We grew up on hero movies. Rambo, the Terminator and Super Man showed us how one man could literally save the whole world.
But this story of the one man army has nothing to do with reality.
In reality, systems are far more powerful than individuals.
African Americans have been conditioned to distrust systems because we have been victimized by institutionalized White supremacism for 400 consecutive years.
The legal system, the medical system, the educational system and the banking system have all conspired against us with total impunity.
So African Americans have a healthy distrust of systems.
We tend to prefer the story of the underdog, who uses raw determination and sincerity to overcome impossible odds and beat the system.
Our folklore is rooted in the underdog archetype. If it's Brer Rabbit or High John the Conquerer, or even Harriet Tubman, African American heroes tend to be lone individuals who defy a corrupt system and win.
Jesus is our favorite hero. We identify strongly with his journey, from an innocent child, who rose from humble beginnings to topple a corrupt system and save the world.
So, in the most important aspects of human activity, African Americans have been conditioned to believe that the highest expression of power is to dismantle and destroy systems.
Our greatest heroes are rebels, like Nat Turner, Dr. King and Malcolm X.
Unfortunately, this perception is not altogether beneficial. More importantly, it is not based upon reality.
In reality, individuals are not as powerful as systems.
Even when Obama became President, we could not seem to grasp this inescapable truth. Some of us expected him to be a magical Negro, who could completely transform some dimension of African American life with a stroke of his pen.
But that was impossible because Obama was and still is, just one man, operating within the confines of a well-organized system.
Now, as it pertains to Orisa Lifestyle, I see the same problem. That is, our people refuse to grasp the significance of systems thinking.
Consequently, too many of us have allowed ourselves to be convinced that rituals and ceremonies will somehow allow us to defy the laws of nature.
Recently, I posed a question on Facebook, "What's more powerful, a degree from Yale or Ifa initiation?" Out of 270 comments, about 95% of the people really believe that a three day ceremony would render them more powerful than if they had a degree from Yale.
That is utter and complete madness.
POWER is not imaginary, subjective nor conceptual. There are three main elements of power:
1. SOURCE (e.g., a battery)
2. CONDUIT (e.g., a wire)
3. OUTPUT (e.g., a toaster)
Together, these elements constitute a system. Power can only be expressed through systems. If you remove or compromise any of the elements, the power will not be fully expressed.
Orisa Lifestyle is an elaborate power system.
Do you know why the electricity never fails in the USA? It's because we have a highly efficient system. It is extremely consistent everywhere you go.
Until we build efficient systems that harness and distribute our spiritual power, we cannot realistically claim that Ifa is as powerful as a degree from Yale.
THIS IS AN OPEN CHALLENGE TO THE LEADERSHIP.
Build a system that properly prepares devotees to optimize the potential power of Orisa and not people who use empty cliches like character and destiny.
Build a system that efficiently distributes knowledge, skill and wisdom across the community instead of peddling beads, pots and titles to anybody with a dollar.
Build a system that empowers the people to be the highest versions of themselves, who can actively solve their own problems and not feeble minded dependents, who never even learn how to pray properly.
I am in search of leaders who are committed to changing the world through positive influence. Is that you? If so, find out how Obafemi Origunwa and the Orisa Lifestyle Academy can take your practice to the next level: ObafemiO.com
There is a difference between a teacher, a mentor and a leader. Teachers provide instruction on how to learn. Mentors are guides, who show you the way inward. Leaders are the embodiment of vision; they reveal the future and your place in it.
If there is just one thing that I cherish about Yoruba culture, it's the overabundance of men who teach, mentor and lead. Nothing touchy-feely. Nothing warm and fuzzy. Just masculinity in all its glory.
Nowadays, I find myself reflecting more and more on my experience with great men, like
Babalade Olamina, Imodoye Shabazz and others. Their generosity, coupled with an astounding intellectual capacity, has made it possible for younger men, like me, to make sense of the madness that is European and African, modern and traditional, physical and metaphysical.
When it comes to his destiny, man should negotiate but he should not compromise. The endurance of OrisaLifestyle is all the evidence you need. The Yoruba remain the Yoruba, in spite of relentless incursions from Christianity, Islam and modernization, precisely because the Yoruba do not compromise. Instead, they absorb those forces that threaten to destroy them.
