Opinion

Opinion: Empowerment for Peak Performance

By Tolulope A. Adegoke

“Sacrifice is the scar(s) we bear in the course of carrying our crosses towards obtaining our crowns. There is no star without a scar! The scar of every star is sacrifice. It is nothing else! It is simply the ticket towards delivering possibilities. Don’t be fooled, sacrifice involves your full attention and absolute dedication, as it is an intentional or deliberate act of provoking desired timely results without negotiating or dining with slothfulness and excuses.”Tolulope A. Adegoke

 Sacrifice means going the extra mile, paying the extra price and taking the extra-steps to deliver your mandates! Your extraordinary inputs determine your extraordinary impacts! You need to go the extra mile in your ‘disciplined’ life. You must pay the extra price in your ‘diligence’, then the star in you emerges! Do not envy success, envy sacrifice! Many around the world are embodiments of extra-ordinary potentials, gifts, but have found themselves in fields that are different from their real (divine) calling(s). For example, some are gifted footballers by having found themselves in the Engineering sector… Not until they subject themselves to the diligent sacrifices of football training and timing (age-wise), such people will not manifest or fulfil their original destiny. They would only be engineering stars by chance or by force. It takes sacrifice for the star’ in us to manifest!

You cannot eat your cake and have it! You cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs! Not even faith is a substitute for sacrifice. Vision is not a substitute for sacrifice! Sacrifice is a covenant requirement of every kingdom star! Apostle Paul in the Book of Philippians1:21 (KJV) said: “for me to die is gain, for me to live is Christ.” I will rather die than allow anyone make my glory in Christ vain is a typical description of the termSacrifice. Being crucified with Jesus Christ is Sacrifice!

Every star has a story of sacrifice to tell!

“If you do not improve on where we live off, then you are a failure!”- Bishop David O. Oyedepo

The above means that, you must wake up from your slumber and invest your time in creating the future that you desire! Until you do what others do not do, you will still remain on the same spot as others! You must therefore wake up and tell yourself the bitter truth and design for yourself a new programme and do not end the year without a schedule for next year and a lifetime goal…This would show that you are really a serious entity on a mission to deliver your world from its aches!

Even Jesus Christ, the most anointed said in Luke12:49-50 (KJV): “I have come to set fire on the Earth…I have a baptism to be baptized with and now am I stretched until it be accomplished.”  Anyone that desires to have a “global impact” must pay a “global price”!

You cannot have it until you pay its ultimate worth! You cannot have your crown, not until you are done with the cross!

“Every seed of Abraham is a seed with potentials for global impacts (Genesis22:17-18)” “And if ye be Christ’s, ye are Abraham’s seed and according to the promise (Galatians3:29).”

You are here on Earth for global impacts; you are not here for survival! Global Impacts is about being a positive influence all across the world on humanity in your area of calling(s), chosen career(s) or field(s).

I strongly believe that you would manifest greater grace of positive impacts all across the world all to the glory of God Almighty if you would be willing to pay greater prices than many great men have paid in the past in order to be the “moves” and “waves” of the “movements and trends” and affluence in their generation(s). Until you pay the greater price(s), you cannot generate greater value(s). For whatsoever a man sows, he shall reap!  What is only waiting for you in the future is simply your investment in today! We need to be prepared to at least start aspiring to do a few things we can do, then the grace will flow in on us to do more/greater! It is then we would be able to soar higher than the Eagles because the skies would have simply been transformed into our starting point!

Ultimately, you must discover your area of calling or field, so as to be sure that you are not investing in the wrong direction. Your vision must be clearly defined so as to fully understand your mission and then empower yourself for possibilities in that field. According to 2Timothy 2:15 (KJV): “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Acquire relevant skills, apply the spiritual knowledge and understand the needs of your environment in relation to your “Empowered Zero.”

Your ‘field’ is the ‘green pastures’ where your flocks feed through your properly “Empowered Zero”, which is harnessed or directed as solutions towards meeting the timely demands and needs of peoples, corporates and nations. 

Harnessing your ‘Empowered Zero’ is the full-scale methodological applications in a bid to impart your world with the treasures that lie in your earthen vessel!

