Living a First Class Life With a Third Class Degree
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6 Chapter 5: Challenges To Living A First-Class Life
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Living a First Class Life With a Third Class Degree
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6 Chapter 5: Challenges To Living A First-Class Life

Irrespective of what you graduate with, if you have a dream, a

worthwhile one, you will definitely face some challenges.

The devil will forcefully come after your dream to make sure that it does not see the light of day. He will fight you with all of his power; who knows, maybe this is the reason he fought you

tooth and nail to make sure you do not graduate with a first-class

degree, so as to discourage you from pursuing your dreams. But

never give him a chance. Do not allow him to abort that great

dream.

Aborted dreams are dreams, which are allowed to die before

their day of accomplishment. They are plans that are not

pursued, goals that are not worked on, desires that never saw the

light of day, hopes that are dashed and aims that are deserted.

Aborted dreams are abandoned dreams. Their abandonment is

orchestrated by the evil one. He is the chief abortionist, carrying

out illegal abortions of dreams. He basically does three things to

dreams - he steals, he kills or he destroys them. So says the Holy

Book. He uses different weapons to achieve this. These weapons

are discussed in this chapter.

When you launch out to fulfill your dream, you will surely

encounter many circumstances, some of which may seem to task

you beyond your own strength. Some of them might be worse

than what you experienced when you graduated with an

unfavorably degree. But be sure of this: The grace upon you to

fulfill your dream is much more than the force with which the

enemy seeks to destroy it. It is an undeniable fact that every

dreamer will certainly be tempted with diverse challenges, but

victory lies ahead of each temptation if such can persist.

If the enemy is after your dream, needless to say, it is because he

knows there is a golden future at the end of the tunnel of the

dream. The devil is not happy seeing your dreams fulfilled. He is

more interested in seeing those dreams aborted. So he will place

some hurdles along your path in life. He will not bring you to the

wall of Jericho unless he is convinced you are going to a land

flowing with milk and honey. He will not bring you to the Red

Sea unless he knows you are going to the Promise Land. If he

starts to run wild about your dream, it is simply because he has

seen something unusually great about it.

NO ONE CAN STOP YOUR DREAM

No one can stop you from achieving your dream. Only you can.

Even the devil cannot destroy your dream unless you permit

him. So, do not allow him whenever he comes. You have

allowed him once, as a student on campus, and you know what


this caused you. This is why you are reading this book. If you

had graduated with a first-class or a better grade, you probably

would have neglected this book the first time you saw the title.

Do not allow him access to your dreams again. Keep your dream

often within your heart, far away from his reach. You cannot

afford the losses that an aborted dream will create again.

The devil does not necessarily hate your face, he hates your

dream. He does not hate your name, your education, your

qualification or your intelligence. What he hates is your purpose

for desiring to be alive, and most times, this purpose is

encapsulated in your dream, and so he will do everything

possible to make that dream impossible. Do not give him room.

Keep your dream alive by all means.

Whatever the devil tells you about your dream is the exact

opposite of the truth. He does not know God's detailed plan for

either your life or your dream. He only tells lies. Do not listen to

him. Do not give him attention. If you give him attention he will

give you instructions. If you give him more attention, he will

give you more directions.

He is like a barking dog. Every normal man ignores a barking

dog; it is normal for a dog to bark. The moment it seizes to bark, it

fails in its first responsibility as a dog. That is also the way to treat

the devil. When he barks because of your dream, ignore him. It is

the only way to make him go crazy, keep him silent and make

him walk out of your way.

Some of the hurdles he will place on your path to make you

discard that dream of living a first-class life are discussed below:

PROBLEMS AND CHALLENGES

Dreamers are successful problem solvers. Great dreams are

often times disguised as impossible situations and unsolvable

problems. The situation you find yourself in today, graduating

with a third-class, may be the first impede you will have to

overcome in order to advance your dream.

Diverse negative situations and circumstances will try to beat

down your dreams. Setbacks will come to shrink your dream.

But do not just throw away the idea because of the problems and

challenges you encounter. There is no dream without a problem

and there is no problem without at least a solution.

Never run away from the challenges of life. Neither should you

be intimidated by them; meet them head on. You have all it takes

to outlive every storm you come across in the pursuit of your

dream; it is all wired up in your system. Simply step beyond your

current limitations and just walk over the prevalent challenges.

It is time to stop looking for victories without battles; you will

never find any. If you are expecting a problem-free dream, then

you are pursuing a profit-free dream. A stressless dream is a

strengthless dream. Every road, major or minor, has bus stops,

and no two bus stops are exactly alike. Some are very

comfortable, some are less comfortable, and there are others that

are not comfortable at all. Such is life. There will always be bus

stops of trials and temptations on the path to your dream. Some

may be more comfortable than others and some others may just

be unbearable. You however do not end your journey abruptly at

a bus station simply because it either is more comfortable or less

pleasurable; you press forward until you get to your destination.