I call out to every Black man today. I urge you to embolden your brothers. I wish to affirm your OBLIGATIONS to uphold the tradition. I seek to remind you that the Agbole belongs to your fathers and must be handed down to your sons.
What is the Agbole? It is the original family house, where your lineage's ancestral promise was made. The Agbole represents your family's commitment to uphold certain principles and practices in an effort to help bring about the Good Condition.
There is no shame in rulership and governance. Do not hesitate to make your deepest values clear to the entire world. Like Bob Marley sang, I'm a rebel, a soul rebel! I'm a conqueror! Soul adventurer!
Live the medicine!!!
Obafemi Origunwa, MA | ObafemiO.com
Ọ̀pọ̀ ló fẹ lápa láì lápá, béèyàn ò sì lápá, kò lè lápa. Many want to make a mark without effort, but without effort, no mark can be made. Destiny cannot be attained by wearing beads, possessing pots, nor bearing titles. It is through your efforts to manifest your truth that your destiny is expressed.
Osa take a look
And Iwori take a look
Whatever we consider together
It is bound to come up well
Ifa’s message for Imoran, Deliberation
The elder sibling of Edu, Ifa consultation
He was advised to offer ebo
Imoran I consulted you first before consulting my Ikin
Deliberation is the lord of common sense. When you give deep thought to any issue, common sense will eventually prevail over convenience. Stop asking Ifa to do for you that which you ought to do for yourself; like studying, thinking and learning!
I am looking for leaders, who are committed to changing the world through positive influence. Is that you? If so, find out how Obafemi Origunwa and the Orisa Lifestyle Academy can take your practice to the next level. LEARN MORE
If you do not understand White supremacism, everything else will only confuse you.
- Neely Fuller, Jr.
I taught all of children to play chess before they were in third grade. It provides endless lessons in power.
Black children need to understand their relationship to power; how to establish it, how to expand it and how to refine it.
In the United States, power has been monopolized by White supremacists. I know what you're thinking, "That's extreme." But if you think a bit more deeply, you will agree that the Skinheads and the Klan are just crude expressions of White supremacism.
The church, hospital, courthouse, bank and school are bastions of White supremacism. Make no mistake about it, ALL American institutions are incubators, proponents and defenders of White supremacism.
That is, ALL American institutions are violently hostile towards Black male rulership and governance.
The White king is absolutely certain that the Black king is his most formidable adversary. When the Black king is subdued, the game is over. Therefore, the White king must weaponize EVERY individual in every institution in an effort to neutralize the effect of the Black king.
Likewise, the Black king recognizes the White king as his most formidable foe. Once the White king has been taken down, the game is over. So, the Black king must weaponize every individual in every institution in an effort to neutralize the effects of the White king.
Most urgently, the Black king must educate and empower younger Black men. Prepare them - physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually - for the reality of life behind enemy lines.
Love them with all your heart. But do not allow anyone to compromise their warrior spirit. Train them in the way of empathy and compassion. But never let them forget we came to conquer. Show them how to be fair and equitable in their doings. But teach them to be relentless in their commitment to African liberation.
The Yoruba say, as the spring causes the river to flow, so does the wisdom of the father cause his sons to walk with pride.
The Holy Odu OgbeYonu goes on to tell us of the epic journey of three souls as they travelled from heaven to earth. When given the opportunity to consult with their fathers before selecting their destinies, two travellers refused.
It was only Afuwape who broke ranks and went to seek his father's advice about the journey. His father was none other than ORUNMILA, the lord of wisdom. Orunmila was surrounded by his fleet of priests. They advised him to sacrifice so that his son's journey would be successful. Orunmila complied.
As a result, Afuwape was given the inside track on selecting the most favorable destiny. And while his contemporaries spent most of their lives struggling to compensate for their poor choices of destiny, Afuwape thrived throughout his life.
His friends lamented, "If only I knew where Afuwape had chosen his destiny! I would have chosen mine from that same place" Afuwape replied, "We chose our destinies form the same place! But I sacrificed before I made my selection."
It was because of his father's wisdom that Afuwape became the epitome of excellence.
May we all rise to the occasion and raise our sons to become wise, Black kings! Ase!
