Philosophy of Self Mastery II - Transcript of my Seminar Presentation at How to be Potentially OK Platform

A Seminar Presentation Presented @How to be Potentially OK Platform by Amb. Hammed Kayode Alabi. 

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Brief Introduction of Speaker

Hammed Kayode Alabi is an Educator, Career Coach, and SDGs Champion.

He wants to see a world where young people can connect what they do in the classroom to the practical world.

Hammed is the founder of Kayfactor Leadership and Career Academy (KLCA), an NGO that helps Secondary School Students discover their purpose using three pronged approach - Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Character Education.  Through this platform, over 1150 Students have been reached.

Hammed is a Youth Champion and currently working to monitor the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa through the Citizens Reports Initiative. This will involve him collecting citizens generated data and conducting citizen hearings for advocacy in three regions accross Nigeria to strengthen democracy, reduce inequalities and ensure development outcomes increase significantly for the poor. 

He is also a Sozo-Appalachian State University Grant Writing Scholarship Recipient. 

Ultimately, he is a fellow of the Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative (CYFi), a program of the U.S consulate in Lagos. CYFI brings together Nigerian youth of exceptional vision, skills and experience to design and implement projects that have a positive impact on Nigerian society. 


First and foremost, I want to appreciate you all for the patience. I had a flat battery and that's one of the many reasons why we are starting by this time. 
I want to appreciate the convener of this platform Mr. Opadiran Jesufemi Oluwatobi for the invite. 

My profile might look quite inspiring but I am here to learn from you all. 

I have been asked to talk about:

The Philosophy of Self Mastery II.

This implies that we are not new to this topic. 

So, if I may ask, what is Philosophy?

Anybody here! 

What is Philosophy?

Oluwayiose Daniel: 

Philosophy is the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline likewise as a theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behaviour.

This is just so beautiful. Three key things here....Knowledge, reality and existence.

Another is a guiding principle for behaviour.

Temitope Yisa: 

Philosophy can be simply be defined as a comprehensive system of belief.


Most times, we are influenced by what we think and how we think. We are influenced by our thinking patterns as well as the mental exercises that we go through. We are influenced by what we love and that drives us towards knowing and understanding things. All this is called "Philosophy"

Philosophy is simply the love of wisdom and knowledge. However, knowledge is just a branch of philosophy. Philosophy is a systematic and coherent thinking of the universe. 

It involves how we experience the universe in order to attain what is real, what has value and to question how knowledge is. 

Reality, Value and Knowledge are very three key concepts to achieving self mastery. E.g to master an act is to understand the value of that act, to gain knowledge in that area and to take action by feeling the act.

I believe everybody wants to grow and that calls for self mastery. 

What is Self Mastery? 

Self Mastery is the ability to understand self and be able to control self or be in control of self rather than being influenced by external forces. There is power in self. The power that attract all the goodness in life. 

The power that attracts what we feel and what goes in our mind. 

If I may ask, how many of us have philosophy? 

For instance, I don't start what I can't finish. I have been able to master the power of consistency/practice. This is one philosophy that works for me.


This is the ability to perfect your act through continuous effort. It might not be so perfect but almost close to perfection. The brain is created in such a way that it forms neural patterns and at first, activities is done with conscious effort and voluntary action. 

After a while it becomes involuntary and unconscious. So you do not really think before you do them. You are already accustomed to it. 

To explain this, I would like to use the Whitmore learning cycle as an example. When I was in 300 level, I took a course; Theories of Motor Learning. These theories are synonymous to how we learn any motor skills.

Voluntary movement takes place in the cerebrum but after several practices, it moves to the cerebellum and becomes involuntary. When I started writing, it was more of something voluntary. I had no Job and I had to engage people. 

I noticed that people needs inspiration and education. I wanted to write to give them hope. So, I carefully think about the topic I want to share. After several practices and writing many different articles, I discovered my style along the line. 

It got to a stage it becomes involuntary. I could see the topic from the environment and my story. So, I just write it. I write in the commercial bus, anywhere. 

