Hello everyone! Happy Monday.
Today is Monday and I know how ‘out-of –sorts’ some people may feel at the beginning of the week. To boost your spirits, I bring to you the transcript of a speech by a great woman. An Amazon. My Mentor. Mrs Funso Adegbola.
This inspiring speech was delivered at an event held at Oxbridge Tutorial College, Ikeja, Lagos on the 23rd of October, 2015. I envy those who listened to it LIVE! Still, I have the entire speech, and I’ve decided to share. It’s lengthy, but it’s worth reading, I promise. As you read, may God give you the grace to live a happy and purpose- filled life, and may you enjoy the journey all the way. See you on top!
A million thanks to my Aunty, My Mentor, My Governor! She is a Member of the BoG of my school, The Vale College, Ibadan- Dr. Femi Ogunsanya for inviting me. She is my role-model in the educational sector in Nigeria. If I can be half the successful woman she is, then I would be fulfilled! Thank you Aunty for always being there for me, for as far back as I can remember!
Thank you members of staff of Oxbridge Tutorial College, especially Mr. Oye Ojo for the wonderful work you are doing.
To the wonderful, brilliant and well-balanced students of OTC, the great, present and future leaders of Nigeria, I say Good Morning! Your parents have invested a lot in you, emotionally, spiritually and financially, and it is my prayer that you will excel in your studies and everything that you lay your hands on IJN.
Definition of success. What is your own definition? Success is subjective.
Achievement. Excellence. Wellbeing. Rich. Happy. Good career, Stable home, well-behaved children. Many homes, exotic cars, fat bank accounts in all currencies?
What does success mean to you, men and women?
Men- position, power, money – Chairman/CEO
Women- emotional stability, relationship as wife, mother, daughter, career, family life, finances, health, work.
6 AREAS OF WELL-BEING.
1. Social 2. Career 3. Financial 4. Physical 5. Community. 6. Spiritual
The edge the successful person has over the average is in his/her INTERNAL THOUGHT PROCESSES. An OPTIMISTIC THINKING STYLE – a positive mindset can be learned. Having an optimistic thinking style results in feelings that encourage us to persevere in the face of challenges.
Watch your SELF-TALK. Successful people believe in themselves. They have authentic self confidence that buoys them in the face of challenges and opportunities.
Where are you now? Go from the known to the Unknown.
Do you know where you are going? Where are you coming from?
Are you doing your A-levels of Foundation course? What subjects are you studying? Which career are you hoping to pursue?
What are your personal goals? Career and family goals?
Eg I am 17/18 years old, doing A-levels in Physics, Chemistry, Biology. What grades do I have to get to study Medicine? What are my university options? Oxford, Cambridge, UniLag, UI, USA or Ukraine?
Where are you going?
I am aiming for a First Class or 2.1 degree?
I intend to do a Masters in Emotional Psychology at UI or Cambridge University.
I plan to get married in 10 years’ time and have 3 children by the time I am 35.
Know your Strengths. Do a SWOT analysis.
Goals must be SMART.
How are you going to get there? and what do you need to get there? This is the PLAN. A planless life is a useless life.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Find out what UI or Cambridge University requires for entry for Medicine?
2.1 or First class? How much does it cost to do the degree? Tuition, accommodation, living expenses etc? How am I going to pay?
Are there other universities that do the course in Nigeria and how much will it cost?
Are there scholarships available? How do I apply for them?
Add knowledge and skills to your academic qualifications.
Readers are leaders.
Vision.- You must have a vision/ a dream / a goal for your life.
WRITE IT DOWN – Habbakuk 2:2-3 “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets, so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false”.
Dr Laura King ” Writing is a tool for processing events and this act of processing proves to be therapeutic. Writing simply validates your experience. After writing earnestly and from the heart, writing can sometimes give you a third person experience. Putting experiences on the page and especially re-reading these experiences, makes you a witness to your own life.
Writing about your life’s goals is beneficial. It has HEALTH BENEFITS and studies show that it gives the writer a stronger immune system to ward off infections. One of the exercises she prescribes that leads to Positive Emotion and Health Benefits is to write about your BEST POSSIBLE SELF.
Let’s get practical.
What is YOUR BEST POSSIBLE FUTURE SELF?-
Write about your life in the future, using present tense.
Imagine, How does it feel? Who are you with? What does your day look like? Where are you? Who do you impact? What is different about your best possible future self compared to your current self?
Write as vividly and as specifically as you can about your best possible self. Envision yourself there.
