Ajayi Oluwole Olakunle – Assessments

As a Man Thinketh

Assessment by Ajayi Oluwole Olakunle (Nigeria)

1. What is the main idea that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The main idea the author is trying to portray is simply put “Man is a product of his thought.” That is why it has always been said that “capture a man’s belief system or thought pattern, and you have captured his life.” Anybody and everybody would be influenced by the kinds of thought they process right within their souls. Our thought is a bank where whatever we deposit has the capacity to generate interest. If we deposit good things, we get good interest and if we deposit bad things, we get a huge debt. The good interests we get are the positive things that happens in our situations and circumstances in life, while the debt we get are the pains and losses we get which sometimes might become non-repayable in other words death. The battle of life is either won or lost in the heart. The popular preacher and author Joyce Meyer has written books that centers around the mind. Titles such as “battlefield of the mind,” “never give up” among others are what characterizes her books because she truly understand what the mind of man can do. It can either ruin a man or destroy him. The thought pattern of a leader determines whether he will lead successfully or maybe s/he is a disaster waiting to happen. Our incumbent President in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari lost the presidential election three times, but he believed in his heart that he is going to become Nigeria’s President someday. Today that is history. Our thoughts could make or mar us. The founder of Kentucky fried chicken (KFC) was about hanging himself, when he thought to himself that there is still more to life than resolve to die. He later became one of the richest in his time, today KFC is spread and have branches in more than 70 countries in the world, if I am not mistaken. As a student of Biochemistry, back then on campus, I thought I was a failure because all my efforts at succeeding proved abortive. I don’t like cutting corners because I believe that “I am the hope of my Nation”. If I fail, Nigeria has failed, so I must not cut corners or engage in any corrupt act. I’d rather fail honorably than pass in a dishonest way. I continued like this and graduated. After school, I made up my mind to pursue courses in management in order to erase this erroneous belief. Lo and behold, I took four professional courses and I didn’t fail any. I excelled in all. This re-engineered my belief system and with that strong thought, I have conquered several battles. I am still winning anyway, because I believe that I will soon become a full student of IIGL (smiles). So, summarily, the author is saying in this book one of the computer mantras that “what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG),” that is, “what you think is what you get (WYTIWYG).”

2. What were the seven ideas which were personally most important to you and why? List these seven ideas followed by an explanation after each one as to why it was important to you. Use personal examples from your own life.

i. That man is the master of thought, the molder of character, and the maker and shaper of condition, environment, and destiny.

For me this is an idea that is very true, just that we leave everything sometime to fate in this part of the world I came from. The case of my brother in-law gave me a clear picture of this. He just bought a car and he has driven before only but short distances. Here he is with his family and he is to drive about eight hours. He was afraid. I sat him down and told him what Job said in the bible. Job said the things I fear most has eventually happened to him. I told him that, imagine you drive from here to Abuja, your destination without hitch and hassle and you are there with your family settled in your home safe and sound. He took it from me and began to confess it. For man to truly control his thoughts, I will say some confessions are needed. At the end of the day, he made it. He drove the long distance and he was amazed at himself. He later spoke with me that he kept repeating all that I told him till he arrived at his destination. He started calling me a Professor. A man that is in control of his thought is a master of himself, his environment and destiny.

ii. Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot.