Challenges of life are not strong enough to determine when you

take your hands off your dream. Everybody knows this: No man

makes history without having overcome difficulties. Hence the

saying 'every star has some scars'. So, do not be disturbed when

they come. They are for your lifting. Before Joseph got to the

palace, he passed through the pit and the prison. If you must get

to the palace of fulfillment, you also need to go through the pit

and the prison of challenges.

At such times, let your dream be your motivation, not the storm

you are passing through. Adversities, most times, may be

blessings in disguise. Your graduating with a third-class has its

own benefits if you look at it closely. You only need to think well

to discover this.

Every problem you face in the course of pursuing your dream is

a catalyst that speeds up the chemical reaction. It launches you

faster into your destiny. Every challenge you face has its own

specific ways of being solved. Activate your mind; the solution

is nowhere else but there.

Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. Find it out.

Solutions to problems are pre-planned by God before the

problem arises. Think it through. If you can't think it through,

you will sink in deeper. Stop all complaints and find the solution.

You are more than that challenge you are facing now. Do not let it

trap you; there is a way out of it for you. The reason the situation

has not changed is because you have not addressed it. Take time

to analyze and address it critically. Do not just diagnose the

problems; propose solutions and tackle them. Do not hope the

problem will take care of itself. No, it won't. You will have to.

Challenges do not get solved by leaving them unattended to; that

way, they grow stronger over time. Do something on time. A

stitch in time saves nine.

There are three major ways by which you can tackle such

problems. Firstly, you can try to avoid them and continue with

your dream in their presence without minding their existence.

You may not be able to overcome them, but you can control your

reactions to them. Render them insignificant by your attitude to

them. Do not give them the attention they demand. As long as

they are not maximally distracting you and slowing down your

progress, you can still make the necessary progress despite their

presence.

Secondly, if it is so unavoidable that it stands tall in your path of

progression and you just have to face it before you can take any

significant step further, then sit down and find a lasting solution

to it before you continue. Every problem has its own solution

within it, if you can spend time with it long enough, you will

discover a way out.

Thirdly, if after all you have tried, the problem still defies your

series of solutions and persists, then you can try to control it.

When you cannot completely eliminate the problem, reduce its

effect on your progress, then shut your eyes to it. You cannot

direct the wind on the sea, but you can adjust the sails of your

boat. Play along with the problem, but let it be subjected to you.

Be in charge. Determine the extent of its effect on your dream

and try to minimize it so that it will not have much impact on

your dream.

If you forget everything discussed so far, do not forget this:

whatever difficulty you encounter in the journey from a third

class personality to a first class life, there is a way out of it if you

can think. Tackle the problem. If you only sit down and watch, it

will soon become bigger than it is today, and will soon get out of

hand.

Problems do not get solved by neglecting them, they become

bigger. They only get solved by attending to them on time.

Make this a rule: Every small problem must be handled on time

before it grows out of hand.

PROCRASTINATION

Procrastination is the enemy's number one strategy. It is an

extremely harmful weapon in the camp of the enemy. After

being applied consistently over time, it weakens a man's will,

destroys his interest, damages his zeal and finally ends up

distorting his belief in himself. It hinders the fulfillment of

brilliant dreams and limits his captive's achievement.

Procrastination, simply put, means, to postpone to other times

what can be done now. When a dreamer begins to procrastinate,

his dream begins to die. Many third-class students have

plausible ideas and good plans but have not carried out any of

them because they constantly procrastinate.

Procrastination hinders one from taking any important step

towards the fulfillment of his dream. "You can't start now", it

tells him. "Why not start some other time? Must you start now?

Why not later? Probably when you are a bit older, you know you

are still young. Or when you are a bit richer, or when you have

done your Post Graduate Diploma, or when you have done your

Masters so as to make up for your third class, or when you finally

travel out of this country, or when you are married and you have

support from your wife, or when your father dies and you take

over his assets/companies".

If you listen to its voice, you are doomed. Graduates who have

handed the direction of their lives into the hands of

procrastination have ever lived to regret their action.

Live by this principle: Never wait to do tomorrow what you need

to do today. There may always not be enough time for everything

you want to do, but there definitely will always be enough time

for what you need to do.

Start planning now on how to accomplish your dream, and do not

just plan, start taking steps on what you have planned. A firstclass

graduate may procrastinate actions on his dreams, but you

should not compare yourself with him. You do not want to be

reminded again that he probably has better options available to

him than you do and can allow some to slip away. Worst case, if

he cannot pull his dream through again, he simply dusts his

certificate and apply for a lucrative job somewhere. As a thirdclass

graduate, you have fewer options and should not jeopardize

any, since you cannot tell, for now, which will hit the jackpot and

bring you fame.

Dreams are like birds; they have wings and can fly. If you

postpone your actions on them, they will soon fly away to

someone else who will make the best use of them.

