Thursday, July 9, 2020

Derive Joy From Every Win


I am really inspired and excited to be writing this and I think the inspiration to write it is coming at a very good time. If you pay close attention to the people around you and to happenings around the world, you will find that a couple of people are unhappy. Statistics show that about 1 in 4 people are mentally depressed.

Why are they unhappy? They are thinking of problems, thinking of how they will get to where they desire to be, bothered about the things that they are yet to have, the kinda relationships they dream of and etcetera. No one is expected to be happy all the time, however one needs to at least feel good most of the time regardless how things may seem.

So how can these unhappy people (who are constantly bothered about the things they desire) learn to be happy? I have a simple tip today which I believe will go a long way to help them. If you are already feeling good about yourself most of the time, you can share this tip with someone who you know is mostly down and adopts negative views.

And the tip is this... before I spill it out, there is a bit of context. I have noticed that a lot of people do not enjoy or celebrate the little progress they make at every point in their lives. A lot of them do not even take notice of how far they have come. To these people, they are always hoping only to be happy or celebrate when they meet certain criteria or achieve goals that look big.

For example, some people have these ideas of: I will be happy when I buy a car, I will be happy when I get married to someone with certain characteristics, I will be happy when I buy a car, when I travel to the Bahamas for a vacation, I will be happy when I get a particular job and so on. They imprison their happiness on certain conditions.

So these people become so fixated on the things they want, the things they "assume" will make them happy! And they forget that happiness is not a thing that is just gained by achieving an objective. How many times have you gotten to that point when you achieved something you have always wanted and hours later after the initial excitement and adrenaline rush, you begin to feel same way you have always felt? I can bet that a lot of you will agree that the excitement gotten from achieving something you have always wanted doesn't usually last too long.

So what that should tell us is that happiness isn't something just gotten by achieving just an objective. To be genuinely happy is to learn to build and derive joy from every step on the way. So when you eventually get to the "top", you are already a genuinely happy person and the additional excitement derived from getting there won't really die off so easily because you have become an ocean of joy.

I'm beginning to sound too philosophical.. but what exactly do I mean? My point is this and therein lies the tip: learn to derive joy from the little wins. Don't wait to achieve the biggest things before you allow yourself time to enjoy the little things you are able to have. There is joy in every little victory and the more you derive the joy in those things, the happier and more motivated you will get to keep working hard for the big wins.

A happy person working towards an objective is more likely to achieve that objective than someone who is unhappy for obvious reasons. You are either happy or unhappy.. I don't really believe there are in-betweens. Happiness attracts more happiness and that's probably why happy people find more and more reasons to be happy. And that's why they reach their goals faster. There is a certain positive energy that surrounds and follows you when you are genuinely happy.

Stop postponing your happiness. It is good to have big dreams and big goals, but never let those aspirations blind you from seeing and deriving joy from your little wins or any win of any kind.

If you do this, you will be amazed at how happy you will become over time. So just get off your head and be happy about the small things. Whether it is someone that smiled at you today or you got a job(maybe the pay is not up to a million dollars as you would have wanted.. haha), maybe you were feeling sick and you are now stronger, be happy about that. I mean, there are many examples I can give you, but I believe you are smart and you get the point already!

Let's learn to be grateful for the things we have and the things we have been able to achieve. It is no small feat and there are people wishing to be where you are presently. So learn to feel grateful and learn to be happy about any form of success that comes your way.. it may be in our career, relationships, your health, your going out and coming back safely.. anything.. just be happy and be grateful. Your joy will be multiplied.

Derive joy from your wins and keep winning!

Till next time,

Ike.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

What Happened To Victor Pride of Bold and Determined?



So after so many months without visiting his blog, I tried to visit boldanddetermined.com for some fired up articles only to get a surprise.. that the blog has been permanently closed and then there's podcast following from Vic Pride (now Brother Nicholas) claiming that He's now Born again and has given his life to Jesus Christ.

I didn't know how to feel. Whether it's good news or bad news will ultimately be up to us, but I just think I should share my thoughts about it here. But before that a brief background story.

Victor Pride has been running the motivational blog bold and determined since 2011 and he has actually inspired and motivated a lot of young men and women to break out lazy attitudes/habits to live the life of their dreams. 

Even though, I never really agreed with quite a number of his ideas about God, religion, the government, women etc, I still saw the truth in some of the things he said. And he had a very unique way of writing with gives you that adrenaline rush to get up and get kicking. I bet you, his writing style is worthy of emotion and it's sad all the articles are all gone. Some of his views were quite dangerous, but that didn't take away that unique ability he had to write kick ass content.

I believe he was a successful blogger given the following he had and the sales he made from selling his ebooks. He wrote mostly about Mindset, body building and entrepreneurship. And even though his blog contained some truths, I think something was missing which is what he later found out and probably led him to closing down the blog.