It rapidly crystallizes into habit, and habit solidifies into circumstance. Bestial thoughts crystallize into habits of drunkenness and sensuality, which solidify into circumstances of destitution and disease. Impure thoughts of every kind crystallize into enervating and confusing habits, which solidify into distracting and adverse circumstances. Thoughts of fear, doubt, and indecision crystallize into weak, unmanly, and irresolute habits, which solidify into circumstances of failure, indigence, and slavish dependence. Lazy thoughts crystallize into weak, habits of uncleanliness and dishonesty, which solidify into circumstances of foulness and beggary. Hateful and condemnatory thoughts crystallize into habits of accusation and violence, which solidify into circumstances of injury and persecution. Selfish thoughts of all kinds crystallize into habits of self-seeking, which solidify into distressful circumstances. On the other hand, beautiful thoughts of all kinds crystallize into habits of grace and kindliness, which solidify into genial and sunny circumstances. Pure thoughts crystallize into habits of temperance and self-control, which solidify into circumstances of repose and peace. Thoughts of courage, self-reliance, and decision crystallize into manly habits, which solidify into circumstances of success, plenty, and freedom. Energetic thoughts crystallize into habits of cleanliness and industry, which solidify into circumstances of pleasantness. Gentle and forgiving thoughts crystallize into habits of gentleness, which solidify into protective and preservative circumstances. Loving and unselfish thoughts which solidify into circumstances of sure and abiding prosperity and true riches. Our thoughts crystallize into our habits. There is this friend of mine, Philip by name. He was my roommate in our final year. He was very slow and non-challant as far as life is concerned. This was his habit. So he began to watch the way I read voraciously and the various initiatives I was taking. He became intrigued that he later told me that he thought to himself that if he did not make it in life and become proactive, it is nobody’s fault but his. So he started reading other books aside from the books by his lecturers and his department. Today, I am very proud of Philip. He is a Champion of ONE.org and currently he has a master’s degree in humanitarian course. He works with an NGO. He sees himself as my protégée even though we are age mate. His habit has changed. Today he is very proactive. It started from his thought and that has influenced his habit. I am always delighted each time I hear about his giant strides.

iii. At the bidding of unlawful thoughts the body sinks rapidly into disease and decay; at the command of glad and beautiful thoughts it becomes clothed with youthfulness and beauty.

Disease and health, like circumstances, are rooted in thought. This is very true. My father is a very good example. Being a hypertensive patient, sometimes he suffers from insomnia. Every morning he calls me and complains about his health. It got to a point I began to investigate what could be wrong. He takes his medications as at when due and he check his BP regularly even with a doctor. He also has nightmares. So I decided to work on his thoughts. I would tell him to imagine himself being celebrated, his children being celebrated and good things happening around him. He should see himself fulfilling destiny, buying cars, doing house warming, touching lives, building a successful company and lots of good deeds like that. I discovered that immediately he started that, his health took a new turn. His body became renewed. Insomnia began to fade away and his BP stabilized. He is living a very happy life now.

iv.. Thought allied fearlessly to purpose becomes creative force.

When I wanted to do a community project on climate change, I was scared to the bones because I don’t have the resources to do it. So I thought anyway. I was to become a green champion as a result of the project, but that was not even the motivating factor for me. For me, the lives that would be touched and the impact we would make are the main target I had. I decided to speak with people. I have come to realize that when your thoughts become positive and clear, you will attract appropriate resources both men and materials and your purpose shall be realized. A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder, whose thought wander aimlessly. So I decided to talk to people around me. Eventually this project was a huge success and the effect is still being felt till today in that environment. We even did a street parade displaying placards in our hands and most people in other African countries emulated my model. Your thoughts and purpose are intertwined when fear is eschewed.

v. A man can only rise, conquer, and achieve by lifting up his thoughts.

He can only remain weak, abject, and miserably by refusing to lift up his thoughts. I have seen this happened to me several times. I am into real estate. I sell lands and properties here in Nigeria. When I started, for the first three months, I couldn’t sell half a plot of land. I prayed and also aligned my thoughts to that of a champion selling at least 1 plot every week. I began to tread in this direction of my thought. After three months, it became my reality. Many of my contemporaries were wondering because I was also breaking some records of what has been impossible for most of them. I continued selling and I am still selling. During my first two months of no sales, my thought was dampened, but by the third month, I lifted my thought and I worked towards it. Today it is my reality. I can now make bold to say that real estate pays so far you do it with the right people and with integrity. These are my watchword anyway. I also encouraged a lot of people who thought they could never sell. The result has been mind blowing. Thoughts are powerful.

vi. Gifts, powers, material, intellectual and spiritual possessions are the fruits of effort.

