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Smartness   book Smartness book Document Transcript

  • SMARTNESS An HACEY Book 2010 HACEY S-M-A-R-T-N-E-S-S- This nine-lettered word contains all steps a Health Actions Concerning the Environment victory-desiring person needs to excel in all endeavors. and You Specificity www.hacey.org Motivation info@hacey.org Action Cartoon by Rhoda Robinson Resolution Timing Necessity Endurance Simplicity Success Kindly accept my congratulations as you use these steps to ascend the throne or mountain of greatness. The steps are referred to as ‘THE GREAT STEPS FOR GREAT SUCCESS’
  • GETTING THE MOST OUT OF THIS BOOK There are at least four approaches you could take in applying what you learn in this book:  The first would be to simply read the book straight through. Then decide what you want to apply in your life and studies. This is the way most people approach a book. It reflects the desire many of us have to get emotionally or mentally connected with a flow of ideas in a book and then run with it.  The second approach would be to read through the entire book and then use the comprehensive understanding and cumulative motivation to go back and read the book a second time – this time with the intent to apply as you go. This could work very well for many.  A third approach – one that I personally believe will yield the greatest results – is to apply the facts in this book on a day-to-day basis.  The fourth approach is simply to adapt the third approach to your own timeline. In the same vein, to retain the working knowledge of this book, you must follow these summarized clues: 1) Read the chapter. 2) Teach the chapter to at least two people, especially your colleagues, family members, friends, e.t.c. 3) Make sincere, concerted efforts to take the steps included in the book. 4) Report the results you learnt from each chapter to a trusted colleague, family members or friend. 2
  • PREFACE Everyone is born with talents and has the ability to achieve than ever thought possible, and to do things beyond his/her wildest imaginations. The future belongs to those who believe in their dreams - Eleanor Roosevelt. Everyone chooses one of two roads in life – the old and the young, the rich and the poor, men and women alike. One is the broad, well – travelled road to mediocrity, the other is the “SMARTNESS” – the road to greatness and success. The range of possibilities that exists within each of these two destinations is as wide as the contrast between the two destinations is as the night is to the day. The path to mediocrity straitjackets human potential. The path to greatness unleashes and realizes human potential. The path to greatness is a process of sequential growth from the inside out. Travelers on the road to mediocrity live out the cultural “software” of ego, pride, indulgence, scarcity, comparison, competitiveness and victimization. Travelers on the upper path to greatness rise above negative cultural influences and choose to become the creative force of their lives. One word expresses the road to greatness – SMARTNESS. Those on this path pursue their dream and inspire others to find theirs. The rest never do. Ignorance, they say, “is no defense”, and the phrase „had I known‟ might be too late in practical real life. Every living being is in one way or the other an illiterate of what they don‟t know, and many a times, our reactions go a long way in affecting our state of being. We create our own success in our chosen niche provided we know how. The height we reach is solely determined by how fast we can act, and invariably how well we reason. Many people are oblivious to the ways to attain success and victory in many aspects of their lives. They are at a point where making the wrong choice can spell disaster for the rest of their lives. They spend all their times preparing and have little results to show forth at the end of the day. The ones with the most potential sometimes becomes the least achiever; a good student in a class sometimes fall victim to failure. To anyone in this pathetic situation, it is time to set your mind at ease because liberation from the bondage of failure is now yours. How? You may ask. It‟s quite simple; everything you need to succeed as a student (either in primary, secondary, tertiary, or the school of life), is encompassed in a long discarded word: S-M-A-R-T-N-E-S-S. This nine-lettered word contains all steps a victory-desiring student needs to excel in all endeavors. Kindly accept my congratulations as you use these steps to ascend the throne or mountain of greatness. The steps are referred to as „THE GREAT STEPS FOR GREAT SUCCESS‟. 3
  • CHAPTER 1 SPECIFICITY The best way to solve a difficult problem is to specify it. INTRODUCTION Deep within each one of us lies an inner longing to live a life of greatness and success – to really matter, to really make a difference. We may doubt ourselves and our ability to do so, but I want you to know convincingly that you can live such a life. You have the potential within you and that is the human birthright. Specific choice is termed value. All of us can consciously decide to leave behind a life of mediocrity and to live a life of greatness – at home, at school and in the community. No matter what our circumstances may be, such a decision can be made by every one of us – whether that greatness manifests by choosing to have a brilliant spirit in facing a grave failure, by simply making a difference, in the life of a child, giving that child a sense of worth and potential, by becoming a change – catalyst in your studies, or by becoming an initiator of a great cause in society. The power to discover our pathway to success lies in the potential that was bequeathed us at birth. We were given magnificent “birth – gifts” of simplifying matters of life – talents, capacities, privileges, intelligence, opportunities – that would remain largely unopened except through our own decisions and efforts. Because of these gifts, the potential within an individual is tremendous, even infinite. We really have no idea what a person is capable of. A baby may be the most dependent creation in the universe, and yet within a few short years, becomes the most powerful. The more we practice (use) and magnify our present talents, the more talents we are given and the greater our capacity becomes. There is no better story well spoken of these days than the story of “SPECIFICITY”. Specificity is the first term in SMARTNESS and is a paramount key to success. It connotes the concentration of purpose which never scatters its forces. There is no better shortcut to success than being specific in all dealings. The human brain is an organ of manipulation which has the power to solve the major world problems. It can receive, store and process large amount of data, and has the ability to identify and retrieve specific information when needed. When the brain is fed constantly with the same type of information, it becomes very acquainted with it and the individual becomes very good in that particular area. 4
  • Jide‟s brain had the ability to hold large amounts of information and among his mental archives was the phrase “Everyone is illiterate of what they do not know”. This fueled his desire to know about everything. Luckily for him, he had friends in other departments in schools apart from his which serve as his source of information. In school, Jide was well known as a “bookworm” because of his voracious appetite for reading. But at the end of each semester, his results were always below par. The cause of this was attributed by his colleagues to hatred of his knowledge by lecturers. It was assumed that Jide always wrote „hyper stuff‟ which annoyed his lecturers and making them score his work very low. But a friend had been chanced to see one of Jide‟s scripts and realized that Jide‟s problem had not stemmed from „hyper stuff‟ as they had assumed, but from „hypo stuff‟. No one could say what really went wrong as Jide was too smart to write so badly. A lot of students live their lives like the story narrated above. They know so much yet perform so poorly. The reason is not farfetched. They had become jack of all trades, and master of none: poor specificity. Whenever specificity is lacking, concentration of purpose is jeopardized and the resultant effect being utter failure. Dr. Edward L. Kramer once said “Never admit failure until you‟ve made your last attempt. Never make your last attempt until you‟ve succeeded”. This suggests that success is a goal meant to be accomplished, and being specific is a catalyst to achieving this precious goal. At the same time, success is a destination meant to be reached. A student who aims higher in his academic pursuits must also learn to direct his attention, and focus his mind on nothing but success. Envision academic excellence as your school. You wake up early and get prepared, a friend, as well as a classmate of yours does the same. On your way, while you head straight for school, your friend makes a number of stops and detours on the way. You get to school awaiting the beginning of classes and the arrival of your friend who doesn‟t show up till after the first period is over and the teacher has collected the notes for marking. The analogy above represents the application of specificity in attaining success in academics. While you focused all your attention on following the straight road to school, the diversions made by your friend represent distractions and divided attentions, which caused him to arrive in the class very late. 5
  • Specificity is the language of the universe. It is said that „any individual can be whatever he wishes to be if he sets his face steadfastly in the direction of that one thing and brings all his efforts to bear upon its attainment‟. “The possibilities for human development here on earth, not to speak of the future are practically limitless”, said Dr. J. Herman Randall. It follows therefore that in all areas of human endeavours – especially, but not only academic line; there must be a very intense commitment to that discipline. It is a rare occurrence that a person has the grace to be gifted in broad areas of specialization. The great men of every age who have been confronted with the arduous task of shaping human destiny have been men of ONE IDEA impelled by resolute energy. Exceptions can however be drawn of few creative genius who are milestones in this regard, such as Leonardo da Vinci who had a vast knowledge and accomplishments accredited to him that stagger belief. He was not only a magnificent painter, but also a renowned mathematician, metaphysician, musician, poet, anatomist, and astronomer besides being skilled in mechanics and natural history. Many have fallen victims of failure due to their nature of unnecessarily nursing two or more goals concurrently. This is true of a student who combines extreme social activities with studies, eliminating the concept of specificity. Students who aim to excel with flying colors must embrace specificity and remember that even the strongest horse can‟t wear two saddles at the same time. CONCLUSION: Create a specific score. Translate specific goals into specific actions. An awareness of self, of our freedom and power to choose, is the heart of Specificity. You are aware of your energetic, biological inheritance, your upbringing, and of the environmental forces around you. Unlike animals, you can make wise choices regarding your specific goals. You sense you are or can become the creative force of your own life. This is your most fundamental decisions. No matter what has happened, or will happen, there is a space between your goals and your responses to them. If there is even a fraction of a seconds between stimulus and response, that space represents our power to specify our response to any situation. So, think clear, think right, see clear – specifically right. NUGGETS  This is the first great secret (this is the number one great step/this is the first great step to greatness). 6
