WHEN ALL YOU’VE GOT IS YOU

WHEN ALL YOU’VE GOT IS YOU
THE TRUTH THAT TRANSFORMS DREAMS TO REALITY

MUYIWA O. SAMSON

Copyright © 2012 by Muyiwa O. Samson ISBN-13: 978-1475148619 ISBN-10: 1475148615 Illustration & Cover Design by GeeSam Studio

Printed in the United States of America

CONTENT
    AKNOWLDEMENT DEDICATION WHEN ALL YOU'VE GOT IS YOU CHAPTER 1: REALITY OF LIFE Understanding How Life Works, Uncommon Common Sense, Limitations Caused By Wishing, Limitations Caused By Living For Luck, Limitations Caused By Being Dispensable And Boxed-In, Limitations Caused By Need For Acceptance, Limitations By Fear, The Bottom Line  CHAPTER 2: LOCKED-IN TREASURES Blessings In Disguise, Living Behind The Door , Those Nursing Emotions , Those Who Lack Idea Of What To Do With Their Time , Those Who Must Be Alone For A While, Outlooks, The Battle In The Mind, Inferiority Complex, Superiority Complex, Depressed And Excited Outlooks, Connectivity Outlook, Interests , Respect , Dealing With Connectivity Problems  CHAPTER 3: BREAKING OUT What do you have? What should you have? The problem of making a decision, The problem of keeping to decisions, Your location , Your association, People to keep away from, A little here, a little there 95. 55. 1. 7.

CHAPTER 4: A BETTER YOU The forward moving you, The action you, The purposeful you, The confident you, The believing you, The outstanding you, The focused you, A lesson on focus, Take charge of your life, Admitting you need help

145.

ONE LAST THING

169.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Mum you taught me a lot of important things about life and even in the very depths of helplessness you never stopped believing in a brighter day. You taught me what being strong is, to pray and to face my biggest fears. I want to say a big thank you to my sister and one of my editors, Muyiwa Olamide the first person to encourage me to write this book. Akindamola Daniel, my chief editor and one of the biggest inspirations in my life; thanks for the time you spent on my unrefined manuscript, sorting out the gold from the dross, I know our journey in destiny has only started. Demola Badejo, Tope Idowu and Ogbara Gilbert I say without any reservation –you are the best friends anyone could ever have. Funmi Oke, you are a strong motivation and encouragement for me, thank you for your believe in me. Without you all, I have no story to tell. Above all I acknowledge God for His grace, wisdom and help that kept me going to the completion of this work.

DEDICATION
To all who despite all odds never gave up their ambitions and who when no one believed in them, they never relinquished their efforts towards their vision. To those who believe in the great things a great God can do through their small selves.

When All You’ve Got is YOU

WHEN ALL YOU’VE GOT IS YOU You have a dream and you seek to understand how
to deal better with the reality of life, breakout from the shackles of circumstances, get the practical truth about success, make something great out of your life, live a purpose driven life, finish strong, set up your dream business, go after your ambition, overcome limitations, learn to provide for your vision, develop better relationships, understand what makes ideas work –then this book is for you. I know what it is to have a vision and not have the resources and support to fulfil it. I know what it is like to have a dream that seems would never come true. I know what it is like to pray and it seems nothing is working, above all this I know how it feels to succeed and handle something that used to be a dream . I’ve seen many with promising potentials, stoop down to the pressures of circumstances and have barely enough to just get by. I write this book because I have a longing to see the lives of as many as possible rise out of every limitation and fulfil their visions. I discovered that a lot of times we pray, fast and believe, yet remain in failure and need. Growing up is an experience that makes us to realize how serious life is, the reality of the cost of becoming what we’ve always dreamt of becoming. Many are burdened with personal issues and family struggles, a lot are giving up the things they hoped 1

When All You’ve Got is YOU for most in life and are giving in to circumstances, wishing only to get along. It isn’t God’s will that you fail or struggle in life; He wants you to succeed and be happy, but do you know that above all things God wants you to get UNDERSTANDING (Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:7 KJV) and that is why He inspired me to write this book. Success does not happen; success is a result of a process not an event, as many have ignorantly thought it to be. There are principles that if ANYONE ANYWHERE would practice the result would always be success. Faith without works is dead. James 2 verse 14 (NLT) says, “Dear brothers and sisters, what’s the use of saying you have faith if you don’t prove it with your actions? That kind of faith can’t save anyone.” Note the part that says “...that kind of faith can’t save anyone.” What kind of faith is the bible talking about? The faith where Success does not you sit without taking the right happen; success is steps towards success; you’re just a result of a praying and wishing, believing that process not an something would just happen and event everything would change overnight –that isn’t faith. I believe many people know this and they are asking, “Oh, what must I do then?” You don’t have to ask this question anymore. You hold in your hands a collection of trustworthy keys that would unlock the magnificent potentials you carry. One thing I am sure of is –you will be a better you after you finish reading this book, so get ready. I’m so sure 2

When All You’ve Got is YOU of this, I’ll tell you to expect a significant make-over even before you finish this book. You’ll be challenged, motivated and above all, you’ll be directed. There are many books published on the topic of success every year, but very few with practical principles and that is why many read them and still remain in their struggles. I don’t just want to excite you with motivation, you need the motivation –it’s important, but I want you to have step-bystep results that would astound you through practical direction. Whatever the limitations may be, you can rise above any prevailing circumstance. It is possible. It is so painful that all many are asking for is just to have enough to get by without trading their honour for bread and yet they can’t get even this little. My heart yearns to see people librated from the pains and pangs of life that makes fulfilment a farfetched imagination, but this would only be possible for those willing to learn. This book isn’t about getting rich quick, but a solution to any limitations caused by circumstance of whatever kind and personality issues. My desire is that you have a life that makes you happy and that you may have fulfilment. I discovered that a lot of self help books are like commands shouted out that leaves the reader with more questions than answers and they don’t give in-depth instructions to a better well being. It is like, “there are 10 steps to success; work, focus...” and they give you a list of principles, you read it and you don’t even know how to apply these principles after all these ‘success principles’ are all common sense. I thought if people could have a book that 3

When All You’ve Got is YOU tells them discipline is necessary for success then it should go ahead and teach the reader how to be disciplined –let’s be practical as possible. It would make more sense this way and only then can we expect transformation in the life of the reader. I wrote this book because I want to give hope to someone who is losing it, I want to offer assurance to one who already doubts the future, I wish to breathe strength to the hearts that are getting tired, I want to give direction to the confused and so you can live a more fruitful life. Great ideas are a waste where there are no opportunities to express them –it takes a vision meeting with provisions before there can be realisation. At the end many give up their dreams and end in the rat race hoping for a miracle that never comes, because it takes more than ideas and dreams to succeed; it would take realistic principles and practical direction. –it takes a vision We need a lot of help and support meeting with for our dreams to become a provisions before reality, but we find that these there can be factors are never readily available realisation. when we need them. So how do you really start living up to your aspirations, where do you start and how? A time comes in every man’s life when he stands alone. It’s a time that his decisions can make his dreams or destroy all he’s worked and hoped for. What should you do when it seems all you’ve got is you? Please take advantage of what God has helped me to understand 4

When All You’ve Got is YOU because He wants you to succeed and live a meaningful life. Life is step by step, friend cool down –you will succeed! DIG UP THOSE DREAMS AND AMBITIONS YOU’VE BURIED BECAUSE OF CIRCUMSTANCES, IT ‘S TIME TO GET THEM ACCOMPLISHED!

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When All You’ve Got is YOU

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When All You’ve Got is YOU

1
REALITY OF LIFE
“Life will ask you to pay for the fulfilment of your dreams, but offer you payment to drop them.”

I

have diligently read dozens of success books,

related with life’s successes, watched and read the biography of great men, pondered on the reason why so few live their dreams, wondered why so many people can tell you about success, but are not succeeding, I’ve stayed up all night countless times pondering if I could get a formula anyone, anywhere could use and succeed. I discovered that there is absolutely no Magic, Ultimate or Secret Formula to success; the principles are open, but many can’t see them and many more think too little of themselves to do what success requires, even when they know what it would take to have a better life, they don’t put them to practice –as if it were meant for some other better persons than themselves. What makes millionaires, billionaires, great inventors, great leaders, international heroes, sport legends and all the outstanding people we could wish to be aren’t sophisticated, multifarious or anything out of the ordinary. 7

When All You’ve Got is YOU The secret: Successful people know how society (life) works, what it needs and want, how to deliver this need and they use this to get what they want. It is either they learnt it or they were smart enough to figure it out for themselves. This doesn’t entail manipulation (as many think of success), it’s basically an honest meeting of needs; the ability to sense the need, the capacity to meet the need and the consistency in bridging this gap. It’s like a sixth sense you must have for success in life.

It makes no difference what you do; a pastor can’t be successful if he does not have the ability to sense the needs of his flock, a business man would fail if he fails to understand how business works, what people need and how they need it. There is no way success can be achieved and sustained without this understanding. Still in my university days while in my 4th year, I wrote a proposal to a governorship candidate in the state where my school is. The proposal was titled “The Best Strategy to Winning the Election.” I was proposing a strategy I redesigned from existing ones I’ve read about and I structured it to suit the society in which I lived. One night I was called and it was the Governorship candidate (Note this is a man that has served as a Minister twice and he was not the easy kind to meet). I was escorted to his hotel room by one of his advisers on youth matters; there he said something that really made me understand 8

When All You’ve Got is YOU what creates opportunities for success. He said, “The only reason why you are in my room, having a private meeting with me (while so many are outside seeking for such opportunity) is because, when I read your proposal and I saw the way you packaged it and the depth of your work, I said we must find a way to work with this boy.” This statement will always remain in my heart. That day I understood that, if you don’t know how to present what you have, it does not matter how talented you are, you’ll never succeed. Of cause I prayed and I know God helped me, but not without giving me the wisdom needed to go about it the right way. That wisdom is what I’m revealing in this book. If you don’t know how to present what you have, it does not matter how talented you are, you’ll never succeed. A friend of mine once told me, “God would never take his resources from a diligent unbeliever and hand it over to a lazy believer.” It’s never going to happen, we must rise up and take our place in innovative thinking, contribute to society, be business minded, “God would never engage in creative thinking and take his resources not wish-thinking, only then can from a diligent great things be committed into unbeliever and hand our hands. Does this limit your it over to a lazy success to money? No, this believer.” mindedness is needed in everything you want to succeed in. 9

When All You’ve Got is YOU This is a comment I read on a website in honour of late Steve Jobs that further proves this point: “I used to think that Steve Jobs was another billionaire who sucked money from people. After my science teacher told the class about his life story, I was baffled and right now when I read about his ability to create something small to something huge worldwide and bring Apple back to power with his smartness and logistics, I totally admire him. I just wish I was that WISE. I am clever at school, but being wise is different. R.I.P Steve Jobs.” –Amber. Amber mentioned a lot of important things here and most importantly, she recognized that Steve Jobs was a wise business man. The man had understood how to make a little idea a global success. He knew what his generation needed and he made himself available to meet this need. We have a lot of clever people working frustrating jobs, trying to manage their families, trying to get out of debt, struggling to take their businesses to the next level, but not working out. Wisdom is the principal thing and in all your getting get understanding.

UNDERSTAND HOW LIFE WORKS
One of my favourite past-time is observing humans and studying their interactions, possible thoughts and behaviours, I sometimes ‘bait’ people so I can better understand what they respond to and how they do. So far I find the summary of human behaviour and relationships best represented by cleverly written stories that feature animals with human characteristics, books like George Orwell’s 10

When All You’ve Got is YOU Animal Farm”. Such stories help us better understand the relationship between the individual (who he is), circumstance (what defines and confines him) and society (where he gets his values). This understanding is important for anyone who will stand out a success, because you’ll be able to put these limiting forces from these factors were they belong. Life functions on the relationship of alternate counterparts; where there are no alternations, there is no life. What keeps you alive isn’t the ability to breathe in alone, you must breathe out too – life is balanced not by oxygen alone, but carbon dioxide too, the economy works by demand and supply, electricity flows only when both negative and positive charge points are connected, where you have only one charge what you get would be static electricity (electricity that doesn’t move). Every law that the universe and existence itself runs on is based on this principle. I call it the ‘Law of Complimentary Difference’ –heat, the winds, the sea, living things, society, the economy all run on this principle. Someone is possibly asking, “Where did you get this law from?” Well I got it from the Lord Jesus. Jesus said, “Give and it would be given unto you.” That is the law at work, people always want to receive, but Jesus is asking you to be a complementary difference. He said it is better to give than to receive, because he knows if you could complement the need of others then your own needs will be met. Then I began to observe the reality People who always around me and true enough I want to receive are noticed this is the bed rock of always poor, mark success. People who always want the word ‘ALWAYS’. to receive are always poor, mark the word ‘Always’. Show me a rich 11

When All You’ve Got is YOU man that doesn’t give and I will show you a thief. There is absolutely no legitimately rich person that isn’t meeting the needs of as many people as possible. He (Jesus) commands us to love everyone; people want to be loved so he’s asking us to complement this need; instead of you joining the masses Relationship is the conduit that carries and seeking people to love you, why don’t you give your love first. If the power for we are all at the receiving end then success. where would the provision come from? Unfortunately it’s Christians that sit back today and wait for their needs to be met, without the willingness to make any sacrifice, celebrating laziness that we didn’t suffer for as miracles. That’s not how to become successful, you got to learn this principle and apply it –it’s the only principle that works. Relationship is the conduit that carries the power for success, if we don’t bridge the gap, we shouldn’t expect true success. At a Peter Lowe’s Success Seminar were the best of motivational speakers dish out their best, Christopher Reeve, famous in the 1990’s as the actor of the character ‘Superman’ gave a definition of success I’m yet to find any other better than. Despite being handicapped by a horse riding accident which paralyzed him from his neck down, Christopher has helped many realise their dreams and inspired many more to live beyond their circumstances. He said, “Success means many things, I think it really means letting the relationships in your life grow and transcend into the highest possible 12

When All You’ve Got is YOU levels they possibly can. It also means not putting yourself first in life and remembering that the more you give, the more you have”. When I saw Christopher Reeve’s definition of success, I was really excited because it fit in exactly into what I believe success is. So success is not about having money than you can spend alone, it’s not about being famous, it’s not about being the envy of others, it’s not about being part of the winning side. All these are results of success, but they are not success themselves just like the shadow that is cast by light is not light itself, but evidence of light. Two things are major in his definition; the power of growing relationships and the power of giving. Growing relationship between the seller and the client is what makes a business successful; a good relationship that doesn’t grow will eventually kill the business when competitors emerge. This growing relationship is what provides the power for more profit and satisfaction, without which the business wouldn’t keep going, this is where customer relations comes in and product upgrades –business men know this and they use it to attain success. Growing relationship between a father, the mother and the children provides the power for a stable family. It’s not about starting well or just finishing well; it’s about keeping the relationship alive all the way. This is why many families break down, because the relationship is not growing. Must relationship grow? Can’t it just be maintained and everything would be alright? No. Relationships must grow for it to even keep going; the moment a relationship is 13

When All You’ve Got is YOU established, lots of faults would start surfacing that would threaten to kill the relationship. If it’s not a growing one that’s able to accommodate these deficiencies as time goes on, the relationship will die. The topic of giving has been greatly abused and people now think they should just give and all things would be alright. No! Nothing would be alright (as it’s evident). Isaiah 55 verse 10 makes us to know that He gives bread to the eater and seed to the sower. These are two resources God blesses a man with,; the resources for consumption and the It does not matter resources for investment. You see, how much you give seed stands for investment and away, if you don’t bread is what you can spend as you have a work God wish. Investment is very important can bless, don’t and you must never use the expect an increase resources for investment for any –be wise. other purpose; you must always separate your seed from your bread. When you sow, you’ll have more to give, but if all you do is give away, you’ll soon start begging. It does not matter how much you give away, if you don’t have a work God can bless, don’t expect an increase –be wise. The first thing most people do is judge the rich as selfish, manipulative people who take advantage of the masses to become super-rich. Bill Gates is one of those who have suffered this prejudice most. People focus on judging him, they don’t think of the commitment this man made. His vision was that every desk, every home, every office in the 14

When All You’ve Got is YOU world should have a computer. Has his vision made the world a better place? Yes. Without that vision could he have attained the financial status he has? No. How will such a man not become successful –what drove him was a vision to give and because his commitment affects almost every aspect of our present civilization, how will he not become super-rich. In an interview Bill’s friend Heidi Roizen said Bill never thought about the money, in fact he once said being the richest person was a burden. So it’s not greed that drives the truly successful, but a need to meet needs. It’s not possible to give to as many people as possible without getting returns. I personally don’t waste my time judging the successful; I learn what’s good from them and don’t fix my attention on their faults. There would always be the poor and the rich, failures and successes, the weak and powerful, leaders and followers, the happy and sad, there must be lack and provision –it’s the only way life can keep moving. The imbalance necessitates the need to give. No wonder Jesus said he didn’t come for the righteous, but for those in sin. If everybody were righteous then, there is no need for Jesus to complement our unrighteousness with his righteousness. If everyone were unified without differences and everything were unidirectional we would only have a static existence and if our differences don’t complement each other, what we’d have is chaos. Do you know what makes your car move forward? It’s because your car tires are pushing backwards, the distance your arrow will go is determined by how much you pull the string of the bow back –so it is for every moving forward, there must be a complimentary pushing back. 15

When All You’ve Got is YOU If the resources of the world were divided up equally amongst everybody, there would be enough to make us all millionaires, but will that mean we’ll all live in our dreams? No, there would be great inflation to complement the wealth everyone has. You see the law of complimentary difference would always come true; more rich people, higher price of commodities –economists will tell you this. We can’t just escape it. In 1923 Germany, beggars were multi-millionaires, the common men in the country were billionaires and the rich were trillionaires in Reichsbank marks currency. They should be riding the most expensive cars, living in mansions, enjoying all that life had on sale you’d think, but no –they were living miserably. A medal commemorating Germany's 1923 hyperinflation bears an engraving that reads: "On 1st November 1923 1 pound of bread cost 3 billion, 1 pound of meat: 36 billion, 1 glass of beer: 4 billion." What caused this inflation? When other countries increased taxes to pay for the cost of World War I, Germany was liberal and chose to borrow money, so they had more money in the system and heavy buying of foreign currencies all this helped to quickly deplete the value of their currency. The same is applicable with any individual that chooses to shift the burden of his needs on others. Increased tax was painful for other countries, but because they paid this price, they were saved from the hyperinflation Germany suffered from. It was a time people used barrows to take money to the market just to get a pound of vegetables and there was even a trillion Marks bank note. It’s not money that matters, its value. The same

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When All You’ve Got is YOU thing you should pursue –the expression of your value to complement a need in your world. Dear reader, clamouring for bigger salaries won’t better anyone’s life; neither will the government giving out freebees and credits. These are the things the poor always agitate for and this is why they remain poor, because they want more but are not ready to give more. Know that expenses would rise when all we want is more as in the case of Germany’s 1923 hyperinflation, so stay off debt (for consumption) at all cost. You must understand how the system works and use it to your advantage; you must understand why your many efforts aren’t paying off. Only then can you have a realistic navigation towards success. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:7 (KJV) Understanding is very important, when you fail to understand how a thing works, how can you get it to work for you? You can’t just press whatever buttons on your cellphone and expect it to make a phone call to who you intend to call; you must dial specific numbers to call specific people, because you understand how the phone works. Everything in life has order and the moment you begin to understand this principle you will be able to put the society into a more profitable perspective, because even the constitution, the government and behaviours of people all work on complimentary difference. What made Obama achieve the impossible feat of a black man being president of the United States was his application of this principle; he came in as a complementary difference for the problems the States was 17

When All You’ve Got is YOU facing at that time. The opinions of people on the Cable News Network showed that people saw the man that would withdraw the troops from the Middle-East, they saw a man who united the United States of America with his speech – that was the lack when he came up in 2008 and he had what was needed to compliment the desires of the people and make the difference (if he has done well so far is another issue). The key is for you to be different; stop being self centered, look into your needs and what you need is what most likely what many others also need, so who is going to provide this need? –You. COMPLEMENTARY means there is a CONNECTION that meets MUTUAL NEEDS and where you have connections there is CONTACT. The difference between a business partner of a company and the employees is the kind of connection any of these two maintains with the company owner. The company needs people to work so they can make profits and the people need the work so they can earn money –that is their connection. The business partner has an idea, a product, capital that the company needs and wants to cut a profit sharing deal with the company –that is their connection. Now there is a difference between these two; they are both offering something to get something, but they aren’t of equal privileges. I’m sure you will like to be in the shoe of the business partner and not just one of the many employees. Do you know what makes the business partner enjoy more privileges? –it’s CONTACT. Yes I tell you any of the regular 18

When All You’ve Got is YOU employees can move up to becoming business partners with the company if they would change where they make contact with the company. There are times you have fantastic ideas, but if you can’t make proper connections, then you can’t have your ideas realized. You must make the correct connection with the correct people –where your abilities makes contact with those that need it matters and is key to the kind of returns you’ll get. So it’s not just about giving your best, but where you are giving it into. Do you want to make contact through your sweat at the machines at the factory or at the negotiation table? Where you make contact determines the kind of deal you’ll get. How did a 3rd year student start winning contracts for companies, meeting with If you have Commissioners of State Ministries, potentials, ideas, when others are out looking for great plans and just any job? It’s because I made you don’t make contact and I know how. How did good contact with he become a Campaign Consultant the right people, for a governorship candidate? It’s forget becoming a because I established the right success. contact. Contact between your ideas and those who need it, between demand and supply, between the negative terminal and the positive terminal of an electric device, contact between the hot and cold, between the moving tire and the static road, between the giver and the receiver –that is what runs life. If you have potentials, ideas, great plans and you 19

When All You’ve Got is YOU don’t make good contact with the right people, forget becoming a success. Chapter 2 and 3 deals with this issue practically, so you’ll get more when you get there. I’m really concerned because I see men and women, people of faith come together to worship, charged up with the inspirational word of God and then they go out into the world only to be frustrated by the reality they meet, then this reality dampens their faith and enthusiasm and they end up in the same old circle of struggles. This happens because we take a lot of decisions in our subconscious that translates our reality into limitations. To get out of this circle, we must be able to identify these limitating subconscious decisions and deal with them appropriately. Friend I would want you to take your time to get understanding, because your change is here. All I require of you is to follow the expositions I would be giving.

