WHAT WOULD YOU EXCHANGE WITH GOOD HEALTH? (Success Strategy no. 13)

health-heartWhat would you really exchange with good health? Is there anything in the world that you can trade with good health? I do not think that there is anything I can exchange with my good health, because with good health one can enjoy every bit of his or her life in poverty or in wealth. Great men and women are those who absolutely believe that they are put on this earth to do something wonderful with their lives. They have a vision of something greater or better than their current circumstance. Personal greatness means having a sense of destiny and conviction that your health is the only real limit to your possibilities. Thus, with good health you can achieve whatever goal you set for yourself. There is no limit to what you can achieve in life except your poor state of health.
But what is good health? The English word “health” comes from the Old English word hale, meaning “wholeness, being whole, sound or well.” The standard definition of health was created during a Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organisation (WHO) as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19-22 June, 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States (Official Records of the World Health Organisation, No. 2, p. 100) and entered into force on 7 April, 1948. It says: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” The definition has not been amended since 1948. During the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion in 1986, the WHO said that health is: “a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities.” Though, Lancet Journal questions WHO’s definition of health. The article in The Lancet says that health is not a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being.” Neither is it “merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” The article says the WHO definitions of health will not do in an era marked by new understandings of disease at molecular, individual, and societal levels (The Lancet, Volume 373, Issue 9666, p. 781, 7 March 2009).
Two Aspects to Health
Most scientists accept that health can be divided into two broad aspects, physical and mental health.
i. Physical Health: Physical health means a good body health, which is healthy because of regular physical activity (exercise), good nutrition, and adequate rest. Another term for physical well-being is defined as something a person can achieve by developing all health-related components of his/her lifestyle. Fitness reflects a person’s cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition. Other contributors to physical wellbeing may include proper nutrition, bodyweight management, abstaining from drug abuse, responsible sexual behaviour (sexual health), hygiene, and getting the right amount of sleep.
ii. Mental Health: Mental health refers to people’s cognitive and emotional well-being. A person who enjoys good mental health does not have a mental disorder. According to WHO, mental health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
Our health is affected by a wide range of contributory factors. Our good or bad health is determined by our environment and situations, that is what is happening and what happened to them, says WHO. The World Health Organisation says that the following factors probably have a bigger impact on our health than access and use of our healthcare services:
a. Where we live
b. The state of our environment
c. Genetics
d. Our income
e. Our educational level
f. Our relationship with friends and family
Take good care of your health at all time if you want to enjoy your hard earned wealth. It is of no use for you to struggle and amass wealth if your poor health would not permit you to enjoy it. Your body is your only habitat in this world. You do not have any other house to live. So take proper care of your body. It pains me to watch some people taking proper care of their vehicles but fail woefully to look after their body. This is strange indeed. A popular aphorism says that health is wealth. And I agree with it.

TAKE ACTION TODAY (Success Strategy No.12)

take-actionDo you know why China is on the rise as a country? Have you seen how Chinese people work with great dedication and sense duty every day (they work like “Jaki” as we say it in Nigeria)? In fact, the word “holiday” is not in their dictionary. In effect, they have spirit of enterprise par excellence. I want you to know that the world doesn’t pay you for what you know; it pays for what you do. Thus, take action today. Nothing happens until you take action. The universe rewards action. When you take action, you trigger favourable response from the universe that will inevitably take you to success. That is why Abraham Lincoln, the Sixteenth President of the United States, said: “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
One of the greatest problems preventing people from taking action is mental paralysis of fear, self-doubt, inadequacy, and inferiority complex. John Ruskin, the English author, art critic, and social commentator once admonished that: “What we think or what we know or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.” Use the following formula to get what you want, be what you want to be, and do what you want to do. Here they are:
1. Write down on paper your three best ideas or wishes, numbering them one, two, three. Look at them every day.
2. Spend an hour every day analysing and studying your job. Do this every day and in less than five years you will be an acknowledged expert on the job.
3. Spend one hour each day with a sheet of paper in front of you and write down every idea you can think of. You will get surprising ideas that will improve your own performance.
If you want to be successful, you have to do what successful people do. Successful people are highly action-oriented. It is said that success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. Napoleon Hill said: “Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” The greatest spiritual autobiography of all times: The Confessions of St. Augustine says: “Time does not take time off, nor does it turn without purpose through our senses: It works wondrous effects in our minds. See how it came and went from day to day, and by coming and going it planted … other hopes and other memories, and little by little they filled … up again with sources of delight.”
Trigger high performance in yourself. One of the ways you can trigger this state of flow is by developing a sense of urgency. A sense of urgency shifts you automatically onto the fast track in your career. With this sense of urgency, you develop a bias for action. The faster you move, the more impelled you feel to do even more faster. One of the simplest and yet most powerful ways to get yourself started is to repeat the words: “Do it now! Do it now!! Do it now!!!” over and over again. If you feel yourself slowing down or becoming distracted by conversations or low-value activities, repeat to yourself these words: “Back to work! Back to work!! Back to work over and over again. Ralph Waldo Emerson declared a hard truth: “They conquer who believe they can.” And he added, “Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.”

