Ex-Commonwealth chief tells youths to seek Nigeria’s restructuring

‘Sola Abe

image

Anyaoku speaking at the event

A former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has urged Nigerian youths to mobilise themselves and channel some of their youthful enthusiasm and activism into clamouring for a restructuring of the country’s governance structure.

Anyaoku stated this at an event organised by Rise Networks in commemoration of the United Nations’ International Youth Day 2016 in Lagos.

While speaking on the theme, ‘The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Production and Consumption,’ Anyaoku said, “If the country wants to rid itself of poverty, there has to be essential national action in the areas of politics, social change and economic activities.”

According to him, the restructuring of Nigeria should pose no threat to her unity as there is need to realise that a truer federalism will give the country greater political stability and faster socio-economic development.

“It is the continuation of the ongoing agitations in different parts of the country which are encouraged by present governing structure,” he said.

The ex-Commonwealth chief explained that politics should be restructured by devolving more power to the federating units to provide more viable basis for economic planning and development.

Anyaoku emphasised that the Nigerian society in its present state was in great need of social change.

He explained, “Corruption permeates all levels of the society starting from examination malpractices in our schools and education institutions through primary and receiving of gratification before the performance of ones’ obligatory duties to outright embezzlement and stealing of public and private funds.”

He argued that hard work was no longer recognised as the only path to success in Nigeria but the society had placed the possession of wealth over and above the possession of good hard work, hence, the heavy presence of corruption.

“I urge our youths as powerful agents of quality change to be in the vanguard of a campaign for the restoration of the societal values and ethics that guided people’s behaviour in the past in the growing up of young people.”

While speaking about the massive poverty present in the country, Anyaoku said it was closely linked to the unacceptable level of youth unemployment.

According to him, to effectively address the challenge of youth unemployment, entrepreneurship must be embraced.

“I believe there are vast opportunities to be tapped in the spheres of agriculture, and agro-based industry and also the small and medium-scale manufacturing of things that will boost the economy of the country,” he said.

 

Adeyemi, Oyemade warn against self-centredness, rent-seeking mindset

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‘Femi Asu

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3,000 young minds to converge on Abuja for Emerging Leaders Conference

…Utomi, Omotola, Momoh, others to lead discussions

Credit: GOTNI

Credit: GOTNI

The Guardians of the Nation International (GOTNI) is set to host 3,000 young leaders in its two-day Emerging Leaders Conference in Abuja, the country’s seat of power, to rethink the current state of the country.

GOTNI said the conference would boost the capacities of Nigeria’s emerging youth influencers to enhance the country’s economic fortunes.

It said 3, 000 celebrated young minds under 40 would be part of the conversation on Nigeria’s future in a new administration.

It noted that Nigeria is one nation whose strength is in her youth, adding that “all over the world, the impact of the Nigerian youth is felt and being harnessed for development of nations.

“It is with this awareness that the Emerging Leaders Conference was designed, especially to provide more capacity for Nigeria’s emerging youth influencers and help them multiply their influence in other youths for a more empowered economy. Over 5,000 youths has been part of this grooming and network of change makers,” GOTNI said in a statement.

According to it, the ELC 2015, which is slated to hold on November 6 and 7 in Abuja, is an expanded brand as 3000 young people would be hosted, coming from all sectors of the economy with the aim to improve their economic output afterwards.

With the theme ‘Rethinking Nigeria: Leadership for Possibilities’, the conference will spotlight discourse on enterprise and business leadership, intrapreneurship, social enterprise as well as government and political leadership.

GOTNI said, “This conference also keenly puts mentors and mentees together for a robust interaction that infuses the sectors with energy from collaboration, so that other young people can follow.

It said the conference would have headline speakers such as Tim Howard, President, Cambridge Graduate University; Prof. Pat Utomi; Eugenia Abu of NTA; Omotola Jalade Ekehinde, Nollywood actress and Human rights activist; Sam Ikoku, Chief Executive Officer, Nakachi Consulting; John Momoh, Chairman, Channels TV; Mary Akpobome of Heritage Bank Ltd; Mr. Linus Okorie, President of GOTNI.

