Category Archives: Choice
My last post was on this same topic. In it I started by saying that life is a school. And every day, class opens and fresh lessons are taught. We’d be wise to pick up those nuggets and internalize them. To read the first five lessons, check here. Here are the remaining five lessons.
Lesson #6: I have found out in life that…
Every half-truth is a lie. Honesty has no degrees. So, “don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.”(Prov. 4:24 Msg.)
Lesson #7: I have found out in life that…
It pays to be a man/woman of few words. (Prov. 10:19 Msg.) Let your words be few. (Eccles. 5:2b) Always remember that the more you say, the less people remember. “Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.”(Prov. 21:23 Msg.) “Don’t shoot off your mouth, or speak before you think…the less you speak, the better.”(Eccles. 5:2 Msg.)
Lesson #8: I have found out in life that…
The best advice on how to live is best gotten from someone who knows he/she is dying. “Your death date tells more than your birth date. You learn more at a funeral than at a feast – after all, that’s where we’ll end up. We might discover something from it.”(Eccles. 7:1b-2 Msg.) We must learn to live with the end in view. “Sorrow is better than laughter, for by a sad countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning…”(Eccles. 7:3-4)
Lesson #9: I have found out in life that…
There’s no surer way along the road to success than to follow in the footsteps of those who have reached it. Mentoring helps your quest for successful living. It pays to respect results.
Lesson #10: I have found out in life that…
To know the road, ask those coming back. We need the wisdom of fathers to help us go further!
Now, there you have them. have you also learnt some lessons from the school of life. Let’s hear it. To your success!
Yesterday was my birthday. And I had a lovely day. I had a chance to reflect on where I’m coming from and where I am headed. And by the way I had some fun with my wife, kids and some friends. Consider this post my birthday gift to you. Enjoy!
Life is a school. And every day, class opens and fresh lessons are taught. Wise are we when we pick up those nuggets and internalize them. These are some ten simple but profound lessons I have learnt from the school of life.
Lesson number one: I have found out in life that…
Fame is sublime; popularity vaporizes; only character stands the test of time. “A good name is better than precious ointment…” (Ecclesiastes 7:1) Knowing this, I work on me, not on what you think of me!
Lesson number two is this: I have found out in life that Character is not made in crisis. Crisis only reveals a man’s character. It’s just like Solomon said, “If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn’t much to you in the first place.”(Proverbs 24:10 Msg.)
The third lesson I have learnt from the school of life is this: Stumbling blocks are stepping stones. Whatever impedes a man but does not succeed in stopping him, will aid his progress.
Lesson #4 is this: I have found out in life that…you either work hard or you live hard! “Sloth makes you poor, diligence brings wealth.”(Prov. 10:4 Msg.) It is either hard work or a hard life! If you “work your garden-you’ll end up with plenty of food; play and party-you’ll end with an empty plate.” (Prov. 28:19 Msg.) “Hard work always pays off; mere talk puts no bread on the table.”(Prov. 14:23 Msg.) Laziness is a sickness that will finally kill its victim! (See Prov. 21:25 Msg.)
Lesson #5 goes like this: I have found out in life that…
When you stop to progress, you start to regress.
When you stop learning, you start dying.
When you stop growing, you start groaning!
The road to success is always under construction. Success is a journey. When you think you’ve reached your peak, you’ll hit the pit!
I’ll finish this in my next post. YOU WILL SUCCEED!
Today I want to encourage us to receive God’s mercy and move forward in our lives despite our past mistakes and failures. There is a story of three men carrying two sacks each. A passerby asked the first man what was in the sacks.
“The sack on my back is filled with all the good things that have happened to me,” he said. “The sack in the front is filled with all the bad.”
He was constantly focused on the bad things in front of him that he couldn’t even see the good on his back.
The stranger asked the second man the same question but received the opposite response.
“The sack in the back is filled with the bad things,” he said. “The sack in the front is filled with the good things.”
At the least he could see the good and not focus on the negative. But both of the sacks being so full still weighed him down and made life a burden.
Finally, the stranger asked the third man the selfsame question.
“The sack on my chest is filled with my accomplishments and victories,” he said. “The sack on my back is empty.”
“Why is it empty?” the stranger asked.
“I put all my mistakes, failures, guilt, and shame in that sack, and I cut a hole in the bottom to release them,” he said. “That way, I’m weighted in the front more than the back so I keep moving forward. In fact, the empty sack in the back acts like a sail in the wind, moving me ahead.”
We should all emulate the third man. We should let go of the bad, hang on to the good, and keep moving forward towards our God-given destiny. You will succeed!
WHAT STUFF IS A PRESIDENT MADE OF? (Refreshing Leadership Lessons from the Presidency of George W. Bush)
I must admit, this post is rather long compared to what I’m used to if you’re a regular reader of my blog. But suffer it to be so. I think alternatively I should have titled it – What Stuff Is A Leader Made Of? Reason being that the issues raised herein apply to all categories of leaders.
