It is interesting to notice how some minds seem almost to create themselves, springing up under every disadvantage, and working their solitary but irresistible way through a thousand obstacles. Sometimes, we face several challenging situation that gives us the opinion that the tunnel of adversity bears no end.
This is the case of Kunle, a 10-year-old boy who decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident. The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. After three months of excellence, he discovered that the master had taught him, and repeated just a single move. Curious, he approached his master. ‘Sensei’ (Teacher in Japanese), he paused, thought once more and finally asked ‘Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?’. Smiling, the master answered patiently, ‘this is the only move you know, and the only move you will ever need to know’. Though not satisfied with the response, he kept an unwavering faith in himself and his master and continued vigorous training.
Several months later, the Sensei registered Kunle for his first challenge during a tournament. Engulfed with surprises after easily winning the first two matches, he proceeded to the third match. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged. Deftly, Kunle used his one move and won the match. Amazed by the marvelous effect of his ‘only’ move, Kunle won several other matches and found himself in the finals.
Now in the final match, Kunle’s opponent was bigger, stronger and more experienced. For a while, Kunle appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that Kunle might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the Sensei intervened, ‘No’, the Sensei insisted, ‘let him continue’. Soon after the match resumed, Kunle’s opponent made a critical mistake; he dropped his guard. Immediately, Kunle used ‘his move’ to pin him, thereby winning not only the match, but the tournament. Alas! He was the champion.
On the way home, Kunle and his Sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Summoning courage, Kunle asked a question that had been bothering him; ‘Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?’. ‘You won for two reasons’, the Sensei answered. ‘First, you’ve almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. Second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm, which you don’t have’.
Unconsciously, Kunle was able to convert his biggest weakness and adversity to his greatest advantage and strength.
Just like Kunle, consciously endeavour to review adverse situation and make effective use of the opportunities that comes along with it. Dr. Tai Solarin’s words’ stating that ‘may your days be rough’, if critically viewed confirms that adversities can be turned to one’s advantage. For you are special, important and talented, never magnify your adversity but amplify the advantages it can be converted to, and extract the best of it.

‘Nothing is predestined: The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings’ -Ralph Blum

Five books at 18, still burning to write

For 18-year-old Damola Morenikeji, Muse is one good force that he is not in a hurry to end his friendship with. This is because since they had a contact when he was nine, the ink of his pen has been flowing ceaselessly, with five books to show now.

The Federal University of Abeokuta student, who hails from Ogun State, says his writing skill was discovered by his parents when he was six years old.
He states, ‘‘They encouraged me and simultaneously taught me that there is a time for everything. In 2002, while I was concluding my primary school education – at the age of nine – I was challenged to write my first book. That challenge gave birth to the book, ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’. In 2003, while preparing for a promotion examination, I wrote another book titled ‘The Glorious Child’, a book that talks about the erroneous belief people have about educating the female child. In 2004, during the long vacation, I wrote the third book titled ‘No Other Chance’.
According to him, the titles of his other books are ‘A stroll to the Animal Kingdom’ and ‘The evil that Money do.’ His latest work is ‘The So-Called Police,’ which he says, has yet to be published.
The author, who studies Plant Physiology and Crop Production says that they are plays but he is still working on prose and poetry. He adds that he writes to effect positive change in society.
He, however, notes that it had not been easy publishing the books due to the challenges he often faced with funds. ‘‘It is quite unfortunate that after several budding writers get their manuscripts prepared, they do not many publishing outfits willing to publish their works. Most times, they have to fully bear the cost of production,’’ he explains.

Because of the impact of his works Morenikeji emerged the Second runners-up during the 2006 Artiste of the Year Award of Excellence organised by the state.

 Note: The above article was published by Punch newspaper on Tuesday, 24th January, 2012.


IMAGE – five daily practices to guarantee a brighter future by Alimi Wasiu A.