To empower in this context means to positively influence, affect or fuel something or someone or a place to become useful or better towards emerging/fulfilling or serving the real and full purpose of which it was originally created! You must come to understand that no one is indispensable, nothing last forever, change is constant and there is always room for improvement to be able to transit from Zero to Hero. Zero to Hero in this context is not limited or restricted to individuals or peoples alone but it touches as well the Corporate world and Nations, thereby enlightening us that we can always be better, come what may!

Perkins and Zimmerman, 1995; Rappaport,1981; Zimmerman and Warschausky 1998 mentioned that: “Empowerment is both a value orientation for working in the community (practical) and a theoretical model for understanding the process and consequences of efforts to exert control and influence over the decision(s) that affect one’s life, organizational functioning, and the quality of Community life.”

The value of orientation of empowerment suggests goals, aims and strategies for implementing change. Empowerment provides principles and a framework for organizing our knowledge and lifestyle.

Empowerment is the capacity of individuals, groups and/or communities to take control of their circumstances exercise their might so as to achieve their own goal, and the process by which, individually and collectively, they are able to help themselves and others to maximize the quality of their lives.  Also, it could be described as an intentional, ongoing process which is centred in the local community involving mutual respect, critical reflection, caring and group participation, through which people lacking an equal share of resources gain greater access to and control over those resources.

 Empowerment as a “process”

Empowerment is the process of obtaining basic opportunities for marginalized (underrated) people, either directly by those people; through the help of non-marginalized others who share their own access to those opportunities or by divine order and impartation. It also includes actively thwarting attempts to deny those opportunities. Empowerment also includes encouraging and developing the skills for self-sufficiency with a focus on eliminating the future need for charity or welfare in the individuals of the group. This process can be difficult to start and to implement effectively but it takes adequate readiness (preparation) and the ability to humbly follow directives and instructional guidance. Above all, it takes the ability to sacrifice your time, pride, planting your seed(s), exploring your potentials, turning or furnishing your talents into skills and start earning from it. These are simply cultivation processes of turning (empowering) your zero into being your HERO!

The word EMPOWERMENT is the combination of three cogent words as stated here: EMPloy POWER for increMENT – which simply means to Employ POWER for Increments (that is, to be MORE). To Employ means to engage or make use of something, while POWER equals to ABILITY (to do). Increment is a degree by which something is made larger or greater. It could also be said to be ‘the action or process of INCREASING, especially in quantity or value. It is something gained or added. We can, therefore, say that EMPOWERMENT is the Engagement of the Ability (that is, what it takes) or techniques to Increase in value or quantity.

EMPOWERMENT is the intentional act of yielding to a course, for a cause to being better or transformed from zero to HERO, from nobody to Somebody, from nothing to something, from insignificance to Significance, from raw to refined, from talents into Skills, from mere Skills into Value, and from Values to REWARDS!

Empowerment is the awakening of the Giant that lies within us as individuals for the deliveries of possibilities. It is an infinite exercise of working tenaciously to become better at something or to become a Master, by intentionally subjecting one’s self to learning at the feet of Masters the ‘HOW’ to becoming the ‘WHAT’ or the THAT or ‘WHO’? To become ‘WHO’, then you must understand the ‘HOW’?

We must understand that Learning has its ‘Curves’ and ‘Costs’. The Costs of EMPOWERMENT are:

·        Discipline

·        Working-Inputs

·        Sacrifice

·        Execution

·        Gratitude

 

Discipline: This is the first rule of Empowerment (Learning). We find so many human errors in our societies today due to a lack of DISCIPLINE. Discipline means depriving one’s self of his or her comfort (zones) by passing through what is required for the next phase in life in order to become better and greater at something or become a leading example in a specific area of life. There is no great man in life who is truly great that has not adopted discipline as a lifestyle. Discipline means subjecting one’s self to authentic obedience at the feet of an instructor or mentor or instructions or rules.

Here, you are under instructions or tutelages set by conscience or by (man)-whatever that is learned must be adopted as a lifestyle to be more or become greater. There are values and virtues that are built either consciously and unconsciously, physically and spiritually during these processes. Among others, the following below are the pillars of Discipline:

·        Time Consciousness/Management

·        Appreciating the Costs of Values

·        Understanding Price-tag on Values

·        Humility

·        The Power of Quietness or Silence (To listen swiftly and talk(less) smarter

·        Sleep(less)

·        Reading and Studying

·        Meditation

·        Financial Management (Saving More)

·        Embracing the Company Mentality (Shunning the ‘Crowd’ Mentality): Crowd means Everybody, while the word Company means just a selected few who aligns with your Purpose, and at the same time maximizes your effects.

