4 Ways to Distinguish Yourself

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This morning I had an extended quiet time and I asked myself several questions. But one question that I pondered upon for quite sometime is: What does it take to distinguish oneself? Truth is we live in a very noisy world. Everyone is trying to get noticed. Competition is high. How do you rise above the clout? How do you find your voice and make it heard? I arrived at four ways to distinguish yourself.

1. Live ahead of your contemporaries
One way to achieve this is through extensive reading and then establish relationship with accomplished people. Last year I got myself two mentors and this year one of my goals is to get additional two. I cannot but only over emphasis the immense advantage these people have added to my life.
2. Live above your circumstances
Who lives this life without challenges? Nobody does! As such, challenges and struggles are the ‘norm’ in living successfully. But what guarantees you success in this regard? Your walk with God. Also, develop a healthy Positive Mental Attitude.

3. Live deeper than your calamities
Adversity will surely come but instead of trying to mourn them, draw lessons from them.

4. Live beyond your present capabilities
Improve! Improve!! Improve!!! Hone your skills. Breathe life to innate gifts. identify your talents and put them to use. Take your game to the next level. Train yourself. Discover new skill set and learn. Don’t just rely on your present level of know-how. Improve.

I believe in these four points because I see the way they played out last year. I hope to improve this year.

What other way would you add to the aforementioned?

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Goodbye 2011… Welcome 2012

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This morning I woke up and lingered more in bed. Its been a long time i had a long personal devotion and reflection time like this. Consequently this post is a result of the time-out I had with myself and God. The days after Christmas leading to the New Year are usually the most unproductive for me. Its holiday and I get to rest and most times do the informal things I love doing. But these ‘unproductive’ days can be a launch pad for the New Year. I believe in planning, self appraisal and regular review of one’s life and that is exactly what I did this morning. I am sharing this to help someone out there who really wants to improve but doesn’t know where to start from.

I got a pen and my note pad ready and asked myself these questions:

1. What did I accomplish this year that I am most proud of? These can be in almost all areas of your life.
2. What disappointments and regrets did experience this past year?
3. What Major Life Lessons did I learn this year?
4. What was missing from this past year as I look back again?
5. If given a second chance what will I do differently?

I answered this questions as honest as I can and I tell you, I wouldn’t want anyone to read through my answers. Some lines are just too embarrassing to share with some other persons outside God and very close loved ones. Doing this has helped prepare me for my New Year resolutions( Yes, I still believe in them). I promise to share them with you. But until then, Why not find time, sit and ask yourself these five questions.

What other question will you ask yourself that will help you assess this outgoing year?

One Habit To Develop: Decision Making

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I have always known that how effective you are boils down to one singular factor: your ability to consistently make good decisions. Better still, you ability to take touch decisions. To be candid, I used to struggle with decision-making especially for situations where the choices are so close and the stakes are high. I had to re-think my decision-making habit all over and try to unlearn those habits that help me become complacent in decision-making. I realized that as a leader I’ll have to make decisions, tough decisions, at all times because it is inevitable. It is also one of the biggest challenges of leadership. I dare say that the outcome of one’s life is largely determined by the decision that person makes. While some people struggle with decision-making others wait and waffle. But I am going to give some simple steps that will help anyone make good decisions.

1. Surround Yourself with Competent and Trusted Advisors. The Bible says ” In the multitude of counsel there is safety”. Having people who can adequately guide you is a valuable asset.

2. Research: Learn to use the Library and Google or Bing. This is something I do a lot. Before I make crucial decisions, I take my time to Google/Bing the subject and if I have enough time, carry out some extensive research.

3. Weigh the Information available. Think over the data and facts that you have gathered from people and your research.

4. Know that mistakes are Inevitable. Mistakes could be sources of valuable lessons so don’t be afraid of making one. Learn to take personal responsibility for the failure of your decisions.

5. Just do it. Once you’ve done all you can, do it! Don’t wait. Learn to develop then trust your instincts. Even if you fail today, you won’t tomorrow.

Question: What do you do in other to make great decisions?

What it takes to succeed

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The need to write this post arises from the constant questioning I get from various people. I am always asked: What does it take to succeed? While I dont see myself as someone who has ‘succeeded’, I find myself giving one or two tips in an attempt to answer this very question.

All my life I have always wanted to succeed. While I have achieved my goal in certain endeavors, I have also failed in others. And what I realise in all of these is the fact that nothing explains how to succeed like failure. The very day I came in contact with John C. Maxwell’s book, Failing Forward, I fell in love with the term. Because in as much as we all like to succeed, we’ll have some moments of failures and it is what we do with the lessons we learn from such failures that determin if we go ahead succeeding or not.

So, what does it take to succeed? I will like to answer this poignant question with what I have learnt from my failures.

1. Know what your success will look like. In other words, have a dream. A vision. An Idea. It is commonly said that if you embark on a journey without any specific destination then anywhere is likely to be your destination. Success for one person maybe marrying his long-dated girlfriend. For another is clinching a million Naira worth of government contract. For another it is building a sky scrapper. Know what your success looks like so that when you achieve it you will know what exactly it is.

2. Have a plan. Chart a course. If you know WHAT then define HOW. Knowing WHAT without HOW is mere wishful thinking.

3. Focus: This is the art of applying a concentrated mental attention to a specific goal over a period of time. Brilliiance doesnt necessarily make successful people. Intelligence too isn’t enough. People that succeed most are people with focused thinking.

4. Drive: Have enough momemtum to pursue your goals. Be relentless. Go for it! Never give up. Engage your Nitro button.

Doing the above mentioned will help you achieve your desired goal-success.

From your personal experience what do you think should be added to the above points?