Monthly Archives: March, 2012

WHAT ARE YOU READING?!

My Favourite Science & Knowledge Books

Tell me what you read and I’ll tell you what you are. – Goethe

Yes, you read it correctly: what are you reading? The question is very crucial because what we read influences our thoughts, our words, our actions, our attitude, and ultimately our future.   Francis Onaiyekan in his piece, ‘We Are What We Read” published in Guardian newspaper on 30 January 2011, said “I am convinced that this is the most relevant question of this information-centered, knowledge-driven age; it is one question that those who would survive the intellection-driven challenges of a twenty-first century global society must constantly ask themselves. ” What are you reading?

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How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.

 – Henry David Thoreau

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Life is a class room and it is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary to cultivate the habit of reading. We are in the age of information, and in the words of  Alvin Toffler,  “the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” Books are a great source of learning.

It is true that readers are leaders, and real leaders are readers. Not a few people are not reading life-impacting books. They have a thousand and one reasons why they don’t enjoying reading books. But what essentially is the cause? Lack of interest? Lack of self-discipline? Laziness? Addiction to Facebook, Twitter, etc?

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There is no better way to inform and expand your mind on a regular basis than to get into the habit of reading good literature. – Stephen Covey

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Reading is an indispensable exercise for anyone who desires to be relevantly successful in life. Reading enables us to acquire new information and knowledge that will benefit our lives. There is so much to know in the world. We need to stop wallowing in the cesspool of ignorance, and toil in the mines of knowledge.

The only good, said Socrates, is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge,” says the Scriptures  (Hosea 4:6).

You should continue to read if you don’t want to die! Are you scared? I am afraid you are treading the path to “menticide” – mental suicide – by leaving your mind to atrophy? As Augustus Hare said, “reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. It is wholesome and bracing for the mind to have its faculties kept on the stretch.” Reading should only stop when you stop living. Listen to Napoleon Hill: “No man’s education is ever finished. A man’s reading program should be as carefully planned as his daily diet, for that too is food, without which he cannot mentally develop.”

If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it way from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. Those are the words of Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding founders of the United States of America.  Great men and women who leave their footprints on the sands of time have the uncanny habit of reading purposefully and voraciously.

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You must take responsibility for your own development. Today a reader, tomorrow a leader. – W. Fusselman

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Benjamin Franklin was very fond of reading. Despite the fact that his schooling ended when he was 10 years old, he did not allow his education to end. He believed that ‘the doors of wisdom are never shut,’ and he continued to read every book that he could get. He eagerly read great books. He was an avid reader. He demonstrated this by establishing  the world’s first subscription library. He invested in knowledge and eventually made himself one of the best-educated men of his time.

Ben Carson, who is acclaimed as one of the best pediatric neurosurgeon in the world, will be forever grateful to his mother for encouraging him and his brother to read wide. She required them to read two library books a week and to give her written reports on their reading even though, with her own poor education, she could barely read what they had written.

Later in life, in his book Think Big, he said:

“In my opinion, the base to personal preparation comes more from reading than from any other source. That some people do not like to read much is really no substantive argument. The more we read, the better we read and the more we enjoy reading. We cannot read too much – and most of us do not read enough… If we want to make our lives count for the betterment of the human family, we must acquire every bit of knowledge available to us. Knowledge enriches life itself… Knowledge makes us better people. Knowledge broadens our grasp of the world around us.

It is bad enough that many of us deny ourselves of the loads of benefits inherent in reading good books, and to be sure, social media is a massive weapon of distraction for many of us. We are just too busy to read. We fail to avail ourselves of the abundant opportunities that the internet provides. It gives us access to a lot of information.

Friend, you need to discipline yourself to read constantly. The benefit of a good book is beyond measure. Develop an incurable appetite for books. There are many informative, inspirational and educative books that can help you to achieve personal and professional success in life.  Invest time, money and effort in knowledge acquisition. It is an investment that will yield great dividends. GUARANTEED!

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The time to read is any time: no apparatus, no appointment of time and place, is necessary. It is the only art which can be practiced at any hour of the day or night, whenever the time and inclination comes, that is your time for reading; in joy or sorrow, health or illness. –Holbrook Jackson

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Stand.Out.And.Reign! is our unique way of telling you to SOAR.

To Our Outstanding Reign,

Let’s Make It Happen!

WHAT IS ‘SUCCESS’ ANYWAY?

Successful (song)

Everyone seems to strive to be ‘successful’ in life.

But what is ‘success’? What makes you successful, and what makes you a ‘failure’?

To answer this question, let’s first take a look at our world. Our societies are completely focused on our five senses of seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and smelling. Our five senses are constantly stimulated. They are enticed and exploited all the time.

It is therefore no surprise that we tend to focus our minds on materialism 24 hours per day. We tend to focus all the time on big cars, big houses, lots of money in the bank, and so on.

There is nothing wrong with that in itself. Neither does this mean that being ‘spiritual’ equals being poor and living in a dump. That doesn’t make sense either. The problem is not with the ‘material’ objects themselves.

