THE POWER OF LOVE AND GRATITUDE (Success Strategy No.31)

I conducted a lively 2-day couching seminar in Gaborone, the beautiful but sleepy capital city of Botswana on 11th and 12th September, 2015. It was well attended by the people from Southern Africa. There were some Nigerians and Ghanaians in attendance. The purpose of the seminar was to turbo-charge the youth from the Southern African sub-region with the latest cutting-edge success strategies in vogue. The seminar drew many people from business, church, civic, and educational organizations. It was packaged to practically show the youth how to achieve success, in more areas, than they ever have known before. I showed the participants how to develop the ability to get results; increase the quality and quantity of their results; work at full capacity; concentrate on high-value tasks; and step-by-step system to transform their thinking about themselves and their potential, enabling them to achieve greater success in every area of their life; learn to think big, believe big, and achieve big; and how to overcome fear and worry, the two greatest enemies of wealth.
On the second day of the seminar, I said something that sounded incredible and somehow funny to most of the participants. They were almost startled when I told them that ‘love’ and ‘gratitude’ are probably the most powerful forces of wealth creation, happiness and good health. As a result of their apparent disbelief or incredulity, I had to spend more time in explaining the importance of love and gratitude in our daily life. Everything you want to be, do, or have comes from love. Indian political leader, Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), once said that: “Whether humanity will consciously follow the law of love, I do not know. But that need not disturb me. The law will work just as the law of gravitation works whether we accept it or not.” Love has been talked and written about since the beginning of time, in every religion, and by every great thinker, philosopher, prophet, and leader. The entire message of our Lord, Jesus Christ, His Gospel can be summarized in one word: Love! The French priest and philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), said that: “Love is the most powerful and still most unknown energy in the world.” Love, because when you love you are using and invoking the greatest power in the universe. Love is the positive force of life. Love is the cause of everything positive and good. The positive force of love can create anything good, increase the good things, and change anything negative in your life. The law of attraction is the law of love, and it is the law that is operating in your life. That is why people who are wealthy and enjoy great lives think and talk about what they love more than what they don’t love. Whatever you give in life is what you receive back in life. Give positivity, you receive back positivity; give negativity, you receive back negativity. Hence, Jesus Christ said in Luke 6:38: “Give and it will be given to you… for by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” St. Paul said in Romans 13:10 that: “Love is the fulfilling of the law.” Have kindness enough to share what you have and who you are with others. Be generous enough to give before being asked. Have mercy enough to forgive and forget. Have gratitude enough to say “thank you” for the small things you have or received. What makes us discontented with our personal condition is the absurd belief that others are so much happier than we are. Envy consumes nothing but its own heart.
History is replete with famous men and women who practiced gratitude, and whose achievements put them amongst the greatest human beings who have ever lived: Plato, Aristotle, Aesop, Newton, Shakespeare, Leonardo Da Vinci, Blake, Dickens, Proust, Descartes, Lincoln, Emerson, Bertrand Russell, Jung, Einstein, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Dalai Lama, among others. Dating back thousands and thousands of years to the earliest to the recorded history of mankind, the power of gratitude was preached and practiced, and from there was passed on through the centuries, sweeping across the continent, permeating one civilisation and culture to the next. The major religions Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism, and Taoism all have gratitude as their basic tenet.
Way back in the 15th century, Sir Isaac Newton, the English Mathematician and Physicist had postulated that: “To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Gratitude operates through a Universal law that governs your whole life. It works in the same way as metal being drawn to magnet. Your gratitude is magnetic, and the more gratitude you have, the more abundance you magnetize. Hence, Jesus Christ said in Matthew 13:12: “For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.” Now try to understand Jesus’ Parables this way: “Whoever has gratitude will be given more, and he will be given an abundance. Whoever does not have gratitude, even what he has will be taken from him.” It is universal law. Thus, before you engage on visualization of the new things you want out of life, you must give thanks for what you already have. Do not resent anything. Bless your present condition and look forward courageously to a new tomorrow with a picture of your new world in your head. Gratitude can miraculously turn your troubled relationships into joyful and meaningful relationships, no matter what state they are now. Gratitude can magically make you more prosperous so that you have the money you need to do the things you want to do. Try it and see that gratitude will automatically increase your good health and bring a level of happiness beyond what you’ve ever felt before.
The practice of gratitude will surely improve your situation, no matter what that situation may be. Again, no matter who you are, no matter where you are, no matter what your current situations, the miracle of gratitude will change your whole life. Gratitude will work its miracle to accelerate your career, increase your success, and bring about your much expected job or whatever it is you want to do. In conclusion, as you practice gratitude and show love, you will understand why particular things in your life may have gone wrong and why certain things might be missing from your life. As you make gratitude a way of life, you will wake up each morning so enthusiastic to be alive. You will find yourself completely in love with life. Whatever you want will come to you effortlessly.
When I finished my lecture on the issue of love and gratitude, the audience literarily exploded in joy and exhilaration and gave me a standing ovation. At the end of the seminar many participants came to me and confessed their total ignorance of the power of love and gratitude towards wealth creation, happiness, abundance, and good health. Now that you have known the importance of love and gratitude in your life would you still indulge in your old ways of living? Well, the choice is yours. I wish you happiness, wealth and good health!

