Saturday, 31 December 2016
By Nigel Ikechukwu at December 31, 2016
Take a moment to reflect over your whole life throughout this year, from January 1st till today. Think of your experiences, your good times, bad times, successes and failures. Think of your New Year resolution for 2016 and how far you have accomplished them.
Be thankful for your successes. Be thankful that you're alive and well. Be thankful that you've made it thus far despite any other thing. It's been a long and interesting year, lots of things have happened. It's funny how one year comes and goes in a twinkle of an eye. Question is: Have you utilized it well?
Spend some time alone today and really think about the way you have lived your life this year. Are you proud of it? Do you think you've made significant progress from the previous years? If yes, congratulations to you and set higher goals for yourself in 2017. If No, take extra time to find out why. Have you spend time on things that didn't matter? Have you planned yourself poorly? Have you missed out on opportunities?
Find out why and work on it. Set clear goals for yourself in 2017 and put in your very best into accomplishing them. The fact that you still breathe means you still got a whole new chance to turn your life around. You're always one action away from achieving the exact goals you want to achieve.
If 2016 didn't go too well for you, do not despair. Make a firm resolve that 2017 is going to be far better. Don't just say it in words, plan towards it and take actions every day, no matter how little. Most people don't achieve their New Year resolutions because it ends up in just words.. You must also think it, plan it and most importantly ACT on it.
I believe 2017 will be a much better year for all of us as we dream, plan and take actions towards our goals. We must be willing to take risks anyway. Opportunities may not be so easy to come by, we must be quick to grab them with both hands whenever they appear.
I'm grateful you've been with us on this blog through this year. I believe 2017 will be much better. Keep your head high up, stay motivated, stay happy, be active because activity makes you happy and healthy. Never stop believing in your dreams.. belief is the starting point... but it doesn't end there. Respond to opportunities for action towards your beliefs. The sky won't limit us in 2017. Wishing you all a Happy New Year!
Tuesday, 20 December 2016
By Nigel Ikechukwu at December 20, 2016
You know why most youths are currently unemployed and roaming around the streets doing nothing? A number of them, don't have any skill, therefore they simply cannot do much. Many more are there because they read too much and did very little.
Reading is a very good thing, but I think when it's done to the extreme without any activity, practice or real life experience; it becomes an impediment to any individual.
In universities, book knowledge is too glorified. Nobody tells you that what will propel you out there in The Real world is WHAT YOU CAN ACTUALLY DO. They go on encouraging you to just read and pass exams and if you fall into that trap, they successfully turn you to robot. Students who escape this phenomenon are those who balanced their studies with activity. The school didn't do it for them, they did it for themselves.
These students take time to practice what they learn on their own. They either train themselves practically or they become an apprentice at any place where they can develop their practical skills. When these ones finish school, you don't see them waiting for jobs or begging companies to employ them. They create employment for themselves and for others with their skill.
For our reading to ever be useful, it must have a practical side to it. Why have most of us been deceived into just reading and reading and reading? Without practice and action based on the knowledge we have acquired, it is useless. And if we know that some things cannot be practiced here in the country, why study them in the first place?
Have you asked yourself why our country is still behind in terms of industrialization, manufacturing, engineering, scientific discoveries etc? With all the professors we have here, our problems major are still there unsolved?
That's another reason why the country is still behind. Our schools are not producing individuals who can contribute much to the society because they don't expose them to practicality. Focus is largely on book knowledge and papers.
Imagine how our country would be if we had graduates who can really boast of what they studied. Graduates who won't need anybody to give them jobs. Graduates who immediately go into society and start applying their knowledge and skills. You think such graduates will ever lack anything?
But currently, it's not like that. I envision a country where it will soon be like. Where all graduates and youth will successfully play a role in nation building.
Don't just spend your life here reading.. It's a big trap. Balance yourself with practice. Practice it and if you find out what you love during practice, keep learning and keep practicing. It will give an edge that robots don't have.
If you don't have any skill currently, you simply go for apprenticeship in your field or whatever you have a passion. Work for or work with someone who is already established in that field for some time. This will help you remember the theories you may have forgotten with practice.
Anybody can get a skill and master it whether educated or not. Education is something I think everyone should be privileged to have, but even if you never had an opportunity to be educated. You can gain and master any skill once your mind is open. There is no excuse for engaging in social vice. Everyone from anywhere at any time can master anything they set their mind to once they are willing to take the pains to experience it practically.
