Ayodele Olusanya unexpectedly found himself in the world of writing; however since the start of the twist in his direction, he has written two books – ‘Thank God it’s Monday; Divinely Inspired’ and ‘Good Heavens, where is my Attitude?’
He was asked to give the announcements during the Sunday services at his local church, but he could not stop at just that. He would start off his announcement by sharing a few words of encouragement with the congregation and in return he will get a lot of encouragement back from some members of the church. He was soon to realise that what he thought were mere words would before long became sources of inspiration to many.
The exchanges of encouraging words lead to the birth of his website, www.thegreatestasset.co.uk, and his weekly ‘thoughts’ are now read by hundreds of people from all around the world.
Most of Ayodele’s writings are based on his personal experiences and they are aimed and encouraging people to wake up and live, and to laugh while they do the living.
How Awesome !!
Earlier this week, I held a review meeting with a member of my Team. During our discussions – I asked her if she realised how key her role was within the Team. She gave me weird look, shrugged her shoulder and said “all I do is the Admin work for the Team.” I gathered my thoughts together for a few seconds then I asked her who she thinks the most important person in the entire office is. “The Group Director, I would think” she said.
I asked her a simple question - “If the office receptionist goes off sick for a week, how do you think her absence would affect the rest of the office?” I decided to answer my question on her behalf. I told her that if the receptionist goes off sick, every other department within the entire office would need to find someone for each day of the lady’s absence to cover the reception. This would mean that every department will be at least one person short during her time away from work. However; if the Director decides to go off sick – no one would be needed to take his place. In fact, I continued – the guy could be off for as long as he cares; his absence would have no effect whatsoever on most of the office. So rephrasing my question - I asked my team member who she thought was more important – the Director or the Receptionist? Her face lit up before she said “the Receptionist”.
Never undermine your importance, even when the rest of the world wants to make you feel small.
You are too important – so important that the world would never be the same without you. There is the possibility that the only person who fails to realise how important you are is you! Your contributions to ‘everyday living’ is crucial and never underestimate your contribution to the happiness of many lives that surround you right now; your contributions to the social wellbeing of your society; your contributions to the economy of wherever you are located; your contribution to the goodness in today’s world.
You might not know this, but many count on you and if you fail to realise how awesome you are, you run the risk of letting many people down.
This Is What I Think Of You
A young man needed to change his career. He had done all sorts of odd jobs for years and he finally decided to get his act together and get himself a 'proper' career. The first interview he got was for a managerial position with one of the largest supermarket chains in the country. A telephone interview was held initially and he was successful - the next challenge was the face to face interview that was held at one of the many branches of the supermarket chain. The interviewer told the young job seeker that his first task would be to walk around the shop and make a list of the things that he thought were wrong about the shop. Armed with an A4 booklet and a pen, the young man walked around spot checking.
Half an hour later, the job seeker was back with the interviewer. The interviewer scrutinised the list, and when he was done - he said that the young man failed to spot three crucial things that were not exactly right about the shop. He was going to give up on the job seeker when he noticed that there was another, but even longer list on another page of the booklet. "What's this list?" He asked. "I took the liberty of making a list of things that are good about the shop as well," he said. The interviewer was so impressed that he offered the young man the job.
It is often too easy and very convenient to spot the 'wrongs' in other people, 'wrongs' in certain situations, and the 'wrongs' in circumstances - whereas there is always a whole lot of good in the fore listed if only we can take the chance of looking deep enough. It's only a matter of your Attitude towards other people. So, rather than taking the easy option of seeing what is 'not good' about others - become an instrument of inspiration. Your words, actions, energy, even your smallest thoughts will either promote or prevent the growth of those around you. Choose to be the type of person who inspires others to become better and brighter. And guess what Dolapo - while you do this, you'd be loved and respected in return. When people love you, you'd receive a whole lot of favour as a result, just as the young man in the above story above found favour in the eyes of the interviewer.
It's Worth Another Try
We seem to give up too easily – whereas, just one more try despite the odds that might be against us could make all the positive difference that we need.
One of my most prized possessions is a DKNY wrist watch that one of my siblings got me as a birthday gift some years ago. I really love the watch – especially being that I wouldn’t ordinarily buy myself anything that expensive; I am cheap you see. I only wore the watch for a few weeks before disaster struck. The thing fell, hit a solid surface and it refused to work afterwards. A few months later I took it to one of those roadside watch repairers. The guy asked me to come back the next day to pick the watch up – which I did. The bad news however was that they could not fix the thing – apparently some mechanical devise was damaged and I would have to send it to the manufacturers for it to be fixed. I am sure you know what that means – it would cost me my arm and leg literally to fix the thing.
