Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The First Pay Cheque

It felt so good holding it in his hands. It was now Adewale's turn to graduate after years of waiting. The journey had been a wonderful one-gaining admission to one of the prestigious universities in the country to study Psychology. This feat  however, was not without battles with JAMB. That in itself,  is a story for another day.
It had been one year of active service,being posted to a school to teach. He was faced with a set of non-chalant students that did not value education. Adewale would at often times, compel them to attend classes. He was to teach Government and Commerce.

The principal,Mr Danbaba, of the school who was trying to cut cost, decided not to employ more teachers but rather make do of the ones he had. He gave Adewale additional subjects to teach (even those outside his field of study).

Imagine, three science subjects (Basic science,Physics and Biology)were imposed on him. Mr. Danbaba smiling sarcastically, told him that he would adjust. According to the Principal,his understanding of  the additional subjects would come after he read the relevant text books.Physics ke? It seemed like Greek, how on earth was he going to teach his students effectively?

He had plans after service year-He would get a job in one of the leading banks in the country and then proceed to marry Shenene, have lovely children and travel around the world. After several years of job-search, he finally got his dream job in an audit firm.

It was his first official job. The day of resumption was a little clumsy because he was still trying to adjust but after a day or two he gradually picked up. He was shown around the various departments in the company  and most importantly, his office. Time went by as he settled into his new position.

It was the end of month that smelt that pay day was not far. Now the pay cheque was in the hands,the zeros on the cheques caused excitement. He had never had such money .The next thing was to pay his tithe,save and the rest would be for Shenene (his heart throb) and for self development. He left work in high spirits.

It was his first pay cheque. He got home only to find that the pay cheque was missing. His wallet  was searched over and over again."What happened???" He could not get the right answers. He could not remember the bus' number plate if at all he had misplaced it there or was it at work? He was totally confused.

How could this happen???It was his first pay cheque! This was the umpteenth of searching himself. He had become totally naked."Oh God! Why?" He was sure that it was his step mother at work,she had blocked his getting a job and when he finally got one,he could not find his first pay cheque or was it mere carelessness?

Monday, 3 March 2014

10 worst habits holding you from success

The path of success is often littered by our own trash, obstacles that we place ourselves. Habits, by definition are behaviors that are so ingrained that we no longer become conscious of them; actions that turn into autopilot. The power of habit is severely under-recognized as driving force toward success. When the incredible Brian Tracy was asked about the key to success, he replied, “Successful people are simply those with successful habits.”
While there are many people that possess many successful habits, these habits are being undermined by toxic habits- it is taking one step forward but then two steps back. Breaking the bad habit could be the game-changer that you are desperately needing.

1. Waiting for the ‘right’ moment

How many times have you said, “I’m just going to wait until I have enough money saved up,” or “I need to research more.” As the Chinese proverb goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
Stop waiting for the unicorn and take the bull by the horns now. Any action is better than no action.

2. The approval of others

While it is important to receive validation for your work, constantly seeking that pat on the back from others will get you nowhere. Do not feed into the ego of your ever-needy self-esteem. It is nice to receive good comments on your work. But do not mix up what is good for the ego for what is good for your productivity.

3. The need to always be perfect

Perfectionism is crippling. By all means strive for excellence and seek to produce the best product you are able to deliver. But spending far too much time on any task can become detrimental when you have people waiting for you to deliver. If your work meets their expectations, then drop the product. If you exceed it, even better. But do not keep them waiting too long. You could spend an eternity improving a product.

4. Giving too much respect

Even Einstein made mistakes. Just because someone is in a prominent position, it does not mean they have all the answers. This habit cripples many people who listen to ‘respectable’ figures who are in a completely different field to them.
How many times have you seen an actor endorsing a product they know nothing about and people listening just because they are famous? Terrible habit.

5. Germophobia

It should not only be great leaders that aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty, but anyone striving after success. Getting your hands dirty means engaging in a task that is outside of your responsibility.
Win the respect of others by doing something beyond your duty.

6. Not learning from people ‘less’ than you

Pride is like putting poison into your own glass of water. Great knowledge can come from anyone. But if you simply shut someone off because they do not have a PhD or they are not a CEO, you are potentially robbing yourself of a golden nugget. You never know what kind of experience a person has or who the person may be connected with.

7. Rushing the last look

You are so excited with finishing your work that you just want to ship it straight out the door without giving it a final once-over. This is the Achilles Heel for most writers. But what separates a good writer from an average writer is patience- many writers will let an article sit overnight and then make more edits in the morning before sending it. This applies for other industries also, take time to give it one last thorough check. Even get someone else to have a look before you ship or hit the send button.

8. Not being vulnerable

It is easy to feel the need to put on a mask in your career, particularly if you are in leadership. No doubt there is a clear line that needs to be drawn between employers and employees. But you need to take off the iron suit every now and then.
Admit to making mistakes, make apologies when you are in the wrong. You will be respected.

9. Too stubborn to let go

While grit, tenacity, and perseverance are all great qualities, they can be crippling when they are directed toward the wrong goal. This is difficult with any project that you have poured your heart and soul into. But if it is not profitable nor bringing you closer to your goal, then you need to recognize when you are being stubborn and let go. Treat any humiliation like water off a duck’s back and direct your energy toward the next project.

10. The contentment plateau

There is a dark side to being satisfied with your work and accomplishments. Being content and comfortable is the enemy of improvement. Take time during your journey to stop and smell the roses, but do not let be left standing there when the roses are long gone.
Keep setting the bar higher. Knock down a goal, celebrate it, move on.

On a final note, Samuel Johnson gives a great warning on the crucial need to break detrimental habits – “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” If you are suffering from any of these 10 toxic habits, then you need to nip it in the bud today.
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About The Author: Thai Nguyen

Thai Nguyen is the founder of WantrepreneurJourney.com The site is dedicated to inspiring millions of young professionals who feel stuck doing what they HAVE to do rather than what they WANT to do. Thai has been a successful Chef and small café owner, a Professional Athlete that has competed internationally, and now writes and speaks for a living. Be sure to check out www.wantrepreneurjourney.com for some great content to start putting your dreams into reality.