They are thoughts completed, objectives accomplished, visions realized. The vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone in your heart — this you will build your life by; this you will become. A visionless person is a living corpse. Helen Keller was asked, “What is worse than not having your sight? She answered by saying, not having a vision is worse than not having sight”. Why did she say so? Because she was blind, yet wrote so many hymns that we sing today. Every day I glorify in my mind, a peaceful world whereby there is a sense of purpose for everyone at every place, with equality of resources for everyone to realize their God given potentials and dreams. A world whereby, unemployment, poverty, hunger, lack of access to education, insurgency, insecurity, war, crimes etc becomes a thing of the past and totally eradicated. This is my vision and I pursue it each day I wake up and before I sleep. God help me.

vii. A man becomes calm in the measure that he understands himself as a thought evolved being.

Man is a product of his thoughts. A lot of people wonder why I am always happy. It is because I process joyful thoughts in my head. Sometimes it is very hard, but I find a way of maintaining this nature of calmness. That is the way I keep myself calm. It becomes easy for me to handle people and manage people well. So when I wake up in the morning, in my mind, I look for what would brighten my day. Once I find it, no matter what happens that day, I stay calm. I am my thought.

3. How will these ideas or lessons help you in a practical way, both in your daily personal life and in helping you to create a better world? If so, how?

These ideas would help me in doing better what I have been doing before. I would be able to touch more lives and make more impact on my immediate environment and the world as a whole. It will also make a better and great leader as well. Great leaders have mastered their thoughts that is why they can influence others. Leadership is influence. These ideas would strengthen my influence and my personal growth/development.

4. Quotes: Are there any statements which the author made that particularly got your attention? If so, please quote them and comment as to why they were important to you.

“A noble and God-like character is not a thing of favor or chance, but is the natural result of continued effort in right thinking, the effect of long-cherished association with God-like thoughts. An ignoble and bestial character, by the same process, is the result of the continued harboring of groveling thoughts.”

Man is made or unmade by himself. In the armory of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself.

“Every man is where he is by the law of his being; the thoughts which he has built into his character have brought him there, and in the arrangement of his life there is no element of chance, but all is the result of a law which cannot err.”

It means that a man is continually revolting against an effect without, while all the time he is nourishing and preserving its cause in his heart.

“Clean thoughts make clean habits.”

“To put away aimlessness and weakness and to begin to think with purpose is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only recognize failure as one of the pathways to attainment.”

“Achievement of any kind is the crown of effort, the diadem of thought.”

“He who would accomplish little need sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much. He who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.”

“Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.”

“That exquisite poise of character that we call serenity is the last lesson of culture.”

5. Is there anything in the book that you do not understand or are unclear about, or are there ideas which you disagree with and, if so, why?

One thing I am unclear about which I have seen happened is the fact that there are external forces which are beyond man in the realms of the supernatural whether good or bad that could be controlling a man against his thoughts. The author didn’t mention anything about this. The author believed that thought is everything, but there are some negative spiritual influences that takes the thought out of the control of man. What should a man do under this kind of circumstance?

6. Did the book contain exercises for the reader to complete? If so, did you complete all of the exercises and did you find them helpful?

No, there were no exercises for the reader.

7. Was there anything you read in the book that you would like to comment on that was not covered in the previous questions? If so, please comment.

What should our attitude towards others or people in our immediate environment be even in the face of challenges? Simply put, we must learn to care for people around us. Selflessness and service are two lovely acts that is fast fading away in our world. This is the reason why we don’t have peace in the world today. Ulterior motives and parochial interests mar our world today, hence the author points it out that we must care to help people in our immediate environment. We may not be able to influence the whole world, but an influence on somebody in our community and immediate environment would one day cause a ripple effect on the world. The priest that spoke rashly to Adolf Hitler and told him he will never amount to anything in life, if he had known that the boy in his care was capable of influencing the whole world, maybe he would have done better. That boy became a strong man in history who had an immutable control on his thoughts and he stirred a whole world war. One man can cause a global damage and one man can cause global safety and peace. I wrap up with the quote from mother Theresa of blessed memory, “we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” This has been my watchword and it will forever be.

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1 to 10. Ten is good and one is poor.