Alimi Wasiu (Managing Director, Walim Global Enterprise)
A statement by Julia Cameron Read: “Most of us are not raised to actively encounter our destiny. We may not know that we have one. As children, we are seldom told we have a place in life that is uniquely ours alone. Instead, we are encouraged to believe that our life should somehow fulfill the expectations of others, that we will (or should) find our satisfactions as they have found theirs. Rather than being taught to ask ourselves who we are, we are schooled to ask others. We are, in effect, trained to listen to others’ versions of ourselves. We are brought up in our life as told to us by someone else! When we survey our lives, seeking to fulfill our creativity, we often see we had a dream that went glimmering because we believed, and those around us believed that the dream was beyond our reach. Many of us would have been, or at least might have been, done, tried something, If we had known who we really were.”
It is on this statement i would premise my discussion about Image on. Image is something i specifically designed for the purpose of addressing the theme of today’s conference- MY IDENTITY; MY FUTURE.
I.M.A.G.E Stands for Identification, Manifestation, Abandon, Goal setting and Execution. These are the principles, i believed if followed could help you identify who you are (IDENTITY) and what you are trying to do (FUTURE). We cannot be everything but we can be something and my aim is to help you identify a picture of your future so that you can begin to nurture thoughts that would create your desired lifestyle.
The ideas presented here, are as a result of my interest in personal development by listening to various audio learning programmes, attending conferences, meeting with people and from various speaking engagements.
When you closed your eyes, what did you see? Have you ever been asked to identify yourself? How about if i asked you to tell me about yourself, right here right now, what would you say?
These are questions i don’t need you to answer but to ponder upon, not because i underestimate you but because the answers to all these questions would be provided in the course of this presentation, but before that i need you to do one thing for me and here it is:
Below are prominent Nigerians, try to identify as many of them as you can and know what exactly they all have in common:
Abu Abdullah Adelabu, Alexander Ogomudia, Aliko Dangote, Agbani Derego, Aminu Kano, Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, Babatunde Shofoluwe, Bisade Ologunde, Bisoye Tejuosho, Bukola Elemide, Cecilia Ibru, Chinua Achebe, Chioma Ajunwon, Dan Fulani, Enoch Adeboye ,Eyitayo Lambo, Festus Okotie-Eboh,Gani Fawehinmi, Hakeem Olajuwon, Innocent Idibia, J.J Okocha, Ola Rotimi, Omotola Jalade, Pat Utomi, Philip Emeagwali, Peter Rufai, Rashidi Yekini, Richard Mofe Damijo, Sade Adu, Samuel Ajayi Crowther, Sani Abacha, Sir Victor Uwaifo, Wole Soyinka.
Your task is not to know all of these people but you must know at least ten. How did you identify them? At any point in time there can only be one answer to this question and that is who they are. For instance if I mentioned Wole Soyinka you already know he is a writer, Tuface Idibia (Musician) Aliko Dangote (Business man) etcetera.
We identify people by who they are and my aim is to help you discover who you are and help you to identify steps that could be helpful in building your future.
Could you please tell us about yourself? That’s a popular interview question. Now imagined that you were about securing a #15Million Naira Job but you must correctly answer this question before you could be given a chance. How would you go about it?
To do this, there is only one thing required: A correct definition of who you are. Most people when asked to introduce themselves would say, “Hi, I’m Cinderella and I am a 17-year old, Unilag Undergraduate.” It does not tell you about who Cinderella is; it only tells you her present preoccupation. To gain insights about yourself, you need to look closely at your beliefs, values, and principles aside from your economic, professional, cultural, and civil status. Moreover, you can also reflect on your experiences to give you insights on your good and not-so-good traits, skills, knowledge, strengths, and weaknesses. Whatever your approach to defining yourself is, try to be real. Never try to imitate any of the personalities mentioned above because if you do, you not only be a bad imitation of them you’d also eliminate the possibility of becoming the person you were meant to be.
Delve deep into yourself and bring forth your strength, ability and talent. It is your personal responsibility to give yourself an Identity something that will be uniquely yours. We are all weak but there is something unique about each of us, it is this uniqueness that gives us our place on earth whether as an Artiste, Doctor, Photographer, Lecturer, Accountant, e.t.c. Try to find your place on earth, this is the only way to avoid been displaced.
Don’t be that guy people want you to be, just be that person you think you should be. Say no to being susceptible to what i called the “AL” factors. These are the parental, societal and environmental factors which can have a tremendous effect on the definition of our future.
Chuck Palahniuk Choke, commented: “We can spend our lives letting the world tell us who we are. Sane or insane. Saints or sex addicts. Heroes or victims. Letting history tell us how good or bad we are. Letting our past decide our future. Or we can decide for ourselves. And maybe it’s our job to invent something better.” So the Big Question is: WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO?
This is the second important step in identifying yourself and defining your future. There’s a direct relationship between your thoughts and what you manifest and what you manifest is how people see you. Start acting like the future you, talk like the future you and behave like the future you until the whole process begin to sink. If only you can hold the mental picture of your future self long enough, you’d soon reach a point where nothing else on earth would matter to you except what you are looking at. William Sommerset Maugham Said: “It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best you very often get it.” Here is another question for you to answer: What do you think about and how do you think about it?
Constantly ask yourself this question and anytime a negative thought wants to creep in, “SNAP YOUR RUBBER BAND” this is a technique for interrupting negative thought patterns. Never sell yourself short and anytime you feel uncertain about the future LEAN ON GOD the one who knows you and your future. There is no limit to what you can achieve on earth so go into the world confidently and let your light shine.
