EXCELLENCE: AN ATTRACTION FOR ALL

“To achieve something you have never achieved before, you must become someone you have never been before” – Les Brown.

It is often difficult to resist an excellent performance. We all appreciate people who have put in considerable effort in achieving their goals. If you are watching the Olympics going on in Tokyo, you must have been observing some electrifying performances. You will likely admire a neater and more organized store with excellent customer service over a disorganized one where the store attendant looks horrific. You might also easily remember the guys at the top of your class because of their outstanding performances. Excellence is a state of being consistent in good character, attitude, quantity, and standards. 

Serena Williams is one of the greatest female black tennis players and embodies excellence in her field. Williams became a professional tennis player in 1995 and won the French Open, the U.S. Open, and Wimbledon in 2002, defeating Venus, her sister, in the finals of each tournament. She won her first Australian Open in 2003, making her one of only six women in the Open era to complete a Career Grand Slam. In 2008, she won the U.S. Open and teamed with Venus to capture a second women’s doubles Olympic gold medal at the Beijing Games. Williams is also the only professional tennis player to accomplish a Career Golden Slam in singles & doubles. In December 2015, she was named Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine.

What was Serena’s secret? In 2013, Serena said to ESPN, “Luck has nothing to do with it because I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come.” Here’s Serena fighting for excellence off the court, which later translated into success. Distinction flows from consistent performance over time. It is rarely gained by single action but rather through a succession of positive attitudes and actions. Press on to obtain what you are committed to achieving.

Life does not reward mediocre people, unfortunately. Only those who have performed exceptionally get the prize. If you want to succeed, you must start taking a shot at doing things with a touch of excellence, whether writing an article, completing an assignment, or participating in a competition. You must always put in your best effort. It is not just about doing what you are supposed or expected to do; it is about being good at something and striving to be the best you can. You can start from where you are today by deciding to add some quality to the things you do.

I will love to hear your comments and questions in the comments section below.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Henry Ibrahim is the Content Creator at B2SL. He loves working with young people to help them discover their purpose in life. You can contact him at Ibrahim@b2sl.org.

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THE ULTIMATE REWARD FOR THE DEDICATED MIND

“A dream does not become a reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.” – Colin Powell.

What is dedication, and what are the rewards for the dedicated mind? Questions like this go on and on, seeking an appropriate answer.

Dedication is the act of being committed or devoted to a task or purpose. Dedication requires a lot of enthusiasm, discipline, and self-sacrifice. A dedicated mind looks forward and imagines that he has achieved his goals and prioritizes important tasks over less important ones. For example, Ben Carson, a prominent neurosurgeon, at a tender age dedicated most of his time to reading rather than to watching television or playing like other kids. Ben climbed from the bottom of his class to the top and then to be one of the best neurosurgeons in the world today. He didn’t achieve all this feat by merely sitting idly but by being dedicated to succeeding.

One of the rewards for the steadfast mind is success. Everyone aspiring for success must be dedicated and hardworking. If you want to score high grades in your UTME, for example, you must be committed to studying harder than you have ever done because you will likely solve more problems during the exams than you have been used to previously. You are more likely to succeed if you take your studies seriously. If you choose to watch TV or hang out with friends over your personal development, you are not a candidate for success.

Another reward for a dedicated mind is that it creates different opportunities in your field of work. A reliable person is easily recognized through his hard work and dedication, therefore, having a better chance in their career. Ben mentioned above was so dedicated to what he did that he became a star neurosurgeon at John Hopkins Hospital. He became the first neurosurgeon to separate conjoined twins in 1987 successfully.

Remember that dedication is one of the most potent forces you possess to shape your life and realize your goals. So, why not get dedicated today and see yourself succeed. 

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sistus David is a post Secondary School student in Nigeria. He is dedicated to success in his academics and future career. He is a member of B2SL Success Hub.

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DEDICATION TO SUCCEED

“I’ve always believed that if you put in the dedication, the results will come.” – Michael Jordan. 

There are many things to dedicate yourself to as a student, such as going to school every week, writing notes in class, or reading your books to succeed in your academics, career, and life in general, no matter the opposition. 

Michael Jordan tried out for the varsity basketball team when he was in Junior Secondary school; at 5’11” (1.80 m), he was deemed too short to play at that level. His taller friend Harvest Leroy Smith was the only one in Junior Secondary school to make the team at the time. Michael didn’t stop but worked harder even more to become a basketball player. Later on, Jordan became the star of Laney’s Junior varsity team because he never gave up on being dedicated to actualizing his dreams. 

