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Ife Tokan: 5 Things Strong People Do



A wise man once said you could arrest a man, but you can never arrest his mind; his ability to think and his ability to dream. Another wise man advised to always guard your mind jealously, because out of it flows the issues of life. The mind is the place greatness and failure starts. Wherever you are today is the result of the state of your mind and what you feed it.

Therefore, it is important to note that people with robust and positive mentalities were not born with it. They all learned it, and all possess similar key traits. Here are some of them.

They Don’t Cry Over Split Milk
In life, there is limited time, and there are few things within our control. It is better we invest in those things we can control such as THE NOW. You can’t change the past or control it, so why do you invest so much time in it. The only thing the past gives to us are lessons learned. I remember a time when I invested a good fraction of my savings into a business venture; to cut a long story short, I lost all my investment. This was shortly after I finished my university degree. Of course, I was upset, but one thing I didn’t do was drown in “my sorrows.” I took some time to reflect and learn from it. If we cry over the past, we will never move forward. I never met a man who gains constant momentum forward by looking back; the same principle applies to go ahead in life.

They Focus On Their Goals And Not Other People
During the Rio Olympics, there was a famous picture that went viral involving two athletes (Michael Phelps and Chad le Clos) competing in a swimming competition.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 09: Michael Phelps (L) of the United States leads Chad le Clos of South Africa in the Men’s 200m Butterfly Final on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

There was a quote that followed the picture which said: “Winners focus on winning while losers focus on winners.” Focus on your goals and stay in your lane. Even when you have your competition ahead of you, you shouldn’t still focus on them; when you do, all your efforts will be put into getting ahead of them which is not a sustainable way of winning. This is because most times when you get ahead of the competition, you become complacent. This is because all your focus and attention went into defeating the competition. The real way to win is to focus on the long-term outcome, even if it seems like you are losing in the short term.

They Don’t Let Fear Stop Them From Achieving Their Goals
Life is full of uncertainties, and this is what makes life interesting. Mentally strong people never let the fear of the unknown prevent them from trying, let alone achieving their goals. This is because they understand that fear is something that we create, and it doesn’t naturally exist. Every time fear kicks in, we must remember that we created it and whatever you are scared of, someone else who is no smarter than you has overcome it.

They Don’t Give Up Early And Expect Early Gratification
We live in a world where things are turned around quickly, we have two minutes Uncle Ben’s rice, next day delivery. However, strong people understand that same principle doesn’t apply to life. Whatever is worth doing is worth doing well and worth being committed to. When starting something new, whether it is a new job or a new sport, it is always difficult at first. However, difficulty is one of the key phases of success. In fact, I have noticed that people usually give up just when they are about to receive their reward. The key to sticking to it is ensuring that you do what you love and you will find out that what you do will also love you and make the pain of starting easier.

They Give Without Expecting To Get
Mentally strong people understand that true secret to long-term success lies in one’s ability and capacity to give without expecting to receive. You should understand that selflessness is not only a good trait, but it is a long-term winning strategy. Think of it this way, the reason why you purchase most things or you have a best friend is because you believe value is added to your life. You will never purchase something that doesn’t seem to give you more value than the price. With the same principles mentally strong people understand that to be demanded or desirable long term, they most add more value (i.e. give) than they receive.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

"Ife was listed in the Top 100 Outstanding Graduates by the Future Leaders Magazine, UK. He has interned in top global brands like Accenture, PwC and Deloitte. He is a big believer in giving back to the community through any capacity possible. He describes himself in three words: Purposeful, Passionate and Proactive. Ife loves building and mentoring future leaders." Twitter: ife_tokan LinkedIn Ife Ade Tokan


  1. Bibi

    March 25, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Nice article. I picked a thing or two.

