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Adding Value: Harnessing the Fine Art of Silence and Patience by Henry Ukazu

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Dear Destiny Friends,

There are many components that contribute to the success of a progressive mind. Some of them are silence and patience. These two are relatively connected in terms of success and human development. It is noteworthy that if one is not patient enough, it might be difficult for such a person to reap the benefits of their labour.

Imagine a farmer, who has planted crops; he would have to water it, add manure/fertilizer, remove the weeds before he will be able to harvest. If the farmer does not exercise patience in nurturing the plants by applying the steps above, the tendency of the crops not coming good will be high.

In the same way, a progressive being will have to practice the art of patience and silence when they are building an institution or project. Silence will enable you to observe people and scenarios critically, while patience will allow you to tolerate people.

In recent times, I have learnt to be patient, and not to be hard on myself. I have also learnt to be patient with people in addition to listening and observing people critically.

What is silence, therefore? Silence is not merely the absence of sound; it is a state of tranquility and peace, an opportunity to disconnect from the cacophony of daily life.

The role of silence and patience cannot be over emphasized. Whether you are an entrepreneur, parent, student, professor or clergy, you need to practice the art of silence and patience for you to have clarity about life. In marriage, one will have to listen to their partner to understand their point. Parents will have to be patient with their children; students need patience to study and understand their course work while clergymen need to master active listening skills to hear from God. The list is literally endless.

Without patience and silence, one will have a major challenge in marriage, academics, learning a trader/skill, or working in the corporate field. In human relationships, one needs to utilize listening skills and patience to work with others. My late mother once said to me that human beings are the most difficult beings on earth, without patience you can’t work with them.

In the same vein, one needs to understand how silence works. Silence is a skill that needs to be understudied, and many are yet to understand how silence works, especially in the workplace. Silence means several things for several people. Silence can be ambiguous; it can mean approval, rejection, in difference, among a whole lot. Silence can also be used in a deceitful way. In communication, sometimes, what’s important is not what is being said, but what is not being said.

Even as Christians, we were taught about the importance of silence when one is seeking the face of God. When we want to talk to God, we pray, but when God wants to talk to us, we meditate and through silence can hear him. One needs attentive listening to hear God. For instance, for not granting your request can mean He’s communicating a different message to you. One needs to exercise patience and silence to hear from God.

Let me share a practical example of how patience and silence work. Imagine praying to God or asking your benefactor for a favour, and there seems to be a delay. Did you know the reason might simply be because you have not earned the capacity to receive it. The reason God or your benefactor is delaying in answering you might be because they might still be working on you knowing that you might not be able to process or handle it if granted at once.

Sometimes in life, one will have to be mentally, socially, financially, and academically prepared for an opportunity, otherwise, disaster might meet you at the other side of the aisle. Just like marriage, one needs to be spiritually, mentally, and financially stable to dabble into it, or those involved have just inadvertently created a recipe for failure. That said, it is obvious that one needs silence to increase and grow in wisdom, strength, and learning sustain.

It’s also important to state that patience is not a sign of weakness or passivity, but rather a strength that can bring tremendous benefits to both our personal and professional lives.

Patience is a key ingredient in fostering healthy and meaningful relationships. It encourages us to listen attentively, empathize, and understand others’ perspectives. By giving people the time they need to express themselves, we cultivate trust, build rapport, and foster stronger connections.

On the other hand, patience helps you to control your emotions and respond objectively to certain situations when things don’t meet your expectations. Managing emotions is a skill that needs to be understudied.

To understand how patience and silence work, one needs a discerning spirit because patience us needed to listen and hear well.

Consider the case of Joseph in the Bible, who was thrown into the pit by his brothers; he was sold to merchant travelers and imprisoned by Pharaoh. In all these, he was patient. He never queried anyone. Does that mean he doesn’t have an option? No, I would think, sometimes in life, there are situations that are beyond one.

