being able to see anything bad in any situation. To every event and occurrence in his life, tony would always respond by saying “It is good; it is in fact very good”. This had always disturbed this powerful and sometimes irrational royal friend of tony, but he never paid any attention to it until one faithful day.
Tony on that day crossed the limit of his friend’s patience while they were on their usual hunting spree in the thick of the forest. A wild beast attacked the king and bit off his right thumb. The king struggled to deliver himself from the beast’s grip with little or no help from tony but had to settle with his thumb forever gone, and his blood spilling all over the place…. To his great displeasure, all tony responded with was his usual saying “my king and friend, this is good; it is in fact very very good”.
Not the kind of thing anyone would want to hear after losing a member of the part of his body, the king got a little infuriated rebuking his friend and his comment for as far as he was concerned, there is nothing good about losing one’s finger. But like I said, this is something Tony seemed unable to help. So he maintained his position. “This is good my king” he kept on saying.
By the time they got back to the city, the king had it full and was fed up with his very uncompassionate and unreasonable friend and so ordered him to be locked away in the dungeon till further notice. Anything to keep his friend’s constant ‘it-is-good’ nagging would be fine he thought especially when this friend has refused to be unrepentant about this.
And so many months passed, perhaps even years. Many waters passed under the bridge and the king had gotten used to being without his friend. Deep hunting was the king’s hobby and was ingrained in his character and so in the absence of his imprisoned friend, the king had to do it all by himself.
On one of those faithful days, the king encountered yet another misfortune. This time not with a wild beast, but rather with people of his own kind but who had a habit of eating people. We call them cannibals. The brave king could not fight himself out of this one and so he found himself in the cannibal’s tribe camp in front of this massive pot about to be cooked.
As they stripped him of his hunting costume and dressed him like a Christmas or thanksgiving chicken about to be launched into the cooking oven, one of them noticed that the king was thumb-less. The unfortunate day turned out to be fortunate for the king because it was an abomination for the people of that tribe to eat anything that was not whole or complete. To their greatest disappointment, they had to release the naked man to go. The king managed to cover his nakedness a bit and made his way back to his palace.
After such a dramatic near death experience, understandably, the next few days were ones of deep reflection for the king. As he settled back to his daily routine, the king remembered again his old friend whom he threw into prison. He remembered the circumstances that surrounded that and remembered his famous words that made him irrationally lock up his friend. He had now come to agree with his friend that losing his thumb that day was a good thing because that singular ‘lil-evil’ prevented him from the greater evil of losing his whole life.
With deep remorse, he asked that his friend be released from the prison for he had treated him unjustly. While the king was still contemplating in what manner he’d apologize and try to make it up to his old friend, tony sprang in once again shouting and screaming what has become his trade mark saying “it is good, it is very good”. Neither the sight nor demeanour he expected from his friend whom the king knew had by now heard of the story of how he was saved by his ‘prophecy’ years ago; tony whom the king expected to be angry and gloomy was bubbling with sincere joy and happiness. ‘My dear king, it is good!!!” he kept on saying.
“I can understand that you are happy that I’m alive and well and that is good. But it is certainly not good that I locked you up all this while for saying something that turned out to be true after a long time”. This time around, the king would demand an explanation from his friend.
Like someone who had thought well about the question while spending his lonely days in the dark dungeon where he had been locked up all these while as if he were expecting the question, tony responded with a spontaneous sporadic but yet sound answer.
“Well my king, it is good that you lost thumb that day because clearly it has saved your life this time. Also, it is also good you locked me up because that also has saved my life. If you hadn’t, it would have been both of us hunting that day….they would have captured us both. You are incomplete, I am not….they would have released you while me…….uhmmm, you know what would have happened to me!” then he added, “my king, it really is good……in fact, very, very good.”
The morale of this interesting story is this. There is always something good about everything that happens to us. In comming to terms with this truth, we’d learn to be more grateful and appreciative of the situations that life throws our way. Even when we can’t seem to see any good in those things in the present, we can believe this that good can and will come out of them in the future.
This helps us live life enthusiastically. Enthusiasm stems from the greek word entheous; which means God within. That’s the kind of force and spirit we need to live the God life here on earth and secure the God-kind of victoty over our adversities.
Let me leave you with what joseph said in Gen 50:20. “Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now–life for many people.”
It’s possible that Joseph probably heard this fable too, or maybe it was tony that read the bible. But they both were able to see and focus on the silver lining in their dark skies and were both successful at the end. You too should. Have a blessed week!

