Success is the ability to set goals and accomplish them. Success is the ability to apply action to a predetermined course and accomplish the desired outcome. Success is simply when you achieve what you want.
Success is as varied as we are. Success is not universal in manifestation, it’s as unique as we are unique in our persons. This implies your success is not my success and my success is not your success. My own success would depend on my dreams, vision, ambition, action and results. If these are different from yours, then my success cannot be same as yours.
Using money as a denominator, success for me maybe 10 million naira net worth by year end. And for some other person, 10 million naira bank balance by the end of this year is utter failure and a cause to be worried. So even if it’s the same interest, we still vary in our ambition and definition of success.
Dear friend, what is your definition of success? What is success to you? Without a well-defined personal success notion, you’ll become confused in life and will lack a required sense of direction.
Your success journey begins with having a personal vision and a dream. Your vision and dream is all about your destination not just material acquisition. It’s more of who you want to become and the impact you desire to make, not possessions you what you want to amass. Where exactly are you going in life? If you board a plane or a bus without knowing where it’s going, you’ll naturally feel lost all through the journey. Sadly, that’s how most of us feel in this life – lost.
Consequently, we are so confused and then use the maps and milestones of other travellers in life as our own guide. You buy cars, build houses, do travels, buy clothes and spend money based on how people around you are doing it, not as you need to because you really have no personal plans. Your map is other people’s plans.
Every runner runs towards a finish line, as they run, their mind and energies are directed and coordinated towards their finish line, running a race without a finish line is mere torture and waste of effort as there would be no success, victory, medals or glory subsequently. Without a finish line, there would be no end to your race in life; you’ll not find fulfilment as measurement of how well you performed will be blurry.
Dear friend, if you don’t have the knowledge of your finish line in life, you will hardly be happy or motivated about life. Life will be stressful as you’ll see it only from the perspective of burdens, responsibilities, vain competition and endless struggle. You’ll hardly take the time to enjoy any stage or age as no age or stage will satisfy and you’ll always look forward to the next stage in a hurry – thinking that’s where your happiness and satisfaction lie.
Dear friend, at what point, on which day, at what age would you breast the tape and complete your race? I’m not talking about the end of your life, I’m talking about the end of your race, your race must end before your life ends, you must set for yourself your day of finish line and your age of breasting the tape. Without this date, I’m afraid there will be no glory and there may be no rest. You’ll just keep running all lifelong.
Dear friend, even if you have a vision and a pre-set destination, it wouldn’t make your journey easier, all it’ll give you is a sense of direction. Success journeys are always besieged with challenges and difficulties. The problems and difficulties along your journey are not actually to stop or frustrate you. The problems and challenges and even set backs are very important and needed for you to learn, grow, mature and get transformed so as to be able to effectively manage the greatness and glory at the end of your race. Success without character can be destructive, hence, life places obstacles and challenges on your path through your journey to develop in you the right character for glory management when you eventually arrive and win.
You need emotional and psychological maturity to handle good success in life. Only pain can develop that in you.
Ladies and gentlemen, the obstacles, problems and challenges you’ll encounter in your journey through life would come in form of situations and people. Your academics, your career, your business, your health, your upbringing and exposure will challenge you. Also your family members, parents, siblings, spouse, lover, best friends, co-workers, business partners, neighbours, employer, employee and even your children would cause you great pain. Listen to me my dear friends, these situations and people are not as important in this as the lessons you are to learn from the experiences.
The purpose of the pain is not as important as the source of the pain. If you focus on who is hurting you and what is hurting you instead of how the pain is changing you, you will hardly grow; you will never mature and life may have to take you through the lesson again.
When challenges and obstacles and problems and pain come to you in life as you journey along, to surrender or give up is to fail and never succeed, hence you must come up with creative ways of surmounting the challenges, either in situations or in people and continue your progress towards your destination.
No two situations are exactly the same, no two problems are exactly the same. Even if similar, the temperament, character and maturity of the people involved vary, hence it may not be appropriate to apply the same solution to the same problem simply because they appear similar. It may not work if you do this.
