So, if you missed reading a book in February, I ‘gat’ your back. I really hope I can sustain this through December.

This book addresses three key challenges generally faced by people especially the working class viz; Time pressure, financial pressure and the struggle to maintain a healthy balance between work and home. Ten (10) focusing strategies were highlighted;

1. Your Habit will Determine your future
A habit is something you do so often that it becomes easy. To develop a successful habit, there is the need to adopt the “No Exception Policy” which sees the long term benefits of maintaining a positive habit and gives no room for excuses on why it will not work. It takes about 21 days or 3-4 weeks to change a habit. If anyone wants a better life, they need to change their habits. Bad habits can be identified through feedback from friends or through objective self-reflection. Negative habits can be changed by studying the habit of successful role models and developing the habit of changing your habit.

2. Focus; It’s not Hocus-Pocus; It’s all about focus
Learning to focus is critical to success. The most successful people are those who have identified their area of strength and channeled their energies into such area. Invest your time in activities that you are brilliant at and leverage on the strength of others in the other areas – this diversity of abilities is the beauty of working in teams.

3. See the Big Picture?
This section focuses on how to develop a clear picture of one’s future – goals. It highlights that goals must be personal, meaningful, specific and measurable, flexible, challenging and exciting, aligned with one’s value, well balanced, realistic, contributory and supported. There is a need to make a long list of goals, prioritize them, review them, break them into categories and be accountable to mentors and mastermind groups.

4. Creating Optimum Balance
The B-Alert strategy was recommended for creating a balance lifestyle. Make a Blueprint for the next day the night before, take Action on the most important activities that will help accomplish your sixty day goal, Keep learning everyday through all mediums, Exercise for 30 minutes every day, create time to Relax with family and fun activities, Take time to Think and reflect while taking notes of new ideas.

5. Building Excellent Relationships
Analyze your past relationship and review the upward spiral [successful relationships] and the downward spiral (failed relationship)]. Repeat what you did in the upward spiral relationships and avoid actions that resulted in the failure of the downward spiral ones. Avoid toxic people that rubbish your great ideas. Only build relationship with people you like, trust and respect. Be open to feedback, get appropriate mentors and mastermind group around whom you build your fortress because greater success in life is derived more from who you know than what you know.

6. The Confidence Factor
When we have unresolved issues in our lives, there are three possibilities – Playing the denial game, remaining on the spot or confronting the issue head on. Most people do the first two because we mostly avoid confrontation and are afraid. To develop confidence, shun fear, forgive and forget, remind yourself of past successes, read inspiring biographies and autobiographies, be thankful, leverage on your fortress, strive to accomplish short term goals and celebrate your weekly accomplishment. “Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you do it” –Stan smith

7. Ask for what you want
Asking is the habit of Always Seeking Knowledge. You can only get the needed referrals, opportunity to renegotiate, business information, endorsement, or feedback by asking. Asking has to be done with clarity, confidence, consistency, creativity and sincerity. Most times, there is nothing to lose but a lot to gain by asking, therefore, ask.

8. Consistent Persistence
Most activities are a matter of choice and not by compulsion. The quality of our choices, determines the level of consistency of our performance and in turns the quality of our life. It was emphasized that true integrity is making good choices consistently, keeping agreement with oneself, persisting through the tough times and being 100% accountable for your result. Broken agreements often lead to broken relationships.

9. Taking Decisive Action
Procrastination leads to last minute panic and sometimes opportunities are missed. People procrastinate because they are bored, over whelmed with backlog of work, have lost confidence, have low self-worth, are not enjoying their work or are easily distracted or just lazy. In making any major decision Think, Ask questions, Decide using the double spiral technique, Act. Be mindful of money, power and sex, they can make or break you.

10. Living on Purpose
Find a solitary place to think through and discover your purpose of existence and craft a statement of purpose. Ensure that your purpose is aligned to your natural abilities, be determined and maintain a humble attitude when success comes. A high inner level of being produces a high level of success on the outside and vice versa.