Greetings my esteemed friends! Before I begin today’s discussion, I will like to thank everyone of you for the love you showered on me last week on my first article for the Boss Newspapers. I’m truly humbled by your feedback. I thank you for finding the time to not only read the article, but reverting back via email, calls and messages. I’m truly grateful.  For me, it’s always a pleasure to write and share any little information within my disposal to empower humanity. If I may ask, of what value is education and knowledge if not to be shared?

 

On today’s article, we shall be talking about appreciating your location via gratitude.  I choose to write this article because no condition is permanent. This is because the only thing that is constant in life is change.  Therefore in order to appreciate this article, you must have a mindset of gratitude. You must be grateful for whatever you have and wherever you find yourself, because it could be worse. The best way to practice gratitude is learning this four A’s (Admiration; Appreciation, Acceptance Approval). For more details about this A’s look up chapter 8 my book (Design Your Destiny- Actualizing Your Birthright  HYPERLINK “https://www.amazon.com/Design-Your-Destiny-Actualizing-Birthright/dp/1543237533″To HYPERLINK “https://www.amazon.com/Design-Your-Destiny-Actualizing-Birthright/dp/1543237533” Success). I know your might be wondering what’s the article up to, but I plead you to hold your thoughts and appreciate the meal before you.  Be informed, all my article is structured to inspire and empower your mind by making you to think out of the box. I will also liken my article to be like a pendulum because it can swing from time to time.

 

It’s important to note that in this present generation, location is very important and vital factor for any business, opportunity, skills, and information to thrive.  If you are not at the right place, you might loose out when sensitive information is been shared. Location can either make or mar any person. For example, if you have a business and you are not properly situated in the right place you will have a hard time succeeding. If you are a real estate agent, you will definitely know that location is very important in marketing your building. Furthermore, you’ll also know that a house or building in a remote area can have more value within a short period of time depending on various factors which can be attributed to government intervention, economic location, or  rich human and natural resources.

In the contemporary society in which we live today, location is very important. I liken location to networking. However, it’s important to note that, location is not the yardstick for success, rather, it’s only a facilitator for any creative minded person.  In order to appreciate your location, you must know the needs of your environment; identify the problem which is posing like a challenge and be creative in proffering a solution, then sit back and enjoy the resources that will come your way. For example, you might be in a particular environment that needs a particular commodity, but if you have a poor mindset you will have a hard time seeing great opportunities that lie ahead of you unlike a visionary leader with an eagle mindset who will create opportunities for the people around his/her environment by mere observing the needs of his/her environment. I always tell my friends, we all look in one direction, but we don’t see the same thing; we all go through pains but we don’t feel the same thing, we all sit in the classroom, but we don’t hear and understand the same thing. With my little knowledge and experience about life, I have realized that you are the architect of not only your success, but also your life. It doesn’t matter where you are located, it doesn’t matter where you are born, it doesn’t matter if you were born poor, all you need is to look at your environment and see what’s lacking. Most third world countries complain so much to the extent one wonders if someone is the cause of their misery. Every country, State and community is blessed with abundant human and natural resource to sustain it, but due to poor vision, they remain docile and depend on foreign countries for support. This is what makes civilized countries different from third world countries. Civilized countries think out of the box.

Appreciating your environment can lead to various opportunities. There has been various testimonies of people who have succeeded within their locality while there are some who have succeeded with the advancement of technology in civilized climes. Example, David Adeleke aka “Davido” popular Nigeria artist was born in USA but was raised in Nigeria. On November 30,2017 Davido won the best African act at the MOBO Awards and also became the first African artist to perform live at the awards. On June 24, 2018, Davido became the first African-based artist to have received his award on the BET Awards main stage. In his acceptance speech, he urged patrons and American artists to visit Africa and also enjoy the food.  Olubankole Wellington aka Banky W. He was born in the United States to Nigerian parents. His family moved back to Nigeria when he was five years old. After moving to Nigeria in 2009, he established the label in Lagos. His breakthrough debut studio album, Back in the Building was released in 2005 and since then he has been celebrated artist in Nigeria.

Michael Collins Ajereh aka Don Jazzy is a Nigeria self made millionaire Mr. Ajereh found an interest in music early in life in Nigeria and at age 12, began to play the bass guitar. He also gained knowledge of traditional instruments. Ajereh enrolled in business management studies at the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State. Nigeria. Today, he’s one of the most celebrated celebrities in Nigeria.

Chinedu Echeruo is a Nigerian tech entrepreneur and innovator who tapped into the western technology to develop Hopstop.com which he sold to Apple, Inc for a billion dollar. An interesting thing about Mr. Echeruo is that the possibility of attaining this excellent achievement would have been limited if he was in Nigeria. His success story can be routed to USA.