UNCOMMON COMMON SENSE
Joe was the latest millionaire in town; he had just received his inheritance in one lump sum. Being a young man the “natural” thing was to spend big, party, buy all the things that people desire to have, what mattered was to satisfy all his cravings and he had enough friends to help him with this ‘enormous’ task. After spending all his inheritance and not a dime remained, Joe came to his senses. This is the story of the prodigal son, the epitome of lack of common sense.

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When All You’ve Got is YOU This young man received all the things that he could ever hope to own and he squandered it all on irrelevances, not thinking of the future. It’s easy for many of us to condemn the prodigal son, but many of us are just like him, we have so much that is able to redefine our lives, but we squander them on the things that don’t matter. I believe that the lack of common sense is the root of all failures. Why do I say this? Almost every human can itemize the principles of success, people know enough to be prudent in spending, but does it mean they won’t spend carelessly? No. People know they should be diligent, but does this mean they’ll choose diligence over laziness? No. The reason why the majority of the world’s population would remain in dissatisfaction is because common sense is not common. I have spoken with several struggling people and they all tell me they believe that their future would be glorious, but when I ask them what they are doing towards having that glorious future, they have no definite answer. How do you expect your situation to change if you don’t change the choices you make? Common sense tells you that if you want the light on, you should stand up and push the light switch not sit and wish the light should come on. The same for the things you want to make out of your life, you must get up and go push the switch, not sit and wish. I remember meeting 3 friends in an argument, they were arguing on what a jaguar looks like. The argument was really intense to the extent that they were condemning each other’s opinion with harsh words. I laughed when I met them 21

When All You’ve Got is YOU in this state, they had the means of getting the facts, but they chose to argue. One of them was playing music with his PC, I asked if he had an encyclopaedia on his computer and he answered yes. So I asked him to check the description of the jaguar in his PC. That ended their ridiculous argument, the encyclopaedia even gave them a picture and they all had phones that could browse the internet, but they didn’t put their common senses to use. The same with the reality of life, we have resources that are immediately available to us that could change a lot of things we are struggling with in life, but we over look them and are seeking the supercilious instead. People don’t need a self help book to tell them that watching TV when there is work to be done is unwise, we know it is wise to save and not spend on things we don’t need, we know we should be focussed, we know the right things to do most of the time. Oh that we may choose to be more sensible, a lot of things would have worked out in a lot of lives. Common sense is initiative. Growing up my mum always told me to use my common sense so many times until I understood that initiative is one of the biggest differences between failures and successes. Majority of people need to be told what to do before they know what they should do, they need to be provided employment before they can earn a living, if not they are doomed. I was reading a post on a business forum sometime ago on the top 50 business schools in the world and it really helped me to see the pitiable stereotyped system of 22

When All You’ve Got is YOU education we have; doling out more robots than thinkers. Someone commented that the best way to learn in life is by experience and to become a self-made business owner. Then another replied that he does not care about personal experience, all he knows is that there is no way he’ll graduate from such prestigious schools and not have a starting salary of $100,000 a year. Good for him to prepare to live his life for salaries and not what he can offer by expressing his potentials, oh that he knows how much he’s missing. At least that’s what he wants to live his one life for – what narrow-mindedness. This shows how much people lack initiative; what would happen to him if he does not get a job, would he be able to make something out of himself? Mum made me to know I don’t need anyone to supervise me before I do a good job, I should use my common sense and do the right thing which is to give my best, I shouldn’t be driven by the need to impress. The reason why many children leave their parents and end up destroying their lives with drugs is because they never learnt to use their common sense. They need the supervision of their parents before they can make the right choices. Mum taught me that I don’t have to ask questions all the time, there are questions you know the answer to even before you ask, you only ask so that you can find an excuse to justify a selfish desire. Trying to answer your questions first is initiative; the ability to make a decision even when all the pieces are not yet together, to take a step in solving a problem instead of panicking, taking the lead in addressing a situation. 23

When All You’ve Got is YOU Here is data I got from the US Department of Labour that tells a lot on the effects of common sense; Self-employed workers are 3 times more likely than wage and salary workers to do extra work when they return home from work. No wonder they have their own businesses, because they possess initiative. They don’t get home and relax; they put their minds to work at every opportunity. Those who rely on employment also rely on their employers to do the thinking of how the business is to be sustained. That is why they are helpless when they lose their jobs. 36% of working people with Common sense is bachelor’s degree or higher to go after things qualification did extra work on that matter and their own at home compared to make what you do only 10% for those with less than matter. high school diploma. This shows the reason why those with higher academic attainment made it in school, it’s because they possess the initiative to work. This doesn’t mean those with low academic qualifications don’t have initiative, at least the data shows that 10% of them do have initiative to do extra work and 64% of those with good qualifications lack initiative to do extra work. So it’s not about academic qualification, it’s about the individual. Common sense is to go after things that matter and make what you do matter. What do you gain from spending hours a week following the life of Kim Kadashian on TV and you’ve not invested that much on self development. From The United Nations Development 24

When All You’ve Got is YOU Report; in the United States alone, $8 billion is spent on cosmetics alone, while the entire world needs an estimated $6 billion for basic education. We’ve made things that don’t matter our focus. People are more interested in a news report that details the latest purchases of Johnny Depp than a report on the crash of the stock market that would affect their lives. We have to give attention, time and resources to things that matter, only then can we live productively. Initiative is to make sure what you do matters, you don’t do things just for the sake of getting them done, do things to make a difference. Go to school to make a Don’t just be part difference, your work at the of the system, be office should matter, your role in part of the drive in the family should matter, don’t the system. just be part of the system, be part of the drive in the system. In ancient times when the waves at sea was too strong and the captain fears the ship might capsize (sink), he gives orders that everything dispensable be thrown overboard into the sea to make the ship lighter and float better. At this point even goods as valuable as gold are thrown overboard, but they will never throw the oars or sails away. The reason is because the role the oars are playing matters. Be wise and make sure whatever you do, where ever you are, what you do matters, else a time will common when you won’t matter. The truth is the successful think (put their common-sense to use) than the unsuccessful, that is why when you see 25

When All You’ve Got is YOU people launching an idea and they succeed, you feel like, “Wow, I could have thought of that.” The reason is because what the successful do is not really amazing, it’s always what anyone else could have done or thought of. The difference is they did it and they succeeded.

LIMITATIONS CAUSED BY WISHING
Have you been living on wishes, counting the deficiencies in your life or the thought crosses your mind occasionally? I’m sure most answers would be yes. You have and you aren’t the only one; everyone wishes to have or be one thing or the other that someone else has or is, although many won’t admit it. You may think, “Oh how lucky he is to have a supportive family”, even things as weird as thinking, “how lucky she is to be born intelligent that is why she is top in class, how lucky she is to be so talented...” What you don’t have is certain and wishing isn’t about to change that. In fact be glad for what you lack, for in that deficiency is the greatness you’re yet to discover that no one else can become What you don’t have is certain and (remember the wishing isn’t about to change that. In law of fact be glad for what you lack, for in complimentary that deficiency is the greatness differences). you’re yet to discover that no one If the swan in else can become the Ugly 26

When All You’ve Got is YOU Duckling story had been a duck as it initially and ignorantly wished; it would have been a success in the farm heading for the pot, but it’ll never become a success in the sky as a graceful swan. Therefore your deficiency today is only an indicator of what would become part of your success story. Stop giving belittling imaginations charge over your life; wishing to be people you have the capacity to outshine. A Phoenician woman came to Jesus and asked that her daughter be delivered from her affliction, what followed is the most shocking answer I’ve ever seen given to a plea. Jesus said, “It is not right to give the food of the children to the Dogs.” She didn’t leave wishing that she was a Jew to be able to receive her miracle. She saw no need to wish that she had a better standing, instead she said, “even if I can be compared to a dog, I can still receive my fair share which is the crumbs and you should not deny me of that.” And she got her miracle. The disciples of Jesus came to him and demanded, “Increase our faith.” Did Jesus increase their faith? No, he did not need to increase their faith, he told them, “If all you’ve got is a little faith, as little as a mustard seed, then nothing will be impossible for you.” Prior to this time, I’m sure they’ve always thought they needed bigger faith for big accomplishments. This is the kind of thoughts that limit us, but Jesus is saying you don’t have to have the big things before you accomplish the big things, use the little you have. You see there is so much that is available to us, but we give up so quickly because we think we are not fit to carry such 27

When All You’ve Got is YOU success. Inferiority is largely a function of self-consolatory imagination. Low and inferior thoughts readily cross our minds, clouding the truth that we’re so endowed that someone, somewhere wishes Inferiority is largely a function of to have something self-consolatory imagination. we have and don’t appreciate. You may think, “What! Could anyone make something out of my circumstances?” The question you should start asking is, “What am I privileged to have and how can I put them to better use?” The case below should help open your mind to the vast opportunities that surrounds us in disguise. My sister was visited by a friend and as they took a walk round the neighbourhood, he remarked that it was wonderful to be supplied electricity without us having to worry about generating it our individual selves; all we have to do is pay the bills. Yes, the bills that many dread. He started giving suggestions of innovative businesses you could do and yet make great profit after paying the electric bills. Have you ever seen something as ‘common’ as the electricity you pay for as a blessing? The truth is; Everything that costs you those who have this something has the potential of privilege are paying you in its worth. complaining about the bills when they could have the bills pay them. The same for a lot of things 28

When All You’ve Got is YOU around us which we take for granted. Everything that costs you something has the potential of paying you in its worth. Something as unlikely as a divorce can bring a shine to your life instead of you brooding over the past, why? You can only be down-hearted only if you choose to be. Being a single parent doesn’t make you inferior as a parent, you must carry out your duties with all sense of responsibility. I by no means encourage divorce, in fact it shouldn’t be an option (ordinarily), but if it has already happened to you, then you should be more focussed on putting your life in order, there is much more you can accomplish ahead of you instead of living in the shadows of the past. Leave Stop complaining that your job those things you sucks, if you don’t like it then have no control on quit and do something else, if and focus on what you don’t want to quit then like you have. Stop it, be contented and make the complaining about best of it. your family, you don’t like what you see, then pray until things change and let the change start from you. If you don’t like the course you are studying in school and don’t see a future in it, then quit and enrol for what you believe in, if you can’t quit then start seeing a future in what you’re already studying. Stop complaining that your job sucks, if you don’t like it then quit and do something else, if you don’t want to quit then like it, be contented and make the best of it.

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When All You’ve Got is YOU I give these extreme examples so that you don’t see your case as extreme. You’ll learn more about the endless possibilities your circumstance presents around you in chapter 3 and how to cash in on them.

LIMITATIONS CAUSED BY LIVING FOR LUCK
The Kimberley mine of South Africa is arguably one of the most profitable diamond mines in the world, but not many know of its humble beginning. It all started with a 15 year old Erasmus Jacobs, son of a farmer along the Orange River region. One day Erasmus discovered a shiny stone on the banks of the Orange River which ran through their farmland and used the stone as a toy. His mum noticed that the stone was special so she mentioned it to their neighbour, Schalk van Niekerk. Schalk van Niekerk suspected it was diamond, so Jacob’s dad sold it to him. One day he had a visitor from the United States and Schalk van Niekerk showed him the stone. This man had some knowledge about diamonds, thus he knew if it was a diamond as he already suspected, then it should scratch glass with ease. His test on one of the glass windows in the house proved his suspicion right; it was diamond –a 21.25 carat diamond! How lucky to find such valuable stone just lying around. This would help you appreciate the luck this lad had. To mine just 1 carat of diamond (200 milligram), you must crush and carefully shift through 250 tonnes of rock. 30

When All You’ve Got is YOU What is the ratio? That is 200milligram of diamond to 250,000,000,000 milligram of rock –that is1.5 billion times the weight of the diamond. Now is it not luck to find not1 carat, but 21.25 carat of diamond lying around? Ever since I read this story and many more like this of people who stumbled on great fortune right where they are, I and my younger brother kept our eyes open for such treasures that may be lurking right under our noses and we were not going to take chances, so we set to work. The first thing we set out doing was to investigate every stone around the house, and believe me we did this with all diligence. We crushed, milled, split and put to serious test every stone that looked suspicious to us, but we never found diamond or gold (don’t mock us now, we were little kids then). Then we shifted our attention to winning prizes of product promotions, taking advantage of every opportunity that came our way, but again we struck rock-bottom without any luck. Why should we be let down on what many took for granted but were yet rewarded? Indeed there was every chance that we could have struck gold or other valuable mineral but we were searching for a better life, better opportunities, a future, satisfaction of existence all from the wrong place and the wrong source. We were looking up to rocks and luck to give our lives a better meaning, but now I know where the gold and diamonds are. –They are right there in us. It is all about discovering our possibilities. 31

When All You’ve Got is YOU Silly little boys we were, but so are many today regardless of age and ethnicity; all looking for the fulfilment of their dreams from luck and we keep wondering when we will get lucky and have our breakthrough has the many we have seen on TV, read about or heard about. There is something better than luck. It made Abraham the father of all nations, it made David Cho pastor of the largest congregation in the world, Rocky Marciano a boxing legend, it made Thomas Edison one of the greatest inventors, it’s what made ordinary country boy Abe Lincoln president of his country, It is what made Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Carlos Slim Helu and their league Multibillionaires, it has made many rise from impossible circumstances and it’s not luck. Good things may be achieved by luck, but the best are never through luck. This is not a function of your religious affiliation, many have the understanding of what works and they put them to work and they get results. These are principles that have been in existence for ages. It is time we begin to put the potency of what has been revealed to us through the scripture to work in our everyday life and stop waiting for luck under the pretence of having faith. Mr. Bart had every reason not to dream of a better future, but he had a vision even though he did not have eyes. One day; the day he had been waiting for came and because he was prepared the opportunity did not pass him. I’m talking about blind Bartimaeus who sat at the outskirts of Jericho, where he begged for alms. Jesus passed this man by and he did not even drop a copper in the man’s hat; Jesus passed him by and did not bother to heal this man of his blindness 32

When All You’ve Got is YOU even when he had all the power to heal a million blind men, but something happened that day to teach us today what the requirement for the fulfilment of our dreams would cost. 1. Bartimaeus HEARD that it was Jesus that was passing by. The key here is information. I’ve seen people who are not concerned with the happenings around them. They only mind their own business and they keep complaining that nothing is changing in their lives. Bartimaeus must have inquired from the crowd following Jesus; he was informed of the happenings around him. He didn’t allow his disability to hinder him from getting his opportunity. He was on the watch out for his opportunity. Be on the watch out, be an opportunist. Instead of waiting for luck go after information. You’ll find enough opportunities you can invest in that are within your reach. 2. He shouted, he called out, he made sure he was heard, he didn’t take no for an answer. Many of us know those holding what we need for the fulfilment of our vision, but for many reasons we keep to ourselves. To get your breakthrough you must be able to walk up to that corporation that must hear your idea, you must be able to walk up to that investor and make your business proposal, be ready to meet those that can finance your project and present your case. You must be bold and step out and demand what you need for the fulfilment of your dreams. A lot of times we know those holding our miracle, but be are too shy to reach out. Remember the parable of that woman who persisted in demanding for justice from the unjust judge. She got it eventually 33

When All You’ve Got is YOU because she persisted knowing well this judge was holding the justice she needed. Instead of waiting for luck demand what you need for the fulfilment of your dreams. I will be showing you the proper way to reach out and get what you need in chapter 3. 3. He didn’t listen to the rebuke and ridicule of those around him. Do you have a tall dream and people are telling you such beautiful dreams aren’t meant for people like you. Don’t listen to them. This is not easy and this is where we know people who mean business. Don’t wait for people to agree with your vision before you take action. 4. He threw his cloak away and jumped on his feet. Burn the bridge, don’t speculate going back to “Egypt”. Make up your mind and go all out for your vision. Whatever you do, do with your entire mind. Be conclusive; don’t be speculative on what you want. Whenever you provide yourself with alternatives, you will always have excuse not to be committed. This cloak was what he used in covering himself from the harsh sun, but when Jesus called him, he threw this cloak away showing he was done with begging. I’ve told myself, I’m done with being a failure. Don’t give yourself alternatives. 5. Jesus asked him, “What do you want?” and he gave a straight answer. Do you really know what you want? If you find someone who is ready to give you everything you need, but just at one request. Do you know what you should ask for? The reason many remain in limitations, is because they don’t know what to look out for, because 34

When All You’ve Got is YOU they don’t know what they want. Saying you just want to be happy, doesn’t mean you know what you want, you must know what you need to make you happy. Have specific needs, know what you really want.

This is just a little of the lessons we can learn from Bartimaeus. He is prove to all believers that sitting and wishing for a miracle to come is foolishness, because your miracle will pass you and may never return. You can create opportunities for your breakthrough.

LIMITATIONS CAUSED BY BEING DISPENSABLE AND BOXED-IN
There are so many individuals with talent and ideas that would shake the world, but the bad news is; many of them would go to the grave with their talents and Ideas. The world would not give them an easy chance. Carol Nash sold her business for $100 million in 2006, making her one of the There are so many individuals richest Britons that’s a with talent and ideas that woman. Was she a would shake the world, but multimillion dollar the bad news is; many of them business woman from would go to the grave with the beginning? No. their talents and Ideas. The She was an everyday world would not give them an struggling woman who easy chance. didn’t have the millionaire qualifications, if there’s anything like that – 35

When All You’ve Got is YOU after all she was just a receptionist (not the kind of job that qualifies for even a hundred thousand bucks). She narrowly missed prosperity, but thanks to a ‘misfortune’ that came her way. Here was this 42 year old receptionist trying to make an honest living as a receptionist in an insurance company in the UK. One day she got laid off; her services were not needed any more. She got laid off not because she was incompetent, but because the company had to cut down on its employees as they could not afford the cost anymore. They were kind enough to give her a small portfolio of motorcycle insurance policies as severity. With this she started her own insurance consultancy and she started with what she had –her dining room table was where she started transacting business with her clients. The business grew expeditiously and in 2006 she sold the business for over $100 million. If she had remained at the receptionist’s desk, she wouldn’t have had the slightest imagination of how better off she could have been. So many lives are boxed-in by the jobs they hold and when they lose the job they only jump out even to a worse life when it could have been a stepping stone for self discovery. Do you think you are at your best now? Don’t you think you can achieve better things if you give yourself no choice? You don’t have to lose all before you discover your true potential. Carol was dismissed not because the company was not going to make use of receptionists anymore, but for them she was dispensable at the time. Have you been 36

When All You’ve Got is YOU living as the ‘dispensable’; someone who can be done away with, but for now you’re being made use of? Then I guess you’re in the wrong place or you’re doing the wrong thing. You’ll only do what you do with joy and enthusiasm if you understand the importance of that job being done and you’re interested in getting it accomplished whatever be your motivation. You’ll remain dispensable as long as you depend on others to put your worth to use. Don’t be used –be relevant. Society is blind and this may include you; we’re quick to judge people. If a man has no success story, then it becomes hard for us to You’ll remain dispensable trust him with any as long as you depend on employment or even give others to put your worth to him a chance. Companies use. Don’t be used –be are trying to be safe and relevant. are looking for people with experience, which indeed is advisable, but many great minds are not given opportunity because of this. So if you lack a portfolio of qualification and experience, but have the brains, then your approach must be tactical. You may have to place value on yourself by working on your capabilities and stepping out even when it means going alone. Lack of qualification shouldn’t hold you back when you are sure of your capabilities. Let me paint the picture so that you’ll fully grasp what I’m saying here. Imagine Steve Jobs the founder Apple Computers (perhaps the most inspirational company in the US) trying to get employment from any computer 37

When All You’ve Got is YOU company at the time he started Apple. You and I can be sure he had no chance. He was a drop-out, he had no proven abilities, and he didn’t even look like one that could manage any business. Believe me he was better than most of the managers and CEOs of his time, because when they were busy with bureaucracies, when they were managing stale ideas; Steve Jobs came and kicked a lot of them out of business. Corporations are not to be blamed or the society in which we live, for not giving fair chances to everyone. The truth is you have to place a value on yourself first if you want to be reckoned with. Life offers fair chances, but it does not hand them out for free, you have to go after it. Most will never respect you enough to give you a chance until you either look like it or you prove yourself. Sometimes their judgements are wrong; people can look like it and yet lack what Most will never respect you it takes, people can enough to give you a prove themselves at a chance until you either look point in time, but lack like it or you prove yourself. the character to sustain success. Apple Computer Inc. Founder Steve Jobs in his attempts to get Atari and HP interested in his and Steve Wozniak’s personal computer had the following experience as was related by Steve Jobs himself. “So we (Jobs and Wozniak) went to Atari and said, “We’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your 38

