INSPIRING SELF-DEVELOPMENT COACHING BY DR ABDULRAZAQ ONIYE (FROM UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN) AT PROINSAFE LAUNCHING EVENT
Permit me to stand on the well established protocol, I greet ProInSafe team, the distinguished guests and all the people that are seated here today. Good evening to everyone. I am invited to discuss self-development. Self development basically helps us to become more aware of our talents, potentials and help to bring to the fore issue of human capital development. This awareness facilitates employability and ensures that we are able to contribute to personal and national development.
Self-development involves steps taken to discover/identify your talents, strengths and other attributes that will help you to fulfil your purpose in this life because obviously we all are existing to fulfil certain purpose. Many people are unable to progress in life because of their inability to identify their talents, some people are gifted in writing, some have oratory power, when they talk you are mesmerized and amazed.
You must identify various areas you are talented, is it writing, statistics, entrepreneurship, sport, speaking etc. Self development implies you know your talents. Closely related to that is the issue of potential, we all do not have the same potentials. That’s why some people thrive in a particular field of endeavors and others do not. That is why today some people going to school and always fail, because they do not necessarily have business in the academic field they are studying, everyone wants to attain first, second, third degrees because others are doing that when the person is meant to focus on entrepreneurship. As a result he will be wasting his resources; time, money and energy at school and they will be marking him there as a failure.
Some people have failed jamb consecutively that they can already predict jamb questions. These people can easily tell that these questions were asked three years ago and won’t be set until next year. The reason for this is because they have written jambs so many times but they keep failing, or maybe they did pass but didn’t just gain admission into the university, meanwhile they were so determined to go to university not so that they can gain advanced knowledge to be productive but because of societal expectations.
Whereas if such person had discovered his/her potential, he/she would not have so much stressful experience. Some students spend more fruitless years than expected in school or in a particular learning institute because they are yet to discover their talents. They are then perceived as failures by people around them. Some people are destined to be in school, attain all forms of degrees yet they hardly have something valuable to show for it simply because they are not self-developed. Some people only stick to the information taught in school, this way, they do not meet up with standards. We must have those attributes that reflect self development to benefit more from all forms of education we acquire. Some people are punctual and faithful to their studies but still do not perform optimally as a result of lack of self-development.
Self development implies that you just a take a step, lay a significant foundation (discover your potentials) for further development, continue to improve yourself and progress to be the best you can be. Not all of us must attain second degrees, we may all have first degrees because obviously education is required to fully operate in the society, but not all of us will get second degrees. And if we all obtain second degree, all of us won’t obtain doctorate degree. The most important thing is to discover the innate potentials, that’s very crucial to the issue of self-development. I commend the organizers of this program for coming up with such crucial topic; self-development. Nigeria has many problems because many people within the country are not self-developed.
The second thing to discuss is “what potentials have you?” You need to think about how you will develop your potentials to be able to establish an organization of your own so that you can employ others. Don’t think just about being employed. Imagine everyone thinks of being employed, that means we will have no employers, no organization, no investment, how do we then work to survive? Therefore to sustain the economy of the country, more people must think about creating employment and not just about being employed.
In those days, we had just University or Ilorin in Kwara state, now there are more than four universities within Kwara state. More potential employees are being created, this is a reason each person must be well developed to be self-reliant, self employed and also provide opportunities for others to be employed. In addition, technological advancement today is getting people out of jobs, it is contributing to reduction in the need for human labor, that is, job vacancies are very few.
In those days it would take about few days before getting pictures from photographers, they will give you the negative copies and ask you to later come back for the hard copy. But now all those things have gone into extinction, photographers nowadays have very few or no room for employment. In those days, post office was very relevant because people would post letters to communicate with their loved ones that are distant. The post office hardly matters anymore upon the arrival of handsets, laptops etc. which means many people working there must have lost their jobs. In fact, motor parks do not get enough passengers anymore relative to those days because people can easily communicate (have meetings etc) through mobile phones, and other communication gadgets instead of travelling to places.
Instead of taking taxi to your aunt’s place, you can easily make a phone call of just 5 naira to confirm if she’s around, if she says no, you will save up the money (about 50 or 100 naira) and time to go to her house and still be disappointed by her absence. All these innovations are evidence of some people’s self development. We can see the latter is very vital to the community, societal and national development.
