About heckle07

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“ANYTHING FOR YOUR BOY SIR?” (THE GEHAZI PRINCIPLE)

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Have you ever been rewarded for doing your job by someone who was so grateful for the way you served them, that he or she decided to show their appreciation by giving you a gift of money or something else of value? It feels good, doesn’t it? Getting a tip just for doing what you’re being paid to do is one of the highest forms of validation, and a source of great encouragement that you’re doing a good job. Tipping in the service industry is normal in our society, and in some cases is even encouraged. But for those who work in sensitive positions like government or financial services, receiving a tip can be a dangerous trap that can tarnish one’s record and end one’s career in a snap. In all the banks I worked for, the policy on receiving gifts and emoluments from customers is very clear; do not ask for a tip or a bribe, and even if you are offered a tip after performing your duty to the customer politely turn it down or refer the gift to your boss for equitable distribution among all members of staff. This is done so that such an employee will not be lured or tricked into committing a crime by influencing a transaction. This is taken very seriously, and in my career I saw several employees lose their jobs or promotions because they received gifts from customers to give them preferential treatment.

 

Nowadays employees ask for gifts from customers in different, creative ways. The most common of these ways is by asking “anything for your boy sir?” this is kind of like asking for a gift without openly doing so. Unfortunately it has become part of our culture to ask for…and even to demand for gratification from those whom we have been paid to serve. Such a practice is encouraged by dishonest clients who want to circumvent due process and break the law, and they use greedy staff to achieve this. Demanding for cash gifts from customers has destroyed the integrity of the workplace, and if you choose not to participate in such you may well be the exception to the rule.

 

Look at the story of Elisha the great prophet of God, and Naaman, the Syrian army general (2Kings chapter 5). After some back and forth, Elisha finally decided to heal Naaman of leprosy, who in his gratitude offered Elisha a present but Elisha refused. Unfortunately, Gehazi who was the servant of the prophet could not bear to see such an offer of gratification go to waste. He raced after Naaman and after lying to him that Elisha sent him, obtained two talents of silver and two changes of clothing. Of course Elisha found out and cursed Gehazi and his descendants with the same leprosy that Naaman had just been healed from.

 

If we examine that story – and if we want to be honest with ourselves – we see that what Gehazi did is no different from what we have made a culture of today. After all, the job had been done, and the customer just wanted to show his appreciation…right? But know this; demanding gratification for doing your job tarnishes the quality of your work and your character. It reduces the value of your efforts, and it creates a greed for lucre that if not checked, can destroy your career. We cry about corruption in the land, but fail to see what we do every day at work. The line between demanding a bribe to do your paid job, and requesting a reward after you do your paid job is very thin indeed, and like Gehazi, the leprosy will follow not just us, but our generations to come.

 

So, if you’re reading this and you are in the habit of asking to be rewarded with cash for doing work that your employer has paid you to do, have a rethink today. Only accept gifts in line with your company’s policy, and when you cannot decline a tip, make sure you let your boss know and ensure that your entire team partakes of the gift and give their sincere thanks to the gift giver. This way your integrity is protected, and the sanctity of your spiritual walk is not tarnished. If you’re not sure how to proceed, just follow my personal rule: ‘when in doubt…give it out!’ May the Spirit of the Most High God protect us in our locale and keep us from suffering the fate of Gehazi in our lives and careers. Amen! Have a blessed and profitable week ahead, and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel by clicking the link https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmE-xv2bKtcYlfxKJnZJIug and hitting the SUBSCRIBE button. Visit my website www.ifeanyiubawords.com and order a training or seminar for your staff, group or company. And while you’re at it, order a copy of my books #360degreemastery and #getupgetbusygetthatA to support our efforts at #theifeanyiubafoundation to provide books and scholarships for the less privileged. Namaste!

LIVE YOUR LIFE REGRET FREE!

