Monday, December 14, 2009

Expand Your World

There is an Igbo saying "Ahum juru m onwem," which literary means that I am satisfied with my circumstances. It is nice if we are content because being otherwise could lead to greed or some sort of anxiety. However, staying within our shelves could shut us out of the endless possibilities and opportunities that abound. Being exposed to new cultures, places and people broadens our horizon.

With the 9 to 5 kind of life that most of our job commitments shapes us into, we gradually become the same kind of person everyday. Life is not meant to be monotonous. Variety is the spice of life. Our minds open up when we explore new ways of doing things. You may eventually realize that the way you thought was the best is actually not it. It will enable you to further appreciate what you have when you find out there are people out there who yearn for it. You may come to know that there are cultures that abhor what you value and vice versa.

Take time this week to explore new friendships. Try to take another route to your work place and home. Enter that mall that you have always fancied but lack the time to check up. Spend a little more time with your kids and possibly learn more about them. Learn some new words. Read a new book. Visit a new city for your next vacation.

You can take a step further by visiting a charity home and showing some love to the down trodden.

Being on top of our games is not all about us. Our environments and the people we associated with influenced us. Let us bring about some influence by exploring new things.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Talking tough and doing nothing.

No matter how well we talk or verbally marshal our plans; we will not go any where if we do not take action. Big dreams are good and they are the reasons why the world witnessed major advancements. It is of a fact that such dreams require us to start from somewhere. The big breaks do not just come over night.There is always a period of sowing. Efforts, well planned attempts and even some degree of failure come before hand.

I could remember a man I was told about who talks so tough. He had read a lot of motivational books and he was always fired up. He had the fundamentals that any 'possibility thinking' mind should posses-dreaming big and believing that he could do the unthinkable. In addition, he never believed he should work for any body. He detested the monthly pay check. His dream and desire was to set up and own his own firm. He emphasized that ideas were what mattered. He never applied for any jobs.

The young man was right, however one thing was lacking. He had no capital. He had also been jobless for over three years. Imagine where this "tough talker" depends on friends who are salaried employees for hand outs. Yet, he does not believe he should be anybody's employee.

Now, who is fooling who? Is he fooling himself, is he being fooled by the books he read or is he fooling his benevolent friends? The point is clear. The young man needs to act on his dreams. He could start by taking up a job as a leverage, after which he can save some money and start his own business or seek for other legitimate means to raise money and man power.

We all differ in our abilities, guts, risk taking skills and innovatory abilities. Whether we dream to climb to the highest point in the corporate ladder or start our own firms; apart from dreaming big, we need to act rightly.

Actions speak louder than words. No matter the wonderful ideas we may have or how tough we talk, we need actions to step up our games.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Who loves to fail?

Who loves to fail? Nobody does except if there is a reason that will lead to a greater success.In the midst of lives successes inhabits failures. They come once in a while.
What matters most is how we handle it. Imagine a situation where you curse, blame, bear grudges, wish and most of all worry when things do not go your way after you put in so much work. It will only keep you more tensed up, sick and block any inflow of creative solutions into your mind.

A young man worked so hard to set up a business which was very desirable to him at the time. Unfortunately, at the crucial time, the venture failed in a perfectly inexplicable way. He was not disappointed; on the contrary he thanked God that his desire has been overruled, and went steadily on with a grateful mind. In a few weeks an opportunity so much better came his way that he would not have made the first deal on any count; and he saw that a Mind which knew more than he knew had prevented him from losing the greater good by entangling himself with the lesser.

Learn to view failures with gratitude, believing that something better is coming your way. No wonder Beverly Sills and Henry Ford said that "Failure is only an opportunity to begin more intelligently." Never cease to thank God as you believe that another door will open. Take out time and review the processes that led to the failure, ask intelligent questions where necessary and learn new lessons on how not to fail.

The mind is the major battle ground, do not let fear or depression as a result of failure to grip it. It is your power house. Keep being grateful to God and look out for even better opportunities, as you fly like an eagle above any torrents of failure or apprehension that abounds. Take your game to anotther level; fly like an eagle.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Usain Bolt and All of Us

He speeds off like a bolt of lightning leaving his opponents several meters away.
Olusoji Fasuba the winner of the 2008 World Indoor (Athletic) Championship 60m said that Usain Bolt has made all other athletes in the sprints look so ordinary. His reason was that with a 100m time of 9.58sec which he just set as a world record; when other athletes run slightly below 10 seconds they seem so far away from what Bolt is doing.