Others include Innocent Chukwuma of Ford Foundation; Moh’d Buhari of Briclinks Africa; Tonye Cole, Chairman, Sahara Energy; Dayo Benjamins Laniyi of Doxa; Doyin Adewola of Box Office; Chichi Aniagolu of Nike Foundation; Muyiwa Afolabi, Sonye Allanah and politicians such as Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Femi Adesina, Uche Nwosu, Hon. Chike Okafor, among others.

GOTNI said it had launched a website for the conference

atwww.emergingleadersconference.com, which is open for registration to the public.

2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship application opens Oct. 1

1,000 young Africans to benefit

Credit: Presidential Precinct

Credit: Presidential Precinct

The United States’ Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria on Wednesday announced that applications for the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship will begin to be accepted on Thursday, October 1, 2015.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship programme of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative, and a key part of the US commitment to invest in the future of Africa.

Beginning in 2016, the fellowship will bring together 1,000 young African leaders across three tracks – business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership, and public management – for a six-week, in-depth academic and leadership training at 20 top American universities.  Afterwards, the fellows will converge in Washington, D.C., for a Presidential summit, featuring a town hall with President Obama.

According to the statement, eligible candidates should be between the ages of 25 and 35 and have a demonstrated track record of leadership in a public, private, or civic organization, and a commitment to contributing their skills and talents to build and serve their communities.

It said, “Interested candidates should visit http://www.yali.state.gov to apply and seek further information.  The application deadline is November 11, 2015.

“Prospective fellows needing access to the Internet may visit the Information Resource Center at the US Embassy in Abuja or US Consulate General in Lagos or one of the 11American Corners in Nigeria to complete the application. “

According to the statement, nearly one in three Africans are between the ages of 10 and 24, and around 60 percent of Africa’s total population is below the age of 35.  The Mandela Washington Fellowship initiative is part of the President’s overall effort to encourage investment in the education and training of the continent’s next generation of leaders.

In 2010, President Obama launched YALI as a vehicle to support an emerging generation of African leaders.  In 2014, the programme was expanded to include 500 young African leaders from sub-Saharan Africa.  In 2016, 1,000 young Africans will participate in the fellowship.

Since its inception, 86 young Nigerians have participated in the fellowship, and over 26,000 young professionals in Nigeria have joined the YALI network.  In 2016, approximately 100 young Nigerians are expected to participate in the fellowship.  Grace Jerry, a Nigerian fellow and an advocate for people living with disabilities, introduced President Obama at the 2015 presidential summit.

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SDGs: UN dreams big, you should too!

Personal Development

‘Femi Asu

This past weekend, world leaders met at the United Nations General Assembly in New York and adopted new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an ambitious agenda that aims to end poverty, promote prosperity and to protect the environment over the next 15 years.

The SDGs replace the eight Millennium Development Goals, which were adopted in 2000 and expire this year.

The UN came up with a 17-point agenda of goals to build a better world. But some analysts have described the goals as too ambitious and unrealistic.

As I was going through the global goals over the weekend, I could not agree more that a number of them are highly ambitious. They qualify to be called BHAGs – Big Hairy Audacious Goals — a term coined by Jim Collins and Joe Perras in their book ‘Built To Last: Successful Habits of Successful Companies.’

Or what do you say about goals that seek to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere; end hunger, achieve food security…; ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages; ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all; achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”, among others?

I’m sure it was not for nothing that the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said: “We need action from everyone, everywhere. Seventeen sustainable development goals are our guide. They are a to-do list for people and planet, and a blueprint for success. To achieve these new global goals, we will need your high-level commitment. We need a renewed global partnership.”

As the UN SDGs are meant to guide development priorities around the globe over the next 15 years, I believe each one of us should have clear-cut written goals to guide our personal development.

I call them Self-Development Goals. These SDGs are as essential to your personal success as they are to the betterment of the society you live in.

If we all have SDGs to pursue and are determined to achieve them, then the accomplishment of the UN SDGs will not be a tall order.

To improve the world, we must begin by improving ourselves. To improve ourselves, we need to have goals, dreams and visions, and ensure they are big enough to inspire us to break out of our comfort zones and stretch ourselves. We only grow when we stretch.

