Decision Making; Spending Money on Things or Experience

A thought crept into my mind while sitting at my desk at the office last week. I had to take a decision about an expenditure I was about to make. I have been indecisive about it simply because I was taking my time in conceiving how much change or impact my final option would have on my life.

In trying to be decisive, I had a retrospection of last year’s event. The retrospection should aid in taking me out of my current indecisiveness. I went over some of the decisions I took last year, the strategy I used in taking them should help me in deciding what I have at stake. Some of the results of those decisions I took last year stare at me daily in the office.

Standing conspicuously on my office desk are 3 memorabilia; replicas of Eiffel Tower, Pyramid of Giza and wind turbine of the Netherlands. As you will guess, all acquired when I traveled to Paris, Giza in Egypt and the Netherlands.

Occasionally, I did hold these precious items in my hands to glance closer or play with them as I get deep in thinking about office work or whatever that comes to mind. On some instances, I remember the trips to their originating cities. It refreshes my memory and invigorates me.

Back to my indecisiveness, my final decision boiled down to one thing; use my money for a material thing or spend it on an experience I can reminisce on. I thought about all the not needed things but good to have things I could buy with the money; upgrading my car, getting a cozy apartment, new shoes, a new laptop, a new phone, new wrist watches, sunglasses, etc. The consumer culture thing you know.

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The thing is I can manage without those new things. I learned to resist impulse expenditure about 3 years ago from Brian Tracy. Sometimes, it is more about ranking expected expenditure according to needs. Economists call this scale of preference. The idea that you rank a number of things you want to expend time and money on, in order of desperate need. And when you forego one item for the other, it becomes the opportunity cost of the foregone item. Last year, I had a European trip, culminating to be the opportunity cost to many material possessions I could have. Did you miss the story? Read it here again.

And that’s why I often don’t do well to the expectation of people I meet after returning from a trip, when they ask ‘what did you buy from …(insert name of a foreign city I visited)? I did not purchase something worth their 100% attention or societies 200%. Instead, I invested much of my little cash in paying for an experience such as snorkeling, go-karting, new dishes at restaurants, transportation, desert safari etc. and invest the tiniest fraction on a memorabilia such as the ones quoted above or good to have things.

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Go-karting in Dubai 2014
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My fun friends after the go-kart race in Dubai

I looked up some hard facts online about whether my decision on spending money on experience instead of on things is congruous to many people. Yes it is. Huffington Post reports about a 20 year research carried out by a Cornell University professor Dr. Gilovich on spending money on experiences instead of things  makes you happier.  Here are the three things that helped him arrive at his conclusion.

One. Getting accustomed to new possessions. At the instant you acquire something new, it’s your high point of excitement. However, this thrill fades away as the earth orbits around the sun. True?

Two. Raising the bar always. When you buy a $100 dollar sunglasses today, an expected value of what cost of sunglasses you will buy next will be higher than $100. Once we get something, we want a better one next time. True?

Three. Keeping up with the Joneses. By nature, Dr. Gilovich says, possessions foster comparison. Very true. The instant you see a friend’s car, it’s about comparing which is better. Truth is, there will always be someone with a better car.

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It is called the paradox of possessions says Dr. Gilovich. The wrongful assumption that buying things will make you happy as long as the item exists is wrong. It defies common sense I know at times. Buying something that will be there for a very long time should sustain the happiness you got earlier. Reality is, no. It won’t and will never.

However, foregoing such material expenditure for experiences such as travels, dining out with friends, donating to fundraisers, signing up for gym or yoga classes, trying out new cafes or restaurants should leave a more lasting happiness for you.

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This will give you some well lasting memories. Take your friends with you.
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Or go kite-surfing

Often times, it is not easy to always think of the opportunity cost while about to spend your money, especially when you have enough of it. But it should be. Often when I hear and see people complain of little or no money to spend on experiences such as a vacation, I am bewildered by their considerations as I observe their material possessions that could cover their dreams.

Why have an expensive car, while suffering from ADD (adventure deficit disorder) and not sell it to buy a cheaper car and get cured.

“Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods. You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.” says Gilovich.

