FAILURE: A LEAP INTO SUCCESS

A journey of a thousand miles they say begins with a step. The journey to success is like the story of an adventurer who has many hurdles on his path but in the end, the challenges make the story interesting.

Failure can be likened to a mountaineer who encounters wild animals, harsh weather conditions, stony and rough grounds, slippery ground etc. Most times, the climber slips back to areas he has overcome. There are possibilities that the climber would remain stagnant at a place for days due to these challenges, but they build him and make him stronger. He might be faced with some thoughts of giving up, but his target (the mountaintop) becomes his strength.

Success is like a finished product. Every finished product has rough or raw processes that build it to a beautiful commodity. To refine gold, it must pass through molten stages, which require extreme hot temperatures. When you see a beautiful shirt, you should realize it was once a plane fabric which passed through cuts and stitches to make what you now admire.

Now I want to let you know that failure is just a vocabulary standing on its own. In a story of success, it is a process in the actualization of a target (success), therefore giving up because things didn’t go the way you want means you have accepted failure, but not as a means to an end -success. The journey to achieving your goals starts with action – a step.
One can have the finest dream, but without action, it is as good as dead. Therefore, a step kick starts it, not minding if it turns favourable or not.

Anyone who thinks failure has a negative effect should look back at the serial failures of James Dyson, who created the bagless vacuum cleaner, Dyson took five years and 5,127 prototypes before he got his vacuum cleaner right. But the 5,128th model was a huge success.

Thomas Edison claimed to have conducted 10,000 experiments before he made a light bulb that worked properly. But he ended up with 1,093 patents to his name and was a founder of General Electric, (now just called GE) one of the most successful companies of all time.

Hundreds of famous failures became famous successes but more often than not, the struggles through their success are not as highlighted as their now success.
Failures/ mistakes help you restrategise. It repositions and refines your dream. Rather than see failure as the result, see it as the means to an end. As a stepping-stone to success.

Rediscover/reposition: When you fail, it helps you to rediscover and reposition your way to success. This can best be illustrated in the story of ALBERT EINSTEIN who graduated from the renowned Swiss Polytechnic Institute at the age of 21 and was struggling to find employment. To make matters worse, Einstein had a terrible reputation as a student. He skipped classes, and his professors never took him seriously. Moreover, Einstein never performed spectacularly in school. He was only good in mathematics and physics but did so poorly generally that he nearly decided to drop out, and just sell life insurance.

Eventually, he found legitimate employment as a patent clerk. Every day, he would sit down, review patents, and analyze mathematical equations (patents had a lot of math in them) and Einstein loved it. His work transformed the way physicists thought about light, gravity, and space and remains to be one of the most iconic physicists of all time.

In the story of Albert Einstein, thinking that he was a failure just settled for a patent clerk job, even on the job, he discovered his passion for analyzing mathematical equations and it helped him build a career in physics which ultimately led him to success.

A quote by Oprah Winfrey says, “There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction”.

Restrategize: Failure helps you restrategize. It aids you in refining your steps towards your dream. When you make corn pudding and it becomes watery, you may want to know the reason why it happened and how to do it better, it should not stop you from ever taking corn pudding. This is exactly how you should see failures and challenges.

A practical example of how failure helps one restrategize steps to achieving one’s dream is the story of Oprah Winfrey.
Early in her career, she worked on a failed news show and was demoted from her primetime co-anchor role. However, Winfrey’s empathetic style later found traction and she gained her talk show, which rocketed her to international success.

After a quarter-century of success with her talk show, many wrote off Oprah’s OWN network as a failure when it initially struggled to build a viewership or turn a profit. She didn’t give after what seemed like failure.
She made several changes, such as redesigning programming and collaborating with other creators, Winfrey was able to turn things around, and the network stands to this day.
Winfrey took each setback in her path as a lesson. Her failures weren’t unscalable brick walls; they were stepping stones toward her success

Motivation: Some of the most successful people in the world had to overcome failure at some point in their lives. Rather than giving up and allowing their failures to define them, they used setbacks as motivation to make a lasting impact in their field. The story of Michael Jordan illustrates how failure is a motivating factor.

Micheal Jordan says,
“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it”

As a child, Michael had a very close relationship with his father, this stemming from their mutual love for sports. Baseball was their sport of choice and they bonded greatly over such games. Michael, however, chose to play basketball to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, Larry, whom he looked up to.

In his early years at Emsley A. Laney High School, Michael tried out for an open position on the basketball varsity team. He hadn’t grown to his full height yet, nor did he have the skill he clearly showed the world in the years to come. He was not chosen for the position. Instead, the team opted for someone taller and bigger and—he believed—a less competent player than he was.

People who saw Michael grow up claimed that he was competitive in almost everything. He liked winning and was, in fact, a sore loser. Consequently, he took it hard when he did not make it to his high school’s varsity team.

When another spot opened for the basketball varsity team, Michael again tried his luck and was accepted as a team member.
He was disappointed, however, as he was barely allowed to play in the interschool games. He was mostly on the bench, handing out water and towels to the tired players.

