Mamma Michael Kelechi – Assessments

As a Man Thinketh
Assessment by Mamma Michael Kelechi (Nigeria)

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

Judging from the title, “As a Man Thinketh,” it could be deduced that the main idea the author is trying to convey in the book is the power of thought and more specifically our thoughts. The title of the book was coined from the book of Proverbs and the book of Proverbs was written by the wisest man that lived on the surface of the earth. The book further buttresses the importance of individuals ensuring that their thoughts are pure and focused in other to easily make headway or achieve great things in life.

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. As a man thinketh in his heart so is he

The greatest gift man has been endowed with is self-will or more properly put the freedom of choice. Man is free to decide his actions, choose amongst various options and, perform one task to the detriment or advantage of the other. But before any of these can spring forth, there must have been a thought process ongoing or already done, in a man’s heart or conscience. All actions taken or yet to be taken must have been thought about my man and so the quality or nature of thought that a man thinks plays a crucial role in either making or marring him. Right from my childhood days, I have always thought about impacting, changing and touching my world in any way possible, so when I was to secure admission into the university, I opted for medicine as a course, visualizing that reaching people health-wise will be one of the easiest ways, but unfortunately, several attempts to gain admission proved futile, and so I had to change my course of choice to another but in between those periods, a lot of circumstances and situations had occurred which had sharpened me into the positive thinking man that I am now.

ii. Man is the master of thought, the molder of character and maker and sharper of condition, environment and destiny

The authenticity of this statement is glaring for all to see. Indeed one’s destination is as a result of his thought, which in turn sharpens or affects his acts and molds an individual into a particular character or person. In the world today, people that have really affected the world both in the positive and negative have always been people of great thoughts. Citing people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Henry Ford, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Aliko Dangote, Albert Einstein, Barack Obama and the list goes on.

Whatever thought an individual nurtures / harbors within will definitely play a vital role in directing that person’s circumstances, situations or destiny on the long run. It is always easier to spiral down into thoughts of depression and sadness, after encountering difficulties, failures or deaths But an individual must be disciplined enough to re-direct his/ her thought to the positive when faced with adverse situations. I had a different impression about business when I was much younger, I mean, I love money, I want money but the business situation here in Nigeria, mostly revolves around selling things on credit mostly, which on the long-run might affect the functionality / life of one’s business, so I developed a mind-set to stay away from business and business related activities. Truthfully, this affected my finances greatly on the negative I must add, but much recently I have began reading financial books that have reshaped my thinking about wealth and becoming a business creator Some of such books are “Rich Dad, Poor Dad, The Richest Man in Babylon, Fast lane Millionaire, The Science of Getting Rich”. These books amongst others have really opened my eyes to business and how to make money.

iii. He that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened:

The opening phrase has a biblical origin and in no other person’s life could it be more practical than mine. I have always had this unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and hence I read quite a number of books. Tried and experienced a lot of things and circumstances, including fasting and praying for spiritual direction and deliverance. The only way one can find a thing is when one seeks or searches for that thing. Likewise the only way doors of opportunities can be opened is when one knocks. The lesson here is quite practical. Recently I came across a video about Elon Musk and his rocket launch project. I know he tried the experiment more than once before he finally was successful. Within those periods of failure he must have been searching for better ways to ensure success was achieved. The lesson was he searched and then he found.

iv. A man’s mind maybe likened to a garden which maybe intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild:

The major senses such as sight, touch, taste, hear and feel are gateways to the mind. The mind indeed is a reservoir or a chest of many treasures. Man has been cautioned severally to be careful of what he takes in, in terms of things he sees, hears, touches, feels and people he associates with, because these things can go a long way in influencing an individual, both positively and negatively. I grew up in an open setting, in the sense that where I stayed while little was not barricaded or fenced. I mingled and interacted easily with people of both my age and way above me. I picked up some harmful habits in the process such as fighting, anger, lying and stealing. But on growing up, I had a change of environment and also a change of association. This gave me a different perspective to life. Those social vices I picked up in juvenile days were uprooted and replaced with more profitable things of value such as forgiveness which replaced anger, hard work replacing laziness, kindness replacing cruelty. I made it a point of duty not to allow my mind get defiled or be contaminated by what I see and sometimes stumble into.

v. The dreamers are the saviors of the world

The book of Genesis gives an account of a young lad named Joseph, one of the 12 sons of Jacob who saved his generation from famine. He encountered persecutions even from his own family members but when the tides changed, his persecutors came to reference him. Several times people with dreams and visions have always found a way to make reality of their dreams and visions. Ample examples abound of people that made realization of their dreams. The Wright brothers that invented the airplane, Henry Ford founder of Ford Motor Company that converted automobile from being expensive to one easily affordable for all. Mark Zuckerberg that changed the world of social media through Facebook, Bill Gates an American business magnate, investor, author and philanthropist that has made a huge impact in the World through Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I also have dreams of impacting my generation though still under self-development/ training and anticipating better opportunities. At the moment I minister to a local congregation, have inspirational talks with school pupils and speak in organized dog shows and seminars.

vi. He who cherishes a beautiful vision, a lofty idea in his heart; Will one day realize it.

A man without something he lives for; a goal, a vision, a dream, an aim, is as good as being dead. History will always honor and ever remain grateful to people with lofty and beautiful visions that changed their generations. It has always my vision to serve as a motivation to those I come in contact with. I have always envisaged the time I will stand in a gathering of eager souls, pouring out my wealth of experiences; wise and profitable ones for that matter to people that are seeking the fire, the desire to conquer and change their world. At the moment, the road is kind of bumpy, but I count it all good, as the road to success is never an easy one, and the journey of those that made it successfully to the end, never said it was without temptations and trials.

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

Having known the devastating consequences of spiraling in negativism or evil thoughts, I have taken it upon myself to always be watchful of my association, thoughts and actions. Through reading and studying, I have learned to open hidden doors and passages to both wealth and knowledge that abounds in the world. Readers are leaders, Great men such as Jesus Christ, Gandhi Mahatma,, Abraham Lincoln, Isaac Newton, Socrates, Aristotle and a few others have always gone the extra mile, put in an extra effort, carried the heavier loads, and done the more difficult tasks that most people shy away from. I have decided to toll the path of greatness, and I know it won’t be easy all along, but still I will persist until I reach my goal, and so my thoughts I have decided to lift up above the present state by studying and associating with those that have what I desire.

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

Some of the ways people learn are by reading and experience. Well, it might take a life time for one to experience all one wants to learn in life, but an easier way, is to learn from the experiences of others, and what better way than from reading books. The ideas and lessons got from reading this book due to its practical nature will help me in my daily personal life as follows:
Always monitor my thoughts: Knowing that the mind is a reservoir of many treasures both good and bad, I will always be on the lookout daily to ensure my thoughts are always positive, undefiled and inspiring at all times. When in the midst of people, it will be my responsibility to inspire them, challenge them and set them on the right course of greatest in life.
Dream higher: The saying “shoot for the moon and if you miss, you will land among the stars,” holds true here too. Dreaming high and lofty will give me an edge over people that don’t ever dream. Even if I don’t achieve that particular goal, I will be placed in a far better condition physically, emotionally and otherwise than if I didn’t even have a higher goal. And if peradventure, my dreams are achieved, then my generation will have me to thank for it.
Seek out opportunities each day: I will consider each day as a golden opportunity to better my lot. A day to get the best out of life, to impact the lives of people that I encounter. See opportunities in every situation and even if I fall below expectations. The next day will give room for improvement.

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?

“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

Out of the heart of a man proceeds the issues of life, whether to life or to death. I find this truth very captivating. Everything about an individual is a summation of all his thoughts. If he can get his thoughts in harmony, then he will live a fulfilled life.

“A man does not come to the almshouse or the jail by tyranny of fate or circumstances, but by the pathway of groveling thoughts and base desires.”

Evil men, thieves, kidnappers, hired assassins and the likes that perpetuate evil upon the surface of the earth are so because they desired that kind of life. They nursed such thoughts, such vile ambitions, fed it, gave it wings and hence matured into evil personified. It should not come as a surprise when karma visits and all manner of woes/ calamities befall such persons.

“Ask and receive.”

This is a universal law, give and receive. Any that desires or wants something must certainly request for that thing or make effort that shows he wants that particular thing, and in return because he has asked, it is only natural that he receives that thing in return

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?

Personally, I did not find anything strange or unusual or anything I disagree with in the book. All I came across were facts I already knew or came across before reading the book. For example, the book “the science of getting rich” has the same principle of changing your thoughts to being positive so as to attract good health and wealth. And also after the lesson of a particular situation is learned, one is then ready for a greater opportunity ahead or a next phase in life.

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

I didn’t come across any exercise during or after reading the book, except lessons learned when reading the book and yes the lessons were helpful.

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 would love to briefly comment on the last chapter “serenity.” A sentence there is most comforting, calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.” It takes quite a lot of effort and dedication for one to be calm despite the turmoil and challenges life throws at an individual, but it shows maturity, understanding and balance, and the rewards for serenity are immense.

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? 9
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 10


Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Assessment by Mamma Michael Kelechi (Nigeria)

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

From my point of view, I think the author’s main idea is to stress the importance of pursuing your dreams or persistence in achieving your dreams. So long as you have conceived it and feel you can achieve it despite the oppositions, he posited that you should give in your best to make your dream a reality. From the book, it can be clearly seen that Jonathan Livingston Seagull had a dream, a vision, a thought that set him apart and made him different or unique from the flock. The knowledge that a seagull’s life does not start and end in the daily scrabbling for fish heads, but that there is a far greater purpose, the purpose of flying, and flying above the mediocrity of the flock mentality, gave him an edge over his generation. Flying using all the different flight skills and soaring into world’s unknown was what fueled him to live. The price for persisting/ pursuing his dreams was not a small one, as can be seen from the book, for our beloved Jonathan was branded an outcast and sentenced to a life of solitude, but that still did not deter him, in fact it even fueled his passion to fly the more and then as fate would have it. Two bright seagulls came his way in the middle of the night. When he thought he could fly no further, reach no greater heights, a new horizon was shown to him, a world of endless flight possibilities.

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. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, “unashamed, stretching his wings again in that trembling hard curve-slowing, slowing and stalling once more was no ordinary bird.”

From the excerpt above, it could be seen that despite failing in his attempt to master the art of flying, Jonathan Livingstone Seagull did not give up or feel defeated. The idea/ lesson here is that in must ventures if not all ventures in life, the possibility of encountering failure is there, but even at that, one should not be deterred . This quickly brings to mind my years of seeking admission into the higher institution of learning. Truthfully, it was always heart wrecking each time the admission list came out and my name was missing. I was determined never to lose hope, despite the odds. My state of mind and spiritual inclination, played important roles in keeping me focused and positive, until I was admitted to study Applied Microbiology and Brewing in the 7th year of persevering.

ii. Quoting Jonathan, “I don’t mind being bone and feathers mum. I just want to know what I can do in the air and what I can’t.”

Here we see that even his parents considered his quest a foolish one, hence the discouraging remarks from both of them. Jonathan had already caught the fever of greatness, and there was no stopping until he has tasted the joy of taking to the sky. Personally, I have met people and have been discouraged by people, one time too many from pursuing a purpose or tolling a path in life, especially the path of holiness and righteous living. It actually sounds strange to some people when I tell them I don’t engage in sexual pleasures, tell lies, smoke, fight and other vices associated with the natural or unrepentant man, due to my faith and level of spiritual awareness. Their responses are usually epic and ridiculous , such as are you the only holy person on earth, we are all fishes in the sea and so can’t deny drinking water, how would you know if your wife to be is fertile and the likes but once they come to terms with my resolve, they usually back out.

iii. There is always a lesson to learn from failure

Jonathan after failing to master the upstroke even after his 10th attempt learned a valuable lesson, because later, as it dawned on him, he thought, “the key must be to hold the wings still at high speeds.” Life throws challenging /difficult situations our way and sometimes, the lessons learnt are quite bitter, but we end up becoming stronger. I remember in my undergraduate days, in my 2nd year specifically, I almost didn’t write some of my second semester examinations due to a broken wrist. I broke my right wrist during our inter-faculty games. A bitter lesson learned was that the faculty did not care if I failed or passed because I was representing her and injured myself in the process. We lost two different games, hand ball and basketball, but I learnt that I was responsible for myself and not anyone else, and would either reap the benefits or suffer the consequences, and so I must be wise in making decisions.

iv. “As he sank low in the water, a strange hollow voice sounded within him.”

This marked a down point in Jonathan’s life. A time when doubt, unbelief and limitation brought out its ugly head and discouraging thoughts set in. Jonathan saw a thousand and one reasons why he could not fly, namely because he was not a falcon, he did not have charts for brains etc. A time such as the one stated happens in everyone’s life on earth. After finishing high school and could not secure admission, I had to opt for a remedial program which I got, but pulled out due to circumstances beyond my control. Thoughts of vanity beclouded my mind such as what was the essence of living, death would have been a better option, I was good for nothing and the likes. I even visited a medical centre and drugs were prescribed that did not improve my condition. Deep within, I knew the problem was my thought and I prayed and deliberately brought myself out of the pit of depression.

v. “That’s the answer! What a fool I’ve been! That was Jonathan’s exclamation when he finally figured out why he kept tumbling down into the brick hard sea when in flight mode.”

There is this super, magical moment when one suddenly realizes the solution to a long standing problem. It appears as if a log of wood has been removed from one’s eyes. As if a scroll was rolled down from heaven and the solution to one’s predicament revealed. I could visualize the joy Jonathan felt that knew no bounds. I remember reading about electrons and excitation energy far back in second school and at a point I could almost tell I felt the same excitement Albert Einstein and other great scientists must have felt when they made their earth shaking discoveries.

vi. “Instead of our drab slogging forth and back to the fishing boat, there is a reason to life!”

Here it was noted that Jonathan had eventually found his purpose, the reason why he was living. He had exceeded his limits, transcended it and the feeling was exhilarating. But instead of being celebrated and rightly acknowledged in a positive way, he was branded an outcast and sentenced to a life of solitude. This scenario is very common with people that dared to stand out, challenged the status quo, want more out of life. People brand them all sorts of names. Granted, people always dread what they can’t understand. In my undergraduate days, I suffered a lot of discrimination and the likes. During lecture periods I normally enjoy asking and answering questions and kind of put life into the lecture but I was easily misunderstood. People felt I was showing off, feeling like I knew it all and wanted attention. I was even reported to the Dean of Studies, who mentioned it during one of his lectures during my final year. I felt broken, even to the extent that one of our senior professors called me aside and inquired what the problem was. That I used to be vibrant and alive during her lectures, but she is seeing something different. On relating the tale to her, she told me to be the real me and not dwell on what others were purporting.

vii. Finding people with like minds/similar visions

An extract from the book reads “here were gulls who thought as he thought, for each one of them, the most important thing in living was to reach out and touch perfection in that which they most loved to do and that was to fly.” Jonathan finally found himself among his equals, people who had similar visions, goals and ideas like himself. I might even posit that he finally found himself amongst true believers and a brotherhood was formed. Man being a social being will always crave and enjoy companionship because we were not created to live alone l. I stumbled into an online community of people that review books, engage in debates, give lecture and sometimes hold conferences online, using an application called webinar. The group, called “Thinkerspool” is a collection of people of different cultures, traditions and religious beliefs, but what binds us together is our love for knowledge. I feel a kind of acceptance, for I was not judged but accepted for who I am. I try as much as possible to put in my best to ensure the community of thinkers grow to worldwide recognition.

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?

Nothing good comes easy: Most if not all great men, must have begun from humble beginnings. Those humble beginnings might have been moments of trials or difficulties from Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg, and Albert Einstein to Stephen Hawking. I am very sure they must have experienced moments they felt like giving up. When the odds were against them and people did not believe in them. But despite the oppositions they stood their grounds and prevailed. Likewise in my situation, I know things might be rough, things might be unpleasant, but perseverance and staying motivated will help me on a daily basis. If I keep improving daily, soon enough I can affect my world positively especially if my aim is achieved.

Don’t always expect too much from people: From the book, it could be seen that Jonathan Livingstone’s parents did not give him much hope. Despite the fact that he was their offspring. His parents’ ideas and thoughts were at variance with his. This singular lesson has taught me that I might face oppositions even from close friends and family members, due to my dreams or visions, but the important thing is that it should not come as a surprise to me, and if I don’t expect much from them, I won’t be affected or disappointed. With my mind on my vision and enduring the challenges on the way when I get to my destination, one way or the other they will come around and benefit from my light.

Let my dreams be my main focus: Surely, tough and challenging times will come, when my resolve will be tested as could be seen when Jonathan almost gave up, but focusing on my goals/ visions and not on my weaknesses or shortcomings will propel me to the desired stage I ought to be. Seeing the vision with my mind’s eyes, believing the vision and making the vision the main focus will be a great factor to pull me out of the miry clay of doubt.

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.

“The gull of fortune smiled upon him this once, and no one was killed.”

Prior to this event Jonathan had tried and failed severally while learning the upstroke flight but because he persisted, he was able to find the secret to mastering the upstroke flight, and when he did, his joy knew no bounds. Now, on descending with such tremendous speed and being a learner, circumstances or situations had to work in his favor, because at that moment, he had seen the light, gotten the master key and fate had no choice than to work for his good. He could have fallen on a hard surface, maybe the sharp cliff edge or even on the sand at the seashore but it just had to be directly at the centre of the breakfast flock.

“We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill.”

The above statement simply means our destiny lies on our very hands. We are either our greatest friend or our worst foe. We set our limitations or boundaries. We totally define how far we want to go in life, what we want to achieve. If unfortunately, we dwell on the negative or restrict ourselves, then that will most certainly be our lot in life. But if on the other hand we program ourselves to be unstoppable, a boundless force that can go wherever, do whatever, then the world will be ours for the taking.
“To fly as fast as thought, to anywhere, that is you must begin by knowing that you have already arrived.”

This statement brings to mind a scriptural passage where Jesus Christ said, “if you ask anything, believe you have already received it. If one is headed somewhere, one must definitely have it in mind that he/she will definitely reach the intended destination.” In having a vision or goal or desire, I must believe, see that I have already gotten it, but just get awaiting it to manifest physically which will only take a period of time. Once I have achieved that mindset there will be no limit to what I could achieve in life.

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?

Personally the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull is in harmony with much of my perception and belief about life. The narrative is quite simple enough to understand and the chronology of events makes the book interesting and easy flowing.

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

While going through the contents of the book, I did not come across any exercises to be done by the reader and yes the lessons / ideas from the book were quite helpful and also inspiring.

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 think the previous questions were comprehensive enough in the sense that it really gauged the understanding of the reader, while tasking the reader to also apply it’s principles in his/her life.

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

Keys to Success
Assessment by Mamma Michael Kelechi (Nigeria)

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

The author being a man who spent most of his knowledgeable years interviewing successful people especially in the business sphere of life, simply wants the readers of his book to be as successful as the people he talked about. Success does not really happen by chance or luck or by a stroke of fate as some people would want to believe. Success happens as a result of dedicated efforts to make something out of one’s life in this world. The author cited an example of how he was privileged to have had a step-mother who showed him a different perspective of life and what people assumed about him, which actually was the magic ingredient that transformed his life. The 17 principles of personal achievement is a timeless classic. No better time in history that people need success in any sphere of their lives than now. The world is moving at a very fast pace, the unsuccessful will surely be left behind. The author is also trying to get across to his readers that it is solely dependent on them to succeed or fail in any endeavor of life they find themselves in. The seventeen principles stated in the books are the principles successful people employed to be what and where they are in life.

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. Develop definiteness of purpose

Every living being was created or birthed into planet earth for a purpose or some purposes which they must find out and achieve. Now the direction and speed an individual can go and cover depends on what and when such a purpose was discovered or conceived. For some it might be later on in life, for others earlier as early as in their childhood days like Albert Einstein, Bill Gates and a few others, even Jesus Christ too. The above listed individuals knew what they wanted to achieve or what their definite purpose in life was and so pursued it wholeheartedly.

One’s definiteness of purpose will determine the direction one will take and also realize when one is actually making head way in life. Personally, it has always been my life dream to affect people’s lives positively and that is the basic reason why I have always tolled the medical aspect of life. Though I wasn’t able to study human medicine in the university, the closest I could get was to study the microbial aspect of how diseases and illness were caused in humans. It has been a wonderful experience so far. I try as much as possible to make use of opportunities that can get me closer to that dream. I have done an attachment in a hospital, currently I am a member of the Nigerian Redcross Society and when time permits I give talks to inspire people in gatherings.

ii. Assemble an attractive personality

Now it’s not about being egoistic or to brag, but I have always had this attractive personality towards people. There is just this aura around me that easily draws people closer. A friend of mine back then in secondary school passed it out as a joke that I have too much white cells and that’s why people come closer to me easily. In my childhood days, it really didn’t take much for people to find me alluring. My primary school teachers all took me under their wings. It was the same story in my secondary school. Presently in my current place of work, our coordinator has even placed me over other members of staff due to the fact that she found my personality endearing. Though it hasn’t been without it’s fair share of antagonism, as I could easily be spotted and conspired against, as was the case in Kennel Club of Rivers, where some members ganged up and championed for my removal as president due to envy. I actually became president due to my easygoing disposition and team spirit and at the same time an attractive personality, but when I realized my mission was fulfilled in the club, I decided to step down as president and focus my attention elsewhere. Surprisingly, I was contacted not long after stepping down to take up the post of the president in the German Shepherd Dog Foundation of Nigeria, Rivers State Chapter.

iii. Maintain sound health

There is a saying, “Health is Wealth.”

It is very vital one ensures that he/she is in a very good state of health because illness can go along way in crippling or halting one’s growth phase. Though there are few exceptions that defied the odds and still broke through despite having challenging health conditions, but it is less expensive for one to ensure he/she doesn’t endanger himself /herself due to life style habits. There are some habits that can pose serious threat to one’s physical health. Excessive drinking, smoking, engaging in violent acts, insufficient rest, drugs and a lot more. It is advisable one visits a hospital as soon as one notices unusual changes in one’s system. Since the mind is directly linked to the body, and the body also linked to the mind, it isn’t surprising to observe sudden ill-health changing the course of life for some people. Personally I do my possible best to ensure soundness of both my body and my mind. I eat body building food, engage in physical exercises like early morning push-ups, play basketball, handball, volleyball and table tennis when time permits. For mental exercises I read write poems and do some word games, spiritual exercises like prayers and fasting are also included in my regime. I ensure there is a balance in every aspect, so I can be at my optimum always.

iv. Use applied faith

We all apply faith in most of our endeavors in life, if not entirely all. The world itself was built and established on faith. The scripture says “without faith it is impossible to please God, and works without faith is useless. Actually two kinds of faith are quite operational namely faith in God and faith in self. My focus is faith in self. Faith is what brings conceived ideas into reality. One can’t have faith and do otherwise.” In 2017, Port Harcourt Dog Breeders Association, now known as Kennel Club of Rivers, wanted having her dog walk which will also be the first in the state. Others had tried but failed. I was the president then and we had nothing close to the budget estimated to execute a good walk. But that not withstanding, I had faith that we would pull through. I began calling members to cast in their lot, delegated duties and sent in application for venue of the event. People having seen my faith and charisma began responding positively we had sponsored radio jingles, and when the day came, the walk was a huge success. We had drone coverage, media interview and a lot of other side attractions. Even though the estimated budget wasn’t met, we executed a good dog show that made our significance and popularity high in the canine world.

v. Going the extra mile

Going the extra mile is what clearly distinguishes the ordinary people from the extra ordinary ones. I won’t tag myself as having scored a 100% in this aspect, but I certainly go out of my way most times trying to offer help to people. For instance I could get up from a seat in a bus/vehicle or even in a building or banking hall when an elderly person comes around. I even take it upon myself to genuinely ask and know how people I come across daily are. If there is a frown, I must ensure it changes to a smile. If there is an assignment to do and people are shying away from it, I take it upon myself to perform it. I ensure I come to an appointment earlier than scheduled. I sweep and arrange our local church venue to ensure we aren’t behind schedule during fellowships.

vi. Build a positive mental attitude

Nothing takes a person ahead on a given task, and then achieve that task despite oppositions and delays like a positive mental attitude. One with a positive mental attitude is virtually unstoppable. A positive mental attitude is like a curtain that is parted to allow the rays of sunlight into a home. It is a doorway of endless possibilities. It keeps opening doors, brings opportunities and surmounts obstacles even when it seems as if all hope is lost. Before securing admission into the ivory towers to study microbiology, I had written the entrance examinations severally, with each time falling short of the required marks. I travelled to many states in Nigeria seeking admission and every time I wasn’t admitted, I kept believing that the next one will be successful, and truly that attitude kept me going through the rough and turbulent times of staying at home without admission. Seven years after graduation from secondary school I gained admission. My undergraduate days weren’t all that rosy, but a positive mental attitude kept me focused in campus till I graduated in record time and with a good grade too.

vii. Cultivate creative vision

One of the greatest and spectacular abilities God has endowed man with is the gift of procreation that is bringing things into being or making something from another thing. Some of the great innovations or inventions in Science and Technology, Arts, Psychology, Philosophy and other aspects were as a result of the creative abilities of some persons that distinguished themselves from the crowd. From the advent of the motorcars to the airplanes, to computers, to supersonic jets, to bullet speed trains and to space travels and explorations, man’s ingenuity has always been behind all this breakthroughs. All these came into being by the power of creative visions. It has always been my vision to serve humanity however way I can. I intend to dive deep into the field of Biotechnology and Molecular Biology to ensure that life is lived more profitable and enjoyable by all, especially those with life-threatening or genetic disorders like sickle cell anemia, Thalassemia, and cystic fibrosis. I intend to make research on defective genes responsible for such anomaly and work out ways to either remove or modify them entirely. Hopefully with overseas scholarship and the right mentors that vision will be achieved.

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

The ideas or lessons derived from reading this book will help me in a practical way both in my daily personal life and in helping me create a better world, because I would have seen areas I have strong points in and intensify on them, and those areas I have weaknesses in, I will ensure I work on them to a level of envy. If I have been able to fortify myself or equip myself enough with the principles found in the book, the world will have one less person to worry about, and more so, I will be charting a great cause of impacting my generation positively. As mentioned above, it is my goal to improve the standard of living of people on earth especially in the medical aspect. With the right tools at my disposal and an enabling environment, there will be no telling to the extent that my generation will benefit from me.

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.

“No one who has attained success has not met with some form of failure comparable with the scope of his or her success.”

“Behind every success story, there must have been several or a series of trials and errors behind the scene. This is very much evident in sports. Most athletes put in some much during practice/training before an event or major game, while some succeed, others fail irrespective of the many hours channeled into being successful. But if one hasn’t failed before, how can one really know the sweetness of success? This quickly brings to mind Elon Musk and his several attempts to launch his rocket. The successful liftoff of his rocket into space was worth all his earlier failures.”

I can relate to this quite personally as the joy I felt when I secured admission into the university knew no bounds, after several attempts of being denied admission.

“Our strength grows out of our weakness.”

Life sometimes presents us with the thorny part of a rose and in those periods, one feels like the weight of the world is on his / her shoulders. We really don’t know how strong we are, until we are pushed to the wall by situations, or totally exhausted of options. I remember a game of basketball I played in, some years ago. I was the Michael Jordan of my team. We faced a much more experienced and tougher team, but during the game I had muscle cramps, I was totally incapacitated and had to pull out of the game. In that vulnerable state my team began to lose the game, I had to muster up all the courage in me alongside the pain to return into the game, and eventually we ended up having a draw of 43-43 points.

“Any worthless, superfluous, or harmful habit can be broken and replaced with a more desirable one if you want it so.”

Quite unfortunately, man is a habitual entity by nature. Habits that have fostered / endured for so long, end up being one’s character. This is applicable in both positive and negative dimensions. I remember my childhood days when I viewed the world from a myopic and selfish perspective. To escape punishment then from a wrong doing, I had to tell a lie, and gradually lying got a grip on me, and even without wanting to, words begin to spew out of my mouth that I knew weren’t true. But as I grew and understood the negative implications of nurturing bad habits, I had to change my ways, especially after having been born again . Lies were replaced with truthfulness, disobedience for obedience, pride for humility. So long as there is a will, there must always be a way. It will take time no doubt, but definitely with determination the changes will surface.

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?

Practically speaking, the truths of this book had been tested and proven true over several decades. As stated earlier, success doesn’t happen or come about by chance, there are certain principles that bring one into success and those principles were clearly explained in the book, so in that context, there isn’t any idea I disagree with in the book.

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 the book contained exercises for the reader to complete. I tried to complete the exercises as best as I could understand what the author meant, and yes the exercises were helpful because I had to really think and rethink about what the author meant or wanted me to benefit from each of the principles.

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.

The previous questions very much tasked the mental ability of the reader, so no there isn’t anything I want to comment about that wasn’t covered by the questions already asked.

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

Success through a Positive Attitude
Assessment by Michael Kelechi (Nigeria)

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

The book “Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude” has an uncanny similarity to the 17 keys/ principles of success, that at a point I had to double check it wasn’t the same book. Success through a positive mental attitude is quite an interesting book with lots of practical stories and experiences. The main concept or idea the writer is trying to convey or conveyed through the book can be clearly seen in chapter nine of the book where the author stated it in very clear terms. Quoting the writer: “How to motivate yourself is the purpose of this chapter. How to motivate others is the purpose of chapter ten. How to motivate yourself and others with a positive mental attitude is the purpose of success through a positive mental attitude. In essence this book is on motivation.”

Having established that the core concept of the writer is to motivate the reader of his book, it should be noted that there are things /motives that can motivate people which are desire for preservation, life after death, freedom of body and mind, recognition and self expression, material gains, also emotions of love, fear, sex, anger and hate. Though some are positive, some are also negative and it is these ten basic motives that fuel people’s actions.

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. He kept his mind on the things he did want and off the things, he didn’t want

This particular statement was made in reference to Fuller. S. B. Fuller, a man that was born into poverty. Whose father was poor and all within his father’s family lineage. But luckily for Fuller, his mother had developed dissatisfaction towards that kind of life and she was able to infuse a different thought pattern into Fuller. Having learnt that singular most important lesson in his life, Fuller kept his mind on the things he wanted and he definitely wanted to be rich, and rich he did become. Personally there are finer things in life that I want, and I strongly focus my attention on them. It really doesn’t matter what others have said or are saying; what matters is my firm believe and conviction. I want to travel outside the shores of Nigeria, others actually have, some will still leave and some will never, because it is not part of their plans. I have began making necessary arrangements and preparations, because I intend to further my education after leaving. I just even got a 7 band score from the IELTS I took on 06-04-2019. I set my mind on being good, helpful and supportive to people and of course, people I encounter normal attest to the fact that I have the above listed qualities and even more, simply because I want to. I don’t associate myself with jesters, drunkards, smokers and vile or violent people, because I don’t need them, and they won’t affect me positively.

ii. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose by trying

Sometimes, if not even most times, every situation or condition has something unique or different about it. If one is faced with a given task that is totally outside his/her forte, one will have to devise means to achieve that task. This kind of feeling, comes when one is doing something new for the first time and doing something new always comes with the phobia of failing, or the feeling of inadequacy. The worst case scenario might be trying and failing but then again, even if an individual fails, he becomes better from the experience. There is even a saying “there is no harm in trying.” I was tasked with the responsibility of ministering in a gathering about 5 times bigger than what I was used to and to further complicate issues, elders and more advanced persons in the ministry would be in attendance. It was really a herculean task for me. I considered all the odds and concluded, I have nothing to lose if I give out my best. So I went into study and quiet time with positive mental attitude, got encouragement from my district pastor, and at the end of the day, I didn’t fail or lose, but performed very well. It would have been a serious defeat personally if I hadn’t tried or excused myself from the task.

iii. Success is achieved and maintained by those who try and keep on trying with PMA

Granted, life doesn’t always offer one things on a platter on gold. In fact, life offers one roses alongside thorns. So failure is not something quite foreign to people. Some great individuals have tried severally at a particular task and also failed severally, but they never gave up. A quick reminder is Elon Musk. I personally take a special liking to him because he said, if he doesn’t get what he sets out to achieve, he doesn’t quit. He keeps professing that next time will be the magic moment, and he ends up getting it. His rocket project is a living testimony.