DEVELOP SELF-CONFIDENCE (Success Strategy No. 11)

I have been researching about human resource development, peak performance, leadership and personal success for almost 30 years. I have come to the conclusion that self-confidence is one of the major defining factors of success in every calling, vocation and profession. Every man or woman who has ever accomplished anything out of the ordinary has turned out to have greater self-confidence than the ordinary person. Thus, when you develop yourself to the point where your belief in yourself is so strong that you can accomplish almost any goal you set for yourself, your future will be unlimited. In all my success strategy seminars in Africa, I have always advised participants on the importance of self-confidence.
What is the cause of lack of self-confidence? It is primarily caused by fear. Fear is real and it exists. Many factors are responsible for individual fears. Most of these factors like fear itself are emotional. Feeling of inadequacy stored up in an individual’s memory drive in most cases reappear into his or her consciousness in the course of thinking, and as soon as this happens, he or she (the individual) feels inadequate, incapable and shrinks back into the doldrums, and inaction. The memory disc drive of any individual may be filled with these inferior feelings and opinions about the individual (self-concept) by his or her parents during childhood or by teachers during school days, or by colleagues in the office. How? Just by the remarks made about the fellow. Fear is only lack of confidence. Fear can be caused by ignorance. When we have limited information, we may be tense and insecure about the outcome of our actions. Ignorance causes us to fear change, to fear the unknown, and to avoid trying anything new or different. Another factor that causes fear is fatigue or illness. When we are tired or sick, we are more disposed to fear and doubt than when we are feeling healthy, happy and energetic. Fear is, and always has been, the greatest enemy of progress. When Franklin D. Roosevelt said: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”, he was in effect saying that the emotion of fear, rather than the reality of what we fear, is what causes us anxiety, stress, and unhappiness.
All confidence is acquired by practice and training. Nobody is born with self-confidence. For instance all a novice in the art of driving a car or riding a bicycle needs to defeat the fear of driving or riding is the courage to attempt it first and second time. He or she struggles on and eventually he or she learns the art of driving or riding. Mastery and confidence become developed after the first and subsequent attempts. When you develop the habit of courage and unshakable self-confidence, a whole new world of possibilities opens up for you. As Mark Twain said: “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” Hence, the best way to develop courage is by facing your fears. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain.” Also as the actor Glenn Ford said, “If you do not do the thing you fear, the fear controls your life.” Remember that in real life situation, he who dares wins!
If you want to be successful in creating the life of your dreams, you have to believe that you are capable of making it happen. You have to believe you have the right stuff to succeed. You have to believe in yourself. Whether you call it self-esteem, self-confidence, or self-assurance, it is a deep-rooted belief that you have what it takes, the abilities, inner-resources, talents, and skills to create your desired result. With enhanced confidence in yourself and your abilities, you would set bigger goals, make bigger plans, and commit yourself to achieving objectives that today, you only imagine about. With greater self-confidence, you would be bolder and more imaginative. A fundamental part of becoming personally powerful requires that you live consistently with the highest values you know, in every sphere of your life. These virtues and values not only are self-reinforcing, they are self-rewarding. Aristotle, the great Greek philosopher, wrote more than 2,500 years ago that the ultimate aim of all human action is happiness. He concluded that everything a person does is to achieve happiness of some kind. Sometimes they are successful, and sometimes they are unsuccessful, but happiness is always the target each person aims at. One of Aristotle’s greatest insights on the subject of happiness was his conclusion that: “Only the good can be happy, and only the virtuous can be good.” So what are your values? What is it that you believe in? What (work) gives you joy in life? The solution to almost all human problems is to return to our pristine values. In many ways, your unhappiness and stress are caused by our drifting away from doing and saying the things that we know that are right and just.