One might be thinking the universe has conspired to work against him, but that’s not the case, because the universe is working to bless him. Even when he was in prison for an unjust cause, he didn’t cause a scene. The moral here is that Joseph practiced silence in addition to being patient enough to know what life and God has in stock for him especially since he knows his hands are clean.

We all experience the same misfortune in life, your detractors might be setting you up for failure, but, in reality, they are setting you up for success.

To master the art of active silence; say nothing when you have nothing to say; only speak when you need to clarify or solidify you point; when it’s better to say nothing or left unsaid; when you don’t have a receptive or active listener; when you don’t want your feelings to be known; when you have the power to change something; when an opportunity comes your way, or when your opinion is requested.

Do you know a study by journal hearts that found that two minutes of silence can be more relaxing than listening to music? According to medical philosophers, new brain cells are regenerated because of silence. Practicing silence comes with numerous benefits, among which are: relieving stress and tension. It makes one a great thinker. Indeed, silence is golden and people who know how to be quiet tend to learn so much more.

In conclusion, patiently work hard in silence, and let your success make the noise. Silence encourages you to focus on your efforts, remain humble, and let the fruits of your endeavors be the evidence of your hard work. It discourages boastful behavior and instead, promotes modesty and quiet confidence.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s the founder of Gloemi. He’s a Transformative Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate, creative writer and author of Design Your Destiny and Unleash Your Destiny.  He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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Adding Value

Adding Value: Success and the Irony of Conspiracy by Henry Ukazu

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Dear Destiny Friends,

Many years ago, I listened to a powerful sermon by Reverend Fr. Ejike Mbaka titled Wicked Generation. According to him, we live in a wicked generation. That sermon was not only powerful, but also thought-provoking, and enlightening.

Howerver, after listening to that sermon, I began to have trust issues with people because it made me believe human beings can be deceitful, unreasonable, self-centered, selfish, dishonest and ungrateful.

The teaching created in me a deep awareness about the fragility of human beings. I also learned from the teaching that being oneself and doing good regardless of how bad human beings can be is the ultimate. Another simple message, which resonated from the teaching stated that people can fail you regardless of how many times you have come through for them.

Let me elaborate more with the words of Mother Theresa: “People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self centered; Forgive them anyway.

“If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.

“If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

“If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.

“What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.

“If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.

“The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.

“Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

“You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God; It was never between you and them anyway”.

If you look at the words of Mother Theresa, you will observe that we live in an unfair society where most people are filled with ingratitude and wickedness. Despite how good you are, some people will still act like distractors and conspire to bring you down simply because you are successful. This conspiracy comes in various ways and forms.

In the journey of life, friends, family members, associates/colleagues, partners, supposed benefactors, mentors, mentees and others can conspire to make you succeed as well as bring you down. Even government machineries can enact policies which can affect your business either positively or negatively.

But the irony of life is that while they are trying to hurt you, they won’t know they are working according to the grand scheme of things. According to Joel Osteen, it’s a setup for success. In the same way, sometimes, what we think we are doing right can lead to our demise. For instance, someone might relocate to another country thinking it’s a better plan, but it might lead to misfortunes. Your focus should be to know the will of God in your life.

Also, as a young person, you might think someone is meant for you because they look good, and have prospects, but they are not meant for you. In fact, they might even lead you to your doom. These are parts of the challenges and vicissitudes of life.

Again sometimes, your problems, challenges, setbacks, misfortunes, and pains can be the turning point in your life. That’s why it’s always important to think out of the box whenever you experience pain because your disappointments can be a blessing.

Though our destinies are in our hands, we must also know that luck exists, and what will be will be, all things being equal.

Much as we have the choice to do or not to do certain things that can influence our life, we must take cognizance of the God factor in the scheme of things. No matter the direction one is moving, once the creator of the universe steps in, He can influence a definite turnaround to your benefit, and made things work for good for you along the line your life is destined to be.

