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What is the Colour of Your Parachute?

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Presentation at Valedictory Service & Graduating Ceremony of Queens College Lagos Class of 2008

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What is the Colour of Your Parachute?

  1. 1. ‘WHAT IS THE COLOUR OF YOUR PARACHUTE?’September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 1
  2. 2. NigeriaSeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 2
  3. 3. ProtocolsSeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 3
  4. 4. The greatest investment you can make is investment in other people – building their skills, their attitudesSeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 4
  5. 5. If you really want to leave a legacy, teach peopleSeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 5
  6. 6. QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 6
  7. 7. Definition  A parachute is a device used to slow the descent of a person or an object to Earth.  It is a life-saving device, a survival kit, used by aircraft pilots and passengers.  The word "parachute" comes from a French word with a Latin root: "para", meaning "against" or "counter" in Latin, and "chute", the French word for "fall". Therefore "parachute" actually means "against the fall". QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 7
  8. 8.   Just like a pilot or passenger leaves the comfort of the aircraft and take a ‘leap of faith’, our graduating students are leaving the protective embrace of the school, teachers and, for some, even parents!September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 8
  9. 9.   Before I continue, it is important to note that the title of this lecture is not original.  It is taken from a book of the same title by Richard Nelson Bolles.  With the subtitle, “A Practical Manual for Job- Hunters and Career-Changers”, the book emphasizes the necessity of finding one’s “mission” in life in order to obtain meaningful employment. QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 9
  10. 10. The Survival Kit: What Do You Need?September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 10
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  21. 21. “A person’s strength aren’t always on display. Sometimes, they require precise triggering to turn them on.” - Marcus BuckinghamSeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 21
  22. 22. ‘What you have is God’s gift to you. How you use it is your gift to God and to those around you’ - AnonymousSeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 22
  23. 23. Toolkit Buzz Words  Ability - capacity to perform tasks/job  Skills - expertness/practised ability  Attitude - disposition, settled mode of thinking  Motivation- willingness to exert high level efforts towards goals  Intuition - a feeling not supported by research  Creativity - inventiveness, imaginationSeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 23
  24. 24. Attitudes determine for each individual…. …what he will see and hear, what he will think and what he will do!September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 24
  25. 25. It makes you see life as:1.  A temporary life of uncertain length2.  A seminar in which you are a student3.  Your personal adventure storySeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 25
  26. 26. Do you Know?  Your Attitude is often one of the first things people notice about you. You may not be able to change your height or your body type, but you can change your attitude! – It is the creator of the texture of your life  Our Attitude can be our greatest power, as it offers a way to transform all situation into something better!September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 26
  27. 27. A = 1 T = 20 T = 20 I = 9 T = 20 U = 21 D = 4 E = 5 100 = ATTITUDESeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 27
  28. 28. Where is Mr. Attitude?September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 28
  29. 29. Can You Spot Him?September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 29
  30. 30. Here’s how to spot him  Appearance and personal habits  Mannerisms  Lack of self-confidence  Lack of courtesy  Extremely critical of others  Negative valuesSeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 30
  31. 31. The right attitude can transform an ordinary life into an extra-ordinary one!September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 31
  32. 32.   Employers will sometimes hire someone with lesser skills, who has the right attitude, before they hire a more experience and skilled person with a bad attitude!  Many believe that with the right attitude, an employee can transform all jobs into something better. September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 32
  33. 33. 10 Lessons in 10 Chapters   The book, ‘Attitude is Everything’ identified 10 Steps for Turning Attitude into Action: –  Understand the Power of Attitude –  Choose to take charge of your life –  Identify through self-awareness the attitude that hold you back or propel you forward –  Reframe your bad attitude –  Find your purpose and passion –  Be pro-active –  Discover how to motivate yourself –  Build supportive relationship –  See change as an opportunity –  Leave a lasting legacySeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 33
  34. 34. Attitude is a ChoiceSeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 34
  35. 35. Attitude isthat our lives take are largely –  The paths a Choice: How? determined by the choices we make day in day out –  A lot of times, we focus on what we did wrong instead of what we need to do to become better –  Sometimes making no choice is the worst decision of all –  It is vital that you consciously choose the right attitude and that you choose it wisely Your Choices Determine Your Happiness!September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 35
  36. 36.   People and organizations today, more than ever before, are learning how to manage and control the quality of their lives and work productivity through the power of ATTITUDE  Indeed, attitude is the foundation and support of everything we do, a key element in the process of controlling our destiny and achieving mastery in our personal and professional life.  Positive attitude (optimism) is described as the most valuable asset you can possess in the journey through lifeSeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 36
  37. 37. Research as shown that:   Optimists are proven to be more successful than similarly talented people with pessimistic or negative attitude   The simple act of smiling causes our brain to release a stream of chemicals that makes us feel good   Optimists are also generally known to enjoy better overall health   Positive thinking aids the healing process.   Your attitude is often one of the first things people notice about you. You may not be able to change your height or your body type, but you can change your attitude!September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 37
  38. 38. 4 ways to stay positive 1.  Focus on handling stress 2.  Identify your negative/pessimistic thoughts 3.  Tell a supportive person how you feel, and 4.  Act to settle a problemAdjust your attitude and change your life!September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 38
