By Anote Ajeluorou
Bookshelves are replete with books on how to be successful in life’s endeavours, which enjoy huge patronage. An economy in dire need of revival with harsh business environment, runaway unemployment and inflation, like Nigeria’s easily fuels demand for such books, as elixirs for forging ahead and be above the pack. While some are pragmatic and can be applicable in real life situations, others are plain starry-eyed and have no life outside the pages of the books that contain them.
But Victoria Praise Abraham’s 12 Golden Laws of Success (Holyseed Publishing, Lagos; 2013) takes a distinctively different path and approach in dealing with common principles that are familiar to avid readers of how-to-be-successful books. Abraham’s approach catalogues 12 rules or principles that are common enough – Purpose, Prayer, Preparation and Planning, Pursuit, Possibilities, Positioning, Product, People, Patience, Persistence, Peace and Praise – and turns them into workable tools for those willing to pursue success with persistence.
She not only defines and exhorts readers as to what to do with these principles and how they can apply to their own life situations, she provides ready and real life models in whose lives these principles appear manifest. This is perhaps where 12 Golden Laws of Success is shoulders above the pack among book how-to books. Abraham brings in real life people, Nigerians, who have succeeded through walking through life’s thorny roads armed with one or more of these principles and came tops in their chosen careers or professions.
This is Abraham’s masterstroke, her ability to bring real models, successes in their chosen fields and juxtapose them with each of these principles. She makes them speak to these principles in realistic manner that leaves the reader satisfied in that they’d passed through the same or similar roads and that he or she has company in current endeavor. This is uncommon facility and Abraham deserves praise for the seamless melding of principles and persons who had if unconsciously applied them to their own situations and come up tops.
Also, Abraham also peppers his manual with Godly purpose or precepts to light the way for her readers. In other words, mere discovery of these principles and application of them should necessarily be anchored on a measure of godliness so they could be realized in one’s life.
For instance, in Purpose, the author says, “Life requires that we all discover and fulfill purpose. It is common knowledge that most people rarely discover purpose either out of ignorance or just sheer laziness, and those who do sometimes never fulfill it. I find this very sad because without the discovery and fulfillment of purpose one cannot maximize one’s life and manifest one’s glory”.
To hit home this point, she brings in advertising guru, Mr. ‘Lolu Akinwunmi, who says, “God showed me my path early in life; it helped me to do things according to God’s ways because I believe Him and His word. This is obedience, and when we obey Him. He rewards us, and my life and business have enjoyed the great rewards of obedience”.
In Prayer, Abraham doesn’t seek out a pastor or General Overseer or their wives, as models. Instead, she seeks out an analytical and strategic mind in Mr. Opeyemi Agbaje, who confesses, “I was born in a Christian home and grew up understanding that God is the source of all success. I subsequently decided on our Lord Jesus as my Lord and Saviour since 1990 and rededicated my life to Christ around 2002-2003. I understand spiritual things more deeply, and have realized the practical importance of fasting, vigil and prayer to the life of a victorious Christian”.
So, with each principle, Abraham brings a motivator to speak to it and through it to her readers. The aim is so her readers can fit themselves and their situations to these models and learn and be wise. A great educationist, Mrs. Folashade Philips speaks to Preparation and Planning; her story is truly inspiring and engaging! In Pursuit, she brings on Managing Director of Terra Kulture, Mrs. Bolanle Austin-Peters, a woman who has inspired innovations in art and culture management and philanthropy. And so till the last principle, Praise, when she brings Mr. Wole Oni, music producer and entrepreneur.
Some sloppy writing or poor editing and even page omission mare the overall book package. Perhaps, another edition would do well to redress these observed flaws.
However, Abraham’s 12 Golden Laws of Success is an innovative rendering of well-worn success clichés. Her personal touch in following a different path makes her book a success all its own. Readers will find it enriching and elevating.