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Not all bad is bad – some bad could be signposts to good. We make hasty conclusions when certain things happen, so we moan and complain bitterly until we run ourselves into unnecessary depression – even if for real, no depression is necessary. I have learned a few things in life, and one of them is the realization of when change is about to happen. And for this, I am able to weather certain storms and sail through the turbulence, although shaky, until I finally emerge into safe haven. Mind you, I haven’t said it’s easy to sail, and I haven’t also said you never feel the pains when you are harassed by a mountain of challenges. What I am saying is that certain challenges aren’t problems – they are examination questions requiring the right answers needed to take you from your current status to the next level. If you pass the examination, you get promoted, but if you fail, you will remain where you are. Some people hate exams – they simply want to be promoted, but it doesn’t happen that way – until you pass, you won’t be given access to pass. Your pass through the door of success is subject to passing the examination, so, take your test, and pass your test.

1. Irritation

Many years ago, when I graduated from the university, I was jobless. To get a job, I had to relocate from a smaller city where I lived to the biggest city in my country. Every early morning, I would wake up and look through the window to watch those on their way to work. I usually felt irritated, not against those heading to work, but against my joblessness. The irritation was my motivation – it was an indication that I didn’t like where I was, what was happening to me, and my current position. Due to that, the drive to get a job, no matter how small the income was, was pertinent to me. Every day, I would go checking the newspapers – although I didn’t have the money to buy, but with the permission of the newspaper vendor, I would scan through recruitment pages, and make notes of vacancies that were applicable to me. I wasn’t frustrated with my situation – I was just irritated.

There is a difference between frustration and irritation – irritation is anger against predicament, while frustration is action that depicts submission to predicament. If you’re truly angry with your status, you will do something about it. I have discovered that most people wake up in the morning irritated, and they can’t even say why they are. I must tell you that irritation points you to something that needs to be addressed, and you must find out what the thing is – if you find out and deal with it, you will automatically step into your next level, but if you leave it untended, you will slide from irritation to frustration.

2. What You See in Your Mental Pictures

In the past, I have written a lot on mental pictures, and I am planning to do a little book on it, in order to expatiate on its immense relevance in basically, every aspect of humanity. People don’t realize how much impact the images they have on their minds determine their change of position. Listen – things you don’t picture don’t happen. I repeat – things you don’t picture don’t happen. If you do not conceive it in your mind, there is no way you can birth it – quote me, I said it!  Man is a creative being, and whatever he imagines, he’s got the ability to create – if he doesn’t imagine, he becomes powerless and useless. Many people don’t change levels because they do not imagine the change of levels. Whatever you imagine, you empower yourself to become. Everything I have achieved in life, every height I have climbed, none came without me first imagining it. Anywhere I want to be in the future, I have already started picturing in my mind, and I will definitely be. If you don’t believe what I am saying, then you don’t know who you are!

3. What You Plan, How You Plan

In my country, I have seen people build houses without plans, so to say. Before you laugh, let me point out that plans aren’t only drawn on papers – some plans are boldly printed on the minds. Wherever you have a plan, whether on paper or mind, just have a plan because if you don’t, I don’t need to tell you that you’re already a failure. No man can initiate anything going somewhere without a plan. Any move you make without a plan ends in chaos – it’s like driving without thinking – you end up killing yourself, and, or maybe, innocent people. Your plan indicates that you want a change. You won’t know how much you need to execute a project if you don’t have a plan of the project.

4. Your Steps, Your Actions

Plans don’t change nothing if steps aren’t taken to action them. It is laziness to have a plan and not do anything about it. You must stand up to run with your plans and sit down to work on them. You can’t be anything without steps and actions. Some dreams die at the point of plans – in short, most dreams die at the point of plans.

I have had a number of people come to me to discuss how enthusiastic they are about following their dreams, but when I looked back, years after, they haven’t gone past step one of what they intended to do. Signs your life is changing is you taking steps in the direction of your plans.

5. What You Input into Your Sat Nav

We might know where we’re going, but might not know how to get there. The address you input into the satellite navigator is the direction it will suggest to you. If you’re going south and you input east, you will, by the name of Jah, end up in the east. So, you better know where you’re going before you start moving. Many people don’t know where they’re going – that is why they simply accompany friends and neighbors to where they’re going, and end up with unpleasant surprises. To get your direction, you must know your destination – change embraces those who know their destinations. When you get lost, you can only be re-routed when you know where you’re going.

6. Your Peers – the People Around You

I am one of those that believe that people are environments, and that environments are contagious. You are under the influence of where you live, and where you live isn’t just one physical address but a combination of all your contacts. The type of friends you have offline and online, the colleagues that are your best pals, the family members that are dear to you, the type of enemies you decide to make, and many more, all combine to form your environment. If these environments aren’t forward thinking, the tendency of you not being forward thinking rises to the high heavens. To change your life completely, you must change certain environments completely.

7. What You Watch, What You Read

Some people can spend five hours watching movies or music videos on TV or YouTube, but can’t spend ten minutes watching something that will inspire them for change, yet they want change. Some people can spend hours reading print or online gossip magazines, but wouldn’t spend ten minutes on articles that will effect positive changes in their lives, and yet, they want change. What you watch and read is an indicator of change or stagnancy. You will remain comatose if something you watch or read doesn’t have the wheel to drive you in the direction of purposeful and meaningful change.

8. How You Manage Frustrations

In my number one point, I mentioned frustration and gave my understanding of its definition. At some point, everyone gets frustrated, but how you deal with it determines how much you’re hungry for change. Sumner Redstone, an American Businessman and Media Magnate said, ‘Success is not built on success. It’s built on failure. It’s built on frustration. Sometimes it’s built on catastrophe.’ Manage your frustration – deal with it.

9. The Price You’re Willing to Pay

You are a debtor to your dream, and if you can’t pay back what you owe, you can’t live your dream. So, wake up from your sleep, stop dreaming and start working. For any change, there is a price to pay. Stop telling us where you want to be, let us see the signs that you are already in the being. A seed that wants to become a tree must start sprouting for people to believe it has a future. The future in a seed makes a statement by breaking out of the tough soil. Prove you have a tomorrow by defying all obstacles around you to commence your journey towards your desired change. Stop weeping where you are – get up and get going.

10. When You’re Not Ashamed to Fight for Your Change

Tyler Perry slept in his car for so long in order to save money for his play, ‘I Know I’ve Been Changed.’ Rather than rent an accommodation, he did odd jobs and stayed in the cold to live his dream. Many may have laughed at him, and called him a homeless man, but he wasn’t perturbed because he knew where he was going. If you’re ashamed to be a cleaner in order to make some change to bring your change, you don’t understand what it means to chase a dream. I am not ashamed to sweep the street, if it will generate the income that will make my dream come true. You can laugh for all I care, but one day, we will see who will laugh last because I will be the last man standing!

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Ken is a leadership Motivation, Strategy and Personal Development Writer, Blogger and Speaker. He writes for a number of magazines and blogs. He is also a mentor and published author of several books.

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