When All You’ve Got is YOU (Atari’s) parts and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll just give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come and work for you.” And they (Atari) said no. So we went to Hewlett-Packard and they said, “Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t even gone through college yet.”” Thank God they were rejected by these big companies that knew all the ethics of picking “good” qualified employees. Jobs and Wozniak were dispensable to these companies, but they knew their own value and were not going to let anyone devaluate their potentials. Because they were rejected, they were able to discover their other potential which is as business strategists. They didn’t box themselves in. When something is not working out it may be a pointer for you to look elsewhere. When you are facing a wrong direction, it doesn’t matter your speed and focus you won’t get to the right destination. Carol Nash could have looked for another job as a receptionist and remained poor all her When you are facing a life, Steve Jobs could wrong direction, it doesn’t have kept going matter your speed and around looking for focus you won’t get to the employment, but he right destination moved on instead. Don’t be boxed-in; be open to discover the new and better things you can do. There is a world of difference between quitting and When something is not working out it may be a pointer for you to look elsewhere. 39

When All You’ve Got is YOU making changes, but making some changes would mean quitting some things that makes you dispensable. This is why you need to CREATE opportunities and not wait for them. I personally never see any There is a world of one as an exceptional genius, difference between because I know many more quitting and making are out there who never had changes, but making an opportunity, so those that some changes would have opportunity seem like mean quitting some the best when much more things. haven’t even discovered themselves. I’ll be showing you how to create opportunities and not wait for them and to discover yourself. I hope to challenge you out of being orthodox, I hope to shake you up to the reality that; everyone gets an opportunity at success, but many Everyone gets an opportunity at fail at them. The success, but many fail at them. few that succeed The few that succeed had had INSIGHT to INSIGHT to see it, ABILITY to see it, ABILITY to handle it and CHARACTER to handle it and sustain it. CHARACTER to sustain it. INSIGHT is the first step, it means you know what you are looking for and so when it comes along you can grab it. Do you know what you are looking for? Are you specific? This is why opportunities pass people every day 40

When All You’ve Got is YOU without them knowing it; they don’t know what they are looking for exactly. Saying you have a vision to be rich doesn’t prove you know what you are looking for, but saying for example you seek an opportunity to build a highly economical fuel engine which you have designed proves you know what you are looking for. Your vision has to be specific. Therefore, stop wishing for things to get better before you start making use of the opportunities around you. Everyone has equal opportunities as we all have 24 hours each day. Don’t quit your dreams because of circumstances or inadequacies. What you need are insight, ability and character and fortunately you can develop all these qualities. So stop wishing. Wishing only changes a man’s health and hopes from what it is to something worse. The first book I ever borrowed from the library was The Ugly Duckling, by Hans Christian Andersen (a revised version). It somehow connected to me Wishing only changes a even though I was just about man’s health and hopes eight years old then. As I read from what it is to the book, it dawned on me something worse. that this story was beyond its apparent context; it tells the parable of society versus individuals which is a battle every man would fight regardless of his status, ethnicity or age. Many in the society fit into the character of the out-of-place ‘ugly duckling’ that was trying to live up to the farm life, trying to find acceptance. What this ‘duckling’ failed to 41

When All You’ve Got is YOU realize was that it was never a duckling, but a cygnet (a young swan) which by circumstances (the egg got mixed with the ducks eggs by accident) ended up at the farm and hatched with them. Swans are more graceful, beautiful, powerful, larger and have advantage over ducks in everything, but this young swan never knew all this because its circumstance told it otherwise at that moment; it wasn’t has beautiful or graceful as the other ducklings. Don’t be quick to write yourself off, your circumstance should not define you; a lot of times we are better than the people we wish to conform to. I realized that so many beautiful lives are out of place and are trying to be who they aren’t and they don’t even know it. Remember circumstance is what defines and confines the common man; you will call a man a tramp because he is out on the street in the circumstances of a tramp. On the TV show, “I get that a lot” you will see popular celebrities pretending to be commoners and people fail to recognise them because they aren’t in the circumstances of a celebrity. A popular Hollywood star could pretend to be a regular grumpy salesman and everyone that he attends to treats him as a regular What this proves is that you disgruntled sales man are a far better person at ever because he’s dressed as point in your life than your one and behaves as one – reality portrays –it is called he assumes that your potential. circumstance and his experience is in turn shaped by it. Then at the end of the show, the celebrity in disguise reveals his true identity and all of a sudden he is receiving hugs and drawing attention. What 42

When All You’ve Got is YOU this proves is that you are a far better person at every point in your life than your reality portrays –it is called your potential. You have the potential of being anything anyone has ever been and to even do better. This is true with reality; the circumstances you find yourself in shouldn’t define you.

LIMITATIONS CAUSED BY NEED FOR ACCEPTANCE
One big issue we must first trash out is our need for acceptance. You may not admit it, but the bulk of our choices as humans are based on our desire for acceptance. This has lead a lot of people down the drain with debts for things they never really needed and we have a lot of others who have great plans and ideas, but are not willing to give up the resources towards this goal, because it could mean giving up their car and using the money to start the business. So they keep driving the car and never have the money to start –because we want to be more acceptable and desire immediate comfortable at the expense of the future. “Man is a social animal”.—Baruch Spinoza (1632 - 1677) Dutch philosopher and theologian. The above quote by the revered theologian is not meant to put us at the same level with common animals, it is meant to awaken us to the fact and reality of the working 43

When All You’ve Got is YOU of our society and the mind of the common man –the need for acceptance above all things. Very few Very few are living their are living their lives; the lives; the majority are majority are living it for living it for ‘societal ‘societal acceptability’. acceptability’. We have the majority trying to meet up with the expectations of life, this group have a life patterned by the media, the government, educational attainment, family and anything that dictates what common ‘success’ is. These factors are bound to influence every human, but they shouldn’t terminate your dreams in life if you don’t meet up at present; they should only be tools for the realization of your vision. Then there are those living up to popular expectations many would call them successful, but most of them die frustrated because it’s so hard keeping up to other people’s expectations, when they’ve not really lived their own lives. Many celebrities fall into this category. So many lives are unproductive because they spend otherwise quality time watching these celebrities on TV and discussing them. This shouldn’t surprise you; majority of people on social networks are there just because everybody else is there (it makes them feel belong) and not for profitable communication and the truth is the creators of these sites know this and they are using it to their own advantage that’s why most are for free. You see that understanding how society works does pay and it pays really big as it is for the guys who own the social networks. People who know nothing would say they are lucky. Nah, Zig Ziglar 44

When All You’ve Got is YOU would say, “There is no free lunch ANYWHERE!” That is the absolute truth. You understand the way society works; you may soon join the billionaire’s league. The exceptions are a “There is no free few who have discovered who lunch ANYWHERE!” they are and how much they –Zig Ziglar could do with their lives and the resources they have, no matter how little it is. Their definition of success isn’t dictated by money or keeping up with the Joneses, so their lives aren’t run by the system. They make the right and not the popular choices. People in this category create what others begin to live for. They are never afraid of standing out, which could mean standing alone. They are the builders of civilizations, they define the standards, shape our very lives and the whole social system. Imagine a world were all we do is confine ourselves to circumstances. There won’t be any social, technological or intellectual development if Your dreams would be people had not had to turn challenged and tested; away from the popular easy alternatives would move, if they had not come your way dared their circumstances to make a difference. Today their names are written in gold in history. If they did it, you can do it. It doesn’t mean you doing something nobody has ever done before, it could mean doing it better. Just like Henry Ford defined his own business; he didn’t invent the automobile, but he chose to improve the popular methods. He designed his own assembly line and soon it became the model for all 45

When All You’ve Got is YOU industries till date. His model marked a new beginning on what employment looked liked, how long people worked, the training people needed to be able to fit into the system and before you knew it the rat-racers where up to the game to keep up. You don’t have to subject yourself to a life that is tossed about ...the only way up is to by changed policies and contend against the popular moves; you can gravity of circumstance define your life and settle and society that tends to down with a focus. Men push downwards. like Jesse Jackson dared to go were no black man has been or will dare to go. Even though he didn’t get to the white house, he laid the foundation for the dream of Barack Obama and today the political impossibility is achieved. Your dreams would be challenged and tested; easy alternatives would come your way, but the only way up is to contend against the gravity of circumstance and society that tends to push downwards. What has been dictating your choices? How purposeful has your life been? You have to stop and think before you continue reading. Why did you go to college? Is it because that’s what the system requires or you really want your education to matter? Why are you in your current employment? Can’t you serve God any better? Can’t you learn anything new? Are your circle of friends adding anything to your life or helping you to justify your limitations? Just take a moment to question your choices and see if you’ve been giving in to circumstances, taking the popular ways out. 46

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LIMITATIONS BY FEAR
Is it not so interesting that great authors find it easy to represent men with animal characters? The reason is because we have this thing called instinct in common. Instinct is to do things without conscious reasoning. The favourite meal of the lion is the zebra, this is not because the zebras can’t fight back, but because the zebras lives in fear of the lions. Zoologists have ascertained that a single kick from the zebra can kill a full grown lion –amazing isn’t it? Yet the zebra is always the victim, rarely killing any lion. Why is this? Fear is what makes the zebra not attain its full potential; it is always at the running end because it prioritizes survival above liberty. If zebras would stop acting on survival instinct and start fighting back, the lions would soon learn that they are dangerous prey. The moment a man is born one thing is priority – Survival. Everyone who prioritizes survival is always the prey, always weak, always without choices, always running, survival is only a priority for the vulnerable. That is why a baby will cry more in its early years than any other time of its life. The baby is simply saying, “Take care of me! I don’t want to die. I need attention please!” The cry of the baby increases its chance of survival by getting it attention. Fear is something we’re born with; the fear of being alone, the fear of defeat, the fear of the unknown and the list goes on –there is fear for everything. That is why the baby cries out for attention and stops crying when 47

When All You’ve Got is YOU reassured of being watched over. We grow up with the fear that makes us lost when all we have is just ourselves and this is why many dreams die, because we take the easy way out for fear of failing if we dare stand on our own. The fears we’re born with makes us join the rat race without thinking and the reason is because we act on impulse instead of on wisdom: When lions are chasing antelopes or any other game, all the animals scatter and run helter-skelter. This increases their chances of surviving by making those who can’t run fast enough (the weak ones) the meal for the lions, but above all it is a game of luck. We’re in a society so much like that of the antelopes; we run our lives depending heavily on the easy options available and unwilling to fight back. Those that can’t keep up are majorly those who think little of themselves because they think some things are for special better people and not themselves, so they accept any persona society gives to them, they accept their circumstances as part of their identification, they accept their skin colour as a limitation, they accept their low educational qualification as their definition, they The fears we’re born with take what life gives to makes us join the rat race them and never without thinking and the demand what they reason is because we act on really want. The impulse instead of on strength of fear is in our wisdom need to survive, to just get by. It’s a pity the

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When All You’ve Got is YOU zebras that end up as food for the lions would never know they could have been the ones knocking the lions out. The same thing with us, if we Men who succeed always never take our fears head have faith in the risks they on, we’ll never know the are taking. marvellous things we can achieve. Men who succeed always have faith in the risks they are taking. There is more to life than survival and keeping up with others. The reality is life won’t play fair with you; it feeds on people who lack good self esteem; people that would take cheap offers because they think they have no choice. The solution to fear would be discussed more intensively in the next chapter.

LIMITATIONS CASED BY COMPLACENCY
“And since the day of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize –a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion]. --Matthew 11:12 (Amplified Bible) So much packaged into one verse and one of the scriptures that proves the power available to a man with a strong will. What this scripture is saying is; a lot of people are now accessing treasures of heaven that are secured and unavailable to the common man. These common men don’t take no for an answer, they don’t pray for the ordinary –they demand the extraordinary and they get it. 49

When All You’ve Got is YOU They don’t give up until there is an answer, they keep praying until the heavens release their request. These men don’t believe in fate –they believe in choice, they believe they get what they ask for not what they deserve. They are not the kind that read the promises of God and continue to live quietly –no, they read it and they claim it. These are the people who when they hear of an opportunity, they claim it for themselves. They are men like blind Bartemeous who shouted and ran after Jesus until he got his miracle; he did no care what others said about him, he did not allow the opportunity to pass him by; he did not give up because he was not heard for a while, he was determined, he had a demand and he followed through. I challenge you to be this kind of person and see if you won’t get the best out of life and from God. Are you already giving up on prayers because it seemed it had not worked so far? How do you pray, is it with complacency or all seriousness that makes heaven know that you mean business? Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well. Oh that you will be a stubborn person from now on and be sure of what you want. Don’t be complacent; don’t take it easy with situations that want to put you down, don’t be the average person, don’t blend in with mediocre, don’t go half way; go all the way. Successful people are goal getters; they stop at nothing until they get what they wanted from the beginning. They don’t accept a substitute; they only take what they demand. Don’t accept a substitute for your vision and aspirations. Today revive those things you’ve always wanted and go for them. Stop settling for what is available to you cheaply. Life is never fair, it can give you a good substitute, but it will never give you what you really want if you don’t place a strong demand. 50

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THE BOTTOM LINE
Always remember that, Life will ask you to pay for the fulfilment of your dreams, but offer you payment to drop them. Remember, your circumstance and society has immense power in influencing how your life turns out. Most people are where they are today, doing what they are doing not because they are happy doing it, but they believe they have no choice which is not true. Don’t let your circumstance define you, there is more you can do with your life than trying to survive. Be careful of the identity you represent, never see yourself as common and part of the crowd, the truth is you’re special and you must begin to realize this and place value on yourself. It doesn’t matter how bad things are for you now, know that no condition is permanent; it will pass away with time, if you make the right decisions from now. The opportunity for your change will come, but you must be prepared to receive it. Every day, ordinary people just like you and I are realising their dreams, even people who may have been more disadvantaged than you. There is always the easy way to a regular life of just getting along and being tossed about by circumstances, with us trying to find a middle ground for security and survival and the hard and uncertain path of fighting your way to becoming what and who you want to become. 80% of millionaires are first generation millionaires; this means they didn’t inherit their wealth, they worked for it from the scratch. Most of them were so poor they had to 51

When All You’ve Got is YOU sleep on the streets at some point in their lives, some suffered from abusive parents, some had no one to help them or believe in them, some had to fight addictions, others are single parents, many dropped out from school and many are immigrants who fled their countries of origin because of the hardship, but today we celebrate them. Some of them are sport stars today, business giants, inventors, and some motivational speakers. In all, they fought their limitations and today we read their stories and it doesn’t end there; many more are coming out of their unfortunate situations and are accomplishing extraordinary deeds. These are tough times in our society and many are confused and it seems like the odds are against the average man. Regular methods and qualifications won’t help much either, but the situation is not hopeless. Whatever your dream is, you must first believe you can make it, even if no one believes in you, even if circumstance around you is suggesting impossibility. Whenever I begin to feel anxious and uncertain of myself, I just smile and say, “It’s going to work out well in the end”, not because I’ve got the solution, but because I know I have the capacity to make changes to my life, I just need to settle down and prayerfully weigh my options. Immediately I’m in my believing mode, I begin to think straight, start building a list of solutions (that seemed nonexistent before) and I’m happier with myself. As you read you need to be positive about yourself. So many times the Holy Spirit is whispering solutions to our hearts, but we are too preoccupied with worries to hear him. What you need is to take a time out from all the noise.

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When All You’ve Got is YOU If you’re able to conceive an idea, it’s because you have the capacity to fulfil it. Don’t give up your dreams; keep your hope alive, it’s meant for fulfilment. Don’t let go of your purpose; don’t trade it for conveniences. It takes hard work to bring to birth any idea you’re pregnant of, just like giving birth to a baby is never easy. When Life seems unfair to you, it only wants to get the best out of you. Your circumstance is a challenge you must take on with courage and determination. It all depends on how you see your situation, either as a challenge or as unfortunate for you. You’re a solution to a need in this generation. The world is waiting for you. Always remember the world has a way it works and understanding this is what can give you anything you’ve always hoped for.

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2 LOCKED-IN TREASURES
“It is possible to be so foresighted that we fail to see what is right before us –the value of our individual existence.”

The truth is we can’t live out our potentials 100
percent, but take a moment and let’s imagine what opportunities we have. Think of the possibilities before you: you have a brain to think; imagine all the things a thinking brain can achieve in a life time. Think of what you can do in 86,400 seconds; that is the possibilities of moments you have a day, if you consider every second you have. Think of the number of people you can meet in a life time; those you could love and those who would love you in return, those you could give joy, those that could be part of your success. The possibility of what you can do in a life time is more than the number of stars in space. There is no better time to be alive than now; our generation as the internet, imagine the resources and connections you can get from this single technology. Our generation has human rights 55

When All You’ve Got is YOU that give you freedom than any other time in history. There was a time men hunted each other like animals and no one would persecute them. What better time to exist than now when people are open to ideas. What It’s good to have big better time in history dreams, but how much have has the capability and we put to use the little we resources to make your have, how well have we dreams a reality? This is lived today before you talk the best time to exist; of the brighter future? what you have is far more than what you don’t have, only if we’ll give attention to what’s available than to things we wish for. It’s good to have big dreams, but how much have we put to use the little we have, how well have we lived today before you talk of the brighter future? Unfortunately, most times we fail to see the possibilities of how much we can achieve with this precious gift called life.

BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE
The problems and limitations we overcome on our way up are what make our victories worth celebrating. When you face challenges, when you face hopelessness, suffer deprivation, when it seems all you’ve got is just yourself and you emerge a winner despite all this, then you can be called a winner indeed. Have you ever heard of victories 56

When All You’ve Got is YOU where there was no battle or contention? I have realized that only dare need brings out the best in us, we keep advancing because we have problems where we stand so we move on, but if everything is ok; we settle no innovations, no problems to solve. You will never realize how creative you are until you are under necessity. If you had everything going for you, you may end up no better than a pig in the farm that has all the food it needs and has no cares, only to end in the pot of soup. This is the same with all domesticated animals; they are comfortable and have no reason to develop strong survival skills, their comfort is at the expense of developing their full potentials to survive. An example is the duck. Wild ducks are amongst the strongest flight birds, but take a look at the domestic duck lazing about and you’ll see how comfort makes us under develop our potentials. Do you know that lions and most predatory animals bred in zoos can’t survive if released back into the wild? The reason is they never had the challenge of surviving so they never learnt the skills of survival. The same applies to us; the more challenges you handle, the stronger we become. The truth is life leaves us no choice, indeed only those up to the challenges of life get the crowns of success. Those who win had vision for their lives, they were disciplined and determined to make the best out of their circumstances and they hoped in God who gave them strength in all their troubles. Know that every disappointing situation you face is an appointment for 57

When All You’ve Got is YOU opportunities you would have missed if all was as you wish.

LIVING BEHIND THE DOOR
Today we live in a highly segregated society. It’s a paradox that people are more divided than ever before in history, despite communication technology and everyone is minding his own business. Family units are smaller than ever before and it is getting even smaller. As we get more civilized, we get more individual. Technology as helped us to keep to ourselves better. Many don’t even have life pets anymore; there are virtual pets and avatars to interact with. Today we’re more of individuals than families; many families are divided even when they stay together –the father is in his own world, the mum in hers and the children lock themselves up in their rooms or they are locked behind the screen of a gadget. This shouldn’t be. This is why many suicides are committed and no one saw it coming. The question is, are you behind a door and what are you doing behind your closed door?

There are three sets of people behind the door;

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THOSE NURSING EMOTIONS
Majority of people behind doors are there because of emotions. Anger, sadness, regrets, depression and the secondary results of these emotions, inferiority or superiority complexes, self-pity, bitterness and it’s likes has made many solitary and locked up not just behind physical doors but relationship cages. Withdrawal from interaction because of emotions will do you more harm than good. Most people in this category have reasons to justify their action or they deny that they are having this problem and this is the serious part of it. It is possible that you lock yourself in when you get to certain places, but at other places you’re open and associating. This could be because of your weaknesses that are known to those you withdraw from. You have to get over condemning yourself and stop being judged by your past; it is past (over) that is why it is called past. It is time to question your reasons and see if it is worth it. You have to let go, open those doors you have shut yourself in and begin to experience the beauty of life.

THOSE WHO LACK IDEA OF WHAT TO DO WITH THEIR TIME
They spend their time not invest it. They are occupied with pornography, chatting, TV series, drugs and anything to stimulate their minds and body. Some of the aforementioned activities are not bad in themselves, but 59

When All You’ve Got is YOU the purpose to which they are put to use. The key thing here is not their doing ‘bad’ things, the problem is, they are not living purposefully. This set needs to be stimulated to feel alive. They are lost when their conveniences are taken away. When all you want to do is have fun all day, then you are in this category of people. You should have a limited time for trivial engagements and pursue productivity. Success never comes knocking on peoples doors, it is achieved.

THOSE WHO MUST BE ALONE FOR A WHILE
This group have a vision for their lives and they are at work towards it. They do not despise company, but they cannot spend much time on trivial activities. Some may be socially awkward and have very poor communication skills, but they are full of ideas and working on them. This set will emerge to conquer the world, while the other two above will end used-up. There are times it is important to withdraw to strategize and work on ideas. There is power of productivity in being along for constructive thinking. This also has its disadvantage. Many are so busy pursuing their ambitions that they lock themselves from people that matter to them. So where do you fit in? In all cases, it is best you don’t live a lifestyle of seclusion. There will be times when you most separate 60

When All You’ve Got is YOU yourself from activities and people to think, rest, strategize, plan and work on your projects, but you most never jettison your relationship with others. Relationships are important if you want to succeed.

