Some people believe that poverty is a disease in the sense that deprives one the basic things of life such as food, home, comfort and pleasure, recognition and fulfillment.

According to Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation, poverty is defined as hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time.

In addition, poverty is about not being able to participate in recreational activities; not being able to send children on a day trip with their schoolmates or to a birthday party; not being able to pay for medications for an illness.

With this definition one could see that poverty is everywhere and can be seen around us… not being able to live the life you wanted could bring poverty to one’s mind set.

What causes poverty?  Causes of poverty varies from one make moneycountry to the other according to Borgenproject, five major causes of poverty are listed as follows:

  1. History
  2. War and political instability
  3. National debt
  4. Discrimination and social inequality
  5. Vulnerability to natural disaster

These points from Borgenproject are not too different from the causes of poverty in Nigeria as stated inMartins library blogspot.com he listed the following points:

  1. Corruption
  2. Political instability
  3. Structural shift in the economy
  4. The stage of the economic and social development
  5. Low productivity
  6. Market imperfection

Furthermore,   from my own point of view, we should also consider lack of human resource, natural endowment, foundational problems and will as causes of poverty.

The focal point of this article is on how to pull down the strongholds of poverty firstly in the individual’s life and then in the society.

  1. The mind set:- The mind is the part of human faculty that enable them to think, perceive, remember things and pass judgment base on his state and level of intelligence.

According to Wikipedia, mind is defined as the set of cognitive faculties that enables consciousness perception, thinking, judgment, and memory-a characteristic of humans, but which also may apply to other life forms.

The mind is the power house of any individual because that determines what one does, believe and accept… it is so strong that it determines how we live our life.

No wonder in the book of Proverbs, chapter 23, verse 7, it is written that : “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.

The state of not having sufficient resources, good job or being in an uncomfortable situation can cause one to remain perpetually poor… this is because nothing easily put off a man from his normal senses than the state of lack. Instead of thinking positively on possible solutions that will overcome poverty, he ends up worrying.

Thinking does not kill a man, what kills is worry… A typical employee who lives in the rural area (say like Okokomaiko) and works in the urban area (e.g. Victoria Island) who wakes up 4:30am everyday in order to beat traffic and be at work early, returns at 10:00pm also as a result of the traffic jam, will never find it easy to think but will end up worrying and complaining.  When worries encroach into one’s life, it erodes faith which is one of the basic principles you need to bring a good thoughts or ideas into reality.

Think and grow rich by Napoleon Hill is one of the greatest book everyone should read, apply the disciplines and make something different out of his life. From his story, you will find out that he did not even come from a rich background but the secret of his success is finding out what he can do better and how he can use it to solve the problems of many. His book has influenced thousands of people round the world. Indeed, Great achievers are great thinkers. What you know can set you free from lack. It is what you know you have and that is what your employer is paying for not you as a person. Think of how you can use your skill, knowledge and experience to solve people problems and not just for one man (employer).

The first step to destroying poverty is by changing your mindset. You are what you think… are you the type that hardly believes in possibilities? As a man thinketh in his heart so he is. Let me tell you a real life story as written in the Bible, God promised the children of Israel the land of Canaan but in that land were found mighty men, giants and high walls. Having helped them conquer many nations, cross the Red Sea and many miracles just as God is doing in our lives these days, why was it impossible for them to believe God to help them reach their goal since it was the same God who has helped them achieve great success earlier in their journey? Unbelief! It is impossible to accomplish any milestone in life with unbelief.

To be successful in life has never been easy anywhere in the world; you must be ready to succeed by renewing your mind (Romans 12 v 2). When no one believes you, you have to believe in yourself.

  1. Discipline:- From the context of this write up, the world discipline can be defined in so many ways but this definition from the free dictionary best suit this topic. Discipline is training acquired which is expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement. Do you have these attribute-Positive energy, can do attitude, fearless (risk taking),studious thorough and detailed, etc? Nobody is born with any of these attributes; it is gotten from conscious and continuous exercise and practice. Failure does not kill what kills is the fear of failure.
  2. Focus: – This is one of the products of good discipline; to young entrepreneurs distraction is their big problem. It is possible to know how to do too many things at the same time and it is also possible to be jack of all traders and master of all… but this will not be good enough. The best approach is to start up focusing on your strength then expands later. For instance, starting a new eatery, you can start with local dishes then as the business grows you add other intercontinental food to your menu list. It is important to focus on your strength when starting a new business so as to make sure quality and satisfactory services are provided to your customers which in turn would make them loyal enough patronize you and give you a positive reputation.
  3. Be creative:- There is nothing new under the sun, likewise there’s no business idea you want to come up with that has not existed elsewhere, however, what will make the difference is the level of creativeness you bring . For instance you want to start an agency business either property agent or marketing agent , the differentiating factor from other agencies  would be the level of research you did before starting yours… your research should focus more on what are the additional thing customers need from agencies that your competitors are not doing. That is where your opportunity lies, add those values, be the first to introduce them into the agency business. A happy customer will always repeat patronage.
  4. Solve people’s problems:- Build your niche around solving problems of a particular segment of market. It could be helping businesses sell more of their products or helping consumers find what they’re looking for in a more convenient way. This is one of the best ways to eradicate poverty from one’s life.

The Challenge!: Can you think of what would reduce the level of traffic in Lagos state? If yes send your suggestion to info@smesmedia.com

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