Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford – Assessments

As a Man Thinketh

Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

The main idea is the power of the mind to make or mar life. It enumerates all the ways that thoughts influence our individual and collective existence on Earth. It explains the causes of happiness and sufferings which are from the mind and proffers ways to eliminate the untold hardships being faced by almost every individual by right thoughts in the mind. It outlines the consequences of both right and wrong thoughts. It reassures every one of the possibility to rise above one’s limitations presented by the environment and circumstances by strict self-control which entails great effort.

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. The power of thought

This is all that controls everything. No wonder that whatever a person can conceive is achievable. I have always noticed that whenever I have a hunch or a premonition unconsciously, certain events do take place. Many a time, an idea may flash through my mind and sooner or later I do realize that something that happened was just as I imagined. I may think of something good or bad and it occurs. Prior to my relocation to Abuja from Kano, I had the opportunity to pass through a satellite town and at a particular spot a thought flashed through my mind that I would love to live there. Surprisingly, that area was where I first pitched tent on my relocation to Abuja.

ii. The perfect law

We are to be aware that there is a just law governing all things which have been referred to in many forms such as the law of karma, action and reaction, give and take, reaping what is sown among others. Knowledge and understanding of this all-encompassing universal law will definitely enhance the development of all and will make the world a better place to live in. That perfect law is just and never bias.

iii. Self-analysis and experience.

Existence on Earth is an aggregate of all the experiences one has to go through which can be conditioned by critical self-analysis which must involve the use of positive thinking. We need to examine ourselves and develop self-control to ensure that we are above our circumstances and situations.

iv. Knowledge of self.

Being in possession and facts of the realities of life is essential to success and achievement. One must learn through the hard way. In fact we must seek knowledge in order to be wise. Ignorance is purely a disease that holds us bound in fear and in doubt. We need to control our emotions by positive thoughts.

v. Perseverance

The need not to give up is crucial to success in life because of the many obstacles on the way. The ability to stand up after a fall is a mark of courage that ensures success. The ups and downs of life entails that we remain focused on our goal, never to lose hope in the face of challenges.

vi. Purpose

Everyone needs to live a purposeful life. We have to set goals by thinking about what we want or desire in life and devote our time, energy and resources to achieving them. We should be aware that whatever we can conceive can be achieved.

vii. Environment and circumstances.

These affect us to the extent of our thoughts. We can control them with good thoughts. They should not limit us but serve us avenues for us to grow and develop.

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 are to enable me to refine my thoughts so as to eliminate doubts and fear, thereby being in control of my environment and circumstances. They are to strengthen me in order to have a positive mindset and have the creative power to change all situations. Practically, they are to purge me of negative thoughts and attitudes that may likely lead to sufferings, disease and frustration in life. They are to equip me with the serenity needed in the face of danger or threats and to build my mental ability to resist bad thoughts that can easily affect my health.

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.

I must confess that every sentence in the book is weighty but for the benefit of answering the question, I do hereby state the following:

“Mind is the Master- power that molds and makes.”

A statement that confirms that the whole man is just the product of the brain. It affirms that the mind controls every action and makes a person what he or she is.

“Act is the blossom of thought and joy and suffering its fruit.”

This statement teaches that with what we think about we create our situations for good or bad. That is to say our thought patterns determine whether we are to enjoy or suffer.

“The universe does not favor the greedy, the dishonest, the vicious…although on the mere surface it sometimes appears to do so.”

This is a fact that is unknown to many but which confirms that the race is never for the swift and that nature does not support injustice. However, we seem to think that there are rewards for being fraudulent, wicked and dubious not knowing that nemesis will surely catch up with such people.

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

A popular statement which has been expressed in other ways such as “from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. It is imperative for our thoughts to be refined and devoid of wrong so as to promote harmony among people. In short, it underlines the truth that thoughts make the man.

”In the armoury of thought, he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself. He also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace.”

The understanding of the truth in this statement will go a long way to eliminate many untold hardships and pains caused by ignorance. It will also make people to know that they are the architects of their own life based on how they use their mental power. With the brain or mind, one builds his or her future either for good or for bad.

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

No wonder the scriptures say that when a man sees a woman and harbors an erotic thought has already sinned without necessarily doing it. That is to say that what a person conceives in the mind is likely to come into manifestation.

“Right thoughts ascend to divine perfection, wrong thoughts descend below the beast.”

The need to always have good thoughts in order to have harmony and peace is being emphasized. We need to thing right and act right to make the world a better place to live in. Our thoughts towards everything should be as to promote cordial relationship and not to antagonize or bring confusion or chaos.

“Self-control is strength. Right thought is mastery. Calmness is power. Say unto your heart, “Peace Be still.”

Everyone has to control him or herself and think right while exercising great restraint under stress and provocation. Personally, I do confess that whenever I am annoyed or angry I react negatively to issues and do not really respond to them. On the other hand, whatever I do when calm and without any stress turns out to be very good.

“Whatever your present environment may be, you will fall, remain, or rise with your thoughts.”

That is success or failure is the outcome one’s thinking which conforms to the saying that what I fear comes to me.

“In all human affairs, there are efforts, and there are results. The strength of the effort is the measure of the result.”

Simply put, diligence or hard work will surely yield success and indolence or laziness brings failure. No wonder even at school students and pupils are encouraged to work hard.

“The thoughtless, the ignorant and the indolent, seeing only the apparent effects of things and not the things themselves, talk of luck, of fortune, and chance.”

Those who are not ready to work feel that manna can still drop from heaven. We need to strive or struggle in order to reach great heights.

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?

I could not but agree with every single word and sentence in the book. Everything in the book compels the reader to have a mastery of him or herself just as in accordance with the ancient Delphi oracle’s “know thyself.” I found the book a precious gem worth of keeping for even generations yet unborn. The language is also very simple.

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, there are exercises for the training of the mind. The exercises are basically to have good thoughts to control our actions thereby our habits and character. For instance we must learn to change our thoughts instead of the food we eat if we are to change our situations. The ability to drive out wrong thoughts needs patience, practice and perseverance and these we must do on daily basis in order to attain perfection. The constant and determined effort should be employed to achieve the desired goal of preventing wrong thoughts into our minds which will greatly improve our health and offer us the serenity needed to create a better world.

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 was no mention of any scripture. A fact that proves that natural truths cuts across all religions. That is to say the natural truths stand regardless of religion, race or culture but they can be interpreted in each of them. It also confirms the truth that we ourselves can make or mar our lives. It all depends on how well we train our minds by meditation, self-control and the experiences we go through.

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 Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

The main idea is that with the development of the mind for leadership, there will always be followers or learners who will be willingly to learn from the leader. However, there are several impediments to the achievement of success. The path to success was also depicted as having a dream or vision, holding unto it by being focused, undergoing through the necessary training or acquiring the needed knowledge and reaching out to perfection. It also emphasizes on the need for the perfected ones to have the love and kindness to impart on others. In learning, we need good mentors or instructors, who will not forever be there for us so we need to make the best of the time with such people.

2. What are 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 example from your own life.

i. Vision

Vision, which may come as a thought that can be killed or be hampered by discouragement from others. I nursed the idea of inventing blood at a very tender age but I was not taken seriously by my own people.

ii. Determination

Determination, which enables someone to be focused in spite of obstacles. I was bent on becoming a doctor but the determination was short lived by my failure to gain admission to the Medical School. Nevertheless, I have never given up but feel that by being a teacher and a minister in the church, I am affecting lives positively just as I could have done if a doctor treating the sick. A popular adage says “never say die until the bones are rotten.”

iii. Learning or study

Learning or study to acquire the relevant knowledge needed for one’s pursuit and not just faith. To me ignorance is a dangerous disease which should never be contracted. Knowledge definitely is power. There should be the thirst for books and one must devote him or herself to many books and put into practice the lessons learnt. Learning does not stop until death. The development of the mind, body and soul can be more effective through books. My thirst for books has kept me reading and learning different topics on various subjects which led me to what I am now.

iv. Kindness

Kindness, we need to be of affection to others so that we can assist them to overcome their weaknesses and ignorance. There are many people who need a touch of kindness and we must try to be kind to there. I need not list the ways I have shown kindness to others but let it suffice to state that I always feel fulfilled and satisfied that I have touched somebody’s life.

v. Forgiveness

Forgiveness as seen in the book will endear us to others. It does not remember any fault and heals wounds. Enemies become friends. Such was the case when I found out that a colleague was all out to frustrate me by making serious allegations against me in the school. When I forgave him, he became my right hand man who defended me till we parted.

vi. Love

Love brings out the best out of us. Love compels people to render service to others. In the course of my life, I always have the urge to help those I love. I am always willing to do my best for my beloved ones. I try not to hurt or disappoint them. I can state that there are things I personally will not like to do because of the way it will affect my loved ones. For example, I will not like to commit any offence that will land me in jail or that will allow my loved ones to see me in handcuffs. Likewise, I am prepared to perform feats that will make my loved ones proud of me and which will put smiles on their faces.
vii. Success

Success comes by hard work, determination, courage and perseverance in the face of the obstacles such as discouragement, misunderstanding, frustration and failure. Success to me is very important as it is a stimulus to do more. I used to feel satisfied whenever I am able to achieve a goal. For instance during my school days I always strove hard to maintain and sustain my good position in class. The euphoria of success used to propel me to higher heights.

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 lessons learned in the book have broadened my horizon to affirm the fact that whatever you do, people must talk and that breaking new grounds is not an easy task. It requires a lot of personal sacrifices and denial of one’s comfort until success is attained. Furthermore, one need to remain focused on an idea or thought which comes into mind and be resolute with the knowledge that there are people in one’s immediate constituency ready to kill one’s dream because they will never be in agreement but rather take it as a taboo in the community, especially if that idea seems to be an innovation or rather something different from the norms. However, with determination, courage and perseverance, one can achieve his or her ambition. It has also demonstrated that change is always possible and we can live above our limitations. We are also to look beyond our cultural, societal and traditional myths or customs which limit us from soaring high and breaking new grounds. The way to success is paved with many challenges to discourage and frustrate us but we must not give up. Moreover, great leaders will always have followers and such leaders need to have big hearts of love and kindness in order to assist the world. Such leaders must be willing to forgive and ready to teach others by rendering selfless service. All these will go a long way to make the world a better place as many are living in ignorance and cannot see beyond their wingtip.

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.

“I am a seagull. I am limited by my nature.”

This strikes me as the limitation faced by every human being. Many people feel that their background, skin color, tribe, sex and what have you, are the reasons for their inability to achieve their goals. They fail to believe that they can make the best of even the impossible and resign to fate. In fact, personally I thought some forces and family problems were the factors preventing my success and nearly gave up.

“If I were meant to learn so much about flying, I’d have charts for brains. If I were meant to fly at speed, I’d have a falcon’s short wings and live on mice instead of fish.”

Another indication of our gross ignorance of our abilities. We can surely lift ourselves out of ignorance and find ourselves as creatures of excellence and skill by the relevant knowledge, training or education.

“Heaven is being perfect.”

This is a profound statement that needs careful meditation. It makes the ardent seeker of the truth to yearn for perfection and confirms the fact that the Earth can be made to be heaven if all will strive for perfection in love, kindness and service to one another.

“You didn’t need faith to fly, you needed to understand flying.”

What a concise and outright truth that success is only guaranteed by sheer hard work, diligence and perseverance in the face of the obstacles or challenges on the way.

“The price of being misunderstood is to be called devil or god.”

People will always talk whether good or bad so we need not be discouraged by what others say. We only have to realize that when we fail we will be looked upon with scorn and even blamed but when we succeed we will be hailed and accepted.

“Boredom, fear and anger are the reasons that a gull’s life is so short.”

In other words, inactivity due to the lack of positive thinking or vision, apprehension of the unknown and frustration out of bitterness are the causes of our predicament of underdevelopment, poverty, diseases and starvation, all of which lead to high mortality rate.
“The true law is that which leads to freedom.”

Nothing can be as true as this because every human being yearns for freedom. People can display the ultimate capabilities and inadequacies if they are really free to do so.

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?

Well, the book is just clear but the flight technicalities were above my understanding but I took them to mean the intricacies involved in the acquisition of knowledge .I feel that they are indications that learning or training is not to be on a platter of gold.

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, there are exercises to be carried out on positive thinking, perseverance, developing oneself, demonstrating kindness, love and forgiveness. The reader is to make an effort to improve upon him or herself in order to be able to impart on others. That is to say, every reader should aspire to be a leader to break fallow grounds.

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 introductory statement “To the real Jonathan Seagull who lives within us all.” I find this thought provoking after reading the book in the sense that we like the seagull have many limitations but we need to break all the limitations which are imposed by our nature, circumstances and situations if we are to make meaningful impact on the society. That there is the need to awaken the sleeping giant in each of us. This we can do if our minds are set.

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

 

 

Keys to Success

Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

The main idea is how to achieve one’s ambition and be successful in life. It highlights the ways or principles to be followed or adhered to in order to attain success and greatness. The book points to the way to the top in whatever one desires to achieve or aspires to. It spurs efforts, steels strength and makes dreams come true. With the book, one can know his or her purpose in life and how to achieve the purpose. It is all about personal achievement in life which depends on the ability on the individual to apply the seventeen principles enumerated in the book.

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.

All the seventeen principles stated are worthy ideas to adhere to. These are:

1. Develop definiteness of purpose.

2. Establish a mastermind alliance.

3. Assemble an attractive personality.

4. Use applied faith.

5. Go the extra mile.

6. Create personal initiative.

7. Build a positive mental attitude.

8. Control your enthusiasm.

9. Enforce self-discipline.

10. Think accurately.

11. Control your attention.

12. Inspire teamwork.

13. Learn adversity and defeat.

14. Cultivate creative vision.

15. Maintain sound health.

16. Budget your time and money.

17. Use cosmic habit force

All these principles are nuggets for a successful life. They have had a profound influence on my life and I will like to comment on only seven of them.

i. Develop definiteness of purpose.

Really, life is to be a journey to a known destination. Without a particular destination in mind, the traveler will just be roaming about. In fact, such a traveler will have no idea of how long the journey will take or how far he or he has to go. I never knew what I really wanted to be and as a brilliant child, I only agreed to opinions that I should be a doctor but deep inside me I knew I have to direct and save people and thank God that I am both a teacher and a minister in the church.

ii. Establish a mastermind alliance. I knew this in a different form as I was warned about the friends I keep both at home and in school.

I learned that birds of the same feather, flock together and that iron sharpened iron so show me your friend and I will tell you what you are. Thus, fundamentally the company we keep affects our progress in life either positively or negatively.

iii. Assemble an attractive personality.

Over the years, I have learnt to always be nice to people by being friendly, humble, and humorous among other things. This I found out endears me to people. I always have a smile on the face and never display my anger or displeasure unnecessarily. It thus to my joy to notice that to be among the principles needed for success. I also dress well as I learnt that one is addressed by how one dresses.

iv. Use applied faith.

Another powerful statement which to me is practical in life. Faith being the substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen to me is the essence of life. On several occasions, I have seen this come to play in my personal life. Whatever my mind conceives can be achieved. All along the faith in me has always secured me some astonishing feats.

v. Think accurately.

Having learned that majority of mankind often act before thinking, I feel obliged to educate on the need to think accurately. Many a mistake is made because people do not think accurately. I have known for years that if people were to think before uttering words, many of the problems or troubles in the world could be averted.

vi. Maintain sound health.

To me, a sound mind in a sound body is a principal thing so I strive to keep myself in top shape. If people are healthy and do not spend much on health insurance and hospital bills then they will be happier and more productive. Really, I have been teaching others on how to use local herbs and plants to maintain sound health.

vii. Budget your time and money. Sincerely speaking, I can admit that I have never been touched by statements as this. I have not been able to manage my money. I live from hand to mouth which is the reason for my not having much to boast of in terms of property and wealth. I always assert that the only lesson I was not taught was how to save money. However, by reading the keys to success, I have now made a change which is yielding great results. For time management, I am now more time conscious that I keep to time and do things within set limits. Having seen improvements in almost every sphere of my life with regards to time and money, I hope to be in a position to impact on others believing that this will definitely make the world a better place. The notion of African or Nigerian time is almost erased from my mind and I am proud to state that it has earned me more respect in the office and in the church.

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?

All the lessons learnt from the book are for practical purposes which are bound to bring about rapid changes to make one successful in life. The book is very inspiring and motivating that it is just a must read for everyone who can read. Since I read though the book, I have been putting those principles into practice and always take another look at the striking messages which I believe have change my outlook at situations and propelling to be a better person. In my relationships and even attitude to work, the ideas have been guiding lights. I am now focused to my purpose in life. This has cleared all erroneous beliefs which hitherto have been pushing me to blame others, events and situations for my failures. As such, I strongly believe that if many people get access to such principles or ideas as outlined they will appreciate life and strive for success without much inhibitions. People need to be taught these seventeen principles for success and they should be encouraged to live by them. This can be achieved by reviving the reading culture among people. I have already put in place a scheme to encourage others to read and also join the Institute.

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.

Just as it is with every worthy book, there were numerous thought provoking messages delivered in the book. Some of such are as follows:

“The difference between a wish and a burning desire is crucial. Everyone wants the better things in life; i.e. money, fame, respect- but most people never go beyond just wishing for them.”

A true statement which points to exactly what most people do. We all want to get to the top without sweat. It confirms the saying that if wishes were horses, beggars will ride. Success and greatness can never be achieved by laziness, fraud and cheating but by sincere and genuine effort. We have to work hard for the good things in life. This confirms my belief that easy comes, easy goes. Whatever is not worked for is of very little value.

“Study every person you can think of who has achieved lasting success and you will find that each one has had a definite major purpose and each devoted the greatest part of his or her thoughts and efforts to that end.”

