IMAGE – five daily practices to guarantee a brighter future by Alimi Wasiu A.

Alimi Wasiu (Managing Director, Walim Global Enterprise)
INTRODUCTION
A statement by Julia Cameron Read: “Most of us are not raised to actively encounter our destiny. We may not know that we have one. As children, we are seldom told we have a place in life that is uniquely ours alone. Instead, we are encouraged to believe that our life should somehow fulfill the expectations of others, that we will (or should) find our satisfactions as they have found theirs. Rather than being taught to ask ourselves who we are, we are schooled to ask others. We are, in effect, trained to listen to others’ versions of ourselves. We are brought up in our life as told to us by someone else! When we survey our lives, seeking to fulfill our creativity, we often see we had a dream that went glimmering because we believed, and those around us believed that the dream was beyond our reach. Many of us would have been, or at least might have been, done, tried something, If we had known who we really were.”
It is on this statement i would premise my discussion about Image on. Image is something i specifically designed for the purpose of addressing the theme of today’s conference- MY IDENTITY; MY FUTURE.
I.M.A.G.E Stands for Identification, Manifestation, Abandon, Goal setting and Execution. These are the principles, i believed if followed could help you identify who you are (IDENTITY) and what you are trying to do (FUTURE). We cannot be everything but we can be something and my aim is to help you identify a picture of your future so that you can begin to nurture thoughts that would create your desired lifestyle.
The ideas presented here, are as a result of my interest in personal development by listening to various audio learning programmes, attending conferences, meeting with people and from various speaking engagements.
IDENTIFICATION
When you closed your eyes, what did you see? Have you ever been asked to identify yourself? How about if i asked you to tell me about yourself, right here right now, what would you say?
These are questions i don’t need you to answer but to ponder upon, not because i underestimate you but because the answers to all these questions would be provided in the course of this presentation, but before that i need you to do one thing for me and here it is:
Below are prominent Nigerians, try to identify as many of them as you can and know what exactly they all have in common:
Abu Abdullah Adelabu, Alexander Ogomudia, Aliko Dangote, Agbani Derego, Aminu Kano, Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, Babatunde Shofoluwe, Bisade Ologunde, Bisoye Tejuosho, Bukola Elemide, Cecilia Ibru, Chinua Achebe, Chioma Ajunwon, Dan Fulani, Enoch Adeboye ,Eyitayo Lambo, Festus Okotie-Eboh,Gani Fawehinmi, Hakeem Olajuwon, Innocent Idibia, J.J Okocha, Ola Rotimi, Omotola Jalade, Pat Utomi, Philip Emeagwali, Peter Rufai, Rashidi Yekini, Richard Mofe Damijo, Sade Adu, Samuel Ajayi Crowther, Sani Abacha, Sir Victor Uwaifo, Wole Soyinka.
Your task is not to know all of these people but you must know at least ten. How did you identify them? At any point in time there can only be one answer to this question and that is who they are. For instance if I mentioned Wole Soyinka you already know he is a writer, Tuface Idibia (Musician) Aliko Dangote (Business man) etcetera.
We identify people by who they are and my aim is to help you discover who you are and help you to identify steps that could be helpful in building your future.
Could you please tell us about yourself? That’s a popular interview question. Now imagined that you were about securing a #15Million Naira Job but you must correctly answer this question before you could be given a chance. How would you go about it?
To do this, there is only one thing required: A correct definition of who you are. Most people when asked to introduce themselves would say, “Hi, I’m Cinderella and I am a 17-year old, Unilag Undergraduate.” It does not tell you about who Cinderella is; it only tells you her present preoccupation. To gain insights about yourself, you need to look closely at your beliefs, values, and principles aside from your economic, professional, cultural, and civil status. Moreover, you can also reflect on your experiences to give you insights on your good and not-so-good traits, skills, knowledge, strengths, and weaknesses. Whatever your approach to defining yourself is, try to be real. Never try to imitate any of the personalities mentioned above because if you do, you not only be a bad imitation of them you’d also eliminate the possibility of becoming the person you were meant to be.
Delve deep into yourself and bring forth your strength, ability and talent. It is your personal responsibility to give yourself an Identity something that will be uniquely yours. We are all weak but there is something unique about each of us, it is this uniqueness that gives us our place on earth whether as an Artiste, Doctor, Photographer, Lecturer, Accountant, e.t.c. Try to find your place on earth, this is the only way to avoid been displaced.
Don’t be that guy people want you to be, just be that person you think you should be. Say no to being susceptible to what i called the “AL” factors. These are the parental, societal and environmental factors which can have a tremendous effect on the definition of our future.
Chuck Palahniuk Choke, commented: “We can spend our lives letting the world tell us who we are. Sane or insane. Saints or sex addicts. Heroes or victims. Letting history tell us how good or bad we are. Letting our past decide our future. Or we can decide for ourselves. And maybe it’s our job to invent something better.” So the Big Question is: WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO?
MANIFESTATION
This is the second important step in identifying yourself and defining your future. There’s a direct relationship between your thoughts and what you manifest and what you manifest is how people see you. Start acting like the future you, talk like the future you and behave like the future you until the whole process begin to sink. If only you can hold the mental picture of your future self long enough, you’d soon reach a point where nothing else on earth would matter to you except what you are looking at. William Sommerset Maugham Said: “It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best you very often get it.” Here is another question for you to answer: What do you think about and how do you think about it?
Constantly ask yourself this question and anytime a negative thought wants to creep in, “SNAP YOUR RUBBER BAND” this is a technique for interrupting negative thought patterns. Never sell yourself short and anytime you feel uncertain about the future LEAN ON GOD the one who knows you and your future. There is no limit to what you can achieve on earth so go into the world confidently and let your light shine.