ALWAYS ASSOCIATE YOURSELF WITH SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE IN YOUR CHOSEN PROFESSION (Success Strategy No.30)

I was in Enugu, the capital city of Enugu state of Nigeria, two weeks ago (precisely from 24th to 26th July, 2015) for a couching programme organised for about 250 youth from all over Africa on success and personal achievement. After formal introduction, I took to the podium. That morning I asked my audience to raise hands if they knew the names of the top five people in their chosen profession. Almost everyone raised a hand. I then asked them to raise their hands again if they had ever gone up to any these five people and asked them to share their secrets of success. Not one hand was raised up. Have you seen it? Everyone knew who the most effective people in his or her profession, but because of an unfounded fear of rejection, nobody had ever asked these successful captains of industries, academics, medical practitioners, engineers, business moguls, the clergy, among others, to share their secrets with them.
At this juncture, I told the naïve youth that if you are going to be successful in life, you have to start associating with the great achievers. Experiment with doing what they do. Do not be envious of them, and do not castigate them. Ask them politely about their success strategies. Then try then tenaciously and see if they serve your purpose. If you love and cherish successful people and do what they do, you are likely to succeed.
You have to free yourself from the negative influence of others. Until you reach the point in your self-development where you no longer allow people to affect you with their negativity, you need to avoid toxic people at all costs. You’re better off spending time alone than spending time with people who hold you back with their siege and victim mentality, and their peasant and mediocre standards. Liberate yourself at cost circus elephant syndrome, and don’t poke yourself into stiff cocoon. Make conscious effort to surround yourself with positive, progressive, forward-looking, nourishing, and uplifting people — people who believe in you, encourage you to go after your dreams, lift you up and applaud your victories. Surround yourself with possibility thinkers, men and women of great ideas, and visionaries. Stop associating with nihilists, pessimists and paranoids. Move with people that make you happy. Happiness, like success has been defined as by Earl Nightingale as “the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal.” You can only be happy when you are working step by step toward something that is really important to you. Perhaps your deepest subconscious drive, according to Dr. Viktor E. Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning, is the need for meaning and purpose in life. To be truly happy, you need a clear sense of direction. You need to feel that you are realising your worthy ideal, and that you are somehow making a valuable contribution to your environment and world.
Aristotle, perhaps the greatest of all the ancient philosophers, wrote more than 2,300 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.”