This statement is a confirmation of the fact nothing ventured, nothing gained. We must not assume that those achievers around us are lucky or rather favored but that we strove for their success. We have to disabuse our minds from the erroneous belief that not everyone will be an achiever rather we should be positively minded, knowing fully well that we can all be achievers and make the world a better place to live in. If everybody is better off, there will be less crime, violence and insecurity. Moreover, if we are to study those achievers, we will then know what they have gone through and get encouraged and motivated.

“As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “One single idea may have greater weight than the labor of all the men, animals and engines for a century.”

An encouraging and motivating statement that poses a challenge to all to really think and come out with a solution or a service to humanity. It proves that all the big and giant strides made in this world all originated from the ideas in the minds of those individuals who were able to think rationally. There are therefore many more new grounds to be broken to make the world better than as it is now.

“Successful people make decisions quickly (as soon as all the facts are available) and firmly. Unsuccessful people make decisions slowly and they change them often.”

Yes, this is just concise and I am a living witness to the wavering tendency in taking decisions. Most often when decisions are not quickly and firmly taken. Procrastination the thief of time takes over and work is left undone. Having imbibed the unique mindset of successful people, I do things with such accuracy that I yearn to teach others.

“Striving for success has its detractors.”

The truth in this simple statement is self-evident. The road to success is paved with many obstacles which can be overcome with determination, courage and perseverance. The ups and downs in life should never deter us from forging ahead. We must never lose hope and should not be discouraged by people, events and the environment, knowing fully well that success will surely crown our efforts.

“You must keep any thoughts of discord out of your alliance.”

Another cogent advice to avoid loud and aggressive persons who are vexations to the heart. We are to flow with those in tune with our ideals and aspirations and not with those who are bound to sow seeds of discord among us. These can be known by their fruits; that is to say by their contributions.

“The more generous you are the more help you will get.”

I do always preach that the basic means to receive are asking in prayers, earning by working and by giving. Asking amiss will prevent receiving while working for or under another may not guarantee receiving because the employer may delay payment. However, giving ensures receiving with an increase. Moreover, givers never lack. No wonder, nature gives and gives yet it is never exhausted while man receives and he is never satisfied and continues complaining. I consequently agree to the statement which is a confirmation of my belief. How I pray that most so called Christians will embrace this universal truth like their brothers and sisters, the Muslims who really live by it.

“A united family is a great team.”

In my life, this simple but weighty statement has played out significantly to the extent that I can conveniently outline both the merits and demerits of a united family as a great team. Growing up in a rather quarrelsome family, I found out that many things could not be achieved because of the disagreement between my father and his sisters. On the other hand, the unity among us, the children enabled us to help one another which has resulted in what we are now. With my own family, I can say the unity among my children and my wife has contributed to the rather conducive and harmonious atmosphere in the home that is yielding laudable results. I can state that my past experiences have made to have the family that I have now.

“No one’s education is ever complete.”

I put it in my own way that there is no end to education and everyone has to continue learning till death. We have to continue learning every day. Alvin Tofler declared that the illiterates of the 21st century will not just be those who cannot read or write but rather those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn. The Holy Book also enjoins us to seek for knowledge for people perish for the lack of it. In fact, I can say it is my quest for more education that has led me to joining this Institute which I believe is the greatest asset in my life. I strongly hope others are going to benefit from this wonderful service to humanity.

“Impatience with others is a visible expression of selfishness and lack of self-discipline.”

The patient dog eats the fattest bone is well known and I believe by exercising patience a lot can be achieved. Over the years, I have suffered from the impatience of those who were not ready to give me a listening ear even if I felt I was innocent. I had to grow being aggressive because of bottled aggression. Now I have realized that being patient with others and hearing both sides of issues always yields good judgment. I have developed the attitude of allowing others to have a say and showing empathy. One who is impatient will never appreciate others for he or she can never see anything good in them .Such a person may be disillusioned, thinking only about him or herself. There is the need to always allow others to contribute and listen to them giving room for disagreement and never claim to be right always.

“Don’t mistake humility for timidity.”

This should the words of sages that can endear people to others. Ironically or rather unfortunately, a person humble at heart is presumed to be fearful and weak. When growing up. I had the tendency to ignore people who hurt me but some friends used to call me a weakling. I never fought unnecessarily and was taken to be timid. However, I am encouraged the more to learn that humility is never timidity. In fact, in my church and even among the top Spiritual fathers, we are advised to imbibe the humility of Pastor Enoch Adeboye who is so humble that he even bows to the young when greeting. His humility is further displayed by the manner of his speeches and every way of his life. I am convinced that humility is rather a source of great power or strength in life.

“Win without boasting, lose without squealing and others will soon respect you.”

What a concise statement which I term the spirit of sportsmanship. It tells that there is no shame in losing and that winners must be magnanimous as nothing is permanent in life. By extension, no condition is permanent so we must take things as they come. We are to enjoy winning and also losing knowing fully well that all days are not equal.

“Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

The power of the mind is hereby summarized to confirm the fact that as a man thinketh so he is. It is also a pointer to the fact that faith moves mountains, therefore the need to exercise the power of positive thinking. We must avoid thinking of the impossible and focus on all possibilities which can be achieved to make the world a better place.

“If you make your prayers an expression of gratitude and thanksgiving for the blessings you already have instead of requests for things you do not have, you will obtain results much faster.”

The very first day I came across this wonderful revelation, I exclaimed “eureka” and could not wait to share it in the church. It dawned on me that it is a fact which explains why many Christians wallow in abject poverty. Many are the church-goers whose prayers are always asking for almost every good thing in this world without an iota of appreciation for past benefits. Many take almost everything for granted or feel it is their innate right to sleep, wake, eat and go about talking without realizing to recognize the source or the Giver and to thank and register their gratitude. My psyche has really been changed and I have seen the multiplier effect on my family and church which I believe will go a long way to bring about great achievements.

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 book is just self-explanatory with simple language that makes it a must read for all. Every sentence is heavily loaded with words as food for thought.

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?

Surely, there are several exercises enumerated in almost every chapter that are geared towards making the individual to grasp the principles. At the tail end, everything is summarized and the seventeen principles laid out for emphasis to ensure total commitment to 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.

The book covered all the areas that should be worked upon in order to achieve success and I believe with the determination to follow the laid down principles, one is bound to succeed in life. Having read it over and over I feel as if a veil has been torn off my whole existence that I can say with much conviction that before I was blind but now I see.

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

 

 

PsychoCybernetics

Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

The main idea being conveyed can be summed up as self- evaluation, self-realization, and self–actualization and self-development. It is all about how to make life worth living by changing failure to success. In short, it is a manual containing instructions for a healthy, joyful and successful life which are achievable by every individual. We are to learn by the mistakes and not to be frustrated or discouraged by the challenges of life. Simply put, our efforts towards self-discovery will enable us to enjoy life and the desire to achieve success or failure is under the control of the individual.

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. Recognizing the self-image.

The knowledge of the self- image has now enabled me to solve or rather gain more insight to my abilities and capabilities. The ability to recognize one’s higher self is a key component to success or failure in life. There were days I could find answers to questions which I really did not know how to tackle. Most times, I used to wonder about the power behind my successes and even failures but the realization or rather the discovery of my higher self seems to have been of immense help in my life.

ii. The power of imagination.

In fact, the ability to imagine things has had a profound impact on my life. Over the years, I realized that many of the things I imagined came to be realities. In almost every sphere of my life, social, academics there have been vivid instances when the power of imagination came into play. For example, I once imagined working in a particular school and having a particular girlfriend which manifested.

iii. Rational thinking.

My thinking used to be irrational that is to say I used to doubt even myself but now I know better from the book, psycho-cybernetics.

iv. Relaxation.

Now, I have known the benefits of relaxation and the exercises have been of tremendous assistance. I now get myself free from stress so easily that it is a wonder to my family.

v. Dehypnotizing self from false beliefs.

This has been a very valuable lesson I have learnt from the book. Previously, I do harbor some unfounded beliefs about myself and family. Most of those were mere superstitious beliefs and I was just being irrational but now I know better. There were days that I was made to think that someone especially my step mother and even some relatives of my father were behind my failures.

vi. Success. I have a very good knowledge on this from the book, having learnt how to activate the success mechanism and adhering to the acronym of success which states as follows:

S – sense of direction.

U – understanding

C – courage

C – charity

E – esteem

S – self-confidence

S – self-acceptance.

vii. Failure.

This idea has also been well understood by me and I know what to do to deactivate the failure mechanism which is also operational in the mind. The acronym for that has also been understood as below:

F – frustration, hopelessness and futility

A – aggressiveness (misdirected)

I – insecurity

L – loneliness ( lack of oneness)

U -uncertainty

R – resentment

E – emptiness

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

These ideas have already affected me positively that I wish I were some years younger to fully put all of them into practice. Nevertheless, I am grateful to have stumbled over such unique teachings and I have seen remarkable changes in every facet of my life. At home, in the school where I work and almost everywhere I find myself I feel belonging. I think rationally and I am able to be at peace with all those around me. Many are those who have noticed the sudden transformation in me and are eager to know the secret.

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.

Almost every sentence had a profound impact on me but to fulfill all righteousness, I state the following:

“Truth is where it is found in the foreface.”

This statement really confirms that truth cannot be found everywhere, thus there is the need to search or seek for it.

“It is not the child who is taught about love but the child who has experienced love that grows into a healthy, happy, well-adjusted adult.”

A fact that personally I can confirm by my experiences when growing up. Though I learned a lot about love for one another in the school and church, yet I could see it in action at home. My father and his sisters were at loggerheads with my step-mother maltreating my two brothers me. As a result I never knew what it took to be happy and that affected me in diverse ways.

“Nothing succeeds like success; past success stories spur us on to greater feats.”

I believe that most of my achievements or accomplished are all related to the fact that I was able to surmount many obstacles such as health challenges and frustrations from detractors. Those stories always make me feel that I have something great to do in this world.

“I learned as much if not more from my failures as from my successes.”

This is another revelation of what I having been doing right from time. Normally, whenever I am blamed for something or when I fail to do the needful or what is right, I take stock and examine where, how and why I went wrong. Often times, I blame myself even if I was right and resolve not to allow such to repeat. For my successes, I do feel too humble to even announce, thinking others may take them to mean I am boastful. Consequently, I hardly take much notice of my achievements but rather give the glory to my Maker.

“To really live, that is to find life reasonably satisfying, you must have an adequate and realistic self-image that you can live with. You must find yourself acceptable to you. You must have wholesome self- esteem. You must have a self that you can trust and believe in. You must have a self that you are not ashamed to be and one that you can feel free to express creatively, rather than to hide or cover up. You must know yourself; both your strengths and weaknesses and be honest with yourself concerning both.”

I believe this is the sum total of self-realization, when you fully know yourself as according to the oracle at Adelphi, man know thyself.

“Feelings of inferiority originate not so much from facts or experiences, but our conclusions regarding facts and evaluation of experiences.”

This also an important factor that makes people to have to say “I am not a small boy or girl,” when everything shows that they are adults. It often irritates me on hearing such pronouncements which reflect inferiority complex.

“Consider the risk before the wheel starts turning.”

If only everybody knows this then there will be no disappointments, frustrations and bitterness. Unfortunately, as many are ignorant and even speak before thinking, we do have regrets and often say, “Had I known”.

“Happy people are never wicked.”

A simple but loaded message to all humanity. I quite believe that where there is happiness, there is fulfillment and satisfaction that propel those who are happy to have pleasant thoughts. Their minds are filled with bliss that they tend to be generous, helpful and friendly. Such people do not bear grudges. No wonder, I used to see even people who under the influence of alcohol display acts of generosity and assistance because they felt happy.

“If an infant is hungry, he expresses discontent by crying.” This is just a truth which underlines the fact that when we seek, we must find and when we feel dissatisfied with our situation then we must take action to effect a change. Without any action, movement can hardly take place.

“The best channel of all for aggression is to use it up as it was intended to be used in working toward some goal. Work remains one of the best therapies, and one of the best tranquilizers for a troubled spirit.”

Yes, it is said that the idle mind is the devil workshop because an active mind is so much occupied to allow wandering. When engaged in work, I get so much engrossed with the work that my thoughts are only focused on the job an nothing else.

“Remember that your resentment is not caused by other persons, events, or circumstances.”

This is what many people do not know and therefore the reason for shifting blames. The full understanding of this can lead to the curbing of high tempers. I have got to learn never to apportion blame and this has been helping me a lot.

“It is caused by your own emotional response; your own reaction. You alone have power over this, and you can control it if you firmly convince yourself that resentment and self-pity are not ways to happiness and success, but ways to defeat and unhappiness.”

Just a self-explanatory assertion which makes one to be self–conscious and never to blame anything his or her failures. Every person is the architect of his or her own life and as you make your bed so you will lie on.

“If life owes you a living, you become resentment when it isn’t forthcoming. This is a pointer to the fact that everyone has to offer something and make the best out of life. Nobody was born a failure.

“When the failure-type personality looks for scape-goat or excuse for his failure, he often blames society, the system, life, the breaks”

A profound statement about the reality of life which is applicable to most people. Most of us like apportion blame on others and we also like give excuses for our own mistakes. This attitude needs to be avoided.

“He resents the success and happiness of others because it is proof to him that life is short-changing him and he is being treated unfairly.”

Such is the feelings of many a defeated and dejected person. I have known not to compete with others but to cherish those I call mentors and to emulate them.

“Resentment is an attempt to make our own failure palatable by explaining it in terms of unfair treatment, injustice.”

This to say that people will always try to justify their actions. They will not accept their mistakes and will like to trade words and even blames. I have been a victim of such actions but I have realized that trying to justify does not pay.

“Let us not be too proud to accept help from others or too callous to give it.”

This is a habit I have imbibed as I know that no man is an island or a reservoir of all knowledge. I now feel ready to share ideas and also introduce others to what I know will be of benefit.

“The six basic needs are the need for love, the need for security, the need for creative expression, the need for new experiences, the need for self-esteem and the need for life.”

Lack of these bring about the chaos and confusion associated with many in the 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?

Well, the message was clearly and concisely stated in simple plain language that was well understood. Everything was about self-improvement skills, which can be acquired within the shortest possible time. However, I dare say that nothing was stated about witchcraft or diabolic forces believed in these parts of the world to be responsible for the truncation of destinies.

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

There were various exercises for building up physically, mentally and spiritually. In fact I found those on relaxation very rewarding as they seemed in line with those I have learnt previously while studying meditation and contemplation under Yoga. Even in the preface, there is the need for reserved judgment for twenty-one days.

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.

All the statements were just cogent and concise however, I may feel that there are some destiny destroyers, those witches and wizards who can thwart or destroy one’s future and nothing was written about such.

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

 

 

Real Magic

Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

The book, Real Magic is all about the need to know that every individual is a spiritual soul in a physical body on this earth with the purpose to give, serve and love. The book then outlines the means to come to the realization and knowledge of the spirituality which will ultimately lead to achieving what were perceived to be impossible or miracles. Emphasis is also laid on the need to carry out exercises such as meditation to develop the mind.

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. Spirituality

This is very crucial in self-realization and development. Having known that I am a spiritual being in a physical body has even strengthened my religious belief in line with Apostle Paul injunction to subdue the body and to worship God in spirit and in truth.

ii. Self-improvement

The power to create the higher level of awareness when things happen as if they are miracles because of the assumption that those things were rather impossible has enabled me to be convinced that I can do all things. I have improved upon every aspect of my life and have overcome some hindrances which were restraining my progress in life.

iii. Intuition

Initially, I was doubtful of my ability to rely on my inner consciousness and used to ignore such hunches. Wonderfully, I have got the truth which is not only making me to be very effective in the church but has really been helping me to make sound decisions.

iv. Meditation

My life seems to be on course and fast becoming what I can say is a miracle just because I have time to carry out most of the meditation exercises as outlined in the “Real Magic.” My wife is even infected by the early morning exercises that we are now better than before in all things.

v. Enlightenment

Having got to know the three ascending paths to realization, I have made up my mind to gain the quiet acceptance and appreciation of what is (enlightenment) through purpose. As I am now very sure of my purpose in life; thanks to all the books I have gone through, the Real Magic, inclusive, I am focused and more determined to give, serve and love humanity to make the world a better place to live in.

vi. Readiness to learn

My appetite to learn has been whetted by the books I am now reading and I have consequently become ever ready to learn, knowing that the teacher is on hand to teach me.

vii. Relationship with others

A striking effect on my life as far as my relationship with other is concerned has been the fact to relinquish the need to be right. By giving others the benefit of the doubt and also confirming the fact that Jesus never condemned anyone has greatly elevated me even at my workplace.

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 enumerated above and learnt from the book, “Real Magic” are just what can change the individual, the family, the nation and the whole world at large if only if people can be educated on them. Strangely, many people are not ready to learn to the extent that just the titles of books put them away. Imagine the number of persons who misunderstood me for a magician because of the title “Real Magic.” I had to really go all out to convince my friends to disabuse their minds. However, it is reassuring that some having seen the tremendous changes or magic in me are willing to toe the line. Personally, I am now a happier and better man who is experiencing miracles on daily basis. I am more than committed to really teach others.

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 very first quote with much impact is Henry Miller’s “The world is not to be put in order, the world is order incarnate. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order.”

This is a fact that we do not have to blame the environment but rather exploit the opportunities which abound.

The next quote is on the three ascending paths to enlightenment which is explained as:

“The quiet acceptance and appreciation of what is”

The paths which I do paraphrase are as follows:

Enlightenment through suffering; “you had to experience pain in order to transcend it…For some life is spent in asking, “why me, God?”

Enlightenment through outcome; “What will the outcome be for me?”

“These are the goal–oriented people focused on quotas and specific obstacles as opportunities.”

Enlightenment through purpose; “by going within and discovering that purpose is about loving unconditionally and serving, and making contact with what is there about us always.”