Marianne Williamson said: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
WHAT DO YOU MANIFEST? FEAR OR FAITH? Remember. You manifest your thought anytime your thinking is not positive, in other not to SINK SNAP YOUR RUBBER BAND.
This is a critical step in your journey to the future and you must be attentive to know why you need to abandon some of the things you do. You see, we all have our callings in life and your primary responsibility is to find this, next to that is to mind your business. Everything in life is a function of time and to fully maximize your potential you must learn to let go of some certain things, people, places and events that do not add any value to your purpose in life. Learning to say no is a useful hint in this regard. You must learn to abandon things that have no relevance to you. Doing this will help you focus on things that are most important to you. Never feel sorry for trying to be productive, but you must know how to do this intelligently without sending the wrong signal to the other party because at any point in time they may be useful to you and this is a very good lesson in human relationships; we need ourselves to succeed but that’s not to say you should sacrifice your own destiny just because you want to be nice. Jack Canfield said: “success depends on getting good at saying no without feeling guilty. You cannot get ahead with your own goals if you are always saying yes to someone else’s projects. You can only get ahead with your desired lifestyle if you are focused on the things that will produce that lifestyle.” I believe your time is your life that’s why there’s life time. It is your time that you convert to anything you want to become in life. For instance if you want to be a doctor that means devoting more time to studying than anything else and this applies to every other disciplines as well as any other thing you want in life.
Time is a terrible ting to waste- you cannot save time, loose time, turn back the hands of time or have more time tomorrow than today. Time is unemotional, uncontrolled, unencumbered it moves forward regardless of circumstances and in the game of life creates a level plain field for everyone. By abandoning things that do not add to your purpose in life you learn to make best use of your time. Abandoning things that do not add to you is a way of controlling your participation in certain events that coordinates with the clock and that’s the best way to manage your time. How you use your time is very important and remember time is a terrible thing to waste.
At the beginning of this presentation i asked questions that could help you identify yourself and by now i believe you should have gained some insight into who you are. The next important thing for you to do is to set goals that would allow your mission to be materialized.
What are goals and how do you set them? Goals are what you are aiming for –they are statement of what you want. The theory of goal setting is based on the fact that your subconscious mind does not know the difference between fact or fiction. Here are some examples to help you better understand what goals are: “I never win anything.” “Nothing ever goes right for me.” “That’s just my luck.” “Nobody likes me.” “I can’t spell.” “I just can’t seem to get anything done.”
Do some of these sound familiar? We have all used these types of goals in the past without knowing it. The subconscious mind takes these statements as fact and carries them out without question, yes these are all harmful instructions that you can give yourself without thinking. Be careful of what you say when you talk to yourself. What i am trying to do for you is to help you turn your mind around. Think about what you can do instead of what you can’t.
There are four steps necessary in setting goals. These steps are:
1. Define your dream precisely and concisely, exactly what it is that you want.
2. State it in the present tense as if it has already happened.
3. Write it down
4. Spend time with it everyday
There is a fact about brain I’d like you to you to know: The Brain recognises pattern which is why what you do on a consistent basis often becomes habitual. It comes to you naturally, almost effortlessly. Believe in the goal, spend time with it everyday until it becomes a habit. An effective goal identifies where you want to be. It gives you important information on how to get there, and it tells you when you have arrived. To have an effective goal, two things are essential: Decision and discipline- the two can be called Goal setting and Goal getting. You can set an effective goal without deciding on what exactly you want in life and after the decision comes the discipline to make sure that you are following up on your decision. When you set goals you give meaning and purpose to your life. This allows you to be proactive and take charge of your life. It has been said that if you don’t know where you are going chances are that you end up somewhere else. Goals must be Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound. By setting unrealistic goal you’ll often end up been frustrated, stressed and hopeless. The point i am trying to underscore here is that you cannot set two major goals such as earning a master’s degree and a doctorate degree within a period of 3 years since the minimum number of years to complete a master’s degree is 2 years. My final note on goal settings comes from the statement of Denis Waitley : “ The secret of productive goal setting is in establishing clearly defined goals, writing them down and then focusing on them several times a day with words, pictures and emotions as if we have already achieved them.” Thanks Denis, i have already said that but in a different way. Isn’t it?
Sir Isaac Newton said: “A body will continue in its state of rest or uniform motion until it is acted upon.” This known as the Newton’s first law of motion law of motion or the law of inertia. Without action all the principles and techniques discussed in this presentation will amount to nothing. Don’t put till tomorrow what you can do today. To get things done we must act. Nobody cooks vegetables by mouth, it’s by putting all the ingredients together and taking action on getting it cooked, that a leafy plant is turned to a delicious meal. There’s no time, start acting on your goals. As Will Durant commented: “Forget mistakes. Forget failure. Forget everything except what you are going to do now and do it. Today is your lucky day.”