Obafemi Origunwa, MA | ObafemiO.com
Last night, I dreamt of a spiral staircase. Not only that, it was rotating. There were a couple of young boys on the staircase with me. One of them remarked that you never return to the same place on a rotating spiral staircase like this one. In my mind, I agreed with him, but I also make a note of the fact that you do return to the same coordinates. You just reach those coordinates at a higher level each time.
People are fond of the saying, the lessons will repeat until you learn them. It sounds good but it's misleading because it implies that someday, the lessons will end. This is untrue. All of life is learning. When you stop learning you stop living. So except the fact that the lessons are actually very few. It is only a matter of your perspective and the level at which you are learning that determines how you learn it.
Consider for example, the law of reciprocity. You may have learned that lesson at 3 years old, but you will need to learn it again in a very different way at 30 years old. And then, even if you master the law of reciprocity you must turn around and teach it, which requires an entirely different learning process. So maturity is synonymous with endless learning.
I am looking for Leaders with a true commitment to guide others through positive influence, to live the medicine that will heal their lives and heal the lives of those who are they are destined to serve. Is that you?
Learn how Obafemi Origunwa and the Orisa Lifestyle Academy can help take your life to the next level.
Learn more: www.ObafemiO.com
Frederick Douglass asked, What does the 4th of July mean to the slave? That is, what does independence mean to the African American, who is only considered 3/5 of a man by the Constitution of the United States of America? What is the meaning of Independence Day to the African American, when we consider the third verse of the Star Spangled Banner, which boldly affirms the Nation's desire to perpetuate slavery?
I can assure you that freedom does NOT mean the ability to be less African and I am certain that my ancestors would agree. In fact, I can site a few solid examples of when African Americans embodied the truest spirit of freedom. In every instance, they did so in spite of mainstream's insistence that we associate freedom with assimilation.
As custodians of the Ancestral Promise, we are called to observe current events, juxtaposed against historical trends, in search of wisdom that has always been hidden in plain sight; wisdom that accounts for the economic, political and spiritual realities of freedom.
The mainstream American narrative has always emphasized the idea of independence as ‘freedom from oppression by an external force’, namely England. As such, American independence was centralized and institutionalized in the forms of Government, Business and the Church, the three of which are said to be working relentlessly to uphold and defend the virtues of freedom and democracy.
Consequently, according to former US President Jimmy Carter, there have actually only been five years of peace in US history. As a result, billions of dollars have spent, countless local and federal elections have happened, and a plethora of Civil Rights laws have been passed, all in the name of independence that has had an extremely limited merit, from an African American perspective. Ultimately what has happened as a result of these situations has simply been an exchange of one form of limitation for another one, but nothing has really changed for us: In the final analysis, African Americans are expected to assimilate in order to be free.
As emissaries of Ancestral Memory, our most powerful tools are Self Discovery, Daily Discipline and Sacred Service. In order to optimize our natural gifts and talents the quest to help bring about the Good Condition, we must be acutely aware of the underlying energy that supports the base of any existing situation – before we can shift it into another one.
Buckminster Fuller said it best when he explained that, You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. The truly committed practitioners of OrisaLifestyle will quickly recognize this moment in time as a powerful opportunity that holds an energetic message that resonates powerfully with the Ancestral Promise, as it has been handed down since the beginning of time.
That is, in the exact same way that the Orisa themselves have followed the principles of Odu Ifa in order to establish and govern the world as we know it today, so can we use the principles of Odu Ifa to create and sustain economic, political and spiritual freedom for ourselves and those who were are destined to serve. For this reason, Booker T. Washington rightfully declared that, There is no escape; man drags man down, or man lifts man up.
Consider what the Holy Odù Ifá Irosun Iwori says:
Let us do things with joy.
Those who want to go, let them go.
Those who want to stay, let them stay.
Surely, humans have been chosen to bring good into the world.
Omniscience, priest of Òrunmìlà,
Cast Ifá for Òrunmìlà.
He said the people of the world would come to ask him a certain question.
He said that Òrunmìlà should sacrifice fish and two hundred grains of cornmeal. Òrunmìlà heard and complied.
One day, all kinds of people; good people and
those who do not allow good to enter into other people’s lives
They then went to Òrunmìlà saying,
“Coming back and forth to earth tires us, Òrunmìlà.