Working-Input (Within): This simply means Working Within the boundaries of Knowledge by Wisdom for depth in Understanding. Another word for it is Input. In the process of learning or Empowerment, there is usually a curve, where you ultimately surrender what you think-you-knew for things you need to know to be soaked into your being. You accumulate knowledge, you become soaked in it. It is a process of chasing after Knowledge and being soaked in it. It is a process of chasing after Knowledge for Excellence, so as to be chased by Success at every point of execution or delivery (that is, working-out what you have learned or acquired. This also a point of yearning after ‘Clarity’ which is one of the DNAs of MASTERY or ‘Understanding’.  This is the process of studying and meditating on it for deeper REVELATIONS because it is Revelation that gives Understanding. If you do not want your life to end in RED (danger), you must READ and STUDY! Revelations come first, before ELEVATION! Knowledge is LIGHT, and LIGHT is LIFE!

There are many people with stature, volume and age yet lacks LIGHT (Understanding)…It is light that separates a dullard from a GENIUS! It is Light that separates a pupil from the Master. The light you carry matters in life – it is what determines your levels in reality, it determines your level of Command in core aspects of life, being that you have gained Mastery, you have become a MASTER!

Light is CLARITY, it is MASTERY (and this is the state of the authentic). This is the time to avoid any pattern of distractions so as to enjoy and engage the light that you are about access from this article for Peak Performances to deliver possibilities in People, Corporates and Nations at large.

Relentless Commitment to Daily Growth is key for global relevance. I refer to it as the White-Belt Mentality – this is when you Write on a journal daily, Meditate, Focus, Reflect, Ponder, and Handcraft your days intentionally for positive outcomes.  If Knowledge is POWER, then learning is your Super-Power! Knowledge isn’t just power, it is profit! Empowerment improves you enough to be irresistibly NEEDED, that is, when you are loaded with relevant contents that solve problems, you will be a force to reckon with, even if they do not like you as a person, but the solutions you carry will make you attractive enough to be their only CHANCE of survival!

The fact is, anybody, can be Empowered; in fact, everybody needs EMPOWERMENT – the more we learn, the more fit we are to Lead others and EARN. Any zero can become a HERO, and any HERO can become a greater HERO! That is why great are not relenting in being better to be greater – they all want to be MORE – they are not satisfied with little, they are expanding so that the people under them can become more and better as well (that’s why their brands of solutions are simplified, accessible and affordable).

The day you become satisfied with little is the day you start becoming little! Never settle for convenience over destiny! A lot of destinies are hanging on your shoulders for survival; if you refuse to dare for more, it means that you are only living for yourself alone – there are destinies attached to your values, virtues and presence on Earth! To be consistently more, you need to seek KNOWLEDGE per time regardless of your age or level of attainment in life. That is why you have the Company of people you keep who are wired to charge or spur you up to be better and as well maximize your effectiveness. We also need to maximize our connection to the internet, a wise owner of a Laptop puts his or her system on Auto-Update, Why? To get updated, upgraded with the latest versions of software online for maximum outputs and efficient deliveries of services. As human beings, we get upgraded, updated by Knowledge through Wisdom for Understanding and maximum deliveries so as not to be stuck in yesterday! The Knowledge or anointing of yesterday is not enough for today! Today is today! What you have acquired today with sweat may become obsolete tomorrow if you fail or refuse to upgrade to the latest version of thoughts, reasoning, and know-how.