Nothing but the truth about our existence here on Earth. The knowledge of these was timely as it has enabled me to improve upon myself, having experienced all and making a choice of the best which is enlightenment through purpose.

“When you experience giving, serving, loving and promoting harmony you feel the difference within yourself.”

A fact that is essentially what is needful in life and in agreement with even the religious injunctions for a righteous living. There is always a sense of fulfillment when one adheres to this principle. Personally, the principle has been engraved in my mind and I am reaping immense benefits.

“All that you fight weakens you; all that you support empowers you.”

I have gained a lot from this by being able to discard or rather ignore those things that I feel disgust me which under circumstances I would have condemned and fight against. The realization of the truth in this quote has also freed my mind from all distractions.

“The fruit of love is service, which is compassion in action.”

This is just in conformity of my belief that service is the jewel in the rock of attainment. That is to say we are to assist and help one another in this world.

“You came here for a reason and it is not to hoard a lot of physical stuff. You came here without that stuff and you will leave without any of it.”

A straight talk about the futility of being materialistic in this world. How I yearn that all the inhabitants of the earth will embrace this fact and use our resources for the betterment of the whole world.

“No man is an island.”

Another undeniable fact that teaches us the need for co-existence, cooperation, tolerance and accommodation no matter the physical differences. In short, it is a pointer to the truth that we must be one another’s keeper by rendering service.

“If you have enough belief in yourself, and you are ready, the teacher will appear.”

There is nothing like a hopeless state in life. This is my stand with regard to the quote as I have realized that there is always a way out of every situation just as there is a solution to every problem. If only we have faith then help in the form of a teacher will surely be on hand. In my own case, my enrollment into IIGL was just timely which I can say is proof of the quote.

“What comes out is what is inside.”

The Scripture says that out of the abundance of the heart speaks the mouth. That is also to say that one cannot give what one does not have and consequently the need for an individual to seek knowledge. It also explains the need to enable the spirit to control the physical.

“Purpose is all about giving yourself away and refusing to ask ‘What’s in it for me?”

This is the real aim or objective in life. We must just be selfless in our services to humanity.

“The more you give away the more you get, the more you try to force something for your own benefit, the less you seem to enjoy what you seek so desperately.”

A great lesson to be learned by all. It ascertains the need to develop passion to help others or to forget self and think of others. Our whole existence should be likened to a lighted candle that gives out light to others to see while it burns itself out. The true acceptance of this will erase every iota of selfishness, greed and covetousness.

“Keep in mind that you can never get enough of what you don’t want.”

We need not worry or keep on complaining but rather we need to develop confidence and hope, convinced that there will always be a better tomorrow.

”Where there is great love, there are always miracles.”

An undeniable truth that I believe should be imbibed by all instead of the pretense I do observe among Christians. Our ability to display genuine love will make the world a better place. No wonder the greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself.

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, everything is even self-explanatory. I can only state that the title though apt is not easily acceptable by those that I describe as “holier than thou” in the Christian faith just because of the word, “magic.” This goes a long way to confirm my belief that perception differs and can be misleading.

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?

Awesome exercises such as the affirmations abound with the capability of achieving perfect equilibrium of the mind and thereby creating the higher level of awareness when things happen as if they are miracles. Exercises which teach how to go beyond goal setting, believing to knowing.

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 must state that there is nothing that was not covered but then I would have liked to know more about the importance of fasting and abstinence together with contemplation.

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

 

 

Giant Steps

Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

Giant Steps, the 406 page book by Anthony Robbins is just filled with what I called 365 gold nuggets; one for each day for a fulfilling life. It is an inspirational book that easily triggers actions to yield great results. It is to funnel that innate energy into results by getting you to consistently take simple actions and enables you to take control of one’s life, knowing that nothing happens by chance.

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. Dreams

Really, things occur when we dream and no wonder we are always encouraged to dream big. Personally, I take dreams as revelations of future events which may be either warnings or assurances being communicated from higher planes than the gross material or physical. Taking cognizance of our dreams can surely sharpen our intuition to make us more sensitive and better persons.

ii. Decisions

The ability to take decisions is very crucial in life. Decisions taken can make or mar one’s life and we ought to be very careful when making decisions. In fact no decision should be taken when in anger or unstable mentally. Decisions compel us to take actions with expected results or consequences.

iii. Actions

Results or consequences are products of actions. A man who does not take actions remains idle and we all know that an idle man is the devil’s workshop. Inaction makes a person lazy which is a vice to be shunned. However, we should know that some actions are negative with dire consequences which should be avoided. Our actions should always be in pursuit of service in love to give to humanity.

iv. Persistence

We should never give up. Persistence in the face of obstacles and problems or challenges will ensure victory and breakthrough. We need to develop resilience and continue to strive no matter the frustrations and distractions if we have a vision to make the world a better place for all the living.

v. Commitment

Our dedication and devotion to a just cause will definitely yield profound results. The sense of commitment needs to be developed for us to stay on course to achieve our aims and aspirations. I liken this to my experience of learning how to ride a bicycle. My first attempt resulted in an injury but with a combined effort of commitment and persistence, I learnt and got to the stage of riding without holding the handlebars.

vi. Consequences

I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt for every action there is a result, a consequence or an effect, which can be either negative or positive. We should therefore know to be responsible for our actions which stem out of our decisions. This will enable us refrain from giving frivolous excuses.

vii. Beliefs

It is rather unfortunate that most of us have our opinions and views discolored by beliefs which are ridiculous. Personally, my ability to acquire relevant knowledge has helped to discard some and not all the tradition beliefs which hitherto had limited me in various ways. An example is the belief in witchcraft. As a person from a polygamous background, an accusing finger was always pointed to my step mum for every sickness and misfortune.

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 above ideas are truly helping to shape my life to be more objective to my purpose of existence. They are helping me to be more sensitive to my thoughts and dreams so as not to make or take hasty decisions, knowing that the actions to be taken have dire consequences. Moreover, they are helping me to discard or rather dispel the fear I had for some traditional beliefs.

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.

Among the numerous quotes which are of profound interest to me are as follows:

“Nothing happens unless first a dream.”

I strongly believe this truth and it really confirms that the spiritual come first before the physical. No wonder, people are always encouraged to dream big. Much can therefore be achieved once we all take particular note of our dreams.

“Small changes to make a difference.”

Though quite short, I feel much impact in it. It corroborates the saying that we are not to despise little or humble beginnings for little drops of water make a mighty ocean. A lot is hidden in this nugget which should be grasped by all.

“Our decisions- not the conditions of our lives determine our destiny.”

This statement is another truth about the need for us to live or rise above the environment. We are not to give excuses or blame the conditions around us but to make a sound decision to make the best out of even the impossible, thus creating miracles in our lives.

“Success is the result of good judgment; good judgment the result of experience and experience is often the result of bad judgment.”

A rather self-explanatory quote which makes us to be strong in the face of adversity, never losing hope but rather persevering in all things.

“All decisions have consequences.”

A frank truth which confirms that we are responsible for the results or consequences of our decisions.

The next quote is on the ultimate success formula outlined below and which is self- explanatory: “1. Decide what you want. (Be precise. Clarity is pure). 2. Take action (Desire is not enough). 3. Notice what is working or not. 4. Flexibility gives power to create a new approach and a new result.”

“Pain can be your friend if you use it effectively.”

A true saying which played a key role during my school days. My brothers and I had to struggle to find ways and means to provide for our needs whenever our father neglected us because of our stepmother and whenever he fought with his sisters. The pain enabled me to swear never to have any misunderstanding in my family. I also became sober and calm.

“Procrastination is one of the most common ways to avoid pain. But usually if you delay taking action, you only create more pain for yourself later on.”

A straight talk that needs no clarification as we all know that procrastination is just the thief of time.

“Nothing in life has any meaning except the meaning we give it.”

Exactly, the meaning my brothers and I attached to our stepmother affected us badly and had it been we never had negative thoughts and displayed love, things could have turned up better.

“There are three different levels of certainty: opinion, belief and conviction.”

What I strongly believe gives me conviction and I am ready to stand for it but my belief and opinion may be clouded by various experiences.

“Habit is either the best servants or the worst of masters.”

We are not to be addicted to our habits but rather control them by being flexible.

“Old patterns must be replaced, not just eliminated.”

A confirmation of the fact that nature abhors vacuum and nothing can be left empty.

This is line with the Biblical injunction about the casting out of demons which return in more numbers when the body is found to be empty.

“The secret of living is giving.”

An ancient truth that can never be faulted. A confirmation of the fact that nature gives and is never exhausted while men grab but are never satisfied.

“The mark of a true champion is consistency.”

The ability to reach the top is not as arduous as maintaining the position. Complacency is often what causes the downfall of champions as they become unaware of impending threats or danger having filled satisfied. Thus we need not rest on our oars.

“You can feel good right now if you choose to.”

An indication of the freedom of choice which every individual possesses. It is therefore our own volition to decide to feel right or bad. It shows the power of the mind.

“Our past does not determine our present or future.”

A full realization of the import of the statement will really help many individuals who feel haunted by their past. In short, we should let the bygone be bygone and look forward with optimism that our tomorrow will be better.

“Certainly, we’re more than our physical bodies.”

I take this to be the elementary knowledge that every individual should grasp. Knowing this will enable us to strive to control the physical and operate from our higher spiritual selves.

“Spend less than you earn and invest the difference and reinvest your returns for compound growth.”

A principle for financial prudence which will lead to wealth creation. I have really benefited from this though it has never been easy.

“Life is a balance between giving and receiving.”

Whatever a man sows that he will reap is in line with this quote and we are also advised to always cast our bread upon the waters. For as we give so shall we receive.

“Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes.”

Our errors or mistakes are the experiences we need to grow and develop. As the saying goes it is only a dog that returns to its vomit and also once bitten, twice shy. We should not be afraid of mistakes but rather use them as stepping stones to achieving our purpose.

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?

Nothing is unclear in the whole book. Everything is really self-explanatory.

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?

The exercises are numerous and very beneficial. Among them are those on goal setting and personal development. The power of Transformational vocabulary and global metaphors is awesome likewise the science of success conditioning among 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.

The comment on the belief in Haiti of the witch doctor was not detailed and that is an area I want more light to have been thrown on. In this part of the world, the belief in witches and wizards is so strong that negative incidences are usually attributed to witchcraft. In fact, it is believed that such powers can influence one’s purpose and destiny.

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? 9
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 9

 

 

How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age
Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

Just as portrayed by the title of the book, it is on how to win the confidence and trust of people. It reveals the ingredients necessary to make people cooperate with one another for a common goal, which is success, with the use of modern social technological advancement gadgets. Simply put, it is on how to deal with people in this age of fast communication.

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. Taking interest in others

As we tend to care for others and assist them, we are loved and respected and they look up to us.

ii. Smiling

A smile is rather infectious and one of my greatest assets is that fact that people find me pleasant because I am always seen with a smile and this makes it easy for me to get along well with others. In fact, people are afraid to offend me because they always say it is not easy to know when I get angry.

iii. Addressing people by their names

More than once, I was startled to hear someone call my name after delivering a lecture. I later discovered him to be a childhood friend and felt elated. I have also observed how faces of people brighten up when I call them by their names. Such actions make us have a sense of belonging.

iv. Avoiding arguments

I have witnessed a scene during which a small argument over the price of an item led to the stabbing a colleague. I therefore avoid arguments at all costs because tempers are often raised and nobody seems ready to listen and accept the other’s opinion. To strive for self-mastery, it is advisable for one to avoid arguments.

v. Admitting faults

It is quite easy for us to point out the faults of others but very difficult for us to admit our faults. Truly, this has been a big challenge at my place of work, where I have known most of my superiors very quick to condemn a simple or common mistake but never ready to accept their own faults.

vi. Magnifying improvement

This is a trait that I have been exhibiting on my pupils with great success. As a teacher, I have realized that whenever I praise a child for an effort made, the child feels elated and he or she is encouraged or motivated. People really want their efforts to be appreciated.

vii. Connected on common grounds

It is a common knowledge that people on the same page easily get along very well with one another. Wherever I find myself among children, I come down to their level where they see me as a pal or colleague. Having connected on a common ground as colleagues, the children are fast to learn as we play together.

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?

Honestly, the above virtues and vices I have learned in this wonderful book are already adding more than enough to my quest of self-realization and improvement. Though some were already known by me, yet the affirmation in the book has made me to have an authority to quote. This will really go a long way to help me in addressing my team of youths.

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

The book is so much loaded that I feel every sentence conveys a food for thought but to fulfill all righteousness, the following will be remembered by me:

“Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.”

What an advice. People all over are quick to criticize, condemn and complain others and never ready to accept their own faults. If only we can all adhere to this advice, then will we make this world a better place to live in.

“Digital communications have made it possible to reach more people in faster and cheaper ways.”

This is an undisputable fact displayed by the various social networks or media such as Facebook, Whatsapp, twitter among others.

“Criticism has become more prevalent than compassion and judgment more prevalent than grace in our communication “.No wonder the breaking news on the print and electronic media are mostly negative. The social media have become a platform for negative comments and criticisms these days.

“We are self-preserving creatures who are instinctively compelled to defend, deflect and deny all threats to our well-being, not the least of which are threats to our pride.”

A correct observation by the writer which points out the fact that people are often demoralized when their egos are punctured. Thus the need for us to be rather careful in condemning others.

“Neither you nor I enjoy being the subject of disapproval, whether or not it is deserved.”

Exactly, nobody likes to be criticized.

“As much as we thirst for approval, we dread condemnation.”

A truth of life.

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.”

This is self-explanatory because the best part of an individual’s life is the numerous little unremembered acts of kindness and goodness.

“We tend to dislike what we don’t know.”

No argument about this. It is a naked truth.

“Human relations are always easier when they begin from a place of affinity.”

Yes, when people have something in common, they are able to get along well.

“Influence is ultimately an outcropping of trust- the higher the trust, the greater the influence.”

This is a unique quality of leadership which I have demonstrated over and over with the same result. I have observed that those who believe in me are those who trust me and can vouch for me. Whatever I tell such people is highly regarded so I try not to tell lies.

“Getting people to agree about virtually anything is practically impossible.”

This explains the need for understanding, tolerance and accommodation because we have different views and perception of things.
“Smiles send a message we like to receive.”

I am a living testimony as my smiles have always won me friends who claim that such smiles are infectious and warm up their hearts.

“A smile, someone once said costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give…………is of no value to anyone until it is given away.”

Yes, smiles are meant to be given out to cheer up those.

“Remember, abilities wither under criticism and blossom under encouragement.”

How I wish all employers of labor may heard this and set in motion the act of encouraging workers for productivity.

“If a man feels unimportant or disrespected, he will have little motivation for improving himself.”

This is an assertion that should be taken seriously by every leader. Nobody should be made to feel inferior as inferiority complex is a dangerous sickness.

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 book is just a masterpiece which really portrays the whole world as a global village, where communication is essential. Everything is simple to understand.

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, there exercises such as essentials of engagement, 6 ways to make a lasting impression and how to merit and maintain other’s trust.

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, however I would have loved to read about the use of the post office for communication.

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 was the content? 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? 10

 

 

Success through a Positive Mental Attitude
Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

What a wonderful textbook I should say that points out the way to self-mastery. It instructs on exactly what to do to tap the powers of the subconscious mind and put them to work. There are presented in the book five self-motivators that provide a spring board to success, six steps to cheerfulness which is a vital factor in human relationships with three ways to rid oneself of guilt, a common barrier to 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 own life.

There are more than seven ideas illustrated in the book but in compliance, I list seven as follows:

i. Positive Mental Attitude

Having a positive mental attitude that God is always good. This sounds more religious but it confirms the truth that God is a Spirit and manifests as one takes Him to be.

ii. The power of prayer.

The ability to communicate with the higher forces is undoubtedly the effective and efficient means of tapping of power and strength.

iii. Setting goals

Setting goals and striving towards them. The practice of writing down specific, reliable and achievable goals should never be neglected. I am a living testimony even to the idea of shouting such out.

iv. The value of reading books.

If there is anything valuable I have achieved in life, then it was through reading books. I really decry the present situation whereby people especially the youths shy away from reading books. It is of grave concern that in Nigeria and other countries, students and learners are reluctant to read their textbooks and yet they expect to make the grades which has led to the prevalent examination malpractices.
It is even joked here that the best place for hiding things is inside a book.

v. The need for practice.

The idea of constant practice cuts across all human endeavors for success. I have observed that what one does consistently with perseverance and determination on a goal in focus will surely turn up successfully.

vi. Motivation.

The urge to keep on track and even excel is definitely anchored on motivation. Once a person is praised or commended for an achievement or an effort, the person is really spurred on to do more. This is directly opposite to condemnation that demoralizes the individual and leads to low productivity.

vii. Faith.

Having faith is to me is seeing the big picture and if I am to be Biblical, then I will quote from the book of Hebrews in the New Testament Chapter 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” With faith nothing is impossible and faith can easily conquer fear. For success, one must believe in himself or herself by exercising faith. No wonder it is a principal thing in all religions.

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 various ideas and lessons are all the relevant basic ingredients embodied in the attainment of a positive mental attitude to all things. Being prayerful should be a regular ritual in the life of every individual who should have specific goals set. Such a person needs to have faith that he or she can do all things and be able to see an adversity as an opportunity for greatness. This in a nutshell should be the daily life of the individual yearning to be at the top. If most people can have such a big picture of life, I believe that there be less or no trading of blames and the world will be more peaceful

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.

To buttress my stance on the high value of the book, I start the quotes from the introduction;

“Motivation is like a fire; unless you continue to add fuel it will go out.” A person who does his or her best and he or she is not recognized, praised or commended, will surely have the stem cooled off. I can easily imagine a scenario in my office when some workers started grumbling because the management refused to appreciate them.