Over a year afterwards, I did the stupidest thing ever – I took the watch back to the same shop where they could not fix it previously and this was done out of hope more than anything else. Two days later my phone rang – and I was told that my watch had been fixed. You would have thought I had won the lottery judging by the way I jumped for joy.
There are places where we might have been before, situations in which we might have previously failed to achieve the desired result, and maybe relationships that might have gone a bit sour over time. There is the easy option of never revisiting such situations – however; my strong believe is that if we continue to walk away from every situation that did not pay off initially, we would soon have nothing to walk away from. I knew my watch was worth fixing – so one incident of failure was not strong enough to deter me from trying again; and especially trying where I was previously failed.
One of the true ingredients of success is the willingness to strive at whatever is worth striving for no matter what odds might be against us. This might be painful sometimes – but remember that you would never know the good that might come of trying again except you actually do the trying.
I grew up in a high rise council flat somewhere in South West London – and although I think I was a good kid, there are a few things that I remember doing and I am not particularly proud of them. One day I stood on the balcony, just by our front door and I was looking down at parked cars. While my parents were inside the flat, I stood there all alone thinking of something naughty to do. There was a plank of wood staring at me from a few feet away minding its own business. I walked up to the plank, picked it up and wondered what I could do with it. Suddenly an idea came to my ‘evilous’ head. “What if I throw this plank down, would I hit my target, or would I miss – and if I do hit, would it make any damage?”
There was only one way to find out.
I lifted the plank and with all my strength, I placed it on the wall of the balcony aiming at my target and as soon as I was happy with my aim, I let the plank go. Watching it take a speedy dive, and a few seconds I heard a loud ‘crash’. Bingo! I smashed someone’s windscreen – mission completed, so it was time; time to run into the flat and hide in fear of my young life. It only took a few seconds before the door bell went...................it was the police and the poor guy whose windscreen I had just smashed. I cannot remember how the episode ended, other than not remembering being locked up among some hardened criminals. I would have remembered that I guess.
I was about 9 years old at the time – but I have always remembered what I did, and more to the point, I have never been able to forgive myself until recently.
When people offended you, it is relatively easy to forgive their atrocities depending on the circumstances. However; when it comes to forgiving yourself, it is a different ball game altogether. Many of us walk around with the burden of guilt and un-forgiveness towards ourselves, and hence we display anything but a positive Attitude. We get weighed down by the worries of whatever we might have done and we struggle with shaking off such thoughts. Sometimes we wear masks that portray us as anything but carrying the feeling of guilt, or we tend to do so much to compensate for our actions. Try as much as we might – the feeling comes back momentarily and they tend to make our hearts drop.
There is just one way to deal with the guilt – forgive yourself; but how do you forgive yourself? Practise forgiving others. Think of as many who have wronged you for whatever reasons and start the process of forgiving them. It might be very challenging – but you can do this. Once you are able to clear your heart of the burden of holding stuff against other people, you’d soon start to find yourself forgiving you.
Nothing beats the feeling of freeing yourself from guilt – so set yourself free.
Life isn't fair - Supposedly!
Some very many years ago, a vineyard owner went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. And after agreeing with the workers for the standard wage, he sent them into his vineyard. At about 9am, he went out again and saw others standing around in the market place without work, and he offered them work for the same amount that he was going to pay the first set of workers. He got a new set of workers in at noon, some at 3pm, some more at 5pm.
The moment came when the workers had to get paid for their ‘hard work’, and those who started working at 5pm were the first set to get paid. Everyone was paid the same amount – astonishingly, those who started working at dawn were paid the same as those who worked for just a few hours.
Matthew 20: 1 – 16
How unfair was that?
True to expectation – those who had started working earlier felt cheated and they ‘rightfully’ complained to the vineyard owner about the way they had been treated; but in fairness to the man with the land, he gave each person what he had promised them – but not necessary what they deserved!
Many times in life, the time and effort we put into whatever we do never equates to what we end up with – and this is especially visible when we decide to compare notes. It is not about what you receive, but how well (or otherwise) you put what is received into use. The energy that is expended in comparing notes or complaining would be better put towards making the best of whatever you have, or making the best of whatever situation you find yourself in. The same goes for your natural abilities otherwise called talent. The amount of talent you have is neither here nor there in the scheme of things – what matters is how well (or otherwise) you can apply the little talent that you’ve got for the good of yourself and mankind.
Use the ‘little’ that you have wisely – and those with the supposed plenty would have to come to your dwelling for tips. The first step to using your ‘little’ wisely is to realise that rather than complaining about what you haven’t got; you’d be better expending the same energy that is needed to do the complaining on making the best of what you’ve got.