Therefore, please allow us to rest in here in Heaven
Òrunmìlà said, “You cannot avoid going back and forth to earth
Until you bring about the good condition
that Olódùmarè has ordained for every human being.
After then, you may rest in heaven
They asked, “What is the good condition?
Òrunmìlà asked them to confess their ignorance
They said, “We are ignorant and would like to be given knowledge by Olódùmarè Òrunmìlà said, “The good condition is a good world;
a world in which there is full knowledge of all things; happiness everywhere.
Life without anxiety or fears of enemies.
Without clashes with snakes or other animals,
Without fear of death, disease, litigation, losses, wizards, witches or Èsù.
Without fear of poverty or misery...
Because of your wisdom, your compelling desire for good character
and your internal strength
The things needed to bring about the good
condition in the world then are; Wisdom that is fully adequate to govern the world; Sacrifice, character, the love of doing good for all people, especially those in need, And those who seek our assistance,
And the eagerness and struggle to increase good in the world,
And not let any good at all be lost.
People will continue to go to heaven
And they will go back and forth to earth after their transfiguration Until everyone has achieved the good condition.
Thus, when the children of Odùduà gather together,
Those chosen to bring good into the world
are called Èniyan, or the chosen ones
- Holy Odù ÌrosùnÌwòrì
Eniyan are the chosen. We have been mandated to bring about the Good Condition. Just as our people have been charged by Olodumare to embody the principles of Creation, so will Olodumare bless our endeavors to attain economic, political and spiritual freedom.
MONEY & FREEDOM
The marketplace has deceived you. That is, your social environment relentlessly promotes the idea that money determines possibilities. The equation is simple; more money = more freedom. This is not entirely true, however. In fact, it's quite deceptive.
In reality, the more money you have, the more you have to lose. In other words, the higher the risk, the more conservative you become. Why don't "good" cops speak out against "bad" cops? They are afraid. Why don't ALL Black athletes take a knee during the National Anthem? They are afraid. Why don't you quit your job and become an entrepreneur? You are afraid.
Money is NOT freedom.
Your priorities are simply those things that you need to do NEXT. I'm not talking about putting out fires or resolving conflicts or overcoming crises. When I say priorities, I am referring to those specific activities that have a direct relationship to your mission in life. Your priorities must align with your destiny.
True priorities begin with "WHY" and end with "WHAT." That is, WHY do you exist and WHAT are you trying to accomplish?
My work revolves around helping you derive purpose in your life, not just get results from your actions. There is a huge difference.
I have worked with so many people who have spent tens of thousands of dollars and travelled halfway around the world to get beads, pots and titles but they have no idea why. The overwhelming majority of the people scrambling from teacher to teacher and from tradition to tradition cannot clearly articulate how any of their activities connect directly to their missions in life.
They have fallen into the trap of putting the WHAT before the WHY and their accomplishments leave them hollow and empty as a result.
Everything meaningful begins with a clear definition of WHY. This is especially true when it comes to your spiritual journey.
Your highest priority is to get super clear about why you are seeking guidance, why you must accomplish certain levels of spiritual awakening and why ancestral empowerment is essential to your life's work.
Until you set these priorities, you will remain a customer, whose priorities are incorrect and your development will be defined by external market forces.
Your priorities consist of a short list of things that you must do in order to BE THE PERSON you know you are meant to be and MAKE THE CONTRIBUTION that only you can make.
When you look at your daily routine and you think that the odds are very high that these activities will GUARANTEE that you're aligned with your purpose, then you've probably chosen correctly.
Here's the interesting part, your priorities are probably not very pleasant. You don't necessarily want to do the things that need to be done.
Part of my role is to help you connect the dots between what you have to do and why it really matters. I help you see the link between the immediate actions and the ultimate goals, the most important of which is fulfilling your destiny.
Most people have too many priorities (and too much stuff on their altars!), The best way to fail is to try and please everybody. One of the first things I do with people is remove the clutter. You're distracting yourself with all these irrelevant options that just leave you running in circles.
Eliminate all the unnecessary options because ultimately, too many priorities means you actually have no priorities. I like the Haitian proverb that says, "Dog had four legs, but only walks in one direction."
You can only choose one direction. You can only excel at one discipline. You can only serve one person or cause. Get clear about who you really are and let your priorities follow suit.