We have discussed talents, potentials, acquisition and diversification. Acquisition is going to school to learn how to read, write, learn numeracy, and acquire other basic knowledge required to fit into the society. The beginning of self development is learning how to diversify. Diversification involves acquiring and developing your skills and potentials. Which implies that today you cannot rejoice over having just a skill, things are changing, the world is evolving. If you only have certificate without acquiring another relevant skill, if the field you have its certificate becomes redundant, then count yourself jobless. If you have no skill you can sell, what can employers buy from you. So you need to diversify.
Now I will be rounding up by mentioning some tips for your self-development. To be self-developed we need to do a number of things some of which include:
- You must ensure that you are focused on self-improvement. Improve yourself, read outside classroom. Don’t limit your knowledge to what you are taught by your teachers/lecturers.
- Individual Growth: If you have first degree, be focused on acquiring a skill relevant to developing your potentials. Note that, you need to consider your potentials before acquiring a skill. If you don’t have the potential, you will be tagged a failure during the course of the training and after the training.
- Team work: I like the drama presented by the youngsters (PLACY Club members), the young girl who was the business woman was selling on her own but was making very low sales, by the time she exchanged ideas with the other young boy (who was the distributor), she learned some tactics which helped to grow her business. If you are doing it all alone without a team work and input of other people, you will experience low or no progress. You must learn to do team work.
- You must be productive. This is internet era, when you go online be focused on your needs and how you can use the internet to gratify your needs. If you are going online to search for a topic, do just that to the exclusion of everything else. Don’t be distracted by Facebook. If you did not go online to browse Instagram, don’t let Instagram distract you. If you are not online to tweet, don’t let twitter distract you. If you are not focused, you can be online for 8 hours, wasting your MB, your time and energy without achieving a significant goal. You will start checking your social media messages, surfing the net etc and you will still appear busy, busy doing nothing. Be focused, be determined, be mindful and be proactive
- Giving Back: A self-developed person must learn to give back to the society. That is the time to reflect your self development, a self developed person is not just busy with him/herself alone. Your self development should inspire you to engage in one or two projects that can benefit the life of others. Like this ProInSafe seminar, everyone here today paid no entrance fee before they can get free access to valuable lectures and information necessary to develop them psychologically and to develop their skills. Certainly acquiring and applying these skills will help them to be more productive. Therefore ProInSafe team has benefited the lives of people here today. That is the way to go as self developed individuals.
- Develop your communication skills: To go far in life you must work on your communication skills. Some people are enriched with sound knowledge and talents but they lack expression. They lack quality and meaningful expression. Some people are not welcomed at official meetings because of their lack of presentation despite their rich knowledge and experience. Their knowledge is wasteful and not yet adequate because they have not acquired the knowledge and skills of effective communication. Don’t beat about the bush, be detailed but precise. Improve on your communication skills.
- You need to work on your relationship: Some of us have good networks but we don’t exploit them fruitfully. Some people went to school, they made friends but don’t know the value of friendship. Some of your classmates are daughters and sons to valuable people yet you cannot tap into these resources. You have hundreds of friends on social media who are adding no value to you. Ask yourself, how many of your acquaintances can be helpful/useful in reaching your own destination. Work on your network, constructive ones. That’s what I mean by building your relationships.
- Be a leader of yourself: You need to be a good follower to be a good leader. Learn to control yourself and be disciplined that when you set out your goals you commit yourself to the achievement of those goals. Learn to obey and believe in yourself.
- Be Creative : You need to be creative in the course of developing yourself. While developing yourself, your creativity is improved. Innovation is important in this era. Some people are not better than you but they are well packaged. Some people sell locust beans, package it well and transport to other states. If you sell good products but your business lacks quality packaging, very few people or no one will patronize you. Some people package grounded pepper, garri etc and make greater sales compare to their competitors who do not package as such. Packaging is very key to someone who is intentional about self-development.
- Learn to cope with failure: Always understand that Rome was not built in a day. Look at this bulb (electricity) we all are benefiting from today was developed by a man, who failed about a thousand times. It was after he tried a thousandth time that he was able to develop an inferior kind of bulb. The pioneering bulb has gone through so many alterations before we have nice modern bulb of today. Today we are using phones which are forms of computers, the very first set of computers are gigantic and are very limited and restricted, now we have very nice laptops, desktops etc. The first set of phones were also very huge (especially 3310 models of phones) that they tagged them “owo n ro mi” (Yoruba words for my hands ache) implying how big the phones were at the time. If you want to live and not make mistakes, it means you are not trying to be self-developed, nor are you making an impact, you are not even working nor taking any significant step at all.