Long story short, He never gave up, he believed he can do it, and it motivated him more to keep trying. His resilience and relentlessness later paid off.

Never accept failure as an option, that is why in a success story, failure is considered a process to your success, you might be rejected, criticized, mocked and looked down on but this negativity should be the reason you should push on to prove everyone wrong.

In conclusion, even if you fail, it becomes an experience. Someone with experience is better than one who has not tried. Struggling is always part of the process of success.

Building Positive Psychology

Positive psychology is based on the idea that building on our strengths is often a more effective path to success than trying to force excellence in areas we are simply not suited for. In practice, this technique involves identifying one’s strengths and working to provide yourself with more opportunities to use them.

Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology says that for a person to be truly happy and live a meaningful life, that person must recognize their personal strengths and use these strengths for the greater good.

Growing up, I sucked at math like most people. I didn’t like to solve it & would get sick from the mere thought of something as basic as LCM/HCF. I was, however, good at English. I loved to write stories and to be frank, they were captivating enough because I was always the go-to person for my classmates when they needed a storyline for a drama presentation.

My parents weren’t impressed with my math grade so they got me a math tutor. To be honest, they didn’t pay much attention to my commendable English grade.

Now, this tutor would tell me on several occasions to forget English and focus on math. He said math was my weakness and if I should be putting effort into anything, it had to be math, not English.

“You already know English. Focus on math”

At the end of the term, I still didn’t top in math and my English grade dropped from excellent to fair.

Positive psychology is a scientific approach to studying human thoughts, feelings, and behaviour, with a focus on strengths instead of weaknesses, building the good in life instead of repairing the bad, and taking the lives of average people up to “great” instead of focusing solely on moving those who are struggling up to “normal” (Peterson, 2008).

When it comes to strengths and weaknesses, which do you think you need to focus on to be more successful and lead a happier life?

Culturally we tend to not focus on our strengths and we are pressed to conform to the social norm of being modest, even self-effacing. As children, we are indirectly taught to focus on our weaknesses and this habit continues into adulthood. Where again we tend to focus more on our weaknesses than our strengths. This way of thinking is incorrect in that we believe it is our weaknesses, rather than our strengths, that are our greatest areas of growth.

Professor Alex Linley, defines strength as “a particular way of behaving, thinking, or feeling that is authentic and energizing to the user, and enables optimal functioning, development and performance.”

With that definition, you understand that people who focus on their strengths are more confident, and have higher levels of energy and vitality. They are also more resilient, perform better at work and are more likely to achieve their goals.

Strength is your ability to consistently produce a positive outcome on a specific task. It helps you increase positive emotions, enhance your self-confidence, and gives you the greatest potential for success. You’ll get the biggest bang for the buck by honing the skills you already have. Focus on what you are good at, instead of what you are not.

If you are good at writing and bad at making music, it is only wise to focus on ways to become a better writer and ways to hone your writing skills for a sustainable means of income rather than spending your entire day at the studio trying to record a song that will most likely be a disaster to the ears.

Have you identified your strengths? Do you know your weaknesses?

Employees have long focused on fixing weaknesses to increase their chances of success. But recent research suggests that this long-standing advice may not be the best coaching. In fact, when leaders, teams, cultures, and individuals focus on strengths, they have a better chance of winning than if they focus on improving deficiencies.

Imagine what would have happened if Oprah Winfrey chose to sing instead or Elon Musk chose to be an architect? Imagine your best world leaders and role models focused on their weaknesses and not the strength you know them to possess. Imagine how your life would have turned out if you focused on your strengths and expanded your knowledge of them.

Instead of spending time criticizing yourself, and focusing on the wrong things, try to take an objective approach to understand your journey. Performing a SWOT Analysis is a great way to retrain the way you think about yourself. S = strengths W= weaknesses O = opportunities T = threats.

Now you may ask, what should I do with my weaknesses then?

Albert Einstein didn’t need to be a good painter, baker or tailor. He could enjoy art, eat cookies and wear suits all made by somebody else. Spending more time trying to improve his pastry-making skills would have robbed him of precious hours to develop general relativity.

In essence, you can outsource your weaknesses while you learn mastery of your strengths. Someone may not be able to write that poem just as you can or play the piano or create that software, but someone else can cook better than you would have ever cooked (because it’s not your strength), you can choose to outsource to these people who do well in the field.

Secondly, you can choose to safely ignore your strengths. If you’re a writer who isn’t very funny, you don’t need to be comedic in your prose. If you’re bad at math, you can avoid making your career rest on numerical virtuosity.

Also, you can choose to improve your weaknesses. A saying goes, “sometimes a weakness is merely an undiscovered strength”. It’s often through lack of practice, rather than genuine lack of talent, that our weaknesses hobble us. Therefore, if you want to improve your weakness, that might be the best sign to work on it more than anything else.

We hope you found this article useful. Which of these approaches are you applying in your life already? Outsourcing, improving or ignoring your weaknesses?

Kindly drop us your insights. We’d love to read from you!

Compromising & Adjusting for Others

Have you been in positions where you want to do something for your benefit and as it suits you, but then someone else want you to do something contrary.