So that's it for now. As the saying goes "PRACTICE makes perfect." They know why they didn't put "reading makes perfect." Reading is only there to push us or guide us into ACTION. Practice is the most important thing!
Let no one deceive you. Someday, we will get there in this country and unemployment will be greatly reduced. I dare to say that "knowledge ALONE is NOT power!" "PRACTICE which is INSPIRED by knowledge is the new POWER."
Tuesday, 13 December 2016
Let's get real here about this issue of love. I'm not going to be playful about it. I'd be as plain as I can ever be. Forget everything you've seen in the movies or read about love. Let's just be honest and practical here.
Everyone here on earth I believe needs love and appreciation. I've not met anyone who doesn't. If you claim you don't, I think you should think again. I believe we all want someone who loves us just as much as we love them.
Here's the thing: We want to be loved, but often times we are not willing to love someone in that same way that we want to be loved. We want to be loved 'more' than the other party. We want to develop a sense of pride knowing that no matter what we do, the other party will still love us. But in reality, it doesn't work that way because the love becomes selfish. And when selfishness enters any love, it doesn't last.
You need to understand that just as you need someone who will love you so much, other people need someone like that too. You don't throw the need of the other person outside. The equation will always be unbalanced and the relationship is bound to fail when one side is dysfunctional.
Why would you expect someone to have undying love for you when you don't have undying love for them? This is where the problem lies. To be happy in issues of love, you must be with someone who is willing and ready to love you just as much as you love them. Someone who is willing to take risks and make sacrifices for you just as you are willing to do same for them.
Most relationships fail because of the useless ploy to be loved "more" than the other. Love is meant to be mutual.
Don't fall in love with anyone out of pity. If you don't love them just as much as they love you, kindly take your leave. Likewise, if they don't love you or care about you just as much as you do, disengage yourself too.
Wait for the right person.. the person who will truly love you, understand you, cherish you and be ready to appreciate your mutual love as well. If you've found that person, never let that person go. Such a love is unbounded and unlimited because there is no game, record keeping, selfishness or pride involved.
Don't also beg anyone to love you too. Always be free to show love to someone you admire, but if they're not willing to reciprocate or they don't love you same way, don't stay there and try too hard to please them. They are not right for you.
Never be selfish to the extent of wanting love from someone when you know you don't love them the same way. It's dangerous and it's not the way. Clearly let people know you are not interested and don't play ball with their feelings.
If we learn to be more real about the issues of love and cut out the bull shit, we'd be in a better position to find our ideal soul mates and have more fulfilling love life and relationships.
Monday, 12 December 2016
By Nigel Ikechukwu at December 12, 2016
Dr.Cally Cussons ended his speech at a seminar today with the wonderful quote: "Don't be a chameleon, be a painter." The words kept ringing inside my head because it kinda sums up everything that is required to motivate any individual who is poised to make positive change and impact in his/her society. I decided to create this post out of that quote:
Who is the chameleon? The chameleon is likened to the one who constantly changes color according to the environment he finds himself. The environment and external conditions determine how the chameleon would look like. It doesn't have a fixed color and it's unreliable.
A person can be said to be a chameleon when they're often influenced, discouraged and made doubtful by outside situations. A typical chameleon can be found always complaining about how difficult things are and how worse everything gets. The person is usually negative minded and has little control or will over things.
Who is the painter? The painter is the one who paints and beautifies nature with the colors he has. The painter looks the canvas(world), envisions how beautiful he/she wants it to look and creates it through painting. The painter is a creator.
The painter understands his ability to create the kind of picture he wants to see on the outside world. Rather than complain and change color like the chameleon, the painter focuses on painting and transforming the picture before him. The painter never complains, but rather paints.
The painter is usually positive and happy! Nothing is impossible for him/her to paint as long as he can imagine it. The present picture doesn't discourage the painter because he knows that he has the power, ability and capacity to paint whatever he wants and manipulate the picture to match his vision.
Which would you rather be? Would you let the world control you by becoming a chameleon who always complains and manages? Or Would you be the painter, the creator of his reality and master of his fate? Would you be willing to take up the great responsibility of painting the picture you want onto this world or would you let the present picture cower you into a chameleon?
I personally believe that there is a painter in every one of us. It's in all of us. God has given us the paint and the brush. Often times, we don't recognize that we even have them. Other times, we know we have them, but we're too scared to paint, we'd rather be 'safe' as a chameleon and do nothing.
