Success, in its simplest definition, is a favourable or satisfactory outcome of an activity. Success is the direct opposite of failure as it is always a direct product of choice and action. To some category of people, success, is measured by specific material accomplishments, like a particular type of car, home, status or income level. To others, success is the continuous unfolding of one’s purpose and destiny on earth.
To Hon. (Dr.) A.S.K Bagbin, true success is the harmonized, progressive and continuous effort of attaining your goals and realizing your vision.
Unfortunately, many people have either lost their direction to success or are trapped in the frustrating and time wasting traffic of wrong and unwinnable competitions, regretting over dwindling hopes as every single day passes. From the classroom to the consulting room, from banks to the media, from business to politics; there are many regretting workers out there who have found themselves in the wrong professions. Research has shown that an average of 98 percent of the world’s population die without achieving true success.
The Wealth Research Group, in a publication on their website, argue that only one percent of the world’s population are talked about every day for the success they achieve. This is to say, out of every 100 people, only one person is remembered for achieving great success.
You must recognize that at every second of your life, you are either inching closer to your goals or getting away from them by virtue of the choices you make – what you choose to think about, who you choose to associate with (your relationships) and how you choose to use your resources (time, money and your creative talents). If true success is your desirous pursuit in life, then start believing that you too can make it as this article presents to you the three unfailing fundamentals of success always shared by Hon. Bagbin, a man described as a mentor extra-ordinaire, whose leadership stature was created out of a very humble beginning.
A celebrated, talented and accomplished leader, Hon. Alban S.K Bagbin, is an astute Ghanaian politician, who is ably representing the good people of the Nadowli/Kaleo constituency in Ghana’s Parliament since 1993. Rising through the ranks of leadership, starting from the back bench, to chairman of various committees, to Minority Leader for two consecutive terms, Majority Leader, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Minister of Health, to one of the Three Wise-men under President John Mahama where he was tasked together with his colleagues with the onerous task of catalyzing the implementation of the President’s special projects. He was called back to the Majority Leader position in Parliament in 2014.
With a huge and thunderous endorsement at the polls in the 2016 parliamentary election, Hon. Bagbin retained his seat for the seventh time and is now exalted to the high office of Second Deputy Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament.
Leader, as he is affectionately called by a large section of the Ghanaian public, wields to his profile and personality, a rare power of experience in leadership that he brings to bare in his line of duty of the public service.
His colleagues admire and celebrate him for his sterling leadership skills. They also remember him as the only surviving member of the First Parliament in the Fourth Republic, which to them, equips him with institutional memory and “a walking library” of democratic governance in Ghana. A statement was recently made on the floor of parliament to celebrate his Twenty Five years of career and Sixty years of age.
Hon. Bagbin has been variously and widely recognized and awarded by various institutions for his selfless, honest, dedicated and servant leadership of Parliament. This year alone, he has so far achieved six top notched awards and recognitions with the latest been a Doctor of Laws honorary degree awarded to him by the University of Professional Studies, Accra, Ghana.
With such an enviable success of a man who was born to peasant farmers in the semi-arid savanna woods of Daga-Sombo in the Nadowli/Kaleo district of the Upper West Region of Ghana, the life and achievements of Hon. Bagbin come as a compelling episode of awe and intrigue to many, more especially the youth, who compete for the least available opportunity to talk to him and learn from his vault of experience. Contributing to a statement on the floor of Parliament, one of the youngest MPs in Ghana, Hon. Alhassan Suhuyini, revealed how impressed, enthused and motivated he was, then as a student leader in 2002, after his first encounter with Hon. Bagbin.
He described Hon. Bagbin as a mentor extra-ordinaire that the youth of today must curiously learn from to shape their growth and success for the overall betterment of society.
Always speaking like a typical selfless leader, masterly combining wits and humour with imagery, Hon. Bagbin hardly finishes a lecture/talk without sharing with the youth the core values and principles of true success, which he usually introduce this way: “And Now, My Piece of Advice To You”. It is something he is very deliberate, consistent and passionate about, no matter the theme he is speaking on.
Having listened to him on several platforms, Hon. Bagbin believes that true, peaceful, enjoyable and sustainable success can fundamentally be achieved through the following;
Man Know thyself – Saith the Lord.