OUTLOOKS
For you to best understand this topic, I have come up with some illustrations I hope you will find educative and interesting. First let me introduce you to Mr. Heart and Mr. Head. I had trouble naming them and I wished I could give them more elaborate names, but I discovered that Heart and Head best fits the use into which I want to put them. I am sure you have heard the saying, “listen to your heart before. This is the very heart I will be talking about and its rival; head. You may wonder what this has to do with you and your ambitions. It has all to do with it, because our outlooks are what determine how much we get from our environment and how we receive situations and opportunities, so it is important that we understand ourselves as much as possible. The bible says in Galatians 5:17,”For the flesh lusteth (is at war) against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”

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When All You’ve Got is YOU The above scripture is important because it shows us the relevance of understanding the place of our spirit (the heart in this case) and our flesh (our head); look at the concluding part of the scripture, it says, “So that ye (you) cannot do the things that ye (you) would. This is referring to limitations, being unable to fully attain your potential, possibly living a life of failures and frustrations, failing in relationship with God and men, all this because of the war between the spirit and the flesh. Galatians makes us know that these two (the spirit and flesh) are contrary to each other, that is they are opposing to each other. How different can they be? Here is a very practical analogy.

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When All You’ve Got is YOU Take a look at the two characters that are representing heart and head. From them you can tell a lot about their characteristics and their functions. The heart is strong and confident and there is a look of optimism in the heart. From its look you can see that the heart is full of expectation and hopes. The head is not built for strength, but as you can see; it is a crafty, unpredictable and an unreliable character. You’ll also see that it looks like one that is more concerned on how to fill his belly. All these features tell us a lot about the different traits that make up our minds. When you’re offended and you want to forgive you don’t look into your head for a place to forgive that person, you look into your heart. This is the Your head lacks the manifestation of the strength to forgive; it strength that the heart will only give you more has. Your head lacks the reasons to do otherwise. strength to forgive; it will only give you more reasons to do otherwise. Your heart is emotional, compassionate and centre of your conscience. Some people would refer to it has you soul, spirit or good-mind. Call it whatever you want, so far you’re referring to that part of you that makes you selfless and responsible –then we are on the same page. We attempt to subdue our selfish desires with our hearts, we attempt to do divine and worthy things from our hearts. Head is referring to the human instincts. It is charged with 63

When All You’ve Got is YOU the responsibility of making sure you survive by all means. It is self-centred, competitive, and opportunistic. These two serve distinct functions and neither of them is complete without the other for you to be a complete human. Your head would make sure you’re a survivor while your heart would ensure you connect and are accountable for your actions. People generally say, “Live by your heart.” Well, this sounds very saintly, but they are wrong, you cannot live by your heart alone you have to be dead to do that. That is why the bible talks about the renewal of your mind (your flesh). You have to put your flesh under subjection, so that it serves more worthy purposes; both your spirit and body consecrated for the People generally say, “Live masters us. Our hearts by your heart.” Well, this challenges us to do sounds very saintly, but that which is only of they are wrong, you cannot the divine nature that live by your heart alone you is why we feel good have to be dead to do that. and fulfilled whenever we follow our hearts. Your heart and head rarely agree and this is designed to give us a wide enough option to choose our actions from. These two are at war with each other constantly and their prevalence is what makes your decisions.

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THE BATTLE IN THE MIND
The vastness and potential of the mind is so tremendous, no single book can satisfy our taste to understand ourselves and thoughts, but one thing is clear; there is a battle in our individual minds. The battle to give or to take, the battle to love or to hate, the battle to revenge or forgive, the battle of good and of evil.

The boat men that direct this boat are Mr. Heart and Mr. Head and the boat is your mind. If you ever had problem letting go of someone’s fault then you’ll understand the battle of this two ‘gentle men’ in getting control of your mind. When Mr. Heart is reasoning that it is about time 65

When All You’ve Got is YOU you forgive; after all we are all humans prone to faults, then Mr. Head is saying, there is no excuse, you should revenge. All your head Your outlook is the is trying to do is make expectation you have for any you a better particular thing or person in a competitor, while given situation. It is the your heart is not shopping basket you take to interested in the supermarket, it is the rod competition but you take out to sea, it is the fairness. You see that feelings you wear to a date. they both are useful but you must get your priorities right. To make the best out of your circumstances you must have a hold on your Outlook at every point in time.

Your outlook is the expectation you have for any particular thing or person in a given situation. It is the shopping basket you take to the supermarket, it is the rod you take out to sea, it is the feelings you wear to a date. Inferiority complex, Superiority complex, Depression and excitement Connectivity Are the foundations of outlooks that determine your persona in any environment. 66

When All You’ve Got is YOU Your persona is the role you assume in an environment, the identity you give yourself and the image you portray. In every gathering, people take the role of different personas automatically and unconsciously. Wisdom, Courage and Discipline are qualities you must possess to overcome your weaknesses and express your strengths. The good news yet again is you don’t have to be born with these qualities; you can develop them when you stock your mind with the right information.

INFERIORITY COMPLEX
“Look in my face; my name is Might-have-been. I am also called No-more, Too-late, and Farewell.” - Dante Gabriel Rossetti

You will be making a big mistake to ever think anyone is better than you because we all have our strengths; you only think they are better because you are comparing them to yourself using their strength against your own weaknesses.

What better definition could have done justice to the topic of inferiority than that the 19th century English poet has given? It points to self condemnation and acceptance of defeat. These are the very elements that define inferiority complex. The feeling of not being given a fair chance, self condemnation because of 67

When All You’ve Got is YOU your past mistakes that published your weakness or withdrawal from those you feel are better than you. Whatever the case, you are of no different value than the people you use to judge yourself and you will be making a big mistake to ever think anyone is better than you because we all have our strengths; you only think they are better because you are comparing them to yourself using their strength against your own weaknesses. No one is born inferior or sees himself as human of lesser relevance; but being put down again and again by those who are of dominant echelon and having failed time after time, we submit our values and accept with consolatory self-dignity that we are minors after all. Inferiority comes from your head and prevails when you accept defeat to a status battle you fought in your imagination. We can compare this to what is dramatically observable in wildlife. Two male bears slug it out so that the alpha male can be determined. At this stage the two bears are very sure of themselves; they are individually convinced no one fits the job description better than themselves. After the battle each of the bears leave the battle field totally changed. The bear that won becomes more dominant and sure of itself; it moves on to interact with the female bears with renewed confidence, while the other bear leaves with its head hanging low. The bear that lost the dominance battle begins to think like a loser and act as one. It becomes withdrawn and it 68

When All You’ve Got is YOU easily scares when it meets other bears, even those not as strong as its self –it becomes a sort of outcast. This marks the birth of inferiority. The same for us, we are by nature interested in dominance, but after many defeats we begin to feel inferior because the instinct to dominate has been subdued by unfortunate experiences. Unfortunately some have been burdened with inferiority from the early years of their lives and they grew with it. So it starts from our head which is centre of our instinct, but the propagation is from your heart. Now your head is using the oar called Emotions to out-paddle your heart which still believes in your honour. For deep in your heart you know you’re a better person, but with all the emotions from the memories of your failures, you eventually give in to the undignified personality. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” - Eleanor Roosevelt

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From the illustration, you can see that the oar ‘emotion’ that head is handling is beyond its capacity. Emotions are sure to exaggerate the reality of our situations and usually the outcome is too much for us to handle, so we relapse unto fate being too weak to fight it anymore. To show you the power and role our imaginations play at our inferior moments; consider a student with bad grades, he may not feel inferior because of his bad grades until others learn about it. Then his imagination takes over, he begins to wonder what they think of him. The situation would be different if no one knew he had bad grades, he’ll still hang around and even make jest of others with bad grades. This is to prove that inferiority is mostly

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When All You’ve Got is YOU our imagination not the reality. One thing defeats inferiority and that is courage. Rudolph Giuliani was mayor of New York when the September 11 terrorist attack happened. He knew what it meant to be intimidated, but he never let it show in his actions, he said, “Courage is “Courage is realizing you realizing you are afraid and are afraid and still still acting.” His act of acting.” gallantry and exemplary leadership earned him the –Rudolph Giuliani name Mayor of America’s Mayor. He was also named Times Magazine Person of the Year. The international recognition did not end there for his honour was toped by Queen of England who knighted him. Indeed there is so much strength we can draw when we give ourselves reason to press forward regardless of how intimidating a situation is. Courage is not the absence of your fear, which in this case is the fear of what people make out of you, or what you could do worse There are no courageous than how others will do. All men; only men who your fears are there, but for have reason to face their you to act despite all the fears. evidence your fears presents –that is courage. I personally believe that there are no courageous men; only men who have reason to face their fears. 71

When All You’ve Got is YOU The key word here is reason. Children do not outgrow their fear of darkness; they only develop the reasoning that it is silly to be afraid of the dark. Let us assume I get scared of sleeping in the dark, but I enjoy my sleep better with the lights off. What I do is, stand up go check the doors, and then I’m assured they are locked, I go back to sleep. My fears are no more, because I have developed a reason reassuring me of my safety in the dark. Why this works is because the initial fear of darkness was caused by the thoughts of something creeping on me in the dark, so giving myself a counter reason by making sure I’m secured in the dark, solves my fear problem. These are sure ways to build your courage.

ACCEPT TO FACE THE CONSEQUENCE. Think of the worst thing that can happen to you when you express yourself, which most likely is to be ridiculed or turned down. Then accept to be ridiculed and don’t care if you’re turned down. Once you are prepared for this, you’ll be prepared to stand your ground.

JUSTIFY YOUR ACTIONS. Have a good reason backing you. Soldiers who go to war to kill or end up killed, have first succeeded in convincing themselves on why they should end another life or have theirs ended. The moment a soldier questions his participation in a war, that moment he loses all courage to advance, because he fears dying in vain. 72

When All You’ve Got is YOU LOVE YOURSELF. Think about your uniqueness and be grateful for who you are. I’m always grateful I was born into a not too rich family, because the lack of conveniences has given me more time to think. The time I would have spent playing games is spent discovering myself, developing my talents and planning to make something out of myself. I don’t waste my time feeling others are better than me; I spend it building on what I’m better Inferiority complex at than anyone else. would make those who Review your situation and are not better than you decide what you want, to become gods to you. remain an underdog or be Your fear is they power your true valuable self. The they wield over you. truth is; Inferiority complex would make those who are not better than you become gods to you. Your fear is they power they wield over you. The moment people discover you have a good self esteem; they give you the respect you deserve. Note that people generally seek others who lack self confidence and they prey on such.

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SUPERIORITY COMPLEX
“None are more taken in with flattery as the proud, who wish to be the first and are not” - Baruch Spinoza

There can’t be superiority if there is no one to compete with, but those with superiority complex don’t even need competitors; they are obsessed with the thoughts of being the best, filled with arrogance, they love to keep everybody under control, they challenge the free will of others and they are irritated by people who have good self esteem. You’ll find people with superiority complex always passing judgement about others; they always concern themselves with other people’s matters. The truth is they are never the best that is why they try to keep others under control, so their own weaknesses won’t be exposed. Here is a story of the folly of self-importance as I remember it. The inn keeper looked up from his chaos to see who just walked in. He was surprised, shocked and excited all at once; one of the nation’s greatest achievers was standing there at the door of his humble inn. He put himself to work to offer the best he could. Though he had servants and attendants attend to the customers, he attended to this guest himself. The inn keeper tried to make him at home; talking about the weather, the country and every trivial topic, but this guest never said a word. 74

When All You’ve Got is YOU When it was time to retire to bed, the inn keeper was at hand to ensure the guest had no need of anything. The guest said no thank you, didn’t reply the inn keepers goodnight neither was there any smile of gratitude. When it was time to leave, the inn keeper was at hand in his affable self. He offered to help get his guest on his way, wishing to know which way he intended to travel, but his offer to be of help was rudely turned down. All he concerned himself with was the payment of his bills. He hadn’t gone farther than to the end of the innkeeper's field, when to His surprise he found that the road forked and realised that he needed the very directions he had turned down. Now he turned back to the inn keeper and tried to be polite, asking for direction. The inn keeper was not going to be bought and he dismissed the self-righteous guest. The imagination of his heart was that he had need of no one and thought he owe none gratitude, for as long as he pays for his needs. He believed he well deserved all he had. That is superiority complex at work. As bad luck would have it, he took the wrong road. He went far out of his way and lost much time. When you are preferred above others it is not When you are preferred because you are better, it above others it is not is because you are because you are better, it favoured. is because you are You’ll agree with me that favoured. better men deserved that noble inn keeper’s 75

When All You’ve Got is YOU hospitality than the self-important man. Check to see if your priority in a gathering is relationship or to showcase your abilities and you see faults in everyone else. Do you get impatient with people easily? If our answer is in the affirmative, then you’re still in the bondage of superiority. Superiority complex could be an indication of a past of rejections, so at the Superiority complex could be slightest opportunity, an indication of a past of the sufferer wants to rejections, so at the slightest redeem his image. opportunity, the sufferer Alfred Adler who wants to redeem his image. created the term, Inferiority complex said, “It lies in the nature of the neurotic to wish to diminish the feeling of inferiority by constant proofs of his superiority.” This proves “It lies in the nature of the that a lot of people neurotic to wish to diminish behaving superior to the feeling of inferiority by others are doing so constant proofs of his because they feel superiority” –Alfred Adler threatened. Both inferiority and superiority complexes are largely the function of our imagination which is formed from the experiences we have had in times past, but they never define you until you begin to live in this imagination. That is why people who feel inferior in an environment are most arrogant in other environments where they perceive others to be less than themselves. Anger is a good indicator, especially when 76

When All You’ve Got is YOU you’re angry with everyone at the slightest opportunities and actions. Superiority complex may take you to the top fast, but will surely let you down faster with everyone hating you and you hating everyone.
Superiority take you to will surely faster with you and everyone. complex may the top fast, but let you down everyone hating you hating

The way out is Discipline. Humility does not come naturally, it is found only with those disciplined to get a hold on themselves. Discipline is to have every right and opportunity to do a thing, but you are able to decide against using your privilege. Don’t say you’re disciplined until you have exclusive rights to do something, where you can’t suffer any consequence Discipline is to have but you decide against it upon every right and better judgement. You’re far opportunity to do a away from home and here are thing, but you are all these free girls; your wife will able to decide never know, yet you stay faithful against using your –that is discipline. You are not privilege. disciplined if what keeps you is the presence of your wife. Don’t trade your freedom for discipline, for that will only make you a machine. To be disciplined while free from constrains is prove of maturity. 77

When All You’ve Got is YOU Remember, discipline is the fruit of training. If you’ll succeed in overcoming Don’t trade your freedom superciliousness, then you for discipline, for that will must be a master of your only make you a machine. head and listener of your To be disciplined while heart. Train yourself to be free from constrains is considerate. Don’t refrain prove of maturity from speaking; thinking that is humility, but speak fairly and be open to reason and opinion of others. Don’t take anything as your right; be grateful for all things. Always say thank you. Soon you’ll be living a richer, happier and more fulfilled life.

DEPRESSED AND EXCITED OUTLOOKS
Here comes emotion again. What will we do without our dear old emotions as humans? This time it’s not about our secretly gratified feelings as in inferiority and superiority, it’s about well expressed emotions. This is when you get so worked up that all you have strength left for is to be anxious and attached to the cause of your anxiety. This happens to us in excitement and depression.

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When All You’ve Got is YOU The good thing about your mood is that it keeps you in touch with reality. The good thing about Without moods we’ll all be your mood is that it living in the weirdest of fictions. keeps you in touch There are things we are excited with reality. Without about and there are things we moods we’ll all be are depressed about and the living in the weirdest things that we are indifferent of fictions. about because they are irrelevant to our plans in life. For starters, how do you feel about your family? You must either feel excited or depressed( wishing things could be better) or somehow in-between about your family, but to feel indifferent means you have no family; what you have are a bunch of people who could have well been in your dreams, not your reality. For anything or anyone to have a significant impact on you, you must be excited or depressed about it or them. For you to be committed to anyone or anything it must attach to your feelings. I have heard people say your feelings don’t matter. How For anything or true is this? Are drug addicts anyone to have a attached to drugs without their significant impact on feelings involved? Are you you, you must be committed to your husband or excited or depressed wife without feeling anything about it or them. for them? Is it possible to be attached to anything you have no feeling for? Have you noticed that the greatest songs are the songs that talk 79

When All You’ve Got is YOU about love, hate, sorrow, joy, hopes, revenge, desires? It usually has to do with something that identifies with our depressions or our excitements. You listen to songs according to your moods and any song you listen to that is outside your mood would either change your mood in tune with the message or change your interest in listening to that song. If anyone can get you excited or depressed, that person has a strong hold on you. So be careful how you allow anyone get you angry, sad or excited. Never take decisions when in the extremes of moods, not even in excitement. It is hard to hold to intelligibility while retaining the excitement; you’re just so preoccupied with the possibilities, that you forget reality. Excitement makes you trust If anyone can get everything, makes you love you excited or everything; you’re more in depressed, that fantasy than certainty. When person has a strong you’re excited you’re not hold on you. So be connected to reason, it careful how you becomes easy to forget that allow anyone get not all that glitters is gold. you angry, sad or You’re most likely to fall to excited. swindlers when excited than at any other state of mind. When you’re desperate for help, a con artist would first have to make you excited about getting a cheap solution and then he cashes in on you. Have you ever seen promotions on TV or on the web that prompts you to call a number or send a text in a given time 80

When All You’ve Got is YOU frame, telling you that you’re being given a special offer they are giving no one else? What they are trying to do is get people rush into actions without thinking. Have you seen adverts on the web that claim you can make $2000 or more a week, all you have to do is pay $67 or there about and you got really excited only to realize the business being advertised doesn’t earn that much. I have seen a lot of lies like that and have fallen for some before I reasoned their possibilities. Gamblers are primarily excited at the possibilities of the breakthrough they could have and it keeps driving them even when they are losing. The anticipation you gain when you have thrown in your money and the thoughts of what the money you win could do in your life can keep you doing what you know is wasting you. Excitement can be costly when we don’t step on the brakes to reason before action. Criticism and excitement do not agree, Criticism and therefore you cannot find excitement do not wisdom with excitement. agree, therefore you Decisions are very critical to the cannot find wisdom outcome of your life, so make with excitement. them with every bit of your consciousness. In depression, you make more of bad decisions than good ones. A depressed man sees nothing but his depression. John Keats, an English poet said in one of his writings, “I am in that temper that if I were under water I would scarcely kick to come to the top.” –That is the 81

When All You’ve Got is YOU power of depression, you tend to make rash decisions. Why should you be drowning and refuse to make any effort to save yourself? –That is the power of depression. It is because your feelings have about the strongest control over your decisions. Depression blinds you to consequences and you don’t care about anything else at that moment. I warn you not only against you own depressions but even of those around you. People who are depressed tend to spread it to those around them. Depression can creep into our sub-conscious minds after we suffer a loss especially death or similar irreversibly situations, failure in things that matters to us or when those dear to us fail, denial of an expectation and hopes or loss of our prestige, even being around people or an environment in pain and sufferings. Note that Depression is in the heart and for you to overcome it you tend to move to the head which tends to gratify itself with indulgences. This is the reason why you find depressed people drinking away their thoughts, lighting a cigarette, eating excessively or staving themselves. As I have earlier revealed, our heart and head tend to balance each other up and at this time of depression all your head (your canal mind) would suggest to you will have to do with hurting yourself or gratifying certain appetites. In all, you tend to throw all cares to the winds. The solutions your head provides in the time of depression aren’t meant to solve the depression they are meant to take you off the topic or pay for the situation. They are not solutions they are diversions. The only 82

When All You’ve Got is YOU solution is for you to attend to your heart. Depression can’t be knocked off or willed away. You have to give in to it first, but take the best decisions while it lasts, until it weakens either on its own or with treatment.

The following should help ease the effects of depression and help with your decisions at such times.

ACCEPT THE REALITY. Whatever it may be, take in the facts and accept they are real. Denying them will only hurt you more when the issue resurfaces and that wouldn’t help. NEVER MAKE HASTE TO DO ANYTHING. Believe me; people who have committed suicide believed it was the best thing to do at that moment. If possible, first go to sleep on the issue, if not, at least give it some time. I remember a time someone hurt me so badly and I reacted spontaneously. I sent him about 3 long text messages to show how angry I was; my blood was boiling with anger that I was literally shaking with it. When I slept over the matter and woke the next day and reread the text messages I sent the previous day I was really ashamed of myself. The issue was not that serious at all. I had a neighbour who committed suicide and no one knew he was the kind to contemplate suicide. We were both in the engineering faculty of my university and he was even doing better than me academically and then one day he 83

When All You’ve Got is YOU got overwhelmed with the idea that his life was in vain. So he wrote a letter to this effect and hung himself. When I saw his picture in the daily papers, it really broke my heart and all his friends admit that he killed himself in vain; the suicide note made absolutely no sense. I am sure if he could come back and review his reason for ending his life, he would also regret it. NEVER act when you are at the peak of emotions (not only depression, but excitement too), your chance of making a wrong decision is really high; don’t trust yourself during emotional extremes. SEEK MEDICAL HELP IF IT’S SERIOUS. Depression can be treated effectively with antidepressant drugs. As helpful as this is, Medication will only help ‘weary-out’ the depression. It NEVER solves it. If the cause is the death of a loved one for example, will medications be the solution to your depression? What the drugs do to treat depression is to suppress the hormones flooding your system and then you’re able to think more clearly and able to make better judgements, it also helps you to rest effectively which is very important for a depressed person. Most of the time, you’ll discover that you had greatly exaggerated your situation by the time you have calmed down. I strongly advice medical intervention if you are an emotional kind of person, it will really help. Never take antidepressant drugs if not recommended by a doctor. Talking with a doctor helps even to a larger extent than the drugs they’ll prescribe, because you have a chance to pour out your mind and you should receive comforting words in return from a good doctor. 84

When All You’ve Got is YOU ANSWER THE ‘WHAT NEXT’ QUESTION. Know that it is never over, you have to move on. So, what next?

