June 18, 2012 – Our Mind: The Most Important Asset
It was the most surprising visit of the year. It was a Saturday evening, at about 5.30 p.m. I was putting my luggage together getting ready to go to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport to check in.
I was billed to travel to London that evening. Suddenly, I heard a gentle knock on the door and my daughter rushed in to inform me that I had a visitor.
Guess who was at the door? My Financial Mentor! I was confused. How did he know this place? Was this his ghost or his true person? I really never expected him to ever come to my house. He noticed the confusion on my face. I welcomed him in and offered him a seat. But he simply asked me to lead him to my study. I did. He did not say much, he just looked around the place carefully, examining my collection of books.
“This is not bad,” he muttered as he further examined my book shelves. There were few books I had packed on the floor to take along with me to London. My Mentor’s attention caught one of them, Think Big by Ben Carson. “Have you read this book?” my Mentor asked and I answered in the negative, informing him that I had just bought it. “Read it, and also get his first book, Gifted Hands, they will do amazing things to your mind,” my Mentor said as he hinted he would be leaving. He refused to take the drink I offered him. I accompanied him to his car and he drove himself off. I stood there still wondering….
With God, nothing shall be impossible. I could not describe the feeling that overwhelmed me inside the plane as I read Think Big. The book is an extraordinary account by Ben Carson of how he transformed himself from a “ghetto kid to the most celebrated pediatric neurosurgeon in the world.” By simply reading two books a week as instructed by his illiterate mother!
I was fired up. I did what I considered impulsive when I was returning to Nigeria. I withdrew a substantial amount of money from my account and went straight to Waterstones (formerly Dillon’s), my favourite bookshop in London. I simply invaded the shop, voraciously picking books I considered to be of interest. I was able to fill two big boxes with assorted books.
In Nigeria, I drove straight to my Mentor’s house from the airport. I was there ten minutes after my normal appointment. He led me to his study and the lesson for the month was about to start in earnest.
“By the way, what have you made of the topic we treated last month? Have you considered the materials from Murdock and Adeyemi that I sent to you”? The questions came in quick succession, as he walked up to his notice board to paste this quotation: Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the way in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting.
I told him I was greatly moved by his rendition of last week’s topic. I told him that I am familiar with the authors of the books he gave to me. I have followed Adeyemi’s Success Power series religiously. I finished his Strong Desire in less than ten minutes and was greatly inspired by the message which is this: That a strong desire can command any miracle into existence.
When you really desire a thing, Higher Power steps in to make it happen. I first came in contact with Mike Murdock three years back through his cassette titled: Seven Ingredients of a Perfect Day which a friend gave me. It is a powerful material and it richly blessed me. From then on, I desired to know more about the man. I bought many of his books and I continued to dream of meeting him in real life. Something happened that surprised me. Murdock was in Nigeria sometime in July 2001 to speak at a seminar organised by Winners Business Fellowship. Guess what? I was selected to join two pastors in the church studio to interview him. I was excited. After the interview, he collected my business card. In exchange, he gave me his phone number and a private e-mail, which he said he had so far given to only fifteen individuals worldwide. We have been in contact ever since then. I did a beautiful newspaper piece on him later and dispatched few copies to him in Dallas, Texas, United States of America.
Surprise number two: Shortly before the interview, I was privileged to be invited by Bishop David Oyedepo into his guest house at Canaanland where he shared some success tips with me. The tips have been ingrained in my spirit ever since. Do dreams come true? Yes, of course! I met my dream models in a single day.
My Mentor was inspired by my testimony.
Monuments can fall but mental excellence is permanent. “That is quite interesting. That means we can proceed to the next lesson which is this: Treat Your Mind as Your Most Important Asset. When I came to your house last week, were you surprised that I went straight to your study? If I did not like what I saw, I probably would have discontinued the capsules I have been giving you. Your mind is the only thing that I consider indispensable in your quest for wealth. As one authors puts it: “Monuments can fall, properties can be destroyed, cars can be stolen, businesses can go bankrupt, beauty can fade, but once your mind is intact and sound, you have everything it takes to make money. Mental excellence is permanent.”
“I am amazed by what we attach value to in this part of the world. Let me illustrate this with a personal experience. About seven years ago, some heavily armed men invaded my house and ransacked everywhere. They carted away everything in sight –televisions, cars, jewels, money and any other thing they fancied. They went to my study and took all the fanciful things there. They even carried away my reading lamp! You know what? They left all my books intact. How stupid! To me, my books are my most prized possessions. I would have been greatly upset if they had stolen my books and left my other possessions.
“But today, every single item they stole has been replaced. Informed millionaires spend a large part of their time reading and analysing good books because they know that books are the best sources of insight and creative money ideas. Read, read, and read everything in sight, you will find it useful one day. I am amazed when I hear some people say they over-read. There is nothing like that. You cannot over-read! Do you know that this wonderful machine called brain has twenty-four billion cells? I have not come across any computer that can perform the task a brain can perform. Your brain is elastic. Just like you go to the gym to exercise your muscle, insightful reading helps to stretch your brain and renew your mind. Try to meditate on what the Bible says: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
“I have told you about my educational background. My dad could not sponsor my education beyond the secondary school level. All my educational achievements today came by way of personal study and development. I believe very sincerely that anybody can become whatever he wants to become by insightful learning. As someone said, reading is the solution to racial prejudice. I agree with him absolutely. Even if you come from a poor background, once you have superior insights into a problem, people must listen to you. This is guaranteed.”
You cannot be wealthy beyond your level of inner strength. “The mystery about good wealth is that you can only have it in proportion to the level of development that has taken place inside. In wealth acquisition, you can’t travel faster outside than the speed of your race inside. God knows that if you get wealth that is more than your level of spiritual development, you are going to mess everything up. A fool and his money would soon be parted. If you want to acquire lasting riches, work on your inside. Read the books millionaires have written, listen to audio and video cassettes they have put together, attend seminars and workshops on personal financial management and investment.
“By doing this, you are investing in your most important asset, that is, your mind. I see people walk into restaurants and spend up to N3,000 on a meal. Six hours later, everything is out of their system. Amazingly, these same people are not willing to invest N2,000 on good books that can change their lives forever. My advice to you as I close this lesson is: Do everything possible to read at least one book per week and cut off from friends who are averse to reading. If you must starve to read, do so. If you must let go momentary pleasure to read, do so. If you must withdraw from your savings to buy good books, please do so. You can’t be an insightful reader and not stand out from the crowd. Besides, a life of abundance is just round the corner if you persist in reading.”
“Enough for today. Next month, we are going to do a memory exercise. This is vital in your quest for wealth. It will last for approximately eight hours. Be prepared. Don’t take heavy food. Refrain from sugar, white flour and fried food.”
As usual, we both walked together to my car, and I bade him good bye.
•Make a fresh commitment to read at least one book once a month
•Make another commitment to practice whatever insight you gained
Do you have any money questions bothering you? Send it to the money doctor at firstname.lastname@example.org