Hon. Bagbin believes that no two people are created with exactly the same natural gifts. He explains that many people fail to achieve their goals in life partly because they fail to first and foremost identify the natural talents in them. And so, they live their lives in the fantasies of the uniqueness of other successful people. Usually chasing mirages, they desire, aspire and attempt to be like other successful people while neglecting or sometimes even despising their God given potentials.
This, he bemoans, leads to confusion and frustration as such people disappointingly fail to demonstrate the accompanying natural skill and confidence that come with that uniqueness when performance is needed. Speaking to students of Saint Augustine Senior High School, Charikpong, Hon. Bagbin explains that the earlier one identifies his/her uniqueness, the better one is likely to develop it well to achieve great success. He mentioned the legendary footballer of Ghana, maestro Abedi Pele, as an example.
Again speaking to students of Kaleo Senior High Technical School in Kaleo in the upper west region, Hon. Bagbin said “you see, nobody is created like the other person. In other words, we are all unique…for you to progress well in life, you need to know who you are and what you are. If you are able to know who you are and what you are, then you can discover your innate qualities. God created all of us uniquely and left nobody empty. You all have potentials; you have talents. If you are able to unearth them and focus on them, even the sky is not the limit for you.”
Fear refers to that small, surreal, alternating and intimidating voice within you that suggest negative ideas when you decide to take positive action towards your goals. Fear eats up your confidence, build up tension within you and make you panic and feel highly inadequate or unprepared. In the early days of knowledge, William Shakespeare wittingly noted that “cowards die many times before their death, but the valiant tastes of death but once.” Agreeing with Williams Shakespeare at Takpo Senior High School, Hon. Bagbin described fear as a debilitating force that kills the creative mind and distorts the process of thought flow. He said fear creates confusion and prevents one from thinking clearly, wisely and creatively.
At Kaleo Senior High Technical School, Hon. Bagbin had this to say about fear; “the most debilitating thing that can happen to any human is fear – and many of you are afraid boys and afraid girls – once you fear, you confuse your mind and you cannot think properly. So you must eliminate fear because that is not how God created us. God created us to conquer the world; dominate and use it for our own purpose.”
Note that to eliminate fear, you must face it. In real life, the word “FEAR” itself is an acronym which has both positive and negative full meanings. F.E.A.R means that you can either choose to Face Everything And Rise (positive) or choose to Forget Everything And Run (negative). Reflecting the positive meaning of fear, an American Keynote Speaker and author of The Positivity Solution, in one of his publications noted; “it is cool to feel fear. What is not cool is allowing that fear to control you.”
Focus on whatever you choose to do. Do not take your eye off the ball.
Hon. Bagbin believes that after you recognize your innate qualities (your uniqueness, God given potentials) and after eliminating fear, you now energize your thoughts and realize your dreams.
He explains that it is at this stage that you boldly set out clearly defined goals and objectives, work very hard towards them with determination, positivity and pray to God to mitigate any unforeseen circumstances that would adversely affect your desired success. You pray to God for the needed self-belief, self-discipline and foresight for available opportunities that are in line with the set goals. You also pray for the intrinsic motivation, passion and enthusiasm to overcome challenges.
Leveraging on the time tested cliché that says that no one can see the inside of a bottle with both eyes widely open, Hon. Bagbin combine very succinct, connectible and memorable imagery with humour, to wittingly explain to his audience at the Takpo Senior High School that, even God, in his creative wisdom, symbolized and emphasized the importance of focus in the manner in which He made the sight of man. Evident in a long, loud and wowing applause, the students learnt, for the first time, that the chameleon can see 360 degrees whiles the snake can only see sideways as he convincingly compared these two discoveries with the human sight mechanism.
In conclusion, as the saying goes, your destiny is in your own hands.
You can choose to throw it away or hold it tight and firmly. Your journey to success starts with you first and foremost knowing the value of the uniqueness in you, after which you eschew the tendencies of fear and focus on developing your uniqueness into rare skills and talents through hard work, determination and prayers.
These three fundamentals of success are authentic, proven, certified and shared by one of Ghana’s finest politicians, Hon. Alban S.K Bagbin, who is described as a mentor extraordinaire, an embodiment of Ghana’s Parliamentary memory, and a walking library of democratic governance as his compatriots celebrate him on the floor of Parliament. Aside politics, Hon. Bagbin is also a legal consultant and a tutor.
The author is an alumnus of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, a published columnist, a budding Development Communicator, an Advocate for Youth Development and Empowerment, a Founding Member of the Network of Young Mentees of Bagbin and Member of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Toastmasters Club.