Reflecting back to my childhood, I used to be the child that hosts the other kids at play and whenever the day was boring I would wonder what the other kids were doing and go all out to seek them. Back in secondary school, having held class captain roles from primary school, I remember being able to interact with every single member of my class. Be you the “biggest boy/ girl” in class or the one that thinks he/she is a nobody, we would always find a common ground to get along or mess with each other (haha!).
University (and adulthood) showed up and I had become a lot more “careful” and mindful of my associations, while that might have seemed quite boring, it taught me a lot more about life. I still had that personality but it was reserved for intentional friendship and nothing more.
Now, learning more and discovering myself: my strengths, weaknesses, passions and life principles, social media aside (I still suck at keeping in touch! Working on that :D), I have begun to explore meaningful interactions with people where I work and whenever I have the opportunity to be around people. I enjoy observing the diversity in human nature: every man/woman is unique, there is something different about everyone, therefore different strokes for different folks.
Well have you read that book by Dale Carnegie- How to Win Friends and Influence People? I have but this is not an excerpt, this is my version 🙂
My writing ability remains a miracle to behold: I basically had to pray my way into it. Fear of mediocrity (or yarning dust), perfectionism, over-reliance on self motivation that wasn’t forthcoming and so on held me back like a curse. I would include “write…” in my to-do list everyday and then end up with a blank slate- “nothing to write home about”.
All my adult life I have always had series of notebooks I carry around like a purse. There I write down random to deep thoughts that show up in my mind from time to time. I would question myself, criticize myself, and ginger myself in these notebooks.
However I noticed something… each time I went through such exercise, it was usually accompanied by some kind of serenity or fierce will that previously never existed. It elevated me from mediocrity and momentary bouts of indiscipline to excellence and diligence on several occasions most remarkably while in the university.
I would hold “motivational talks” with myself and sometimes imagine myself speaking to some imaginary audience with me seated in the front row but whenever I tried to articulate them in writing I failed.
English Language turned out to be much more difficult than I thought!
Someone once asked me… “Where do you get your write-ups from? Those posts are beyond you!”
*blink* *blink* Awkward silence…
My posts are probably too advanced for where I am at the moment (I mean who am I to tell people what to do with their lives?) but somehow, I just can’t wait till I “get there” before I begin to share my reflections, lessons and observations. That’s like waiting to get home before telling my cousin who’s also on her way home where the keys are.
But then again, who am I sharing these with?
Well, yes you! However, these words are not meant for you alone, but for me too. It is like my “higher self” writing to my normal self and every other person out there that can connect to the topic. I am not just writing to an audience, I am part of the audience. Maybe that’s why I’m able to write with so much passion (or vexation): I am challenging myself as well to make better decisions and live a better life!
Experience is like an orange… what you squeeze out is what you get. You have to squeeze as much juice from your orange as you can get, taste it and then savor the sweetness or sourness of it.
Many people let their experiences go without getting anything meaningful out of them. They see and feel things happen but they never question, they never ask, they never ponder, they never wonder. They just live through them and move on to the next. Oh, what a waste!
Our life basically, is made up of experiences. From the day we were born till the day we die, it’s all just experiences upon experiences- our own personal experiences and the shared experiences of others.
And embedded in our life experiences is the key to great wisdom if only man would reflect.
An open mind, not limited by critical thinking and skepticism is one of the great attributes of a man or woman with wisdom. When you allow biased beliefs and opinions get in the way of your analyses or learning you hardly get anything meaningful or mind-enriching out of it.
When other people share their life experiences with you, it is not for your entertainment. Listen, question, ponder and reflect, there’s something for you as well. What lessons can you obtain from your own experiences and those of other people?
When you think of the word “angel”, you imagine someone who’s extremely nice and would never say NO to your requests, he/she would do anything else in this world but say NO to you.
Sadly, there are no angels on earth, you’d have to get to heaven to find one.
There are many factors that determine whether we achieve success or fulfillment in life or not and while hard work, diligence and determination are required to achieve and maintain that, your ability to say NO when and where necessary can decide whether you make it eventually or not.