But think about it. Who is really safe? The chameleon falsely thinks he/she is safe, but he is not because the external condition controls him. Anything can affect him as he has little control over himself or his environment. So he's actually unsafe.
The painter may be afraid or feel unsafe to paint, but in painting lies his ultimate security because in painting the picture he has in his mind, he helps to create a better world which ultimately does good to his safety. He controls the picture.
We must all recognize that we're painters. All it takes is to learn, do something with what we've learnt and find a way to give it to the world. Don't be a chameleon, release the painter in you!
Sunday, 11 December 2016
By Nigel Ikechukwu at December 11, 2016
Consider this scenario: Let's say you're expecting a special guest today, but you don't know exactly when this guest will be coming to your house. You've cleaned up, decorated your house and prepared a wonderful meal for this visitor.
Which of these options do you think will do you good? A) Just sitting and waiting for him/her to show up. Or B) Forgetting that the person is even coming and engaging yourself with an activity; gaming, watching a movie, doing laundry etc.
The answer is obviously the latter. Why is that? Let's assume that this guest will come exactly by 3:00pm and you have no idea. Let's also assume you've finished all your preparation as early as 9:00am.
It will do you little good to just sit idly and let 6 hours of your time pass you by in the name of waiting. And whenever you're anxiously waiting for something to happen like that, it will appear as if time has become very slow. You will not be relaxed and you'll often be unhappy waiting pensively for nothing.
With the second option, you won't even know when the 6 hours will pass and your guest suddenly knocks at your door. It will appear somewhat sudden because you were enjoying yourself before he then showed up. You will get the illusion that 6 hours went so fast, because you were enjoying yourself, relaxed, not bothered and happy.
In our world today, we have so many unhappy, sad and depressed people who claim they are waiting for The right time,' 'God's time,' The best time etc. They easily become anxious and worried because it often appears that the right time takes too long to come. But that is an illusion, they only feel that way because they are just waiting for the right time and doing nothing else.
I don't think it's advantageous to idly wait for it. What if the right time would come in ten or twenty years time? Would you just wait idly for it? It is better to engage now and enjoy the steps you're taking in your daily struggle; you should be presently happy and not worried about when the right time or God's time will come. It will appear to take too long and you'll be easily discouraged if you should just wait.
Forget about when the right time will be. Should it even matter? Enjoy your daily steps in life. Your business should be to keep trying your best and making efforts in the little way you can while ensuring that you're happy and having fun in the process. The right time will take care of itself.
Do your best, stay happy and stay positive! You'd be surprised at how fast the right time will come to you!
Saturday, 10 December 2016
By Nigel Ikechukwu at December 10, 2016
I was discussing with a friend sometime ago and he was telling me that without having a connection in the country, one couldn't really make any headway. He stressed that most of the available opportunities and jobs out there have already been taken by relatives of connected people.
I asked him a question, "Does it mean that people who don't have such connections do not succeed?" He reluctantly replied, "The reality is that everything is based on connection." I had to disagree with him even though there was an element of truth in his words. It was only a half truth.
Just as there were people who became successful via connections, there are also people who were not even changed by their connections. Other people got ahead through hard work and merit, while some people even with all the hard work have still not changed.
I had to let him know that there are no clear cut or easy ways to be successful. You only have to plan to always win, no matter the outcome. Don't hope only on one side. Keep your eyes open to see the opportunities to be successful that life always presents to you.
Don't depend only on connections, try to learn something and be more capable to prove yourself if need be. Don't depend only on hard work and merit, if better opportunities present themselves through your connections, gladly take them.
To play and always win this game, you don't hold onto one side of it. Holding onto your connections alone without being able to do anything by yourself, will leave you at the mercy of others. What if your connections fail you? What do you do? You LOSE.
Holding onto your intelligence and personal efforts alone may sometimes fail. What do you do? You quit? You keep exploring other options till you achieve your goal.
To always win, we must be open to all possibilities. You must be in a position where no matter the outcome, you'll always be a winner. That's true winning. The outcome cannot make you lose. You win every time because you're ready to grasp opportunities that could come from any side.
Don't lose by just holding onto one side. Be prepared and have a wide range of options. So that nothing takes you by surprise. People may disappoint and things may not work out so smoothly, but if you're a well planned person, you will always win no matter what you face.
Keep and open mind. Keep winning!