While in school, when you were supposed to read your books,

you did not read. You postponed your personal study till later

times. You delayed the submission of your assignments, the

preparation for your exams, and postponed every other thing

you can procrastinate. This is what got you to where you are

today - a third-class graduate, and in order to move forward from

here, you have to learn how to respond faster to issues,

especially when they are issues that have to do with your life and

destiny. Make up your mind on what you want to do, and do it

NOW.

Always keep a clear deadline in view. This will help you to

achieve more than you plan to. If you always procrastinate, it

will someday lead to laziness, and you will not be able to explain

why! Laziness will mature into indecision, all in the name of

flexibility. But indecision is not synonymous to being flexible.

Before you know it, you will find yourself in the same shoes you

are trying to run away from, ending up a third class personality

in life.

In order to avoid this, always do what you have to do, when you

have to do it, and the way you have to do it, so as to get what you

have to get, when you should get it.

IMPATIENCE

Another similar problem to procrastination, which students who

failed out of school always have is impatience.

Dreams crash daily on the rock of impatience. Once they have

decided on what to do, they really do not give it time to mature

naturally into something worthwhile. They feel they have lost so

much time and so want to make up for the time they have lost,

either as a student on campus, or as an indecisive third-class

graduate.

As much as you should not postpone actions on your dream, you

also should be willing to give your dream the needed time to

develop. You must learn to create a balance between postponing

your ideas until an unreasonable time and being impatient about

your dreams.

So many people lose active interest in their dream if it takes so

much time to get fulfilled. We are in the Jet age - an age where so

many people do not want to labor for so long before they get

rewards. They want to sow in the morning and reap in the

evening of the same day, and they become impatient and easily

discouraged when things do not work out their way.

Impatience makes people quit too soon. It has made so many turn

back when they are already at the edge of hitting the mark. Do

not be injected with it. Be ready to stick with your dream until

you see its glorious end. Nothing can be more rewarding.

FINANCIAL PROBLEMS

Another great challenge you likely will face is unavailability of

funds to bring your dreams to reality. Every avenue through

which you are likely to receive financial aid may just be blocked.

Even those who believe so much in the dream may not want to

part with their money to see the dreams fulfilled.

This may lead you to begin to nurse the thought that the reason

why others do not want to invest in you and your dream is

because you did not graduate with a first-class, or that it is

probably not a God-given dream, convincing you that if it was

from God, it would have been a lot easier raising the needed fund

to sponsor it.

All of these are not true. The fact that a dream is from God does

not mean all will go rosy at the beginning. This lack of finance is

a major difficulty that everybody who has ever seen the

fulfillment of their dreams faced at one time or the other in their

journey in life. The experience is not particular to you. Even

those who graduated from school with a first-class who ventured

into building their own dreams rather than getting a paid

employment have had to face it.

It comes at three major junctions. It may come at the inception of

the dream to debar you from starting, it may come midway to

hinder you from continuing what has been started, and it may

come just before the final accomplishment so as to hinder you

from successfully completing the project.

To make matters worse, most people conclude that this is the end

of their dreams simply because they have little or no financial

muscles to pull the dreams through. This is not the best solution

to the problem. There are alternative avenues you can still

explore if you indeed are serious about getting this dream

accomplished.

All you need is not money. So, do not abort that dream because

you lack strong financial backing. If you lack financial

resources, you have other resources which, if properly

monitored and rightly channeled, will help in fulfilling your

dream. This will make your lack of finance inconspicuous and

you can still forge ahead with your dream.

Some of these are educational resources, spiritual resources,

natural talents, inborn abilities, friends, your integrity and

influence in the society, and many others like it. Make use of

them. Do not just allow the vision to die simply because you do

not have enough money to carry it through today. There may not

be enough money today, but there will certainly be more than

enough tomorrow.

The God who brought out money from the mouth of a fish has

not forgotten you, and He will, by supernatural means, provide

more than what you need for your dream to come through. Just

simply do not trust men for your financial resources to be met,

look upon God. Men may fail you but God will not.

If the devil sees that your lack of finance does not disturb you

from pursuing your dream, he will attack other areas of your life

just to put weariness into your soul. He may try to make things

seem more difficult; he may attack your health, your business,

your family, your children and even your marriage.

Never mind. Do not be troubled. He is only trying to scare you

away from your dream. He is not the roaring lion which he

claims to be, he is only a barking toothless dog with a roaring lion

mask. He can do you nothing. If he sees you are not troubled, he

will soon leave you for someone else, someone who will get

scared seeing his masked face.

CRITICISM

One of the greatest battles you will have to face is that of what

people will say about you and your dream. Do not expect

everybody you meet to support your dream. All cannot fall in

love with your dream. All cannot celebrate you, especially since

they are aware that you graduated with a third-class.