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my tale of frank dunga..(my job interview)

Life they say can only be understood backwards, but we need to live it forward. I have had to live life forward these past few days and it has been one experience that will linger in my memory for a while. Here is my own frank dunga’s tale from my first job interview on Monday. It’s not really a story but rather a lesson….enjoy!

At the conclusion of my interview on monday, my interviewer asked me the lethal and sometimes dreadful interview question, ‘do you have any questions?’ After all these years of reading about interviews, and watching them in movies (and short funny clips like frank dunga on ndani tv), I had only one sincere question lingering in my heart….’ How did I fare?’ His response wasn’t startling neither was it flattering (like I would have loved it to), he simply said ‘not too bad!’

One question. Is that a good assessment or is it a bad one. Of course, I’d get differing response if I throw it to people. Beauty they say is in the eyes of the beholder. In this case, our ‘half-full’ brothers will say “that’s good stuff…be optimistic!”, while our ‘half-empty’ fellas will say “better go look for another job, you’ve lost that already”. But then I like to say, “there are some beauties that appeal to the eye of every beholder”, Just as there is a way your cup would be filled that even a lying pessimist can’t and won’t say it is empty in any way…….my point exactly is this, if he had replied “you did excellently well; I’m impressed”….we would all agree that the interview was a success.

I am here today to just possibly state how I could have done better and how I could have gotten a better answer than not too bad… as I tried understanding life backwards during my reflections afterwards, I discovered some probable reasons why he didn’t say “you did great!” Or that “you were fantastic” or something else than … “not too bad”.

First thing is preparation. Yeah, yeah, that is not something new. Any book or article geared at prepping you for an interview would have told you the same thing. I knew that too from books long before I had to go for the interview..….but today I learnt it practically from an experiential stand point and that’s why I’m saying I again. Performance is always a function of preparation. The better prepared you are, the better you will likely perform. There is almost no way you can do well at an interview if you are not prepared for it. When I woke up on Monday, I had no idea I was going to be interviewed…I thought I was going to resume to a job I had already gotten so I wasn’t prepared to answer what I would call the expected questions I was asked. (most of the questions asked were the normal questions interviewers ask…..why should I hire you, what are your strengths and weaknesses, tell us about an instance when you solved a problem, blah, blah, blah). I also wasn’t soooo dressed. I had not eaten, I had travelled a long distance, I was sweating, probably smelly, I just wasn’t that alright and so I count myself blessed and helped to have gotten a ‘not too bad’.

2. Be relaxed. These people are …….are people. Yes people. Mere people. They eat like you do, sleep like you do, use the toilet and even fart like every other human on earth. Relate with them as people. Be organized and composed. The earth isn’t about to end even though a new world is about to begin for you. Let your face reflect this. Find whatever way you can to relief yourself from tension and anxiety. One thing that can help is getting aquainted with other people around and if possible with your interviewer (a compliment on his dressing and look will most likely earn you a smile…and a smile from your interviewer should do the magic on you), but don’t cross your limit line.

Next, Pause and think before you answer. I rushed many of my answers that day and so they sounded less impressive. One reason is probably because I didn’t get past my lesson2 from the previous paragraph (being relaxed). Take enough time…be articulate, audible and exhume some sense of confidence.

Point4. Think outside the box…..don’t be limited in your reasoning…explore every option you’ve got. Any sign of restricted thinking would usually be resented and will score you low points. Most organizations are looking for problem solvers and problem solving most times requires outside the box thinking.

Know your CV. Once you enter the room and they have your CV in front of you, the first they want to do is verify all you have written there. So they’d ask you about it. For most of you that have had other people write very impressive Cvs for you, the least you can do for yourself is familiarize yourself with what they have written. You don’t have to cram what is there word for word, but make sure you know it.