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Several times in the past I have mentioned in my write ups that I have previously been diagnosed with severe Osteo-Arthritis, and that I require complex corrective surgery. I reference it in my posts because I know that many people are living with the same or a similar condition so my outlook on it gives them hope and encouragement, but mostly because through it I have found myself in God and I have been so blessed in my life because there’s nothing God cannot use to turn your situation around. As a Christian I believe that everything happens for a reason, and before I can change anything I have to first own my reality. This is a lifelong lesson, and the further I go in my walk, the more I learn about how wonderful life can be.

 

When I first found out I needed surgery I was sad. I pitied myself and tried to get others to pity me. I tried to find relief in pain medications, but when I discovered that I was abusing them, I resolved to fight back by going back to the gym. My cousin Ikechukwu dragged and forced me to get back into training, and every weekday we would train hard to lose weight and get fit. Last week I was using the treadmill, when an older couple came into the gym. They both looked in their 60’s and the man came and switched on the treadmill beside mine. I expected him to set it on a slow speed to match his age, but to my amazement, this man cranked up the speed and started running! For half an hour his feet pounded the platform as he covered mile after mile on the machine. Three machines away his wife was doing the same thing, and when they were finished, they hit the other exercise machines with a vengeance. I was so intrigued that I struck up a conversation with them after my workout, and they told me that they do a lot of traveling, but always made sure they hit a nearby gym each day. Their story inspired me afresh, but it was something the man said that made me decide to write this piece. He said; “I try to live my life without any regrets. I have been blessed with a good life and a good body by God, and I make sure I appreciate Him by using it to the fullest. If I die today I won’t regret the way I spent my life, that is why I do my best to do only what is right…because the best life you can live, is a life where you regret nothing.”

 

In the past we have all done things that we regret. In our private moments we remember those thoughts, words, and actions and we wish we had not thought, said, or done them. It weighs on us, and dulls the colors of our present joy. Many of us are still living our lives doing things that we are not proud of, and are not happy about. We compromise peace of mind for material gain, sexual conquest, or the approval of society. We live with guilt, but seem unable to break the cycle because we think we cannot live better or be better. This is where walking with your creator comes in. a life free of regret is possible, it just takes you to appreciate the life you have been given, and live, work, and play in a way that does not take away your peace of mind. Be the person you want to be, and always put in your best in what you do as long as you believe that what you are doing is right and in line with what God would want from you. Don’t worry about what the world thinks of you, just live your best life; a right life, and you won’t be plagued with negative emotions or feelings of regret. This is a very powerful lesson, and I’m glad I learned it because in all honesty, we don’t have so much time to spend on this earth, least of all time to spend regretting how we live it.

 

So do away with thoughts of your past, embrace your present, so that you can enjoy your future. Live a life you will be proud of, and only take decisions that God will approve. Forget what has happened before and focus on what is happening now. Pain and suffering will pass, but the memory of content will always remain with you. Make your private thoughts happy thoughts, and remember that a life without regrets is the best gift you can possibly give to your existence. Have a beautiful weekend, and a profitable week ahead. Namaste!

 

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THE DAMAGE A LITTLE LIE CAN DO

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In the course of my adult life, I have struggled with many different sins and addictions. This is not something I’m proud of, because as a child of God and as someone who strives to attain God’s expected level of spirituality for me, I become ashamed whenever I remember the habits that I have fought to break over the years (some with little success), and the sins which I commit knowingly and willingly even though my heart and spirit are screaming against my actions and begging my body to stop. But like the sinner who lays himself bare before the Lord, I own my flaws and continue to ask God to forgive and strengthen me, while I keep on battling against my instincts and my appetites and my weaknesses. That is the Christian journey.