  •  If you cannot decide for something (a specific thing), you will fail in anything (everything).  Success does not come by desire; it comes by determination (to live extra – ordinary).  Until you know what you stand for (is important), you cannot know what you‟re meant for.  If you stand for everything, you will never have anything.  What you stand for in life should not depend on the decisions/opinions of others, but on a right choice.  Until you learn to make a right choice, you cannot (have your right desires) live right.  Every time you will have to choose out of these options: the pain of the success (now) and the pain of failure.  What you admire is what you desire.  What you desire (your pursuit or goal) is what you need to pursue.  If you pursue what you desire, you will acquire what is required.  What you require is the nature that will feature the picture of your future/what you require is the picture of your future.  If you do not have the nature that (can feature) is required for your future, you will end up a failure (end as a failure).  You want to become great, you must simply (desire) choose to have the nature of greatness.  Dream to have a great score – desire to be celebrated.  Write your great dreams (draw your great future) – draw or write things that are admirable to your heart.  Remove/discard everything that will not lead to celebration/success.  Your decisions to become a smart student have to be followed with specific actions.  You are the only kind created for a specific purpose/future – stop trying to be others or someone else.  You can only produce your best when you are yourself.  There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it." - Napoleon Hill 7
  •  Please, specify your dreams, goals, aspirations, intentions, steps, requirements, and motives.  If you cannot specify your goals, someone else will give you one.  A smart person believes in his choice but not in chance.  Man is not a creature of chances but chances are created by man.  Keep your mind on the things you want and off the things you don't want… (Hannah Whitall Smith).  Maintaining a complicated life is a great way to avoid changing it… (Elaine St. James).  Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus… (Alexander Graham Bell)  If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one… (Mother Teresa).  Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do … (John Wooden).  A jack of all trades is a master of none.  Specificity is an important catalyst in achieving success.  You can be whatever you want to be if you are focused enough.  Even the best horse can‟t wear two saddles. REFLCTIONS  What specifically can you do today that will help propelling you toward achieving your vision of tomorrow?  Do you ever catch yourself blaming your problems, or limitations on others, genetics, or your environment?  Do you let circumstances drive what you do in life, or do you create your own circumstances?  Do you exaggerate your stories? Are you 100% honest with others and with yourself? 8
  •  Think of a specific situation in which you are currently involved that requires courage. If you were to visualize yourself being courageous in that situation, what are some specific words you might use or actions you might see yourself exhibiting? 9
  • CHAPTER 2 MOTIVATION The best form of motivation is self-motivation. INTRODUCTION: Motivation expands your capacity to choice of freedom and principle of purpose. When life, study, work, play and love all revolve round the same thing, you have gotten the fires that drive you unrelentingly. Enthusiasm is deeply rooted in the power of choice rather than circumstances. Enthusiasts believe that the best way to predict the future is to create it. It keeps you at it when everything else may say quit. The key to creating motivation in your life is to find your unique talents and your special role purpose in the world. The great contributors (motivated people) in life are those who, though afraid of the knock at the door, still answer it because they are self motivated. And when your motivation gets connected to the passion it becomes best motivation. Another thing to know about success in life is what I call “Personal motivation”, which is the basis of choice i.e. you decide what your highest priorities, goals and values are; that‟s essentially what SMARTNESS is all about – Begin with the end in mind. This decision to direct your own life is your primary decision. Now, just think about the times when you were passionate about something that was so compelling and absorbing that you could hardly think of anything else. What really keeps you awake or alive in such a moment is nothing but motivation coupled with passion. In whatever man does, it must be borne in mind that motivation is an essential ingredient to success. It forms the wings with which many great achievers fly beyond the impediments and hurdles of failure. It is well defined in the minds of the extraordinary, and with firm motivation, the seemingly impossible becomes possible. A student who has the potential to be academically brilliant may find himself at the bottom rung of the class ladder if he is without motivation. In contrast, the least academic minded may soar as high as the eagles with wings created by motivation. Motivation comes in different forms, with the best being self-motivation. It is the most precise missile used by heroes past to conquer daunting task, and is still in use till today. A student that is well motivated will not be restricted by the lethal bonds of chance, but will rather be set free by the power of choice. The best student will be produced by the quantity of motivation they receive, and can always be raised when down by a little motivation. 10
  • Chinyere Ugo, a high school student in Abia state, came from a family of achievers. With a renowned lawyer as an elder brother, and a young successful peadiatrician as an elder sister, she could not wait to join the league as a successful chartered accountant. But words and action are two different things. So she sets out to be a dedicated student. She had a time table for all activities and never arrived in school late. But with all her hard work, she repeatedly came penultimate in class, making her ambition hard to envision. In spite of her woeful performance, she was continually encouraged by teachers, family and friends. “You can always perform better next term” her teacher would write in her report sheets. „The sky is your limit; try to improve on your weak subjects‟. „You have to forge ahead, and do not let the feeling of disappointment and mediocrity pulls you down. You are a hardworking girl with a bright future, just keep working towards it‟ her siblings will encourage her. With encouragement received from everyone, Chinyere still cherished and kept her father‟s encouraging word in mind which states “yesterday is history, today is a gift and holds the promise of a wonderful future full of fortune, keep on going and you will get there”. By the end of the second term in her senior secondary school 2, she had improved tremendously on her academics. She paid close attentions to her weaker subjects, and had a better understanding of which study methods worked for her. She became more active in class and in tutorial groups, and practiced with past questions in preparation for examinations. At the end, she passed out of the secondary school with the best results in her Senior School Certificate Examination also known as W.E.A.C and went on to become a chartered accountant, which she had earlier dreamt of. Motivation knows no bounds and everyone should be self-motivated. Parents and guardians have to believe in their children and wards; and keep them motivated when their academics aren‟t going well. Also, the children should realize that hard work comes with being motivated and only through this will the required results be realized. A good example of the power of motivation can be seen in the life of President Barack Obama. With self-motivation and encouragement from all over the world, he became the president of the United States of America, and within eleven months of his ascension to the presidency seat, he was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize of Peace. He never let his dream or passion died and ultimately ascended the throne, not letting the labour of the past African- American heroes be in vain. 11
  • Therefore, great Nigerians, you are called upon for a change; borne and achievable only through motivation, I mean self-motivation. An optimistic thought about yourself and your country can bring about vast positive change when we are motivated to act rightly. If a black man can be self-motivated to get to the Presidential throne of America, nothing can hinder you to become whoever you want to be. The strength and power in motivation, if pull together in the same direction (specificity) may outweigh the mighty force of gravity CONCLUSION: Motivation is just like food for the brain, which you cannot get enough in one sitting and it needs continual and regular refills. No matter what we want of life we have to give up something in order to get it. Therefore, the disparity between a successful person and a failure is neither a lack of intelligence, nor a lack of dream, but rather a lack of motivation. NUGGETS  Self – motivation is the best form of motivation.  Motivation gives you wings to fly above barriers and hurdles.  Motivation with hard work brings about desired results.  Giant goals produce giant motivation (Anthony Robbins).  Motivation is the motive that drives your (kindles) desire in pursuit of your set goals.  Motivation thrills you to pursue your goals with excitement.  Your excitement is the trigger to greatness.  Everybody is loaded with talents but loaded talents (makes no good) remains unleashed/unused until triggered.  Greatness/Success is not a question of capability or talent; it is usually a question of adequate motivation.  Remember you are not created/programmed to fail but to succeed. 12
  •  You have more than enough to make it but until you are motivated, you might not make any meaningful impacts.  You don‟t have to be a super intelligent to produce a super-result.  Super-result is produced by ordinary people with extra-attempts, extra-intents, extra-attentions, that stem from motivated heart (mind).  It is not by might or by strength from outside but by inner strength that you can go extra-miles.  Motivation comes by giant goals.  Everyone is intelligent but not everyone triggers/develops their area of intelligence.  Specification adds value to your intelligence.  The choice to be motivated will set you ahead of others who have un – triggered potentials intelligence.  Decorate your life, speech, room, and everything about you with your set goals.  "Failure is not a setback but a feedback for a better attempt.  The great end of life is not knowledge but action… (Thomas Henry Huxley). HOW TO BE MOTIVATED  Believe that you have all it takes to produce the best/to be ahead of the rest (others).  Believe in you self – Be excited about yourself.  Believe in what you are doing – Be excited about what you are doing.  Be excited that what you‟re doing will empower you.  Be expected of nothing but the best.  Believe that failure is not the setback but it is a feedback that you can have if done.  You have not lost anything because of your failure but you will lose everything if you allow failure to depress, kill, de – motivate you.  Emphasize your strengths and not your weaknesses. 13
  •  Know that there are many things/persons that will call for your attention but only those things/persons that are meant for your future are to be interested in.  Know that there are many things/persons that will call for your attention but only those things/persons that will add values to your goals should be pursued with all your attention.  Someone else opinion of you does not have to become your reality. REFLECTIONS  Write down the goals or grades that you desire.  Write down the answers to the following : i. Why haven‟t I got these grades? ii. Do I have pleasure/pain associated with my previous poor grades/performances?  Write down negative habits you have been indulging in that produce your undesirable results.  Write down what it will cost you if you don‟t get your desired results.  Write down all the rewards you will like to receive by choosing the right habits.  When life does not go as you desire, do you get hindered by the negatives or do you persist and let the positives carry you forward?  What motives are behind “what you do” for others?  What do you do best? 14