You must dream big to do big things. When you aim high, it helps you to maximise your God-given potential.

Orison Swett Marden said, “All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.”

The late personal development legend and American author, Jim Rohn, who passed away in 2009, defined success as the steady progress in reaching your own personal goals.

Do you have personal goals to achieve in the next one, three, five, or 10 years? How committed are you towards improving yourself?

Rohn said, “Unless you change how you are, you will always have what you’ve got. You can have more than you’ve got because you can become more than you are.

“Why not see how far you can go, how much you can earn, how much you can share and how much you can give? Why wouldn’t you want to discover all that you can become?”

It is true that too often people forfeit future success by not continuing to invest in their own development.

Some people reach a certain level and wrongly believe they’ve peaked. Success is a journey, not a destination. You can always become more, do more and share more.

As a stickler for personal development, I believe we can all achieve outstanding results in our lives by constantly seeking to improve our knowledge base and skills set through continuous learning.

Marie Curie, a two-time Nobel Prize winner, said: “You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for our own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.”

How much time are you investing in your personal development?

1,000 ‘champions’ poised for Emerging Leaders Conference in Nigeria

‘Femi ASU

The Guardians of the Nation International (GOTNI), the organiser of the Emerging Leaders Conference, is bringing together 1,000 young people from all over the country and in the Diaspora for the two-day gathering of champions, where Andrew Pocock, British High Commissioner to Nigeria; Chinedu Nebo, minister of power; Akinwumi Adesina, minister of agriculture and Olajumoke Akinjide, minister for state for the Federal Capital Territory, others are billed to speak.

Linus Okorie

Linus Okorie

The Conference, which will hold in Abuja on August 29 and 30, is aimed at addressing the challenges of leadership and governance as it will bring together experts, business leaders, captains of industries, entertainment icons and distinguished Nigerians who will teach on the realities of today’s leadership crisis in view of a desired future.

“Young people from all over the country and in the Diaspora will gather to discuss the future of our country in ways unimaginable. It is a leadership development system that inspires young people to develop their leadership skills and not just that, to build a huge network of young people from all over the country who are doing great things,” said Linus Okorie, founder of GOTNI.

“We will adopt a peer review mechanism, where a young person from Ekiti who is doing something great, but at the conference discovers that there is someone that is doing four times better and it will inspire them to be able to think Nigeria and act Nigeria.”

He said GOTNI had been asking Nigeria, for the past 18 years, to give young people an opportunity to grow in leadership content which will enable them define and redefine the future of the country.

Leadership competence is key for national development and so I am asking young leaders in each institution, company to come together so that we can redefine this country and set this country on a path of gold, said Okorie.

“It is good for government to create policy that will can empower young people to get involved, but however if young people do not grow and stretch, learn, build, do, become and begin to make a difference like never before, what is going to happen is that when you give them leadership tomorrow, they will mess it up,” he said.

We have not really addressed the need to build leadership capital in our nation and that is why for the past 18 years, my heart’s beat has been to build leadership capital for this country, said Okorie. “I am expecting socio-change makers, those entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, who are willing to do something. Young people who are already making waves across the country. In fact corporate organisations, banks should send young people who are outstanding in their companies. I am expecting farmers, young people in the villages who are outstanding as well,” he added.

The legacy my father left

FEMI ASU

“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom,” Umberto Eco in Foucault’s Pendulum

Happy Father’s Day!

Last night I was listening to the weekly address of the president of the United States, Barack Obama, and it reminded me of the legacy my father left.

When he passed on last year, I knew I had lost a formidable father, a masterly mentor and a terrific teacher.

He was a father full of care, love, humility, generosity and understanding. He made so positive an impact on me that I can’t forget him in a hurry!

He did not only tell us the value of living a good life, of prayer and of meditating on the word of God, he showed us by his own example.

He was a stickler for knowledge, excellence and personal development. Though he did not have the chance to receive formal education in the four walls of a school, he was so committed to personal development that he was able to read and write.

Amid overwhelming odds, he strove to give his family his best. To be sure, his good example and the good name he left are the legacy I will always cherish and emulate.

