My summaries for effective living


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My summaries for Effective Living is a compilation of everyday life affairs and how you can make the most of every area of it in the most simple, pragmatic and effective manner.

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My summaries for effective living

  1. 1. My Summaries ForEFFECTIVE LIVING
  2. 2. My Summaries For Effective Living
  3. 3. My Summaries For Effective LivingDedicated to Moore and Dainty I
  4. 4. My Summaries For Effective LivingContents PagesChapter 1 Worry 5Chapter 2 Regret 9Chapter 3 Trial 13Chapter 4 Weakness 17Chapter 5 Wealth Creation 22Chapter 6 The failure’s opinion 26Chapter 7 Self-Effacement 30Chapter 8 The Art of listening 32Chapter 9 Leadership 35Chapter 10 Influence 40Chapter 11 Solitude 45Chapter 12 Time Management 48Chapter 13 Contentment 52Chapter 14 Courage 56Chapter 15 Disability 59Chapter 16 Covetousness 62Chapter 17 Humor 65 II
  5. 5. My Summaries For Effective LivingForewordThe whole content of this material has been designed to help you succeed and improved on every areaof life. The manuscript uses simple, straight forward approach to address everyday matter in a mannerthat it enables you define your life goals and designate tools that makes you become more useful. Everypage covered is a step towards discovering purpose and challenging yourself to becoming the best. Thissummarized discourse contains seventeen areas of life which have been deliberately selected to helpyou improve your day-to-day performances. III
  6. 6. My Summaries For Effective Living Chapter 1 Worry “If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what isthe use of worrying? - Benjamin Franklin (American President)Show me a man who never worried, and I’ll show you a man who never had a vision. Many times, thedoubts and confusion attached to our dreams can be nerve wrecking and upsetting to the extent itunsettles our emotional stability. Worry is the difference between what we all want and our identifiedlimitations. It is not as if our inability to get what we desire in the immediate is a weakness as sometimesas it may appear, but usually our unwillingness to delay gratification and accept the immediate conditionas a passing phase causes us the much needless apprehension.Worry can sometimes be a support mechanism if it stirs us towards a graceful end, but to allow it makeus a self-destruct enemy of our own destiny is grossly unacceptable. If success eludes a mancontinuously on any pursuit, he is never expected to be relaxed on such quest. Worry in such instancesjolt us, unsettles us and make us lose leniency on such elusive cause. Yet, anxiety is no ready substituteto achieve a set pursuit. The disquiet that we feel is a pull that is capable of pushing anyone out ofcomplacence. This pull can singly be likened to a sparring partner that helps a boxer get into shape forthe real match.A man once wanted an apple and so he went out for one. Fortunately, he gets to an orchard where hefound an apple tree. Surprisingly he became worried about climbing the tree that he sat at the foot ofthe tree. He kept complaining and sobbing under the apple tree while a passer-by came along andplucked a couple. Knowing the man’s limitations, the stranger gave the man an apple from his bunch.The man unassumingly collected the apple. Shockingly, he was worried about where to start eating hisapple so that he gets all the sweetness from every bit! Now that is the condition of many, they keepgrappling with worry even after they get what they want.“When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere” – Francois Dela RochefoucauldSir Winston Churchill has all the excuses in the world to be as worried as any other during the Naziinvasion of Europe. As a matter of fact, his defeat could have gone down in history as one that can bepardoned. Nonetheless few men in the timeline of history would go on to match, not to talk ofsurpassing his courage. Winston exercised a bravery that would later on reverse the outcome of thewar. Rather than entertain worry he employed courage; with unflinching determination he defied all theNazis’ attack and went on to secure and regain the territories of England. 5
  7. 7. My Summaries For Effective LivingAt a time when the entire territories of Europe were jittery, the “British bulldog” as he was called,summoned courage and almost single handedly launched the lifeboat that sail Europe out of the hadesof Hitler’s brutality. Perhaps, the worries of Winston were not as evasive as it may have appeared. OnMarch 1946, at Fulton, He expressed his worries for the threat of communism when he declared, “Thereis nothing (the Russian) admired so much as strength, and there is nothing for which they have lessrespect than weakness, especially military weakness…if the Western democracies stand together instrict adherence to the principles of the United Nations charter, their influence for furthering theseprinciples will be immense and no one is likely to molest them. If, however they become divided orfalter in their duty and if these all important years are allowed to slip away- then indeed catastrophemay overwhelm us all.” Winston stood an imposing pillar of solidarity for the entire Europe till themenace of communism and Nazism was checkmated. This heroic display of courage transverse theanarchy that could have swallowed the whole of Europe and made Winston Churchill a reveredstatesman- this kind of ‘rousing panic’ as expressed by Winston I beseech you to get!Any sort of worry that cannot push a man to pursue a life beyond the walls of anxiety will end him up indepression! Worry as generally perceived is a state of confusion, a condition where the mind is void ofdirection, where a man is lost in decision, a blank purpose. A scenario of perplexed dimness where apositive outcome is in doubt!Worry is a tool and can only hurt you if you wield it wrongfully. As an instrument that it is, worry is thesubject of an expected unfavourable outcome. Yet, the onus is on you to determine what you do with anoutcome that bothers you. Remember also, that our perception of a particular outcome has anoverriding influence on how we choose to feel about it. You have the power to determine and decidewith single mindedness what you do with what you perceived as unfavourable. Overtime, we have allbeen conditioned to think that when the greater portion of an outcome, position, situation or conditiondoes not suit our expected outcome, then it is negative, disparaging and undesirable! Nonetheless, nosingle situation or condition forms itself, everything is the subject of interaction. Except youunderestimate the process that have produced an outcome or perhaps you wrongfully adjudged thefinal result, you might deform the opportunity to build a stronger personality through an oddity. Nobodyhad succeeded in solving a non-existent challenge. Ask questions; someone already has experiencedsame situation, undergone the same level of confusion and yet triumphed over the condition when theyfound the courage to fight back. They are definitely in a more refined situation to help you. Suchperson(s) have been to where you have not been, seen what you have not seen and have a fairer, moreobjective view of the situation and experiences that qualifies them to be your teacher. Be flexible tolearn; be willing and ready to change your opinion once a superior view beckons. The people who arefond of sticking doggedly to a situation they hardly have sound knowledge, are prone to misery. Do youlive close to anyone who is doting of saying ‘I don’t change my mind!’ or ‘it is difficult for me to changemy mind?’ there is no better field for unhappiness to flourish than such minds. There are rich treasuresin the lessons you grab from the dynamism of others. 6
  8. 8. My Summaries For Effective LivingHere are few tips on how you can handle the pressing need to worry.1. Why Worry about nothing Don’t worry about what you cannot change. It is useless to worry about certain natural outcomes- changes in weather condition and natural disasters do not need anybody’s worry, only our preparedness. So rather than worry about the rains or earthquakes, prepare for them. Learn to accept the inevitable, you may not be able to control what is happening around you, but you sure can control what is happening within you. William James handed the succour, “Be willing to have it so, acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.” The future is not evasive, it will come when it will come, and you can only learn to prepare for the outcome you anticipate. Therefore, you must learn to worry less about the future.2. Plan ahead You must have been acquainted with the maxim, “People who fail to plan, plan to fail” The only unknown reason why someone will choose not to live beyond past failures is evidenced in the fact that they are actually not planning for a better future or they think one does not exist. Yesterday is usually the best part in the life of a pessimist, only optimists expect/await a better life. There is no way a future you did not plan for will not bother you. Live beyond past mistakes, quit the blame game, take responsibilities, put your future in your hand; nobody can help you handle it better. If you plan the life of your dreams, it does not matter how small you start, there is every hope, assurance and prospect of growing big, but you will never grow unless you start. The egg that was never laid will never hatch as much as a baby that was never conceived is never delivered.3. Accept/Admit outcomes Have you ever failed a task and you everlastingly blame yourself? Accept the outcome and move on. Worry stays, abides and resides with the man who refuses to let go of his guilt. Worry would have killed the hope of light bulb if Thomas Edison has chosen to dwell on the guilt of 9,999 setbacks rather than just take his chance with one more remaining outcome. Today, the world is a proud consumer of the incandescent light bulbs because a man refuses to be discouraged by negative outcomes. “When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it- 1. Admit it 2. Learn from it 3. Don’t repeat it” – Paul Bryant. There had never been any time that it is advisable to stay permanently in the ravine of guilt.“Teach me neither to cry for the moon nor over spilled milk” – King George VZig Ziglar further adviced, “Admitting a mistake is a beginning, correcting it is a step forward, followingthrough is a success.” 7
  9. 9. My Summaries For Effective Living4. Control yourself Worry is a sign you have lost the grip on your emotional balance. It is not impossible for you to do silly things with an outraged emotion. Some of the people who are most inflicted with worries in the world are individuals who easily lose their composure. Worst still they are also inclined to regret their indiscretion. Most often than not, your outbursts are uncalled for, remember the world is still trying to cope with your smiles, don’t aggravate their suspicion with irritations.“He who gains victory over other men is strong, but he who gains victory over himself is all powerful” –Lao-Tzu.5. Feel good about yourself One of the few things nobody can do for you is ‘your feeling good.’ Beam with optimism, glow with cheers, bring sunshine into every contact. Make good use of yourself by making yourself favourable to human disposition. Most times, the rewards of inner freedom are not quite feasible until it inspires others. You have no time to worry when all you spread is hope, courage, vivacity and affability.“If you don’t feel good about yourself, you will have a limited capacity to believe in others.”- Zig ZiglarIt is difficult to trust anyone if it does not first reside within you.Take a stand on worry today, let it inspire you rather than destroy you. 8
