A New Year, New You (Continued)

By Jonathan Adzokpe

In our previous issue and the first for the year, I presented certain principles that I believe we all need to be cognisant of in our bid to getting the best out of the New Year, 2014. I identified three of the unchangeable principles of life as;

  • Character
  • Attitude
  • The power of words

In this concluding part of the series, I bring you the last three of what we all need in order to create a new mentality, yielding productivity and positive results.

  1. Take advantage of opportunities

We are in a global information era now when he who has muscles has no more power as he who possesses information, and acts on them. In this information age, we have myriad of opportunities one can take advantage of and impact lives around.

The unfortunate thing about most of us is that opportunities keep knocking at our doors, yet we’re either too “deaf” to hear, or we often ignore them. Sometimes too, we are ill-prepared to take advantage of such opportunities.

This brings to mind when I was contacted to submit some sample articles of mine for vetting, and if they found them useful, then I would be signed on to be one of the writers of this magazine you are reading. It was an opportunity that came at a time I wasn’t expecting, but I was prepared. I was determined to polish my command over the language, edit my written pieces, etc. to meet international set standards. If you’re not prepared, you can never take advantage of opportunities that come your way.

Open your eyes wide. Scan your environment. Ask yourself what needs are in your society that are not being met that you can be a solution to. That may just be your journey to greatness.

  1. Choose your friends carefully

Nothing defines you as a person like the group of friends and acquaintances you make. It was Jim Rohn who once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Someone also said, “Show me your friend, and I will show you your character.” Here is what I add, “Show me your friend, and I will show you your future.” The people you spend the most time with, influence your thinking, your values, and your actions. Invariably, they end up influencing how your future becomes.

If you keep friendship with people who are going nowhere, chances are you are going nowhere, either. Edit your friends. Not all your friends added positively to your life in the previous year. Here’s what I found out a while ago according to the 80/20 rule. 80% of your friends add only 20% value to your life, while 20% of your friends add 80% value to your life. Sadly however, you spend 80% of your time with the 80% of friends who add only 20% value, and yet spend 20% of your time with 20% of friends who add 80% value to your life.

You’ve got to resolve to identify which of your friends fall in the 80% category, and which fall in the 20%. It may not be easy writing them off at a go. But it sure starts from somewhere. Begin spending more time with the 20% of your friends, and less time with the 80%. In no time, your life will change for the better.

  1. Finally in the year 2014, increase your knowledge base.

In an era where knowledge sells more than commodities, it is an under-statement to say those with the right knowledge possess more power than those with swords. Put in the effort to read a good book in a month, or if you can, within a week. You will be amazed at how much knowledge you must have invested in yourself by December, 2014.

Don’t spend all your leisure time surfing the internet and hopping from one social media to the other without adding any value to yourself. Be disciplined. Read. Research on any topic that interests you! Be committed to be more knowledgeable than you were in 2013.

I believe these thoughts are enough to get you to your desired destination in the year, 2014. Don’t wait for anyone, work on yourself. Invest more in your mind than in your stomach. As Emmanuel Dei-Tumi, a Ghanaian author and motivational speaker once said, “If you empty your pocket into your stomach, it will end up in the toilet. But if you empty your pocket into your mind, it will fill it back.”

Have a blessed, prosperous, and joyous new year. See you at the top!

If you would like to check the first part of this article please click here: Independent Skies Magazine January ’14 Issue

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