Today, I have written 150 Inspirational articles but without consistency and practice, I won't figure all this out.

How many of us practice consistency?

Can you give instances where consistency has led you to mastering a subject or helping you in achieving something great?

 Stephen Oluwanifise Oyejide

I remember in 200 level, I offered a computer programming course CSC while as a microbiology student. I had to ensure I wrote some lines of code everyday to familiarise myself with the course. I had a B in the course and I was one of the few who did well in the course.

Jesufemi Oluwatobi

Consistency has helped me in several ways, through it, I have been able to write more than 20 life changing books, each one causing waves around the world.

Through consistency, I have been privileged to facilitate on several Platforms both online and offline. Among other testimonies, that's just the little consistency has produced for me.

Damian Ozoagu

I am a graphic artists... At first, I needed to make a sketch of what I wanted to design before I put them into the computer but now.... I just don't need to think it....the job will be "showing me what to do"

Whitmore Learning Cycle

According to Whitmore (1984), learning can move from incompetence to competence through practice. We are capable of learning anything that we set our mind to. 

The four stages of learning includes;

1. Unconscious Incompetence: No understanding 

2. Conscious Incompetence: Low performing, recognition of flaws and weak areas

3. Conscious Competence: Improved Performance, Conscious Effort

4. Unconscious Competence: Higher Performance, natural automatic effort. 

The problem is, many of us give up at the second stage because we get tired. We are capable of achieving anything with consistency.

Another philosophy of self mastery is naturality. 

Power of Naturality:

We all have our own natural environment that we function the most. We all have our own industry but we have failed to pay attention to it and keep chasing shadow. 

I guess you all must have heard of this quote: 

"Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it would live his whole life believing that it's stupid." 

So the fishes can best thrive in the water. They can move the way they like. 

Humans too have Industries. Right from time, I have always thrived teaching others. I understand educational and societal concept better. 

I volunteer with organizations, 80% non-profit. I deeply knew I was made for the educational and civil society space. 

I love working with people. I love mobilization. Well, I have tried chasing shadows, I tried venturing into the business world, but no spark. Even, the corporate world isn't meant for me. 

When it comes to Human Capital Development, Education, Facilitation, and Non - Profit. I loved it. So, my career is built around these areas. I was able to identify my natural habitat. 

We all have ours, if we pay attention, we will find it.

This is another philosophy that enables you to master yourself. The power of self awareness. 

Power of Self Awareness:

Awareness is the beginning of transformation. 

Who are you? What are your strengths? 

What are you wired to do? What do you love? 

What do you teach others ? 

What advice do people seek from you? 

What drains you? 

What energizes you? For me, failure  energizes me. 

What do you procrastinate? 

What do people commend you for? 

What is always holding you back? 

If you can pay attention to all these, you will find who you truly are.

Power of Self Improvement:

Apart from being driven by passion, I am driven by improvement. I want to know more. I am obsessed with improvement. Knowing more put you on a particular pedestal. 

It seems you know so much compare to your peers. I read a lot of books and articles about my industry and work. I attend seminars and even trainings in line with that. 

Knowledge enables you towards mastering yourself and opening your eyes to so many things. If you call yourself a Human Capital Development Expert, it should shown in everything that you do. 

There are several ways to gain knowledge and to improve.

Ways of Knowing

1. Authority: This involves knowing through books, seminars, conferences,
formal schooling and in depth studying of your work or particular field. If 
they ask you anywhere about it, you do not really need to think before 

2. Experiments: This involves knowing through observation, survey and sample testing.

3. Rationality: This involves knowing through right reasoning and how ideally things should work.

4. Intuition: This is knowing through insights. Ideas comes in a flash of insights and if you fail to take note, it will fade away. If you got any insights, quickly pen it down before it slipped away. 

5. Revelation: This is knowing through dreams and imagination. You do not have to be a cleric to see. The moment you are obsessed with your work and very consistent, you will begin to see things.