To excel in your academics or anything in life, you need the dedication to keep pushing yourself as you move from one class and level to the other. Your commitment to academic success will always affect your approach. For instance, are you working to improve yourself, or are you comfortable with average? If you are dedicated to something or not, you will know based on your attitude. You may want to agree that if you have read and understood a topic, you will have confidence. Be rest assured that dedication brings worthwhile success, so you must fight the temptation of distraction with all your might. 

Think about when you graduate from your secondary and tertiary institutions. What responsibilities do you aspire to complete in the future? What will be the highest point in your career, and how are you committing yourself now to achieve that? Your dedication to achieving your future career dreams should start now because you can predict the future by creating it.

Dedication to general life success is all about how you hope to use your academic and career success in making the world a better place. It would be best if you started from your immediate family, community, and nation to better the world than the way you met it. You must resolve that you will not be part of those creating problems or watching on helplessly. Your goal should be among the solution providers to issues of the world. 

Are you dedicated to achieving academic, career, and general life success? I will love to hear from you and what you have learned from reading this article or your experiences or questions in the comment section below.

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Charles Adimah is an entrepreneur and the Project Manager of B2SL INITIATIVE, where he manages the vision. He is a great believer that a prosperous Nigeria is a product of successful Nigerians. You can reach him via email at charles@b2sl.org.

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DISCIPLINE: THE ROAD MAP TO DEDICATION

“It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success.” – John Mason.

Have you ever started a task and never finished it? Maybe started reading a book and dropped it halfway? Or resolving to exercise at least once every week, but you could not continue by the second week? We all face the problem of not following through with our plans or dreams, which can lead to frustration and failure. Sometimes when you fail, it seems like you know why; you were not dedicated enough! Maybe if you had read a few more pages? You could have succeeded in studying some extra problems, putting in some more effort at rehearsal, etc. The missing link between your dreams and their achievement is discipline.

Whenever you dedicate your mind to succeed at something, there will come a thousand reasons or excuses for not completing the task. For example, you decide to go for a workout at 6 am on a Saturday, and you wake up and find that the weather is not looking good. There could be two responses: either postpone the workout to another day or decide to continue the exercise despite the cold. Your dedication to your goal will determine your reaction. However, before you can be dedicated, you must first be disciplined.

Most people will take the easy way out. Why do you have to climb the stairs to the fifth floor when there is a lift? Or why do you have to crack your brain to multiply 17 times 35 when you can use your calculator? It takes discipline for you to go out for a workout in the cold or use the stairs to the fifth floor when there is a lift or have a go at multiplication when you have a calculator. Most people cannot dedicate a task because of indiscipline. Discipline places responsibility on you and causes discomfort in the short run, but makes you succeed in the long run.

Discipline is not a fancy word, and you cannot wish it. It is a behavior that you learn by constant practice and repetition until it becomes a part of you. For example, if you want to be a dedicated programmer, you must first understand the primary coding language and then spend time developing yourself. It would help if you had the discipline to push yourself to continue to try even when it seems that you are not getting it right. When you have done something over and over again, you become dedicated to it. You can apply this concept to any endeavor in life.

You can be dedicated to anything if you can work on your level of discipline. Challenge yourself and enjoy the reward. The world needs to hear how you disciplined yourself, dedicated to your cause, and succeeded.

I will love to hear your experiences, comments, or questions in the comments section below.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Besidone Ebule is the Project Director at B2SL, where he works to encourage personal development and build success networks. You can contact him at bessy.ebule@b2sl.org.

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BECOMING EXCEPTIONAL THROUGH DEDICATION

“Dedication is belief transitioned into action, which is transformed into change.” – Byron Pulsifer.

Dedication is the act of being fully devoted to something such as a task, goal, or desired outcome. Or something that you can feel yourself physically being a part of, such as a cause, academics, religion, sports teams, or another person. Dedication is caring about something to an extreme extent. When you are dedicated, you give everything you have to a cause or a task. 

Total commitment to something dramatically increases your chances of becoming an expert in it. For example, the number of hours you spend reading a particular subject, or the amount of money you spent in buying books and materials on that subject. You see, what you do daily, determines who you become permanently.

