Category Archives: Motivation

2018 Aspirations

“To understand the heart and mind of of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.” Khalil Gibran, The Madman

As I have earlier said, setting goals you want to achieve are best when you do them at a time that is more suitable to you. Although I set my 2018 goals about 10 days ago, I am only finding the time to share it now.

To be honest, I have set goals in previous years that didn’t scare me. That doesn’t mean they were easy to achieve (although 2016 were), but they didn’t scare the superman out of me 😉 Here are three anecdotes of people whose goals scare and motivate me to do more.

When my good friend Hafiz says he has an idea, I always get scared before he talks. His ideas always scare me. Last December, he mentioned we should build a city of affordable housing in Kebbi. That was crazy scary. Mass housing in Kebbi not even in Abuja. Ya salaam. Who has the money to buy the ‘affordable units?’. You get it. But I love it. He is that one person that can challenge your courage to pursue ideas.

I met Adiza recently and we talked about our 2018 aspirations. Her financial goals were doubled that of what I set for myself this year and quite frankly mine didn’t scare me but hers did. So I came back to my list to turn up the scary level meter up for some of the goals. One thing is certain, I am not sure if I can achieve all of them, but I am quite certain, bi-iznillah that I will give them a try to achieve them with backed-up actions.

Oh I read Kathleen’s blog too last 3 weeks on her 2018 aspirations. She resides in Nairobi. They sounded scary even from Nigeria. If she hits all of them, I would be amazed. I had to tell her it looked over ambitious. But that was the way to set goals I guess. That’s what I was missing. Shooting for the stars, if you miss, you might land on the moon.

So what goals am I looking at in 2018?

A few things I want to put under my belt this year are focused on side gigs, personal development, religious and career development.

My personal goals of reading more books have been upped from at least 12 last year to 40. It will take some serious prioritization to create time daily to read. Amongst the books I intend to read this year is Richard Branson’s book on Losing My Virginity. What a title? But is Branson, everyone knows he owns Virgin Inc. And Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow.

I have been an avid language lover. Having studied 5 languages only to basic literacy; Japanese, German, Swahili, Arabic and French (I have long forgotten the Yoruba Language I learned in Junior High, 2000 to 2003). I redownloaded the Duolingo app a week ago, not still sure which I should focus on; French and Japanese or Japanese and French or Japanese and German. Hmmm!

My writing goals have been up. Already written 4 articles this year (with one published) I intend to write to so many publishing houses on these topics; environmental sustainability, cities, millennials lifestyle (there are so many of them here, someone has to cover their stories right. I am not blowing my trumpet, but I cannot do without writing (possessing many unpublished works).

Oh so I am not sure how many of us out there are employed or more specifically employable. Some months ago, I was taken aback by some job applications we got at the organization I work for. The number of people who just didn’t follow the instructions outnumber the people who did. The half who did had their CVs written in 1990s styles (those CVs that have a section for educational institutions attended with dates and qualifications obtained at those institutions separated). Next time, just leave former out and focus on the latter.

Anyway I want to offer CV writing service and Linkedin Profile reviews for entry level professionals and whoever needs his CV beautifully written and designed. I am not sure when, but I need to take more classes from experts before I can start rendering this. I have always imagined having a great career and I wish many people get that too. We spend most of our lives working and how bearable could that be if you dislike your job you have to do for an entire lifetime.

Last one is giving a shot at entrepreneurship. Till last year ending, I had developed an MVP for a building management solution. Unsure of how to proceed, this year, I hope to speak to a manufacturer and prospective clients.

Are all these and the unmentioned scary enough? Definitely to me, considering my situation. I could easily focus on my 8-5 job and live the life like everybody else or better motivate myself to create the life I need in the near future.

Have you set yourself any goals or scary goals this year? I would love to hear.


My 2017 in Retrospection

Now I know some of you will think this is coming late (posting on 14th January). What is even late is I am just preparing my 2018 to be and to-dos. I am fine with working with a time that suits me and not relying on landmark dates/temporal time stamps like a new year, Mondays or birthdays before I set a new goal. In fact, researchers from UCLA have mentioned people are more motivated to achieve their goals if they set them at a time that is more meaningful to them and not a ceremonious time on the calendar. The end of 2017 and beginning of 2018 have been everything but free. But I enjoyed every bit of the activities that kept me super engaged, including wedding off our baby sister.