Knowledge is like a light. It brightens your journey and empower you with the skills you could never imagine. It breeds confidence and increases your boldness.

Another philosophy that works is the power of the mind.

Power of the Mind

The mind directs us. We have the power over it. It has two selves. One is negative and the other is positive. We have the power to allow the negative take over and the positive to take over. 

Thoughts are things. What we feed the mind is what it produces. If you train it to be optimistic, no matter how hard the journey may seem, it will direct you towards achieving your personal legend. 

Late 2017, without knowing the outcome, I followed my mind and attended the maiden edition of the African Youth SDGs Summit. I couldn't afford to pay for flight. So, I traveled by road and struggled to get there. Getting there, I had no money to return to Nigeria. 

My aunt rescued me and sent me money. I booked my bus using the hotel Wi-Fi and that was how I returned to Lagos from another man's land. 

Every night in Ghana, I do not eat because the summit didn't even provide the feeding for dinner. 

A lot transpired within that short period of time. So, during the event, someone was inspired by my work and asked me to send my C.V which I did. 

She asked me to fill a form, which I did and after some weeks, I got the  mail, that I have been selected as a Youth Champion on the SDGs. That I will be traveling to South Africa, all expenses paid to learn and study about the SDGs. 

Just following my mind to travel by road, I found more clarity about my work. I have gotten other opportunities through that trip and through the project I will be working on on the SDGs. 

I will have the opportunity to enter the National Assembly and engage the government on policy and development. I never thought of this but the mind kept pushing me towards realizing by personal legend. 

When you are optimistic about things, the mind will drive you towards achieving it. Paulo Cohelo said, "If you really want something, the whole universe will conspire in your favor towards achieving it or realizing your dreams." 

Your mind is powerful, use it to your advantage. Then show up! Take risk! Talk about your work! Be positive!

Power of Autosuggestion:

Always say what you want. If you want to be successful, say it! I want to be successful. There is power in saying. There is a form of attraction attached to it. I could recall while I was at the U.S embassy early this year for an interview at the U.S embassy for the Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative.

I said, "I will get in." I said, " I am here already" and I even told one of their staff that "I will see you again" when I got into the program. I met the staff again. Even whenever I am asked to talk and speak. I get scared but I tell myself "I can do it" and I do it anyway.

The Power of Persistency:

Don't bury your failure, let it motivate you. Between 2016 and 2017 and even now, I can't count how many fellowships rejection I have gotten or fully funded programmes. I never stopped and I kept applying. In the process of being persistent, you learn. 

There is power in trying again. There is a drive in it and as you continue to try again, you understand the person you are and know more. In the process of mastering who you are or learning a craft or act, you will fail but let it inspire you.

The Power of Self Esteem: 

You need to see your self high to be high. Despite the failure or rejection, you should hold yourself in high esteem. Some people might know more than you, they might be richer than you and they might have access to opportunities more than you. 

But they do not have your uniqueness and that is you. You are your uniqueness. Speak your truth. Always remember that, what you know and what you have is what is currently needed at the moment. So speak your truth.

Guys...then the journey of self mastery is continuous. As you continue to grow, you get to know more about you. You will continue to be different from who you were yesterday. 

I know I am not where I want be but I was not where I was. Guys, start early. Break barriers early, fail early, learn early and you shall see the reward. 

Some of the philosophy of disasters that affect people is that life starts at forty. When you fail, don't try again. If you fail, is not your fault. 

My assignment for you all, identify the philosophy that works for you. Develop a value system around it and identify philosophy of disasters that cloud your life and get rid of it. 

Thank you guys for having me. 

I am very humbled. Shoot your questions. Drop your comments, If you are inspired by this. 


  1. A highly inspiring and insightful article. Thank you Kayode for sharing this with us. This is certainly a topic that makes Omoponder

  2. One thing I like about Mr Kayode is that he knows how to convey his ideas in the simplest form and using the right words. He is master of coherency.

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