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On December 14th, 1903, the Wright Brothers attempted their first powered flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The flight lasted for a total of four seconds. Three days later they made a more successful attempt. I often wonder….. what would the world be like if the Wright Brothers had quit on their goal?

One of the interesting things about their attempt to fly is that they were not the first to dream of flying. Since the beginning of time, men have always dreamt of flying. What made the Wright Brothers different was their devotion to the cause and their refusal to quit. They understood this:

‘Failure is constructive feedback that tells you to try a different approach to accomplish what you want.’

-Idowu Koyenikan

A lot of times when people fail at something, they take it personally and call themselves a failure. Instead, they need to know that it is not them personally that failed but the approach that they took that failed.

Instead of labeling yourself as a failure, try a different approach. Keep trying till you find a way that works. There is a valuable lesson for you to learn with each try. Every “failed’ attempt gets you one step closer to the one that will work.

 

idowu koyenikan failure quote

 

 

 

 

Fear is a natural human tendency at play in different areas of our lives. Fear tells us that we cannot achieve a goal, or that something is too difficult. Fear is designed to hold us back from achieving our desires. Too move forward, you must discover what’s holding you back and confront it.  Your desire to succeed must be stronger than your fear.

“Sometimes, we must face our fears and our enemies on their ground, a place where they appear stronger but if we are well prepared, nothing can stop us. Their turf or not, success will be ours.”

Idowu Koyenikan

Idowu Koyenikan
Facing our fears

Overcoming obstacles

Whether in business or in our personal lives, we all come across obstacles from time to time. Often times, these obstacles appear insurmountable like mountains. Rather than worrying about the prospect of facing these obstacles, our focus should be on developing ourselves. As we develop new skills and sharpen our existing ones, we get better at navigating our way through the obstacles as they appear.

“Mountains are only a problem when they are bigger than you. You should develop yourself so much that you become bigger than the mountains you face.”

– Idowu Koyenikan

You don’t have to settle. You have what it takes to be more than you are. If you want the world to see you a certain way, you must first see yourself that way. Be bold. Show the world what you are made of.

Inspire someone today by sharing this image on social media. He or she needs to know that they have what it takes.

Dreams and goals—most of us have them. Some big, some small, yet all are important. A great portion of mankind’s greatest achievements began as dreams. From the first airplane that took to the skies to man’s first step on the moon, they all started as dreams so powerful that they drew the best out of mankind. It was not just the dreams alone that made these feats possible but, more important, it was the drive behind them.

Many people today walk around with broken dreams that are still very fresh in their hearts, but they will never take any steps toward realizing them. Childhood dreams, career dreams, business dreams all dissipate with time. These people continue to take the same approach through life, remaining in the same dead-end jobs even when they are clearly miserable.

One of the biggest reasons most people do not take action and instead remain in a position of misery is simply because of fear of the unknown. We ask ourselves, “What will happen if I leave this job with a guaranteed salary to pursue a business with no guaranteed income? What would happen if I make this business move and it doesn’t work out?” While these are legitimate questions, I also want you to consider the meaning of this quotation:

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”

—John A. Shedd

Ask yourself, “What am I made for? Am I made for much more than I am today?” If so, at some point in your life you must make a decision—a big one. Are you going to pursue your dreams and live life to the degree that you were meant to live life? Or are you just going to settle and live a so-so life? If you want more out of life or your business, you must summon the courage to pursue your dreams and goals. If you don’t, years from now you will look back with regret and wonder about what could have been.

Getting the motivation to follow your dreams and pursue your goals isn’t always easy to come by. There are many approaches to doing so, and one such approach is known as “burning the boat.” This approach has been used for centuries by important legends such as Alexander the Great. Alexander, the great conqueror, served as King of Macedonia from 336 to 323 B.C. During his time he led a great army, and together they conquered most of the known world, vastly expanding the Greek empire.

It is said that when Alexander got to shore before one of his many battles, he ordered his men to burn their boats. He felt that by doing this his men would be completely focused on achieving one goal—victory. And it worked. By cutting off all options to retreat, his men were fully committed to the cause with no way to go but forward. With this single goal in mind, they fought hard with everything they had and defeated their opponents.

Many times in life we are held back from achieving our goals because we do not wholeheartedly commit ourselves to them. With an escape route in mind, we hold ourselves back from giving our all. There are some battles in life where, if you are going to win, you have to “burn the boats.” In these battles, all of your efforts must be focused on victory. No quitting, no backdoor exits. As you give your goal your full attention, your focus will raise your performance level and help you rise to the occasion.