  • CHAPTER 3 ACTION The best way to overpower procrastination is to act now. INTRODUCTION: The most powerful way to shape our lives is to get ourselves to take action. The difference in the results that people produce comes down to what they‟ve done differently from others in the same situations. Different actions produce different results. Why? Because any action is a cause set in motion, and its effect build on past effects to move us in a definite direction. Every direction leads to an ultimate destination: our destiny. In a nut shell, to really direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It‟s not what we occasionally do that shapes our lives, but what we do persistently. Word is silver; Action is gold. Action is the skeleton on which man as well as smartness is built. Man therefore performs this skeleton based on how he acts. “Life is a mere scene for the exercise of the mind, and the engagement of the heart” said Dr. Mathews. A comely idea will remain just as it is, and degenerate gradually if not accompanied by necessary action. Many people perform the most challenging task with their mouths. They can climb to the summit of a mountain and walk 2000km without leaving a spot. To every student or individual who wants to attain greatness must learn to incorporate your ambition with action. If you intend to be a reporter or a journalist, you must get close and listen attentively to fluent speakers and have a deep knowledge of various kinds of literary works. The road to success is rough and can only be smoothen by taking action. Lakunle and Adebayo were very good friends who did everything together. From childhood, they had lived close to each other and attended the same school. Right from childhood days, these friends had nurtured a noble notion for success – Lakunle dreamed of being a great inventor, while Adebayo wanted to be the Senate president of the country. In school, they always addressed each other as the great inventor and his Excellency respectively. The only difference between the both of them was their method of attaining their dreams. Lakunle would tell his classmates that he would soon build a robot that would help them do their chores at home. Yet he failed woefully in subjects like physics, mathematics and computer appreciation. He would say he would soon make a machine that would make electricity from basic appliances 15
  • but all he ever did was to talk. Adebayo on the other hand made sure he improved himself in the subjects such as: English language, history, literature-in-English and government. He studied harder and listened to speeches presented by renowned orators, his favourite being Professor Wole Soyinka. He contested in every election he could and was generally known as the class politician by his classmates and teachers alike while Adebayo went on to win most elections and became the department‟s president when he got to the university. Lakunle on the other hand remained the dreamer of his era, because he never worked towards achieving the wonderful dreams he had. He never achieves anything unlike Adebayo. Majority of men and women abhor the act of taking action due to the agony associated with it. Whereas, action has found a suitable seat in SMARTNESS, this repels people from acting smartly. Action entails two equal but opposite terms: Pain and Gain. It follows that acting smartly may bring some level of pain, but is at the end followed by immense gain. The pain of hard work is the only price a student has to pay in order to receive an automatic ticket to victory and success. It was Shelley who said that “the Almighty has given men arms long enough to reach the stars, if they would only put themselves out. If a man would but exert himself to the utmost, there is no height of greatness to which he cannot soar: what a man does is the real test of what a man is”. Successful people and eminent personalities such as Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, just to mention but a few were not slow in acting , and everything pertaining to them bespoke of action. A student who wants to reach the summit of life must set a goal which will remain his guide line and take action towards the goal. The phrase „I will do‟ should be replaced with „I am doing to do‟. Do not let procrastination usurp the mind, and compromise your ability to execute an action towards attaining your goal. When taking action, it is important to do it sequentially, the most important things being done first. If it turns out, you get confused; seek guidance from an experienced person. Every step you take towards attaining the highest pinnacle is worth it, but takes a giant step to get there swiftly by being extraordinary in your thoughts, plans, and actions. We must be careful when taking action not to do it in anger because „whatever you have built 16
  • with years of action might be cheaply destroyed in a moment of anger‟. A little advice: when angry, be silent and don‟t take any action. Great academics achievers like Professor A. O. Soladoye, Professor Wole Soyinka, Professor Chinua Achebe, e.t.c. have never left any stone unturned. They remain firm on track and take immediate action on whatever things they have to do. If we aspire to be like them, we must take action NOW! Because „the great end of life is not knowledge, but ACTION‟ (Thomas Henry Huxley) ACTION – BASED PYRAMID OF SUCCESS (SMARTNESS). In the pyramid of success, the following must be put into action as a smart student, who really wants to show “SMARTNESS” in his academic pursuits: i. At the base, you must identify first your mission and governing values – standards, ideas. And take note, “Values” are like fingerprints. ii. Set goals for the week that are aligned with those values. iii. Weekly planning. iv. Daily planning, wherein you make realistic task lists, prioritize tasks, and review scheduled appointments for the day. CONCLUSION: Greatness is a choice because you can choose the level of the direction of your action. Action to act responsibly based on principles rather than on gene or natural forces. Therefore, be specific – stop reacting to urgency, but put action on your most importantly first all actions have consequences. NUGGETS  Hard work is the price you pay for success.  The road to success is rough and can only be smoothened by action.  A lot of action and a little anger can be disastrous.  The great end of life is not knowledge but action… (Thomas Henry Huxley).  Action is what unites every great success.  The actions you take will cause something to take place that would not have taken place.  Action is what produces results.  Nothing has any meaning except the meaning we give it – nothing acts except the action we give it.  Take actions – otherwise your desires will always be dreams. 17
  •  If what you‟re getting is not what you want, you need to note what results your actions have produced so that you learn from every human experience.  Action changes your thinking – ability (manner).  The greatest gift that extra – ordinarily successful people have over the average person is their ability to get themselves to take action… (Anthony Robins).  Nothing changes except you change it.  Your goals are mere ink on paper and they will continue to be until they are acted upon.  Smart students are always in charge because they always act.  Action closes the door to (agent) fear.  You are not a creature of circumstance or chance; you are rather a creator of circumstance or chance.  Plan your life or days or else others will impose their plans on you.  Do not allow adverse circumstances to dictate your life and attitude.  Show initiative and create your own break by standing up for yourself and be determined to do better.  It is better/easier to be better than to be bigger.  Extraordinary person is an ordinary one that gives extra – time and extra – practice to ordinary things he/she does.  Extra – ordinary person is an ordinary person that takes ordinary actions with an extra – practice, time and mind.  The best friend of a lazy man is 'Mr. Excuse' who lives at 'Talk Avenue' and is married to 'Lady Sleep'... (Yomi Kasali).  A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline … (Harvey Mackay).  In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing... (Theodore Roosevelt).  I dream my painting and then paint my dream… (Vincent Van Gogh).  It's the independent American spirit that built this country - hard-working entrepreneurs who believe in the reality of their dreams… (Robert E. Hughes).  Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step… (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)  Happiness walks on busy feet… (Kittie Turmell). 18
  •  Happy people plan actions, they don't plan results… (Dennis Waitely).  Luck is not chance - its toil - Fortune's expensive smile - Is earned… (Emily Dickinson).  Luck is when preparedness meets opportunity… (Earl Nightingale).  Work as though you would live forever, and live as though you would die today… (Og Mandino).  I find that the harder I work the more luck I seem to have… (Thomas Jefferson).  No steam or gas drives anything until it is confined. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined… (Harry Emerson Fosdick).  The reward of a thing well done is to have done it… (Ralph Waldo Emerson).  To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it… (Mother Teresa).  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… (Michael Jordon).  Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant… (Robert Louis Stephenson).  A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually. One must fight for a life of action, not reaction… (Rita Mae Brown).  It is good to dream, but it is better to dream and work. Faith is mighty, but action with faith is mightier. Desiring is helpful, but work and desire are invincible... (Thomas Robert Gaines).  Take a second look at what appears to be someone's "good luck." You'll find not luck but preparation, planning, and success-producing thinking… (David Joseph Schwartz).  Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action… (Benjamin Disraeli). BENEFITS OF ACTIONS  When you take action you are a winner because it closes the door to fear of failure.  It closes the door to procrastination.  It opens the door to opportunities/privileges.  It builds and restores confidence.  It enables you to overcome life challenges.  It is generally the difference between success and failure.  It is a product of motivation.  Those who take action may succeed or fail, but those who don‟t will surely fail. Hence, any action taken is better than none at all.  Stop procrastinating, dreaming, desiring, confessing, expecting, everything to be perfect before taking action.  Start acting out your dreams/goals. 19
  •  Write your goals/grades now.  State the price you have to pay now to achieve the set goals.  Identify things or friends that will not motivate/excites you now.  Walk away from bad associations/influence/friends.  Stop indulging in bad habits now.  You cannot dodge the consequence of indulging in in – action.  It gives you not vantage/advantage to blame others for your problems or failures or make excuses. REASONS FOR LACK OF ACTION  You might not have taken adequate steps (actions) because you have not realized that inaction is a sure way for failure.  Because you are waiting for (not motivated) the perfect time to act.  Because you have been procrastinating – you have not realized enough that time lost cannot be regained.  Because you fail to plan – thereby, you plan to fail. REFLECTIONS  Write a list of all the reasons why you have not been taking actions i.e. reading, doing assignment, taking notes in the class, etc.  Write down three ways/things you can do to avoid in – action.  Do you find joy and laughter in your work?  What sincere actions have you taken recently? Or what deposits have you made recently?  Do you ever catch yourself blaming your problems on limitations, others, genetics, or your environment?  Do you let circumstances drive what you do in life or do you create your own circumstances?  What level of initiative do you demonstrate when times are tough? Remember, tough time never last, but tough people do!  Determine to act on the answers you have provided! 20