Some of them will be too convinced that the reason why you are

trying to do what you are doing is because this is your last option,

i.e. that you are stranded, since no good company will employ

you and you have no other alternative.

Whether this is true or not, it should not bother you. Life is such

that there will be those who will criticize you and those who will

celebrate you; those who will condemn you and those who will

commend you; those who will encourage you and those who will

discourage you, irrespective of what you do and what you do not.

Dreamers are always objects of criticism. They are often

criticized for their new ideas. So you cannot be exempted.

Anytime you want to rise among others who are comfortably

sitting down and are contented with the situation of things, you

will create hatred for yourself. Each time you desire a change,

you will face opposition. This is because every new dream

generates criticism.

One thing you must know however is that opposition is a proof

of progression. Those going nowhere face no opposition. Thirdclass

students who have accepted fate and who are making no

serious effort to advance the course of their lives are never

criticized. Men are comfortable around them and pleased with

their cool-headedness. They even appreciate them for knowing

their limits and boundaries, and not trying to be too pushy about

issues.

However, a third class graduate who will not accept the status

quo will be criticized for everything he tries to do. The criticism

you will face is a proof that you are making advancements and

this shows that the future of your dream is glorious. No man

criticizes people at the edge of failure; they will rather pity them.

Only those who command attention attract criticism.

Ignore all destructive criticisms. If you are too conscious of what

people say about you, you will never get better. If you devote

your time to what men say about your dream, you are opening up

the dream to too much danger. Once you begin to hear the words

of men, you are likely to stop hearing the words of God and when

you stop hearing the word of God about your dream, you put

yourself in a very tight corner.

Deliver yourself from the trap of the opinion of men. Do not

yield to the pressure of public criticism. Run your dream

irrespective of man's opinion. Let your love for your dream

dominate your fear of what others think about it.

Lastly, aside neglecting the criticisms, consciously avoid every

destructive critic you meet. Since you now know they are out to

destroy your God-given dreams, do not get too close to them.

Severe every possible relationship with them; they are Satanmotivated,

evil-dominated and devil-inspired. Endeavor to

separate yourself from the gatherings of the ones you can avoid.

You may not be able to cut off or avoid all of them. Some of these

people may be so close to you so much so that it is difficult not to

relate with them constantly, but you can decide the way you

relate with them in order to keep your dream alive.

Learn to live with the critics you cannot avoid. Adopt the right

attitude to them. Do not allow your mind to dwell on their

destructive criticisms. Do not give their comments any room in

your heart. Treat their words as unwanted visitors - discard them.

Do not welcome their criticisms, and wisdom demands that you

do not also react violently against these critics, since these are

not just faceless people. They are people you know and will

always have around you, at least for a while. So, apply wisdom.

On the last note, do not waste your time fighting any critic,

whether known or unknown, or trying to defend yourself against

their criticisms. If you fight back to justify yourself, you may

lose, and this may affect your morale negatively. Simply keep

quiet and let peace reign. Time will prove you right.

DREAM KILLERS

These are worse than critics. Critics only innocently point out

faults in your dream, make unpalatable remarks and pass unfair

judgment about your dreams. But dream killers are out for one

single mission, just as the name implies, to make sure your

dream never materialize by all means.

They are 'PhD holders' in assassinating dreams. It might be

disastrous if you allow them get a grip on your dream. They will

downsize and water your dream so much that it will become so

watery that it will even become tasteless and worthless to even

you.

Dream killers may not necessarily be some form of unseen

forces or demonic agents. They are humans who just take special

interest in plotting the downfall of dreams that could change the

future for better.

This is why you should not share your dreams with just anyone.

Be careful who you discuss your goals and aspirations with. Not

everyone wants your success; some really desire that you fail,

and they will not hide it from you. They are really happy that you

failed out of school, although they may not let you know this.

Their ultimate goal is actually to see you fail out-rightly in life,

and they will not rest on their hoarse until they see this done. If

you keep discussing your dreams with such, you are a goner.

One sure way to identify a dream killer is this: they will never for

once see anything good in your dream, no matter how bright its

future looks. A critic may be convinced to reasons with you

overtime, either reluctantly or wilfully, but a dream killer never

will.

Everyone who discourages you more than encourage you is a

dream killer. There are many who will come up with thousands

of reasons why you cannot do what you desire to do. They will

try all they can to make you desert that idea. They will paint a

bad picture of the future of the idea; tell you how impossible it is

to accomplish such dream in such an environment, with such

little qualification and without enough assistance. They will tell

you about the giants in the land, the Red Sea on the way, the wall

of Jericho ahead and the renowned River Jordan. They will

magnify the problems and shut your eyes to the rewards. They

will give you a long list of all those who have tried working on

the same dream or something similar and have failed, but none

of those who succeeded at it.

All they are after is just to get you to surrender the pursuance of

your goal. If they can get you to do this, they have achieved their

ultimate goal. Whatever 'folktale' you are told does not matter to

you much. The Holy Book calls them vain babbling and old

women's fables which you must not give heed to.