Could 2017 be better? Definitely yes. It could have. But how have I fared in it? It was easy to find this out. I flipped to my first page of 2017 journal to see what goals I have set for myself. You remember how I set my goals with two lists; a to-be and to-do list. The former just makes a lot of sense to me. What I do every day is important. But what I become from what I do is more important and that’s why the to-be list is a big picture to me that I like referring back to.

My first major accomplishment that I still wonder how I made is keeping my traditional 8-5 job. Although it wasn’t written in my 2017 goals. I still feel amazed that I managed to sit down (not the entire time though) in an open office culture to devote my time to the organization I work for. I have always enjoyed life as a freelancer. Securing an 8-5 job and living through the entire year, including getting my contract renewed was splendid. If there is anything like working for a good CV, this act was part of it. Now I am feeling a bit trapped about working longer to have a better impression on the next HR or heck, why should I think of working elsewhere again.

I managed to somehow become 2 out of 4 to-be goals I penned down. But I didn’t all do that by ticking off all the to-dos. I missed many of them. And it is fine I think. Looking at the big picture always is better for me. And it made me flexible towards achieving my to-be goals. I would say I have achieved a number of the unwritten to-dos, because I carried them out in other ways. There are 1000 ways to Rome they say.

Personally, I appreciate the impact of the non-profit Green Habitat I co-founded. We not only became relevant in the environmental sphere of Abuja, we established good rapport with reputable people and organizations. Thanks to the many people who supported us along the way with their kind words, presence and donations.

I picked up new habits, meditation with the help of an app. Reading more than one book at once and not having to finish the entire book (it’s not a story book Jeez, its self-help. I only take out the part I need).

In 2017, I realized a long time chronic disease I have; ecdemomania. It is a morbid impulse or obsession to travel or wander away from home. That’s why I think I feel amazed at staying at my 8-5 job. Always resisting the urge to travel somewhere.

But it was 2017 I knew how I healthy I was. When I did a medical check-up, my body age was 10 years younger than my biological age. That wasn’t the only reason I knew my health was on point, alhamdulillah. During a security awareness training at the office, I was made to understand my impulse rate per minute which was below the normal average was in the range of people like Usain Bolt (athletes in general). My occasional walks round my neighbourhood, early morning fast paced runnings, good diet maybe and hiking the hills in Abuja could have added to it.

2017 was the year I interviewed the now Deputy UN Sectary General (then designate and Minister of Environment of Nigeria) and received good mentoring. It wasn’t just her interviewed, I spoke with the inspiring and true Dr. Mairo Mandara (then Bill & Melinda Gates Country Director) and also sat next to her on a dinner table. My conversations with them are helping me grow personally. Oh, I got the opportunity to present a social innovation project on mentoring I am part of to the Executive Governor of Kaduna State. All those moments strengthen my belief in succeeding life, in sha Allah.

Selfie with Hajia Amina, Mamoon and Zubaida. Awesome team to work with.
Interview crew with Dr Mairo Mandara at Fifth Chuckers Kaduna

It was only 2 months into 2017 and 3 months after resigning from my job as a civil servant, that I was leading my previous bosses/supervisors in a high-level delegation to the United Nations office in Nairobi, Kenya. But this time, I was more of a colleague to them. I couldn’t be more satisfied with the decision I took to leave them. It afforded me more responsibility and challenge to use my skills in supporting urban development of Abuja.

What About Failures

Although I gave some goals a shot of trying to achieve them, but I didn’t achieve them; finance, religious and some personal goals.

I failed miserably in devoting more time as an entrepreneur. I have been engrossed a lot in non-profit innovations and environmental activism. The business models I developed haven’t seen the light of the day. Maybe I was shying away. Sometimes they say it’s not how good an idea is that is needed for its success, is the commitment and what you give up for pursuing it that will propel you to more action.

I did read and listen to a lot of books but I think I had time to read more which I didn’t. More of that in my blog post on 2018 goals.