To me, Usain Bolt is in a world of his own. Watching a CNN review of the last two extraordinary races he did, where he set new World records, a feeling suddenly surged inside of me, “There are more records to be broken. Do not see limitations. Rise up to the challenge. You could be a record breaker tomorrow. Keep doing that thing you enjoy and do best.”

Usain’s successes should be a motivation to all of us. Recent Historical events have shown that there are possibilities around us. What Barack Obama was able to achieve by winning the United States Presidential elections is one of them. So I dare say “Yes, you can”

I am going to sign out with a comment that Anene Chukwuemeka made after he read the article ‘Do you have the Victim Mentality.’ His comment is below;

“Once one triumphs over this victim mentality-which is inherent in every man- the sky is his stepping stone in everything he sets his mind to achieve. It means the person leaves behind yesterday's failures (whether caused by people or not) and looks ahead to leveling the mountain ahead of him. A motivational speaker once said that one has not truly failed until he starts blaming others for his misfortunes. This paronoid kind of behaviour drains man of all available -useful-energy and leaves him very vulnerable. Next, frustrations and further failures sets in. The raw man is a suspicious one. The knowledge of self (self development) avails one of the opportunity to know ones weaknesses and strengths. It also entails the consolidation of those strenghts and proper management of weaknesses. I must say that it is normal for one to get angry at what is happening around him especially when those things are impediments and obstacles on his way towards the full actualization of his goals but that anger is not supposed to weaken him. No,it is meant to strengthen him, spur him on even if it means taking a longer route towards the actualization of his goals(altered or modified).The bible has it that adversities toughen us. That is the way it should be. For me, I will not allow the difficulties and failures of today to stop me from pushing on towards the mark- which are my set goals in life- or stop me from enjoying my today. May God not allow that to happen. So ride on.”

Life is a game, play it!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Curbing the Victim Mentality

The victim mentality is a kind of attitude where one blames everyone or others for what happens to him or her. The affected person thinks the future only holds bad things. In other words, it is said to be in place when you feel you cannot make the desired change in your life because of other people, situations, circumstances, reasons you cannot define or because of some mystery.

The following scenarios throw more light on this attitude;

You have had some very sensitive issues with your boss in your workplace which raised a lot of dust. Then came this day that you arrived to work late not because you overslept or left your home late but because your car developed a fault in a lonely and isolated part of the town. Getting a car mechanic was tasking, and this made you get to the office an hour later than your were supposed to. Your boss lost his temper and shouted on you to everybody’s hearing. You stood your ground and gave a strong reason, for which your boss later exonerated you. Despite having your way, you feel terrible about yourself as you remembered the other disagreements you have had with him in the past. You feel so withdrawn and guilty to the extent that whenever you see your colleagues in the office chatting happily and laughing in groups, you think they are talking about you.

When you feel you are not good enough to do certain things because of past mistakes or you think because your family is lacking in a particular field of achievement, therefore you are doomed to suffer the same fate.

You are based in Riyadh and you heard that people are losing their jobs in Bahrain, Jeddah and Dammam and you think you are next.

The Victim Mentality kind of life breeds certain attitudes such as continually blaming others for any misfortune, complaining, quitting easily, seeing the bad side of every situation and acting like a wimp.

Playing the blame game profits no one, how much more when it becomes a lifestyle. It makes one to cease to be responsible for his or her decisions and actions. It breeds irresponsibility. A man was asked why he had not changed his old car after a long while; he blamed it on the fact that he does not have money. His puzzled friend replied.

“Oh well, Emeka, everyone knows how hard you work and how well you excel in your job. Honestly, I did think the money should have been pouring in.”

Emeka, frowned and suddenly smirked “Look, ever since I got married to that lady, it has been one bad news or the other and you were one of those that advised me to marry her. She is bad luck, which is the reason why I have not changed my car. You hear!”

Even when people can give in their best in their work place; take refresher courses and find other ways, to still excel in their career pursuits. You find them still lurked in regrets and negative thoughts, linked to their past life, “My parents never sent me to a good school, how else can I succeed in this profession and life without a Harvard equivalent degree?”. The parents, not wanting to take responsibility still passed the buck to the economy,“Oh son, it was the bad economy, if only it didn’t make us lose interest in life, we would have had time to give you more coaching at home.”

Complainers are always ready to tell anyone that comes around about how unfair life is to them at every slightest opportunity. Who loves to have someone who never ceases to complain as a best friend? I presume no one does. Victim mentality also breeds a lack of self confidence. It makes one look like a wimp. You find it hard to mix up with your peers because you feel you are not good enough.