  39. 39. Attitude at home  People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are.  A positive attitude is perhaps more important at home than anywhere else.  As children, spouses and parents, one of our most vital roles is to help those we love feel good about themselves.September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 39
  40. 40. Attitude & Self-AwarenessSeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 40
  41. 41.   A good attitude begins with self-awareness. The early warning signs of bad attitude are: frustration, burn-out, & stress!  3 types of bad attitude baggage: –  If-only baggage (worry too much about a past you cannot change) –  What-now baggage (kilo tun de o!) –  What-if baggage (excessive focus on problems)September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 41
  42. 42. The Root Causes of Bad Attitude1.  Low self-esteem2.  Stress3.  Fear4.  Resentment and anger5.  Inability to handle changeSeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 42
  43. 43. Attitude AssessmentQ: How do you respond to stressful situations? –  Get angry –  Become depressed –  Throw up your arms in despair –  Get energizedSeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 43
  44. 44.   An attitude of anger can be transformed into an attitude of gratitude and forgiveness by shifting your perspective  Once you have determined what has been holding you back, it is time to look ahead and analyze where you want to go.  Understand the importance of living your life with Purpose and Passion! –  Develop a complete game plan with vision, mission, values, etc  Even with positive attitude, purpose, and passion, life is never without challenges, disappointments, setbacks, and problems, know that victory lies at the other side of each challenge! September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 44
  45. 45. Discover how to motivate yourself bymaking use of attitude tool-kit of –  Affirmations –  Visualisations –  Attitude talk –  Positive greetings –  Enthusiasm –  Spiritual empowerment –  Humour, and –  ExerciseSeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 45
  46. 46. Build Supportive Relationships  Having the right team with the right attitude, makes it easy to turn your attitude into action – Build your own A-Team – Networking teams built on mutually beneficial relationships – Look for shared values in supportive relationshipsSeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 46
  47. 47. How do you respond to change?   See changes as an opportunity   Understand the process of change   Your attitude determines your altitude – Acknowledge change – Convert threats to opportunities – Turn the change into a challenge – Adapt to changeSeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 47
  48. 48. See what change has done to the world?   “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication” – Western Union, 1876   “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible” – Lord Kelvin, President, Royal Society, 1895   “Everything than can be invented has been invented” – Commissioner, US Office of Patents, 1899   “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers” – Thomas Watson, Chairman, IBM, 1943   “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out’ – Decca Recording Co, rejecting The Beatles, 1962September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 48
  49. 49. CONCLUSIONSeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 49
  50. 50. A Story to Share  The business executive was deep in debt and could see no way out. Creditors were closing in on him. Suppliers were demanding payment. He sat on the park bench, head in hands, wondering if anything could save his company from bankruptcy. Suddenly an old man appeared before him. "I can see that something is troubling you," he said. After listening to the executives woes, the old man said, "I believe I can help you." He asked the man his name, wrote out a check, and pushed it into his hand saying, "Take this money. Meet me here exactly one year from today, and you can pay me back at that time." Then he turned and disappeared as quickly as he had come.September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 50
  51. 51.   The business executive saw in his hand a check for $5,000,000, signed by John D. Rockefeller, then one of the richest men in the world! "I can erase my money worries in an instant!" he realized. But instead, the executive decided to put the uncashed check in his safe. Just knowing it was there and might give him the strength to work out a way to save his business, he thought. With renewed optimism, he negotiated better deals and extended terms of payment. He closed several big sales. Within a few months, he was out of debt and making money once again. Exactly one year later, he returned to the park with the uncashed check. At the agreed-upon time, the old man appeared. But just as the executive was about to hand back the check and share his success story, a nurse came running up and grabbed the old man.September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 51
  52. 52.   "Im so glad I caught him!" she cried. "I hope he hasnt been bothering you. He always escapes from the rest home and goes around telling people hes John D. Rockefeller. " And she led the old man away by the arm. The astonished executive just stood there, stunned. All year long hed been wheeling and dealing, buying and selling, convinced he had half a million dollars behind him. Suddenly, he realized that it wasnt the money, real or imagined, that had turned his life around. It was his newfound self-confidence that gave him the power to achieve anything he went after. Lesson: Dont let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was!September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 52
  53. 53. Equation for SuccessSuccess = Opportunity + PreparednessSeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 53
  54. 54. Some Interesting Quotes “The great secret of success in life is for a man to be ready when his opportunity comes” - Benjamin DisraeliSeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 54
  55. 55. Quotes (contd.) “The purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one. An open mind is required to get on in life even when there are no jobs. The world as we know now makes way for those who create and not seek jobs” - Malcolm S. ForbesSeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 55
  56. 56. Quotes (contd.) “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent” - Calvin CoolidgeSeptember 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 56
  57. 57. Finally,  ‘First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do’ -  Epictetus (born in 55 A. D. to Greek parents, but became a Roman slave and later a Stoic philosopher)  ‘If opportunity doesnt knock, build a door’ –  Comedian Milton Berle (who may have had to build a few doors of his own on his way to stardom)  ‘Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being’ –  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German playwright ,1749 - 1832).September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 57
  58. 58. My Case is Different: I am Still Young!September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 58
  59. 59. So, who will take over from them?September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 59
  60. 60. Thank you for your attention!September 18, 11 QUEENS COLLEGE 2008 60

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