It is easier to bond more with people you hiked Mount Kenya with or traveled to Rome with than with someone who has the same car or phone as you. Even if you did not take the trip together, knowing you all had similar experiences will bring you closer. And that’s more reason to ditch retail therapy (material items) for experience soaked expenditure.

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When I went hiking to Mount Kenya with friends in 2015

What limits you from foregoing spending on things for experiences? What frequently ranks high on scale of preference, purchase of material possessions or expenditure on experiences? Do you always think of the opportunity cost when you come to spending? I would love to hear what is more important to you, things or experiences and why?

Please drop your comments below.

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Backpacking Europe; How I Fulfilled a European College Student Dream

“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” – Anonymous

I love travelling. I don’t mind (much) if it is in style or not, at times. But when I had started preparing my bags to come back to Nigeria, I wanted to see parts of Europe I have never seen before. I drew up an itinerary, from where I reside in East Germany to the south, passing through Munich, then Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Ljubljana, Milan, Monaco, Geneva and back to Germany. I wasn’t sure of this route. I was more motivated to start from Munich because Bayern Munich will be hosting Manchester city at their stadium, the Allianz Arena on July 20th. So I wanted to enjoy the game before going on my journey. Tickets weren’t easy to come by and so I changed my route, from Weimar to the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and back to Germany. I wasn’t sure of this route either, but I went for it.

“Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection.” -Lawrence Durrell

The itinerary looks full. But it’s nothing compared to what many students of colleges and universities in Europe do after graduation. They strap their backpacks and head out to see the rest of the continent and world. I wanted same. I wanted to see everywhere.

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I didn’t know if I was suffering from ecedemomania (a morbid impulse or obsession to travel or wander around or a compulsive wondering away from home) but travelling makes me tick. I get motivated a lot, by the city, the people I meet and see, the experience, the culture shock and a lot other things that goes into your head when you travel.

“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

I did a bit of research, trying to know interesting places to see in those cities. I penned a few down. I also asked a few friends who lived in those cities what was interesting to see. I was happy I did as one of the places I later visited every single day for the 3 days I was in Amsterdam was recommended through this way.

I got my backpack and stock it up with a few clothing, toiletries, maps and my camera. Starting out was quite easy as I hitched a ride from the east to the west of Germany. More of the hitchhiking story in previous blog post here. Utrecht in the Netherlands was my first stop.

Utrecht seemed a small city, despite its big train station. But that’s how the Netherlands is. It’s a small country. I didn’t sleep in Utrecht, I proceeded to Amsterdam, a city I have always known as the first on the list on weather stations and of course, the home of Ajax Football club. It was amazing to be there. More of detailed story in Amsterdam subsequently. Subscribe to my blog post so you do not miss out.

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I had packed a mattress in my backpack. When the night came, I passed it out in a green Vondel Park. It was surprising. A Dutch couple, who had an apartment in the city joined me. Not me I mean, but in the park. They wanted to enjoy the cool natural breeze of the park. The night was peaceful, I slept with so much ease in my mind. By the time I woke up, the sun was up but the couple was gone.

Three days passed quickly in the Netherlands and I had a road trip to Brussels, the capital of Europe. Another city that has become familiar to me due to weather forecasts (is not that I watch weather forecast only on TV,  just that after the Sports News or some News Segment, the weather story always comes up). I know faintly that the European Union is headquartered there, from watching news. I met so many backpackers there. The night I arrived, Tomorrowland was happening. There were so many youths around. I lodged in to Urban Youth Hostel, about 2km from the city centre. I had made my reservations from Amsterdam already, I was so looking forward to sleeping in a proper bedroom, after camping in Veldermort Park in Amsterdam for two days.

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One of the many river alleys of Amsterdam

When people visit Belgium, they normally run to Bruges, a nearby coastal city. I wanted to see Brussels, as I had only two days for Belgium. I liked the city and remember so much of it, seven months after. Why? Because I walked only in the city for the two days I was there. It was the second time I took a walking tour. Her name was Kristin, a student and a worker. She loves her city she said, and organizes free walking tours for tourists like us. She narrated the story of Leopold the II, who was cunning enough to purchase Angola, with a company.

