CrystalQuest Adventures

…towards equipping the total man!


Adventures of a hitchhiker!

A call to serve!

It is against the recent backlash on a governor of a state in my country that referred to himself as the ”constituted authority” that I was able to fully convince a friend that most African leaders do not really see leadership as a call to serve but more like a pathway to fame and fortune. They either have a twisted understanding of what leadership entails or simply lack the moral fortitude for genuine service especially those with seemingly credible credentials. They seek for power, just for the vainglory and use it as a tool to oppress those they promised to serve.

Mark 10:4… ”For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

The above is one verse of the scripture that truly captures the essence of leadership. Leadership is service. Service is giving one’s life. Giving one’s life is inspiring and inspiration is influence. When your followers realize your willingness to go the extra mile, they know you care and are inspired to do what it takes to follow your lead and accomplish the stated vision and objectives. When a leader is humble, sincere and has a great deal of empathy, serving comes natural even as these basic ingredients will not just determine how great the leader will be but the three Hs will also be factors that will endear the followers to such a leader.

Humility: leadership is about service. Even the Bible declares in Matthew 23:11 that the one who serves is actually the greatest, but the common low self esteem, troubled childhood and shallow mindedness of most of these leaders fuels their unquenchable thirst for self aggrandizement. What they lack in self esteem and humility, they tend to make up for by stupendous wealth acquisitions and self glorification. A leader will always be a true servant at heart and it takes humility to really lower oneself and sincerely serve.

Honesty: It is a fact that people do not care how much you know till they realize how much you care. Probity and transparency should always be key in every leader’s philosophy. When a leader is truly humble and sincere, accountability will never be an issue. Even when true leaders make mistakes, they are quick to admit and apologize if need be. Because their followers sees their hearts, they are inspired by their ways and many try to live right too, their leaders being worthy role models.

Humanity: Being human is also being able to acknowledge one’s imperfections. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and every good leader tries as much as they can to maximize their strengths and surround themselves with credible leaders that will compensate for their weaknesses. This would also prompt them to show empathy with the individual’s situation and enable them make room for their followers’ weaknesses. They will not be quick to assume, judge or condemn but offer the much needed listening ear and always be sympathetic to the plight of their followers.

Leadership skills can be innate or acquired and cultivated. Whenever, wherever, however a leader emerges. Qualified or lacking the requisite leadership skills, deserving or not deserving, any leader that possesses these three attributes would sure have a clearer shot at greatness.

Happy Democracy day!

The power of habits!

Our habits have been generally described as being the product of two shaping forces. One is the narratives that people are nurtured on and how those narratives feed their imaginations one way or another. The other is the context in which people grow up, which has a huge impact on how they see the world and others.

The context (culture) is the sum total of the physical and human environment of nurture. It has a great deal to do with the geography, the moral, cultural values and norms of a people. The narratives (nurture) are the emotional and social factors that shapes how we see ourselves, think, react and relate to situations and how we generally view and treat others. This is often influenced by reactive and proactive reactions to conversations, events, relationships and the overall attitude of a people towards everything in life.

Man is always a product of his habits. Who we are and what we accomplish depends largely on a vast network of routines and behaviours that we carry out with little or no thought whatsoever. Habits are the brain’s own internal productivity drivers. Constantly striving for more efficiency, the brain quickly transforms as many tasks and behaviours as possible into habits so that we can do them without thinking, thus freeing up more brainpower to tackle new challenges.

A man’s habits therefore determines his productivity and effectiveness to a very large extent. Whatever advances a man’s habits will seriously enhance his overall self and so make him a better person. Not much can be done about the culture factor since we really do not have a say over who gave birth to us and where, but for the nurture, it is pertinent to diligently seek and adopt the right kind of influence even when our nurture projects otherwise.

A flawed nurture can be balanced by the sagacity to critically analyse situations and draw the right lessons. All it takes to reinvent oneself is the right kind of knowledge and the sheer will and determination to be different. We can decide to either live reactively and let our nurture determine our lot in life or live proactively, turning the stumbling blocks in our nurture to stepping stones and ultimately becoming success stories. The choice is ours!

Sell something!