 

But among all the sins and habits I war against, none have I found as hard to overcome as the sin of telling lies. You see, lying is a habit we learn as children, and if we are not taught how bad and unnecessary and hurtful it is, lying tends to remain with us for the whole of our lives. It usually starts with a simple act of denying responsibility for a broken or damaged item; or an attempt to manipulate the emotions or actions of a parent in our favor. We tell lies as children to avoid punishment or to get something we want but feel we do not deserve. But then as we grow up we begin to discover new, more creative uses for lying: We tell lies to impress; we tell lies to convince; we tell lies to acquire and to influence. We tell lies even when telling the truth will bring a much better result. In the end we become adults who lie so casually in a society built of lies that lying is now no longer considered such a serious sin as say, stealing.

 

I struggle with lies every day. I catch myself lying so casually in my work or to my friends that I wonder what God actually thinks of me. Something as simple as “I’m sorry, I don’t have a single kobo on me” when a friend asks for money, is as bad as the lies the Pharisees told against Jesus. I find that it would have been better to just say “Oh, I do have some money on me, but I’m sorry I cannot spare you any”. We have made lies a part of business; artisans like carpenters, mechanics and repairmen tell so many lies that when confronted they laugh and tell you it’s “part of the job, oga” It is now impossible to be honest with the facts, we believe that it is only simple, common sense to bend and twist them. Even in church we tell lies to each other and we lie to our spouses, our children, or neighbors, our parents, our friends so much that it now becomes difficult to receive anything we ask for from God, because we refuse to acknowledge how bad the sin of lying and deception are. The irony of it all is this; no one likes being lied to, and we go out of our way to punish anyone in our power who lies to us…even though we tell lies ourselves.

 

So, what is the solution? Can you go a day or a week without telling a single lie? Most of the lies we tell are lies to cover up previous lies we have told, and we would rather deceive others than risk embarrassment and shame at revealing the truth. The solution is this; try to go a day without lying. If you don’t succeed, try again the next day. Keep trying until you find yourself telling fewer and fewer lies. You will soon find yourself a happier person, and a more fulfilled and more confident person. But make sure you continue to pray. I’m not smart, and I don’t want to be smart if it requires me to lie and deceive people. That is my prayer, and I believe that God can make it happen for me. Being upfront and honest with my spouse is something I cherish very much, and she knows this and we both appreciate the fact that we can tell each other anything without fear. With time I’m sure I can eliminate lying entirely from my life because after all, my biological father is still very much alive and from what I have been told by every single person who knows him, he has never told anyone anything that is not true. So I believe one can live on this earth without indulging in the sin of lies. I pray God sends His Holy Spirit to convict us of this habitual sin, and give us strength to overcome it. Amen.

Visit my website www.ifeanyiubawords.com for more content, and subscribe to my YouTube channel THE 360 DEGREE MASTERY for videos on Self Mastery and Wealth Creation. Let me know in your comments what you think of lying, and what kinds of damage lies have done to you or someone you know. Cheers!

SHOULD DOING THE RIGHT THING MAKE YOU PROUD?

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When my son was much younger, my wife and I had trouble getting him to eat his meals. My boy is quite the picky eater, and if you serve him food that he does not like he can sit for hours at time, just staring blankly at his plate. This used to be very frustrating for us, because we would cajole and beg, threaten and scream, just to make him eat. My wife would warm his food several times after it gets cold, and then the pleading and threatening would begin again. But as he grew older he started to develop a healthier appetite, and would gobble down his meal and hold up the empty plate to me proudly and say “daddy look, I finished my food!” I would smile and nod my head approvingly, as if he had just done me a huge favor. These days my boy will clear his food and take his plates into the kitchen before I even realized that food is ready, and I know that the time will come when I may even have to monitor the quantity of food he eats, to stop him from becoming obese. That’s the joy of parenthood, and all children go through these phases.

