By Tolulope A. Adegoke
The example of Japan is pertinent here. In the aftermath of the Second World War, Japan’s two largest economic cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were bombed to the ground. Several lives and properties were lost. To put it simply, Japan was reduced to nearly nothing, economically and politically.
Yet, because the Japanese believe so much in their individual and national potentials, they have rebuilt their economy to be one of the best in the world. In fact, in the early 2000s, a Prime Minister of the country, while speaking at the anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing, said that even if Japan were to be placed in a desert, the Japanese would rebuild their nation to become the second largest economy in the world in a short time.
The truth of that statement can be seen all around – especially with the quality and quantity of products manufactured in Japan. In fact, even though Japan currently does not have enough steel to produce vehicle bonnets, nor does it have enough silicon to produce side-mirrors or even enough rubber to produce steering-wheels, yet the country is the highest exporter of cars in the world.
My point is that Japan rose to be an economic giant from being reduced to zero. Despite the odds and pains, it ascended the ladder of greatness among the nations of the world. This teaches us the power of resilience. Every zero status can be reversed if dutifully worked upon.
The wealth of any individual or nation is not found under the feet but in-between the “ears” – that is, the contents of their brain and character. Let’s apply this to Nigeria as a nation, especially to re-orientate its leaders and citizens, the young ones in particular. The real wealth of Nigeria is not in the creeks of the Niger-Delta or anywhere else in the country. It is neither in the abundance of crude oil nor in the vast mineral resources all over the country. The real wealth lies in the country’s heterogeneous population. Yes, let me repeat it – It is the very citizens of the Nigerian nation that are usually considered the least of its resources (the zero resources) that are its hope and future. This is because right in them lie the ability, acumen and determination to harness and utilise the various natural, mineral and petroleum resources of the nation in line with God’s purpose for its existence.
In truth, the so-called valuable resources that people often jostle and sometimes tussle to get from the ground are not the real resources of any nation; the true resources are the citizens – the often overlooked treasures who have several divinely-endowed potentials in them. Sadly, many of these die daily, before their time, and go the grave with their potentials in them. No wonder the late Myles Munroe said that the richest place on earth is the cemetery!
Before proceeding to the next phase in which we shall be exploring detailed principles on positively empowering our zeroes, I need to reiterate here that, when it comes to this noble task, nothing is impossible! Only change is constant in life. Everyone can improve at anything and at whatever level, provided that he or she is willing enough to undergo the required processes of development.
My point is that your life can experience a revolutionary change, as long as you are ready to learn, follow the footsteps of champions and apply other essential life-changing principles from the Scripture and other relevant sources.
Let me illustrate this truth with the experience of D.W Ghent who was said to have participated in Dale Carnegie’s public speaking programme in Philadelphia. Shortly after the opening session, Ghent had invited Carnegie to lunch with him in the manufacturers’ club. Ghent was a middle-aged man and had always led an active life; he was head of his own manufacturing establishment and a leader in church work and civic activities. While they were having lunch that day, he leaned across the table and said: “I have been asked many times to talk before various gatherings, but I have never been able to do so: I get so fussed, my mind becomes an utter blank: So I have side-stepped it all my life. But I am now on a board of college trustees. I must preside at their meetings. I simply have to do some talking…Do you think that is possible for me to learn at this late date in my life?”
“Do I think, Mr Ghent?” Carnegie replied. “It is not a question of my thinking. I know you can, and I know you will if you only practise and follow the directions and instructions.”
Mr Ghent wanted to believe what Carnegie had said, but it seemed too rosy, too optimistic. So he said, “I am afraid you are you are just being kind; you are merely trying to encourage me.”
After Mr Ghent had completed his training, he and Dale Carnegie lost touch with each other for a while.Some years later, however, they met again and lunched together at the Manufacturers’ Club. They sat in the same corner and occupied the same table that they had on the first occasion. Reminding Ghent of their former conversation, Carnegie asked him if he really had been too optimistic then. Ghent took a little red-backed notebook out of his pocket and showed him a list of talks and dates for which he had been booked. “And the ability to make these,” he confessed, “the pleasure I get in doing it, the additional service I can render to the community – these are among the most gratifying things in my life. Not only have I given countless public speeches, but just recently I was chosen from all the community leaders in this city to give the introduction when David Lloyd George (then the Prime minister of Great Britain) addresses a mass meeting in Philadelphia.”
Yet, this was the same man who had sat at the same table less than three years before and solemnly asked Carnegie if he would ever be able to talk in public!
We find another amazing proof that nothing is impossible when it comes to transiting from a zero to a hero in the case of the biblical David. The inspiring story of his rise from a despised shepherd boy to a renowned warrior and revered king begins from I Samuel 16. Here, we are told how God, who had seen his commitment to duty and passion for service in the loneliness of the mountains and valleys where he cared for his father’s sheep, sent Samuel to anoint him Israel’s next king, following the rejection of Saul. Being the family’s zero, however, nobody had initially considered presenting David as one of the sons of Jesse – yet the Almighty God who rewards enthusiasm for greatness found him out and he was anointed. It was after this that he killed Goliath before the Philistines and the Israelites. He became a military general of Israel at the very tender age of 17.
David eventually ascended the throne, despite various attempts by Saul to kill him. He started as a zero but eventually emerged a hero! He diligently went through the rough but refining and toughening process of his transition through his strength of character, fear of God, unwavering courage and undaunted self-belief.
I tell you, friend, you too can rise from your present level to an exceedingly glorious and influential one. This is the will of God for you.
Watch out for the Book titled: “The Power of an Empowered Zero” (From Zero to HERO) by Tolulope A. Adegoke. Foreword by Dr Yomi Garnett (CEO/Chancellor, Royal Biographical Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S.A., 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: firstname.lastname@example.org@gmail.com