Coaches too in basketball are known for having positive mental attitude, even after several defeats, they still believe their team will become champions, and of course it happens. The Lakers of Los Angeles became the NBA champions in 2001, after several near success attempts, but Phil Jackson was able to fuse the power efforts of Shaquel O’Neill and Kobe Bryant into a fantastic victory. In my life, whenever I set my mind on a task, I do all within my power to achieve it, despite the odds. Recently I had to travel to my Alma mater to apply for my transcript to further my academics. I got wind of word about an application online for a master program, how be it quite late. I had to overcome the issue of being permitted to leave work and go to school and also to submit the application before the deadline. Even though I had already requested previously for permission away from work, I persisted with my request and was able to convince my superior and travelled. The next hurdle was to get the process of preparing the transcript ongoing. I was able to take the application form to my department for computation of my worksheet and was promised it would be sent to the admissions and records unit quickly, but alas that was never to be, as my application stayed more than a month. I had to plead painstakingly with another lady in a different department to help facilitate the process, because the person in charge was unresponsive. I finally got a soft copy but the deadline had long expired by three weeks. Another opportunity came up which I was able to fill and submit timely. Though I have not got feedback, I am very optimistic it shall be well.

iv. Every adversity has the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit

Earlier I mentioned being tasked with ministering to a congregation 5 times bigger that what I was used to, but ended up performing better than my expectations. Although the possibility of bailing out was there, I took up the challenge. That particular task has further opened doors for a greater responsibility and recognition accorded to me. Another instance was organizing the Kennel Club of Rivers Dog Walk, 2018. The club is a body of dedicated dog lovers, breeders and owners. I was then the president. The task of organizing the dog walk was quite enormous because it doubled if not tripled the previous one I organized for the club, but I persisted. The benefits were introduction to a greater audience, more media coverage and doors of collaboration. It might have been an adversity because the funds were not there, no willing hands to work, but I was optimistic until the event held irrespective of the fact that sponsorship didn’t come in on time and also wasn’t as much as anticipated.

v. Greatness comes to those who develop a burning desire to achieve high goals

In the Kennel Club of Rivers Dog Walk, 2018, I had this strong passion to ensure it turned out to be a memorable event that I went the extra mile of consulting highly placed individuals such as the assistant to the secretary of the governor, the K-nine unit state commander, the chairman of the Veterinary Medical Association of Rivers State and the manager of Rhythm 93.7 FM. The turnout was impressive in fact, the dog walk was reputed to the best that had been conducted in Nigeria as a country. The drone coverage and aerial photography, the special guest appearances and general coordination set it apart from others. The event made front page on a local social media forum “Nairaland” that has international recognition. Due to the impressive nature of the event, on 11th May, 2019, a top dog food producer, “Binggo Dog Food,” a subsidiary of Grand Cereal and Mills Nigeria Limited, will be having a seminar in Rivers State for the Southern and Eastern Breeders of the Country.

vi. To become an expert achiever in any human activity, it takes practice, practice, practice:

The saying practice makes perfect holds true. Music stars, actors, writers, dancers, orators and even athletes all have one thing in common, they are pedagogic and persistent in practicing to improve their skills. I enjoy playing basketball and when I go out for practice by 4pm and return at 7pm, it really does not seem a big deal to me. It becomes a wonder to some of my peers or passersby how I could endure running round the court for long, make surprisingly shocking shots from quite unbelievable angles and distances. Of course all these skills did not develop over night, constant periods of practice had built up my endurance genes and have made me a better player of the game. I also want to be a better public speaker or orator and so I don’t joke with reading and I do it loudly most times. People can attest to my diction, fluency and speed when reading in church, school or public gathering. There are other aspects of my life I am still a work in progress in, but constant practice will definitely turn me into an expert. I would really love to able to know the state of mind of an individual by studying their facial expressions.

vii. Do it now

The best time to do anything you think is important to you, especially when you feel you are able to perform well is that precise moment. Procrastinating makes it more cumbersome, and sometimes it will lead to a fire brigade approach with a lot of lapses here and there. If one needs to study for an examination, quick preparation is always advised, not wait till about 2-3 weeks or even a few days to the date and hoping to cram everything into memory. When assigned a responsibility I know I am qualified to handle, I swiftly go into research or action and the results have been amazing. I have ample time on my hand and several options to choose from even before the time for actualization of such responsibility. I have been called out on several occasions to speak on gatherings without prior notice. I just go ahead and speak and most times it is exciting.

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

The ideas or lessons will help me in a practical way both in my personal daily life and in helping me create a better world because I have learnt lessons from the lives, travails and triumphs of the characters of this book. I saw what they faced and how they devised means to conquer such obstacles. I have seen that most if not all great individuals didn’t begin from a smooth surface, most hard it rough, some even rougher but were able to get to enviable levels in life. Relatively, if I persist I will be able to overcome my Goliath and attain heights worthy of commendations. I still have this strong desire to better the lot of mankind. I intend to research on vaccines or curatives for sickle cell patients and diabetics. Even though my present clime does not really favor research work, but hopefully when I leave the shores of Nigeria, I will definitely make that dream a reality.

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.

There were several sterling statements which the author made that particularly got my attention. Below are some of the quotes and reasons why they were particularly important to me:

“We are poor, not because of God.”

This is a very striking statement, which so many people have misconstrued. In as much as the Bible advocates for piety; and also noted that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God, people have totally believed wrongly that God does not want his people to be prosperous. In fact the Bible stated that He wishes above all things that we prosper even as our soul prospers too. It is also stated in the Bible that God will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus. So it is actually not God that makes people poor but because they have never aspired to come out of the slump and shackles of poverty. Personally I make frantic efforts to improve myself financially, spiritually, academically and other wise. Read books, save for future days and also giving to reap the dividends. It is also stated that God has given me the power to make wealth, why then should I be wallowing in poverty?

“If you know what you want, you are more apt to recognize it when you see it.”

It is one that has a destination in mind that recognizes or knows immediately when his/her destination is reached. Most people are easily tossed to and fro by the sea of life to any direction, since there isn’t any definiteness of purpose, then anything goes. A determined individual with an aim/goal to achieve will quickly see or recognize opportunities that will easily lead to such goals. While in school, I had in mind what I wanted, knew when I wasn’t meeting my targets and deliberately ensured I didn’t move around with people of dubious characters.

“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”

The Bible states that as a thinks, so he is. It is only when one strongly and passionately strives or desires something that he/she can easily achieves such desires. Some might have it easy and others not so easy, but one common denominator is the fact that they must all desire to achieve an aim. Man is indeed the controller of his fate. God has given us everything needed to make the most out of our lives. If it happens that things are not working out as anticipated, all we need to do is reject such circumstances by developing a positive mental attitude, especially if the situation was due to a negative mental attitude. And if we already have a positive mental attitude, all that is needed is steadfastness and hopefully within the set time, things will definitely fall in place in our lives. It took me quite a while to secure admission into the university, but at the right time I was admitted and also graduated in record time.

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?

Having read through the book, I must really commend the author for taking such amount of time to research about what made successful and renowned people what they are. The ideas were very clear with hands on experiences and important lessons to learn. And I don’t disagree with any of his ideas in the book. I hope I can put most if not all into practical use in my life.

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

The book did not really contain exercises for the reader, but it has summarized points that easily brings to memory the major points in each chapter.

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 feel the review questions covered all that needed to be commented about in the book.

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? 9
C. How easy was it to understand? 9
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 9.5

Assessment by Michael Kelechi (Nigeria)

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

Truthfully, it might not be as easy as it seems to spot out the main idea the writer is trying to convey in the book but if I might take a shot at choosing, I feel he is trying to put across to the reader/ general public that our impression of ourselves; our thoughts, which invariably dictates our way of doing things, talk to people, eat, smile and react to situations will most definitely shape our outlook to life and generally our future or destiny. It is important what we think about ourselves, our self-image; the inner man. If one perceives himself / herself to be easy going and social, it will easily be obvious in the kind of career / vocation one will be involved and excel in. A good orator must firstly see himself / herself as being good in communicating to people. He must have that conviction within that he has something important to offer to his generation/ society.

And if I must also add, the writer is also trying to covey how thoughts can affect the functions of body organs. For instance, if one is afraid, even if there isn’t any fearful situation around, signals will be sent to various organs of the body such as the heart to pump more blood, adrenaline hormones will be released to either fight or flee. It might become so severe that the fear paralyzes the individual, goose bumps develop, difficulty in breathing might set in. Some can even go into shock or lose consciousness. Likewise good and pleasant thoughts can make the body organs function better and one might end up living longer.

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 as to why it was important to you. Use personal examples from your own life.

i. God sees us as men and women in whom and through whom he can do great work.

After the work of creation was completed and it was stated that God rested, according to the Bible. God gave man dominion (power/command/ ability) over everything created and instructed man to be fruitful and multiply. Since that moment, God has been working through men to achieve great feats. Of course wonders like the pyramids of Egypt , the hanging garden in Babylon were all made by man through inspiration from God. In this generation, there have been the manufacturing of planes, supersonic jets, cargo ships, fast moving cars that have greatly reduced the stress associated with movement using legs from one place to another. Breakthroughs in modern Medicare through In-vitro fertilization (IVF), gene therapy, organic transplant just to name a few. The advent also of the computer, mobile phone and the internet have really revolutionized the world. All these are vehicles through which God works through man.

Man being and also bearing an image of God, can be used to affect positively the lives of his fellows. There are great philanthropists that have charitable organizations that donate hugely to the poor, those that cater for leprosy patients, HIV/AIDS, those suffering from effects of drugs and substances abuse, those in war ravaged countries and the list is almost inexhaustible. Personally, I see myself as an instrument in the hands of God through which He can do his great works. Having found myself in the work of the ministry, I develop effective strategies and methods by which the word of God can be delivered to the multitude of hungry and suffering souls out there. Evangelism, follow-up and fervent prayers are rendered. There have been instances whereby prayers made by myself changed and effected deliverance/solace in the lives of people around me. I have consoled and counseled people that have lost loved ones. I am actively involved in supporting the work of the ministry financially by donating for missionary work scholarship and other kingdom investment projects.

ii. You must have a clear mental picture of the correct thing before you can do it successfully.

One of the greatest gifts the Lord has given unto His creations is the gift of imagination. However it is used is solely dependent on us. In fact, imagination is a great force that has so changed and will continue to shape our planet and planets beyond. Most great feats achieved by people were imagined and when clear mental pictures were gotten, execution was quite easy. Sometimes what causes delays or total inactivity might simply be because an individual has not grasped the clear / correct mental image of what ought to be done. It could be observed by the series of trial and error that would be obtainable until the refined product / idea is produced.

I have handled many projects / responsibilities, and at the initial, it might seen overwhelming to proceed especially when considering the magnitude of the project. But as a clearer image of what is required is gradually forming, more ways to execute the project begins to take shape. On several occasions I have had to organize parties for children. Immediately after the brainstorming had been done and the ideas put to paper and other areas covered, execution becomes quite easier than anticipated. I will always reference the two Port Harcourt Dog walk I handled. Despite the magnitude of the project inadequate manpower, unwillingness of some people and financial constrains involved. Immediately a clear picture of what I wanted to be done was formed, I was able to get external supports alongside my master minds that made the two dog walks most memorable.

iii. When once a decision is reached and execution is the order of the day, dismiss absolutely all responsibility and care about the outcome.

One can never completely make all the necessary preparations involved when carrying out a task. There will always be new ideas or areas requiring attention that will always creep up so long as one is seriously thinking about that task. If after all the brainstorming had been done, and a decision reached on how to execute the task, it is counter-productive to be fretful /troubled about what the outcome will be, especially if one had properly done his/her homework. During examinations, I normally do all within my power to get a hold of all materials regarding a particular course, study it as much as possible and outline a strategy to follow. With that in mind, I go into the hall as a successful candidate, irrespective of what the situations around might be pointing towards. In preparing messages for ministrations, after studying and praying, I don’t need to worry about if adequate scriptures will be read; if the message will be excellent or not, when already at the pulpit. I just go ahead with a positive mindset and forget about the things beyond my control.

iv. The reason some people are self-conscious and awkward in social situations is simple that they are too consciously concerned, too anxious, to do the right thing:

Granted, it is always good to do things and do them correctly, but if one becomes almost paralyzed or totally incapacitated or even act awkward because they are afraid of not doing things wrongly, then it has gone overboard. We learn from our mistakes.

I remember long ago, in a youth camping program. I was sitting and was overly concerned about life; how I would act, talk and generally comport myself in a godly manner. One of my elder colleagues in the faith came over and asked why the furlong disposition, on telling him, he simply replied that I should take my worries to Jesus and leave everything in His hands. It took me quite awhile to understand that statement, because I was so self conscious. I had to even drop out of a prescience program because I felt I wasn’t performing as I ought to. But it is a different ball game entirely now as I have understanding over certain things about life now. Living one day at a time and not afraid to make mistakes.

v. Try to do only one thing at a time

The human system, I feel had been made in such a way that it can concentrate properly on a particular thing at a particular time. Imagine a scenario like someone wanting to take his bath, while brushing his teeth and still wants to comb his hair all at a go, this might spell disaster. Even though people encourage diversity, one being able to function well in different scenarios, but such skills don’t happen all at the same time. If one intends to read, exercise, visit and attend meetings; priority has to come into play. It is foolhardy to be reading and your mind is at a meeting you will need to attend later in the day. It is like one living either in the past or future, while existing in the present. He can’t change the past, he has no control over the future, the present is all he has.
I try my best most times to give my total attention to any particular thing I am engaged in at that moment. Because I have tasted the bitter pill of trying to get more than one thing done at the same time. Recently, I put a pot on the fire and went out to attend to my dogs and my phone was ringing. I estimated I could do all at a go. Monitor the pot on the fire, sneak out to attend to the dogs, and take the call in the process. When I returned from the kennel, the contents of the pot were already burnt. To be sincere I totally forgot I had something on the fire until the smell of something burning stroke my nostrils.

vi. Your own response is what “makes” you feel fearful, anxious and insecure.

In life, we are faced with so many challenges and situations. Some situations might really push us to our limits. If properly examined those situations might have been encountered by various people and different results were produced. For instance, one might be told to address a gathering, and be gripped with fear; with all manner of negative thoughts surging up and the person might be incapacitated or fumble when addressing the group of people. In another scenario, a different individual might be excited and pumped up about the opportunity and ends up doing a marvelous job. The same crowd, the same environment, but different reactions.

I used to have this phobia about public speaking. Granted, I could talk, I did read very well and I love interacting with people; however, I was very conscious of saying the correct thing or more appropriately, I was scared of making wrong sentences. This really strained my functionality, but I had to overcome my limitations; accepted that no one was impeccable, that I was at liberty to make mistakes and learn from my faults. This has really changed my psychology about life and human relations in general. Now I thrive in gatherings, in fact I bask in the euphoria of being the center of attention when delivering a speech as I have had to anchor several public functions.

vii. Be happy and you will be good, more successful, healthier, feel and act more charitably towards others: Being happy can and should not be traded for any other opposite feeling or emotion. Happiness is priceless. Happiness gives you poise and confidence. It opens the gates of impossibilities, makes you dynamic, flexible, relaxed and productive. When happy, hormones that calm the nerves and makes one see situations in a better light are released.

I discovered that my mood could easily fluctuate. In fact, I also discovered it was even within my power to determine my mood, to either tune up or down my enthusiasm. Sometimes I could be in a really foul mood, especially if it seems my targets aren’t being met or I am over staying in a particular place without making any progress. In such doleful mood, I tend not to get anything done successfully. If I force myself, mistakes tend to be the order of the day, further frustrating my efforts. What I mostly do to expend such negative emotions is to engage in physical activities like playing basketball, tennis or volleyball. Or I could imagine the worst case scenario, let it play out. After that I reminisce on previous achievements and bring up the feelings I had then. I sometimes even spend time with the dogs allowing them drench my ills with their fancy displays.

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?

The ideas or lessons from the book will help me in a practical way both in my daily personal life and in helping me to create a better world because I have been able to understand how life works from the author’s experience and catalogues of illustrations and examples from the achievements and challenges encountered by others. In the area of decision making, after having taken note of the pros and cons; and also having done all within my power to cover all lapses, I should go ahead and execute. And after execution I should not be worried sick about the outcome. But rather have a positive mindset on the turn out of events. By being in a happy state, I can achieve more, stay focused and also ensure I affect my society positively. If I have been able to conquer self, affecting my world positively should not be quite a herculean task. Being happy ensures I am alert to every opportunity to assist people in need, cheer and encourage them in times of sorrow and I can even go the extra mile if the need arises.

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.

“ Imagination rules the world.”

The world as we know and see it today, was not how it was some centuries ago. People with foresight, dreams and imagination gave the world the present condition it has. And it is still people of great imagination that will even further transform the world from what it is today. The above stated quote is very important to me because I am an individual of great imagination. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed but quite unfortunately I am in a clime that truncates dreams and imagination. In an environment that asks quite a lot before one’s dreams or ambitions can come to reality. Having read about the trials and triumphs of some characters in the book despite the odds I have resolved to hang on until my imagination and aspirations become realized.

“Do your worrying before you place your bet, not after the wheel starts turning.”

Of course, people don’t just jump into important situations or circumstances or even business ventures or investments without thinking. Ample time would have been involved in looking at all possible options. Weighing the merits and the demerits before a decision would be reached. In a situation whereby one had already decided, and the process had begun, for instance, betting on a race horse, it is unwise to fret or worry when the race is already in progress. There are times in life one loses, other times one has to learn from previous mistakes. I have come to realize that I can only do my best and let things play out after having exhausted all possible options. If I am to present a speech / talk on a particular topic, I do all the researching and consultations before the day of delivery. And when it is time, I don’t worry about how much study I did or did not do. I go all out with a positive mindset and deliver to the best of my ability and most times it is usually amazing.

“Form the habit of consciously responding to the present moment.”

I definitely have no power to transport myself to the future and influence it to a great extend, and certainly have no power either over the past to redirect it. What I however have power to work on is the present, here and now. It would be catastrophic to realize that all my life I had wasted my moment living in the past. I try my best not to let my past define by person, rather I learn from past mistakes and failures, ensuring that they are stepping stones to the present. In fact I ensure I live in the moment by enjoying each day as a precious gift given to me. I visit people, engage in meaningful and uplifting conversations, play basketball, pray, laugh without a care in the world. I also ensure my impact is felt by people I come into contact with daily.
5. Is there anything in the book that you do not understand or are unclear about or are there areas which you disagree with and, if so why?

Initially there were some hard concepts I could not easily come to terms with, but along the line, they were explained and made clearer by the author. Especially in the angle of plastic surgery and how it can affect one’s psychology. Having read through the book, I don’t think I disagree with any of the ideas of the author.

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

Yes, the book contains exercises for the reader to complete. I did most of them, especially the area whereby one is asked to hold a mental image / picture of one’s self. And yes, the exercises were quite helpful, although I easily got distracted as I couldn’t hold long to a particular mental image.

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

The previous questions covered all if not all of what should have been asked the reader. However, the area that still seems vague to me is the angle where one is advised to let the success mechanism work. In a situation whereby one is starting something for the first time and being human, one must develop anxiety and worry, what should one do? Especially if there isn’t any lesson for the success mechanism to learn from in the past?
Also seeing that the human mind is never at rest, jumping from one idea to another or from my scenario to the other, the book advises that one should do only one thing at a time, which I completely agree with, but putting it into practice is a completely different ball game. What should be the safe path to toll in such a situation?

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? 7
B. How helpful were the contents? 8
C. How easy was it to understand? 7
D. Would you recommend it to others? 8
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 7.5

How to Win Friends and Influence People
Assessment by Michael Kelechi (Nigeria/UAE)

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

From my own point of view, having perused the book, Dale Carnegie is trying to push across to the readers the importance of appreciation. He stated severally across the chapters of the book how people warm up to other people when being appreciated. It was also shown that people crave appreciation, however modest or gentle they might seem to be. He further went on to point out the fact that not only do people dread criticism, they develop defensive mechanisms and fight like drowning individuals to show how right they are. Since most people are self centered and all too consumed by their egos and encumbered by the rigors or the toils the day takes on them, they won’t appreciate additional, especially unsolicited burdens in form of rebuke from others, even if they are caught red handed in wrong doing.

Personalizing it, I know that I have gotten to a particularly great level of enlightenment, but if spoken to in a harsh manner, especially to perform a task, I tend to react aggressively or grudgingly perform the task without zeal, whether it will be important to me or not on the long run. However, when appreciated for a little effort employed in achieving a task, I might even go the extra mile to ensure I do a better job next time. Appreciation lavished upon individuals is like nutrients added to soils where plants grow, it makes them flourish.

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 criticize, condemn or complain

Humans are very different, and hence exhibit different reactions or tolerance to criticism, especially if destructive. Some can weather the storm unscathed, others might develop bitterness for a life-time. It is very imperative that if one wants to remain in the good book of others, it would be wise to refrain from criticizing, condemning and complaining bitterly about them, especially if the sole aim is to get them to act or do what you want them to. Personally, the quickest way to make me resent you or disagree with you is to rebuke me sharply, criticize or condemn my effort even if I was just learning the ropes at the task at hand. The zeal or passion to continue aside the already generated hatred will vaporize even if the action might end up affecting me negatively later.

However, I have witnessed remarkable transformation from people, especially my siblings by not criticizing, condemning and complaining about the things they do. Rather by appreciating and complementing them about what they did well previously and approaching the topic I felt they committed error on later, makes a world of difference. I see a totally amazing aspect of their personality emerging.

ii. Give honest and sincere appreciation

Just like fire brings out the brilliance in gold, appreciation does the same to humans. Honest and sincere appreciation in a like manner will bring out the best in people, without reservation. Just like a flower in bloom, people tend to blossom and glow when honestly valued and appreciated for their efforts. I had the responsibility to prepare some people to perform some functions. Granted, it was not the first time they were to be engaged in the task, however, I knew how easily familiarity could lead to neglect, which in turn would lead to under performance; get me angry, and make all involved enemies. I had to take out time to appreciate and encourage them at every stage because of the importance of the function. The little “thank you”, “wow you are doing a great job” and “this is good”, went a long way in ensuring that the event was successful and the task completed timely, which resulted in overall satisfaction from all involved.

iii. Become genuinely interested in other people

People can easily detect feigned or faked interest in them. I can easily notice if interest directed towards me isn’t genuine, especially if it is directed towards getting or forcing something out of me. However, when one develops genuine interest in someone or something, the selflessness and sacrifice one would perform will be mind-blowing, and easily observed by the other person. Animals, dogs especially, can be good examples. I have bred dogs, and I know the amount of devotion and friendship that could result from a dog that has shown genuine interest, its life-long. The benefits would be immense when such attention is given to an individual.

I have this ability to be totally absolved or captivated by things that catch my fancy. I can’t really place it, but it does not really cost me much to win people to myself, maybe it is because I develop genuine in them or I am easily likeable, but I could be totally immersed or consumed by the moment when involved in a conversation with someone I am interested in, giving them all the attention, devotion and what have you without breaking the magic developed. I could even go out of my way sometimes to give such people treats, buy them flowers, attend functions or spring up a pleasant surprise by taking them to places of interest.

iv. Be a good Listener

Encourage others to talk about themselves. Most people can talk, it takes nothing to do so, however; very few people can brindle their tongues, and those that do will win life time friends for themselves. Sometimes people just need a listening ear. They need someone to empathize with them. When the world just wants to dump all its toxic words on them, people that can hear them out, especially without condemnation or judgmental attitude can definitely win their hearts. I have a friend gotten through this process. At that particular point in her life, she was traumatized emotionally, weak and vulnerable due to several failed relationships. I mostly listened to her talk on the phone for hours, over several days that turned months over a relatively long period. After such talks and listening sessions which felt therapeutic to her, she would usually thank me. With time she got over the bitter feelings and we have remained great friends till date. Funny enough I was only able to meet her in person in December 2019 after more than 6 years of our friendship.

v. Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely

Whether we wish to admit it or not, within us, we all crave the need for importance however little it may be. In an establishment a janitor would walk with a spring on his steps, the gate keeper would delightfully and enthusiastically open the gates and a secretary would perform with fervor if that sense of importance is inculcated into them by heads of such establishments. Making them feel they are not just some clog in the wheel, but vital parts that make up the whole. If individuals are made to understand the importance of their roles in organizations, their output will double if not triple. Making them observe that their efforts matter can make a world of difference. I have worked with people that seemed extraordinary just because of that added value of importance accorded them.

vi. Dramatize your ideas

Actions indeed speak louder than voice. I guess that is the reason people will pay huge amounts of money to see footballers play on the pitch, go to the theatre to watch dramatizing actors, a circus on display, life bands or even a comic centre to laugh at jokes of comedians. There is this life that is added to ideas that are dramatized, that isn’t there when reading from books or in the prints.

There was a seminar I presented during my undergraduate days about bioreactors. Normally, I could have just gone, babbled some words and stepped out, but I decided to distinguish myself by adding life into it. Most of my colleagues were apprehensive and frightened by our lecturers, but I took it a notch further by asking my supervisors questions, showing images and almost using my hands to bring those images to life by dramatizing. At the end of the seminar, though questions were asked, I was applauded greatly by both colleagues and lecturers for a job done very well because I had won their hearts.

vii. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person

Granted, we all dread criticism, however we can take it in good faith, if we know that we are not total losers, that we are humans and as humans, we are prone to make mistakes either in judgments or actions. Most times people will drop all their forms of defenses when they observe others are just as frail and given to faults as they, when they perceive others are making or have made mistakes they did. During my teaching days, when I noticed that my students were not performing as expected or getting a process wrong. Instead of condemning them and meting out punishments, I try to encourage them to ask questions and seek further clarifications when confused. I begin by narrating my experiences which were not so different from theirs, about how I also wrongly solved some problems, failed or scored low in tests, but with proper guidance I was able to perform better. I began asking questions and developed likeness for such subjects and teachers as the case may have presented itself. This approach normally removes their defensive barriers, anger/resentments and opens them up for better resolution of the problems, which in turn led to better performances and improved scores.

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

The ideas or lessons learnt from this book will help me in a practical way, both in my daily personal life and in helping me create a better world in the following ways:

Enabled me understand the nature of humans better: Mr. Dale Carnegie was able to open my eyes to the true nature and core value of humans. That deep within there is this longing to be understood, appreciated and loved the way we are. We want to be encouraged and nudged sympathetically in the right direction. In my personal life, the book has given me a clearer glimpse into the lives of my family members, friends and colleagues; as to why they either react positively or negatively to corrections. This will in the long run save me from wasting my energy and time on dealing with them.

Getting people to bring out the best in them: We are what we think we are, most times that is. We are also our greatest allies or foes. The ideas derived from the book has revealed to me various areas/ doors on how to bring out the best in people, especially by using the principle of sincere appreciation. I have been applying it even before coming across this book, and the results have been awesome. Reading the book has further encouraged me to not relent in my efforts.

Create endearing/positive and long lasting relationships: By employing the concepts of listening genuinely without interruption, showing sincere concern and beginning my conversations in a friendly way; I have been able to win the hearts of those I encounter or are around me, gaining their trusts easily and always bringing smiles and joy into their lives. When the closest people around us have hope for a better tomorrow, go about with a spring in their steps and generally have a happy disposition about life, then the world indeed will be a much brighter and better place for us all.

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.

“Three-fourths of the people you will ever meet are hungering and thirsting for sympathy. Give it to them, and they will love you for life.”

People are already overburdened with the toils of life; from family, work, business, health, society and the list is almost endless. The last thing they want is for someone to add to it. But on the contrary, people easily warm up to sympathy, even if their problems might sometimes be self-inflicted. It is very much easier to love who loves you in return. Sympathy is one of the ways of showing love to another. I cite an example, during the days I taught, there was this student who did not pass her common entrance examinations. She was all tears when she heard about her performance when the results were released. I personally took it upon myself to sympathize and encourage her, even advised her mum on what to do. During her second attempt, she passed. Need I mention how strong my relationship with them has become, although I was already friendly with them.

“The average person is more interested in his or her own name than in all the other names put together.”

A person’s name is what is uniquely his or hers. Names can actually open doors and make some unpleasant situations turn around for good as could be seen in the lives of Jacob and Jabez in the Bible. In the recent job I did, I discovered my name was being pronounced wrongly, even after making several corrections. I really could not develop a bond with them. If they could not take the pains to memorize my name, then I wonder what they would sacrificially do for me? Not long after, I stopped working with them. In most of my discussions with friends, it is usually rare for me not to pronounce their names more than 5 times. I cannot really tell why I mostly do it, but I know it further strengthens my relationships with them.

“There is only one way under high heaven to get the best of an argument- and that is to avoid it.”

One of the days I were going to work for night shift, while waiting for the company’s bus, a colleague brought up a topic about the location of the “New Jerusalem” as mentioned in the book of Revelations in the Bible. After trying to persuade him, alongside some of my colleagues that it would descend from Heaven, he vehemently refused saying it was already on Earth. When I discovered how futile we were all attempting to win and him not to lose, I quietly stopped involving in the argument to save myself a lot of stress.

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

Having read through the book and listened to the audio format, I boldly say there isn’t anything I found confusing or I am not in agreement with, as most of the principles, quotes and lessons are practical and the results very obvious.

6. Did the book contain exercises for the reader to complete? If so, did you complete all the exercises?

The book did not contain any exercise for the reader to complete.

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

There aren’t. The previous questions were quite extensive.

Please rate the following Questions on 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

Creating your Path through Leadership
Assessment by Michael Kelechi (Nigeria)

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

Though the IIGL book had several authors, I think the common thing, alongside other things that is quite unique about all of them is that they did not give up on their dreams, goals, aspirations or pursuits. All of them pointed out the daunting challenges they were to face or faced. But amidst all of the challenges they still forged ahead to ensure they got to their destinations, goals or end points, closer to achieving what they initially set out to do. The bottom line is that the authors were stressing the importance of persistence and determination. They also outlined how good company/people or institutions helped them in quickly reaching their desired destinations too in providing mentorship and hands on experience.

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. Seek a Mentor

The world is indeed full of surprises both pleasant and unpleasant, and likewise the people we call or could refer to as mentors. Mentors when sought carefully; because the really priceless mentors are truly scarce, could goldmines. They help compress what would have taken decades to achieve into months if not even weeks. They offer what I call directed/focused learning and growth. A lot of things are out here waiting; some do not even wait any more to grab our attention, be it in the social media or the immediate environment, which if not carefully guarded against might lead to a downward spiral.

Personally, I would not say I have a mentor or mentors per se. I might have read books of great authors, seen documentaries or even listened to sensational seminars/workshops of such persons, but not having a relationship with such, with some emotional attachment, who I am not responsible to or accountable to, cannot be considered to me as a mentor. My parents could actually fall into the category of mentors to me, because undeniably I have picked up invaluable traits from them and they were the foundations of whatever I am at the moment, whether directly or indirectly. Another figure I can proudly refer to as my mentor is my District Pastor Anthony. He actually fits into the position of a father also. Selfless, empathetic, easily forgives and also highly placed educationally. He has been able to build in some pastoral foundation into me. I know the key factor mentors play and can accomplish in the lives of individuals, so I am still on the lookout to connect not just virtually, but emotionally and spiritually with those that have made great strides in my line of interest in life.

ii. Embrace Your Uniqueness

As our faces are different, likewise are our wants and desires. Some people are very good talkers, others very reserved. Some can thrive in the crowd, while some might feel swallowed up. Irrespective of our likes and dislikes, there are some unique abilities, things and talents that set us apart from others. It is wise for one to identify, embrace and also hone in on uniquely positive qualities that he or she possesses. There was this friend of mine in the university days, who had this uniqueness of being able to get along with almost everyone else. It was something I admired in him. He was very easy going and would hardly have hard feelings towards anybody. Personally, I know I have this unique ability of being able to blend and thrive in a crowd or gathering, and I can keep a conversation going when I feel like it. And also I have the ability to be a good judge of people’s characters after a few dealings with them. These unique qualities have helped me cultivate and nurture long lasting friendship that have been profitable, and also helped me to avoid some relationship that might become catastrophic with toxic consequences.

iii. Life Long Learning

Life is actually a teacher. The longer you live, the more you become a better student, whether through bitter or sweet experiences. The way I am now academically, morally, financially, emotionally and intellectually is far different from what I was five years ago. I would not say it had been a bed of roses, but despite the thorns and thistles encountered; and the rollercoaster rides, I try as much as possible to learn important lessons, sweep behind the bitter experiences and prepare myself for better opportunities in the future. I have also committed myself to a continuous learning path seeing earning is a continuous process. If I am not engaged in learning spiritually, then it might be in acquiring a skill in digital literacy or financial emancipation.

iv. Moving beyond Goals to Density

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. In life, so long as one is still breathing, there must be things, aspirations, goals, aims etc., one would want to achieve. And sometimes, these things can dictate the path one treads in life. Having those goals and aspirations are wonderful, but also more profitable are ways/ plans; workable plans that are religiously followed in other to achieve these goals. We have all been gifted /equipped with some unique talents and abilities to thrive in life. And also the power to conquer and succeed is also within us. Personally there are some goals; some childhood and others as I grew older that I need to fulfill. For instance, I have always wanted to contribute medically to my generation by researching on how the sickle cell and diabetes diseases could be worked on, if not totally cured so as to offer such diseased individuals better opportunities to thrive in life. I have read extensively about gene therapy and genetic engineering. I am also working on ways to raise funds to pursue my Masters studies in the Biosciences particularly in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in other to achieve or draw closer to my destiny.

v. Developing your creativity skills

Within us, lies the seed to achieve greatness. For some the seed sprouts quite earlier and they are able to blossom and impart their world, for others it might take a little longer than expected and might need some nudging, encouragement and guided directions for them to get to their desired destination.

There are some skills/ abilities I know I am gifted with, such as self-expression, communication or writing and understanding concepts generally. These do not require much effort on my part, as I can easily wield them when situation demands. However, there are some areas that I am quite deficient in, such as approaching problems analytically or in subjects like Statistics and some forms of data interpretations. Sometimes I find it hard to follow along laid out plan, especially when the motivating factor is out of the equation. But irrespective of the odds, I still do my possible best to always be a better version of myself. I am developing myself in areas I am already good in so as to become better, and trying to be good in areas I still find some difficulties in.

vi. Conscious decision making

The battle for existence is a constant one. And those that thrive are constantly making conscious decisions to succeed. Whether we like it or not, are aware of it or not, we are constantly faced with the choice of making a decision about how our lives would turn out to be by the “little or big” decisions we make. We decide when to get out of bed in the morning; dependent on the motivation factor, what to have for breakfast, color and types of clothes to put on, listen to the news, say some kind words to our neighbors, tend to the garden and the list is almost endless. All these might seem like daily or normal routine tasks that are on automatic, but they are still actions that are decided on before they are carried out. Conscious decision making efforts are readily noticed in important situations such as choosing a career path, life partner, financial status, spiritual bearing, environment to live in which will have profound impact in either marring or making one’s destiny. I try as much as possible to make conscious decision on the path I tread or how I want my life to metamorphose into. Of course the life I am living now, was by the conscious decisions I made and I am still making whether I feel am comfortable with my present situation or not. I also strive to make conscious decisions to change situations I don’t like. For instance, I have been taking some online courses to equip myself with some digital skills so as not to be obsolete, cutting down on time eating activities like visitation of social media sites. I am also making conscious efforts to increase and improve my writing skills in poetry and prose. Doing all I can also to be financially stable like attending financial seminars/workshops so as so start up a family soonest.

vii. Volunteering

Even though the quest for wealth is so much prevalent now than in any other time in history because of the financial situation of the world whether due to the pandemic or societal values or taste, volunteering is a great attribute/ asset that genuine and true leaders that want to make impactful changes in the lives of their generations should not ignore. Volunteering though a free form of work, offers one an avenue to develop skills, opportunities and relationships that money might not be able to buy. Much of the spiritual work I have done in church and still doing are mostly without financial rewards, but the dividends gotten such as spiritual growth and bonding among worshippers, unity of faith and purpose are usually gratifying. I also did some volunteering work during my NYSC as the Commandant of the Nigerian Redcross Society, in Kwara state. I have also organized dog walks that enlightened people on proper canine ownership and responsible breeding. Also I have been involved in community cleaning activities in the neighborhood. I am actively searching for NGOs/ parastatals or organizations and projects that would require voluntary services.