TALK IT OVER WITH SOMEONE. The more you keep quiet the more your imagination fills up the space. If you don’t have anyone around you, you could see a therapist, counsellor or your religious leader. It will be easy if you had communion with God, because the Lord Jesus is always ready to hear you, always willing to bear your burdens. He says, “Cast your burden unto me for I care for you”. I know of a song that says, “Take it to the Lord in prayer”. What needless pain we bear when we don’t carry EVERYTHING to God in prayer. I think we all need someone we can share “If you don’t know anything with and who will what to do, you must understand us in all know where to go” situations. You need to let –Rev. Olusola Areogun out what is in your mind to someone who would listen and offer you sincere advice. Rev. Olusola Areogun is a seasoned pastor that has helped many youths discover their life purposes, in the vastness of his knowledge and he always advises, “If you don’t know what to do, you must know where to go”

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When All You’ve Got is YOU MAKE THE POSITIVE THINGS AROUND YOU YOUR COMPENSATION. Be grateful for all you had, for all you have, and the hopes you have. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Russian revolutionary leader made this statement; “When a liberal is abused, he “Got no check books, got says: Thank God they didn't no banks. beat me. When he is beaten, Still I'd like to express my he thanks God they didn't kill thanks— him. When he is killed, he’ll I got the sun in the thank God that his immortal morning and the moon at soul has been delivered from night.” its mortal clay”. Irving Berlin —Irving Berlin is reckoned to be one of America’s most influential song writers, he was a man obsessed with the beautiful things of life that President Dwight Eisenhower presented him with a medal to honour him for the patriotic songs he always composed. This man is famous for saying, “Got no check books, got no banks. Still I'd like to express my thanks— I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night.” That is optimism. Remember, the outlooks from depression or excitement takes you nowhere, but to bad decisions if not handled correctly. Handle depression with courage and excitement with wisdom. You’ll be all right and safe if you do this.

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CONNECTIVITY OUTLOOK
Have you ever used a Bluetooth device or used a wireless area network? If yes, you won’t have any problem with this topic. If your answer is no –don’t worry, you’ll catch on easily. This is the last topic I’m dealing with in this chapter and I’ll be dealing with one of the most important topic in life –Relationships. Connection between two electronic devices has nothing to do with brand, manufacture date, type or function of device, country of manufacture or anything else. The key to connection between any two devices is

identification.
If any electronic device can recognize the format of the data on another device then there can be a transfer between the two devices even if the devices are made by different manufacturers at different times. Identification is also the key to relationships, it is about who you want to identify with, who you want people to see you together with, who can understand and accept you, who you can share yourself with. If there is no identification, then there is no relationship. Remember, show me your friend and I will tell you who you are. That is the influence of identification. Peer pressure is a function of identification; you want to smoke so you can identify with those smoking, you drink so you can be with does drinking. Identification drives our society. It is the reason people attend specific churches, move with specific 87

When All You’ve Got is YOU friends, go to specific schools, even speak with specific people and snub others. When you switch on your Bluetooth, it searches to see if there is any device around that it can identify with; in this case any device with Bluetooth. The same applies to us, when we get to an environment for the first time our ‘Bluetooth’ is on and we are unconsciously analysing those around, to see who we can identify with. The only thing that affects your initial choices is the program running your life. Just like computer programs, we also have programs running our lives which are a function of our background and experience in life. Race will only matter to you if you’re a racist otherwise, relationship cuts across races, ages, sexes, social classes, you name it. Two things are involved in relational identification they are; Interests and Respect.

INTERESTS
For there to be relationship, interests must be mutual. If you’re in a relationship and only one side of the party is trying to make it work; you’re headed for muddy waters. If you try connecting a device with another device and they don’t ‘speak’ the same language, that is –they don’t use the same data, then the connection will fail. When reaching out, it is important to base your communication on what interests your audience. Love is a function of interests; even divine love is not without 88

When All You’ve Got is YOU interest. Love may be unconditional, but it only goes as far as being offered without selfish gratifications attached, but that is how far the sacrifice of love goes; mutual interests must keep it going. In fact, love grows as interests begin to agree. Interest can be biased or unbiased and it can graduate from one of these forms to the other depending on how a relationship works out. If you can identify the interests of an individual, you have succeeded in locating the door to that person’s heart. It’s possible to get your own interest in return from that individual if you can meet that interest. Note that people are not just interested in having their needs met, they want it to be presented to them in the best way possible. So if you have the ability to meet the interest of a corporation or individual, you must also know how to present it properly. Chapter 3 gives you practical steps toward making good presentation of your ideas so it can become reality.

RESPECT
It takes respect to keep receiving from each other. When you show respect for the opinions of others, you make them feel accepted and You earn respect; you they’ll find it easy to don’t deserve it. So reciprocate your respect. The never think highly of reason why respect is yourself, if what you important is because it is want is true respect. absolutely impossible to 89

When All You’ve Got is YOU always have interests that agree, so it takes respect to keep a relationship going. A level of relationship is possible without interests, but not without respect. You may not share much together, but you have your ears ready to hear the other person, because of respect. But it is not possible to have a relationship where there is no respect. Respect is the consideration for the interests of others and their reasons at the expense of yours. You earn respect; you don’t deserve it. So never think highly of yourself, if what you want is true respect. When you meet people for the first time, one thing they must leave with is respect for you if you want any meaningful relationship to be established. You can only achieve this if you give them your own respect.

When new and you want to make connections, you don’t have to pretend to like what others like –you respect their choices. There are open lines to having a good relationship even when the two of you are opposites.

Why this lecture on relationship? It is because I want you to understand why you may fail to connect with some people and why others may not get along with you. All these are not to be negotiated if you really want to succeed.

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DEALING WITH CONNECTIVITY PROBLEMS
BE OPEN
Just like the wireless device, if your reception isn’t open then, you’ll be locking a lot of people out, people you could have related well with. Go to meetings with an outlook of getting more friends and increasing your communication rating with your existing friends and associates. When in a discussion, be open with what you believe and don’t be self centred.

BE A LISTENER
This is one difficult thing for many to do because we have so much to say and are ready to listen to little. The reason can be found in our dominance tendencies. It usually looks like it is the talking guy that has the most influence, so everyone want to assume that role, but this is not true.

A listener would always attract people to himself. Soon people will be around you, talking like babies reporting to their mother, because you listen when they speak. Even your superiors would develop a serious liking for you when you listen to them. All artists know that creativity is a waste when there is no one to admire it. Those who admire the works of the artist fuel the inspiration for his creativity. 91

When All You’ve Got is YOU You see you must understand the psychology of humans –we are selfish and it takes conscious effort not to be self centered, so you can use this to your advantage; because people are selfish, it means they always want to be heard so they’ll open to you if you listen to them. Above this, listening to others shows you respect them and you’re more attractive when you listen than speak. Start listening to others today and you’ll soon have more friends than you bargained for. As a Father, if you’ll listen more to your children, you’ll discover how much they need you and want to be around you. The same applies to mothers and husband and wife relationships. When you show willingness in listening to others, you make them feel loved and important.

BE HONEST
Honesty can earn you anyone’s highest respect. Even when you contradict someone’s opinion, once he perceives you did it out of honesty, you have gained that persons respect. Dishonesty is very deadly, if you have been living to please men all your life and one day they discover you are dishonest, they’ll immediately lose every interest in you. A woman would handle you calling her ugly in her face better, than telling her she is beautiful only to hear you say she is ugly behind her back.

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BE POLITE
Everyone loves a polite person. Approach people with politeness; do not let anyone or anything take pleasantries away from your lips. A smile and “how are you today?” can open the doors to many hearts. When you want to make a contrary opinion, first appreciate the opinions others have made. This way you win most debates without arguing. Being polite is not to beg. In fact when you beg, you tend to turn people away, but a bold and pleasant please would do the trick.

BE AVAILABLE
Give a helping hand, pay people unexpected visits and the results would give you a sweet shock. People who never expect such visits from you will become more interested in you than ever before. Volunteer when there is an opportunity and soon you’ll become an essential part of people’s lives. This would require sacrifices on your part, but they’ll yield you a great harvest at the end. What do you want people to know and remember you for?

BE YOURSELF
Be yourself but only your good self. If you pretend to be who you aren't, it is a matter of time before the game

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When All You’ve Got is YOU frustrates you. You’ll be the loser at the end, with everyone you were trying to impress hating you. When you’re yourself you’ll attract people who love you for who you are and you’ll be more satisfied relating with them, than relating with those who want you for who you aren’t. Remember you are to people first what you are to yourself. Until you face your fears, accept your weaknesses, not deny their existence and work on your potentials you may never discover and express how valuable you are. The truth is you carry great treasures, but you need courage, wisdom, and discipline for you to begin making the decisions that would open up the treasures and potentials in you.

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3 BREAKING OUT
“Live today and leave tomorrow to how well you work for it today.”

The possibilities of what tomorrow holds for us are
infinite, but there is no glorious tomorrow when you make the wrong decisions today. Today is the future we used to dream about yesterday, so how has it worked out for you? Have you been able to make today what you used to dream of? After learning so much about the world, yourself and how you interact, it is time I show you how to become the success you so much want to be and we are starting from the basics. These should be actions you can start up with having your big dream as your target. For example, to become a successful musician, I must first work on my voice and musical knowledge. I keep developing on this, but my target is to become a famous musician.

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Whatever your goal, always start from the lowest step and grow. Success is a PROCESS not an INCIDENT, because if it’s an incident it only means that it’s temporal, but processes can be permanent. Start with short term plans that would lead up to the big future. Be ambitious but put your best into the days of your little beginnings.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE?
Have you ever heard the saying; you cannot give what you do not have? I keep reminding myself of this and you have to make this one of your principles if you’re to become a success. When you make up your mind that no one out there is going to give you handovers then you’re ready to be successful. Every man Every man remains remains alone until he has alone until he has something to offer. something to offer. When you have something valuable to offer, people will seek you out and there are times people have a lot to offer but they don’t even know it or they don’t know how to present it. The truth here is you have a lot to offer, but until you put them up for investment they have no value. You need to move from wishing for better conditions or 96

When All You’ve Got is YOU looking out for a stroke of luck to looking inward for what you can create out of what you already have. Do you remember the widow that went to meet Elisha for financial help? Elijah did not give her money has she must have expected, instead he gave her a question; “what do you have?” Initially the woman answered that she had nothing then on second thought she said she had only a jar of oil at home. I’m sure she gave that answer only to show Elisha how hopeless the situation was that is why she used the word ‘only’. You could also be saying the only qualification you’ve got is only an elementary school education or you could be saying there is no only to help you; you have nothing but yourself. She thought she had shown how in need she was, but that was the answer Elisha wanted to hear; he wanted her to identify the little she had not the much she did not have, he wanted her to realize that she was not worthless, but had something to turn her situation around. From that little jar of oil, her miracle came. Elisha was teaching her how to invest her resource, whatever they may be into meeting her needs. This is a lesson for us today too –Never underestimate the potential of what you have. Eddy Arnold is one of America’s greatest country musicians, one who broke records, but the biggest record he broke was to break out of the circumstance he found himself in as a child. He was faced with a childhood that would have written the epilogue of most ambitions, but 97

When All You’ve Got is YOU Arnold was not the kid to be knocked down and out, not even in life’s fiercest battles. A fine young boy with all the hopes of one day graduating from school, perhaps breaking out of the farm environment and starting something new in the family’s history, perhaps to become a doctor or an engineer someday –where ever the academic road could take him. These dreams were not to be, he was just 11 when his dad died. Arnold had to drop every hope he had that was hinged to school. That was the end of the road for his academic pursuits –he dropped out of school. Now here is a boy to pity, this was a boy left all alone, what greatness could become of this lad? All he had was a mule, a guitar and himself. Do the maths and if you’re of good imagination your result should be a boy who rides on a mule, playing a guitar and making beautiful music. Very queer but that was exactly what he did. He would ride this mule, with his guitar strapped around his back and make his way to church picnics were he sang to the delight of his countrymen. He became known as the Tennessee Ploughboy, a name that was soon known in every house in America and the rest is history. The Tennessee Ploughboy holds a record of having a song which spent the longest time on the Top 40 Chats with the song “Until I hold you in my arms”. He had a record sale of over 85 million copies through his career and this is still an outstanding record today.

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When All You’ve Got is YOU There must have been nights when poor Arnold would be alone sobbing in his bed, confused. He had to settle the question of, “what next?” There would be times when he stood at the front porch or by the window; watching kids going or coming back from school and wishing he could be one of them. Imagine the emptiness an 11 year old had to face, what would a child that young and alone make out of life. He made it, and if he did, then you can. He made it because he knew that successes become what they are using what they have, not what they wish for. First Arnold discovered that even if you lose all, you still have yourself. The question is what ‘Yourself’ has to offer. For him it was to sing; he had the voice and he had the imagination a musician needed. Back to you, what do you have, that if all is stripped away from you, what will remain? I’m talking about what makes you who you are. What you have the natural capability of doing. This is important to the success you can become when you channel this ability the right way with the right attitude. Let me help you out. Do you Successes become have eyes, can you read, can what they are using you write, can you walk, do what they have, not you have a voice (even if it is what they wish for. not a singing one), what are the things that are just natural to you. You don’t have to look far. It’s about whatever makes you and whatever you can do, regardless of how simple it is. This definitely would look ridiculous, but it is the foundation called self99

When All You’ve Got is YOU discovery. Everyone is talented. Talent is as common as having eyes to see or legs to walk; it’s only extraordinary when you put them to profitable use. Those that are celebrated are those who are putting their ordinary abilities to use pushing it to the limit until they achieve the extraordinary. Write down physical Everyone is talented. endowments you have, make Talent is as common as the list as long as possible. having eyes to see or Write a list of all the legs to walk; it’s only trainings you have, both extraordinary when formal and informal. Have you put them to you worked in the farm profitable use. before? If yes, write it down –that is a valuable experience. Write down things you’re good at, this is different from your training. This could include your mental capabilities, physical capabilities, even social capabilities like ease with which you make friends. Write down the possessions you have. Write every single thing you can see and remember. Leave nothing out (you can skip writing the ‘irrelevances’, but think over what you possess). Finally, by now you should be tired. If not you’ve not done this exercise as you should, so go back and start again until you’ve really pushed yourself to your limit. Now look at the list, you are staring at the resources that you need for your success, in fact you don’t need them, you have them.

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When All You’ve Got is YOU Arnold Schwarzenegger came to the US with nothing but his body –he was absolutely a broke bloke. When other immigrant settled down on being labourers, Arnold also laboured as a bricklayer, but he did not settle down; he started spending his income on bodybuilding. With his body he became Mr. Universe three times, Mr. Olympia seven times, Chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports from 1990 to 1994, one of the highest paid actors in history, two term Governor of California (the state with the highest concentration of celebrities perhaps in the whole world), just to mention a few! Take note of what Mr. Arnold invested in – Bodybuilding. This is very significant; his BODY was what he had and BUILDING was what was required to turn it to an asset. So I ask you again, what do you have? What I’m doing here is opening your eyes to how much you have around and in you. You have enough to start something even though you may need more. Not everything you have is relevant to your success, but definitely, you will start your journey to the top with what you have. Somewhere in the list you’ve just written are the building blocks for your dreams. Look at that list, if well written, something there is the key to your success. I’ve come to the conclusion that every invention starts with an imagination, every Every invention starts with an imagination, every revolution starts with a vision. It seems reality is the creation of fantasies. 101

When All You’ve Got is YOU revolution starts with a vision. It seems reality is the creation of fantasies. All the advanced technologies we have today, all the sport records that have been set, were once considered fantasies. This is a story I created for this topic to make it as simple and clear as possible and it should challenge your imagination too. Tired were his legs, he was dejected and rejected; he was a tramp roaming the streets of an African city. He had gotten to the edge of the town without even knowing it for he was lost in his thoughts. It was the roaring of the water hitting the rocks in the river that brought him back from his thoughts. Then he sat down by the river bank, watching the fishes swimming lazily in the water. He wished he could have them. He had neither fishing rod nor a fishing net neither did he have the money to go buy any fish to satisfy his hunger. The more he longed to have them the more he began to believe he could have them. Then an idea came to him; how about using his shirt to fish and off he was to experiment on this wild imagination. At first it was turning out to be the most difficult and unsuccessful thing he had ever made an attempt at, but with persistence that was driven by hunger, he began to make catches. Soon he had enough to eat and to spare. That ordinary day a fisher man was born. The city had one tramp less on the streets and one entrepreneur added to the city.

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When All You’ve Got is YOU Dear reader, you have something to start your journey to stardom right here as you read. Let’s examine the scenario created above again, more critically this time. The man mentioned was disadvantaged in every way; he was a tramp, he was homeless, he was helpless, he was in Africa without much opportunities as America would have given, just to mention a few. Being in Africa may seem like a disadvantage, but it worked in his favour because you can sell fish on the street without paying any tax there. You see his disadvantage was an advantage for his situation. The same for you right where you are, you got an advantage based on your circumstances, location or personality. You just have to discover opportunities and advantages you have. Before we go on I want to say, the story above is not entirely fictional, it’s actually what I witnessed as a child of 8 when I stayed in Jos, Nigeria. We had a poor young man in our neighbourhood then, but not entirely a tramp, who became a fish merchant after he made his first catch with his cloths, but went on to become professional in his methods and appropriate tools. He discovered he had been in lack because he never discovered what his location, circumstance and abilities had to offer. The prevailing circumstance lead to his self-discovery –he got tired of his situation. As long as you are comfortable with yourself, as long as you have everything the way you Our body and mind are not designed to be tasked to give its best without any motivating reason.

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When All You’ve Got is YOU want it, you will never discover yourself to the fullest. Why? Our body and mind are not designed to be tasked to give its best without any motivating reason. If you don’t desperately desire a better you, then you will never discover a better you, because the best you can ever be is at the level of what you find manageable. So no matter how you hate a situation, you’ll never change it if you find it manageable. Ask yourself if you couldn’t have things better, if you couldn’t do things better, if you couldn’t make better use of yourself, your time and opportunities. The answer is you can be better and have better reward from life, but you must first discover the part of yourself you’ve not been putting to use as you should towards success. Treat your abilities and possessions with value. A piece of log can cost just $5, but that very piece of log if carved, shaped, polished and displayed as a beautiful work of art could worth $50,000. The value of the wood is based on the use that is discovered for it. If the best that was seen in the wood was to use it in the fire place, then that is the best that very wood would ever be; a wasted piece of wood, not noticed, not celebrated. The same for you, if you begin to value your ordinary self and are willing to “polish” your abilities and possessions, then you can make something better of your circumstance. In 1943, Richard James was a navy tool worker in Philadelphia when he saw a torsion spring coil fall off a workshop table and bounce around the floor. He was 104

When All You’ve Got is YOU intrigued by the way the spring bounced about. When he got home later that day, he decided to make a toy out of springs. Betty, his wife gave it the name "Slinky" –a Swedish word for sleek and sinuous she got from the dictionary. The new toy was out by Christmas 1945. The first 400 units which they put on display at a Gimbel's Department Store for $1 each, sold out within an hour –the Slinky was an instant success. With the proceeds, the coupled launched the James Spring and Wire Company, later renamed James Industries. Since then, more than 250 million Slinkies have been sold worldwide -- many still manufactured on the original production line. Success can come through very little and common thing we take for granted. Mr. Richard took something common, brushed it up, packaged it and showed the world the uncommon things we could do with the common spring. Friend you are only common if you choose to be. I never see myself as a student in my very early twenties. The very first proposal I wrote was to Ford Motors and I was just 17 years old then. Pick yourself up as Mr. Richard picked the little spring and speak to yourself, see value in yourself. You’ve got greatness in you, you are valuable and you can make important contributions to life. So I’ll encourage you to take a look at that list again. Strike out those things that are not your idea of assets and now

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When All You’ve Got is YOU you must be careful doing this, take nothing for granted. Then begin to match related assets together. Think them over; consider what you’ll like to be known for, what you know you can do exceptionally. This is called comparative advantage in economics. Compared to what everybody else is doing, how can you meet a need in your environment with what you’ve got? Associate the new list you now have, with existing careers; this should include jobs that require skilled and unskilled labour. Mark the careers that you so much would love doing. If properly done you should have at least 10 careers on your list. For example if you had the ability to draw and you are very imaginative, then you have the potential of becoming an artist, a graphic artist, an illustrator (which could be a book illustrator, label illustrator, branding etc.), product designer, interior decorator, the list is endless. With the right attitude, skill, strategies, management, partnerships and output you will definitely make a name for yourself. This is not limited to art; it could be your sporting ability, your physic, your communication skills and anything you can make significant improvement on to meet needs. The more you set your heart at work over this list the more the direction you must go becomes clearer. The more you occupy your mind with your possibilities the more you know how to turn them to reality. Please note that the above is an exercise to stimulate your imagination towards possibilities around you. 106

When All You’ve Got is YOU Remember and never forget that every invention starts with an imagination, every revolution starts with a vision. What is reality today was fantasy yesterday; a lot of inventions in use today were once thought to be impossibilities. Let this motivate you; don’t ever call your ideas silly, except it serves no useful purpose. Have you ever considered any grandmother’s cooking as a ladder to success? The answer is most likely no. You’ll think of cool things like a big inheritance or a great talent, perhaps talent in football or other high paying sports, a software company, a trendy website etc. Fraser Doherty dug gold from what many had around them but never took as an asset. He built a million dollar business from his granny’s ideas. Many will call that old school, but I call it gold in dirt which just needed cleaning. Fraser started making jams at the age of 14 from his grandmother's recipes in his parents' Scotland kitchen, by 16 he had no business with school anymore; there were better things to attend to than classes (at least in this case). He started a company he named SuperJam and sells around 500,000 jars a year; this is about 10 percent of the total jam sold in the UK. That is how much something common around you can be the goose that lays the golden eggs, if only you discover it. What you have could be a skill, an idea, a physical ability, a mental ability or social abilities which could be transformed into a service or product. This is a great point

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When All You’ve Got is YOU to start from, but not enough to make you a success. This takes us to the next point.

