Your dignity comes not from control, but from understanding who you are and taking your rightful place in the world. Life is like music. It has high notes and low notes and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. You can’t please all people all the time. Being a good person is like being a goalkeeper. No matter how many goals you save, people will still remember only the one goal you missed. Never worry about how ungrateful some people might be. Just maintain your focus. Obstacles do not have to stop you. If you run into a wall, never give up. Figure out how to climb, or work around it. Learn from a candle which burns itself, lightening the ways of others. Live in such a way that even if you die, you’ll always be alive in the great memories of others that appreciate things. In everything you do, consider the end. It’s unwise to gain temporary pleasure at the expense of lasting joy.The struggle you are in today is developing the strength you will need for tomorrow. Never give up in life.
According to Lt. Gen. Joseph Smith, out of total applicants of 46,124 who applied to be enlisted in the Ghana army in 2010, only 7,357 candidates were short listed from the mammoth pool. Out of that figure, only 1,200 were chosen from the previously short-listed applicants. The Ministry of Defense had stated that the candidates must be chosen from all the 10 regions, and gender balance observed. This affirmative action clause, positive as it may be, further narrows down that chances of getting enlisted.
A victim, Forgive Francis Amedeka said in 2006 when he graduated from the prestigious University of Ghana, himself and a few friends decided to try the Military Academy. After several attempts, it was shocking to hear one Colonel Kojo Damoah tell one of his friends that his “body configuration was not in proportion.” How ridiculous? “For me, I was told it was not a family business so I should retire home though I meet all requirements.”
Every year, a similar number apply to join the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) but out of the number only 1200 or even less make it. The rejects when they know what to do end up in other armies around the world where they can put their gifts and abilities to work. The story of Anthony Owusu is the classic example. In 1998, he was among over ten thousand applicants of that year. He had just graduated from the Cape Coast University with dreams to excel as a military officer. His whole life has been lived around this vision. He served in boys scout as a juvenile; he served in the cadet corps of Mfantepim College and Cape Coast University respectively. His national service after sixth form was with the Ghana armed forces. “Iron” as his friends affectionately called him has been involved in everything that required physical endurance and a militant persona. He has been deeply involved in two forms of martial arts namely; Taekwondo and Shotokan respectively. You could say he was born for the military life. One would imagine that entrance into the Ghana Armed Forces will be a walk in the park. Master Owusu was in for a surprise.
He was rejected for no clear reasons as was many others like him who felt their lives depend on a career in the Army. As Ghanaians, the GAF was the only hope for military career. Welcome to the never discussed conundrum concerning security services recruitment in Ghana. Many can identify with the story as it is not so different with the rest of our security agencies.
There are many reasons why most applicants are rejected and the issues are often beyond the applicants’ inability to meet the requirements. Among them is the fact that the GAF is among the smallest armies in the world and offer very limited opportunities career-wise. At a mere 13,500 active men and women, the GAF can only accept so many applications per year. The result is that even the most qualified will end up on the waiting list or get rejected completely. This one problem alone can derail one’s career and send them in the wrong direction leading to failure in life. High performance and the attendant success require one to function in an area where they are naturally gifted. Second to this is that there is little opportunity for even those who make the list.
Many armies around the world offer opportunities that dwarf what is offered by the GAF and other typical African armies. A good example is that the French Army provides five years contracts with educational opportunities that will put officers in good positions in any chosen industry when they choose to leave the arm at the end their contract. The upshot is that one could join the army with limited education, access educational opportunities from the army platform and probably end up with a master’s degree by the end of a five year contract in a typical case. Our hero is now Captain Owusu commanding a thousand men in a Special Forces unit of the US army. He now holds a master’s degree in the health sciences. He was not just lucky, he also found out what to do.
Recently, a Ghanaian born officer with the British Army was elevated to the prestigious position of equerry. He was the first black man to ever be appointed into the position. The Equerry’s work involves guarding the queen of England during meetings etc. Bigger armies with more resources at their disposal provide more opportunities to people from around the world who are interested in a military career. This also comes with citizenship status. Notable armies in Europe like France and Britain and the USA are in this category and have opportunities for applicants from specific countries. Ghana is one of such countries and Ghanaians have a good record with the UN and other armies around the world. It is perhaps important to emphasize that many countries in Africa do not make the list of eligible countries and this places Ghana in an advantageous position.
In Ghana Jam international Academy has introduced a program that enables participants to access the British and French armies among other things. For those who are interested, the process starts by attending free seminars that will provide prospective applicants with all the information and resources they need to begin the process. They are later put through a test program to ensure their eligibility. Between 2017 and 2018 Jam International aims at recruiting 500 persons into both the British and French army. Prospective applicants can call 0209606577 for more information on the program.
