JOHN C. MAXWELL’S 6 STEPS TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE

ART-change_0My mission in life has been the same for more than a quarter of a century. It is to liberate the potentials of African youth by giving them ideas and strategies they can use to get more of the benefits and rewards of life they want faster than they would without these ideas. It is on the basis of this premise that I want to give you John C. Maxwell’s 6 Steps to Change Your Life. Here they are:
“Don’t get stuck in the same old average routine. Here’s how to start the domino effect change.
“Hope is the foundational principle for all change. People change because they have hope, and if people do not have hope, they will not change. You are responsible for changes that you make in your life.
“The good news? You can change your life if you really want to. You can improve it, make it better. And it all starts with changing the way you think. So are you ready? I am going to walk you through a six-step plan for achieving positive change. Here’s how you give yourself a little hope:
“Step 1: When you change your thinking, you change your beliefs. Change begins with the mind. Beliefs are nothing more than a by-product of what you have thought about long enough, something that you have bought into —- always remember that. What you believe, what you think, is just a collection of continual thoughts that have formed themselves into a conviction. When you break down the process of thinking into a manageable number of steps, you reduce the perceived risk associated with change.
“Step 2: When you change your beliefs, you change your expectations. Belief is the knowledge that we can do something. It is the inner feeling that what we undertake, we can accomplish. For the most part, all of us have the ability to look at something and know whether we can do it. So in belief there is power … our eyes are opened, our opportunities become plain, our visions become realities. Our beliefs control everything we do. If we believe we can or we believe we cannot, we are correct.
“Step 3: When you change your expectations, you change your attitude. Your expectations are going to determine your attitude. Most people get used to average; they get used to second best. Nelson Boswell said, “The first and most important step toward success is the expectation that we can succeed.”
“Step 4: When you change your attitude, you change your behavior. When our attitude begins to change, when we become involved with something, our behavior begins to change. The reason that we have to make personal changes is that we cannot take our people on a trip that we have not made.
“Step 5: When you change your behavior, you change your performance. Most people would rather live with old problems than new solutions. We would rather be comfortable than correct; we would rather stay in a routine than make changes. Even when we know that the changes are going to be better for us, we often don’t make them because we feel uncomfortable or awkward about making that kind of change. Until we get courage and get used to living with something that is not comfortable, we cannot get any better.
“Step 6: When you change your performance, you change your life. It is easier to turn failure into success than an excuse into a possibility. A person can fail, turn around and understand their failure to make it a success. But I want to tell you, a person who makes excuses for everything will never truly succeed. Don’t you know some people who just have an excuse for everything? Why they could not, should not, did not, would not, have not, will not. I promise you, when you excuse what you are doing and excuse where you are, and you allow the exceptions, you fail to reach your potential. It is impossible to turn excuses into possibilities.”

FOUR FACTORS THAT HOLD PEOPLE BACK FROM SUCCEEDING IN LIFE (Success Strategy No.18)

In my many years of research into why majority of the people fail to succeed in life, and only 5 percent really succeed, I have come to the conclusion that there are four major factors that are responsible for the miserable performance of many. First, a great majority of people have not actually decided to be rich. This is not a joke. Many people do not know what they want in life. They simply do not think. They just conform to the majority. Their problem is conformity, people acting like everyone else, without knowing why or where they are going to. They have no goal, no definite purpose in life. Second, even when they decide to do so, they are not ready to pay the price upfront. This inability to pay the price of success in advance is the cause of many a failure, even in the midst of advantages of birth and trappings of power. This is why children of wealthy parents very often hardly sustain the wealth of their parents after their exit from the earth plane.
The third major factor that holds people back from using their natural intelligence is called psychosclerosis which is another name for “hardening of the attitudes.” This is generally experienced by a particular type of person who is rigid, inflexible, and unchanging. This is the kind of person who develops fixed attitudes on certain person or subject and then resists any attempt to change his mind. This condition is rooted in fear. Psychosclerosis is your natural tendency to fall in love with your own ideas, and then to vigorously defend them against anything new. This is often called the mechanical way of thinking. The opposite of psychosclerosis is flexibility, the willingness to consider other points of view, other ideas, with the very real possibility that you could be wrong. This mental flexibility is the mark of successful and intelligent person. This adaptive world view helps to keep people’s minds open to new information. The people in this category are willing to abandon an old idea if someone can come along and show them that a new idea has more merit. They are more concerned that the new idea works to solve a problem or achieve a goal.
The fourth major factor that holds people back is homeostasis. This is defined as a “striving for constancy.” It is a deep desire to remain consistent with what you have done and said in the past. Homeostatic impulse is another term for your comfort zone. This is unconscious tendency to be drawn irresistibly toward doing what you’ve always done. This inability to break free from the bondage of the past is the reason most people accomplish far less than they are capable of and remain unfulfilled and disillusioned for most of their lives. One method to escape the mental trap of homeostasis is for you to be willing to admit that you are wrong. Thus, to achieve different results, you must become a different person. This means that you must endeavour to change your goals and ideals for yourself and develop a new self-image. The most difficult challenge you will face is within yourself. It is your unconscious striving to remain consistent with what you’ve said and done in the past that holds you back. But all great achievement requires you to move out of your comfort zone in the direction of something bigger and better. This approach is very significant in mental programming, in changing your mind for better. In 1905, Dr. William James of Harvard University 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.”