Monday, 5 December 2016
By Nigel Ikechukwu at December 05, 2016
Even though Eno wasn't that spectacular when she started, she wasn't discouraged to keep drawing. She kept drawing and she gradually started improving. What kept her going was her passion for the arts. She loved to do what she was doing and that was more than enough to keep her drawing.
Today, her portraits are close to perfection and it wouldn't be surprising to see her works start competing with top artists around the world.
Here's what she has to say:
"Go for what you have passion for!"
"Never think you can't, just start and watch yourself get better. The first picture is really funny but it took courage to keep trying(referring to the above picture)."
"When you have passion for something, never give up on it just because your first try was horrible.. Keep trying."
"Also, never stay away from people who do not laugh at your small beginning. If you have any friend that believe in your abilities, keep them. I have a few of them who kept encouraging. Thanks to you guys."
"Get close to people who are ahead of you in your area of interest, thanks to some good artists that put me through some things i needed to know."
"If you have a dream, don't just stay and conclude that you can't do it, YES, YOU CAN if only you can believe in yourself."
"Develop yourself at every phase if you are not satisfied with what you have to offer."
That was all she had to say. From her example, she had demonstrated that it doesn't necessarily take genius, talent or destiny to get good at anything. All it takes is a strong passion for whatever you have strong interest in and a willingness to keep trying and improving.
Your first try mustn't be perfect. If you have passion for something, don't give up because your first try wasn't so good or because it was laughed at. Just keep 'doing' it. With time and a little patience, you'd definitely see results!
That's all it takes! See you at the top.
Friday, 2 December 2016
By Nigel Ikechukwu at December 02, 2016
Addictions can be difficult to deal with but with the right tips, one can emerge a victor no matter how far one has gone. Some folks find themselves imprisoned by smoking, drinking, pornography, spending time with T.V or social media (especially in this age), masturbation and the likes.
Releasing oneself from these ugly monsters is not a walk in the park, it can be so frustrating that some often resort to fate and throw in the towel, living a miserable life afterwards. They even go as far as accepting the saying that, "We don’t break addictions they break us."
The misery that comes with addiction can be immediate or long-term, it can come in form of health, emotional, psychological issues which leads to strain in relationships, loss of jobs and so on.
Here are few tips to get yourself a bail:
Acknowledge the existence of a problem
It is a matter of great importance to tell yourself that there is a problem before anything else. Since those who are well have no need of a physician, it is advised that you carry out this litmus test, you never can tell if you need help. Do you spend all your free time on a “particular thing”? or do you find yourself itching to engage that habit anytime you abstain for a while? Some become nervous or anxious and in severe cases are unable to do any other thing unless they satisfy that strong urge. These are signs though not an exclusive list.
Make the decision to turn a new leaf
Having identified that you have a problem, the next step is to decide to change. This requires making a conscious effort to turn a new leaf and the engaging the mind is key here. Compare the pleasure derived from your addiction with the adverse consequences. Also, think through the benefits of being free because subsequent actions will stem from the mind. You must be willing to make that firm choice to set yourself free.
Commit it to God
The decision has been made but there is need to pray to God about it. Always remember that when we commit our ways to God he will establish them. Engage the power of God trusting in the sufficiency of his grace to heal you of that addiction. Research has shown that many people who are addicted use it as a resort to fill a void in their lives. Sometimes addictions are caused by loneliness, rejection, hardship, loss of loved ones and so on but in all these God can help you break those chains.
Share with someone
It is said that a problem shared is half solved but people who have been betrayed in the past find it difficult to trust. The sad news here is that secrecy is a fertile ground for addictions to thrive so there is need to find someone. This should be someone who does not judge you but genuinely cares for your wellbeing and might be tough on you at times, or better still someone who has gone through this process. In some cases, professional help is highly recommended.
Sanitize your environment
Analyse your addiction and check for things that trigger it. It might be environment, people, situations or mood. You are advised to change friends if they have anything to do with the addiction. Carefully avoid occasions that will fuel the urge to go back on the habit. Starve the habit, and try replacing it with a new one. There is a great need to have a new habit (a positive one) because nature abhors vacuum.
On this journey of overcoming addiction, persistence needs to be your right-hand man. There will be those low times of failure but don’t let it discourage you. In those moments, find ways of doing it better in other to keep making progress.
Celebrate each level of progress. Ask God daily for his grace and be grateful to him for your victories and failures. Especially in our failures because in him lies the strength to move on and on.
Apply the tips, get yourself bailed out and be free!