Marianne Williamson said: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
WHAT DO YOU MANIFEST? FEAR OR FAITH? Remember. You manifest your thought anytime your thinking is not positive, in other not to SINK SNAP YOUR RUBBER BAND.
ABANDON
This is a critical step in your journey to the future and you must be attentive to know why you need to abandon some of the things you do. You see, we all have our callings in life and your primary responsibility is to find this, next to that is to mind your business. Everything in life is a function of time and to fully maximize your potential you must learn to let go of some certain things, people, places and events that do not add any value to your purpose in life. Learning to say no is a useful hint in this regard. You must learn to abandon things that have no relevance to you. Doing this will help you focus on things that are most important to you. Never feel sorry for trying to be productive, but you must know how to do this intelligently without sending the wrong signal to the other party because at any point in time they may be useful to you and this is a very good lesson in human relationships; we need ourselves to succeed but that’s not to say you should sacrifice your own destiny just because you want to be nice. Jack Canfield said: “success depends on getting good at saying no without feeling guilty. You cannot get ahead with your own goals if you are always saying yes to someone else’s projects. You can only get ahead with your desired lifestyle if you are focused on the things that will produce that lifestyle.” I believe your time is your life that’s why there’s life time. It is your time that you convert to anything you want to become in life. For instance if you want to be a doctor that means devoting more time to studying than anything else and this applies to every other disciplines as well as any other thing you want in life.
Time is a terrible ting to waste- you cannot save time, loose time, turn back the hands of time or have more time tomorrow than today. Time is unemotional, uncontrolled, unencumbered it moves forward regardless of circumstances and in the game of life creates a level plain field for everyone. By abandoning things that do not add to your purpose in life you learn to make best use of your time. Abandoning things that do not add to you is a way of controlling your participation in certain events that coordinates with the clock and that’s the best way to manage your time. How you use your time is very important and remember time is a terrible thing to waste.
GOAL SETTING
At the beginning of this presentation i asked questions that could help you identify yourself and by now i believe you should have gained some insight into who you are. The next important thing for you to do is to set goals that would allow your mission to be materialized.
What are goals and how do you set them? Goals are what you are aiming for –they are statement of what you want. The theory of goal setting is based on the fact that your subconscious mind does not know the difference between fact or fiction. Here are some examples to help you better understand what goals are: “I never win anything.” “Nothing ever goes right for me.” “That’s just my luck.” “Nobody likes me.” “I can’t spell.” “I just can’t seem to get anything done.”
Do some of these sound familiar? We have all used these types of goals in the past without knowing it. The subconscious mind takes these statements as fact and carries them out without question, yes these are all harmful instructions that you can give yourself without thinking. Be careful of what you say when you talk to yourself. What i am trying to do for you is to help you turn your mind around. Think about what you can do instead of what you can’t.
There are four steps necessary in setting goals. These steps are:
1. Define your dream precisely and concisely, exactly what it is that you want.
2. State it in the present tense as if it has already happened.
3. Write it down
4. Spend time with it everyday
There is a fact about brain I’d like you to you to know: The Brain recognises pattern which is why what you do on a consistent basis often becomes habitual. It comes to you naturally, almost effortlessly. Believe in the goal, spend time with it everyday until it becomes a habit. An effective goal identifies where you want to be. It gives you important information on how to get there, and it tells you when you have arrived. To have an effective goal, two things are essential: Decision and discipline- the two can be called Goal setting and Goal getting. You can set an effective goal without deciding on what exactly you want in life and after the decision comes the discipline to make sure that you are following up on your decision. When you set goals you give meaning and purpose to your life. This allows you to be proactive and take charge of your life. It has been said that if you don’t know where you are going chances are that you end up somewhere else. Goals must be Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound. By setting unrealistic goal you’ll often end up been frustrated, stressed and hopeless. The point i am trying to underscore here is that you cannot set two major goals such as earning a master’s degree and a doctorate degree within a period of 3 years since the minimum number of years to complete a master’s degree is 2 years. My final note on goal settings comes from the statement of Denis Waitley : “ The secret of productive goal setting is in establishing clearly defined goals, writing them down and then focusing on them several times a day with words, pictures and emotions as if we have already achieved them.” Thanks Denis, i have already said that but in a different way. Isn’t it?
EXECUTION
Sir Isaac Newton said: “A body will continue in its state of rest or uniform motion until it is acted upon.” This known as the Newton’s first law of motion law of motion or the law of inertia. Without action all the principles and techniques discussed in this presentation will amount to nothing. Don’t put till tomorrow what you can do today. To get things done we must act. Nobody cooks vegetables by mouth, it’s by putting all the ingredients together and taking action on getting it cooked, that a leafy plant is turned to a delicious meal. There’s no time, start acting on your goals. As Will Durant commented: “Forget mistakes. Forget failure. Forget everything except what you are going to do now and do it. Today is your lucky day.”

I appreciate Red Cross society of Nigeria for organising this program, to all my listeners; i wish you all unlimited success in your endeavours. Till we meet again, be successful.

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