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What I Wish I Knew Before My 20th Birthday

Pathway to a successful life



Pathway to a successful life

Copyright © 2018 NANA BEDIAKO BSN, RN, CCM

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, including mechanical, electronic, photocopy, recording, scanning and methods not invented or in common use at the time of this publication, without the prior written permission of the publisher. The use of short quotations or occasional page copying for personal or group study is permitted and encouraged. Permission will be granted upon request.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the King James Version of the Bible, copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee.


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This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher and author are not engaged in rendering physiological, financial, legal or other licensed services. The publisher and the author make no representations or warranties with respect to the completeness of the contents of this work. If expert assistance or counselling is needed, the services of a specific professional should be sought. Neither the publisher nor the author shall be liable for damages arising here from. The fact that an organization or website is referred to in this work as a citation and/or a potential source of further information does not mean that the author or the publisher endorses the information that the organization or website may provide or recommendations it may make, nor does the cited organization endorse affiliation of any sort to this publication. Also, readers should be aware that due to the ever-changing information from the web, Internet websites and URLs listed in this work may have changed or been removed.

All trademarks or names referenced in this book are the property of their respective owners, and the publisher and author are not associated with any product or vendor mentioned.


This book is dedicated to my lovely wife Linda,

My daughters Jada and Eliana,

All my friends and family,

And finally, you.


With deepest gratitude, I wish to thank every person that the Lord has brought into my life and inspired, touched, and illuminated me through their presence, love, guidance, and pristine advice.

My profound gratitude to Rev. Reindorf Mantey who saw this great potential in me, guided me, and pushed me beyond my limits to write my first book. Thank you, Apostle Alexander Gray; you told me years ago about this era of my life.

For generously contributing and sharing your wisdom, I appreciate you, Franklin Allakpo and Jeanette Kyei Mensah.

There is an African proverb that says: when you see a turtle on a fence, it certainly did not get there on its own. There are many people, whom I can’t even list, that have made a tremendous impact in my life. They have given me encouragement, spiritual guidance, advice, love, and so much more.

To Apostle Oswald Boafo, thank you for your weekly advice; you saw great nuggets of spiritual gifts in me. I learned great leadership and relational skills from you. Rev. Agyemang Duah, I grew spiritually hanging out with you; you taught me the need to study the word and pray always. Rev. Assifuah and family, thanks for our unique history.

To Rev. Assuo Mensah, thank you for all the encouragement and mentorship you gave me throughout the years. Rev. Mark Asante Manu, you were always there throughout every milestone of mine, thank you. Thank you, Apostle Dr. Kwabina Akufo, for your love and support. Pastor George Aboagye, I am very grateful for you.

To the members and leadership of the Apostolic Church USA, Royal Assembly, the Men’s Movement, Witness Movement, all the Apostles, Pastors, Elders, Deacons, and Deaconesses—thank you all.

To Lady Vivian Ofori and all my ministry friends and colleagues, you have shown great love and support. You’ve been there through thick and thin. Love you all.

Team Bediako, thank you for your patience and for sending Dad off to take care of Kingdom businesses.

Finally, my Heavenly Father, without You—I am nobody.


Life is like a soccer match; it is played in ninety minutes but can also go into overtime when the game becomes critical.

There are times when you can go down in the first half but win the match at the end of the ninety minutes or during overtime. Life is also in stages and, at times, can be compared to the life of a butterfly: its first stage is an egg, then it becomes a larva, it moves on to become a pupa (caterpillar), and then, finally, a butterfly.

This book is loaded with powerful insights that will be of tremendous blessing to every reader who cares to make amends or begin again. Minister Nana Bediako is a real blessing to the kingdom, and I recommend this book for everyone.

Live long and prosper as you go through this wonderful package.

Forward by Rev. Asuo Mensah

Founder and Senior Pastor of Love Embassy Worldwide,

TV and Radio Host at Multimedia Group Ghana.



Chapter 1 - Discovering Your Potential

The Power Of A Made-Up Mind

The Parable Of The Lost Son

The Beauty Of Wisdom

Vision And Dreams

Power Of An Idea

Chapter 2 - Creating Value

Chapter 3 - Building Relationships

Six Qualities of The Relationship Between Jonathan and David





What You Can Do To Build Better Relationships

Relationship Pruning

Some Signs That Shows Pruning Is Over

Seasons And Stages In Every Relationship




Joshua’s Transition At The Jordan River

Part-Time And Full-Time Friends

Chapter 4 - Entrepreneurship

Why Incorporate?

Go To The Ant


Chapter 5 - Investments


When Tomorrow Becomes Never, Dealing With Procrastination

7 Keys To Knock Out Procrastination

Let’s Look At Some High Paying Careers And How To Choose A Profession For The Future


You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you.