“Andrew Carnegie had an obsession: anything in life worth having was worth working for.”

What an advice for everyone to have a focus and strive towards it no matter the adversities.

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

Yes, the perception of one is all that matters. As such, this is to say we must see opportunities in all adversities or difficulties. To simplify it I always say that there is no problem without a solution.

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

That is to say success begins with the individual who has that urge within him or herself.

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

With a positive mental attitude, there is nothing like impossibility. PMA makes one to be optimistic without any iota of doubt or fear.

“To become an expert achiever in any human activity, it takes practice, practice, practice.”

A blatant truth that I always use riding a bicycle as an example. As a young boy, it was my desire to ride a bicycle and I sustained many injuries which could not deter me initially. My parents even tried to restrain me but no day passed without my sneaking out to ride. After a period of constant or regular practice, a day dawned with me riding without holding the handlebars. No wonder great sportsmen keep on training. Constant study also ensures good performance in academics.

“A Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) is the right mental attitude. What is the right mental attitude? It is most often comprised of the ‘plus’ characteristics symbolized by such words as faith, integrity, hope, optimism, courage, initiative, generosity, tolerance, tact kindliness and common sense. A person with positive mental attitude aims for high goals and constantly strives to achieve them.”

If there is nothing else in this textbook of success, then I believe the words here are just sufficient for the person who wants to be at the top. The quote really explains all what PMA is about.

“Keep your mind on the things you want and off the things you don’t want.”

Invariably, it means that we must focus on positive things on our path to success. There should be no negatives for us to dread. No wonder it is said that what I fear comes to me.

“Facts should be your stepping stones over the river of doubt.”

Facts are said to be truth which cannot be changed by doubt. Thus we must always look for the truth as it is often said that the truth can set you free.

“The Bible has changed the lives of more persons than any other book.”

A fact which can be attributed to the display of positive mental attitude in it. The Bible has answers to all the problems and challenges in this world with vivid illustrations or examples of people who went through those experiences.

“The more you share, the more you will have.”

This is a principle which has been put in different ways such as givers never lack, scatter you bread upon the waters and you shall find them after some days.

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, not really, I enjoyed reading the book and found it clear enough to be understood.

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, there were exercises which I found rewarding especially in chapter two which is about the formula to keep the mind positive. I was fully engrossed in the exercises which have reconditioned my whole life.

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 was nothing else.

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 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

 

 

The New Dynamics of Winning
Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

The book is all about how to be a winner or successful in every human endeavor with reference to what great sportsman and women go through in their pursuit of laurels. It portrays relevant exercises to follow so as to be in shape physically and mentally to achieve success and sustain it.

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.

The seven important ideas not in any way listed according to priority are:

i. The four great fears

They are listed as the fear of catastrophic danger which is very prevalent in this my part of the world where all negative happenings are attributed to evil forces such as witches and wizards. Many were the opportunities I lost by refusing to go to certain locations for the fear of being bewitched and just as recommended knowledge is the panacea for such. The second is the fear of change which is inevitable as change is the only permanent thing in life. I have to change my perception of several things in order to be what I am today. For instance I have to change my dream of becoming a doctor when circumstances were unfavorable. The third is the fear of success which I personally feel to be as a result of inferiority complex which must be overcome by winners. Many a time, I had to break down in tears after coming first in my class without any real reason and I have seen several others in the same mood. The fourth is the fear of failure which I believe is inherent in every human and can easily serve as a catalyst for success. This is what I think motivates me to read, study and work hard as I fear to fail. In fact whatever task I am assigned I fear to fail and always strive to win.

ii. The three most important traits of a winner

They are listed are common sense, knowing your field and self-reliance which undoubtedly make winners. Personally, I believe these have helped me in the teaching field where you cannot give what you do not have.

iii. The four minigoals for maximum success being defined outline time

Frame and claim are the same as setting goals or planning without which nothing can be achieved. I always believe in defining my specific goals which are time bound and achievable.

iv. Do’s and Don’ts

As the head of a school, these ten do’s and don’ts are really helping to run the school. I listen often, I don’t put anyone off, I praise frequently and sincerely. I don’t criticize in public but I am firm fair. In fact my attitude has truly reflected what I have learnt by reading.

v. Abstract Negative Thoughts.

I recommend every aspirant for success to learn from A.N.Ts which stands for Abstract Negative Thoughts. I was able visualize a colony of ants on the march in a straight file but suddenly they scatter around when disturbed. I found out that distractions are bound to come to make us frustrated but we must not lose focus. All negative thoughts need to be waved aside by faith and confidence in oneself.

vi. Self-confidence

Self-Confidence and self-transformation have made me to overcome inferiority complex so much that I accomplish tasks which seem impossible.

vii. The coachability factor.

Truly when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I have realized that to be a winner, one needs to sacrifice pride and subject him or herself to learning from others. Some people are not ready to learn and as such not coachable. Those who are not ready learn are failures.

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 lessons learned from the New Dynamics of winning have already polished me and set me high in my work to the extent that both the management and the staff lookup to me with much reference. I often hear people asking “ Rex, do you ever get angry?” My relationship with people seems to be amiable and I humbly beg to say everyone if possible should be an IIGL student.

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.

I believe that every sentence in this two hundred and twenty-one page is heavily loaded with nuggets of gold for success but to fulfill all righteousness, I quote these:

“If you could even say that success has an entry fee, the cost is total commitment.”

This means that success cannot be attained by accident but by putting oneself completely into the pursuit of it. Success needs persistence, diligence, patience and hard work among other things.

“The choice is yours so choose to win.”

We are what we think is here stressed and points out the fact that success is personal and comes to those who yearn for it. An illustration is what happened in a classroom last term in my school. I just asked the pupils who was to come first and instead of signifying themselves, many of the children were pointing to a girl who was pointing to herself. When I asked the girl and others who pointed to themselves, they almost said the thing which was “ I am the best.” The remaining ones said they were not capable because of the girl. I took up the challenge and motivated them that they should never underestimate themselves but rather choose to win
.
“There isn’t more to life than this: a baby’s smile, a loved one’s kiss, a book, a tree, a song, a friend and just a little time to spend.”

I really feel emotional and deeply touched by these moving words which to me is a summary of life on this earth. We really do not have much time to be alive so why should we worry and not enjoy life by admiring nature and sharing love with one another.

“Success is a process, not a place you come to.”

That is to say ‘aluta continua’. The struggle continues and we need not be perturbed by the turbulence on the way.

“Life’s most important revelation is that it’s the journey that counts, not the destination.”

As you make your bed so you lie on it. The way to success is only through commitment and the ability to be prepared to tackle all the challenges.

“Being a champion means thinking like a champion.”

Another postulation that we become what we think and thus the need for a positive mental attitude.

“There is nothing else that kills ambition like criticism from superiors so I never criticize anyone.”

Having personally felt demoralized by my Proprietress but able to overcome with the knowledge acquired from IIGL, I have found this statement as a golden nugget and believe in it. I don’t criticize but rather encourage and motivate my staff.

“You need to feel love inside yourself before you can offer it to anyone else.”

Simply put you can never give what you don’t have. I have seen people who say they were maltreated so they have to take revenge on others. Since such people never experienced love, vengeance is all they want which rather unfortunate and need to be overcome.

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?

Everything in the book was self-explanatory and a source of inspiration which confirms the fact that greatness is hidden in books.

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?

Wonderful! The 21-day plan was rather splendid. Together with others, the benefits are enormous.

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.

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? 10

Goals
Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

The main idea being conveyed by the author is that there is always a distinct mapped way to the top for everyone which is to have an objective or a goal and achieve it. The book is for people who are determined and zealous to achieve success. It simply shows the way to the top in every human endeavor. In short, the book is all about goal setting.

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. Having a desire or a focus that is a goal.

I have realized that life is all about setting goals and achieving them. However goals are not wishful hunches but rather specific and measureable.

ii. Writing the goal down.

This is one of my greatest achievements in IIGL. Not only can I write goals but I also set real goals.

iii. Applying SMART to the goal.

The application of SMART to my goal setting has been remarkably rewarding. That played a pivotal role in helping me achieve a hundred percent pass in an examination this year.

iv. Justification.

If I should confess I have over the years been a victim of self-justification but I now wiser and have jettisoned that idea as all my goals are justifiable and achievable.

v. Negative beliefs.

One more time I have come across the damaging effects of negative beliefs and I have now developed a tough skin to that. I have grown to discard all the negative beliefs prevalent in this part of the world where failure has always been attributed to an evil force.

vi. Acquisition of knowledge.

Definitely, knowledge is power and the amount I am receiving is making me to turn the tables around. I improved and realized my great potentials.

vii. The spirit of perseverance.

The never give up spirit has made me to be more focused with every task I engage in. Once, I set my goals and write them down, nothing makes me to leave them. For instance, I set my goal that all the children will pass and set a record in the school. After that I plan to resign by next year just to give room for me to hand over to my replacement. However, I am being persuaded to rescind that decision but I cannot.

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?

All the ideas portrayed are just in line of my quest for success and I am forever grateful to IIGL for making me to learn more by reading with the conviction that pearls of success are hidden in books. More importantly this book has opened up my understanding to what to do to achieve success by goal setting. I can see tremendous transformation in my personal life that I have introduced the lessons I have learnt to my immediate family and the children I teach. Honestly, I am now convinced beyond every reasonable doubt that a successful life is all about goal setting.

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 usual, Brian Tracy has put down too many statements that are just pearls and below are few of the nuggets.

Right from the introduction is stated what the book is about by the words; “This book is or ambitious people who want to get ahead faster.”

That is easily understandable even before getting to the last page.
“Write down your goals, make plans to achieve them and work on your plans every single day.”

This all what goal setting is about and to me it is the signpost to success which I have stuck to. I now make my written plans each day for the short, medium and long time.

“Success is goals and all else is commentary.”

Exactly, by having chunks of goals and achieving them bring so much satisfaction that I knew not before now.

“Everything you see around you in the man-made world began as a thought of a single person before it was translated to reality.”

What an amazing revelation which shows that all that is needed for everyone to attain success is just an idea.

“Unsuccessful, unhappy people think and talk about what they don’t want most of the time.”

No wonder, such people waste most of their precious time murmuring, complaining and groaning without any result. Such people accuse or rather blame others for their failures.

“Nature doesn’t care about the size of your goals.”

That it is to say if you plan small, you will achieve small so better dream big.

“4 reasons why people do not set goals: 1) They think goals aren’t important. 2) They don’t know how- A good goal is clear, written and specific. 3) They have a fear for failure. 4) They have a fear of rejection- let goals be confidential.”

These are real nuggets to be collected and kept from the book as they just the hurdles to be cleared on the way to success. I am a living testimony, having gone through all the four experiences as I call them.

“The greatest enemies of success and happiness are negative emotions of all kinds.”

Truly, this is a fact especially when one wants to venture into the murky waters of the unknown. Just I was thinking what the future holds if I resign from my job and unable to secure another in good time. Some friends advised that I rescind my decision till I get a new place.

“The negative emotions of fear, self-pity, envy, jealousy, feelings of inferiority and ultimately anger are mostly caused by four factors; Refuse to rationalize and make excuses. Rise above the opinions of others. Realize that no one else is responsible. Stop justifying.”

These principles have helped me face the challenges I faced at my work place and enabled me to come out triumphantly.

“Knowledge is the raw material for success.”

This is just true which should push us to search for knowledge. No wonder, it is said that knowledge is power.

“In our economic system, your income will be determined by 3 factors; first what you do, second, how well you do it and the difficulty in replacing you”. I experienced that when I resigned. The management started negotiating with me knowing that it was going to be more expensive to hire another person.

“Successful people think about solutions most of the time. Unsuccessful people think about problems and difficulties most of the time”. This is what really separates success and failure and it is evident at almost every place. I have witnessed such people who will complain about the tools, the road to work and even the weather.

“One person at the right time, in the right place, can open a door for you that can change your life and save years of hard work”

In the church, that is what we are term as locating destiny helpers that we pray for all the time. The truth is what I have found out in IIGL by reading.

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

Nothing ambiguous or confusing was found as every word was self-explanatory.

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?

Each chapter ended with exercises to be carried out which really added more to my self-improvement as I now make written goals for every blessed day.

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 is nothing to add.

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

Goal Setting 101
Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

Though a very small book of forty pages only, Goal setting 101 is fully loaded as a compass giving directions on how to attain success in every sphere of life and feel satisfied by setting goals. It really x-rays what a goal is all about and shows all that is needed to accomplish it.

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.

The 7 ideas which I found very essential are the anatomy of a goal, plan your way to success, accept your power of choice, use SWOT analysis, only results matter, go the extra mile and don’t be defeated.

i. The Anatomy of a Goal

The anatomy of a goal which is what (goal), why (benefits) and how (strategy) clearly provides the direction, the fuel and the road signals to reach or attain a goal. It has made me to really stick to planning and writing down whatever I want to do and this is helping me to be more organized. For example, I draw up a checklist for each day and make sure I undertake self –evaluation.

ii. Plan your way to Success

Plan your way to success is certainly a conviction that eliminates the idea of chance. This has affirm my belief that whoever fails to plan, plans to fail. This confirms that proper prior planning prevent poor performance (the 6p formula for success).

iii. Accept your power of choice

Accept your power of choice which to me is the more reason that God has left humanity to our own discretion. I hold the view that Adam’s self-justification of apportioning blame to God for providing him with the woman who made him to eat the forbidden fruit, made God to refrain from making choices for man. We should therefore accept responsibility for every choice we make.

iv. Use the SWOT analysis.

Knowing my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in every endeavor in life has helped and is still helping me as I am able to enhance my strengths and opportunities while I play down on my threats and weaknesses.

v. Only results matter.

If one really knows what to expect as the outcome, one will be more than eager to strive towards that. In fact, it can be summed up as the outcome justifies the means and results are always the judge and the jury.

vi. Go the extra mile.

I have always known that people who put in more effort and spend more time than others are the most recognized in an establishment. Over the years, I have known staff who go the extra mile succeeding.

vii. Don’t be defeated.

This can also be coined in another way as never give up. It confirms the fact that the road to success is never smooth sailing but strewn with obstacles that can easily frustrate one to give up. However, no matter the intimidation or threats, we should never be defeated so long as we have set our goal.

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?

This is another book that has really reconditioned me to be a better person. It has enabled me to have a plan for every aspect of my life and there are vivid indicators that things are not as before. I even won an award recently as I set up my goal which was to win the championship. I was able to channel the needful resources and as I remained focused despite daunting hurdles, I emerged the overall winner. With that success, I have decided to guide others especially the youth on goal setting because the earlier, the better. My life would have been better than presently if I had a good idea of goal setting. In my family we were used to new year’s resolutions which were mere wishful thinking and not meant to be taken seriously.

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.

Honestly, there are very many quotes which are self-explanatory but for fulfilling all righteousness, I give only a few.

“A goal is an end toward which you direct specific effort.”

This among many others explains what a goal is. It is the predetermined destination that one struggles to reach by careful planning and execution.
“Goals establish direction for your life.”

If you never set a goal, how will you know where you are going?” This is still about what a goal is and it is self-explanatory.

“The three key elements of a goal are: An accomplishment to be achieved, a measurable outcome and a specific date and time to accomplish the goal.”

That is to say a goal is a specific, observable and a measurable task to be accomplished within a specific time. It confirms the SMART of goals which I knew earlier on.

“There is no speed limit on the road to success.”

This explains that the attainment of success can be as fast as one chooses. It all depends on how fast one wants to go. Personally, I wanted to resign in a year’s time however, events compelled me to reset my goals which resulted in my resigning earlier than planned and I am better off.

“The road to success is often bumpy and constantly under construction, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the ride.”

What a fact! I experienced a lot of obstacles when I set my goal to resign and be on my own. It was not easy with my family, employers and my commitments, however, I surmounted all as I was only looking at the big picture or the final destination.

“You can be wrong but never be in doubt.”

This is an evidence that one can fail or go wrong but that should not deter us. We are bound to fail but that does not mean it is impossible to accomplish what we have set to achieve.

“Don’t go looking for a free ride on the road of irresponsibility – it’s a dead end.”

Quite explanatory as we need to take responsibility for our actions.
“Don’t deny your fears. Don’t try to run away from them. Carry on in spite of them.”

The worst enemy of self to me is the fear of the unknown.

“Learn to live with fear. Learn to control it so that fear is never put in the driver’s seat. You cannot learn to avoid fear but you can learn to recognize when you are in danger of acting in blind accordance with it.”

“Temporary discomfort is better than temporary relief – if it averts permanent catastrophe.”

“Our actions are of greater consequence than our words.”

Really, actions speak louder than words.

“Advancement only comes with habitually doing more than you are asked.”

This seems to underline the fact that we need to go the extra mile to achieve success.
“Action is the conduit through which advancement flows.”

Every journey starts with the first step.

“The best ideas typically have a short shelf life.”

When I decided to float schools without walls, a great colleague, Mr. Japheth, a board member of IIGL, advised me to hasten the registration process as others may take it up. Soon after, I found others using the same domain name.

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?

Everything in the forty page book was simple and easy to understand.

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 exercises were just as helpful as every sentence beginning from identify the goals on page 15 to the last on page 40 the top ten goals.

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.

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? 9

 

 

Nonviolent Communication
Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

To follow all men with peace by using compassion and empathy in communication is the theme of the book. To me, it confirms the power in the tongue as stated in the Scriptures that life and death lies in the tongue. As stated, NVC provides an easy-to-grasp, effective method to get to the root of violence and pain peacefully.

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. Observing without evaluating

This is what has changed my perception of things and wish everyone gets to know truth posited by the Indian philosopher J. Krishnamurti that it is the highest form of human intelligence. I have been convinced that judgments made by only what we observe are discolored by our perception, thus we may see the cup either as half full or half empty.

ii. Expressing feelings.