An excellent example of someone who became exceptional through dedication is the legendary basketball player Michael Jordan. Jordan made the most of the “Jordan Dome” (the name of his training facility) because he stayed there from 7 am to 10 pm six days a week. Michael also spent not less than six hours of training every day and never got to leave the dome until 10 pm after playing basketball for two and half hours more. Today Michael Jordan is so influential that many people look up to him as an inspiration. It is because he dedicated his time, energy, and resources to do just one thing repeatedly for most of his lifetime. One of his famous quotes says: “some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”

I challenge you to spend just two hours a day and make the sacrifice to use some of your pocket money to buy books on a particular subject you love most, meet with people who know the subject better than you, and be doing this for one year. At the end of the one-year exercise, you must have become more knowledgeable enough that before you realize it, people from your neighbourhood or colleagues in school will be coming to you for advice and even seeking tutorials. 

If there is any way you will like us to help you to become a dedicated or a more dedicated student, I will love to hear from you in the comment section below. You can also share with us how you achieved something through dedication to become like Michael Jordan and be a source of motivation to your colleagues.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Henry Ibrahim is the Content Creator at B2SL. He loves working with young people to help them discover their purpose in life. You can contact him at Ibrahim@b2sl.org.

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WORKING HARD AND SMART TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS

“With hard work and effort, you can achieve anything”- Antoine Griezmann.

Working hard is a positive reinforcement to working smart. Hard work is the ability to take one’s work seriously by doing it well and rapidly. On the other hand, innovative work is prioritizing and planning your tasks for better results. For example, you could work hard trying to cut a tree with a blunt axe, however, it would be wise to sharpen the axe properly to make the job easier. It would help if you had a mixture of both hard and smart work to achieve success.

If you want to achieve your goals, you must brace yourself up for hard work and ensure to build yourself up by learning from others who have gone ahead of you. Then it would help if you had a plan of how you intend to achieve your goals. For instance, if you had three different subjects to study, you could break the study into one matter in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Finally, there are some soft skills that you need that will bolster your hard and smart work. 

One of the soft skills you need is integrity. Integrity is an essential skill for everyone who is working hard and smart to achieve their goals. Integrity makes every relationship and action built on trust. When you work with integrity, it helps add value to your goals and makes you valuable to those around you.

One of the ways to continue to work hard is to empower yourself. For example, you can read books and study how other people who have succeeded did so. Empowerment puts you in leadership. You can also see through your difficulties and keep pushing through regardless of your ups and downs. 

You need to nurture your goals and have faith in what you do. You also need to understand yourself and your potential and connect with those around you to succeed. Finally, you need to activate and sharpen your passion, protect and strengthen your passion and keep practicing reaching and sustaining your goals.

Let’s continue to work hard and smart to achieve our goals and make the world a better place.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Monsurat Kolawole is a secondary school student in Nigeria. She is dedicated to success in her academics and future career. She is a member of B2SL Success Hub.

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WHAT HARD WORK CAN DO FOR YOU

“You can accomplish virtually anything if you want it badly enough and if you are willing to work long enough and hard enough” – Brian Tracy.

We all love people who succeed in any field. We love it when people lift the trophy at the end of the season, come out the best in their examinations, or walk down the hall to collect an award. Sometimes, we assume they excelled because they are lucky or talented. The truth is that successful people work harder than ordinary people. When others are sleeping, they are busy repeatedly trying until they get what they want. In a world where everything seems to be at our fingertips, it almost seems that hard work is no longer considered a prerequisite for success. We often see the lifting of the trophy or the collection of awards or prizes. The naked truth is that all successful people are hard workers and if you want to excel, you have no short cut.

Yahoo’s former CEO, Marrisa Meyer (2012-2017), was a former employee at Google. She used to put in 130 hours of work while at Google and sleep under her desk! When Marissa became CEO of Yahoo, she worked very hard but could not reverse the company’s falling fortunes. She was still paid a whopping $239 million in stock and stock options when she resigned. She currently runs a company called Sunshine, that focuses on artificial intelligence and consumer media. Hard work got her there. Former Pepsi CEO, Indra Nooyi, used to work as a receptionist between midnight and 5 am while studying for her masters. While raising two young daughters, she would go to work at 7 am, stay till about 8 pm, and still take mail bags to read at night.  

I am not saying that you should not sleep in your quest for success, but only pointing out that if you want better grades or a better life, there is a price to pay. That price is hard work, unfortunately. So, what can hard work do for you?

