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If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.- Jack Dixon

One thing that is hard to argue with is results; it is hard to argue with because, as they say: “you have the right to your opinion but not your own facts.” The thing about results is that it shows up as the truth, and as Winston Churchill once quipped: “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”. Your Results would cancel the Insults, and you would eventually be called to Consult. Your results are the quickest way to access where you are right now and where you want to go.

Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t. check the scoreboard.- Jayz

Result is what gets a young person like Mark Zuckerberg (creator of Facebook) multiple invitations to the white house and Capitol Hill; Result is what makes Warren Buffett pledge $37 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Result is what makes Barack Obama through his manifesto of hope (Yes we can) become the first African-American president of the United States, Result is your six-packs showing up after repeated work out in the gym, Result is graduating with fly colors after consistent study. Result: They don’t Lie.

One of my favorite verses from the Christain scripture is Proverbs 22:29, “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” Your results are a mirror of your discipline, efforts, and sacrifice in life, gym, library, body, and health. As Author & Motivational Speaker Jim Rohn often said: “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” Long term success requires paying the price through discipline, sacrifice, and effort.

“You can map out a fight plan or a life plan, but when the action starts, it may not go the way you planned, and you’re down to your reflexes – that means your [preparation:]. That’s where your roadwork shows. If you cheated on that in the dark of the morning, well, you’re going to get found out now, under the bright lights.”― Joe Frazier

We live in a world where an entrepreneur does not have a business, an author does not have a book, an artist does not have a single, a web developer does not have a website, a life coach does not have their shit together, a world where anyone can call themselves anything but the thing about results and number is that they don’t lie, like Jay-z said you just need to check the scoreboard.

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” – Winston Churchill

In his great book, Developing the Leader Within You 2.0, Author John C Maxwell shares a great story about getting results:

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.Bill Gates

Staying Hungry when you are achieving success is very hard as Bill Gates once quipped: “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” Successful people and teams always have to deal with this issue at some point in their life/career; the ability to still stay hungry when you are achieving success and not get content/complacent is a great skill needed to stay at the top.

Staying grounded in the midst of success and not getting carried away with the praise, awards, recognition and all the rewards of succeeding can be very tempting. We all want to be recognized for our initiative and success but it can get into our heads which invariably leads to complacency and laziness among other self-defeating behaviors

Never let success get to your head and never let failure get to your heart.

Darren Hardy, Author and Former publisher of SUCCESS Magazine, in his great book: The Compound Effect noted that:

“The truth is, complacency has impacted all great empires, including, but not limited to, the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and English. Why? Because nothing fails like success. Once-dominant empires have failed for this very reason. People get to a certain level of success and get too comfortable.”

People get to a certain level of success and get too comfortable.

Someday – The legendary place where your hopes, dreams, goals, and aspirations all magically come to fruition.

Someday is dangerous and paralyzing. It traps you in the land of Nowheresville.

What do you want to become when you grow up? It is one of the silly questions you get asked by adults who are also yet to figure out their lives; what they don’t tell you is that they live a script you might follow someday. The Script was handed to them by the society, their parents, their caregivers, and their indoctrination by the school system. We get domesticated to stop listening to our inner voice, and we become fixated on the future, someday. A lot of us live on a deferred life plan, always looking to do everything in the future.

The script goes thus: Go to school, get good grades, graduate, get a good job, get married, have kids, and DIE. If you deviate from that script, you get called a rebel, maverick, a black sheep for going against the herd or the groupthink. The “what you want to become question” makes a lot of us to be more interested in the Event (future) than the Process (Routine, Habits). We go to jobs we don’t like, share one-third of our lives with colleagues we can’t stand, to get the money to impress people who don’t give a sh*t about us.

Wooden Allen once quipped,  ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.’ When we eventually grow up after our indoctrination and domestication, we begin to live by the script and settle for less than we can become; this is when we start to live in the Someday Island. We say things like Someday I will start that business, Someday I will quit my job when I have saved enough money, Someday I will travel when…Someday I will give to the needy when…Someday I will…When…Fill in the gap.