TRAIN YOURSELF FOR SUCCESS (Success Strategy No.29)

Youth from all over Africa congregated in Abuja between 21 and 23 June, 2015 for a very important and huge Success Seminar. My purpose was to train the mind of the African youth to imbibe the habit of success. Successful people all over the world are those who have developed the habit of success. They form good habit and ensure that those habits govern their behaviours. On the other hand, unsuccessful people permit bad habits to crystallize in them, and these bad habits govern them and consequently lead to frustration, aggression and eventual failure. Hence, Ed Foreman says, “Good habits are hard to form but easy to live with. Bad habits, on the other hand, are easy to form but hard to live with.” Napoleon Hill, once said in his Laws of Success that: “What a different story people would have to tell if they would adopt a definite purpose and stand by that purpose until it had time to become an all-consuming purpose.” Furthermore, Andrew Carnegie said, “Any idea that is held in the mind that is either feared or revered will, begin at once to clothe itself in the most convenient and appropriate physical forms available.” These are powerful and wonderful statements. It is based on this that I shall review and summarize Napoleon Hill’s 17 principles of personal achievement.
I am bringing these 17 principles in answer to a question asked me by a boy from Zambia while I was couching them on the need to be a success in life. Probably, he was startled when I told them that if you think that success are difficult, try to be a failure in life and see which one is more difficult to manage. This brilliant Zambian student said to me: “Sir, can you summarise to us how we (the youth of Africa) can make it in life before we hit 40 years?” Now, let’s see Napoleon Hill’s 17 principles of personal achievement as encapsulated in his famous book: Think and Grow Rich.
1. Definiteness of Purpose
The starting point of all achievement is definiteness of purpose, that is, knowing what your goal in life is, knowing what you want. This fills you with a success-consciousness and protects you against failure. Decide on a major goal in your life — either personal or professional. Write out your goal in a clear, concise, positive manner. Transfer it to a 3 x 5 card. Place it in your office and home where you will see your goal several times a day. Successful people move on their own initiative, but they know where they are going before they start.

2. Create a Master Mind
This is the coordination of effort between two or more people in a spirit of perfect harmony in order to attain a specific objective. Adopt a definite purpose with an objective to be attained by the alliance. Then determine what appropriate benefit each member may receive in return for his cooperation in the alliance, and see that he or she gets it. Establish a plan through which each member makes a definite contribution. Ensure that harmony prevails in the group. Remember that your watchword is definiteness of plan and purpose. Calculate the number of individuals in the group by the nature of the purpose to be attained. Also, bear in mind that no man or woman can become a permanent success without carrying others along with him or her.
3. Applied Faith
This is a state of mind through which your aims, desires, plans and purposes are translated into their physical or financial equivalent. What affirming statements, what beliefs do you feel you must have faith in before you can reach your goal? These statements can refer to yourself, your fellow citizens, or the universe. You can do it if you believe you can.

4. Pleasing Personality
A pleasing personality helps you master the major cause of failure — the inability to get along with people harmoniously. List the elements of a pleasing personality in which you most need to make improvement. What steps will you take to make these changes? How will changing them help you reach your goals? Your personality is your greatest asset or liability. It embraced everything you control: mind, body and soul.

5. Going the Extra Mile

Rendering more and better service than you are paid to render, doing it all the time and doing it with a pleasing and positive attitude. In the process of achieving your goal, and with the list of your “master minds” in mind, what “extra miles” might you consider going? What might be the anticipated results of these extra efforts? The most successful men and women are those who serve the greatest number of people.

6. Personal Initiative
This is the inner power that kick-starts all action. It is power that inspires the completion of all that one begins. What actions can you take today, right now, to move toward goals? Outline your planned movement toward your goal, beginning each step with the words, “I will.” No man is free until he learns to do his own thinking and gains the courage to act on his own personal initiative.

7. Self-Discipline
This is the ability to control our thoughts and emotions. Self-discipline is the only thing in life over which you have complete, unchallenged and unchallengeable control. Using the “I will …” statements outlined in No.6, visualize in your mind that you are doing each one. Imagine yourself going through whatever it takes to successfully complete each step. How does it feel? What do you notice as possible obstacle? What parts were easy? What ones were difficult? Direct your thoughts, control your emotions and ordain your destiny.

