Joseph Iregbu

Purpose Guy

39 Life Lessons for Emerging Leaders

My awesome friend, Gori Olusina Daniel celebrated his birthday recently. I’ve known Gori for nearly a decade and we’ve worked on some initiatives very close to our hearts; from ministering to young people in local churches and communities to The Life Course and The Success Masterclass initiatives.

An inspiration!


Gori has spent a significant part of his life inspiring a generation: fighting social injustice in local communities in the UK (particularly London), sharing his wealth of insight on the challenges and opportunities for education and economic reforms in Africa (particularly Nigeria) and helping young people pursue a life of purpose through God-centered grassroots initiatives he believes has the potential to change lives.

I’ve watched him pour himself into others like only a few I’ve known have done — often at personal cost to himself. We need more men like him.

He’s had a significant impact on my life and remains a personal inspiration to me.

39 Life Lessons for Emerging Leaders

To celebrate Gori, I’m re-posting 39 life lessons for emerging leaders he recently shared on his Facebook page. These are 39 profound quotes, some of which I’ve either heard him say or watch him live out.

  1. If God is not shaping your thoughts and actions; don’t get it twisted, something or someone else is.

  2. Clearly define your values and driving motivations; as this is the first step in the pursuit of happiness and fulfilment. But be mindful of the underlying motives shaping and driving your goals.
  3. People matter. In all you do, do nothing but to lift and improve the human condition.
  4. The journey, not just the achievement, matter in the pursuit of success and achievement. Live life to the full; enjoy the journey.
  5. Take responsibility. You can’t make excuses, if you want to make progress.
  6. We can do this; we just need to figure out how.
  7. Your work is a reflection of who you are. Always do your best work. No amount of prejudice can successfully hold down a spirit of excellence packaged in a humble spirit.

  8. Proceed as if success is inevitable. There is no force on earth and in hell that can stop you. Be unstoppable.

  9. Success is 90% confidence, 10% content. Confidence comes from preparation. Be prepared — study, get the right people on your side.
  10. Success is a journey. Your journey to define, so choose carefully. Your journey to make, so be determined to finish, no matter how long it takes, no matter what comes your way.
  11. Remember, it is not about how long it takes. It took over 30 years to build the Pyramids of Giza, but its still standing today.
  12. Focus, never, ever give up, reflect on feedback and keep moving forward.
  13. You only fail, when your last attempt is your final attempt.
  14. You need to be patiently impatient and invisibly visible.
  15. No matter how talented you are, you’ll need to start from the bottom if you are going to climb Everest.

  16. Fail Forward, because failure is not a destination – sometimes we win; sometimes we learn.
  17. Don’t let what you can’t do, stop you from doing what you can.
  18. Hate is a self-inflicted prison we unlock with forgiveness. Forgive, and let your love for humankind and commitment to lift the human condition unleash your creative potential.

  19. Choices limit choices. Choose well.
  20. Don’t lose your confidence. Fear is an attempt from the pit of hell to erode your confidence. Be full of courage — Courageous.
  21. Do it afraid. Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the ability to advance in the face of fear.
  22. The first responsibility of a leader is to be inspired. The second is to be encouraged. Encourage yourself!

  23. Knowing isn’t doing, only doing is doing — Darlene Menzies.
  24. When all is said and done. There’s nothing left to do, but to stop talking and get things done.
  25. Nothing happens because it should. Do it now.
  26. Family first. Do not neglect your family, as there is no real and meaningful success without family.

  27. You set your own limits. Dream big dreams; don’t let fear, or a real sense of what you can realistically achieve shape all you believe to be possible. Remember it always seems impossible till it’s done — Nelson Mandela.
  28. It is possible. It may be difficult and challenging, but it is not beyond us.
  29. It’s not over. I may be defeated, but I am unbowed as, by God, I must achieve my God-given purpose or die trying. I was made for great things.

  30. Death is not the greatest tragedy in life; but what dies in a man while he yet lives.
  31. Be unreasonable. The reasonable man persists in adapting himself to the world, the unreasonable man persists in adapting the world to himself. Therefore all progress is down to the actions of unreasonable men — G.B. Shaw.
  32. No one can make you feel inferior without your permission — Eleanour Roosevelt.
  33. He that is down need fear no fall.
  34. Humility is not timidity. Humility is the recognition that we play only a small part in what ultimately conveys on us any measure of success; and this compels us to recognise and acknowledge the contribution of others.
  35. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel small around you — Margaret Williamson.
  36. True greatness comes from living for a cause greater than yourself. The purpose of privilege is to lift the human condition. Our job is to be lifters – people who look back and guide others on the path of aspiration and fulfilment. This is our God-given responsibility.

  37. God loves everyone, even Christians! It’s not really about how you see God; its about how He sees you. He’s given you the freedom to exercise your right to self-determination, however you will. It’s your call.
  38. The secrets of success are hidden in plain view in the lives and stories of successful people.
  39. The only thing between you and greatness is time.

Question: Which life lesson(s) is/are your favourites on Gori’s list? 

About Joseph Iregbu

From a homeless, near-school-dropout to living a story worth telling. Purpose is my passion. What's your story?

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