Eckhart Tolle

I used to doubt my capabilities. This book contains some of the keys that helped me break off the chains of self-doubt, and I think it will help you too.

I am very excited; I thank God for leading you to pick up this book and read it. For years, the Lord had laid this noble burden on my heart to share my testimony and experiences with you. My inspiration for this book came from my two beautiful daughters: Jada and Eliana. I have always enjoyed inspiring, motivating, and cheering them on to work very hard in achieving their goals.

Martin Luther King Jr. said it well: “I want my daughters to be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

I want to share the knowledge that I have acquired throughout the years and the mistakes that I have made—which I don’t want them to repeat. Most of these experiences have changed my life, and I know it will change your life too. I want to train my girls not to be limited by gender, but to be equipped to know that they can achieve anything that they set their minds to—and that they can achieve more than their parents.

A good person leaves an inheritance for their children's children, but a sinner's wealth is stored up for the righteous.

Proverbs 13:22 (NIV)

One of the greatest inheritances I can leave my children is knowledge: the blueprints to a successful life and sharing my life experiences. The fundamental principle is raising them in the fear of the Lord.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 6:33 (KJV)

This is the ultimate wish of God for His children: get saved, live right, support His kingdom, and get rich.

Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

3 John 2 (KJV)

When my oldest daughter was three years old, whenever she found it difficult to deal with a task, be it a homework or a game, she would cry and scream, “I can’t do it.” I would always tell her, “in this house, we don’t say I can’t do it; we always try, and if we don’t succeed, we try again.” Years later, I heard her saying the same quote to my youngest daughter. That touched my heart so much to realize that she has kept those words for years and actually made it part of her life as she journeys to the land of success.

And here is the prime condition of success, the great secret, concentrate your energy, thoughts, and capital exclusively upon the business in which you are engaged. Having begun in one line, resolve to fight it out on that line, to lead in it, adopt every improvement, have the best machinery, and know the most about it.

Andrew Carnegie

If you could turn back time, what are some things you would like to have achieved by now? What would you have done differently? What goals would you have set?

As you read on, you will unveil the answers to all these questions. You will also learn about the power of a changed mind, dealing with the fear of failure, the beauty of wisdom, understanding your purpose and potential, seed, the power of idea and imagination, creating value, how to build relationships, entrepreneurship, investment, giving, dealing with procrastination, and choosing the right job for the future. May the Lord grant you divine revelation about yourself and your purpose as you read this book. May you never lack. Amen.

Chapter 1

Discovering Your Potential

In life, whatever you want to change must first begin with your mind. It doesn’t matter your location, the house you live in, or the clothes you put on. If you don’t change your mind, nothing will change. The quality of your life is reflective of the quality of your mindset.

Let’s talk about change of mind—the place where you create what you want to see manifested in your life.

From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’

Matthew 4:17 (NIV)

The word repent means a radical change of mind that results in a change of direction. The kingdom is already within you, but to assess it, you have to change your mind—or simply renew your thinking.

The power of a made-up mind

Free yourself from any self-doubt or any negative thoughts that question your ability to live life to the max. We are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image and likeness of God. Say to yourself: it’s time for a change!

What have you fed your mind with? You are what you feed your mind. Begin to delete all the errors, and start to enter all the good stuff—by meditating on the word of God that clearly states how wonderful and gifted you’ve been created by God. Before the law of attraction, there was this Bible verse: As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. You attract what you think.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

These are some of the things the Bible admonishes us to think about.

What do you see? Robert G. Allen said: “The future you see is the future you get.” What images do you have in your mind every day? Free your hard drive and begin to download God’s divine purpose for creating you. Are you ready to change your mind?

This woman—who had been bleeding for twelve years—made up her mind to go out that day. She made a radical move: no matter her limitations. The throngs of people would scare just about anyone to give up and go home. Let alone the stress she had to endure to even get to her miracle. She began to confess the idea and desire in her mind. What she envisaged was a healed woman: “If I may but touch the hem of His garment, I will be made whole.”

And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:

For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.

Matthew 9: 20-21 (KJV)

This woman used the power of her tongue with her made-up mind. She was confessing her breakthrough and surely had it.

The Parable of the Lost Son

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons.

12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.

14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.

15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.

16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!

18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.

19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’

20 So he got up and went to his father.

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son’.”

Luke 15:11-21 (NIV)

The prodigal son thought: I am in the pen with pigs now, but I am not made to be here. I might be in this mess right now, but I don’t belong here. Your current situation is definitely not your final destination. He came to a realization: he could be better than his present state. He made up his mind to go back to his father. He was broke—he had lost everything, but the very moment he made up his mind to go back home, the change started. This can be applied to any weakness, addiction, or sin in our lives.

