Luck is not a Strategy on a cork notice board as a reminder

The Concept of Luck vs Miracle: Nigerians and their Mentality of Trying to Achieve Success Without a Plan

Neat lays the land full of green and life, which hold forth the fruits of man and his labour. A curse or a blessing, man has to decide. Elements of nature indeed are blessings but can same be said of man and his attributes? His ability to love or hate, save or destroy. Choices and the capacity to decide are basically among the most distinguishing factors that make man what he is: man is an intelligent animal.

Wisdom is said to be an asset as experience is not build with blocks so also integrity is not bought with money and history is not made for stories only. Our consistency as a people to be more capricious than ever, to live by chance rather than by reality makes us to submit to circumstances instead of us managing circumstances.

Our driving force is more by greed, selfishness and naivety. We are so blinded that we most often see mirage as our objectives which is why we dissipate so much energy in trying to achieve what is impossible. We can’t allow negative mind-set, our failed past, the will of other people or their opinion to affect our sense of judgment, as good is most at times the enemy of the best. The will to survive is what keeps a man alive, but being alive does not mean living. And that is our problem in Nigeria today. So the question is: how do we start living better and succeeding as a people and as a Nation? And how do we set positive goals and how do we achieve our objectives?

In attempting to answer these questions, I will have to draw our attention to the fact that everything we do is a project. Life itself is a project. So for us to have a better understanding of the subject we have to define project and relate it with everything we do.

According to the Cambridge dictionaries, “a project is a piece of planned work or an activity that is finished over a period of time and intended to achieve a particular purpose”.

And according to Merriam Webster, “a project is a planned piece of work that has a specific purpose (such as to find information or to make something new) and that usually requires a lot of time”

From the above it is clear that everything we do is a project whether we see it that way or not. Next is to relate the above with management as to achieve results in everything we do, we must bring in the concept of good management. So what is project management?

According to Project Management Institute (PMI);

“A project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result”.

A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources.

And a project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal.

So setting out to study is a project, looking for a job or employment is a project, getting married is a project, building a house is a project, starting a business is a project, running for election is a project, running government is a project and the list goes on and on.

Projects must be expertly managed to deliver on-time and on-budget results.
Project management, then, “is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements”.

Project management processes fall into five groups: which I call (IPEM-C) and these are:

• Initiating
• Planning
• Executing
• Monitoring and Controlling
• Closing

Almost everything we do in our lives starts and ends with these five project process cycle. But are we really aware of it? No mostly we don’t. We just think that success in life is just a process guided by luck or miracle. But it is not true. To be successful one must initiate or conceive an idea, and then a well-articulated plan of action must be laid down clearly defining the scope, objective and mission, vision and goal of the idea. But a well thought out plan remains a plan until it is executed so, positive action must be initiated towards executing the plan and this needs to be well monitored and control measures taken to manage excesses. At the end when the objective is achieved, the project is closed to give way for a new project or a review and expansion of the existing project.

If we look at how most of our people today leave their lives and the outcome of their actions as against their expectations, it will be clearly established that most people live an undefined life with little or no plan on what exactly they want and how they want it, when they want it and by what means or process.
So until everyone begins to look at everything they do in their lives as a project and manage same according to the five process groups of project management: our people will continue to fail in achieving the desired results they want in life.

Remember no nation succeeds by simply having a big budget and good government policy. Nations succeed only if the people as individuals decide to define their roles in the system, understand the reason they are living, have a definitive plan as to what they want and how they want to achieve their objectives. It is the individuals need to succeed guided by a well-articulated plan of action, executed with passion and commitment that collectively results in a holistic national growth and development.

No matter how much the government want to succeed in the implementation of her policies, the people’s readiness to succeed as individuals remains the only driving force towards the overall success of the government.

Dr Ibrahim Bello Dauda

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