God has created each and everyone of us with unique abilities and gifts and you can not make impact in life if you can not sell them. Your visions, ideas, talents and skills will translate to nothing if you can not properly harness and market them. Making impact is simply trying to identify specific need(s) and meeting them with specific products and/or services. Selling is trying to persuade someone to enjoy your solution to such needs. Whether you realize it or not, everyone is in the business of selling and those that make the greatest impact are usually those that did not just discover and advance their talents and abilities early in life but also develop and deliberately work at increasing their selling capabilities.

Selling affects all areas of our lives. As we grow older and strive to fulfill destiny, we consciously and/or unconsciously reflect our values, attitudes, behaviours, dreams, ideas, products and services in our relationships, careers, finances etc. We can either proactively carve and create outstanding brands out of ourselves and what we are about or reactively go with the tide and be tossed around by the winds of life. Those who want to leave their footprints on the sands of time will do well to adopt the best of life’s survival strategies and thrive exceedingly.

Learning how to learn is one sure strategy for survival especially because man is a product of his ‘head’ and his ‘heart’ and feeding both with life changing, impact making principles will require a deliberate love for learning. Learning broadens your understanding and increases your knowledge and then comes wisdom to navigate life’s murky waters and make great impact. Selling is a skill that can be learnt and your love for learning will definitely be a big booster to acquiring time-tested selling skills.

Passion and curiosity are also key elements to thriving in life. An inquisitive mind will strive for answers and in its quest become wiser. The wiser you become, the easier for you to sell yourself. Passion will help you remain dogged. You will never give up on what you are passionate about. Curiosity will drive you to seek and passion will sustain and strengthen you till you break even and eventually explode.

When Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said ”you will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read”, he was basically emphasizing how the books you read and your ability to network can make or mar you in life. As you read and expand your knowledge base, you also need to master the art of meeting people and networking as this will enable you to leverage other people’s strenghts and capitalize on their experiences. How well you relate and sell yourself to people will go a long way in determining how far you will go in life. When you are honest, caring and authentic, people will love you and embrace your message. You will become a big influence and make so much impact that even your finances will be better for it. Be deliberate about life and do not sell yourself short!

New year reflections!


It’s the last day of the year and there I was on my bed in the early hours pondering on my 2014 in readiness for the incoming year. I recalled how events of the past years have kind of shaped who I am now and how faithful God has really been all the way. As I mentally anticipate and prepare for the incoming year, I thought of the fact that mankind’s search for true and lasting happiness has been the pivot of all ambitions and struggles.

I remembered a blog post by Patrick Morley rightly pointed it out that regardless of our age, size, race or wisdom, we’re all trying to solve one or more of these 7 cardinal problems of life…
1. Why do I feel so alone?
2. Does God care about me personally?
3. What is the purpose of my life – it feels random?
4. How can I conquer these destructive behaviours dragging me down?
5. How can I feed my soul?
6. How can I make my relationships more healthy?
7. How can I make a difference and leave the world a better place?

I’m sure we all can add to this list but whether you live in Texas or Tokyo, Lagos or Khartoum, we’re all asking these same questions. Regardless of the intelligence, wisdom, wealth, education, ethnicity or eloquence, we’re all trying to solve the same problems. That’s because christianity and secularism are not trying to solve different problems. They are only trying to solve the same problems in different ways.

Christianity frequently explains why life is so hard and what to do about it but the problem is that every other worldviews, philosophy and religion also promises the same thing. And really, the good ones actually work sometimes for as long as 30 or 40 years. But all worldviews other than christianity eventually fail frequently at the worst possible moment and often after you have given it the best years of your life.

As the year draws to a close, consider using these questions for a time of reflection, self examination and new year’s course corrections. Don’t ever make that mistake of replacing the truth with mammon. God has given His only begotten son to save us from eternal damnation (John 3:16). Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). The only way to live in lasting peace and still enjoy eternity is to make Christ the centre of our lives! Welcome to 2015. You will succeed!

Finding God’s perfect will!