I appreciate Red Cross society of Nigeria for organising this program, to all my listeners; i wish you all unlimited success in your endeavours. Till we meet again, be successful.


16 year old Compronian wins Teaching Service Commission award.

Aanu Damola Morenikeji recieving the award.


It all happened on Tuesday, 26th January, 2010 at Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, where Educational Giants in the state converge to honour be honored by the Ogun State teaching service commission. The historic event, under the chairmanship of Dr Onaolapo Soleye (a famous Elder, leader and Educator, who is also the newly appointed Vice Chancellor of Olabisi Onabanjo University) featured and awarded Ten Great Giants, – which include; Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Prof. Segun Awonusi, Dr. Tai Solarin, Chief Kenshington Adebutu, Chief Adeola Odutola, Chief Timothy Odutuyo Kuti, Chief Olabosun Lampejo, Chief Olatunde Abudu, Chief (Dr.) Mrs. Matilda Iyabo Apampa and H.R.H. Oba Moshood Alani Oyede – Four retired Permanent Secretaries, Four retired Principals general, Five proactive past Principals, Four proactive principals, Eight distinguished role model staffs and One Gateway Future Giant among others.

Fresh air of glamour eloped from the giant air conditioning system of the Valley View Auditorium, Oke-Igbehin, as Master Aanu Damola Morenikeji was called upon to receive one of the most special and encouraging award of the day which is THE MOST OUTSTANDING SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENT AWARD. Piquancy was added to the occasion when it was announced that he is the child author of Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child, a book he wrote in year 2002 – while he was transiting from Primary School to Secondary School – at the age of Nine (9) years, thereby making him the youngest author in the State.

The 16 year old alumnus of Comprehensive High School, who is the youngest awardee of the day, born February 24th 1993 to the family of Mr. & Mrs. B.A. Morenikeji started his Primary School education in 1995 at Sakis Memorial Nursery / Primary School, after which in 1999, he was admitted into Paragon International Nursery / Primary School, Obantoko, Abeokuta, where he read Primary one (First term only), Primary two, Primary three and Primary five (since he enjoyed double promotion from Primary three to Primary five). In year 2002, he proceeded to Paragon International College, Oke Aregba, Abeokuta and later to Comprehensive High School,
Ayetoro where he was made the Social Prefect. While in school, he is always at the forefront of representing his school at various competitions. Though a Science student, he loves creativity and child development activities.

During an intensive interview with the child author, it was deduced that his flair for creative writing was noticed during his primary school days and therefore in year 2002, during the long vacation, his Daddy – Mr. Morenikeji B.A. challenged him to write a book before the end of the holiday. Fortunately, this challenge gave birth to his juvenilia titled Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child. In addition, the challenge, which since then sprouts other unpublished fruits annually has produced The Glorious Child in the year 2003, No other chance in the year 2004, The So Called Police in year 2005, A Stroll to the Animal Kingdom in year 2006 and The Evil that Money Do in the year 2007. In all, Damola had written six (6) books. Interestingly, his first book Spare the rod and Spoil the child had its foreword written by renown educationists; Dr. E.O. Filani (Provost, Federal College of Education, Abeokuta, Ogun State) and Dr. Holumidey Lawrence (Director of Education, Paragon International Group of Schools, Abeokuta, Ogun State) was launched in March 2007 at the Cinema Hall of Gateway Hotel, Abeokuta, thereby cutting his first tooth as a creative writer.

The young lad receiving an handshake from the Governor of Ogun State, represented by the Commissioner for Education.