As a little boy growing up in Ghana, West Africa, I would look through magazines and would fantasize about all the beautiful pictures of the United States that I would see. I also watched the movie “Coming to America.” I always told myself that one day I would be in the USA. I had no family in the USA and no pen pals—but I had the images engraved in my mind. I saw myself walking on the streets of NY when I didn’t even have a passport. I believed God, but I did not know how He was going to do it. What I needed to do was to speak things that are not as if they were. I believed in the power of “building castles in the air”; for me, it’s building your world with your imagination.

My journey to the States was not easy. There were many obstacles I faced: applying for a visa, buying plane tickets, and even trying to find a place to live for when I arrived. In my mind, I was not going to give up. There were times I felt like giving up on my dream of flying to the States, but I had a made-up mind—and quitting was not an option. The challenges I had to overcome in the United States were numerous, but I was determined to make it with God on my side. You can create an achiever’s mindset. Set aside some time every day to work on your mind.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 12:2 (KJV)

I told myself many times I could never sing, let alone write or compose songs. I always preferred drama or poem recitals over singing in our church youth group, but my Youth Pastor Harrison Acheampong always encouraged me and pushed me to join the choir.

The first time I stood in front of a congregation, it was a youth anniversary, and I had to preach. I shook like a leaf for about 20 minutes; thank God, I did not wet myself. To say the least, I wasn’t impressed with my performance, but most people came over and told me how great I was. I then decided to do more and learn the techniques of public speaking. Today, I have stood in front of huge crowds to preach or sing with no problem. I simply had to change my mindset.

There was this uncommon desire to pursue my dreams, to achieve and build, and to be able to leave an inheritance for my children’s children. I was hungry to work for myself and also be a risk taker because I realized quickly it is way riskier not to take risks. For me, risk-taking is faith (substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen). Risk is not being sure if it will work but being ready to take a leap of faith.

The fear of failure is—and has always been—in our mind. This largely outweighs our desire to succeed. To do something you’ve never done, you have to become someone you’ve never been. You have to take a chance and know that the failures or mistakes you make are a chance for you to find a way to make it better. Many inventions came out of the junkyard of failure or shameful mistakes.

In the journey called life, the one who started and failed on the way is always better than the one who never tried. The first exams I ever failed really took a toll on me. I was very disappointed but quickly gathered myself together and reregistered for a second try. By the second trial, my confidence was stronger. I felt very comfortable because I was familiar with the exam room, set up, type of questions, and the timer. It took me way less time to complete, and I passed with a very high score.

An experiment was conducted with two rats (let’s call them Rat A and Rat B). For a period of time, Rat A was placed in a container of water for a few seconds daily. The rat struggled each time it was placed in the water. After a week, both rats were placed in the container; Rat A survived while Rat B sunk. Water is not a natural habitat for rats, but after a while, Rat A had gained experience by honing and yanking on its survival instincts and tactics, which enabled it to stay in the water for a longer period of time than Rat B. “Experience is not what happens to an individual but rather what one does with what happens to them.”

Fleming was researching for a "wonder drug" that could cure diseases. Ironically, it wasn't until Fleming threw away his experiments that he found what he was looking for.

Fleming was so eager to go on vacation, he left a pile of dirty petri dishes stacked up at his workstation before he left town. When he returned from his vacation on September 3, 1928, he began sorting through his pile of petri dishes to see if any could be salvaged. He discovered that most of them had been contaminated—as you might expect in a lab.

As has been well-documented in history books and on the Nobel Prize website, Fleming dumped most of the dishes in a vat of Lysol. But one of the dishes, containing staphylococcus, had something interesting in it.

The dish was covered in colonies of bacteria, except in one area where a blob of mold was growing. Around the mold was an area free of bacteria, as if the mold had blocked the bacteria from spreading. He realized it could be used to kill a wide range of bacteria—and penicillin was identified.

From that minor act of scientific sloppiness, we got one of the most widely used antibiotics today.

The Wright Brothers Wilbur and Orville were American inventors and pioneers of aviation. In 1903, the Wright brothers finally succeeded, after many failed attempts, in manufacturing the first powered, sustained, and controlled airplane; they built it on their own innovation. Two years later, they built and flew the first fully practical airplane. Through their failures, they were able to finally achieve their dream. The brothers started their careers as printers, started selling and later manufacturing bicycles, and then finally, started selling their aircrafts.