A. How interesting was it to read? 8
B. How helpful were the contents? 9
C. How easy was it to understand? 10
D. Would you recommend it to others? 9
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 9



Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Assessment by Ajayi Oluwole Olakunle (Nigeria)

1. What is the main idea that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The main idea the author is trying to convey is that there is no limit to what we can do. Often times we create limits for ourselves or better still our tradition or environmental factors and customs has set the limit on what we can achieve. We then tend to remain with the status quo rather than leave our comfort zone and launch out. He is saying that we have to take risks in order to reach beyond the limit either within or around us. Most of the achievers that we read about were the people who defied the custom or tradition set by history that was before them or by close relations who scared them or never support their dreams. In fact the first discouragement came from people around them who told them it has never been done, therefore it won’t be possible. A very good example is the Wright brothers. I gathered from my investigation that few years before they invented the flying machine (aircraft or airplane), their own biological father who was even a priest has said that “it is not possible for man to develop anything that has wings to fly in the sky, because only angel does fly.” Alas, it was even his own children that defied the statement. I can imagine if the Wright brothers had asked their father for any form of assistance, what would have become of their dream? What would the world be celebrating today? How would Kathleen Oweegon be able to come to Nigeria and inspire us during the last conference held here in Nigeria?

Summarily, the author is saying to every living human being that as long as you are still breathing, don’t be limited. Be unlimited in pursuing that dream of yours. When you have that sense of purpose, don’t be deterred by what the tradition or custom says. Go ahead and win. The incumbent president of the United States of America Donald Trump is another example of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. He was not supported by any living American past president during his campaign. I am even sure that if there was an avenue to reach out to dead past American presidents, they would not have accepted Trump’s candidature. Because his ideology doesn’t align with the reality and tradition of the American history. But on the side, some people were yearning for a “Change.” We must know that some people are yearning for a change and that dream of ours is the only solution and answer to it. “Be Unlimited!”

2. What were the seven ideas which were personally most important to you and why? List these seven ideas followed by an explanation after each one as to why it was important to you. Use personal examples from your own life.

i. Don’t remain in your comfort zone, launch out!

This idea is very important to me because a lot of people don’t get to reach their goals or realize their full potentials before they die. No wonder they say that “the richest place on earth is the cemetery” because therein lies the invention that never came out, the books that were not written, the ideas that were not pursued, the cars that were never driven, the discoveries that were never made, the theories that were never postulated, the leaders that never led, the industrialist who never saw the light of the day, the unsung heroes and a host of others as the list is endless. Many people are afraid of what people around them will say if they take that initiative. Many people are afraid of who pays the bills for their families should they quit their jobs to start that entrepreneurial dreams of their youthful age and they just resolve to fate that never binds them. My own personal example was when I was serving as the President of my corper’s fellowship back then in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state in 2012/2013. My coordinator was not happy with my mode of non-corrupt leadership style and how my followers followed me religiously without having to be reporting me to him was a serious headache for him. He had asked me to join hands in squandering a certain amount of money and I know that the money would benefit more people than what he wanted us to spend it on which was for his personal selfish gain. He therefore spoke ill of me to the regional overseer and that one sent me out of the corper’s lodge. It was indeed a bitter time for me, because I had to find succor in a friend’s home which was lower in standard than the one I was staying. This is because I want to prove that the youth can lead with an incorruptible record and always stand for the truth. Although, few of my followers betrayed me, but a man just rose up and stood for me. He ensured that the regional overseer re-instated me and I handed over in glitz and glamour. I could have chosen to follow my corrupt coordinator whose corrupted ways later manifested to the full glaring of everybody, but I chose to leave my comfort zone, suffered for a while and today I am a hero.

ii. Don’t accept the tradition, custom or status quo, leaders always break it and that is why they are leaders. Determination is the first step to a lasting success.