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?

Appreciate People: The volunteering experience will help me understand people better, since the goal isn’t monetary benefits, but how to cultivate and foster good and productivity relationships in my place of work. It will also help me understand the importance of appreciating people genuinely, however little it might be, because it can go a long way in making great impacts. Also the humility volunteering brings, both from you to others and from others to you, especially when observed you aren’t in the job for financial gains. There are also cases where more opportunities for further gains will be encountered.

Purpose Driven: By making conscious decisions on a daily basis, especially on how to improve the wellbeing of people around me, I will positively affect my immediate environment. For instance, I look forward to each fellowship day where we are usually united in faith to achieve the singular purpose of the salvation of lost souls and rekindling the flames and passion for Christ within our hearts.

Quantifiable Progress: When my creative skills have been honed/sharpened I can actually quantify/visualize the impact that I have in the life of those I have come in contact with. Seeing I can easily communicate effectively, I could improve more on that area, so that when I give counsel/ advice to people I would see the results sooner than later.

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

“Volunteering is like sowing the seeds that conform to our time and resources.”

I find this particularly important. Just as the writer noted that volunteering conforms to our time and resources such as the law of sowing and reaping. I remember when I was the commandant of the Nigerian Redcross Society, Offa, Kwara State, the Local Government Representative took me to their major market (Offa Market) that got burnt. I had to leave some of my assignments to attend to his call. We interviewed the shop owners, passers-by and owners of houses around that area as to ascertain the cause of the mishap. We took some pictures of the incident, wrote a comprehensive report and sent to the Oba (king) of the kingdom. During the time for passing out, I was taken to the state secretariat and a reference letter from the Nigerian Redcross Society was given to me alongside a certificate for an excellent service.

“Setting a Goal is not the main thing, but it is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.”

Everyone can set goals. Granted some can set such lofty and commendable goals that could be termed phenomenal, but they will only be goals unless a proper plan is drawn out on how to achieve them and also important is sticking to the proposed plan. I have been able to decode that what would help me achieve my goals is if I make plans and also stay true to the plans, though there could be rooms for re-adjustment, but still remaining true to the basics which will lead to faster results.

“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped. The decisions we make will go a long way in determining our destinies or how far we can or will go in life irrespective of whether the decisions were made consciously or unconsciously. By making decisions, we are shaping our future.”

Most of the things I do are basically conscious stuffs. The friends I make and keep, the food I eat, the books I ready, the association or group I align myself with, the movies I see and also the fellowship I attend are all done with the sole reason to better my life. I know the importance of the decisions I make and how far they will take me in life. I am also particular about the people I look up to as mentors or derive inspirations from. I also decide how to spend and invest my finances.

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

Basically from my line of thought, I don’t think that there were things I did not understand or disagree with from the book.

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 the book contained no exercises to be done by 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:

There aren’t any comments I want to make.

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

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

Awaken the Giant Within
Assessment by Mamma Michael Kelechi (Nigeria)

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

Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins is indeed a best seller, classic and a transformational book. In an instance what the author is trying to convey to the reader will quickly jump at him/her, if careful attention had been paid to its contents when reading. The main idea I believe the author is trying to convey to his readers through this book is the importance of decision making which can cause a singular and global change both instantly and gradually.

He outlined several ways that people can effect changes into their lives; alongside mentioning some names of repute like Leonardo De Vinci, Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, Martin Luther King and a host of others. The strategies and ways on how to effect these changes were also pointed out in the book, especially by setting high standards and changing our belief systems.

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. Grab hold of things you think are useful; put them in action immediately

I believe this statement is quite important especially because of the fact that doing something again and again gives you mastery over the said task. In our present world, a lot of information are constantly being thrown into our faces which sometimes might become overwhelming and distracting. It is very pertinent for one to select the information that will be useful, in order not to be engaged in a wild goose chase and have unproductive and divided attention. On a personal note, I sometimes attend seminars, meetings, workshops and even source for information on the net. Of course a lot of such information will be offered to me, so I am very careful to ensure I take the ones that would be very useful to me, and that would also solve a specific need at a particular point in time. After that has been done, the next stage is to ensure I put into action all the information I have been able to collate, before complacency sets and then procrastination becomes the order of the day. There have been several times whereby putting off taking actions on specific activities have resulted in overburden to me. At the moment, I discovered that once I find a piece of information relevant and interesting enough for me, that requires action; taking actions immediately has saved me a world of stress because returning to attend to those said responsibilities might end up being a herculean task. It is most common when I check my email box, and if I did not attend to an urgent matter at that moment, finding the message later might become difficult due to the huge numbers of messages that filter into my mails daily, which will even further fuel the urge of forfeiting the urgent task I needed to attend to.

ii. Different actions produce different results.

There is a popular saying that goes “ you should not expect to get a different result, when you continue to do the same thing over and over again”. The only constant thing in life is change, either for the best or the worst. If a particular approach to things has not always given the preferred results, the only reasonable thing to do is to change tactics or try a different method. There were times whereby if I wanted people, especially subordinates to perform certain tasks for me, I would normally use the soft approach with a pleading tone, in order not to seem imposing on such individuals. However, if that approach fails, I change to the hard tone with some form of forcefulness and imposition especially if the supposed task would be beneficial to the concerned individuals.

During the days I was breeding canines, clients who normally come to purchase dogs would want very high quality breed, but after telling them the price for such quality, they would lament and reply that they could get same along the roadside (hawkers) which normally I oblige them especially after taking my time to educate them on the different qualities of breeds available. However, after several months of purchasing from the road side, they usually return to complain about the growth, appearance and conformation of such dogs not meeting up to the breed standard, if at all they even turn out presentable. And my replies would normally be, “You got what you paid for”. When next they want canines of high quality, they come over without putting up much resistance to parting with their money.

iii. It is not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.

I have been playing basketball for more than 15 years now. I have also seen and met people that have played more than I did and also lesser than I have. Each always has a different story to tell about the opportunities encountered, just as I also encountered some. These encounters and relationships have channeled my life to a particular direction, which would never have happened if I was not a good basketballer. We become masters at what we do on a consistent basis; as skills and expertise result along the way. Also I have worked amongst Christians, prayed and have done church related activities for quite a number of years, hence I became proficient in handling matters of the church, so it did not come as a total surprise when I was made to handle a chapter of our ministry. Of course, this has set me on a different path to what I would have become, if I were just handling church activities with kids’ gloves.

iv. If you don’t set a baseline standard for what you’ll accept in your life, you’ll find it’s easy to slip into behaviors and attitudes or a quality of life that’s far below what you deserve.

The Bible stated that the kingdom of God suffers violence and it is the violent that shall take it by force. Life won’t always give you what you wish for, but what you constantly strive for. Personally, I have decided to give my best shot to whatever venture or responsibility I find myself in. And when involved in any activity, there is a baseline standard/benchmark that I have set for myself not to go below. In making and keeping friends, there are some qualities or attributes I look out for in people, and won’t compromise my standards, because doing so might cause me havoc in the long run. I would especially not let down my guard around someone that isn’t truthful or one that is quarrelsome and a tale bearer.

v. Making a true decision means committing to achieve a result, and then cutting yourself off from any other possibility.

When I was undergoing my undergraduate studies, I made a tough decision not to be entangled into any relationship by anyone, whether same sex or opposite sex. Though most considered it a lifestyle acceptable, I ensured I did not tarnish my self-esteem and above all my relationship with God and man. It wasn’t an easy journey. There were moments of difficulties, but in the end, I successfully finished my studies in record time with a good grade.

There is this book club I belong to. I was appointed the debate coordinator in one of our subgroups. Despite the fact that the responsibility to represent the subgroup was collective, most members backed out during the group debate. It was a terrible moment for me, especially because I wanted my subgroup to win the debate. I had to go out of my comfort zone to ensure that the subgroup won. At the end of the debate, my subgroup eventually emerged victorious. Of course, I could have thrown in the towel like most did, but I was committed to the decision I had taken.

vi. Only make important decisions in resourceful emotional states.

In the court of law; lawyers, especially the prosecuting ones try as much as possible to get on the nerves of the accused. They ruffle them, get them in a disturbed emotional state, and make them accept or oblige to what normally they would not have consented to, thereby making them culpable for crimes, even if otherwise innocent. Same applies to defense lawyers. It is very important that decisions are not made when one or people aren’t emotionally stable. For instance, a drunk or one high on drugs can hardly recognize himself/herself or the environment, let alone be productive in decision making.

I have learned to rein in my emotions, and also I constantly pray for grace to overcome especially when provoked by another person so as not to act in a rash or inappropriate manner. I mostly work out in very tense situations or go channel my energy elsewhere like cutting grasses or doing pushups, and when in a more relaxed and controllable emotional state, return to address the matter on ground. People have lost their lives; nations have gone to war, havoc wrecked in homes and families, and ugly and irredeemable decisions taken when people were in not so resourceful emotional states.

vii. Everything you and I do, we do either out of our need to avoid pain or our desire to gain pleasure.

As earlier stated, I have played and still play basketball. I engage in this sport (though not the only); because it happens to be the one that gives me the greatest amount of pleasure and satisfaction. There is this euphoric feeling I get after doing a good dribble, making a 3-point shot, a jump shot, lay-up and the likes. The most exhilarating, is how I feel after each playing session spent and fulfilled. I also get this great pleasure when reading amazing books whether it be educational, informative or entertaining. There were times I have read novels for three days only taking occasional breaks to eat, use the restroom and nap; only to continue quickly from where I stopped the previous day. But the world is skewed right now, as people actually derive pleasure from pain; and some from near death defying activities like jumping off a cliff without safety harnesses or gears. Some even jump off planes without parachutes to fall into large bodies of water.

viii. Ask quality questions

We are enjoined in the book of Matthew chapter 7 verse 7 to ask and we will receive. A person that asks questions will never get lost. Asking quality questions is invaluable as this could reveal things that would order wise have gone unnoticed. Most history makers began by asking quality questions, which caused radical, fundamental and global changes in their lives.

Personally, I came to this crossroad in my life’s journey where I had to ask myself what this life really has to offer. Will I just live and after some years die, and that ends my existence? Or is there a greater purpose I have to fulfill here on earth? After life on earth, what is the next stage? All the above listed and many more questions were thoughts I was pondering on; and some I still ponder on that have shaped my life and will continue to direct my life. I have been one that questions almost anything or everything that I cannot find or put an explanation to. Even during my undergraduate days, I courted a lot of resentful feelings for asking questions during lecture periods.

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?

Ensure I don’t give up easily: seeing that repetition is the mother of skill; as stated in the book, even if I don’t have the adequate skill to perform a particular task or function, I should not give up, as continuously performing and trying my hands on the said task will make me better. Once I have gotten a proper knowledge on the said task, I could then use such skill to improve the lives of people around me. For example, I am still trying my hands on graphic and web designing. As soon as I have got a proper grip of what they entail, I will begin to design contents that will be entertaining, informative and also educative to people that will come across it.

Motivate myself to achieve certain difficult tasks: I mostly gravitate towards tasks I feel will give me pleasure, and away from the ones that will induce pain. Important activities such as studying which is actually quite demanding but rewarding on the long run could be achieved easily by myself by simply linking a pleasurable experience to studying and also bringing to mind the joy of the knowledge that will be accumulated after studying. Such knowledge could be used to impart the younger generation by organizing holiday classes, after school lessons and on a larger scale sensitization programs on proper hygiene and community cleanliness to avoid spread of germs and diseases. Also skills acquisition seminars and workshops could also be organized at reduced or subsidized rates, in comparison to the current rate.

Spending time on more profitable ventures and not settling for a mediocre lifestyle: By setting a baseline standard for what I will accept in life, I invariably have also set myself up for a better quality of life. I will not involve myself with people of questionable character such as liars, drunkards, smokers, criminals etc., so as not to cause untold hardship and disgrace to my immediate family and society at large. Seeing I have a benchmark on what is acceptable, I will easily know when either I or someone is crossing the boundary and easily retrace my steps. With these baseline standards, I know that I would not settle for anything less than the best. Hence it will easily motivate me to give my best in whatever venture, task or function I engage myself into. If the best results are always produced, the quality of lives of those around me, will be greatly improved directly by my interaction with them or indirectly by serving as a source of inspiration.

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.

There were some interesting and transformational quotes made by the writer that particularly got my attention. But below are a few of them as well as why they were important to me.

“Man is not the creature of circumstance; circumstances are creatures of men.”

According to the book of Genesis, after God created the heavens and the earth, He gave man power subdue the earth and have dominion over all that was created, invariably, man was made a master of his situations and circumstances. Of a truth, we create the circumstances or situations that befall us. More appropriately put, we attract the circumstances that come our way according to the book; “The Secret” by Byran Rhonda. Whatever has happened or will happen to an individual is directly or indirectly attracted to him/her by his/her thoughts through expression of emotions and actions. Hence we can influence our lives either positively or otherwise.

I remember vividly those times in the university that I wanted to make distinctions in some courses, how I already saw myself being graded with As, studied as one who already had made As and behold it came to pass. However, in courses that I felt I had challenges in, I was putting out mixed signals without concrete assurance about what I really wanted. Sometimes out of will power I got Bs. I can also decide the type of lifestyle or relationship I want to have or not have or the kinds of people I want around me.

“Nothing can resist the human will that will stake even its existence on its stated purpose.”

So long as there is a will, there will always be a way, which is a popular axiom used by people is quite relatable to this quote. Man had been created with a power ability that is quite potent called the will. Whatever a man puts his heart into, without second guessing or doubting himself, he will definitely achieve it, even if it takes a long period of time. Replete examples abound of people that achieved great feats out of sheer will. There have been moments when dark clouds were all I saw around me, but willed out ways for silver linings to sparkle through. A readily available example was when I was to organize the Port Harcourt Dog Breeders’ Association (PHDBA) Dog Walk in Rivers State, Nigeria. Though from all indications it would not have held, especially considering the fact that it was to occur during the rainy season, it was also the maiden edition and there weren’t even sponsors to support the event. But within, we pulled in resources and with my sheer will and positive attitude it turned out to be a remarkable event gaining traction both physically and on social media.

“If you don’t have a plan for your life somebody else does: in life, whoever doesn’t plan, has already planned to fail. Likewise, whoever doesn’t have a blueprint or master plan of what he or she wants in life has already given such privilege to another.”

This could readily be seen when people seek for employment without a contingency, long term or retirement plan, or even an invest plan to cash out on. Such individuals will continue to slave and do the bidding of their employers by helping their employers achieve their goals. Though I am not where I thought I would have been at the moment, I have plans already rolling out to ensure I achieve my goals and arrive at my desired destination in all ramifications of life.

“Identify your problems; but give power and energy to your solutions: Most times people get handicapped or incapacitated because they practice the reverse of what the writer pointed out in this quote. The problems are so magnified that they choke out the solutions. It is only natural for humans to face problems, but the problems should not be given priority, rather the solutions should.”

As a person, when faced with a challenge, the first thing I do is acknowledge the problem and then I seek out all possible solutions to the said challenges or problems. After gathering all the available resources at my disposal, I immediately act with the arsenal of information at my disposal. Another way I actually overcome hurdles is to envisage the worst case and best case scenarios; then solely position my mind on the best case scenario since that is the solution I want, and before long things begin to fall into place that will lead to solving such situation(s).

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

There weren’t ideas or concepts in the book that I did not understand or disagree with.

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

No, the book didn’t contain exercises for the reader to complete.

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

There isn’t anything I read in the book that I would like to comment on that was not covered in the previous questions. I simply want to state that the book is quite revealing and carries with it a lot of transformational and practical stories that are life changing.

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? 9.5
B. How helpful were the contents? 9.5
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? 9.8

Maximum Achievement
Assessment by Michael Kelechi (Nigeria)

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

From the title, it could be deduced however in a subtle manner that the main idea the author, Brain Tracy is trying to convey in this book is that whatever an individual wants to become, attain or achieve in this life is possible, especially if one gives his/her best! The actuality simply begins by changing our thoughts which invariably leads to a change in our behaviors or actions.

But before a change in thoughts or actions can ever be effected there must first of all be a desire; an awareness or hunger for something more than the present or something different from what already is available. The author cited an example using his life, on how he was moved from one neighborhood to another, being handed down goodwill clothes from St. Vincent de Paul charities, how they barely could afford anything except the basics, how he labored at a construction site just like his father, until an awareness dawned upon him; and he discovered he could actually live a kind of life better than what he was experiencing. Instantly there was a paradigm shift of thoughts which resulted in different actions. He began reading, studying and started to discover the secrets to success, which he called a system in his book; the Psychology of Success to be more precise. He stated that if one wants to be anything one desires, one should study and emulate those who have already done what one wants to do and achieve the same results as they.

He concluded by stating also that one can learn anything one needs to know to become successful at anything that one really cares about whether it be in relationship, business, marriage, parenting, sports, Physics, Arts, Psychology, happiness, good health, true prosperity and what have you.

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. Forgiveness is the key to the kingdom of inner peace, the hardest thing you ever do, and the most important

There is a popular saying that to err is human, but to forgive is divine. It will take every strength out of you not to want to recompense or revenge a hurt done to you or an offence. In life we are bound to meet people, situations or conditions that are either offensive or would lead to offence. So many people have actually had to live lives of resentment, pain and anger; due to the fact that they cannot come to terms with the reality that offenses must happen. Which simply states that you will either be offended by people or you will offend people, so it is only liberating to let the emotion of bitterness brought about by being offended slip away quickly as it came, or suffer the cost of lack of peace of mind.

I used to be one that was quite temperamental; easily affected/ offended by things, especially words or actions done by people that are very close to me. And it would feel like a knife was passing through my heart when an acquaintance or a close friend or even a family member did something that deeply hurt. Most times I withdrew, held grudges against that person, until I snapped out angrily at that person when I couldn’t bottle up the emotion anymore. Such outbursts normally made me feel even worse than before, because afterwards, I would tell myself, you could have handled that situation better than you did. But in the recent present, I discovered that I own my emotion; and could dictate my state of being. I could control how I choose to feel, which has helped me let go of all those unnecessary hurts and pains. Though it isn’t usually easy, but the juice is worth the squeeze.

And also having known that Jesus commanded us to forgive, if we want to receive forgiveness likewise from our heavenly father. I do my best to quickly forgive and forget the hurt done to me by others. As regards my family members, since we are blood related and we see frequently, the hurt quickly erases after much contact or communication because I get to know that they really didn’t mean what they said or did then, but in situations that I don’t get to see the person that offended me even after several months, I become enraged all over when I finally see or even hear the person’s voice. So to save myself from a world of gall and bitterness, I resolved to forgive the person in advance even before getting hurt. After reading Maximum Achievement, I even learnt further that I need to call and also present a gift to such persons that have offended me (funny, how I am even laughing typing this). Or I could simply say I forgive you out loud as much as possible calling the person’s name until I feel no hurtful emotion towards that person or group of persons whenever I recall the incident.

ii. Everything that happens to you, everything you become and accomplish is determined by the way you think, by the way you use your mind.

One of the most potent weapons we have been gifted with is the mind, and just like our thoughts, the way we use or misuse it will go a long way in determining or shaping our lives/ destinies. The human mind happens to be the centre of where all the activities that occur either internally or externally in the life of an individual has the greatest impact. So it is very important we feed our minds with thoughts that are edifying and positive. Just as the Bible states “keep thine heart/mind with all diligence, for out of it, proceeds the issues of life”. We could either speak life or death to our situations or circumstances.

I guard my mind diligently because I know it is the battleground for all of life’s wars. And I try as much as possible to be very optimistic and look at the brighter side of things despite the odds. I have found myself sometimes in very challenging situations that would make the faint hearted chicken out, but I stood strong because I had conditioned my mind to be optimistic. Recently I was relieved of my duties in my place of work because of a ramp down exercise due to a drop in online order. My source of income cut off, abruptly. On getting the news, it was quite unexpected and devastating, but I encouraged myself, said it wasn’t the end of the world. Even though I am in a foreign country where your survival is solely dependent on your having a job. I believe all things will work together for my good. I have survived other trying situations and will also come out triumphant likewise in this one. Some of my colleagues took it really badly, but I believe there will always be a silver lining under a dark cloud.

iii. Your expectations are determined by your beliefs about yourself and the world you live in.

I have always believed in my ability to easily and effectively express myself, hence reaching out to people or making friends has never really been a big deal to me. I have also come to believe that in every adversity that there is an equal opportunity for one to either triumph or be defeated, so I have adopted a positive attitude towards life. If I try anything and I fail, it does not mean I am a total failure, it only implies that I need to put in more effort or adopt another approach. I believe that I will be independent financially someday, to the extent that I will be able to operate as a philanthropist, so I have been working and acting towards financial liberation directions by learning skills and getting involved in activities that will propel me quickly towards that goal.

iv. Most of your problems in life are people problems: Job said “a man born of a woman is of few days and full of troubles.”

Also the Bible states that if you faint in the day of adversity, then your strength is little. Most times; problems encountered come from humans. For example, having an employment terminated, someone’s car being dented, delayed paychecks, receiving a wrong order at a restaurant or from a courier. Disagreements amongst spouses, family members or coworkers all boil down to human problems since we are social beings and must relate with one another. If one can effectively handle people, more than 90% of one’s problems would have been solved.

At my former place of employment, due to the nature of work; deliver shipments to couriers from the warehouse, ensuring you don’t become a hazard to yourself and others, and also maintaining the stipulated social distance rule, one is bound to encounter difficulties or misunderstanding either from the couriers, colleagues or even supervisors or superiors. There are times vulgar and offensive words would be used. Having understood the psychology and anatomy of humans, I try not to get agitated or carried away by actions done by my colleagues or supervisors, so as to enjoy a healthy relationship at my place of work, because happiness and peace of mind are very important criteria at one’s work place for growth and sustainability.

v. What you sow in the lives of others, you reap in your own life: In life, what you give is also what you will get.

Give love and you will get love in return. Make others happy and valued and in return others will value and respect. I have always had this ability to make people I encounter to have a healthy self-esteem, appreciate themselves better and have a spring in their step when they walk. I normally take time to study, understand and highlight the good qualities in others. These normally make the next meeting remarkable and enchanting. I always feel excited because of the productive, conducive as well as positive vibes such people emit, making our conversation flow with ease. Within me, I feel at ease with myself, with a healthy and positive self-esteem, so I take it upon myself to make the world a better place by enriching people especially those having tough times.

vi. Deciding what you really want is the starting point of all great achievement: Right from my childhood when I was able to discern right from wrong, I have always wanted to influence my world positively.

I have this burning desire to etch my name in the golden book of history and in the sands of time. It has been my dream to offer solutions to people with medical conditions like sickle cell, diabetes or other genetic diseases. If I had my way, I would have been deeply involved in researching for a vaccine to tackle the novel Covid-19 virus and the pandemic it resulted in. Even though it might seem a long shot, I am steadfast to ensure I get to the level of self-reliance so as to begin practicing in research laboratories. Hence the reason I left my home country to be able to irk out a better standard of living, save and return to the ivory towers to continue my studies.

vii. Love is not only the answer, but it is the cure for most of life’s problems.

John 3 :16; a very popular verse of the scriptures clearly states “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (KJV), this clearly stated that love conquered the world and gave us an escape route from death and eternal damnation. Love actually covers a multitude of hurts, offences, sins, disobedience, vengeance, bitterness, and all other social vices one can imagine. Love is all encompassing. The major reason why there are wars, killings, armed robbery cases, banditry, genocide, cheating etc.; is because most people lack adequate amounts of love. I won’t hurt someone I profess to love.

There were times I was offended, and when I felt that the most logical line of action to toll would have been to retaliate, but love stepped in and I had to do a rethink, especially if it relates to my family member or even the society at large. I don’t take belongings that aren’t mine, without the consent of the owners because I know the feeling that would result when one begins to look for a costly or prized possession. I do the best I can to avoid hurting others so that we can lead and live peacefully and harmoniously on earth.

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

The ideas or lessons will help me in a practical way, both in my daily personal life and in creating a better world in the following ways:

Improve my relationship with those around me: Having understood and known that almost all problems in life are human problems, loving them without conditions will go a long way in not doing things that will lead to confrontation or misunderstanding whether to my immediate family, neighbors or people that are not so close to me. When there is a harmonious relationship, we will spend more time and energy in more productive ventures rather than scheming to cause the hurt or downfall of another, thereby making the world a much better and habitable place for us all.

Be watchful of my actions especially when under pressure: Most recently in the place I worked before there was a ramp down, we had a surge in demands for consumer goods online. There was pressure from the directors to the managers, who passed it unto the supervisors who finally brought it down to us the associates. It wasn’t an easy experience as a lot was expected of us in both delivery time and dispatch of shipments. It got so bad that one of the managers lost his cool and began addressing some of us in a very demeaning tone, which later caused bad blood amongst some of the associates. I didn’t take it personal, I acted in a very civilized manner, did my best and also encouraged some of my colleagues to let the hurt go and focus on their jobs, so we could achieve our target for the day.

Overcome the fear of failure, having known that it is a conditioned response learned in childhood: There isn’t anything bad in trying something and failing. Even if one fails several times like Thomas Edison. True failure is when one refuses to try again, after failing more than what is considered acceptable standards. There are several things that I have tried my hands on that I didn’t succeed, not even once or twice. For instance, I had to write the Joint Admission and Matriculations Examination (JAMB) in my home country, Nigeria seven times and an internal university examination called (Post-UME) before I was admitted to study Microbiology and Brewing Science in Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, where I eventually specialized in the medical aspect of microbiology. Even before that, I had applied for an overseas scholarship, was offered admission twice, but could not go because I wasn’t granted a visa by the embassy. But that hasn’t stopped me from still trying to achieve my goal which is to help humanity through research and development. Even though it might linger for some time, I am determined and with God’s special grace I will make my dreams come true.

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?

“Any thought, plan, goal, or ideal held continuously in your conscious mind must be brought into reality by your super conscious mind, whether positive or negative.”

This quote is actually quite relevant because I have come in contact with quite a lot of sayings like this, especially with regards the law of attraction which states that whatever thought we focus on long enough with emotion (feeling) we will attract unto manifestation in our lives, since we are like living magnets. The above quotation is very important because Brian states that it is our super conscious mind that brings it into reality, and hence, one doesn’t have to be overly concerned about how it will be materialized. I have been observing the functioning of this principle in my life, though sometimes there are situations that I might find quite impossible or difficult to assume that they might manifest, but I am believing and trusting myself better and also having gained the knowledge I have from Maximum Achievement, I will apply and see the manifestations of such huge goals.
“There are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic deadlines.”

This statement cannot be any truer anywhere else, than in my life and my situations. You know, every first day of the year, we set goals, make resolutions and set targets we need to achieve for the year. Like the previous that just ended, 2020. I know I actually set a financial goal for myself to achieve before the year ended, and I just remembered that I also had it as a goal to move from level one of my studies in IIGL to level two, but could not due to circumstance I could not control, and some other goals that weren’t achieved. Though it would have given me a great deal of pleasure if I had accomplished them, but I had to logically readjust my deadline or time limit so it doesn’t seem as if I were a total loser or a failure altogether. Readjusting the deadline has given me a better focus and other ways on how to achieve my set targets.

“A gentle answer turneth away wrath.”

This happens to be a quotation from the book of the Proverbs of Solomon (15:1). And it is so true now, as it was then. I have been in situations and circumstances that could have resulted into calamity, but took an entirely different dimension due to the responses of the affected parties involved. Personally, I am an individual that easily gets touched by a very soft/ polite way of speaking. If I am told to do something in a gentle manner, even if I were tired and would either have rejected or postponed the task, because of the manner of the request, I would go out of my way to ensure that the task is performed. During my time as a teacher in a private school, whenever the students misbehaved and were to receive a disciplinary action against them, just by simply admitting that they were sorry or politely requesting for leniency, normally broke all my defenses and I would end up forgiving or reducing their punishment.

“Errant assumptions lie at the root of every failure.”

It is very important for us to be able to distinguish facts from assumptions or even presumption as the latter two could be erroneous. Sometimes when I have a disagreement with someone, especially someone I am close to, because maybe I felt insulted or offended, I might be having some negative or wrong assumptions of what the said person might be thinking of me. Most times talking it over/ resolving the dispute clearly shows that If I had gone ahead and acted based on my presumption, I would have made a grave mistake and further deepened the rift formed initially. In my conversation with people, especially between superiors, I try to ensure I understand their intentions when assigned to a task. When confused I ask questions to be clarified in order to avoid duplicated efforts or wastage of valuable time, and also not to get a reprimand, but a reward or commendation.

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?

After reading through this book, I can beat my chest and declare that it was a really wonderful and insightful read and there was nothing I found amiss.

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

Yes, the book contained exercises for the reader to do, practical exercises at that. At the initial I was following along performing the exercises which were kind of abstract but revealing, but along the line I was caught up with other responsibilities and resorted to the audio version which didn’t contain exercises. But at my leisure I will try and go over the exercises and perform them.

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.

There is nothing I would like to comment on as the previous questions did justify to that.

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

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
Assessment by Mamma Michael Kelechi (Nigeria)

1. What do you think that the author is trying to convey in the book?

Having read the Seven habits of highly effective people, I feel the author is trying to push across the idea of re-examination of our lives; especially based on the so called foundations or fundamentals that we have been made to swallow, believe and adopt while growing up. The Seven habits is a book that is based on universal concepts and truths that will stand the test of time. As it was applicable more than 25 years ago when it was written, it is still applicable in our time, if not more.

The Seven habits of highly effective people really hit deep and hard into our belief systems ( which the author refers to as a paradigm) or what I will refer to as the faulty foundations or baby steps of life we were influenced/ forced to walk in. While he doesn’t dispute the fact that some of these belief systems or personality ethics aren’t result oriented or productive, he stresses that the results are superficial, quick fixes that only bring about or cure the symptoms while the root causes of the problems are still intact. The Seven habits shakes the very foundation of our thoughts and concepts causing us to double think or re-evaluate our motives, values and rationales behind the things that we do; if they are really worthwhile and would stand the test of time or they would crumble after being subjected to time and pressure. The author puts out a call to embrace true principle centered, character based and inside-out approach to ensure personal and interpersonal effectiveness.

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 life.

i. What we communicate far more eloquently than anything we say or do: As the saying actions speak louder than words. What we consistently do, define our person or personality. We really won’t make much of an impact or credence attached to our image, if we say one thing and do the exact opposite, as can be obtainable amongst politicians especially those in the African continent. There is nothing as solid as integrity attached to an individual’s image.

As an individual, I do my possible best to live according to established principles from the word of God. My behavior or morals clearly reflect that fact. I am an individual that doesn’t or wouldn’t take what isn’t mine, without telling the owner or without permission. Of course, I won’t hesitate to caution another person taking what doesn’t belong to him/her, since I am not guilty of such. People that I am very familiar with know of a fact that I am not a violent person, but a peace lover, one that shows empathy. These attributes clearly show in my character. I don’t need a megaphone to cry on the streets informing people because it eloquently speaks through the way I relate to people.

ii. The way we see the problem is the problem: Life sometimes offers us gains but not without some pains too.

If we detest getting the gains because of the pains, then we lose out totally. An opportunity or occurrence that might pose an obstacle to one individual could be seen as a stepping stone to another. Of course, most problems almost always come with their solutions. If one easily gives up in the face of adversity or a problem, I guess that also is a problem. Job said “few are the days of a man born of a woman, and those days are full of troubles.” The way we view problems will determine if they could be easily solved or remain insurmountable mountains.

When I encounter a difficult situation or face a problem, I normally adopt a winner’s mindset. I accept the challenge and then transcend that phase by making plans or devising means on how to solve that particular problem. I found myself in a situation recently; I was overseeing a review for a subgroup in a book club. Along the line, I began anticipating a backup plan, in case someone without reasons decided not to review, unfortunately it happened, even though I discovered it very late; some few minutes to the review time. Luckily I had read the entire book beforehand, I quickly had to scan through the chapter the individual was to review. I took his place, apologized for starting late and I was able to avert the reproach that would have befallen my subgroup.

iii. Begin with the end in mind: I guess even before I came across this particular sentence, I have in effect been working along the same line of thought.

Sometimes the only thing that propels me ahead is the knowledge that there will always be an end to a particular task or responsibility I had been saddled with. Having that knowledge at the back of mind eases me from a lot of burden. It helps me to imagine the outcome and enjoy the process along the way. Recently I applied for a volunteer position in a book club, to help oversee their social media handles. Though I really wanted to be among the team of volunteers, I also prepared my mind for the obvious. When the decision was delayed, I reached out to the organizers and a few days later, I got a letter of confirmation and acceptance of my volunteer services. Already I had planned how I would go about handling the social media aspect of the book club. Devised an elaborate plan that after sharing it with the founder of the book club, he was thrilled. I also knew that it would be a herculean task, but already I had an end in mind. A destination to get to already and quickly at that. The channels I thought I would leverage on initially aren’t working out as planned, so I am currently taking another path, albeit with the same end goal in mind; of increasing the membership status and improving the online ranking of the book club.

iv. Without involvement, there is no commitment:

I have this particular friend, when I was serving as the pioneer president of the Kennel Club of Rivers. This said individual has ideas, concepts and means also but would also like to be at the sidelines. Now, he however likes to be very critical; sometimes very harshly about the happenings in the club. I had approached him severally to take up an executive position, but each time he declined and replied he likes to work under the radar or in the background. He actually was the person that suggested forming the kennel club, but refused to walk his talk. I took it upon myself, created the group, gathered people, sustained and provided contents until the club metamorphosed and took a different form from what we initially planned. I discovered his lack of proper involvement exonerated him from responsibilities and hence he felt he could trade blames and go scot free. But I on the other hand, alongside some others were working round the clock, meeting prospective sponsors, partners, patrons, dog food producers, resource persons and the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association to come onboard so that the club becomes formidable and impactful to breeders, lovers and enthusiasts. With the sole aim of promoting responsible dog ownership and to ensure proper breeding practices.
(e) Trust is the highest form of human motivation; It brings out the very best in people: Trust when lost can seem an impossible task to reacquire. Most times I actually give people the benefit of the doubt when dealing with them, especially if it was a first time engagement. I have been in situations whereby I acted out of trust and lent money out to friends or conducted business deals with them, and quite unfortunately they didn’t come through. Even in situations whereby I agreed on a specific line of action with someone, entrusted a task to that person; only to discover sadly after some time that the task wasn’t carried out or was done shabbily.