The reason why some people are not where they want to be is not because President Buhari of Nigeria is slow and vague in making economic decisions, it is not because of the global recession, neither is it because Donald Trump will become President of America in January, 2017, rather it is due to their inability to say NO when they need to: NO to meaningless engagements, NO to popular opinions that lack depth, NO to requests that tamper with their integrity and self-discipline…
I have said NO a gazillion times in the course of my life. However, I have discovered that on growing up and becoming an adult, it has become a lot more difficult especially when your really close friend, boss, colleague or family member is giving you that puppy eye or stern look that tells you subtly that your future relationship depends on it or when the rest of the world who’s said YES seem to be having all the fun in the world while at it.
Sometimes I think that I am not qualified to give personal development tips and advice, I mean I haven’t broken any world record neither have I fed 5 thousand people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.
However, I have benefited greatly from my moments of self awareness and reflection. They have helped me ace exams, execute projects successfully and make better/ more rewarding decisions in life.
As such I have come to convince myself: Even if you do not become the richest or the most successful woman in the world, even if you do not live to see the next decade or century, even if you never achieve your dreams, by sharing your stories and positive thoughts, you can support and encourage others in their own journey through life; You can help someone else achieve much more.
And from my experience in writing so far, I have come to discover the truth in this quote:
“Form the habit of encouraging others, and you will find it a wonderful tonic for both those encouraged and yourself, for you will get back encouraging and uplifting thoughts.”
– Theron Dumont (Author: The Power of Concentration)
It is with this uplifting thought that I write this post. I sincerely hope that you’re able to tap into the positive energy and then let it flow graciously to those around you.
Times are always changing; situations are never always the same.
One day, you are comfortable, all is well with you and then another day, you find yourself in a tough situation but then you just can’t give up. You’ve got to keep going, you’ve got to thrive and not just survive.
Some days you wake up strong, healthy and happy, some days you don’t feel so strong, you probably got flu or something and then some days you’re just not emotionally upbeat. It just happens but you still gotta work, you still gotta make things happen, you can’t stop yet, you just have to keep going.
Maybe take some time to rest and recuperate but you know you’re going back sooner or later to make your own little contribution in the world either by the way of your work or your time.
So whenever you’re making or taking any life decision like marriage, career, and so on, remember to ask yourself some probing questions:
Would my love for this remain constant even in the face of life’s unpredictable circumstances?
Would I be satisfied and happy with this no matter how rough or tough life gets?
We can never be detailed enough while planning for the future; we can never be too sure.
However, we can take that leap of faith while knowing in our hearts that regardless of what the consequences are, life is full of second chances, and contrary to popular belief, opportunities “hardly come but once”; we can make positive changes and live mindfully, in appreciation of every single circumstance we encounter along the way.
I read a book today.. about a child that grew up in a home unfit to grow a child. He was molested, maltreated and nurtured to become the worst version of himself. Then everyone started calling him a bad boy, a menace to the society.. and guess what? He actually turned out to be the greatest menace that society had ever seen.
This got me thinking…
Why would we give up on a “difficult” child and abandon all hopes of his or her salvation? Wouldn’t it be way better to throw that child into a den of ravenous lions to be devoured and forgotten than to give up and condemn him or her to the worst of treatments (verbal or physical), in which he or she is reminded constantly of how his or her existence is a curse to the world for in truth, that would be the end result.
No one knows what the future holds for anyone be it a child or an adult. Even the good and pampered child, loved by all can turn out to be a murderer, drug addict and adulterer in the end. You ask how?
Life is made up of seasons (seasons of happiness, joy, love, sorrow, discomfort, pain, success and failure) and in each of these lie the test of our character and strength. Some fail woefully along the way, unable to stand the test of whatever values and discipline they have acquired in life.
No matter how much discipline a parent or guardian tries to instill in a child, eventually the child maybe an adult now, would have to develop and rely on his or her own self discipline to conquer life’s temptations and unavoidable challenges.
A child except condemned by God to end up a disaster, is still a child and childhood remains the easiest time to influence a life, a soul, a destiny.
As a parent or guardian, a great step in the right direction would be to make sincere and consistent efforts to get that child away from the “devils” (all forms of negative influence either in form of humans or technology), anything that could render your efforts useless. Emigrate if necessary but get that child away!
God has placed a destiny in your hands and whether you like it or not, you will answer for whatever role you played in his or her growth.