 

Last Saturday the country held its General Elections, and I noted with amusement many people proudly posting pictures of their ink-stained thumbs and forefingers online to show that they went out and exercised their civic duty. It reminds me of people who stroll proudly out of church after Sunday service, like they have just done God a huge favor by going to His house to worship Him. While I agree that going to church on Sunday fills one with a sense of accomplishment; just like going to the polls to cast our votes does, I need to remind us that going to church is not an act of charity…it is an act of obedience. When we do the right thing we are tempted to stop and look around us to see who is watching, and we expect to be congratulated for our efforts. But friend, serving God is for your benefit, not His. Voting in the elections is a duty to yourself and your nation that you must perform, and it does not stop there. You must monitor the outcome of the polls, and join other citizens to ensure that those who won the elections fulfill the promises they made in their campaign. We must hold our leaders accountable to their offices and encourage law enforcement officers to check the excesses of elected and appointed officials. We must pay our taxes and obey the laws of our constitution and make sure those who are in authority do the same. That is our duty as citizens, not just putting ink on ballot paper and declaring proudly that we have “done our duty”.

 

Similarly as Christians we must follow through on our Sunday worship: we must go back and search out the preacher’s words in scripture; we must put into practice the lessons we were taught from the pulpit, and flesh out the goodness of God. We must hold each other accountable to what we profess, and our lives must reflect the faith we claim. Our duty does not end with Sunday service, and unless we see our duty as 24/7, 365 requirements we are no more than an infant who eats his vegetables and expects ice cream as a reward. Spiritual and civic duty requires maturity, and only when we see ourselves as part of a team in search of progress, we cannot enjoy the best of God and State. So let us stop preening and start doing our duty to God and to each other. We have voted, and now we must follow through: just like we have worshipped in word, now we must worship in deed. There is no other way to secure the future, and I pray that God will help us carry out our duties to Him and to our nation to the fullest. Cheers!

Follow me on Instagram on @theheckla and on Twitter on @heckle07 and log onto www.ifeanyiubawords.com to access more inspiring content.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE CLINCH

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Years ago while competing to get my second Dan black belt, I severely damaged my knees. So I decided to try my hand at learning how to box. My first few attempts in the ring ended badly for me; I was knocked out twice, and three times I was so exhausted by the fourth or fifth round that I could not continue the fight. This was quite a blow to my fighter’s ego, and I could not understand why I couldn’t go the distance with guys who had far less experience in combat than I had. After this happened a few times I sought out a veteran boxer to help me find out why, and that was when I discovered something very important. I was approaching my fights with the same mentality with which I had been trained by my masters in Taekwondo, which was “go in, find the other guy’s weakness and end the fight quickly”. This worked well for me when I was sparring in competitions that usually lasted 2 or 3 rounds, but in boxing the fights last much longer and the amount of contact is much higher. My veteran friend explained to me that I wasn’t using my ‘Clinch’. The clinch is a defensive tactic which basically sees a boxer tie his opponent’s arms up so that they become entangled and any attack is rendered ineffective. For those of you who happen upon a boxing match, you may sometimes see boxers hugging during a fight. This is not to show affection; rather it is a boxer who doesn’t have the energy to counter his opponent’s punches tying up his arms in a clinch.

 

There are usually two reasons why boxers clinch. One is because the boxers are tired and they think they have no other choice. The other is because one of the boxers is getting pummeled and needs to stop the onslaught. … When that’s happening, clinching allows you to break your opponent’s momentum and get some much needed breathing space to gather your wits and some energy with which to continue. The exact same thing applies to real life: Sometimes the pressures of work and life and financial problems get so overwhelming that you are in danger of getting knocked out from the onslaught. At this point I would advise you to clinch your opponent to avoid serious damage to your physical and spiritual health. There are several simple and effective clinch techniques which I have discovered over the years; one of them is to take a couple of hours off and retreat to a corner to pray; another one is to switch off all electronic devices around me and just enjoy the silence. There are other effective clinch techniques as well: pausing work and going for a long walk to clear your head; reading and meditating on your favorite verses of scripture; even focusing intensely on something entirely different from work or business like your children or your other loved ones. These are all clinch techniques that help me take the edge off the pounding I receive on some days when I go to the office, because I know that if I don’t tie up my opponent’s (work) arms I could fail woefully at a critical project or I could suffer some form of physical or mental breakdown. Even an afternoon nap sometimes is a good clinch for work.