Never give their words a thought. The fact that other third-class

graduates have failed in the projects some of them embarked on

after school does not mean that you will also fail in yours. After

all, there are records of other third class graduates who have

made it, and there are also records of some first-class graduates

who have failed in major projects in life.

Others' failure in an event has no place in determining either your

success or your failure in the same. Do not let them use other

third class graduates' failure to set the limit for your success in

life. You are a different entity, with fresh zeal, new drive, great

passion, and clean aspirations. Therefore, shun their negative

opinions, bad reports and evil expectations.

Most of the people who will fight tooth and nail against the

success of your dream are those you least expect, those you think

should be the forerunners, and those from whom you expect to

receive the greatest support. Relax; let this not disturb you.

Whether they support you or not does not really matter as long as

God supports you.

Every time you consult the wrong person you are sure of getting

the wrong advice. And every time you get a wrong advice it leads

you the wrong way. The farther you go on the wrong direction,

the more difficult it is to make it in life. Therefore, separate

yourself from everybody who does not have a meaningful idea,

suggestion or advice that will take your dream forward.

If you notice that some of the people you trusted most are

beginning to foresee the downfall of your dream in advance and

are already predicting same, it is time to turn away from such

completely. Do not take counsel or advice from them again.

No matter how close you are to them, completely separate

yourself even from your own people who do not want to identify

with your dream lest they become stumbling stones to your

dreams, or thorns that will choke life out of them. You can learn

to live with criticism but you cannot learn to live with dream

killers. For your dream to live, dream killers must leave.

Dream killers discouraged David from going to fight Goliath but

he shunned them. They told Bartholomew the blind man to keep

quiet when he called on Jesus to have mercy on him; he did not

listen to them. The woman with the issue of blood knew them

when she saw them and she avoided them. If you also want to

live a first class life with your third class result, you will need to

avoid dream killers.

DISTRACTIONS

One major problem of most third-class graduate is that many of

them cannot say no to potential diversions.

This was actually what mainly contributed to their failure as a

student in school, the inability to say no to distractions. They had

so many things competing for their time; social functions,

sports, parties, fellowship meetings, tribal meetings, students'

businesses, politics, and the likes, such that they were constantly
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distracted from their academics without knowing it.

Albert Einstein once said 'doing the same thing the same way

over and over again and expecting a different result is the

definition of insanity'. If you must make a first class in life, then

you must desist from this action that made you graduate with a

third class from school.

Lack of full concentration is the reason why many people are

losing out today. It is commonplace for one to have another

dream while working on the first. The temptation to start on the

new dream is always so great, especially if the first is proving to

be difficult to get through with. However, most times, if

embarked on, this new dream becomes a source of distraction

from the first dream that is almost accomplished but for some

steps.

Vision is better pursued when there are no distractions. Once

there is another vision, there comes a division, and if care is not

taken, the first vision can no longer enjoy the undivided attention

it enjoyed before, slowing down the pace at which it is achieved.

Do not let the devil distract your attention by giving you a new

vision, an entirely different vision from your original dream. So

many people have failed in life because they cannot concentrate

fully on one major idea per time, especially at this starting stage.

Whatever new vision you have must be in line with your first

dream. Joseph had a dream. He had a second one, and he had a

third. But all his dreams were focused on just one thing – to lead

his people. He never considered a different vision. At the end of

the day, he got what he wanted.

You too do not need another dream. If the devil tries to sell one to

you, do not buy. If he succeeds in diverting you away from your

first vision, he has succeeded in destroying your vision with your

permission. Do not cooperate with the devil to destroy your

dream.

Take note of this: Every time the devil gives you a new vision

when you have not fully accomplished the first, it is for a purpose

- to make you neglect the first. So every time you receive a new

dream when you are still working on one presently, whether it is

from God or from the devil, the best thing to do is to write it

down, pray and plan towards it and do not really commit yourself

fully to it until you have accomplished the one you have at hand.

If it is really from God, it will stand the test of time.

For the purpose of creating a balance, wisdom demands that if

what you are working on presently is a big dream which will take

a long time to be accomplished, and a smaller dream which will

take a relatively shorter period of time crosses your part, you can

still cope with the two since you will do away with the smaller

one in a very short time after its accomplishment. But this cannot

be done with two major ideas. If the new dream is not willing to

wait, one will have to die for the other to live.

LOW SELF ESTEEM

Many third-class graduates, as a result of their past academic

experience, have such a low self esteem of themselves. They do

not believe they can accomplish anything meaningful again, no

matter how small. Some others believe they have the ability to

accomplish the smaller dreams but not the bigger ones.

They do not believe in themselves and their ability and so are

afraid of acting on their dreams. The ghost of their inability to

pass ordinary final year examination in school haunts them

about so much so that it scares them away from taking every

necessary step to achieve their dreams. They tend to believe

more strongly in the lies concerning them that they are weak

vessels and so cannot accomplish great things.