Never give up on a child, for that is the fastest way to condemn him or her to destruction and ruin. Sooner or later, the child will come into his or her own, a fully grown man or woman, fully responsible for his or her own decisions. What will be your own contribution? What gifts do you have to share to make this being the best he or she could ever be?
We like the beautiful and handsome; the one with all the swag and physical perfection.
We are attracted to the ones with the best diction and accent, the one with the perfect smile, the perfect speech, the perfect ideas and the perfect belongings, properties or acquisitions.
However, in the midst of all that “perfection” lay cast in the shadow the “imperfect ones” longing for love and affection; for a friendly word of hope and encouragement, an uplifting smile or a shoulder to lean on.
We are not even aware of their existence; we pay little or no attention…
When was the last time you said hello or smiled randomly at a beggar or a helpless kid you see every day on your way to work?
Have you ever stopped to chat with the errand boy or security guy in your work place?
Have you ever helped an old man or woman who’s weak and feeble with their bags or baggage on your way out? Do you even notice them?
Most of us in one way or the other are on a quest for perfection: the perfect job, the perfect spouse, the perfect boss, colleague or employee, the perfect friends, the perfect life! And thus we complain when the imperfect happens or is encountered.
We seek perfection in all our endeavors thereby failing to appreciate the little twists and turns that makes our journey more fulfilling and rewarding in the end.
A BLESSING IN DISGUISE
Every day in this world represents a great new opportunity in countless ways: a new business, a new investment, a new positive habit, a new job, a new home, a new idea, a new solution, a new friend…
Amidst the hustle and bustle to make ends meet we do not fail to notice the “perfect ones” among us; the ones with an “extra dose” of blessings that just seem to captivate us all the way.
We fail to recognise and appreciate the fact that life would be lacking greatly in meaning and substance if everyone and everything around us were perfect.
The poor and needy, the neglected kids, the elderly, the physically challenged, the slow learner in your class, the “black sheep” of your workplace or family with all the character flaws in the world- all these and more contribute to the awesomeness of life if only you knew.
The imperfections are God’s way of making us grateful for all that we have and all that we do not have. In the midst of all the imperfection in the world lies our opportunity to show gratitude and to enrich our own lives through reaching out to those in need of our good words and actions.
THE PERFECT ROLE WHICH IS OURS TO PLAY
Maybe we were made strong so we can help the weak find their strength.
Maybe we are physically able so we can help the physically disabled.
Maybe we are rich and successful so we can help the poor and needy live comfortably and probably discover their own path to a great fortune.
Maybe we are wise and intelligent so the world can be made a better place by our insights and ideas.
All in all, the lesson to be drawn from this is:
Be it in form of our words or our actions, we all have a favor to do for the man or woman, boy or girl next to us and most times we really shouldn’t wait to be asked before we do it.
We shouldn’t expect to be compensated for doing it.
We shouldn’t expect gratitude either.
We should, however, look up to the One who gave us the wisdom, strength and capability to do all that we have in gratitude and in hope for the grace to do more.
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There are so many ways by which we limit ourselves without knowing. Some of our thoughts, beliefs and lifestyle are the reasons why we are not where we truly want to be. They are the very reasons for our standstill or set back in life.
To get rid of every ounce of self limitation in you, you need to have a self awareness session with yourself: a moment of deep reflection and assessment of your character and personality, your beliefs and lifestyle.
How have you been holding yourself back from greatness? Have you been shooting yourself in the leg all this while? How have you been engaging in self-limitation? Let’s find out…
– You cherish your ego way too much
Opportunities for greatness can come from any source, at any point in time and in any situation. Having a personality that exhibits pride and arrogance can greatly hold you back from getting access to these opportunities.
What are the signs of an overblown ego?
You find it difficult to apologize even when you are wrong
You find it difficult to associate with others
You are too shy- yes, being overly shy can be as a result of being excessively self-aware and overly conscious of one’s self and ego- which is caused by the fear of making a fool of yourself.
Most people prefer to work and play with someone who is easy going and humble. Don’t limit yourself by choosing to satisfy your ego in all situations.
What would it take to apologize to someone you have wronged?
What would it take to make the first move to greet or say a friendly hello or hi to your neighbors and colleagues at work?
What would it take to start a meaningful conversation with a fellow attendee at an event or seminar?
What would it take to ask those who are more enlightened or knowledgeable than you for solutions to problems or answers to questions you have?