FOCUS IS FREEDOM
As you limit your focus you also free yourself from distractions. Your imagination can run wild as you leverage all your resources in support of a single outcome, which is fulfillment of your destiny.
FREEDOM WITHIN A FRAMEWORK
A couple of days ago, I was chatting with a friend about my spiritual practice. At one point she remarked, "Oh, so you like order." My first response was, "Yes!" But in my heart I was thinking, "NO!" So, I had to think about it and then retract my "Yes!"
In truth, I am not much of a stickler on discipline. I just like the freedom that order creates. For me, the best example of this is jazz. In terms of rhythm, pitch and key, it's extremely precise. But in terms of improvisation, jazz is equally free flowing. This particular balance is what some people call freedom within a framework.
The basic idea is that the framework provides consistency and stability. Once you're safe within the framework, you're free to be as creative - and productive - as you can be.
PUTTING OUT FIRES IN THE RAT RACE
If you're like me, you would like to enjoy the freedom without having to manage the framework. It's cool for a while. But sooner or later, the lack of order will catch up to you. Next thing you know, there is all kinds of chaos and you're suddenly running all over the place trying to put out fires. If you have small children - or have ever had to manage a team of adults - you know how frenzied life can get without a framework:
You wake up an hour before work and rush to get ready. You shower at lightning speed, MAYBE gulp down something for breakfast, and run out the door. You get to work, still running and already overwhelmed. To make things interesting, maybe you're also late for a meeting or you're behind on a deadline. You spend all day scrambling to catch up.
After work, you eat dinner, sprawl out on the couch, and binge on social media or Netflix. You fall asleep around midnight, wake up the next morning and do the same thing all over again. By Wednesday, you’re burned out and know you won't hit this week's goals. How do you get out of this miserable rut? How do you create the mental space you need to be more productive and creative? Two words: Daily routines.
The first time I really learned to appreciate how a daily routine creates a creative framework was in college. I wanted to study abroad in Costa Rica but I had just transferred and my GPA was a little too low. I was carrying a full course load and I worked part time. So my time was extremely limited. My schedule had to be air tight if I was going to do everything I wanted to do. I remember writing my daily routine down and posting it on the wall above my desk. I kept another copy on the cover of my binder. There was no room for deviation.
My daily routine paid off! The framework granted me twelve months of tropical freedom and a lifetime of precious memories! Believe me when I say, being productive is just the beginning. The real value of following a daily routine is that it allows you to create the kinds of experiences that will make your life truly meaningful.
How do you want to live? Above and beyond what you want to accumulate and what you would like to accomplish, what kinds of experiences do you really want to create for yourself and the people you're destined to serve?
Daily routines set the stage for success and fulfillment. They help you achieve more, think clearly, and do what actually matters, instead of run around chasing shiny objects and putting out fires. Daily routines keep you from randomly stumbling through your day and make sure you get the most important things done.
All it takes is a bit of discipline, along with a routine that will set you up for real success. Here, I'm going to share my own experience with daily routines so that you can implement your own and start to create more perfect days for yourself and the people you serve.
MORNING RITUALS: JUST GET UP!
I invite you to go do a bit of research on morning rituals. You'll find that most high achievers awaken before dawn in order to prepare for the day. My mother - of blessed memory - used to tell me, "Son, you can get more done before 6 am than most people do all day long if you put your mind to it." In those early hours, you can execute the rituals that prepare you for the rest of the day while the rest of the world is asleep.
I know, I know... You're not a morning person. Neither am I! To be honest, I don't know many people who are. But you can - you should - train yourself to wake up before dawn for the many benefits an early rise can bring. The most important benefit of rising early is that you are granted more productivity with fewer distractions. You get time to think. You will also enjoy greater creativity because you can work when your mind is fresh, before the daily stress sets in. And, if that weren't enough, researchers in one study found that people with morning rituals reported higher levels of positivity and well-being. 
As soon as you get up, bathe and get dressed. If you dilly dally, you'll end up falling back to sleep... Just for five minutes... An hour later, you're later than ever! For about 5 years, I have been waking up at 4:30 am. Once I am up, bathed and dressed, I have time to do my prayers and meditation. If you're one of my clients, I have probably prescribed a morning ritual for you to recall your dreams and plan your day. Before dawn is liminal time, when the world is in between stillness and activation. It's the infancy of your day, when your consciousness is closest to raw, unfiltered mental energy. It's the best time to envision, clarify and plan the rest of your day.
