Of planning, religion and poverty


Today is the last day of the year. During the year, this column tackled a number of issues. Here are just few excerpts of some articles which appeared on this page.
Planning essential
A renowned Life Coach and founder of Making Dreams Happen, Barb Elyett once wrote on the importance of planning in our lives: “A planned life gives you direction. Planning allows you to know where you are going and how you are going to get there. Without a plan, you lack direction and focus and run the risk of spending your time doing things that fail to benefit your future.”
Barb adds: “A planned life puts you in control. If you leave your life up to chance or let others control it for you, you are sure to be disappointed. Taking control of your own life is the only way to get what you truly want.”
A simple plan answers few questions namely: Where are you now? (assessment of current situation); what do you want to achieve this year (objectives); how would you achieve your goal or objectives (your strategies and activities) and how will you ensure attainment of your objectives (setting of milestones and monitoring mechanisms).
Very religious, very poor
Several studies conducted by renowned research groups show that the majority of religious nations are wallowing in poverty while secular countries are very prosperous. Most religious nations have reduced themselves to aid recipients while the secular countries are the donors.
One survey conducted by Gallup in more than 100 countries showed that the more poverty a nation has, the higher the ‘religiosity’ in that nation.
Some of the most religious countries in the world according to research are Niger, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Djibouti, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. Despite being religious, these countries are among the poorest and least developed in the world. These are countries whose poor citizens go to church every Sunday and to mosques every Friday, sometimes on empty stomachs.
The research singles out the United States as an exception in that it is both rich and religious. However, an analysis of the US shows that Mississippi which is one the most religious states in the US is not as prosperous as the highly secular states.
The reality is that most secular countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Japan, United Kingdom, Finland and France are very prosperous and very developed.
Living in a God-fearing nation and believing that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, it is important to start asking ourselves soul-searching questions. If God was able to bless the patriarchs, obviously He can bless us as well.
We should answer the tough question. Why are the God-fearing citizens of Malawi languishing in poverty when secularists are prospering?
Stop hating rich people
We hate successful people. Most of us even believe that all rich and successful people are evil and greedy. We are still obsessed with the commonly held belief that money corrupts people. We assume that many people get rich by practising magic, engaging in corruption and taking advantage of others.
We sometimes tend to ignore the fact that there are many people who are rich and successful because of their determination, hard work, innovation and creativity. It is sad that instead of learning valuable lessons from successful people, we always hate them and speak ill of them.
Instead of befriending them and learning their secrets of success, most of us end up in useless discussions full of lies, myths, ignorance and slander. We are still enmeshed in the trap of mistaken belief that people become rich or successful because of witchcraft, Satanism, corruption and all sorts of evil, forgetting that the majority of successful people are innovators and hard workers.
There is one thing we sometimes tend to forget. Our excessive hatred for successful people reduces our chances of becoming successful ourselves. One expert actually said that hating the rich might be making us poor.
Dr. Brad Klontz, an associate professor of financial psychology in the US, after several researches concluded that people who think negatively about wealth and wealthy people are more likely to earn lower incomes. So the more you hate rich people, the lower are your chances of becoming rich.
Wishing you a prosperous New Year

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