If there is anything I want to develop more in 2018 is better prioritization and laser focus on the things that (should) really matter.

Have you reviewed your 2017? Could it have been better for you? Kindly leave a comment below.


4 Things to do to Secure a Job After Your Service Year

Last week saw some thousands of young people conclude their NYSC in Nigeria. In a few weeks too, another thousands would finish (Batch B Stream 2 I think). This would be the first time many of them would be facing more real life situations. The one without frequent money gifts from parents and guardians. The one that would leave you broke. The one that would keep you trying to get a hang of things but you would not easily get that. In a nut shell, the one that it won’t be as easy and straightforward as you think it should be.

My fear for most of them is the habits they will cultivate as they await their coveted dream jobs. They will prepare CVs (not all will do but still hope to find a job then submit their CV after getting the job and it totally works). Some will pound the pavement, others will reach out online, on social media, etc. And that’s actually a better thing to do, instead of waiting for an employer to visit your home and hand in your employment letter wrapped in sweet smelling envelope.

However, everything worth doing is worth doing well. There is a way of doing something, and there is an effective way of doing something too. Many people do job hunting but they do it in a really terrible way. This might get them rejected a lot or delay them getting a job for an unusually longer time. So many of us write us our CVs ourselves without ever knowing how to write an effective/good CV or even getting a feedback on the one we write ourselves.

I might not be the most experienced person or HR or career coach to advise people on writing CVs or getting a job, but I have been there done that five years ago or so. Thus, I think speaking from experience and the many CV writing workshops I attended and listened to online gives me some credence.

If your intention is to find a job and not to proceed for another education, you can learn from these highlighted to-dos.

Ps: This advice goes to those hoping to secure jobs in purposeful organizations and not the many government offices where zoologists are hired in IT organizations or where hiring employers mean hiring those without requisite qualifications because you have relatives in powerful and influential positions. There are many organizations that hire you without any connection or ‘super’ connection. I am one and I know many others who got that too. It’s all about the package you are made of or branding, as one of my mentors like saying.

I have bulleted some to-dos here condensed in 4 actions;

  1. Prepare a very good CV/resume

This will take you some days to do and you are done with it 99%. The 1% is needed to tweak your CV a lil bit for different job applications. Writing a good CV is a skill. It is what many will use to get invited for an interview. Determine your unique selling point and include it in your CV. There are good cv templates out there if you aren’t a good designer. You can equally hire someone good to write your cv for you and a graphic designer to design it for you; enabling you to strikingly differentiate your cv from the thousand others who may be applying.

If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, I advise you gets one today. It pays to have an online profile.

  1. Prepare a job search strategy

Yes. Figure out how, and when you will be applying for jobs. Online, through connections (asking parents, relatives and others to help) or pounding the pavement (visiting offices in person). On weekends, every morning or biweekly. Having a job search strategy will clarify your actions and way forward for you.

It is really tasking applying for jobs, that’s why a strategy can ease it for you by giving you a structure you can habitually practice.

Whatever job you applied to, keep track of it.

maze fefwk
A job search can be as complicated as this maze. Getting in is one thing. Getting out, can take you forever. (Image credits:
  1. Engage in some volunteer work/internship

This is my best advice as I think others would do 1 and 2 in any case. Many people will stay at home and catch up on all the sitcoms and movies they have missed while waiting for their employment. Go out there and find a company/firm doing what you studied or would like to do. Request to intern (without any compensation), they will be quick to accept. While this might not be possible for some of you, if it is for you, go ahead and do it. You will gain real valuable skills and experience needed on the job. Your new friends at the firm you are interning might be the connector to your paid job. If it is a weekend volunteer job with a non-profit, sure go ahead and devote your time. You might just hear someone talk about the firm that is currently recruiting and maybe they know a person there or two.

If you are the entrepreneurial type, start a business or learn how to start one. Look for business classes around; incubators, accelerators, seminars etc. there are my out there in Nigeria and many available online. Bottom line is don’t stay idle. It shows you are not an initiative taker.

