A Pragmatic Approach To Success – A Life Guide By Aboagye Marcos

The author walking to his seat after receiving his overall best graduating student award

This article is about success. You are here to succeed. It is therefore important that you learn the fundamental PRINCIPLES which you can apply to make a success of your life, after all, there are principles governing every activity. Furthermore, according to 1 Timothy 2:5 ‘‘Anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules’’.

First of all, we have to understand that most of the things discussed in this article are hard, and not everyone can take it or bear, but that is the way it is, we are laying it bare without any embellishments.

With regard to success, the great John C. Maxwell wrote; “Success is knowing your PURPOSE in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others.”

Looking at success from the societal perspective; success is you growing up to become a responsible person or not becoming a threat or burden to the society. So, in summary you are success when you grow up to achieve your societally acceptable goals.

The first thing God bestowed on man in the Bible according to Genesis 1:22 is blessings, blessing means; prosperity and wellbeing. So, from this Biblical account we can infer that being successful(fruitful) means, being a blessing to the society.

LIFE is a gift of God, given to fulfil his purpose and not yours. The purpose of God for mankind is for us to be fruitful(successful). Our business in life is not to get ahead of people but to get ahead of ourselves. What you do with your time is the period of your competition, we are competing with time not with others. TIME is the only common commodity among all of us.

The three enemies of time are:

  1. PROCRASTINATION: It is the postponement of the important for the urgent.
  2. DISTRACTION: Preoccupation with things that do not progress to your ultimate goal and that could include people, there are some people who don’t deserve your time, they are called distractors.
  • EXCUSES: This is the most dangerous thing, it is the most useless thing we manufacture. An excuse is a personal justification for failure. Never give an excuse to vindicate your villain, never excuse yourself from the opportunity to challenge your potential. Take blame and responsibility but never accept excuses.

Life is governed by NATURAL PRINCIPLES and these principles are dependent on priorities, so irrespective of your faith (Christian, Muslim, Pagan, Buddhist, Traditionalist etc) if you are able to discover these natural principles with some well-thought-out priorities, you will succeed. But don’t forget that life is not a bed of roses.

A principle is the condition necessary to follow to attain your PURPOSE or a principle is a law that is established to create the right environment for you to become all that you are capable of being. God created Adam outside the garden, but afterwards placed Adam in the garden not a bush, because the garden was the environment necessary for Adam to become what he was created to be.

Success is based on obedience to principles, the truth is that principles are established to make life simple. People are failing in life because they are failing to understand the simple principles of nature. Principles are not facts, fact is a description of the present state of things but a principle is an eternal truth.

A principle has no respect for your opinion. This explain why irrespective of your faith, when your jump from the tenth floor of a building you will die. In the struggles of life, there are some exits that might be GOOD but may not be RIGHT for you. There are people who are good friends, but not right for what you want to accomplish don’t be afraid to part way with them. After all, when a caterpillar wants to metamorphose into butterfly, it has to part way with caterpillars. Life is about making RIGHT choices not GOOD choices.

What God want you to do is called PURPOSE, when you see your purpose, it is called a VISION, vision is a glimpse of your future or is your glimpse for your living. PURPOSE means original intent or the will of mind, it also means the original reason why you were created, why you exist is called purpose. If you know your vision, you would have STANDARDS for yourself. To maintain your standard, you’ve got to be DISCIPLINE, discipline means: self-imposed restrictions.

According to Dr Myles Munroe, the greatest tragedy in life is not death but life without a purpose. If what you are doing, you could stop doing and still be happy, then you have not discovered your purpose yet. As such you need to establish a purpose for your life. You can do this by providing answers to the following questions:

  1. What problems are there that you can provide solutions?
  2. What do you do so well that people talk about?
  • What do you love doing? How beneficial is it to you and others?
  1. How would you like to be remembered when your time on this earth is finally up?
  2. What tributes would you want to hear about you from your family, workplace mates, friends and close associates when you are dead?
  3. What do you want to do with your life?

Your life must be purposeful before you can succeed. If you have nothing to live for, then forget about success. If you are not willing to die for what you are living for, then is not worth living for. Success is not something that you can achieve overnight. You must grow to reach your potential in life. It is a process, it is a journey and not a destination where you have nothing to do again once it is reached.

Everyone has the potential to do something good with his life, to be an instrument of blessing to others, to excel at something and carve a niche that brings lasting results. By potential, we mean the natural abilities and qualities an individual is endowed with which can be developed to make that person very useful to society. You have the potential to do exploits. Never underestimate your innate abilities and skills. Use them for the good of mankind.

Philip Adams, success and leadership expert says, It seems to me that people have vast potential. Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don’t. They sit in front of the television and treat life as if it goes on forever.” I love the quote on potential by management expert, Charles M. Schwab who wrote: Every one’s got it in him, if he’ll only make up his mind and stick at it. None of us is born with a stop-valve on his powers or with a set limit to his capacities. There’s no limit possible to the expansion of each one of us.”

The only one who can stop you from achieving your purpose is you. That will come from your self-limiting beliefs, self-doubts and disbeliefs about what you can or cannot do. Just focus on your life purpose. If you have fallen from a great height, don’t worry, gather your pieces together, free yourself from any pressure from the society and strategically restart life and you would be happy again.