  10. 10. My Summaries For Effective Living Chapter 2 Regret“Our repentance is not so much regret for the ill we have done as fear of the ill that may happen to us inconsequence.”- Francois del la RochefoucauldA Proof that a man is growing is his unreserved ability to learn. When a man stops learning he ceases togrow. Learning is evidence that we need to know more than we already do.How does a man come to appreciate knowledge if past experiences are not painful enough for him toseek leverage for comfort? Like worry, regret is a state of the mind. It is an emotion that is vested on usas a result of perceived inadequacies, weaknesses, wrong doing or inefficiency. It is a feeling of distressover a perceived wrong choice. If you have ever regarded any action as regrettable, you will understandthe extent of remorse that accompanies such feelings.A mother watches silently as her daughter slowly gives up the ghost in her arms after ingesting anoverdose of anodyne. Unwilling to be entreated and although she admits her negligence, her groaningunder the weight of guilt also did not help her mental state…..weeks after, she ended up in a psychiatry!It is not bad to admit our failure, setbacks and inadequacies; as a matter of fact, it is healthy, what isunacceptable is to eternally confine ourselves in the prison of guilt. Sometimes an uncontrolled remorsemakes us accept responsibility for what we did not cause or circumstances that far outweighs ourimmediate controls. “O çera cera” is not just a surface maxim, it is a saying that indeed affects almostthe core of our lives whether we believe it or not. What will be, will be; regardless of our capacity,intelligence and talent to control the circumstance. As not to appear to playing the devil’s advocate forcertain preventable human errors, carelessness or sloppiness; man must be alert to make his life ablessing rather than a burden. As unforeseen or unexpected as some circumstance appears, you can stillreduce the impact if certain precautionary measures are put in place.Regret in most cases can be averted if the human actions or inactions are properly reviewed beforeadvancing a cause. At least no one needs forgiveness who has committed no wrong. Penitence is a signthat you know better and you are willing to live beyond the mistakes of the past.It is depressing if you consider how many people express regret over same matter over and again. Whatdoes this tell you? It means they are yet to learn from same situation that has brought them to theirknees. And as expected, life keeps echoing same circumstance until they are not only eager to learn, butthey are subdued not to repeat same dysfunction. The heartache, blues and exhaustion attached to guiltare schemes structured by nature to enable men learn from pain. 9
  11. 11. My Summaries For Effective LivingPain is a constraint and expected to deter the repetition of an improper action. Regret is expected to bea cleansing; a striking retribution that is expected to caution and curtail unscrupulous acts. Regret always turns out as the poor judgment of pain in consequence of pleasure. Three reasons availswhy people fail to honestly appropriate the repercussions of an intended action- ignorance, pride andvengeance. A faulty decision which results in an action or inaction often results in regret. Ignorance is atthe root of most regret (in the least, if you know better, you will do everything possible to prevent animpending but avoidable pain).The damage resulting from pride and vengeance make the cramp ofregret sink even more! Denial is another major culprit of regret. If a student refuses to admit hisignorance over a particular topic or an employee his naivety of a task; it is only a matter of time, the self-denial may cost the student good grades and the employee his job. Both are prone to regretting theiractions!“Not everything’s perfect, especially in the beginning. And it’s all right to have a little bit of regret everyonce in a while. It’s when you feel it all the time and can’t do anything about it…that’s when you get intotrouble” – Sarah Dessen, Lock and KeyThe word, ‘regret’ is flippantly used every day. In our religious places, in business establishments, in ouracademic institutions, in our homes, everywhere and anywhere you turn to, you see men and womenexchange the word regret. People regret their marital vows, regret a business contract and regretstaying in relationships with dubious friends. There is usually a portion of life that we hope could justhave been better. We have all made certain mistakes; things that we are not proud of, but if we have nofaults of our own, we would in a better condition to condemn others.However grave your misdemeanor, blunder or crime be assured that forgiveness has a place in everywrong doing. I am convinced that I have not erred in affirming so. Forgiveness only subsists only so longas guilt exists. Remorse is a biological mechanism set in place to humble men, it gives us the opportunityto re-evaluate, re-assess and re-adjust, to think clearer over an infringement, restore compassion andreinstate the human face that was afore supplanted by a part of us that was too quick, too weak toavoid imprudence.There is a tremendous sense of relief, freshness and health that flow in the mind when it is severed fromthe burden of guilt. Don’t you see the smile that crescent the cheek of buddies who absolve of eachother’s mistake? Even leaders wear a reassuring glare when followers forgive their misconduct.Following Monica Lewinsky’s ungodly affair with President Clinton and the widespread disparage thatensued, the personality of the president suffered injurious dents which nearly caused the president hisjob. Admitting his misconduct after months of legal battles and impeachment threats, President Clintondeclared, 10
  12. 12. My Summaries For Effective Living“Indeed, I did have a relationship with Ms. Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong….Iknow that my public comments and my silence about this matter gave a false impression. I misledpeople, including my wife. I deeply regret that.”Thankfully, the litigation was quashed, the American public forgave President Clinton and everyonesmiled afterwards.How to Handle Regrets1. Admit, don’t deny Barring your ego, popularity, background, upbringing, fortune; you must admit the wrong- No excuses. You will only cause yourself more embarrassment trying to hide from your slip-up. You must be aware that, there is nothing more important than for you to regain your dignity. Be assured that denial will not rescue your humiliation. You cannot continue to bear the weight of guilt- so admit. Be reassured that we all have a privacy for which we are all responsible regardless of refutations. Genuine contrition is not bare of admittance. On the Clinton-Lewinsky saga, Charles Jones, a former president of American Political Science Association said, “To be forgiven, more than sorrow is required, at least two more things, (is required); first, genuine repentance, a determination to change and to repair breaches ….second, what my bible calls a broken spirit, an understanding that I must have God’s help to be the person that I want to be….”2. Get a confidant Your wrongs are open, whether you are conscious of it or not. The only panacea for any secret is for it not to leak. So once an arbitrary act that impugns your character is committed, you need to get a confidant- someone you can trust; a friend, a family, a mentor, your spouse or a colleague that is trusted to help without the fear of betrayal. Someone whose opinion you respect and you are convinced will be willing to offer the much needed help. You must be wary of distrust otherwise you will not confide in anyone. Be willing to let someone who cares share and help you overcome the feeling of guilt. You can always lean on the intelligence, encouragement and counsel of trusted persons on your way out of culpabilities.3. Join an anonymous group You are not alone in your confinement. If you go out there, you will be shocked at many other people who bear same burden as you do. People are more disposed to seek help from others who have same experience as they do and are steadily overcoming it. So, don’t just stick around a corner to beat yourself down over a condition for which help is available. Get information about institutions, facilities or groups that have special skills to help with earnest care and confidentiality. You are at liberty with such folks than with pretenders who will jeopardize the hopes of healing. 11
  13. 13. My Summaries For Effective Living4. Consult an expert Discuss your case with someone who has skilled expertise and training to help you. A psychologist, your pastor, a counselor, a therapist- just make sure you are in the safe hands of a helper who can assist. There is hardly any case of human endeavor where a professional is lacking, be it medicine, social, political, sports, entertainment, domestic, just to mention but a few. So help is always available to the man or woman who sincerely seeks. One thing about experts is that they are always willing to help, unless a ‘victim’ is unwilling to yield.5. Be willing to change Follow through on the assistance, sessions, and medications etc. that have been provided for you to find healing. You must challenge yourself to live a life that is incorruptible, useful and inspiring. You must know that until and unless you make up your mind to be helped, no man can help you! You owe the primary responsibility to be honestly disposed to use the support that will be provided. Once you make up your mind, the first major barrier of distrust, suspicion, insecurity is broken. You cannot release yourself from the shackles of a life of regret with a complacent attitude. Let me also let you know that the consequences of your action may not be totally circumvented, but you will not be utterly consumed by it, if you find help early enough.6. Seek divine assistance Beyond the human efforts is an unseen force that guides every visual existence. Whatever you believe it to be, you need God. Let me also assure you that, that is where you find the most pleasing and reassuring support in all times of needs. There is a measure for the serenity that comes after a communication with God. Pray over the toils of your guilt, your frustration and the need for a stronger character that can withstand the pressure of time. Every prayer is a request made on a superior power and when a man is sure of his convictions; his belief system can provide a greater, more suitable response. Reach out to that force for your answer. Assuredly, sorrow is better handled when God is involved; it takes God to row a boat without rocking it. 12