  1. Get a career mentor

I love this one too. Many of us try to figure out things on our own. Some don’t even know how to figure out things. How they should begin, what to do and the likes. Having someone you look up to and with more experience than you can be the impetus you need. Through consultation, the mentor can inform you what the industry needs, good skills to have, and how you can better position yourself. I am currently working with some colleagues on a portal where young Nigerians can sign up and request for a mentor in their field. If you want to stay up to date with our launch day, follow me across social media channels to find out about the announcement.

A mentor can support you make that leap to your new job

Wrapping up

Sign up to job ad sites like Hot Nigerian Jobs and ng careers to receive emails with advertised jobs. I got my current job through the latter. So did my brother and many others. They are legit jobs.

A few months back, I reviewed applications for an open position at the firm I work for. It was sad to say that more than 50% of those who applied weren’t even considered because failed to follow the instructions for application as required of them. Many simply send generic CVs and don’t do other stuff required of them like writing a cover letter. Read the instructions on how to apply carefully and abide to it 100%. If there is a cover letter needed, please write one. And don’t send a generic one, make sure each letter is tailored to the job ad you are applying.

You will find tons of other advices out there on finding your dream job I guess. Read them all and learn what you can. I urge you to read this brilliant article by Hays CEO on How to Start Out as a Fresh Graduate. I have tried not to repeat what he has mentioned though.

These four things are for sure not commandments. But I think they give many of you a clear step forward of what to do next.

All the best.

If this helps you or know anyone it might, kindly share with them.


Children are The Leaders of Tomorrow; Youths are The Leaders of Today

“I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing toward being a champion.” 

-Billie Jean King

The weekend of August 12th was quite interesting as I listened to an amazing set of individuals invited as speakers at the TedxMaitama event that held in Abuja. It was the second Tedx event I attended. The first was the maiden edition of TedxStrathmore in Nairobi, back in 2014 I think. TedxMaitama wasn’t dull at all. It staged speakers from almost all sectors, entrepreneurs, public sector, creatives, international organizations and civil society, etc.

One of the most interesting things I learned was Nasir Yammama’s plan to send Jollof Rice to Space via a helium powered balloon (follow the hashtag #JollofRise next week to keep up with the success). For those of us who do not know Jollof Rice, it’s simply like cooking rice and stew together and it should come out as orangish redish or rather, tomato colour. It’s what Kenyans call Pilau. It’s all part of Nasir’s company plan of empowering smallholder farmers in rural communities.

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Another speaker Sadiq Abdulkadir, an architect presented something new in the architectural practice of Nigeria and quite interesting that amused the whole crowd. He was using virtual reality for demonstration of architectural designs. It was marvelous the first time I saw him and tried his solution 4 months ago at an exhibition of Nigerian Institute of Architects  in Abuja. With my interest in built environment, his solution would be something that I could use or see more of hopefully in the future.

A TedxMaitama attendee trying out architect Sadiq’s new dimension in visualizing building architectural designs

Anyway, what compelled me to write this post is what the digital media entrepreneur, Japheth Omujuwa mentioned in his talk about children being the leaders of tomorrow. The speaker narrated how when he was in primary school, his teachers mentioned to him that they (children then) are going to be leaders of tomorrow. Moving to the next level, secondary school, he was told the same thing at Kings College. Another step forward at the university, a student union leader stood in front of a lecture hall which Japhet was present and addressed them as the leaders of tomorrow. Cut the story short, he rejected the leader’s notion that they (Japhet them, already grown as young adults) are the leaders of tomorrow.

Omjouwa didn’t believe that that‘tomorrow’ hasn’t arrived yet. Something must be wrong. Awareness and self-awareness are absent in us. That is what’s missing in the mind of many of us (youths) today. We are simply not aware that we are the leaders of today. Instead, we have narrowed our thinking to assuming that the leaders our teachers and elders always refer to is the political leadership; being president, governor, a senator or the likes.

Japhet asked a simple question to the crowd, referencing some of the young entrepreneurs/innovators invited as speakers who are already making giant strides in their endeavours, especially Nasir Yammama who was recently listed as one of the Forbes 30 under 30 entrepreneurs in Africa. “Can you say Nasir is not a leader today in agritech?” Omojuwa posited. You simply cannot. His social enterprise, Verdant Group, has impacted more than 25, 000 small holder farmers in Nigeria and the number will rise in the coming years.