Change people are a special breed. The resistances they face in their missions are not easily surmountable and it will appear there is a valid reason for this. One can only imagine how things will be if everyone could just get up and at will, change the way things are? Chaos! Our world is a predictable one. Perhaps because of its infinite layers of cycles that in their own rights give meaning to the axiom “what goes around comes around”. Solomon in his divine inspired wisdom observes; “there is nothing new under the sun” – Ecclesiastes 1:9
People are not as complex as they might seem at first glance. Ok I should save that for my people dynamics class. Before I get back on track however, let me just say that people are ALWAYS frightened of what they cannot explain and if they process it as a threat in any form, they will fight tooth-and-nail to stop it. You can take that to the bank! For years I have struggle with this—I never understood why people will fight you even when all you are trying to do is help them. Well, that’s simply because they don’t understand two things; the first is why the change and second; what the ultimate outcome will mean for their self-preservation. A majority of people are incapable of making the right connection and fear gains grounds. But this also serves a purpose as we will soon see for it is this fear, that the much needed resistance will be generated.
For the most part, we are all social scientist in our own capacities. We want to see something work repeatedly so we can be sure it will continue to work even if we stop paying attention. Once we have accepted it, any agent who attempts to change it is a threat. Well, he is trying to take away the predictability we cherish so much. This may sound like a good idea. Yet it is within this sphere of thought that our most perilous vulnerabilities are hosted. If there is one thing I agree with Robert Green on, this will be it. It has to count for something that he made a bestseller out of telling the world that we are predictable and that we actually prefer it so. And he was right when he thought we will buy the idea and list him among the rich and famous for it. He is a master social scientist of his own.
If you ever tried to change something and did not meet with any kind of resistance, you need to start worrying. Something is fundamentally wrong. The system needs resistance to ensure that it is not tossed around in all directions by the ever present tides of ideas that it generates. Yep! The ideas come from within because the agents of these ideas are also products of the system. Their role is to ensure the incessant improvement of the system as a means of ensuring its continuous existence—this is vital as stagnation has no place in nature. You are either going up or coming down. Growing or dying—for or against. Christ captures this beautifully in Mathew 12:30.
The role of a group I will call average people is to test the change idea for integrity. This is the role of resistance which manifests itself in several forms. Among them; opposition, rejection, isolation, hatred, the list is endless. A system that does not have a resistance system has little or no chance at all for success. The “resistance” do their job in two ways; They first test the idea to ensure that it will bring the vital improvement need to keep it in existence. The second is to ensure that the change agent has what it takes to sustain the idea once it has been accepted. This is done by first evaluating the credentials and track record of the agent. When the resistance cannot validate the credentials of the agent or the integrity of the impending change, it narrows the gate. This is often the case when the change or idea, it’s methods or intended outcome seem too complex for the average mind. Real change ideas are often intended for the good of the larger society. Unfortunately the average mind cannot see beyond the self and is therefore unable to comprehend the larger scope of the change. This makes the case for resistance even more robust necessitating more effort on the part of the agent if he is going to break through. Real Change agents have the persistence to carry the idea through even in the face of the stiffest of oppositions and what-have-yous.
Interestingly, the power of this system is largely dependent on the averageness of average people who for the most part will be the main beneficiaries of the impending change. It is also the reason why they eventually become the main defenders of the change once it has become the status quo. Often this will take a lot of work and time but the agent once he understands this, knows that he must persist. Because resistance in the larger sense is doing a legitimate job and therefore any positive change must embrace it and work with it for the two, in the larger scheme of things, have shared objectives. The strength and integrity of an entity is dependent on the rigorousness of the tests it has passed. The more rigorous the test, the better the outcome. It is why factories have testing and quality assurance units. It is the reason we have standards and certifications. It is what Paul meant by having you work passed through fire -1 Corinthians 3:13.
You only have to go back to the likes of Hitler and imagine how things would have panned out without the resistance that put them out of business. Your idea is but one out of an infinite number of tides seeking to determine the direction of the boat. The strongest and the most persistent ideas, if they are truly useful for the system will eventually cause change and enjoy the protection of the average. You will find if you look closely enough; that it will be fatal for all of us to be change agents and be left with no resistance unit whatsoever. Average people perform a very vital role and for this reason, no matter how hard and wide we teach the idea of change, change agents will always be few and average people will be in the majority. It is a necessity.
Real change agents are equipped with special abilities that help to survive the integrity test of the resistance. Like Tyler Perry said and I rephrase; your dream itself must come to believe; so that no matter how frustrated you are, something inside of you just won’t let go even if you wanted to. Many dreams have died a still-birth because the agents did not have this special ability and that is how we know that they are not meant to cause change. If you think average people don’t have dreams or change ideas of their own, think again. They do, they just do not have what it takes. May your dream believe enough to never let go even if your whole being wants to. #spidup
Of course everything is possible but what are you going to do? That’s the part most people don’t get. They assume they have not been able to move mountains because they don’t have faith the size of a mustard seed. That’s true but you know what, Jesus himself did not move any mountains. Don’t get me wrong, I know what he meant by moving mountains and it is certainly not to be taken literal.