I have been given responsibilities to handle howbeit difficult but because of the trust or confidence invested upon me by such persons, I had to work on myself and brought out my ingenuity; and ensured such tasks were carried out properly. I was appointed by one of my beloved senior pastors to talk to a certain congregation and get them to willingly support an ongoing project in the church. At that particular point we had already been tasked and had contributed for a previous project, but still other financial needs were rising up. I went and because he entrusted that responsibility to me, I ensured I didn’t disappoint. I went, motivated the brethren and was able to raise some amount, though it wasn’t what I anticipated, but it still amazed me judging from the fact that there was a previous contribution done already.

vi. It is much more ennobling to the human spirit to let people judge themselves than to judge them.

The Bible admonishes us not to judge others, in order not to be judged. The Bible also informs us to be our own judges because we have consciences and what individual knows himself/ herself better than him/herself? By not judging, in this context condemning; we allow that individual to save face. Firstly the person isn’t humiliated after a wrong did, especially if unintentionally done. Secondly correction will be taken in good faith when given. This act breeds out rebellion or resentment from the corrected individual. Whether we like it or not, our consciences judge us when we commit a wrong act, it would be very heavy and bitter if someone else comes to add insult to injury.

I am not the very judgmental type. In fact I give everyone the benefit of the doubt; offering a level playing ground of operation to all. I try to imagine myself in the person’s shoes. Consider if I wouldn’t do the same or worse and also the pains that might be involved. But that doesn’t mean I don’t rebuke or correct, however I do it out of love. I ensure it isn’t out of spite or condemnation, but to avoid the destruction of such souls in the long run. As mentioned previously I have transacted businesses with people who till this moment have not paid me. I don’t judge them and brand them thieves or no goods, but I leave them to their consciences.

vi.. To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground.

There is nothing that can be endearing to an individual than a kind deed, how much more when it is done sacrificially. The problem that bedevils the world is too much talk and too little kind gestures. People really don’t care about how much you know them, until they know how much you care about them. I have this friend that gave me some amount of money when I complained about some financial difficulties. Granted, the said person wasn’t even more advantageous financially than I was, but sacrificially committed some amount of her money into my hands. Not very long ago, I informed this same friend that I was in Lagos, Nigeria, although we had been in constant communication for more than Five years, we hadn’t seen eye to eye. The individual had to almost cross what I would equate to the Atlantic Ocean, due to how far my location was from where she was staying coupled with the crazy traffic situation of Lagos State. Such gestures go a long way in endearing people to me. Of course nothing will hold me back from committing myself to ensure that the said friend is relieved of burdens/ difficulties when they befall her.

I also remember how I was touched by some persons that voluntarily contributed money to give me after I had an appendix surgery. They also bought beverages and came to visit at the hospital too. Also one of my dear pastors that contributed some amount of money to support the surgery, and when I couldn’t undergo the surgery at that time, though did it on a later date, I returned the money to him, he counted the money, gave half to me, told me even though times were tough, I should still have some of the money.

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

The ideas or lessons will help me in a practical way, both in my daily personal life and in helping to create a better world in the following ways:

Seek first to understand then to be understood: Having learned what it means, and felt the importance of the sentence on a personal note; I believe the knowledge will help me in a broader sense in reaching out to more people. Though I consider myself an empathic person; however, the Seven habits have given me a broader understanding of the concept. I could truly place myself in another’s situation, explain how they truly feel, especially if it relates to losing a loved one or a great tragedy, and also help them to heal, which will be the particular area I would really want them to know I understand what they are facing at that point in time. For instance if I am applying for a scholarship placement in a particular school for a particular course. The onus lies on me to make them understand that I know how important that course is to them and what they would want to achieve through the course, and then I will go further to tell them how I will fit into their grand plan of things by helping them achieve their goals by their offering me a place in the school.

Communication is the most important skill: Good interpersonal relationship skills are quite keenly sought after in our present day working and living environment. Hence the importance of communication. Effective communication can do a lot of good and lack of it could eventually create a lot of harm. Lack of effective communication is one of the leading causes of marriage breakdowns, business failures or court cases, poor performance etc. Having learnt the vitality of communication, I will ensure that people around me understand my motives and I likewise theirs, so as to enjoy a harmonious relationship. Good communication can avert things like wars, banditry, kidnappings, vandalism and other forms of societal violence. If as a good public speaker, I not just speak, but communicate effectively to people within my circle of influence to a certain desired line of action, and also for a good cause, I would be able to impact my immediate environment and the world at large positively.

There’s no better way to inform and expand your mind on a regular basis than to get into the habit of reading good literature. Readers are leaders, and readers of good literature are effective and better leaders. The importance of keeping the mind busy and broadening one’s knowledge pool can’t be overemphasized. Aside from the fact that it exterminates boredom, reading exposes an individual to worlds unknown; it broadens the horizon; takes one to lands unheard off or unconquered. Reading literally teleports one to realms that one might never be able to tread in one’s lifetime. Reading gives one and edge and places one above the crowd of mediocre.

Reading has also always been an enjoyable exercise for me. I might even consider myself a voracious reader. I have come to understand myself better after reading the book “Why you do the things you do,” by Tim LaHaye; and I have also come to understand others better and with that I can accommodate and relate to different calibers of people from all walks of life. Easy communication and broadened knowledge has assisted me to achieve tasks that have been beneficial to people in my immediate environment. I have done evangelical outreach, organized seminars, workshops, conducted sensitization programs and sanitation exercises. And also as a public speaker and coordinator of events and occasions, reading has greatly enriched my vocabulary and offered me the opportunity to communicate effectively to different kinds of audiences.

It is not what others do or even our own mistakes that hurt us the most; it is our response to those things: Life actually isn’t a bed of roses. One is bound to encounter both the good and bad times, rough and smooth, ugly and beautiful situations. Betrayals and backbiting are things one will come in contact with in this world of ours. Mistakes will be made, blames traded, and punished meted. All these are some of the challenges one will face in life, however in between the stimulus and the reaction, as Covey Stephen said, there is a space; a gap, a pause. A moment to decide how one would react to such a stimulus irrespective of what those stimuli are. I have accepted the fact that as a human being I am prone to make mistakes, likewise others that I will work with, so my reactions shouldn’t be negative, but rather I should be proactive and focus on the best line of action that would ensure peace and harmony amongst those around me.

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.

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier; not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability to do it has increased.”

I remember when I started playing basketball newly. I actually admired those playing from a distance, until the desire drove me to get a football. I kept hitting the football randomly. At one point I had some apprehension because it was quite difficult directing the movement without my eyes fixed on the ball. But as time went by, I was able to maneuver the ball, to the extent that now it seems as if I could tell the ball the direction to take, shoot from the free throw and the three point regions, make dribbles, stylish passes etc., but it wasn’t initially, but my expertise increased with constant practice.

The same thing is applicable to my writing skills in terms of penning down poems. I have always loved reading, observing nature and listening to good soul inspiring music, so words weren’t foreign to me, but poetry wasn’t my forte seeing I was a core science student from high school all through to college. But I had this desire to express myself aesthetically and poetry was like a channel I could flow through without restrictions. So I had to learn the rudiments from the types, to the rhymes and rhythms, to the verses and meters etc., At the moment I am not doing badly. I have even tried my hands on some competitions. Right now I am flexing my muscles of photography and PhotoShop. The experience has been tremendous. My skills aren’t top notch yet, but I am enjoying the ride all the way.

“For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking at the root.”

As the author noted, we have different perspectives about and towards life; when he mentioned the term paradigm. Most people actually grew up with a faulty type of paradigm or conditioning, some from broken homes, abusive parents, poor and malnourished households and along the line developed some vices for the quest of survival that manifested in various forms. Someone that has a low self esteem or inferiority complex and always seeks or wants affirmation or confirmation from others might have lacked love at the early stages of life. For one to assist such an individual, one needs to get to the root cause, not some psyche up talk about developing a positive feeling, but rather address the lack of parental love or approval. Such an individual will definitely need a paradigm shift to know he/she can be different, better and that it was no particular fault or his/hers that his/her parents couldn’t give the needed love or approval, and also he/she should forgive his/her parents and that s/he can also break the chain and be a better version and example to his/her children. Though I am not one from a problematic or dysfunctional home, I have seen households where there are constant quarrels and fighting, and children turning out to become wayward, criminals and the likes. Most times, if I encounter such persons, I try to pry deep into their childhood with compassion, understand their situations offer explanations if possible, pray with them and encourage them to forgive their parents or those that have hurt them in the past and also those with emotional wounds or scars should allow healing to take place by letting go of the past. Once the root causes are discovered the other superficial symptoms can easily be tackled.

“Into the hands of every individualist given a marvelous power for good or evil.”

God created us with the powerful gift of choice; as free moral agents. We get to decide the path we want to tread. Nobody can force us to walk a path we detest. Though some certain factors can influence us to a certain degree, but ultimately the decision lies in our hands. People that take to crime, drugs, gangsterism, terrorism and fraud did it out of their volition, likewise those that became scientists, medical doctors, astronauts, lawyers, nurses, naval officers, legislators etc., and other people of exemplary life styles. I actually know my wants and dislikes, and the tendency of how easily evil companies can corrupt good manners, hence my selective preference for making friends. I know what I want to achieve, which is to affect my generation positively through medical research. Though it seems far fetched, but I am resilient and will persist until it becomes a reality.

“Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.”

Man basically has two main purposes on earth- discover his purpose and fulfill that purpose. Whatever method or mechanism he devises to achieve it is entirely up to him. After the discovery of one’s purpose, the next is to fulfill and fulfilling that purpose comes with offering / rendering services. Some find fulfillment in serving as counselors to drug addicts, some as team coaches to athletes, some as lecturers or as financiers or entrepreneurs the list is endless. We all have the grace to venture and thrive in any form of endeavor that gives us fulfillment.

There are quite a number of areas I would really love to offer my services to mankind. Already the universal service of reaching the ends of the world with the Gospel of God had already been assigned to me as a child of God, however there are other things such as writing books, serving as a spiritual instructor, financing God’s work, serving as a research scientist to proffer cures for heritable diseases that I still need to be actively involved in. Painting beautiful images through words and photography is also my cart of things to do. I would love to be remembered as one that was empathic and gave a greater amount of his life on earth for the service of mankind.

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?

Though there were some terminologies, especially about the quadrant in the appendix 1 and 2 sections that were kind of technical, but along the line, I flowed with the thoughts of the author. But on a general note it was an interesting and understandable book to read.

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

Yes, the book contained exercises for the reader to complete. Though I did them, but not satisfactorily because some of the scenarios could not be found in my vicinity. I would love to do the exercises all over again, by reading the book when privileged. Yes, the exercises were very useful as they did help in visualizing and articulating some of my aims and motives.

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.

There is nothing I would like to comment on that was not covered in the previous questions.

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

A. How interesting was it to read? 9
B. How helpful were the contents? 10
C. How easy was it to understand? 9
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 9.5

Assessment by Michael Kelechi (Nigeria)

1. What do you think that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The main idea I think the author is trying to convey to his readers is the importance of goals and goal settings, but it does not just end there, but further stressed specifically the importance of writing those set of goals down, knowing what it will take to get them done and straight away to begin the execution of such goals after having gathered all the relevant information needed to prosecute the ideas. Brian Tracy began this book by stating a very important fact; which I will quote below that will somehow buttress what exactly he wants his readers to gain or derive from the book titled Goals. ” After countless talks on various themes, if I was only given five minutes to speak to you, and I could only convey one thought that would help you to be more successful, I would tell you to write down your goals, make plans to achieve them, and work on your plans every single day.”

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 life.

Though there were quite a lot of ideas which were personally most important to me, below are the list of seven of them and also why they were personally important using examples from my life to explain them.

i. Write down your goals, make plans to achieve them and work on your plans every day:

There is a saying that the faintest pen is mightier than the strongest heart or memory. True some people can retain things for quite a while, even very large amounts of information, but over time, it really becomes very difficult to report details accurately. I on several occasions have seen the need to always pen things down. There is a better understanding and longer retention span when more than one faculty for learning is at work at a particular point in time to fulfill the same task or achieve a particular goal. What I meant above is that, when I am trying to learn something especially a new thing from a book, I write things out, and as I do I also try to understand, and as that is ongoing, the brain is also trying to process and retain, even if it occurs in chunks. At the end of the exercise I normally discover that I tend to retain more important information at a longer period of time, than if I didn’t bother to write things down.

Truthfully speaking I find it a little difficult to write or jot down salient points when reading, especially if it is for entertainment or merely to be informed. I work rather on my speed for those reasons, but when it involves my academics, it is a different ball game. I ensure writing as much as I could possibly sustain. As regards goals, after reading, “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hills, I really understood the vitality of putting pen to paper, when it comes to achieving my goals. Aside from clarity derived from articulating my ideas, it keeps me in constant contact with my goals as I could easily make reference to what I had written down. It goes even a step further if I carry what I have written down around me, especially if I have them on a small card or jotter and can constantly feast my eyes on them, attention and focus. It makes such goals manifest quickly as I have mostly witnessed. Penning down my goals has also helped me know when I have achieved them, and to review them if the need arises. As I am writing this essay, I just got inspiration to also include a date and time when writing my goals, seeing there are still quite a lot I still need to bring into manifestations.

ii. Realize what you really want. It stops you from chasing butterflies and puts you to work digging gold.

The most fortunate individual on planet earth, is one that has discovered his true purpose and goes all out to fulfill it. It didn’t take Jesus Christ 30 years to fulfill his mission on earth, but just 3 and a half, because already, he knew his divine purpose. When I was little there were a lot of things I wanted to do, though they were mostly vague and fleeting. As I grew older and understood better; and read wider, I began to streamline my goals or what it was I truly wanted. Even at this moment I am still revising and working on some of my preconceived goals to align properly to my present values and priorities. This has always been my modus operandi. It always saves me from a lot of unnecessary distractions and encumbrances. For sometime now, I have been trying to assimilate quite a lot of information and some soft skills through some online certificate courses, but there seem not to be adequate time on my part, so I had to use the Pareto’s principle of 80/20 percent, whereby I focus purely on the 20% high end skills that will lead to the 80 % productive reward or results that I want. I have been able to achieve some level of peace of mind, though not yet stabilized.

iii. The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe it is possible.

I used to have this impression about business that wasn’t too good for me, due to the sole reason of people taking goods on credit without intending to pay up. This I have seen on several occasions cripple well laid out business ventures, so I was apprehensive to commit myself into any form of business. However, I had this strong drive that I ought to be financially emancipated, and one of the best bets was to be involved in business transactions, and that wisely. Because of the strong drive I had to be stable financially, I decided to face my demons. Though I have encountered what I was apprehensive about, concerning being owed, I don’t allow it to stop me from engaging in other business ventures, however I apply some amount of prudence and stay open-eyed to easily pick up discrepancies. I have been studying and reading books on finances, and also understanding the secret of how money works, because it is money that attracts money. I will still commit more of my time to read biographies of the wealthy and famous people of our time.

Aside from being stable financially, I want to impact my generation positively through medical research in the field of Biotechnology and Molecular Biology. Though I have applied on many occasions to some institutions of higher learning for scholarship and was rejected, my drive is still on, and however the length of time it takes, I will finance my studies and ensure I get the needed skills and abilities required to actualize my vision.

iv. Your time and your life are precious.

The biggest waste of time and life is for you to spend years accomplishing something that you could have achieved in only a few months: I still regret not having been financially literate early enough. Granted I was very prudent with money, but knew nothing about investment. Rather I held tightly to the little I had in order not to lose it, not knowing that I needed to take some financial risks to get financial rewards. I also wish I knew then, what I now know from my relationship with financial books. I would consider myself a little bit fortunate to have come in contact with a book club that introduced me to quite a number of books, which included those on finances. I still recall fondly some of the ideas that M.J. DeMarco in the book, The Fast lane Millionaire planted into my mind. Though it might be plausible, the ideas therein, but one needs to really think out of the box to be financially liberated. The future Elon Musks, Bill Gates, Warren Buffets, Jack Mas and Jeff Bezos that would originate from their generation must really be people that would operate outside the limits that the society might want to place or impose on them. If truly they must make an impact as those before them deed.

This is actually where the importance of a mentor comes into play. I have derived some form of indirect mentorship and inspiration from the books I have read; from the passionate and earnest words of wonderful authors, from their seminars and workshops, telecasts, audiobooks and tapes, videos on youtube and through other social media channels. It would go a long way, if I could have a teacher that would practically hold my hand and direct me alright, rather than to engage in trial and error.

v. And since there are no limits to what you can imagine, there are no limits to what you can achieve. This is one of the greatest discoveries of all

At a point in time in my life, I was so bombarded with ideas and inspirations that they kept me awake all through the night. Clear images of how my life would play out, assuming all things were equal but unfortunately, life doesn’t just hand over to you freebies. But still at that, I have not stopped dreaming or wanting a better life for myself. I remember visiting someone in school when seeking university admission. I saw one of the undergraduate students driving a car, and I said within myself that when admitted too, I would also own a car and drive around campus. My resolve was further strengthened when someone shared a testimony in my church on how he was blessed by God and got a car while in the university. To cut a very long story short, in my second year in school, I began driving a car on campus which came as a shock to most of my course mates back then. I have not stopped imagining, dreaming or visualizing what I want out of life. At a point in time, because of the enormous, I began to waver as to the realization of such dreams, due to the time that had elapsed, but reading Goals, by Brian Tracy has rekindled that desire in me. I discovered that I could live a fine and more improved kind of life, when I have a dream growing in my bosom, than living without one.

vi. It doesn’t matter where you’re coming from; all that matters is where you’re going.

Most men of renown came from very deplorable and discouraging backgrounds. Some barely survived one day at a time. Though some were better off than others and were opportunity to get a head start or foundation already in place, whether by parents of a benefactor, but what mattered was that they had a destination in mind. No wonder it is said, “Better is the end of a thing, than the beginning.” “And he that laughs last, laughs best. Life is like a journey, so long as one has a destination, one would definitely get there.”

Frankly speaking, I am far better financially now, than I was some 3 – 4 years ago. I wanted financial emancipation; freedom from my condition then, but I had no idea how much time it would take for me to get to the level I wanted financially, but what I knew was that I just needed to be elevated financially from where I was. I left my home country for greener pastures for more than a year and the transformation has been remarkable. I wouldn’t say there weren’t obstacles; disappointments or even almost total dejection along the way, but persistence and the long term goals ahead made me stay focused. Though I have not even begun to ascend to my projected level, I am much more elevated than I was some 2-3 years ago.

vii. The biggest single obstacle to setting goals is self-limiting beliefs.

How I wished I thought of myself financially better than I did some years back. I keep mentioning finance in this write-up because other areas of my life had developed to quite enviable levels, except my finances, and this actually stunted my growth, in more ways than could be imagined. I would have been in a totally different environment or trajectory than I am, if I were better financially. I was never one to limit myself; no not in any area of my life, except my finances. I could not visualize myself properly financially. Granted, I didn’t think I would be poor, but I had no clear cut goal or vision as to how to improve myself financially. There were some amounts that I had never imagined then, but now, it is a different scenario. Reading has really emancipated me; broadened my horizon and given me wings that could just almost make me fly. I remember books like, The Science of Getting Rich, The Secret, Why You Do Things The Way You Do, The Millionaire Fastlane, and Think and Grow Rich. The last two are my all time favorite, and not easily forgetting Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It was after I read Think and Grow Rich, that I was able to conceive a certain amount of money that I desired to possess. After reading it that year, I had a target to achieve, though I was just short of some amounts to achieving the set target in my local currency. But currently I have topped that amount twice, though I also spent what I achieved but having achieved that goal, has further opened more doors to other financial targets. I also read more financial books and get involved in more financial discussions or conversations, which weren’t so some time ago.

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

The ideas or lessons will help me in a more practical way, both in my daily and personal life and in helping to create a better world in the following ways:

Life is lived inside out: The very core of my personality are my values. As an individual I value peace, equity, equality and detest discrimination of any kind. In the sight of God, we are all equal, hence these are the dictates I live my life by. I won’t be a means of offense or stumbling block to others, I won’t cause harm or deny another his or her legitimate right or place. In fact, if I find myself in a position of higher authority politically, I will champion courses that promote better living conditions for the masses, good and more affordable education and ensure that basic social infrastructures are easily accessible or available to the populace. Above all, I will lead by example. I would even devote my time to coach/ offer a self- discovery seminar for people within my immediate environment.

The greater clarity you have regarding your values on the inside, the more precise and effective will be your actions on the outside: There are some things that do not even cross my mind. For instance, I would not be focusing my thoughts on smoking, kidnapping, theft and other forms of social vices because these are very foreign to me. They do not for one moment resonate with my values or priorities. I have very specific and clear goals that I want to achieve in life. Granted, society is already plagued/ bedeviled by so many problems, I shouldn’t compound it further. Aside from the fact that I don’t become a reason for concern in a negative angle to my immediate environment, if I am able to achieve my goals, I will become a positive influence to my generation. Having been reborn from within, the turbulence or chaos raging outside, will have little or no influence over me, and I could serve as a pillar, cushion or anchor point to those that are passing through difficult times.

You are more likely to act yourself into feeling a particular way, than you are to feel yourself in acting: I am a very sensitive individual. I can easily read or discern what people I come in contact with might be passing through, whether good or bad, by picking up non- verbal cues that they display, be it consciously or otherwise. Now when I discover someone is sorrowful or not happy, the easiest way to change that individual’s emotional state is to infect that individual with an emotional state of happiness, the law of substitution, and that could only be achieved by acting into happiness, or acting as if I have no care in the world, and likewise bringing that person into my world of happiness, when they engage in whatever act of happiness I might be engaged in. Since I got to the level in my life whereby I realized I owned my emotions/ moods, and not the other way round, I can easily influence the people around me positively, by alternating my moods as, and when due.

I have also experienced it several times. On occasions whereby I begin to feel sad, due to a disappointment or promise made to me, but not kept by someone, or even if I may use this phrase ” waking up on the wrong side of the bed”, I normally choose to act happily. I smile, laugh, listen to spiritual songs and sweet melodies and before long, the sadness vaporizes. It is also very applicable when I don’t really feel like working, especially when at work. It becomes easier to get into the mood of working, immediately I begin to do some work.

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.

Answer: There were quotes outlined in the book that particularly got my attention. Below are some and also comments as to why they were important to me.

“A journey of a thousand leagues begins with a single step.”

Great things they say, start from little beginnings, and little drops of rains could form a mighty ocean. Whatever an individual will become, whether it be greatness or not, has to have a start-up point. Though some persons had spoons of silver used to feed them when younger (had a very smooth and wealthy beginnings), but if they must carve out a niche for themselves or build their own legacies, they must start from somewhere, mostly one step at a time.

Life is a progressive journey, one moves from one point to another. Where I am, wasn’t where I was some months or years ago. There have been some definite growths in responsibilities, locations, positions, finance, perception and understanding. Though I still have a lot more ahead of me, realizing that the journey to becoming a millionaire must begin with some Cents, to Dollars, to Hundreds of Dollars, then to Thousands and finally till it gets to a Million. I have learnt to enjoy every step of the way through my journey of greatness.

“The potential of the average person is like a huge ocean unsoiled, a new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be released and channeled toward some great good.”

It is the need for excellence that makes a man rise above the storm or dare to be different from his peers. Latent or buried and lying dormant in each or everyone of us is the potential, the ability to be exceptional, far more remarkable than even what could be imagined. I am a very strong believer of the fact that no person was born to remain mediocre all his/ her life. The sun rises differently at different times, for different people. I was able to discover my quest for knowledge at a very young age. I was also introduced to the culture of reading either directly or indirectly at a very young age, and since then books and I have been quite inseparable. I knew what I wanted, even though quite vague, at a very tender age of my life, and likewise what I didn’t want. I know what could be birthed when the right opportunity avails itself to me, but until then, I will keep preparing myself in every way possible and anticipate my manifestations.

“Happiness is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal or goal.”

It doesn’t really matter how big or small one’s goals are, so long as those goals are being achieved, happiness will naturally spring up from the bosoms of such individuals. Having said that, I also want to mark out that happiness is also a choice, one can decide to be happy irrespective of achieving a goal or not. But one’s confidence will be pumped up when there are realizations of worthy ideas or goals. There are exhilarating feelings I derive after playing basketball during the evening periods. I also feel fulfilled when people that received advice or counseling from me, at one point in time or the other, recount how they have benefited or profited from such services. Which actually means that my goal of making the world a happier place is being achieved.

“A man, as a general rule owes very little to what he is born with – a man is what he makes of himself: We actually forge our paths ourselves or are the sole determinant of our destinies.”

I won’t deny the fact that the environment plays a vital role in shaping a man, but man has the power to choose. I have mapped out a pattern for my life. The days of vagueness are far gone. I know that so long as I have been able to conceive a thing and meditate constantly on it, without wavering it will manifest, irrespective of time constraints. Nobody owes me anything, even if they might have promised, which they normally do and fail, my destiny is in my hand. And my current position or situation is a direct consequence of my choices and actions. I have been making conscious efforts and will continue to do so, in order to direct and properly channel my course in life. I draw inspiration and learn from quite a lot of things and people I come in contact with. I am in the constant habit of making a better version of myself.

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

It was quite easy to comprehend with very adequate life case examples.

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

Yes the book contained exercises for the reader to complete. Though they weren’t stated explicitly as exercises, but, it still required the reader to visualize and make use of his or her mental ability.

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.

There isn’t anything I would like to comment on, seeing the previous questions did justice to that.

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

Goals Setting 101
Assessment by Michael Kelechi Mamma (Nigeria)

1. What do you think that the author is trying to convey in the book?

I think the author is trying to bring down the bar or simplify the process about goal setting; and also upgrade the reader’s understanding about what a goal is, how to set a goal and how to achieve the goals one has planned to achieve whether on a personal note or in association with others, irrespective of age, sex, location, circumstances or race. The author has broken down the various concepts into easily identifiable bits and pieces that goal setting and achieving it, becomes a walk in the park. The author also offered goal setting nuggets, methods and suggestions to those seeking their signature path to success. He further stated that the lessons in his book are not quick fixes, but that with diligent effort toward the achievement of one’s goals, the result can be substantial. It was also observed that the author wanted his readers to be the master of their foundation.

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 life.

Though the ideas I got from the book were more than seven, below are seven of the most important ones to me and an explanation as to why they were personally important using examples from my life.

i. You will experience a sense of “Eureka” when you begin goal setting with personal planning

I remember those days I used to stay up late into the night or wake up at the wee hours of the night and stay awake until the break of dawn; ruminating and visualizing my dreams and desires. At the moment of conception of those ideas, there used to be a special connection, feeling, emotion; as if something out of the ordinary just appeared in front of me, or a veil was opened and I could peep into the treasure house where my mind had been focused on. Recently, how it came about I really could not tell, (because I had been in communication with a particular friend of mine for some long periods of time) but suddenly I got the idea to request for an investment opportunity from him. He formed a group whereby he was trying to create financial enlightenment amongst the members. I had been in the group for quite a while, and was picking up the information dropped therein, but the particular day the idea of investing in him dropped into my mind, it was sensational. And I was like, where was the idea all along? That singular idea has further driven me to seek more knowledge on how to invest in other financial ventures. My eyes have also been opened to the pitfalls in bogus ventures and the dangers of improper market research or analysis before investing.

ii. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can keep your goals in your head.

Though there are cases of exceptions, and just like thoughts; ideas can and do slip out of people’s minds, irrespective of how trained one or such people think that their brains have been developed. As the saying goes, the faintest pen is mightier than the strongest heart. I have found myself in situations whereby I thought I had everything planned out already in my head, only to be stuck along the way when carrying out my plans, because things really weren’t properly drafted and analyzed as much as I thought. Aside from the fact that penning down one’s goals makes such goals concrete or better captured, there is a connection made by all the 5 sense organs of the body which gives one the confidence and impression that such goals could be achieved. Writing down your goals also helps to identify or expose loopholes or discrepancies. Once a goal has been written down, the option of backing out disappears as one becomes exposed and the only option left is accomplishment, even though such goals could be revised when need be and might take some time. I don’t joke with writing down what I intend to achieve, alongside ascribing dates, having discovered its importance, and also having known that my mind can’t be trusted totally especially if I were to be having challenges whether emotional, financial or other challenges, as things could be seen in totally different lights.

iii. Goals determine what you will or will not become or accomplish.

It is what a man has/holds in his heart that distinguishes/ separates him from others. Our goals are indeed true drivers to our destinations. Hence, even when two people work on the same task, with similar resources available to both, their results will be dissimilar. Goals indeed are true determinants to what an individual will or not achieve. It has always been my goal/ dream to impact my generation positively, and that through medical research. That is actually the career path I am treading on; any or every other thing I might be engaging in are either directly or indirectly supposed to move me towards that path. Whether it be the job I am doing or the information I am gathering or institutions I have been applying to, for Masters admission; all are pointing me towards the goal of being formidable medically to embark on my research work, so as to make a tremendous impact in my generation, all things being equal.

iv. The examined life is the one worthy of living: The only way an individual can really know how he or she is faring on planet earth is if that individual really takes time out to be introspective.

This will go a long way to determine if progress is being made or failure; and if more efforts need to be applied or a total revision of the initial plan. A truly great individual is one that has been able to understand self through several years of soul or self searching in order to be able to identify both the strong and weak areas of his/her life. Since I came to the age of accountability and understood that man or rather I wasn’t just a mistake or an accident that happened, but a deliberate effort was made for my conception and also existence, I took it upon myself to live a well pleasing life and a most fulfilled one at that. Both in the inward and outward areas of my life. I know my strong points; abilities, talents and gifts, likewise my weak points. I try to work on the abilities and disabilities to make me a better person. Due to years of constant examination of my life, I have got a better grasp of my values, visions and goals; and I have properly aligned myself to people, circumstances and opportunities that will help me achieve my goals faster. There are some activities I will never be engaged in because they are at variance with my values or principles. I know that as long as I continue in the exercise of self examination, I will always produce a better version of myself.

v. A decision to achieve a goal is never made just once, it happens continuously: I can vividly recall when I graduated from high school (secondary school) and how I decided to embark on the journey to secure admission into the university to study a renowned course.

For several years, I kept applying and got rejected. It continued for quite a long period of years, which might have discouraged some people and made them give up totally. Frankly speaking, I was devastated during those periods because friends that I knew I was better than academically were gaining admission into several universities but I was not offered admission. I even opted for the not so prestigious courses and surprisingly I still couldn’t secure admission. However when I applied outside of my home country, I was offered admission, twice, but was denied a visa. It was a very big blow to me back then. The thought of suicide and depression weren’t very far from me, but prayers, family, counsel alongside positive encouragements kept me, until I secured admission into the university of Nnamdi Azikiwe Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria. There were times I jettisoned my goals, but the urge was just so strong I had to pick them up again. Even though it had been quite a while after I graduated from the university my initial goal to impact my generation through research has not been buried. Though there have been several modifications on how to achieve the goal, the true focus; the primary aim has always remained the same.

vi. Nothing of any lasting value was ever created by someone who is reasonable

Sometimes one needs to be consumed by a vision, a goal, a dream that he/she begins to act irrationally or do things termed out of the ordinary. Imagine people like Michael Faraday, Henry Ford, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein. These were men of extraordinary virtues, who thought beyond what was regarded as reasonable. Even the Wright brothers who invented the first successful airplane were thought to be unreasonable by others.
Consider Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, college students then that had to suspend their education because of an all consuming passion or idea. Many must have seen them as unreasonable then, but today, they are people society benefits from. Life doesn’t always give one the easy way out, hence it is totally left to such an individual to devise means or for the unreasonable to achieve his/ her goals. Due to the fact that I am trying to save up for my academics, there are some activities or even spending I don’t engage in, which most of my acquaintances consider unreasonable. I live according to a budget, and each time it gets streamlined the more, to ensure I have or I am able to reserve something that will support my academic pursuit. Even because of my faith and belief, I don’t do what the unconcerned or unbeliever would do for pleasure or personal satisfaction, which to them is totally unfathomable. When I consider and reflect upon the lives of those that prevailed after doing or passing through difficult moments, I tend to get encouraged.

vii. Achievements and accomplishments don’t happen accidentally.

They are the results of clearly defined goals, acted upon until completion: I will always like to cite the example of the state “Dog Walk” event I was able to organize successfully in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, twice when I was the president of the Kennel Club of Rivers( (KCR). Of a truth, judging from the available resources then, it would have
been a colossal failure, but with constant planning which began 5–6 months before the project, consultations, leveraging and collaborations, I was able to put up a very presentable and memorable event. Also when I have to moderate events or occasions, I don’t just fold my hands to anticipate the outcome of the event. I normally embark on research, seeking out ways to make the occasion memorable, entertaining and impactful. Most times, the results are usually commendable as I normally get accolades and congratulatory remarks from the guests.

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

The ideas or lessons will help me in a more practical way both in my daily personal life and in helping to create a better world in the following out listed ways:

The truth will prevail, one way or another and usually sooner rather than later: I have come to a level in my life, that I cannot afford to tell a lie; I don’t have that luxury. I do my best to be as truthful as possible in every situation, having known the eternal damnation that awaits liars. It takes multitudes of lies, to cover a lie, and that still doesn’t exonerate the fact that the lie will still be discovered. The path to truth is always better, though it might not be easy. I tell the truth, even though it might result in hurtful feelings, but it is liberating. Being truthful will place me in a vantage point for a position of credibility in the long run. In such cases, people can hand over their responsibilities to me and can comfortably close their eyes and go to sleep.

Planning must be done, analyzed, well-planned and done again: There is no one plan that fits all circumstances or situations. There are bound to be aberrations or unforeseen circumstances. In such situations, an individual must go back to the drawing board and re-strategize or revise the plan. I have found myself in sometimes baffling circumstances, especially when it involved dealing with other people. There was a time I had some arrangements with some group of people to write poems. I just wanted a body of people that would express themselves aesthetically as frequently as possible, but someone suggested we collate our work and get a book out of it, which I felt was a good idea. Due to the nature of how people are, I tried to make it as voluntary as possible, so no one will feel pressured to write. I took much of the responsibility, wrote as frequently as I could. It got to a time, no one was producing any piece, including the person that suggested the idea of making a book out of our poetic writings, and shockingly he said his hands were off the project. I felt really wounded and had to forgo the project too, at that time. They might have thrown in the towel, but I still have plans, because the idea had been planted already in my head, at my convenience I will make something out of my written pieces, as I have them already archived somewhere. I am also on the lookout for like minded persons to work with too.