God can turn things around through diverse means including even causing an accident, where the person, who will rescue you, attend to tou will eventually be your life partner, or tangible benefactor. This is an example of a conspiracy of success.

Furthermore, you might be in a job you don’t like, or living in a building, environment, or apartment you don’t like; the universe can cause a scene to happen, and you will be surprised to know how the odds will not only line up for you, but systematically add up for you.

Did you know the spiritual controls the physical? Before anything happens physically, it has already happened spiritually. It’s been said that human beings normally die in the spiritual reign before they die physically. I don’t know how true that statement is, but I do know that there are spiritual forces and elements operating on the planet.

These forces can also conspire to work against one if they are not spiritually discerning.

According to Dr. Yomi Garnett, “Always look for the good in every situation. Develop the mindset that every setback is part of a great plan. A conspiracy if you like, that is moving you toward the success that is inevitably yours. In other words, become an inverse optimist. This means that every turn the whole world is in a conspiracy to do you good.”

To understand the above statement, one must have a positive mindset. One must be able to think out of the box, and one must believe disappointments, and pains can be turned into pleasure.

This is how the conspiracy of success works; you might have a product or service which adds value to humanity, and you might be wondering how to impact globally. Did you know the universe can use social media to announce you or connect you to your destiny helper. A friend can locate you, recommend or refer you; a company might even pick up your work, or it might even go viral. In such situations, the universe can conspire with your destiny to align for you.

Let me share a practical story about how the universe conspired to work for me. In 2017, I resigned from my job as a Case Manager to see my late grandmother, who was always appearing to me in my dream. That decision wasn’t a popular one with my family members and friends because they imagined how I would survive upon arrival from Nigeria.

The interesting thing was that there was no set plan on the ground to secure a job, but my strength lies more in my belief system. The joy of seeing my late grandmother was more fulfilling to me than my job or anything at the time.

One fateful day,  I was on the street of New York marketing my book after I returned. It was then I met a young man who works with a television organization; I shared my work, and vision for the youths with him, and he was impressed, and gave me his number.

Guess what, three years later, when President Trump issued a Travel Ban against Nigeria, I was interviewed by the New York Times and these young people read my interview and reached out to me to interview me. The rest they say is history.

The moral here is that the universe used President Trump to put me in the spotlight, but more importantly, if not for my late grandmother, I wouldn’t have been on the streets of New York because I would have been at work on that fateful day.

In conclusion, don’t be hard on yourself when things don’t add up for you, and don’t be too sure you are on the right track because on both cases, the universe can spring up a surprise, rather always seek the face of the creator of the universe to direct your path, in addition to directing and blessing the works of your hands.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s the founder of Gloemi. He’s a Transformative Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate, creative writer and author of Design Your Destiny Design Your  and Unleash Your Destiny .  He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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Adding Value

Adding Value: Success and the All-Important First Step by Henry Ukazu

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Dear Destiny Friends,

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step” – Martin Luther King Jnr.

The journey of a thousand miles, it has variously been said, begins with a step; the all important first step. Therefore, when the first step is taken, and the journey through life begins, we will encounter many roads and paths, some we wished we never passed, some we wished we passed, and some we experience with mixed feelings with special emphasis to matters like marriage. The moral here is that the challenges and experiences of life offer us many options. But one thing is certain, we took a step from the beginning, whether it turned out negative or positive is another issue.

For every step taken, there are no basis for regrets knowing that one was not blind or “fooled” into taking them. We are technically and subconsciously aware of the first step, which invariably affects the outcome of our life.

The importance of the first step cannot be overemphasized, however. The first step affects every area of life. This is because there’s nothing one does on earth that does not involve a first step.

The first step, for all intent and purpose, creates awareness. According to Nathaniel Branden, “the first step toward change is awareness”. When you discover there’s a lacuna which needs to be filled, the onus will be on you to fix it. The second step is acceptance. It is however, very unfortunate, that many people don’t accept the realities of life.