I have been greatly troubled about my schedule these past few weeks. I have a job that seems to be a blessing considering how daunting it is to be gainfully employed in my country but how do I reconcile it with the fact that this so called blessing seems to be taking me away from everything and everyone I am passionate about. I have always wanted to be a big time businessman and part of the reason why I had to seek for a salaried job was to raise capital for expansion but this same job seems to be choking every other thing I plan to do. I’m sure every faithful follower of this blog can attest to the fact that my blogging seems to be feeling the heat too and almost everyone that has a so called nine-to-five in this present economy can relate very well with what I’m grappling with. Anyway, ruminating about how to adapt and effectively manage my hectic schedule seems to be what kept pushing my thoughts every now and then to this subject of finding God’s will for one’s life. I usually ponder on what God’s plan for my present situation really is even as I struggle to find answers and wonder how He intends to make it all work together for my good as promised in Romans 8 (my favourite Scripture and I really think it’s one we all need to frequently meditate on).

I recently stumbled on Charles R. Swindoll’s ‘Great Life Series’ which is a set of books that chronicles and critically dissect the great lives of certain biblical characters; David, Esther, Joseph, Moses, Paul, Elijah, Job and our saviour Jesus Christ. My foray into these written masterpieces has really provided the much needed comfort and has wonderfully illuminate my perspective on following God’s will. I realized men and women abounds in the Scripture who were expressly made aware of their calling from the Lord, but who soon discovered that heeding God’s will comes at a very steep price. They were most times exactly the opposite of what they envisage and don’t even correlate with God’s promises at all. There were times they were even downright painful or at least not where they had expected to go. To fully come into God’s will for him as the father of faith, Abraham had to contend with the pain of sacrificing his only son inspite of God’s promise that he will be the father of many nations. Joseph was maligned, mistreated and falsely accused. How could being sold into slavery and going to jail be God’s will for anyone’s life? Well, for him, it sure was. David was anointed to become king of Israel but within a short time became the object of King Saul’s jealousy and wrath. And for a dozen or more years, the pressure he endured mounted to such an extent that he must have wondered if he would ever live to be king. Yet, everything he went through was mysteriously being used by God to lead him to the throne. Paul, after being so clearly called by God as the apostle to the Gentiles spent the remainder of his life jumping from one frying pan to another fire. Even God’s only son had to endure the cross to fulfill His father’s will for Him. If God can sanction the death of Christ to bring about His redemptive plan for mankind, He sure knows about and deliberately allow that situation that to you, may painfully seem like the end of the road. The life of Job is a perfect example of what I’m trying to emphasize about God’s will.

At some point, it dawned on me that God uses the good, the bad and the uglies of this world to bring His plans for our lives to perfection. Walking in God’s will is no guarantee that all will always be fun and smooth. There will be times we would be required to navigate rough waters and even though it might not look like it, His faithfulness is forever true. No matter what you are going through, He is carefully chiselling you to conform to the image of His son and when next you are wondering what God is up to concerning your situation, just remember that embracing His will though might come with its ebb and flow, He that began the good work in you is sure faithful to complete it. You are inscribed in the palm of His hands (Isaiah 49:16) so be rest assured He will never leave nor forsake you. This has been my comfort amidst life’s “tempestuous sea”. It sure can be yours too!

Rules for being human!

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I am a realist. I never expected life to be a bed of roses but really, I don’t expect it to be this challenging either. As I looked over my life yesterday evening and reminisce, I dwelt especially on the mistakes I’ve made. I tell you what, I was worried. So agitated that my body could even feel the tension. How could I have been so stupid? How could I have allowed myself to be distracted? I should have known better. I should have gone to a different school, studied a different course and been in a different profession. I should have settled down in a different state and proposed to a different woman. I went on and on, crying over split milk and beating myself black and blue.

You know, it’s easy to just assume you took a wrong turn when life’s challenges keeps showing up at every corner. You might as well be thinking your so called alternative forgone could have been the right choice but guess what, that’s what life is all about. It would test you over and over again and no matter how much of these tests you passed, it would keep piling up more. It doesn’t matter whether you made the right move or walk the wrong path. The truth is, you need these tests to move ahead. Life is like a school. You only get to the next level when you’ve passed the test for that level and the higher your aspirations in life, the greater the challenges you’ll encounter. Even Christ didn’t promise us a stress free world, He only promise not to allow us go through that which we don’t have the capacity to contend with. We must therefore learn to balance our expectations and accept the fact that when we make mistakes it’s sometimes more likely that there isn’t much we could have done to alter the circumstances. The fear of failing should never stop us from reaching out. It is better to fail at doing something than to succeed at doing nothing.