It got me thinking; as motivated as Vic Pride is and with how much he must have made from writing, why would he give it all up and quit? The answer suddenly dawned on me: Motivation, Mindset and Will power are not everything!

I thought hard about it and figured that he was probably too motivated that he excluded other components in his life which could have led him to find more meaning and happiness. He got to the top only to find out that it was lonely there. Money, good health and women aren't really all there is to existence and I think that dawned on Victor Pride before he gave his life to Christ.

Motivation is great. Without motivation, we cannot do anything. We will feel empty lifeless and weak.. so definitely motivation has a role to play to enable us succeed in life because it is through actions that we get things done. However, motivation may get you to be successful, but it's not enough to make you happy and fulfilled.

There are two components to being happy and fulfilled and they are: spirituality (a strong relationship with God) and quality of your relationships (how you genuinely connect to people and community). These two combined with motivation I believe will lead a much more fulfilling life beyond wealth and material success.

Those two components in your life will fill a void that no amount of money or success can fill. The void is always there to remind us that as humans, we are part of something far greater than our individual selves and if we do not connect back to that source, we will miss the mark and go astray irrespective of what we achieve.

I think that was what happened to Vic Pride. In his podcast, Vic admitted that he hated people! Which is proof that the second component was missing. He avoided people and felt that by enriching himself, getting as much money as he could and by being independent, he would totally be independent of people. But we are social creatures and no matter how annoying we think other human beings are, we are still connected to them in a way or the other.

It's not possible to be totally independent. It's not even real. No matter how successful you get, you can't take away people and connections. If you try to do that, you will lose yourself. People matter and our connection to them matters as well. We must be genuinely interested in working with people and helping to make our communities better the little way we can. That's how we find meaning.

There's joy found when you stop thinking about yourself and your ambitions for a while and look at your neighbor and try to see how you can make their lives better. There's joy when you reach out to less privileged people and see how you can help out. These little things give you meaning.

And then his opinions about God. He wasn't really clear about that. Many of his articles seemed to make it look like you are your own god. He was so focused on willpower that he failed to see that even though God allows us freewill, we are ultimately here to fulfill his will with that freewill. 

Relationship with God matters a lot. And it gives clarity to one's life. Life is too mysterious that you can't just say you came here all by yourself and the world somehow created itself with animals just forming themselves and stuff. It's too hard to believe that all these things started happening randomly without original design. Which is why it's paramount that one builds strong relationship with the creator.

I don't want to go into talks about various religions and stuff. But all I have to say is; as long as you strongly believe that God exists and you genuinely want to do good in this world, you will definitely find your way to do God's will. If your heart is true, you will experience an encounter that will make you commit to building a strong relationship with him, just like Vic Pride (now Nicholas) is doing. 

Religion in general helps us deepen our faith in God and even build better relationships with people around us. But without the motivation component, even the most religious people and believers still fail. Motivation is what fires up that freewill to do God's will and engage meaningfully with people around you.

So, those are my thoughts about it. I honestly pray brother Nicholas finds meaning and lasting happiness through his new found faith. The thing to learn here is: motivation alone is not enough, being successful is not enough. Finding meaning through serving God by doing what is right and genuinely caring about other people is what ultimately fills the void we all have.

Don't wait to get to the top to experience the "emptiness" and then start regretting it. As you're working hard, as you're fired up to excel and as you are reaching towards those awesome goals you have, never forget the place of your Creator and never forget to build strong relationships with people around you.

That way, when you get to the top, you wouldn't feel so empty. 😁 By the way, I have a confession to make; One of Vic Pride's article inspired me to start this blog, one good thing from bold and determined. I owe this article to him and I hope as he finds meaning, he can now be inspired to write much more balanced views about life, people and spirituality.

Till next time,

Connect the three components and keep winning!

Nigel.

Friday, June 12, 2020

How To Show People You Value Them


show people value


Hi guys,

Been a while! Lots of things happening around the world right now and nobody even knows what will happen next! There are ongoing protests right now over racism and police brutality and Covid 19 is still making headlines. These are really tough times for everyone as economies are struggling and social distancing is becoming a norm.

Despite these present realities, you don't have to alienate yourself from people or keep too far away from them because of social distancing. Right now more than ever, it is very important you show people that they matter to you and you value their relationship and friendship. Here are six tips you can take advantage of:

1. Engage them from time to time

We are all busy, that's true! I agree to that statement even though (on a lighter note) I think most of us are busy doing nothing.. haha. However, no matter how busy we are or think we are, we must discipline ourselves to make out time to engage with the people we care about. We all have 24 hrs in a day. If you sleep 10hrs(I hope you don't spend this much time sleeping though), you have 14 hrs left. If you work 9-5, you have 6 hours left for yourself. Out of those 6 hrs, taking out about 5-10 minutes only each day to contact people and at least ask how they are doing won't actually hurt you. 