In his book, No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline, Brain Tracy writes about the Someday Isle:

Archimedes once quipped, Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world. ‘. The most successful people in the world are masters in the use of leverage to achieve their goals; they use other peoples money (debt), other peoples time (team), other peoples failures (study), etc. Success always leaves clues, there is nothing new under the sun, it is not what you do but how it is done.

Your time is limited and finite but you can leverage your time by amplifying your efforts by using other peoples resources like debt, creating a great team, use the internet as a lever, use your talent to create a product such as a book (royalties), master a craft/be exceptional on a domain (Play basketball at Lebron James level and you could leverage that skillset to be extremely wealthy but the challenge is most of us want Lebron kind of wealth but we are not ready to be obsessed or practice at his level.

How does a 19 year Harvard drop out create one of the most profitable businesses in recorded history? Mark Zuckerberg surrounded himself with smart people like Sean Parker (Napster) who connected him to people like Peter Thiel (Paypal) and studied people like Donald E. Graham (Washinton Post). He Sought out mentors and employed the smartest people around him. This strategy is common among ultra-successful and wealthy people, they only work with the best and leverage resources masterfully.

In his book The Fastlane Millionaire, MJ DeMarco shared a great story on the power of leverage, he shared the insight through a great parable:

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. – Seneca

Luck is said to be when preparedness meets opportunity; successful people always create their luck through hard work, persistence, perseverance, and consistency. Warren Buffet often attributes his success to winning the gene lottery and Hardwork (Nature Nurture). Others like the sports stars we adore, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lebron James “Laboured Under Correct Knowledge” to achieve their mastery and success.

We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.’ – Archilochus

The successful among us, they worked relentlessly, they grinded, had sleepless nights, watched less TV, they had a vision, and they executed. They had doubts, fears, resistance but they followed through with routine, self-discipline, habits, execution and they eventually created their luck.

You can map out a fight plan or a life plan, but when the action starts, it may not go the way you planned, and you’re down to your reflexes – that means your [preparation:]. That’s where your roadwork shows. If you cheated on that in the dark of the morning, well, you’re going to get found out now, under the bright lights.― Joe Frazier

A lot of the people that we adore in life have an unrivaled work ethic; they are always the hardest workers in the room, they are the first to get to the gym or library, but they are the last to leave. As Will Smith and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would often say, “You would not outwork me.” Their work ethic gives them the result in the long run as they profoundly understand that we either have the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The successful ones among us always choose the self-discipline, which leads to them creating their luck and success.

Shallow men believe in luck. . . . Strong men believe in cause and effect. –  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.—Mahatma Gandhi

The root word of education is derived from the latin ‘educo”, which means to educe, to draw out, to develop from within. Education is different from schooling which is the training we go through in formal institutions of learning. The formal education system is supposed to draw out our innate abilities and make us become more curious and self aware but most of us don’t have this experience.

Lifelong learning is the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated” pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. Our schooling is supposed to make us Lifelong learners who are curious and adapting to the ever-changing world of work and life. A typical college graduate has not finished a book since leaving school as they equate the end of school to the end of learning. In an ever-changing world of work where Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence, Efficiency, and cost-cutting are the order of the day, been a life long learner and problem solver are skillsets valued in the workplace.

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.—Daniel J. Boorstin

According to Napoleon Hill in his Seminal Book, Think and Grow Rich, he said:

An educated man is not, necessarily, one who has an abundance of general or specialized knowledge. An educated man is one who has so developed the faculties of his mind that he may acquire anything he wants, or its equivalent, without violating the rights of others.

There is so much good in the worst of us, And so much bad in the best of us, That it hardly behooves any of us
To talk about the rest of us. – Edward Wallis Hoch

We all fall into the trap of jumping into conclusions even when we don’t have all the facts, we conclude using limited data. We jump into conclusions using various strategies such as Mind Reading, Labelling, Fortune Telling, Mislabelling, among other things. Like Mark Twain once quipped, it is not what we don’t know that get us into trouble, it is what we think we know for sure that ain’t so.

Jumping to conclusions is a psychological term referring to a communication obstacle where one “judge[s] or decide[s] something without having all the facts; to reach unwarranted conclusions. In other words, “when I fail to distinguish between what I observed first hand from what I have only inferred or assumed”. Because it involves making decisions without having enough information to be sure that one is right, this can give rise to poor or rash decisions that often cause more harm to something than good.