Quitters never win and winners never quit.&
nbsp; Things do not always go right as they do not always go the way we expect. When we pursue our goals and obstacles come our way, it is left for us to persist, find other approaches to reaching our goals, re-strategise and learn from our mistakes. If you start thinking that you are doomed not to reach that goal or suddenly attribute your difficulty or failure to circumstances or someone else it can make you quit out rightly, by doing that, you have allowed the victim mentality to set in.

Contrary to the victim mentality attitude, what we ought to adopt and practice is the winner attitude. Someone with victim mentality often lives a life where he often sees what he does not have, while a winner sees what he has. The former, looks at the negative, waits for things to happen and often finds excuses. A person with a winning attitude on the other hand looks at the positive, makes things happen and finds ways and solutions.

A winner sees wins, favours, can make out time and is prepared to go for opportunities while a person with a victim mentality sees losses, blames, has no time and often considers himself unlucky even in the face of opportunities.

The attitudes of someone with a victim mentality mindset often have some undesirable and unfortunate effects. Anger is one of them as such people do not easily forgive or forget which always makes them either angry or bear grudges. It leads to under-productivity which can result to a sack in a work place. It has caused many divorces in marriages. A lot of opportunities for progress or a better life are also lost. This is because a person with a victim mentality mindset mainly sees faults and looks on the bad sides of situations. Seeing the bad side of every situation and things is an effect of victim mentality. A lot of promising relationships and friendships have been severed because of the victim mentality mindset.

This unpalatable attitude can be curbed. If you have victim mentality, you should first of all forgive yourself. It could be a mistake you made in the past that has been haunting you. It could be a dream that did not come to pass even after you put in your best. You have to get over it and move on with life. Believe in yourself. Building yourself esteem by focusing on your strengths and not your weaknesses will go a long way to help.

Learn to forgive those who you think are oppressing you. Life is a lot easier if we live without grudges. A lack of forgiveness puts people in a form of captivity. If we forgive others it opens up our minds and empowers us to take back control of our lives. Funnily, sometimes, the people we have something against, do not even know we feel that way. They live their lives fine while we end up being the ones with a heaviness locking around our hearts.

Recognize that the world owes you nothing. This will spur you to take responsibility of your life. It will make you more effective and efficient in carrying out your pursuits. It will awaken the star in you.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Possibly look for motivational books to read. Reading broadens our knowledge and world view. Sometimes, it could be the friends around us who are contributing to our misery. Some people find it pleasurable to make others always feel sorry for themselves or incapable. Such friends only reinforce our fears and even discourage us when we are about to make progress because of the way they see things. Such people can be great influences. It is always subtle but the impact over time could be enormous. If you have such friends, then it is time for you to change your friends. You do not need to quarrel with them to do so.

Breaking your routine can also be of help, as it gives you a new approach to your life. After all, variety is a spice of life. Lastly, visiting a psychologist could be of help too.

Life is not long enough for one to wallow in a captivity of negativity caused by a victim mentality. We ought not to just exist, but to live. Maximise your life. Do not be a victim, be a winner!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Remembering Michael Jackson

I was in Calabar, a city which is unarguably Nigeria's hub of tourism when I received a text message from my younger sister about Michael Jackson's death. It was a sad thing to hear and I was touched because MJ who is peharps the most popular individual on the face of the earth, who we also know had faced a lot of challenges, had nodded to death.

Birthday celebrations durring my childhood years were never complete if songs by Michael Jackson were not played. I marvelled at his record of the highest selling album till date. I am often excited that my name was Michael too; because of some achievers whom I call the great Michaels. Some of them include; Michael Jordan, Michael Tyson, Micheal Douglas, Michael Bolton, Michael Faraday, Michael West, Michael Owen, Michael Johnson, Michel(Michael)Schumacar, Michael Ballack. Interestingly even in the heavenly realm St. Michael the arch angel presides over the angels. Among all the moral Michaels, Michael Jackson towered above them all in terms of his influence and popularity.

A few days later, the news had it that some of his fans were commiting suicide because of the grief they had over his death, I was saddened by this fact. Also, many fans could not hold back tears whenever they remember their idol, Michael Jackson. I know Michael Jackson was immensely gifted but I was not so emotional about his demise.

