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Opinions of Sunday, 25 September 2005

Columnist: Acheampong, Stephen

Positive Thinking Is The Real Secret For National Development

Just think about this;
"A positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible".

Do you see a cup of water as half full or half empty? People who see a cup of water as half full are positive thinkers and therefore stand the chance to prosper. The reason being that they see the half full as a foundation and build upon it. They focus on positive issues and see success waiting for them so they work it out to be successful. Jesus Christ, the most successful leader eve lived focused on the positive side of man and used him or her to achieve someting greate for the Kingdom business that he came to do. How do you feel when people acknowledge the good things you do? I think you would be motivated to do greater things. Convesly, you would feel demoralized when people just focus on the mistakes you make. For this reason, Jesus said, ?do unto others as you want to be done onto you?

Positive thinkers believe that human beings are generally good so when they are motivated, they can make great achievements. Your child would grow to be a role model if you always praise him/her for what he/she does good. Similarly, your spouse would be an outstanding partner if you always appreciate the good things he/she does and forget the negative part. ?a little love overshadows all sins? Positive thinkers tend to be successful leaders because they appreciate and focus on the achievements of their predecessors and build upon them. There is a huge difference between African leaders and the leaders of developed nations like USA and UK beacuse leaders of developing nationns like Ghana tend to create the impression that their predessessors did nothing good. The result is that most leaders do not want to build on the good foundations of ohters. Thus such leaders tend to send the nation back by experimenting new policies all together. In Ghana for instance, at least every leader from the time of independece has done something great and if any future leader should combine all the gerate achievements and policies to build upon them, then he would be a SUPER LEADER. He would be a peace maker, a team builder, development oriented and would make a wonderful History. We need to appreciate some of the great works of our leaders to inspire others to do greater things. Because ?We are not interested in the possibility of defeate? ? Queen Victoria President Nkrumah was a visionary. The Akosombo dam and the Universities he built in his time were just a few of his achievements. Dr. Busia was such a leader with great vision. He believed in human centered development so he focused on rural development and descentralization etc. programs but his time was too short to fully implement them. President J. J. Rawlings was also a great leader with vision for he believed in rural development, descntralizton etc. He actually did a great job on rural electrification, road constuction as well as making the effort to restuture the educational system. President J J Rawlings was a pragmatic leader.

President Kufour has proved to be the right leader for the information age. He sees what the ordinary man cannot see and ?people who can answer tomorrow?s question today will be in business tomorrow?. He is the ?STOPER OF CURRENCY DEPRECIATION that has been the most serious challenge facing Ghanaians. See explantion below about how President Kufour has saved Ghana from possible higher prices including petrol prices but most people do not see. He has created a condusive environment for investment. Thus the interest rate which was over 40% is now around 20%, inflation rate is heading towards a single digit. He has created a level of confidence in the Cedi and the Stock Exchange Market is booming. Indeed a leader who proves to have absolute contol over the macro economy like President Kufour is the one who can succeed in the information age of the 21st Century. Graduates of information systems know more about what I am talking about. Kufour is realy a situational or charismatic leader just like President Nkrumah and President Rawlings.

There was a serious macro economic crisis and God sent us an ECONOMIC SAVIOUR IN in the person of President Kufour so we need to thank God. He is doing great in infrustructural development, has deepened democracy. and is now giving priority to education by implementing the FCUBE program To crown it all our President has proved to be a peace maker and ?blessed are peace makers....? Our leaders have done incredible job even though there are some challenges. I don?t care about their shortfalls but as a positive thinker, I am more interested in their achievements because no one is perfect except God. Jesus Christ saw the need to focus on the value of man and but not what man does wrong in order to succeed in doing the Kingdom business. ?IT IS MUCH EASIER TO SEE WHEN POLITICIANS MAKE MISTAKES AND DO DUMP THINGS THAN WHEN EXPERTS DO THE SAME? Though president Clinton made some mistakes he is regarded as one of the greatest presidents in the American History. President Bush sincerely acknowledged President Clinton as a great leader and he went on to team up with him to raise funds for the Sunami victims. The whole world saw them together in Rome when Pope died. They are positive thinkers so they think more about America. Ghanaians need to learn from them. . We the followers need to encourage and guide our leaders. Leaders create environment for investment but do not create jobs directly or put monies in people?s pocket. You need to use your creative powers that God gave you to create your own jobs and wealth.