One of the books I read lately is Dead Certain: the Presidency of George W. Bush by Robert Draper. It’s a political narrative of the presidency of the 43rd US president, George W. Bush. To say the least, it was an interesting and engaging read.
I have always believed the fact that to become a leader and succeed as one (in any field) you need to know how other leaders think. You just must find a way of getting inside the brain of successful leaders. And one way is through reading their thoughts – in the form of books!
This is why I have always invested my money and time in the purchase and study of biographies of leaders – spiritual and religious, political and business, leaders of every shade and kind. Success leaves clues. And if you will follow the markings, you won’t miss your way.
Whatever you think of George Walker Bush and his presidency, I cannot but personally confess my admiration of him as a leader of one of the world’s greatest democracies. I can relate to the kind of decisions he had to make against the backdrop of the events that surrounded his leadership tenure. Reading the biographies and memoirs of him and several other presidents and world leaders like Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Obafemi Awolowo, Queen Elizabeth II of England, Mohandas K. Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., I think I quite well understand the burden of political leadership. In view of this I can only pray for my dear country Nigeria: Lord, send us men!
Not boys in the cloak of men, but real men formed in the crucibles of real life: solid men and women, not political jobbers and sheer opportunists who presently bestrode the corridors of power and places of influence masquerading as leaders; men who lead with posterity in view; principled women, men of substance; strong as oaks, sturdy against the storms. Lord, send us men!
I gained some refreshing insights from the book: not new concepts but noteworthy as epitomized in a politician’s life. I highlight the lessons and put the actual words of Bush in quote:
1. REAL LEADERSHIP IS PRINCIPLE-CENTERED, if I may borrow that from the late Steve Covey. Bush said, “I ran for reasons. Principled reasons. Principles which I will stand on. And when I leave this office I’ll stand on them…” Leaders must learn to live and lead by principles. Not by whims and impulses, political grandstanding nor pandering to a crowd. As parents, CEOs, pastors or leaders in any field, we must have an internal compass that guides our thoughts, actions and decisions.
2. LEADERSHIP RUNS ON THE FUEL OF PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL STAMINA. Bush commented that in “the presidency…you get tired. Exercise helps. And I think prayer helps. I really do.” He reportedly started his days with Bible reading and devoted two hours to exercising daily. If a sitting US president thinks fitness and health that necessary, then we’d better sit up. We may not have a job like his but a responsibility no less! As leaders we need to prioritize our health and devotional life.
3. A LEADER MUST BE DISCIPLINED. “I’m sustained by discipline. I don’t think I’ll be sitting here if not for the discipline. I was undisciplined at times. Never over the edge, but undisciplined. I wouldn’t be president if I kept drinking. You get sloppy, can’t make decisions, it clouds your reason, absolutely.” See that! We need discipline to lead, ourselves first before others. Whatever needs fixing in your life right now, had better be fixed before it takes you down.
4. LEADERS ARE READERS. Reading improves the quality of your thoughts and thereby the quality of your decisions and ultimately your leadership. This blew me away when I read it in the book. Bush said, “I read an interesting book…I’m on my eighty-seventh book this year.” And not only him, he went on to mention that his senior adviser Karl “Rove’s on, like, a hundred two…” and he went on to describe what he read in the book! How I long for the day Mr. President or a cabinet minister, senator, governor or any of their numerous aides will tell us the book he/she is reading presently. God help us in Nigeria! But before you lay onto them, what about you?
Will you be that leader? Will you be that person God finds worthy to lead his/her family, company or nation to the Promised Land? I challenge you to stand up and be counted. You will succeed!
“I am only one
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do”
This poem by Edward Everett Hale is an inspiration. And it is the thought I want to commit to your meditation right now.
It can be overwhelming trying to make a difference or changing the world. And come to think of it, you can’t take on the world like that. Changing the entire world begins and really is all about influencing the person next to you. You may not be able to do everything. That is sure. As humans we are finite. We have limited capacities-capacities of time, money, expertise, knowledge and influence. I cannot do everything. You cannot do everything. But that shouldn’t stop you from doing the little you can do.
See, it is little drops of water that make a mighty ocean. If you do what you can, and I do what I can; maybe we can together change the world. Jesus said it this way: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) It does not matter the size of your light-big or small? Your responsibility is to let it shine. You do what you can and leave the rest to God.
Look around you today: What one thing can you change? What one step can you take that will make a difference in the world – your own little corner of the world? What one thing can you do – make a statement, do an act of kindness, volunteer your time and skills, lend your voice to a cause and speaking out? Be a force for good and for God in your immediate environment – your family, workplace, and neighborhood. Go ahead and do that, friend. Now, that’s how to be a world-changer!