  14. 14. My Summaries For Effective Living Chapter 3 Trial‘You can always tell when you are on the road to success- it is uphill all the way’- Paul HarveyRooted human outlook on life suggest that we are all to a certain level risk averse. Nobody prays forchallenges, not even one. Even self-acclaimed daring-dos will avoid “a necessary challenge” if they couldreach their pursuit without one! Yet, how can mankind reach the height of any known desired end,without a test. Whether in academics, sports, business or relationship there had hardly been anytransition into any meaningful promotion without a test. In fact some of the most remarkableindividuals in history are the subject of dire circumstances. Wars have given birth to heroes, no less assports have given birth to champions. Men have survived epidemics that have plagued an entireregion/race and overcome some of the most devastating congenital disease that human history hasrecorded. I once read this story about a psychologist who once quizzed his class with this story: A fatherhad syphilis, the mother tuberculosis (TB). Both already had four children. The first is blind, the secondhad died, the third is deaf and the fourth also had TB! The mother is pregnant but the couples are willingto have an abortion, so they have come to you for expert advice. However, should you support theirintension, the couples will accept wholeheartedly. What will you recommend? Well as expected, morethan half of the class, suggested an abortion...Congratulations, the lecturer said, “You have just takenthe life of Beethoven.”An unsettling condition (trial) can cause emotional upheavals and it can sometimes be confusing,illusionary and distractive however “true” it appears. Even respected professionals can makethreatening blunders under such conditions! So no one is absolved of making certain unintended butrash decisions when they are confronted with perceived ruinous circumstances. A friend’s sister, Mrs.Jane Roland (not her real names) visited her doctor to complain of a lump in one of her breasts. After aroutine test, the medic diagnoses her of breast cancer! She was devastated for weeks. She underwentseries of chemotherapy and finally, the doctor suggested a surgery to sever the affected organ beforethe cancerous cells spread. Barely a week after the surgery was concluded, it was detected that whatwas established as cancer was a mere innocuous malignant in her breasts! Lo! The breast isirreplaceable. A disturbing condition may be real for all that it is presumed to be, and initial panics maythe excused, but to allow such terror overwhelm the human spirit is unacceptable.The human spirit is like a conga (a drum), not much is made of it, until it is thumped.“The gem cannot be polished without friction nor man perfected without trials” (Chinese proverb). 13
  15. 15. My Summaries For Effective Living The best is extracted from us all when pressure stares us in the face. When we are apparently at a lossof choice and the only possible reality is to fight back against a possible odd that is when our best effortthaws. We barely fully exploit our potential in convenience and comfy. Challenges are orchestrated bynature to strain us and get the best out of seemingly painful conditions.Can you please just imagine your life without a challenge? Oh! You think it will be blissful and all ecstasy.You are wrong! Let me tell you what I think you would have; civilization and culture will have to toleratea vicious monster. In other words, you would have become a frightening outlaw for our world.If nothing has ever tampered with your willpower, if you have all you want without lifting an arm, if lifebestow on you all the luxury you desire without sweat, how will you ever be human, meek and humbleenough to feel for others? How would we as a race task the cells in our brains to invent and innovatewere it not for obstacles? I bet the creative nature of the human race will be dead upon arrival! Somepart of nature was bare of certain occupation, waiting for human ingenuity. The skies were left plain forman to conjure flight, the deep sea was left open for us to conquer with massive vessels, and the spacewas left uncluttered for our adventurous visit. Our excellent spirit will but waste for wants of use, ourbrains will become soggy and our organs will sag and we will be wiped out! Nature expects us toexercise our inborn, innate abilities. These abilities cannot be drilled without certain level of austerityand ache. In us all is the ability to overcome any circumstance.‘Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can thesoul be strengthened, ambition inspired and success achieved.’- Helen KellerOur world was once awashed with the knowledge that no man can run a mile in four (4) minutes. Evenrespected experts agreed. Perhaps, the fact that the information was widely circulated by physiologistsfurther corroborated the impression. The possibility dimmed as sportsmen failed with repeatedattempts. If any, achieving the feat became vague and there was little courage left to defy the thinking.May be science was right; there was no one who is prepared enough to refute the claim. Sport doctorshave claimed that the human body is simply incapable of such unbelievable performance. The reigningconventional wisdom was that the human lungs could not process enough oxygen to sustain the effort;they will burst under the strain, as would the heart! Dreadfully, it was further claimed that the boneswould fracture, joints will rupture, muscles will ruin, ligaments and tendons would tear and fail undertrying to achieve such perplexing stress and strains. Tragically, facts are not truths, and facts aresometimes capable of creating a wild mental bloc. In fact the trillionth part of information that isincorrect can make an entire fact a lie! A human being running a mile under four minutes was just notpossible-A mental bloc. 14
  16. 16. My Summaries For Effective LivingMay 6, 1954 in Oxford, England, a young medical student named Roger Bannister broke the jinx! He rana mile in 3minutes 59.4seconds. Bannister broke the mental bloc, he refuted the widespread appeal thatlimits many- He conquered the likely invincible.Few people know that Edmund Hillary is not the leader of the expedition to conquer Mount Everest-Baron John Hunt was. When the first attempt failed, at a press conference that was well attended,Edmund was reported to have stood before the hanging frame of Everest and asserted, “You havegrown all you can, you cannot grow any further, but I am still growing.” On the 29 th May, 1953, at11.30am Edmund Hillary mounted earth’s highest point; Everest in the Himalayas was conquered.Every red flag situation is awaiting our ingenuity, our prowess, our disputations, our fearlessness, ourfaith. Every circumstance have its breakpoints, like every other thing they have limits; they just await thefew who are willing to go the full hog. Nobody said it was going to be easy, no one has claimed it is notgoing to be sweaty, demanding and really distressing, but no one also say you cannot win. “If you thinkyou can, you are right, if you think you cannot, you are right” – Henry Ford.After Bannister, a lot more other people have crossed the rope of a mile mark under 4 minutes. AfterEdmund, a lot more have repeated the feat of conquering Everest. Many who thought both situationscannot be succumbed now know better. Our world just sometimes awaits a pioneer, someone whocould afford all it takes to show the way. Edmund seems to know what other does not. He was awarethat early in the morning you have a reserve of strength that could enable you secure victory at suchheight where oxygen level depletes the higher you go. While others on the expedition team were stillresting at the feet of Everest, Edmund pushed himself early in the morning to stir a rebellion against Mt.Everest. In the press conference that follows the victory, Edmund said, “We did not conquer themountain, we conquered ourselves.”A flip-flop in attitude, in personality, in approach, in motivation cost us most victory. A poor perception,a weak spirit, a vague focus, hazy organization just twists the desired outcome out of our reach. Until wemake up our mind to overcome the “self” within, “elements” without will continue to rule us. There is nogreater victory that is as edifying as those we register against our self-doubts. Our inability to breakperceived status quo is majorly attributed to resist what we despise, abhor and loathe. You can neverlive above what you are contented with; you can never live above your excuses.‘Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict’ - WilliamEllery ChanningSadly, most men stopped trying during trying times. The difference between those who will finallysucceed and those who will not, is the staying power the former depicts when all surrounding conditionsseem swallowed with the breath of affliction. 15
  17. 17. My Summaries For Effective LivingHave you ever watched an Olympic sailing competition? In the race, each sailor glides and navigatespass outrageous and sometimes nail biting winds. Each holds the rudder with a firm grip, bellowing andbawling with blurred focus as the current tries to beat their boat off course, yet in synchronized fashionthe sailor pulls and push against the fierce currents that rage continuously in diverse directions. Incalculated harmony, the sailor skates over the undulating waters, he may slip many times, but he holdson. Battling forcefully against the aggression of the sea, he roars and chants words of courage, herefuses to be scuttled by the violence that is pushed against him less he wastes his chances. The watersmay beat his boat and unsettle his course as to steer him away off victory but the sailor as many timesas possible recoils. The sailor holds the mast in place to regain support even from the wind that stirsagainst his course. On and on the sailor races, his cowering fist may become stony, his body maygradually start to give way, and his breath may narrowly snap at intervals, his pulse may pound but heholds on not willing to capsize. Everyone crosses the line with their heads high. Although, one sailorwins the race; but for me, each contestant is a winner irrespective of the time they returned. Suchundying spirit I bid you to array during trying times.“Challenge makes you strong by exercising your creative, mental and emotional muscles. Challengetones your intuition and imagination, exercises your desire, puts mass on your positive beliefs, trims yourfat- fears, adds definition and articulation to your attitudes. Challenges are the free weight you use tobuild your body of successes”- Peter Hirsch.Never let a trial break you, let it make you, don’t let it despoil you, let it uphold you, don’t let it makeyou bitter, let it make you better, don’t let it knock you out, let it get you up. An ordeal prepares you forthe best and no one qualifies more for the best more than you do. 16