  • CHAPTER 4 RESOLUTION The best way to be a success is to be resolutely strong-minded. INTRODUCTION: Anthony Robbins says “Determination is the wake-up call to the human will”. Nothing in this planet earth can absolutely replace persistence. Mention anything - Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Skills will not; the world is full of inept hands. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent because they have all it takes to get to the topmost top in one‟s destiny. The phrase "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race and the only difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination. Resolution is an integral component of SMARTNESS. It is a very strong driving force which stirs people that honors it to success at the speed of light. Those that honor it are those that belief its effect and essence. This is practically necessary as resolution share absolutely nothing in common with impossibilities. With resolution, flying to greater heights is very possible without wings. Being resolute is as simple as basic arithmetic, yet as complex as polynomial depending on the meaning it has in individual minds. It ranges from stiff determination, accomplishable ambitions, strong desires, promising hopes, undaunted motives, unbiased decisions and best of choice – to appreciable intention, goodwill and sense of purpose. These components of resolution move in the direction of determination and decision. „Determine that a thing can, and shall be done, and then we shall find the way‟ said Abraham Lincoln. Resolute determination awakens courage and at the same time excites dying potentials. Determination can take a man to his desired destination. A student that wants to achieve an academic breakthrough must imbibe in the acts of resolute determination. A resolute determination is the one which has no boundary which many students have lost due to their weak determination to success, they remain slave and shackle 21
  • to failure. With resolute determination, they can break the cords of restraint no matter how strong they are and leap to success. „It is not a do or die affair‟. „A school certificate is not worth dying for‟; „I can‟t kill myself for education.‟…damn it! These are words used by undetermined students who succumb to the will of failure. They end up regretting throughout their lives the choice of giving up. Ronke was a young lady who lived with her farmer parents on the outskirt of Lagos state. Her parents made enough to keep body and soul together, with little left for anything else but they pooled everything they had together to send her to school in hopes that with a good education, she would be able to pull them out of their drudgery of poverty. Ronke as well was equally passionate about schooling and had resolved to do the best she could. Though she had not been to school before (her only education had come from her friend who was a university student and who had taught her so many things she knew). She was determined to do well. Unfortunately, the school that admitted could not put her in lower class because of her age, which was as at that time, 17 year old. She was put into Junior Secondary School 2 class. At the initial stage, things were very difficult for her to understand but she never stopped putting her best into her studies to learn at all cost. At the end of the term, she came last in the whole class and was told that if she didn‟t improve, she would be repeating the class. When her parents saw the result, they were very disappointed in her. This made her work harder but at the end of the session, she was advised to repeat the class. Distraught at having to take such a result home, Ronke stayed back at school till her teacher got to know and decided to accompany her home. Her parents, especially her father was not happy and he threatened to withdraw her from school or if she would continue, he will never be a party to her academic in any form to support her. But after much enlightenment from her teacher, she was allowed to go back to school with full support of her parents but she eventually repeated the class. At the beginning of the new session, Ronke‟s resolve to do academically well increased exceptionally. She spent her free time studying and attending tutorials and she never let the fact that she was the oldest in the class gets to her head for one minute. The next to her in age was 12 years old. At the end of the term, Ronke had moved from up in position to be among the first three that are leading the class. Her resolve never diminished and by her school leaving examinations, she came overall first and won a scholarship to study Chemical engineering in one of the Universities in Nigeria. The more one ascends higher, the thinner the air. Determination carried its own canister of oxygen. It takes the individual to the top faster than the scientist‟s moon rocket. The reward for the resolute student: being dressed on the graduation day in the colorful graduation gown. Wearing the brightest of the smiles and waving the most handshakes. This is the day when periods of drudgery, turmoil, pain and agony will be replaced with a lasting jubilation and joy. 22
  • A resolute mind is one that can create a mountain from a mole-hill. It can revive what the world thinks is long dead. This is as a result of the fact that resolution instills hope, ambition, personal initiative, opportunity and sense of purpose that ultimately lead to success, progress, and eternal liberation. It is said that hope is crystallized into existence by thoughts, which carries its vibrations to consciousness, and the creative power of the mind brings it to clear and immediate view. It is however advisable for students to hope for the very best in their course of studies and should work towards materializing their dreams. They must develop a strong ambition for achieving their academic target and not relent until their goal is achieved. CONCLUSION: As a smart student who really opts for excellence, you must have the determination to persist and persevere in spite of any short – term setback, obstacle, or embarrassment you may experience. Remember, tough time never lasts but tough people do. If you must succeed in life, you look on and onward and never to look back or discourage. For anyone who will dig deep into the rock will not look at the axe‟s mouth. NUGGET  Resolute determination can break the cord of failure.  Resolution and impossibility are opposite and parallel.  Resolution can create mountain from a mole-hill.  Stop blaming your family background, others, your I.Q.  My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life or results, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment… (Oprah Winfrey).  Do what you can with what you have; where you are … (Theodore Roosevelt).  Make tough decisions and stand by them.  Denying yourself for the sake of your desired goals.  Resolution (Determination) does not come naturally to people.  Determine what is best for your future today. 23
  •  Choose/determine the nature (attitudes/habits) that is best fitted for your future.  Resolution (Determination) increases/stimulates you to do what you don‟t even think you can do.  Resolution increases your capacity (ability) to act.  Resolution removes distractions, and expands/widens your perspective.  Resolution births focus.  Resolution makes every action toward your goals important (counts).  Resolution gives no room for excuses.  Resolution helps you make right choices.  If you want to keep on acting on improving your results, resolution is a necessary force that will keep you on course.  Resolution elevates your value.  Life's ups and downs provide windows of opportunity to determine your values and goals. Think of using all obstacles as stepping stones to build the life you want… (Marsha Sinetar).  You must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing… (Andrew Jackson).  Nothing great will ever be achieved without great men, and men are great only if they are determined to be so… (Charles De Gaulle)  If at first you don't succeed, try, try, and try again… (Thomas H. Palmer).  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "presses on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race… (John Calvin Coolidge).  What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it…(Alexander Graham Bell).  If you want to develop courage, do the thing you fear and keep on doing it until you have a record of successful experiences behind you. That is the quickest and surest 24
  • way ever yet discovered to conquer fear. You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn't exist anywhere except in the mind… (Dale Carnegie).  The most essential factor is persistence, the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitably come… (James Whitcomb Riley).  A determined soul will do more with a rusty monkey wrench than a loafer will accomplish with all the tools in a machine shop… (Robert Hughes).  When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for it is just the place and time that the tide will turn… (Harriet Beecher Stowe).  Decision and determination are the engineer and fireman of our train to opportunity and success… (Burt Lawlor).  The only good luck many great men ever had was being born with the ability and determination to overcome bad luck… (Channing Pollock).  Self-determination is fine but needs to be tempered with self-control… (Unknown). REFLECTIONS  Write out your motto e.g. the motto for the secondary school I attended was “keep pushing”.  If your motto is keep pushing, then you must ensure that you reach your goals no matter what and how.  Show your initiative and create your own break by standing up for yourself and promising to do better.  What level of initiative do you demonstrate when times are tough?  What comforts are you willing to give up making a more significant contribution?  What goals and values are so important to you that you would not let them go – even if offered one million dollars/naira? 25
  • CHAPTER 5 TIMING The best way to achieve your goal is to maximize your time potentially. INTRODUCTION: „Time; as commonly said is the abstract gold – so precious, yet so dynamic‟. It is our most valuable asset, an immeasurable entity, and the true unit of life; yet we tend to waste it, kill it, and spend it rather than investing it. The hours you spend either personally or with people, that make you happy makes you wise. To all, time is a divine inheritance which everyone has indisputable right to. There could be a decree binding the use of land or any other assets, but time is resistant to such laws. Everybody is born with a degree of freedom to decide in their own way how best to use this invaluable gift called TIME. The comprehension of time is for the conscious minds that understand it and the ample opportunities it offer for those with foresight to appreciate it. Those with conscious minds are those with extra-ordinary thinking who know that time could be tricky in dealings, and that it brings opportunities at its own pace. Therefore these people never wait for these opportunities to come; instead they create them by themselves. They never anticipate chance; rather, they make chance from choice. Phrases like „when the time is right…‟ weakens the heart and extends period of drudgery. Why not bridge the years by understanding the biophysiology and chemistry of time. A better appreciation of it will lead to a better appreciation of its efficiency, which will enable you break records in a tender age and become the hero of your time. It is pertinent to mention here that the ability to manage time is as integral as the ability to manage life. A student who wants to excel in school must be time conscious. He must not let opportunity slip by. Studying of time allotted to each paper should be made a point of duty. No matter how loaded you are, you have to learn to work with time and answer questions within the time schedule. Questions that carry more marks should be answered before others, followed by the ones you are very sure of their answers. Watching time and finishing before it gives enough time to go through your work and rectify any mistakes discovered. Christopher and Amechi attended Barakat Community Secondary School, Ilorin. They were intimate friends with matching commitment to their academics. They 26