Being a leader doesn’t necessarily mean being a political leader. In fact, the Merriam Webster’s dictionary defined a leader as someone who influences people. so how many of us, through different roles and avenues have influenced one or two other people. How many of us have made strides in sports, in civil society, in entrepreneurship, in research or whatever else you are doing. Being a leader shouldn’t be taught as when no one stands before you, in fact you are a leader when everybody is ahead of you and you guide them from the rear. It’s simply the awareness we should possess. A very interesting article from Harvard Business Review says that “you can’t be a good leader without self-awareness. It lies at the root of strong character, giving us the ability to lead with a sense of purpose, authenticity, openness, and trust it.”

I couldn’t agree more with what Billie Jean Kings says as well, “I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing toward being a champion.”  If we are a little more self-aware of what is going on, then we will take control of a lot of things going on. We will stop the wrong assumption that the tomorrow they told us while growing up hasn’t arrived. We will take more charge of what we do and feel confident and positive.

Japheth Omojuwa making his point about awareness

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How Do We Become More Self-aware?

Don’t giggle at me when you read the next sentence. Start meditating. I know I know. Many people think of mediation as a foreign thing. I remember when I visited a resort owner and pitched him the idea that I would love to have people come to their cool green park and meditate. He concluded that it was an oyimbo (how white people are called in Nigeria) idea. It was my idea. I am not oyimbo.

Meditation simply allows you to be in the moment. To have yourself simply immersed in thinking of one thing. And thereafter, have reflections of what has transpired in your life. It’s what the Savages of Sirvana recommended to Julian, the successful Harvard Lawyer who sold his Ferrari, abandoned all what he had and travelled to India on a journey of self-discovery, as narrated in Robin Shirma’s book, “the monk who sold his Ferrari”.

Anyway, you and I do not own a Ferrari, but what am simply saying is you should endeavour to have more self-awareness in whatever you do and meditation yoga, is one heck of a great idea to. Writing down your plans and priorities, asking trust friends, taking psychometric tests and getting regular feedback at work are among the 5 things this article from Harvard Business Review recommends.

The tomorrow our teachers informed us while growing up has arrived. It is today. If you cannot agree that you are a leader in what you do, it is simply because you have refused to take action.  So actually, children are the leaders of tomorrow, and youths taking action are the leaders of today.

“The only difference between the people off stage and the people on stage was that the people on stage had taken action and moved forward despite their fears.”

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Reviewing Your 2017 To-Be List; 6 Months To Go

“People overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can in ten”. Culled from

At the end of last year, I blogged on how to set your goals to achieve in a day, month or a year. Click here to reread it. By June 28 2017, half of the year is remaining for you to do whatever you want in 2017. So if you have set yourself some of those annual goals, it is time to review how much you have come and how much is left.

Last week, I received a notification email from my friend’s blog, Kathleen when she posted. Kathleen narrates to us a discussion she had with a techie at a tech-business-y event held in Nairobi. It was about how much one, as a person thinks he can achieve in one year and in ten. He stated, “we overestimate what we can do in one year and underestimate what we can do in ten” (want to read the whole post from Kathleen’s blog, click here). Can you just reread it and take a moment to allow that to sink in? Is it true for you?

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In a good example, Kathleen is a wanna-be polyglot. She is taking Spanish and French Languages lessons weekly. Every day, she tries to practice her language skills by watching some film series recorded in either of the two languages she intends to be fluent in. Day after day, the work became overbearing for her as she thinks she tries to achieve a lot in 24 hours. And somehow, she neglects or rather fails to see the big picture if she does a little over an entire year. Kathleen primarily focused the achievements of her goals in one day, trying to do a lot and thinking it is only the day she has while neglecting to stretch her ambitions over some months, a year or even a decade.

It is what I always aim to preach, focus on your to-be list instead of a to-do list. To-be list is a big picture list. It is the end goal. It is what you become when you do those little tasks on your daily to-do lists. Having the big picture perspective is always important.

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As such, that’s half the year is a good time to pause and review those goals you wrote down at the beginning of the year. How far have you come? Is the steam you started sufficient enough to sustain and enable you reach your goal or you have to pump it up? The time is just right to evaluate your daily, weekly and monthly targets while keeping an eye at the big picture.