“I know how important it is to have a dad in your life, because I grew up without my father around. I felt the weight of his absence,” President Obama said. “So for Michelle and our girls, I try every day to be the husband and father my family didn’t have when I was young.”

Stressing the need for fathers to get more involved in their children’s lives, Obama said: “What makes you a man isn’t the ability to have a child; it is the courage to raise one.

”There is nothing more precious in life than the time we spend with our children. There is no better feeling than knowing that we can be there for them and provide for them…”

Over the past couple of years I have met with a lot of young people who don’t have a father figure in their lives, said Obama, “Any of us can do our part to be a mentor, a sounding board, a role model for a kid who needs one…Taking responsibility for being a great parent or a mentor is a choice that we as individuals have to make. No government programme can ever take the place of a parent’s love.”

Many years ago, the brother of Alfred Nobel died in Stockholm. But the newspapers got the name wrong as they concluded it was Alfred Nobel himself who had died, and wrote his obituary, which he read the next day. In Nobel’s premature obituary, he was remembered primarily for inventing dynamite, which had been responsible for the deaths of countless human beings in wars and conflicts around the world.

This obituary has such a shocking effect on Nobel that he immediately began rearranging his entire life to change his legacy and assure that his obituary, when it was ultimately written, would be completely different. To this end, he established the Nobel Prizes, based on his great fortune, which are today the highest awards that can be attained in the worlds of literature, medicine, science, economics, peace and chemistry.

By thinking clearly about the legacy he wanted to leave, he transformed both his present actions and his ultimate memory. He rewrote his own obituary.

“A father acts on behalf of his children by working, providing, intervening, struggling, and suffering for them. In so doing, he really stands in their place. He is not an isolated individual, but incorporates the selves of several people in his own self,” said Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Once again, Happy Father’s Day!

‘FEMI tweets @asufemi

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Brian Tracy in Nigeria tells ‘why some people are more successful than others’

…says every rung on the ladder of success is a new skill that is learnable

‘FEMI ASU

Brian Tracy, one of America’s leading authorities on the development of the human potential and personal effectiveness, on Sunday highlighted what makes the difference between highly successful individuals and others to an elated audience in Nigeria.

Speaking at Daystar Christian Centre in Lagos, the author of best-selling books including ‘Eat That Frog!’ and ‘Maximum Achievement’ said he was born into a poor family and had to set out on the quest as to why some people are more successful than others. In his determined bid to unravel the secrets, he read 66 books on the subject.

“They are more productive; they get more result and they make contribution to the world,” he said of people who are more successful. “If you want to get more from what you do, put more into it.”

On the ladder of success, he said, every rung is a new skill that will help you get more results. “You have more potential than you can use up in your lifetime. You can learn any skill,” he added.

With more skills, you get better, he said, adding that people who are more successful “keep getting better and climb the ladder of success.”

Tracy said the most important quality for success is focus. “If you can focus, you can achieve anything.”

Stating that technology is one of the greatest enemies of success today as it has huge capacity to distract, he said one of the greatest secret of success is to “leave things off; disconnect. Focus on the most important thing. You have to set priorities and focus on those things to get results.”

Task completion – starting and finishing a task – is another quality of people who are more successful than others. “All success comes from task completion,” he said.

Joy is as a result of doing something that improves your life, said Tracy. “Every time you complete a task it makes you happy.”

Successful people are those who have the habit of starting and completing a task, he said, even as he stressed the need to pray to God about one’s desires.

Speaking about the importance of clarity, he said: “If you are clear about what you want, you will start to attract all the resources and people you need to achieve it.”

Writing down goals also set successful people apart from others. “When you write down a goal with your hand, it will be programmed in your subconscious mind.” Quoting Henry Ford, he said any goal can be achieved if you break it down into small tasks.

“Be clear about what you want and focus on that one thing until you get result. What is your most important goal right now?” Tracy challenged the audience. “To achieve the goal you have not achieved before, you need a new skill. Ask yourself ‘which one skill we help me most to achieve my goal?’”

He added: “Be clear about your goals; be clear about the most important skills you need and be clear about the most important tasks that you can do to achieve your goals.”

