Funny how true it is that “to hide anything from an African man, put it in a book”. It is clear, I mean very clear that the reasons we’ve gotten where we are as a nation today and even in our personal lives is due to the kind of information we carry. Have you set a destination for yourself? What information do you carry to get there? It’s what we know that determines how far we go.

We are not permitted to make same mistakes by previous generations because now we have easy access to enough information in the global world of today. We are in the best of times as well as the worst of times, it is best for those who seek knowledge and worst for those who ignore it. Great readers become great leaders. If you are not loaded, your head would become a load and you’d have nothing to offload. What if Jesus didn’t have enough of the Word to fight the devil? What if Bill gates didn’t have enough information to create Microsoft? What if, oh! Just what if? Develop a reading culture and seek for facts. I always wondered how people do not know how much you can gain from buying a book for just 200 naira. I have read quite a number of life transforming books and the information I gained are so priceless compared to the price paid for the book.
It’s true in life that you EARN more by applying the principles you’ve lEARNt. We see here that “what you learn determines what you earn”.
Show me the kind of books you read and I’d tell you where your life leads to, though, try not to be an information monger but rather be an information user. To acquire knowledge without application is like having a car and still trekking to work every day.

What you know determines how far you go. Success is just another word for well applied knowledge. To stand out from a crowd, you must first stand out in knowledge. To do more than others then there must be something you know more than the others. Charles Steinmetz, a great electrical engineer was once invited to repair in huge electrical generator in a company’s factory. After a few days of research with the generator, its electrical drawings, a paper and a pencil, He walked up to a dynamo and made a large “X” in chalk on the casing, and gave instructions to the technicians on what to do and the generator would work. Indeed when they followed the instructions, it worked. The manager was thrilled, and told him to send an invoice. The bill was for $1,000. The manger got furious and asked him to send his invoice. The manger received the invoice and it contained two items: $1 charge for marking the casing with an X; $999 for knowing where to put it. Indeed he got paid because of his knowledge.

Action step:

Start now to buy books for personal development and for career development.

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In my early days in secondary school, I used to answer English questions just the way I felt it rhymed in my ears, so I could pick just any answer even if I always spoke the sentence wrongly. So I picked my answers by chance and hoped it was correct. I got an English teacher later on who taught us that each question had a principle to answer it. For example for concords, a plural noun should be followed by a plural verb and I moved from a mere pass in English language to a distinction! when I wrote my Secondary School leaving Certificate examinations.

This is a similar scenario of how our life works today, life is not run by chance but by principles. To earn a distinction in life, you must be ready to learn how the system works. Some have given their lives in search of money and wealth but only very few have given their all for the search of the principles. Which is actually the real deal? Imagine a man that travelled all the way to Jerusalem in search of Solomon’s treasures but on getting to the door that separates him from the room of treasures, he gets there and starts turning the knob anti-clockwise. No matter how hard he tries, he would never enter that room except he understands the principle of turning that door knob clockwise to open it. Did you even imagine how much that man may have spent, all he would have done just to travel from where he was to get to that door? At the end of it all, only an important or rather simple principle as such separated him from his treasures. No great man today ever made it by accident, it was all a careful application of principles, there are so many books today, tapes and so much on the internet from which you can draw knowledge to guide you in getting the principles. There has never been a century armed with more information than ours. The sad story though is that a lot of us also ignore knowledge.

All our decisions in life must be based on principles. O! how I love the way Jesus dished out so many principles on the mountain and at the end of it all he said:

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall because it had its foundation on a rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who builds his house on sand” – Mathew 7:24-26.

Seeking for the principles of how life works would surely put you on a solid foundation for life. Living a careless life would always result to nothing but a well principled life always results in great things. Seeking the principles involves asking right questions. The key to unlock the mysteries of life is to ask ‘questions’. One of such questions is for us to ask ourselves at every point in time is ‘What is expected of me?’ or ‘What should be the right thing for me to do now?’. When we know what is expected of us and we are willing to do that which is expected of us in every area of our lives then we are ready to achieve excellence.

Understanding and applying the principles would surely set you on the right foundation and make you outstanding in life. To excel in your education, seek the principles; to excel in your finance, seek the principles; to excel in your career, seek the principles. To excel in any area of your life at all, ask the right questions and seek the principles.

The first key to open any room of success is DECISION. Indecision in itself is a very costly decision. Life is a pursuit; when you’re clear about what you want then nothing could be more easy to get. Before anyone decides to open a door, they first decide they want to open the door. So it is with success, we must be sure and decide on what we want to achieve in life. It is not enough to just take the life as it comes to you everyday. Be clear about what you want in life. A lot of people do not stand for anything today that’s why they are satisfied with anything and hence they keep relaxing in their comfort zone, Wise men decide what they want and develop that inner strength to go all out for it with wisdom.
After taking the decision about what you want to get from any task you find yourself doing then you go to the next level. Imagine a student that wants to make good grades but all he/she ever thought about was how bad he was academically, he always saw his studies as difficult but never decided he wanted to succeed. Success does not come by mistake, success is first a matter of decision.

The second D of success is DETERMINATION. Determination shows an inner burning desire to achieve the decisions or the goals we’ve set before us. From the desire comes the ability. When we are determined to achieve those results we’ve set before us then we must be willing to give the work required to achieve that result. Determination is not a matter of strength but a matter of you putting your heart into what you do to achieve your goal. Many people just move around the place with all their strength without really putting their heart into what they do to achieve their goal. With determination, you see that goal as achievable and put your heart to do the work required to achieve your set goal.

The third D for success is DILIGENCE. Diligence involves hardwork done with discipline consistently. Your success tomorrow would not come because of some work you did some time ago and now stopped but work done consistently with due diligence would surely put you on a pedestal for excellence.
Take the DECISION, be DETERMINED to achieve it and with due DILIGENCE, the sky is just a springboard into greater heights. Hence the simple formula for success would be:
DECISION + DETERMINATION + DILIGENCE = SUCCESS

Remember, success without a God-factor is mere fables. Connect with your God and your work would surely be crowned with success.

Action step:
Be clear about what you want from life today, be determined to achieve it and be diligent to achieve it.