Help .. I crashed The Car
One of the most stressful things that you can ever be involved in is trying to impress people - especially when you have to do something that does not come to you naturally, or things that you'd rather not do in your attempt to create the impression.
I once had a manager who I truly loved and respected; I would do almost anything to make him happy - and that was the exact problem; doing almost anything to please him. One late Friday afternoon he asked me to complete a task that we both knew was impossible to complete before the close of office that day. Just before he left to go to his family, he told me that he needed the report on his desk by 9am on the following Monday morning. I stayed late in the office and eventually went home only to return on Saturday morning to complete the task. By leaving the family behind to go into work on a Saturday meant that I ended up putting more pressure on my wife who had to do both mine and her shores in the house. It also meant that I denied my girls the usually Saturday morning fun time that we've always had - all in the name of creating the right impression at work.
The irony of the whole episode was that when Monday morning came, my manager did not as much as ask me about the task - the task that drastically affected my family life. On Wednesday I finally confronted him to find out why he did not as much as show any interest in what he'd asked me to do. "It's not that important - file it somewhere; it might come in handy one day".
I almost lost my mind!
In hindsight, it was not my fault that he only asked me to carry out the task a few hours before home time; therefore, I should have done what I could done within normal the office time and then told him that I would do whatever I could to finish up the following Monday. I tried to impress, and I ended up losing both ways. I lost out on my cherished family time and the task was not needed either - so what was the whole point anyway?
Deep down, I knew that I only went into work to create an impression.
This is what many of us do either subconsciously or otherwise. I am all for putting your best effort into whatever you do, but once the motive is just to impress, then your priorities are definitely in the wrong order.
I think this was first impressed on me when I was a teenager and I drove my mum's car for the first time. I seriously dented the car and there was not even one of the girls who were meant to see me drive the car in sight. This meant I didn't get a girl, but instead a 'wicked' slap from my angry mum.
The best way to impress people Inlaw, is by aiming to always be an improved version of Inlaw. Those who don't appreciate the 'improved' you are never worth the bother of putting yourself through the torture of doing what you'd rather not.
Have a good week.
It Happened In Her Car
My job involves unplanned visits depending on what 'emergencies' we have to deal with and no two days are ever the same. Anyway - my intention on this day was to stay put in the office and catch up with my overflowing in-tray and ever increasing in-box. Then came a call from my line manager and I had to go out on a visit with a lady who works in a different department.
I was a bit apprehensive - not because of where we were going to, I was more concerned about what the atmosphere was going to be like when I was alone with the lady. I mean, we have hardly had anything to say to each other in the last 5 years that we have worked for the same company and she never struck me as someone who would be interested in anything I might have had to say. Now that circumstances decided to bring us together, I just had to talk to her and it was not going to matter if she was going to be interested in whatever I was going to say or not.
I think that one of the greatest injustices that we 'impose' on ourselves is deciding on behalf of others. There is always a tendency of wanting to pre-empt how other people would react towards us without even giving them a chance to show us what they are really like. The greatest drawback of this rather assumptious behaviour is the tendency to fail to initiate and maintain relationships that would otherwise be of enormous benefit to us. We tend to evaluate people on what we see rather than what we tend to gain by putting in the effort of forming valuable associations.
As far as I was concerned, it was going to be an awkward time together - however; I was willing to make the effort. I walked up to her desk and told her that I would rather she drove (since I am cheap and lazy) and she did not as much as disagree with my blunt request. Once we got into her car, I started to ask her about what she does and it was like someone pressed the 'talk' button hidden somewhere on her body - she did not stop. From assuming that I was in for a boringly tedious ride, it turned out to be a ride filled with laughter and chatter.
Rather than decide for others, make the effort to reach out and you'd be pleasantly surprised by how approachable those that might have previously seemed unapproachable really are
I went on a Project Management Training the other day and towards the end of the two day Training, we were split into small groups and each group was given a mini Project to manage. The Team that did the best job was to win a prize. My team got stuck into what were meant to do and at the end of the time allocated, all the teams met up for a coffee break.
During the break, members of the other teams were telling everyone who wanted to listen of how wonderful their project went. As far of the two other teams were concerned, the prize for the best project was going to either of them. Those of us in my team just kept quiet, but in our silence we were confident of how brilliant what we had put together would turn out to be.
We got back into the lecture room and I am sure you can guess who won the prize for the best project – my team!