A lot of times, many people actually want to try something new. They want to do what no one has done before either in their family or in their environment, but immediately they seek for guidance maybe from a trusted ally or mentor whose mind has been concretized on custom or traditional way of getting things done, he or she is discouraged from towing that path. As a leader, one must be ready to be misunderstood. When I started my organization, Global Entrepreneurship Platform (GEP), in 2014, a lot of people including my parents never believed in it. Was I deterred? No! I continued with it because I believed in it. I faced a lot of challenges. In fact, there is a professor mentor of mine I went to meet then, he told me that many people were expecting me to fail. Those who I thought would help declined even at the dying minute. People don’t seem to relate with what is new until you have result. We wanted to hold the first entrepreneurship summit in my state. When the professor came to the conference and saw the large turn out we had, he was amazed. Guess what, his words changed to, “He has the capability to succeed and I was amazed at what these young guys pull here today.” He was referring to me and my team. I was determined to succeed. While we were preparing for the program, we submitted more than one hundred proposals in about two weeks; what a giant feat! I would leave my house in the morning and come back late in the evening. Throughout the preparation stage I was having just one meal per day because I had no time to eat all through the day. By the time the result came, few months down the line, I was shortlisted as a participant of the President Obama Young African Leaders Initiative because of the landslide initiative I took. My parents became proud of me and today I am a fellow. Always bear in mind that whenever you are trying something new, you will be castigated, but once you succeed, you will be celebrated. Be determined to break the old custom and set the new order.

iii. Learning something new is very risky, but you got to learn and take the risk. It would be worth it at the end. Learning is a lifetime journey, it is not a destination.

Learning something new comes with a high rate of risk, but the more you learn, the more you earn. The author wrote about Jonathan Seagull whom had to learn by himself. He took the risk of doing what no seagull has ever done before. He soon became a mentor to other seagulls. This is a very important lesson for me. There was a time I wanted to attend a two week leadership course outside my state. I didn’t have money to pay for the tuition fee, I didn’t have accommodation and feeding was also a mirage to me. But I know I needed to learn and be a part of this leadership training. It is the Daystar Leadership Academy. It was very profound. I had attended the basic and now it is time for the advanced. In fact, it was this training that gave birth to GEP. So I decided to give it a shot by speaking to various people in my network for assistance. I explained to them what I wanted to go and learn and its benefits to my community and the world as a whole, they supported me and at the end, my dream became a reality. Here am I in another leadership institute learning leadership. Learning is a journey, it is not a destination.

iv. Be ready to walk alone. You will not have the support you need, but at the end you will be celebrated. You will also fail, but failure is not the end. You must keep failing forward.

This has happened to me times without number so I am used to it. I have lost count of the number of times I have had to walk alone with nobody believing or assisting me. I have failed several times, losing money, time and resources, but I refused to give up. Steve Jobs of blessed memory walked alone when he was fired from the company he started by himself, but he came back to revive the same company when it was about to die. At a point, my team fell apart because I could not sustain them, but I didn’t stop. It was even during this period that I got the idea of an Intrapreneurship and Entrepreneurship academy, Global Entrepreneurship Academy (GEA). As a result of this academy, by the time we clocked two years, I was among the 1,000 shortlisted entrepreneurs in Africa to secure a grant of $10,000, of which 45,000 people competed for. Today, the academy is metamorphosing into something unique that has never existed in the whole world. We would announce its launch soon and we would need partners and sponsors from all over the world. I have had the privilege to mentor more than 500 people, young and old in various sectors and fields of human endeavors within and outside Nigeria since the inception of GEP and GEA. I get accolades and celebrations from various people who thought I would fail. My mentors are proud of me.

v. Always practice hard to become perfect and when you become perfect, be ready to help and be willing to mentor others. When they discover themselves then you are a good and true leader.

I have continuously and consistently over the years sought for my personal development like the air I breathe. I live a sacrificial leadership life dedicated to mentoring people especially the young ones who are trying to find their pathway in life. I help them create a sense of purpose which they get dedicated to in order to reach their goals. I have a lot of them spread across Nigeria and other parts of the world and they are doing really well. For me, I haven’t started because I want to have a resonating effect on both the young and the old in cities and rural areas of the world. So a leader without a successor is a failure…. this is my ideology.

vi. Innovation is non-negotiable. Consistent creativity or you will soon fizzle out.

Sheik Mohammed Bin Rasheed Al Makthoum, the crown prince of Dubai, said in one of his books that “creativity is simply not satisfied with the current creativity”. I have come to realize that it’s either you innovate or you fizzle out. Albert Einstein said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing in the same way and expecting a different result”. There must be some form of uniqueness in your approach and delivery as a leader. This is the reason why I attend seminars, fora, conferences, programs in order to keep up with latest and new trends in various fields and sectors. This helps me innovate in my consulting business and social enterprise of result oriented mentorship to my protegeees.

vii. Love and truth are two keys to a lasting legacy.