 

Sacrifice: This is definitely not a strange word to a majority across the world, especially the great minds who are great mines.  Sacrifice simply means ‘to surrender what you have in order to secure or receive what you NEED! It means surrendering WHAT you are so as to become WHO you desire to become! It also means surrendering WHAT you are in order to become WHO you desire to be! It simply means surrendering where you are so as to arrive at WHERE you desire or need to be. Therefore, sacrifice means letting go of your WANTS in order to have your NEEDS met! Children (little minds) gives offerings, while Kings (great minds) offers SACRIFICES! We give up ‘WHAT’ we WANT when we NEED POWER! Power is a necessity in this journey of life in order to fulfil destiny or divine purpose. For every Sacrifice, there is a Scar (this Scar connotes the Costs of the Sacrifice). The scar is what decorates your being, it tells your stories in your glory. I would say that, ‘Do not envy Success…kindly envy SACRIFICE! The volume of Sacrifice determines where you would surface (that is, appear), either at the Peak or beneath. Sacrifice is the covenant requirement for every next level of greatness. It cracks the code for each level of greatness and unravels mysteries, it shakes the Heavens and causes Divinity to intervene in Humanity!

 

Execution: This simply means ‘To Work-it-Out! It is the process of giving birth to the Knowledge acquired through the volume of light (Understanding) that we carry or have received. This is the output of what has been Put-into you over time (that is, engaging the Knowledge which you have been soaked with). This is where Knowledge turns into formulas through Understanding (Light) by Wisdom. This is where you make it happen on the field called REALITY…We gather Ability through Knowledge, and we transform it into REALITY based on the level of Understanding which we have or carry, then profit from it by Wisdom! When life tells you NO! Ask yourself, What AM I capable of? Winners do not quit or make excuses, Winners only EXECUTE continuously till they get it right! The likes of Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gate among others had their share of trying moments, their moments of pain which they burned as fuel to acquire the gains we all celebrate today. These ones didn’t give up on the Light they carry or carried, rather, they illuminated or keep illuminating the world by continuous practices. Though they may have failed or fail severally, there is always a Bounce-Back-Power for every true Winner, which is fostered by Strong-Will or DETERMINATION.

The majority across the world are not usually interested in the ‘HOW’ (Process), but in the ‘WHAT’ (Results or happenings). For example, WHAT happened? WHAT did he/she do? WHAT did he say? WHAT did he give? WHAT did or does he/she has to offer? etc., because the majority are only interested What has been or is achieved, they are not interested in knowing the HOW (PROCESSES/Cost) of what it took or takes to be WHAT or WHO. Only a few with great depth would ask ‘HOW’ he/she made it, or HOW he won the Election…the steps he took, the people he aligned with, the Sacrifices he offered, the Disciplines he adopted as a lifestyle, the ‘helps’ rendered that attracted divine assistance or intervention, the favours he requested, the sleepless nights, the hours of Meditation, his Think-tanks (technocrats).

Small people want summaries, and only want to live on survival, they do not have time to ‘go and grow through the processes of becoming…they only want their cakes NOW, just like ESAU in the Holy Bible who sold his birthright because he was hungry and in a haste just to satisfy his belly without bothering to have an understanding of what it would cost him to lose the treasure that lies with his being!

The point of execution is always an opportunity to showcase what you have been cooking through the tool of Knowledge. It is an opportunity to show off and show up! It is an opportunity to tell the world that I AM HERE-though, I have been here, but it has been behind the scene. Cooking is the right application of HEAT! It is therefore time to serve your MEAL (Products or Solutions) to the world!

Execution is the process of giving birth to what was conceived in the process of learning, just like a pregnant woman who has been pregnant; it is natural to expect her to deliver after nine months of carrying the fetus (baby) in her womb. The same thing goes for you and me; it is time for us to deliver the future because it lies within us. Ideas are FUTURE conceived within us, packaged as information, encrypted in the Knowledge that man absorbs to deliver his generation at every point of need during execution. Being pregnant is not enough, delivery is a must! The same goes to learning; being soaked with Knowledge is not enough, but Execution (putting it into good use) is what is expected of all true learners. The Holy Book reveals “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” (Romans 8:19). This means that everything, everyone is waiting for you to show up and deliver the FUTURE (Treasures or Solutions) that lies within you as a deliverer, which has been deposited in you for your generation(s). If you do not show up (Manifest), your generation may be bounded or be in bondage for years; just like Moses (a Jew) who grew up in Pharaoh’s Palace (in Egypt); he assimilated the doctrines, he was soaked in the Egyptians traditions (knowledge) for years, but after so many years that the Israelites had been in bondage, God called Moses at the age of 70 (years) to deliver his people (the Israelites) with the Light which had been deposited into him for years – all this while, before Moses showed up for the Israelites, they were all in the captivity of the Egyptians. So, if you do not show up (that is, birth the Knowledge, Wisdom, Understanding of the Skills, Values, Virtues that you have been soaked with and nursing over the years), you might be holding your generation(s) to ransom! You may not get it right at first, be free to try again, again and again; there will be a day that you will get it right and gain from the rewards that come with it (through the pains which you have burned as fuel through determination and strong-will) Get up, go to work and work it out! Destinies are waiting on you; your generation is waiting for you to show up! Take responsibility as David took against Goliath! The anointing upon your life isn’t just a blessing, but responsibility on your shoulders to birthing solutions that will deliver you generation, even the ones yet unborn. Therefore, instead of being a container of blessings, I charge you now to be a channel, so that these solutions can flow through you unto others. Execute and Excel!