Disagreements ensue because of your refusal but then again, on second thought, you both decide to meet halfway? Compromise is an agreement between two or more parties to settle differences between them by mutual concessions. Something midway between two or more conflicting, different, or opposing things.

For example, imagine your shift has ended and you are about to head home but because it’s happy hour, you have more customers’ troop in than ever which means all hands need to be on deck to meet these customers’ needs. Your boss asks you to work for 2 more hours to support the few staff left but you know you cannot work 2 hours as you have other engagements. Then, you propose to work for just an hour which your boss agrees to. From this positive compromise, both sides made concessions and met somewhere in the middle to foster understanding and end the brewing dispute. Compromise is not an act of weakness as most people see it to be.

Compromising is a way of demonstrating your confidence in the fact that a situation can be worked out, and your commitment to actually doing it. Think about it as strength.It is vital in any relationship, whether it’s with coworkers, friends, family members or your partner. It’s important to know when to stand your ground, but also to know which battles are worth fighting. It only demonstrates that you care for something or someone beyond yourself. Compromises can be used in virtually any setting. Compromises are used at work to make a more cohesive environment that centers on collaboration and teamwork. This concept can be used in the home to bring peace to the people that live there and delineate responsibility between people.

Think about the times you had to compromise and the result thereafter. Did it foster peace and understanding or did it salvage a relationship that was on the brink of collapse?

“A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence; or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say, ‘Huh. It works. It makes sense.’” — Barack Obama

Janelle is working hard as a nurse in a special needs facility. She is requesting a raise from her current boss, who has been with the company for several years. During the meeting, her boss suggests a promotion instead of a raise. Janelle would get a title change, more responsibilities and an increase in her wages. She happily agrees as she is bored at her current position and looking for more of a challenge; this benefit her organization, as her boss was bogged down by the amount of work she had, it also benefits Janelle as she would enjoy an increase in her wages and a new exciting position. Compromising is an essential tool, as it is used to ensure a peaceful environment; this is seen as the give and take necessary to create a balanced situation to end a disagreement. It keeps things running smoothly by avoiding clear “winners” and “losers”.It can help smooth over conflicts in a variety of situations and settings.

Compromise will promote collaboration between people.As much as this article advocates for compromise and making adjustments to foster peace and understanding between parties, it is also important to know when not to compromise and stick your ground. What are the terms of the agreement? Is it something that is at least mutually beneficial? Is it healthy and are you compromising with someone who genuinely has your interest at heart or a narcissist who is only for their own gain? In your relationship, does your partner want you to compromise on something that is totally unhealthy to your mental state and on something against your belief?

The end point is, know when you are compromising and making adjustments that are mutually beneficial and when you are been taken advantage of. Whether you’re trying to compromise with your partner, a family member, or a coworker, the process will look similar. Start by finding out each person’s stance on the issue. Then, work together to come up with different ways you can resolve the issue. It can also help to avoid some common roadblocks that prevent successful compromise, like being disrespectful or focusing on winning.

First you need to know where you stand on the matter and why you have taken such stance. Try to see things from the other person’s point-of-view by stepping into their shoes. Envision what the experience is like for the other person and what may be driving their actions.

Secondly, suggest multiple options or let the other party suggest multiple options. When people have the freedom to make decisions, they’re generally happier. And when a person has two or more options instead of one, they’ll generally be more willing to move forward–not to mention being happier with the end result. If you want to offer an effective compromise, instead of suggesting just one option for meeting in the middle, suggest multiple options. Lay out multiple paths forward, and open yourself to other options too. This method of multi-option presentation will make it easier for the two of you to find a mutual ground you can both agree upon.

Also, bear in mind that not all compromise attempts will work. Some people are fundamentally unwilling to compromise, and sometimes, there really isn’t a middle ground for two diametrically opposed positions. This is rare, as when two people work together to find new, creative solutions, there’s usually room for at least one potential path forward, but failed compromises are a reality you’ll need to prepare for. In such cases, it is appropriate to stand your ground as you wouldn’t want to be in a position where you are the only person willing to compromise.

Compromise has saved numerous relationships be at work or at home. It is fostered communication and peace. The world is not a battle ground today because nations were able to come to an agreement.

Ultimately, it is better to bend a little than to break.

Curbing Moral Decadence

I heard about the 13year old Chrisland School girl’s tape with the 11-year-old boy. But that was not the first knowledge I had about the event. I didn’t know there was a video until I saw a mother’s cry for help on Instagram about her daughter who got raped.

These rotten private schools are doing the worst and not taking accountability for their negligence.

That was my first thought upon hearing that pained mother lament and seek justice.

It was preposterous that a school of such high tier would try to cover up a rape case involving their student — a minor. Then, I learned there was a video about the rape incident and so I went in search of it and watched it!

My perspective changed abruptly!

Are you on TikTok? If you are not, You’d think we have much hope left in this generation and that morality can be easily salvaged. The App has become a breeding ground of all degeneracy.