I can now say that I have gained a better way of expressing my feelings rather than my thoughts. It has also made me to understand the sources of conflict in my workplace where people evaluate on observation and thoughts.

iii. The needs at roots of feelings.

This is a profound idea that has enabled me to understand that when needs are unmet, one tends to express negative feelings. As such I now know the reasons for some of the outburst of my superior when her needs are not met. It is therefore for us all to learn to look for the need being expressed by the feelings of others.

iv. Requesting that would enrich life.

What a better way for peace to thrive if we can all make such requests that would enrich life. Selfishness and greed will definitely give way to cooperation and generosity if we know how to make requests from others.

v. The power of empathy.
The saying goes that he who wears the shoe knows where it pinches and it is a common practice for us to see the splinter in our neighbor’s eye without seeing the log in our own eyes. If only we can place ourselves in others’ conditions, we will definitely know how it feels and thus become less bossy. Superiors are usually guilty of not being empathetic to subordinates. It is much evident at my workplace where a lady became a tyrant on her elevation as the Assistant by issuing out orders.

vi. Distinguishing stimulus from cause.

I went through a situation that made me to point accusing finger at someone I presumed to be the cause of my resignation. I was even getting bitter with my employers but I got to realize that my resignation was purely a matter of unmet needs. As the pioneer head teacher and having put in so much for the six years, I needed at least a pay rise which was not forthcoming.

vii. Express appreciation to celebrate, not to manipulate.

Thanks to the NVC appreciation technique, I now know that compliments are often judgments, however positive of others and not really from the inner heart. Such are given just to demand for more work. I know that appreciation should be expressed as follows: this is what you did, this is what I feel, and this is the need of mine met.

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?

Though I found some of the ideas rather strange and almost impossible to act accordingly, especially in the event of provocation, yet I strongly believe that by putting them into practice, I stand the chance to be a peacemaker and hope to teach those within my immediate circle. Honestly, the ideas put forward if only all men will understand, will bring about absolute peace devoid of confrontation in this world. I hope to be a great agent and promoter of nonviolent communication. Really, I am now convinced that if people can tame their tongues and know how to communicate, there will be peace and less violence in the world.

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.

I start these quotes with the one I found difficult to agree on page 216 and states, “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly!” Unbelievable, I may say as I only know that what is worth doing is worth doing well. The remaining quotes here have had profound impact on me personally, helping me to mold my perception and communication.

“Saying thank you in NVC: “this is what you did, this what I feel, this is the need of mine that was met.”

I love this way of expressing appreciation to celebrate and not to manipulate because it comes from the heart.

“If a worker’s performance is prompted by fear of punishment, the job gets done but morale suffers; sooner or later productivity will decrease”.
“In practice, however, punitive action rather than evoking repentance and learning, is just as likely to generated resentment and hostility and to reinforce resistance to the very behavior we are seeking.”

“Fundamentally, needs are the resources life requires to sustain itself. We all have physical needs such as air, water food and rest and also psychological needs such as understanding, support, honesty and meaning. These are basically the same regardless of nationality, religion, gender, income, education or whatever.”

“Blaming is easy. People are used to hearing blame; sometimes they agree with it and hate themselves.”

“The more people hear blame and judgment, the more defensive and aggressive they become and the less they will care about our needs in the future.”

“Violence comes from the belief that other people cause our pain and therefore deserve punishment.”

“When we combine observation with evaluation, people are apt to hear criticism.”

“When we judge others, we contribute to violence.”

“We are never angry because of what others say or do we are finding fault; we are choosing to play God by judging or blaming the other person for being wrong or deserving punishment.”

This is a great food for thought that has greatly helped me during my resignation.

“Choices prompted by a desire for a reward are costly, they deprive us of the joy in life that comes with actions grounded in the clear intention to contribute to a human need.”

Exactly when the focus is on what the reward or benefit is, there tends to be mere eye service and cutting corners.

“When you’re busy judging people, you have no time to love them.”

This is self-explanatory and I have been a victim when my actions were judged prior to my resignation to the extent that I became uneasy at work but had to endure till my notice elapsed. The trust that existed was completely eroded.

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 were instances I felt it would not be easy to hold one’s peace in the face of provocation. I wonder if there is nothing like self-defense when one is falsely accused with NVC.

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?

Each chapter ended with some exercises which I could not agree totally with the author because of being new to me.

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 it is rather not easy to be calm when in situations are being hurled at you especially when you know that you are innocent. Also, unless I really put it into practice, I wonder how I can keep my cool in the face of provocation.

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

Leadership for Dummies
Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

The book is a blueprint on leadership which displays how to acquire the needed skills to command followership. It is all about the dos and don’ts of leadership, serving as a textbook for all who are desirous to become leaders in every sphere of life. It portrays leadership as a skill that can be acquired even by those who may be dummies and dispels the erroneous belief that leaders are born.

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. Learn to document everything.

This a truth I had to learn the hard way and which has proved very valuable to me. Having documented the barrage of insults I received from my superior, there was no denial as before when I was even accused of lying. Keeping a diary is a way to easily bring to memory events.

ii. Remember to listen.

This is also a fact which has been relegated to the background by many leaders who like my former boss always likes to talk and be listened to. She never listened to subordinates. I found out by listening to others one is bound to understand them and show empathy, thus commanding their trust.

iii. All leadership is temporary.

Exactly, no wonder there is a saying that it is better to quit when the ovation is loudest. That was what I did when I resigned. I set records which may be difficult to break in the school.

iv. Things going wrong.

When things go wrong, people have a tendency to lash out at others. Resist the temptation.
I experienced this under by boss who was dubbed Madam Perfect who never went wrong but was always blaming others especially me and saying that I was always covering up for others.

v. Ten mistakes that every leader makes.

Surprisingly these are exactly what I noticed with my boss and they really made me to be convinced that I must avoid them at all cost. For example failing to learn from your mistakes. Commanding instead of leading, thinking of your own needs first, failing to listen and failing to have a sense of humor among others.

vi. Ten characteristics of a true leader.

These qualities have I imbibe and can surely testify to their efficacy in winning followership. Some of them are being eager, cheerful, resourceful, persuasive, courageous, supportive, altruistic and assertive.

vii. Creating an atmosphere of trust.

Without trust little or nothing can be achieved and it leads to pretense and eye service. People want to trust and be trusted so when there is no trust, there is tension as it was in my former workplace.

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?

All the ideas are so valuable to me personally as they have confirmed some hard learned truths. Moreover, it was not just a mere coincidence for me to read the book at the very time everything was being played under my very nose in my place of work which culminated in my resignation. I am consequently privileged to have practical examples to prove my points.

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 3 key leadership abilities are to elicit cooperation of others, listen well and place the needs of others above your own needs.”

A signpost which leads to great leadership which should be inculcated.

“Ten ways to master leadership skills; Work on your preparation. Choose a cause and make it your own. Keep an open mind. Rehearse your speeches. Be disciplined. Master deadlines. Maintain contact with your group. Remember to listen. Cooperate with the world around you. Always put others before yourself.”

Quite easy to understand and profound.

“Motivation is the passion for what you’re doing that goes beyond money power or status.”

Once one is motivated, the person gets ready to go the extra mile.

“Hearing is not listening, and people listen and remember selectively. So learn to document everything.”

A nugget which should be cherished as most of us don’t listen but rather like to talk. No wonder, we are not taught to listen and easily forget. However, writing down events, we just cannot forget and such evidence is hard to refute.

“Managers work with processes, models and systems- things. But leaders work with people and their motions.”

This states the difference between a manager and a leader. To me, a manager is not a leader but a leader must be able to handle both unanimated and animated things.

“Accountability does not mean assigning blame.”

A truth which was on display in my workplace and reflected the sort of a leader I had as a boss.

“A good leader listens to all information and then sorts through it.”

This was one of the areas of conflicts with my boss who loved to act upon every word she received. Unfortunately, most of the information were fabrications from my detractors and those I termed sycophants.

“Group learning means that the leader has to learn from the group as well as being a teacher.”

That is the true mark of leadership which I strongly agree with and do advocate for but some like my boss wanted to be praised and worshipped.

“There is no worse failing in a leader than refusing to acknowledge mistakes.”

If only people will understand this statement which goes a long way to prove that nobody is above mistakes, then there will always be peace but some commanders not leaders believe otherwise and won’t like to hear any excuses.

“Another sin is the sin of pride.”

Imagine working with a boss who doesn’t the good in anybody. A person who talks too much about herself claiming that God has blessed her beyond measure and as such she can do and undo. I feel that that should be a rather an arrogant person not fit to be a leader.

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?

What I still find difficult to grasp is the statement leading when you’re not expected to succeed. I feel no matter what a leader is to succeed but events beyond his or her control may frustrate or thwart the efforts but to know from the onset that one is bound to fail is hard for me to understand. I believe even when conditions are unfavorable, a leader is to salvage the situation and make the best out of the impossible.

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?

The use of various icons such as the red flag which means forget these hints at your peril, the Championship strategy for advanced tips and the remember with warning icons contained important exercises apart those summarized in the last chapter “Ten ways to master leadership skills” are beneficial when put into practice. They are really building up my capacity to lead.

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 expected to read and learn about sycophants who try to warm up their way to leaders by feeding such leaders with lies and gossips.
They also create unnecessary tension and try to pull others down by painting them black.

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 Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

A very easy and simple book but of immense value as it teaches how words generate thoughts which send out vibrations or feelings either positive or negative. It is a manual or an instruction book on how to get the best of everything in life by the use of our words which make us attract good and bad things. It teaches how to attract positive things by eliminating negative thoughts and sending out positive vibrations. It is a valuable book for self-development.

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.

The following 7 ideas are most appealing to me:

i. Your thoughts are made of words.

I could not doubt this as I remember that creation was by the words of God which revealed His thoughts. Also from infancy I was taught to be careful with my words which are known to be powerful.

ii. Words that cause what you attrace

Words that are causing you to attract what you don’t want (don’t, not, no).To me, this was a startling revelation which has really changed me. I was thrilled to know how to counter such negative words with the question “So what do you want?” Though we are trying to avoid the use of the negative words in my family, it has not been easy but always generating fun.

iii. The 3 Step formula

The 3-step formula for deliberate attraction (identify your desire, give your desire attention, and allow it). A very useful formula which my children have fallen in love with. It is applicable to virtually everything.

iv. Contrast

Is contrast helpful (observing contrast is essential because it helps you to become clearer about what you want). The ability to identify contrasts with the so what do you want has enable me confirm that really the world is based on principles which many are just ignorant of. It sounded so simple that I doubted at first but now I know better.

v. Rewording

Rewording your affirmative to make them feel better. Being positive is the key to positive vibrations which attract good things. It is the removal of negative words.

vi. Allowing

Allowing is the absence of negative vibration (doubt). It is even evident in the scriptures, that asking God with doubt is futile so allowing can still be said to be having a strong conviction, faith or belief.

vii. Abundance and Money

Become more abundant and attract more money. Another secret which I found profound as regards to the sources of abundance. What was even intriguing was the lesson of not to reject offers including money. I found it strange because the idea was like belittling oneself.

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 lessons from the book so profound that they will forever remain with my family and all those I come in contact with. The worksheets have given me leverage to the next level in my quest to be of service to humanity. I am more than ever before equipped with the tools to transform the lives of my beloved ones.

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.

“I attract to my life whatever I give my attention, energy and focus to, whether positive or negative.”

A confirmation of the fact that as man thinketh so he is. Really, I have over the years known the truth embedded in the statement and always strive eliminate negative thoughts but at times it is not easy.

“Every mood or feeling causes you to emit, send out or offer a vibration, whether positive or negative.”

Quite understandable.

“Observing sends a vibration (non-deliberate attraction).”

This explains the reason for the unexpected which are attracted unconsciously.

“Your thoughts are made of words.”

I really love the relationship “words/thoughts/feelings (positive or negative vibes).

“When you hear yourself make a statement containing the words don’t, not or no, you are actually giving attention and energy to what you don’t want.”

No wonder the scriptures say what I fear comes upon me.
“Each time you hear yourself using don’t, not or no, ask yourself ‘So what do I want?”

“Positive and negative emotions cannot occupy the mind at the same time. One or the other must dominate. It is your responsibility to make sure that positive emotions constitute the dominating influence of your mind.”

This quote by Napoleon Hill sums up the need to remove doubts and all negative thoughts from the mind and look at life with optimism.

“Don’t tell anyone your date was a flop.”

“Rapport, how long to build it? Some seconds and sometimes years. How long to maintain it? With care and nurturing, forever. How long to break it? Only seconds. How long to repair it? Sometimes never.”

“Celebrate the moment you notice you’ve attracted something abundant.”

“Every time you view the check you will get a little jolt of excitement that will be offered to the law o attraction.”

“Sources of abundance; someone treats you to lunch or breakfast or dinner. Someone gives you free advice or coaching. You receive gifts; free transportation or lodging. You get your second cup of coffee free. Someone gives you a prize. You buy something at a discount or on sale. You get to use air mile points. You win door prizes. You trade or exchange with somebody. You sell your products or services.”

A real profound teaching that I was ignorant of.

“Always say yes to money.”

Strange to believe because in my culture there are some gifts that should not be accepted. For instance, if a child renders help to an elder, he must not expect anything in return.

“Remember at every moment, including right now, the Law of Attraction is responding to the vibrations you are offering and giving you more o the same.”

An undeniable fact that I have experienced several times over especially at home when I am moody.

“Appreciation and gratitude help you offer strong, positive vibrations.”

I can easily recall the occasions I was appreciated at work and in the church that made me feel good inside. It makes you eager to do more.

“You can reset your vibration simply by changing your words, remembering that thoughts are made up of words.”

A workable tool which has played significant role in my life.

“Contrast is anything that doesn’t feel good.”

Which simply means not thinking about bad experiences because by doing so, one is worn down. When I resigned by giving three months’ notice, I was hoping to receive some entitlements but in vain. I was initially worried but just let it go.

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?

At first, I thought the use of contrasts and the avoidance of the 3 negative words by asking “so what do you want?” were unrealistic till I saw the efficacy within my immediate family. Furthermore, the idea of not to reject little offers and cash seemed strange but quite understandable after the explanation.

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, it is more of a workbook containing exercises which are rewarding and very effective. In fact, the worksheets are now among my treasured possessions.

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 only comment is the simplicity of the principles outlined which I am eager to introduce wherever I find myself.

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? 10

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

This amazing book on personal development and actualization is mainly about the basic universal principles or acceptable ways of behavior that lead to success and achievement for an individual, group or company. It embodies the fundamental truths of human behavior for effectiveness which transcend race, religion, sex, age and known from time immemorial.

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. Be proactive.

Personally, I will say that being proactive makes once to accept the responsibility of his or her actions which has enabled me over the years to always try not to apportion blame to others but blaming myself for whatever good or bad that happens.

ii. Begin with the end in mind.

How I wish most people will grasp the need to have a vision and focus on it. Once the big picture can be seen, all efforts are basically geared towards the achievement. I pondered over this and came to the realization that it is what even motivates criminal gangs to succeed as they see themselves enjoying after their nefarious activity.

iii. Put first things first.

I must confess that my inability to prioritize early in life greatly hampered my progress in life. I had all my eggs in one basket and never concentrated on one thing at a time to the extent that there was a time I was confused and overwhelmed thinking life was just against me.

iv. Think win win.

This the spirit of successful people and to be religious it is stated that that what I fear comes upon me so if the mind is set on win win, surely it comes to past. I have seen it even before now by a slang that I love to quote “Never say die until the bones are rotten.”

v. Seek to understand then to be understood.

Personally, I strongly believe that this is the cause of numerous conflicts and crises because people hardly understand others rather the want to be understood. I believe it is the inability of us to listen.

vi. Synergize.

It is written that one will chase a thousand and two ten thousand. Also, two are better than one. These all stress on the need for people to be in one accord to unite and cooperate for a common purpose. Synergy is one of my strongest tools as I can say that I
get along easily with others and try to elicit their cooperation.

vii. Sharpen the saw.

I love the four areas that need to be fine-tuned always for effective performance which the Physical body by exercises, stress management and proper nutrition, the mental by reading planning visualizing and writing, the emotional or social by service empathy, synergy and security together with the spiritual through meditation, study , commitment and value clarification. All these aspects of the individual are to be in sync for optimum effectiveness which I believe is common knowledge.

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?

Sincerely, the content of the book together with the seven ideas have reinforced and convinced me of some things I have read about earlier and empowered me in a way that I feel as if I have just started life all over with different perception that gives me self-fulfillment and satisfaction. I have an inner inexplicable joy as in conformity with the writing that the truth shall set you free. I have practically rearrange my life and poised for the ultimate success.

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.

Can I rightly say that every statement is pregnant with lessons in the book? Let’s see these:

“All our attitudes and behaviors grow out of those assumptions. The way we see things is the source of the way we think and the way we react.”

An undeniable truth that makes some to see the bottle half full or half empty.

“Two people can see the same thing, disagree and yet both be right. It’s not logical; it’s psychological.”

This happens all the time.

“Principles are not practices. A practice is a specific activity or action. A practice that works is one circumstance will not necessarily work in another. Principles are not values. A gang of thieves can share values but they are in violation of the fundamental principles. Principles are the territory, values are maps.”

All these are throw light on principles which are part of most every enduring religion, as well as enduring social philosophies and ethical systems. Some of the principles are truth, honesty, trust, love, kindness, unity among others which we are all aware of but deliberately fail to imbibe.

“We will define a habit as the intersection of knowledge, skill and desire.”

What a simplified definition that combines three important of our personality which we have control over.

“Knowledge is the theoretical paradigm, the what to do and the why. Skill is the how to do. And desire is the motivation, the want to do.” This explains clearly why habit is the intersection of knowledge, skill and desire.

“Habits can be learned and unlearned.”