The late famous American author, Zig Ziglar, made us understand that the “first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist”. When you have a problem, for example, a medical or emotional problem, Dean Ornish made us understand that “awareness is the first step in healing”.

If you have the desire of becoming a professor, you must first begin by taking the entrance examination as a pupil/student and then walk through the ranks. As a man, if you see a lady you would like to marry, the first step will be to get her attention and that entails speaking to and with her. If you have a desire to be a President, Governor, Chief Executive Officer, Captain of industry among others, you must begin by doing the needful. A once popular Nigerian television sitcom, Basi and Company, always reminds viewers through its main character, Basi, that ‘to be a millionaire, think like a millionaire’.

Most people, unfortunately, put the cart before the horse, and fail to stock in deciding if they have the expertise, knowledge, and technical know-how to successfully execute a particular project.

There’s no major success which did not begin with the first step. Notwithstanding, the first step comes with its own risks and opportunities. It can either go well or otherwise, depending on how it’s executed.

It’s instructive to note that no reasonable man will begin a journey he has not weighed the options. The first step in life can be said to be the most important step in every adventure. It takes courage to take the first step. According to Martin Luther King Jnr, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

On a personal note, I have taken many first steps which changed my perspective and understanding of life, both in business, academic, marriage, social, personal, professional, and spiritual life. I can remember that one of my first major first steps in life was when I applied to be the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Lawyers Association while I was a student in New York Law school.

In all sincerity and honesty, I wasn’t prepared for the job’s responsibilities because the culture was quite different from what I was exposed to in Nigeria. I also had difficulty in writing well, and that strained my relationship with my President and Vice President.

Despite taking the risk of contesting for the position, that was one of the best things that happened to me, because it exposed and connected me to lots of opportunities and resourceful people, who have continually served as strong allies.

If you have a vision or dream, the best thing that can happen to you is to take the first step. You may not have everything or see everything, but if you feel it’s right,  and believe in it, trust me, it will work out good. All you need is the belief factor. The universe, without an iota of doubt, always conspire to help every progressive mind working on purpose. It’s one thing to have a dream and it’s another to implement it with the right actions.

Sometimes however, even when we have a belief system, and faith in ourselves and our project, we can still experience setbacks, betrayal, and challenges. Sometimes, we are tempted to, and even question our creator, mentor, parent, teacher and friend for leaving us on the road when the odds don’t add up.

Whenever you experience such a feeling, please be strong and don’t give up. It’s part of the process leading you to the right place.

Actions are the engine that drives your productivity. Without actions nothing happens, or worse, things that you have no control over will happen taking you to no place. According to Maurer, Director of Behavioral Sciences at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center in Santa Monica, the challenge of taking the first step has to do with fear.

Before you take the first step, trust your intuition, trust your creator, believe in yourself, believe in your project and most importantly, be courageous.

In conclusion, What’s that project you have in mind, take the first step, and watch your intended positive change come to life. Remember, according to Chauncey Depew. The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.

Whatever be the case, one can never be successful in an chosen endeavor if the all-important first step is not taken.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s the founder of Gloemi. He’s a Transformative Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate, creative writer and author of Design Your Destiny and Unleash Your Destiny.  He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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Adding Value

Adding Value: Exuding the Aura of Confidence by Henry Ukazu

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Dear Destiny Friends,

Resolve to communicate your confidence to others. After all, the source for this confidence is the divine – Dr. Yomi Garnett.

Confidence is a currency many people don’t literally know. It is attractive, magnetic, compelling and magical. Confidence revolves around knowing who you are; the traits that make you special; the value you provide, and the ability to convey the positive you to others.

Confidence is all about the aura one exudes when they enter a room. Several things, it is worthy of note, give people confidence, and they include money, knowledge, value, connection, influence, skill and even spiritual ability. When there’s confidence, boasting and too much are set aside just as distraction occasioned by the noise outside is rendered impotent.