  18. 18. My Summaries For Effective Living Chapter 4 Weakness“Glass, china and reputation are easily cracked and never well mended” – Benjamin FranklinMost of the crippling, wrong, negative habits are the result of idle excuses. We all have at a time madeaway with excuses and because it easily passes for a temporary ease, it serves as a thoroughfare fromtaking responsibility. I can’t in fact remember how many excuses I made growing up!Idleness is a major factor for most known poor living patterns. The apathy to positively engage inconstructive activities wears self-morals and reinforces bad character. Insidiously, the vulnerability tocompromise values builds up in a subtle and faint fashion that we are most unconscious of how ourethics have begun to wear! We hardly recognize the fact that we are gradually sinking into self-indulgence because of the way it mostly appears. It appears as a break, a respite, a recreation, abreather and before long we slide into acts we are not so proud of. Often such unguarded acts make usprocrastinate high level priorities so that we can opt for low end mundane activities, hang out withfriends who hardly add value to us, become a couch potato, watch despicable movies, indulge inobscene and indecent acts; all of which ultimately lands us in humiliation, indignity and ignominy.Indeed, the idle mind is the devil’s workshop.For want of reluctance people build the tendency for bad habits. The flair and the level of indulgenceexercised make such flaws nearly inborn. Virtually, no habit-good or bad, is inborn any more than it islearnt. According to psychologists, men have the capacity to unlearn whatsoever that is learnt. Thehuman mind is fallow and fertile; it is prone to accept whatsoever it receives from its senses andpredisposed to replicating it. In order words, the human mind is highly receptive and can learn fast,especially when the subject matter is appealing to the senses. We are most unsuspicious of our frailconducts; really they appear unassuming and spread their tentacles gradually and fledge inoffensivelyuntil we can no longer control them!Let’s take wrong habits as a weed. A weed is a plant, it has its own benefits and thus it is useful. Whatmakes a weed inappropriate is that it grows where it is not desired. Simply put, an eggplant that sproutson the nursery specifically prepared for cowpeas is a weed! Does that takes the potency, use and theimportance of the eggplant away? Oh NO! It is just that the status of the eggplant changed for growingwhere it is not wanted. If it is allowed to fledge, the eggplant is capable of crowding out the principalplant (i.e. the cowpeas). The features that may be necessary for the eggplant to thrive may not beappropriate for growing on the cowpeas’ nursery; hence, it is capable of harming the cowpeasregardless of its significance. The farmer by principle is expected to uproot the weed (i.e. the eggplant)so as to prevent it from affecting his expected productivity (cowpea yields). 17
  19. 19. My Summaries For Effective LivingWatching TV is not bad, but watching TV when you should be reading to prepare for an exam orbusiness presentation is bad. Therefore, watching TV can be taken as the weed (the eggplant) and thecowpeas (the exam or the business presentation) which can affect your productivity (good grades orexcellent business pitch).As the farmer, you are expected to deal with every act that seeks to stunt your productivity- you mustremove the weeds before they crowd out your expected outcome. Living a more productive life requiresthat you uproot destructive attitudes. Remember, whatsoever you can see, hear, touch, taste, smellhave great influence on your mind. The mind is capable of accepting, believing, trusting and duplicatingwhat is passed on to it from the sense organs. The chain smoker has only succeeded in luring his mindinto believing it is impossible not to smoke; so the mind sends out flashes that trigger the seeminglyirrepressible hunger to smoke. The human mind is cooperative and irrespective of the popular jinglethat “smokers are liable to die young” the mind is not constrained from stirring the body to cooperatewith the smoker when it is time to smoke. If you condition your mind that you cannot boost the qualityof your performance without enhancing drugs- you are correct, the mind will cooperate and trigger yoursenses to become restless unless you take the drug.‘When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all islost’ – Billy GrahamThe falsity of weak conducts is that they ordinarily appear enticing, luring, and juicy to ignore asopposed to building and reinforcing noble conducts. It is easy for the mind to settle for what appeals toit and indulge in any act that makes it feel at ease. Such attitude in a snap becomes second nature andindulgence becomes quite effortless. It is easy for the mind to reverse such attitude or conduct, but thedecision does not operate in space. It entails sacrifice and to give up an appeal that can sometimes bereluctant. The human nature forbids anything that makes it want to give up any perceived enjoyment,however undesirable! Indeed “a bad habit” can so interestingly appear like an enjoyment howevershort-lived. We are all subconsciously made to believe we enjoy a deep sense of freedom when we givein to a habit that is not sustaining or supportive of our moral quest. Unfortunately such a habit exposesus to chronic infections, ailments, and social dysfunctions.We necessarily detest inconvenience and will essentially want to avoid any matter that could draw uscloser to discomfort. Over the long haul, we treat issues relating to forgoing old inherently built habit asthreats to convenience and we find ourselves stalked in same old fashion. Until willing, deliberate andcommitted steps are taken we are not any more secure in ourselves than we are in anyone who is readyto help us. 18
  20. 20. My Summaries For Effective LivingWe can choose to fight our “weakness”; we can deal with the uncleanness in our unconscious self. Wehave the capacity to erase self-imposed ill injunctions. Man is but a steel of power when he chooses tobe so built. We can form new, purposeful, affirmative doctrines that make us live at peace with ourinner self. It is a matter of choice; a choice that weighs the pains of sacrifice over the pleasure ofindulgence. For a minute, figure out yourself; stand out of yourself as if you are standing aloof in acorner of the room looking down at “the you” that is reading this material. Look at the next 5-10years ofyour life with this “weakness” you presently struggle with. Assuming it is smoking; just imagine yoursoggy, all worn liver or kidney! Imagine your deteriorating state of health, imagine a TV charity campaignto raise money for your health recovery, imagine your spouse in the deep loss of not wanting to loseyou…..just imagine what this ‘juicy pleasure’ could cost you. Then imagine the sacrifice (pain) of stayingoff cigarettes one stick at a time; imagine the new formed you in a healthy, happy self, fully optimizingevery moment without those nauseating odour that your spouse have to put up with, imagine all thatyou have saved from discontinuing smoking going to charity and helping lives and contributing positivelyto humanity. Just imagine.What is built over time cannot be won overnight, therefore, you must put in place an awarenessmechanism that consistently allows you to win, and however unhurried it appears. This step(s) must bemeasureable (i.e. it must be daily, weekly or monthly) and you must be aware that it is approximatelywhat you can relate with. It may be a reward system; something like promising yourself that for everyweek I shun smoking, I will reward myself with a book that further reinforces my knack to desist fromsmoking. Be cautious and ensure that the new habit you want to create to replace the old iscommensurate, so that the ‘pleasure’ does not in any way overpower the pain. Also avoid thetemptation of replacing a bad habit with another dodgy habit. For instance, you will not make anymeaningful progress if you quit smoking and reward yourself with junk foods. When a condescendingthought you have made up your mind to fight subtly want to resurface, you must revert to your defensemechanism. You must reinforce the new habit with discipline and not be daunted until the old can nolonger lure you. The interesting thing is that this adjustment process can be fun, insightful and filled withnew discoveries as you journey along. Be willing to catch the fun.The constructive journey to replace the old habit can also be a persistent self-assertion, pep- talks,meditations, a hike, sightseeing, unburdening to a trusted friend, talking to your counsellor, visiting aninteresting game, going to the cinema etc. until the negatives phase out.Let’s do an exercise, think of any habit you are not comfortable with. Stop reading for a minute to reallythink…I’m waiting. Good that you did; now take a pen, write it down, don’t be reluctant. Be reassuredthat it is not quite as difficult as it may seem to build a new constructive habit. Now write in front ofsame habit the new habit you desire to form, and the possible reward(s) you will use ascompensation(s). 19
  21. 21. My Summaries For Effective LivingUnder the old habit, write five possible short and long term consequences if you do not adjust andunderneath the new desired habit, write five possible benefits if you adjust. Now nip it to where you cansee it every day and make sure you live up to the willingness to change and as expected don’t cheatyourself of the reward- it is important to reward yourself.The willingness to change might not at first be as strong as the impulses of the ‘pleasure’. Nevertheless,every victory is a sign of progress. Fight the disdainful feelings; make sure you stay afloat the hostilitiesof your weakness and defective conduct.Tips for adjustment1. Solicit for appropriate support It is impossible for you to fix your health issues with an automobile engineer. It simply means you have to seek the support of qualified experts where necessary on areas of your life that is out of bound! Join support groups where you can freely share your story and find the much needed help.2. Pick a measurable technique Not much progress is made if your success is not measurable. You should be able to state in clear term where you are today from where you are coming from in the scheme of things. Set selected measurable goals that are achievable in the process of wearing a new look.3. Read helpful material As much as you don’t have all the knowledge, If you think you do, you’ll not be where you are presently. Read from those who have seen what you want to see, listen to those who have been to where you want to be. Reading materials written by pundits, specialists and authorities is much like taking a special personal session with them and helping you to find the strength to overcome.4. Avoid poisonous companies and substances Be wary of those who are not helpful in your process of defining your life- A company of fools always perish. Shun any and every substance-magazines, TV broadcasts, online resources that further thaws you into your old paths. Complete ignore people and materials that are destructive otherwise the battle is lost before the war began.5. Be committed You lie loudest when you lie to yourself. Remain undeterred, unfettered, and faithful to every single obligation you desire to make. It is a sign that you have make up your mind to adjust, when you remain focused to live the kind of life you honestly desired. 20