  2. Diary of a girl with brown teeth

    March 25, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    I can remember growing up as a kid was very difficult for me because i had brown teeth and it limited the way i laughed or even to make friends because i felt they would laugh at me sincee they all hàd white teeth. I remember in my secondary school days , i was a boarder and we always have inspections on Saturday’s and we were asked to brush our teeth and i could remember my seniors telling me to use various substances like charcoal to salt and other things just because i was the only one with brown teeth and been told in front of the class i always feel embarrassed about it and pray for God to change the colour of my teeth to white like everyone else. I remember a friend of mine telling me i was laughing too much despite having a brown teeth and i just laughed it off. I could also those secondary school days, when i quarelled with a fellow classmate i was always told to go brush that my teeths were rotten and this also limited me from making friends, i also recalled seniors making fun of me because of my teeth and there was this particular day i got so angry that as they were making fun of me, i prayed silently that they will have kids with brown teeth. I remember people telling me they love my smile and most times i just feel they were mocking me, even when my friends tell me to smile while taking pictures i always feel like its not necessary because i don’t have white teeth like them and so the picture won’t be fine. Sometimes i bother about it and sometimes i just don’t care because every of my siblings and a distant uncle of mine had brown teeth and so i felt it was a family gene although my both parents have white teeth.
    I became less confident and more cautious of myself especially in public because i felt people were looking at my teeth when i talk or smiled. I was told yrs ago that the reasons for the brown teeth was as a result of a medication i and my siblings were given as children. Am writing this long epistle to let people who abuse those with brown teeth know that it’s not our making to have this set of teeth and also to tell parents to be aware of the side effects of medications they give their children because i was bullied alot for having brown teeth and would not want anyone to go through such. I am 26yrs old now and i am still struggling with building my self confidence especially in public. Bella naija please post this. Thanks

    • jay

      March 26, 2017 at 2:25 am


    • Theimmigrantsjourney

      March 26, 2017 at 6:00 am

      So sorry n feel i could change your teeth color, but of course i can’t. I smiled at ur child innocence when u mentioned praying for d mean seniors to av kids wit brown teeth. But the kids will then feel bad wtout commiting any offense to be punished in such way, imagine them going thru wat u go thru now? 🙁 How abt the seniors wake up wit brown teeth someday? That also doesnt help in anyway. I sincerely hope that somehow, u can someday look beyond your teeth color and inspire others in d same boat! Sending love and light your way! x

    • Anne

      March 26, 2017 at 10:07 pm

      I remember praying for bigger upper part as a lady, somehow when I travelled abroad, I realized it had grown bigger. Nothing impossible for God to do, people around you may not be able to conceive it. A man also grew taller in a crusade. Have you considered teeth whitening. I see dentists advertise it. If you feel uncomfortable about it. God can still help you. It is a personal decision. To pursue and trust or just manage it that way. He can do it miraculously or through a professional.


    March 25, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    After a long break from social media, am back to take my throne.

  4. BBB

    March 25, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    Well done Ife. We all need these little nuggets

  5. bruno

    March 25, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    5 things strong people do:
    they do not brag about where they’ve worked or interned.

    ” He has interned in top global brands like Accenture, PwC and Deloitte.”

    mr ifektive, really?
    we know ur type. ur the type that will write their entire CV on their instagram bio or Facebook bio. smh.

    by the way I didn’t read ur article.

    • Sandra

      March 26, 2017 at 1:48 am

      You don’t have to sound so salty, go and do your own internship. He earned his place in all these organizations and it’s part of his achievements so he can write it on his forehead if he chooses to.

    • Brenda

      March 26, 2017 at 8:10 am

      Well I think Ife should have spoken about who he is before mentioning his achievements. I also thought it was off. I mean you would not tell anyone, even someone on a first date or at an interview you were listed in the top outstanding Graduates before speaking about who or what you are. That’s why people like Bruno thinks he is bragging. After all the article, though great is nothing most of us have not heard.

  6. Theimmigrantsjourney

    March 26, 2017 at 6:04 am

    Learnt something from reading this! Thanks Ife!
    And the picture from Rio so on point!
    “Winners focus on winning while losers focus on winners”

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