She also told us interesting stories of the Grand Palace Square, the original place we met. The mythical story of the Manneken Pis and a lot others. She knew so much of her city. I was glad I followed her. She was the one who told us French Fries aren’t from France but from Belgium.

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Panoramic shot of the Grand-Place
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A clothed (not common) Manneken Pis. Legend has it he peed to quench a fire the engulfed then Brussels

More of Brussels…subscribe to my blog here

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The time came to say goodbye to Brussels. Paris was next. Again, I took the bus (yeah I like road trips). We zoomed off to Paris North Bus Station. It was the 6th day of my tour and I was in my third country already. I met with an old friend who I met during my undergraduate days in Zaria. He was working in Paris. So I didn’t need a walking tour from a stranger. He was perfect.

The Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Buisness Centre all graced my presence. They were so many people around. So many tourists. So many shoppers and coffee drinkers.

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An empty street off Champs-Elysees
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Arc de Triomphe: Finish point of Tour de France

By that time, the idea was to proceed to Marseille then sail to Barcelona in Spain. I had seen and experienced so much in the last 8 days. I have walked in many European capitals and took a thousand photos. My brain was saturated with vigor, albeit, at the expense of my legs.

If not the Adidas Neo sneakers I was using, I wouldn’t have come this far with walking. I am quite sure if Suleiman Hashimu (the guy who walked from Lagos to Abuja in celebration of President Buhari’s victory) had them on, he would have continued to Sambisa Forest in Maiduguri.

But then there was a general body fatigue building on because for every single of the last 8 days, I was walking from this location to another. It was exhilarating albeit tiring. I resorted to go back home, to Weimar.

I used a Blabla car (car sharing app) to get a pickup. He was Pakistani if I remember well. He works for a Tabloid in Germany. We drove for 5 hours back to Frankfurt were I shared a car with another German training to be a policeman. When I arrived Weimar, I grinned so much. I was glad I travelled that far, alone. I will do it again, if I get the chance to.

What are your travel dreams? What’s on your bucket list? Tell me. I would love to know. For a detailed exposition of my experiences in the different European cities, subscribe to my blog and get instant notification when they are released.

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Where to Sell and Donate Recyclables in Abuja

If you have ever heard the phrase “waste to wealth”, here is how you can start benefiting from your waste in Abuja.

We all buy (soft) drinks packaged in plastic (PET) bottles, glasses or Aluminum cans. After we drink down the contents, we either toss it in the bin or on the road. Do you know what happens to these waste when they get hauled away by waste collectors? They take them to dumpsites and simply dump there. Now that’s not the scary thing. When this goes on forever, we will be fighting for land with the waste we create.

That’s what developed countries like Italy and many others are currently facing. They generate a lot of waste and do not have where to dump it. A huge monumental case is about to happen in Delta State, where a company from Italy, through a Nigerian company, brought their waste to dump in the state.

And if you live in Abuja, there are people who are just a phone call away to come and collect your recyclables. There are 3 things to do if you want to start being part of the recycling chain in Abuja.

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One. Provide a dedicated bin for your recyclables and another for the rest.  By doing this, you are practicing separation at source.

Two. Inform everyone in the house or office that they need to abide by the separation at source.

Three. Call waste haulers to come and get it. Who do you call?

You can sell or donate your recyclables to 4 different types of people in Abuja.

  1. Chanja Datti

It is a social enterprise that collects waste from households and commercial places in exchange for points (recycredits the company calls them) you can redeem for airtime, hotel room discounts, supermarket discounts etc. All you need do is log in to their website and register. The company normally provides a jute sack for registered households to put their recyclables (see infographic below). If you fill it up, you give them a phone call to come and get it for free. You can as well just provide your bins, when it reaches a big quantity, you can still call them to come and get it.

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How the recycling programme of Chanja Datti works

Enroll directly on their portal here.

p.s: you do not need a smart phone to enroll.

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These are all the types of ‘wastes’ Chanja Datti and many recycling companies buy

2. The second type of people you can give are the cart pushers. See how they look like below. These people normally ransack you waste bins outside. They litter the whole place when they do this, unfortunately. So instead of allowing them to do that, inform them they can come to your house on a given day to get it.