Know what you are applying for. It is almost always certain they’d ask you some questions about the organization and also the post you are applying for. If not everything about it….at least some key things. They don’t expect you to know everything but they expect you to know something. It boils down to the first thing I mentioned- preparation. They expect that part of the preparation you should do for a job post interview is to learn about the job. Yes, they’ll train you after you get the job…but if they are to choose between a ready-made product and a clueless fella, I’m sure you know who they’ll pick. (not all the time though :))

Interviews are all about impressing people. It’s not a time for false humility. You need to show them why it should be you and not someone else. If you can impress well enough, you’d probably earn their approval. So don’t get all complacent with false humility and all…be competitive, give it your best shot, be on the top of your game. Interview I repeat is a game of impression and recommendations. Recommendation is a function of impression. So, When they get to your home-zone(i.e. the area of your strength and passion), make the most of it….impress them there. They’d probably still like you if they see that you know something very well even if you don’t know everything they ask you well and even if it is not what relates most to the job you are applying for. It shows that you can learn something and so you can be taught if given the chance.

You need favour…..so act accordingly. I wrote once about the favour/labour market(see article in previous posts). Favour isn’t something that responds to prayers only….certain things are favour magnets. Use them. One of them is courtesy, politeness, skill, intelligence, and even confidence. But you must learn to draw the line between pride and confidence, intelligence and arrogance. While one attracts favour, the other would attract dis-favour and wrath.

And to wrap this up, I’d say the God factor is also very important. Yeah yeah, I know it sounds all churchy and all, but like I love to say, I can’t separate my faith/belief from what I say, write, do and think. God helped me because despite my ‘not too bad’ performance that day ……I got called up!

Soaga Afolabi Olusegun

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coded tunes2:my tale of the modern day slaves

