Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
There is no doubt that unemployment is one of the major challenges currently facing Nigeria as a nation. Statistics and reports abound about the national issue, which stakeholders say deserve urgent attention.
For instance, the African Development Bank, recently at the regional presentation of a report entitled, ‘Creating decent jobs: Strategies, policies and instruments’, in Abuja, raised the concern that the unemployment situation in Nigeria was frightening and could become catastrophic if decent jobs were not created for the country’s youth population.
The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) in a similar vain has warned that the rate of unemployment in Nigeria may rise to 33.5 per cent next year from the current rate pegged at 23.1 per cent, noting that lack of employment opportunities and the shutdown of several companies are the reasons for the renewed fears.
Only recently, the World Bank Enterprise Survey showed that harsh business environment in Nigeria forced about 322 organised private companies to close shop between 2009 and 2014.
These gloomy reports notwithstanding, and with the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration trumpeting the diversification of the nation’s economy, little wonder Nigerians who are not interested in seeking the Golden Fleece abroad, are becoming deliberate in planning for their future.
Many people, including entrepreneurs, professionals, single parents, young adults are all taking deliberate steps to change the narratives and take control of their future.
It is in the quest to address the issue of unemployment, particularly among the youth population, that a vision board party was recently organised by Liz Taylor through her LizSpire series.
At Vision Board Party, many have stories to tell on how they have failed repeatedly in finding that escape route, for others things happened that left them without hope, while yet others are simply hungry to chart a path for their future not relying on paid employment.
A dream board or vision board, according to Wikipedia, is a collection of images, pictures, and affirmations of one’s dreams and desires designed to serve as a source of inspiration and motivation, and to use the law of attraction to attain goals.
It is a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal. Literally, a vision board is any sort of board on which you display images that represent whatever you want to be, do or have in your life.
According to Liz Taylor, a Vision board is a tool used by people all over the world to assist with clarifying, concentrating and maintaining focus on specific goals. These goals may be about lifestyle, work, financial, healthcare or indeed anything that a person chooses to focus on but works as a visual reminder and affirmation of where you want to head towards.
She added that a vision board can also help you to increase understanding of what you want and how you want to get there.
She explained: “With our annual vision board parties, we provide a platform for people to de-stress, be motivated, isolate empowering aspirations, remind themselves of what’s important in their lives and what they wish to achieve in life and much more.”
Taylor noted that the feedback has been positive. “We find people surprised at the impact of seeing their vision in one place, visually for the first time. Attendees are energized and highly motivated to go out and conquer their fears. In addition, they have a strong sense of direction and optimism about their future and life.”
Mrs Kuceli Adetunji, speaking after the event, said she loves the vision board experience because it puts her on the spot to deal with an important aspect of her progress that she would have otherwise procrastinated.
“What better way to plan your year than in the company of progressive minds and top-notch coaching with great food and music, active and fun planning with great coaching accompanied with lovely food, music and company,” Adetunji said. Mrs Ekerebong Akubo on her part said the vision board exercise renewed the concept of visualization for her.
She said: “Working alongside other people made it more fun. Listening to the perspectives of others helped me connect vision to action. I am looking forward to the goal-setting exercise too.”
Hajia Aisha Adamu, who owns Fantasee Park Kaduna, said aside being a great avenue to put her aspirations in perspective, it was also a great networking opportunity.
Multi-talented photographer, Wizdom Nicholas said he was intrigued watching different people draw their vision boards.
“It was a defining moment for me. Writing an epistle is not my style but as I embark on this journey to further improve myself, I decided to share my truth. The expectations on where I should be, who I should be mixing with continue to soar, and the question of who I am continues to resurface. But I would leave it at what Albert Einstein once wrote on a blackboard: ‘Not everything that counts can be counted, and not every thing that can be counted counts'”
Nafisa Aliyu, another participant said attending the vision board party made her more focused on how she could achieve her goals for 2020.
Right from the event, she said she had made up her mind to start working on how to improve her work and personal life in a very positive way.
Taylor, a certified life strategist, noted: “Having your vision is just one step. Your life flows in the direction of your most dominant thoughts. The next step is to craft the goals to help you achieve your vision. That is vision-goals-strategy – in that order. Things that are important should not be at the mercy of things that are not.”