What is the picture of your next level of success? Success is a harmony of PURPOSE, RESILIENCE and JOY. Success is living your life’s purpose and embracing resilience and joy as you do.
Make it your goal to cultivate Optimism as a success strategy.
PURPOSE- IT is about MAKING A DIFFERENCE in the lives of others.
It is always about using your strengths in the service of others.
Your purpose in life answers the simple question-“How is someone’s life better because she or he has crossed your path?”.
Living your purpose isn’t only what you are here for, but it also EMPOWERS YOU TO SUCCEED.
A vision-propelled life.
Isaiah 55v 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways, my ways says the Lord”.
Vision is the product of effective thinking. Descartes, the philosopher said “I think therefore I am”. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. If you think you are successful so you will be.
“Great people think because they are great, and great people are great because they think”.
Ability to handle a vision separates great people from ordinary people. You are extra-ordinary not ordinary!
Vision is FORESIGHT based on INSIGHT with the benefit of HINDSIGHT. A person of vision sees what God has for him/ her before its fulfilment. Vision is no doubt one of the most powerful forces available to Man on earth today. Vision gives meaning to life. It keeps us alive and conditions our lives.
Proverbs 29v18 ” Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keeps the law, happy is he”.
A man with no vision is at best a LIVING CORPSE. He desires nothing and so achieves nothing.
So I ask you, ” What is your vision for your life? What do you see in your Remote Future?
We need a vision / power of imagination to guide our lives. We need a vision for our businesses. Personal ownership of a vision is needed for our walk with the Lord Jesus Christ, for our Home and our Families. A young visionary achieves GOOD SUCCESS in his/her endeavours.
THINK, BELIEVE, ACT and ACHIEVE!
Our thinking style is very important. God calls us to a GROWTH MINDSET.
Romans 12:2- ” Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”.
Matthew 19:26 “With God all things are possible”.
Ephesians 3:20 “To Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us”.
The key to advancement is recognising that your limitations are not unchangeable, fixed or genetic. The fact that you aren’t good at Maths now, doesn’t mean you can’t get an A in it.
With education, you can expand your understanding in these areas. With DISCIPLINE, your possibilities are truly limitless.
BELIEVE it is possible. You must have HOPE. Hope is the foundation of FAITH and the essence of OPTIMISM. When you stop hoping, you start settling. Give yourself permission to hope again. To dream a bigger dream. Successful young people are CONFIDENT enough to dream authentic dreams. Stretch and see beyond your current circumstances and resources. Hope energises, inspires and motivates you. Don’t downsize your dreams! To succeed at a high level, you must start expecting more. Choose faith over fear!
ACT- if you don’t act on your vision, it remains a fantasy!
To actualise your vision, be RESOLUTE, be PREPARED FOR CHANGE and be PRAYERFUL .
Use the Power of Prayer. In Ephesians 6:18 Paul says, ‘….pray…on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…’ Prayer reduces stress, boosts positive energy and promotes health. When you are under pressure, instead of complaining, plug in to God’s power and recharge your batteries.
Success has PRICE TAGS which are
COURAGE- you have to be bold to take the fist step. God hasn’t give us a spirit of fear but of boldness and of sound mind. You can live life fully or you can live it small. Living fully takes COURAGE. Courage is a choice. The choice is yours. You have this one life to live, this isn’t a rehearsal! Enjoy every moment and live life courageously! Like Nike, just do it- fearlessly!
DETERMINATION – When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Be determined and focused that you can do it. Ability to be RESILIENT in the face of challenges. Successful young people excel in thinking differently in the face of fear, failure, setbacks and challenges. They say different things to themselves in the face of such obstacles. Watch your SELF-TALK.
DISCIPLINE – keep keeping on, whether or not you feel like it. Decide you will study one hour everyday, no matter what. Don’t be distracted. Focus on solutions not problems. Choose a mindset that sees problems as opportunities for growth, and you will eventually walk into your vision. When you focus on solutions, you attract opportunities.
Focus on your success. Start a success journal. ‘Nothing succeeds like success’. When you focus on success you set the stage for more to follow.
RISK-TAKING,- You never know you can do it until you try. Don’t be paralysed by fear. Write down your fears, the best and worst case scenarios. If you fail, you are not a failure, learn the lessons and move on! Choose Courage over fear. Fear tempts you to shrink from your authentic desires. But fear isn’t a stop sign. Refuse to succumb to it. Just go ahead and DO IT! Take calculated risks. Having thought it through, go forward in the Name of the Lord.
