Opinion: The Power of ‘Zero’

By Tolulope A. Adegoke

“Don’t ever say somebody is useless. You are not even insulting the person; you are insulting the God that created the person.”– Chris Imafidon

Some years back, former Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron, had an unusual bet with Chris Imafidon, a Nigerian-born professor at Oxford University. Imafidon’s child had just passed the UK’s General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) examination at the age of six. GCSE is an examination mostly taken by teenagers in secondary school; so, the achievement of Imafidon’s daughter was a spectacular feat that had stunned the entire country and the world at large.

To the Prime Minister, however, the youngster’s achievement was not totally unexpected – after all, her father had been a very intelligent scholar himself. But Imafidon made it clear to the Prime Minister that his daughter’s achievement had nothing to do with gene but with proper nurturing and mentoring. Still, the PM was unconvinced; as far as he was concerned, people who did well in academics or in life generally did so because they were born to be great.

However, to prove to the PM that with the right orientation and motivation, everyone is a potential success, Imafidon asked the British leader to allow him work on the worst performing students in the worst performing schools in the UK for just nine months to see the difference. Cameron, of course, laughed it off as a practical joke and thus came the bet – 25 million dollars for whoever proved to be right.

To the Prime Minister’s astonishment, nine months later, the selected students had been transformed from seeming lazybones and never-do-wells to geniuses and go-getters!


Life-Changing Secrets

What secret had the seasoned professor discovered that gave him such confidence, to the point of sealing it with such a mammoth bet? And why has he become so good at transforming “dullards” to prodigies? Incidentally, when he attended the convocation ceremony of University of Ilorin (Nigeria) in 2014 and everyone’s attention was focused on the best performing students, Imafidon specifically asked for the so-called worst performing students so he could give them scholarships – much to the consternation of all. Again, why did he have to do so?

Below is the answer he gave in a recent interview, and I want you to pay particular attention to it because it forms a good foundation for the life-changing secrets that you will be discovering throughout this write-up (leadership manual):

“Shakespeare said some people are born great while others achieve greatness, and some others have greatness instilled in them; giving us a suggestion that when God makes people, He makes some one way and the others another way. God is not jobless to make some human beings with half brains. Don’t ever say somebody is useless. You are not even insulting the person; you are insulting the God that created the person.

That exactly is the central message you will find in this write-up (leadership manual). Nobody was born to live and die as nobody (without fulfilling purpose). In fact, as psychologists and educationists would tell us, every child comes into the world with a blank mind (tabula rasa) that is eagerly waiting to be nurtured and developed into something exceptional. Sadly, only very few people take the time to work on themselves so as to live and die as heroes. Why is this so? Well, it is because these are the ‘few’ who choose to get empowered and encouraged to leave a mark on earth so as to leave their footprints in the sky, while the remaining majority are often the ones that are too ignorant or carefree about their latent potentials that they fail to take the necessary steps that will unleash their greatness.

A Pleasant Surprise

Contrary to what many people think, zero could be likened to be a number (0) (i.e.  pregnant with hopes and dreams, also could be an attempt); it does not mean ‘nothing’. The reason is because while ‘nothing’ may have no hope or signify hopelessness, the number ‘zero’ has hope because it is a feminine number (i.e. having tendency to become greater or better, which, when empowered by applying some strategic principles, has the power to reproduce other greater numbers till infinity!

What this means is that the number zero, being feminine, has the innate capacity to mother and multiply other numbers when empowered! In other words, zero is a latently loaded entity that is capable of exceeding expectations when properly empowered.

Now, you may be wondering how this applies to you. Here it is. It is possible that there are aspects of your life in which you are being belittled by people around you. They see you as a zero, thinking you are nothing and can become nothing significant in life. The good news for you is that as long as you have the breath of life from God in you, you are not nothing. Yes, it may appear you’re a zero because you have not been able to achieve anything significant in your life; but I repeat – you’re not nothing!

Nothing means “non-existent”. But you are existing! God specially fashioned you in a unique way to exist for a purpose. This is the secret you need to discover and rouse yourself to.

Here is my exact point:  A zero can only be useless as long as it remains the way it is. However, with the right efforts and connections, that zero can surpass other numbers. You can only be truly considered a failure the day you stop trying to excel; the day you stop trying to empower yourself with the right knowledge and skills and associating with the right people. I assure you that regardless of what people may have said about you or how many times you have failed or “messed up”, you can still, like the biblical Jabez who was labelled to be a zero in life, become much more “honourable” than all the people around you (1 Chronicles 4:9-10).

Cheer up, dear, friend. Whatever label of negativity that might have been attached to you, you just must refuse to accept it. Regardless of how many times you have failed, you just must not remain on the floor! Only a zero that is not empowered by ‘additions and multiplications’ will remain fixed. Don’t be rooted to the spot of obscurity, defeat, regret and shame. Rise up and get empowered!

(…to be continued…)

Thank you all for reading. I trust that you have been activated!

Watch out for the Book titled: “The Power of an Empowered Zero” (Awakening the Giant Within You) by Tolulope A. Adegoke. Foreword by Dr Yomi Garnett (CEO/Chancellor, Royal Biographical Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.SA., U.K., Abuja, Nigeria.) Edited by Ola Aboderin.

Tolulope A. Adegoke is an acclaimed “globalpreneur”, with the mandate to enrich lives and provide the professional, spiritual, academic and leadership empowerment needed to birth, maximize and sustain possibilities in peoples, corporates and nations. He is a prolific writer, frequent keynote speaker and spoken word poet, among others, having written countless articles in diverse reputable fields and honoured many public invitations.

He is also a Senior Administrator.

Tolulope Adegoke can be booked for public events via the contacts below:

E-mail: adegoketolulope1022@gmail.com


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