According to Mark Manson, #1 New York Times bestselling author, “Limiting beliefs are false beliefs that prevent us from pursuing our goals and desires. Limiting beliefs can keep you from doing important things, like applying for your dream job or finding the relationship you want (or leaving the one you don’t want)…”

The fact is that we all have certain issues that limit us in life. Indeed, some situation are very limiting, either as a result of lack of resources, a health challenge, an educational disadvantage, a social disadvantage, etc.


Our life is made up of bad and good decisions. Most times, the issues we are dealing with is a function of past decisions, either taken by us or taken for us.

Pause, think, and reflect: What are the good things that have worked or is working for you? What have you achieved/accomplished or achieving/accomplishing; educationally, in career, financially, health wise, family life, etc?

The truth is that ALL the good things that we may have achieved or accomplished are as a result of some RIGHT actions or GOOD decision that was taken by us, or taken by others on our behalf sometimes ago. In the same vein, ALL the unpleasant things that we are also faced with is tied to a past WRONG decision!


… A short story:

The chained ‘Elephant Syndrome’ is about the story of a Baby Elephant that was tied to a strong rope at a young age and is unable to break free because of the rope. Each time the Baby Elephants tries to move, it is restricted by the rope and he goes back. This continued for several weeks and months till he stopped trying.

So as he grew into an adult, the elephant didn’t attempt to break the barrier that the now very weak rope had on its leg. This was because the elephant has been conditioned to accept this constraint. Though now matured, the effect of the limiting condition that the string of rope had created over time has become a self-limiting condition that the elephant has accepted!

This is a true story of elephants and you will see this in elephants used for circus shows.


Pause, think, and reflect: What are the limiting belief systems that are holding you down? In order to overcome limiting beliefs, we must embrace and become productive. Productivity is about taking actions to get increasing results. It is all about enhancing your capacity to do more, achieve more and attain greater impact.


Though there are many issues to deal with in the path of life, the leeway is first to deal with our perception of the issues. Having the right attitude to issues is imperative. If we face our problems and respond to them positively, and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness, indolence or self-pity, we shall triumph.


What we aspire to attain in the next 2, 5, 10 or 20 years is a DECISION we have to take by ourselves. The fact is, WHAT we do about our present situation and circumstance NOW, will determine how our future; family-wise, career-wise, health-wise, financial-wise, etc, will be.

Let’s pause, think, and reflect: What has limited you in life; WHAT self-limiting belief system do you need to deal with?

Whatever be the situation or pose as a limiting condition, don’t remain tied down with the strings of the ‘chained elephant syndrome’.

Let’s pull a little faster.

Let’s push a little more.

Let’s hit a little harder. Let’s try more.

Let’s be more proactive. Let’s be more productive. Let’s ACT in and with WISDOM!

Though things may be tough; let’s try and try and try.

Let’s keep our eyes on the goal, rising above the limitations. And if you need a miracle, keep working and praying until one comes!

…. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things”. Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

© Sanmi Falobi @

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Beyond the ideas, learn the process

No matter how fast you run, you cannot get to your destination, running in the wrong direction.

It is usually said that ideas rule the world, but oftentimes, many people have misconstrued this statement to mean that what they need to have to attain success in life is to have one great idea. Getting a ‘Great Idea’ is good, but having ideas alone does not translate to success.

… THERE IS A PROCESS There’s a process to follow in the journey of life. For example, babies are first conceived in pregnancies before they are birthed. Success is first conceived as ideas before it is achieved.

Though nine months is the statutory period for pregnant women to deliver, there is a process for managing pregnancies (even if it is with IVF) with all necessary antenatal care in place, until the baby is born.

Thus when a child is born, an idea is birthed, but who knows how successful or how long that child will live? None; Neither the father nor the mother. For the child to live and grow to attain his/her future, the child needs to be nourished and groomed in the right environment. The child would need the right financial, physical, social, intellectual and educational support through the years of childhood, teenagehood to adulthood. That is the process!

There are many lessons to learn in the path of achieving success. For example, years ago, I encountered some unnecessary obstacles whilst pursuing my goals. Though I was passionate and zealous about achieving success, I lacked the skills and proper guidance for implementation. This was because I didn’t seek and get the needed support system. I didn’t seek the wisdom of a coach, nor did I get an instructor or a mentor. I was my own coach. I was playing my own game and pursuing my own ‘GREAT IDEAS’ with much strength, and little skills. My efforts, without skills and strategy, produced ‘EMPTY POCKET’ seasons!

ARE YOU ON THE RIGHT PATH TO YOUR SUCCESS? Note that not all ideas are realizable. Not all ideas are possible. Not all ideas become accomplished. Not all ideas are realistic. The success we anticipate or aim to achieve has a process. Jumping the process of grooming and manifesting our success ideas, with the right growth structure or support systems often leads to a frustrating life, because as someone said, “no matter how fast you run, you cannot get to your destination, running in the wrong direction”.

Sometimes, our approaches lack tact and strategy. Sometimes, we are foolish in the decisions we take. Sometimes we act in errors. Sometimes, we are just insane! When we seem stuck despite efforts at success, we need to do an insanity check.

What is insanity? Rita Mae Brown defines it as “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. In essence, what this means is that if something “doesn’t work” or “is not working”, we should not spend all the time fussing about it. Instead, we are expected to re-evaluate, re-strategize and explore other goodly alternatives that get us moving on.

So if you get stuck with an “idea” or in the pursuit of success that takes so much from you, yet gives you so little, you need to do an “Insanity Check”! It’s most possible that you are missing out on something. You may be insane! (That’s why you could keep doing something over and over again without getting results and, yet continue doing it again, using the same methods!). Otherwise, you should be “sane” (that’s the opposite of insanity) and explore other probably options or alternatives to get you the needed results.