In my recent post ‘coded tunes’, I wrote about music; the songs, singers and their effect on the people who listen to them which is perhaps everybody. I’ve seen people who don’t like watching tv, some detest video games, others can’t stand the boredom of movies, and most people can’t even finish a reading a short piece like this. But world-over, I’m yet to find someone who doesn’t have ears for music. In fact to some laudable musical production, even deaf men would tap their feet and move their hips. Music is a part of our makeup. Its something we can’t survive without…well said, someone called it the food of the human soul. Quite obviously, some of us have more affinity for it than others; some will object to some genre or type of music, but we all have love for one type of music or the other.
The major theme of my last post is that what determines the appropriateness of a song is its lyrics because lyrics are composed of words and words are containers that transfer certain stuffs that have the ability to influence the course of our lives…and I’m glad many of my readers agree with me.
Today, I write a part 2 to that. Please don’t get offended at my strong ‘churchy’ disposition in this article if you are of a different faith. I’m simply communicating what I strongly believe, and I believe also that regardless of your religion or faith, you can learn one or two things from here too.
Some people believe the days of slavery are long past. They think it is something deposed to just the history books but some few others majorly those that have broken out of it or those that are what I call the modern-day-slave-masters themselves, are very aware of its existence. The unfortunate thing about this tale is that the slaves are the ones who are totally ignorant of their predicament. Hold up….don’t exempt yourself yet. True facts like this are not to be fought or denied, but rather addressed.
No slave puts his head voluntary under the yoke, God made mankind for dominion and anything that opposes that natural order of things will be by all means resisted. But like in all cases, this modern day slavery is usually forced upon men or subtly suggested or imposed on them. When the slaves don’t know they are in bondage, then they don’t know they ought to fight it or how. A man who doesn’t know he has a problem has the greatest problem. Such a man will always insist he doesn’t have that problem, and that exactly is the problem. Their insisting they don’t have the problem doesn’t make the problem go, but rather creates for them an even bigger problem. This is the case of the music slaves. They are the 21st century modern slaves and sadly majority of today’s young population are.
There is a huge hypothetical 80% chance that you’ve heard about NWO. It means the new world order. Even if you haven’t, there is at least a 90% probability that you’ve heard about the illuminati. Both refer to a particular group of people with a plan to control the entire world. Control here isn’t the same as governance. It’s not a democracy, neither is it a socialist system. It’s a plan to make all others subservient while they rule. It is a plan to form a government outside the government that will govern the government and control all people of the world.
There are countless materials about this conspiracy out there and you have probably seen a few. Well, I don’t think everything everybody is saying is true like I noted in my preceding article, but i do believe some are. It is said that in every rumor, there exists an iota of truth. It will do you good to take some of it serious.
These people already occupy top positions in major systems and industries in the world and have been there for ages. The truth is that they have actually been controlling things for a while now. The scripture confirms it. The bible says that the world is controlled by the prince of the air which is the devil(john16:11). It is his will that is being carried out here on earth. That explains why we have all the wars and death and terrible ungodly bills being passed into law. Jesus asked that we pray that God’s kingdom comes and that his will be done here as it is in heaven. That clearly suggest that there is a difference between how God’s will is being carried out here and over there in heaven. What he therefore meant is that we should pray for a time when the systems of this world will be in full subjection to God’s word and will. It is a gradual plan that God is working out through the church, and the devil with his agents (like sects and gangs like this and some others) are going to try to resist. They want to run the world for as long as is possible and scripture advises that we shouldn’t be ignorant of how they do and intend to operate. For if we, the salt of the earth are slaves of their systems, how then can we save the world. If we are under their yoke, then what hope does the world have? Because for a Moses to save the Israelites, he has to stop being an Egyptian.
So, when God wants to recruit his own generals, he changes first their citizenship. That’s why the bible reminds us that our citizenship is in heaven; that we are in this world, but are not from it. We are from a different country, sent here by God to repossess the land that is rightfully ours and that we will do, as God helps us. But to do this, one of our primary assignments and goal is to stay clear of their control.
The first strategy of any battle camp is to control the enemy before destroying them. That explains why Satan asked Jesus to bow to him first before later crucifying him. He sought to make him subject to his authority, before attempting to eliminate his existence. So gradually, subtly, they will come to you and try to control you too. In fact, they will enter the church too, become pastors, teachers and leaders just to carry out this plan. But Jesus warned us already to watch out for them and this we must do with all diligence.
They will not just infiltrate the church and the government but every industry and systems of the world. They’ll try taking over the banks, the school, the military, and of course the entertainment industry.
It must be said, music is important to us just as it is to God. It is said to be food for the soul. Imagine the world without music; the earth will probably stop spinning round its axis! Not everyone watches TV, not everyone plays video games, but hardly will you find someone without ears for music. Those that can’t afford to buy for themselves CDs from notable artistes, create music for themselves no matter how terrible it might sound. That need for the melody must be met one way or the other.
Especially we young people. We seem to love songs more. We don’t just love music, we love those that create it for us. We don’t just love them, we idolize them. We don’t stop at downloading their songs from the internet; we download their pictures too and make it our wallpaper. We follow their stories and lives in the news. We argue about who is better and some even go to the extent of fighting over them. We play all sorts of genre of music at our parties, hangouts, clubs, etc. There are few better ways to entertain us apart from music and there are also few better ways to control us apart from it. And this is a fact devil knows well.
I am sure like earlier said that it is no news that this powerful sect controls the music industry. We hear tales of how every major player in the music industry has sold his/her soul to the devil. (Most of us don’t really understand what this really means. In simple terms, it is just the same way you sold your soul to Jesus by confessing him as lord; that is if you are a christian. It is very serious. Its implication is that he owns you; you have a covenant with him. You’ve pledge allegiance to his army, he is your general and you are bound by oath to follow his orders). We have heard these tales over and over again such that it is already stale in our minds. In fact many of them have by themselves openly admitted to this fact that they are devil worshipers and are under his influence. Many of us too claim to believe these things, but we act as if we don’t. It startles my mind that despite all these facts on the ground, we still listen to their music, attend their concerts, follow them on social media, and celebrate these so called celebrities. We know they are of the devil; we know they have terrible plans; we hate the devil and don’t want to have anything to do with him; yet we follow these people almost blindly. Many of us don’t want to listen to them anymore, but we just can’t help it. “After all, that is the only music available” we say. So majority of us just choose to either deny or ignore the obvious so far the harm it is doing is not easily seen or noticed.
The reason is not far fetched. There is no better way to define slavery than this. Anything that rides upon your will, or that you don’t have absolute control over is your master, and you are his slave. If, you don’t have absolute will-power over the music you listen to, then you are a slave to that music. If you deny your conscience by listening to what somewhere deep in your heart you know is wrong, or if you say, well I know all these things and it is my absolute choice to listen to them, you are still a slave. Reason is because the strategy of slavers is to either suppress the will of their subjects while imposing theirs or them, or to suggest their will to their subjects through diverse manipulations and make them willfully adopt it in ignorance. In whichever case, there is an exchange of will with one party oppressing and the other being oppressed, knowingly or unknowingly.
This is not a campaign to change your playlist but rather a challenge to examine your life. Are you in really in control or is some other force outside yourself doing the controlling for you. If it is the latter, then you obviously got to do something about it.
I encourage you to re-examine your life….is it what you dreamt about years back? If yes, big congratulations. If otherwise, then you might need to retrace your steps and one area you might need to make serious adjustments in is in what and who you listen to. Don’t settle for less, you deserve the best life possible.
Soaga Afolabi Olusegun

a white lie fed to black men

One lie most of we black have grown up believing is that the white race made life better for us. So we think they are a superior race. Despite all the campaign against such silly thoughts, many people where I’m from still believe the same. We think that as long as it is white, then its right; or that if it is from the UK then it must be really OK; and that if it is from abroad then it is divinely from above; but men…….all this is really not always true.