For me, I tried to be committed to my set goals but flexible in my approach of achieving them. So my to-do lists has changed over time in a manner I can still arrive at where I want to be, albeit not in a good time. Many of the projects I set out to-do are lagging behind their expected time of achievement. But I guess it is natural for so many projects. It is just reality, challenges and issues causing it.

As I take the next few days to reflect what I need to do ensure I reach where I want to be by 31 December 2017, I would be considering taking more pragmatic steps. Because I have already started the journey of achieving them and experienced some challenges, it would be wise enough to factor such experiences as I set out to the second half of the year.

I invite you to take the next few days as well in reviewing your to-do and to-be lists. If you haven’t set any, there is no better time than now. For those who have already reviewed their lists, how far have you gone? Is the steam just enough or you need to pump it up? Please comment below.

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Forty Motivational Quotes on Goals and Goal Setting

For some of us, quotes and sayings do really give us the big picture and say succinctly what needs to be said or done about many things. We write or print these quotes and hang them in our bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, and entrance doors or put them somewhere on our office desks. We just put it somewhere we can have a good view of it often so it reminds us of what needs to be done or said. I like reading these quotes.

On some occasions, I google quotes on something I want to work on or improve on to see what people are saying about it. There are a number of apps that also index thousands of these quotes.

However, as the New Year is settling in, I took the time to google some interesting quotes on goals and goal setting and thought I might share with my beautiful following.

Here are the forty quotes I found very helpful and nice.

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  1. “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” Tony Robbins
  2. “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” Zig Ziglar
  3. “All successful people men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose.”Brian Tracy
  4. “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” Jim Rohn
  5. “The New Year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” Melody Beattie
  6. “If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable.”Seneca
  7. “Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.” Fitzhugh Dodson
  8. “Goals are the road maps that guide you to your destination.Cultivate the habit of setting clearly-defined written goals; they are the road maps that guide you to your destination.” Roy T. Bennett
  9. “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” Jim Rohn
  10. “A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”Bruce Lee

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So true!
  1. “When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.”Napoleon Hill
  2. “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” Confucius
  3. “A year from now you may wish you had started today.”Karen Lamb
  4. “Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal.” Joseph Cossman
  5. “The moment you put a deadline on your dream, it becomes a goal.”Harsha Bhogle
  6. “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” Pablo Picasso
  7. “Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.” Brian Tracy
  8. “Stop setting goals. Goals are pure fantasy unless you have a specific plan to achieve them.” Stephen Covey
  9. “People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.” Brian Tracy
  10. “People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” Earl Nightingale
  11. “By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own.” Mark Victor Hansen
  12. “Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage but simply because they have never organized their energies around a goal.” Elbert Hubbard
  13. “If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” Andrew Carnegie
  14. “If you don’tmake the timeto work on creating the life that you want, you’re going to spend a lot of time dealing with a life you don’t want.” Kevin Ngo
  15. “Continually bombard your mind with thoughts, pictures, and people consistent with the person you want to be and the goals you want to achieve.” BrianTracy
  16. “Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success.” David Joseph Schwartz
  17. “One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.” Michael Korda
  18. “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”Michelangelo Buonarroti
  19. “Cat: Where are you going?
    Alice: Which way should I go?
    Cat: That depends on where you are going.
    Alice: I don’t know.
    Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
    Lewis Carroll,Alice in Wonderland

    This is what happens when you don’t set goals.
  20. “Focus on your goals, not your fear.Focus like a laser beam on your goals.”Roy T. Bennett
  21. “A goal properly set is halfway reached.” Zig Ziglar
  22. “Everybody has their own Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.” Seth Godin

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  1. “You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” Jim Rohn
  2. “All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.” Orison Swett Marden
  3. “Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I’ll give you a stock clerk.” C. Penney
  4. “This one step – choosing a goal and sticking to it – changes everything.” Scott Reed
  5. “Setting goals means you are personally driven. And I think that is all we should strive to be.” Sadiq Gulma
  6. “Life is short, fragile and does not wait for anyone. There will NEVER be a perfect time to pursue your dreams and goals. ” Unknown
  7. “No one who rises before dawn 360 days a year fails to make his family rich.” Japanese saying.
  8. “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”T.S. Eliot

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Was that a long boring list or a big motivation? Did you have some favourites? I think mine are numbers 1, 2, 6, 23, 24 and 32. What are yours? If you have another favourite quote on the topic that is not listed, why not go ahead and share it in the comment box below.