  22. 22. My Summaries For Effective Living6. Reward yourself Your commitment is refreshed with every act of compensation. So if you score the right point on your weakness, pay yourself. Celebrate every victory, no matter how small. Just make sure you leave a mark that inspires you to repeat same constructive feat.Finally, the accent, the strength and the vigour of a bad habit are reinforced by repetition andfortunately, same is the story for the new habit(s) you desire. It makes your work easy. Also the sameenergy or force that is required and mustered to conduct unethically, same is required to act otherwise.So, why not channel your energy and focus from what is corrupt, unhealthy and diseased to acts that arehonest, positive and beneficial. The consistent constant repetition of a good work only reinforces theperformance of other associated acts. 21
  23. 23. My Summaries For Effective Living Chapter 5 Wealth Creation “Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you whatthey are.” – James w. FrickWealth creation is much more like the creation story, if you’re ever going to start; it’s got to be in yourmind. The richest men kept the frame of affluence, capital assets, prosperity and material comforthanging in their mind’s eye always. Regardless of current realities, they foresee what they want and theyembark on the pursuit without looking back. On the other hand, so many of the poor men that I’ve seenexercise their energy a lot more on soggy talks about money than acting on having it in abundance. Theyprophesy their future of lack, loss and wants. “I can never have enough” “money is the root of all evil”“none has made a headway in my generation when it comes to money”….on and on the poor manreveals this abhorrence for what he needs virtually the most. The plea to have more money is not placeon talks. An emphasis on the evasive nature of money is distractive- it reveals the mindset of the victim.Obviously, that is why most people can’t stop complaining of their want of money. Their mind is not setto possess it; it has been conditioned to abuse the process that brings money about. It’s become a ritual for poor men to complain about the rich. So, how many genuine rich moguls do youcomplain of? Can you remember any? Ok...can you get a paper now? Can you endeavour to list theirnames? If you have followed this exercise, you need to redefine your perception about wealth. Be awarethat when you hold an arbitrary assumption or grudge against a person or thing, you are most likely notgoing to build a positive, healthy thought about the person or thing. As most times, you blind yourself topeople who made their wealth genuinely, judiciously and prudently sustains it by comparing them withthose who are not quite as discreet- the perception you have formed overtime is a ‘one size fit all’ viewwhich have resulted in you passing scathing remarks about wealth and wealthy men. Certainly you needa social re-evaluation and re-conditioning when it comes to matters of money making.Logically, nothing is entirely bad unless no one benefits. Hope you’ve suddenly not forgotten that thismaterial has provided you with some tips on poor character which was treated in the preceding chapter.Now will you let me be on your face for a minute and be as stern as I possibly can? The truth is; povertyis a habit- It is neither a curse nor an infection. It is built surreptitiously overtime to a point where ittakes on auto pilot functions and becomes nearly effortless, involuntary, instinctive and natural. So akinto wealth, poverty is learnt. We are daily tested on poverty and each success is a daily fundamentaltransition into ‘make beliefs’ that further lure us down the ladder of lack and want. Let me bring themessage closer home, do you agree that saving is a habit built overtime? Do you know that investmentis hardly spontaneous than it overtime becomes a habit? 22
  24. 24. My Summaries For Effective LivingBut so are also liveried improvidence, profligacy and licentiousness. We all build them unconsciously andlike strand of threads they warp continuously until they become a complex web and are not easilybroken.If a man has worked 5years without a saving- for sure, he’s living out his mindset. It is not because hisincome is not enough to spare a saving but because he has overtime formed the habit to spend morethan he currently is capable of earning. Miserably, some even retire or are sacked without a ‘pence’ intheir bank account than the last take home settlements! The glib justification is usually, ‘How on earthdo you want me to save from this meager salary.’ Some have never in life even ventured into any sort oftrade. They are quick to counter any form of appeal to diversify their income into a meaningfulinvestment; such quips, “ My family will suffer if I invest any share of this ‘crumb’ ” or “I don’t know howor what to invest in, my parent never did” Moreover, we are all on the fast lane, when it comes toexcuses.‘When you do what you fear most then you can do anything’- Stephen RichardsIf you cannot save from a perceived meager earning, it is almost impossible to have anything to revert toon a rainy day. Savings and investments are sacrifices you make not to merely survive but to attain alevel of freedom where you can financially contribute to society. Remember, nothing is quite as baduntil no one benefits. The question is; who benefits from poverty? A wretch-like lifestyle is akin to adesert; always dry, with sheets of undulating dunes, infertile with severe level of attrition. Reclaimingyour life from its current overbearing financial dissatisfaction depends largely on how long you can stillendure and find reasons for lack! Once you come to the realization that financial lack is a devastatingthreat you are ready to break free. When you get to a point where the basic necessities of life do notthreaten your lifestyle, you are indeed financially free. It means you have enough that your basicfinancial commitments can handle and thus the need for worry disappears at least on your financialoutlook.Poverty as it is widely attributed to as the lack or want of ‘money’ is short sighted, poverty relates to asmany other aspects of the social core of the human race. Anyone who cannot mend his moral fabric isall together ethically impoverished. So does same applies to anyone who cannot fully knot the ends ofhis pennies and dollars, such are described as financially poor. 23
  25. 25. My Summaries For Effective LivingSafety Tips on Investment;These are not in any way different from what you get from your local business journals or financialexperts. The unfortunate thing is you never fully steadily continuously apply them for long before youfizzle. It will be of least effect to appeal to you to do anything about your financial life. If you consider itvital, then it can as well sum up as one of the most honourable thing to do. If you desire to restore yourlife, may be not instantly but at least gradually, may be not randomly but for sure systematically, youmay be on your way to smile again. I hope you find these healthy tips constructive enough for use.‘The individual investor should act consistently as an investor and not as a speculator. This means that heshould be able to justify every purchase he makes and each price he pays by impersonal, objectivereasoning that satisfies him that he is getting more than his money’s worth for his purchase’- BenjaminGrahamConsider the following tips1. Save However small, save. Saving is what you do for contingencies; be it on the basis of commercial transactions or other related risk or uncertainties. Emergencies do arise, however hard you hate it. Consider emergencies as battle and savings as one out of the many weapons you will need at the battlefront to outshine the many foes of financial shortfalls. Anyone who decline to prepare for a rainy day, will for a cert be drenched. Perhaps, you opined, ‘my salary is meager!’ well, in view of this discussion, meager is relative and almost insignificant as against the question of priority. If you are not quite as open to saving as you are to spending, your priority is given already. Consult a financial expert who can guide you on the various saving option that can help you. The internet also has various open source platforms where you can beef up you financial intelligence as regards contingent options that reliably can suit your purse. It is plausible to save in order to invest rather than to consume, so you must decide ahead what constitute the headline of your saving interest.2. Commodities/Property option These day properties are assuming one of the most relevant cash source for interested investors. More and more people across the world are trying out various property options across varying choices. Your readiness to identify various investment corners that suit your personality and expression may determine your success rate. Many people today are also considering other options in commodities like gold, silver and other valuable ‘iron’ properties that commands long standing value. With little from what you currently earn, you can pick up a trade selling clothing wares, amongst other lifestyle accessories both for corporate and casual outings. Indeed these are commercial activities you can take advantage of to hit some dramatic exploit in business and build your own empire of trade. 24
  26. 26. My Summaries For Effective Living3. Forex and Stocks Like most other things in life, trading in shares has its own lurking risks and gains. If you possess a little more uncertainty than you are willing to bear and yet are convinced of trying out your chances in stocks, the most reasonable thing to do is to consult with an expert; stockbrokers are always a standing support you can rely on. They can always help you grow your investment, advice you on which stocks to buy and give you potent strategies of engaging the market for you to make your gains. These are valuable, worthwhile investment options that pay off both in the short and long term. The forex market is also becoming a fast means of earning for people who are open to risks. If you are the risk adverse person, you can turn to the thousands of fast growing young talents in that industry who are not only rich in information to teach you but also to trade on your behalf.4. Personal development Investment The question here should be; what are you adding to yourself? What latest knowledge do you possess that can give you a credible opportunity ahead of others? What value(s) do you intend to add to yourself going forward that makes you almost difficult to be displaced? All these require work and a smart drive. For you to possess a leading edge in any matter of life, you need to invest on your level of intelligence. What you know will feed you. If it requires learning a skill, take up your apprentice apron and enroll for one, if it requires you going back to school, what are you waiting for, make enquiries, it is time to learn. You must be willing to invest in books, somebody knows more about what you want to do and already wrote about it; it eases your advancements. So draft the level of skill that your pursuit requires and give it a timeline and a deadline. The man who is yet to be displaced has excellence in intelligence speaking for him.Your ability to build yourself will go a long way to determine your capacity to build others. Your ability tohelp others get as much of what they want only opens doors of better opportunities for you.Be well guided in all your investment options. Make sure where you exercise uncertainty ornervousness, you think and re-think time and again, consult experts specifically in the field or learn theart through time. Know for sure that if you can unknot your financial worries, most of your worries mayjust naturally ease off. So save your time, invest your money and your returns will remain ever-green.Quick Friendly Tips on your Finance Have a financial plan: A goal that is not set is hardly ever achieved. Be financially informed: What you do not know have a greater rule over you, so listen to and read from experts. Attend financial related seminars/workshops/conferences and get financial related resources. Place value of your money always: The extent to which you value your money, to that extent you plan. Be proactive: Think and act ahead of others, the cutting edge in modern trade is intelligence. 25