 

Whatever form of mental or spiritual clinching you employ, be sure not to do it too often so that you won’t become lazy and complacent and lose the fight. Mohammed Ali used one of the most effective clinching techniques against a near invincible George Foreman and won what experts billed as an impossible fight. You too can use effective clinching to beat impossible odds in life, because you are built for success…just learn to pace yourself. Cheers! Check out my other content on www.ifeanyiubawords.com, and subscribe to my You Tube channel The 360 Degree Mastery.

DIAGNOSING ADDICTION TO SIN

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A couple of years ago, I began suffering from terrible, crippling pains in my knees. I went to see a doctor and he sent me in for an X-ray. The X-ray revealed that I had severe arthritis in both knees, and that the years of abuse and injuries from practicing several martial arts plus my poorly managed weight had all contributed to damage my knees and ankles to the point where I couldn’t run or squat without almost passing out from the pain. I was devastated because martial arts and physical exercise are among the few things in which I found genuine pleasure and personal challenge. The doctor suggested I go for knee replacement surgery in the near future, but to manage the pain he prescribed the controversial pain killer Tramadol. Now Tramadol is a narcotic drug, and a pharmacist will only sell it to you if you have a doctor’s prescription. He put me on a daily dose of 50mg twice a day, and warned me to make sure I seek further treatment, as the Tramadol was only to help me manage through a critical period at work.

 

I began taking Tramadol as prescribed, but after some time I found that the duration of relief was starting to reduce. I needed to take it more than twice a day if I was going to get through work, and without talking to my doctor, I upped my dose to 50mg 3 times a day. Before long I discovered that 50mg wasn’t taking the edge off the pain anymore, so I started taking 100mg of Tramadol per dose. Shortly after that my doctor relocated abroad, and without his prescriptions I couldn’t get Tramadol from the pharmacy close to my house. Unfortunately Tramadol is available on the black market at a very high price, and I began to buy from a local dealer just to get my fix. At the height of my addiction I couldn’t get out of bed without popping a 100mg pill of Tramadol and taking it at least 2 more times before evening. The mellow feeling it gave me soon became a requirement for my productivity. I had become an addict without even knowing how or when it happened. The wakeup call came when I took a sizable amount out of my wife’s ATM one day to buy a few tablets of painkiller. I realized what I had become; the very thing I taught my students to stay away from…a junkie!

 

Getting off Tramadol was not easy; I prayed to God for relief, and forced myself to stop taking any sort of painkillers. I started going to the gym again and began using the treadmill to walk at least 1 kilometer a day. It was painful, but I stuck at it. I weaned myself of my addiction and endured the agony, forcing the muscles in my legs to get stronger so that they would take some of the pressure off my bones. Slowly the pain in my knees reduced to an ever present ache, but at least I could handle the aching. Now I can box and use a cross trainer without relying on drugs…as long as my wife helps me massage my knees at night.

 

Sin is a lot like drugs in so many ways. We often resort to sin as a solution to a problem, and most of the time we get into it innocently. But like drugs we soon find that we do not get the fulfillment we experienced the first time we committed the sin, so we sin some more. After this we begin to develop a tolerance to the sin and our conscience no longer bothers us when we sin, so we start to commit other sins that complement the original sin. Finally we become so addicted to a sinful lifestyle that we sacrifice the most important of all our relationships – our relationship with God – just to enjoy that lifestyle. The only way out of sin is to draw closer to God and try hard to live according to the standards that He set for us. This is not easy at all, and many times we will find ourselves in pain and agony while we try to live sin free. But the good news is that living a sin free life opens up a blissful and joyous world of communication with God, because that is His original plan and purpose for us. Living without sin is difficult, and many times in your life you will fall short, but as long as you do not allow yourself to remain in the sin, and as long as you do not let your spirit build up a tolerance to sin you will find that the pain of living sin free will not last; God in His love will even provide you permanent solution to your problem (1Corinth. 10:13).