There, you’d see our leaders of tomorrow engage in mindless viral challenges. Young girls make videos attesting to how lucrative “hook up” is as opposed to other decent means of income and young boys would make suggestive videos and even admit to fraudulent and shady businesses.

As unbelievable as these sound,  more bizarre things happen in our present world and they are not a facade or make-believe or clout, but reality.

Recently in the news, there was a teenager who sold 2 babies each for 5,000 naira. These atrocities leave you wondering to what extent this younger generation would go to be perceived as rich, famous and “woke”.

More than ever, our society has become debauched, with an untamable generation lost between bad and evil, a society not doing much to help and a people who have more problems than do a morality check.

Poor upbringing, emphasis on materialism, the decline in religious training, poverty, the influence of western education and socioeconomic status has been identified as the major causes of moral decadence, but this article is not for who or what to blame. It is about what we should be doing in the littlest way possible to help revive moral standards and uphold a sane society.

As people, As a society, we need to spotlight good role models for the younger generation. We need to talk more and highlight people who successfully climbed the ladder to success legitimately. We need to tell real stories of people and their struggles to the top. We need to emphasize the importance of dignity as it relates to labour. We need to start appreciating people for their humble beginnings and not only referencing “public figures”.

The quest for quick money without work is largely based on the fact that some of these youths perceive success as a rapid process. They go on social media and people who are regarded as influencers are people without any traceable means of sustainable income. Women who are called “queens” and ambassadors are women who cannot reasonably account for all the money they have.

Sure, there’s still dignity in labor. Success is not a get-rich-quick scheme and every good thing in life requires dedication and effort.

Also, we need to pay more attention to our children and ward. It’s our responsibility to monitor their affairs and groom them. If we portray and teach the right morals and imbibe discipline, we will have children who are well grounded in decency.

These days, parents get so busy that they barely have time to invest in their kids, unfortunately, these kids go out to a more polluted environment and absorb bad habits they weren’t warned about.

Lastly, we need to be true to ourselves. We need to tell our stories for what it really is if we must tell it at all. There have been several cases where a role model who has passed a message of hard work and consistency later came off as a courtesan. There have been stories of men who appeared on Forbes under 30 for their innovative works only for them to later be traced to cases of fraud and scam.

You don’t want to crush the hope of the younger generation who look up to you. You don’t want to twist their mentality to think that the wrong way is the only way to do it.

Do not camouflage success. Do not ridicule the reward of true hard work!

The future holds promises and dreams for the youth that can be achieved through hard work, dedication, planning, education and words of wisdom, the least we can do is help them achieve it!

Happy Easter!

Hello brilliant and excellent people, we are glad to be writing to you again on this special occasion. Happy Easter to you! May this Easter bring you new beginnings, fresh starts and sweet surprises.

How has the year been so far? We have gradually moved to the 2nd quarter of the year and we hope the experience has been a good one, if not, there’s still plenty of time for things to come around!

Sessions like Easter give us new hopes and fill our hearts with new expectations. We look at it as a fresh start and a progression from the past months. We hope you take out this Easter holiday to relax your mind, appreciate how far you have come and prepare yourself to keep going! This Easter is a season to show a random act of kindness to yourself and others around you. These seasons are a great time to reach out and touch the lives of people who are not as privileged as you. People who do not have anyone to celebrate with or what to even celebrate with. For many of us, it’s going to be a feast on different platters, so we can afford to feed one or two people and put a smile on their faces.

No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted.

I read a story about Kelly McGuire’s act of kindness and thought to share it here to inspire someone to do right by doing good this Easter.

Kelly McGuire and her husband Sean were leaving a Bears game in Chicago when she spotted a homeless woman across the street. The woman held a sign reading “I need winter boots and winter clothing items.”

McGuire had a bag of warm clothing with her because she had worn layers for the 30-degree weather, and then took them off while she was eating dinner. She wrote on her Facebook post, “I had everything in that bag that she needed. Shirts, sweatshirts, gloves, scarves, etc.”

After giving her the bag of clothing, McGuire sat down next to the woman and removed her boots, intending to walk to the train in her socks. That’s when the woman stopped her and offered her the old, dirty boots she had been wearing. McGuire wrote, “She, who had nothing, offered me these boots. Her boots. I wore them all the way home.”

With all of the negative stories in the news, sometimes it’s nice to find tears running down your face for a different reason: a profound appreciation for the kind things people do for each other.

Easter offers the opportunity to share goodwill and gratitude with friends and family or colleagues, clients and strangers.

For Christians around the world, Easter celebrates the resurrection of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For many others, Easter commemorates the arrival of spring and the renewal of life.

Whatever you do this Easter, make sure you are kind to yourself. Make sure its significance is felt in your life and also ensure that through you, someone else could smile.

We wish you a happy Easter Celebration.

Recognizing Opportunities

“It’s through curiosity and looking at opportunities in new ways that we’ve always mapped our path.”Michael Dell

Ever been in a situation where something happened and you snapped, “how didn’t I see this opportunity” or “I can’t believe I missed this opportunity”. You never intended to miss the opportunity, you only didn’t recognize it was an opportunity until someone took the chance.

