4 advantages you didn’t know you have and how to make them work for you.
Have you ever looked at someone and wished you were in that person’s shoe? I mean, wished you had their type of charm, talent or intelligence? Ever wished you had an “S” line curve like mine(winks) or more height like the tall girl in the picture, or a prettier face, fuller bust, more money or just kids like your neighbour? Have you ever envied a position occupied by someone else and wished you had the same opportunity in life? The answer is yes. Don’t lie. Admit it. It happens to all of us even if its in a fleeting moment. Some people just seem to be more gifted and oppourtuned than others. Life is not fair at times but then, what can one do? Good question. While I totally agree that life is not fair, I also believe i got my own fair share out of life and here’s why;
We were given magnificent birth gifts, talents, capacities, privileges, intelligence and opportunities, that would remain largely unopened except through our decision and effort. These magnificent gifts allocated to everyone’s destiny are our leverage. How we utilize them will to a large extent determine our place in life. Whether you are born with a silver spoon or not, you sure do have an advantage in life. At leverage ed1, we have established advantages one and two and how to make them work for us. So, let’s discuss advantages three and four in this 2nd edition;
3. You: Yes, You! You are your most valuable asset. Your life, your potential and your possibilities are the most precious things you have. Thus, your goal in life should be to fulfill that potential and become everything you are capable of becoming. Do you see the girls in the picture? They are each beautiful and unique. One slim and tall, the other plump and short. The best version of themselves, phenomenal, quintessential, the very essence of nature. And so are you. On the physical outlook, while the tall girl will do well for a runway model, the plump one with all the curves in the right places, will do well for an ads, and commercials model. Just as their looks are distinct, so are their persona, potentials and possibilities. The same applies to you.(you can post your own picture below let’s see what you look like. Winks)
Instead of trying to reshape yourself to be like someone else, you should celebrate your abilities. Part of accepting your abilities is to recognize your limitations. Nobody is good at everything. Don’t be envious of the runner in the next lane, just focus on finishing your race. Never compare yourself with anybody for two reasons; first you’ll always find someone who seems to be doing better than you and then get discouraged. Second, you’ll always find someone who doesn’t seem to match up to you and then get proud. Avoid comparisons, resist exaggeration and seek only God’s commendation. Don’t settle for a half developed gift, stretch yourself and learn all you can. Take advantage of you, your temperament, shape, strengths and weaknesses. Know what works for you and what doesn’t. what counts and what doesn’t. Even your weakness could turn to strengths if used in the right circumstance. This is why the concept of self discovery cannot be overemphasized. Only a man who has discovered himself and his purpose in life can do this. Discover yourself. Leverage on you.
4. People and Relationships: ‘’Having partners is leverage’’ says Donald Trump, in his book titled Why We Want You to be Rich, co authored with Robert Kiyosaki. The people you meet in life whether good or bad play a vital role to your success in life. We are all part of each other’s emotional tool kit for better or worse. Earlier we discussed leveraging on you. That is an independent state. Now, we have moved to leveraging on other people around us, in church, at work, family, friends, neighbor and all. That is a state of interdependence. one way to leverage on people around us is through synergy. The essence of synergy is to value differences, to respect them, to build on strengths, to compensate for weakness. However, effective interdependence can only be built on true independence. The key to interpersonal synergy is intra personal synergy. Synergy within oneself. The question is as a person, what is your level of independence? Have you been able to synergise between your strengths and weakness? To value the uniqueness of your difference? To identify your purpose?