It means that we can all jettison bad habits and embrace good ones.

“Happiness van be defined in part at least as the fruit of the desire and ability to sacrifice what we want now for what we want eventually.” A great food for thought to motivate us to sow before expecting harvest.

“Trust is the highest form of human motivation. It brings out the very best in people.”

True words as everybody wants to be trusted in every relationship. Trust once betrayed or broken is irreparable. This I can say was the main cause of my resignation from my former workplace.

“Empathy is not sympathy. Sympathy is a form of agreement a form of judgment”

Exactly, people who sympathize only pretend to share feelings having pitied the person but to empathize involves taking the place of the person for he who wears the shoe knows where it pinches.

“In the great literature of all progressive societies, love is a verb. Reactive people make it a feeling. Proactive people make love a verb. Love is something you do, the sacrifices you make, the giving of self, like a mother bringing a newborn into the world.”

Quite self-explanatory of the principle of love which is not mere emotional feelings but rather acts of kindness and goodness which involves the forgetting of oneself for the sake of others.

“There can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity.”

In short a person of integrity never lacks company.

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?

Yes, I must confess that initially, some of the diagrams and illustrations were rather hazy, even the four quadrants but I really had to struggle to grasp their meaning by repeated reading.

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?

As usual there were numerous exercise or self-development which need daily practice especially those to sharpen the saw and the Appendix B ( A quadrant II day at the office)

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 were definitely some areas that seemed technical in particular the section on think win/win. I think such with the attendant diagrams could have been simplified but then it needs reading over and over.

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? 8
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 10

This Child will be Great
Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

There are three main ideas that are being conveyed and these are the history of Liberia as a country of mixed ethnic groups, the history of the writer, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, her family, marriage, education and career which culminated in her being elected President. Also the tussle for power, abuse and corruption which resulted in a long civil war that devastated the country are vividly portrayed.

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. Prophecy

Prophecy is taken seriously in this part of the world most especially when an elderly person makes such pronouncement. Children are often advised to avoid offending such elders and just as in the case of the writer, my first born was proclaimed a doctor by an elderly woman and right now he is in the medical school.

ii. Early marriage

This to me is one of the several causes of separation and divorce because maturity counts in every marriage. Couples who are not really matured often have paradigm shifts after the marriage when many inadequacies are noticed. I have tales of many broken homes where the couples realized their incompatibility years after coming together.

iii. Domestic violence

Domestic violence is a serious issue in many families here and I strongly agree with the writer that it is evident in all of the world. Personally, I feel bad to hear about such among couples and I used to wonder why people who confess to love one another will descend so low to create scenes in their homes. It is rather unfortunate and shows that people just pretend to love.

iv. War

War is man-made or rather caused by men because of their greed and selfishness. The account of the Liberian civil war clearly confirms the fact that leadership is a crucial factor especially in Africa. Over the years, our leaders have always been power-drunk, despising advice and always seeking ways to satisfy their whims and caprices to the detriment of the masses. They are originators of wars.

v. Bad Leadership

Bad leadership is the bane of African’s problems. Successive leaders have been self-centered, greedy and corrupt who never have the interest of the populace at heart. Nevertheless, there have been a few who were the exact opposite but then such were hacked down in the course of their tenure. Notable were Sir Ahmadu Bello, General Murtala of Nigeria. Dr. Nkrumah of Ghana, Patrice Lumumba of Congo, Anwar Sadat of Egypt among others. Sadly, bad leadership has often led to war.

vi. Courage

Courage, boldness and determination were the qualities exhibited by Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf which propelled her to stardom despite the mounting obstacles. Her shrewd doggedness in face of death threats confirms the fact that fear can always be overcome by the mind. She never denied her fears or tried to run away from them but rather she carried on in spite of them and at last she succeeded.

vii. Corruption

Corruption has robbed most African countries of rapid growth and development so much that hard work, honesty and integrity are frowned at. It has eaten into the fabric of the society to the extent that round pegs are found in square holes. No wonder, it was a factor in the Liberian conflict.

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?

All the ideas listed have painted the big picture of the myriads of problems facing Africa and the world at large while the qualities displayed by the writer have all motivated me as they are in line with the teachings of IIGL. I am elated by her courage, perseverance and sheer PMA which enable her to get to the pinnacle and offered her the unique opportunity to serve her people and even the world. I am moved by her crave for education and her sense of integrity and direction. These have really spurred me on to be convinced that I can do all things through Christ which strengthen 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.

“I have been witched,” he said, his speech slowed and thickened. “Someone has put juju on me.”

Juju is West African voodoo, witchcraft, sorcery” No doubt this is always the assumption whenever something bad or evil happens in a family.

“But my mother, a deeply Christian woman, rejected all such belief and all such talk.”

That is the extent to which Christianity has gone to erase the erroneous belief which still thrives in some communities.

“So often it is the small decisions in life that end up shaping our future the most. When push comes to shove and at the end of the day, depend on yourself. No one else is guaranteed to be there no one.”

The power of self, the ability to make a decision and resist all side attractions.

“How can they kill someone so good for the country?”

For us, for Liberians and Africans and people all over the world, President Kennedy had been a great person, a powerful and glamorous figure, an idol almost.”

“Domestic violence knows no geographical boundaries.”

I totally agree.

“Involving other parties in a troubled marriage just makes things worse for all involved.”

An advice to couples.

“Divorce is difficult, even when it is absolutely necessary.”

The reason why it should not be encouraged.

“Time and time again humanity has failed to appreciate the deep anger and resentment, the very real and very dangerous pain that comes from being told you are inferior.”

A food for thought indeed.

“Annan warned that genocide begins with the killing of one person not for what he has done but because of who he is.”

I quite agree.

“The odds then, were solidly against me, but I have always been the type of person who is determined to beat the odds. The human instinct to survive is powerful; when operating at that level, people will do whatever it takes to make it from one day to the next.”

The power of the mind.

“We have to believe that once these young men get good jobs where they are earning a decent living in exchange for their hard work, crime will diminish.”

A solution to prevention of crime.
“The root cause of conflict is not simply poverty but poverty brought on by exclusion. Exclusion in its broadest context: exclusion from resources, from power, from education and information, from the opportunity to better one’s life. All of these exclusions contribute to poverty.”

“Of course, the unfairness of all of this is that Africa’s evolution was interrupted by two enormously destructive events: slavery and colonialism.”

The Trans-Atlantic slave trade really took the cream of the African continent as many able-bodied young men and women were forcibly taken away. Also the taking over the lands by the colonial master deprived Africans from self-rule and self-determination.

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?

Really, I found it difficult to believe why the US could not intervene to nip the bud and feel it has rather been part their policy to allow conflicts to first escalate to enable them sell arms and ammunition to the warring parties. This to me has always been the trend all over the world.

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?

Unfortunately, there were no direct exercises but reference was made severally of the need to engage in spiritual exercises, more importantly prayer as demonstrated by the mother and the family of the writer.

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 mention of juju or voodoo was rather brief because I believe as Africans, the family might have consulted an oracle as the sickness of the father continued. They could have relied on the church but then a deity would have been consulted behind the scene. Nevertheless, I agree with the idea that it was not witchcraft.

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 Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

The main idea of Unlimited Power is how to maximize the innate visual, auditory and kinesthetic powers for effectiveness and success in virtually every human endeavor by exercises known as mirroring, modeling and anchoring among others. It is practical handbook on overcoming fears or phobias, duplication of the success of others and how to easily establish rapport with others by proper verbal and non-verbal communication.

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. Passion.

Truly, the intense or overpowering emotion or enthusiasm for doing something guarantees success. Passion is what makes us to love what we do and do what we love. As a person with passion to teach and lead, I always find easy to get along with others.

ii. Belief.

I can testify to the fact most times our perceptions and actions are beclouded by our beliefs; many of which are mere superstitions holding no water. For example, in my village, it was believed that the gods and spirits do eat food. However, I discovered that all the shrines were in the bush where nocturnal animals just find their way there to consume those sumptuous meals of eggs and mashed yams.

iii. Strategy

To succeed, there is always the need to strategize or plan. Planning ensures the stock taking of the resources at hand and ways to utilize them to accomplish a specific task.
The ability to elicit someone’s strategy by the development of the visual, auditory and kinesthetic faculties as taught in the book is so profound that I am gradually able to understand myself better. It is also going to help me handle others especially learners.

iv. Clarity of values

To me, a person of values is a person of principles. Being principled entails knowing what is right and I strongly believe what the scripture says that the truth shall set you free. I also believe that being able to discern your beliefs on right and wrong goes a long way to ensure your integrity and earn trustworthiness.

v. Energy

The ability to do work is crucial to success. In my language, it is stated health is wealth. This well understood and definitely, success and being effective can be achieved with physical, intellectual and spiritual power. It is commonplace that when sick, we become almost helpless.

vi. Bonding power

Getting along with others by the establishment of rapport is paramount for success. I believe that together we stand, divided we fall. Also together each achieves more. Recently, I found out networking is a marketing strategy that brings in a lot of money online. Thus the skills and tools available in Unlimited Power help in bonding with others easily.

vii. Mastery of communication

The ability to express ourselves is very essential in life. Again in my language, it is said that telling someone, “Let me pass,” can elicit a dirty slap or the right of way. No wonder, communication is power and the book has done justice by teaching various communication skills which I am finding very beneficial.

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?

All the ideas have reinforced what I have known and learned in my previous books thereby making me a better person and most importantly a resourceful leader. I am able to run my brain to overcome my obstacles. Above all, I am able to plan and set goals. As such, I am now convinced beyond every reasonable doubt that I stand a better chance to render service to humanity by teaching the youth 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.

“Real power is shared, not imposed.”

If only rulers who think they are leaders can understand and stop the oppression and suppression then the world will definitely be a better place. Not only authority but also sharing of economic power.
“Money is what fueled the industrial society. But in the informational society, the power is knowledge.”

Definitely, this is the age that knowledge is power and power is a very emotional word as it can whip up various emotions like the effects of hate speeches and motivational speeches.

“The road to success is always under construction.”

A basic truth that should encourage us to continue to strive hard.

“To me, ultimate power is the ability to produce the result you desire most and create value for others in the process.”

What an advice to all seekers of power to have compassion on others.

“Where beliefs come from? Environment, events (small or large can help foster beliefs), knowledge, past results, creating beliefs (lies of success).”

Self-explanatory and true.

“Everything happens for a reason and a purpose, and it serves us.”

That is to say we have to accept responsibility for both our actions and inactions, believing that nothing occurs by chance.

“There is no such thing as a failure. There are only results.”

Very revealing and inspiring if only we believe. It is said that the down fall of a man is not the end of his life and the ability to stand up after a fall is a proof of manhood. It said that the lizard after a fall nods the head to congratulate itself for survival.

“There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist.”

I believe this because how should a young person give up hope in life. Once there is life there is hope and joy comes in the morning even if sorrow abides for the night. We need to be optimistic.

“There are two things in life; first, to get what you want, and, after that, enjoy it.”

Simple and nothing but the truth.

“Don’t find fault, find a remedy.”

Finding faults can be rather humiliating and discouraging especially when one is being blamed and knowing that no excuse will be accepted. People who normally find faults are self-justifiers who are the worst culprits. They can see the splinter in other’s eyes but not the log in their own eyes.

“Time is one of the things no one can create for you. But achievers invariably manage to be time misers.”

This is to say that time waits for nobody and it is better to make hay while the sun shines.

“Having lots of money does not mean you’re not spiritual, and living an austere life does not necessarily mean you are spiritual.”

This has been a controversy in my church. Some having been boasted that it is their righteousness that they are blessed and that those of us not having tangible assets have skeletons in our cupboards. I have always kept my cool because besides moveable and landed assets, I know I am greatly blessed as my family doesn’t spend on medicals and we are contented.

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?

Well, those ideas that seemed strange especially reframing and anchoring were not agreeable to me but by regular practice, I am gradually coming into terms with them.

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?

The book is just practical with profound exercises meant to be carried out regularly for physical, mental, social and spiritual development. Truly, the breathing exercises were familiar but such as mirroring, anchoring, reframing and modeling seemed rather strange and I am trying to get used to.

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.

Personally, I would have liked a whole chapter dedicated to teaching techniques like the spelling and memorizing words.

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
 

A Long Walk to Freedom: An Autobiography of Nelson Mandela.
Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

It portrays the result of determination, sacrifice, courage and vision despite such pitfalls such as frustration, suffering, intimidation, humiliation, isolation and rejection which are strewn on the way to success. It is all about a struggle against oppression and suppression. The book is a testimony of man’s inhumanity to man as displayed during the apartheid regime of the colonialists and the struggle for self-rule or independence in South Africa which was spearheaded by Nelson Mandela and the consequences.

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.

Many are the important ideas to me, of which seven, not in any order are magnanimity, sacrifice, suffering, discrimination, determination, education and vision.

i. Magnanimity which is having a big heart is a sterling quality that I greatly admired in Nelson Mandela.

I had been humbled by his ability to forgive and forget all those who maltreated him and his colleagues at the time he had the power to deal with them. Of particular reference was his meeting with a prison warden in a restaurant. Honestly, I wish we can all have such a big heart to let go the pains and hurts from others.

ii. Sacrifice entails forgetting self for the sake of others.

This is a virtue that singled out Nelson Mandela who suffered separation from his family and endured isolation and intimidation, all on the altar of securing freedom for his fatherland. I have been imagining how many people can leave the comfort of their homes. I remember days when I had to shed tears when leaving home for the boarding house or when seeing my relations especially my wife or children off on a journey.

iii. Suffering was really much evident in the life of the writer right from his infancy but he was not deterred and endured all sorts of hardships.

It made me to recall my growing up years when I encountered various hardships but which now seemed insignificant when compared to the writer’s. It therefore underlines the fact that a successful life is never a bed of roses. After all, roses even have thorns.

iv. Discrimination

By the colonial masters as I read, had always made my blood to boil because I feel it was inhumane for foreigners to dominate and oppress others in their own country. To me, all men are equal and need to co-exist in peace. Opportunity makes some people to appear superior.

v. Determination

As displayed by Nelson Mandela coupled with his vision and focus enabled him to endure to the end, thereby achieving his goal of gaining freedom for his people. It is rather a pity for me to state that I lacked those qualities thus my inability to really be what I wanted to be. Suffering coupled with frustration could not allow me to pursue my dreams but thanks to IIGL I have rediscovered myself.

vi. Education

To me makes a person more human and I really cherish the sheer determination of Nelson Mandela to get educated. His ordeals did not deter him to gain knowledge as he held to the view that education liberates human beings from oppression and suppression. My greatest asset in life is the education I have had and I vividly remember those days when I was held in high esteem whenever I was on holidays in the village.

vii. Vision

It keeps a person striving hard in life. No wonder the Scriptures state that my people perish for the lack of vision. Having the big picture in view spurs one on, despite the pitfalls on the way. One is willing to go the extra mile as he or she focuses on the vision and the subsequent success. This is what is keeping me still as an IIGL student as I can see the realization of my vision on completion of the course.

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 have reinforced my belief in the fact that one can surely achieve whatever one aims at with determination, hard work, courage and all what I have learned through IIGL. Those are my nuggets for the youths who I have been encouraging to aspire for greatness and be solutions to the problems of the world. I am also convinced that no matter the injustice and inhumanity, there is always a way out if people are courageous to speak out. Such people should be willing to sacrifice their own happiness, freedom and be ready to face suffering, isolation and rejection. The world is in dire need of such men and women as leaders to make the world a better place to live in.

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 following made great impact on me, which I believe will also be on others:

“I acquired knowledge mainly through observation.”

A fact for one to be vigilant and watch.
“We were meant to learn through imitation and evaluation, not through questions.”

We need to observe and listen more than talk.

“The foundation of self-government was that all men were free to voice their opinions and equal in their value as citizens.”

Men being equal, there should never be room for discrimination or segregation.
“The sense of power that comes from having right and justice on one’s side.”

There is always a feeling of victory whenever one follows a just course and is convinced that he or she is right. That is the power that gives one confidence and the strength to carry on.

“It was not lack of ability that limited my people but lack of opportunity.”

The black people were enslaved and oppressed by the whites who looked down upon them and thought they were inferior. However, we, blacks are equal to the task but have usually been denied the opportunity to prove ourselves.
“An educated man could not be oppressed because he could think for himself.”

A vivid fact as confirmed by historical records. To be educated is to be enlightened and I do testify to that.

“I had to make my way on the basis of my ability, not my heritage.”

Discrimination on the basis of one’s background is really frustration. I was once denied a job in Nigeria when I told the panel that I was born and bred in Ghana but that I am a Nigerian of Yoruba descent. History is replete with such cases when people’s abilities are not recognized because of their heritage.

“Politics, in my experience, is nothing but a racket to steal money from the poor.”

A true picture of many politicians who are not ready to serve but to rule and amass wealth.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion.”

We are all one big family in this world and we need to love one another.

“But the human body has an enormous capacity for adjusting to trying circumstances.”

This seems to be a mystery difficult to explain but truthful. Personally, I was stranded in the bush for a week but I survived.

“It is not pleasant to be arrested in front of one’s children, even though one knows what one is doing is right.”

A real traumatic scene that should be avoided as I was made to believe that only criminals and thieves were usually arrested when I was a child.

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.

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

No, there were none.

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.

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? 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? 9

 

 

The New One Minute Manager
Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

The new one-minute manager is a book about the effective manager who is both results and people-oriented. An effective manager who by the application of three basic principles of setting goals, praising and redirecting, manages himself and the people he works with so that both the workers and the organization profit from his presence without wastage of time. It deals with the most effective use of teamwork, concern, appreciation and understanding to build up people and not to tear them down.

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.

Not in any order, the seven important to me are teamwork, documentation, purpose, freedom, care, correction, quality and quantity. These are the recurring qualities I have come to develop since joining IIGL and they have contributed greatly to my transformation into a better leader over the years.

i. Teamwork.