Remarkably, Morenikeji Damola Aanu, who is recently proclaimed GATEWAY FUTURE GIANT by the Ogun State Teaching Service Commission (See TESCOM NEWS – latest edition), was on Sunday, 19th August, 2007, shot-listed and awarded Artiste of the year (2nd runner up) by the Ogun State government during the prestigious 2006 Ogun State awards of excellence. Also, on Thursday, 11th June 2009, he received an OUTSTANDING AWARD by the Student Representative Council, Federal College of Education, Abeokuta for his achievements in creative writing and creativity in general at such a tender age.

He (Damola) is a registered member of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), and had represented ANA Ogun State Chapter at International conventions, and the youngest at all conventions attended, where the likes of Dr. Gabriel Okara (the oldest poet in Nigeria), Dr. Jerry Agada (former minister of states for education who is now the National President of ANA), Hon. Wale Okediran, Prof. Kole Omotoso, Odia Ofeimun, Mr. B.L. Wikina (Dean, School of Arts and Social Science, Federal College of Education, Abeokuta), Mrs. Tope Olaifa (Chairperson, ANA Ogun) and other art guru were present. He is also a member of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, and presently the Deputy Coordinator of the Ogun State Youth Wing.

He is the initiator of Teen writer club, a club aimed at discovering and developing young talents in creative writing in our secondary school, which he started in Comprehensive High School, Ayetoro in year 2007 and had began to yield positive results part of which produced Lawal Mistura Ojuolape (17 year old author of The wicked step mother and other story) in year 2008 and Adeosun Tosin (18 year author of Peace at last) in year 2009.

Due to his love for children intellectual development activities, he is floating a magazine called TEEN’S PATHFINDER. The magazine which apart from its major aims is expected to awaken the reading culture in the youths. The magazine is also aimed at serving as medium for educative information to be provided free of charge to the less privilege children and Nigerian youths in our secondary schools so as to inculcate the habit of reading and creativity in them. It will also serve as a medium of encouraging other children writers to forge ahead in the world of creativity by making their educational contributions published. The magazine, according to him (Damola) is to be distributed free of charge. Astonishingly, at present, he is still seeking for sponsorship of the magazine which when published will make the youths better people and in turn make Nigeria a greater nation.

When the awardee was asked about what he was doing at present, he stated, without hesitation that ‘in realizing my zealous goal to make a change in my generation, and considering the words of Artemus Ward which says that ‘no man has the right to be a literary man unless he knows how to spell’, I observed that most students do not know how to spell words comprehensively not alone using them in correct sentences’. As his little contribution towards putting a halt to this social and educational challenge, the most outstanding secondary school student in Ogun State organized the first spelling competition in Ogun State (if not in Nigeria) tagged SPELLING GIANT COMPETITION. ‘I organized the first edition of the competition on Wednesday, 16th December, 2009, although it was solely sponsored and rigorous, but I thank God it was a success. I am working towards a more elaborate and fascinating Second edition of the competition, proposed for the month of March’. The first edition which produced Seun Koshoedo – Olusegun of UNAAB International School, Alabata, Abeokuta, as the Spelling Giant took place at Music Reciatal Hall, Federal College of Education, Abeokuta. ‘My dream for the competition is to make it rise above challenges an grow till it gets to the National level, involving all states’ he concluded.

When asked how he felt when he was receiving the award, Damola responded by saying ‘I felt extremely excited and honored, and I thank God for opening my book of remembrance’. Talking to his generation, he advised that ‘we should stay focused, since everyone is born with divine gifts, the next step is for us to discover and develop it. I would also want to implore my colleagues to make judicious use of time, and by God’s grace, the sky is our starting point’.

‘On the final note, I thank God for perfecting his will upon my life, I also send my indepth gratitude to the Chairman, Staffs and members of the Ogun State Teaching Service Commission for counting me worthy of the award bestowed upon me. I also appreciate my lovely parents, members of the Association of Nigerian Authors, my fellow first aiders, I mean members of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, my well wishers, and everyone who believed in me. I promise to keep the flag of creativity flying in my beloved country – Nigeria’.

Appreciating God for providing Nigeria with such gifted child, Dr. Holumidey Lawrence (Proprietor, Paragon International Group of Schools) affirmed to Damola that ‘I cannot but continue to thank God for your life and your type of parents, Congratulations my boy …’.

Congratulations Damola, eternity, not the sky is your limit.