Every new problem or challenge from situations or people requires new thinking. Every time you’re up against a challenge, you must confront the challenge and ensure you overcome that challenge with new thinking for you to progress in life.
To give up, to surrender will do you no good. To get emotional and develop a victim mentality wouldn’t help your situation. Throwing a pity party and broadcasting to the world all you’re going through wouldn’t mature you. Lamenting, complaining and crying non-stop will not help you. When confronted with hard challenges in life, the next smart move is to come up with the solution. If your situation despoils solution – meaning there’s nothing you can do about it, it simply means it’s no longer a problem, it’s your life type, so live with it and keep moving.
For example, birthing a baby out of wedlock or losing a body function or a body part in an accident or losing a loved one to death should not be seen as problems, these are irreversible developments and there are no solutions, so just accept this new life and enjoy it. There’s something to learn from these as well you know.
If however, the problems can be solved and the obstacles surmountable, then you must solve the problems through creative and constructive thinking.
Without a doubt, creativity is the currency of success in today’s world. The most creative people are the most progressive, the most prosperous and the most influential people in the world today. As a country, no matter the volume of your natural resources, and the number of your human citizens, you will be controlled and dominated by smaller nations with creative citizens.
Truth is, many of us don’t even know what it means to be creative. Many more don’t know how to be creative and there are several misconceptions about what creativity really is; hence our slow pace of progress and development as a nation and in fact the continent Africa.
Creativity is not the ability to be different in the way you think. Creativity is not just being different. Creativity is not coming up with a new idea. No, that’s not creativity really. Creativity is not thinking outside the box, no, that is still being different from the familiar, creativity is not coming up with something unique or inventing something no one has ever come up with, no, creativity is much more than that.
Creativity is the ability to give birth to new and superior answers, new and superior solutions to personal and global problems and challenges.
Your new thinking, your new idea must solve a problem or provide superior answers for it to really be called creativity. Any new thing you come up with and is not needed is valueless. If it’s valueless, it’s useless, if it’s useless it’s not creativity no matter how different or new it is from what the world is used to.
Creativity is birthing new and superior answers and solutions to life’s issues.
Creativity actually has a process, it’s not brainstorming or thinking wide and wild. There is a process to it and I’ll like to share these stages with you this morning.
Stage one – define the problem. If you really don’t know what the problem is, you can’t come up with any solution. This is the most critical aspect of the creative stages, as if you miss it here, every other stage will fail. Many of us don’t even know what the problem is, we only assume we do, hence we can’t solve it. For instance, I’d always say to anyone who cares to listen that Nigeria has no economic problems. Nope! We have no economic problems at all. What I think we really have is social and political problems with economic implications. If we don’t fix our social problems and political problems our economy will hardly work.
If we keep importing things we have and can also produce in abundance in this country we will hardly grow. It’s a social problem; a mentality problem with economic implications. If we keep voting in the wrong people based on ethnic and religious bias not integrity, competence and right judgement, we will hardly grow our economy. Defining what the problem really is, is the most important stage in creativity.
Stage 2 – Immersion. This stage has to do with obtaining all the information relevant to the problem. Assumptions and guesses mess up so many things. So many of us hold strong opinions on rumours, perceptions and assumptions not real information and we act on mis-information and get wrong outcomes. You must collect the truth and the correct information.
Stage 3 – Incubation – at this stage, you reflect and ruminate over the problem considering all the correct information you’ve collected. It’s a subconscious thing, you don’t do this in a hurry, you let the rumination mature and develop on your inside.
Stage 4 – Insight – Once your rumination and meditation matures, suddenly it’ll produce insights for you and you’ll have many options as solution to the problem. Different solutions would just light up in your mind and you’ll just see many ways around the problem.
Stage 5 – verification – This is the final stage where you consider all options open to you from the insights, test and check which best solves the problem and would be most effective in implementation, then you apply appropriately.
Dear friend, creativity is your ability to birth new solutions and answers. I’m sure you need solutions even now to some situations, people and circumstance. Try apply these steps every time you’re confronted with a challenge, and you’ll find yourself overcoming, growing and maturing towards your success destination.