When your followers are discouraged or when they feel they will never amount to nothing, what do you tell them? That is the moment they know if you are their leader or just another boss who is selfish. True love and honesty are characters of a genuine leader. The ability to forgive and let go of the past makes a leader worthy of following. I have leant to always forgive those who betrayed my trust at one point or the other and love them to help them. The first one million Naira I hit in my life was with a friend of mine who was a software developer. I was the marketer of the software. Immediately this money came, my friend’s attitude changed. We never had an agreement because I trusted wholly on the things he said about how we would run the business together. All of a sudden, my friend announced that he is the owner of the business and he will only give me a ridiculous percentage. For one week, I had migraine, after which I pulled out of the business. The business crashed and never saw light again. Is that a good news for me? No, but I am glad we both learnt our lessons. Five years down the line, he called me and he said he just can’t wait to do business with me again and I extended my hands of fellowship towards me. People that knew about our initial fracas warned me, but I told them I have forgiven him. We just have to move ahead. He was so happy that he even made mention of what happened five years ago. Bitterness is not an attribute of a good leader, forgive, learn your lesson and move on.

3. How will these ideas or lessons help you in a practical way, both in your daily personal life and in helping you to create a better world? If so, how?

These ideas would help me to continue to be a better and greater leader in all spheres of life. It will continue to make me an invaluable asset wherever I am opportune to lead. It will help me to deliver and make more impact in order to make our world of value with a sense of purpose for everyone to live and realize their goals. A peaceful world is possible. It begins with me. This would be my new mantra.

4. Quotes: Are there any statements which the author made that particularly got your attention? If so, please quote them and comment as to why they were important to you.

“For it is the Law of the Flock that an Outcast never returns, and the Law had not been broken once in ten thousand years.”

My comment is that, to every law there is an exception and it is because nobody has dared to break it. As long as it is a limiting law, it awaits that brave and courageous individual that can break it for the benefit of many.

“The only true law is that which leads to freedom.”

This simply means that every other law that does not lead to freedom of expression of individual talents or purpose is killing and limiting, therefore, it must be set aside. It is not doing man any good.

“Poor Fletch. Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you’ll see the way to fly.”

You must be able to see with your inner eyes, your physical eyes are limited and success takes more than the ordinary limited eyes to enter the unlimited.

“You’ve got to understand that a seagull is an unlimited idea of freedom, an image of the Great Gull, and your whole body, from wingtip to wingtip, is nothing more than your thought itself.”

Every human is meant to be an unlimited idea of freedom, an Image of Great God and our whole body from head to toe is nothing more than our thought itself.

5. Is there anything in the book that you do not understand or are unclear about, or are there ideas which you disagree with and, if so, why?

“Forget about faith!” Chiang said it time and again. “You didn’t need faith to fly, you needed to understand flying. This is just the same. Now try again.”

I don’t agree with the statement above because to me you must trust in something. One strong things which I have read about in many books written on success is “Faith”. You need faith to succeed. It keeps you going when all things had failed. When everybody didn’t believe in me and my team fell apart, it was faith in God that made me continue. In fact, for two years I stopped chasing my dream, thank God for faith. I took it all up again because of the faith I have to succeed. I know some people would want to hide behind faith and do nothing, but sincerely, faith is needed to succeed, because it is the unseen force that backs up risk.

6. Did the book contain exercises for the reader to complete? If so, did you complete all of the exercises and did you find them helpful?

There were no exercises for the reader.

7. Was there anything you read in the book that you would like to comment on that was not covered in the previous questions? If so, please comment.

I read about relationship and attitude to situations of life. We need to build strong and appropriate relationships that aligns with our focus and goals in life. Our attitude matters a lot to whatever we are going through. How we respond or react to situations determines whether we will overcome it or not.

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1 to 10. Ten is good and one is poor.