At the end of the Training, the Trainer went round the class asking everyone to tell the group what they benefited from the most during the Training. Fortunately, I was the last to give a view and my response was that I have learnt to ‘never tell people of how good you are until the rest of the world appreciates how good you really are’. Basically, let your acts do the talking and not the mouth.
I have been around too many people who have used their mouths to build castles and end up using their hands to build mole hills; and the other hand – there are those who would rather let their ‘works do the talks’. These quiet achievers are the opposite of the 'big talkers' who constantly tell everyone (who'll listen) of how good they are - but never forget that deep down the "talker's" confidence is often quite suspect. Anyone who needs to tell you how good they are is either trying to make themselves feel better, or maybe they are feeling intimidated and are trying to unsettle those around them with psychological tactics.
There is the need to always remind yourself of how wonderful you are – I am in total alignment with that. Once you are ready to shout to the rest of us before what you are shouting about becomes tangible, then rather than positive confession, it becomes self gratification.
Rather than wasting energy in boasting of what they can do, the silent achiever would get on with the task at hand and end up gaining the respect that the boaster could easily lose, especially with the absence of what is being boasted about.
Achieve silently – and become the envy of many.
Dare I say?
Words are like eggs – once they fall to the ground they become unrecoverable, and nothing hurts like negative words being poured out at you. Most negative words are said during times of emotional bitterness and it is sometimes insignificant whether the person who pours out the negativity means what has been said or not – it still hurts. Dare I say that words become even more hurtful when they come from those who are closest to us – but that’s the whole point; such people can only say negative things to you and hurt you because they are close enough. Dare I also say that for such people to be close enough to you for their words to cause you some pain, they must have also along the line done something significantly nice to you in the past.
So, which one do you hold on to?
You can either hold on to the negative words that you’ve heard, or you might decide to replace the memories of such words with the memories of niceties that such people have shown towards to you in the past.
It’s all about focus.
When we get hurt by people, what we tend to do is pay the hurt so much attention and give it so much focus that the hurt becomes much more important than it should seem. We start to decipher what has been said a then we give it so much significance that the hurt only becomes magnified. We are human and we are wired up to be pained by strong words – however; rather than ponder on what has been said, we can replace such thoughts with the very many positives that the ‘sayer’ of the words might have displayed in the past. There is always a shred of good in everyone and no matter how bad the words said might have stung – there is no better cure for the pain than to replace your own negative feelings with some good about the person who might have hurt you.
There is no point harbouring the wrongdoing of others towards you in your heart – you’d soon grow weary and more so, how many of such hurts would you harbour during your life time? Replace negative thoughts with something good about the person who hurt you – even if it’s about the way they walk.
Now is Good
I started working for my current Employers five years ago and one thing that I loved about the company, and still very much look forward to is the Annual Staff Conference. It’s the only time during any year when the over 1,000 people that work from our different office gather together and it’s such a fun day. Anyway; the highlight of the day for me is the Awards Ceremony where a few staff are called to the front of the hall and honoured for their exceptional service during the year. I obviously didn’t receive an Award at my first conference being that I hadn’t completed a year at the time, but then came my second Conference and still no Award for me, and at my third conference – still nothing.
I really wanted to go up and receive an Award during the Staff Conference but it wasn’t happening!
However; there is another group of people who receive Awards at the Staff Conference – these are staff that have completed a Professional Qualification during the year. They are all called forward at the Conference and given some form of recognition. If I wasn’t going to get an Outstanding Achievers Award, at least I could get on that stage by another means. So, I enrolled for the year long Diploma course with my ultimate goal remaining very much intact. During the following Staff Conference – I did finally get to go on stage; but there was a twist. I went up twice, one for completing the Diploma in Management, and the second time was for being a winner of the Outstanding Achiever Award – the one I had given up on.
This week, we had our 2008/2009 Staff Conference, and something interesting happened. Neither the Outstanding Achievers nor those who recently completed Professional courses mounted the stage – just a few other special Award recipients. The management had decided to change the Award process so that fewer people went up to receive an Award.
Putting things into perspective – if I didn’t do the Professional Course when I did it, or otherwise put – if I had postponed doing the course, I would have never seen my ambition of climbing on the stage in front of those many people materialise.
The best time to do whatever you’ve always wanted to do is now – believe me! The easiest option is to wait another day, wait another hour or even another minute, but those who truly get the job done would appreciate that there is nothing like the ‘now’ – except where circumstance are beyond our control.
I know of a few people who wish that they had completed their Diploma when I did mine – you see, they do not get the recognition that I got. The difference was simply this – I did it at the best time which was the ‘now’ time. Your now time is now, so please do that thing that you’ve been postponing forever during the ‘now time’ which is now!