Take my case for instance when I immigrated to USA and joined Nigeria Lawyers Association, I was humbled to serve as the Public Relations Officer for the association during my term in office, I had difficulty in my grammar, I was told by my superior legal colleague I have a bad grammar and that I am from a different world, but fast world four years later, I was  fortunate to have authored an amazing book in USA, a book that has been receiving great commendation from different quarters globally. The interesting thing about case is that, the United States of America was, and still remain instrumental to my success because I had the opportunity to learn from mentors in addition to developing myself using the resources in the system especially using the internet which I may not have been exposed to if I was in Nigeria. There are other people who share similar success stories in their environment. Of particular interest to note is that this great beings weren’t limited by their environment, they looked into themselves and saw the opportunities and solutions that needed to be created in their environment. The moral about this analysis is that, yes, to some extent your environment can facilitate your success, however, the ultimate success must come from you. I strongly believe you can go to heaven from anywhere. Success is not limited to location. If “Davido” was in Atlanta, I doubt if he would have received the kind of fame and ovation he has received globally, same with Bank Wellington and Don Jazzy who took advantage of their environment.

Let’s change the narrative a little bit by looking at the immediate past President of America, President Barack Obama, one wonders if he would have been able to become the president of Kenya assuming he was born and raised in Kenya? I guess, your answer would be like mine if you look at the dirty politics that is being played in most third world countries especially in Africa. But the story is not the same in America. President Obama gave his best to USA, attended the best of colleges and distinguished himself in his personal and professional lives before offering himself to serve USA and he was fortunate to have the opportunity to serve the citizens who believed and contributed both financially and otherwise during his presidential election. The moral here is that, President Obama possessed what Americans needed and he was able to given it them.

Furthermore, I believe given every equal opportunity everybody is a potential achiever, because we don’t have dull brains only brains undeveloped. Therefore, your ability to be creative is very important. It’s important to note that nothing happens without a corresponding action. Relocating to a different environment/country sometimes might not be the best. There are stories of people who left good paying jobs to travel to foreign countries with belief and imagination that they’ll survive by chance or by stroke of luck, forgetting that opportunities meet prepared minds.  In some cases, they become miserable and frustrated in the so –called country and wished they never relocated while some are being forced to do menial jobs despite having outstanding academic qualifications. That being said, it is better to weigh the option available for you in addition to doing proper research before taking the risk.

 

No doubt there are greater opportunities in civilized climes, however, it’s important to note the words of Alice Walker, ‘nobody is as powerful as we make them to be’. This developed countries were made by individuals not ghost, we too can be instrument and vessels of change in our environment. Once you have a good product, the world will surely locate you especially if you are the best version of the product or specially skilled and talented in a particular area of life. According to Steve Jobs “Innovation distinguishes a leader and a follower”. And this is the reason why Muhammed Ali said “The man who has no imagination has no wings”. Do you want to fly? If yes, use your imagination and creativity to invent a product that solves problems for the world. And if you find a problem in your environment, remember the words of  Duke Ellington “A problem is a chance for you to do your best” And by so doing, you will become a man of value that the world will sought after. Indeed, Aristotle was right when he said, The secret to success is to know something nobody else knows.”

 

Furthermore, on the opportunities of appreciating your environment, many people don’t know they can find their dream marriage partners, dream jobs, dream mentors etc; Networking can also make you to be representatives or agents for different international companies in your location or region if you think out of the box.  One of the rubrics in knowing a successful company is by searching to know how visible they are in other jurisdictions. I know a couple of individuals who have representatives in different part of the world. In the world of international business, networking with the right people can create opportunities for you. My candid advise for anyone in search of greener opportunities, please try to figure out what you want to do, identify with your brand, read and research more about the product, offer your time by volunteering for the organization and make yourself readily available because opportunity meets prepared minds

I have heard from hundreds of people who opine that they would have achieved so much assuming they leave in USA, London, or any of the European countries forgetting that it’s not rosy and greener out there.  There are challenges and difficulties associated with such countries depending on their immigration laws and economic polices.  Yes, there may be signs of opportunities, but have you forgotten that there’s risk associated with such environment. For example, one can loose his/her life due to the frustration (rampart and incessant killing) in the system, the environment might not even be conducive for you depending on the kind of business and skill they have. Also, you may even find it hard to survive in the harsh weather not to talk of the frustrations that come with the lifestyle that comes with living and surviving in such environment when the coast is clear, for example when you don’t have the right working papers. Personally, I have no regret living in New York. No doubt, I have had my own challenges and still have, but I still feel I’m much better off living in the USA compared to Nigeria. Do I miss some things in Nigeria, definitely, would I have achieved more? maybe, but I’m not too sure about that. Everything has it own ups and down. I could go on and over, but as the sage says, a word is enough for the wise….

 

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He can be reached via henrous@gmail.com.

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