WHAT SHOULD YOU HAVE?
I can grantee that what you have will never cover for your dreams and aspiration you need more than what you are ordinarily. Talent won’t do for you in the real world, as my aim is not to make you part of the ‘succeeding crowd’, but that you be a defining point for whatever path you choose to take in life. And apart from self improvement, there are times what you need is to give up what is precious to you to get what is important – this are two different things; what is precious feeds your desire, having a diamond necklace can be precious to you, but it is not even as important as having something as common as food. Imagine if you were lost in the desert and all you’ve got is your diamond necklace, you’ll at such a moment realize that that necklace could be precious but you’ll gladly exchange it for water and food. In 1976, Steve Jobs and his friend Steve Wozniak started their company at Steve Jobs garage and launched the Apple 1 and that was the birth of Apple Incorporated we know today. Then a chance came for them to really live their dreams when a local store was ready to buy 50 of their Apply 1 –this was the cross road between what they had and what they didn’t, where they were and where they wanted to be. They had to sell their most valuable 108

When All You’ve Got is YOU possessions to be able to afford expansion in their production. Jobs sold his Volkswagen van and Wozniak sold his Hewlett-Packard scientific calculator. Getting to your goal would require sacrifice. I’m sure it was not easy for Arnold to build his body at the gym; it must have been painful, there might have been times he’d wanted to take it easy, but as he saw his muscle growing, he knew he couldn’t give up. I’m not sure it was easy for Jobs to part away with his van, nor was it easy for Wozniak to let go of his calculator (then very expensive and uncommon), but they had let go so they could get what they needed. Friend, your vision needs to be provided for and it may mean parting with what’s precious to you. For many what they need is more time to invest into their dreams this would mean sacrificing the precious thing that takes their time, this could be TV –you can’t be successful if you don’t invest the bulk of your time into your vision. For some others what they have to give up could be pride that has hindered them from asking for help which is all they need, it could be a valuable possession like Jobs and Wozniak’s case so they could raise funds. Above all what many need is self development to learn about business, leadership, marketing yourself, building your skills, improving on what you do regularly to do things better and package what you have to humanity.

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To be the best is when others are sitting you are standing, when they are standing you standout, when they standout you are outstanding and when they are outstanding you are the standard! In essence, to be the best is to be the most capable and resourceful. This is beyond talent; this is only possible for those who; Train and never stop training. That is, they never stop improving. They are matured in character. To be matured is to be unwavering; it is to be stable in character at all times. Remember we defined maturity as, to remain disciplined even when you are free to do otherwise. They have resources; human, material and financial.

GET TRAINED
“Those who are blessed with the most talent don't necessarily outperform everyone else. It's the people with follow-through who excel.” - Mary Kay Ash Until you begin to train; you’ll think you’re at your best. And until you compete you’ll either exaggerate or underestimate your abilities. I believe you have seen people who show up on reality TV shows and end-up disgraced. What they lack isn’t confidence, they have the confidence, they don’t lack Idea 110

When All You’ve Got is YOU and neither do they lack talent. What most of them lack is training. Their exhibition lacks perfection. When you refuse to train, you become outdated, just like an antivirus that’s not updated. The outdated antivirus is not totally useless; in fact it’ll handle most viruses it encounters until the day it meets an ‘updated’ virus. Being a genius in your school or locality doesn’t make you a genius everywhere else; you’ll meet with updated challenges as you progress towards success. When Michael Jordan was in high school, he tried out for the varsity basketball team, but he didn’t make the team. Now Jordan was talented, but what he lacked was training and Laney’s basketball coach had no problem diagnosing Jordan of this inadequacy. Coach Clifton Herring decided to put Jordan in the junior varsity team so he could have more time to train. Jordan didn’t stop at the coach’s effort to improve him. That summer he trained with his brother Larry, who contributed immensely to Jordan’s improvement as a player. The next year Jordan was a far better and taller player and he made the team. Later in his career he said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork wins Championships.” From what he said we can learn that talent is great and may see you through some successes, especially around your neighbourhood, but soon the ever present competition in this world will kick you out.

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When All You’ve Got is YOU Training could come as formal or you may just know a buddy that is good at doing a thing and you hang around him to learn. You can gather materials on your own and improve on what you know and put to practice whatever you learn. You keep at it; moving from a level of performance to another. There was a time I used to wonder how animations were made. I love art a lot; I’m very creative and imaginative. My first attempt at it came when I got a job to produce a campaign advert. I had never made any kind of animation in my life, but I was not the kind of person to admit my inability (now I know better that you can’t do all things). I got the job done after 2 weeks, which by the way was beyond the deadline I was given. I did the work despite my lack of training because I had talent. Using the movie maker and paint application that came with my pc, I made the most wonderful animated campaign advert my friends had ever seen, soon everyone wanted the advert on their mobile phones or their pc in my student lodge. Then the real test and evaluation came when I submitted the work. I’m sure you’ll be guessing an outright rejection; after all it was a work done without the right animation programmes and training, but the work was loved, the story was a master piece of creativity, but a lot was technically missing. They took the work as a template of what the final production will be so I was told to go ahead and perfect it. No matter how hard I tried, the improvement I made had little chance of competing with the work of a professional. I lost a contract of about 112

When All You’ve Got is YOU $10,000 which for a college student is a lot of money. What hurt me than the money I lost was that an advert production company did the work using my idea; they twisted the story, but it was still my story. Geniuses may construct the road to the moon, but without seriously trained men, no one will land on it. Even though I was a novice, Geniuses may why was I chosen? I was construct the road to chosen because of my the moon, but without talent. Why did the work seriously trained men, take me so much time? I no one will land on it. could not use the appropriate animation programs, because I had no training on them. Why did I fail when matched up? My lack of training made my work lack excellence. Today I can animate in 2D and 3D, for after that day I got as many tutorials as my eyes could bear to read and started work on myself and I’m still learning. The bottom-line is this; whatever you desire to do, take a look at what the professionals know that no one else knows and you’ll discover how easy it makes things for you. Don’t stop at any point, keep learning and keep growing.

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DEVELOP POSITIVE ATTITUDE
“If I can conceive it and believe it, I can achieve it. It's not my aptitude but my attitude that will determine my altitude—with a little intestinal fortitude!” - Jesse Jackson Don’t do things because they must be done by someone or because you need the benefits of the work, but more importantly do it because you believe in it, do it because you want it done. If you don’t believe in a thing then you don’t have to be involved, else you’re no better than a slave. You need the right attitude in training. Your attitude should be one of anticipation and optimism. Be enthusiastic, do what you have to do with energy. If you watch sports that require great strength and stamina, like weight lifting and martial arts, you’ll discover that they always yell at the critical moments. They do this not because of the strain but because it gives them the boost they need and it works amazingly. When the weight lifter goes out for his lift, he goes out to make a lift not an attempt. That is his winning attitude. The weight lifter mustn’t say, “Perhaps I’ll be able make the lift” instead he thinks, “I’ll make the lift!” and he keeps this in his mind, keeping his mind off every doubt he has. Don’t make an attempt at success; go for success and nothing else. It is worthless for you to start a race you’re not prepared to finish. 114

When All You’ve Got is YOU If it is worth your time, then it is worth your all, give it your best shot and you’ll soon be living a life of excellence.

PROVIDE FOR YOUR VISION
“Only when opportunity meets capability can your possibility become a reality.” This is where it gets really serious and we separate dreams from reality. There have been many great ambitions that never saw the light of day. The key here is opportunity, but we have a problem with opportunity. The truth is we all have some sort of opportunity at one time or the other that could have launched us to lime light. The problem is opportunity can be realized or unrealised and the dividing line between the two is indeed very narrow. Opportunities are missed everyday and those who find them always narrowly miss them, if you aren’t at the right place at the right time doing the right thing, with the right outlook then you can’t have a date with opportunity. Let us leave the calculation to mathematicians, but believe me at every given time you always have the option of doing a lot of different things and to be at a number of different places. What is the probability of being at the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing? Opportunities may not come on time, it may be below our expectation, it may be above and it may never come. So why wait for the opportunity to express your ideas, to live your dreams?

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When All You’ve Got is YOU So what do you do when you have a vision, especially when that is all you’re living for, it is all your hopes in life and yet you can’t get a head start. Could something be wrong? Yes, it is either something is wrong or you have failed to do something right, whatever way you like to put it. There are factors that are determined largely by you than by fate, these include: Your decisions Your location Your associations

YOUR DECISIONS
Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision. - Attributed to Peter Drucker Decisions you take are like good luck or bad luck tickets for your future, this is more the reason you’ll want to make a good decision at all times. Imagine the joy of, someday saying, “thank God I bought those stocks”, “I’m glad I showed those designs to Mr. A and not Mr. B”. We all want to be glad that we did something at certain times, but life is not that way, for occasionally when we look back , we wish we hadn’t done something we did or that we did something better. There are decisions that are hard to take, some are obvious while others are illusive; you make them before you realize what you’ve done. The truth is, we can’t avoid making mistakes now and then, being humans, but we can do a lot better than we do 116

When All You’ve Got is YOU now and we keep improving, after all the only room that never fills up is the room for improvement. We have two problems with decisions and they are; 1. 2. The problem of making a decision The problem of keeping to a decision

You’ll identify with these problems and agree with me quiet easily because at one point of your life or the other you must have been faced with either of these decision problems or both of them. If the tales of our lives were to be written out, it would be full of decisions that were hard for us to make and the good decisions we made and were sure of, but that we never kept to. Why is this?

THE PROBLEM OF MAKING A DECISION
Permit me to say the Being indecisive is the problem of this problem is worst decision you can you have no choice; you’ll make, what you’re always end up making a saying is, “hey, life do decision, even if you whatever you want decide not to make a with me, I don’t give a decision because even that heck even if you use indecision is a decision me as the mop”. Are you in college and fast approaching your final year and you’ve not decided what you want to live for? Now is the time to decide, because being indecisive is the worst decision you can make, what you’re saying is, “hey, 117

When All You’ve Got is YOU life do whatever you want with me, I don’t give a heck even if you use me as the mop”. You have to be a person of decision, stop throwing things to chance; don’t leave tomorrow to how it’ll turn out anyway. You can decide what you want to do with you time today and it’ll give you the tomorrow you want. Those who don’t know what to do with their lives end up being used by those who have their minds made up. Why is it hard for you to make decisions? There are several relative factors causing this, Being indecisive is the but fear and inexperience worst decision you can are the major reasons. Being make. indecisive is the worst decision you can make. As you read, please measure up your experiences with what I’m expounding. What area of your life should you be attending to now? Is it your family, your education, your dream of starting your business, a commitment to stop an addiction, even a desire to become committed to God? These are possible huddles you will have to jump in other to make that critical decision you have so far failed to make.

FEAR
In the subject of decision making I’ll call fear: the blaring of the alarm ‘if’. Please pay close attention to this analogy, because it’ll help you place fear in its right position. Other factors such as uncertainty and anxiety are all pointing to the same thing –Fear.

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When All You’ve Got is YOU The wonderful thing about the conjunction ‘if’ is that it is the umpire or the referee of any decision you make, because it helps you to weigh your options. Conjunctions link two statements together in a comparative or complimentary manner and this is the very nature of decisions; you have options to choose from and you have to compare your options; it is either you do it or you do not do it, it is either you choose A or B, there are always options and most importantly there are always consequences. The plausible consequences are what bring the IF question to our hearts and it is the IF that brings fear to us also. I have read books that claim fear is absolutely not good. Fear is really good when you handle it correctly; in fact it is one of the most important components that come with our survival package. Many have ended up in regrets because they waved their fears aside. So how do you handle fear in a decision? FACE THE TRUTH Shilly-shallying wouldn’t help. It is easier said quite all right, but not making a decision wouldn’t help either. Remember even indecision is a decision, so make up your mind to be conclusive.

SCRUTINIZE YOUR FEAR You’ll gain immense confidence when you’re sure of the risks you’re taking. It won’t help to wave your fears aside; 119

When All You’ve Got is YOU in fact that would be foolishness not bravery. There is always a reason behind fear, even when you can’t tell what it is. DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO What do you really want in It won’t help to wave your heart, is it legal, is it of your fears aside; in fact good report? Then go ahead that would be and do it. If you have worked foolishness not on scrutinizing your fears and bravery. There is you know all the risks, I assure always a reason you, even if something goes behind fear, even wrong you’ll be able to better when you can’t tell handle it now because you’re what it is. better prepared when you attend to your fears about a thing. Decisions are based on faith; even decisions you think you’re sure of may turn out devastating; it’s a risk either way, so have faith. Therefore weigh the cost and take the risk on the choice you believe is the best. You can be assured of things you hope for, don’t just wish; put your mind to rest, everything is going to be alright. Faith is the assurance of things we hope for. When you hope for something, go the extra mile of being assured of your achieving them. The reason many dreams remain as wishes is because many never exhibit faith, they only hope, and just hoping can be a limitation, but faith knows no bounds. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4 (KJV)

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When All You’ve Got is YOU Wow! If you can believe strongly enough in your vision, trusting God, not holding anything back, you can turn your whole life around if you can believe that you can do it. The above scripture never fails to excite me and give me impetus to stay focused on my vision with the assurance of succeeding. INEXPERIENCE Inexperience can make decision making difficult, not because you fear any consequence, but because you don’t even know what you’re dealing with, you don’t understand the consequences, you’ve never handled anything like it before, you want to be brave, you want to stand in, but what are you supposed to do; you don’t even know. Newly married couples will know what I’m talking about, being newly wedded and you’re not so sure if you are doing everything right. If you are left alone to take care of a business that you’re new in, you’re bound to face the problem of not knowing exactly what to do and soon you’ll find yourself consulting before doing anything (if you’re wise). I can remember an experience of this decision factor when I was a little boy of 8. My mum and dad had an outing one evening and I was left to take care of my little sister who was about 7 months old then. Well, I was not scared in any way, but I didn’t know what to do, even though I was told what to do when certain situation arises. I realized theory was different from experience. When she started crying, I tried to feed her, but she wouldn’t take it. Then I tried cuddling her and that didn’t work either, so I let her cry until she slept off. Luckily my parent returned 121

When All You’ve Got is YOU soon enough before she woke up. I simple didn’t know what to do. Experience would make it easier for you to take decisions. The solution is consultancy. Never be a loner, ask for direction when you’re lost, seek counsel when confused, and take advises when you know in part, but not entirely sure. If you take care of fear and you take advises (professional if possible), then there is nothing to worry about, go ahead and make your decisions as best as you can.

THE PROBLEM OF KEEPING TO DECISIONS
“Resolution is the closest we get to perfection, Gratification of our desires concludes its termination.” Have you ever made a resolution before? I guess your answer is yes, in fact our lives are made of several resolutions; the day you said something as careless as, “I’ll never forgive you for this!” that is a resolution and a bad one. So resolution is not just about sitting down and thinking over how you want to start doing something or most commonly, start living your life. The problem here is although we make these good decisions; we usually have problems keeping to them. There are several reasons for this and these are the chief reasons why our decisions are never kept to. 122

When All You’ve Got is YOU The 3 major reasons are; Procrastination Commitment Indiscipline PROCRASTINATION It is most likely that as you read this topic you have a decision you have been procrastinating. Do you have anything you have been postponing to do later saying, it can wait for now, I don’t think I can do it now, some day I’ll do this or stop that, on and on goes the list of the excuses you can give for inaction. The problem with procrastination is that we always have ‘good’ reasons for our inaction. As long as you can As long as you can give yourself give yourself an an excuse you’ll have the excuse... you’ll opportunity to procrastinate always find yourself and always find yourself procrastinating. procrastinating. The following are reasons that fuel procrastination. WILLINGNESS Sometimes we intentionally procrastinate so we can avoid doing something we are not really ready to do and sometimes it can be unconscious unwillingness that makes us avoid keeping to a decision. For example, if you wanted to quit smoking just for health concerns you have, then as long as you feel alright and have no symptoms of failing health, you may find yourself postponing quitting, because your health is still ok. This is because in the first place you enjoy smoking, but want to quit just because of  123

When All You’ve Got is YOU your health, so if your health is ok, then you have an excuse to keep smoking. The same applies to a lot of other procrastinations, when the factor for which you’re to take action seams to accommodate more time then there is every possibility that that decision would be dispensable, until you have a stronger will driving you. When there is no willingness, then you can’t have the drive towards that decision; you’ll always have an excuse to delay. You need to have the will to be a finisher, do not start what you’re not willing to finish. Only the self motivated and enthusiastic finish strong.

MULTITASKING This is when you attempt doing several things at a time. Learn to take one decision at a time, and then you move on to whatever you must do next. When you multitask there is every possibility that you’ll forgo one task for the other or fail to follow your decisions through. If you focus on doing a thing per time, you’ll achieve more.  LAZINESS The straight forward solution to this is to avoid substituting work for comfort; in fact if you attempt getting comfortable at some particular tasks, you will end up unproductive. If you can take pride in hard work; you’ll achieve more. All achievers are proud of their long hours of work and this is part of what keeps them working. Thomas Edison had an average of 4 hours of sleep a day and eating meals brought  124

When All You’ve Got is YOU to him by an assistant in his laboratory. He made even more sacrifices when his experiments were near completion, often keeping vigils of up to 48 and even 72 hours! This is a time when most of us would have reduced our efforts. Sacrificing your sleep isn’t the best for your health, but being willing to put in extra work which could demand your comfort when necessary is a key to becoming an achiever. COMMITMENT This is a function of how important the decision you make is to you, it is different from willingness. For example if you where ill and the doctor prescribes medications to you, it’s most likely you won’t be willing to take the medications; every time you take your pills you’re like, “My God this pills are bitter!” But to get well you must be committed to taking the medication. When leaving high school, I made a decision to keep in touch with all my old buddies. This was a good decision, but it wasn’t to be kept because as time went on, the process of ‘natural selection’ took effect and I found out that I couldn’t be committed to the decision because it wasn’t really in my interest to keep contact with all of my old friends. There are commitments that would do you a lot of good, but when it comes to choosing between them and other things you want to do that demands the same resources, then you have to let go of these decisions and face the ones you’re really interested in. A word of caution: Never give lack of interest as an excuse not to do what is required of you. The truth is there will be 125

When All You’ve Got is YOU a lot of necessary actions you must take in life that you won’t be interested in. Never let Interest have the final say over your decisions. A sick man is not usually interested in food, but to get well he must eat. The truth is without commitment we can’t get anything done. You should be committed to a course because of the consequences of not doing it and because of the fulfilment you’ll have after it all. INDISCIPLINE This is the inability to stick to a course due to lack of control over your base desires. It is your relapse into weakness. There is nothing as destructive as indiscipline to your aim of being a better person. Have you heard the words, “I can’t just help it”? That is the profession of indiscipline. “Indiscipline is the road from fame to shame; those who travel it go on full gear. Destruction that is entered into with exhilaration. Indiscipline would make a man came in celebrated and leave detested.” I know nothing that topples great and excellent men with ease like indiscipline. Please get out of any indiscipline in your life. You see great men, presidents, sports stars, celebrities messing everything they’ve worked for with sexual abuse and related issues. We hear about this always in the media, these people who have achieved so much lose the respect of the public with just an act of indiscipline. This is a list of popular indiscipline habits, 126

When All You’ve Got is YOU check them and please get out of any that affects you NOW, if you want to get to the top and remain there!  ADDICTIONS Drinking, smoking, drugs etc.  ILLICIT SEX Sex related issue is what destroys the reputation of most celebrities. I’m talking about Illicit Sex in whatever form including pornography. We are in a world that makes the definition of illicit a relative term. To make it clear, stay off sex until you’re married and stay faithful when married. Many teenagers are dealing with sexual related problems that they aren’t prepared for and it is eating their lives up silently. I know some will call this crazy, but go check lives that are controlled by sex and you’ll see how disorganised they are. The porn sites may claim ‘happy’ entertainment, but the fact is it is a beautifully made marble grave. Even if it is beautiful outwardly, it is full of the rottenness of broken hearts, lost ambitions, suicides, drugs you name it, I choose not to give specific data because it is open to debate and you choose what you want to do with your life, but first dig up the grave, check out the lives of those sex minded people that are online, ask them about their purpose in live, ask them about their hopes for the future, ask them about their childhood; then you’ll understand me better.  YOUR TEMPER Need I say more? What concerns us in this topic is your attitude towards others when angry. 127

When All You’ve Got is YOU Whoever you let out your temper on is of insignificant repute to you at that moment, therefore try to control that temper by valuing the feelings of others.  ATTACHMENT TO ENTERTAINMENT A friend of mine gave me a breakdown of this word. He said it is most likely that this word was derived from the words; ENTER and DETAIN. Putting this two words together and with grammatical corrections we have a product that can be ENTER DETAINMENT called ENTER meshed together you have DETAINMENT meshed the word entertainment. together you have the Indeed entertainment is a word entertainment. detention we enter Indeed entertainment is voluntarily. a detention we enter voluntarily. I’m not saying he is right about the creation of the word, but he is right about what it means. A lot of us have voluntarily entered the detention of TV, MUSIC, MOVIES, ELECTRONIC GAMES, PARTIES, REALITY SHOWS, THE WEB and what have you. Now I never said these were bad in themselves, but the undisciplined commitment we have put into them is bad. It takes discipline to sit and type out this book, because I have a lot of TV programs I really want to watch. Sometimes I just feel like, “what the heck, come on just a little movie won’t hurt”, but I must not give into such until during my breaks. You must limit the time you commit to leisure. 128

When All You’ve Got is YOU Get out of that detention and face reality, you have serious business to attend to –your life.  DISTRACTIONS I’m referring to anything that is capable of taking your attention and then your resources when you never made any preparations for them in the first place. Distraction’s major strength is your interests. If you’ve got no control over things you’re interested in, then whenever they pop up you’ll find yourself successfully whisked away by them. After you make a decision, you’re in a battle to uphold it and this is because a lot of other things will compete for the resources you need to accomplish your decisions. The key word here is ‘compete’. There will be competition for your time, your attention, your money etc. These competitions may come as a necessity, but most often they are optional issues. Be disciplined enough to deny yourself the pleasure of satisfying your interests that come in the way of your decisions.  LAZINESS When you’re not disciplined enough to stay on course with full commitment because of comfort, then you’re being lazy. It’s not that you’re withdrawn, everybody sees you at work, but the question is how you’re going about the work. You know you can spend 8 hours at work, but you choose to work 5 hours not because of any good reason, although you have your ‘good’ reasons for not giving your best, but you know it is just an excuse to gratify irrelevant cravings. 129

When All You’ve Got is YOU Take a review of what makes you unproductive in decision making and measure them up with the lessons you have read. I hope you start making better decisions and you keep to them.