However, on the day of Michael Jackson's memorial, when thousand s of fans gathered at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, 12 days after he died on June 25, 2009 to honour the musical legend. I was so moved as I listened to eulogies showerd on him. It was on that day that his death touched my heart the most. As I watched the event on CNN, I wondered how one man could have such an influence in the world. We will miss his display of his unique talents, creativity, stage craft and wits.

It was a moment of adrenaline flow for me. I had goose pimples all over my body. I believe, many viewers had a similar feeling. Michael Jackson was ahead of his time. He always thought about and conceived the impossible and the yet unattained. He broke new barriers. He left a legacy of hard work, dedication and persistence.

MJ, may have had his weak points but his successes far out classes them. While he lived, he built on his strenghts durring his prime. Michael was on top of his game. Who will forget the great lyrics of his songs or his moon walking and other dance steps?

You can rise to the highest point on your ladder. You can be on top of your game. Stand up, go for your dreams. One day, the world will celebrate you...but what matters most is when the angels in heaven blow trumpets saying 'well done, welcome...'

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Do not get discouraged

Having experienced the broadband internet connection which is not very popular in a developing country like Nigeria; attaching picture files could be like hell.

Imagine! I have sat down for over an hour trying to attach a 7.00MB file. It could be discouraging.

Several times I felt like screaming on the staff in the internet cafe or banging the tables but experience has shown me that such actions could even make matters worst. I had left my home dial-up connection hoping that the internet cafe will give me a fast broadband connectivity to the cyber world but it was not so.

It clearly shows how backward some countries are. It also shows that having the kind of mind set one may have developed in the Western world or even in the Asian countries where technological growth is at par with the west in this part of the world could lead to frustration.

This observation comes on the heels of the current global economic melt down which has made a lot of people from the third world to opt for returning to their home countries because of the series of job losses.

There is no need to get discouraged, it will only make matters worse. What you have to do is to adapt to the circumstances around you. There are always alternatives to help you save costs, communicate with your loved ones and get work done. Imagine a situation where you cannot always write directly using your PC notebook (laptop computer) because of unsteady electric power supply; you may just have to revert to the paper and pen . It applies to various spheres of life and these are just my own personal suggestions.

Situations that could make you worried or lose your peace require creative thinking. Do not allow worry to crop into your mind. It could block creative ideas from flowing in. Also, find out facts from those "who have been there before you." Making researches also helps a great deal.

Oh well! the files finally attached to the email.Good radiance....

Life is game and we ought to play it. The best players win and get on top of their games.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Getting started...

I started today by taking a decision that I had been pondering over. Delaying it would only have still kept my mind on it. Interestingly, I found an inner joy as I took action. Having prayed earlier about it; what I know I have to do is to keep believing that the best things will come. I know things do go contrary to our expectations at certain times but experience has taught me that, cultivating an attitude of gratitude to the creator of the universe at all times, enables one to have peace of mind amidst the storms of life. It also enables us to see opportunities in situations or places that may look ordinary.

It has been raining here for over four hours and I am enjoying it. With a paper and a pen, I have set to make some plans as regards the days ahead. I believe I am doing the right thing. O yes! Our personal development coaches often advice their clients to plan. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

I have observed some dynamic people who have things going well for them and I have noticed that they are often conscious of how they spend their time. They seem focused and have a strong drive in all they do. There is a great sense of urgency flowing in my veins right now.

My advice... if you can do that thing you have always delayed now; do it. Always take some time out, to reflect and plan as well. It is my desire to get on top of my game and that is the desire I have for you reading this.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Getting in the Game

What do you love doing most? What are you most passionate about? What area of your life would you love to climb as high as possible in the ladder of success? Is there a kind of work you indulge in and it does not just seem like work because you enjoy it? Then, that endeavour, area of your life or work is your game. There is a common saying 'anything worth doing is worth doing well.'

Life will be most enjoyed and valued when we strive to be on top of our games. By doing what we love doing and doing it well, we cruise on in life fulfilled, happier and more appreciated.

Every one is unique and blessed with many abilities. As we read about and watch great stars in the area of entertainment, sports, politics, inventions and other spheres of life; we should realize that there are human beings like us too. They have mastered their games and have adopted lifestyles that reinforces their success.

At gametoppers, our emphasis will be on polling our knowledge, experiences and wisdom to help each other to excell in our various endeavours. This blog will not be all about me, the creator of the blog but about us who will share ideas that will sharpen our intellect and drive to be the best we can be.

Get in the game and let us keep this blog alive. We can drive our games to the next level..let's go! it's game time.