CONSISTENCY – be consistent. If you commit to 2hrs revision a day, consistently put in those 2 hours. It could be 1 hour in the morning and the other in the evening. Once you know your purpose, take daily action in the direction of your vision. Consistency is key. If you continually take steps in the right direction, you will eventually arrive at your destination.
DOING THE RIGHT THINGS FOR THE RIGHT REASONS – What is your motive? Are you doing it to better yourself or because your best friend is doing that course? Choose to be AUTHENTIC don’t be a copycat! Don’t get caught up in the rat race, because even if you win, you are still a rat!
Be yourself. It takes less effort and energy to be yourself, but it also takes Courage. Aim to be the BEST YOU POSSIBLE- nothing more, nothing less!
When David had a vision, he conquered Goliath. When David lost his vision he could not conquer his LUST over Bathsheba! Is your VISION INTACT? Do something about it.
RELATIONSHIPS- Choose relationships wisely and nurture them intentionally. Success doesn’t occur in a vacuum. You need people and people need you. Those with a STRONG SUPPORT SYSTEM have the resources that open doors of opportunity and empower them to manage any challenge. Also there is a deep sense of well- being that occurs when we give to others, offering support, kindness and love. Don’t go it alone. Happiness and energy come in relationship with others. Remember “Iron sharpens iron “.
To the girls, I say lose the losers and ditch the ditherers! If you are going for a First don’t have a boyfriend who just wants a Pass degree!
FEEDBACK- Actively seek feedback and use it to grow. You need people around you who will tell you the truth. Don’t surround yourself with Yes Men! Even when you don’t like what you hear, LISTEN, PROCESS it and ask yourself, ” Is there a grain of truth in this feedback, even if it is negative ?” Be HUMBLE, and USE FAILURES and MISTAKES as LEARNING TOOLS. Put yourself around people who KNOW MORE than you, and LEARN ALL YOU CAN from them. Have Mentors and in turn, you will have Mentees.
JOY- Happiness empowers the successful person. Nehemiah 8;10 ” The joy of the Lord is your strength”. Wherever you are on your life’s journey, if you find a way to embrace it and enjoy it, you will already have found some measure of success. DEEPER JOY comes from peace and love and knowing that you are living the life you were meant to live.
Practice Gratitude- Giving thanks for 3 blessings everyday energises you and makes you feel happier. Every night, list 3 things to God, for which you are thankful. I even have a Gratitude Journal- 50 reasons to be thankful at my 50th birthday.
It is impossible to be grateful and negative at the same time.
Watch your SELF-TALK.
The most powerful words are the ones you speak to yourself. Truth is how you feel is determined by what you say to yourself about your circumstances. Your words are powerful especially the ones in your mind.
Formula TTR- Trigger, Thoughts, Reactions. The key to your happiness lies not in the triggers you face, but in your thoughts about the triggers. Change what you say to yourself and change how you feel. It is within your control to boost your happiness by changing what you say to yourself.
When you live with purpose, you find GRACE, PEACE and JOY.
Every successful person seeks PEACE in his/her DECISIONS, LOVE in his/ her RELATIONSHIPS and PURPOSE in his/her LIFE. Be happy with where you are in life. Successful people are genuinely satisfied with how they have spent their lives so far- mistakes, triumphs and all. Have total satisfaction and contentment with your life.
– My dear young ladies and gentlemen, you can and will be successful! Personalise it. I, Olufunso Adegbola can and will be successful IJN.
Be happy WHILE, not just happy WHEN.
Abraham Lincoln said” Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”. Have the faith to believe happiness is possible no matter what. Know this, challenges will come. You may not be happy about what happens, but you can find happiness inspite of what happens.
Paul said ” I have learnt the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Him who gives me strength”.
Finally to my dear young ladies, the Great Nigerian Women in our midst, sorry about my bias for the female gender, after all I am one of them!
VALORIE Burton, author of “Happy Women Live Better” said ” I have learned that I won’t be happy when I get what i want if I don’t learn to be happy while waiting for what I want”. The destinations we desire arrive in brief moments. Most of life is spent getting to the destination. Learn to be happy as you journey through both challenges and triumphs, and you will discover the secret of a happy life. Enjoy the moment don’t postpone your joy!
May God give us the grace to live happy and purpose- filled lives, and may we enjoy the journey all the way. See you on top!
Thanks for listening. God bless you all.
23rd October 2015.