Self confidence is an offshoot of the overall confidence. While it is a self generated ability to be yourself irrespective of negative signals, it is also a fundamental aspect of our lives that plays a significant role in shaping our actions, decisions, and overall well-being. Self-confidence, as well, is not a fixed trait that some people are born with. It is also generally an acquired trait.

There are several ways to attract confidence, and the first step is knowing yourself. When you know yourself, you will know your strength, weakness, what works for you and what doesn’t work for you.  It’s said that many people don’t know themselves; they just accept life challenges as victims, not knowing that if they had been diligent in focusing on what really matters, they would have done much better. These sets of people are merely existing as opposed to living.

Another way to attract confidence is by being knowledgeable in a subject matter. When you are knowledgeable about a particular field of life, you’ll be highly respected, revered and sought after. You can tell that someone has confidence based on how they speak, their carriage, poise, and how they dress.

When we have confidence in ourselves, we will be more willing to take risks, step outside of our comfort zones, and embrace new opportunities.

With self-confidence, we will become fully aware of our environment, ourselves and become more resilient in the face of adversity. Confidence makes us better equipped to handle setbacks and failures, as this will make us see them as stepping stones to success rather than insurmountable barriers. This resilience enables us to bounce back from challenges and continue moving forward, undeterred by temporary setbacks.

In the academic space, confidence comes with preparation. The lack of preparation for something can make one vulnerable. When you have confidence, you will have a class of your own.

Confidence can come in two ways. It can be internal or external. When it’s internal, one is self inspired and doesn’t need external influence to radiate. External influence can be because of music, human beings, money etc. They determine how resourceful one can be.

External confidence is the image we portray before others and that includes our facial expression, body posture, movements, and stillness. Internal confidence is more powerful than external influence because it doesn’t need any extra factor to operate, but when your confidence is external, it can be manipulated because other variables can determine its influence. It’s better therefore, to have internal confidence than external confidence because internal confidence is self-inspired.

Our external and internal worlds are interconnected. When we feel very strong inside, it makes us feel relaxed outside. And when we are physically comfortable, it also leads to happiness mentally. This is why our external demeanor and comportment can also influence our internal sense of confidence.

The blessings of confidence are priceless. One needs confidence to approach the right people. In whatever positive act a progressive mind engages in life, they must have confidence to strategically execute the task. Whether you are a student, entrepreneur, parent, pastor, teacher, entertainer, athlete, soccer player, and more, one must exhibit a certain level of confidence if one is desiring to make an impact. This also involves risk taking.

Even if a man wants to woo a lady, he must have confidence to approach the lady and speak the right words. Confidence is a skill of the 21st century. In my calculated opinion, confidence is the bedrock and foundation of all social skills because without confidence, one might not have the courage to write, speak or even articulate his thoughts in a convincing manner.

Confidence works with the mind. Our mindset plays a significant role in cultivating self-confidence. For instance, a growth mindset, which is the belief that our abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work, is essential for building confidence.

Perception also works with the mindset. How we perceive ourselves has a direct impact on our confidence levels. If we perceive ourselves as capable and competent, we are more likely to have higher self-confidence. On the other hand, negative self-perception can hinder our confidence.

To improve your confidence level, one must practice self affirmative positive talks, visualize his future and begin to work on the vision. One can also engage in physical exercise to boost both their physique and fitness, not forgetting the art of continuous learning, which helps to boost confidence. Note as well that surrounding yourself with a strong support system is very critical to enhancing your confidence. You can do this by seeking out relationships and communities that uplift and inspire you.

In conclusion, self-confidence is very attractive and contagious because it reflects a deep sense of peace, sureness, and stability. To cultivate self confidence, be mindful of external expressions such as the people you associate with, body language and environment, while also developing your inner virtues such as peace, humility, forgiveness, acceptance, patience, and gratitude.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s the founder of Gloemi. He’s a Transformative Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate, creative writer and author of Design Your Destiny and Unleash Your Destiny.  He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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