  • studied hard together, using mnemonics and such to help them remember what they have read. They were very brilliant students and very active in class activities, however, their intelligence was not reflected in their results. With their hard work and commitment to their studies, one would expect them to come out topping their class. But this wasn‟t the case of these young guys as they usually ended up amongst the average students. Their problem was very simple; they had adhered to the terms in SMARTNESS except one, T- standing for TIME. They indulged in pouring out stuff to each question not bothering to mind the time allocated for the papers. At the end of each examination, they ended up answering few questions well and not been able to answer the rest questions which might carry heavy marks. Fortunately for them, their class teacher noticed this trend on time and counseled them on how best to answer examinations questions. They applied the advice given; spending only the required time on each question and writing only the important points. By the time their next examination‟s result will be released, they were marveled to discover that they were already leading their class. One agent of time is AGE. Like time, no one can boycott age. Its essence is not pronounced until it is too late. A thirteen year old student may say he is too young to focus his total attention on his studies, or say he is too young to make life altering choices, and may decide to do this when he reaches age of twenty. Such student should realize that he has lost precious time and should note that there is no age too young to attain greatness. Alexander the Great ascended the throne at age twenty and conquered most of the known worlds before he died at thirty – three year old. Julius Caesar captured eight hundred cities, conquered three hundred nations, and defeated three million men, became a great orator, and still was a young man. George Washington was appointed Adjutant General at nineteen. Galileo was but eighteen year old when he discovered the principle of pendulum in the swinging lamp in the Cathedral at Pisa. Robert Browning wrote at age eleven poetry of no mean order. Elizabeth Barrett Browning was proficient in Greek and Latin at twelve years old. Cowley, who sleeps in Westminster Abbey, published a volume of poems at age of fifteen. Macaulay was a celebrated author before he was twenty – three; H.R.H. Benjamin Ikechukwu Keagborkuzi I, the Chancellor of University of Ilorin, Nigeria became the king (Dien) of Agbor kingdom when he was two year old. 27
  • No mountain is too high for a youth to climb. The advent of youth should not be toyed with as it is the turning point in the creation of promising existence. The mismanagement of this period leads to the birth of psychological terms to characterize its taste, such as „juvenile delinquencies‟. A man‟s best time is his youthful period when the brain is very active and his body is still very much stronger. Students should be steadfast in their studies because its product will be a direct answer to life‟s question. CONCLUSION: Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved. Mistakes, they say “has no master, but can be averted”. There is nothing too late to repair, time merely creates the impression that chances lost in youthful stage can never be recovered, but as long as there is life, there is always a hope. It is only a matter of time before the dreams are turned to reality. Time well spent will never leave behind regrets of any such. A student who makes hay while the sun shines will not find it difficult during the examinations. The maximizing of time to yield the expected outcome is the objective of SMARTNESS. NUGGETS  Time can be defined as temporal interruption of an event.  Everyone has access to the same number of hours in a day, week, month and year.  The (difference) result you get is a product of how well you utilize (spend) your time.  Every student is given the number of time during the examinations, however the outcomes of each student from the examinations differs.  The result you get is not a practical function of (how much) the hours spent. The quantity (volume size) of the answers provided, but of the accuracy of their responses to the questions.  Therefore, results obtained are not the sole reflections of what happened in the examinations rather the sole/absolute reflections of the level of your preparedness or how well you can make use of your time judiciously.  Smart students cannot do without time.  Invest your time – stop spending (wasting) time. 28
  •  What you use your time for is an indicator of where your life will end.  You need to (prioritize) set time for every activity that comes your way.  Please, value your time, because the lack for time (a valueless time) suggests an absence (the lack) of discipline.  Discipline is doing what you don‟t really want to do so that you can do what you really want to do.  Doing the right thing at the wrong time is lack of discipline.  Identify critical activities that can help you achieve your desired goals.  Make the critical things count most.  Prioritize your activities – live a scheduled life.  Delay activities that are less important for urgent and most important activities.  Attend to the activities in the following orders:- 1. Urgent and important. 2. Important but not urgent. 3. Urgent but not important. 4. Not important and not urgent.  It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it were the only one we had… (Elizabeth Kubler-Ross).  We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give… (Winston Churchill).  I was taught very early that I would have to depend entirely upon myself; that my future lay in my own hands… (Darius Ogden Mills).  The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams… (Eleanor Roosevelt).  Take time to laugh. It is the music of the soul... (Mickel De Montaigne). REFLECTIONS  In your attempts to be innovative, do you make time for exploration? 29
  •  Do you plan your time in proportion to your academic achievements?  Do you have a time scheduling for your studying?  Are you faithful to your reading time table?  What easily distracts your attention from following your time scheduling properly?  What do you do with your leisure period? 30
  • CHAPTER 6 NECESSITY The best way to make your dream comes alive is to make it a necessary adventure INTRODUCTION – Passion is the fire, the desire, the strength of conviction and the drive that sustains the discipline to achieve the vision. Passion arises when human need overlaps unique human talents. When one does not have the passion that flows from finding and using one‟s voice to serve great purposes, the void is filled with insecurity and the empty chatter of a thousand voices that drive the social mirror. In relationship and organizational settings, passion includes compassion. „Necessity‟ they say „is the mother of invention‟. Whatever is deemed necessary is worth doing very well and should at the same time be given much preference. The existence of the universe itself is of necessity to support life. It follows that human presence in this noble planet is for a purpose which is essential as an object of necessity. Major course of life, physical or chemical, visible or abstract, natural or artificial are all compelled by necessity. They do not happen or occur by chance rather, as a form of necessity. It is highly important for students to make success a virtue of necessity rather than choice. Success should not be envisioned from the angle of chance or probability. A good insight accompanied by wise foresight will make success a right of all persons. Patience and Rose were friends who attended the Holy Trinity Model School, Akwa. They each had visions of making it to greatness in life, but had different approach to success in life. Rose believed in working hard in school to get the best grades, while Patience was satisfied if she didn‟t fail in any subject and was careless about what she scored. Rose would advise her friend to work hard at her studies but she would flippantly reply that it was not necessary to read from introduction to conclusion before one can pass and be successful in life. When it was time to get their results, Rose always got congratulated for her brilliant performances while Patience on the other hand managed to get average grades. After leaving secondary school, Rose was admitted into one of the Nigeria‟s prestigious University where she kept on with hard work in her studies. Patience on the other hand tried four times to get admission into 31
  • any of the Nigeria University but all to no avail. She then engaged herself in a petty trading and small scale business. After a couple of years, the two friends met in a shopping mall in Lagos. Rose had become a very successful Stock Broker with a lot of accreditations to her personality while Patience still ran her small business. They talked for a while and Patience admitted that she regretted not taking her academics so seriously and thought that it was unnecessary to study hard for success while in secondary school. She knew now that most of the setbacks she had suffered could have been avoided if she had gained the knowledge when she was in school. Rose then advised her on some issues concerning her business and also told her to enroll in a part-time class so she could complete her education. Patience took to the advice and enrolled in a part-time class to study Business Management and by the time she finished her course, she was able to expand her business to yield more profit and became a success in the world of business. Many erudite of our era take attaining success in everything they do as their main goal. And to attain this goal, they place it as a necessity to gain as much knowledge as they can every day. They do not relent in their search and acquisition of knowledge, and use their knowledge to gain success. They see success as a necessity to their lives and a goal that MUST be attained. In search for knowledge, education becomes a necessity, more that a rite of passage without education, the information needed to make the right decision that will bring you success will elude you. A student‟s sole reason for being in school is to acquire knowledge necessary for success. Any student who sees the accumulation of wealth as the primary aim of going to school will end up being robbed of many academic merits whenever other ways open for him to make money. The fact that education eradicates poverty is not disputable. This as well should make education a necessity to attaining success than a mere choice for all. A student who sees success to be as necessary to him as eating to survive will surely attain his goal. 32
  • CONCLUSION: Necessity makes you work with little or no supervision and to start doing things you‟ve never done before in order to achieve goals you‟ve never achieved before. You must on this note be able to identify the new and better behaviors needed to achieve your goals on daily and weekly basis. Psycho – neuromuscular activity draws your need not only to hear but also to write and listen. Discipline is the price that you need to pay in order to bring that your vision of academic excellence into reality. It‟s dealing with the hard, pragmatic, brutal facts of reality and doing what it takes to make things happen. Discipline arises when vision joins with commitment. The opposite of discipline and the commitment that inspire sacrifice is indulgence – sacrificing what matters most in life for the pleasure or thrill of the moment. Discipline is just as important as vision. It is willpower embodied. Discipline defines reality and accepts it; it is the willingness to get totally immersed in it, rather than deny it. I truly believe that discipline is the trait common to all successful people. NUGGET  Necessity is the mother of invention.  Necessity reminds you of what you must do.  If you want to live for what you want, you will die wanting (you will always be in want) but if you live for what you need, you will always be needed.  Pain is a necessary evil.  No pain no gain.  Without pain, conceptions like desires, goals, e.t.c. cannot lead to delivery.  Without pain, no conception can reach (get to) the desired end.  In the same vein, what you consider as problems, limitations or other reasons (form of excuses) are necessary requirements to birth your desired goals.  Necessity connotes need (basic need), must, prerequisites, obligation, compulsion, inheritability but not want.  Your wants are unlimited – never specific want.  Want – specify wants is a need (when your wants are specific, it becomes your need; what you want that is really required or that is a must or a requirement to actualize your desired goals is a need.  You may not want others to know what you know, but you must be willing to teach others to understand because that is the only way to be outstanding.  Everybody wants pleasures or gain, nobody wants pain.  Every treasure (crude oil) that is not subjected to pressure (pains) cannot be pleasant (refined).  Crude oil is less valuable to the refined petroleum product/company. 33