YOUR LOCATION
“Some travel great distances to find fortune, But they met with great misfortune. Some stay where they’ve always been and died there the same with no fulfilment. Others travelled great distances and found wealth and fame. Others stay where they’ve always been and discovered they were living above a gold mine.” Your location is vital to your success. There are some aspirations that would never become reality if you’re in the wrong location. The major reason why your location matters is because of opportunities and resources that they’ve got to offer. Know the needs of the people located around you, their needs are the opportunities you have in becoming relevant to them when you are able to provide solutions. Measure your plans with the opportunities and resources your location has to offer and compare it with what other 130

When All You’ve Got is YOU locations can offer. Where ever you are, make it your target to expand your area of influence. Don’t be rigid about your location, be flexible. Research on opportunities outside your location and see how you can invest into them –don’t be confined. You don’t have to migrate for your ideas to work outside your location. What you need do is get associates and this leads us to the next opportunity creation factor. There you’ll understand how to connect with places where your ideas are needed.

YOUR ASSOCIATION
People are to you what you make them. The more you think people can do, the more they do. The more you trust them with responsibilities, the more they prove capable. I’m to different people, If what you’re after is the different things, it all pride of succeeding all by depends on how much yourself, then you can’t respect and believe they function in reality but in have in me. I don’t beg fantasy. people to believe in me, I focus on those who share my interests and respect my opinion. If you don’t associate with people, then forget about becoming great or accomplished. If what you’re after is the pride of succeeding all by yourself, then you can’t function in reality but in fantasy. You may start alone, but you must associate with people as you begin to climb up in accomplishment. 131

When All You’ve Got is YOU The steps up the stairs of success is made of the shoulders of men, if they don’t let you step on them, you’re going nowhere up. As a leader, you have men who have laid down their ego to become followers to you. The steps up the stairs of success is made of the shoulders of men, if they don’t let you step on them, you’re going nowhere up.

As long as you have men under your leadership or employ, never think they are there because of the money you pay them, respect their partnership with you because if they want; they can get your money yet not follow your leadership. They are your subordinates because they choose to be. This should also be a lesson to every starter, when you get up there treat those below you with respect and love. WHO ARE YOUR ASSOCIATES? If you care to open the dictionary, you’ll discover that an associate is a subordinate, an assistant, a junior partner or anyone who is a co-worker with you. This is a wonderful definition, but it goes beyond this literary meaning. Your associate is anyone you need to work with to get a business done or get you where you want to be, anyone that is a part of a commercial, professional or occupational affiliation.

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When All You’ve Got is YOU Please note that we are not talking about making regular friends now, we are talking about developing business and professional relationships. Your associate may be your boss, may be more accomplished than you and he may even be a rookie in business, all we are interested in is the realization of your Mutual needs. There are associates who would move on to become your Allies or close associates while others would just be your ‘delivery men’. Your allies are those who you can discuss your plans with, they can contribute to your decisions, and if they are more experienced than you (which I strongly advice) then you can let then guide you and advice you. These are the people you can enter partnership with, sign long term contracts with and can make exceptional sacrifices for. For these reasons you must be careful in choosing your allies. Your ‘delivery men’ are associates you pay per service, they are your regulars; they do the work you need them do and they do it the way you want it. The special thing about them is they are always there when you need them and they understand your standards and methods. There are five things you must look out for, let us call this the associate credentials. WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN ASSOCIATES  Someone who has the resources you need. This could be skills, connections, finance, equipment, ideas, experience etc. As your needs may require.  Someone with worthy character. Very important. 133

When All You’ve Got is YOU  Someone who will believe in you. You wouldn’t like to be disheartened out of your hopes by someone who is always finding faults in you or mocks your ambitions. Keep far away from fault finders and negative minded people.  Someone who shares common interests and values with you. Else you’ll struggle to maintain a relationship.  Someone you respect and who respects you. If just one of these specifications is missing, then I can’t guarantee a fulfilment of your purpose. Put the factors above in consideration before and during your associating and don’t hesitate to quit a relationship that is taking you nowhere. This is important; there are relationships that you should quit especially when you are not complimenting each other towards attaining your set goals. IDENTIFY WITH YOUR TARGET ASSOCIATE. Here are some suggestions that any rookie can take advantage of to help bring you in contact with professional associates. Join clubs, associations, and forums. Attend Conferences, Exhibitions and Trade Fairs. Buy professional magazines and sign up for newsletters. Get information about the profession, business or pursuit you’re interested in. For example if you want to become an artist; go on the Web and type Artist forums in the search engine or newsletters for art. You’ll get results that you can choose from. Become an active member or subscriber, learn as 134

When All You’ve Got is YOU much as you can about your aspiration, contribute to the forum, ask question, get information about conferences, exhibitions or trade fairs that you’ll be able to attend and most importantly seek out the profiles of those that have the potential of meeting the ‘associate credentials’ listed above. Make sure you attend a relevant conference, exhibition or trade fair, as many as you can afford to attend. I guarantee that if you do this and you take the instructions below seriously; you’re on your way to the top (in fact you’ll jump some steps ahead of other rookies). Please note that good conferences, exhibitions or trade fairs, cost good money, but they are worth it. I have a close associate who attended a youth conference and got close up with the president of Nigeria through a senior associate and it landed us an opportunity in the country.

BE FORWARD Introduce yourself to people; walk up to those you believe are potential associates in the aforementioned gatherings and let them know your interest in them. Now this would seem like you’re crossing your boundaries, but only the forward move forward. If your attendance cost you something good, I’m sure that would motivate you to make good use of your opportunity. How do you do this? Introduce yourself. Don’t wait for people to approach you, you approach them. Don’t expect invitations to come to you when you 135

When All You’ve Got is YOU have not set up recognition. Let the world know you exist, let people know what you’re capable of. Your introduction must always start on a formal note, even in an informal environment; this will generate the needed respect and attention you need to be able to communicate your business. Be dressed for the occasion. The first thing people judge when you approach them is your dressing and as humans we draw a lot of conclusions about people just from their dressing. You must never take dressing for granted. There is a popular saying, “the way you are dressed is the way you will be addressed”. By this I mean you should be in the formal outfit for the occasion of meeting your associate. Don’t wear jeans, sneakers or any informal clothing to a business, professional or formal occasion, except you’re trying to associate with a rock band or a sports promoter, then your dress style may differ. You can and should research more on dressings that are appropriate for the specific occasion you want to attend. Dressing can boost your confidence and it makes you accepted. Speak business. Don’t waste people’s time. Go straight to your intentions, use words like, “I love the way you work, your ethics are what I believe in, I look forward to a chance to associate with you etc.” when concluding a conversation. For you to discuss reasonable business, you must have planned your meeting and your moves, you must have known the interests of the person you’re meeting and what needs 136

When All You’ve Got is YOU you can meet in that persons business, team, group or establishment. If you can’t find your relevance in your intended associate then you have no ground on which you can build a relationship. Professional relationship is all about meeting mutual needs. Show enthusiasm and energy. When you’re sure of what you want from your relationship, approach it with all boldness and dedication. Don’t speak with uncertainty or carry an indecisive look and don’t beg. Be decisive, be sharp, give your best and show willingness to learn. Everyone is looking for partners that are excited about work and who are creative. Have a contact card. This is like a business card; it doesn’t have to be elaborate, but let it contains your contact and your service (your ability and skills). Remember we have dealt with the issue of you developing your skills, if you have done this, you wouldn’t have problem with what to write in your contact card. Why have a contact Card? Because people will readily have your card than write down your contact and because they are most likely to remember where they keep their business cards than where they wrote their contacts. Do yourself a favour and have a contact card; you’ll be more confident and professional when you have them. Keep in touch. You need them more than they need you at the inception of you association, so they are most likely to forget you 137

When All You’ve Got is YOU exist. Keep in touch, but don’t be a disturbance. Whenever you make contact, build on previous discussions, this would require you to have offered your idea, or your intended project. This way you’ll have a forward moving relationship. If this is not in place, your communication may be regarded as a waste of time and you may be cut off. Keep to business when you make contact, but show interest in their well being. Be initiative. Let whatever you have to offer be a step ahead of whatever is in existence. Don’t offer common services, skills or products. Do extra work and go the extra mile to ensure your application is well packaged and easy to understand. Be sensitive. There are people out there who want to take advantage of others, be careful how you open your ideas to people and be careful how you trust. Then there are people who would keep playing you, but are not ready to move into serious business with you; don’t waste your time on them, don’t beg them, move on. ALWAYS KEEP TRACK OF YOUR ASSOCIATES AND CLIENTS. Keep a record of what they do and how they are doing. Let your interest be more than the business you have with your associates, be interested in their overall well being. This way you’ll know where to come in and how to be of help. If you keep meeting needs, soon you’ll build a strong financial and opportunity foundation for yourself. 138

When All You’ve Got is YOU Importantly, keep track of their response to you and see if you are making progress. If much progress is not being made, search to see what is wrong and if you discover that any of the associate criteria mentioned above is missing, check to see if you are the problem, else pull the plug. DEVELOP A REPUTATION Be known for your ability reliability. Soon you’ll not be looking for opportunities; they’ll be looking for you. You can’t fail if you take these steps; I give you assurance of definite success if you keep at it.

and above all your honesty and Be known for your ability and above all your honesty and reliability. Soon you’ll not be looking for opportunities; they’ll be looking for you.

PEOPLE TO KEEP AWAY FROM  Keep away from anyone who doesn’t believe in you. It doesn’t matter how much you’re in need of what they have. Don’t work with anyone who doesn’t believe in you.  Keep away from dishonest persons. Don’t take the risk. If they are dishonest –stay off!  Keep away from anyone who lacks enthusiasm, energy and vision. Don’t work with slow thinkers. Work with people who will challenge you, who will drive you to your limits, until the best comes from 139

When All You’ve Got is YOU you. Anyone who takes excuses from you all the time is not good for you.  Keep away from incompetent persons. What you should look out for is competence in managing their state of affairs (how organized they are), delivery and willingness to improve.  Keep away from time wasters. Don’t hang around for unnecessary length of time. If a professional relationship isn’t defined and not moving forward then quit. Give limit to hanging around so you wouldn’t hang down a failure at the end. Remember. If you’ve got nothing to offer then there is no ground for you to be associated with. It all starts from what you can give to others, the problems you can solve, services you can render and a space you can fill in. You have to make moves. Opportunity will not come knocking at your door; you must first let the world know you exist. Get acquainted with the right people. Remember The 3 major ingredients to your success are your decisions, your location and your associates. Decide today to be relevant and meet a need. Examine your location, what do you have there that some other places lack and would need? What does you residential or immediate environment have short supply of and how can you meet these needs? Who can you work with, who has the resources you need? Get acquainted with such people or organizations. 140

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A LITTLE HERE, A LITTLE THERE
One of the most stirring texts I’ve ever read, one of the wisest words ever uttered, one of the greatest secrets of success, one that the “Yet a little sleep, a little victorious always keep at slumber, a little folding of the back of their minds; the hands to sleep: So shall “Yet a little sleep, a little thy poverty come as one slumber, a little folding of that travels (to meet you), the hands to sleep: So and your want (lack) as an shall thy poverty come as armed man.” one that travels (to meet you), and your want (lack) as an armed man.” The dividing line between those with potentials that made it and those with potentials that did not make it. You see young promising lives being wasted because they allow just a little carelessness here and a little indiscipline there. This wisdom is not unidirectional, you can look at it the other way round too; “yet a little hard work, a little more effort, a little putting your hands to diligent work: So shall your Prosperity come as one that travels (to meet you), and your dreams as the rising of the sun.” Little things matter; you just have to be a little lazy now and then for it to become your habit and then bring you to utter failure. Success is not about getting to your destination in a moment, it is like a marathon; you don’t rush. You know you’ve got a long way to go so you just keep taking one strong step at a time, one step at a time, 141

When All You’ve Got is YOU one step at a time. You feel like giving up, but no, you take just one more step, then another. I can’t give up; I’ve come this far and I will get to my destination, I’m not a quitter. That is the spirit friend, you must learn to encourage yourself to try just one more time and if you fail, you try again just one more time again. There would be times people can’t see what you see, so don’t expect them to motivate you; you will have a lot of times the only person that can motivate you is you. I remember in 2010, when we were planning a State evangelical outreach, I was the Evangelism coordinator and it was my responsibility to provide the mission field. After days of fasting and prayer, God lead me and I went to the site with my best friend Demola Badejo. God had told me about a year earlier that He wanted us to take the gospel to Idanre in Ondo state, Nigeria. Well we got to Idanre and when I lifted my eyes and looked around, I knew we’ve not gotten to the exact place God wanted us to take for Him yet and my friend confirmed it, so we started roaming the town. Then we got to a turning where the road stopped and God said that is the way. After walking for about an hour without knowing where we were going (it was a path in a thick forest), we met some little children coming the opposite way and they confirmed that there was a village in the direction we were going. After another hour in the gruesome trek, we arrived at the village. What kept us going was this principle; to take a step at a time and just keep going. You must learn to keep going, the going may get tough, but keep going. One of the best self help books I’ve ever read is “Tough times never last, but tough people do”, by Robert 142

When All You’ve Got is YOU Schuler that great man of faith. It is true; tough times NEVER last, but tough people do. Be tough and take your vision head-on step by step and you will make it. Abraham was 75 years old when God promised him a son; the son did not come that year God made the promise, so Abraham trusted God for just one more year, yet the son did not come, then he trusted God for another more year, he kept trusting God for 35 years before his son Isaac was born. It is said that Thomas Edison tried a thousand times before he got the right material suitable for the light bulb. You need great perseverance to succeed; success rarely comes at first attempt, it requires a step after the other, never giving up, never losing sight of your dreams and never making haste. Note the last phrase above; you must never make haste. Take it easy, be cool. When we checked our 3rd year results in school, everybody had one bad result or the other and everybody’s face was sullen. I was smiling and people thought I had no problem with my result, so a friend walked up to me and said he noticed that I wasn’t worried. Well I’m never worried because the step-back of today does not alter my goals, I got a long way to go and I got no time for shilling-sallying –it’s time to move on. Maybe that’s what you need now; to move on. The people of Israel were in the wilderness for 40 years, when they should have since moved on. What were they doing? They were going round a mountain, you know busy but not making progress. The Lord got irritated by this and instructed Moses, “You have stayed at this 143

When All You’ve Got is YOU mountain long enough. It is time to break camp and move on!” Wow, a lot of us folk need a word like that, “Break camp and move on!” common break that circle of friend that does nothing but handing out, folding their hands and always complaining –you got to break such camps and move on. Imagine 11 days journey and after 40 years they had not covered the distance that takes only 11 days to cover. The same for a lot of folks; you’re still that same broke bloke all this years, you still clamouring for salary increment all this years, you still haven’t started that business all this years, you waiting till you have some big cash before you pursue your dreams. You got to wake up! God is saying it should not be taking you this long, all you need is start with the little you have now and then it will increase and keep increasing. Friend give your vision a little more attention, a little more seriousness, a little more focus, a little more investment, a little more perseverance, a little more commitment, a little more refining, a little more hard work, a little more maturity, a little more improvement, a little more publicity, a little more dedication, a little more sacrifices, a little more time, a little more planning, a little more reaching out, get a little more help and never say you’ve done enough. Do the little you can and after that add to it the little you can, then keep adding that little in your capacity, don’t you say the top is impossible for you.

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4 A BETTER YOU
“Success is not conclusive; it is consistency in purpose.”

After many months of watching its parents ride
the wind, there comes a time when the eaglet is no longer a helpless and flightless bird, but a full fledge eagle, the representation of strength and vision. It no longer stays there in the lonely nest waiting to be fed, but it is now one of the world’s strongest predators. The time has come for you to come out of your ‘nests’ and take to the skies you have always longed for. Dear reader there is a beautiful you inside there, a victorious you, a champion you, an achieving you. I don’t know how you see yourself or what people have said about you or how much you have messed up in the past, but it is time to unveil the changed you to the world. Let the past be past and let us look up to the wonderful years ahead. The day you discover yourself, the moment you embrace your possibilities; that day you become a new being; a miracle that will never fade. 145

When All You’ve Got is YOU The new and better you must be the following.

THE FORWARD MOVING YOU
“The past is a rich resource on which we can draw in order to make decisions for the future, but it does not dictate our choices. We should look back at the past and select what is good, and leave behind what is bad.” - Nelson Mandela in ‘The Struggle is My Life’. The first thing you must do is to let go of the past. Stop living in your past when there is so much today that may become your contentment tomorrow or your regret if you miss them. Many don’t know they are still living in their past. There are women who have been jilted in the past and for this reason they have chosen not to trust men again. The worst part of this is that they think they have buried their past and have moved on, they say, “I have forgotten about the break up and I have moved on, but no man is going to get my trust anymore, they are all the same”. Here is a woman still living in her past even when she thinks she has let go, but the truth she hasn’t. What lie are you telling yourself so you can feel good about today when actually you’re only gratifying your past? There is absolutely nothing you can do about the past, but there is a lot the past can do for or against you. There are a lot of good your past can do for you today only when you place it in its right place. The people that make your past can become part of your today if you choose, 146

When All You’ve Got is YOU your past experiences can be part of your today, but don’t let the past be the driving factor in your life –let the future be. Your past is a challenge for you to beat and surpass. If you had a past filled with failures then you have to draw the line not to fail again in those areas because you know better now, not because you regret your past. Let that past be a source of lessons from the mistakes you have made. As good as this is, it is better you set your eyes on the goal ahead of you the glory to come, the possibilities of what and who you can become. Whatever your past has been; the best of times or the worst of experiences, it should be dropped, maybe not absolutely forgotten, but make the possibilities of what tomorrow holds be your motivation to live today. Why should you endure the night? It is not because of the sun that went down yesterday, but it is because you know the day will break again. It is hopeless to have a bright yesterday and not be sure if the sun would rise again. And it doesn’t matter how dark yesterday was; as long as you know the sun would rise again, you have a reason live through the darkness. Learn from your past, but don’t live in the past. Let the possibilities ahead of you, the grounds you can break, the difference you can make, the victories you can achieve drive you on.