There are some people who just see the negative side of everything and to them nothing is good. So they do not have any foundation to build their success upon. They are always pregnant with unecessary and unconstructive criticisms and discouraging words. These are the people who have achieved very little by themselves in their own small environment but want others to bring heaven down to earth. Negetive thinkers are so helpless that they tend to blame others for their own failure. To them nothing is impossible to be achieved. Positive thinkers on the other hand see a cup of water as half full and they thank God for creating all the abundant resources surrounding them. All they need to do is to use the mind, which is the greatest capital to turn the resources around and create some wealth out of it. Therefore positive thinkers use resources like metals, leaves, water and their brains to create machines, cars, and businesses. Developed nations like USA, UK and Japan see abundant resources around them and therefore take advantage to create unlimited goods and services. The human mind which is the greatest resource has no limitation to what man can create. Positive thinkers have greater chances to come out with technological innovations and inventions. When you focus on positive issues, you tend to be focused and have confident in yourself. Positive thinking gave birth to industrial revolution and rapid development in the Wesatern societeis. Negative thinkers see nothing good about what the Almighty has created so they complain about poverty, unemployment, hunger etc. The same people do not see anything good about themselves, wives or husbands, children and even their governments. They curse their children, resort to divorce, criticize their governments without offering solutions to what they criticize and mess up with their lives. Positive thinkers give solutions to challenging issues and motivate people to deliver the goods.

Most people particularly in developing societies are poor, unemployed and hungry because of negative thinking. In Ghana for instance, when you greet somebody he or she would respond, "Today is very bad, I am dying of poverty and bad soup". So, are you saying that God did not create anything for you to enjoy? You made God sad for creating you in his image as a creative being. Some people think so negative that they tend to discourage investors from coming to invest. ? ?Oh Ghana is very hard so don?t come, just stay abroad? Somebody read my articles about creativity and wealth creation on the web and here is the comment emailed to me.?

?INSPIRATION (CREATING WEALTH IS THE MAJOR ROAD TO NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Dear Author,

After reading your article in subjected above, I felt like a fire has been light under my seat. I came to London to work, save and go back home to start a business (farming livestock). I am getting ready to go early next year and every body is telling me how difficult Ghana has become. Some are even begging me not to come but after reading your article I?ve been so inspired that I am ready to leave. I?ve never ever been inspired like this before. Thank you, God bless you and your family, I will be giving you the result time to time. GOD BLESS YOU. (I just want to withhold the name) This cleary shows that Ghanains need to be motivated in order to move the country forward. What we discuss on the radio, newspapers, on the web and everywhere can have positive or negative impact on the country?s development. . I really love the people of USA and I have learnt a lot from them as positve thinkers. God bless this lady and she is a true nationalist and a positive thinker. If Kwabena Darko the owner of the largest poultry farm in West Africa had been discouraged by some unpatriotic citizens and had decided to stop investing in Ghana we might have missed a lot. If you cannot use the talent and the power that God gave you to create wealth why trying to be Tobaia and Sambarat? Ghana is not a hell, it is one of the most blessed countries in the world. It is the mentality of the people that is making Ghana looke like a hell but the positive thinkers are realy making it. God has given you the power to have dominion over everything. God has commissioned you to create wealth so think positively (have faith) and go ahead to creat wealth? It is not the duty of the government to put money in your pocket or to tell you Hey Kojo this is your work. Ah! Perharps poor people may not make it in heaven because the ?I haave not seen a God fearing man begging for food? is a challenge to us. Positive thinkers have the faith that ?with God all things are possible? and therefore with the ?power to create wealth? they would go ahead and create wealth. Ghana is very lucky and so blessed that the land is endowed with a lot of resources. However, many people tend to perish by thinking negative that they cannot do anything without help from brothers, fathers, Government etc. But note that?he who says it cannot be done is always overtaken by someone doing it?

Just consider the ant, it is able to eat your surplus food, save the rest and build a place to live in. But a human being created in the image of God with all the abundant blessings would say, "I am homeless" You need to go to the ant and learn some wisdom.

When you greet the American he would respond, " Great, Wonderful, Awesome etc and in fact the way they perceive themselves had made them who they are. I was very impressed by the American philosophy of positive thinking. No wonder U.S.A. has made the greatest number of inventions on the planet. God bless America. The African continent alone is endowed with 28% of the world resources but it seems to be the poorest and why? Think positively, create businesses, and make inventions and discoveries. For you to break a new ground you need to think positively about yourself, wife, friends, children and the government. Just ignore the negative issues and focus on positive things. Most rich men create businesses; make inventions and discoveries because they are of the mind set that they would be successful. The poor thinks that "it is risky to take a risk" but to the rich, "it is more risky not to take a risk". The rich plans to succeed but not to fail. Thomas Edison of the U.S.A. who invented the electric bulb believed that, "There is nothing like failure but there are several ways of doing something".

If you fail in doing something, try again because failure is a stepping-stone to success.