 

HARD WORK WILL DEVELOP YOU

Hard work does not kill; instead, it helps you brace yourself to solve the problems that come your way. For example, you may be studying very hard at night to pass your exams. In the process, you gain valuable skills such as perseverance and patience that you will need to solve problems. You cannot become a champion in your field if you do not work hard.

 

HARD WORK LEADS TO RESPECT

The truth is that people respect hard workers. Why? Because hard work is hard. When you are committed to your work, others appreciate you and will not be afraid to commit things into your hands. Just stop for a moment and think of the impression you will have of a store where you buy something, but you see the attendant sleeping on duty. Irrespective of the condition of the person, your impression will be a negative one. If you want respect, work hard.

 

YOUR HARD WORK BENEFITS OTHERS

You may be working hard for a personal goal, but indirectly, your work will help others around you. If you study hard and become the best in your class, your parents, school, and friends will be proud of you. If you work hard to deliver goods to people, you will be benefiting your customers by ensuring that they get what they want. Hard work always pays.

I would like you to try working hard at something for a while and see the benefits to you and others around you. There may be something in you that just needs hard work to come out. Why not jump on it and make yourself and your society proud.

I look forward to your questions and comments in the comments section below.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Besidone Ebule is the Project Director at B2SL, where he works to encourage personal development and build success networks. You can contact him at bessy.ebule@b2sl.org.

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LEARNING TO WORK HARD

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci.

There is nothing that you cannot learn. The question is, are you ready to learn? Everything you say and do now was learned somehow, directly, or indirectly from others. Although it might not be obvious, a lazy person knows how to be lazy from somewhere or someone and somehow approves that being lazy is acceptable. When a lazy person works with a productive person, you might hear something like, “I cannot come and kill myself” because the culture or quality of hard work is missing. Though hard work is not easy, you must imbibe the culture of hard work if you want to succeed. The beautiful thing, though, is that you can learn how to work hard. Hard work will not kill you!

To learn how to work hard, you must first accept that it is crucial to put in some more effort, and you must be able to evaluate the effort you are putting into your work presently. Let’s assume that you just read an article of 500 words to answer questions correctly. If you read 50, 70, or 80 pages, you have not worked hard enough to answer all the questions correctly. If you fail some of the answers, you should agree that you did not put in the required effort, i.e., you did not work hard enough. One way to evaluate yourself is by looking at the kind of result you are getting as a student or in your tasks. The worst thing that can happen to you is not being able to evaluate yourself.  If you are not working hard, you will know. Once you know, you can change and become successful. Evaluate yourself now. Are you working hard enough? 

After sincerely evaluating yourself and seeing that you are not working hard enough, you can then start asking how you can work hard to achieve success. For example, how many more pages of the book do you have to read? How many hours of practice do you need to perfect that song you are learning? How much more effort do you need to develop yourself daily or weekly? Everyone may have a different need depending on their current circumstances. Hey! Do not kill yourself yet! Some of you are already doing well. Keep it up. Once you can determine the answer, please write it down to be committed to it. Mark Batterson once said, “the shortest pencil is longer than the longest memory.” 

You must also be able to identify why you need to work hard. The reason this is important is that not everyone is fighting for success. Some people are comfortable with an average mark. If you are reading this, I believe you are not satisfied with the average. Like Jim Rohn once said, “the stronger the WHY, the easier the HOW.”  If you are fighting to succeed, it becomes easier to find ways and the motivation and energy to achieve your goals. 

Guys let’s get to work as the world is waiting for us to showcase the success that we can achieve through hard work. 

I am looking forward to your comments and questions in the comments section below.

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Charles Adimah is an entrepreneur and the Project Manager of B2SL INITIATIVE, where he manages the vision. He is a great believer that a prosperous Nigeria is a product of successful Nigerians. You can reach him via email at charles@b2sl.org.

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HARD WORK PAYS

“Talent is a gift, but you can only succeed with Hard Work” – Jean Beliveau.

Talent can do things naturally, such as singing, communicating, organizing, or decision making. The saying above stresses that if you don’t work hard, you will not likely succeed. Let’s say you are naturally able to crunch numbers and understand mathematical concepts. If you are preparing for WAEC, NECO, JAMB, or whatever examination, you must study and sharpen your aptitude for you to excel. The extra effort you put in reading outside the regular school hours, attending lessons, etc., will determine how far you succeed. Have you seen people who play sports? They continue to practice even when they have no competition because they want to keep improving their chances of winning.