Imagine yelling at a stranger at a park because they are not responding to you, only to discover they are deaf, Many relationships have been ruined as a result of jumping into conclusions, your husband is talking to a male friend named kiki but you assume he is having an affair, your friend did not return your email or phone call and you conclude he is ignoring you but on further investigation, he just lost his mum or he died last week,

Desire hath no rest, is infinite in itself, endless, and as one calls it, a perpetual rack, or horse-mill.

Making more money, getting married, buying a new car, giving birth to a child, moving into your house, all these are great achievements, but they would not make you happy. When we get what we want eventually, we ask ourselves, is this all there is? We overestimate how happy we would become when we achieve some of these goals and aspirations. The reason for this tendency is called Hedonic Treadmill/Adaptation.

Hedonic Treadmill is the observed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes. Human desire is insatiable; we are always reaching for something, a new car, more money, a destination which, when we eventually get there, we realize it is a journey and not a destination. We say to ourselves, If and when I get that job, that car, that pay raise, buy that house, we would be happy, but unfortunately we don’t get that happiness we think we should get.

Hedonic Treadmill is the observed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes.

If I can’t have it, neither can you.

The Crab in the barrel mentality is a metaphor derived from a pattern of behavior noted in crabs when they are trapped in a bucket. While anyone Crab could easily escape, its efforts will be undermined by others, ensuring the group’s collective demise. It is a way of thinking that says If I can’t have it, get it or do it, then neither can you, and if you try, then I would go out of my way to bring you down.

The Crab in the barrel mentality can be observed everywhere, such as the workplace, families, friends, and places of worship. The moment you try to leave the stereotype or comfort zone, the crabs in the barrel are always there to bring you down to their level. It is not a great place to be in as you naturally expect people in your clan to be happy for you, but they usually are not.

They begin to call you names such as you are a sell-out, you sold your soul to the devil, you have changed (seriously how are you not supposed to change? ), that is the hallmark of growth. This behavior eventually leads to envy, jealousy, hatred, and other harmful actions against the successful individual. It can be exceedingly hurtful as you notice the behavior from people very close to you, your family members, and friends. They smile in your face but backstab, gossip and insult you in your absence

A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.- John A. Shedd

Author Steve Pressfield, in his very great book, The War of Art, share some very great insight about the crab in the barrel mentality:

Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.

The Law is as absolute as the law of gravity: What you sow is what you reap. If you sow hard work, you realize the result of your hard work – Success; If you sow laziness, you reap the outcome of your inactivity – failure. Garbage In, Garbage Out. What you give is what you get. You cannot get out of life what you are not willing to put into it. If you want more affection, give affection more affection. If you want to succeed, help others achieve greater results.

For Example: You want to start a business today and become Bill Gates tomorrow; it does not usually happen like that; it involves sowing the habits of persistence, perseverance, consistency, good routine, hard work, grit, and an element of LUCK (Labouring Under Correct Knowledge) and you would eventually reap the reward of fame, success, stardom, and fulfilment.

If you work hard, what is hard would eventually work, but if you take shortcuts, you would be cut short.

 The moment you understand the law of cause and effect, sowing and reaping, you just need to do your best always, work hard, and let the universe take care of the rest. If you work hard, what is hard would eventually work, but if you take shortcuts, you would be cut short. It can be extremely hard at times when you give your all, but you don’t get the result, keep pushing, the result would eventually come.

One of the reasons people don’t achieve their dreams is that they desire to change their results without changing their thinking. But that’s never going to work. If you expect to reap corn when you planted nettles, you’re not going to get corn—no matter how much time you spend watering, fertilizing, or cultivating your plants. If you don’t like the crop you are reaping, you need to change the seed you are sowing!

Here are some great insights on the law of causation: What you sow is what you reap.

There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs.- Thomas Sowell

Life is a fight for territory; we are always trading off something for yet another thing: your Work or Your Marriage, Your Mental Health, or Mindless scrolling on social media. Unfortunately, there is always a trade-off. The question is not if you are trading off something; instead, the question is, what are you trading off?