Thomas Edison famously quoted: “I have not failed; I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Failure does not mean the end; it should mean a lesson that will better prepare us for the next level. Edison tried the light bulb many times before he succeeded; he could have given up, but as he continued to fail, he was able to get rid of processes that did not work. Failure for God’s children is not failure; rather, it’s an opportunity to build faith in and with God.

That being said, the society in which we live does not honor failure. One of the best ways to foster innovation or learn is through mistakes. Failures are pivotal moments that urge us to take a different path to a better place.

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

1 Corinthians 2:9 (KJV)

There is greatness in you: jump and grow wings while you’re falling down. Don’t be afraid to jump out of the plane and open the parachute. If there’s a defect, open the backup chute.

Be hungry to change your life: someone’s opinion about you does not have to become your reality; it only becomes real if you accept it as truth.

Politician Robert G Allen said: “Don’t let the opinions of the average man sway you. Dream, and he thinks you’re crazy. Succeed, and he thinks you’re lucky. Acquire wealth, and he thinks you’re greedy. Pay no attention. He simply doesn’t understand.”

I remember an incident that happened about 25 years ago in Ghana. Students are required to take an entrance exam before going to high school, which they have to pass. Prior to the entrance exams, students are required to pick which high school they wish to attend. Students are expected to choose three schools. Every student meets with the headmaster or headmistress (principal) of their schools to fill out the forms for the schools which they have chosen. I picked three schools: my first choice was Mfanstsipim School, which is one of the elite schools in Ghana. Former General Secretary of the UN Kofi Annan attended this school. After I had finished filling out the forms, I left to go home. On my way home, I met a very close family friend who asked me where I was coming from. I told her about the activity at school, which included picking the schools we wanted to go to. She then went on to ask me what schools I chose. I listed all the choices, and she said, “Wow. All the schools you’ve picked are highly competitive schools. Do you think you can make the required grades to make it into those schools? You better go and change your selections.” (Be careful who you share your dreams with. Some people are dream killers.)

I thought about it—and believed in the lies that she spoke to me. I turned back to meet with my headmistress to make changes to my selections. She was very upset but gave me White-Out to make the changes. I made the changes to a lower level set of schools. As I left her office on my way home, deep down in my heart, there was a sense of uneasiness. A few meters away from my house, I heard a voice behind me say… (Isaiah 30:21 - And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, this is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left or to the right.) “Nana! Why have you made Me so small? Is there anything too hard for Me?” Suddenly, I started confessing: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). I shall be the head and not the tail (Deuteronomy 28:13). I will bring to your remembrance all that you have learned (John 14:26). Call upon Me, and I will answer and show you the unsearchable things (Jeremiah 33:3).

I do not know how I ran all the way back to my school without talking to anyone on the way. That day was also the deadline to submit school choices or any other corrections. As soon as I entered my headmistress’s office, I knelt down and begged her to please let me change my schools again. For those of you from Africa, you can imagine the fear. She was furious! I went and pleaded with another teacher—who is my godmother—to plead with my headmistress.

Finally, the headmistress decided to give me my forms to make the final corrections. My forms looked very ugly because there were multiple uses of White-Out and inks. After the correction, I went home without making any detours or stopovers. I did not mention the changes to anyone. However, some of my colleagues heard about the many changes I made on my forms from a student who was working in the office that day. Most of my classmates also told me I can never get into that school. Did I have doubts? Yes! I was not sure if I could make it into that school. I was beginning to believe in the opinion of this “evil” cloud of witnesses.

I had no idea that God was allowing all this negativity to prepare me for greatness. Most of my success had come from betrayals and people questioning my abilities and telling me I would never make it.

A week before our final exams week, I was infected with chicken pox. Oh God, why? I prayed. I could be kept out of the exams because it is very contagious. At the brink of starting the exams, I was not only totally healed, but I was determined to sit for my papers. I did not sleep well because of the infection, and l was staying up all night during the week of the exam. Most of my friends did not know what I was going through and might be reading this for the first time.

Because I was having sleepless nights, I was able to stay up for hours studying. I would go to the exam hall but would not feel any weakness: I was all set for my exams. God granted me favor, strength, a nimble mind, and a passion in my heart to drive me on.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time;

But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.

Though it tarries, wait for it;

Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.

Habakkuk 2:3 (NKJV)

A couple of months after the exams, the results were out. I came out with flying colors—the highest aggregate score ever in that school. Finally, I was able to make it into the best school in Ghana, which was my first choice.

All my friends came over to congratulate me. The news spread through the entire neighborhood; indeed, this church boy has proven that it’s always good to serve God.

Trust me; there’s nothing you cannot do. A positive mental disposition and a strong expectation of good things happening to you every day will make you nothing but a victor in life.

Believe in God, believe in yourself, and do not accept the opinion of others.

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