  •  When your life is not subjected to pressure or without pains, then your desired goals cannot be truly valuable.  Necessity builds the capacity to translate the desired goals into reality.  Necessity is the difference that makes the difference.  Successful people are those that are good at differentiating between what is necessary (needed) for their desired goals and what is not.  For you to be a smart student, you must identify what you need (you must be able to distinguish what you need from what you want).  You may want better results, but it is necessary to specify (you need to specify) your goals i.e. (if you want A grades) you may want to be the best student in a subject but you need to (score) state a specific score e.g. 89% and above.  You may want people to motivate you but you must (it‟s necessary) to be motivated by yourself (self motivation is the best form motivation).  Everybody might want to motivate you, but you need to motivate yourself.  You may not want to take note but that is the only way to know what is necessary.  You may want to be involved in all activities but you must only be involved in activities that add values to your future.  You may want to say yes but you must say no to friends, associations, things that will not contribute to your future.  You may want to do study at any time, but you must study as planned according to your realistic schedules.  It is necessary to work at the right time.  You may want to play but must play when you don‟t have work to do.  You may want success but you must work for success.  You may want to know everything but you (must know) need to know what is required by the syllabus.  You may want to read but you must study or practice.  You may not want (like) your teachers but you must respect and honour them.  You may want to read everything but you must study a specific syllabus.  You may want to read without interest/without past questions but you must read or you may want to pass without studying but you must study.  You may want to pass by luck but you must know that luck simply means work.  You may want to read for answers but you must practice past questions for answers.  You may want to read without interest, you need to love what you study.  The most important thing about goals is having one… (Geoffrey F. Abert).  A musician must make music, an artist must paint, and a poet must write if he is ultimately to be at peace with himself. What one can be, one must be… (Abraham Maslow).  Guts are a combination of confidence, courage, and conviction, strength of character, pugnaciousness, backbone, and intestinal fortitude. They are mandatory for anyone who wants to get to and stay at the top… (D.A. Benton).  Our real problem is not our strength today; it is rather the vital necessity of action today to ensure our strength tomorrow… (Calvin Coolidge).  One sound idea is all that you need to achieve success… (Napoleon Hill).  We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about… (John Mason Brown). REFLECTIONS 34
  •  State 5 things that you want but not necessary for the fulfillment of the desired goals.  Do you ever ask yourself questions when thinking about the dreams you most want to pursue?  Why do you need to make it in life?  Is success a need or a want?  Do you need success or do you want success?  Make a list of reasons for your answers in the question above.  Make a commitment that, I ……………………………………., will always attend to my need ……………..……… at the expense of my want. 35
  • CHAPTER 7 ENDURANCE The best way to overcome discouragement is to endure its discomforts. INTRODUCTION: There's no easy path to glory and there is no smooth road to fame. Life, however, as we may observe it, is no simple parlor game; but its prizes call for fighting, for endurance and for tenacity; for a rugged nature that will not quit. Man is an extremely complex creature – both in mind and in function. He can dedicate his time and energy to achieving a particular task, but when it does not go accordingly, he may get frustrated and abandon the project. Most people are used to putting in the specified amount of energy into a task to get it done. If per chance, it is still not accomplished, he may decide it is not worth it, or is not going to work out. Many students put in the minimum required amount of time into studying and nothing more. They go for only compulsory classes and read only what is given. But most times this is not enough to be exceptional in academics and to succeed. What would you do assuming your service was hired and you had done all that was stated in the job; yet the work was still not complete. If you stopped and not complete the job, you have no idea what would happen or what it would cost you, and you know for a certainty that you will be successful when you complete the job. The solution is ENDURANCE. Endurance will provide additional strength to overcome the pain and agony of hard work. A student that can endure not having enough sleep during examination periods and reading extremely will have a reward of an excellent result. Have you ever thought about what keeps marathon runners running for so long without relenting? The answer is Endurance. Joseph could not believe how much work he had to do when he got home. He had just finished writing his science notes when the school bell rang and had not had time to copy out the assignment. His friends filed out of class to their various homes as he waited behind to finish writing the notes. He had been ill the previous week and was covering all notes he had missed. When he got home, he began his chores and did not 36
  • finish till late in the evening. His friends came over to play with him but he was too busy to play with them. It was getting close to his final examinations and he still had a lot of catching up to do. His friends would call him „over sabi‟ and „jacko meter‟ when they see him reading, but he would endure the taunts and keep on working harder. He would rest for a while whenever he got tired, but would continue with his studies when he felt rested. Before examinations period, Joseph had already covered over ninety percentage of the syllabus and had completed all the tests and assignments he had missed. When the results of their examinations came out, he had one of the best results in the school and was awarded the most diligence student. A rainbow always appears after a stormy rain. If you can endure through the tossing and hurling, the battering and pain, you will get to see the beauty of the rainbow at the end. The more you learn to endure, the more you move to success in your endeavours. The pain that a student endures when preparing for academic success will worth the victory of having excellent results. These pains and trials include sleepiness night, not being able to play with your friends, being made fun of and being insulted by mates, e.t.c. All these negative effects tend to make working extra hard, not appealing to the average student. If you can endure and keep on going, you will attain your goal. Life is a series of ups and downs; if you can endure through the low times, you will definitely be lifted up. CONCLUSION: NUGGETS  If you desire to become a better student, you need to understand some principals of endurance.  Endurance is the catalyst of success.  Endurance means you will not give up.  Endurance means you will not stop working until the task is done.  Endurance means getting the desired results through consistent practice.  Endurance is the force that makes you gain mastery (allows you to master your efforts to be rewarded). 37
  •  Endurance allows you to see gain (derive pressure in pain) i.e. it enables you to see adversity failure as a steppingstone to improvement/advancement.  Endurance does not demand more than what you have but all that you have to deliver.  Endurance ensures that you invest but not that you spend all you have.  Endurance develops your stamina.  Endurance makes you teachable.  It is the lack of endurance that causes many to quit at about the finishing touch.  Endurance is the force in operation after getting tired of doing the hard work you already did.  Anytime you say or about to say “if only or had I known” – that means endurance is a principal missing force in your pursuit.  It was the man's dream, and his inspiring attempt to make them come true that remain important… (Francis Ford Coppola).  No matter what we want of life we have to give up something in order to get it… (Raymond Holliwell).  You must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing… (Andrew Jackson).  The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur… (Vince Lombardi).  “Take what you want,” said God, "and pay for it."… (Spanish proverb).  A difficult time can be more readily endured if we retain the conviction that our existence holds a purpose - a cause to pursue, a person to love, a goal to achieve… (John Maxwell). REFLECTIONS  What sacrifices are you willing to pay that would give you a best result?  In your efforts to learn and create, are you patient with yourself?  When it comes to the hard parts, do you persist or procrastinate?  Do you have enough vigor to stand the test of time? 38
  •  Are you not easily discouraged from pursuing your goal?  When the going gets tougher, how do you get going? 39
  • CHAPTER 8 SIMPLICITY The best way to solve a difficult quest is to simplify it. INTRODUCTION: When you study the lives of all great achievers – those who have had the greatest influence on others, those who have made significant contributions, and those who have made complex things simple – you will find a pattern. Through their persistent efforts and inner struggles, they have greatly expanded their four native human intelligence or capacities. The highest manifestations of these four intelligences are: for the mental – vision; for the physical – discipline; for the emotional – passion; for the spiritual – conscience. These manifestations also represent our highest means of expressing our SMARTNESS. Life in its natural form is simple, as all forms of life are built from the basic, functional unit of life i.e. the cell. Human beings are created from the joining together of these simple basic units, to form a complex functional being. Yet the basic functions of man occur in the simplest form. Take for instance, digestion. Humans cannot digest the sugar cellulose because our digestive system lacks certain bacteria to help us break the cellulose into its simplest form. It is only in this form that man can utilize the sugar. Similarly, man‟s growth is in succession, and can only occur due to „nutrition‟. We ingest carbohydrate, protein, fats and oil, e.t.c. to get the raw materials for growth. But in their ingested form, man cannot use them, not until they are broken to their simplest units. Then they can be utilized to bring about growth. In mathematics, when solving a quadratic equation, a polynomial, or a complex algebra problem, we are asked to „simplify‟. This is because to get the answer to the problem, or to fix in digits for the variables, the equation has to be in its simplest form possible. Likewise, when solving a problem in life, we should break it down to its simplest form and solve the problem from its building blocks. When things are simplified they lose their mystery and any confusion is cleared. 40