They told us that the white man gave us electricity. I say False! Edison and Tesla did. The white man didn’t give us Microsoft, bill Gates did. And like bill said in an interview once, he wasn’t the only white kid that had the resources, information and opportunity he had then, million other whites also did. But bill (1 individual person) started the company Microsoft. The white man didn’t give us airplanes, the wright brothers did. They didn’t give us what has been termed the next best gift to mankind after Jesus- Google; Larry Page and Sergey Brin did. I like million other young men love the video game; but that also was not the white man’s invention; Ralph Baer did. E-mail was by Ray Tomlinson, camera by Stephen Sasson, and our beautiful Facebook was by mark Zuckerburg; not the white man. Indeed, all these men I’ve mentioned thus far were white in colour, but their colour wasn’t what produced the solutions and inventions, rather their hard work and geniuses which are exclusive of their race did. So I won’t attribute those inventions to the white race rather, to the men who worked hard to make them realities.

Creativity is inherent in every man God made. In the bible book of Genesis, we are told that we are all created in his image. Men, women, children, aged, black, white, Hispanic, tall, short, potbellied, hour glass shaped, and every other categories and human types in between; we are all created in the image and likeness( i.e. similitude which refers to the very substance that makes up his being) of our creator.

In the same chapter of the book of Genesis, we see that one major feature or characteristic of God is creativity. That’s what he is and that’s what we all are- creative and innovative. Many of us have lost touch with that part of us due to our dogmatic daily routines and other creativity-killers we are involved with, nonetheless, that doesn’t change the fact that it is in us- both white and blacks.

Let’s take this a bit further. Men of African descent have also made their own inventions. Did you know that the Air conditioning unit was made by Frederick M. Jones in July 12, 1949. Richard Spikes made the automatic gear shift in February 28, 1932. The cellular phone was invented by Henry T. Sampson in July 6, 1971. The elevator was by Alexander Miles(the man in the picture below), fire extinguisher by   T. Marshall, guitar by Robert F. Flemming, Jr., hair brush by a 19th century woman named Lydia O. Newman. Walter B. Purvis made the hand stamp, Sarah Boone invented the ironing board, the lantern was created by  Michael C. Harvey. The lawn mower was invented by  L. A. Burr. Refrigerator, spark plug, tricycle and even the type-writer were all made by people whose skins were black.
Don’t get me wrong, I must say the black man didn’t any of the inventions I have thus far listed in the previous paragraph, noble men and women who fortunately had black skin did. So don’t say that the black man invented the traffic light, because it was actually Garrett Morgan who had a black skin who did.
So it is really not a function of their race or skin colour. Its about who we are and who God has made us. He made us all equal, no one is superior to the other. I must admit that they have a structure over there (abroad) that allows people reach their potentials better than we have here. All the black inventors I have mentioned and the ones I have also omitted probably made their inventions in the white man’s land……but even that isn’t a function of location but rather of the systems and the individual and collective men and women that made those systems. (there is this stuff I heard that if we move all the Americans and relocate them to some parts of Africa, and do the same to those Africans by moving them to America; in a few years’ time, those remote places in Africa will become as America…and America will become in most ways as the Africa we have today. It’s just a thing about our mind-sets)

We Africans can imagine, and so we can invent, we can innovate, we can create. Yes we can! If we can, we should; if we should, we must. So lets arise o ye Africans. Its time to write new chapters in the books of history……..chapters about a glorious Africa; a Africa of good people, great nations, new inventions and innovations. A Africa that is not just receiving from all others, but rather one that is making solid contribution to the development of the global world and the achievements of the goals and objectives of the entire humanity.

Soaga Afolabi Olusegun.
Inspireda4.wordpress.com

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

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

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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