Saturday, 24 January 2015

THE POWER OF A POSITIVE PAST MEMORY


Every person has memories, they could be positive or negative depending on the individual experiencing them. A positive past memory is a beneficial or optimistic perception of a memory, be it bad or good. We all have a past, which is made of the good, bad and ugly experiences. We have all have that fun moment where we are filled with blissful melodies and appreciate life. We also have those days when we do not feel at our best so we probably feel lonely or betrayed by someone we hold so dear. But what happens when hit that ice berg and it thrusts our majestic ship off course or when meet the “Goliath” of our life, this can be a phase when we experience excruciating pain and download immense amounts of discouragement and demotivation. We all have that one moment when we face a challenge that spins our mind and probably overwhelms our ability to move forward past the incident.
We are groomed to love and live life but many a times, we are never prepared for the worst life can throw at us. We all can sense happiness vividly and can swiftly associate with people who are cheerful. Unfortunately happiness is never challenging, so we have a very minor gap of learning from it yet we are naturally conditioned to stay joyful. Seldom will one ever sit you down to take you through the “school of hard knocks” curriculum, and yet it determines how far you  go can in life or how many times you can get beat and still get going.  Many parents will strive to protect their beloved children from every tiny obstacle that could hurt their feelings. This is done out of genuine love for the children but unfortunately it robs the children of any opportunity to learn how to deal with failure or crises. It is against this background that many people most especially the youth get to stroll into the “real” world with little or no experience of dealing with negativity or bad experiences.
I believe there is nothing that is filled with only negative attributes and neither anything that is wholesomely good. I also believe failure is not always a bad thing, because it is through failure that one can gain the experience to tackle different aspects of life and crises with seemingly little wavering or fear. Any condition be it a sickness, loss of a dear one or even failing to achieve something of value should not be personalized because it limits one’s thoughts to a past predicament. If a person does not look beyond a current challenge, they not only deny themselves a second chance at success but also deny the world of their unique skills and knowledge. When we take a step to face our trials, most times we discover the only person we were scared of was our own selves. We fear we are not good enough to beat what lies ahead of us because we are scared of our own success but if we look closely, we shall discover we have the potential to overcome anything if only we choose to do so. Make an opportunity out of every memory you have regardless of the joy or sadness it may cause you. This is how healing blossoms in every one.



Wednesday, 21 January 2015

YOUTH AND CAREER CHOICES

Career is basically one’s calling in life. It is one’s unique path in life towards achieving their ultimate goals. Some people may refer to career as a form of employment that has been built over time. Every person is born for a particular purpose in life. They are uniquely groomed with personal skills in order to provide an exceptional service to the world. Each person is distinct from the rest of the other people in the world, has distinctive experiences and has distinctive interpretations of those experiences. These form the person’s personality, shape their understanding of the world and will later determine what they become passionate about. A passion can be defined as a unique quality that a person possess which makes them suitable to for executing a given role with ease. It is aroused by the activities that an individual frequently engages in. Passion is relative to every individual because people are gifted different but its key when determining what career a person pursues.
The youth today face major challenge because our education system values academic careers above all others, In fact it is seen through the school environment with teachers favoring those students that are academically inclined. Parents too play a big role in discouraging non- academic career choices because they never take time to boost their children’s talents. Back in the days, society organised its members basing on their abilities and contributions. The gardeners could provide food and the strong would guard the kingdom but gone are those days. Unfortunately, the Uganda we live today discourages the youth from developing careers in fields which are not academic. Every parent’s goal is to see their children attain a university degree but they put little or no emphasis on the children’s individuality and talents yet these are more significant for one’s career choice. This is probably the reason as to why we have so many unemployed graduates waiting for formal jobs yet they are gifted in many other monetary oriented fields that require basic talent and practical skills. I believe, like the famous psychologist Abraham Maslow that every person should concentrate on their calling, a writer should write, an artist should draw and a musician should sing.

Our youth can be saved from making wrong career choices if given the right support and guidance. Parents should appreciate each child’s uniqueness and guide them accordingly without forcing them into a career of their preference but rather encourage the child’s efforts in discovering their talents. Schools should develop a curriculum that supports a multi-dimensional talent approach so that the youth are given an opportunity to discover the activities that suit them in order to focus their energy on building on their individual passions in the different fields of interest. The youth should strive in discovering their unique passions and this can only happen if they are courageous enough to try out different fields of interest. This should be accompanied a strong air of confidence in their skills and talents so as to venture out in the world in search of success.