  27. 27. My Summaries For Effective Living Chapter 6 The Failure’s OpinionA failure is a man who blundered, but is not to cash in on the experiences- Elbert HubbardEven an egg becomes hard as a rock to the inept! To put up a character that makes you appear lazy,inadequate and non-compliant for a task only worsen your chances for personal growth. Of a truth, it isvirtue for a man to pick up his situation and polish it into the precious jewel he so desires. Lesseropportunities await such men who could not mend greater feat out of a chanced fate. To a failure,nothing works! There is rarely a fortune that is awaiting any man any more than that which he is capableof beating out of the crust of his ruins. Whatsoever a man can so imagine is gladly at his beckon call, ifhe will not relinquish his pursuit. We as an entity of life both make a success of our endeavours or wephut and retrogress. In the words of G.K Chesterton, he said, ‘I do not believe in a fate that falls on menhowever they act, but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.’The man of weak character and inclinations will always complain at every given chance. No situation isgoing to be completely ever suitable or satisfactory. Complacency becomes a niche only for anhonourable failure. The breakdown in the mind of people to desire more, to crave for more, to drivethemselves more in the face of unpleasant odds are usually instrumental to defining their true identity.Hardly does a man’s defining moment comes without pain and panic.The letdown of most lives is not in the amount of tragedies they face, not in the amount of wants theylack, not in the number of battles they have fought, but rather in their reluctance to defend themselves.Men rarely win the battle they never confront. Unfortunately, ‘potential failures’ hardly complain abouttheir wrong doing much as they frequently do about what they think is going wrong. There are usuallylists of things that go wrong with a failing life. Let’s touch on some of them.1. Perception Nothing complicates the existence of a man’s life as the complexities in his mental and psychological state. Perception determines realities. People’s position, objectivities and judgment of a condition or situation arises from their perception. If your inward opinion of yourself is pathological, so shall also be your outward realities. Once a person begins to see himself as being ‘too big’ to handle ‘small things’ he consistently becomes ‘too small’ to handle ‘big things’. Perfection arises from handling trifles. If you dwell and arrogate to yourself any position without equal responsibility to match, you are headed on a cause that may soon make mockery of your blunted wit. Where and when much is also expected from you given your expertise and you achieve less, your capacity to add value to self and others may soon begin to attenuate. 26
  28. 28. My Summaries For Effective Living If you do not live up to the position you occupy, there is this growing, collective, natural distrust about your personality and capabilities. Hardly, can he live a life ever so full, a man whose judgments of self is deprived and glum. When childhood unmet expectations and experiences, social depressive conditions and poor self- estimation amongst other tense psychological factors have stolen from a man his self- belief, confidence and grit to eagerly prove himself worthy of a cause, he is soon swept into the cloudburst of pity. At that stage people who should follow you starts to mock you, pity you or rebel against you. Have you not observed as often as I have done that it is usually not the inadequacy of men that often out-play them much as their inability to employ their innate character strength in that corner where they gloriously may find victory howbeit slight. Whatever it takes for you to find your true self in the clouds of wandering illusions, with a diligence mixed with uncompromised purpose find that person and put that person to full use.2. Indecision In similar fashion, does it hit you, how failures indeed lost count on the best time to truly start something worthwhile. Tomorrow is always quite brighter for the indolent. He feels there is a time that every act of nature will work in his favour without a piece trying to be reluctant. There is never be such a time when all the risks and uncertainties of life would have totally disappear unless in the imaginary paradise. The man who will make a difference makes up his mind before the situation hit him unaware. To hire frittered thought on a task that awaits your thoroughness is to waste the chance to become an uncommon hero. Indecision stretches certainty, empowers procrastination and expands the room for slothfulness. Be it today or tomorrow, the undecided fellow is categorically unsure of anything. He promises and fails, he strains and wails and he tries and cracks. He is left desponded on his own business. If you seek make your life become the light that it so is, you must be decided. The decisive man is strong in the face of instabilities, he might not be sure what the end holds, but he is so sure he will run his race bare of disgrace. The few men in the annals of history who have made a firm grip on their pursuit and showed good understanding of life are the ones, who find a way to be decisive. Make up your mind regardless of the pain and ugly debacles you will encounter. If everything were so good, so correct, so complete, there would have been a need for you. The common frailties, little imperfections, slight flaws and petty blots in our planet need you to be decisive. They need men and women who can make up their minds to make the expected change. They need people who can add value to creatures and creations. Your first assignment is to be able to make up your mind on worthy calls, thereafter act. Nothing extends worry as indecision. Eternally hanging on a decision and yet not lifting a finger leaves the fate of a man’s endeavour miserable and pathetic. 27
  29. 29. My Summaries For Effective Living“Decide whether or not the goal is worth the risk involved. If it is, stop worrying”- Amelia Earhart3. Complacency How much more evil can the lazy man cost himself? Lasting distress is one of it; shame and guilt awaits the indolent. You least regret your actions than your inactions; you learn if you fumble (actions), nothing is there to gain from passivity (inaction). What truly pains us the most are those things we could just have done and capable of doing that could make a lot of difference but we never attempted. This is nothing associated with the fear of disappointments but just sheer disregard for responsibility. To be rejected is better than to be irresponsible- men and God may find it difficult if we fail to act when it is most discerning. Sydney Harris counsels, “Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time, it is the regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.” The sense of sudden fulfillment that greets the minds of men has made more failures of them than it has made success. The fatigue, the waste, the despair of never exploring or exploiting an area of potential success singly because of complacency is sometimes fatal; especially when the circumstance becomes irredeemable! To loathe your ability, to scorn your opportunities, to blame your misfortunes on others, to condemn your life, to berate your chances; are all evidences that you unwilling to take responsibilities for your existence. Daily passing through our lives are opportunities we should take advantage of; if it is a phone call, make it, if it is a business plan, write it, if it is an academic institution, attend it, if it is a character flaw, make amends; whatever it is required to be reached for you to arrive at the culminated of your dreams, do not wait or exercise complacence about it. Complacency is a ‘demon’ you must never yield to. Even Michael Angelo on his death bed was noted for saying, ‘I am still learning.’ Never get to a stage in your life when there is nothing more to look forward to, to yearn for, to explore, to pursue and to conquer. It is a sign of self-bewildering adventure when a man asserts, ‘What more do I need?’ or ‘What is left to be achieved?’ Such minds have merely come to the end of a road that has many bends waiting for their voyage. Beware; complacency is the beginning of slow death.4. Fear Most of the ridiculous failures that I have met hide their rationale for not pressing-on on a certain ‘fear(s).’ For example, some self-acclaimed ‘perfectionist’ for fear of committing a mistake, end up making the greatest mistake of all- Never attempting. They gave up trying because they are skeptic! As such they wait to clear their skepticism(s) before they can sail the wild sea to an imagined fair coast. The presumptions of the worst possible outcome do not usually turn out as envisaged. To wait till all the tides clear before a fairy sail is attempted on the open sea is in itself unfair to the cause to which any such minds seek. Life lend itself fairly to every man in that you hardly transit to the next level until you proof you have learnt from it teachings. So life expects you to learn from mistakes not fear them. 28
