A few days ago I wrote an article on purpose for a friend who was organising a conference in Ibadan Nigeria. I am happy to inform you that the conference was a success and this post is an update on it. Click here to read the article on purpose.
The conference is the first in a series projected to take place each month across schools in Ibadan. Targeted at primary and secondary school students, the conference aims to improve students general performance, self-awareness and outlook to life. This conference had three speakers and about a thousand students in attendance.
Mrs. Mayowa Emordi was the first speaker, she addressed the topic; how to discover your purpose. She defined purpose as the reason for an individuals existence…the special influence you have on people around you. Purpose gives you a sense of fulfilment. Fulfilment means to fill a need or want, your purpose should fulfil a need, which in turn makes the world a better place than you met it. She went on to say that discovering purpose early in life helps the youth contribute effectively and efficiently to the country’s economic development. We discover purpose by reflecting and answering these questions: what do you want your greatest achievement to be? When you die what do you want to be remembered for? What need do you want to meet? When you have answered the above, go a step further by asking yourself if you would be happy to do what it takes to make those answers a reality everyday. Does your passion lie in those activities?
She concluded by encouraging the students to write down a personal vision statement and to set smart goals in line with this vision, an act of commitment to their purpose and future.
The second speaker, Mrs Ola Ayanleye spoke on the topic: high retentive capability in teenagers. She asked the students to imagine someone wearing a red shirt and then she asked them to describe what they saw. A simple exercise aimed at demonstrating how we make use of our minds through the day. According to her high retentive capability is achievable in three stages:
One, the conception stage, at this stage the student develops a mental picture by reading or studying things around them.
The second stage also known as the action stage requires the student to write down their mental picture and read it consistently.
The third stage is the confidence stage, at this point the pictures of what you have read should come easily to you. Following these steps will ensure you get excellent results reflective of the efforts you put in.
Mr. Fawole Oluwakayode was the third and final speaker. He touched on how to shun distractions and avoid peer pressure. Defining distractions as things that interfere with one’s concentration on a goal, he urged students to shun environmental and technological distractions. He explained that a student’s goal should be to excel academically, vocationally and spiritually, anything that detracted from that goal was a distraction.
He also defined peer influence as an influence from others usually those within your age group. There are two types of peer influence, positive and negative peer influence. He defined positive peer pressure as an influence that motivates you to do something good while negative influence motivates you to do something harmful to yourself and others. He said teenagers found it difficult to resist peer pressure, because they feared being rejected or excluded by their peers. He encouraged the students to take a stand for what was right, to remember that each individual was at some point would have to face life on their own and if they didn’t learn to do so early in life, they would find it harder down the track.
In conclusion, the students were charged to cease the day and to take responsibility for their futures. To take their studies seriously as it could play a strong role in their quest to fulfil purpose and excel in life.
All three speakers are graduates with a passion to improve the prospects of the Nigerian youth. There are definitely areas for improvement including better management of students welfare, better locations and post impact/sustainability measurement etc. However, as Rome wasn’t built in a day, I congratulate the speakers for taking the plunge and investing in Nigeria’s greatest resource – its youths.