But is everything really possible? I will be a typical Ghanaian and answer that with a question. Can a rabbit fly? Yes/ No/ Maybe. Err uncertainties eh! Maybe with some evolution over several trillions of years it might grow some wings but that’s a bridge we will have to cross when we get to it? My guess is no. So seriously it might be foolish for a rabbit to even consider flying at all. For now though it is an absolute absurdity to ask a rabbit to fly. But if it gets to learn how to fly, can expect it to fly better than an eagle or even a robin? Frankly I don’t see the point as we have so many varieties of birds we can’t even keep track. To have a flying rabbit that does a terrible job will be an exercise in futility. Perhaps even a waste of the tax payer’s money if you know what I mean.
Nevertheless a flying rabbit can be interesting to see and probably be ground breaking but what will it take and how realistic is it? Does the rabbit believe this to be possible? Does it even know how it is possible? Will a flying rabbit make any difference in any life or what purpose will a flying rabbit serve? If you wanted a flying job done, will you turn to a flying rabbit or an eagle? If you can answer these questions you are free to stop reading now!
Choosing to do something should not simply be because we can do anything. Actually its is gross iresposibility to do things simply because we can do them. Consider the size of the catalogue life presents and see if you can do everything in it. I will give you a million years and you still won’t finish it. It is just too huge- and I am an optimist.
The ability to make things happen has several constituents and even steps. One of these constituents is confidence. If a person has no confidence they can do something, they don’t try and even if they do, they do it half heartedly and expecting negative result. Now half hearted you yourself will admit; does not translate into the kind of faith that is capable of moving mountains.
So where do we get confidence? “Self knowledge, Purpose and Experience just to name a few. If a person knows herself well enough it means she is clearly aware of what strengths and weaknesses she has. And believe me when I tell you; everyone has something. Unfortunately most people do not know what they have. But when they do find out, they change almost overnight. They start thinking differently and start acting differently because they start seeing themselves differently and a new door opens in their lives. Actually the door has always been there they just never noticed.
Soon enough, purpose shows her pretty face. Knowing one’s self leads to understanding of purpose to a reasonable degree. (I say reasonable degree because I have come to understand that most people need help in order to understand their purpose properly- but that’s a really good thing because then I have a job). Knowing your strengths and natural talent means being aware of your gifts and the combination of natural endowments, interests and skills and understand what you are going to use them for and even why. These are the numbers we need; to create the combination that unlocks the purpose chest that you are already sitting on. In case you didn’t know purpose is an incredible force that revs up your performance in any field of your choice.Once the purpose is discovered and understood properly the confidence goes above average.
Now I know you are wondering about the experience part by now. That happens when we take action. If we choose an activity to involve in, our first experience with that activity is a make or break affair. If that activity happens to fall in line with our natural talents, we experience a fair amount of success and this is very important no matter how small. That’s when we hear the expression,”I think she is a natural”.
The little successes then become the fuel which powers us to carry on. As we experience small successes, we start on a success mentality platform and cultivate success thinking which then a habit becomes. From then on, failure is unacceptable because we are used to success and we believe it is the only thing there is. With every engagement in this activity your level of confidence grows further because of experience and over a period of time we are seen as master of the game. Some argue that a period of ten years can get a person to their peak in any field but that’s another story for another day.
On the other hand a failure start and consistent failure will cultivate a failure mentality that kills confidence. A person who fails all the time approaches a task with the intention to fail (though he may not be aware of this) because he has programmed the subconscious mind this way. In my line of work we call it a failure mentality. No mountains can move this way on failure mentality because it lacks the faith needed.
In this sense all things are possible but not all things are possible for you. Life itself provides us with guidelines as to how to live it and it was us to play a role- not all roles. The way I see it, it is supposed to be stress free and almost effortless venture. Some plants thrive well in some types of soil and struggle on others. Yet when the right seed falls on the right soil, it grows effortlessly bringing forth abundantly and wastefully. This is no coincidence.
Those who believe that God created everyone and everything for a purpose must understand that the power to move mountains rest within the purpose. So until you find it, forget the mountain because you could be trying to move the wrong mountain. Not to perform the function for which God created you must be the height of all disobedience. Consider the parable of the talents.
If you happen to be a rabbit, it is possible to consider what new and creative ground breaking out of the box thinking you can do on the ground. Perhaps you could be the one rabbit that decides that carrots can be combined with lettuce to make a more nutritious meal. Or you could create a trap for humans so they can get a taste of their medicine and make rabbit trapping a thing of the past. The opportunities around you to be the superstar you want to be are limitless but you can only see them when you look through the rabbit’s eyes. A bird’s eye will show something that is only useful to a bird.
Motivational speakers will tell you a lot, but listen wisely. Because a simple statement like anything is possible could be the source of all your problems. To be the best you have tomore of what you already are but thats another story for another day.