According to Steven Covey in Seven Habits of Highly Effective people, ‘’Real success is success with self. It’s not in having things but in having mastery over self’’. A purpose driven life amongst other things lead to a character of integrity, maturity and abundance mentality. The mentality that there is a fair share out there for everyone. Because your purpose is clear, your self esteem is high. You have a deep sense of personal worth and security. Your strengths and weaknesses have been synergised into an apex, like that of a triangle. Buddhism calls it ‘’The higher way’’. This true sense of independence thrives in supportive systems. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives and creativity. It recognizes the possibility of positive interactive growth, creating new third alternatives. The alternative for relationships. If you can value your own difference, you can value the difference in others. Valuing the differences is to realize that all people see the world not as it is, but as they are. And unless we value the difference in each other’s perception, unless we give credence to the possibility that we are both right, that life is not always a dichotomous either/or, that there almost always is a 3rd alternative, we will never be able to transcend the limits of that conditioning. Ecology is a concept in biology that best describes synergism in nature – everything is related to everything else. Everyone is related to everyone else. Learn to leverage on that.
In building relationships, there are two keywords that are paramount, Empathy and Integrity.
Empathy (Seek first to understand, then be understood): it is our tendency to project our own autobiographies, what we think other people want or need. We project our intentions on the behavior of others. We interpret other people’s action based on the our own desire either now or when we were at a similar stage in life. If they don’t see reasons with us, we take it as a rejection of our well intended effort and give up. However, empathy seeks first to understand then be understood. Empathic listening gets into another person’s frame of reference. Empathy is not sympathy. Sympathy is a form of agreement. The essence of empathy is not that you agree with someone. It is that you fully understand that person emotionally and intellectually. Empathic listening is so powerful because it gives you accurate data to work with. Instead of projecting your own autobiography and assuming thoughts, motives and intentions, you are dealing with the reality inside another person’s head and heart.
Integrity: integrity as an interdependent reality is simply this; you treat everybody by the same set of principle. It also means avoiding any communication that is deceptive, full of guile or beneath the dignity of people. One of the ways to manifest integrity is to be loyal to those who are not present. In doing so, we build the trust of those who are present. You may get the golden egg of temporary pleasure from putting someone down but you are strangling the goose, weakening the relationships that provide enduring pleasure in association.
Aside the relationships that life gives us which is pretty much outside our control like family, neighbors, colleagues, we can bring in new people and partners. The two most common ways of bringing in new people into our lives are through friendship and network. Friendship is a relationship built through mutual likes. It’s broad and used more generally. It’s easy to establish and is not founded on conditions. Networking on the other hand is a narrower concept. It’s selective, conditional, requires skill and is artful. So, Let’s take a closer look at it.
The art of networking: One of the advantages of building relationship is the reservoir of goodwill and trust that arises. While almost everyone has a friend, not everyone has mastered the art of networking. Not everyone needs to either. We should stick to which works for us. Friends or networks or both. Networks are quite distinct from the web of friendships we cultivate primarily for pleasure. Networking is relationship building with motive. It’s friendship with purpose. Networks are carefully selected with each person representing a particular expertise or excellence. Each member of a network represents an immediate available extension of knowledge available with a phone call. People who work a network well has an immense time advantage over people who use a broader source like friends and family. Although in the end, we all arrive at the same result but may be at different times. Attributes of personal friendship like empathy and integrity are used with networks and personal friendships can also be made from networks. However, it takes clarity of purpose and discipline not to entangle networks with intimacy or private lives. It’s important to know that some networks may be closer to us than others to the extent that they become friends. Some people call their networks their A-Team. I call them my friends. I for one have mastered the art of networking. So I’m talking from experience. I have very few friends and more networks. It saves me time. That’s because I have clarity of purpose in life. I don’t entangle intimacy with networking. It works for me all the time. Find out what works for you, more friends or more networks. Leverage on it. Leverage on everything else around you, your circumstance, that ugly situation, that risk, that challenge. Most importantly, leverage on you. You are your most valuable asset. Oh! I almost forgot. Wait!! Don’t go!!! Did I remind you to leverage on God? He’s the best asset you ever got in this wicked world. By all means, Leverage on him. (Are you asking me how?) By having a relationship with him of course. One relationship that is important in life is your relationship with your maker. God is both my friend and my highest network profile. I leverage on his supreme power and unconditional love. The dead have no such advantage. They have nothing to leverage on. Now how about you? Can you boast of any advantage? Share it with us below.