The involvement of subordinates in decision making or setting goals makes them to have a sense of belonging. As a Coordinator of a private school, I have found out that whenever the teachers participated in the planning of the activities of a term, they gave in their best as they saw that as a collective effort.

ii. Documentation.

This is a great asset in achieving goals because anything documented becomes a source of reference and reminder which can hardly be forgotten. Whenever, I see the various inscriptions in my diary and as posters, I get back on my course.

iii. Purpose

Purpose which to me is knowing what to do or having the goal in view makes success sure and one is likely to take responsibility. Simply put, purpose ensures focus.

iv. Freedom

It is sought for by all the living and I believe that most people give out their optimum best when at liberty or free. I have seen teachers who having been given the guidelines and free hand, have delivered.

v. Care.

Even plants need care to grow well, thoughtless of human beings.

vi. Correction.

To err is human and nobody is above mistake but the use of Redirect as stated in the book is absolutely the best to put one on track without humiliation.

vii. Quality and quantity

Both are two sides of the coin of performance which go together. None of them should be neglected.

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 are quite familiar to me and I do confess that they have really molded my life since I got to understand them when I started the IIGL course. In fact, they are just the qualities needed to make great leaders; leaders who will make the world better to work and live in.

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.

Though not really brief, the first quote among several is the symbol: “A clock face showing one-minute- intended to remind each of us to take a minute of our day to look into the faces of the people we lead and manage. And to realize that they are our most important resources.”

An emphasis that we need to show our care and concern for one another. That quote and the these that follow seem to be rather self-explanatory, concise which do not need comments. They are simply nuggets of gold to be cherished and kept.

“The essence of knowledge is having it, to use it.”

Nothing can be more than the realization of this truth

“Help people reach their full potential, catch them doing something right.”

A clear departure from the usual witch hunting of managers.

“Confidence that is earned helps you deal with all the changes that are occurring.”

Nothing but the truth.

“Praise people as soon as possible.”

This action is a tonic to the soul and a great source of motivation.
“Speed is a currency of success now.”

With the technological advancement, information is transferred with speed so the quote is justified.

“Let people know what they did right. Be specific.”

“Tell people how good you feel about what they did right and how it helps.”

A real rich tonic for high productivity as everyone likes to be praised or recognized for good deeds.

“Make it you have confidence in them and support their success.”

“To succeed sooner, managers must be both results-oriented and people-oriented.”

“Productivity is more than just the quantity of work done. It is also the quality.”

“Setting one minute goals is the beginning of one-minute management.”

A strategy for time management and success.

“A problem only exists if there is a difference between what is actually happening and what you desire to be happening.”

“Adapting to change is one of my main goals.”

Change is just inevitable and the only constant or permanent thing in life to be embraced.

“Being honest with people works better.”

Honesty is said to be the best policy.
“Manipulation involves deceptively controlling people foe your own advantage.”

A fact that cannot be disputed and which really contributes to eye-service.

“If you’re trying to manipulate people, you’re doing a poor job and it will come back to bite you.”

Nothing but a fact.

“Goals begin behaviors. Consequences influence future behaviors.”

“In fact, he even encourages us speak up if we notice he may be mistaken about something.”

A practice that creates a sense of belonging in an organization and brings out the best in every staff.
“Redirect people as soon as possible.”

Correction should be made promptly.

“But people who are learning benefit from praise and encouragement from others.”

“Punishment doesn’t work when you use it on someone who’s learning.”

Exactly as to err is human and people need to make mistakes to be able to learn from them.

“Rather than punish inexperienced people who are still learning, we need to redirect them.”

Redirecting by outlining the expectations of learners builds up their confidence.

“Not as much as I did when I was first learning. He trusts me more now.”

Trust builds confidence and promotes healthy relationship.

“That involves resetting one minute goals to make sure they understand what’s expected of them and what good performance looks it.”

What a difference such action can bring about if everyone really understands the part or role to be played to ensure the success of the collective efforts.

“It’s not fair to people to save up negative feelings about their poor performance, and it’s not effective.”

Truly, errors made need to be addressed immediately.

“It sounds like there’s respect and caring behind a Re-direct.”

“When our self-concept is under attack, we feel a need to defend ourselves and our actions, even to the extent of distorting facts.”

This is what is usually obtained in workplaces.

“When people become defensive, they don’t learn.”

This is a fact as people will always like to justify their actions.

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.

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.

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.

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? 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? 9

The Magic of Believing
Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

The Magic of Believing is a book originally authored by Claude M. Bristol, an impoverished first world war veteran in 1918 who harnessed the power of his mind to become rich. It is a modern–day interpretation of a self-help classic about how to achieve success by self-realization through 52 chunks of practical ideas and exercises. It deals with the power of thought, decision making and follow-up or implementation among other principles for self-development.

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

These seven ideas are procrastination, believing, visualization, faith, trust, acting decisively and breaking convention. These are among the ingredients needed for success in every human endeavor which should be developed by all humanity for a better world.

i. Procrastination

It is said to be the thief of time which I believe comes out of laziness and complacency. In fact, it also non that delays are dangerous and even justice delayed is justice denied. We ought to do the right things at the right time.

ii. Acting decisively destroys procrastination

It is a right step towards success because once a decision is taken, it is bound to be followed and implemented. One who acts decisively stays focused despite the pitfalls. I am still in IIGL because of my acting decisively when the odds were against me.

iii. Breaking convention is an action though difficult to take, leads to success.

People prefer to maintain the status quo and skeptical to changes. My going away to a boarding school did not go down well with those who thought I was too small to be on my own. It was the first time a boy of my age was going to the boarding house; a break from the convention.

iv. Belief

Believing is being convinced about something and entails having hope, assurance or trust in that. Our beliefs have massive impacts on our behaviors and character. Our beliefs can be positive or negative.

v. Visualization

It is a great force that can impinge on our minds a mental picture in the subconscious thereby bringing it into physical manifestation. I do testify that many occurrences in my life are usually what I visualized.

vi. Faith

It is said to move mountains and I agree to that. As stated faith is the taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. It is faith that ensures focus and success among others.

vii. Trust

It is to me is having total confidence which makes one to rely, depend and agree without any doubt. It is rather delicate that once broken, it can hardly soldered.

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?

Most of the ideas or lessons are recurring in the books I have read in IIGL, thus they act as reinforcements and as regular reminder of the ideals needed by great leaders. They make me to be of much gratitude to the founders of IIGL for drawing up such an awesome program with the choice of the reading materials that are milestones to success and achievement.

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 don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and by falling over.”

This is self-explanatory and stresses on the importance of practical.

“Success also requires hard work and persistence, especially when you are faced with obstacles.”

The truth in this statement is self-evident. No pain, no gain.

“If you don’t know where you are, you’ll probably end up somewhere else”

A great food for thought which is just a fact.
“One comes to believe whatever one repeats to oneself sufficiently often, whether the statement be true or false.”

This is the power of chanting of mantras or constant repetition of affirmations which works in the subconscious. I have been using it with great results.

“To convince others, you must convince yourself.”

There were times when as a head teacher, I was fully convinced of the futility of a project, yet I wanted the staff to succeed. Ultimately it was a failure to confirm the quote.

“No man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent.”

An age long truth that underlines the need for interdependence; the need for cooperation and collaboration in the whole world.

“All the strength and force of man comes from his faith in things unseen. He who believes is strong, he who doubts is weak. Strong convictions precede great actions.”

Another golden nugget that holds true even in religions. Faith moves mountains.

“Behavior is a mirror in which everyone displays his own image.”
The way someone acts or behaves shows his or her character. For example, a person of a violent character often fights or quarrels.
“Thinking big can lead to big dividends.”

This is a statement of truth, motivation and inspiration to people to dream or think big to make a difference in the world.

“Sometimes it takes someone else to light the fires of success.”

Yes, we may need to share our dreams and aspirations with others who may give us encouragement and support. However, caution has to be exercised as it also takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else. In fact, in my church here in Nigeria, many are encouraged by the testimonies that are shared on monthly basis while others feel apprehensive and think that such can lead to the hijacking of one’s success by the enemies who may be present to hear. “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.”

Exactly as what a man thinketh so he is.
“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”

This is rather an irony as one needs to really hear and understand whatever is being communicated. It is said that it is not what is said that matters but how it is said.

“The world sums you up by the clothes you wear and treats you accordingly.”

In another way, you are addressed by how you are dressed. That was evident in a school where there was a dress code for the staff. On several occasions, neighbors took me to be a banker.

“Outer order contributes to inner calm.”

It is said that still waters run deep. Inner calmness comes with outward composure and I am a living testimony as I usually put on a smiling face no matter the situation.
“There’s always a better way. Find it!”

An assertion that everything can be improved and there is the need to find out how to improve on things.

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”

This is an assessment that success goes hand in hand with teamwork.
“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life- think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.”

Nothing but the secret of success. Personally, I take that as one idea at a time. Just take be focused on one idea till success is achieved.

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.

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, there were exercises for each of the 52 themes or chunks which were stated as ideas for readers to consider.

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

Yes. I would have loved to see more insights into the act of visualization and the chanting of mantras with vivid examples.

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? 10
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? 9

John Kennedy, Death of the President, The History Hour
Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

The life and death of one of the greatest leaders in the world. It portrays the entire life story of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, a sickly second born who conquered all the odds to become the thirty-fifth President of the most powerful country on earth, the United States of America, the youngest ever at the age of 43. His character, achievements, failures and constraints were highlighted, making it a book worth reading by all those who need tips for 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 own life

i. The family is definitely the starting bloc in everybody’s life.

Coming from a rich background, JFK did not allow that to get into his head or distract him from his ambition but he kept focus by striving hard. His obedience to the father even on the death of his brother earned him the support and encouragement from the entire family.

ii. Health concerns.

These were serious issues that could have discouraged JFK but he never allowed that and made efforts to overcome the challenges, demonstrating his will power. He suffered from measles, whooping cough, chicken pox, scarlet fever, Addison’s disease, hyperthyroidism and ulcers. Some would have used those infirmities as an excuse not to aspire in life. He was a man of great fortitude and dedication to public service and rarely, if ever, allowed his personal concerns to enter his public life.

iii. Education is once again highlighted as a key to success.

JFK definitely craved scholarly work and his brilliant academic achievements were great assets. He attended many of the top private boy’s schools and graduated from Harvard magna cum laude. His thesis was published in 1940 under the title “Why England Slept” and it became a bestseller. JFK also excelled in sports. No matter what education is paramount in life though it is sad that in this my part of the world, successive governments have been ignoring or rather relegating the sector. As stated leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.

iv. Marriage

It can definitely make or married life and having a good spouse as Jacqueline was what helped JFK to literary success of winning the Pulitzer Prize for Biography at a time he was recuperating from a back surgery. Following his death, a great deal of energy was spent on digging up his many marital indiscretions which to me could have been a result of his comely appearance and youthfulness.

v. Mentorship played a key role in the life of JFK

He consulted great such as Martin Luther King Jr, Robert Kennedy, Robert McNamara to do the right thing. As it is stated a tendril needs to be staked to get up to the sun so we need mentors to emulate in life.

vi. Travel

Travels are also avenues to be educated and in my parlance there is the statement that travel and see. No wonder, JFK had an in depth into other cultures.

vii. Flaws are definitely part and parcel of everyone’s life.

JFK therefore had his own share, among them were the bay of pigs aimed at overthrowing the Socialist government of Fidel Castro, the Cuban missile crisis and the Vietnam war. All these were among various failed covert operations due to the incompetence of the CIA and as opined by his poor judgment because of his health concerns. It is on record that the meddling of institutions like the CIA in the affairs of other countries was greatly expanded during the Kennedy administration.

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 life of John Kennedy has made to gain more insight into the roles the above ideas play in charting the course of life. It made me to know the positive impact a family can have on an individual. I still got the conviction that sickness or disease can never quench the flame of determination and diligence. These among the others will really position better to motivate and encourage those around me, especially the youth.

4. Quotes: Are there brief quotes from the book which really got your attention? If so, please list and comment on them.

The words of JFK are all golden nuggets that transcend time and motivational. While in school, I heard the first quote; “Ask not what America can do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of men.”

This statement clearly points to the need for self-reliance and never rely fully on the government.

“Common enemies of man; tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself; do not really discriminate or segregate but affect all humanity and should be fought by collective effort. Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.”

A great food for thought to all warmongers which is self-explanatory.

“If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.”

A call for peaceful coexistence among all humanity which I believe is paramount.

“These issues were serious and many and may have affected his judgment in critical issues like the Cuban Missile crisis.”

This is statement which referred to JFK’s health concerns and the result. Nevertheless, his doggedness and sheer resilience made him successful on the long run. No matter our situation, we can always make the best of it.

“He was a man of great fortitude and dedication to public service and rarely if ever, allowed those personal concerns to enter his public life.”

A confirmation of his zeal, commitment and dedication to duty despite his sicknesses.

“As we express our gratitude we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”

I take it simply as to walk the talk.

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”

Exactly, there is always the need for goal setting to achieve success.

“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.” Another way of confirming the fact that we can forgive but cannot forget.

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.”

Kennedy experienced all and it is rather to motivate everyone to aspire for greatness.

“He was willing to change his position on many issues, taking advice from wiser minds than his own.”

No man is an island and it is a sign of humility to accept the advice of others. One really needs mentors to make for iron sharpens iron.

“We are not here to curse the darkness but to light the candle that can guide us thru that darkness to a safe and sane future.”

Definitely, with the little positive contribution each of us can make, the world will be a better place no matter the numerous challenges.

“When Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit the earth, the United States was embarrassed.”

This is an affirmation of the rivalry between the two so called super-powers; United States and Russia which at times is unhealthy and uncalled for. That feat by the Soviets spurred out the space race. To me, all countries need collaboration in all spheres of life instead of competing to be the first.

“President Kennedy believed in containing the spread of communism in the world.”

This is the state of mind of most US leaders over the years and which I take to be the major cause of unrest and instability in many countries. It is just a pity that we talk of equality and equity while in practice we cannot display such. I yearn for the time that the understanding of the unity of mankind will dawn on our leaders.

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.

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.

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.

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? 10
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? 9

 

 

Kwame Nkrumah, The Father of African Nationalism
Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

The book is all about a boy who from obscurity rose to prominence by the dent of hard work, ambition and courage with determination. Kwame Nkrumah still remains the de facto best leader ever to be in the Gold Coast which was rechristened Ghana. Sadly, I know that apart from the industrial projects he embarked upon, no other leader has been able to add to those but rather they have seen to the collapse of most of such projects. The book portrays his humble beginning, sojourn in the west to acquire education, his entry into politics, his leadership style, the challenges and achievements. His overthrow, exile and subsequent death were succinctly covered. Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, as he was fondly called, was truly the father of African nationalism.

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. The family

I wonder why so little is known about the family of such a great man as Kwame Nkrumah. His father is unknown so also his siblings and other relatives apart from the mother. It is therefore a food for thought that with little or no family support, he could achieve that much.

ii. Poverty

It really stared in the face of Nkrumah but he did not allow that to be an impediment to his ambition. No wonder, he struggled and arrived in the United States penniless. It is even believed that he stowaway in a ship. On becoming a great leader, he still refused to amass wealth like other African leaders.

iii. Education

It is still portrayed to be a pointer to success and that was the motivating factor for Nkrumah to travel to the States and Britain. Though not an excellent scholar, he was devoted to reading. Leaders are truly readers.

iv. Ambition.

Nkrumah was rather too ambitious and wanted much for his country and continent. This led to his having detractors both within and outside. His ambition distinguished him and also caused his downfall. To him the independence of Ghana was meaningless unless it was linked to the total liberation and emancipation of all Africa. He wanted Africa to be free, united, industrialized and a power broker in the comity of nations. That was a threat to the colonial masters and also his fellow Africans who were rather jealous of him.
v. Politics

It is truly a dirty game that can easily turn one’s friends into enemies. Imagine Nkrumah putting his very close associates such as Dr. J.B Danquah in detention on the allegation of their plotting to assassinate him. J.B Danquah died during his incarceration. It is also known that politics made Nkrumah to be ruthless, suspicious and superstitious. Some even opined that he patronized voodoo and other mediums for power and protection. Nevertheless, he meant well for Ghana and the black race in general. Politically, good leaders transform their countries, leaving their foot prints in the sand of time.

vi. Colonialism

It impoverished many third world countries and developed the Imperialists. The exploitation of diverse resources of developing countries by the developed nations is real man’s inhumanity against humanity. Nkrumah yearned for the concept of black identity, national autonomy and Pan-African unity. It baffles me to observe that the places where the colonial masters or officials stayed in my country were well developed and known as Government Residential Areas (GRA) up to today. It is therefore imperative that all third world countries wake up to the clarion call to resist neo-colonialism which is aimed at making third world countries dependent on the developed countries. Why third world countries and no second world countries?

vii. Nationalism

It was paramount in the mindset of Nkrumah who wanted only the best for the masses. Having travelled and seen things for himself, he wanted to initiate projects to transform and improve the quality of life not only for the people of Ghana but also for Africans. His vision was to see to the emancipation of the black race so he remained loyal and patriotic. His devotion to the cause of African unity was unparalled. He was a selfless, diligent African leader who believed that Africa should be for Africans. It should be noted that he was never a black racist and cooperated with the whites.

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?

If Africans can understand the ideas, then our progress and development are not far-fetched. The ideas are motivational and inspirational to all blacks to stand up to neo-colonialist overtures by the developed world. We, Africans need to cast aside everything that divides us and unite for our common goal. If the spirit of nationalism is ignited in us we will succeed. Just as the United States, Europe and even Russia are all conglomeration of several nation states so is Africa. We can therefore achieve a lot by coming together. I am therefore gingered to spread the need for African nationalism, the need for Africans to walk tall and prove their worth in the world.