This is a serious matter, especially among third-class graduates.

Many of them are too busy focusing on their inabilities and their

areas of weaknesses that they fail to see their abilities and their

strengths. More of their visions are destroyed through the

thought of incapability than any other weapon. This is a major

stumbling block to third class graduates. The world tries to limit

them by making them think they are not capable of successfully

achieving any goals again. It makes them think they are not

qualified enough to undertake such great tasks.

This occurred in the account of almost all the great men recorded

in the Bible. Moses complained of not being eloquent enough,

but he ended up being the greatest leader in his generation. King

Saul ran away on the day of his coronation. King Solomon

complained of being "but a child who does not know how to go

out or come in". Gideon needed so many confirmations from

heaven to convince God He is making the right choice. All of

them felt incapable at first, but were greatly used at the end.

Do not be discouraged by your past. Do not limit your capability

by your disposition or who you are at the moment. Do not look

down on yourself because of your qualification. The apostles

never went to school but they all fulfilled their ministry. You too

will if you trust Him.

Successful achievement of your dream remains impossible until

you absolutely believe in yourself. You can only become the

dream you believe you can achieve. When you have a low

estimation of yourself, you are giving yourself a passport of

failure and a visa of un-fulfilled dream.

Strive to disconnect yourself mentally and emotionally from the

low self esteem socket. If you don't, it will unconsciously affect

every other area of your life, whether you intended it to be or not.

You need a strong and good self image. This is not to say you

should look on yourself as a perfect superhuman entity that

needs no amendments or improvements. But do not look down

on yourself because of your weaknesses.

Only a foolish man builds on his weaknesses. Forget about all

your inability, at least for now. Do not look down on yourself or

your dream. You can do it. Place the right value on yourself. Do

not give yourself the license to stay in the cesspit of

impossibility. Get rid of that grasshopper mentality. Your result

in school does not determine your result in life; that you were not

able before now does not mean you will never be able again. You

are well able.

If you appreciate yourself, you will command appreciation from

others. If you have enough self confidence in yourself, it will

build up other people's confidence in you. It will show through

your carriage, your actions and your words, and these will give

you additional mark and positive reception everywhere you find

yourself.

Believe in yourself. No one else may believe in you, because of

your past record, but you must have a very strong faith in your

own ability, because it is what you believe that will sooner or

later become. Your fate in life is your faith in yourself. Great

pastors, president of nations, corporate CEOs, successful

athletes, all got there because they believed in themselves when

no one else did, and they did what they could before anyone else

believe they could.

You may lose everything, but do not lose faith in yourself. So

many third-class students have done seemingly impossible

things. You too can. If others can succeed with their dreams, you

also can. Do not doubt your strength; believe in His ability, that

God is able to make you capable.

What you think about yourself matters more than what others

think of you. Think of yourself based on what God says you are

in His word. Do not be over-influenced by what other people

think of you or say about you. Do not allow what they say about

you affect your personal opinion of yourself.

What men say about you is what they think about you. Their

opinion about you is often based on wrong motives and wrong

assessment. What you think about yourself is what you say

about yourself and it is what you say about yourself that counts,

because it is what you will become at last. You know what you

are - a dreamer, a winner, a ruler, and God see you as such - a

dreamer, a winner and a ruler.

Their conclusion about your life does not really matter as much

as what you believe about yourself. Therefore, only live by what

God says and not what any man says about you. It is what The

Word says that counts, not what the world says. You are more

encouraged when you see yourself the way God sees you and

believe you can be what the Bible says you can than when you

admit men's impression about you.

Search through your mind today and flash out every thought that

belittles you. What you think about yourself is God conclusion

about your matter. Your faith is determined by your thought.

Whatever you lack, He has. Whatever you need is in His bank.

He knows how to make extra-ordinary achievers from ordinary

men. If you will trust Him, His super ability will come upon your

natural ability and will make you of supernatural ability. Forget

about your weaknesses. When man reaches his inability, God's

ability starts.

DISCORDS

If the devil fails in all his methods to make the dreamer forsake

his dreams, he attacks the people around him who believe in his

vision and who are assisting him to fulfill the vision. He sows

discord and hatred in their midst, thereby causing confusions

which may lead to separation. The devil probably learnt the use

of confusion in aborting dreams when, at the tower of Babel,

God confused the language of the people in order to stop the

greatest project of their time – building a tower that reaches to

heavens.

Remember that, whether you admit it or not, most of those who

are supporting your dream today and working together with you

for its fulfillment have their impression about you, that being a

third-class student, there is little or nothing they can expect from

you, especially at this early stage of your dream.

It may even be that the reason some of them are still with you is

because they have no other alternative jobs and not necessarily

because they love you and believe in your dream that much. The

moment they get something that offer a better package than what

you offer them, they will be too willing to part ways with you,

without even minding how you feel about it; you are just a third

class graduate!

