Did you know the first recognised author of a self-help book was Napoleon Hill?

As far back as 1928, he started writing instructional books on how to get rich. His most popular title was Think and Grow Rich, a book that many people still borrow from the library today.

In that book, Napoleon Hill travelled the whole country, interviewing financially successful people, from Gerald Ford to Andrew Carnegie. His theory was that there is a simple formula, which anyone can follow to become rich.

In testing this theory, he made several observations, arrived at many conclusions, and offered many profound nuggets of wisdom, including this one:

“Cherish your visions and you dreams, as they are the children of your soul; the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.”

My friends, how many days old is the year 2020? 273 days. 273 days since you went for Crossover/Passover/Climbover night, and swore to God that 2020 would be different.

You promised to kick all your bad habits, and pledged to be a better person. You made a covenant to pursue your dreams and make 2020 a year of transformation. And you sealed your vow with the blood sacrificed to all those mosquitoes that were plying their trade amongst the chair legs on Watch Night.

And I’m sure you started living up to your word the very next day, right?

Now, 273 days have passed. How many days did you hold on for before you gave up and started smoking, eating chocolate, missing gym sessions, and forgetting to read a verse a day?

How many days before you lost your temper again, gave up on that free online course you started, had yourself a beer on a weeknight, stopped pursuing that promotion, and gave up on that business plan you were spending an hour on every night?

“Cherish your visions and you dreams…”

Uncle Ebo Whyte once gave us some useful food for thought about New Year Resolutions. He pointed out that it’s best not to make New Year Resolutions and opt for “New Day” Resolutions instead.

It does make much more sense to refresh your resolutions daily, rather than try to keep up some yearlong commitment to a massive change in your lifestyle.

Napoleon Hill’s advice teaches us something very important in support of Uncle Ebo’s suggestion: You need to treat your dreams as your children.

Children must be protected, nurtured, encouraged, guided, cherished and valued above all else. But most importantly, children must be fed.

Your dreams must be fed until they mature into reality, and the only thing that feeds a dream is action. Daily action.

Every day, take one action that will move your dream towards reality – just one action. Say no to one unhealthy snack. Do one set of sit-ups. Read one chapter of that self-help book. Share one bible verse with your WhatsApp group. Miss one cigarette break.

Let one annoying driver pass by without insulting them. Smile at one stranger. Spend one hour in a quiet spot, thinking about your dream, and what you will do tomorrow to move it one step closer towards reality. Your dreams are precious. You either feed them, or you abort them.

“…as they are the children of your soul;”

Your dream is beautiful, and it IS achievable. All it takes is a little action every day. These actions may seem small to you today, like grains of sand. But grains of sand make bricks, bricks make walls, and walls make mansions.

It may not seem like it to you, but, day-by-day, you are putting together the building blocks of your future. Like the man said:

“Cherish your visions and you dreams, as they are the children of your soul; the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.”

My name is Kojo Yankson, and no dream ever comes true until you wake up and get to work.