Like I said, the trap is not with material objects themselves. These are just frequency patterns anyway. The problem comes when we see those objects as the ultimate goals and the very symbols of success that confirm whether we ‘made it’ in life or not.

It is for this reason that many people look to others to confirm to themselves if they are ‘doing well’ or if they are ‘successful’. When you don’t succeed in terms of big houses, big cars, big money, you are often considered as a ‘failure’, and often consider yourself as such.

The whole system thrives on consumption and the constant expansion of consumption, and the more we consume, the more we are considered to be ‘successful’. This even leads to many people borrowing more of what they don’t have and getting in even deeper trouble, simply to provide themselves the very things that should testify to others of their alleged ‘success’.

So is this the kind of ‘success’ you are looking for?

What if I told you that the real success you are looking for is not having all kinds of material stuff, but is actually called ‘happiness’?

After all, why would you want a lot of money, or a big house, or a big car? Why would you want others to approve of you?

In the end it all comes down to a desire for a sense of security and happiness, and being able to live life on your own terms. The quest ends when you’re happy and fulfilled.

But when are you happy and fulfilled?

Here’s a hint from what a wise man once said:

“Money and fame do not happiness make.”

Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with having a lot of money, or being well-known, or having big cars and big houses. These are all thought fields and are just experience. The problem is that so many people get absorbed in pursuing the material ‘dream’ that they forget about why they are doing that in the first place.

I believe it was John Harricharan who said this:

“Most people are so busy trying to make a living, they forget to make a life.”

He’s right. Most people are ‘human doings’ instead of ‘human beings’.

The funny thing is that the greatest payoff from trying to get what you want comes from a state of being. It is a state of happiness, contentment and love and gratitude for what IS that gets you what you truly want.

At any rate, the greatest payoff from your attraction efforts does certainly not come from an obsession with ever more material stuff in the merry-go-round that gets faster by the day, for the sole reason to seek approval and confirmation of your ‘success’ from others, in order to compensate for a lack of self-esteem that is the cause of this obsession to begin with.

A sense of security, self-esteem and ‘success’ is found within yourself, not outside.

And the funny thing is that once you give up the obsession with possession and finally acknowledge your true self, the person who you really are deep inside, you seem to manifest what you want much more easily.

When that happens, you can enjoy all kinds of material stuff as much as you like, if that’s what you choose. You can choose to have a big car if you like. You can choose to live in a big house if that’s what you want.

The difference is that you won’t be controlled by the never-ending pursuit of these things. You won’t be ‘on the path to happiness and success’ anymore. You would just BE happy instead, and from there you will allow things to manifest instead of chasing them forever. It’s a small difference in perception, but with profound effects.

It is then that you will start to live life, instead of life living you.

So what is ‘success’?

Success, my friend, is what you define it to be.

Now go manifest your success, whatever that is for you!

Culled from http://www.revolutioniz.com

Stand.Out.And.Reign! is our unique way of telling you to SOAR.

To Our Outstanding Reign!

Let’s Make It Happen,

Femi Asu

Bill Gates: THE SKILLS YOU NEED TO SUCCEED

 

Lifelong learning is vital

In December 2007, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) News published Bill Gates’ viewpoint with the above headline. I think what the co-founder of Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, said is more relevant now than it was five years ago. Like it or lump it, the technology trend has come to stay.

Today, if you apply for the position of an accountant in any organization, it would be a classic example of an error of omission if you are not asked this question: “What accounting software do you know?”

*Be an information worker and IT literate

As Gates rightly said, “one of the most important changes of the last 30 years (now 35 years) is that digital technology has transformed almost everyone into an information worker.

“In almost every job now, people use software and work with information to enable their organisation to operate more effectively.” I am still trying to think of a job that is an exception. Can you help me out?

Gates went further to say: “That’s true for everyone from the retail store worker who uses a handheld scanner to track inventory to the chief executive who uses business intelligence software to analyse critical market trends.

“So if you look at how progress is made and where competitive advantage is created, there’s no doubt that the ability to use software tools effectively is critical to succeeding in today’s global knowledge economy.”

To sum it up, he said: “A solid working knowledge of productivity software and other IT tools has become a basic foundation for success in virtually any career.

*Improve your communication and interpersonal skills

“Communication skills and the ability to work well with different types of people are very important too.”

Is there really a job that does not require communication skills? Gates disabused the minds of those who assume that creating software is purely a solitary activity where you sit in an office with the door closed all day and write lots of code. He said: “This isn’t true at all,” adding that “it requires the ability to collaborate and share ideas with other people, and to sit down and talk with customers and get their feedback and understand their needs.”

Who does not require these skills?

*Be a lifelong learner

“I also place a high value on having a passion for ongoing learning. When I was pretty young, I picked up the habit of reading lots of books.

“It’s great to read widely about a broad range of subjects. Of course today, it’s far easier to go online and find information about any topic that interests you.

“Having that kind of curiosity about the world helps anyone succeed, no matter what kind of work they decide to pursue.”

*Do you have numerical and scientific skills?

“I don’t think you can overemphasise the importance of having a good background in maths and science.