  30. 30. My Summaries For Effective Living Most of us forget too soon that past unsuccessful efforts are experiences for improved performances. A past that will not repeat itself is a past you have learnt from. A repetitive motion is a clear indication that something is not fully understood. Lord, deliver from the man who never makes a mistake, and also from the man who makes the same mistake twice.’- Dr. William Mayo The essence of experience is not contained in what happens to you, it is chiefly what you are able to transform into through the process. Whenever a past experience halts its repetition, you have learnt and you can thence go and further more fulfilling endeavours with lesser anxiety. Nevertheless, if a repetitive situation stops you from going forward in life, take it, you are on your way to becoming the next in that corner of pursuit. I see no reason why you should make-up such rueful statistic.5. Exiting too early A man who relinquished his dream before it could develop the wings to fly can be likened to a spectator who dashed out of a game before the eventual and long awaited goal was scored. Consider the pick axe; it sometimes cannot cut through some trees in a single strike. There are some battles meant for you to fight more than once before you win. It is a defeatist spirit to stop fighting before you are defeated. There is no such thing as failure for a man who never stopped trying, consistently finding new approach to tackling an old fuss. Until you are internally convinced that your hopes are dashed, the willingness to win never dies. Every triumph is borne out of a struggle. There are no insuperable conditions except the ones you breed in your consciousness. ‘There is no failure except no longer trying. There is no defeat except from within, no really insurmountable barriers save our own inherent weakness of purpose.’- Ken Hubbard. There are seldom more worrisome conditions than seeing people who stopped trying during trying times. Coals will not become diamonds if pressure quits. When people give up all too soon, it becomes impossible for them to know how far they can actually go. No matter how far we have gone, it is always too early to quit! When potential failures place a limit on how far they can go, champions take the baton and go the full hog. Giving up is not an option where you can apply wisdom and where necessary making the needed adjustments for progress. Never fail for the farce that there is an ultimate end to any pursuit, where you lay down your feet another shall soon occupy and make a better feat. The power to stride, to continue to battle, to fight on, to lead a cause of conviction has not final rest. Life is ever an endless course; it is the responsibility of man to keep finding new routes. 29
  31. 31. My Summaries For Effective Living Chapter 7 Self-Effacement‘The minute you start talking about what you’re going to do if you lose, you has lost’- George SchultThere are times when emotional imbalance allows our action to flout our good intensions. Most peopleneed serious lessons to enable them differentiate between the word humiliation and humility. When weviolate our set principles, when we reprimand our ascending positive aims, when we reduce to moremere naught our gracefulness and rescind our power to be in charge of our earthly mandates webecome uncannily powerless. In such instances the natural powers made available within us by agracious creator is left unused. We leave the world no better choice than to abuse us, for same we havedone to ourselves.The feature of low self-esteem is most pronounced in those who have made it habit to think that thepositive contribution they can make to life is too small to be appreciated. Thus, the extent of theirminutiae, to same is their action. They refuse to yield their full self to a world that is ever yearning formore from all. They are soon caught up in this scrawny thinking that results in wasteful assertions andlimping excuses that entangles the bedrock of their innate capabilities. The vast list of people who neversaw themselves worthy enough to write a book, sing a song, paint a desired masterpiece, complete astudy programme, act on stage, participate in a competitive game, go back to school is endless and cansome worth be inundating. The tragedy is that most of them are now six feet below us! There is alwayshope for the living and as such this resource is expected to help you find the courage and motivation towrite your name boldly on the marble of legacy.It is hypocritical for a person to think others are better suited or more qualified for a position they havealso long admired and desired. If you nursed the desire to become a doctor, none is better positioned tobe than you are, unless you give in to your doubt. It only passes for dilettante to think taking pride in anambition is extravagant. When it comes to making positive imparts to accentuate constructive attitudemust never be relegated. To think the best way to shield yourself from envy is to achieve less, do lessand act less then you have the nest of agony crested on your palms. Recall, men do not live with asmuch pain with their actions as they do with their inactions. The only thing that separates a man fromwhere he is and where he aspires to be is what he is doing at the moment. To focus and take strategicactions no doubt separates the men from the boys. Action is critical to success as much as pregnancy iscritical to childbirth. Nobody will get optimal result from any attempt he has given a divided attention.‘Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly’- Robert F. Kennedy 30
  32. 32. My Summaries For Effective LivingThose who had made great exploits from seemingly humbling circumstances, are the few who stride tothe highest point of their aspirations as triumphant heroes and heroines. Michael Jordan was humbledbut refused to be humiliated by the virtues of events surrounding his basketball career. He was not evenconsidered a first choice player for his college team because of his height. His willpower turned aperhaps ball-boy to a ‘super-dunk’ idol. MJ is today recognized as a measuring tape for any would-bebasketball player.One of Nigeria’s fascinating and enigmatic billionaire, Jimoh Buraimoh- a versatile corporate guru,speaker, philanthropist and lawyer still speaks of his humbling beginning but this proud son of abricklayer and pepper seller refused to let a discomfiting background make a mess of his vision. Albeitstreaking scandals, he is today a yardstick for most wannabe Nigerian youth.If anyone should have an excuse to be effaced by the vicissitudes of life it should be Ronan Tenor. Thisrare tenor singer, doctor, and humorist could hardly be seen as a handicap each time he stands to doleout his performance to presidents, corporate moguls, amidst other audiences. Hardly would you knowRonan’s limbs are amputated due to an unhealthy condition he suffered during his childhood years.Ronan had since grew beyond the limitations of his disability and found a voice where many had longbeen silenced because of an unpleasant condition.It is unfortunate and less appealing to know that there are some people who could barely make a lifewithout having to make an excuse or blame others for this misery- they make nothing more! There areleast of most things that can take the place of effort; when you have given your true best and indeedthere is nothing more to give, life will not deny you a faithful reward. Let’s face it, you will least beashamed of your self-acclaimed nature or nurture when you know the reason why you choose to keep alow profile (i.e. to be modest) is nothing related to your inadequacy. However, you will tarnish youropportunities for fame, recognition and acceptance when you exert the least expected energy toanything worth doing. You cannot predict the feat that will churn you into stardom. All that is priced andworth your attention requires your earnest, resolute courage and commitment; the reality of ourexpected outcomes sometime lurks in iotas.It is primitive to grease your capabilities (the volume of your innate power-talents, giftedness, deft) withthe mediocrity of helplessness. Your condition is not quite as trodden or badly smitten as you qualify it.Virtue is beckoning on your prowess-give all you can, live up to expected performance; break the jinx ofill and plain crookedness.You might not have the ‘best chance’ or the ‘most fortuitous’ opportunity to prove your worth in anspiteful situation, but as wrong as you may perceive a situation compared to others, every situation onlymake you stronger with a deliberate commitment to triumph. Give your unreserved all, give your totalbest in the face of every condition you perceive as unsuitable and the end will justify your drive. We allalways have more chances to make a difference everyday perhaps not with an effacing attitude. Howmany chances you notice will be determined by the level of your observance to the possibilities that lurkin oddities. 31
  33. 33. My Summaries For Effective Living Chapter 8 The Art of Listening‘Only say something that you already know, but when you listen you learn what someone else knows’-AnonHow little we count what we gain from listening. Have you ever taken cognizance of the wise? Theylisten than they do talk. The fellow who uses his ears much more than he does his gut seldom fall intotrouble. We fall into unnecessary temptations easier than we could have with hasty comments.Listening to others has many benefits because it gives us the opportunity to hear other people’scontent/contribution, weigh their objectivities before assertive conclusions could be made. There is nobetter way to learn more than to listen. When you listen you open your mind to free information that iscapable of transforming your life, changing your thought and uplifting your spirit. Now, we should bemore specific on what should make up the content and quality of what you should give a listening ear.The shocks of many lives are also not excluded of what they have given thought to listen to. If you lendyour ears to fetish nonsense, your life may be converted into the dwelling of chaos. Apart from otherthings that may be capable of influencing your life, what you see and what you often hear hasoverwhelming powers over you.It truly matters what you open your ears to hear. If you listen more to rotten, messy, stale subjects, youare most likely to go trite and musty yourself. Nothing impairs a man’s mind faster than quantumexposure to repulsive snarls.If you must improve in any field of expertise, there are three things you need to do; 1. LISTEN 2. LISTEN 3. LISTENYou must learn to listen to minds that have done with almost smooth finesse what you seek to achieve.Go to the people who already possess the treasure you seek earnestly. Sit at the feet of sage who havecherished truths about the knowledge you dare to have. The fastest way to access some of the richestinformation in the world is to hear from those who have made all the mistakes you seek to avoid andmade all the success you desire to have. Your limitation is rarely the height of your hill but the amountof rich, qualitative, healthy information that makes the climbing less arduous and hazardous. 27