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 three threads which ran through Nkrumah’s career were the concept of black identity, the search for national autonomy, and the advocacy of Pan-African unity.”

A belief in black consciousness is key to the unification of Africa. There is the need for sovereignty and collaboration on all fronts.

“Nationalism was a continuation of imperialism by other and more efficient means.”

The justification for imperialism was the exploitation of colonial people for the benefit to the colonizer.”

The reason for neocolonialism.

“They discovered that white men and women performed menial tasks in other parts of the world and that skin color was an illegitimate source of status in the colonies.”

That was what those soldiers drafted to fight abroad observed and inspired them to fight for equality.

“Nkrumah did not accumulate a large private fortune in the manner of some other African heads of state.”

A fact that he was selfless, honest and a true leader.

“Tribalism, he had seen as a great stumbling block to national achievement.”

Nkrumah was never tribalistic or racist but a leader for all.

“Nkrumah emerged from prison to begin his campaign for Self-government now.”

Imagine a prisoner winning a general election. He was really popular.

“midst all the celebrations few had the foresight to recognize that independence day was the beginning of the struggle and not its end.”

It is rather pathetic that many countries nosedived after gaining independence because corrupt leaders. Some had to go into civil war.

“In 1951, Nkrumah faced three tasks. The first was to learn the act of government. The second was to create a nation out of the four territories that were loosely joined together as Gold Coast. The third was to win independence.”

All three were successfully achieved by the dogmatic and pragmatic leader.

“He worked within the constitution to create one of the most successful political parties that was ever built in Africa.”

This is self-explanatory so also the following which are pointers to his greatness as a leader. “The domestic program which Nkrumah set for Ghana was one of industrialization.”

No wonder, he embarked on the gigantic Akosombo Volta dam.

“The achievements of the Volta scheme, and its flaws explain much about Africa in the neocolonial age.”

The revelations about how the contractors, Kaiser Aluminum cheated Ghana showed the deceit of the imperialists in the developed countries who do not want anything good to come out of developing countries.

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.

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.

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.

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? 10
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? 9

 

Showing Up for Life, thoughts on the gifts of a lifetime by Bill Gates Sr.
Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

The book throws light on the basic values and principles needed in the family, the community, the workplace and government for success and achievement with particular reference to the Gates’ family. These basic values and principles include showing up or being responsible and working together as a team. In fact, emphasis is laid on the importance of diligence, getting along with others and speaking out among others. It confirms the fact that nobody is an island so we need to collaborate with one another, understand one another and help one another.

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. Parenting

Parenting which is the raising of a family is a task we have very little formal training for the roles so they are the most difficult and important things we will ever undertake. No wonder that many negative things occur with wrong parenting. We all learn from the experiences in our families. I personally believe that the family bond is the strongest and a family that prays together stays together. Parents must be there for their children.

ii. Education.

My erroneous belief that Bill Gates was a college dropout was erased when I read about how his crave for scholarly work, diligence and foresight led him to found Microsoft. It made me to lament on the system of education in my part of the world which does not allow critical thinking and innovation. I was thrilled by his foresight in taking the advantage of the window of opportunity he believed would long be gone by the time he graduated from Harvard. I was also inspired greatly by Trey’s incredible curiosity which points out that there are those who require freedom to meet life on their own terms and should not be restricted by the parents. Like many of my colleagues, growing up, our parents dictated the course of our education with great expectations of our graduating as lawyers or doctors. Such unhealthy interference in the education of children is still evident in my country and a major contributor to the underdevelopment.

iii. Hard work

This was really much evident in the life of the writer right from his infancy and in the life of all the members of the family. At the age of eighty-three, the writer still rises early every morning to drive to his office and work. Bill Gates inherited the quality from the father and it could be seen as a habit passed down through generations leading to their success in life.

iv. Government

Government and public service should be seen as great opportunities to make sacrifices for the people. Governments are to vote funds for investments in researches for advances in various fields of human endeavor to make life easy and comfortable for the people. In contrast, politicians and government officials in my part of the world see their positions as opportunities to loot and subject the entire country to abject poverty. Embezzlement and corruption with impunity are the order of the day.

v. Losing with courage

This is a great uncommon virtue which has to be emulated by all. It is a real show o sportsmanship.

vi. Togetherness

This is a core essence of life as we are here in this world for one another.

vii. Gender issues

Gender issues portrayed that much good can be achieved by the empowerment of women and granting them choices about such things as the size of the family and when to have children. That means gender equality must be ensured and the notion of looking down on the females especially in my part of the world erased. Imagine a president referring to his wife as being responsible in the kitchen and in the “other room’.

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

These ideas made me to gain an insight to an aspect of life which I termed as the lifestyle of the wealthy as I could see some secrets of wealth creation which involve getting people of like-mind, working or having friends who will add value to life and always going for goals. I am now better equipped to engage the youth in my locality in community services and also inspire them to success by citing the experiences of the Gates’ family.

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.

“Everybody is good at something.”

This is a fact that makes me to realize the need for peaceful coexistence.

“Courageous men and women talked, and marched and died in the cause of equal justice.”

A great tribute to those who paid the supreme price by sacrificing their lives to fight for equity among all humanity. Those were real heroes and heroines whose lives we must emulate. People like William Wilberforce, John Brown, Abraham Lincoln among others.

“What we learned from those grim times is that the human spirit is resilient and optimism and hope can trump pessimism.”

A true statement that confirms what happens when one is pressed to the wall.

“We can and will conquer these problems when, instead of turning away, we learn to embrace them as our own.”

A great food for thought on how to tackle problems by collective responsibility and cooperation. What affects one affects us all, simply put.

“We are all in this together, and together we can shape our world to match our hopes.”

This is a great clarion call to all inhabitants of the earth to see the need of peaceful coexistence and cooperation. It is really when we come together as one that we can make the world a better place to live. Together we stand, divided we fall.

“After the service, her son said to her.”

Reflecting on my own experience raising a family, I think about how as parents most of us try to feel our way through the challenges that come with being married and raising children. We have very little formal training for these roles and they are two of the most difficult and important things we’ll ever undertake. Parenting is really not as easy as people usually think. No two or more families are alike thus, there should be no basis of comparison. Every family is unique and peculiar.

“I like the challenge of having to make decisions where there’s always a risk of failing.”

What a conviction one needs to have in order to succeed. It eliminates the fear of failure.

“There is no place in this world for poor losers.”

To lose is never a crime and one needs to accept defeat in good faith else it may lead to the loss of integrity and dignity as it has happened to Donald Trump. As a poor loser, he forgot that he came to power on almost the same premise of rigging allegation by the Democrats.

“The first job of a citizen is to keep your mouth open.”

Simply, this means speaking up against all forms of injustice and upholding the common good of the masses.

“Character is a tree. Reputation is its shadow.”

A golden nugget from Abraham Lincoln which illustrates how character grows like a tree casting shadow to shield or give protection against the elements.

“It’s important to be a person who can be trusted.”

Trust commands respect and reliability which is earned and had to repair once broken.

“No matter what you do, never demean your child.”

A sound advice to all parents.

“Give your children roots and wings.”

Children need just that to soar high; support and motivation.

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.

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

No, there were none.

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. We are all truly in this dance together.

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? 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? 9

The Leadership Pill
Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

The Leadership Pill provides the answer to how to become a more successful manager, a stronger team leader and a motivator who gets the best results from a team. It is an entertaining and inspiring book with a parable displaying a competition between two leaders and reveals the ingredients of a true effective leadership. The Effective leader who with his team won the 12-month contest proved that an inspiring and supportive leader who supplies the right ingredients earning the respect and trust of his team with a blend of integrity, partnership and affirmation produces consistent top performance and 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 own life.

The seven ideas listed not in any order are leadership, integrity, partnership, affirmation, trust, respect and confidence.

i. Leadership

It is the ability to show the way to success and encourage others to follow. It is not something you do to people but rather what you do with them. It is all about winning the trust and respect of others. Building confidence in others and empowering them by allowing them to think for themselves. It is the process of getting everyone to the place they are supposed to go.

ii. Integrity

It is just a sterling quality needed to be in possession of all especially leaders because it attracts respect and trust. A person of integrity is greatly admired as for such people, their yes is yes and their no is no. They walk the talk.

iii. Partnership

It is a fact that nobody is an island and there is the need to build relationships. We need to share the big picture in order to put everyone on the same page.

iv. Affirmation

This simply means to appreciate and acknowledge the good in others is a rare quality of leadership which IIGL has really established in me. I have personally seen the glitter in the faces of people appreciated for their contributions. Such praise motivates and inspires people and brings out the best in them.
v. Trust

It is such a delicate quality that needs to be guarded carefully because it is earned after a period of time and once broken it may not be restored.

vi. Respect

It begets respect and it cannot be coerced but rather earned. People give respect to those they can trust. It is given to those who are honest, sincere and reliable.

vii. Confidence

This entails have a strong unwavering belief or faith in oneself or others. It propels one to success as a tonic despite the odds. Confidence dries away fears or timidity and builds courage in the face of adversity.

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?

Those ideas are the sterling qualities I have garnered from my years in IIGL which are the hallmark of true leadership. I must confess that those ideas have reshaped my perceptions, my ways of handling issues and they have reformed me to be a better human being. I have won the hearts of many around me and believe that I am a living testimony and mirror for others to see themselves.

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 majority of business, government and non-profit organizations are stuck in a perpetual leadership crisis.”

This is exactly the bane of the underdevelopment of the third world countries because the leaders lack integrity and they are just corrupt. In my local parlance, a fish gets spoilt once the head is bad and once the head is bad, the body cannot be good.

“On top of this, stress and job insecurity continue to pervade the business landscape. Rightly said those are the two reasons for poor performance of workers especially those at the lower rungs of the employment ladder. Leading people is the opposite of trying to control them.”

A fact which clearly confirms the fact that every individual likes to express him or herself and should not be forced and that leadership cannot be imposed on others.

“The majority of them would rather complain about unfair management practices than take responsibility for doing their jobs.”

The real picture of the workplace where employees see the management as
the root cause of their dissatisfaction.

“It is clear that they perceive their chances of dying from heart failure to be greater than getting fired.”

The sorry mindset of disgruntled workers; which is the bane of poor productivity and performance. “It recognizes that great companies are the providers of choice, employers of choice and the investment of choice. The three parameters relevant to assess the performance of every company are listed. Profit is the applause you get for taking care of your customers and creating a motivating environment for people. This should be the concern of every business outfit. Integrity lays the foundation for trust and respect.”

“‎Praise is the easiest way to let people know they are appreciated. A reason for praise. Praise is most effective if it is specific, sincere and given as soon as possible after the desired behavior occurs”

Quite self-explanatory.

“Trust is what happens when values and behaviour match up. A basic truth that cannot be ignored.”

A key aspect of having integrity is that we trust each other enough to share our shortcomings as well as our strengths.

“Integrity makes people to have confidence in others. People easily rely on men or women of integrity. People are more apt to trust and respect you when what you say and what you do are one and the same thing.”

This is an undisputable fact stressing on their need of integrity on the part of everybody.

”The key to effective leadership is the relationship you build with your team.”

Team work is surely a key to success.

“Showing the big picture puts everyone on the same page.”

Having members in a team to be on the same page makes them to have a feeling of belonging and as such they feel committed to contribute their quota if not the best for success. “Affirmation lets people now that what they do is important.”

Everyone wants to be recognized, acknowledged and appreciated when they do something good as it motivates making them have a sense of feeling good so they become frustrated when such does not occur. “The only time my last boss spoke to me was when something went wrong. I didn’t think he even knew my name.”
A common scene in most organizations is vividly painted here which is just unfortunate and quite demoralizing. Many leaders are just out to fish mistakes in their subordinates; which is really bad. Personally, I have been a victim to such at different times.

“Leading by example is another way to put respect into action.”

This cannot be overemphasized and quite understandable. Unfortunately, some leaders assert that their subordinates do what they say and not to do what they do.
“Leading with integrity means bring the person you want others to be. People of integrity are simply those to be in leadership roles. The Bible even truly attests to this by stating that when the righteous rule, the people rejoice. If I respect you, I face you. This means that I want you to involve you in decision making and hear your opinions.”

A statement that portrays the need for respect among leaders and followers to allow the pooling of ideas and opinions to create the conducive atmosphere for success in every institution or organization.

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.

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.

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.

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? 10
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? 9

Goal Mapping
Assessment by Ajeigbe Aremu Jimi Rexford (Nigeria)

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

Goal Mapping is a handy practical book which highlights seven simple steps to fulfilling dreams by the use of written and pictorial setting of goals. It provides a clear direction and inspiration for success. The Author, Felix Iziomoh has tried in his own way to show the way to achievement through the utilization of both the right and left parts of the brain. He has demonstrated his knowledge of the efficacy of the visual and written parts of the brain, having been a student of an authority of goal mapping; Brian Mayne.

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.

The seven important ideas listed are dreaming, believing, seeing, telling, planning, working and enjoying.

i. Dreaming

As explained in the book, a dream though, being a succession of images, ideas, emotions and sensations that usually occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep yet, it is what you desire if anything and everything is possible. It is an inspiring picture of the future that energizes the mind, ill and emotions, empowering one to do everything one can to achieve it. Thus, everything begins in the mind therefore people need to dream and think big.

ii. Believing

It has been emphasized throughout the course and the truth is that we are or become what we believe. Consequently, I have personally overcome most of my fears in life by believing that they are just non-existence. For instance, the fear of being bewitched was eradicated once I got a deeper understanding in the early levels of the IIGL course.

iii. Seeing

It is crucial in achieving success as it makes the big picture to be vividly displayed and thus, propelling one to strive towards it. The ability to dream and see it brings about manifestation.

iv. Telling

Telling others about our dreams used to be one of my weaknesses because of the fear of the belief that the witches and wizards can easily hijack such. Little did I know that one needs to tell those who can be interested and helpful. Over time, I have been able to solicit sponsorship by telling others about my dreams.

v. Planning

It is such sacrosanct that those who fail to plan, just plan to fail. To be able to plan makes one to set goals and timelines so that one is able to work towards achievement. Planning keeps one on the toes and focused.

vi. Working is the strategy and action needed to achieve goals.

It is a known fact there is no food for the idle man and that the devil’s workshop is the idle mind. Once work is not carried out on a dream, such a dream becomes a mere wish. I have known that diligence is an ingredient of success. We therefore remember to work the talk.

vii. Enjoying one’s labor is sweet.

It therefore behooves on us to work and achieve success, then enjoy it. Work and happiness used to be a slogan in the olden days.

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 are the same cardinal points to success which are constantly being hammered in the IIGL course. They have already been imbibed by me and I can confidently say that there are the compelling forces moving me to the pinnacle of success and attainment in life. Practically, there is hardly a day that passes without my making plans; dreaming big and setting goals. My perspectives about life have been greatly enhanced and improved. How I wish the concept of goal mapping can be introduced in all schools to enable learners acquire such rich knowledge which can easily eradicate poverty and thereby reduce crime in our societies.

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

Honestly, the book is loaded with quotes which are concise and self-explanatory thus need no explanation. Among them are the following:

“Every great achievement began in the mind of one person.”

This is a true statement which confirms that only who dare to dream big are the achievers and they form a meager percentage of the population.

“You get what you plan for.”

This is self-explanatory and a confirmation of the need to plan by setting SMART goals.

“Use your dream to better the life of others.”

A fact that we need one another to make the world a better place by impacting on others; and being problem-solvers.

“The left brain thinks in words while the right brain thinks in pictures, and it is important to use both powerfully command our subconscious mind.”

“Your right brain looks forward with the gift of imagination and visualization.”

A great and essential knowledge that should be gained by everybody. Having gained this unique knowledge of the right and left parts of the brain and imploring such in my school has proved to be a magic wand with tremendous success.

“Activating your right brain allows you to see what you want and then your journey will start with it.”

“The major pathway to your subconscious is through your right brain and your right brain thinks in pictures.”
“When you’re at loss for words, draw a picture.”

A summary of the right and left parts of the brain.

“We struggle to split our time between different things.”

There is a need to always prioritize things by planning or setting goals.

“The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and preserve change amid order.”

“Goals are thoughts that are captured and held on to. It is the emotion that we attach to it that makes our thoughts powerful.”

“Needs are logical (left brain) but desires are emotional (right brain).”

“He who has a why to live can bear almost anyhow.”

A very powerful statement which confirms that where there is a well, there is a way.

“When there is no timing, then there is no urgency to start taking action towards the success of your goals.”

Remember, not timing your goals promotes laziness and procrastination.

“Goals without deadlines are just wishes; they lack the power of commitment.”

Exactly and if wishes were horses then beggars will ride.

“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”

“The why determines the how.”

Precisely.

“Relationships are everything. To achieve anything, you will need the help of lots of people.”

A tree cannot make a forest and it takes a stake for a tendril to reach up the sky.

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”

No opportunity should be lost. Amid criticisms, one should never give up.

“Welcome and actively seek multiple perspectives on any given problem.”

“Surround yourself with people whose knowledge and judgment you trust, then make good of them.”

“Value experience, never close yourself to suggestions insights from others.”

“Any meaningful goal will normally require advice, assistance or support from somebody else.”

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

Nothing but the truth.

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?

Yes. I used to ponder over the idea of telling others about our dreams because I held the belief that enemies can easily hijack or truncate one’s dreams. Furthermore, one by telling others may likely incur hatred as illustrated even by the brothers of Joseph in the Bible. However, I started getting help in diverse forms on sharing my ideas. I would really want more discussion on that subject of telling it.

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, there were. Such as the simple breathing for relaxation to the goal mapping.

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

Yes. I would have loved to see more light thrown on Yoga which was mentioned briefly.

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? 10
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? 9