WRAP UP: Success is a personal journey. The process for each person varies. … Let’s, therefore, apply, re-evaluate and re-strategizing to ensure we are in the path of progress; in stages, in phases, in layers, per time, per season.

In all of it, when our human efforts don’t yield the desired result, the good book points us to God for help. According to Romans 9: 16, “… It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.”

Therefore in all things, “.... Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16: 3)


Adapted excerpts from GREAT IDEAS, EMPTY POCKET ®

© Sanmi Falobi @

Image credit: Rudall30 / Shutterstock

Are you limited or you are making progress?

Every day, every week and every month has its opportunities. Therefore, don’t look back, regretting what you have not achieved, but look forward, focusing on achieving what can still be achieved.”

Life is beautiful when our efforts yield results and we are making progress. However, life is not always fair as some people with lesser efforts but with greater opportunities or privileges achieve more progress and success than others. Life sometimes can be like a rat race because all fingers are not equal!

However, we all have an equal chance to live, which is pre-determined by our creator. So though we may not have achieved the kind of success that we desired, we should be grateful that each day we are alive allows us to make progress and achieve new things. Now, it is left to us to keep hope alive and try again.

Do you want to be limited or do you want to make progress? The fact is that if we allow the challenges and the limitations of life to make us feel miserable, we become miserable and limited! When our disposition is to think that life is unfair, that is what we get. Life indeed will be unfair!

In life, we daily have to take decisions and contend with two thought flows each minute and every hour that the clock clicks.

1. Decision about the opportunities and prospects which life gives- to which we can use to make headway in life;

2. Decisions about doubts and fears in life – which stalls and limits us in the achievement of our aspirations.

…  The short illustrative story below comes to mind:

There was this story of a young man who wished to marry the farmer’s beautiful daughter. He went to the farmer to ask his permission.

The farmer looked at him and said, “Ok, but you have to pass my test”. He then said, “Son, go stand out in that field. I’m going to release three bulls, one at a time. If you can catch the tail of any one of the three bulls, you can marry my daughter.”

So the young man stood in the field awaiting the first bull. This was something he had to do, to achieve his desire.

Then the barn door opened and out came the biggest, meanest looking bull he had ever seen.

Looking at the bull, he imagine how difficult it could be running after this. ‘He might get injured’, he thought. So he decided that since he still had two other bulls, there was still a chance, ‘certainly, there was no way the other bulls could be bigger than this’, he concluded. So he ran over to the side and let the bull pass through.

Then the barn door opened again. Unbelievable. He had never seen anything so big and fierce in his life. It stood pawing the ground, it eyed him. This bull was certainly bigger and weird than the first one. There was no way he could handle this one. Certainly not! He concluded that the farmer had set him up and regretted that he didn’t make an attempt on the first bull.

However, he was hopeful that there was still one bull left. So learning from the error of his earlier mistake, he decided he would not just let this one pass. So as the bull ran past him, he made an effort to run after it. Suddenly, the bull stopped and turned back to face him with a menacing look. With fear, he ran off to a tree as the bull charged at him, and then sauntered back to its barn.

Two gone. Only one left. This was his last chance!.

Then the door opened a third time. A smile came across his face. This was the weakest bull he had ever seen. This one was his bull, he said to himself. As the bull came running weakly, he positioned himself just right with all confidence and jumped at just the exact moment. He threw his weight on it and put his hands to grab the tail.

… But alas, the bull had no tail!

Lessons to learn:

  • Attaining success always comes with a window of opportunities. However, you don’t know which opportunity is the one for you, so always do your best at all times.
  • There’s no better time to try becoming more successful than now. So don’t focus on the limitations, the challenges, the short-comings, the lack of funds, the past disappointments, the failure of the system, BUT on the things you can DO to make progress!
  • Progressive success is attained via specific efforts at working things out. So keep trying and DARE to see how to turn your mountains into stepping stones!

Every day, every week, every month and every year has its opportunities. Therefore, don’t look back, regretting what you have not achieved, but look forward, focusing on achieving what can still be achieved.

(c) Sanmi Falobi @

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Doing what needs to be done.

The famous quote by Martin Luther King Jnr, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward”, is a true statement that applies to every stage of life.

Success is often as a result of productive actions that we took. As the days in every year adds up in weeks and months, we daily achieve more, and expand, based on the actions that we took.

Thus, doing what needs to be done to achieve what we need to achieve is all about activating the requisite pillars for ACTION, in relation to the respective goals and targets that we have set for ourselves. It is putting all hands on deck to achieve what you want to achieve.

Success is about making progress in life. It happens through deliberate productive efforts across many fronts, across a diversity of activities, as well as through conscious efforts and actions across a variety of initiatives and endeavours.

Success is tied to the conscious efforts at daily improving and applying innovative and creative strategies to overcome inhibiting and limiting situations. It is about working on our weaknesses or challenges and making conscious efforts to succeed, the limitations notwithstanding.

There are different levels of success and moving to the next desired level is about doing what needs to be done, when it is needed to be done.

As Martin Luther King Jnr note: “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

In all things, what needs to be done is to make keep moving forward!

According to Peter Marshall, “Small deeds done, are better than great deeds planned.” Yes, though you may have BIG ideas, it is the small steps of actions (what you do) that matters. The BIG idea, without a corresponding action (no matter how little), to bring it to reality is just a mere wish!

Taking action matters. As G.K. Nielson noted, “Successful people are not gifted; they just work hard, then succeed on purpose.” 

….. In all things, what needs to be done is to make keep moving forward!

Greg Reid: “A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.”

Let’s keep doing. Let’s keep pushing. Let’s make progress.

(c) Sanmi Falobi @

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