How Happy are the People of the UAE? Enter Minister of State for Happiness

“clap along if you know what happiness means to you”. -Pharrell Williams

About two weeks ago, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was trending in the media based on the news of the creation of a new minister responsible for ensuring the Emiratis are kept happy. The Prime Minister of the UAE who is also the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced the decision of the creation of the two novel ministers of state for happiness and tolerance in the UAE.


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From the witter handle of the Prime Minister

The mandate of the minister of happiness is to ensure the policies to create social good are pursued purposefully.

This flabbergasted almost the whole world except a few like me. It didn’t surprise me because if you understand the leadership style of the emirate, you will realize its motivation has always been for the priority and happiness of its people above any other thing.

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The face of the Minister for Happiness Ohood Al Roumi


I read a copy of Flashes of Thought, a book written by the ruler of Dubai in 2013 and I blogged about 64 sayings I found motivating on this blog. You can read it here again. 3 of those 64 were all about these new positions. The effort to ensure happiness by the leaders have since been there, just not in an overt fashion as expressed now.

Sheikh Maktoum mentioned in the book, “the job of the government is to achieve happiness for (its) people.” Every now and then, the UAE has been keeping the interest of its citizens at the core front of whatever they do. In the attempts to become a developed country, Dubai rose in a very short time, out of the hot dry desert in the Middle East in to a global economic hub. Then, it was nothing but another place in the Middle East. With ambitions of being prosperous, both as a country and as a people, Dubai unbelievably transformed itself into a treasure island. Today, Dubai and Abu Dhabi are boldly on the world map.

“Our citizens are the first, second and third priority” Sheikh Maktoum wrote in his book. This has been evidently made true with the creation of the minister for happiness (Venezuela had one 3 years ago). Drawing comparison lines to what used (is still) to go on in many quarters of Nigeria, you will know the citizens are not the first nor the second nor the third priority. The first priority is for the leaders to enrich themselves. The second is for them to enrich their immediate family and the third is for them to reserve for the children of their children. Unbelievable as it seems, people using public funds to enrich their personal accounts.

It’s not only the money aspect. The policies, choices of sectors to invest, areas to develop (the first priority is for the politician to develop his hometown because they said charity begins at home, I suppose.), delay the development till the year before the election so that their hearts can be won again etc. When all these is going on, you will reaffirm to yourself that you are not the priority of the government. The fastest way to instill happiness is by instilling happiness in the hearts of others, mentioned the prime minister in his book. We hope and pray that making Nigerians happy will be the working principle of our leaders very soon.

What makes people generally happy is a bone of contention. According to the latest World Happiness Report of 2015, some of the things that make a people of a country happy are the  more liberty many people enjoy to life choices, having longer life expectancy, lower perceptions of corruption, a higher gross domestic product per capita and possessing more social support.

While these factors definitely will define the general welfare and well-being of the people, it might not make someone to be happy. What is happy or happiness? Being happy means experiencing the effect of favourable fortune or having the feeling arising from the consciousness of well-being. Another meaning given is being satisfied or contented. While happiness means the emotion of being happy. With the first definition given, it can be said that the World Happiness Report is accurate to some extent. However, the definition of being contented or satisfied is something relative. One can have all the riches of life and still not be contented. A lot of these countries ranking high on the Happiness Report have high attendances in meditation classes, support groups or such. Many of such groups are experiencing higher attendance rates, to show you they are still looking for something else.

What makes us happy is different to each other. Many people or Nigerians may not have all the enjoyments or assurances of a good and long life, but I assure you, they live and sleep happily every day of their lives.

I am curious to know what makes you happy. What exudes happiness in you? Are you contented or not with all the riches in your life. Will we see a significant increase in the happiness and satisfaction of Emiratis in the near future?