A. How interesting was it to read? 10
B. How helpful were the contents? 10
C. How easy was it to understand? 10
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 10

Assessment by Ajayi Oluwole Olakunle (Nigeria)

1. What is the main idea that the author is trying to convey in the book?

I have been reading books but this book has touched and helped me tremendously. The main idea of the author was succinctly communicated and wittingly delivered. His concept about “self-Image” is an age long concept that can never be out-dated. Psycho-cybernetics is a combination of two words: Psycho from psychology and cybernetics from Engineering. While psychology is the study of the mental well-being of man, cybernetics on the other hand is the study of how people, animals and machines controls and communicate information. The desire of any man to experience a new life in tandem with an absolute peace of mind is deeply rooted in psycho-cybernetics.
Furthermore, the author, who is a physician, helped in popularizing the two words “self-image” which is the summary of how every man and woman on this planet earth can live an excellent life. He used the self-image concept to help a lot of people out of their predicaments and opened them up to new opportunities. As a plastic surgeon, he noticed that so many people come for plastic surgery. This is to correct a defect or help in making an adjustment over an anomaly on their skin, face and other parts of the body. Maxwell discovered that, even after most of his patients had the operation, they still live with the old picture etched in their memory. He was able to figure out that the plastic surgery was useless if the self-image was not changed. He posited that that no matter the defect anyone has, if he or she has a positive self-image, accepting him or herself, the society tends to accept them. Therefore, the power to be happy and live life to the fullest does not and will never rest upon the people surrounding you, but upon you, if only your self-image can be intact.

2. What were the seven ideas which were personally most important to you and why? List these seven ideas followed by an explanation after each one as to why it was important to you. Use personal examples from your own life.

i. Discovering the success mechanism within me.

The success mechanism is is inside everyone, but the major challenge is, over time we tend to lose it as a result of not recognizing it and re-emphasizing it. This idea was really important to me because back in school, I had always failed my courses. At a point, I thought myself to be a failure. So this hindered my creativity and my creative mechanism was shut down. Meanwhile, back in my primary school days, I was the overall best student, but my failures in the university had eroded this. After graduation, I tried to do business, but to no avail. I have submitted hundreds of proposals only to end up being stolen by officials of the organization. After reading this book, this particular idea re-engineered my thoughts. I tried to recollect all my past successes and dwelt on them. I looked away from my failures and took time to mediate more on my success. Whoa! That was it! I changed the way I have been writing my proposals from business mode to social enterprise method and I equally followed through. Today, I have succeeded on a project with the government of my state and we are working on a second and even bigger project.

ii. Imagination

Before I read this book, I had always thought that all my imaginations are mere fantasies. I see myself as someone who fantasizes a lot because most of it does not turn to reality in the long run. This is because; behind my fantasies are thoughts of impossibilities, failure and setbacks. All these clouded the success image I fantasize about. Dr. Maxwell explained what imagination truly is. It is a combination of two words… Image and Nation. There has to be an image formed in our mind which communicates to the outside world (nation) what we actually carry within us. This means that, the image you form in your mind would determine the outcome of your endeavours in life. It could either be a positive image or negative image. This takes me back to my real estate business. As a new entrant, I was not making sales. For three months, I could not make any sales. My clients would go for site inspection and eventually back out of the deal. Then I decided not to give up. But I changed the image I had in mind. Because each time I take my prospects to site, I only think min the negative. I look at the shortcoming of my company and therefore I won’t be able to convince my prospects. Things changed the day I changed my mental picture. I brought up a positive image of sales in my head with the power of prayers though. Alas! At the end of the third month I made a sale. 2 months after I became the number one sales person in the company that the managing director had to ask me… How I did it! a positive image in the mind helps to birth true success.

iii. Belief

I once wrote a quote that “whatever captures the belief system of a man has captured his whole life.” This is very evident in the continent I come from. We have leaders who had done all sorts to ensure that the belief of the people remains captured and controlled by the few elites. “Alter your belief, Change your life.” Since I discovered what these leaders are doing, in my own little way, I started out a small organization that helps particularly young people have change of belief. We teach them and expose their minds to possibilities. We started as Global Entrepreneurship Platform, but today we have metamorphosed into Enterprise Innovation laboratory. We imbue right value system to aid their belief in the positives the world has for them. The results have been outstanding.

iv. Relax!

I love this. I used to be a worry champion before. But this idea in this book has helped me to always stay focused on the present task, accomplish it before moving to the next. Now I don’t worry and it has helped me to even “dare the un-dare-able.”

v. Ingredients of the success type personality.

