Wednesday, August 25, 2010


‘Till I come, give attention to reading’…says a wise man to his protégée.

Not too long ago, I started a series on national transformation. In the first, I tried to address the issue of leadership. I stated that it was high time we left the ‘servant-leadership’ cycle to what I call, ‘love-leadership’. In the second note, I entitled; WE ARE THE LEADERS OF TOMORROW, I did abuse that statement stating that we as youths have been cheated for long-It is our time. The tomorrow ‘they’ talked about yesterday is never gonna come; it is here. Now, I have come to discuss the 3rd in this series-WAR AGAINST IGNORANCE- another key factor as we seek for national transformation. I tell you, our nation will flourish again. Can I hear you say…

The Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary defines ignorance as lack of knowledge or information about something .Ignorance, they say is a disease. How true! My drive in this piece is to fight ignorance by knowledge via the instrumentality of reading. Believe it or yes, you are where you are because of your level of knowledge and will be where you desire by the knowledge you acquire. Summarily, you rise as far as your knowledge level. Knowledge is powerful (though potentially). Ironically, despite having a lot of materials (books, internet, CD’s, phones etc) through which one can acquire this element, most still wallow in ignorance. My people perish for lack of knowledge. Note; He didn’t say ‘they perish for the absence of knowledge, but for the lack of it (they refused to acquire it) and that is why that scripture continues by saying ‘because you have refused…I will…’Are you refusing it? It holds the key to your transformation. I have seen tremendous transformation in life by this simple truth. I remember, just 2 years ago before my NYSC how in the space of 6 weeks, I attended The Word of faith Bible Institute,(WOFBI) Kaduna and on the day of graduation, I was on my way to Lagos for Daystar leadership academy (DLA). It’s  just the hunger and thirst in me for knowledge. It is not that I have attained; I still ‘struggle’ but I believe I can share some ‘real truths’.

One way to acquire this (knowledge) and which I want to zero on is, READING. See, there is virtually no question you want to ask now that isn’t hidden in one book or the other-somewhere. No wonder, there is no new thing under the sun. I believe the concluding part of that statement is; ‘it is all hidden in a book’. I told my folks some weeks ago that when you say, ‘kia’, that Pastor/speaker has rev, I tell you, some of those things are what he/she has read in a book but because we have not gotten it/ read them, we are dazed. And really that’s what you need to win in life-have something that someone else doesn’t and he/she pays for it. Sometime ago, I was thinking about ‘the professor’, I realize, he/she is actually one who knows ‘everything’ about a ‘small thing’. I have also come to the conclusion that you can also be a ‘professor’ by ‘labouring’ in the place of your core skill and acquire all the knowledge you can along that line.

To become a leader, you must be a reader. Actually, committed learners are real leaders. For your life not to be in red (danger), Bishop Abioye said, you must read.I had him also say, in the school of knowledge, there is no graduation. When you stop learning (via reading-I add) you will start dying whether you are 80 or 18.The world is no longer for graduates, it is for consultants-people who have mastered a place of interest and done a lot of studies along that line. I was told that if you begin to read for one hour in the place of interest, in the next 5 years thereabout, you will be among the top 1% in the world. One of my folks stated that when she heard me say this she started and has not remained the same. Reading has a lot of benefits. I tell you, every successful man has been a product of books. I remember Rev.Sam Adeyemi telling us that when he was leaving for another house, the guys packing his things said they spent the whole day packing just books. He currently has about 3 libraries full of books in his new home, he stated. No wonder, you’ll say. Bishop Oyedepo will always say-it was when I read so and so book that I realize this and that. Just 2 nights ago, (when I was putting this down) I had him saying live, how he reviewed 10 of Kenneth E.Hagin’s books last year, that of T.L Osborn etc . I’ll say again, no wonder the proofs. He also stated sometime ago of having 700 books on leadership ALONE. Can you imagine? I had to ask myself if I had that amount of books collectively or if  I even had 7 books on leadership. The benefits cannot be over emphasized.
Now let me quickly state some tips to take immediately in order to ‘join the club’ and leave the den of ignorance;

1. Desire: there must be a strong desire to read. Desire is strong passion enough to sacrifice for (say Myles Munroe).Sacrifice the sleep, the film, the jist and pick a book. You must just be deliberate about this. This is the starting point. Like I said, let’s sacrifice those stuffs. They call it ‘delaying gratification’.

2. Start with your area of strength: what I mean is this, start reading in the place of interest. Some like fictions, thriller, comic etc but don’t end there.’Graduate’ to something more serious. It is always said that to know your ‘purpose’-ask yourself where your passion lies. If you love cooking, begin to read along that line. Is it sewing, designing, events management, counseling, music etc.-Read along that line! There is something to read. Again, the world is no longer for graduates but for consultants. That’s why you now hear ‘consultant engineer’, ‘consultant doc’, ‘consultant farmer’ etc Like I said earlier, I have had it said that, if you read for a minimum of an hour along a place of interest; in the next 5years, you will be among the top 1% in that field-obviously, a consultant. In fact, look around after one year, you will notice a significant change.Please, try it and see.

3. Have a ‘master-mind’ group: How do I mean? Navigate around those who are readers, they have a way of challenging and propelling you. Wise company…There are people definitely around you who you could share thoughts with, exchange books and sharpen each other. Everything rises and falls on association. Analyze those books with the group and not those ‘unnecessary films’/football matches.

4. Set a timetable: I remember years ago when I was finding it difficult to read as supposed, I had to set a timetable-a chapter everyday. I have changed that now, though. Yours could be same or by number of pages. Just set a time frame-say a book per month of 2 etc. It makes you disciplined and committed to do your best.

5. Keep books all around you: Endeavour to have books all around-your bed, car, etc- to keep you in check. I have scores of them all around me ‘begging’ to be read. My nature of job has made me reduce-thinking of taking a course on ‘speed-reading’. I have hundreds of others as soft copies ‘waiting’.

Get those books, dearie. That question you seek answer to is hidden in that book not too far. So, before you go for the next ‘deliverance’-read that book. It holds the key to your deliverance.

6. Do something: It is not what you have read that makes you but what you do with them. It is the doer that is blessed. Work on/with what you read. Find ways of practically applying what you read. Ok?

The benefits cannot be overemphasized; you get to rub minds with great men (literally you are in their ‘world of thought’; you have an edge over your contemporaries; You also get to discover your place. Do you know that until the Master read, he didn’t know…this day is this scripture fulfilled. I, Daniel understood by the book, so your understanding is also enhanced by reading…many, many more benefits. Get to read, friend.

Be all YOU CAN!

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