8. Controlled Attention
This is the highest form of self-discipline. It is the act of coordinating all your mind’s faculties and directing their combined power to a given end. What resources can you use for research as you plan your strategy for achieving your goals? What affirmations would be most helpful if they were placed in your mind for your subconscious to remember? You can keep your mind working for you, even while you sleep, with controlled attention.

9. Enthusiasm
This is a contagious state of mind that not only helps you gain the cooperation of others but, more importantly, inspires you to draw upon and use the power of your imagination. It is always important to choose the most positive language — with yourself and with others. Demonstrate that by writing ten statements about potential obstacles that begin negatively, i.e., “I’m afraid that …” or “I doubt that …” or “I don’t think that ….” End each statement with a reason for your belief or doubt. Now transform that into a positive statement by rewriting each statement, replacing “I’m afraid” or “I doubt” with “I can” or “I will”. Once again, give your reasons for holding these new enthusiastic and positive beliefs. See the difference being positive in word choice can make? Real enthusiasm comes from within, and is faith in action.

10. Imagination
Imagination is your mind’s exercise, challenge and adventure. It uses old ideas and established facts to reassemble them into new combinations and to put them to new uses. First, imagine your “ideal” life, the one in which your goal has been reached, things are the way that you want them, and you have everything you desire. What is that life like? Describe it in detail. Describe all aspects of it — what you have, where you live, who you love, etc. Second, imagine five alternative methods of achieving your goal; it’s always good to have several choices. Let your imagination soar, held back by no barriers. Might these new ideas be incorporated into your current plan of attack? Imagination is the workshop of the soul.

11. Learning from Adversity and Defeat
Hardship and adversity are a common language of nature in which she speaks to all living creatures and teaches them many things they would not learn in any other way. Review your life — both professional and in the personal realm — and recall several obstacles that have stood in your way. Think about those obstacles and what followed after encountering them. Remember how many of them actually led to positive things: new knowledge, inspiration, a “lucky” break. Describe one of these incidents in detail. Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.

12. Budgeting Time and Money
Successful people know themselves, not as they think they are, but as their habits have made them: the use of time and money are the most vital of these habits. Detail the time and monetary expenses of achieving your goals. Break down the costs as specifically as possible. Where will you find that time? Where will you find the money? Will you have to deduct time or money from other tasks or needs? What will you do with any spare money you might have? Tell me how you use your spare time and how you spend your money, and I will tell you where and what you will be ten years from now.
13. Positive Mental Attitude
To govern your life, you must be able to govern your mind, and that is the starting point of all riches. Over the next few days, review how much time you spend on the following negative aspects: complaining, gossiping, fearing or doubting, criticizing. Make an effort to erase these from your life. Apply the time you save to something positive (see #12). Replace negative words — can’t, won’t, shouldn’t — with positive ones — with positive ones — can, will, shall (see #9). Be careful what you wish for, for you will surely achieve it.
Accurate Thinking
14. The accurate thinker recognizes all the facts of life, both good and bad, and assumes the responsibility of separating and organising the two, choosing those which serve his needs and rejecting all others. Think of three statements about the obstacles you might encounter that you now consider facts. Think hard about the truth of each, doing research if necessary (see #8). Are these really true? For example, you own a company that sells beach chairs. Your obstacle is that beach chairs sell poorly in winter. That is a fact. But does that mean beach chairs must sell poorly in January or simply in cold weather? What if you found a distributor in the Caribbean or South America? The fact is, beach chairs could sell year round ; it all depends on how you look at the facts! You are what you think.

15. Sound Physical Health

The key that coordinates all other principles and sets all ideas into motion is sound health which provides the “flavor” to the good things in life. For one week, keep track of everything you eat or drink. What percentage of that is “healthy”? What did you eat or drink that could do you harm? What should you do away with? During that week, did you exercise? What sort of exercise? How many times and for how long? And your sleep habits how were they? Did you get all of the sleep your body needed? Why or why not? How could you change your lifestyle or your schedule to incorporate a proper diet and sleep regimen? Good health, a sense of well-being and a purpose for living make any day beautiful.