It happens to almost everyone. As much as we can discern most opportunities, some of them are hidden in the complexities of problems that we could marginally see the chances.

Opportunities are openings or chances for something positive to happen, but you’ll need to claim them for yourself!
They usually arise from situations outside your organization and require an eye to what might happen in the future. They might arise as developments in the market you serve, or in the technology you use. Mostly, opportunities come disguised as a problems. For instance, The famous inventor Thomas Edison. Edison realised that the problem with Swan’s design was the filament. A thin filament with high electrical resistance would make a lamp practical because it would require only a little current to make it glow and so he created a completely functional lighting system, including a generator and wiring as well as a carbon-filament bulb.

Netflix was founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in a small California city called Scotts Valley, in Santa Cruz county. According to Reed Hastings, the idea was sparked by a $40 fine he got for renting the movie Apollo 13 from long-dead Blockbuster and returning it six weeks late.

These and other inventions were sparked by opportunities people saw in problems they have experienced. There are so many things that are not working in the system that you feel would be better if only this or that was invented. That right there is the opportunity in that problem you have faced.

The first way to recognize opportunities is that they come disguised as problems. So, every time you complain about something, you must think of structures that could be put in place to ease that situation. Recognising opportunity is a cognitive process. It relies on the ability of people to recognise patterns and connect the dots. People can make the links between the dots using their prior knowledge and experience. In doing so, they can link them to problems or to needs they or people around them have.

The following story clearly illustrates the meaning of identifying opportunities (as they come disguised as problems)

The story is about two businessmen coming to a new continent to sell shoes. 

Half an hour later, they both call their wives. 

One says: My dear wife, don’t worry, tomorrow I’m getting on the plane back to you. No one here wears shoes. They’re all barefoot. 

The other says: My dear wife, I am very sorry, but I will not be able to return in the coming year, there is a fantastic opportunity to sell shoes here, everyone goes barefoot.

In essence, what one man saw as a problem, the other businessman saw as an opportunity. Imagine how many times you have complained about a product or service; maybe that the product doesn’t really serve its purpose or that the packaging is low-quality or something entirely different. That could have been a great opportunity to invent a better product that serves its purpose in that regard.

Some of the world’s most famous smartphones and computers began in the garage of two young men who saw the opportunity to provide smaller personal computers to ordinary people instead of simply meeting the needs of big corporations. Today, we see that brand, Apple, everywhere.

Another way to recognise opportunities is to identify trends. Ideas for projects can also arise from identifying trends. It is advised to be attentive and aware of our surroundings. Sometimes, as an outcome of being alert to the surroundings, we can identify the beginning of trends that hadn’t yet received any attention from the mass media like in the era of face masks. Some fashion houses recognized the trend as an opportunity to showcase their creativity and they jumped on it. From Luxurious fashion houses who made face masks covered in diamonds to the street tailors who made face make with Ankara. These are examples of recognising opportunities through current trends. 

The ability to recognize trends in time and leverage them can lead to great success.

Also, opportunities could lie in other people’s inventions or businesses or crafts. What new ways can you do something better than it already is? What product or business do you think is not up to par and you have generated ideas to make it better? That is exactly how competition is born. We have varieties of the same products and companies offering similar services because one saw an opportunity to do something better than the existing market. The cycle is unending.

Opportunity recognition is actually a process that’s found in the way that individuals and businesses with an entrepreneurial mindset approach new business ventures or ideas. In many ways, it is a constant brainstorming in which individuals look for ”new and improved ways” of addressing problems. It could be a brand new business idea or even new products or services that fulfil customers’ needs and expectations.

Opportunity is everywhere. The key is to develop the vision to see it.

The Dangers of Overconfidence Bias

Have you ever considered yourself to be overly confident in your abilities? Have you ever believed so much in your skills and knowledge to get through something even with little to no information or understanding about the task in question?

Are you the type of person to go on a trip without a map and also refuse to ask for directions even if you got lost on your way? Or are you the type who wouldn’t study for tests, thinking you’re so smart that you don’t really have to study?

Or maybe you are the employee who thinks you are invaluable to your employer and as a result show overconfidence by coming in late to work because you think you are so irreplaceable? Or you are part of a team that always won a game hence you fail to prepare for the next one because you think your team would win regardless?

If you are any of the aforementioned or you are overconfident in other areas I didn’t mention, you are definitely doing yourself more harm than you think.

We can never reach a stage where we can say, I know everything, and I have nothing more left to learn. There’s always going to be a new technique, strategy, or method to learn, and overconfidence is sheer ignorance.

Overconfidence is called “the most significant of the cognitive biases”. The most damaging of biases that affect an individual is overconfidence. This bias is a person’s tendency to hold a false and misleading assessment of their skills, intellect, or talent. In other words, the tendency to overestimate one’s abilities.

Overconfidence bias can cause people to experience problems because it may keep them from properly preparing for a situation or may cause them to get into a dangerous situation they are not equipped to handle.
Imagine the time when you did not prepare for a contest because you have been the champ 5 times in a row and then ended up losing or the time you had a deadline to complete some given tasks but you didn’t treat these tasks as urgent because you believed you had some superpowers to work last minute and get the job done but then you couldn’t meet up due to unforeseen last-minute delays.