This should in no way surprise you. Some of them accord you

the workplace respect not because they esteem and admire you

as a boss with good IQ and quality character. They feel you are

only opportune to have richer parents, or better connections than

them. They actually think that if they have the same opportunity

that life has offered you, they will perform far better than you

have. They think they are smarter and more brilliant than you,

though they may not tell you this.

Most of these ones will be on the lookout for any flimsy excuse,

tenable or not, to have a disagreement with you when they are

ready to leave. They want it to look as though you are the bad

guy. You may not have any problem with it, but they actually do

not keep their opinion to themselves. They try to poison the

minds of your most faithful partners/coworkers so as to gain

more pity for themselves when they are ready to leave. This is

where the real issue is.

The ability to handle well every crisis that rises on the path of

fulfillment of your dream will help to guard against the

scattering of your partners, and consequently, the destruction of

your tender dream.

When the devil could not get Paul and Barnabas to forsake their

dream of spreading the gospel among the Gentiles, he brought

disagreement and disunity between them, over an insignificant

issue. This led to the separation of the joint vision of the first

partners in the ministry.

The devil tried on a number of occasions to destroy the dream the

Israelites had of getting to the Promised Land by causing discord

among them. So many times, he caused them to murmur and

revolt against God, against the leadership; and against each

other. Each time this happened, it caused them a great deal of

setback.

Every time you sense a spirit of disagreement, confusion,

rebellion, disunity and hatred among your coworkers, instantly

go to God and ask him for wisdom to tackle it and put things back

into proper shape before it is too late. Do not do it with your

wisdom or experience. It is risky. Unless you have God's

wisdom, you will mishandle the crisis and may fuel the problem

the more.

ENSLAVEMENT BY THE PAST

In life, it does not matter whether you have failed or succeeded in

the past, what matters is the next step you take. This will

determine whether your success or your failure is going to be

continuous.

Earlier on, we discussed about forgetting your past. This is

because it is very common with the human nature to get easily

discouraged by past failures and easily carried away by past

achievements, thereby causing them to neglect the remaining

part of their dream, or making them to relent in their efforts

unconsciously and slowing down the original pace with which

they started.

The past is a great obstacle to a greater tomorrow. So, do not

make the mistake of letting your yesterday take too much of your

today. Slaves who are in the captivity of the past cannot become

masters of tomorrow. Whoever lives in the past, tarnishes the

present and sacrifices the future.

Enslavement by the past may come in two ways:

(1) Enslavement by Past Failures

(2) Enslavement by Past Successes

ENSLAVEMENT BY PAST FAILURE

The problem the devil places on most third-class graduates' path

is their past failures, defeats and disappointments. This, most

times, causes them bitterness and stagnation in life. They would

have given their dreams a trial, but for their past failures.

Do not be discouraged if any of your plans in the past had failed,

your dreams ruined, or your goals aborted. You really desired to

leave school with something better than what you have today.

But there is nothing you can do about that now. What you have in

your certificate is all you have to offer for your past, but it is not

all you have to offer for the future. No matter what your past may

be your future is without stain. Your past may be soiled by

mistakes but your future is spotless.

There is a way to deal with failure which most people do not

know, and this is why they always feel it is the worst thing to

happen to a man. Once you fail, the next thing to do is not to start

regretting your actions, analyze the reason for the failure. Find

out why you failed in the first place.

Explore the failure. Do not waste it. What were you supposed to

do that you did not do? What were you not supposed to do that

you did? Why did you fail the examination? Why did you fail the

interview? Why did you lose the opportunity? Why were you not

as lucky as others? The answers to these questions will help you

to be better prepared for the next trial at success.

Never use failure as an excuse for not trying again. The mistakes

and the lessons of the past can be woven into the fabrics of your

personality and used to clothe and equip you for the future if you

really desire to live a better life. They will teach you how not to

go about a thing. Be ready to put those failures behind you and

try again. Use the past as a stepping - stone into greater successes

and not a passage into more failures.

On a final note: Never feign success. There is nothing very

special about making mistakes or failing once in a while in life.

Honestly face the defeat: No man ever succeeded who never

once failed. Everybody makes mistake. So, why quit because of

a mistake? Your mistakes can be corrected if you keep on, learn

all you can from your failure, make the necessary corrections,

discover your loopholes, fill them up and proceed again.

The past failures will not determine your future success as much

as your present actions. So, do not let your past failure weigh you

down unnecessarily, it will crumble your dream. Do not let the

hurt of the past be an excuse for aborting that great dream. Do not

lose your enthusiasms and zeal because of the failure. The past is

past, put it behind you and forget about it. Your reaction to this

failure will determine whether you will still succeed again or fail

the more.