The rich ignores the critics and go ahead to create and succeed so that he could prove the critics wrong. To the rich, criticism is an encouragement because without criticism you would not become popular. So, just give the critics a room to say more about you and the more they gossip about you the popular you become. If people are not talking about you then you are probably not doing anything.

THE NEED FOR POSITIVE POLICIES

African governments need to come out with positive concepts and policies. Which of the following sounds greate and can promote rapid developmen in Ghana?

1. WEALTH CREATION

OR

2. POVERTY ALLEVIATION/POVERTY REDUCTION.

Think about this

?A man can never rise beyond the level of his vision?

If you aim at making Zero(0) Cedis profit in 2005, then you tend to limit your capabilities to zero Cedis and that is how much you can make. You cannot exceed zero. On the other hand if you make up your mind to make 10 trillion Cedis profits, that is how much you want and you will work to achieve that goal.

POVERTY ALLEVIATION and WEALTH CREATION are directly opposite. Poverty alleviation means fighting poverty to zero but not to create wealth. Wealth creation on the other hand means creating wealth from the scratch. Developing countries like Ghana plan to reduce or alleviate poverty so even if we come to zero, we go and borrow again because we do not know how to create wealth. Ghana is not a poor country but it is one of the richest countries God created. We have all kinds of resources including Gold. The only challenge facing Ghanains is lack of financial wisdom(refer to my previous articles) God said, Oh! my chosen Ghanaians I have given you all the neccessary resources even better than the land of Israel so go ahead and use the resources to create wealth (Deut.8:18)

We always start from the negative side and fight but no one can fight poverty. However, it is possible to create wealth so the developed nations like USA and UK would say cool, wait a minute, here is the secret, we shall rather create wealth. While Ghana et al waste time to fight povery, the advanced nations develop strategies to create wealth. Thus developed societies start from zero and go to the positive direction so they do not meet Mr. Poverty on the road. Poverty alleviation is like fighting malaria. We create a filty enviroment to give birth to malaria and waste time and resources to fight the diseas. The advanced nations on the other hand just avoid living on a filty environment by keeping it clean so Mr.Malaria can never be their friend. It is more costly to fight malaria than to maintain a healthy environment. Similarly, it is very difficult to fight poverty but very easy to create wealth. Many a time people or countries who fight poverty tend to be defeated because Mr.Poverty is stronger.

Poverty alleviation and wealth creation have psychological effects. The students of povety alleviation waste time to find out the reasons why they are poor. They give a whole bunch of excuses like bribery and corruption, illiteracy, lack of technology, ignorance, poor governance, lack of resources and so forth.. Then they try to find solutions like FORIGN AID, TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, ete. We continue to teach poverty in schools instead of teachig WEALTH CREATON so we tend to produce poor graduates ?We become what we learn? so most graduates can score 100% in analysing povety but give them a question about wealth creaton and see how may people would say ?as for this, they didn?t teach us? We need to re-examine our educational carriculum and learn more about positive concepts. The more we learn about poverty, the more we appreciate it and register the concept of poverty in our subconcious mind. Poverty then becomes part of us and we pass it on to generations. Hay! Ghanains we need a change, we need a break through. We can create wealth from the scratch. We need to do what the rich nations do as simple as A B C. We need to see them as great blessing but not enemies as some people may think. We tend to make poor choices and go negative. My brother or sister, just find a genuine mentor around you and learn from him/her.You will say oh! Thank you God for advising me to ?go to the ant and learn its ways and now I have so much financial wisdom?. The advanced nations do not waste time to learn about poverty but they go ahead to search for financial wisdom. Most people in advanced nations can show you how to create wealth because they have been mentored to create wealth Thus principles and virtues that give them the key to create wealth and to pass the good message to the next generation

. The principles for wealth creation include;

1. Honesty

2. Motvation

3. self reliance

4. Mentorship

5. Charitable

6. Hardworking

7. Creativity

8. Entrepreneurship

9. Frugality

10. Savings

11. Vision

12. Education

13. Pragmatism

14. Modernization

15. Wliilingness to change

16. Peace making

17. Unity/teamwork

18. Nationalism

19. Good citizenship

20. Can do attitude

21. Positive thinking

22. Good govenance

People who practice these will automatically overcome all problems that cuse pverty and go ahead to create wealth for generations to come.

I would like to suggest that in making our policies, we need to run away from a major economic killer of currency devaluation or depreciation. This is also a negative policy. How many times have UK or USA devalued/depreciated the currencies? They do not beacause it will increase the cost of living..