What would it take to cast your ego aside and make that move to live a richer and more rewarding life that appreciates the good in others and therefore, opens you up to the countless opportunities for greatness that abound in life?
– You have little or no faith in God’s ability to move you forward (not atheist)
Faith in God keeps us going in trying times, it gives us hope that all things will work for our good in the long run. Faith in God helps us to stay on track and remain optimistic even when the situation around us is greatly demoralizing.
For some, however, faith only exists when things are rosy and greatly promising. Send a little storm their way and alas, their faith will disappear into thin air. Their once optimistic personality becomes a thing of the past, their daily routine becomes whining and complaining about how the world has turned against them, how God has deserted them with no ray of hope of a breakthrough.
Well, how worse can it get? What or who else represents hope and greatness if not God? God is the origin, the beginning and the end of hope, of positivity and of all things good. If God doesn’t move you forward, who will? The Devil?
– You don’t engage in personal development
Personal development is a never ending journey. You can never have enough of it.
No matter how high your level of education is, how great your financial status is or how influential your network of friends and associates are, without actively engaging in personal development, all these might just fizzle out before you know it.
Personal development helps you to upgrade the good you already have to greatness and also helps you to get rid of negative attitude, beliefs or character that can hinder your path to great achievements.
Someone who doesn’t engage in personal development has more or less set a limit for his or her own growth and development. It’s like saying “I have it all, I don’t need any more than I already have”. Let’s be realistic, can you ever have it all? Can you ever know it all? Is it possible to never be in need of anything?
School might be over but you should never stop learning. Read books, watch videos, listen to relevant audio tapes, attend seminars and events with great messages to help you grow and be better physically, financially, socially, spiritually and in all areas of your life.
Form the habit of finding out the lessons in your experiences. What have you learnt so far in life? How much more are you willing to learn?
– You don’t seek and keep good network of highly impactful people
The popular saying goes: “Show me your friend and I’d tell you who you are.”
But with the present age of internet and social media, I’d say: “show me your contacts (or social media connections) and I’d tell you who you’re likely to become.”
Your experiences and associations have a very high probability of influencing you, whether you like it or not. When you go online, the kind of sites you visit, the things you read, watch and hear on these websites can greatly influence your character, beliefs and overall lifestyle.
When you follow or associate with people who don’t add value to you, people who post negatively influential information online, you are not only limiting yourself, you are also opening your mind up to destruction and ruin.
Seek actively for association with people who can potentially move you forward through an exemplary lifestyle and inspirational personality. Whether online or offline, let the personality of your friends and associates reveal whom you truly want to be in life. Choose positivity over negativity any time.
– You have low self esteem and no self confidence
You need self confidence if you truly want to explore the opportunities for greatness that abound in life. You need to have a moderate level of self esteem to start with if you really want to go for gold and not stones.
Signs you have a low self esteem are:
When you constantly give reasons why you are not good enough for one thing or the other
When you constantly shy away from responsibilities and commitments
When you think you need to lower your standards or under-rate yourself just to fit in or gain acceptance of friends, colleagues or associates.
When you constantly compare yourself with others in a way that makes you feel they are better than you (even when that’s not the case).
Having a low self esteem is greatly self-limiting as you are never really able to make good use of opportunities that come to you not to talk of going out there to grab one for yourself.
If you do not believe in your own ability or potential to thrive and be successful, who will?
– You live in fear
Many have surrendered to a life of sadness and despair caused by unfulfilled dreams and aspirations. While many claim to want success and financial breakthrough, only a few have taken up the challenge to conquer their fears and go for it.
When you allow your fears to thrive, you are engaging in self limitation.
Fear is what tells you that you will fail even before you have begun. Fear is that negative energy that sucks you dry of all elements of positivity and motivation to embark on your journey to greatness.
It is okay to analyze your strengths and weaknesses and be realistic about them. However, you should remember that your personality is not permanentand positive changes can be made where necessary in order to move your life forward.
Don’t let the fear of the known or unknown to hold you back from setting great goals and working towards their achievement.
Make a commitment today to get rid of all self limiting thoughts, attitude/character and beliefs that have kept you from achieving success in all areas of your life.
Your opinion of yourself matters a lot. If there’s anything in this world that can limit you, just make sure that it’s not You!