In January 2013, I was at a petrol station (gas station as the Americans will say) to refill the fuel tank of my car. As the petrol attendant was refilling the tank of my car, I heard a voice. The voice was so distinct and mellifluous that I could not ignore it. “Could you please give me N50?” (Fifty naira is a Nigerian currency) I looked towards the left and right to ascertain the direction where the voice emanated from. I asked the petrol attendant if she had said anything. She answered in the negative. At that point, I carefully searched for the owner of the voice. After some time, the voice repeated what it initially said “Could you please give me N50?” This time I knew where it came from. It was the voice of a demented woman that sat very close to the entrance of the petrol station. I was shocked, to say the least, because of the impeccable Queen’s English spoken by the mad woman!
Meanwhile before the mad woman asked me for a token of N50, one of the petrol attendants had asked me for a tip. I asked the petrol attendant to tell me how much she wanted. Her response: “Give me anything”. I juxtaposed the response of the petrol attendant with that of the mad woman. And I began to wonder how an insane person could be specific about her demand, while a sane person was asking for anything. While I gave the mad woman what she asked for, I used my discretion to offer to the petrol attendant what I thought she deserved. I wanted to give her more, but since she asked for anything I gave her what I considered to be anything! Continue reading “Life Gives You What You Ask of Life” »
Purpose, according to Encarta Dictionary, means “reason for existence; the reason for which something exists or for which it has been done or made.” To everything there is a purpose. Nothing exists without a reason. When God created man, He had His reason for doing so. He created man to have dominion, to subdue and to multiply. To have dominion, subdue or multiply therefore man must understand his make-up; he must know what makes him tick and what comes to him naturally. Yes, naturally! No one or nothing can thrive well outside his/its natural habitat. If you take fish out of water, for instance, it is an invitation to doom. So, to be able to fulfil purpose in life one must operate within one’s natural habitat.
In the round leather game, one name that has been a recurring decimal, especially in the last one decade is Mourinho. José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix, or simply José Mourinho is a Portuguese football manager, currently the head coach of Real Madrid. He is commonly known as “The Special One”. Mourinho is regarded by some players, coaches, and critics as one of the best football coaches of all time. Mourinho started out as a player and eventually switched to management. After working as a physical education teacher and spells working as a youth team coach, a scout, and an assistant manager in the early 1990s, he became an interpreter for Sir Bobby Robson. He worked with Robson at Sporting Lisbon and Porto in Portugal, and Barcelona in Spain. He remained at the Catalonian club after Robson’s departure and worked with his successor Louis van Gaal.
He began focusing on coaching and impressed with brief but successful managerial periods at Benfica and União de Leiria, taking the latter to their highest ever league finish. He returned to Porto in early 2002 as head coach, winning the Primeira Liga, Taça de Portugal, and UEFA Cup in 2003. In the next season, Mourinho guided the team to victory in the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira, to the top of the league for a second time, and won the highest honour in European club football, the UEFA Champions League. Mourinho moved to Chelsea the following year and won the Premier League title, the club’s first league title in 50 years, and the League Cup in his first season. In his second year Chelsea retained the Premier League and in 2006–07 he took the club to an FA Cup and League Cup double, though they finished as league runners-up. He often courted controversy for his outspokenness, but his victories at Chelsea and Porto established him as one of the world’s top football managers. Mourinho left Chelsea in September 2007, amidst reports of a rift with club owner Roman Abramovich. Continue reading “Jose Mourinho as a Metaphor of Purpose” »
In my over 3 decades of existence on the surface of the earth I have had the opportunity to interact with three different teachers. I have been impacted one way or the other by all of them. My experience in life has made me to tag two of them as ‘rich teachers’, while the other one a ‘poor teacher’.
In 1984 I lost my father to the icy hands of death. He died at a tender age! Despite the fact that he died young, he achieved so much. He actually became a director in one of the Agencies of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at 38. This is not a mean feat! I work 9-5 with an Agency of government today and I know it is not easy. My father was the breadwinner of the family. He was our all-in-all. When death called, events in our family took a downward trend. My mother was petty trader with just a First Leaving School Certificate! Things got so bad that we could hardly have a meal per day. Despite the downturn, she did not give in. The situation brought out the best in her.