Do more than is required: By the special grace of God, this has always been my principle; go the extra mile. Once I have been able to master a skill or a responsibility, I always do my best and mostly my best is always more than what was required. There are amples examples that buttress this point. I remember vividly when I was called to take up a reading at someone’s wedding. After reading the required passages of the scriptures, someone came over and appreciated me and I am very such the bride and groom must have derived delight too. Also there was a wedding a friend of mine had in Jos, Plateau State capital. I had to travel through several states because I was in Port Harcourt, Rivers State then. I also remember I wasn’t feeling well at that exact period, but I went out of my way and ensured I represented properly at the wedding. There were things that transpired that would have given me a biased attitude, but despite those things, I took over much of the responsibilities at the wedding that some of my friends were very surprised. Likewise during my sister’s wedding, I did my best, especially in attending to the invited guests and ensured all guests were properly served and given adequate refreshments.

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 must be able to identify success or you won’t have a way of monitoring your progress or knowing if you have achieved your goals.”

Success spells different things to different people for different reasons and likewise in different areas or aspects of their lives and at different levels too. Some want family success, relationship success, financial success, academic success, career success, pastoral or ministerial success and the list is almost inexhaustible. The first step is actually to define personally what you term as being successful either partially or completely, so it becomes easier to quantify or measure. There are many areas of my life that I am striving to be successful in, just as in the list mentioned above. I want marital success, academic success, financial success, relationship success, career success and also spiritual success. There are parameters that I have put in place to gauge or measure how successful I have become. Financially for instance, I will consider myself successful when I can sponsor the work of God without batting an eyelid, contribute to charity works and foundations. And marriage wise, I will consider myself having achieved success when I begin to enjoy a harmonious relationship with my potential spouse. When we have fully understood each other’s strengths and weaknesses and do all within our power to ensure a fruitful union.

“No decision is difficult to make if you get all the facts.”

In a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) I engaged in, on Cousera, titled “Learning How to Learn” facilitated by educator Barbara Oakley, PhD and his colleague Terrence Sejnowski. I was taught about a positive aspect of procrastination. In this case, you put off performing a specific task, until you have successfully gathered or collated all the data or information you will need to execute a specific task. And immediately they are complete, accomplishing that task becomes easy. While you are on your fact finding mission, your brain will be chucking and trying to position all the information at their appropriate location, so execution becomes almost flawless. I discovered I often put off some tasks too, especially when I feel there are some vital data still missing. When all the requirements have been met, I also discovered it became second nature for me to perform efficiently. I have observed it on several occasions. If I need to attend a function, event , serve as a moderator or organize an occasion, I tend to go on a search for information and immediately I feel I have got everything I need, executing my goals or responsibilities become easy.

“Sometimes and far more often than any of us wish- things will go wrong: Life isn’t always a bed of roses. Things happen, and bad things or mishap for that matter.”

Even after the most pedagogical type of planning. I have encountered a series of failures whether on a personal note or in association with others. Despite having taken out time to plan or arrange how I would want my life to play out. But realizing the fact that such is life, gives me the something to fall back on and the will to bounce back and attack my challenges with more vigor or pathos until I have achieved my goals or desires.

“Values lay the groundwork for your goals.Truthfully, whatever an individual wants to achieve or has achieved, if properly traced will be deep rooted in what that individual values most or treasures. Time and time again, this has been proven to be the case. Those with great achievements in sports, value it very much, so likewise in other fields of endeavors.”

Personally I value a world of good health and harmony, and my life work is and will be geared toward promoting peaceful coexistence on earth, and ensuring people live healthier and more productive kinds of life. And that is why I am actively striving to ensure I am able to secure a place of study in a university where I can learn skills needed for research for the cure of degenerative or genetic disorders or diseases.

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

No, there was nothing that I didn’t understand in the book. Though the contents were quite compressed.

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

Yes the book contained exercises for the reader to complete. Quite interesting exercises, especially where I had to write about my strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes and 10 goals I would like to achieve.

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.

There isn’t anything I would like to comment on, seeing the previous questions did Justice to that.

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

A. How interesting was it to read? 7
B. How helpful were the contents? 8
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? 9

Goal Mapping
Assessment by Michael Kelechi (Nigeria/UAE)

1. What do you think that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The book, Goal Mapping is a concise easy to read and understand practical hand book, with quite a handful of experiences. From the foreword written by Brain Mayne, it was seen that the author’s main goal is to help the reader achieve his goals and that at a record time. With the seven key points that served also as questions, the reader is prompted to examine his life, to critically think about his priorities, focus and also purpose in life.
The author drives home some crucial life questions making the examples personal and write-up quite easy to understand. The seven key points are like codes that will help unlock those doors that have been making dreams delay or to seem unachievable.

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 life.

i. Dream – What I want?

I grew up in the midst of many influential factors from wanting to own a mansion with a swimming pool and a basketball court within to play with a family that equals a complete team of players, to wanting to drive to trendy cars then, and also wished to own a white stallion to engage in a polo tournament and a couple of other things, which included travelling around the world, meeting new people and impact the world through medical breakthrough. In fact, I think I have never been short of dreams, the problem has always been if I would be able to achieve a particular dream, before another comes and captures my total attention, and the circle repeats itself over and over again, leaving some dreams unachieved.

What I really want in life is to be fulfilled. Being fulfilled entails rendering selfless service to humanity. In fact, I was presented with a questionnaire by the author of the book; “Creating Accelerated Change” by Juvenal Turatsinze, where the same question about my vision was asked. I want to live a life that after I am gone, I will be remembered as one that lived his life by giving his all for the improvement of the living standards and conditions of humans. It has been my preoccupation to venture into medical research to improve the value of life for those living with life terminal illnesses like sickle cell, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and other genetically transmitted diseases. This is actually my life long goal. There are other things along the line that would also help me achieve my main goal or bring me closer to achieving my main goals, which I call “supporting goals”. Some I have been able to attain, like Bachelor’s Degree, healthy lifestyle, better communication ability, personal development, while some are still pending like a Masters Degree, marriage, scientific research, collaboration, and job creator.

ii. Order- What is my priority?

Without order or priority, one would just have a cacophony of endless activities, with little to no definite result leading to the attainment of a major or specific goal. One might be termed as a “wondering star.” I will use my main goal in life which is to offer selfless humanitarian service. I know I won’t wake up suddenly and get to the level I envisage to carry out my activities effectively. It will take time, and that is where order will come into play, so I don’t get carried away by trends or someone else’s dream. In prioritizing, I set first things first and hence I have discovered much had been achieved on several occasions and lots of time saved for other ventures. Before impacting the world, I must firstly begin with myself, the internal transformation must occur, which actually led me to the path of self-development by reading books, attending seminars, reading and viewing online courses, getting a bachelors first, before a masters etc. Prioritizing has helped to know when to work, when to socialize, when to play and when to relax. I normally have lists of to do daily lists, though when writing, they are in no particular order, but after writing, the most important get done, and the others follow suit. I remember wanting to apply for masters studies overseas, I had to get the lists of the requirements, and ensure I had obtained them before applying for admissions and scholarship, though I was not offered a place, it helped me to have achieved some of the prerequisites for further attainment of my goals. Likewise in my spiritual growth there were some levels I had to have attained before I was given the responsibility to handle a local congregation.

iii. Draw – What does it look like?

I have always understood the importance of images from a very tender age. To be very frank I have been one that works very fine with images. I could remember the face of someone I saw more than 10-15 years ago. I will be able to remember the person’s smile, hand gestures, mouth or eye or even gait, but will easily forget the words spoken or discussed. I could recollect the sound of someone’s voice too; imagery has always been my forte. In my primary school days, I remember I could draw pretty easily; draw a cock, car, trees, birds, the sun, stars and a couple of other things. I even remember some of the comic characters of Marvel Entertain I drew like Wolverine, Juggernaut and Storm. I could even draw maps, hence had a very high grade in my Geography high school final examinations. I still enjoy drawing an Island I termed “Orion’s Lush Shores,” a beach with birds in the sky and the rocks, the sea waves going to and fro, the sun setting and the swaying of palm fronds, people skating, with children running around free with their laughter breaking out every now and again, with parents in colorful clothes tanning under the setting sun. I think I will begin to put that skill into practice in mapping out my goals properly, I normally do the flow chart pattern with written words, I just discovered the importance of drawing and that in colorful images. I have been tossing some logo designs in mind, in order to represent my brand officially; this is a further motivation to get it done quickly.

iv. Why – why do I want it?

My current and pressing goal at the moment is to secure an overseas scholarship for Masters Studies. During my undergraduate days, I was so very motivated and pumped up to make an impact, but the academic environment burst my bubble. I saw my zeal dissipate before my very eyes. The passion for academic exploits was slowly trickling away like drops of water from my palms because of inadequate infrastructure, recycled teaching materials, lackluster attitude for scholarly research and the incessantly strikes. It was quite painful and demoralizing, not mentioning the wasted time and resources. I want a better academic environment where scholarly research is the hallmark and motto. I want an environment where there are rooms for career and professional growth with counseling and help at your beck and call. I also realized I want a change in scenery. I want to feel the chilling snow on my nose. Gather them on my palms, throw them in the air and build snow houses. I also realize I want to experience skiing. See the unique wild lives peculiar to such terrains, but above all the above listed reasons there is this pressing urge to settle down and begin a family and what I am looking for in a mate, could only be found in some particular parts of the world. The pressure keeps building up with each passing day. I earnestly pray that God will send help speedily my way whether through cash or kind or however He deems fit.

v. When – When do I want it?

Timing is and will always be a critical factor in the decision of things. As stated above, I need to further my academic pursuits in order to bring me closer to my main goal/aim and other pressing needs at the moment. If it were left to me, the time that I want it, would have been some ten years ago, yes because of earlier delays, but till date, I am yet to achieve or actualize the dream of obtaining a Master’s Degree, but irrespective of the fact that the deadline had long elapsed,I will keep readjusting the date, until I eventually achieve it. As far as I am concerned the only constraint I have now is finances, which I am doing all within my power to secure. Attached to the need of traveling for my studies is the desire to settle down with a mate. There are certain qualities I cherish and factors I have considered that are actually driving me towards a particular part of the world. The time I set to get settled had expired, but due to the fact that I could not get what I really wanted also, I have to likewise readjust the deadline. With new time frames in mind, I have restructured my plans and means of getting to accomplish my supporting goals.

vi. How – How will I achieve it?

For my main goal, there are series of ways and factors that need to be put in place alongside time before I would be able to achieve it. So to make it quantifiable and more achievable, supporting goals have been attached to it, with varying timeline. This supporting goals, would enable me determine my progress level or need to intensify my efforts. Let us consider for instance, the fact that I also want to empower people through motivational talks and workshops, personally I need to prepare and equip myself for the work ahead. For one, I need personal study whether through reading books online or offline, register for development or leadership courses either online or through face to face kind of tutorship, I will also need a mentor or coach to make the journey faster and richer. I need to pass through some certain or peculiar experiences to spice up my talks or speeches when addressing people that might be at the low points in their lives. I will also need to leverage on other resource persons to add variety to my workshops and seminars. There is also the need for finances or sourcing for funds. Some other persons will need to handle logistics and other miscellaneous activities when the time is right.

vii. Who – whose help will I require?

Actually no man is an Island, and as social creatures the need for interaction is quite vital. Let us take for instance my goal of furthering my academic life; there are some people that have been instrumental in giving advice, directions and instructions on how I should proceed. There were some of my friends that sent links of schools that offered scholarship alongside admission for Masters Studies. My parents have been very fundamental in every aspect of my journey and have exceptional in all areas. They have been my main financiers; though at the moment, it is only natural I begin to fulfill my part of being a child to them by supporting them financially. In settling down, my mate will play a crucial role in ensuring I don’t jump into a hole when married. In fact I am also a huge factor to consider, I need to empower myself financially, emotionally, spiritually, academically and otherwise in order to be in the right frame of mind to achieve my goals.

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

The lessons and ideas learnt will help me both in my daily personal life and in helping to create a better world. In terms of drawing my goals, this will give me a clearer and more realistic image of what I want; from the state of being intangible to being tangible (something physical), especially when painted in colors. It will give more beauty and enhance stronger emotions and attachment to the goals, which will also fuel the passion to achieve such goals. I have been one that loves representing things in picture format; this book has further nudged me to continue along that path and also to make it much more colorful and realistic. It will also help me to convey my messages of harmony and peaceful coexistence amongst humans. Instructing and communication with people will be much easier with a lot of meanings conveyed. A picture actually speaks a thousand words, they might easily forget the words, but the image would always be buried deep in their hearts and present in their memories.

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.

“Think big. Do not let negative thinking discourage you.”

There is nothing as liberating as a wonderful or insightful thought; that moment of eureka. All the cells in your blood get excited. I have actually had several turns and times of low in my life. Knowing that the author, as well as several others encountered negativity too along their paths, will help make the journey and burden bearable. Negative feedback and hurdles will always come, but I have resolved to persevere in spite of the odds.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

I know I can only go so far as my dreams can carry me. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of my dreams. It is the feeling that keeps me bouncing at times when all around seems gloomy and dreary. I know the future I envisage is beautiful and achievable. All things being equal; I will be able to enter alongside transfer my beautiful future to others. I pray destiny helpers come my way to as to help me achieve my dreams faster.

5. Is there anything in the book that you do not understand?

There isn’t anything in the book that I didn’t understand. The statements and tenses were quite easy to understand. The pictorial representations also efficiently conveyed the messages of the author.

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

Yes, the book contained ample exercises for the reader to complete. I must say, the exercises were very creative. It helped focus me properly on some of my goals. Putting concreteness to them and also enabled me visualize achievable timelines.

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.

There isn’t anything I would like to comment about.

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

A. How interesting was it to read? 7
B. How helpful were the contents? 8
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? 9

The Power of Intention
Assessment by Michael Kelechi (Nigeria/UAE)

1. What do you think that the author is trying to convey in the book?

I think Dr. Wayne, in the book; the Power of Intention is trying to convey to his reader that one should begin to view intention in a new or different way and make use of it in a manner that will lead one to define one’s self. Whereby dormant or inactive forces, talents, potentials, abilities and gifts will come alive and one discovers oneself to be a greater person by far than one has ever dreamed or imagined to be. In other words, the author wants his readers to be creative, think out of the box and also alongside with the Source, Universe and Creator, to be co-creators and intent things into being by imbibing all the seven faces of Intentions.

He also wants his readers to become aware of their own energy level and the actual frequencies of thought that they regularly employ in their daily life. That they can become proficient at raising their energy level and permanently obliterate energetic expressions that weaken or inhibit their connection to intention. Conclusively he wants his readers to have a perfect match with the highest frequency of all.

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 life.

i. Other people can’t bring you down if you’re operating at the higher energies.

As stated by the author, those that are operating in the higher energy ranges, have been able to connect to the Source on a more intimate level than those probably on the lower level around them and hence are able to nullify or even change the low energy around them to higher ones. On a personal level I know that there are some level of self-mastery I have been able to attain especially in comparison to the seven faces of intention mentioned by the author which includes love, unlimited abundance, expansion amongst others, but as stated by Job in the Bible, a man born of a woman is of few days and those days are filled with trouble. Recently I found myself exhibiting anger towards a colleague of mine that uttered some offensive words about me. To be frank, I was really wounded, due to the fact that we related very well, and I had never at any point in time thought, let alone said anything evil against him, so it was a shock and a disappointment getting to hear such utterances from him. But along the line, I discovered that he might not have gotten to the level of enlightenment and understanding that I have gotten to, and even though I felt he was the one that offended me, I needed to forgive him, and after only forgiving and letting bygones be bygones, before peace returned to me, because all throughout those periods, I felt out of touch with my core.

ii. Simple kindness to one’s self and all that lives is the most powerful transformational force of all.

There is this feeling of joy when I happen to go out of my way to render a kind act or selfless service to people, which happens to be a norm with me. I am also kind to myself, by ensuring I don’t abuse my body either with markings or other activities that could cause harm or show that I despite the way the creator has made me. As a means of extending kindness to others, recently I decided to give some people in my circle of influence money, and I saw the amount of joy and appreciation that emanated from them.

iii. You’ll only give away what you have in your heart, and attract what you’re giving away.

I have actually come to understand that truly I need to guard my heart with all diligence, especially from the kind of information or influences whether on a personal level or social level that I allow in; because it is the focal point of all activities. I am very cautious of the kind of thoughts or intentions I have or project towards anyone or outwardly, because as a man thinks, so he is. I am fully aware that with time, such thoughts will manifest, hence as much as possible, I do not dwell or reflect on the negative sides of things. If something I perceive to be evil or bad happens, I try to learn from it, appreciate God for such lessons, and believe all things will turn around to work out the perfect will of His in my life. A little delay might be the preparation for something quite bigger and grander in future.

iv. If life is infinite, then this is not life

I have also had the notion that there is more to life than the present things I see or happenings occurring around me. I have been destined and intended for something much more than what is obtainable at the moment. Having understood that the universe is expansive, always in the act of creating and manifesting, and that also there is no limitation, I being a product of the creation of God am also unlimited, hence I believe that my full manifestation is yet to come. I do things with this awareness, though it might seem to delay, but I shall get to my desired destination.

v. This process of giving thanks opens the door for more to come.

The Bible states that give and it shall be given to you, good measures, pressed down, shaken together and running over, shall you get in return. It doesn’t really matter what you give. If you give thanks, you get more reasons to be thankful, give service you get more service from others in return. The same thing applies if one gives evil; the individual will get evil in return. I have been a very appreciative person, it really does not matter what an individual did to help me, whether major or minor as the case maybe. I also express sincere gratitude, and I discovered that more reasons to even be appreciative come my way. I am currently practicing this very principle to give; give out money, for in giving will I receive.

vi. Your purpose will only he found in service to others, and in being connected to something far greater than your body/mind/ego.

Aside the fact that I derive pleasure and fulfillment in offering a good deed or rendering service to others, I discover that I am better able to connect with such individuals on more personal or special levels. The issue of ego or self-first is totally taken out of the way; I am able to see the big picture, the picture of communion, fellowship and oneness since we were all intended from the same source.

vii. The dreamers are the saviors of the world

It was the dream that Joseph had that saved the world of his time from famine in the land of Egypt. It was the dreams that people like Bill gates, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and other worthy people of note that made them transform the world to what we currently experience at the moment. It is the dream and desire of being a better version; or a more developed and fulfilled version of myself that has made and still makes me study and push myself beyond my comfort zone. To become a refined person that has conquered self and transcended the lower or slower energy level to a higher and faster energy level so as to affect and influence my generation positively.

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

The ideas and lessons will help me in a practical way, both in my daily personal life and in helping to create a better world in the following ways:

I am eternal; this image will fade, but I am infinite. I am here temporarily for a reason. I will be passionate about all that I do: Knowing that I am an eternal being, a spiritual being, currently housed in a temporal body, and also having a temporal existence on earth, I do everything with passion, knowing that I am returning appreciation to my creator for bestowing upon me such gifts and talents, and also using such to further enhance the work of creation or expansion that is His intention.

Thinking from the end: I have been practicing this method of doing things. In fact when I am at a crossroad, I usually imagine the outcome of what I want for a particular situation, and work towards that angle. Things usually flow towards that direction, until I decide otherwise. This is quite synonymous to say someone is exhibiting faith. Even when it feels like all doors have been closed towards me, something just seems to happen out of the blue, because I was resolved and already visualized the end point. Also such a mindset makes me work with more optimism and confidence, doubt is usually banished and things align and work for my good.

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.

“Remember at all times that what you think and what you do affects other people.”

Since I am a co-creator with the Almighty God, and I know the power that resides in me, I am very cautious about the kinds of thoughts I project towards others, because they will manifest or affect them, somehow. I know that if I want good out of my life or someone else’s, I should not view or visualize such individual as evil or bad, but rather I focus my energy and intention on the good I want to see in such an individual, and before long, I see opportunities whereby such good could come out or manifest in the life of such an individual.

“We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”

It has always been my desire, which I believe will manifest with time to create a change in my generation. Hence I have been preparing myself spiritually, academically, financially, materially and otherwise to ensure that the much desired change I envisage in the world is first portrayed by me, and from there others could make reference points.

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

Truthfully, I am the sole determinant of my destiny. Irrespective of what others may think or assume. Everything about me, lies totally in my hands, either to confound or confirm the doubts or beliefs that they have about me. I have the sole right to be happy, even if things around me are falling apart. Knowing my origin, and also how I can intend things into being, I set my affections on things above, things that are edifying, things that would keep me at peace and comfortable, even if the world has been thrown into chaos, and with strong resolution, though things might be wrong or chaotic else, it will be comfortable with me. Because I know that my God is sufficient and unlimited.

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

No there isn’t anything in the book that I did not understand.

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

Yes, the book contained exercises for the reader to complete. Yes I did them and they were quite helpful. They further imprinted the significance of the chapters that they came under.

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.

No, there isn’t anything I read in the book that I would want to comment on that was not covered in the previous questions. Though I might not totally agree with some words the author used to qualify the Creator of the universe or the beliefs in some of the means of attaining enlightenment (divinity), I understand the underlying principles behind the Power of Intention, as outlined by him.

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

Unlimited Power
Assessment by Michael Kelechi (Nigeria/UAE)

1. What do you think that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The author (Anthony Robbins) of the book titled “Unlimited Power” is trying to convey to his readers that taking the kinds of massive, focused and congruent actions that will lead to overwhelming results are achievable. He also stated that the soul of the book is basically about producing results. Of a fact, his readers must have been producing results prior to reading his book, howbeit on automatic, and these results might not be what such individuals anticipated, however, the author highlighted that by going through the book, one will be able to create desired results that will emanate from consciously made decisions or actions.

He further stated that the sole determinant of the actions we take is as a result of the state of our minds, which develops as a result of our internal and external images of both ourselves and our world. By changing our states, especially modeling our states to times when we were able to produce remarkable results in the past, we could consistently produce the optima results we want, and hence become masters of our destinies.

The author also stated the importance of belief and passion, which will go a long way in creating a mind or mental revolution, hence helping his readers achieve what they want for themselves, and that in record time, if they so wish. And in conclusion it is also the author’s goal that his readers, through this book, not only learn or master the methods or patterns of success outlined, but also to be able to create their own models to achieve success.

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 life.

i. The road to success is always under construction

There is truly no hard and fast rule for one to use to measure or determine success. Success might mean totally different things to different individuals. One cannot package success in a container and confidently present it to someone and say, this is the true format and definition of success, as it is constantly evolving or changing, so long as an individual is alive and aspires to grow. What I achieved and termed successful about 5 years ago, will not be seen as a success to me today. I cite an example personally, some two years ago, I gave myself a target to achieve financially before or at the end of the year, though I did not hit the mark, I achieved far more than if I had not worked with a target. Then I considered it a successful endeavor. Fast forward to the present, I have achieved about three times the target I set for myself two years ago, and I still feel I have not achieved my aim for the year. Before what I considered to be a success some years ago, has changed due to some acquired knowledge, experience and growth that have occurred in my life.

ii. Your level of communication mastery in the external world will determine your level of success with others – personally, emotionally, socially and financially.

Man is not an island. Man was never created to be a loner, that was why when God created man, he provided a soul mate (help mate) for him, and told man to be fruitful and multiply. In our world today, people we term successful, geniuses, renowned, experts, bestsellers, sales experts, great religious leaders, revolutionists, and change makers have been able to convey (communicate) their ideas expertly (beyond the normal level) to others and by that have been able to gain audience or attention to themselves and effected the changes they intended. One of the things I solely and consciously thrive to achieve on a daily basis is to improve my communication skills with people. Since man is a social creature, if I must excel in my intended endeavors be it financially, academically, socially, marriage related and otherwise, I must be able to develop myself to such an extent that barriers or mental blocks will be easily removed when relating to people. I try to improve my writing skills, graphic skills, financial literacy, academic ability and relationship skills as frequently as possible.

3. Our beliefs about what we are and what we can be precisely determine what we will be.

Indeed as a man thinks, so he is. Nothing can be further from the truth. At some point in my life, I was doubtful of myself, frightened and likewise apprehensive. I sometimes imagined the worst of situations, and of course the worst, which might actually be relative, though; happened, so as to re-enforce by belief. I knew I could be a better version of myself, but my limiting beliefs were causing embargoes/ barriers for me. And then, I came to the realization that I am the master of my destiny, the sole determinant of my life, the sailor of my ship, the external don’t really matter, except how I interpret them to be. Then, I had a paradigm shift, from being mediocre to striving for excellence, from being fearful and apprehensive to being bold and optimistic, from a limited/ lack mentality to an abundance mentality. There are some concepts, laws and rules about life that I have come to understand. I have been able to understand that I am connected to the Creator, the owner of the heavens and the earth, who never lacks or is restricted by time or space, situations or circumstances. And that having an affiliation with him simply means that I have the ability to be creative as he is, to call things into existence as he did, if I align with his will, and his will states that He wishes that I prosper in all things that I do. It might take time, but even time in itself is relative.

iv. The greatest success is not on the stage of the world.

It is in the deepest recesses of your own heart: The greatest battles of all time have been fought and either lost or won in the heart/mind. Everything that happens in life, whether great or small, begins from within. For one to conquer the world, one must first conquer self. I now see and clearly understand the vital importance of self-development and mastery. Most times before embarking on a task or an endeavor, I normally envisage or visualize the end results of what I want, and most times it comes quite close to what I want. I have begun strategizing and positioning myself in terms relating to people so as to achieve my expected results. I work on my speech, comportment, body signals or language, confidence and delivery skills to bring into manifestation the desired changes I want to see in the lives of those I interact with on a daily basis.

v. It is not what happens to us that separates failures from successes, it is how we perceive it and what we do about what “happens” that makes the difference.

Recently I was faced with a challenge. I have been applying to universities for masters’ admission on a scholarship basis to study abroad, and for some time I kept getting negative feedback. This negative feedback, despite not being few, have not stopped me from still making more applications. In April, 2021, I was invited for a zoom meeting for an application I submitted some two years ago or thereabouts, because a partial scholarship opportunity had come up. I indicated interest that I would love to participate in the program if offered admission. After the second interview, I was informed about the time that the board’s decision will be made about my application. When the deadline elapsed, I sent several messages to them, but got no response. So I switched my attention elsewhere, normally I would be required to apply for a visa and make other payments, since it was on a partial scholarship basis, though it would have been such a relief if it was a complete scholarship admission. Two months after the expiration of the deadline for the board to give their decision on admission, I was mailed a congratulatory message about being admitted to study, and was expected to resume next month. It would have been a dream come through if the financial means were available, but unfortunately, I could not meet up, so I had to write them and explain I would not be able to meet up, and requested for a deferment. Though instead of granting my deferment request, they told me I still have the next month (October) to prepare to arrive at the school, but I replied a deferment would be a better option for me. I did not get a response after that from them, but I do not feel discouraged any bit, if for any thing, I feel energized and hopeful for a better tomorrow.

vi. The kind of behavior people produce is as a result of the state they are in.

How they specifically respond out of that state is based on their model of the world – that is their stored neurological strategies: Experience is often propounded to be the best teacher, and most times, than not, it happens to be. Our actions and reactions are as a result of what we must have passed through in life for several years. The brain would have been able to choose the most favorable outcome of similar events that happened in the past, and if such happens in the future, the response would be automatic. Herein lies the discrepancy, such responses might not always be the best or lead to the best results. If there must be a change, then there must be a conscious effect on our part to alter our state, so as to give the neurological system a different thing to propound about and hence store for future purposes. And most times, we usually react out of emotions instead of logic. I have often had to change my state, especially emotionally and mentally to be able to relate positively to both people and unpleasant situations. I remember having to write an examination on a particular day that I was having some health challenges. I had to bring myself to a mentally healthy state, believed that I would be able to write the exams well, imagined the exams I had written in a healthy body condition, in fact I projected myself back to an exam I wrote wonderfully well and a course I really enjoyed. In that state, I really did not even notice I was ill, until I had finished writing the examination. Same thing had happened to me, when I had to attend a friend’s wedding in a very faraway place from where I stayed. It would have taken me nothing less than 12 hours to get to his place, and the journey would have been hellish. But I pulled myself out of an unhealthy state, to a state whereby I enjoyed a social activity, like moments of playing basketball, and the journey was bearable, and to my delight I felt better during and after the wedding. I had time to have quality moments with some of my colleagues in my previous school.

vii. They can because they think they can: No man has ever grown or achieved more than he ever thought he could.

Quoting former United States President Barack Obama, “Yes I can” is one of the most powerful statements an individual would ever make in his or her lifetime. “I can” actually opens the entire neurological pathway for possibilities that are endless. Only if we understand that we are unlimited-infinite-beings, then the squabble for crumbs and endless quest for wealth, positions and fame would cease, thereby putting an end to the constant crisis ravaging the world. So long as there is a will, there must be a way. I have had remarkable breakthroughs in some areas of my life, and that was solely because I thought I could. I have organized successful events, seminars and workshops. I have given talks, hosted social functions and also supported projects that turned out successful. All these were possible because I believed it could be achieved.

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

The lessons and ideas learnt will help me both in my daily personal life and in helping to create a better world. From the book, I have been able to derive more inspiration, insight and boost from some of the stories of the characters. The author has been able to help crystallize and explain some of the reasons and concepts that I normally employ however, without knowing that they are concepts and mechanisms that have been studied, proven to be true and reliable and can be called up at will in order to achieve excellence as often as I desire. It will also help me to explain or relate such science to people I encounter on a daily basis, with ample examples and experiences to further buttress my points. This will go a long way in effecting the changes I desire in the lives of those within my immediate environment or circle of influence.

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 every disciplined effort, there is a multiple reward.”

I have been able to pattern my lifestyle to a certain degree of attached discipline that the results have been tremendous. While others could be having a time of their lives in quotes from partying and extravagance, I would be in close doors, either practicing graphic designing or studying or be engaged in one creative or mental activity or the other. Most times, I get to hear them complain and request for loans from people or some mischief that befell them during their escapades.

“It’s a funny thing about life, if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.”

I don’t know if it would be called greed, but I know that I really do not settle for less, when I know that the best could still be achieved. It is very evident in almost all aspects of my life. If I know I would be able to get a million, why settle for a hundred thousand? I know that there isn’t a form of lack or limitation in the Universe. Likewise, I also expect the best from the people I interact with, giving them all possible avenues to achieve excellence and the results are usually exciting.

“It is the mind that maketh good or ill, that maketh wretched or happy, rich or poor.”

As stated earlier, as a man thinks, so he is. Everything that happens in life depends on the interpretation we give to it. There is a story about two young men, whose father was a drunk and abused their mother on several occasions. When both of them grew up, one was very responsible, and the other was a replica of the father. When asked what made them, the way they are, both responded “My Father.” I fill my mind with edifying and profitable things. I would not want to waste my time on things of no eternal value or consequence. For out of the abundance of my mind (heart), my mouth will speak; I will take actions and map out my destiny. Even in dire lack, I could work myself into abundance as long as within my heart, I know it is possible. It might be chaotic and tumultuous out there in the world, and within me, if there is peace, I wouldn’t be perturbed.

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

There isn’t anything in the book that I didn’t understand.

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

No, the book did not contain exercise for the reader to do. There were practical examples, life experience for the reader to gauge or measure his/ her life by.

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.

There isn’t anything I would like to comment about.

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

The Law of Attraction
Assessment by Michael Kelechi (Nigeria/UAE)

1. What do you think that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The writer Jack Canfield in his book titled “The Law of Attraction” like most self-empowering books is trying to get across to his readers that the power or ability to alter their lives or chart a course in their lives is totally within their grasp. Whether or not they are aware of it, everything that happened or will happen is as a result of their actions directly or indirectly. In the law of attraction Jack exposes the fact that the human mind (conscious) has the ability to direct the affairs of an individual albeit limitedly, but transcending the conscious mind, is the subconscious mind that has enormous ability to do or perform far more than the conscious mind can. And that through the power of the subconscious mind we can connect with infinite source or wisdom and transform our lives in ways we never could have imagined. It is also his goal to ensure that his readers through the information derived from this book become better versions of themselves.

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 life.

i. Your future is created by the things you do today and not tomorrow:

The ability to be doers, not just hearers have been given to us, right from the day of creation, where God after creating Adam, told him to be fruitful and multiply and have dominion over the birds of the air, fishes in the sea, creeping things on the ground and herb bearing fruit; which he gave as food to man. The above-mentioned statement is very important to me as I daily map out a to-do list and endeavor to achieve them, and if by chance I couldn’t, I would ensure that if they are pressing and urgent, it doesn’t exceed the next day. The future actually is here, right here with us, and what we do at the moment will go a long way in determining how or what our “future or tomorrow” will look like. Herein lays the deceit of procrastination as it robs one both of the present gains and the future joys.

ii. I often refer to worrying as negative goal setting.

You are creating pictures in your mind of what you don’t want: I understand how important it is for me to focus my mind on things I truly want, and not the other way round. It really baffles me to hear how people speak about things that could go wrong in performing a task and not focusing on all the things that could go right and the benefits that would result. Of course, the tendency for things to go south is there, but what if, what if, things don’t go south? I have understood that singular fact, and irrespective of the difficulty of a situation I always place my mind on the optimistic side of things and imagine all the things that could go right during the process, and there is this empowerment I get to accomplish the task at hand.
iii. Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it: Actions are very vital however little or minute they might be, as little drops of water can turn into mighty oceans, likewise a little done today, might result in much tomorrow. Funny how I tend to always come across things that suddenly I decided I wanted. I cite an example, of recent I decided that I wanted to graphics design, and began by taking courses on LinkedIn and Coursera, then suddenly I began coming across videos of graphics on Youtube, started noticing splendid designs on billboards, posters, fliers and banners, even on people’s status updates on Whatsapp and other social media platforms. At the moment I currently want a financial upgrade, knowing that I am a living magnet and can attract anything I want to myself, I have begun to apply all the principles of attracting wealth like giving, being in a grateful state, believing in the infinite abundance of wealth the universe offers.

iv. It’s the feeling that really creates attraction, not just the picture or the thought: I consider myself an emotional individual that can easily tune in and out of states.