Take, for instance, you run a not-for-profit organization, but you are attending conferences all year round, all over the world. The trade-off would probably be less time working on your project. Another example is social media/instant messaging, picking up your phone every 15 minutes to check the latest updates for the dopamine rush. Still, the trade-off is either having less face to face conversations or having less time to work on your goals. You get the drift, most times you cannot have it all.

trade-off /ˈtrād ˌôf/ noun : a balance achieved between two desirable but incompatible features; a compromise.

In her 2014 Dartmouth Commencement Speech, Shonda Rhimes delivers a very compelling speech on trade-offs:

Focus is a matter of deciding what things you’re not going to do.—John Carmac

Learning to say NO to our friends, colleagues, and family is one of the hardest decisions we are faced with on an ongoing basis. It is usually extremely hard for a lot of us to say NO because of our upbringing, it is kind of not culturally accepted to say NO, you hear words like you are been selfish. We are trained to be courteous and polite.

Anytime you say: “yes” to one request you might have to defend it over time with 100 NOs, there is always a trade-off. If you say yes to mindless social media scrolling or picking up your phone to check WhatsApp messages every 15 minutes, you are saying NO invariably to your dream of writing a book or a blog post article. A lot of us find it hard to say NO to peoples requests because we do not have clear goals, values, priorities, and boundaries.

The key to saying NO is to say it graciously and with utmost sincerity. You can say something like: Thank you for the offer/invitation but due to my other commitments, I can not do this right now. Honesty is the best policy, mean what you say and say what you mean. No need to promise people what you know you are not going to do, this eventually leads to resentment and loss of trust in the relationship.

Setting boundaries with people can be very hard but it is one of the keys to having a fulfilled life. We often are apt to help our loved ones but at times they need to learn from the experience. I am not advocating not helping each other but there are some scenarios where we need to let someone learn from their issue/problem. When we allow people to make their problem our problem, we are not helping them but we are just enabling them.

Once we take their problem for them, all we’re doing is taking away their ability to solve it.

The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely the one who dropped it. – LOU HOLTZ

Taking full responsibility for your life, your actions, your failures, your successes, is one of the major keys to success. It involves quitting the blame game, quit blaming the government, your spouse, your parents, your frenemies, your enemies, internet trolls et al. Whatever would go wrong usually would go wrong (Murphy’s Law) but when things go wrong like they often do, do not go wrong with it or blame anyone.  It is easy to stay positive when things are going right, the challenge is how you would react when things don’t go the way you want it to happen.

The Blame Game precedes you and I as it was said to have started in the Garden of Eden, Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the snake but the snake did not have a leg to stand on.

The concept of sin in most religions enables blaming as the doctrine goes: Whenever you do something wrong, you would be punished, commit a sin and the consequence is punishment. Hence this leads to people blaming others for their actions in other to avoid punishment. The number one culprit we blame for our irresponsible action is satan(devil), you hear the familiar word: ” It is the work of Devil “.

Until you accept responsibility for your life, someone else runs your life – orin Woodward

Taking full responsibility is not an easy task especially when you have not been brought up/groomed like that. We are in a world where we are constantly comparing ourselves to each other, in a social media age where it is always green at the other side, The day that changes your life is when you take 100% (Full) responsibility for your life.

There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you. – J.K.Rowling

To help you navigate the 100% responsibility journey, here are some great insights from top minds:

In the Seasons of Life, Jim Rohn share the following insight:

I would be experimenting with going 21 days without complaining, the challenge is inspired by Will Bowen, a Kansas City minister who wrote the book: A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted. I have ordered the complaint-free bracelet and I know it is not going to be easy, as I have become more conscious of my complaining tendency after reading the book.

It is going to be a roller coaster ride and am taking some measures to make the challenge easier such as making a list of the people I complain to the most, start noting things I complain most about, triggers for complaining, limit time on social media, avoid chronic complainers, find a complaint-free buddy et al.

It is not complaining to speak directly and only to the person who can resolve an issue

The Complaint Free Challenge

Putting a purple silicone bracelet on your wrist and then switching it from wrist to wrist every time you complained, until you completed twenty-one consecutive days without complaining, criticizing, or gossiping. In so doing, you would have formed a new habit. By becoming conscious of and changing their words, they have changed your thoughts and begun to create your live by design.