(c) January 2010


Why You Should Stay Hungry & Foolish by Steve Jobs

This is yet the most celebrated speech made by Steve Jobs. It was the 114th Commencement Address to graduating students of Stanford University on June 12, 2005.
Steve Jobs

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. 

Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories!
The first story is about connecting the dots
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
 It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife.
Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.
And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.
It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.
And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
My second story is about love and loss
I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees.
We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.
I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love.
And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.
My third story is about death
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.
This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous.
Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. Thank you all very much.
Jobs, before his death last Wednesday, resigned as CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios earlier in the year.


The Nigerian Flag and Coat of Arm is known to be one of the most important national symbols of the country – Nigeria. The flag symbolizes in no small measure greenery, harmony and a sense of togetherness – which comes in mind when the Name Nigeria is mentioned.

Unfortunately however, the Nigerian flag which is known to be a peculiar object in describing the image of the country has been left uncelebrated for several years. Going history lane, the image of the United States as inscribed in its National flag is been celebrated annually. The celebration is meant to bring the consciousness of its citizens to the fact that there exists a flag which denotes what the country stands for.
Battling this back drop, a group of patriotic Nigerian led by Akinola Solanke in the year 2007 celebrated the first ever Flag Day in the history of Nigeria which made Nigeria at that time, the second nation in Africa to celebrate its Flag day after Liberia and recently Ethiopia whose parliament just passed their Flag Day bill in on October 1, 2008. The Flag Day is known as the birthday of the Flag and it was been celebrated since 1877 by the United States and about fifty other countries.
The event, which has proven to be a useful tool to inspire a high level Spirit of Patriotism and a sense of belonging in their citizenry had successfully been celebrated in Ogun State in the year 2008 and Plateau State in the year 2009.
Celebrating five years of outstanding efforts by Patriotic young Nigerians, a Non-governmental organization whose aim is to promote national value re-orientation and education of all and sundry towards the creation of a new Nigeria – Initiative for Promotion of Our Flag Image in Nigeria” – has put things in shape towards the celebration of the 2011 National Flag Day.
In a release signed by its Public Relations officer, Rotimi Atunluse Abayomi, he made it know to our correspondent that the event is scheduled as follows;
Date:Saturday, 24th September 2011
 I.      Press Conference
Venue: Conference Hall, Duban International Hotels, After Murhi International (NGR) Ltd. 63/65, Aguda, Ogba, Lagos, Nigeria.
Time: 10am – 11am prompt.
II.  Anniversary Lecture
Venue: Conference Hall, Duban International Hotels, After Murhi International (NGR) Ltd. 63/65, Aguda, Ogba, Lagos, Nigeria.
      Time: prompt.
     Theme: “Promoting Peace and National Unity through Civic Orientation and Patriotic Education.”
Akin Solanke and Pa Taiwo Akinkunmi

In a chat with the Executive Director, Initiative for Promotion of Our Flag Image in Nigeria – Building Our National Image [BONI] project, Mr. Akinola Solanke, dignitaries expected at the press conference includes Pa Taiwo Michael Akinkunmi (the designer of the Nigerian Flag), Engr. Abiodun Fijabi (Chairman Board of Directors, Initiative for Promotion of our Flag Image in Nigeria), State Director of the National Orientation Agency and other stake holders. He further revealed that the Anniversary Lecture will be honoured with the presence of Chief John Dara, (Chairman, National Transformation Party) as the Chairman of the Occasion, Ambassador Segun Olusola as the Father of the day, Mrs. Margaret E. Obanya (Director Administration, Voice of Nigeria), Mr. Ibirogba Aderemi (the Honourable Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lagos State), Mrs. Tokunbo Fayokun (Oyo State Commissioner for Education) as special guests of honour.

The keynote speakers are Mr. Fela Durotoye and Barrister Yomi Okunnu.
For more information, kindly contact Solanke Akinola on 07040383732 or

The Sour Prime (poem)

Naked was the truth
In turn the bearer
Bitter it tasted
Eliciting intimidation

The day in its prime
And ‘Prime’ the epoch
As life crammed in gloom
Relegating the prime

The candor was murdered
Likewise the prime
Casting faces in misery
Yearning for a truth-tolerating future


Exhaultation (Poetry)

Oh Lord my God
Excellent are you called
Through out the world
Change not you nor your word

Praised is your name
sang the blind, dumb, even the lame
Your love and authority i feel
No doubt, it is but real

I bring forward this week
Endow your strenght in me
Though i am but weak
And will bewhom you be