Sometimes I might become temperamental and really get quite upset, upon discovering that being in a state of anger attracts more anger to myself, I altered my personality and began dwelling on the positive, happy, productive and cheerful aspect of life and to be truthful, the changes have truly be remarkable on the positive side. I feel things quite easily, maybe that could be the reason why I can really relate with people and catch their vibes whether good or bad. Hopefully I intend to use it to my full advantage in attracting the life of my dream and all associated goals.

v. Gratitude is the single most important ingredient to living a successful and fulfilled life: I discovered the importance of gratitude at a very tender age in my life. I know firsthand the magic that being grateful can perform. Even though sometimes expecting too much might want to rob me of the satisfaction obtained in offering appreciation for services rendered to me. I have come to discover that the truly happy and fulfilled people on earth are those that are always grateful for everything that happens to them. Whether there is money or not, food or not, raining or sunny, or even if there are unfavorable government policies or economic meltdowns. Being optimistic and grateful easily give them ways to overcome such challenges.

vi. There are essentially 2 things that will make you wise.

The books you read and the people you meet: The Bible encourages us to seek for wisdom or be in the company of wise people, because wisdom is profitable. I consider myself a voracious reader and truly I have been able to acquire knowledge and gain understanding that have transformed my life positively. And it is my wish to also impart the same to those I come in contact with. When I was serving as the president of the Kennel Club of Rivers, though currently a BOT of the said club, I met people that played vital roles, and still play important roles in my life. The International Institute for Global Leadership is another avenue that has introduced very influential people and situations into my life. The books read, meetings held, have been quite transformational.

vii. It is a universal principle that you get more of what you think about, talk about, and feel strongly about: Words are as powerful as actions, sometimes even more potent.

I know the importance of what I allow to penetrate into my mind, what I preoccupy myself with, because definitely they will manifest, especially if there are strong emotional attachments to such thoughts. That being the case, I want positive and productive things in my life, hence I occupy my mind with things that edify and encourage and not the other way round. Once I set my mind on a positive goal, consider all the variables and believe I am equal to the task, I go all out to achieve it, dwelling already on the positive results I will get, even before the goal has been actualized.

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

(a) “You are not given a dream unless you have the capacity to fulfill it”: This particular quote is very encouraging and important, because sometimes I have come across very stiff obstacles while striving to achieve or fulfill a dream or dreams as the case maybe or even a responsibility. Even though the strength is there, discouragement could easily set in after several bouts of failure, but knowing this truth will not only help me to push on, but will encourage those that I come across in my immediate society. In fact I am already on a different level of understanding because of the above stated quote.
(b) Decide what it is you want, write it down, review it constantly, and each day do something that moves you towards those goals: It is a normal routine for me to itemize what I intend to achieve for the day. Even before waking up, I would have played out how I envisioned my day to be the previous night. Aside from the fact that writing it down helps memory retention, it also helps to give the goals form, shape and function, and enables me to know when such goals have been achieved. Goals that have been written down dispel all opportunities for laziness and mediocrity. It instills discipline and perseverance.

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.

Yes, there were statements that the author made that particularly got my attention. Some of them are quoted below with comments as to why they are important to me.

“You are what you think about all day long: As a man thinks, so he is. Our thoughts, just like our words and actions are very important.”

As an individual I am very particular with the kinds of situations I expose myself to the kind of friends I keep, places I visit, conversations I engage in or even the words that proceed out of my mouth. It is my goal to be an inspiration to people around me. I would not want to paint a grim picture for them, rather they should find strength and succor when they interact with me. I consume good and inspirational literature, think of things that edify and perform actions that are worthy of emulation.

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”

There is something that happens in the cosmos immediately an individual makes a decision, whether positive or negative. Forces and powers move into action to help fulfill such decisions. A man can change the course of his life, by a singular action or decision he takes. It has been a lifelong decision of mine to affect my generation positively, either through the medical field or through motivational outreaches by conducting seminars, workshops and symposia. I have seen the effects of such a decision and the caliber of people that have come my way, but I still want more to happen so that I could fulfill my dreams to the fullest.

“If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten.”

Change is the only constant thing in life. What was the reigning thing or trending thing some years ago, might not be some years after. What worked yesterday, might not the day after. Personally I am on the growth and self-development stage of life, and when I try a procedure and it does not give me the required results, I change and try something else; I keep trying other options until I get a satisfactory answer. During the time I was actively into breeding of dogs, I normally take time to search for a stud to mate with my bitches, if after whelping the desired features do not manifest, during the next heat period, I use another stud, I keep matching until the progeny I want is manifested.

“The biggest adventure you will ever take is to live the life of your dreams.”

The cemetery they say is the richest library, because so many people have died with some many unfulfilled dreams or goals, for whatever might have been the reasons why they couldn’t bring their dreams to fruition. Sometimes it seems as if my goals are overwhelming, but then where is the thrill if they could be easily achieved? Where will the growth and development stem from, if they are easily gotten on a platter of gold? Life is supposed to be an adventure, though the difficulties of life have sniffled the joys of living out of some, but I have decided that I will do all within my power to live a fulfilled and adventurous life, if I don’t achieve it, my progenies will because I will make sure I lay the foundation for them to build upon. I want to be remembered as someone that lived for the service of others.

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

There isn’t anything in the book that I didn’t understand.

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

Yes, the book contained exercises and they were quite helpful.

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.

There isn’t anything I would like to comment about.

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1–10. 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

The Monk who Sold his Ferrari
Assessment by Michael Kelechi (Nigeria)

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

I think the main idea that the writer is trying to convey in the book entitled “The Monk who said His Ferrari”, is that man has the power to decide the type or nature of life that he wants to live. A man already has been bestowed with the power of intellect, self-will, and a conscience to know what is right from wrong. With constant effort or training, whatever type of life an individual wants to live or lead is within his or her grasp. In the story about Julian Mantle, the writer made his reader understand that though the hotshot lawyer was having a ball in the public view – he was dying within – he had lost the true joy of living, and unfortunately, it was a heart attack that made him to take the path of self-discovery and to find true fulfillment that he had always desired to have. And Julian’s transformation was quite obvious for all to see it was not just physically but spiritually as well.

2. What were the seven ideas which were personally 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. I realized that my mission is to serve others and somehow contribute to making this world a better place: At a point in time in one’s life, a kind of revelation or awareness or re-awakening will tend to happen to an individual and after that, one becomes a transform or a renewed being.

There will be lifestyle changes, peers, associations, and motives too. The above-stated sentence is quite true to the letter, as I also experienced this particular type of change. It first occurred while I was studying the scriptures and came across a quote “Christ loved us while we were yet sinners, and gave His life for us.” That particular phrase hit me hard like a tornado and I had to surrender my life to God and change from my old habits, ways, friends, and desires. I also realized that in the vineyard of God, one gets saved, so as to save others. It could be looked at as a means of offering services to humanity. In preaching the gospel of peace, offering humanitarian services like charity, and orphanages, and also hosting awareness creation or sensitization programs. I remember while in service in Offa, Kwara State, how I and a Redcross Crescent representative in Nigeria, had to move from stall to stall after a fire incident in Offa Main Market to ascertain the level of damages encountered, made a formal report, and presented it to the King of that locality. I was also involved with a team that did a community awareness program on the importance of the usage of mosquito-treated nets to forestall the spread of malaria.

ii. Every event has a purpose and every setback its lesson. I have realized that failure, whether of the personal, professional, or even spiritual kind, is essential to personal expansion. It brings inner growth and a whole host of psychic rewards. Never regret your past. Rather, embrace it as the teacher that it is: Truthfully speaking, I have encountered several series of failures, setbacks, and disappointments and they taught me quite some lessons.

It used to be quite painful and bitter, until I began to understand that, everything I will encounter or have encountered has a lesson to teach me. I embraced the situations, learned the lessons therein, and became for much more enlightened and better individual. It got to the stage where I began serving as a means of encouragement and support to others in such situations. I have this friend, 2 friends actually, sisters that are twins. I got wind of words that their mother who I also consider a very close friend too had a ghastly accident and after some days, unfortunately, passed away. It was heart-rending because I had even promised my friend I would come over to the house to see her mum. The day I went there, a day after her mother’s death, both of them, herself and her sister, were disheveled/ disarray. Words couldn’t really do much then, because they had to grieve. I stayed with them for a while, offering some words of consolation. It was when I notified her that I was leaving that she realized I was even there. I kept in touch with them and encouraged them until from my judgment, they were able to resume their normal lives.

iii. I live life to the fullest, you must stand guard at the gate of your garden and let only the very best information enter: The Bible actually states that we should guard our hearts/minds (our garden) with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life.

What one takes in information-wise is very vital and foundational, because it could either mar or make an individual. Information rules the world, unfortunately, people are using it in the negative to cause havoc on either their own lives or those of others. As the writer stated, one should be very careful not to allow the garden to overrun or get contaminated with weeds. I am very careful with the kind of information I consume because it becomes very difficult to “unsee” or even “unhear” bad or harmful information unless one has been sensitized adequately already. While I was an undergraduate, there were people I didn’t associate with, places I never went to, or things I never did, because I was very conscious of my goals and ambitions or focus. To date, there are some invitations I do not honor for the sanctity and sanity of my soul.

iv. The moment you concentrate the focus of your mind on a singular purpose, extraordinary gifts will appear within your life: About a week exactly from today, I went out for a mission outreach alongside some of my church members in a different town from where we are resident.

The journey was quite tedious due to the deplorable road network. On getting to the town we had to do some spiritual exercises like singing and praying before we went out to minister to the natives of that town. After our outreach, we embarked on our journey back home. At a point in the journey, the drivers conveying us stopped us and requested that we top up an additional amount because of the distance. He kept us parked along the road for almost close to an hour. We were already running late, I was tired and developing aches in my head and some parts of my body. After the misunderstanding was resolved, we began the journey and I ended up getting home late. The next day was a Sunday, and I was to prepare a message. My head was aching and my body was sore, but still, I needed to prepare something for the congregant. I made up my mind that whatever the state of my body, I would ensure I wrote something before it becomes dawn. I ate, set my alarm, and slept. I woke up, earlier than the alarm, but still with an aching head and some soreness, but I got my Bible and prepared a message before dawn. At dawn, I felt I should continue to sleep because the inconveniences were much, but I mustered courage and went to church to deliver the message and was able to do a very good job of it, and while in the process, I got the miracle of healing. As I discovered that the aches in the head were gone.

v. Be patient and live with the knowledge that all you are searching for is certain to come if you prepare for it and expect it: Patience has never really been one of my best virtues, because most times, I believe once all research has been made and your mind is set on the line of action to take, you should get almost instant results after execution.

Sadly, I have come to discover that life doesn’t really work that way most of the time. That patience must be cultivated by me, I must allow the work of patience to be done in my life. And that singular knowledge has lifted a huge burden from my shoulder. The quest for seeing life as a race has ended. I have come to understand that I have my part to play and I am not in any competition with anyone. I am uniquely me and gifted with unique and varied talents from anyone else. If I have done my part, I need to apply patience and believe that it will come into manifestation. Currently, there are a lot of things that I am patiently, yes patiently waiting for to come to fulfillment in my life. In spite of the delays, I believe that at the right time, I will get them.

vi. One must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind him to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and a mystery: I have actually experienced quite a lot of things, expected quite a lot of things, and also changed quite a lot of things.

Due to all the above mentioned, I have come to understand that there is a time and a season for everything upon the surface of the earth. I can’t really change what isn’t in my power. I can’t make the rain fall when I want or stop it when I anticipate, but rather I could condition myself to enjoy the rain even if it stops me from going out to attend to a business function. I have learned to appreciate that life is a miracle. I have learned to enjoy all the spices and varieties of the shades of life that I encounter. More important is the fact that I allow myself to enjoy the process and learn the lessons along the way than be overly concerned about the result. Even if I didn’t meet a proposed target or goal, time is supposed to be my servant – work for me – not the other way round. I can also re-adjust or reset the time frame.

vii. He who serves the most, reaps the most, emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. This is the way to inner peace and outer fulfillment: The greatest people on earth or that ever lived, had been those that gave their all for mankind, that served humanity with their best, talents, times, money, strength, intellect, and passion, the list is almost endless.

The more one gives in service to others, the more satisfaction and fulfillment one gets. I have experienced a great amount of joy and fulfillment after ministering to people, though I might have been exhausted after the whole process, knowing that I am offering services and imparting meaning to the lives of people is enough reward. Also, the testimonies afterward are encouraging. There is this joyful feeling I derive after offering help to others, whether it be monetary wise, wisdom wise, services, etc., there is peace and fulfillment that resonates within me.

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

These ideas and lessons will help me in a practical way both in my daily personal life and in helping me create a better world:

The boundaries of your life are merely creations of the self: As a man thinks so he is. There is no limit except the limit I place on myself. So long as I can conceive it, it is also possible for me to achieve it, even though it might take some time before it comes to fulfillment. With this in mind, I embark on responsibilities or assignments or duties as if there is no limit to what I can do. Even if I presume that I have done my best, I could still do more if I put my mind to it. With this awareness, it becomes possible to push me beyond my comfort zone. This will go a long way in making both myself and the society I find myself better and more profitable.

Persistence is the mother of personal change: Nothing good really comes that easily. Sometimes one needs to go the extra mile, to do the extra that will turn the ordinary into the “extraordinary”. I have encountered people who, despite the fact that you want the best for them, they still do not want to change for the better. In such situations, I try as much as I can to persist, bear with them, and in spite of their misconception about my motives love them and believe that they will change. Society is filled with people that have written themselves off as misfits or no good, with this awareness, I hope to persevere whenever I come in contact with such persons, even though it might be difficult to win them over.

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

“It is only when you have mastered the art of loving yourself that you can truly love others. It’s only when you have opened your own heart that you can touch the hearts of others. When you feel centered and alive, you are in a much better position to be a better person: Love covers a multitude of hurts and sins, says the Bible. In fact, God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him, should not perish but have eternal life. Even in my household, sometimes I could behave in ways that might either hurt my siblings or parents, and under normal circumstances, it should attract a reprimand or revenge, but knowing that the same blood flow through our veins, they would have to let it go. The same happens if I am offended by them. There was a particular time that money was urgently needed to carry out a task at home, and I had some, even though I needed to attend to some urgent needs of mine, I had to sacrifice it for my younger sibling because he’s was more time-sensitive than mine. I can also remember when I had appendicitis surgery, and how my mother wouldn’t leave my side, even to attend to some vital matters of hers. Others came and left, but she was steadfast. She stayed, ever ready to attend to all my requests.

“Real generosity toward the future consists in giving all to what is present.”

I have always been one to give my best shot at whatever thing I engage in. I might not be the best, but I ensure my best is all I have given so that I could look back and say yes, I don’t have any regrets about the outcome. I have attended occasions and anchored events and organized seminars and told to represent people of different occasions, and I have also served as speakers in gathers, and what I normally do, is to ensure that I am usually spent before leaving such functions. And I have received positive remarks and recommendations from people that I have interacted with. I normally focus my attention to the present, believing that with my all, being given to the present, I am securing a better and brighter future, both for myself and the world at large.

“Your I can is more important than your I.Q: Even though the world rewards and honors people with great I.Q.which is a very sensible thing, unfortunately, it has created a huge divide amongst people.”

We are all created with different gifts and ability. Some people are better at some things than others, even though unfortunately people might not classify them as important even. Take, for instance, an accident that occurred, and most people passed by, but a sympathetic individual will go to the scene, analyze the situation, and take the victim to the hospital for adequate treatment. That individual might not even be the most fluent or intelligent person around, but he had done something quite phenomenal, saved a life. I resonate very well with the above quote. Believing in myself and showing up for my responsibility, even if intelligent quotient-wise, I might not be qualified enough has saved and done a great amount of good. Sometimes, what really matters is just showing up. There have been situations whereby people were experiencing heartaches and difficult times due to a loss or hurt, by visiting them and listening to them, has healed them better than dumping intelligent instructions or advice on them. Most times, grieving people just need a listening ear.

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

No, there was nothing in the book that I found difficult. As a matter of fact, it was an easy and enjoyable read.

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

Yes, the book contained exercises for the reader to complete. Though I didn’t do all of them. As some required things, I could not lay my hands on them immediately. Also, meditating for long was a challenge.

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.

There is nothing I would like to comment on that was not covered in the previous questions.

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

Change your Thinking, Change your Life
Assessment by Michael Kelechi (Nigeria)

1. What do you think that the author is trying to convey in the book?

Answer: Quoting the author “This means that as you see yourself and think about yourself in your conscious mind, your perception of outer world changes and conforms to fit a picture consistent with it.” I think the author Brian Tracy is trying to change his readers by basically changing their pattern or thoughts or perception. His main idea is really throwing bright lights on how important it is for a man or woman to monitor or checkmate the kind of thoughts he or she makes part and parcel of himself or herself. Of a truth the power of an individual’s thought cannot be overemphasized, because as a man thinks, so he is, and if he focuses on such thoughts for so long a time with a strong emotion, those thoughts manifest as his realities. And the universal will always conspire to ensure that one’s realities manifest. He further stated that if a man wants to become anything in life, he should first of all identify if there are people that have been able to achieve whatever it is he so desires; then he should copy what those people did to become successful, that if he replicates their methods, then he would obtain their results.

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 life.

i. As the result of destructive criticism in childhood, we hold ourselves back as adults.

If only people could really x-ray or filter the thoughts that go through their brains and also the words that come out their mouths, a lot of verbal assaults and devastation; emotionally and psychological would be avoided, enabling people to live functional and productive lives. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case, the world is filled with toxic people that dump their wastes on others without the slightest bother or caution. This is very obvious in the lives of adults that exhibit sociopathic behaviors due to their tragic or traumatic childhood. I work with the youths and young adults, and my resolve is to serve as a motivation to them and not a demolisher especially with the use of words. What one hears constantly, one tends to believe. Recently I had a seminar with some youths in my local congregation and after following the program for some time, their feedback gave me a brighter understanding about their mind state, and I took out time to ensure that they believed in themselves, nurture and realize their dreams, however huge and great it maybe.

ii. You overcome your fears only by doing the thing you fear until the fear has no more control over you.

I remember then how I used to have butterflies in my belly; not good ones whenever I have to make a public appearance or presentation. It used to sometimes shut down my entire system. It used to be a serious fear for me then, but the funny thing was that, I always love being in a gathering. Seeing there was no way, I could achieve my goal of creating an impact in the world by being timid and afraid, I had to take the bull by the horn, the day I had a flash. Since then it didn’t matter if I failed or not, I just kept showing up and doing those things that were required of me. Fear of public speaking or social gathering are so foreign to me now, that I wonder why I was so trapped in those days.

iii. Refuse to say anything about yourself that you do not sincerely desire to be true.

Words are powerful, especially words spoken by oneself. I have come to the realization that what you say about yourself matters a lot, as you are your own prophet and also people might take your words seriously. It would be tragic to give a false notion about yourself to others. I learnt the implications of saying what I truly meant and also keeping to my words, even if it might be inconveniencing at times. I so much believe in the power of positive thinking and confession. I refuse to dwell on things that I don’t want to manifest in my life, let alone say them. I find it very disturbing when people carelessly utter words they intend not to keep. People lose trust, friendships, relationships and even great opportunities because they lacked integrity.

iv. The elimination of negative emotions is the most important single step you can take toward health, happiness, and personal well- being.

Negative emotions as well as negative thoughts are like cancer cells that keep snowballing until they dominate and drive one’s life to a wrong destination. The impact of negative thoughts are too enormous, and unfortunately, the subconscious mind, cannot distinguish between a positive emotion and a negative one, it goes ahead and fulfills the wishes of the individual. I have experienced firsthand, the devastating effects of negative emotions; how it had wreaked havoc on people that I have interacted with. They kept nursing it, holding onto a grudge, a hurt and a pain, and the boomerang on them was obvious in the quality of their health and their relationship life. It is also a constant battle I engage in, for such emotions will also creep up, after being hurt or offended by people I trusted. Things will happen, my interpretation to such events is what really matters.

v. Your mind can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

Your thoughts alone have the power to make you healthy or sick, rich or poor, popular or unpopular: My mind, one of my most treasured possessions. I know what would happen to me, if I left it unguarded, hence I surround myself with things and people that are uplifting. I engage in mind uplifting activities like fellowshipping, praying and other spiritual exercises. I don’t fail on a regular basis to read and engage my mind with academic exercises, as I discover I easily get bothered and agitated, when I become ideal. Hardly a month passes without me reading a book. Reading has become my second nature.

vi. The acceptance of personal responsibility for your life is the giant step from childhood to maturity.
From the moment I realized that if I wanted something done, I had to do it myself; I began to be responsible for everything I got myself involved with. As a matter of fact, the quality of my life has tremendously improved and I have also encountered a greater level of growth mentally and psychological. I see failure as another opportunity to try better. I have learned to stop blaming people for things that happened to me, even if they were the faults of other. I try to learn the lessons why such things happened and make adequate preparations to avoid future occurrences.

vii. The fact is that everything you ever achieve you are going to have to do yourself.

My life is mine for the taking and making. My future lies solely in my hands, not that of other people around me. They could offer help or suggestions or ideas, but at the end of the day, I will be the one responsible for all my actions; whether good or could have been better. For instance If I want to leave the bed every morning, I need to do so myself, even if my family members do, they will get tired after sometime. There are ways I want my life to pattern out, and truly the efforts required for it to take shape, must be done by me.

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

Most people do not understand the nature of problems. Problems are a normal and necessary part of life: Seeing problems shouldn’t be shied away from, but embraced, I have begun readjusting my perception and point of view about difficult circumstances or situations that I encounter. Problems are what spice up life. Problems help to bring out the ingenuity and the resilience in me, even though most times, they are hard, but they always come with a surprise package. Who knows I might become a point of reference and a beckon of hope for future generations as I currently see others as models.

Most people are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be: Happiness really is a choice. One can truly or choose to be in any state of mind he or she decides. The good thing is that, if one had been pessimistic and sad, it only takes a decision and a conscious effort to flip the coin to the passionate and positive side. I do my best to stay upbeat and lively, even if I might be passing through the valley of the shadow of death. I encountered a serious mishap that truncated my carefully sculpted plan. I was disappointed sorely by a trusted friend. For some time I was thrown into a depressed state, which caused some physical illness to manifest in my life. Though I had already pulled myself out of the pit depression some weeks after the event, but it was a conscious decision that I took. The pain and hurt is still there, but I chose not to dwell on them. I choose to be happy and still go ahead to live a fulfilled life by revising my plans, learning from the event, and I also taking responsibility about what happened between myself and my close friend.

Make no useless acquaintances: Show me your friends, and I will tell you who you are. Well, I have been one that is very careful with the kind of people I put up with or develop relationships or friendship with. If I get treated badly by any, I try not to dwell long on it, learn from the situation and move on. Acquaintances have a direct relationship on both the quality of my life and the quantity of my life. They can go a long way to help me enjoy a better standard of living by the benefits or information I get from them especially in areas of my spiritual, physical, academic and financial life.

Your whole world will begin to correspond, on the outside, with the wonderful goals and pictures that you are creating on the inside: Pictures are wonderful, they capture lasting moments. They even take up magically dimensions, if they are mental pictures of one’s dreams as they could be changed, revised and manipulated as much as one desires. In fact I see the world with the eye of confidence and greatness. I am not saying there aren’t challenges and disappointments that I encounter, but still my mental images about life are still bright and beautiful, I know with time, positive confession and dedication, my inner world would manifest outwardly.

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.

“If you want to be successful faster, you must double your rate of failure. Success lies on the far side of failure.”

I have discovered personally that failure won’t kill me, though it could be discouraging and demeaning, but then again, if I look at it the other way round, there are lessons and qualities that such situations would equip me with. I would be offered another opportunity to try better than my first attempt. And if I should be fair when considering the successes of others; beneath there were several failed attempts before they emerged victoriously.

“Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become.”

Your vision is the promise of you shall at last unveil: The only thing that I have and that can’t be taken away from me, are my dreams. They take me to worlds unimaginable. Sometimes my dreams even seem to be enormous, but they again it is better to dream big, than to be a mediocre, if I aim for the stars and miss, I might land in the moon.

There is a saying in Texas that goes, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

I love this quote, aside the fact that I am very familiar with dogs, and know the tenacity especially of breeds such as pit bulls and other terriers, size really doesn’t matter, what matters is the passion in the heart. One’s desires are what will really take one to greater heights and bring better opportunities. I have also noticed that the bigger or greater the intensity in my heart to achieve something, the faster and more resilient I stay until I am able to get those things done. I am still a work in progress as I really need to upgrade and transform my life from what it is, to what it should be.

“You will be in five years what you are today except for the books you read and the people you meet.”

At this stage of my life, I can’t be separated from my books, hardly a week goes by without my eyes seeing the pages of a book or even reading several. I get teleported to worlds of possibilities, I see things in my mind’s eyes, get inspired and transformed from the information and ideas I fetch out from such treasure stores.

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?

There isn’t anything in the book that I didn’t understand.

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

Yes the book contained exercises for the readers to do, which were quite interesting and insightful.

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.

There isn’t anything I would like to comment about.

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1 – 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

The 5 Second Rule
Assessment by Michael Kelechi (Nigeria)

1. What do you think that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The main idea I think the writer Mel Robbins is trying to pass across in her book “The 5 SecondRule,” is that once we have a nudge, an intuitive, push, or a strong conviction to do something or go about pursuing a dream or a passion or even an adventure we should go ahead and do it. If we keep waiting for the perfect time, moment, situation, or that special feeling that convinces us that the right moment is here, we will definitely never get anything done or achieved, for the perfect time or feeling will never come. So long as that desire is there and backed with conviction, we should go ahead and do it, it doesn’t even matter if we get exactly what we anticipated or the perfect result, but the singular fact that we made the move to get it done, we empower ourselves with unimaginable strength and conviction that prepare us for greater and bigger tasks or responsibilities ahead, even if what we ended up achieving is as simple as saying “hello” to an old classmate passing by our neighborhood, waking up earlier than usual, sending a mail that we scheduled to do, taking out the trash when we agreed to do so and a lot of other things we consider little or routine. So long as we break out of that tendency to push it to another time or allow our brain to convince us otherwise, we empower ourselves and develop higher self-esteem or confidence to be able to achieve even more difficult and demanding challenges.

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 life.

i. If you are searching for that one person who will change your life, then look in the mirror.

Change begins from within, and change must first start with that individual that desires to change; either himself or the world. Having understood that I have no other person to help me achieve what I want in life, I have developed that mindset to always achieve what I want by myself. I don’t usually put my trust 100% in others. I might delegate or commit some smaller responsibilities to others, but the bulk of the load will most definitely be carried by me. It becomes much easier to change my world or immediate surroundings after have achieved the change I so much desire. It will go a long way, as I won’t be discouraged when human nature begins to play out on those I intend to cause a change in their lives or situations.

ii. It’s not the big moves that define our lives; it’s the smaller ones.

Great things have little beginnings. Little drops of water they say, could cause a mighty ocean. There is always a first time for everything, I remember how I became the pioneer president of Kennel Club of Rivers. I was reaching out to the prospective members of the club, calling them, inquiring about their well-being, and also convincing them of a need to form a body, so as to get across better to the required governmental organizations or donor groups; and to also get the club properly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria. These little things created a great impact in the hearts of the members so that when we eventually had our first physical meeting, I was elected the first president without opposition and took the club to such enviable heights that we became a household name in the state after hosting three successful state dog events.

iii. Change your decisions and you’ll change your life.

“As a man thinks, so he is.” Having come to a certain level of awareness/ knowledge in my life, my actions and decisions also have changed. What used to easily set me on fire, no longer has any hold on me anymore. What people would do or say that would make me spiral into an angry emotion, no longer do so to me, because of my level of responsibilities now and awareness. I see that my actions and decisions are critical and carry much larger weight and consequences now, so I ensure I filter and checkmate my actions or decisions about anything or everything before I carry them out. I have seen people wreck their lives because of careless decisions by joining bad gangs, groups, or associations. I have observed people also cause tremendous positive changes in their environment because of their decisions to raise above mediocrity and change their lives.

iv. If you have the courage to start, you have the courage to succeed: Sometimes all it takes to succeed is just to show up.

That singular act of showing up especially when it seems all odds are against you; gives you an edge. I remember times when I would be feeling like passing out on an opportunity to perform a function or responsibility due to tiredness or some circumstances that might be beyond my control, just showing up sometimes takes most of the strong or negative emotions I previously had away. Even though I might not be upbeat, I discover that I develop such unexplainable might or ability to function as if nothing had been wrong with me in the first place.

v. Whether you think you can or can’t, you are right.

I stopped thinking negatively the moment I realized that I am the architect of my destiny and that my thoughts have a direct relationship to my actions. Thinking positively opens doorways and opportunities that sometimes baffle me. I remember embarking on far journeys where I didn’t even know anybody in such places, but due to the fact that I was open-minded and optimistic, I discovered that I was able to enjoy and learn quite a lot of things from the people there and the situations around me. Once I have gathered all the information I need about a task and decide that I would do it, I really believe I can achieve my aim. Even if I do not get it on the first try, I take the second opportunity as a chance to begin again, howbeit, much more intelligently because I would have learned from my previous shortcomings.

vi. You’ll either find a way or you’ll find an excuse.

So long as there is a will, there will always be a way. People have gone ahead to achieve great feats in spite of the odds against them. If they did, then I too can, irrespective of my circumstances. It is quite usual for people to always want to choose the path of least resistance, and settle for less. Since I have desired to live above the average or mediocrity, I don’t settle for less, I put all my effort into whatever venture or endeavor I engage myself in. And I don’t ever think I would not be able to achieve my aim by making excuses and leaving the task half done. I consider all the situations and accept the blame if I fail. Having come to that realization, I see nothing else, but to ensure I find a way, irrespective of the odds, even if it might take time, I still do my best to get what I intend to.

vii. Master your mind and anything is possible.

I have seen people do things that could be termed miraculous or extraordinary because they have been able to master their minds or have total control over their minds so that situations or circumstances around them had no significant influence over them. Take Mahatma Gandhi for instance, how he achieved freedom for his people using passive resistance or silence. How people have been able to cross the Pacific, climb Everest, and conquer the skies because they convince their minds. I discovered that in life nothing, absolutely nothing is impossible, so long as I am able to conceive and comprehend an idea properly, achieving it, will only take a matter of time. I am still working on being a better master of my mind because sometimes, I still see myself faltering or falling short of my expectations, but to a greater extent, I am a better controller of my mind now, than I was some years again. I could be in a room full of chaos or noise and decide to be quiet and nothing would make me change my resolution.

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

You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think: I have learned that so long as I don’t give in to fear or allow my mind to get a better part of me- by filling it with positive thoughts and being courageous – I could achieve great feats, even feats that would blow my minds off. My best normally expresses itself when I am in a difficult situation or a tight corner. I remember my last review, which I had to turn in on the day of the month. I initially had the intention of finishing and submitting it before the end of the month, but something came up, and I only got my gadget back a day before the month ended, and there wasn’t even a power supply which made it even more tasking, but I told myself, come shine or rain, I must turn in my review before the month ended. And I ended up turning it in, even though I had to push beyond my limit, which, though I knew I could, but was always hesitant to.

I have learned over the years, that when one’s mind is made, this diminishes the fear; knowing what must be done does away with the fear: Courage doesn’t really mean an absence of fear, but taking an action in spite of a fearful state. I used to be paralyzed by fear; fear of failure, mistakes, the unknown, and what have you. But I realized that if I allow fear to dominate or rule my life, then I would be doomed. I ensure I do my bit when I have to perform a function; do my research, prepare adequately and then go ahead and have fun, in spite of that nagging feeling inside.

There will always be someone who can’t see your worth. Don’t let it be you: Knowing that I can never please everyone or that not everyone would be in love with me or my idea or vision has removed a lot of burden on my shoulders. Whether it is my fault or not is immaterial, some people will always allow their human nature to get a better part of them. I ensure I don’t offend God and don’t infringe on another person’s right, and once that part is settled, I go ahead to do my thing. I don’t believe in mediocrity or see myself as a joker. I am my best cheerleader and greatest supporter and believer. I so much believe in myself and my goals and desires.

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

“Courage is found in unlikely places.”

I remember a day I was called out to answer a question in a gathering of several categories of students, during my secondary school days. Granted I had just become self-conscious and everything was amplified, and that particular day was no exception. I remember the amount of anxiety I felt, but because it was a friend of mine that invited me up the stage to answer the question, I had to pull myself together and honor his invitation. Funnily enough the question he asked I didn’t even know it, but still went up the stage. I can’t really remember what I said, but I know I was applauded by the time I was stepping off the stage.

“Leave nothing important unsaid.”

I value friendship and relationships a lot, and hence try as much as I can, not to offend or annoy anyone, which sometimes would want me to leave out hurtful truths, especially if I was wronged by such people or friends. These most times have left me incomplete or unfulfilled. Though I am not someone that is shy or afraid, I try to be empathic and consider other people. Words are powerful; and quite powerful at that, so when interacting with people or making a speech I ensure I exhaust myself, my ability so that at the end of the day, I don’t feel like I left some important things out. I have learned to express my emotions, feelings, and thoughts to people, especially those I love because one really doesn’t know what tomorrow holds. I might not be fortunate to see that person(s) anymore. I just remembered some friends now, how I wished I had spent more quality time with them. Even though, then we were very young, too young to know that life has a lot of intricacies. But it would still have been awesome to have spoken for longer hours, said nicer things, and enjoyed more wonderful moments together.

“If you are going to doubt something, doubt your limits.”

Unlike other substances or materials, humans have no limit, unless the limit they impose on themselves. This revelation is shocking. Fear keeps a lot of people in bondage; they can’t pursue their dreams, live outside their comfort zone, or even experience some adventures in their lives. Not me, even though I am not enjoying the state I intend to be in now, it doesn’t stop me from dreaming big, travelling into the future to enjoy such wonderful moments, and allowing such emotions/ feelings to drive me on. I have known better now than to place any limit on my abilities, I have impressed myself severally to know that there are still depths I have not gotten to and heights I am yet to experience, so all my options are wide open and valid.

“Knowing what you need to do to improve your life takes wisdom. Pushing yourself to do it takes courage.”