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THE ACTION YOU
There is one resource that everyone has in common, it’s Time. Bill Gates has 24 hours a day, Barak Obama has only 24 hours, all the sports stars have just 24 hours, every celebrity has 24 hours all millionaire have just 24 hours and so do you. What are you doing with your own 24 hours? Time is the most valuable provision we can have, though you can’t buy it; it will cost you. There is no escaping the Time is the most valuable cost of time. The way you provision we can have, spend your time will though you can’t buy it; it either make the cost will cost you. worth it or make you the loser. Never take time for granted, it is your life. It isn’t a function of what the clock says or the calendar, time is the countdown of your opportunities, the countdown of your very life. As the clock ticks away so are the opportunities of what you could have used that moment for. Don’t use your time worrying over what you can’t change. Don’t spend it on things that add no value to you; be conscious of the ticking away of time that waits for no one. The changed you is the time conscious you. Greatness depends on how you spend your time; how you apply what you know into practice. Don’t be like men who can teach greatness, explain it, they can chart successful financial plans, but they never take steps towards their 148

When All You’ve Got is YOU knowledge. Great thinkers have gone down history uncelebrated. They were men full of knowledge, but no discipline and no action. After knowing all that you know now, go out and start acting on them. To produce a movie you start with a story, this story makes the story board and scripts. There are auditions to select the actors and actress and a lot of work goes into the shooting of the film, but there is one critical moment that matters the most; the time the director calls, “Action!” Great thinkers have gone down history uncelebrated. They were men full of knowledge, but no discipline and no action. At that moment everybody is at their best; the sound crew, the camera men, the lighting, the director the actors and what have you. You wouldn’t find anyone discussing or eating at this moment. This moment is crucial; how they give themselves to this moment is what will justify their efforts. There are a lot of distractions about, but the actors stick to the story and their scripts, they don’t stop until they have that cut properly done. If there is a mistake, they retake the part and ensure they have the best achievable. You have been motivated, educated and directed; now you need to take action. You may not have a director who gives you no choice but to act, but now that you’re bringing out the best out of yourself, you have a director 149

When All You’ve Got is YOU also born out of you. You must learn to speak to yourself and give yourself no choice just like the movie director gives no choice to the actors. Hence forth, make it part of your reputation to be a person of action and not of big and small talks. When you set your heart on a thing, let your pride be in accomplishing it.

THE PURPOSEFUL YOU
“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to earth.” - President John F. Kennedy Even though he was assassinated about 6 years before this vision was accomplished, his vision could not be terminated. This is the Power a vision carries, the potency of living for a purpose. If you can set a goal for your life, there is no one powerful enough to stop your vision. Have a vision for your life, your family, your location. Don’t just exist; contribute to making of the future. Do what you love doing and believe in, that way when troubles arise, you’ll handle them better. When you have a reason to live, a reason why you want to see the sun rise tomorrow, a reason for your existence then it doesn’t matter what happens to you, irrespective of what 150

When All You’ve Got is YOU circumstance you find yourself in, you’re determined to keep going. What is life if you lose the purpose for your existence? Purpose will keep you happy even when your experience isn’t delightful, for with purpose you’re not confined to limitations. Purpose outstrips reality, because your joy and focus is on possibility. There is every chance of you fulfilling a purpose you set for yourself, irrespective of how high it is. Therefore it pays to set a goal than allow life and circumstances shape you. Purpose outstrips reality, because your joy and focus is on possibility.

THE CONFIDENT YOU
Confidence is in a man that has accepted who he really is and has faith that stretches him to his limits. For a man to deny who he is; is to be self-assured in a lie and to be reserved is to surrender For a man to deny who strength to weaknesses. he is; is to be selfSurrender is the last thing a assured in a lie and to champion would do, even when be reserved is to the challenge is greater than surrender strength to them. The Biblical David faced weaknesses. goliath who was by every standard greater than him, yet he didn’t back out from the 151

When All You’ve Got is YOU fight. History is filled with stories were smaller armies have defeated greater and better equipped armies.

Confidence isn’t you pretending to be someone you aren’t, but accepting who you are and believing in the greatness of things that can be accomplished through you.

The young boy David, of probably 5 feet plus, a shepherd and musician, was matched up with Goliath who was 9 feet 9 inches and a trained warrior. David didn’t smoke marijuana as many do today to get false confidence to face their challenges, so he could feel high and have the ‘confidence’ to face Goliath. He didn’t need any drug to deceive him about who he was and what he was doing; he knew he was but a boy and that was not going to change the fact that he would defeat Goliath. What has been your excuse for not facing your fears, for not going after your aspirations? Is it because when you consider the prestige of what you’re aspiring to accomplish and when you compare it with how lowly you are, it begins to look ridiculous? In such situation you’re to see the situation as a challenge; a challenge that if you surmount would make you stronger and take you higher. You don’t have to take drugs to make you feel ‘bigger’ than you actually are. You need a big heart that believes in the small you. 152

When All You’ve Got is YOU David went up to Goliath not just with his big believingheart; he went with faith in a big reliable God who can use a small him to do greater things than his ability can allow him to. He won that battle because of confidence. A lot of great accomplishments remain unaccomplished because the ones the world is waiting for to accomplish them are not even confident in themselves. There are those who keep to themselves because they are trying to blend into the ‘cold’ environment, they don’t want to be seen as show offs; so there stay quite. The paradox here is that the more you keep to yourself the less respect you get from the people you’re trying to conform to. The more you standout with confidence radiating from you, the more respect you get from those who would have you quiet. Here is a very interesting real-life story I believe you’ll enjoy and learn from. Frank Abagnale is considered by many as the greatest con man that ever lived. I consider him to be one of the most confident men that ever lived and I’m glad he is using his knowledge for good now. He was a former cheque con artist, forger and imposter who, for five straight years in the 1960s, passed bad cheques worth more than $2.5 million in 26 countries and was never caught. He was known for printing his own account number on fake bank deposit slips so that when clients of the bank deposited money, it would actually go in to his account. When the banks realised what was happening 153

When All You’ve Got is YOU Frank was already ahead of them and eloped with $40,000. Frank travelled almost anywhere he wanted to go around the world free of charge by presenting himself as a Pan Am pilot. It was professional courtesy for airlines to provide free transport for competing airline pilots if they had to move to another city at short notice and any such emergencies and this was the advantage Frank made use of. There was a time his cover got blown, but instead of panicking he quickly changed his identity to that of a doctor and he went on to practice as a doctor for 11 months. At other times he worked as a lawyer (imagine the confidence, for a criminal to act as a lawyer in a law court) and a teacher. He was eventually caught in France and was imprisoned for six months. After that he was extradited to Sweden and imprisoned for a further six months, but he escaped while he was being taken to the US. He given 12 years in Prison when he was caught, but he escaped from his prison by masquerading as an undercover officer of the Bureau of Prisons. He was once again captured in New York City and returned to jail. After serving only five years of his sentence, the US Federal Government offered him his freedom in return for helping the government against fraud and scam artists without pay. He currently runs Abagnale and Associates, a financial fraud consultancy company. The recent blockbuster film ‘Catch Me If You Can’ is based on his life. Was that not interesting? I included this story to show you the extreme of what confidence can do. Now many will say 154

When All You’ve Got is YOU he was smart or that he was lucky. Above all I think he was extremely confident. Whenever he walked into the bank, he walks in with his head raised, he was the kind of guy that would look anyone in the eyes and lie without blinking. He was sure no one could catch him. That is why he operated openly making personal contact with his victims (which other con men would avoid at all cost). Why this story? I’m not telling you this story so you’ll be trilled, I’m telling you so you can be challenged. If a man could confidently pursue his illegal ambitions, why should you fear expressing yourself and pursuing your dream? There is no reason to be shy about your dreams; if it meets a need legally then you should step out with all confidence.

THE BELIEVING YOU
“If you believe, you can achieve whatever you conceive.” It takes believing for you to be a finisher. A man can start any great thing having all the resources, but the moment he loses faith in what he is doing, that great work will crumble. It is your believe that will keep you going even when the going gets rough. You have to trust yourself; you have to believe in succeeding even when no one believes in you. It is your faith in your misbehaving child as a parent that would make you not to give up on him or her. Believe in yourself and believe in others, for if you start believing in others you’ll be surprised how much treasures they carry, waiting only for the chance to be expressed. 155

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THE OUTSTANDING YOU
Never declare a work done until you have out done yourself, never say you’re through until you’ve exceeded all the possible options.

Setting the achievements of others as your goal may motivate you, but it will also limit you if you stop at that. There is always a margin for improvement. What makes world records in the 100metre dash is the .01 seconds; that is the hundredth of a seconds. Just a little more effort to what you do and how you do it would make a lot of difference. What it takes to be outstanding wouldn’t cost you as much as achieving a common goal. After making the effort of achieving the common goal, go ahead and pay that extra price that others would overlook. Whenever you complete a work, look it over and over again and you’ll see there is always room for improvement. Whenever we had a home work to submit especially in biology or technical drawing (when I was in high school), we almost always submit the same answers, but at the end we don’t score the same makes. What makes the difference is how neat and excellent our work is, so when we discovered this we not only strive to answer the questions correctly but to make it look superb. This should be your new attitude, the 156

When All You’ve Got is YOU attitude of excellence. The way you package yourself, your services or product is the way whatever you have to offer would be valued.

THE FOCUSED YOU
Now you’ve got a vision; you know where to start, you’re determined to start, you have all it takes to realise your goals, but one thing you need to assure you of winning is FOCUS. To be focused is to live purposefully; everything you do is tailored towards a goal. This does not mean you don’t do other things that are outside your goal, but they never come in the way of your purpose. Many people are frustrated because they don’t have a purpose they are working towards they are just trying out anything and everything that seems to be working for others. When you have a vision for your life, you will handle life with optimism; when you fail –you rise again, when you are not being supported by others –you encourage yourself, don’t take in popular opinion of pessimism; when people are complaining about the economy, you’re thinking about the possibilities of what you can make out of the situation. That is a life with a vision. Circumstances are never powerful enough to drown a vision; it is the mindset of a man that feeds his vision. This is the sole reason why you need self help books like this because they feed your mind with the knowledge that stimulates the winning attitude in you. You are what you inform your mind with.

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When All You’ve Got is YOU Your goals and aspiration can be compared to the bull’s eye on a target. It is the smallest area on the target and the hardest to hit. Here is a demo target and we’ll be using it for goal getting practice.

A LESSON ON FOCUS

In archery the smallest portion of the target; the bull’s eye, has the highest point and the least possibility of being hit. The full fulfilment of your goals is very easy to miss without focus. The targets are usually placed 70 meters away and believe me that is a distance were it is hard to

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When All You’ve Got is YOU see the bull’s eye. You will lose sight of your target if you’re not focused. Practically now: I want you to take a look at our target above. You’ll easily identify the elements that make the circles, but if I ask you to tell me what’s at the very centre then you’ll need to look closer. At the centre there is something you can recognize if you look well.

LESSON 1
You’ll realize that after learning that there was something special about the centre, you went back to the image to take a better look. Initially when you saw the diagram I’m sure you took the centre for granted. That is exactly how a man without focus will lose sight of the possible achievements he could have. NEVER take you vision for granted, give it the closest attention you can, so you would not miss opportunities they present. Focus is to take in the details of your target; to keep it in sight.

LESSON 2
After knowing that there was something special about the centre, you’ll note that you leaned forward or brought the book closer to your eyes. For you to be focused you must, draw your target close to you or move close to your target; the farther you’re away from your target, the more easily it is to lose focus of it. For example if you hope to one day be an author then you must draw yourself close to books. For an artist, he must get familiar with the works of other artists. The closer you get to your desire, the more 159

When All You’ve Got is YOU determined you are to get it. You will always know what a man is in love with by how much time he spends around that thing. Let your vision be your preoccupation. Focus is to stay close to your vision.

LESSON 3
Finally you’ll discover that immediately I told you to look at the centre for something special; you lost interest in all the other spheres and you gave full attention to the centre. The same for your aspirations, you must give it your full attention. When archers aim at the target, they close one eye and set the open one on the target. This is the demonstration of focus. Your vision must be your priority and you close your eyes to every other thing. You must give absolutely no attention to a lot of things. Thoughts and people would come to tell you, “wake up, you are dreaming too big, you can’t achieve that”. When such thoughts and people come to you, you must close your eyes to them and stubbornly stay focused on your target. Close your eyes on those who are always discouraging you. Close your eyes on the circumstances that are depressing you. Close your eyes to the excuses you have for not starting out on your dreams. Close your eyes to time wasters. Open your eyes for opportunities. 160

When All You’ve Got is YOU Open your eyes for partnership. Open your eyes for greatness. Open your eyes for possibilities. So what would focus mean to you? It would mean dedicating your time and resources towards a unified goal. Athletes are always great example of how self improvement works. What the athletes eats drinks and how often he does is all adapted to his disciple. The athlete doesn’t wake up when he feels like, he wakes up when he must and has exercises he must do for a substantial period of each day. This doesn’t mean athletes don’t engage in trivial pursuits, but they will never sacrifice the resources and time that is needed to build their body and skills for anything else. Do you know that the sun generates so much energy that what it radiates in a second is more that all the energy we have produced on earth for the past 10,000 years (source Microsoft Encyclopaedia 2009). Despite this fact you can walk under the sun everyday without doing yourself any noticeable damage. You don’t see people going up in flames because they walked under the sun and you won’t see cars melting on the street no matter how long they stay under the sun. This doesn’t mean the sun can’t set the whole earth on fire or melt entire skyscrapers –the sun can destroy the whole earth in less than a minute and set our oceans boiling.

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When All You’ve Got is YOU The reason why the sun is so powerful and yet not out of control is because its rays are dispersed not focused. Today steel is melted and refined using the suns energy reflected from common mirrors. Unbelievable but true. Thousands of mirrors are arranged in such a way that they are focused on a single spot. You can stand in front of each mirror and you will be absolutely safe, but you don’t dare stand in front of their focal point and not be reduced to ashes in a matter of seconds. The key to this temperature that exceeds 1850oC needed to melt steel is FOCUS. The same with us, we have the capacity to do really great things, but are not having this fantastic successes because focus is lacking. For you to become super effective, you must be focused. Pull your resources together, give your ambitions your best shot (your very best), don’t be distracted, cut away friends or foe that would keep you occupied with irrelevances, stop sleeping excessively –be focused. You can only be focused when you have a target. No target, no need for focus, you can fire your arrows at random and you miss or hit nothing. What is your target? Put it down in writing and write all it would take to hit that target, then get to work. There is nothing impossible if you keep hitting at your target, one day it would give way. The problem is we don’t know what we really want in life; we don’t know what we really worth and we are not disciplined to keep to our vision.

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TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE
And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you. – 1Thesalonians 4:11 We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. –2Corintians 10:5 Take hold of your life stop giving in to chance and circumstances. There will be the need to pray and say no to things pulling you down. No more giving excuses, your destiny is in your hands, can you fight for it? Life can be likened to a ship on the high seas –not a calm sea, but a very turbulent one with winds blowing in all directions. If you choose to just let things fall in place as they may, then don’t blame the winds if they crash you against the rocks or take you to a destination you don’t want. To get to your destination, you will battle against the storms and the waves; you’ll manoeuvre between rocks. At the start of your voyage, the destination (your dreams in life) will be like a mirage that doesn’t exist, but you know it is there. It is like being in New York and knowing that Madrid exists; if you stand on the shores in New York and look out on the Atlantic, you won’t see Europe or Africa, all you’ll see is the ocean, but for real these destination are out there. The same with your life visions, they are real and 163

When All You’ve Got is YOU attainable even though they’ll look fictitious now. You look out on the sea, you can’t see your destination, but you know it is out there. With the right efforts in the right direction in time you will arrive at Madrid. The same with life; you have to set out and not give up. Your aspiration can become reality, but just like the ship on voyage, you must keep to the right direction and brave the storms that threaten to sink your dreams. For you to make any significant change in your life there must always be a quitting. You may have to quit watching 10hours of TV and start working with that time. You may have to quit the certain for the uncertain like Peter quitted fishing for ministry that was not at that time certain to last. Quitting is about the most difficult thing to do, when it means improving your life. The truth is all successes had to quit something important in their life –it is called sacrifice. You most quit seeing the government or anyone else as your problem and begin to see yourself as your problem –oh, if you are not ready to do this then you are not ready for any breakthrough. Throwing the responsibility of your problems on others never solves the problem –it is your problem, others are not the ones bearing the consequence –you are. Accept it and decide to make it right; you must be focussed on not failing yourself. Be FOCUSED, be PURPOSEFUL, be DETERMINED, be CONSISTENT, never let go of your vision. If you can, soon you will be mailing your testimony to me.

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ADMITTING YOU NEED HELP
The reason many are not making any progress is because they refuse to admit they need help. Being a lone ranger doesn’t make you superman, you have no point to prove to people that you can make it all alone. The Lord is ready to help you as much as you are ready to accept his help that why He says, “cast all your care on Him for he cares for you”. He also says,” Come unto me all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest...” things can be lot easy when you are helped, seek help; in prayers and from those who have the capacity to help you. Asking for help requires humility. It is not a sign of weakness; it demonstrates a courageous heart that is strong enough to subdue pride and foolishness. Robert Williamson was a vagabond by the time he was a teenager, he was homeless, he was a drifter, an armed robber, a check-forger, an alcoholic, heroin addict, just to mention a few of personalities and roles he assumed as he grew up. Here was this hopeless, lost and dejected individual, even his family had given up on him and he had no one who showed love or concern for him. His turn around started when he had an accident that nearly took his life and landed him in the hospital. He was desperate, he wanted a change, he needed hope, and anything will do if only he could just get direction for his life. As much as he hated religion; for he was an atheist, he wanted to read the bible just because it was the number one best seller and he got one at the hospital. He discovered that day that there was an entirely opposite life 165

When All You’ve Got is YOU he could live different from the hopeless on he was living. He discovered he could be loved, he discovered he could be responsible, he discovered he could be honest, he discovered God was interested in his success, he discovered he could live his dreams, all he read hit all he had ever lived for; all that ruined his life. He opened his heart to Jesus that day and he has never gone down the mud of life again. Without going to any rehab, he quitted all addictions, got married and gained a new self esteem. Soon he got employed, and then started his own company; today he is a multimillionaire and is sharing his story with everyone who cares to listen. The truth is before he could experience all these wonderful things he is and has today, he had to swallow the bitter pill of the truth about himself and accept his need for a change. You must stop giving yourself excuses for your failure, only then can you succeed. Many would need to take the step Mr. Williamson took before they can have peace and good success. What is your own bitter pill? The true measure of success is how many needs you meet. There is absolutely no successful person who is not meeting other people’s needs in fair exchange of a token. Success is all about meeting needs of others and whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your heart and ability. The world awaits your manifestation, don’t let the challenges of life weaken you, let them toughen you. Don’t let anything kill your dreams.

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When All You’ve Got is YOU Remember it isn’t about what you are now or what you lack, it’s about the possibilities of what you could become. All you need to start is right there with you.

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ONE LAST THING
I wrote this book because of what I suffered as a
child growing up with ambitions only to be hit in the face by circumstances that said I would amount to nothing. I was just half way through my high school education when my dad lost his job. Things got as bad as not having shoes to wear to school; I remember using screws to hold the straps of my worn-out sandals together. I was withdrawn from the most expensive high school in town to a very humble one. I remember how shocked the principal of my new school was shocked that anyone could transfer to his school from the kind of school I used to attend. It was not easy living in lack after enjoying a childhood of abundance, but I learnt to live through it. After this terrible financial ordeal, the family literarily broke up and things were never the same again. Soon I discovered I was alone. The worst part is to be hopelessly helpless with no direction. In all I was determined not to live a wasted life because of the situation in the family. There were many sleepless nights of worries, thoughts of giving up, so many thoughts of helplessness and even suicide. I sometimes thought it was all over and what pained me most was when I thought of all my potentials, because I knew I had potential, I didn’t 169

When All You’ve Got is YOU need anyone to tell me my generation awaited my manifestation. I cried a lot for I feared I may never have the chance to reach the world with what I had to offer. Why should such an intelligent life be made a waste because of circumstances? I rose out of the ashes and I’m on my way to accomplishment. Starting with absolutely nothing I started going after contracts to train co operations on effective service delivery. Within a year, I got contracts worth a total of $573,333. I could have easily been the richest kid in school, but I lost most of the contracts then because I had no associate and experience to help me. I learnt and amended where I was faulting and I’m back in business. I hope to give renewed hope to the hopeless and strength to those who are losing the zeal to go after their dreams, those who are being suppressed by circumstances that they may consider hopeless. I believe everyone has a right to live this short life in happiness and accomplishment. Help keep someone’s dream alive, help give someone direction and motivation. I STRONGLY BELIEVE THIS BOOK IS ONE OF THE GREATEST GIFTS YOU CAN GIVE TO ANY INDIVIDUAL, BECAUSE IT ADRESSES MATTERS OF THE HEART AND MEANING TO LIFE. If the content of this book makes practical sense to you then don’t keep it to yourself, tell others about it. You can be instrumental in getting this message of hope and reassurance across the world, share the knowledge you have received with someone. It is a shame a lot of motivational writers are removing the name of the Lord from their books (I was 170

When All You’ve Got is YOU strongly tempted to do the same), because publishers would tell you it would affect sales, but no –I won’t take the principles the Lord has revealed and sell out without the name of the Lord. So I hope you will help prove the experts wrong and show there are reading Christians in our generation. The Author Muyiwa O. Samson has served in capacities that got him close to the very disadvantaged in society and the Lord has graced him to help many discover their purpose in life. He believes that God does not want the salvation of our souls alone, but that we live a life of excellence. He is currently working as a political campaign consultant. In his passion to help people discover and walk in God’s perfect purpose, he has been engaged in several village outreaches in Nigeria with the aim of reaching the less privilege with the gospel of Christ Jesus and for charities. My heart desire is to see people rise from the dust of life and become happy with success all around them. Remember share this with someone you love and want to succeed despite all odds. You can share your testimony or challenges with me at www.realisticman.blogspot.com or geesamuyiwa@yahoo.com .

I love you and I wait to hear your success story

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NOTES
Use the spaces below to write out your Targets in life, Your abilities and how you intend Putting what you’ve learnt to action from this very moment.

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