Monday, 19 January 2015

YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT IN UGANDA


Unemployment is a state of being jobless. Unemployment is not a problem that affects a distinct group of people but rather a chronic illness that affects all the people in the country without exceptions for one’s tribe, religion or socio-economic background. This is very common phenomenon among the young people in Uganda with the majority of the people of below the age of 25 years lacking jobs. Every year, universities around the country send out a vast number of graduates with knowledge in different fields of studies. This collection of a knowledgeable group of people seems to be something the economy and the nation should embrace with arms wide open ensuring multiple job opportunities for the graduates in the different fields of study. But unfortunately over 70% of the graduates don’t get jobs after finishing their university education, leaving many jobless but well educated people. The problem of unemployment among most youth in Uganda can be attributed to a number of factors that at times combine to make the youth have a low and unfair competition on the job market.
The most challenging issue that the youth are presented with is the lack of employability practical skills and experience that are vital for the jobs they apply for. This is largely because of the inability of the youth to convert the theoretical information they receive in class into practical knowledge that can be used to invent new and more effective approaches to solving problems in the 21st century. This is the most important skill that employers value because they aim at employing young and bright minds that can significantly ease their company’s dreams by contributing significantly to the company’s future. The second issue is lack of innovative ideas that can create jobs. Most of the tertiary institutions in the nation train their students to work within already established institutions as employees instead of equipping the students with practical skills that can be used to start private business entities. Lastly many youth lack vital life skills like self-awareness, assertiveness and emotional intelligence which are key in seeking employment and are essential in maintaining a job.
Unemployment is curable because several measures can be taken both by the youth and the tertiary institutions in order to combat the widespread unemployment in the country. Tertiary institutions need to avail information to its students in the different fields of study in a way that transforms classroom theoretical knowledge into a real life setting. This gives students a chance to develop practical skills that can enable them compete favorably on the job market. The youth need to develop multiple skills in different spheres of life so as to increase their employability potential. This should be accompanied by a good deal of confidence that can be shown through assertiveness and pride in one’s skills and knowledge. When youth are confident in themselves and their abilities, they are motivated to start projects or enterprises on their own or with fellow youth and it creates jobs for many other young people.




Monday, 12 January 2015

Life Skills- You need them

Life skills are character traits or abilities or actions that are necessary in making knowledgeable decisions that enable a person to overcome life challenges and live a purposeful and goal directed life.
Life skills include:-self-awareness, emotional intelligence, goal setting, effective social interaction and communication skills.
Self-awareness is one’s ability to have a proper sense of their self- image, self- esteem, expected gender based roles and assertiveness. A person who is self-aware is expected to hold themselves in high regard in terms of confidence, self-worth and have the ability to command respect by engaging in behavior that is expected of them by family, community and culture. The individual embraces the values they hold and are not afraid to stand for what they believe in and are able to make decisions with a high sense of responsibility.
Emotional intelligence is the ability of an individual to perceive, assess, and manage one’s emotions as well as others. A person who is emotionally intelligent can accurately perceive the emotions they are experiencing currently as well as the emotions of the people around them and use the emotions to facilitate reasoning so that they can appropriately respond to any situation or confrontation in a positive way. The person can easily pick up emotional cues or understand emotional meanings expressed by other people within the immediate environment and manage their own emotions without retaliating or offending the other people.
Goals setting is a means through which people set objectives in life and strive towards achieving them. It is very important in setting priorities in life and knowing where to concentrate one’s efforts. Goals are essential in programming oneself and motivating a person towards a desired aspiration. When planning to set goals, it is important to have a major goal or a “dream” to which one aspires to attain. This goal should then be broken down into small step by step achievable goals that the person can execute on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to inspire the person towards achieving the main goal. It is key that an individual sets goals that are S- specific M-measurable A- attainable R- realistic T-timely (SMART)
Effective social interaction involves one’s ability to create a social environment that encourages harmonious interaction, fosters cooperation, commitment to productive goals and individual roles among a group of people. The modern day world has increased interdependence among people who share similar goals, this has encouraged formation of different kinds of groups to execute various duties. Every group formed has task roles, social roles and dysfunctional roles.
Task roles are necessary for the proper execution of a desired goal, these include information seeker, opinion giver and an evaluator.
Social roles are necessary in providing emotional support to the group members along the way of attaining a particular goal to ensure the group functions efficiently, these include encourager, compromiser and expeditor.
Dysfunctional roles are responsible for the discord in a group, these include, aggressor, dominator and recognition seeker.

Communication skills is a means through which information, feelings, emotions and gestures are passed on from one person from to other people. For effective communication to take place, the person communicating should encode his or her message correctly and send it through the right channel so that it is well decoded and received by the person it is intended for. People need to have good listening and observation skills in order give appropriate and constructive.