With courage, one can achieve almost anything and everything. Setting goals and aims isn’t difficult, the difficult part is following through with the procedures to accomplish those set-out goals or targets. On a daily basis, I keep working on expanding my horizon by taking up challenging responsibilities or venturing into areas that are totally unfamiliar to me. Volunteering and going the extra mile, which might not be so easy for me. In fact, some days or times, it would have been better to just unsay, or undo my promises, but each time; each moment, I courageously forge ahead irrespective of the oddities. The #5SecondRule has shown me that people in spite of their struggles and uncertainties still find the courage to go ahead and pursue their dreams.

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?

There isn’t anything in the book that I didn’t understand.

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

Yes the book contained exercises for the readers to do, which were quite interesting and insightful, but difficult and rewarding at the end.

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.

There isn’t anything I would like to comment about.

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? 9
B. How helpful were the contents? 9
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? 9.5

Great Leaders ask Good Questions
Assessment by Michael Kelechi (Nigeria)

1. What do you think that the author is trying to convey in the book?

In the book, “Great Leaders ask Good Questions” by John Maxwell, the author being a leader that has trained several leaders and still does, did a very remarkable job of exposing the many questions that one would encounter or be asked as a leader or as an aspiring leader, and which one needs to know about. The author is trying to push across the fact that a leader should continue to learn so as to stay ahead of his followers and also in order to maintain his lead, trust amongst his followers and also to take his organization to a greater heights. There were quite a lot of take home points in the book as the author made some very convincing arguments on why some leaders fail to meet their mark; some after a while become redundant or stagnant and also why some continue to excel irrespective of the hurdles or challenges they encounter.

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 life.

i. One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears

It is stated that the best people to talk to are those that just listen during a conversation, without prejudice or interruptions. I actually learnt a great lesson while reading the book, not that the concept was totally foreign to me, matter of factly, I have come across it on several occasions, but it was impressed seriously on me by the author, that if you really want to get across to the people you are leading, wherever you find yourself, you must really, I mean really give them your ears (listen to them), understand things from their line of thoughts, from there, you can channel them to your own line of thought. Frankly speaking, I use to assume that being quiet during a conversation simply means you are being rude or high minded, not that I am someone that interrupts, but sometimes I get carried away and would love to contribute and say something at every turn a conversation is taking, but now, I will be more attentive when discussing with people.

ii. Good leaders ask great questions that inspire others to dream more, think more, learn more, do more, and become more

The origin of great inventions or breakthroughs have always resulted from thinkers or innovators that sat down to think about why some things are the way they are and others aren’t. It was from such questions that ideas and thoughts began to take form and crystalize into great things. Questions are quite vital whether in a local or formal setting. The importance of asking questions cannot be overemphasized; how much more great questions. On several occasions, the means I used to get closer or to know more about people, even those I met for the first time were through questions. It might be about what their dreams were? What they enjoyed during their free time? What would they like to change if given the opportunity to rule their country of origin etc.? Questions have always given me a better perspective of things happening around me. I remember those that days I used to ponder about things concerning myself such as why I reacted to things spoken badly against me, why I handled emergency situations the way I did. What would become my faith if I dropped dead the next moment and what I would want my future spouse or life to be like? These questions and many more have helped fashion me to become a better version of myself currently. This retrospection is something I always engage in.

iii. Two of the fastest ways to connect with another person are to ask questions and to ask for help

I have sometimes observed that I got people’s attention quicker when I asked for their help about a problem I was facing. This method achieves two things. First it connects me better to the person(s) and helps me understand how they think things through and secondly, it gets my issue addressed and sometimes winning a friend in the process. Though people aren’t as receptive or cooperative as some years ago, but it is still a good way, if not the one of the fastest ways to connect with another person, even if they might be your junior in an organization or younger in age. There is this acquaintance of mine in a group, though we chatted, but there really wasn’t any strong rapport or connection with us. Some time ago, when I was in dire need, I had to reach out to her because she was a banker, and I needed assistance in resolving a matter. Which on disclosing my situation to her, she promptly took special interest and directed me on how to go about the issue. Along the line, I discovered that we connected better, talked longer and I was able to also understand her on a higher level because she was somehow aligned towards what I was also seeking to solve.

iv. The people around you will either wind you up or wear you down.

Time is very valuable and that is why it is sometimes traded for money. Unfortunately it is a resource that when lost can never be gotten again. Hence the importance attached in making valuable usage of it. As long as we exist we must interact with people, which would require our attention, most of the time. I learnt at a very early stage of my line to be very careful with my time and the people I spend most of it with. Truthfully I value my peace of mind, and I guard my heart with all diligence. People will play a very important aspects in my life, hence my being selective and careful with the kinds of people I associate myself with. If I really want to grow for instance spiritually, I align myself with people of high spiritual affinity and likewise when I need financial emancipation, I also get involved with people of like mindset. This approach has helped me to be focused and goal oriented as being amongst like-minded people keep me focused and motivated.

v. If you are willing to embrace servant hood, not only will you become a better leader, you will help your team, help the people your team serves, and make the world a better place

Currently in my home country, we are passing through some challenging times in almost all sectors of the economy, just name it and the situation or story that would be told about that sector would be terrible. We are canvassing for a servant leader, one with the masses at heart, not just to get into power and later oppress the people for his selfish aims. With the attitude of a servant leader, I know I will go very far in my leadership circle. I am handling or heading a local congregation currently and my approach has been that of a servant, though I was appointed to head the branch. I do all within my power to eliminate any form of high mindedness of superiority over the people I am assigned to cater for. It has helped me to understand the people, have similar and aligned goals and the work has become easier and a little bit enjoyable.

vi. There is no downside to adding value to people

I have realized that the greatest investment that one individual can make is it invest in himself or herself, and then in others. Such investments in people, will have a positive effect in the long run, especially if the investment done on such persons were positive. The world needs more good and dedicated people now more than any other time in history, because a lot of things need to be fixed, and it is people that will do the fixing. I am a strong advocate of improving the quality life of the populace of the world. As a leader, in my own capacity I take my time to impart the youths and young ones around my environment positively by inspiring them to aim higher, be better versions of themselves and imbibe a humble disposition so as to be lifted up in due season.

vii. No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.

Seeing no man can exist alone, community and unity should be highly esteemed in our society. Trouble brews when selfishness and individualist tendencies creep up. Most, if not all of the major things I have achieved have been with the help or in association with other, and I don’t fail to make them understand that the success derived was solely due to a community or united effort. This has always paved ways for me, when next I need their assistance, improved their sense of value or worth and kept their passion or heart in the work. Helping us gain time and performing better.

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

A team is a group of people who may not be equal in experience, talent, or education but in commitment : It has opened my eyes and broadened my mind to the fact that there isn’t a perfect team or group of people, but a collection of imperfect being that strive to achieve perfection through harmony. As stated earlier, I have people I head over, who also need to achieve some feats, and truthfully, their capacities vary, but with this knowledge I won’t break my head over below par performances, but would need to bring myself down to understand the abilities and strong points of such individuals and place them in their strength zones.

“Make every day your masterpiece.” I see every day as a special gift, hence I give out my best in whatever I find myself doing. I am not one that is a pleaser of persons so as to curry favor or promotion, but I give out my best whether in the presence or absence of superiors because I know that I would give account someday, somehow of my stewardship on earth.

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. There are a lot of talk and no action these days. It is quite unfortunate to see how things have deteriorated to the way they currently are in the world. People need a helping hand and also a shoulder to cry on. I very much identify with the plights of those around me, especially those within my immediate environment and I try as much as I can to show them I am interested in their success, that I understand their pains and fears and would want the best for them. This act has helped solidify my relationship positively with some of them.

It is the capacity to develop and improve their skills that distinguishes leaders from followers: If I must continue in my leadership journey I must ensure that I take the process of learning very important, because the day I stop learning, I indirect refute my claim to be an impactful leader. Seeing that the rate that knowledge increases and disseminates now is astronomical, it would be unwise to still be lagging or crawling while others are flying already. It is a personal responsibility of mine to study to always show myself approved and equipped.

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.

“The ability to ask the right question is more than half the battle of finding the answer.”

Questions, and very good questions are usually the hallmark of intelligence, not that great questions aren’t being asked by not so intelligent people, but then again, intelligence could be measured with different parameters. Asking questions put me in a better perspective to understand the topic of discuss or task at hand. The explanation from the questions will go a long way in helping me solve or perform better, than if I had held my tongue.

“Everything rises and falls on leadership.”

Even before coming in contact with the quote in the book, I was already mediating on the fact that everything depends on leadership. Dynasties have risen and fallen due to the types of leaders that reigned. The importance of leadership could be clearly seen in advanced and developed regions that are doing well, in comparison to those that are still grappling with inadequacies of the basic amenities/necessities of life.

“A life isn’t significant except for its impact upon other lives.”

A life well lived, is a life that has impacted that of others. That is why those that made great inventions such as the telephones, motor cars, airplanes, and others will continue to resonate in the hearts of others. It is my personal goal, to live a life that has been able to impact those around me. I wish to leave anyone I come in contact with, better than I met him/her. I haven’t been doing badly in that aspect though, but I would love to achieve greater strides there.

“Humility is not denying your strengths. Humility is being honest about your weaknesses.”

We hardly have humble leaders, these days, as everyone wants to show their superiority or strength over others. I have been working on myself to be an exemplary leader. Not denying my position or ability, yet not robbing it on the faces of those I am superintending over. Though people could easily mistake one’s humility for weakness, but better to be humble and elevated than arrogant and debased later.

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?

There isn’t anything in the book that I didn’t understand.

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

Yes the book contained exercise for the readers to do, which were quite interesting and insightful. Though some of the exercises required highly advanced scenario or required longer duration or experiences in the leadership journey.

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.

Not really, but just to mention that the book was quite relatable as most of the scenarios were practical and the lessons learned will definitely come in handy as an individual will find himself or herself directly either by choice or indirectly by circumstances in leadership positions and must perform or occupy.

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

Full Steam Ahead
Assessment by Michael Kelechi (Nigeria)

1. What do you think that the author is trying to convey in the book?

Ken Blanchard and Jesse Lyn Stoner, like most other motivational speakers and writers, are trying to explain to their readers the importance of vision in attaining or achieving a worthwhile goal or arriving at a targeted destination. Not just any type of vision, but a clear one. While others had written theirs in the traditional prose style of writing, they took it a notch higher by making it dramatic. In one of his books, “The Leadership Pill,” Ken Blanchard employed his dramatic prowess by acting a story. He alongside Jesse Lyn Stone, used the lives of Jim and Ellie, and the others in this book to pass across a remarkable message to their readers.

As stated earlier the authors intend to convey the importance of a vision to their readers, not just the importance of a vision; but how to really set up a vision, even if one has had a vision before and failed to achieve the vision(s). It is their intention to make their readers understand that the lack of a clear vision is a problem because vision is the starting point of all leadership. They would also want their readers to know that, it goes beyond just having a vision, quoting them: “Yet this book is about more than merely creating a compelling vision. It’s also about making sure that your vision is shared, that it comes alive and continues to guide you on a day-by-day basis. Creating a vision statement is not just a one-time activity. As this book shows, visioning is a lifelong journey.”

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 life.

i. The power of a picture works when you focus on what you want to create, not what you want to get rid of.

What we think about most of the time might most times become our reality, especially when we attach a lot of emotion or energy to it. Here I mostly focus on what I really want to actualize or manifest into my reality and hold on to it, for as long as possible, and also attach strong emotions to it, until I achieve my goal. There was a time, I pictured presenting a seminar topic in my undergraduate days. I envisaged the words I would be saying, the gesticulations I would be making, the impact my presentation would have on my audience, and the accolade I would receive after my presentation, while most of my colleagues, were fidgeting and complaining about being timid and the likes, I was having a bright picture of a good presentation. When the day finally came, I did a fabulous job that my lectures were dumbstruck and my colleagues were flabbergasted and came to ask, how I pulled it through. Granted, they knew I wasn’t, but they said, my presentation was really amazing.

ii. The power of a picture works when you focus on the end result, not the process to achieve it.

When I start any process, I really don’t know what the outcome might turn out to be, I just go ahead and proceed, with an end result in mind. There would be stumbling blocks and obstacles along the way, but the end result will keep me pushing on. I remember a place I needed to go to and meet some people along the way. It was a difficult journey to embark on, and it would be the first time, I would be meeting such sets of people. Of course, there were initial trepidation and knots in my tummy, but the end result of forging a cordial and positive relationship was what kept me going. As I fully focused on the end goal. I even encountered a very dangerous situation between two people during the process, but I still kept on, at the end of the day, the mission was accomplished.

iii. Focus on what you want to create, not what you want to get rid of.

We bring into reality what we focus on. The power of focusing on what one wants to achieve cannot be overemphasized. I was assigned recently to perform a task that would require a lot of planning on my part. I began doing research and planning on how to execute the particular. I kept working on several ideas on what I should do, how I should do it, the mannerism to present myself, the reactions of the audience, and the likes. I was also under supervision, though that wouldn’t be the first time, I would have been placed under supervision. On the day of the presentation, I gave my best and after the presentation, I was commended by my superior, because I was able to take the audience to the place I wanted them to get to.

iv. Values provide broad guidelines on how to proceed as you pursue your purpose and picture of the future.

Values are my road signs and maps. They help guide or place me on the right path, and when along the line, it seems I am getting distracted, I reflect on my values and derive the strength to continue. When I was serving as the president of the Nigerian Redcross Crescent Society, during my National Youth Service Corp, in Offa, Kwara State. I was overseeing the handover party/ celebration of my team to our successor. Though what is actually obtainable in my clime, is to dip into the treasury and try to benefit from it, but I told my team, that we would be honest and truthful in our dealings. Take the essentials and reserve funds for those succeeding us, to work with effectively. At the end of the event, one of our members came over and congratulated me and said he was really impressed, after some years, he told me to handle a delivery job for him, due to what transpired during our service year.

v. Learn from the past, plan for the future, and live in the present.

Life sometimes comes with unpleasant surprises. There are some experiences that whenever I reflect on them, I feel disappointed and pained, but then again, I still need to move on. I try my best to learn from my past mistakes, which aren’t a few. Past mistakes help me to have a proper grasp of events, which makes me better prepared for the future. And while I make plans for the future, the future is still a future away, so I live and enjoy the moment I have found myself in because, at the end of the day, all I have is just the present. We have an Easter retreat coming up next week, and we really need to begin preparations for it, but unfortunately, the economic situation of things isn’t all so favorable, due to some monetary policies in place by the government. We are hoping and planning for a successful event, drawing strength from our previous successes and projecting them into the future, but we still don’t forget to face the current realities on ground, sensitizing members on the need to support the program entirely.

vi. If you are clear about your vision, and if you are honest about your present realities, you don’t have to figure everything out.

Things start happening on their own accord: As much as I would love to wish that things would just begin to happen on their own accord to me, unfortunately, they don’t really do. Maybe the reason might just be staring at me in the face “being clear about my vision and also honest about my present realities”. I try to make my vision as clear as possible and also I am honest about my realities, but I also pray for a miracle. I have the intention that things will pan out well for me. I still review my visions and also try to stay true to the current realities on ground.

vii. You don’t have to wait for the company to have a vision. Vision can start anywhere.

A vision can be born at any place and at anything. The most important is to realize that your vision can only and will only be achieved mostly by you. Some people might come in as temporary support, but the bulk of the load must be carried by you. I have a vision of preparing the youths in my local congregation to be able to stand on their feet spiritually and eventually hand over the responsibility to one of them later on. Currently, I don’t get much encouragement, I don’t see much enthusiasm even from those I feel should contribute and support, But I won’t be dissuaded, I know I don’t have to wait for everything to be perfect before I start, and I also know I don’t have the complete idea on how things will turn out, but I know along the line, things will fall in place, as I keep my mind on the end result.

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

By being conscious about these core values, we can be intentional about the choices we make in our lives: The choices I make in life whether directly by myself or indirectly by others and my affiliation with them, is greatly influenced by the core values/ principles I hold dear at heart. The people I choose to spend my time with or invest in, will be – to a greater extend in line with the values I cherish, so I don’t waste my time and efforts. It has really helped me a lot, as I see the kind of impact and positivity that result from such choices/ decisions.

The process of creating the vision is as important as what the vision says: I ensure I enjoy every part/ process of sharing my visions and achieving it with others. I don’t shy away from the hurts or setbacks that might result. There was a time I did something with some group of people in my local congregation. Despite having told them and sensitized them earlier about what the program is all about, at the time of participating and helping out, some people chose not to be part of it. When they came around, they refused getting into the field to reach out to people. At the end of the program, when I made a call for a review of the program, such sets of people still came up to say I didn’t carry them along. Now, due to such attitudes, I wouldn’t say I won’t get involved with the people there again, because of some sets of “nay sayers,” rather, I wouldn’t pay much attention to them, but give my energy and focus to those that are ready to run with the vision.

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.

“Visioning is an ongoing process; you need to keep talking about it: Talking about a vision, goal or ambition, empowers me, because words are very much powerful.”

Talking about my goals help to position me properly or align me with those that might be helpers in taking the vision to a greater level either directly or indirectly, or they could be reference through which I might meet some other helpers along the line. When I was the president of the Kennel Club of Rivers, I used to always tell my members the importance of coming together for meetings and sharing of ideas in other to move the club forward. My constant persuasion to others and passion about the visions and goals of the club, was able to get some core members affiliated to the group and endeared to me, who played pivotal roles in ensuring the successes of our various state shows and events. Currently the club is known and recognized as one of the formidable clubs in the country.

“The vision must benefit everyone it touches: Vision is like when one washes a dirty hand, both hands involved in the washing gets benefited.”

Really, a vision might have been conceived by me, but I discovered that along the line, others that keyed into it, ended up benefitting likewise. Take the case of Martin Luther King Jr., and a lot of the great men. They were the container or the facilitator of their visions, but generations after them are still benefiting from such visions. The joy I sometimes derive now, is what I know I would have imparted in the lives of those that would come in contact with me or my vision directly or indirectly. The current executives of the Kennel of Rivers are actually enjoying the labour/ dividends of what I have been able to put in place, especially in creating relationships with external bodies.

“I discovered that when you allow others to be involved in shaping the vision, they bring a wider range of perspectives that enrich the vision.”

When I share my vision, I get several angles and lines of ideas that would have taken several attempts of trials and errors before I would have been able to be exposed to such kinds of ideas. I discovered that, getting people into the vision, makes them own the vision, as they contribute ideas and suggestions, the vision takes shapes and perspective that are even much more attractive and feasible than it was initially. I also like referencing the Kennel Club of Rivers, because I worked with a lot of people and went quite the extra mile to ensure we got something credible for the club. After having series of meeting with my master minds, we were able to totally revise the nature of the third event I chaired, from the usual. We brought in a lot of side attractions, captured the event and package it properly and we got a lot of recommendations at the end of the day. Though it was tasking, but it was worthwhile.

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?

The content of the book and the explanations were easy and applicable to my daily activities.

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

Even though, the exercises or daily words by the main character Jim, in the book were for his workers, I took it upon myself to reflect on the things he sent to the mails of each of his workers every morning.

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.

No, not really. It was an enjoyable read. At a point in time, it felt just so good to be true. I think I even got quite emotional at the end when Jim died. The ease with which the goals were achieved are kind of mind blowing. Little to no restrictions, but then again, some stories and events might have been edited by the authors, to make the lessons easy to understand.

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1–10. 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



The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr.
Assessment by Michael Kelechi (Nigeria)

1. What do you think that the author is trying to convey in the book?

Like every other normal human being, Martin Luther King Jr., began his autobiography, though compiled and edited by Clayborne Carson, by talking about the challenges he encountered while growing up. In a very toxic environment of racial discrimination and oppression. How had to forgo some basic human rights and freedom because of the clime and era he found himself in. Even though his father who was a minister that preached in churches, and talked about love and acceptance, and unity, such actions didn’t help to retard the pains and resentment he had in his heart, neither did it change the status quo of his time. As he often experienced unjust and harsh situations. He even mentioned a time that his father and he had to leave a shopping mall because they were told they couldn’t be attended to at a particular section. His father did shape his ideologies and perception about life in his earlier days, but his true awakening was discovered by himself as he delved further into academia and read books by great influential, and renowned figures.

He was in a deep struggle to understand why he had to love those that who hated him and caused he and people of his origin much pains. How according to the universal commandant of God that he should love his neighbor even if it meant turning the other cheek to be afflicted. But he did come to a realization that if he must break the chains of racial discrimination and oppression, then he can only do so by first understanding the point of view of his oppressors and then resisting such unlawful oppression through love. He was greatly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, hence his most potent at the same time harmless weapon “Non Violent Resistance” was used to liberate and enforce the much-needed change his Negro race needed.

From my point of view I feel the main idea that the writer is trying to pass across to his reader is that two wrongs cannot make a right. You can’t use evil to fight evil, for it will snowball and more vicious forms will result. The best way to ensure peace, and one that would last for a long time, without leaving scars, would be to love one another. It was with his ideology of loving – which in itself is a stronger weapon than anger/ hatred against one’s enemies – that he was able to win the respect of his critics and ensure that the rights of the Negros were restored to them according to the constitution. He would also want his readers to note that there would always be prices to pay for greatness, hence he shouldered all the challenges he encountered severally including numerous threats to his life and near-death experiences until he ultimately paid with his life.

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 life.

The seven ideas which were personally most important to me and why are listed below.

i. The time is always right to do what is right

The power to act has always been with us, the very moment we realize we ought to do things, but as is very obtainable with humans, we tend to put it off, till sometime in the future, hoping there would be a better time. So long as we discover something needs to be done, delaying would put us further into distress. This is actually a personal identity for me. It doesn’t really matter how far back I have fallen or bad things have become, the moment I realize what is right, I try as much as possible to correct my initial wrongs or mistakes. I have had to apologize to people for misconceptions or aggressive or offensive words spoken at times, in my not-too-great moments. Though I am very much conscious of my acts and mostly in control of my emotion, I am not flawless. If people will also learn to act or do right, it would make a lot of good in the world, especially in where I originate from, where evil in private and public life is the order of the day.

ii. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that

Two wrongs cannot make a right. Light is the only thing that can outshine or cast out darkness of any kind be it hate, anger, violence or killings. The light in this aspect happens to be love and understanding. Being empathic is the weapon that I use to help lift up those I encounter in their state of distress, pain, depression, and sometimes suicidal contemplation, due to all the turmoil and disappointments they must have witnessed. The light of the Word of God has been used by me severally to dispel the cloud of deep darkness hovering around those in my immediate circle of influence. There is power in our words and much more in the Word of God.

iii. Injustice anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere.

Evil thrives when good men refuse to do anything about it; whether it is condemning the evil actions or people that commit such evils. The oppressed are usually the ones that suffer from injustice from the higher ups or wealthy. Justice have been denied quite a number of people due to the rot and corruption found in the world. I have witnessed a situation whereby someone killed by a ritualist was allowed to escape mysteriously due to higher powers who gave orders to law enforcement agents. People in places of authorize should arise and jointly make living conditions better for others or devise means to tackle the injustice meted out to the less privileged or developed. I have had situations that I had to interfere into, because of an unjust treatment given to someone when the person had no one to stand on his behalf. I keep striving and praying to be a positive voice in my society, and hope I will be in a position to avert the injustices meted out to the citizens of my country politically, economically and social-culturally.

iv. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

I an advocate for equality and fairness in whatever situation I find myself in. And one way I can impact my environment/generation is to influence one life positively at a time. Good health matters, security matters, provision of basic social amenities by the government matter, but unfortunately it is not obtainable in my climes. I try my best to speak and encourage people not to be silent, but speak out and stand up for what is good and acceptable. I condemn evil acts and praise righteous doings or virtues.

v. Nothing worthwhile is gained without sacrifice.

Nothing good comes easy. I have encountered and still encounter situations that question by faith, both in the spiritual and social aspect of life. Sometimes they get so tough that the thought of calling it quit seems the best option, but then again, I have realized that for me to achieve greatness, I have to overcome great obstacles. Tough times don’t last, only tough people do. I am still battling a condition that has jeopardized almost all the plans I laid out for the next three years of my life. Several thoughts and options of giving up, keep popping up on a regular, but I have resolved to hang on till I break even. It is a constant daily battle, but I really need to overcome; and until I do, I won’t be self-fulfilled.

vi. The thing that we need in the world today, is a group of men and women who will stand up for right and be opposed to wrong, wherever it is.

In our world today where majority of the populace have rather and unfortunately chosen to identify with evil both in acts of speech and conduct, it becomes stigmatic to stand alone. But stand-alone I must. Even if many people decide to stand for what is bad, it doesn’t change the fact that what is bad, is still bad. I am appreciative of the congregation I belong to, we stand for what is righteous and acceptable both morally and scripturally. If more people, would stand for good and oppose evil, darkness will fizzle out quickly like the dew on a sunny day.

vii. World peace through nonviolence means is neither absurd nor unattainable.

Even though it seems as if peace – and especially world peace is elusive – the only way, it can be achieved is through love. And as could be seen in the book under review, it can be achieved through nonviolence whose central doctrine is love. Love for oneself and another. I pride myself as a peace maker wherever I find myself. If I can ensure a peaceful coexistence in my immediate surroundings, sure enough I am helping in bring the world peace into actualization.

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

First, We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles, rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to humanity: I have long realized that people are much more than the houses they live in, clothes they were, places they work in and other superficial things that others think give them significant of a grandiose standing. I look beyond the physical and see people for what they could be, and it propels me to dig further and help them harness the potential staying dormant in their lives. There are some groups of youngsters that I normally give encouraging talks to as opportunity avails itself. I see the amount of change I have been able effect in their lives and makes me see my efforts aren’t unprofitable.

But the way of nonviolence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community: Indeed due to the harsh economic situation obtainable currently, tempers can easily flare as has been obtainable in my clime. There have been several riots, burning of properties, looting and even loss of lives within this period because of how difficult things are; which really has not even solved the problems at hand if anything it has exacerbated the situation. But I feel they right way to tackle this societal menace of religious, tribal and political intolerance is through the way of nonviolence and dialogue. The youths have had enough of the corrupt and evil political elites that have been ruling the nation for as long as after my nation had her independence. I try to enlighten and encourage the youths in my community to shun the way of violence and embrace nonviolent means of registering their grievances. We had our presidential, house of representatives and senatorial election on the 25th of February, 2023 and it was marred by violence, rigging and even lost of lives, which unfortunately is common in Africa countries.

Power properly understood, is the ability to achieve purpose: I know I have the power to influence lives both positively and negatively. My job is to ensure that whoever/ people I encounter, become(s) better than they were before they met me, so we can change the state of things in the world together. The power to effect changes lies within us, and if used properly and rightly, there isn’t anything that wouldn’t be achievable.

Our responsibility presents us with a unique opportunity: As a well-placed individual in my ministry with a huge responsibility to encourage people within my surroundings, I see it as a unique opportunity which I don’t toy with. I usually study vast to ensure I give out my best when I am serving the people. My responsibility helps me to create a community of faithful believers with a strong bond amongst members. I also make them understand that it is a collectively effort that is need to ensure that we achieve the goals we have set for ourselves.

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.

“We have nothing to fear, but fear itself: Fear has been one of the greatest weapons, if not the greatest that has stopped people dead in their tracks before taking actions about situations that aren’t acceptable by them.”

I was no exception, until I realized that it is better I try and fail, than not making an effort. It is better to fail forward than not even moving at all. Once I have taking all situations and circumstances into account, I go ahead and make my move, irrespective of the nagging feeling of fear. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it the act of moving forward( acting) in spite of fear. I don’t let fear stop me from reaching out to people to establish relationships, connections or communion. It is either I am accepted or rejected, but that in itself does not make the world come to an end.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience, but where he stands in moments of challenge, moments of great crisis and controversy.”

I have had to defend my faith against all odds with friends, foes and even family. One doesn’t really know what lies within until when faced with a difficult situation or stiff opposition. With my level of awareness, I can’t be easily tossed to and fro by any manner of doctrine or profession or even threatening. There have been moments where I would have enjoyed great benefits just to trade by faith, but I stood my ground. Though I couldn’t enjoy the benefits, but my conscience is free of smears or accusations.

“Like an idea whose time has come, not even the marching of mighty armies can halt us. We are moving to freedom.”

In my country currently, we are experiencing an unprecedented wave of youth movement and awareness in the political scenery. This has never been witnessed before. A youthful revolution against all the harsh and unjust treatments from the elderly and corrupt political classes that have been feasting on the economic resources of the nation. The wave is unstoppable, it kind of began in 2020 when the grievances of the youths were registered at the Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos State, Nigeria, against police brutality and called for a disband of the department called Swift Action Response Squad (SARS), that left its prime responsibility of arresting criminals to be harassing and extorting innocent Nigerian citizens. This massive protest of the youths against the oligarchy really put fears into the hearts of the ruling political classes that they decided to temper with the electoral process that the youths decided to use to vote out the irresponsible and unaccountable politicians. Even though the will of the people was thwarted and stalled, the vision and momentum is still there. It is an idea whose time has come, and not even the marching of the mighty armies of the corrupt and evil politicians with their money and influence can stop. I used to be apolitical, but this time, I followed all the processes involved all through the electioneering period, making sure I played an active role in ensuring that the era of unaccountability and corruption is tossed out by voting in credible representatives with the interest of the masses at heart. I also took time in giving sensitization speeches to the youth on how important their votes are, which shouldn’t be traded for momentary monetary gains.

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?

Frankly speaking there were a lot of ideologies and proposals that were overboard for me. There were some ideologies that the author introduced from the first chapters of the book, where he stated he took some ideas from each of such writers. Some he doesn’t agree with totally, others he helped modify their concepts. Since I was basically immersed in the science world during my days of studies, most of the debates he raised were quite foreign to me.

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

There weren’t exercises for the reader to complete. However, it contained some interesting pictures depicting his peaceful life with his family, chaotic life with the authorities and powers that be and also his moments of triumphs when giving speeches, receiving a noble peace award and signing the voting rights alongside others.

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.

It was a very interesting read. I had wanted to read about Martin Luther King Jr., for quite a very long time, and the opportunity was greatly relished. I was able to really understand the struggles the Negroes went through even after gaining independence. It was truly an eye opener to know that good will definitely triumph over evil, irrespective of how long evil must have been the acceptable norm. I really identified with the struggles of his days.

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1–10. 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



The Leadership Pill
Assessment by Michael Kelechi (Nigeria)

1. What do you think the author is trying to convey in the book?

In an engaging and dramatic style, Ken Blanchard And Marc Muchnick are trying to get their readers to understand that even though many people have prescribed different types of methods that managers and top business executives could use to get to the top of their businesses or organizations; and though, some of these methods could give results, howbeit those results would be shorted lived without achieving the required results. However, they opined that there is actually an effective and long-lasting way/method that business executives and managers can use to ensure that their organizations remain in top shape and become the true and effective leaders that they want. This method which involved the application of the following core values/ blend of integrity, partnership; and affirmation, are the core idea that the authors would want their readers to grasp. It is also the aim of the authors that after a leader has become effective by imbibing the above-stated values they could pass it on to their subordinates and colleagues, so as to ensure continuity and longevity.

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 life.

The seven ideas which were personally most important to me and why are listed below.

i. Leading people is the opposite of trying to control them

True leaders actually offer freedom to their followers they aren’t in the leadership game to force their opinions or impose themselves on their subjects or followers, but rather want to influence them by their conducts, words, and commitment whether it be done directly or indirectly. True leaders know that it is far better to have a lasting legacy with positive anecdotes than to leave a trail full of venom and bad blood amongst their followers. I have found myself in positions of leadership far more than I can even count. Currently, I happen to even be leading a local fellowship of more than 50 members that could expand to more than 200 when in a combined setting. It is my intention to influence by my acts and integrity than by my words only. I am not in the habit of bullying or forcing my opinion on those that are my subordinate. I run an open system of leadership or government, where everyone’s opinion is heard, valued, analyzed and the most appropriate, adopted. Even though some might see it as an avenue for your subject to look down on you, or sometimes disregard or abuse the freedom offered them, I know that if someone does something out of his or her volition, it would be done in a better manner, and the individual might go the extra mile to correct mistakes joyfully if or when made during or after the period of execution. Another valuable thing is that such individuals will be open to learning and quick to adjust when corrected.

ii. Leadership in not just want happens when you are there, but what happens when you’re not there.

I have always been a big advocate of leading by example. I have someone I respect a lot in the ministry, who also supervises me. I have observed time and time again that he is someone that is liberal, and he also allows his subordinates to operate with that liberty, without trying to be hypercritical about a situation that happened, with a negative consequence. He also sees things positively and offers appropriate advice when due. I have people I work with both on the same level and those I am above them. With my conduct around them and the examples I have laid, I believe I have a level of influence over them positively so that even in my absence they will follow the instruction or the laid down principles or the modus operandi of the organization without any bias or insubordination from them.

iii. Profit is the applause you get for taking care of your customers and creating a motivating environment for people.

Life happens to be a marketplace, and at every point in time, one is either selling something to someone consciously or unconsciously. You know you are making an impact, and leading credibly when you discover that people always want to identify with you, do your bidding, communicate with you, help you achieve a goal, and so on. Something happened to me last week. In the place, I oversee, one of the parishioners, came to me and began telling me ways on how he felt that the work of the ministry could be prosecuted more productively. That he sees and appreciates all the efforts that I have been putting into the ministry to ensure we are successful.

iv. Integrity lays the foundation for trust and respect.

I don’t say what I don’t mean, and wouldn’t say what I wouldn’t do either. I am among those people that value their words and are true to themselves. Quite unfortunately, it seems as if the world loves people that lack integrity. In fact, such people are really celebrated using my environment as a particular point of reference. Elections that were held between last month and this month, were flawed with people that compromised and reneged on promises given to the masses. The exact opposite of what they said were the things they did, and they work about with impunity because they happened be within the corridors of power. In government offices and some private establishments, higher-ups would want their subordinates to falsify financial figures so as to get financial gains after an exercise has been carried out. I remember an incident that occurred last year. I made an agreement with someone who has a car to meet at 1 pm, which I reminded him the previous day about. Funny enough, when I got to his house he was shocked and said, “Sir you really keep to time”. It was almost 1 pm when I got to his residence, but he was yet to be set, so I gave him some time to round off whatever it was he was doing. There are other examples where meetings were to start at a particular time, and when I arrived at such venues, especially if I am the coordinator and was the one that fixed that particular time, I normally start at that time. With such examples, I have been able to build up trust in the lives of those I interacted with.

v. Partnership harvests the potential of the team.