Fulfilling destiny entails acknowledging our being human, aligning our individual values, talents and passion with purpose, and diligently pursuing excellence in all we think, speak and do. It involves being responsible for our decisions, seeing each day as an opportunity to learn and taking advantage of lessons learnt from every of our wrong turns and using it as stepping stones to getting it right. We should see growth as a process of experimentation, a series of trials, errors and occasional victories. The failed experiments are as much as a part of the process as the experiments that work. When our mistakes are seen as lessons, it put our victories in a better perspective. We learn to celebrate our little successes, appreciate God inspite of our situations and when next we are tempted to grief over our decisions, we will always remember “there” is no better than “here”. When “there” becomes “here” one will simply obtain another “there” that will look better than the present “here” because “the grass is always greener on the other side”!

Who is an educated man?


I read an article today that really had a profound effect on me. The story was told of a fifth grader that was once asked to define what it means to be educated. This kid got on her feet, chuckled and defined an educated man as ‘one who never does any work’. As I ponder over the content of the discourse, I came to realize this kid unconsciously embodied in her answer a blatant truth. The article goes further to explain that “the biggest and best part of life lies in supplying yourself the things you need and to be able to earn a living is quite as necessary as getting education. This, in a way emphasizes the need for a curriculum that will embrace earning a living and mental growth and have them move together hand in hand”. He stressed that “the best way to learn to be useful is to be useful. To take a young man from life for some four to six years and send him to college in order to educate him for life that he may thereafter be useful is to run a grave risk that you will not get him back into life”.

As much as I believe education is so vital to development, I also subscribe to the idea of men earning a living while getting the education because it’s like the reason our colleges are constantly graduating incompetent people is our inability to inculcate doing things with talking and formulating theories about them. In a country like ours that pays so much lip service to education, the situation is even a far cry from what obtains in some other parts of the world. Our schools and colleges churn out en masse ‘half baked’ or in some cases ‘unbaked’ graduate year in, year out. These graduate then had to compete for the very few available jobs in the market. As a result of the large turnout, employers had to resort to even in some cases unrealistic standards during recruitment. Some are eventually recruited by whatever means and a larger percentage then left to roam the streets looking for non existing jobs. Their obvious flawed education and inability to direct their energies into useful channels while feeding their expanding minds in schools thus reducing their chances of taking their destinies into their own hands for the man who can weld life and education together is actually the one that has ‘real education’.

I have always argued that the reason why a substantial percentage of the movers and shakers of our world are without college degrees is simply because life, which is greater than college, reviews your theoretical education, quietly ignores them and then test your requisite ability to apply such knowledge to practical issues. This, I guess is life’s way of making us realize that our vicious belief that education is one thing and life is another is null, void and of no effect. There is nothing wonderful about a college professor except perhaps his density in an area of his specialty outside of which he is likely to be very lopsided. This explains why some of these professors are even deemed unfit to hold administrative positions in their respective colleges. Real education entails not just being knowledgeable about specific subjects but also being able to practically adapt such acquired insights to solving life’s unending puzzles.

The Nigerian situation is such a pathetic case in question. Our education is in shambles. School are not conducive for learning. Basic infrastructures, materials and equipments practically non-existent and when they exist, outdated. Our single effort at combining talking, learning and doing thing, the Industrial Training Scheme is grossly inadequate and poorly coordinated. Students spend a huge chunk of the period looking for placement into industries that eventually absorbed them for maybe three or four months and they ended up learning little or nothing at all. Most of these companies, maybe due to the students’ incompetence and/or their trying to cut down on idle time do not even allow students handle their equipments long enough grasp operating and maintenance procedures as the case may be. There is therefore, an urgent need to completely overhaul our system of education. We need to provide infrastructures that will enhance learning, develop curricular that will plug all loopholes in the current ones and then inculcate financial and entrepreneurial/on-the-job training such that our schools will evolve men big enough to captain both education and industry. Providing ‘real education’ where schools’ curricular has work directly in line with education will positively transform our socio-economic national life and consequently place us in an enviable position among the comity of nations.