An article I read in the process of writing this piece asserted that people who purchase lottery tickets as a way to make money are probably suffering from overconfidence bias. It is three times more likely for a person driving 10 miles to buy a lottery ticket to be killed in a car accident than to win the jackpot.

While it is a great attitude to be confident, we must be careful not to be overconfident. Confidence evolves from the realization that failure is a possibility and also that you have the skill to contain the failure. Overconfidence is blind to the dangers of failure and is ill-prepared to handle it when it happens.

An example of overconfidence in history is The Everest Disaster.
In 1996, a group of people attempted to scale the mighty Everest. On their way down, a snowstorm led to the death of eight people. Among the eight casualties were two elite mountaineers who operated as group leaders and had scaled Everest many times before.
During the ascent, the team faced difficulties due to delays and a possible snowstorm. The deadline to reach the summit is 14:00 to complete the descent safely.

Despite the life-threatening conditions, the 2 veteran mountaineers, decided to proceed further in spite of crossing the deadline of 14:00. They were confident of returning home. but unfortunately, the conditions ended as a disaster.

Though other unforeseen reasons played a role in the disaster, the lead mountaineers deciding to exceed the turnaround time of 14:00 was one of the primary ones

Whether you are an expert in your area or a complete newbie, you will always commit mistakes due to overconfidence. Decision making is one area where bias can hit you hard.
You have to be watchful of daily events to spot where you show signs of overconfidence.

One of the dangers of overconfidence bias is a drastic failure. Overconfidence bias may lead clients to make risky investments. Overconfidence will make people lose faith and trust in your abilities and discernment. It will make you doubt yourself and ultimately result in low self-esteem. Overconfidence is a powerful source of illusions, primarily determined by the quality and coherence of the story that you can construct, not by its validity.

To overcome overconfidence, think of the consequences before you act. For example, when you believe you have found the next best stock and decide to put a big sum of money in it, calculate what would happen if you went wrong. When you realize how badly a decision can hurt you, you will have a reality check.

You also need to have an open mind. You need to have an open mind to consider other people’s opinions, fears and concerns. You need to have an open mind to the possibility of making a mistake. That way you are open to the possibilities of making mistakes and the humility to admit your weaknesses. With this, you can make better-informed decisions.

In addition, you need to take time to look at your failures or incidences when you did not achieve some goals you were overconfident about. That way, you will help shape a realistic measure of your abilities and focus on skills and strengths you need to work on.

What areas of your life have you been overconfident and what was the end result?

Share with us in the comments. We always love to read from you.

The Essence of Self-discipline

If you were to genuinely rate your self-discipline on a scale of 1-10, what will it be?

Mine, 7 (and no, it’s not an exaggeration)

Self-discipline is the ability to control your impulses and be able to make yourself do things that need to be done. This can sometimes mean turning down instant gratification in favour of long term gain and satisfaction.
A typical example of self-discipline is refusing to buy a Christian Dior bag rather saving the money to get yourself a laptop to work with or when you wake up an hour earlier before work every day to get to the gym when you have a goal to lose weight.
Self-discipline could be saying no to going to an arcade with your friends so you could stay home and study for your exams, or clearing your table today just so you could have more hours tomorrow to do other productive activities.

What area of your life is suffering due to your lack of self-discipline?

The world loves to shine a light on successful people. They could be athletes, singers or business persons. As much as we love to be like them, I’m however doubtful that we would want to walk the path that led to the success we now admire.
Mostly, success is a result of hard work, and hard work may require you to stay up past midnight every day for years to execute a project. Does that sound like something you could easily do? If No, you are not alone. It requires a level of self-discipline to inculcate such a habit.

Honestly, self-discipline sucks. It’s never fun when you have to maybe put in extra work, practise delayed gratification, turn off the TV after a given leisure hour, stop an unhealthy diet you enjoy, whatever it is, the process of self-discipline sucks. No one ever said it was fun.

Having read about the journies of some successful people, I can say for certain that self-discipline was one trait they all had in common.

According to Brian Tracy, all great success in life is preceded by long, sustained periods of focused effort on a single goal, the most important goal, with the determination to stay with it until it is complete.

Warren Buffett is a man of extraordinary self-discipline. Warren Buffet’s biographer, Alice Schroeder, said, “Buffet ruled out paying attention to almost anything but business — art, literature, science, travel, architecture — so that he could focus on his passion.”

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett agree that focus is the most important factor in their success. They realized that to be massively successful, you must concentrate your attention in one direction — on one goal or project. While you may be able to build proficiency in several areas by multitasking, to truly become an expert in something, you’ll likely need to focus your attention on what it is you want to become an expert in.

Now the big question is, without self-discipline, how do you manage to focus on one goal until you achieve it? How do you manage to keep on with that diet until you lose some weight? How do you manage to focus on your education until you graduate in flying colours?

More than ever, we are certain that self-discipline is a key player in success.