No man is an Island. Even as creations, we were created to dwell together and also in unity in order to achieve great success. It is quite easier to break a stick of broom than a bunch of it. I know the importance of partnership and hence harness and leverage it, wherever I find myself handling a leadership position. In one of the events that I organized, as the then president of the Kennel Club of Rivers, I had to set up committees first, brainstorm, and also formed partnerships with external bodies such as the ministry of agriculture, radio stations, veterinary surgeons and food vendors to ensure we all had a wonderful and enjoyable state event.

vi. Affirmation lets people know that what they do is important.

Yes, I usually make it a point to duty to ensure I acknowledge the effort people put into achieving a task whether I was the one that assigned them or not. In my local congregation, there is this special brother that handles the public address system. He happens to be so diligent that whenever he isn’t around, I begin to have knots in my stomach because it might lead to starting fellowship late or some other issues. I make it a point of duty to always acknowledge and appreciate his immense contribution in ensuring that things work out fine all throughout our fellowship period. He had his wedding last year, and I took it upon myself that he got the best of the best of what could be obtained at that particular point in time. Which I believe also proved to him that his presence is invaluable to us in general.

vii. Leadership is not something you do to people, it’s something you do with them.

Leadership involves working together with your group. Not just sitting in a corner and hurling out commands and responsibilities to your subordinates. In any event that I organize, it is my nature to go out into the field; and get my hands dirty. I ensure I participate actively in whatever it is, that needed to be done so that when I eventually hand over such responsibility to another person, and also state that the work should be done in the spirit of togetherness, there won’t be any opposition as to the fact that I preach what I don’t do. Working with my team members has also helped me alongside them, to grow and discover more opportunities for expansion and specialization. The seeds of love and harmony are also sown among team members, which grow into trust and success.

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

Leading with integrity means being the person you want others to be: Since I happen to be a figure of influence to my immediate family members and my local congregation, my word happens to be my bond. If I give a promise to perform a task, I ensure I keep to it, even though it might be most inconvenient sometimes for me. I value integrity, and I also expect to cultivate same from those I interact with on a daily bases. If we all mean what we say, do what we promise, and keep to our commitments, then we can change the world positively and make it a happier place to dwell in.

Trust is what happens when values and behaviors match up: I am a person of good and high moral values and it would also give me joy and a great sense of fulfillment if I can create an environment where trust thrives. For me to get to the root cause of any disagreement or negative behavior or misconduct; it would be wise to consider the value systems of the person(s) I am dealing with. From there, I can cement or build a trusting relationship with them. When our values have aligned, then trust would be birthed naturally along the way.

People are more apt to trust and respect you when what you say and what you do are one and the same: As an individual and a leader at that, my yes would mean yes, and my no, would also mean no. I don’t talk from both sides of my mouth. Being a straightforward individual, it is easy for me to win the trust of those around me. There was an individual I had to collect some amount of money from due to an emergency situation that I encountered. On explaining my situation to him, he requested that he would need the money at a particular point in time, which I assured him I will comply as he has requested. When I received the money from him, something happened and I was able to meet the supposed emergency, and even had to return the sum a week or thereabouts before the time he said he wanted it. The same person sent some amount of money to my account to hand over to some, which I told him I didn’t receive, he was advised to visit his bank and lodge a complaint about the issue. This happened I think two weeks ago or so. Two days ago, I meant him, and he complained that his account had not been credited by his bank and that he was told to tell me to check my balance; which I instantly showed him, after verification, he said he would have to go to the bank two days after our discussion to ensure his money is reversed.

The key to effective leadership is the relationship you build with your team: It is quite unfortunate that some people don’t value positive relationships, on the contrary, I ensure that I lead and live a peaceful and harmonious life with all those around me. I want to encounter joy and laughter anytime I chance upon people I know. In my organization, we operate in an atmosphere of love and this helps us to really address issues adequately with open-mindedness. It is the secret that has helped the community to stay strong all these while, despite the stiff opposition we encounter as we strive rive to grow and become better.

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

“Sharing the big picture puts everyone on the same page. Vision is what makes people grow or become better than their present versions.”

I am a leader that likes/ values carrying everyone along. I ensure that we are all on the same page. And one way of doing that is to share my vision with the group. Hear their own visions and finally we draw a common vision that brings everyone in. We end up being active participants in ensuring the success of the organization.

“It is easier to get up to the hill when you climb it together: United we stand, while divided we fall.”

Wherever I find myself, I ensure that I share my visions, goals, and even fears with those around me. I usually have a team of people that brainstorm on how to move forward. I am just a single person, and I could get burnt out, but when I have people that bear the burden alongside me, in my moments of weakness or shortsightedness, they could be in a better position to carry on. Recently we had to do some renovation in our place of worship, and during a meeting with the core members, I had to listen attentively to those that have carved a niche for themselves in that line of work.

“Praise is the easiest way to let people know they are appreciated: Sincere praise does a lot of good to those they are given to. It is like cold water given to someone that has been working all day under the blazing sun. Praise just like food, makes people grow, feel valued and appreciated, and want to do more than is needed of them.”

Yesterday, when the renovation exercise in my local congregation was going on, I had to go over to meet those working and appreciated them, thanking them genuinely for going the extra mile to ensure that our worship center is more presentable. I remember calling three of my university lecturers to appreciate them for the work and knowledge they impacted on me while in school and also for helping me when I needed referencing. Yesterday, one of them had her birthday, which I had to send some best wishes to her and also thanked her for her contribution to humanity.

“Each of us has the power to recognize the goodness in others: I mostly focus on the positive sides of people, especially people that want good for themselves.”

Though it will become easier to be manipulated by people with ulterior motives, I still try to be good to all I encounter. I have helped and have been helped in return. Good has also been recognized in me, I have been appreciated and referenced also for being goodly disposed towards others.

“You will go a lot further if you stop to refuel: I know how important it is, to take time out to rest after having tasked myself for so long.”

In my ministry, after the end of the year, we normally go on three weeks break during the first month of every year, to ensure that adequate rest is achieved and things left undone like visiting family members and to also tighten up some other loose ends.

“People will think for themselves when you quit thinking for them: I enjoy giving people the liberty to think and take decisions on their own because it is the only true mechanism by which growth and development can be achieved.”

It is very much okay to fail. Better to try and fail, than to have the guilt of “if only I gave it a shot” for a lifetime. I might never know if such opportunities aren’t given to discover gifts and potential in people. There is this young sister that thrilled the congregation in one of our programs when she played the keyboard. It was glorious. The sound added more melody to the service during that period. Since then, she has been in charge of the keyboard whenever she is around.

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?

No, the book was quite simple and enjoyable.

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

There weren’t exercises for the reader to do.

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.

No, there isn’t, but just to add that the book was enjoyable; dramatically enjoyable. The simple presentation and the basic values needed for being an effective leader are easy to understand and transmit to others.

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1–10. 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

How to Sell Yourself
Assessment by Michael Kelechi (Nigeria)

1. What do you think the author is trying to convey in the book?

The book really exposes all the nitty-gritty of making one a much more confident and winning speaker. Develop a charming and likable personality. In fact, the main idea that the author is trying to get across to his readers is that one should try as much as possible to befriend his/ her audience. Ensure you employ all the mechanisms like the open face, gesticulation, and smile to endear your audience, jury, student, panel, etc., to yourself, because so doing has already made you 2 times more likely to succeed with whatever it is, you are trying to pitch, sell or get your targeted audience to do.

2. What were the seven ideas that 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 life.

i. Always leave them wanting more

This is how advertising agencies or even marketers get their clients. They simply give them a titbit of the information that they need. If you give them a little, it will get them hooked, and then they are already sold. They will keep coming over for more. It is just like feeding a hungry man a little amount of food at any point in time, but not enough to satisfy him. It is very important that preparation is made before any presentation or event, to ensure that the important things aren’t left off for later when the endurance limit of the audience has been exceeded. I handle a local congregation and each time I have a message for them, I ensure that I deliver, most times, time is not an ally, because before you realize it, you have spent quite a lot of it already. So when at the podium, I give them what can carry them for that period, but still make them long and look forward to another exciting and reviving session. It also happens when one is watching an exciting movie or program, and suddenly it stops when the plot is just getting to the climax, leaving the viewers hanging, and looking forward to the next episode, especially if the movie or program is in a series.

ii. Nothing works as well as relevant stories told well

This is the aspect of my speech delivery or means of communication that I am trying to put more effort into. I have discovered that a story, and one that agrees with your speech or message is a very good and potent way to get across to your audience or followers. If such stories resonate with their life experiences or circumstances it becomes an added advantage to you, to get them on your side. I can classify myself as a good talker and a good storyteller with some embellishments here and there. I have come to observe that the people I communicate with, better remember my message when they also connect it to the stories I tell them.

iii. When you put an answer in story form, humanize it, and personalize it, people stop, pay attention, and remember.

A great way to connect with people better or to ensure your lesson message or idea sinks in deeper is if you humanize your stories, especially by relating such stories to yourself. The challenges you had to encounter, the pains, and later on the triumphs. Their perception of you will drastically improve after having shared your experiences. I remember taking a class of young students in Fine Arts. I was giving them a description of a beautiful scenery, and how they should go about drawing it. It seemed vague at first, but the moment I began to draw images on the board and told them stories of how I began taking an interest in drawing at the very tender age of 5, and how I envied a colleague of mine then, who could just wake up and give you a very good image of a cock, and how I also had to practice and practice so as to get a better understanding of how to draw better images. I have a friend who is a renowned artist. Excellent fellow that can bring life to a canvas. His ability is simply a phenomenon.

iv. The greatest teachers are the great storytellers.

People who have been able to easily get across to other people have almost always been good storytellers. As a communicator and a leader, with global aspirations, I have been honing my storytelling skills for quite some time now, because of the relevance I have observed storytelling has in the lives of people. Over here, during the election periods, you see politicians, trying to win the hearts of the masses by telling their shocking and sad childhood experiences in order to align their feelings better with those of the populace. Even Jesus Christ laced his sermons with parables and stories so as to make the messages sink deeper into the consciousness of the people listening to him.

v. We’re all selling our ideas and ourselves all the time.

Whether consciously or not, we are involved in the business of selling ourselves and our ideas to people around us. I remember the first meeting I organized for the Canine Club of Rivers. Even though it was on a subconscious level, it seemed as if I was selling myself to the members who were in attendance that particular day at the meeting, because it was at that particular meeting I was voted the pioneer president of the club. I developed some benefits and relationships then, that are still active to this very day from some of the club members. I do my best to put my best foot forward and be at my best wherever I find myself.

vi. All communication is sharing ideas, an intellectual act of love.

I have always loved meeting people. A gathering of people where there is an exchange of information or ideas has always been something I look forward to, so much so that I could even travel from one state to another to visit a friend, simply because of the special feeling I get being in the company of people. I see communication as more than just speaking, I see it as an art that could be refined over and over again until it takes a life of its own. At that stage, people don’t need to stress themselves anymore to understand the line of thought of one another, because even non-verbally they are communicating. Whenever I am addressing a gathering; either formally or informally I pour myself into the people. I ensure that they are way better after our interaction. I have had testimonies of my impact on the lives of people I have come across. About 3 days ago, a pastor friend of mine, called me and told me how my former congregants were appraising me positively in his presence – praying for me, and wishing me well, as I had to travel to a different location – when he began serving as their minister. Such was obtainable because of my impact on their lives.

vii. You can’t give yourself totally to your audience when your concentration is on yourself.

When I am speaking it is as if I am in my element, like fish inside water. I tend to forget about myself and concentrate totally on my audience, taking in all the subtexts, body language, moods, etc., and I tune my speech or talk appropriately so as to get the most out of my time. I ensure I don’t overload or overbore them along the line. I get totally enmeshed in them, and I sometimes forget about the existence of any other thing

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

What your audience needs, expects, and wants is you, so be yourself: Knowing this fact further solidifies my earlier beliefs, about being true to your core. Major more in the things you are best at. I don’t try to be someone else or mimic exactly what another speaker does or be a copy of the person, but I ensure I remain my true self, which has helped me identify my unique selling point. So when they are in my meetings, they know exactly what they will be getting. If they anticipate a speech of 1 hour, they get a power-packed one hour of excitement and empowerment.

The fact is that people love to be told the truth, even if the teller knows he’s doing some damage to himself: I have always been conscious of my personality. A good name they say is better than silver and gold. Even though it sometimes hurts, I make it a personal duty to be truthful as much as possible. After all, I am not infallible. I tell them about my mistakes and failures, pains and disappointments. I don’t place myself on a pedestal and make them feel inferior or like losers, by talking about my gains and successes only.

The underlying reason for every successful public performance is the communicator’s ability, at least partially, to forget about himself and his imagined shortcomings and concentrate on the event, his role in it, and the audience he’s delivering to. It’s the trademark of all successful communication. Remember that and you’ll succeed: There has never been a situation I ever felt that I had prepared well enough for a speech. Sermon or even event. But in spite of the inadequacies I feel, I still put up my best performances and at my low moments. I don’t become self-absolved, but focus on the audience because they are the ones that gave me the platform to operate, so I owe them that much.

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

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”

It is actually unfortunate that our society is turning upside down in terms of morality and decency. I make it a personal duty to be at my best in terms of my appearance. After all, I might be addressed the way I am dressed, so why not dress well, so I can be addressed well also? I wouldn’t want a situation whereby my attire might distract my audience. For instance, I have big chains all over my neck as if I am a rap star when I am attending a religious gathering. Or putting on torn jeans or jackets to a formal meeting or professional gathering.

“No one will buy your product until and unless they like you.”

The likability factor is very important. People are more prone to listen to me, and I in return, am able to influence and impact their lives if they like me. It saves me a lot of trouble Firstly I have to convince them of my genuineness and then ensure the message I have sinks in. The open face, smiles, and gesticulations are tactics I will begin to employ during my communications and interactions with people, so as to have more breakthroughs.

“Short words are the best, and short words when old are the best of all.”

It is usually better to say less than you have to say, so as to have them longing for more next time. But the caveat must be that you know what you are saying or the stuff you are made of. Give them just the required dosage and after getting them hooked, create rooms for even more next time. I have been practicing the art of saying exactly just the appropriate amount of words I ought to say, without missing the point I am trying to convey to my listeners or audience. I believe this will also make me a better writer, as I will easily filter out the non-essentials.

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

The book was quite enjoyable. The pictures and depictions were very easy to relate to.

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

Yes, the book contained exercises that the reader had to do. Some of these were quite helpful and life-transforming, like keeping an open face, gesticulating when talking, and placing my hands by my side when standing.

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.

No, not really.

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

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

The Long Walk to Freedom
Assessment by Michael Kelechi (Nigeria)

1. What do you think that the author is trying to convey in the book?

Mandela, a former president, and freedom fighter in then-apartheid South Africa, was a charismatic and influential figure in his time. In the book ‘The Long Walk to Freedom’, he brings to bear some of his amiable qualities, which I think he would want his readers to also glean a thing or two from. One of the ideas he wants his readers to understand is that courage triumphs over fear at any time and any day. He was confronted with a lot of frightful situations and challenges, but for the sake of his love for his people and the need to establish a free country, he put up a courageous outlook that made the fearful situations pale in comparison. He was also of the opinion that education plays a fundamental role in effecting a positive change in the lives of his people, starting from a very tender age when he wanted to get an MBA and proceed to become a lawyer. He also believed in the fundamental rights every individual possessed as a virtue of being human and alive, whereby you don’t oppress another even when trying to express the right to be free. He would also want his readers to have an optimistic attitude towards life and things around them in general. Truthfully, he passed through a lot of life-shattering situations, but he was a die-hard optimist, and he would want that quality to be inculcated in the lives of his readers. As a leader, he served with humility, stressing the fact that the responsibility of leaders is to ensure the well-being of their followers. He would want his readers to cultivate a service-leadership style. And finally, he would also want his readers to learn from their mistakes, as failure isn’t necessarily the end but a point to reflect on and make the next opportunity better.

2. What were the seven ideas that 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 life.

i. Courage Triumphs Over Fear

Personally, this idea resonates because it reminds me that facing fears is an essential part of personal growth. In my life, overcoming challenges, despite initial fears, has led to some of my most rewarding experiences. There have been times that I have been paralyzed by fear. I had overanalyzed things and imagined all the things that could go wrong about a situation, endeavor, or project. How I might not be a good fit, how I might get rejected, fail, and what have you. But despite those fearful and disarming thoughts, I had still gone ahead to do what needed to be done in the best possible way I could. I know of several times that I would have been crippled if I had given in to my fears. It is better to go ahead and fail at something than to live with the regret of ‘only if I had tried’.

ii. Power of Education

Education has been a transformative force in my life. The idea that knowledge can empower individuals and bring about positive change aligns with my belief in the value of continuous learning. There are things I need to do, places I ought to be, and lives I wish to impart positively, and the most viable vehicle that can conveniently take me there is education. I have always loved learning, whether in a formal or informal setting. I am a better version of myself due to the resources I have garnered from being educated; however, the setting. It is a thing I would have to invest in when I have attained the financial status I envisage. I would have a learning and crafts centre.

iii. The Essence of Freedom

Mandela’s definition of freedom as a collective and just state deeply influences my perspective. It encourages me to advocate for social justice and equality in various aspects of life. I remember my childhood days in secondary school. I would almost melt with fright when I heard my seniors’ voices. I stayed in a boarding school, and it is safe to compare it with a military camp to grow up in. I was so affected that I vowed to ensure that those under me would never experience such bondage again. Freedom makes one flourish. There is always a difference between a prisoner and a free man. I constantly strive for an atmosphere of equal rights—to relate to, be related to, speak to, and be spoken to. There is creativity in an atmosphere of freedom.

iv. Optimism Amid Challenges

Mandela’s optimism is a beacon during difficult times. It reminds me that maintaining a positive outlook, even in adversity, can contribute to resilience and ultimately better outcomes. In a world of constant turmoil and hatred, putting on a positive disposition seems to get harder and harder by the day. But we cannot fight hate with hate, nor can we overcome challenges with a pessimistic attitude. I wouldn’t say I am a die-hard optimist because there have been times when I felt bad and down. Sometimes I feel like being a good person doesn’t really pay off because of the unjust treatment and betrayal I receive after helping people. I intend to affect the world positively, and as a leader, I must take the high road, forgive them, and put on an optimistic disposition to effect the positive changes I so desire.

v. Rejecting Hatred

Hatred is a corrosive force that Mandela encourages us to reject. In my interactions, I strive to approach disagreements with understanding rather than animosity, fostering a more constructive environment. I had a misgiving with someone recently, a lady. I was trying to see if she could help herself academically since she had a deadline to meet with. I took the time to listen to her to figure out what I could do to help her succeed. We drafted a plan and scheduled a time for reading. To my greatest dismay, this individual kept failing to keep her part of the deal. It got so bad that it was almost having a negative effect on me. She just wanted to talk without putting in the effort to write something down. I proposed she make use of the speech-to-text function in Microsoft Word, after which she could edit. She came up again with another excuse, so I had to let her go. I got offended, both for the time and resources wasted, but I do not have any animosity towards her. It is quite unfortunate that she doesn’t want to help herself.

vi. Perseverance in the Face of Struggle

Life’s journey is indeed challenging, and Mandela’s emphasis on perseverance inspires me. Personal and professional challenges become more manageable with a resilient mindset. This can be seen in my quest for an academic upgrade. I have had to swallow delays, rejections, and disappointments, but still, I keep pushing forward. I am in a stage of my life where giving up isn’t an option. I can fail all I want, but I will still get up and try again. I will keep knocking until I get to where I want to be academically and financially.

vii. Leadership and Humility

Mandela’s leadership style, rooted in humility and service, is a model I aspire to follow. This idea encourages me to lead with empathy, acknowledging that true leadership involves serving others. Even though sometimes my humility and servant attitude towards leadership have been taken advantage of, I know a time will come when they will look back and say that I did something selflessly for them. Problems abound in the world today because we lack servant leaders. Humility is almost extinct, as can be seen in the way people walk, talk, or even act. Granted, self-confidence is very good—an enviable quality indeed—but one needs to know when it goes overboard, and ego sets in. Not only do I imbibe a humble disposition, but I also add cheerfulness to it, so I can leave people I meet better after an encounter.

These ideas have influenced my personal and professional development, shaped my values, and guided my approach to challenges and relationships.

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

Persistence and Resilience: Mandela’s life story teaches the importance of persistence and resilience in the face of adversity. In my personal life, it has encouraged me to remain steadfast and endure the pains associated with taking a good course of action. Even if I get misunderstood along the line, by the time the good results begin to come forth, I will get the much-needed justification. I remember a debate I was engaged in in an online reading book club. All my colleagues, save for one person, decided that they wouldn’t be involved, whether consciously or not (I can’t really say), and I was left to shoulder the weight of the exercise. After the debate, I got congratulatory messages from the opposition for being resilient and persistent despite the number disparity.

Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Mandela’s emphasis on forgiveness and reconciliation is a powerful lesson. In my personal life, I have had to swallow the bitter pill of forgiveness repeatedly. The hurt, the betrayal, and the disappointment are obvious, but to free myself, I must forgive and let it stay in the past. There have been people I trusted, supported, and helped overcome difficult times. They turned around and paid back with evil when I needed succour from them. I try my best not to let their hurtful dispositions get to me and stop me from being a better version of myself, seeing that I have a great task of effecting global changes.

Leadership by Example: Mandela’s leadership style is rooted in leading by example. Applying this in my personal life involves demonstrating the values I espouse. I won’t instruct someone to do something I wouldn’t do. Most times, I do it first, enabling them to understand the rationale behind the task and afterwards instructing them to embark on it. For instance, I won’t be telling my followers to be peaceful if I am a troublemaker. In the place where I stay currently, I can confidently instruct or ask those within the accommodation to keep the kitchen and other utensils neatly arranged because I am known for doing so. It gives my words more power and gives them no room for rebuttal. On a broader scale, leaders in various fields can inspire positive change by embodying ethical principles and setting an example for others to follow.

Inclusivity and Diversity: Mandela’s commitment to inclusivity and embracing diversity is crucial. In my personal life, I view everyone as the same. Granted, in my travels, I have encountered racial and ethical issues from foreign citizens, but it still doesn’t stop me from seeing them as one. We are various parts of a whole, operating at different frequencies. With such knowledge, I try not to take any assault personally. If I try to establish a friendship or relationship and I get misconstrued and attacked, I let it go. Knowing that the world is filled with people of different personalities and comprehensibility. Individuals can foster a more inclusive environment by appreciating differences and avoiding prejudice. On a global scale, valuing diversity promotes social cohesion and contributes to a more harmonious world.

By internalizing and applying these principles, individuals can contribute to a more just and compassionate world, both in their personal lives and in their roles as members of a broader community.

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

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

This is like a liberation, because one might think something is not right with him or her if there is that frightful feeling swelling inside. The quote signifies that we are all humans and have apprehensions. And that it isn’t out of place to sometimes feel overwhelmed by certain situations. I am motivated to perform despite being afraid. I have come to realize that, sometimes, what it takes to make a difference is just starting. I mustn’t get everything right the first time or have all the complete information before I begin a task. This perspective is valuable for encouraging resilience and determination in facing challenges.

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed towards the sun and one’s feet moving forward.”

Mandela’s optimism is a key theme in his life. It is vital to keep one’s head above the water, even when drowning. I have come to realize that a positive mind makes a world of difference. It sets me up on the path to success, makes my systems function very well, and gives me the empowerment to tackle difficult tasks or face tough situations.

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

This is to remind us of the fact that most times we are conditioned, either by society or philosophies, to exhibit disempowering beliefs, and if so, such disempowering beliefs, thoughts, or notions can be unlearned. We are all the same, but expressed in different vessels or mediums. Love is the only thing that can change and heal the world from all the ills and turmoil currently galvanizing around it.

These quotes showcase Mandela’s wisdom, resilience, and commitment to principles that transcend individual experiences and resonate with universal values. They reflect not only his journey but also his vision for a better, more just world.

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?

There wasn’t anything in the book I didn’t understand, except the pronunciation of the names of certain people and places.

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

No, the book didn’t contain any exercises.

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.

There isn’t anything I want to comment about.

Please rate the following questions in a scale of 1 to 10. Ten is good and One is poor.

A. How interesting was it to read? 10
B. How helpful was the content? 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

This Child Shall Be Great
Assessment by Michael Kelechi (Nigeria)

1. What do you think the author is trying to convey in the book?

In the sensational and heart-throbbing book entitled “This Child Shall Be Great” by Liberia’s first female president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, she is trying to pass across some of the following messages to her readers.
Highlights are:

Inspiration and resilience: Ellen’s life story is one marked with a lot of ups and downs, including her several imprisonments; and rumors pointing toward her assassination because she was seen as a deadly opposition against corrupt rampant in the government, to finally getting to the number one position in Liberia, and as the first elected female in the entirety of Africa to have achieved that then. Her life speaks volumes of the importance of steadfastness and hanging on, even when all odds are against you. Through her experiences and triumphs, she may have sought to inspire readers to pursue their goals.

Leadership and vision: Having circumvented several political landscapes and situations, worked towards the advancement of Liberia, and brought to the front burner the importance of educating the girl child, she would want her readers to know the role that vision and good leadership play in the lifeline of any nation and an African country at that. Irrespective of the gender of an individual, what matters is the leadership prowess, vision, and the political will to carry through with one’s vision.

Gender and empowerment: Her memoir likely tries to address the issue of gender inequality and empowerment. She tried all within her will to break the barriers erected by society against women. Being a woman relegates one to the sideline or background, and marginalizes one from being an active participant in things that have dire societal consequences. Her victory and memoir are a testament to the fact that the girl child in the world, and Africa in particular can achieve what the male child can, if given the right and enabling environment.

National development and unity: Her inclusive government and her effort to carry everyone along especially those who opposed her, points to the fact she was interested in national development and unity, that personal aggrandizement, as opposed to the acts of her predecessors. Her down-to-earth personality in identifying with the poor and less privileged, the aged and young, the haves and have-nots show how dearly she wanted to rebuild Liberal from the state that several years of civil unrest had thrown her into. She aims to inspire upcoming leaders to contribute to the progress and prosperity of their own countries.

Overall, the book likely serves as a testament to her life, leadership, and dedication to public service. By her memoir, she seeks to inspire, educate, and empower her readers to make a big difference in the world, by first effecting it, through her actions.

2. What were the seven ideas that 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 life.

The seven ideas that were personally most important to me, and why with an explanation using my personal life are as follows:

i. Persistence in the Face of Adversity: 

Life as a whole is spiced with various degrees of challenges and difficulties. Each day I wake up to encounter one set after another. It hasn’t been an easy ride. It sometimes feels quite easier to park it up and accept the status quo, especially in terms of settling for the superficial; however, her story is a big inspiration that it is just a matter of time before one gets to his or her destination. It seems as if my steam is almost out, as I am currently going through a terrible situation. I am just tugging along; the joy and passion seem to be zipping out faster than I can handle. Her book has helped me to re-evaluate and remain calm amid adversity.

ii. Courage to Challenge the Status Quo: 

Upon realizing the fact that I am accountable for my actions, whether I like it or not, I took it upon myself to make a mark wherever I find myself. Due to the state of affairs in the world and how things are generally done, especially to cut corners, I have always been one to challenge the status quo by modeling my character to be unblemished or uncorrupted to the best of my ability. If we desire change, which we should, we must shun the corruption that has bedeviled not just Africa but almost all corners of the world.

iii. Empowerment of Women and Girls: 

We as humans are all the same, whether male or female and should be treated fairly and non-judgmental due to sex or gender. Sometimes human nature would want to play out and bring favoritism into the picture. It happens almost everywhere. I recall when I was teaching at a school for both boys and girls. I treated everyone alike, not reserving any special treatment due to gender. Whoever deserved a reward got it, and whoever deserved correction got it, irrespective of gender.

iv. Commitment to Good Governance: 

Her life is a challenge to mine as well as to others who would want to impart their generation positively. I have committed myself to being good. To do what is right, irrespective of whose ox is gored. In a society of corruption and lawlessness, seeing justice and equity prevail might be very hard; however, people like me have taken it to ensure that the right thing should be done, when and where needed.

v. Vision for National Development: 

Like Ellen, we must all have a big heart, a vision that encompasses us and transcends the present; then and only then can we see and act differently than we are currently. It has always been my goal to impact my generation positively, however little or niche-like it might be. I envision a nation of peaceful co-existence and unity. Equitable distribution of resources, where everyone seeks after the good of the other and not otherwise.

vi. Reconciliation and Healing: 

In a world of turmoil, war, killings, and wanton bloodshed, finding true peace and safety might be elusive. However, retaliation leads to further hurt, so it is very vital to forgive to heal, both personally and generally. I have been misunderstood, misjudged, and mistreated especially by people I hold dearly at heart. The pain is real. The feeling of being wronged and sidelined sometimes makes me question the essence of being good and just. But it normally dawns on me that I am different from them, in the sense that they are just coming to the awareness that I have gotten to. So, I still forgive them and try to work out something amicably with them. If they refuse to see their wrongs and keep on being hurtful, I give way and let them be. I do my best not to harbor hurtful feelings, even though it is very hard, and the pains sometimes still visit.

vii. Legacy of Service and Impact: 

I know that this life is transient, which even makes me more cautious of my dealings. I will someday end my journey on earth, and after I have gone, what will remain is what I did: my works, whatever they may be. So, I will strive to leave a positive legacy that will outlive me and even speak positively for my unborn generations. I understand that the things I do today will have future consequences.

These ideas from the book can resonate with readers by offering insights into leadership, resilience, and the pursuit of positive change. They encourage reflection on personal values, aspirations, and contributions to society.

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

The ideas from the book entitled ‘This Child Shall Be Great’ will practically help me, both in my daily personal life and to create a better world in the following ways:

Persistence in the face of adversity: In my daily life, the candid lessons from persistence will help me overcome challenges and setbacks which there are quite a handful through my dealings with people and in my professional pursuits. By maintaining a clear focus on my long-term goals and putting up a strong disposition in moments of difficulty, I will be able to overcome them. In a broader context, once I have been able to arm myself properly, I can equally encourage others and give positive advice on how they could also be champions, which will make the world a more habitable place to live in.

Empowerment of Women and Girls: It is quite unfortunate that women and girls are at the receiving ends of most if not all societal injustices since they are weaker. Being compassionate and considerate to them will go a long way in changing the direction of their lives entirely. I know I used to take out some time to properly advise young girls in my local fellowship, and engage with their parents to know what they want in life. I had this member who wanted to study nursing at the university but unfortunately was offered another distant discipline to study.  Upon learning about the situation due to my discussions with her, I made her understand that the other alternate discipline might be a starting point to get her to her chosen destination. Though she later told me, she didn’t accept the offer, she was in a much better state of mind, and just recently, I chanced upon her matriculation images online, looking all smiles and what have you.

Reconciliation and healing: I have learned to forgive the hurts and wrongs that have been done to me, which unfortunately are quite a handful. I try to see things from their perspective and let it slip. Such disposition will help me mentally and socially, as there would be fewer barriers when I want to operate or interact with them. However, I will be cautious. In a broader sense, healing and forgiving will most definitely make the world a more cherished place to live in. If wrongs are forgiven and grudges aren’t kept, people can be their brother’s keeper. A lot of unnecessary scrambling will cease especially in the global setting. I do my best to model the lessons embedded therein from the stories I have learned from the book.

4. Quotes: Are there any statements that the author made that particularly caught your attention? If so, please quote them and explain why they were important.

It was a very tense read and quite relatable, as most of the countries in Africa have similar tales. There is a lot of bloodshed and deaths plaguing Africa, and it might take a long while before such memories are erased from the minds of her citizens. There have been a lot of improvements, no doubt, but the battle is far from being won. The following are some of the catchy quotes from the book.

“The history of Liberia, it is said, is written in blood. It is also written in the blood of my family, my friends, and the thousands of Liberians who lost their lives: Just like in Liberia, my own country has witnessed its fair share of coups, civil wars, and corruption. Currently, there are still some crimes, such as kidnappings and sectoral killings, that have thrown the nation into turmoil. It is such a pitiable condition. Africa needs visionaries. People with selfless visions and goals—to raise her from nepotism and other ethical biases—are very rampant. I still recall some of the civil war stories that happened in the 1970s: hunger, despair, and finally death. We are people intricated with harmony and respect; we must retrace our origin.”

“Success is not about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives: If people going for or already in positions of leadership or authority know this maxim, a lot of things will be different than what is happening now. The greatest investment one can ever make is in the life of another individual. That is why we shouldn’t sow seeds of discord or hatred among ourselves. We shouldn’t be deceived easily by politicians who want to get to the seat of power, including by instigating killings and distrust among the masses.”

“Leadership is a choice, not a position: It is a choice and one that individuals must make personally. There have been instances whereby a select few ‘elites’ have imposed certain candidates upon the masses or nations, which have resulted in calamity and untold hardship. Unfortunately, Africa has been blessed with this curse. But recently, we have also begun to witness changes that reflect the true choices of the masses. Some African nations have started to rise above the ashes of tribalism and elitism, to voting for credibility and a proven track record of success.”

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for: We are the change that we seek: It should start with us; it should start with me, the change that I seek to see. I have been working on myself and will continue to do my best to always be a better person than I was the day before. There are many unpleasant situations that I wish would change; hence, I have already begun to change my mindset to be in a better position to effect such changes. It might take time, but hopefully, the change will manifest.”

The real me will come to bear someday, sometime.

“In the end, it is not the titles, accolades, or material wealth that matters. It is the impact we have on others and the legacy we leave behind.”

It is my earnest desire to leave my indelible footprint in the sands of time. I want to impart positive values to my generation so that, after my demise, I will still live on. I still have the burning desire to go into the research and development of curatives for debilitating or degenerative diseases. I want to create an atmosphere of peace and harmony. Offer people the opportunity to live productive and enjoyable lives. One not hampered by a mental or social condition. I also intend to hold conferences and outreaches with motivational and career prospects for the less privileged in my locality.

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

There wasn’t anything in the book I didn’t understand, except the pronunciation of the names of certain people and places.

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

No, the book didn’t contain any exercises.

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.

There isn’t anything I want to comment about.

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