  • Ade and Remi had been preparing for their examinations for a very long time. They had completed the syllabus of each subject and had begun to solve past questions. They read extensively and memorized large volumes of information. When the examinations finally came, they were fully prepared. They answered each question in all their subjects and were very confident after each examination. „The questions were too cheap‟; they would tell their friends when they left the examination halls. When the results came out, they were quite shock with what they got. They had both done well but not as well as either had thought or hoped. Feeling an injustice had been done to them, they took up the issue with their H.O.D and requested for their scripts. The head of the school knowing how brilliant the two students were, became interested and asked to see the scripts first; after which he called Ade and Remi to his office and explained what they, and not the lecturers, had done wrong. In most of the questions where they had been asked to list and briefly explain, each of them had given a lengthy note on the topic, which on some occasion deviated from the questions asked. He then advised both students to read properly each question and next time, keep their answers as simple as requested. By the next examination, they had learned how to answer in simple terms and when their results came out, they had done very well indeed. Sometimes, the simplest answer is the solution to the toughest questions. As a student, you should endeavour to keep your answers simple and straight to the point. The key to success lies in the simplicity of the method to attain success. When answering questions; do not give lengthy, ambitious answers. Keep it succinct and follow instructions. Do not be lured by the knowledge you have on a question to pour all you know, apart from the fact that you might start writing what you are not asked, you waste valuable time that can be used in answering other questions, and may be penalized by the teacher for not following directives. CONCLUSION: Nothing in life is so hard that you can't make it easier by the way you take it. The simple steps to success – „SMARTNESS‟, are all that is needed. When you keep your plan simple, you simply succeed. When you teach, you simply learn better. Every student becomes a teacher, and every teacher, a student. Simplicity breeds clarity. When you teach 41
  • others, that implies to simplify things. It is simple to be a learner than to be a student – students read or mostly study to answer questions, but learner listens to read and to ask questions. NUGGET  A simple life is its own reward/a simple life is greatly rewarded.  To get the most out of your life, you may need to get some things out of your life.  Develop a very simple approach to study.  Learn to break your works into stages.  Start with the easiest (simplest) work.  Consult your teachers or friends for complex topics  Practice difficult questions with somebody.  Everyday life confronts us with new problems to be solved which force us to adjust our old programs accordingly… (Dr Ann Faraday).  In this age, which believes that there is a short cut to everything, the greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way is, in the long run, the easiest… (Henry Miller).  Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out… (Art Linkletter). REFLECTIONS  Do you break down your goals into meaningful milestones i.e. points of celebration?  Do you exaggerate your stories?  Are you 100% honest with others even with yourself?  In what ways can you make the hard work you do more enjoyable, both for you and for others?  Do you have any method of solving your problems? 42
  • CHAPTER 9 SUCCESS The best way to pass on smartness is to be in succession. It is amazing to know that the ultimate treasure is finally in your possession. Success is the ultimate treasure which everyone searches for. Those who find it do so by SMARTNESS. It is quite wonderful that after several hours on the journey, you have finally arrived at your destination; the promise land of no equal – called SUCCESS. All that is left is to give appreciation to God that has seen you through in digesting and assimilating „the Great Nine for Great Minds is SMARTNESS‟. Before then, let‟s take you on tour on success since this is your arrival. Hearing the word destination may provoke thoughts like, “Is success a destination? If it is; where is it located and how can we get there?” are some possible questions that may be asked. Well, success is an imaginary destination that lies inside oneself. It can be achieved by developing a trust for oneself. One has to be very firm in his ability and strength to do great things. It is in us what it takes to be successful. “Whatever you wish, that you are; for such is the force of the human will, joined to the Divine, that whatever we wish to be seriously, and with a true intention, that we become”, said Dr. Sidney N. Bremer. If we put together our minds that we are going to make it, we will definitely make it. In a class of more than ten students, all members of the class cannot have equal strength and parallel intellectuals. The weak among them can top the class provided they are smart. Smartness requires that they move up to the brainy in the class and follow their footstep. They should not hesitate in asking questions about their secrets of success. It will be discovered that their secrets lie in SMARTNESS. Success may mean different things to different individuals depending on the action in progress. Students that pass very well in their examinations especially final examinations may be said to have been successful. An individual that passes an interview may also be said to have been successful. Anything man does that produces expected outcome has seen success and not just the ability to have excess wealth. The one he does that has not yielded results has not seen a failure instead it is yet to be successful. Failure is evident in any situation where Success is without purpose; where Success is without passion; where Success is without responsibilities; where Success is without 43
  • character; where Success is without planning and where Success is without sacrifice/necessity. OR The arithmetic of Success: Success minus purpose = failure. Success minus passion = failure. Success minus responsibilities = failure. Success minus character = failure. Success minus planning = failure. Success minus sacrifice/necessity = failure. “The world is a fine book but of little use to him who knows not how to read”………….. (Italian proverb). This also affects success as it is also a book, friendly only to those who not only read it but also apply it. This is “The Great Nine of The Great Minds in Smartness”. The ball is now rolling in your court; play it wisely to lift the trophy of success. It is at this point that I will like to differentiate between a SMART student and a GOOD student. Some students might be smart while some might be good but by the time you finish reading this book, you will be able to know the category that is best suitable for you. SMART GOOD Learning Knowing Do the right thing Do things right Effective Efficient Simplify Complicate (amplify) Self – motivated (internal motivation) Push – to – be – motivated (external motivation) Work for something Work for anything Greatness conscious Success conscious Need Want Accept pains Delay pains 44
  • Guided by principles/pains Guided by pleasures/gains Guided by compassion Guided by comfort Someone‟s success cannot stop your success; rather, it would promote your success. Life is one indivisible whole. Hold yourself accountable for the results you get: failure/success – all of the time. Therefore, whatever step you take in order to be successful, don‟t forget to wet it with prayers. Calling of the supreme being will do you much good coupled with SMARTNESS. Appreciating Him for His mercy every now and then will go a long way in strengthening your success eternally. Then happy life will be yours forever. In learning to appreciate God, we must together learn to appreciate parents/guardians, teachers/lecturers and the society – because what goes around comes around. Remember, there is no any positive impact in what we live on that does not produce life. It is our duties to make our lives worthy of living, for Success teaches us that ends and means are inseparable. That ends actually pre – exist in the means. The succession quality for success is unquestionably success. Without it, no real success is possible no matter what. No other success can compensate for the failure in your studies. Succession is the success that gives birth to success. Work for success and pray for it, and then you are there. Congratulations in the course your strict adherent to SMARTNESS; congratulations as you are now successful. Bravo!!! 45
  • NUGGETS  Smartness indeed is the nine (9) sure steps to success.  In a world of today where short - cut dominates and frustration, disappointment, and cheating often prevail, I feel very great that these nine great (sure) steps are sure but not short – cut to success.  None of you is a failure you just need to get better so that your grades will be better only if you will give a better approach to your studies.  I (believe) hope you have enjoyed reading this manual, inspired as to how you can personally get better results or (and) being the best student with best approach for the best results.  Please choose to act on these vital steps or principles highlighted in this manual.  Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born… (Dr. Dale Turner).  Success on any major scale requires you to accept responsibility in the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have is the ability to take on responsibility… (Michael Korda).  A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him… (David Brink).  Nobody succeeds beyond his or her wildest expectations unless he or she begins with some wild expectations… (Ralph Charell).  The secret to success is to know something nobody else knows… (Aristotle Onassis).  The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don't like to do. They don't like doing them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose… (E.M. Gray).  People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success… (Norman Vincent Peale).  When a man feels throbbing within him the power to do what he undertakes as well as it can possibly be done, this is happiness, this is success… (Orison Swett Marden).  Confidence is the hinge on the door to success… (Mary O'Hare Dumas).  Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it… (Henry David Thoreau).  Success is the child of drudgery and perseverance. It cannot be coaxed or bribed; pay the price and it is yours… (Orison Swett Marden).  All of us are born for a reason, but all of us don't discover why. Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It's what you do for others… (Danny Thomas).  A failure establishes only this, that our determination to succeed was not strong enough… (John Christian Bovee).  Aim for success not perfection. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive person… (Dr. David Burns).  Success is getting and achieving what you want. Happiness is wanting and being content with what you get… (Bernard Meltzer).  When you get right down to the root of the meaning of the word 'succeed,' you find that it simply means to follow through… (F. W. Nichol). 46
  •  Successful people make decisions quickly (as soon as all the facts are available) and change them very slowly (if ever). Unsuccessful people make decisions very slowly, and change them often and quickly... (Napoleon Hill).  If you want to be successful, it's just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing… (Will Rogers).  A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm… (Charles Schwab).  The first secret of success is self trust… (Emerson).  I WISH YOU THE BEST! Put these principles into practice:- (i) Establish specific goals – set realistic goals that are neither too high nor too low. This will encourage you. (ii) Be motivated – have right motives, these will energize you. (iii) Be pro-active/Take action/Act on your goals – be initiative, this will move you from your present grade. (iv) Be resolute – this will direct you away from distractions and put you in the direction of your goals. (v) Be time conscious – plan your time. Invest your time. Stop spending your time. Time wasted will never be recovered. Set time range that is realistic and be adaptive. (vi) Distinguish what you need from what you want. (vii) Endurance will help you to sustain your success. (Viii) Be simple –simplify (ix) Help others with your success – one of the great secrets to keep learning is by teaching others. REFLECTIONS  Do you dwell more on your weaknesses or your strengths, your failures or your successes?  Do you place value on success at all?  Do you understand what success is?  When failure repeatedly replaces success, what is the best way known to you to reverse the case?  What is your success story? THIS SPACE IS MEANT FOR YOUR SUCCESS STORY AS IT IS CERTAIN THAT YOU WILL HAVE ONE WHEN YOU FOLLOW THE LAWS OF SMARTNESS. 47