Your end game is just as important as your opening. By implementing evening rituals into your daily routine, you prepare yourself for the next morning, evaluate your performance that day, and give yourself more incentives to get things done the next day.
Before bed, review your day. Start from the evening and work your way backwards, to the beginning. This is an important exercise that I have prescribed to many of my clients with great results. Not only does it increase your memory, but it also helps you come to a better understanding of how things actually unfold. Mike Tyson said, "Everybody has a plan until he gets punched in the mouth." How did you actually respond in real time? Where did you do well? What opportunities did you overlook or mishandle? What prevented you from doing your very best?
The answers to these questions will create more opportunities for you to learn from your experience and make the necessary adjustments for improvement going forward. So, the last thing you do before sleeping is to set your intentions. Psychology teaches us that children grow while they sleep. Teachers know that the mind processes information while you sleep as well. So, things you are introduced to on one day can be well-understood the next. What is the one thing you would like to address and improve upon tomorrow? End the day by sending your mind on an errand to retrieve the answers you need.
It can seem tough to ritualize your day. It definitely takes intention and discipline. Most of the time, it is much easier to just play it by ear and let things happen as they will.
But before you know it, you'll find yourself in a rut. Things will become too random or you'll be trapped in a meaningless rat race, scurrying from work to home to the market to pick up and drop off children at school.
The best thing about creating your daily routine is that you get to organize it around the things you WANT to do. You decide what freedom is for you and then you create a schedule that will enable you to enjoy it!
So stick with the process. You may find it tedious at first, but you’ll find your days will flow much more smoothly when you've committed to quality morning and evening routines.
If you would like support around creating and adjusting your daily routines, let's talk. I would be glad to help you achieve more of what you want.
RIDE OR DIE
Thousands of years ago, bridge burning was a military strategy used to sever the route between your troops and an advancing enemy. It also meant there was no returning to where you’d just been: You were committed to marching onward, no matter what happened.
Burning the ships was a very similar tactic. Legend has it that the practice originated in 1519, when Hernán Cortés set sail to Veracruz, Mexico with his crew. Cortés had defied the orders of his superiors and left Cuba on a mission to see the magical city of Tenochtitlán, which is present day Mexico City. He faced imprisonment or death for defying the governor if he returned to Cuba. So his only alternative was to advance. Those of his men still loyal to the Governor of Cuba conspired to seize a ship and return there, but Cortés moved swiftly and decided to sink his ships. With no possibility of leaving Mexico, Cortés marched into the interior, to confront the Aztecs. Burning our ships - like burning bridges - means there is no turning back to old habits and ways.
KNOW YOUR ENEMY
There was once a small bird who loved the woodsy northern climates so much he stayed until fall, instead of flying south for the winter. When he finally did leave, it was far too late in the season to be flying and he got caught in a fierce storm somewhere over a farm. The storm coated his wings in ice and he fell to the ground where he thought he would die. As he laid on the ground a cow wandered by and shit on him. At first he was angry and mortified. Then he realized the warm mess was melting the ice on his wings and heating up his frozen body. As he came back to life and struggled to get out a coyote who was passing by saw him and came over to dig him out. “A friend!” the little bird thought. “Let me help you,” the coyote said. “Stop struggling and leave it all to me.” “How fortunate I am to have found a friend,” the bird thought…until the coyote finished digging him out popped him into his mouth and ate him.
THE MORAL: Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy and not everyone who helps you is your friend.
THE PRISONERS' DILEMMA
The prisoner's dilemma is a standard example of game theory that shows why two completely rational individuals might not cooperate, even if it appears that it is in their best interests to do so. Two members of a criminal gang are arrested and imprisoned. Each prisoner is in solitary confinement with no means of communicating with the other. The prosecutors lack sufficient evidence to convict the pair on the principal charge, but they have enough to convict both on a lesser charge. Simultaneously, the prosecutors offer each prisoner a bargain. Each prisoner is given the opportunity either to betray the other by testifying that the other committed the crime, or to cooperate with the other by remaining silent. The offer is:
THE THIRD OPTION
In the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey describes six paradigms of human interaction. All but one is based upon polarized, dualistic thinking; somebody either wins or loses. Unfortunately, because the overwhelming majority of our people are employees and renters, we never actually win anything. So we end up like street gangs and prison kingpins who are willing to die on every hill without ever gaining the leverage necessary to actually OWN it. In this regard, maintaining any kind of win/lose mentality is painfully self-destructive. Every time you win, you actually lose. It's either we both win or there is no deal.