LIBERATE YOURSELF FROM YOUR COMFORT ZONE (Success Strategy No.10)

comfort-zoneI have been researching and writing on human resource development, individual peak performance, sales strategy, and success principles for over 30 years. I have discovered that the most conspicuous psychological or metal condition that holds people (especially our African people) back from self-actualisation (financial freedom as the case may), is comfort zone. What is comfort zone all about? The comfort zone otherwise known as “Corley Syndrome” is a type of mental conditioning that causes a person to create and operate mental boundaries. Such boundaries create an unfounded sense of security without opportunity, which eventually leads to rat race in life. A person who has established a comfort zone in a particular sphere of his or her life becomes lethargic (inertia), and tends to stay within that zone without stepping outside of it.
A comfort zone may result when the mental concept that a person has about something and the actual reality of it are not congruent with one another. A good example is self- image. A self-image may consist of three types: (a) self-image resulting from how the individual sees himself or herself; (b) self-image resulting from how others see the individual; and, (b) self-image resulting from how the individual perceives that others see him or her. These three types may or may not be an accurate representation of the person. All, some, or none of them may be true.
Comfort zone is the greatest enemy of human achievement. It is largely a self-created prison. It consists of the collection of can’ts, musts, must nots, and other unfounded beliefs formed from all the negative thoughts and decisions one has accumulated and reinforced during his or her lifetime. Psychologists have determined that each of us has natural tendency to slack into a zone of performance and behaviour where we are comfortable, one that is easy and unchallenging, and then to stay there. Sometimes people are trained or conditioned rather to limit their human potentials. Human beings are creatures of habit. They begin a job of any kind and they soon become comfortable with it. They then become reluctant to change to any other work, or change the situation they are in, even if they are not visibly happy or satisfied with it. They become gradually content and complacent. Complacency eventually leads to boredom, frustration and unhappiness.
In addition to comfort zone, there is another serious mental block that is holding people back from achieving any worthwhile goal in life. This is called “learned helplessness.” Dr. Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania, in his book: Learned Optimism (Knopf, 1990), said that this attitude afflicts fully 80 percent of the population to some degree, and for many people it is their major obstacle to success and fulfillment. Learned helplessness, in conjunction with the comfort zone, creates a person who feels trapped and helpless, weak and powerless, and unable to take control or to make any real difference in his or her life. This is akin to “circus elephant mentality.” A baby elephant is trained at birth to be confined to a very small space in a Circus or in Amusement Park. Its trainer will tie its leg with a rope to a wooden post planted deep in ground. This confines the baby elephant to an area determined by the length of the rope, the elephant’s comfort zone. Naturally, the baby elephant will initially try to break the rope, the rope is too strong, and so the baby elephant learns that it can’t break the rope. Suddenly, it learns that it has to stay in the area defined by the length of the rope.
When the elephant grows up into a 5-ton giant that could easily break the same rope, it doesn’t even try to liberate itself because it learned as a baby that it couldn’t break the rope. Thus, in this way the biggest elephant can be confined by the tiniest rope. Like the Circus Elephant, most Africans are in comfort zone of their own making. Their attitude and personality, their primordial way of doing things, of responding to events, is their comfort zone. But the good news is that if you are at this time trapped in your comfort zone, you can change it with determination and moral courage. How can it be done? There are three major ways to do it: (i) you can use affirmation and positive self-talk to affirm already having what you want, doing what you want, and being the way you want; (ii) you can create powerful and compelling new internal images of having, doing, and being what you want; and (iii) you can simply change your behaviour and your response to events taking place around you. All three of these methods will shift you out of your old comfort zone. Liberate yourself today from your self-imposed comfort zone. The alternative could be very alienating, and even disasterous!