Heart of Gold!

The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you will see… Winston Churchill.

I met her through a mutual friend. It was at a point I wasn’t particularly interested in any form of friendship (think I’ve had my own fair share of ‘frienemies’ and was already done with even wishing I never met any of them) whatsoever but there was something about her that ignited my curiosity. She was radical in a cool kind of way and beneath the seemingly tough exterior is this ‘heart of gold’ that really wowed me. She is one of these rare kind of friends that makes you feel like a billion dollar bucks when you are with them.

Our friendship blossomed and we grew into each other. She, even without her realizing it changed some certain stereotypical opinion of mine about women. She is beauty, brain and virtue in a single body. I mean, this woman is caring to a fault. She loves God deeply and her willingness to live by His standards is quite remarkable. She is not without her failings, one of which is her being blunt to a fault, but also has this unusual willingness to admit and work on them. I’ve known her for quite a while now and her kindheartedness never ceases to blow my mind. I’ve seen her grown and like fine wine, she’s keeps getting better by the day. She is such a rare gem…the Proverbs 31 kind of a woman!

Still street balling!


I finally got down to doing a quick re-evaluation of me so far and really could confidently beat my chest and say “against all odds, I’m still street balling”. I mean I might not be where I’m supposed to be or even where I want to be but considering the odds and prevailing circumstances, I’m doing just fine. I have managed to garner even more street confidence as we’d say where I’m from. I’ve been through the worst of times as it seems. I’ve been betrayed, backstabbed, humiliated and even downright heartbroken. I’ve done some pretty terrible things too— stuffs I can never be proud of, but through it all, God’s mercy held me. Like the prodigal son, His grace had always led me back to Bethel— the place of reconciliation and restoration.

My university days came with such a bundle of life lessons especially on tolerance, leadership and people/relationship management. I realized at some point then that my decisions and commitments would in turn play major roles in shaping my future so I tried as much as I can to be mindful of whatever I do and also try to ensure I’m at peace in my dealings with everyone. I made loads of friends, many of whom I’ve benefited immensely from even till date and although I have come to accept them as necessary for my overall character development, I also have a few friends I sometimes wished I had never met (Well, I’m not saying I hate them!).

I’ve been a graduate for a while now (na today?), yet to get a job (I mean my kind of job o!) but somehow (make hunger no kill man!) been able to make a living from my ‘hustling’ (entrepreneur ‘things’) tendencies. My lifelong passion has always been for learning (guess it’s my ever curious mind at work) and my profound love for books eventually became my food basket. I actually did found a way to make money from my passion and it’s been God all the way. He’s been my help in ages past (especially when I wasn’t deserving) and is my sure hope for a fantastic future! In Him, I move, live and do have my being.

I’m getting better, wiser and my understanding of life and people becoming deeper by the day. I’m learning to be forgiving, gracious and just towards everyone. I’m learning to smile amidst pain and confusion, trust amidst fear and betrayal and continue fighting to fulfil destiny. Trusting God with all of my plans, I take each day at a time, savour the precious moments of each day, learn from my mistakes and strive towards leaving my world a better place!

If there’s one lesson life has taught me, it is responsibility! I always tell people to be responsible especially for their actions and decisions. I tell them every of their decision is a seed into their future irrespective of the circumstances or influences that contributed to such. You will definitely answer for yourself when life comes calling (“na my wife cause am, no dey there”). Ignorance is not even an excuse. Like my friend would say, you just have to work out your ‘big picture’ with fear and trembling. Looking on to God for the understanding of His perfect will and asking Him for wisdom to decipher the right direction per time. With God on your side, victory is so certain. And as much as I believe in dreaming big and working responsibly hard to make it a reality, I also know Romans 9:16 [So then it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy.] is very true. God’s mercy is key to living the overcoming life especially because life has a way of surprising us with unexpected things. We must at all times be willing to relinquish our plans and desires at His throne of grace and watch Him make miracles of our lives!

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