Success doesn’t come by wishful thinking but by continuously working hard on your goals. If you want to excel in your academics, you must prepare to make it happen. You can grade yourself at the beginning of the term to have A’s in all subjects, but that grading will only be an inscription on a paper until you sit up to read, research and revise what you know. Studying will give you the confidence to answer any question in the examination with ease and comfort.  

Oprah Winfrey is one of the most successful Black American women in the television industry. Oprah began her life in poverty, and early in her career, she endured numerous setbacks. She was fired from her job as a reporter because her bosses believed she was “unfit for television.” Oprah’s bosses removed her as the co-anchor of weekday news on WJZ-TV, which resulted in her getting demoted to morning TV. Despite the setbacks, she did not give up. She worked very hard and finally earned fame from her TV show called the ‘Oprah Winfrey Show.’ Oprah was talented, but she backed it up with hard work to become successful.

If you come out from an examination hall feeling happy and at ease, you have likely put in some arduous work. Working hard in secret brings success in the open. As my mentor, Aaron Zebedee, president, and founder, TLMI (Thinkers Leadership Mentoring Initiative, Yola, Nigeria), always says, “For a man or woman who has done his or her natural duties, even death is as natural as sleep.” Hard work will stretch you both mentally and physically, but it will pay off in the end. Hard work makes you ready and suitable for responsibilities that come with unimagined rewards. When you get out of your comfort, you get success, influence, and more opportunities to grow positively and impact the world.

Every human endeavor requires hard work to succeed, be it farming, education, entertainment, or academics. Our wishful thinking can never change things around us. We need to get up, roll up our sleeves, and work until we make what needs working to work again.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Henry Ibrahim is the Content Creator at B2SL. He loves working with young people to help them discover their purpose in life. You can contact him at ibrahim@b2sl.org.

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THE PROBLEM WITH WORKING ALONE

“Coming together is the beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success” – Henry Ford. 

Some people believe that working alone signifies strength. There is a place for being recognized as someone who has achieved a remarkable feat. However, working with a group of people always produces the best result for sustainable success. Many successful people in the world today worked with other people in teams. The strength of unity and cooperation can achieve a lot more than a lone ranger. An American investor, George Shinn, once said that there are no self-made men; instead, one reaches his goal with the help of others. Here are some reasons why working alone is problematic.

 

LIMITED PRODUCTIVITY

When you work alone, what you can achieve is limited because of your limited abilities and knowledge. You have only one perspective to developing an idea as opposed to working with other people. When more people bring diverse ideas or different perspectives to the table, they help create the concept better. Different and varied opinions from various individuals will undoubtedly lead to a more significant success if there is a good organization, unlike when the thoughts come from one person alone.

 

LIMITED ACCURACY AND EFFICIENCY

Another monumental problem of working alone is that it reduces accuracy, efficiency, and performance. Let’s say B2SL wants to host a party, and only one moderator oversees the planning, looking for the venue, choosing the dress code, organizing entertainment, refreshments, and other activities. It will be complicated for this person to plan perfectly and accurately. But if all the moderators have specific duties, we see that the performance would be optimum because everyone’s skill is at work. The rate at which two or more people do a job is higher than that of one person doing the same thing.  Working as a group or with others brings division of labor which improves efficiency and performance.

 

MONOTONY

Monotony means a lack of interest and a variety of tedious routines and repetition. When a person does things alone, a point will come when he would be stressed out and bored of the job. But if there is a division of labor, there will be little or no stress. Just think about the idea of one person doing a job that ought to be done by three different people. It will only take some time before the stress comes. There is more fulfillment when there is teamwork since each team member works to progress that same aim. As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. So, when there are diverse ideas and more hands and minds working for a particular goal, stress, and boredom are eliminated.

 

LOSS OF FOCUS

When you work alone, you may quickly lose focus, deviate from your original plan, or get discouraged because you have no team members to encourage you. The energy that others bring into the team can inspire you to bring out your best and help you focus on your goal. The truth is, achieving things all by yourself is not an easy task, and you must look for ways to bring other people into your work for a smoother ride to success.

Let’s endeavor to work in teams for more success. As Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Victoria Aiyedusho and Noble Uzoagba are post secondary school students in Nigeria. They are dedicated to success in their academics and future career. They are members of B2SL Success Hub.

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