Burry it and do not exhume it again. Failure does not equal defeat

unless you stop trying. If you allow the thought of the past to take

control of your life, it will create in you the fear of failure which

will hinder you from trying.

Stop looking mournfully into the past. The past is past. It returns

no more. Spend more time improving the present, thereby

investing in your future. You may not have a bright past but you

have a more glorious future. New victories can come out of

temporary defeats if you will care to overlook the past.

Setbacks, as it is commonly said, make room for comebacks.

Rise up and try again. God is willing this time around to make

you succeed, but it all depends on what you do today. You cannot

change your yesterday but you can change your tomorrow by

what you do today. You cannot change your past failures but you

can allow them to influence tomorrow's success either

positively or negatively.

The devil knows how colorful and bright your future is, so he

will try to stop you from going forward by constantly bringing to

your memory these past failures. Do not encourage him by

accepting his vision. Every man fails, but dreamers do not

tabernacle in their failures. They bounce back up and begin

again. So, rise up, and prove to yourself and all around you that

you are indeed an achiever in the making.

ENSLAVEMENT BY PAST SUCCESS

Past successes are big enough obstacle as past failures. Your

success in a small part of your dream must not be allowed to

become a hindrance to the totality of your dream. It must not

blind-fold you to a glorious tomorrow.

The greatest enemy of the best, they say, is the good. You will

have to give up something good if you want something better.

Do not let the good old days hinder you from moving into the

better new days ahead. Do not be satisfied with the good or the

better. Go for the best. Do not be deterred by past achievements;

be spurred to greater achievements by past records. Let it not be

the trap that will keep you glued to one spot.

Do not be thoroughly satisfied with that little success. If you do,

you are a failure in the making. That you have succeeded in the

first few steps toward guaranteeing you live a first class life

despite your third class degree does not automatically guarantee

your success all through if you relax.

Stop looking at what you have accomplished and start looking at

what more you can still accomplish, you will see there is still

more grounds to cover. The reason you did not see them earlier is

because you are not on the lookout for them. What can still be

achieved is far much more than what has been achieved.

The reason most preferred their past to the present is because

they have not seen the future. Stop looking at where you have

been and start looking at where you can be. There is still a great

future ahead of you. If you are not aware, your future is glorious;

and a glorious future is better than a glorious past.

If you allow your past to be master over your present, your future

would eventually be buried in the archives of life. Break fresh

grounds. Leave the old dust whatever it might have been,

glorious or inglorious.

Past glories or apparent past failures must propel you to take

more steps forward. If you have failed in the past, that does not

mark the end of the game. You, can still succeed if you give it

another trial. If you have succeeded at the last attempt, that is not

the height of it all, there are still greater successes ahead of you.

So, do not be satisfied with the last achievement. You can't live in

your yesterday and expect to be of value today. When you stick to

your past, you will pass away with the past. Magnifying your

past diminishes your success, but diminishing your past

magnifies your success.

DISCOURAGEMENT

Lastly, beware of discouragements. This is because enough

things to discourage you will come before the fulfillment of your

dream. People who get easily discouraged do not always achieve

their dreams.

Discouragement can come as a result of any of the abovementioned

reasons. It may be as a result of poisons from dream

killers, inability to trust one's ability, problems and difficulties

on the way, weariness and boredom, financial problems, discord

among partners and the likes. Whatever happens, if you really

desire to fulfill your dream, do not look at the circumstances you

are facing, do not be discouraged; press forward.

Discouragements arise both to defeat the dreamer and destroy

his dream. They drain out the energy of the dreamer and paralyze

the dream. The power of discouragement poisons the soul and

weakens the will, but the power of encouragement is the

lifeblood of success.

The devil will try to discourage you. He will use all his tricks and

try all his best, but you will do yourself enough good to avoid

every temptation to get discouraged. Everyone is tempted like

you are, but not everyone yields to the temptation.

Everyone has one form of limitation or the other. It could be

limited education, poor family background, stories of

disappointments from men thought reliable, bad economy,

financial constraints or other factors beyond their control; but

they still succeeded. So you also can, with all these limitations,

succeed. Forget about problems, they will surely come, but they

will surely not overcome if you handle them wisely.

If your dream is dead, destroyed or stolen away, pray that God

revive, remold and restore it. Ask His miracle anointing to touch

your dead dream and breathe a new lease of life into them so they

can live again.

IN CONCLUSION

If you take your time to study the lives of those who have crossed

from being a third-class student in school to being a first-class

student in life, (and there are so many of them that time and

space will not allow their names to be mentioned and their

stories told in this book, that would be another volume on its

own), you will discover that there is a common trend of how they

overcame their poor start.

They started when no one believed in them, not even their family

members, overcame all the problems, challenges, distractions

and discouragements on their paths, released themselves from

the grip of their past, and were patient enough to allow their

dream of living a first class life get to maturity. Most of them are

now the talk of the town. If these people can make this happen

then anyone can, including you.

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