‘FEMI tweets @asufemi

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Lekan Otufodunrin: leading the charge of purpose-driven journalism in Nigeria

 

‘FEMI ASU

Image

This month he attained the golden age, precisely on May 9. A purpose-driven journalist that he is, Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin decided to use that day to further impact aspiring and budding journalists, who converged on the Nigerian Institute of Journalism hall, Ogba, in Lagos, for a 50th Birthday Lecture focusing on ‘Re-inventing Journalism: The Case for Conscious Media Career Development in Nigeria’.

Before I met him two years ago, I had known him by reputation through my involvement in Campus Life, a weekly pullout in The Nation Newspaper. In 2010, I stumbled on a book written by him, and I bought it. The book ‘Purpose-Driven Journalism’, which gives insight on how to fulfill purpose in journalism, struck a chord in me.

Thanks to Uncle Richard Akinnola, I got to meet Mr. Lekan in 2012, when I needed to resolve what was for me a vexed issue as urgently as possible. Mr. Richard had sent me a text message containing two people’s phone numbers, recommending that I speak with them. That evening I called Mr. Lekan and explained the matter to him. He gave me useful feedback, and asked that I come to see him in his office later. Since then, he has been a mentor to me.

Although it took me unawares that he was organising a lecture to celebrate his 50th birthday as I only learnt of it that day, I made effort to attend the programme. Before I got to the venue, he had given his lecture, but I met presentations by other guest speakers.

“If you bring a sense of purpose to bear on what you do, people will respect you for what you are,” he said in a chat I had with him at the end of the event.

Asked why he organised the event, he said “I want to make a point that media career is important, and this is what I want to do more. I don’t want to look back years later and say ‘I am ashamed of journalism’. I want to be proud of it, but the only thing I can do is to make my own contribution.

“Journalism has been a substantial part of my life. I am writing a book called ‘Journalism of My Life’. I am going to publish it very soon. It showcases what God has sent me to do right from when I was in higher secondary school. As the library prefect in my higher secondary school, I edited a newsletter.”

Currently the managing editor, online, The Nation, Mr. Lekan graduated in 1985 and worked in The Punch from 1987 to 1999. “I started journalism as a state correspondent. For four years, I was in Abeokuta, Ogun State, and those were days when there were no gadgets; when you go cover an event and you would dictate every word to Lagos.

“I am glad that God wants me to be a journalist and I have been a journalist. We have initiatives such as Journalists for Christ and media trainings. I pray that God will spare my life so that I can still be of help. If I got help in the past, why should I not help?”

He sure has a word of advice for budding journalists: “My advice to them is to take the job very seriously. If God wants you to be a journalist, don’t grumble about it. Give it your best because you are writing your testimonial every day. Somebody said there is nothing you do that never gets rewarded. If today you work in an organisation and they are not paying you well, you are going to move somewhere else where they are going to pay you very well. I know people who people called and said ‘you must work for us, how much do you want?’”

Asked if he would still do journalism if he had the opportunity to come to this world again, he enthused: “Yes, I will gladly do journalism. What journalism enables you to do many other professions do not give you. We influence a lot of people. You write an article somebody reads it and his or her life is changed.”

After the chat with him, I went to town to speak with some of the participants at the event.

Mr. Jide Orintunsin, a journalist based in Niger State, who I later discovered had Mr. Lekan as his best man during his wedding, said: “Lekan Otufodunrin is a man of many parts depending on how you get to know him. To me, he is a brother and a friend and a confidant. I came all the way from Minna today to celebrate God in his life. Lekan is one man who is ready to discomfort himself in other to add value to you. He is ready to go extra mile to see that your life is better. Lekan is a man who is ready to spend his last kobo to improve you. He was my best man 22 years ago and he has been a factor in stabilising my home. I remember when I was transferred to the North; Lekan was the one taking care of my family here in Lagos. One thing I know is that he is going places, he is going to be a global personality that will be read all over the world. He is yet to start, and I know that God will take him higher in Jesus name.”