For instance let us take the prices of petrol which we are all crying about. President Kufour came at a time when the value of the Cedi has been depreciated from $1 =? 1.50 in 1981 to almost $1 = ?8,000 and he has been able to stablize it at ?9,000 for $1. Otherwise prices of goods and services including petrol would be very unbearable.

Prices of imports are usally valued in Dollars. So if we deprecaite our currency then the internal price of petrol will also go up.Assuming the 1981 exchang rate of $1 = ?1.50 Therefore if 1 gallon of petrol is sold at say $4, then a Ghanain would pay just ?1.50 times 4 = ?6 a gallon. Even if we were able to peg the exchange rate at say, $1 = ?1,000 then Ghanains would buy a gallon of petrol at 4 times ?1,000 =?4,000 per gallon and no one would cry or go on demonstration. However, we have allowed our currency to go so low to $1=?9,000 then we should expect to buy 1gallon of petrol at 4 times ?9,000 = ?36,000 Assuming that the government was unable to stablize the currency depreciation and it went to say, $1 = ?20,000 then even if a gallon of petrol was sold at a lower price of $2.50 we might pay 2.50 times ?20,000 = ?50,000 a gallon. The only way out was to stablize our currency. Instead of giving credit to the President why do we rather flip the problem back on him?

This is why President Kufour is an ECONOMIC SAVIOR.

You cannot survive in the information age economy with that huge currencydepreciation. Why do you think the E U members want to make the currency stronger? All things being equal, a stronger currency means a stronger economy and vice versa. Therefore by stablizing the Ghanain currency, President Kufour has made the economy stronger.

Now, what Ghanains need is a leader who will be able to demonstrate to all Ghanains that he/she can manage the economy to the extent that the Cedi will regain its value to say $1 = ?1,000. In this case prices will come down and we can buy a gallon of petrol at 4 times ?1,000 = $4,000. Ghanains would lable such a leader as SUPER STAR. We need ?CAN DO IT LEADERS? to move Ghana forward.

If we love Ghana then let us forsee the implications of our policies in the future. We the future leaders know that our leaders have much experience but most of us also have vision and therefore some of our ideas need to be put into practice right away.

We are in information age economy and the industrial age is gone.. Ghana has not reached the industrial age yet. In order to get to the industrial age as advocated by WW Rostow, we need to start from the scratch. The people must be able to make inventions and discoveries. In every article, I want to remind ourselves about the need to promote people with superior technology includung Apostle Kwadwo Sarfo and The 23 year old man who has made a car that uses electricity, even though the maker of ?Boafo? vehicle might have already perished with his superior technology. . These guys are positive thinkers so we need to make positve policies to support them. If we are able to put our human assets into good use and we start making cars and machines, we would not be worried even if Nigerians say they would buy nothing from us. A positive thinker does what most people say they cannot do and that gives him super power. We need to use part of our taxes to promote technology and to create intellectual properties. These are more important than relying on primary commodities.

Motivation is a positive reward so Ghanains with superior technologies need to be motivated. We need to do what the rich nations do. If we practice the opposite, then in poverty we shall remain. There is no need to beg for assistance. We need to be honest because ?honesty is the best policy? and it is positive. Bribery and corruption are all negative practices that create poverty for the Bible says, ?Wealth that you acquire unjustly would do you no good?. If you borrow some money from a bank pay it so that tomorrow you would be given another credit facility. Think about the future and go positive.

Be proud that you are a Ghanaian and think about what you can do for Ghana but not what Ghana can do for you. The best thing we can do to help is to SHOW HOW TO DO IT RIGHT. Instead of just pointing out WHAT SOMEONE IS DOING WRONG. There are a number of fundamental issues that are hampering Ghana?s development. The most serious is that, most graduates are trained to be critics. Some teachers just want to criticize leaders in the classroom without offering solutions. So we tend to produce graduates who do not just criticize but also insult leaders thereby creating tensions, hatred and instability in the system. What percentage of the news from radio, TV, newspapers and web articles talk about positive issues. Most of them make you lose hope in life but that is not the purpose of God in creating you. In USA, the story is differnt. The educational system and instruction mostly centers on creativity, motivation and hands-on (problem solving) issues.

I am an educationist and I take pride in writing too. My vision is to help Ghana develop a carriculum for MOTIVATIONAL STUDIES at all levels in our educational system. Carriculum for motivational studies could be integrated into core subjects like SOCIAL STUDIES. We ned to mentor and develop our future leaders with positive and creative minds so that they can use the abundant resources that God has created around us to make wonderful inventions and discoveries.

WHAT CAN I DO FOR GHANA?
GOD BLESS GHANA.
Your comments and contributions are welcome

BY STEPHEN ACHEAMPONG(AUTHOR OF ACHIE SERIES)
MBA, USA.


Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.