What “boats” do you need to burn in your life? What is holding you back from achieving your dreams or goals? Set yourself free so you can focus on the life you want and go after it with everything you have. Let me be clear: This strategy is not for everyone and it is certainly not a strategy to be used for all situations in your life. If failure is not an option—and success is your only option—then this is a strategy you may want to consider.

 

 

 

 

 

The only thing that is constant is change-  Heraclitus

I recently made some life changes with one of those changes being a new home. I have always lived in the city but this time I wanted to try somewhere a little bit outside the city that offered more privacy and more land around it.

Living here has so far been completely different from what I am used to. What I have found out is that the beautiful long range views and the serene environment around the house helps me think more clearly. My son also loves it here because he has plenty of space to run and play.

As a result of this new found creativity, I plan on writing more and contributing more to this blog. What environment do you like the best? Mountain views? Beach views? City views? I would love to hear about it.

 

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July 18th marks Nelson Mandela International Day. Everyone who is familiar with Nelson Mandela’s story recognizes him as a symbol of freedom. Today, more than a billion people around the world are desperately in need of freedom—freedom from poverty. Ask any number of people for a definition of freedom, and you will probably get just as many answers. One thing that the majority of people would agree on, though, is that it is difficult to feel free if you are living in poverty.

All around the world, people are fighting to break free from the chains of poverty. Too many of them cannot express themselves or fully develop their gifts because they spend most of their time hacking away at the shackles of poverty. This is not a new problem, and in fact many attempts have been made to curb its growth.

In the year 2000, several world leaders came together at the United Nations to address some of the major problems affecting mankind. As a result of that meeting, eight goals were created that are today known as the millennium development goals, or MDGs. On the very top of the list was one major goal, to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by 2015. I know what you are thinking—how can it be possible when 2015 is now just a few months away?

According to the United Nations, “The global poverty rate at $1.25 a day fell in 2010 to less than half the 1990 rate. 700 million fewer people lived in conditions of extreme poverty in 2010 than in 1990. However, at the global level 1.2 billion people are still living in extreme poverty.” Although huge strides have been made, I am sure that you will agree that 1.2 billion is still a lot of people. It is more than the combined population of the United States, Canada, and the European Union, with an additional 200+ million people on top of that.

Of those still living in poverty, the greatest percentage are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa is made up of the countries that lie south of the Sahara desert. I happen to have been born in one of those countries, Nigeria. It is a place where I still have a lot of family and friends. Like most of Africa, it is home to people of contrasting fortunes. On one end, there are those living in extreme poverty—and then there are the billionaires. An example is Aliko Dangote, who according to Forbes magazine’s 2014 ranking of the richest people on the planet is in the top 25 with an estimated net worth of $25 billion.

I have thought long and hard about what it would take for the average African to make the shift from poverty to financial independence. I have often wondered if such a thing was even possible. To put my thoughts in focus, I think about the people I knew growing up in Nigeria. I think about a friend whose husband suddenly passed away and is now left to raise three children all on her own. I think about another friend who struggled through college to obtain two degrees but for years has been unable to find a job.

I think about these people and others and ask myself, how would they best like to be helped? Is it through a monetary gift? Perhaps by giving them enough money to last them for a week? How long will any of this last before another need develops? A monetary gift might help them temporarily, but it would not be enough to sustain them throughout their life. What if there was a way that I could give them hope? What if there was a way that I could help them stand on their own two feet so they never have to rely on somebody else for money? What if it was possible to help them unleash the abilities that I know lie within them?

The solution, I believe, lies in some form of self-empowerment. I made a decision that whatever I did, it must meet at least three objectives. It should be easy to understand, easy to implement, and provide long-term solutions. So just how can this be achieved? I have several ideas, which leads me to my first initiative—providing a road map to act as a guide. My upcoming book, Wealth for All Africans: How Every African Can Live the Life of Their Dreams, was written with the goal to help every African develop his- or herself to the point of self-sufficiency.

Every year on July 18th, Nelson Mandela International Day, we are encouraged to devote 67 minutes to help others. It could be something that affects the life of one person, 100 people, or 1.7 billion people. You are encouraged to help wherever and however you can. Maybe you, too, have come across an area of great need. Perhaps you have even thought that the need was too big for you to handle. I want to encourage you to dig deep within yourself for answers. I believe there are powerful solutions that lie within you that the world needs. I will leave you with this quote from Nelson Mandela: “We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.”

Now, let’s go out and make a difference.

 

“United Nations Millennium Development Goals.” UN News Center. UN, n.d. Web. 14 July 2014.

Kroll, Luisa, and Kerry A. Dolan. “Inside The 2014 Forbes Billionaires List: Facts And Figures.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 03 Mar. 2014. Web. 16 July 2014.

 

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The only thing that is constant is change-  Heraclitus I recently made some life changes with one of those changes being a new home. I have always...