FORM YOUR MASTERMIND GROUP THIS YEAR (2015) (Success Strategy No. 17)

We recently concluded our last lap of 2014 activities with a grand success seminar for African youth on 27th December at Owerri, the small but beautiful capital city of Imo State of Nigeria. The turn-out was huge and impressive. Everybody that attended this mindboggling and food-for-thought success seminar went home satisfied. The meeting laid down the success blueprint or roadmap for 2015. I want to start the New Year with one of the strongest strategies for rapid success recommended at the just concluded success strategy fiesta. But let me ask you this question before I proceed: Have you set your success goal in writing for the year 2015? Try and do so immediately if you have not done so. This is very important because it is said that “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Now let’s get started!
The Holy Bible says in Matthew 18:20 – “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” This is the biblical origin of the concept of ‘Mastermind’. The first ever mastermind formed in the history of mankind was said to be that of the Disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to Napoleon Hill, “When two or more people coordinate in a spirit of harmony and work toward a definite objective or purpose, they place themselves in position, through the alliance, to absorb power directly from the great storehouse of Infinite Intelligence.” He first wrote about mastermind group in 1937 in his ground-breaking book: Think and Grow Rich. After decades of studying the richest and most successful men in America, Hill then concluded that the formation of a mastermind network was an important strategy to great wealth. It was the creation or joining of a mastermind group that enabled countless men and women to go from poverty and obscurity to success and influence. It is one factor most of great achievers always attribute to, when they credit any one thing that helped them to become a millionaire. Andrew Carnegie had a mastermind group. So did Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. Bill Gates, Alikote Dangote, Mike Wale Adenuga are doing it.
How do you form a mastermind? It is always said that two good heads are better than one in solving a problem or arriving at a positive result. Thus, imagine having a permanent active group of 3, 5, 7, or 10 professionals who meet every week for the purpose problem solving or creating values, brain-storming, networking, encouraging and motivating each other. The combined effect of their spiritual, intellectual and creative force/power will be enormous and rewarding. A mastermind group can focus its combined talents, special energy on your efforts, in the form of specialized knowledge, new ideas, a vast array of resources, and most importantly, spiritual energy. This is the spiritual aspect that Napoleon Hill referred to in his great book. He said that if we are in tune with the mastermind, that is, God, the source, the universal power, or whatever name you call the all-powerful creative life force, we have significantly more positive energy available to us, a power that can be focused on our success. You begin the formation of a mastermind group by approaching one or two people you like and need, and who seem to have the same positive attitude as you do. They may be in your field or in another field. The most important qualifications are that they have positive mental attitudes and are generally optimistic and ready to work with you. They should have goals of their own that they should be working on each day. They should be open-minded and hardworking. You should let them know from day one what they stand to gain by associating with you. You should not be selfish; rather, sharing should be uppermost in your mind.
Whether you are a medical doctor or an engineer or an IT expert, form your mastermind group today. You have nothing to lose but a whole lot of material and spiritual benefits to gain. The basic philosophy of a mastermind group is that more can be achieved in less time when people work together than each would achieve working alone in his or her entire life time. A mastermind group should always conduct weekly brainstorming, with all members of the group in attendance. A good way to create a harmonious relationship with each other and keep the group excitement and morale high is for each to share a success story. Even a modicum of successes achieved since the last meeting would give others in the group the feeling that the strategy is working, and is something they need to stay involved with. The spirit or morale of every member of the mastermind group should be high at all time for the system to survive and achieve/serve its purpose. Generally, mastermind meeting should start with a request (prayer if you like) for the group to be filled and surrounded with powerful spiritual energy. A member can elect to deliver the invocation. Finally, an important element of your mastermind group is the amount of laughter that you experience together in your meetings. This is the litmus test of the quality of any group relationships. It is a truism that people, who laugh a lot together, like each other more. They are usually more helpful and supportive of each other. As you may recollect, the people you enjoy the most in life will always be the people with whom you laugh and joke the most. Let your wife or your husband be the first member of your mastermind group, starting from today if she/he is not yet.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL MY FANS!

Dear fans, this message is belated but it’s better than none. The reason is that I spent my Christmas holidays with my family in my beautiful village, Umuaka in Imo State of Nigeria where there was serious network problem. Thus, I could not post the message as when due. Please bear with me. Here now is my message: As we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, my prayer is for God’s presence to manifest in your beloved family. Your efforts shall never be in vain. In His abundance you shall excel. Your family shall testify to the goodness of the Lord. His love for you shall continue to multiply. May the New Year be a year of good health and financial prosperity for you and your family. God bless all of us.
Isaac Mbachu, mni.