3. The third people to give are the kunu and sobo If you watch the road while driving in Abuja, especially in Wuse 2, you will find women carrying sacks with PET bottles in them. They either wash it to sell their kunu in them or sell it to those who do it. Some of us know people who even do this. Or your neighbor knows who need them, then you can easily sell or donate to them.

4. The last part is to approach the recycling companies and sell to them. There is one along Ahmadu Bello Way after crossing the Banex Bridge on your way to Gwarimpa and another in Jabi, just after the motorpark (ask for Gidan Roba if you get there). They will buy your waste.

So if you are in Abuja, you can start being eco-friendly by separating your waste and selling or donating them. You increase their income, divert waste from dumpsite, water bodies and inevitably help save the environment.

Have you already started selling or donating your waste in Abuja or any part of the country? I would love to know. Don’t know how to position your new waste bins or looking for advices on how to do it best? I am just a comment away.

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How We Are Making Abuja Hotter

If you have been into a conversation with others or overheard people saying Abuja is so hot, here are the best reasons why it is so. We may all think heat and its presence is caused by nature, the sun or the hot dry winds of the Sahara Desert. But they aren’t the only reasons why.

The biggest heat source, the sun, emits as much heat as it wants to, but other factors limit how much of this heat gets into our cities, how much is retained and how much is emitted back or outside the city.

Whenever each of us builds a house, he or she increases the amount of heat in that area and generally, the city. Whenever the city councils builds a road, a percentage of heat will be added in your city. It’s a straightforward heat budget, the more concrete buildings,  asphaltic roads and developments we have in the city, the more heat that will be present in our city, especially at night.

Urban heat island (UHI), is a phenomenon in which urban areas have higher temperatures than nearby rural areas, due to human reasons. The phenomenon has been discovered about 50 years ago and is known to affect so many cities’ energy consumption, thermal comfort, air conditioning costs and human health . The more a city develops (puts up more buildings), the more heat island it builds.

I came to know about this phenomenon as a graduate student. My MSc thesis had chiefly investigated how to make our buildings cooler by using living green roofs (they inevitably cool the cities too). UHI is present in many cities in the world, albeit unwanted. Many cities are doing whatever they can to combat this effect. One major way is increase in vegetation; trees, green roofs, high albedo materials (materials with high solar reflectivity), water bodies and fountains, etc. So if we want to mitigate UHI, we need to combat it by growing vegetation.

What about Abuja?

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Let’s understand a little of the geography of Abuja. At an elevation above sea level of 864m, the capital of Nigeria sits higher than many Nigerian cities. The climate is a tropical savannah, with above average temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius, rocky terrain and a rainfall season that lasts for only 5 months. There are many hills around the city. About 4 million people live in the city during the day time, with only a quarter of a million estimated to be living in city at night. It’s like the Bay area in the US. Owning to high costs of apartments and rents, many people who work in the city during the day time travel for 20 to 50 kilometres to their homes in nearby areas.

These nearby areas aren’t flooded with all the cars, concrete and asphalt of Abuja. As I earlier mentioned, concrete and asphalt are the major reasons why we have UHI.

How?

Those materials and many others developers put, behave like heat sinks. During daytime, they absorb heat from the sun. When the night comes, instead of the city to be cooler, it is hot because the heat sinks emit this heat back in to the environment. As soon as the heating source disappears (they stop absorbing heat), they start re-emitting heat back.

If you really want to experience this, you should take a walk in your neighbourhood at night. You will feel the night is still warm, instead of it to be cool like the neighbouring rural areas with less built up areas. Placing your face very close to the road or interlocking blocks,  you will most likely feel a hotter air around that region than when standing. This heat, summed up from all heat sinks in the city, causes the UHI.

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Temperature profile of built up areas ompare with rural and suburban areas (credits: Wikimedia Commons)

So when you want to build tomorrow, ask your building engineer and architect to use non-heat sinks on your site. Don’t do interlocking blocks around your house, put grasses. Green vegetation, owning to their nature, do evapotranspiration. Evaporated water cools the microclimate around the house and ultimately, the city. It improves the thermal conditions of the city.