One event that qualifies her as one of my rich teachers happened in December, 1984. During the festive period, everybody was preparing for how to make the period a memorable one. People were buying new clothes, chickens, goats, rice and all sorts of things. We became crestfallen and dejected because we knew nothing of such would happen in our homestead. But my mother shocked my siblings and I. She invited a tailor to our house to come and take our measurements. At first, we thought she wanted to do ‘April Fool’ for us, but this was December. We reluctantly allowed the tailor to take our measurements. After the tailor left, we enquired for where and how our mother got the money to buy a new cloth. She further amazed us with her response “I took out some of my old wrappers and loosened them.” From this singular event, she taught me to always turn problems into opportunities. Instead of brooding over any situation, she taught to think out of the box and make the best of the situation. With the simple solution she proffered to a hitherto big challenge in our eyes, we had a swell time at Christmas as we wore something ‘new’. My mother was a rich teacher; she taught me by example. She introduced me to “Problem-Solving 101”. Continue reading “A Tale of Three Teachers” »
A couple of weeks ago I was with my mentor in his office. I went to him not to be lectured, but for a different purpose. As I was about to tell him my mission, a woman came in. This woman, apart from being a veterinary doctor, also holds a Ph.D. in Innovation and Technology Management. She wanted my mentor to drill her for the interview she was to have the next day. Without blinking an eye, my mentor, in his characteristic manner, immediately began to ask some questions on current affairs. At a point I was wondering why my mentor would be asking a Ph.D. holder such ridiculous questions. To my dismay, she could only answer 1 or 2 out of almost 15 questions she was asked. Continue reading “How Old Is Your Knowledge?” »
I fell in love with this anonymous quote that says “you are not a write-off yet until opportunities cease to exist” the very day I stumbled on it. Ever since, I have made it my guiding philosophy in life. Opportunities beckon daily, but whether we are able to recognise them or not is a different ball game altogether. Opportunities are dressed in different robes and they come in different sizes and shapes. The question then is: How prepared are we when they appear?
I have heard many people say that some people are lucky in life. What is luck? Luck simply means opportunities that meet with adequate preparation. Many wander through life without preparing adequately for their opportunities when they come. Nothing happens by accident. Every occurrence in life has its significance. It leaves us with one lesson or the other. Perhaps this why John Maxwell said in his book Failing Forward that there are no mistakes made, only lessons learnt. Do you learn from your daily occurrences? Or do you just see them as just happenstances? Whatever happens to man (positively or negatively) has one lesson or the other for the future. Continue reading “How to be Lucky in Life” »
FeedOne Project is a massive charity movement organized to encourage everyone to reach-out to the less privileged in their respective neighbourhoods across Africa. The message of FeedOne Project is intended to herald a kinder, peaceful and more productive World! The Project emphasizes the need for all-of-us to be kind to one another, to look beyond ourselves, beyond the boundaries of our state or country, beyond our cultures, races, and to realize that we are citizens of the world.
The project which was held on Sunday, 11th November, 2012 mobilized thousands of youth in many communities of Nigeria (Ile-Ife), Sierra Leone, Ghana, Kenya and Benin Republic; to feed, empower and provide health services for the less-privileged. In Ile-Ife Nigeria, youths fed and trained up to two thousand and five hundred less-privileged at Lagere & Sabo Commuties, Moro orphanage, Trumpet of Life Orphanage Ajebamidele, Moore Prisons, Alabameta & Kola Villages Modakeke and other communities. Continue reading “Feed One Project: Charity Movement to Encourage Giving” »
Today is the tomorrow spoken about yesterday. So, each time we put off what we are supposed to do today till tomorrow we are only saying we are not ready to be in control of our lives. To be in charge of one’s life one must be willing to live each day on purpose. In fact, a man who is leading a purpose-driven life does not procrastinate. He/she is driven by the purpose he/she has discovered. Show me a man who is living a purpose-driven life and I will tell you he is a man who is creating his future today.
The future is not a long time away. The future we talk passionately about is now. It is not tomorrow. It is not the day after the next. Neither is it years to come. Every second we breathe in and out we have a chance to create our future. As long as we still have life in us the opportunity to create the future we desire presents itself to us. Life is a journey. I am yet to see a man who will want to go on a journey from one point to the other without a map. It is the map that will help him/her to navigate through. The same thing is applicable to the way we live our lives. Continue reading “Creating Your Future Roadmap Today” »
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a step. Some will say with a step in the right direction. As for me, all I know is that it starts with a step. You cannot complete what you have not started; neither can you have any experience on that you had wished for. If wishes were horses beggars would ride. Those ideas you endlessly talk about are mere wishes. And they may remain so if you don’t act on them. To bring to fruition those beautiful ideas of yours, you need to step out and expedite action on them.
It has always been my dream and it is still my dream to have a-200 acre farm where nations will be fed and several unemployed people are given sustainable means of livelihood. Yes, I dream of a farm where technology and nature will meet without causing any harm to the environment. It is a farm where nature will inspire ideas that will uplift humanity and lead to sustainable development. What a commendable and lofty dream, you may say! Lofty, yes! But it is achievable. I believe it is accomplishable and I am also aware that things don’t just happen. They are made manifest by those who believe and follow their beliefs with actions. We need to inject life into our dreams for them to become realities. For this reason, I started out my farm with 35 birds in January 2011 in a single room. One and a half years after, the birds have grown to about 500 and we also have some rabbits on a-2 plot of land. This is a step in the direction of having a-200 acre farm. We had taken the first most important step with the end in mind. And we believe in not too distant a future we will get there. Continue reading “Start with the End in Mind” »