  • CONCLUSION This book has primarily attempted to each one basic paradigm: that people are whole people – body, mind, heart and spirit. As a person engages in the great nine of the great minds process of finding one‟s own pathway to success, making the choice to expand his/her influence by inspiring others to find their voice, she increases her freedom and power of choice to solve her greatest challenges and serve human needs; she learns how leadership can eventually become a choice not a position, so that leadership, the enabling art, is widely disturbed throughout organization and society, and therefore, while we manage or control things, we lead/empower people. Regarding the people‟s paradigm, we have learned that every human being is precious in his/her own right, endowed with enormous, almost infinite potential and capacity. We‟ve learned that the pathway to enlarging the capacity is magnifying our present gifts and talents. To you as the reader, I affirm your worth and potential. My sincere hope is that the principles in this book have been communicated clearly enough so that you have not only come to see that worth and potential in yourself, but so that you will Find Your Voice and live a life of greatness by inspiring many other people, organizations and communities to find theirs. Remember a person may survive seven weeks without food, seven days without water, seven minutes without air, but cannot survive seven seconds without hope…………………………………………………………… (Unknown) 48
  • HEALTH ACTIONS CONCERNING THE ENVIRONMENT AND YOU (HACEY) HACEY is a non-governmental organization formed to create a coalition of caring individuals who have committed consistently to inform people on issues concerning health, environment and human development. Specifically, we are aggressively working to make a difference in the quality of life for the child, adolescent, youths, adults including students of various institutions ( primary, secondary, and tertiary), and also the rural communities. HACEY is dedicated to providing the finest resources for education, training and development for all members of our society. Our Vision To become a leading centre that empowers youths and adults for the total development of their being- physically, psychologically and emotionally. Information on our Most Recent Programmes NOV. 30TH & DEC. 1ST 2007- HACEY organized a world AIDS day event, where students from different schools ( secondary and tertiary) and also members of the general public were informed on the subject- HIV/AIDS- CHALLENGES AND CHANCES. It was a great atmosphere for education, entertainment, talent shows and empowerment as the message was passed across in its best form. FEB. 2008- HACEY hosted a speech contest among university students. This programme served as a medium to inform the students on issues concerning carbon dioxide and the environment (green house effect), and also on the effects of cosmetics on the body- the good, the bad and the ugly. It was a peer educative forum. APRIL. 2008 – HACEY went to various places in Ilorin, Kwara state, Nigeria to educate members of the general public on the effect of climate change on health. DEC. 2008- Our 2nd world AIDS day programme, it was educative and informative, it featured lectures, music, drama, competition, comedy, and interactive session and students. Everyone expressed themselves freely. April 2009- World Health Day outreach to students in secondary and tertiary institution Dec 2009- Walk against HIV/AIDS- A walk organized by HACEY for students in tertiary institution to speak about hiv/aids prevention and discourage stigmatization March 2010- HACEY reach out to over 3000 students telling them about the power of their brain and how they can effectively use it to benefit their communities. April 2010- World health day outreach Opportunity to Help HACEY CREATIVITY CENTER - At HACEY, a music club, drama club and readers club are organized to train and empower the youth in the emerging field of health and environmental protection. In addition to this we train student in various schools to become peer educators and help them organize health programmes. PROTECT YOUR ENVIRONMENT- This programme is a campaign we organize at HACEY that promotes environmental protection as the duty of everyone. We go to schools, offices, and the media to pass the message. AT YOUR DOORSTEP- This is a village outreach programme that we undertake at HACEY in different villages across the country giving them information to increase their quality of life 49
  • THE CARE APPROACH- At HACEY, we go to the homeless and the prisons to inform them on various health and environmental issues. We also organize training programmes that empower them to be good readers, writers, and speakers. In addition to this, we also use the effort of our creativity centre to develop their talents. GREAT PEOPLE and GREAT LIFE - At HACEY, we organize a special programme for underprivileged people training them on different vocation. It also involves a behavioural lesson to build their self-esteem. Our work is always on, for more information on volunteering, donations, or joining us visit- www.hacey.org or email- info@hacey.org 50
  • GLOSSARY Abhor (verb): Detest, hate, loathe, dislike, despise. Antonym: adore, love, worship, respect, revere. Acquaint (verb): Make aware, inform, make familiar with, familiarize. Antonym: keep from, prevent, withhold, protect. Ambition (noun): Drive, determination, motivation, desire, goal, aim, objective, aspiration, dream, hope, desire, purpose. Antonym: apathy, indifference, unconcern, laziness. Archives (noun): Annals, books, chronicles, records, history, accounts, files. Arduous (adj): Difficult, hard, laborious, demanding, strenuous, toilsome, taxing. Antonym: easy, simple, comfortable, trouble-free, uncomplicated, calm, undemanding. Bespoke (adj): Custom-made, customized, custom-built, commissioned, tailored. Antonym: ready-to-wear, off-the-rack, ready-made, retail, convenient. Bookworm (noun): Avid reader, book lover, bibliophile. Bow to (verb): Accept, yield, give in to, submit, succumb to, give way to. Antonym: reject, castoff, discard, hand-me-down, throwaway. Canister (noun): Container, can, tin, flask, cylinder. Catalyst (noun): Chemical agent, substance, compound, reagent, promoter, facilitator, stimulus, spark. Chatter (noun): talk, gossip, chat, conversation. Chore (noun): Routine, task, job, errand, assignment, responsibility, duty. Colleague (noun): Cohort, coequals, age group, classmates, contemporaries, equals. Complicate (verb): Make difficulties, set hurdles, confuse, confound. Antonym: simplify, make simpler, make easier, make straightforward, shorten. Concurrently (adv): At the same time, simultaneously, synchronously, concomitantly. Antonym: separately, distinctly, unconnectedly, independently, alone, individually, one by one. Data (noun): Information, statistics, facts, figures, numbers, records, documents, files. Daunting (adj): Intimidating, discouraging, scary, frightening, disheartening. Antonym: heartening, encouraging, cheering, hopeful, positive, comforting. Degenerate (adj): Debased, decadent, immoral, corrupt, perverted, wicked. Antonym: moral, ethical, good, right, honest, decent, proper, just. Detour (noun): Deviation, diversion, bypass, alternative route, indirect route. 51
  • Diminish (verb): Reduce, lessen, make smaller, shrink, peter out. Antonym: grow, increase, multiply, improve. Discard (verb): Throw away, abandon, dispose of, remove, get rid of, reject. Antonym: keep, hide, conceal, keep to yourself, stifle. Distraught (adj): Distressed, beside yourself, out of your mind, upset, troubled, worried, disturbed. Antonym: calm, tranquil, peaceful, quiet, still, cool, composed, unruffled, serene, relaxed. Drudgery (noun): Labour, toil, work, chore. Elude (verb): Escape,evade, get away, dodge, avoid. Envision (verb): Imagine, envisage, foresee, predict, visualize, see, picture. Era (noun): Age, period, time, years, date. Erudite (adj): Learned, scholarly, knowledgeable, well-educated, well-read, intellectual, bookish. Antonym: uneducated, unschooled, untaught, ignorant, uninformed, untutored, unqualified, illiterate. Excite (verb): Stimulate, enthuse, motivate, thrill, arouse, incite, stir up. Antonym: soothe, bore. Fluent (adj): Easy, flowing, confident, effortless, articulate, eloquent, voluble. Antonym: tongue-tied, halting. Genius (noun): Mastermind, prodigy, brilliance, brains, intelligence, gift, talent. Antonym: stupidity, foolishness, silliness,senselessness, absurdity. Gravity (noun): Seriousness, Solemnity, importance, significance, severity, magnitude, dignity. Antonym: cheerfulness, insignificance. Impediment (noun): Impairment, disablement, obstruction, obstacle, barrier, hurdle, hindrance, drawback. Incorporate (verb): Join, include, integrate, unite, combine, Merge, combine. Antonym: exclude, divide. Initial (adj): First, early, original, preliminary, opening, primary. Antonym: final, last, concluding, ultimate, ending. Interfere (verb): Delay, inhibit, restrict, affect, hinder, obstruct, impede, pry, intrude, disturb. Jeopardize (verb): Put at risk, endanger, expose, threaten. League (noun): Association, group, union, confederation, club. 52
  • Lecturer (noun): Speaker, public speaker, speechmaker, orator, presenter, spokesperson, debater. Mediocrity (noun): Unevenness, poorness, averageness, ordinariness. Antonym: excellence, fineness, brilliance, distinction, superiority. Missile (noun): Arrow, dart, projectile, rocket, rubber bullet, plastic bullet. Niche (noun): Place, position, function, role, calling, vocation, alcove, recess, bay. Notion (noun): Idea, view, concept, belief, impression, opinion, perception, thought, impulse. Nurture (verb): Care for, look after, take care of, raise, rear, cultivate, cherish, develop, support. Oblivious (adj): Unaware, unconscious, unmindful, ignorant, insensible. Antonym: conscious, awake, aware. Optimistic (adj): Hopeful, positive, bright, cheerful, expectant. Antonym: pessimistic, negative, cynical, doubtful, distrustful. Penultimate (adj): Last but one, second to last, one before the last, next to last. Pinnacle (noun): High point, peak, zenith, apex, summit, height, top. Antonym: base, nadir. Procrastination (noun): Deferment, postponement, delay, adjournment. Antonym: action, act, deed, exploit, achievement, accomplishment. Rare (adj): Valuable, unique, singular, scarce, infrequent, occasional, sporadic, uncommon, unusual, exceptional. Antonym: frequent, common. Relent (verb): Give in, change your mind, concede, yield, take a softer line, give up, surrender. Antonym: stand firm, persevere, stand your ground, persist. Repel (verb): Disgust, make you feel sick, revolt, repulse, sicken, keep away. Antonym: attract, draw, bring together, magnetize, entice, invite. Resolve (noun): Resolution, determination, steadfastness, tenacity, doggedness, firmness. Antonym: indecision, irresolution, hesitancy, indecisiveness, uncertainty, wavering. Robot (noun): Automaton, machine, computer, mechanical device. Rite (noun): Ritual, ceremony, custom, habit, practice, routine, tradition. Rung (noun): Step, stair, tread, stage. Scene (noun): Act, part, section, passage, extract, setting, site, place, location, area, sight, incident, display. Stem from (verb): Arise from, originate from, come from, develop from, spring from. Succinct (adj): Concise, to the point, brief, laconic, neat, crisp. Antonym: long-winded, long-drawn-out, rambling, lengthy. 53
  • Succumb (verb): Give way, yield, give in, submit, surrender, die, pass away, expire, perish, depart. Antonym: withstand, endure, survive, resist. Summit (noun): Top, pinnacle, apex, zenith, hilltop, peak, conference, meeting. Antonym: base, source, origin, starting point, root. Swiftly (adv): Quickly, speedily, fast, summarily, rapidly, promptly, in the blink of an eye, in a flash, like a shot, instantly, immediately. Antonym: slowly, gradually, unhurriedly, bit by bit, little by little, at a snail's pace, sluggishly. Tremendous (adj): great, incredible, fabulous, terrific, wonderful, fantastic, remarkable, magnificent, sensational, huge, great. Antonym: tiny, awful. Taunt (noun): Insult, criticism, derision, mockery, scorn, ridicule, scoff. Antonym: compliment, praise, commendation, tribute, encomium. Usurp (verb): Seize, appropriate, take, take over, assume, grab, arrogate. Antonym: surrender, admission of defeat, submission, renunciation. Vast (adj): Massive, huge, enormous, gigantic, immense, titanic, limitless. Antonym: small, little, minute, tiny, diminutive, minor, unimportant, trivial, insignificant. 54