Recently, I saw an exemplary post on a friend's Facebook page. He's from Ghana. According to this post, every family in the church congregation is earning over 100K. Not only that, every high school graduate had been accepted to college. The only way you can get those kinds of outcomes is when the culture is organized around win/win thinking.
 Milovsky, Nicholas. "The Basics of Game Theory and Associated Games".
"The trouble with weather forecasting is that it's right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it."
- Patrick Young
Let's start with the indisputable fact that all information is subject to change. We cannot predict anything with absolute certainty. But what if you had the ability to really predict the future?!?! Imagine the things you could do, the problems you could avoid. Your confidence would skyrocket from being able to anticipate things before they even happen. Certainly, the power to predict is what has made oracles an indispensable part of every civilization on earth, since the dawn of time. From the Chinese to the Danes to the Aztecs and the Yoruba, you will not find a single civilization that has not traditionally practiced some form of divination.
In contemporary business and science circles, people don't openly speak of oracles and divination. Instead, it is more common to talk about "forecasting." As such, statistics, pie charts and graphs have taken the place of bones, shells and crystal balls. But the desired outcome remains unchanged: Get high quality information before your competitors so that you can take the advantage.
When I was a corporate consultant, my biggest client was Walmart. It was during that time that I was introduced to some of the ideas of Sam Walton, the founder of the company. One of his quotes really resonated with me and I never forgot it: "You can't just keep doing what works one time, everything around you is changing. To succeed, stay out in front of change." Today, Walmart remains the industry leader, achieving peak performance in its brick and mortar stores and in online sales, as well. 
Forecasting does more than create competitive advantage. When done strategically, it empowers and heals people. Stated another way, when people don't know that they are doing and why, it creates anxiety and sets the stage for underperformance. Forecasting clarifies responsibility and priorities and facilitates cooperation. As a healing mechanism, it gets the team thinking about cause and effect—what they can do now to improve future results or avoid some identified risk. In my personal experience, forecasting makes me a better leader and teacher, and it gets everyone on my team involved in helping our group to achieve collective success. 
Patterns of Prediction and Control
In a paper published in the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, the researchers show that potential entrepreneurs expressed reluctance to start a new venture in scenarios in which they felt uncertain about the options at their disposal, their ability to achieve their goals and the responses of their competitors (McKelvie et al., 2009). Think about it, most people hesitate when they are unclear about what is going to happen next.
Two main strategies to reduce uncertainty stand out in entrepreneurship research— namely prediction-based and control-based strategies. Predictive strategies focus on gathering information to estimate unknowns, whereas control-based strategies aim to shape the environment through proactive behavior. 
When we consider the Stages of Change theory, however, we glimpse an interesting intersection between prediction and control. The idea here is that change is a developmental process that unfolds in a consistent, five stage pattern:
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THE POWER OF PREDICTION
Prediction enables you to control your future by anticipating risks and opportunities. And if you engage your team (e.g., your family, coworkers, etc) in the process, you’ll find that the people around you are more likely to pay attention to their performance in ways they never did before. Now, for me personally, this is something that is really pertinent to my work in the classroom, as well as within the temple. So, what I am going to share reflects what I have learned until to date, as well as adjustments I will make going forward.
Here’s how to optimize prediction:
Based on these theories and practices, I have created a model to measure the effectiveness of communications in moving individuals towards behavior change through prediction. The model tracks individual progression from awareness to action. Depending upon the nature of the prediction and its subsequent campaign, the model seeks to frame up your personal and collective goals within a specified period of time. Are you ready to learn more about how you can use prediction and forecasting to support your personal and group planning?
Live the Medicine
Obafemi Origunwa, MA
Thought leader, Ifa priest and author of four definitive books, Obafemi Origunwa inspires metamorphosis through living the medicine that will heal your life and heal the lives of the people you're destined to serve.