Having the self-discipline to cut out distractions and focus on one task at a time allows you to concentrate your efforts, which can be much more powerful than giving a task only a sliver of your attention.

Your entire life is an ongoing battle between the forces of doing what is right and necessary on the one hand and doing what is fun and easy on the other hand. It is a battle between the forces of discipline and the forces of ease or expediency.

To become more self-disciplined, you need to identify your strength and weaknesses against the goals you want to achieve at a given time.
Whether they’re the desire for alcohol, unhealthy food, obsession over social media, video games, or spending unnecessary hours chitchatting with friends, they have a similar effect on us. Let’s take, for instance, you have a goal to get A’s in your coming examination, but then you have identified one of your weaknesses to be obsession over social media. That means even though you want to become an excellent student, you may not get enough time to study because you are spending most of your time on social media anyway.
Having identified these weaknesses as it affects your goals, you get more clarity on strategies or techniques to deploy to help you deal with your weakness. In this case, it could be as simple as choosing not to subscribe to data bundles on your phone until exams are over or even deleting your social media accounts entirely.

Secondly, get an accountability partner.
An accountability partner will keep regular tabs on you to ensure you’re meeting your expectations and achieving your goals. An accountability partner should be someone you trust to have some level of self-discipline because if that partner does not see the essence and importance of your goal or the distraction you are trying to cut off from, they couldn’t care less if you met your goals or not. Having a great accountability partner means that you’ll always have someone to bring you back on track.

Changing your perception of willpower is also an important factor to aid self-discipline.
When we embrace the mindset of unlimited willpower, we continue to grow, achieve more, and develop mental toughness. It’s the same philosophy as setting “stretch” goals. In short, our internal conceptions about willpower and self-control can determine how disciplined we are. If you can remove these subconscious obstacles and truly believe you can do it, then you will give yourself an extra boost of motivation toward making those goals a reality.

When it comes to success, the essence of self-discipline cannot be overemphasized.
Self-discipline becomes very powerful when combined with goal-setting, passion, and planning. Write down your goals once again and make sure that you do everything in your power to stick to them.

As Jim Rohm said, “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.”

LOYALTY AND WHY IT MATTERS

A couple of times we might have heard loyalty in conversations, given it or desired it. The very popular one is the association of dogs to loyalty because a dog never betrays its owner and always chooses to follow and obey. Loyalty is one very important virtue anyone can possess. It is an admirable personal quality of devotion and steadfastness even under trying circumstances.

Loyalty is when:

1. Your mate or partner stands by you in hard times

2. An employee takes a pay cut to save the company

3. A soldier doesn’t reveal secrets under torture

4. Shoppers repeatedly buy at their favourite store (customer loyalty).

Loyalty is a common literary theme because it is something that all people seek. Military companies, sports teams, and employers actively seek those they feel will be the most loyal to their cause. Of course, people always want to have around people they can trust and completely rely on.

Why is loyalty so extremely important? Loyalty is trust. Relationships are largely based on trust whether or not a certain impression is made. If there is no trust, a relationship will never happen and people are likely to be more cautious. A loyal individual is an important resource for anyone. He is devoted to the legal body, sovereign or government under which he dwells. It includes dutifulness, penance and empathy in human character.

Several stories relate to loyalty and betrayal even in the Bible. When we talk about loyalty, the most striking story is that of Jesus Christ who was tried, suffered and was crucified yet he did not deny God or abort his mission to save mankind. There are also stories of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego or that of Paul & Silas who suffered for their faith and belief yet chose to be loyal. On the contrary, there’s a story of Judas Iscariot who betrayed his master for some 30 pieces of silver. While this story is now comical and used as memes, Imagine the traumatic effect betrayal would have on you especially when you have established some level of trust or believe that they should reciprocate your loyalty with loyalty.

Loyalty is the most important aspect of any relationship, be it a romance, a friendship or a business relationship. Loyalty makes you identifiable. It helps you know where you belong and helps people identify you for something. If you are mostly on the fence and neither here nor there, you should learn to fix your loyalty as in the story of the birds and the beasts.

Once war broke out between the birds and the beasts. Many battles were fought one after the other. If now the birds got the upper hand, the next time beasts were successful. The bats played a very treacherous role in this war. They never threw their lot with either of the two sides. They followed the policy of swimming with the flowing tide. They sided with whichever side got the better of the other. Thus they were changing their loyalty from side to side. Neither side paid any attention to the bats till the war lasted. But when it was over, the bats didn’t know which side to go. At first, they went to the birds. But they refused to own them as many birds had seen them fight for the beasts.

When you are not loyal, no one is sure where what and who to associate you with. While you think that is not any of your business, you are losing your identity and wouldn’t earn loyalty from anybody. Imagine having a friend who talks at your back or divulges your secret to a third party, or an employee who shares company confidential information with the company’s competitor, imagine a partner who is with you and then with someone else when you are not there. What thrives without loyalty? Simply nothing. Nothing is nobler, nothing more venerable, than loyalty.