 

So in this 2019 try to wean yourself of your dependence on and addiction to sin. The fewer the sins we have in our lives, the happier and closer to God we will feel. Don’t manage the pain; deal with it and I promise you that it will subside. Happy New Year and God bless us all as we resolve to live sin and guilt free.

 

Follow me on social media and check out www.ifeanyiubawords.com for more content and information on how to get my books. Cheers!

LIFE AS A VIDEO GAME: AN INTERESTING ANALOGY

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I like video games. No, scratch that…I LOVE video games! Ever since my friend Ike brought one to school and convinced me to skip classes and go to my house and play Mario with him, I’ve been hooked. Over the years I have been an avid follower of the gamer culture, and I have invested a lot of money in my games. I say ‘invest’ because I understand the role of digital entertainment in my own personal process. Video games help me develop my problem solving capabilities because the sort of games I play have cool puzzles and tests which you must pass before you can advance to the next level; they help me improve my goal setting process because for me few things are more rewarding than playing a difficult game on the hardest level all the way to the end and seeing the end credits roll and the CONGRATULATIONS! Message light up the television screen. Another thing computer games do for me is improve my hand eye co-ordination and my mental reflexes in actual combat scenarios, so that when I’m sparring an opponent I think faster and react better. But I guess that as a married man the greatest benefit of my gaming habit is that it keeps me occupied and out of trouble when my wife is away from home on trainings or attending meetings. I love my games; Street fighter, Halo, Mario, Tomb Raider, Winning Eleven, ISS pro…I own them all and I play them enthusiastically because they help me relax after work.

 

My favorite video game of all is the god of War series. In this game you play as Kratos; a Spartan warrior who must embark on a long journey armed with twin blades mounted on chains with which he slices and dices his enemies on his quest to destroy his arch foe Ares, the god of war. I love this game in particular because of the high level of blood and violence, and the realism of the graphics as well as the fact that I can relate with the flaws of the hero. Kratos is a tortured soul who seeks to avenge the betrayal of Ares and redeem himself for his unspeakable crimes against the innocent. He has no allies and is driven solely by his rage and his desire to exact vengeance. But I digress.

 

The good thing about video games is that even when you die in the game, you can come back to life and just continue from where you stopped, or you can save your progress and continue playing at a later time. Unfortunately, real life is quite the opposite. You cannot afford to be reckless with your life, or attempt to put life on “pause” because “something came up”. You cannot select who you want to be or switch characters halfway through. There are no “continues” and “extra lives” or “cheat codes” with which to go through this world. We don’t get “free bonuses” and “unlimited” anything because we stumbled on a hidden box containing upgrades to help us make the game of life easier. Finally, you cannot select a difficulty level that makes your challenges simple, or skip the really hard levels because they’re “not fun”. Unlike video games, in life you have to play as you are; you have to play through every single level with no unlimited ammunition or infinite continues because if you die…that’s it. We must live and grow through our experiences and be mindful that whatever decision we take today will most certainly affect our tomorrow. I’m not saying this to depress you, rather I want to remind us that we have one shot at life, and the best thing to do with that shot is to appreciate it by serving The One who programmed the game and gave us an opportunity to play. God expects us to use what He has given us to serve Him by doing His work. Sometimes it may seem like ours is on the hardest difficulty, but if we recall, the bible tells us in Hebrews 4:15 that Jesus lived in the same world as we did and was tempted just as we are. That’s right; Jesus had no cheat codes either.

 

So try to enjoy the life you have, and don’t spend your time wishing for shortcuts through your challenges. If we accept the gift of life and do the best we can with it we can be sure that no matter where the game may end for us, those end credits will roll and when we enter the kingdom we will see the boldly written message CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE GAME!

 

You can access more of my written and video content on www.ifeanyiubawords.com Merry Christmas!