16. Cooperation
Harmony based on a definite motive, cooperation is the medium through which great personal power may be attained; the willing cooperation and coordination of effort to achieve a specific objective. Returning to your Master Mind list (see #2), think of ways in which you might use your skills and knowledge to help the people named therein return for the help they can give you. Harmonious cooperation is a priceless asset that you can acquire in proportion to your giving.
17. Cosmic Habit Force
The cosmic habit force is the universe’s law of equilibrium, the one natural law into which all other natural laws revolve themselves. You manifest in your life that which you think. List eight things you would like to manifest by thinking about them repeatedly and by truly believing in them. When you learn to weave unpleasant circumstances into something useful, you’re on the road to success.

TECHNOLOGICAL DISAPPOINTMENT AND MY BOUNCING BACK (Success Strategy No. 28)

My Blog was shut down for more than a month due to circumstances beyond my control. I was told by the hosting company that my blog’s bandwidth was filled. It simply means that I cannot post my usual weekly articles and my fans would not chance to comment either. In short, nobody could gain access or open the link to my blog. It was a nightmare, not only to me but to hundreds of thousands of my blog readers around the world. Well, I am happy that the spam adverts that had covered the space in my blog had been diligently cleared. So, I am back to business and I want to apologize for any inconveniences this technological disappointment may have caused you. But that is not all. The moral message of this technological disappointment is what I want to bring to you before I start posting numerous articles I have for you.
The measure of how mentally healthy you are can be seen from how quickly you recover after experiencing a disappointment. The issue here is how quickly you bounce back. Your recovery rate is very important. It is under your control. It is determined by the way you think about what happened to you. Thus, it is not the event itself that affects you, but rather the way that you interpret the event to yourself. This is the choice you make for yourself. Hence, one of the most powerful means to bounce back from disappointment is to put the negative situation into its proper perspective. A positive mental attitude, which means a positive and constructive response to disappointments and setbacks, is largely determined by your feeling of control. Having a sense of control means that you feel you are in control of your own life. Failure is never final. The most important thing is to realise that failure is never final.
Our ability to deal with disappointment in a positive, constructive way will go long ways to enable us succeed. That is why you should decide in advance, that no matter what happens, nothing will ever stop you from achieving your goal in life. The import of this message is that when you engage in serious mental preparation, you will be quick on your feet when the inevitable challenges appear, and be ready to bounce back instead of break down. That’s my take for today. Welcome back and expect more scintillating and tantalizing articles in the coming weeks ahead.

THE SECRET OF SUCCESS IS PERSISTENCE AND DETERMINATION (Success Strategy No.27)

At the end of my seminar yesterday (24/05/2015) in Abuja, a very curious and ambitious young lady asked me during the Question and Answer Session to summarize the secret of my success in two words. There was absolute silence in the hall. Everybody wanted to hear what I would say. What follows here is the summary of my response which received a standing ovation. The history of human race is the story of the triumph of persistence and determination. Every successful man or woman has had to endure serious trials and tribulations before reaching the heights of success and achievement. That persistence and determination is what made them great. This was beautifully summarized by Calvin Coolidge, the Thirtieth President of the United States when he said: “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! Has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
If you want to succeed in any human endeavour beyond your most utopian aspirations, you must develop the ability to persevere in the face of the inevitable obstacles and difficulties you will face. In fact, your ability to persist is what it takes to overcome the most difficult obstacles. Here is a beautiful poem that explains the issue of persistence and determination:
DON’T QUIT
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
For life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won if he’d stuck it out.
Success is just failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit!
— Anonymous
(Culled from Brian Tracy’s book: Maximum Achievement, 1993:170)
Persistence is probably the single most common quality of high achievers. They simply refuse to give up. The longer you hang in there, the greater the chance that something will happen in your favour. No matter how hard it seems, the longer you persist the more likely your success. According to H. Ross Perot, American billionaire and former U.S. presidential candidate, “Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one-yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game, one foot from a winning touchdown.” B. C. Forbes, founder of Forbes Magazine further added that “History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.” That is why a Japanese proverb says: “If you fall down seven times, get up eight times.”