For your business to be successful, you sure need a team of loyal people. For your relationship to thrive, you need a loyal partner, for anything at all to work, you need to have people you can trust and trust isn’t established until loyalty is proven. Without the presence of loyalty, strong relativity can never be built.

Let’s consider customer loyalty. When you have loyal customers, they do your marketing for you, referring their friends and family to you in droves. When you have loyal customers, they won’t switch to your competitor, even when your competitor is perceived as offering a better product or a lower cost.Morning Consult asked 6,600 customers which brands they’re most loyal to, and Coca-Cola came in at number 8 on the list (Walmart and Amazon were numbers 1 and 2, respectively). While there are other sodas out there, like store brands or Pepsi, Coca-Cola drinkers are most loyal to their brand. In fact, there are several memes about customers being frustrated with being asked, “Is Pepsi okay?” when they order a Coke.

Needless to say, loyalty is very important wherever it should be applied. Just as in the law of reciprocity, you will need to be loyal to demand loyalty.

Questions to ask yourself: Are you a loyal boss?Are you a loyal partner?Are you a loyal friend?Are you a loyal team member?Are you a loyal family member?What does loyalty mean to you as a partner, friend, employer, parent? An article by gbscorporate defines employee loyalty as an umbrella term for a set of emotions that make employees feel attached to their current employer and less likely to see greener grass elsewhere but as an employee, what does loyalty mean to you? Does it mean the employee is not speaking negatively about your company or team? Or, does it simply mean not accepting a better paying job if the opportunity arose?

Kindly share your thoughts in the comments section.

The Best Ways To Quit On Bad Habits.

Habits are a routine of behaviour that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously. The positive Psychology defines it as rituals and behaviours that we perform automatically, allowing us to carry out essential activities such as brushing our teeth, taking a shower, getting dressed for work, and following the same routes every day without thinking about them.

Think about your habits. The things that you subconsciously do because you have created a pattern of behaviour around them.

I have a habit of taking a nap when I feel overwhelmed. It has so happened that if I try to overstretch myself and not take that nap, I could become unwell. Some people have a habit of sleeping through movies. This is because they find it difficult to easily fall asleep without watching movies. Some people have a habit of smoking to relieve stress etc.

What makes your actions become a habit is the repetitive factor. According to researchers at Duke University, habits account for about 40 per cent of our behaviours on any given day.

Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits. How in shape or out of shape you are? A result of your habits. How happy or unhappy you are? A result of your habits. How successful or unsuccessful you are? A result of your habits.

There are good habits as well as bad habits. These habits once they have been formed become difficult to get rid of. Breaking a habit isn’t as simple as merely deciding to stop a certain behaviour, though that’s a great start. It takes time and dedicated effort to get rid of old habits.

A wealthy businessman was worried about his son’s bad habits. He sought counsel from a wise, old man. The old man met the man’s son and took him out for a stroll. They walked into the woods, and the old man showed the boy a small sapling and asked him to pull it out. The boy did so with ease, and they walked on.

The old man then asked the boy to pull out a small plant. The boy did that too, with a little effort. As they walked, the old man asked the boy to pull out the bush, which he did. The next was a small tree, which the child had to struggle a lot to pull out. Finally, the old man showed him a bigger tree and asked the child to pull it out.

The child failed to pull it out even after trying several times, in different ways. The old man looks at the boy, smiles and says, “So is the case with habits, good or bad”.

Have you identified the bad habits you have and want to change? Some people say it only takes 21 days to break a habit — you’ve probably heard this estimate before.
Others suggest it often takes a lot longer, sometimes as long as several months.
There’s no hard-and-fast time frame since the length of time it takes to break a habit can depend on a lot of highly personal factors like consistency.

Breaking bad habits can be difficult for the simple reason that it is a pattern that we are already used to and get instant gratification from. However, identifying your triggers helps know where the bad habits come from. Identifying the triggers behind your habitual behaviours is the first step in moving past them.
For instance, if you want to stop procrastinating and meet deadlines. You might take time to realize that the reason you procrastinate is that you spend your time on NETFLIX series and then the gratification you get from the movies make you postpone important tasks. This is one trigger that you’ve identified. Reducing the time you spend watching movies will help you focus on productive tasks.

You might have an easier time breaking a habit if you replace the unwanted behaviour with new behaviour, instead of simply trying to stop the unwanted behaviour.

Research has shown that replacing unwanted behaviours with other activities is an effective way to break a bad habit. Clench your fists instead of biting your nails, or go for a short run rather than smoke a cigarette. Try to understand what needs your bad habit satisfied and then meet those needs with a healthier activity.

Another important thing to adopt when getting rid of bad habits is Consistency. Your bad habits won’t automatically go away because you have practised a substitute good habit for 2 days. Just as much time as it took to form the bad habits, repetition of the substitute good habit is important to completely erase the bad ones.

Throughout our lives, we’ve all developed behaviours or routines that have not served us well in our quest for happiness or success, and maybe it’s about time we got rid of them.

According to Warren Buffet, “bad habits are like chains that are too light to feel until they are too heavy to carry”.

A change in bad habits leads to a change in life.