If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail —Benjamin Franklin
In recognition of this truth, TOMEB Foundation, a non-governmental organisation that focuses on education, youth development and sustainability, in conjunction with ExxonMobil, organised a one-day empowerment programme for final-year medical students of University of Lagos.
The aim was to get them to consciously plan for the future and equip them with basic skills and knowledge on how to set and achieve their goals.
At the event with the theme: Achieving Goals: A Dignified Successful Future is Possible, held at the College Auditorium of the institution, over 200 copies of The Personal Business Plan: A blueprint for running your life, purchased by ExxonMobil, were distributed to participants.
While delivering his paper, Art and Science of Self-Knowledge, Country Managing Director, Accenture, Mr. Niyi Yusuf advised students to reinvent themselves by developing communication skills that will enable them interact with people, stressing that students should have affinity for experimentation and change.
“Do you know who you are and what motivates you? What do you like and what would you die for? These are very important skills in life,” he said, citing renowned footballers such as J. J. Okocha, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi etc., who he noted may not have doctorate degrees but whose passion have brought them fame and fortune.
“To these people, football has become a business. Therefore, self-discovery is the key.”
Advising participants to find out when they perform best, Yusuf said “Confucius said ‘choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life’. You need to be conscious of what you are good at as self-awareness helps you identify your strengths, weaknesses, personalities, habits and values and ultimately areas for continuous improvement.”
Delivering a paper on Principles and practice of goals-setting and achievements, Senior Registrar in the Department of Public Heath, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. (Mrs.) Ibipo Abdurraheem-Salami, noted with concern that underemployment is a major problem among doctors, adding that the quality of training is not improving with the changing times. She advised the students to always have a clear plan of what they want out of life.
“Unless you are excellent as doctors, you won’t fly. Know yourself before setting a goal as it helps to envisage what you want to be in future.”
She said people do not set goals as a result of ignorance, the fear of failure or the fear of rejection.
In his paper, Dealing with Procrastination, convener of the programme and founder of TOMEB Foundation, Mr. Tunde Popoola said procrastination is the number one enemy that defers goals and advised participants to avoid delays.
“You don’t write your goals in the paper and go to bed; you have to take action.”
Pointing out that impulsiveness is the major cause of procrastination, Popoola said “that is when you only do what comes to you – you have to watch it because if nothing limits you, you can excel in your future endeavours.”
He advised participants to always plan ahead by embracing the 6Ps’ formula: proper prior planning prevents poor performance.
On how to achieve set goals, Popoola said: “Select any goal on which you have been procrastinating and take one step immediately. Also, do the most important and difficult task. Do not follow the normal route of most people; always start your day by doing your most important difficult task first. Make a list of all that you have to do the next day/week. Review the list using the ‘ABCDE’ method and the 80/20 Pareto Rule. If you do this everyday for about a month, it becomes a habit, “he said.
In her vote of thanks, the Provost of UNILAG College of Medicine, and chief host, Prof. Folasade Ogunshola thanked the organisers for the life-changing programme. She charged the participants to use the tips received to be their guiding light in their life pursuits. “Your attitude and how you use your strength to get to the top counts. And for some who are not going to practice medicine, this platform is a place to make self-discovery. Follow your passion and make sure that the passion is relevant to the system,” she said.