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Mitigating UHI in Abuja

Its sad when you drive in to so many estates in Abuja with little or no vegetation at all. The urban planning and building policies have inevitably increased UHI. The policies must change to push for developers to start using high albedo materials. I blogged about the plans of enforcing green building strategies in Abuja by the development control here. But we do not only need green building regulations,  we need city wide green regulations. More trees, more green areas, less concrete, less asphalt, more use of natural ventilation, more water bodies, etc. Building policies remain the biggest way to effect a big change on reducing the UHI present in our cities. As clients, developers and designers, we can equally be motivated by the need to make our city greener through the various ways we act.

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More green areas around buildings ensures cooler microclimate (source: tolet.com.ng)

Cooler cities meant cooler environments to live, less heat, less energy consumption, more energy costs savings, better health and thermal conditions etc. etc.

Has this piece broadened your horizon of how cities become hotter than rural areas? Do you wish to build a house or an estate and want to make it as green as possible? Why not get in contact with me.

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Why Kenyans win Marathons; Myths and Stereotypes Nigerians have for Kenya

The recently held Lagos Marathon was won by Kenyans, from the first to the fourth positions. Just like they did last year. The winners said during the post event interview, they are already looking forward to next year’s event. To come back and win. Again and again. And they might, for a number of reasons. Generally, many Nigerians believe all Kenyans can win marathons. It’s a wrong stereotype. Not all of them can. Kenyans (a part of them) winning marathons begs a lot of questions from people, including Nigerians. But that’s not the only thing Nigerians don’t know about Kenyans. They seem to have their stereotypes for Kenya and Kenyans, like we all do for different people and countries. Having spent more than two years in the beautiful East African country, I have met many Nigerians who hold these stereotypes.

Amongst the many I hear, I have highlighted four below, starting with the marathon myth.

  1. All Kenyans can win marathons
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Abraham Kinton of Kenya given the winning trophy from Lagos State Governor

This is among the most popular. It’s not their fault though. They win marathons in all competitions, Olympics, IAAF, London Marathons, Lagos Marathon and wherever they are staged. How? When I went hiking Mount Kenya (5199m), second highest mountain in Africa, I met our hiking guide. He lived around the mountain area and has climbed up and down the mountain more than a hundred times. We met other guides and potters along the way. He spoke to a group of some potters passing us, asking for the whereabouts of a certain fella. He was told he went for some marathon screening issh. He was hoping to win gold in an upcoming marathon. The wishes of many of the people living around the Mount Kenya area and Iten (where majority of the winners come from). The altitude of the towns around the mountain area can be as high as 2,000m, much higher than many places in the world.

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I spent the night in this hotel, 1970m altitude (just a few kilometres from Mount Kenya)

Geographically, the higher you go,  the less oxygen there is to breath. And that is the reason. Many of these winners and hopefuls of marathons’ golds live in high altitude areas (Iten is 2,400m, Addis Ababa is 2,350m and Lagos is 41m). They live their everyday life on less oxygen. So in whatever way they run, playing football, for fun, racing with each other, it is a marathon practice. While sprinting, you are always taking less energy due to the exhaustion. These people have been used to it way back since they were kids. That’s why majority of them have that advantage of endurance.

  1. All Kenyans are skinny and dark in complexion
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A Kenyan lady dressed up for an event

This is among the most popular too. The reason is fueled by  watching the Kenyans winning marathons, who are mostly skinny and dark. There are many tribes in Kenya and a number of them have a big population of fair and average sized bodies. The truth is they aren’t as chubby as most Nigerians (and aggressive as well). The Swahilis, people from Mombasa (port city of Kenya and the second largest city after Nairobi with 1.2 million people) are majority fair in complexion.

  1. Kenya is not as developed as Nigeria
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Skyline of the city of Nairobi

Well let’s not talk about GDP. Nigeria has a higher one but the Nigerian Naira exchanges 1 Kenyan Shilling for 3.06. With Human Development Index, Kenya ranks 7 places ahead of Nigeria. In terms of infrastructure, Kenya does not surpass Nigeria, and same goes the other way. Nairobi is a lot like Lagos, narrow roads and very tall buildings. Much more than what we have in Abuja. Power supply is not as erratic as in Nigeria. You get much more power in Kenya than in Nigeria. Problems with security is worse now in Nigeria, albeit share similar unfortunate terrorists attacks. Corruption is about the same level. So the assumption that travelling to Kenya means travelling to a less developed place don’t hold water, if you are coming from Nigeria.

