AMERICAN DREAM FOR AFRICAN YOUTH (Success Strategy No. 5)

I like Americans. Americans are always thinking how to better their lots. They are hard working, and they read a lot of books. They attend seminars on success strategies. They believe so much in the science of success philosophy. Japanese studied Americans and practised what they learned from Americans immediately after the Second World War. They succeeded beyond expectations in all ramifications. Recently, Chinese are doing the same. They are travelling to America in drones to understudy the Americans. For this reason, China is on the rise. Also, the Asian Tigers (South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia) are copying the ‘American Dream’, and they are making it. What about Africans? We are still in our slumber, to say the least. Why are we sleeping and dosing in the face of imminent danger of extinction?
Two unbearable strong passions have directed my life since childhood: The Search for knowledge, and an overwhelming pity for the suffering of African people. These passions, like powerful magnetic fields have drawn me hither and thither in search of secret of success. In my search for the secret of success, I did attend several motivational seminars organised by the American Professional Speakers Association. I have also attended similar seminars in Western Europe. I admire the zeal and interest exhibited by the Americans and Europeans in seminars on personal development, sales, leadership, motivation and peak performance. Such quality (admiration) is almost lacking in Africa. Unlike Americans and Europeans, Africans find it difficult to spend money for motivational seminars and webinars. Many Africans see them as frivolities or waste of money. Even those who attend such seminars do not listen with gusto and rapt attention that are very common in USA and Europe.
If we must achieve financial independence in the 21st century, we must imbibe the spirit of enterprise, the spirit of capitalism, the American dream. There is only one dream in the world. And that is the “American Dream.” There is no Russian dream or Chinese dream or Japanese dream or British dream or Nigerian dream. There is only American Dream! All the countries that are moving forward are those that borrowed the American strategy. Few Africans that are surviving and progressing financially are those that have emulated the American spirit of enterprise  the protestant work ethics! Africans must wake up from their slumber and imitate the winning party  the Americans, Europeans, Japanese, Chinese, and the Asian Tigers. Attending motivational seminars (I do organise these seminars from time to time all over Africa) is one of the strategies for achieving success in life. I will continue to show you the best practices (success strategies) in vigor the world over. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 tells us that discipline is the key to winning.

HAVE FAITH IN YOUR ABILITY TO ACHIEVE YOUR WORTHY PURPOSE (Strategy No. 4)

Faith is one of the most important words in human life. Faith is confidence in or trust in oneself, thing, God, deity, view, or the doctrine or teachings of a religion. It can also be defined as belief that is not backed on proof, as well as confidence based on some degree of warrant. It is often used as synonym for hope, trust or belief.
Your success depends on many things, but most importantly on your faith. You can succeed if nobody else believes in you, but you never succeed if you don’t believe or have faith in your ability and capability to accomplish your objective. Self-confidence is a state of mind based on your belief systems. Faith enables you to act boldly in the face of serious challenges. Confidence empowers you to face uncertainties, changes and difficulties and unexpected setbacks with calmness and clarity, and permits you to respond decisively under any circumstances.
The law of belief (faith) says that whatever you believe with strong feeling, becomes your reality. The greater the intensity of your belief, the more emotion you combine with it, the greater the impact it has on your behaviour and on everything that happens to you. Thus, if you strongly believe that you are born to be a great achiever and work assiduously towards your aspiration, then there is nothing in this world that can stop you from becoming that great achiever.
No one can defeat you unless you first defeat yourself. Ralp Waldo Emerson said: “It is impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but himself.” That means that our best friends and our worst enemies are the thoughts we have about ourselves. The self-image we hold sets the boundaries and limits of each of our individual achievements. Never you at any moment doubt yourself or your capability to accomplish your goal. Hence, the Bible tells us: “As a man thinket in his heart so is he…” (Proverbs 23:7).
Two things that contribute most to the feeling of helplessness and lack of self-confidence are fear and ignorance. Fear and self-doubt do more to hold you back from dreaming big dreams, from striving to attempt, and accomplishing great things than any other factors. Another factor that holds people back is called the Comfort Zone. Human beings are creatures of habit. It is more comfortable for people to remain in their state of penury or abject poverty than to suffer and liberate themselves. In 1905, Dr. William James of Harvard University, considered to be the father of modern psychology said: “The greatest revolution of my generation is the discovery that individuals, by changing their inner attitudes of mind, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” He added: “Belief creates the actual fact.” Finally, “According to your faith be it unto you.” (Matthew 9:29).

DESIRE (Success Strategy No.3)

According to Napoleon Hill, the starting point of all achievement (the first step to riches) is desire. What do you really want in life? The problem is that majority of people do not know what they want. We become successful to the degree of our true desires and determination. We realise this simply by building on our strong point or our forte. What are you best at? What gives you the most, the deepest satisfaction? Are you making best use of it? Use your God’s given talent to help people or solve the problem of your society.
Thus, the method by which desire for riches can be transmuted (converted) into its financial equivalent consists of six definite, practical steps:
1. Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient merely to say, ‘I want plenty of money? Be definite as to the amount.
2. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire. There is no such reality as something for nothing?
3. Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire.
4. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.
5. Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire. Name the time limit for its acquisition. State what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.
6. Read your written statement aloud twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after rising in the morning. As you read, see and feel and believe yourself already in possession of the money (Hill, 2004: 22-23).

Napoleon Hill refused that success in life depends on luck or parental background or the ancestral gods, and wanted to provide a concrete master plan for success that depended entirely on us. Hill’s famous statement is: “What the mind of a man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” He concluded by saying: “We live in a world of over-abundance and everything the heart could desire, with nothing standing between us and our desire, excepting lack of a definite purpose.” Please don’t miss next week’s essay!

Reference

Hill, Napoleon (2004), Think and Grow Rich, Revised and Expanded by Arthur R. Pell, London, Vermilion.

DEFINITENESS OF PURPOSE (Success Strategy No. 2)

Last week I started our journey to success or what the late Dr. Abraham H. Maslow calls “self actualisation” with an essay on “The Power of Human Thought.” The summary of that talk is that: “You Become What You Think About Most of the Time.” I received so many positive reactions in form of comments, phone calls, and text messages. Somebody was asking me: “After thinking (thought) what next?” The brief answer I gave this man is the subject of this week’s essay.
“Success and progress towards achieving your goals in life”, according to Napoleon Hill, “begin with knowing where you are going.” He calls this phenomenon “Definiteness of Purpose.” He summarised it as follows:
(a) Any dominating idea, plan, or purpose held in your conscious mind through repeated effort and emotionalized by a burning desire for its realization is taken over by the subconscious and acted upon through whatever natural and logical means may be available;
(b) Your mental attitude gives power to everything you do. If your attitude is positive, your actions and thoughts further your ends? If your attitude is negative, you are constantly undermining your own efforts;
(c) The starting point of all achievement is the development of a Definite Major Purpose; and
(d) Without a definite major purpose, you are as helpless as a ship, without a compass.

Decide today, your definite major purpose in life. If you don’t have any definite major purpose yet, then make it your number one goal, and look for it. Never think that you have missed your opportunity in life. It’s never too late to start afresh. Yes, you can! Ambition is the first step to success, while the second step is action. Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity. The more you delay, the more you put your destiny on hold! Start today where you are, with what you have, not with what you have not. Do not neglect or underrate your capacity to ‘resurrect’ in life because, it is even said in the Holy Bible that dry bones shall rise again (Ezekiel 37:4).