 

Gratitude: This is a state of the authentic, it is a state of bliss, it is a natural force or lifestyle that preserves, perfects our outputs(efforts) and blessings. Gratitude means Gr(eat)ATTITUDE which means- an attitude that is exclusive to only GREAT Minds who have the depth to look back at what they were and the Mighty hands that picked them up to arrive at where they are at the moment. Small minds make small People-Small people are not usually grateful, they complain about everything, they don’t have clear minds and are not free in spirit. Gratitude is an attitude that when adopted as a lifestyle takes us to great altitudes in life. The first step of GRATITUDE is- ACKNOWLEDGING The Maker, God Almighty in all things. Secondly, CELEBRATING your teachers or mentors who have invested time and energy to impart you with the Light (Understanding) that they carry. Thirdly, Celebrate and Appreciate your Supporters (they believed in you when others couldn’t, even when you thought you couldn’t, these ones inspired you could, then you did it! Lastly, Celebrate Yourself for dedicating yourself to the achievement of Success. Take a break, travel, rest well, eat well, have fun, then go back to study for the next phase or level of Success. Re-engage the formulas for Success, that is, the Costs of Empowerment, again and again, to be More and Greater and Better!

 

Re-examining your life

It is very important that you know and must have an understanding of where and why you need improvement, then go after relevant Knowledge that treats or solves your weak areas…An unexamined life is not worth living! A dis-empowered life will remain an imprisoned life-it is not worth living. Maximize every condition you go through to be better and for the well-being of Mankind. Be responsible, even in tough-times…never lose your head in tough times, never lose your heart at all times. Empowerment builds your VISION.

VISION is powered by the following sights:

·        Eye-sights

·        Insights

·        Hind-sights

·        Fore-sights

·        Mind-sights

VISION enlightens and opens you up to illuminate Mankind, thereby translating them into the True light from the darkness. You are an embodiment of treasures/solutions; I charge you to UNLEASH! I charge you to Man-ifest! Any determined zero can become The HERO! This book would further explain the ‘HOW’ to you with relevant examples towards becoming POSSIBLE where you have been described IMPOSSIBLE! you must therefore read, study and follow the teachings in it to the end. You will become an ABILITY on motion in the delivery of possibilities (of) Peoples, Corporates and Nations! It is your vision that determines the extent or size of your mission. Friends, we are on a mission, I encourage you to power your vision with Light. Psalm 119: 130 reveals: “The entrance of the words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”

With the above, you are on a journey to global relevance that will culminate in you emerging the greater HERO you desire to become in your generation! Simply drop your pride and enjoy the ride to your heroic destiny! The world needs the hero they can believe in. You do not need to be a demi-god to be a hero, you just need to believe that you are one. It’s all within you! You are an embodiment of treasure, please do not call it trash! Dreams come through only when you work it out! You can be far better than the exemplars used thus far. Yes! You can be greater!

Don’t be fooled, sacrifice involves your full attention and absolute dedication, as it is an intentional or deliberate act of provoking desired timely results without negotiating or dining with slothfulness and excuses.

It is not easy to be EASY: the principles of sacrifice cannot be displaced, replaced nor broken if greatness must be achieved on this earthly plane. It is the law of seedtime and harvest.

Thank you all for reading.

 

Watch out for the Book titled: “The Power of an Empowered Zero” (Awakening The Giant Within You!) byTolulope 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

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