  1. There are only wild animals in Kenya
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This rarely happens (credits: South African Airways)

The many safaris of Masai Mara, Tsavo National Park, Amboseli, Samburu, Hell’s Gate and so many other national wildlife reserves that brings Kenya to limelight on Discovery Channel has given them a definition of a wild life jam packed country. Truth is there are so many of those parks around. But there are other natural features such as Lake Naivasha, Lake Victoria, the coast of Indian Ocean at Mombasa and Malindi, the many volcanic craters, rocks and mountains, waterfalls, etc. there is so much to see in almost all of Kenya. Even where the equator passes.

Do you have other stereotypes I haven’t mentioned, please comment below. But what about the other way round? What stereotypes do Kenyans have for Nigerians and Nigeria? Lots of them. Wanna read about them, subscribe to my blog and I will follow up on that.

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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

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    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.

Why I Started Blogging…Why You Should As Well

I have been thinking how to start 2017. In other words, what I should first write about on my blog. It turns out I have earlier mentioned I will state why I started blogging, after Facebook popped up a memory of what I blogged about one year ago, in December 2015. Before stating the reason, I would like to say a very big thank you to all the sweet people who have read my posts. Your views, clicks, comments and the likes motivate me to continue. Thank you for your precious time.

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Back to the reason, it is simply because I like writing. I have loved creative work ever since I was in primary school, somewhere between my 5 to 10 years of age. I designed greeting cards then, by drawing, painting and writing different types of messages appropriate for the card. I created small comics, with fictitious stories. I wish I can find them today.

In secondary school, I did join the debating club. It allowed us to write our points and debate them with colleagues. I was still doing little comics in secondary school. When I joined the University in Zaria for a bachelors’ degree, I wrote for school magazines. I especially wrote Islamic articles and op-eds. I wrote poems as well. In my final year, I became the Editor in Chief of the annual magazine of the Muslim engineering students.

It was the same year I wrote my book, “Readings in Civil Engineering Foundation.” I cannot remember where exactly I learnt about blogging or WordPress, but it was during my transit at Bole International Airport in 2012 that I launched this blog, then named civineer.wordpress.com. I needed to find a space to keep writing. Not just books, but shorter articles. I did freelance writing, wrote for other blogs and even local newspapers.

While I haven’t been the most dedicated of bloggers, today I can smile I blog more often than during the first few years.

And it is what transpired mostly between 2015 to 2016 that gives me another impetus to continue blogging. On a faithful evening, I received a Facebook message from a Swedish professor who happened to be in Abuja briefly. He found my blog and enjoyed reading it and mentioned of our mutual interest in environmental sustainability. We exchanged about 8 emails between us that evening, and concluded by fixing an appointment the following morning, just before he flew out of Abuja.

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Some time ago, someone said ‘Africans do not write’. I know people used to say that a number of years ago. Some said, if you want to hide money, put in a book. Because people here will never carry a book to read. So they say it is a problem of reading and writing. But I believe we are getting better, especially with innovations like blogging. Information sharing is also getting better. And that’s why it will be a great opportunity for many people to learn from you if you start writing, blogging or publishing.

We hung out a number of times with Per, the Swedish professor. We had different meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner. We attended meetings promoting environmental sustainability. I also met had the opportunity to meet his colleagues when they came to Nigeria in November last year.

All these won’t have happened had I not blogged. Who knows how many ‘dates’ I would have had, had I blogged more often. While getting dates is not what I aimed for, but blogging did connect me to other amazing people too numerous to mention here. I am wondering what beautiful things will come your way if you start blogging too. If you are curious as well, why not take a chance.

Need help figuring out how to start blogging? I am here to help. Do you write but not share them with anyone? Or you are the type that doesn’t think writing is yours? I would love to know about your thoughts on these.

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