The saying is true, “The end justifies the means(medium)’’, this saying means that, the person you have become will enable us to know whether the medium you passed to reach that feat is good or bad. So, don’t be much concerned about the medium(means) but be passionately concerned about the end. After all life is about taking calculated risks, and risks are opportunities.

The truth is that society doesn’t care about the means(medium), the medium could be KTU, UG, KNUST, UCC, etc, but they care about who you have become (the end). Yes, is true for you to move from where you are, you need a medium(means) but in case you missed your desired means(medium) don’t miss your end. What we mean is that, assuming at the end of your education you want to become a Civil Engineer, but you want to use KNUST as the medium to reaching your dream, if unfortunately, you don’t get Civil Engineering at KNUST, don’t accept any other program at KNUST, but rather, go to a different University that will enable you to reach your dream. In fact, natural principles provide many societally accepted alternative media for reaching your purpose(end). Just Remember that: Education Is How You Manage Your Account.

The simplest thing on earth is life, and the most complicated thing is the way we live our life, you can choose to enjoy today and live the remaining part of your life struggling. What we mean is that if you have a palm wine budget, don’t live a champagne life. In practice, you can decide to enrich yourself (by buying: television, fridge, phone etc) with your National Service allowances during the period of your service and become jobless and poor after the National service, or you can decide to forgo living such life and save greater part of your allowances so that after the National service, you can setup your mini business, which will enable you to enjoy forever. Determination is not enough to get you through but ENDURANCE is everything.

If you cannot change the system, try and understand how the system works, swim with the system, champion the system and take over the system. After all, there are some systems you cannot change until you have reached the Zenith or you have taken over the system. Do you know that if you are Non-PhD holder and you are surrounded by PhD holders, the PhD holders silence speaks louder than you the Non-PhD holder voice?

Because of the dicey nature of life, in terms of investment, invest more in people, because they are the only people you have, but the rule is that invest only what you can afford to lose. Investment can also mean building links and networks with people from all walks of life.

You have to also understand that the graph of life is zigzag (up and down) but the graph of death is horizontal, this means life is zigzag, so you have to anticipate ups and downs, that is, hope for the best, but don’t be discouraged by the worst. The greatest failure in life is to be successful in the wrong assignment.

There is no end to the writing of a book and much studies is wearisome to the flesh (Ecl 12:12), interestingly, the industry has not given preference to the first class graduate, neither has it favoured the pass graduate. So, in your academic studies, do yourself a favour, study as much as you can, remember what you have learnt and your will succeed. One thing we have come to realise is that, is not about the class you have in education, but how far you move in the educational ladder. Have you noticed that some people completed Senior High School with aggregate 6-10 but couldn’t make it to tertiary, but you made aggregate 36 and progressed to tertiary and you are enjoying better salary and recognition than him/her? The adage is right: ‘‘the higher you go the cooler it becomes’’. Just keep on moving forward.

Take some time to PAMPER yourself even if you cannot afford it frequently. You are what you are, and all that you have. lay your problems before God (the Creator) but go to work, for that is where God (the Creator) will give you the answers. Don’t forget in terms of earthly dealings, the Bible states that time and chance happen to everyone (Eccl 9:11). This explains why Finland has less than 30 churches in the whole country but have the most stable economy in the world. But Ghana have over 30,000 churches nationwide, but our economy is on a foundation of straw.

You are successful if you are a solution to people’s problems. As you help people solve their problems unseen forces will be helping you solve your own. Remember to sow seeds that benefit others. You will become a lot more successful if you help others along the way as you struggle to succeed.

When you are flowing in abundance, make sure that your abundance benefits others. Let your life touch the lives of others in a positive way. Determine to improve your life and the lives of others and leave an enduring legacy for humankind. Only then can we say you have succeeded.

It is also worthy to note that as you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don’t help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you.

Consider This: Never receive counsel from unproductive people, never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how. NOT EVERYONE HAS A RIGHT TO SPEAK INTO YOUR LIFE. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person. Don’t follow anyone who’s not going anywhere. And finally , “always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that sums up the teachings of the natural principles of life’’.

The Author Receiving A Handshake From The Vice Chancellor



Qualifications: HND Civil Engineering (First Class)-Koforidua Polytechnic

B’Tech Civil Engineering (First Class)-Koforidua Technical University.

Awards: Best Graduating student in HND Civil Engineering, class of 2012-2015

Best Graduating student in B’Tech Civil Engineering, class of 2015-2017

Overall Best Graduating Student-the degree(B’Tech) Category(graduation date is: 2018)

Email: Marcos.aboagye@ktu.edu.gh

Phone number: +233240171761

Publication: the Author has also published a transformational book which addresses over 30 controversial issues in Christianity entitled ‘THE GOSPEL DECODED’ which is freely available on: www.ktuinsider.com or you can download it from this link: https://www.ktuinsider.com/2018/10/18/the-gospel-decoded-a-book-by-aboagye-marcos-2018-overall-best-graduating-student-btech/



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