  34. 34. My Summaries For Effective LivingOnce a man is through with his leniency to listen to others who have better vouchsafe information thanhe sincerely does, he is indeed through with growing intelligently. The aversion to learn from a bodythat supersedes you is most glaring with the way you sometimes interrupt a conversation that is moreor else make your knowledge appear inadequate. Such interruptions are akin to breaking the bonystructure of the human body, how else do you expect it to stand?Seek first to listen and understand others before you seek to be understood. Silence is golden if ittranslates to your healthy mental, logical and emotional development. The silence you borne is not ablank option that further empties your character strength rather it is an option expected to further edifyyour wittiness, purpose and budding progress into a realistic future. Place a caveat of the kinds ofremarks that you expose your mind to. The difference between the intelligent and the ignorant is thequality of information that comes to them daily. Listen more, hear more from sources that edifies youand comforts your spirit. A man will preserve his life more to the extent that he can wisely listen. Haveyou not noticed that you understand, care, appreciate or dissent people based on your assessment oftheir communication?There is no scene where crude, uncouth gullibility is exhibited than in a debate where parties areforcibly trying to make a point at same time. It is a sign they do not have respect or regards for eachother’s stance. Friendliness is at its base during such raspberry. Be aware that everything you know isnot important and you cannot know every important thing. This is the more reason why you must seekto understand others, before you seek to be understood. If you seek to see people show a misdemeanoror disenchantment for each other, watch them in a feat of riotous argument, where none of either partyis disquiet and not in any way ready to listen to each other. A statement, especially when it is carelesscan sometimes put the commentator into speechless trouble. Listening does not make us a fool asthough it sometimes appear. Men can possibly hunt a word; there is yet a trap that will ensnareeffective listening.If you can listen twice as much as you are eager to pass a comment, the level of maturity that you willexhibit will surpass the inhibitions of prejudice. There is no faster end to effective communication thanholding up to understand what the voice from the other end truly meant before you connote what is notintended. Unfortunately, listening is one of man’s poorly developed skills. If you can feed your ears andtame your lips how golden your heart will be.The difference in every era is made not only by what people say, but also the quality of information thatthis passed on to them. The quality of the information that comes across to a man is capable of buildingor destroying him. How then can you ever so hear effectively if you do not ever so listen effectively? Ifyou delay your comments twice than you listen, you possibly may not have as must problem withcommunication. 32
  35. 35. My Summaries For Effective Living‘Men are born with two ears but only one tongue that they might listen twice more than they talk’ –DiogenesAlthough the contrary ensues in most cases; Men had over the ages gone astray because they use theirtongue than they do their ears.A kind of inflexibility grows around the heart of people who spend a lifetime using their mouth muchthan they do their ears. You cannot benefit from people you have never listened to. You are closer tolearning with listening than with any other communication organ. You will become more affable,endearing and lovable if you seek to understand before you are understood.It is easy to twist, manipulate and induce what people say, but same is difficult if you learn to guard yourmouth and open your ears more during a conversation; especially one that is considered wary. Far morereasons exist why the invisible appears near invincible or indivisible. The ability to remain silent until auseful expression is required reduces the vulnerability to err during a dialogue. Silence is a strength thatis hardly empowered or used all through life. Haven’t you observed that people find it difficult to fightthe strategy of a silent man? Everyone may suspect the silence of a man but suspicion is a no brainer forcondemnation.‘Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence’- Leonardo da VinciYou have unseen controlling powers working in your favour each time you allow your lips to rest when itis pointless to talk. Never be quick to say anything howbeit logical that might soil your honour. Thenecessity of silence become inevitable when you realize that your ability to be able to hear and furtherunderstand others only gives you a chance to share in their emotions, feel as close the things that causethem to act in the way they do and be able to provide patient support where necessary and requested.If you are going to stay clear unnecessary trouble, stay off empty, hasty remarks.Your ability to remain silent and guard against the temptation or restiveness to talk where and when it isnot necessary is power. This is opposed to a situation where you are bullied into silence. When youallow yourself to be bullied into silence, you make yourself the victim of other people’s judgment. Howelse do you think the creator communicate with his earthly creatures? He does not until and unless theyare silent. On his own part too, he maintains silence when you make all your inquisitions and desiresknown to Him. Pari Passu, communication between the creator and man is a mutual effort; it requiresthat both parties exercise a level of respect before cooperation can take place.‘We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. Seehow nature- the trees, flowers, grass- grows in slience, see the stars, the moon and the sun, how theymove in silence… we need silence to be able to touch souls’- Mother Teresa 33
  36. 36. My Summaries For Effective LivingWith as much concordance you must find a place in your heart to build a sound level of cooperationwith the creator. You must learn to seek to understand Him; for without this, it is difficult to gain Hisattention, His commitment or His grace. Rule out all inhibition, aberrations and eccentricities….Justlisten. 34
  37. 37. My Summaries For Effective Living Chapter 9 Leadership‘Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, bewithout strategy’- Gen H. Norman SchwazkopfIf there is any topic that has find its way into nearly all books and discussion- it is Leadership. The novelis talking about a protagonist, the political analysts are always assessing political juggernauts far morethan political issues, and the soft sell magazine is sneaking into the privacy and life of celebrities. Thereis hardly any sphere of life where there is breath and life that you do not have people at the centre ofattraction and decision- They are across board recognized as leaders.Basically, everyone is a master at something. At least if you do not occupy a post to lead many, you aresubjected to lead yourself. Nobody needs a test to know that they bore the responsibility at some stageof life to lead a life that they so expect regardless of external influences. The instinct to be there foryourself, to seek independence, to take your own decision, to be able to feed yourself suggestions thatyou consider irreversible by none other than you. The choice to be able to stand alone and see yourselfas the arbiter of certain conclusion as they interfere with your life is called- ‘self-supervision’ or‘personal-leadership.’ Even on some of the most crucial issues of life or the simplest of them all we all ata point have decided to take the steering; the consequences notwithstanding.I am not trying to convince you that you are a leader; I am simply telling you that you are one.Irrespective of the corner of the world you find yourself, regardless of the degree of the responsibilitythat is conferred on you, you are a leader in a dimension that best fit the responsibility that is accordedsuch obligation and the consequences are as well binding. Observe a mass action, independentparticipants at such rallies stand in defense of their individual rights but stand to support the overridingcollective interest. In the event of a reprisal from an opposing faction, it is the strategy to diffuse themass that determines if the upheld interest is subdued or gain feasibility. The man standing on thepodium per chance is merely representing the collective interest; those below him stand in ‘personalobligations’ to defend what they consider a breech to their ‘personal privileges.’ In a struggle, every manis significant in his own right; the space occupied by each person on the march gives the cause credence.Each participant stands responsible for the collective interest which they seek to protect. So a protest isthe confrontation leaders in their respective individual capacities who agglomerate through joint actionsto wrestle situation, condition or state that is perceived unfavourable. 35
  38. 38. My Summaries For Effective Living In whatever form of leadership across the social, political, business, or religious strata, even the personwho is perceived the most weakest have mandatory and principal rights to his opinion and adjoiningconsequences as may have been constituted. Within the circumference of that established right ofexpression and upon an exercise of such right, the person become a leader to an acceptable degree.Being a leader does not mean you have to be prevalently visible, avowed with adulations and overtlycelebrated. It means within the little space where you have the right to exercise a certain degree ofresponsibility, the expected obligation is carried out in the interest of a larger community.As you may be aware, there are varying forms, categories and styles of leadership but for concision andfor you to have a more straight forward grip of the subject I have in this material limited leadership tojust two classes:1. Passive leaders2. Active leadersPassive leadersYou have more of this sect in every organization, group or association. They render support in the groupand give backing even to some of the most outspoken members in an organization and this does not inany way smudge there contributions nor threaten their reputation as part of the think tanks. Howeversoft they appear on the surface they possess in-depth scientific approaches and are highly critical. Theyare the silent strategist and their part is not likely to be noticed in most cases because of their modesty.A group or organization may find it hard to cope with their perceived slow approach, as they areevidently unconcealed perfectionist. They’ll rather prefer that all segments of an action are flawlessbefore the next step is taken. This group is more scientific and lenient.Active leadersThese group are the singled out, conspicuous personalities. They are usually at the top of the pyramid.They are the exposed celebs that everyone wants to mimic, the corporate executive everyone admire,the hardline generals that command respect of all ranks, the spotless religious personalities that wevenerate. They are tactical, tough and articulate. They are popular and in most cases over celebrated.They are charismatic and always immediately receive the backing of others in a group as soon as theyassume office. In some cases, they have accumulated experience and education which enables themeffect quick decision on matters regarding their group. Their tough background cum exposure makes iteasier for them to plot wider stronger schemes. They are often easily irritated and could brush otherswithout emotions. This group is more tactical and strict.It is important to note here that both identified classes are influenced by a lot of factors which couldinclude be physical, biological and environmental. This is where nature and nurture come to play.Whichever of these traits you exhibit, it does not make you weak or strong, it is only an indication thatovertime, and your style is how you interpret the world. 36