“If you look at the most interesting things that have emerged in the last decade – whether it is cool things like portable music devices and video games or more practical things like smart phones and medical technology – they all come from the realm of science and engineering.”

Stand.Out.And.Reign! is our unique way of telling you to SOAR.

To your Outstanding Reign,

‘Femi Asu

‘YOU CAN’T BE OLD ENOUGH TO BE ANYTHING…’

I had the fortune of attending this year’s edition of Career Fair organised by the Job Bureau Team of David’s Christian Centre (DCC). It was held last month. Today, I want to make good my promise to share my jottings from the programme with you. I wish I had done this earlier but for time constraints. I hope you find it beneficial.

Olakunle Soriyan

The first speaker, Jimi Tewe, CEO of Inspiro Consulting, was almost rounding off when I arrived at the venue. He is the author of the book Free from Corporate Slavery, which I stumbled upon and read late last year. It’s an interesting book.

The next speaker, Olakunle Soriyan, Principal Transformation Strategist of the Olakunle Soriyan Company, who literally held the participants spellbound, said in opening: “You will not be rewarded for your similarity with others, but for your difference. Everyone is a genius. People are struggling with misplaced priority, misplaced expectations…

“While there is so much information around, there is little knowledge. The goal of knowledge is transformation. Whatever you know that is not transforming your society is not knowledge, but information. We don’t need successful people any more, but great people.

“How much do you spend on your brain compared to how much you spend on your body?” he asked rhetorically, adding that “ageing is different from growing. So many people are so big on container management, and so small on content management.”

“You can’t be old enough to be anything. You can’t be old enough to be a husband, a wife…You can only be knowledgeable, ready and mature enough…”

He said many people in our society have lost their sense of vision. Little wonder, “the best teachers are in Chevron, MTN, in the banks. The best bankers are in schools [teaching]. The best engineers are not even studying engineering…It is not about earning, it is about what you are learning. Superior thinking is needed in every society.”

He said three things are essential in life. “You need humility, creativity (capacity for innovation) and people networking. Stop trying to survive, begin to live.

“Switch mode from the goal of earning to the goal of making impact and contribution. The society and its pressure will only reveal who you are and what you contain. Refine your talents, package it and present it as a skill in a usable form. The future is for those who are authority/masters in their fields.”

Kingsley Okonkwo

On his own part, the senior pastor of DCC, Kingsley Okonkwo stressed the need for self-improvement. He said the greatest ability human beings have is the ability to improve themselves.

Said he: “The whole concept of school is not meant to trap you…I discover that in Africa, school is actually a trap,” but “a school is like a mental gym –it is to give the ability to exercise your mind.”

Concerned about the situation where there are many people who are certificated but not mentally strong, he said: “A certificate does not promise a great future.” “How much have you improved yourself? He asked.

“Self-improvement must be cultivated consciously. Who you are is the most important thing, not what you are. Learning in school is different from learning in life. Don’t be afraid of things because they did not work the first time.

“Every human being is creative; some people are just lazy about improving themselves. It doesn’t matter what your background is; your greatest ability is the ability to improve yourself. Take time to think – it’s an exercise. Learn something new; never stop. Your mind is one of those things that get better with use. Most things depreciate with use. Improving yourself is a conscious effort.”

Stand.Out.And.Reign! is our unique way of telling you to SOAR.

‘Femi Asu

A QUALITY OF THE SUPERIOR THINKER

THINK LONG TERM

By Brian Tracy

Sociologist Dr. Edward Banfield of Harvard University conducted a fifty-year study into the reasons for upward socioeconomic mobility in America. He concluded that the most important single attribute of people who achieved great success in life was “long time perspective.” Banfield defined “time perspective” as “the amount of time an individual takes into consideration when determining his present actions.”

In other words, the most successful people are long-term thinkers. They look into the future as far as they can to determine the kind of people they want to become and the goals they want to achieve. They then come back to the present and determine the things that they will have to do—or not do—to achieve their desired futures.

This practice of long-term thinking applies to work, career, marriage, relationships, money, and personal conduct. Successful people make sure that everything they do in the short term is consistent with where they want to end up in the long term. They practice self-discipline at all times.

Perhaps the most important word in long-term thinking is sacrifice. Superior people have the ability to throughout their lives make sacrifices in the short term, both large and small, so as to assure greater results and rewards in the long term.

You see this willingness to sacrifice in people who spend many hours and even years preparing, studying, and upgrading their skills to make themselves more valuable so that they can have a better life in the future, rather than spending most of their time socializing and having fun in the present.

Longfellow once wrote:

“Those heights by great men, won and kept,

Were not achieved by sudden flight.

But they, while their companions slept,

Were toiling upward in the night.”

Your ability to think, plan, and work hard in the short-term and to discipline yourself to do what is right and necessary before you do what is fun and easy is the key to creating a wonderful future for yourself.

Your ability to think long-term is a developed skill. As you get better at it, you become more able to predict with increasing accuracy what is likely to happen to you in the future as the result of your actions in the present. This is a quality of the superior thinker.

Culled from No Excuses! – The Power of Self-discipline.

Stand.Out.And.Reign! is our unique way of telling you to SOAR.

‘Femi Asu

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