This is a fantastic idea which I am using currently on one of our projects. The seven ingredients which are: sense of direction, understanding, courage, compassion, esteem, self-confidence and self-acceptance are age long principles that are still working wonders. This has helped me in performing better in my leadership role as the founder of the “Kunle Ajayi Protégées Academy,” where we help young people connect the dots in their lives and figure out the cheapest ways to achieve their dreams. This idea is what I and my team are making use of. One of my protégées recently travelled to Dubai and won a grant. It’s amazing.

vi. Removing Emotional Scars.

I could remember at age 22, I defended my first proposal at the state ministry of education in my country. This defense left me with an emotional scar that this book helped me to remove. I didn’t have a laptop back then and I had to compete with multinational companies. I was rubbished and thrown out. 10 years after, I went back to the same ministry with a better and need meeting idea, well packaged now with willingness to help. Lo and behold, I have become their new bride. Our relationship has been cordial. They call me “Sir.” I am so happy.

vii. Getting the winning feeling.

Dr. Maxwell pointed out that our nervous system cannot differentiate between our imagination and reality. It means that it is what we feed into it that it accepts. “Eureka.” I started my post graduate studies recently. Although I was afraid of my past failures, but this book enacted in me the winning feeling. With this brand new feelings, I wrote my exams and I was able to perform excellently well in them all.

3. How will these ideas or lessons help you in a practical way, both in your daily personal life and in helping you to create a better world? If so, how?

I have started applying these lessons or ideas to my life both personally and even on a daily basis. I have been helping a lot of young people all around me find their direction and helping them set their foot on the path that guarantees success. A good example is a Tomiwa, a guy I am currently mentoring. He is a fresh graduate of political science who wants to become a politician. As a leader and student of psycho-cybernetics, I had to ask him questions and I discovered that he wanted to rely on motivational speaking to become a good leader. Immediately I discovered this wrong perception of his, I have placed him on some reading habits. The first book he will read which I have sent to him is “Who Moved my Cheese.” I will also bring him into my academy with time. Another one is Rotimi. Rotimi is a new entrant to real estate industry. Although, he has been a site engineer for a long time, but he needs a mentor in starting out his own. I have been mentoring him on his branding, sales strategy, business self-image, relaxation of mind etc. he will be making his first sales on Saturday as he has gotten a prospect. Unemployment, bad leadership and social vices are strong enemies in our world today. I have been working and still working in attacking these menaces head-on. So help me God.

4. Quotes: Are there any statements which the author made that particularly got your attention? If so, please quote them and comment as to why they were important to you.

“You cannot correct your course if you are standing still. You cannot change or correct “nothing.”

“You must consider the known facts in a situation, imagine possible consequences of various courses of action, choose one that seems to offer the best solution and bet on it. You can correct your course as you go.”

Author John C Maxwell, called this the principle of “Failing Forward.”

It is very important to me because I have experienced failures for too long that I’ve become afraid of it. But his quote has reawakened me to stand tall and keep moving. This is a key principle I also use in mentoring my mentees.

5. Is there anything in the book that you do not understand or are unclear about, or are there ideas which you disagree with and, if so, why?

As for me, this is a detailed research work. It is not by any means fiction. Although I may not agree 100% with all the principles but that would be after I have tried and gotten a different result. So for now I agree with all concepts and ideas.

6. Did the book contain exercises for the reader to complete? If so, did you complete all of the exercises and did you find them helpful?

Yes I did. There are notes and exercises at the end of each chapter with case history to write out experiences. I took them and they have remained helpful to me. In fact it helped to derive maximum benefits from the book and I am recommending it for my protégés.

7. Was there anything you read in the book that you would like to comment on that was not covered in the previous questions? If so, please comment.

Yes. The author talked about our spiritual life. Man is a tripartite being. He is a spirit that has a soul and lives in a body. We must feed our spiritual man with faith, hope and love. Only this can guarantee eternal happiness and joy for all men.

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1 to 10. Ten is good and one is poor.

A. How interesting was it to read? 10
B. How helpful were the contents? 10
C. How easy was it to understand? 10
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 10