“Uncle Lekan is someone that I can describe as one of the last men standing in Nigerian journalism as far as ethics, commitment and uprightness are concerned,” said Ms. Betty Abah, executive director, CEE-HOPE Nigeria.

“He is one of the few men that people can stand up and say that this journalist has not compromised. We call him the editor of editors. He is someone who is also a good representative of Christ. He is the president of Journalists for Christ. For many of us he is our model; he really challenges us. There are many people he has directly touched. He mentors a whole generation of students. If we emulate his life, Nigeria will be a better place. I wish him 50 more years on earth,” she said.

 

‘FEMI tweets @asufemi

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2013: That’s the way the cookie crumbles…

hope2

By ‘Femi Asu

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About this time last year,when I was writing the piece below (which I have tweaked a little), I was at the crossroads. It was not an easy transition, having left my job and looking to get my foot in the door of an organisation where I can harness my journalistic potential. And to think that I was practically broke. That’s the way the cookie crumbles, but I counted my blessings. I focused on working towards achieving what I desired. It was a long, tortuous journey, but mission was eventually accomplished.In spite of challenges, I kept hope alive and persisted. Maybe or not your situation is captured below, I urge you to keep hope alive. This too shall pass!
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It is that time of the year when most of us engage in retrospection. We ask ourselves, ‘what have I achieved this year?’ Some people end up plunged into depression because they feel there is nothing to hold dear.  For some, it is celebration galore because they feel it has been a wonderful year so far. Talk about different strokes for different folks. That’s life.

Just like yesterday,as the colloquialism goes, many of us started 2013 with fantastic resolutions,heart-warming wishes, beautiful plans, lofty dreams and audacious goals to achieve. Some of us built castles in the air, hoping to put the ground structure as the year progresses. But now that the year is as good as gone,what has your experience been? Which of these words readily sprang to mind:good, bad, ugly or beautiful?

How have you fared this year? Do you feel the year has dealt you more blows than the blessings it has delivered to you? Do you feel you have had more than your fair share of challenges and trials? Are you finding it hard to stop worrying about the missed opportunities, the dashed hopes, the unrealised (or yet-to-be-realised)dreams, or your ‘air castles’ that collapsed like a pack of cabin biscuits?

Maybe your many job applications have yet to translate to employment or you lost your job. Or, maybe, like me in 2012, you were so ‘crazy’ that you jettison your job and joined the job-seekers’ lot!  That’s the way the cookie crumbles; count your blessings anyway. Maybe your planned wedding couldn’t hold for some unpalatable reasons. That’s the way the cookie crumbles;count your blessings anyway.

Maybe your fiance or fiancee used a sledgehammer to break your heart into smithereens! That’s the way the cookie crumbles; count your blessings anyway. Maybe you failed an exam that you gave your very best to, maybe your best wasn’t good enough. That’s the way the cookie crumbles; count your blessings anyway. Maybe you had a miscarriage,a still birth, or lost your baby after birth. That’s the way the cookie crumbles; count your blessings anywhere.

Maybe you lost your loved one(s) to Boko Haram bombs, plane crash, road accident, sickness,disease, or whatever it is. That’s the way the cookie crumbles; count your blessings anyway.

Maybe you lost a fortune and now you are almost flat broke. That’s the way the cookie crumbles;count your blessings anyway.  Maybe your friends deserted you when you needed them most. That’s the way the cookie crumbles; count your blessings anyway.

Maybe, in this festive season, you have chosen to be in a pensive mood. Sulking mode activated.  Please take a pause and ponder awhile. Instead of thinking of the few things that make you unhappy in the year, why not relive the wonderful moments? Or, don’t you think you should be thankful for small mercies? You know it could have been worse, don’t you? Would you rather cry over the crumbled cookie or count your blessings?

As the familiar refrain goes, when there is life, there is hope. 2014 is almost upon us. God willing, the end of 2013 will not be the end of life for us. Friend, so long as you are still alive, I urge you to keep hope alive. If I may borrow the words of Barack Obama, “I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path.

 

“I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight. I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.”

 

How prepared are you to pursue your dreams, goals and heart’s desires?  What do you plan to do differently to achieve them in 2014?

NOTE: This piece was originally written and published in December 2012.

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