Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Determining Factor

I look back at my secondary school days with nostalgia. The prominent subject mathematics and the phobia it carries still amazes me. We had math’s lessons every day. Students generally preferred to receive the lectures in the early part of the day. They claim their brain was more receptive then.

Students usually proceeded to the senior category based on their perception of mathematics. The student may opt for arts, sciences commerce or social science. If you are good in mathematics then you may be a good engineering material…if you are not good in mathematics then law may be your consideration. People with math skills are termed to be analytical.

In retrospect, I think mathematics is a very cheap course. We follow steps and procedure to arrive at the answer. I am of the opinion that courses like history, languages, government etc are more mentally challenging! The difference between students and their performance in mathematics is largely a function of their interest and practice. Individual perspective creates the divide.

In the larger society, what then is the determining factor?

The combination of multiple variables produces an output. Factors like, interest, hard work, motivation, opportunities, relationships, governance, location etc manipulated accordingly can birth success. Manipulation is switching between an unwanted position to your desired position. All this variables are available to all and sundry. Somebody said “we cannot all be a celebrity but we can all be great”. Greatness is from inside out. What do you have on the inside that you can draw out? My police friend will say wetin you carry?

What you carry may not be unique to you but your manner of presentation and delivery is peculiar to you. You may call it personal style or flavor. People will remember you if you are the first, best or different. Your beats has to be unique….personal…innovative. It should reflect your individuality. Something new has a way of attracting attention of the great and mighty. You need to stand out, stand tall. If your cv is in a pack of 100 will it be the one to be taken. If you go for an interview with 500hundred other candidates, will you be shortlisted.
Watch out for opportunities the crowd (masses) is rushing into. In fact that the masses are moving into a particular opportunity may suggest it’s time to opt out.

Music World
Any Artist who creates a niche in the music industry themselves ends up as super stars. Check out DBang, Nice, Lagabaja, Sunny Ade, Obey, Sunny Nneji etc. They all sing with unique style. Do not be afraid to innovate, improvise and do things slightly different from the norm. A new style is first strange before it becomes the fad.

Initiate the next fad.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesnt want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head.
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first",
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trust God always,Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Contentment: STATE OF THE MIND

I interact with people in different organizations/departments on a daily basis. I can confidently say that there is no greater difference between men than between grateful and ungrateful people. Happiness is not a function of the department or unit you are in. it’s a state of the mind.

I know a couple of individuals who used to complain when they were in department x and 6 months after changing to department y they are still complaining. You cannot be better by becoming bitter. You need to shift away from the complaining mode.

Can you remember how excited and grateful you were when you secured the opportunity you now take for granted? Happy people are upwardly mobile. Opportunities identify them and court them always. You can’t afford to be disgruntled on the job. Be grateful.

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. If a fellow isn't thankful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be thankful for what he's going to get. There are individuals who work in major oil companies and yet not happy and complain daily.

This season of your life is making certain privileges accessible to you…take advantage of it. Focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t. Gratitude will see us through this great economic meltdown.
I will like you to ponder on the following quotes to increase your gratitude quotient

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?" ~William A. Ward
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart
If you have lived, take thankfully the past. ~John Dryden
The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! ~Henry Ward Beecher
Praise the bridge that carried you over. ~George Colman
If you count all your assets, you always show a profit. ~Robert Quillen

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. ~Epictetus
Gratitude is the best attitude. ~Author Unknown
If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily. ~Gerald Good
Gratitude is the least of the virtues, but ingratitude is the worst of vices. ~Thomas Fuller
There is not a more pleasing exercise of the mind than gratitude. It is accompanied with such an inward satisfaction that the duty is sufficiently rewarded by the performance. ~Joseph Addison
Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart. ~Henry Clay
Who does not thank for little will not thank for much. ~Estonian Proverb
The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. ~Eric Hoffer, Reflections On The Human Condition
We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. ~Cynthia Ozick
Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. ~Aldous Huxley
When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them. ~Chinese Proverb

Monday, February 09, 2009


“Those who don’t have to watch their spending got their by watching it” - AFRICAN PROVERB
How much you make is not as important has how you spend it. I have come across people who earn approximately the same income but have different standard of living five years down the line. I know we live in a consumer spending driven economy and broad array of products and services are available in the market. I am also aware that it is sometimes difficult to resist the temptation of spending money. You have to be an educated consumer i.e. someone who knows how and when to spend money.
Managing money through budgeting is a proven method of becoming a prudent consumer. There are a whole lot of techniques out there that could be utilized to make the best of your money; they range from the mundane to the sophisticated – it all boils down to common sense. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Here are a few basic techniques for living within your means and curtailing multiple stream of expenditure: BUDGETING TIPS:
 Draw up a budget, stick to it, be prepared to make adjustments in your lifestyle or spending habits and pay yourself first by saving regularly.
 Save through payroll deduction and take advantage of any employer-sponsored savings plan – deferred compensation, retirement accounts, commuter savings program etc. Use a piggy bank to keep your loose change.
 Keep an emergency fund and save any bonus income you earn. Consider whether it is worthwhile to have one or two incomes, if you have childcare expenses.
 Protect your vital assets adequately; home, cars, personal belongings, business, life health etc. – “a stitch in time saves nine”. Carry only one health insurance plan for your family and save on premium payments.
 Car pool when and if possible and use public transportation.
 Learn to do basic repairs or fix simple things in your home, such as decorating, painting, changing light bulbs, etc. the savings would amaze you – check out major home improvement outlets for class schedules.
 Keep lights off when you are not in a room, buy long-lasting energy saving bulbs and appliances – don’t be “fuelish”.
 Conserve and re-circle every material that you can. Use glass instead of paper cups.
 Pack your own lunch as often as possible and cut down on meals away from home. Buy in bulk if discounts are offered. Minimize on snacks or "junk food”.
 To stay healthy, develop good health habits and consider the cost of addictions. Learn to take temperature, pulse and respiration. Learn about symptoms of common diseases to determine whether to see a doctor or not.
 Learn to gift sensibly - give of your time and assets or merchandise when possible instead of always giving cash. It’s not compulsory you buy the aso ebi of every dick, tom and harry. Learn to say no to what you can’t afford.
 Set reasonable amounts for children's allowances and encourage them to save – let prudence be a family habit early enough. Watch your credit limit.

Prudent Man-Prototype Budget
Total Income – 100k (100%)
Savings- 10k (10%)
CHARITY/Giving – 10k (10%)
Transportation- 10K (10%)
Housing- 10k (10%)
Sustenance- 30 (30%)
Investment - 20 (20%)
Continuous education- 10k
Above is the budget of a certain individual. This is what guides his consumption pattern per time. Once any demand is more than the budget for that sector in his life, he either delays it or forfeits it. There's a saying that "you can't help but think about the future because you are going to spend the rest of your life there".
The best time to identify a real investor is during economic meltdown or recession. Investors are consistently buying shares and acquiring real estate. Every month consistently invest without looking at the short term returns. In two decades your financial genius will be evident to all.