It's good you try to reach out to at least one different person everyday. It mustn't be same person always, but just look through your contacts and engage someone. Engaging people you value few times a week actually means a lot to them rather than ghosting on them for a long time then returning in months to know what's up.

2. Respond Quickly When They need your Attention

The saying goes, "a friend in need is a friend indeed". When people need your help or expertise on something that is bugging them, how you react to them at that point actually matters a lot to them. You need to practice being there for the people you value each time they need you. Your prompt support and attention when they need you is worth more than money to them.

You have to understand that for them to need your attention or seek your help is an opportunity for you to solidify the relationship you have with them. If you usually don't care, return your calls or even text back your peeps when the reach out to you, it only means one thing to them ; "you do not value them"

3. Offer any form of assistance to them when you identify their need

People need to know you value them through your actions and how you are willing to support them in their goals and aspirations. This sounds a bit selfish and you may ask, "why are they not willing to support me either?" But the truth is: "we are all selfish in one way or the other!" And if you are waiting for people you value to do things for you before you offer your assistance or do things for them, you may be waiting for a lifetime.. lol.. And moreover, your relationship with them will be affected.

So what does a bold winner do? He/She takes the initiative. You don't wait for people you value to do stuff for you before you reciprocate. You can set the pace. Discuss with them, find out what their problems are and try to see how you can help them mitigate those problems. It must not be monetary, it may be pointing them to people, opportunities or helpful advice that can make their situations better. They will respect you, value you more and have the urge to help you too. I have tried it and it always works. The more you help people, the more they want to reciprocate the gesture. Win-Win!

4. Support Their Vision

We all have big dreams and bid ideas of what we want to achieve and where we want to be. That's what keeps us going, that's what inspires us and that is what gives us the hope to keep striving and never give up! The people you are really close to and the people you value also have their visions for the future as well. You will show them how much you value them by supporting those dreams. 

Don't bring them down or make them look stupid when they share their big plans with you. It may not look serious to you, but to them, you are hurting their pride and belief in themselves when you talk down their vision or refuse to support them. Rather than show a lack of support, you can help the reshape their vision into something better than what they presently have. Never look down on their vision, be willing to support or make positive recommendations where necessary.

5. Don't Forget their birthdays!

Birthdays are special to a lot of people. It's a day when you must make the people you value feel loved and appreciated. One of the worst sins you can commit is to forget the birthday of someone you value! It might not be intentional. Yes, I agree you may forget or maybe you had an important meeting and you never found time.. Whatever is the excuse, the person will not understand it that way. 

They may listen to your excuses later and nod, but deep down(subconsciously), they begin to feel you do not have time to even celebrate them on their birthday. I used to be guilty of this, but what helped me was, I started using web tools to track birthdays of people in my life and I set reminders to alert me whenever a birthday is coming up. Since then, I rarely miss any special birthdays. I call them, spend time talking with them and wishing them well. I even send them a gift if possible. They don't know how I am tracking these birthdays and stuff, what really matters to them is that I remembered and made them feel special. So, take advantage of tech tools and social media to never forget birthdays.

6. Compliment them and get them surprise gifts

Everyone likes a good compliment and so do the people you value. Are they looking good? Tell them. Did they get a nice hair cut? Tell them. Are they putting on a new nice looking dress? Tell em. Did they make you proud by a recent project they completed? Tell em! Are you proud of the way they delivered their presentation? Tell em. Was their voice sounding great during rehearsals? Please and please, tell em! We will never run out of compliments by telling em!

There is always something good you can say to people you value when you meet with them in person or communicate with them far away. Find those good things and just tell em! You have nothing to lose. You make them feel better and you brighten their day with those words. Other than words(if you have the means), sometimes get them something really nice that the will appreciate. Perhaps, they have been hinting on something they need to get or maybe you have observed they may like a particular commodity, get it for em. They will value you for that.


I guess that sums it up. Go forth and show those people you really value them. The world will be a much more beautiful place for you and me if we can show other people we care and they are inspired to do likewise. Covid or no Covid, we are humans and together we will create a better world; one where everyone has the potential and opportunities to be a bold winner!

Until Next Time,

Just Keep Winning! 

I'm rooting for you 24/7!

Nigel.




Wednesday, May 6, 2020

What It Means To Be The Change


So there's this insight I'm getting in my mind right now and I just wanted to share:
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Some people think they can only change the world when they do the big things, like getting to some high govt positions, starting a global movement or inventing something that has never been seen before etc.
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But they forget that with every action we take everyday of our lives we are actually changing the world for every one of us. No matter how little or insignificant you think that action is.
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Some things as trivial as saying some comforting words to someone who's hurting, sharing opportunities that may be helpful to another person, smiling at someone and even just dropping a helpful comment to fix another person's problem are actually changing the world in many ways than we can imagine.
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Look back at your own life and see how your present situation is a function of the input of everyone you've come across. From you parents advice to the books you've read, movies, friends, colleagues, down to all the search results, blogs and articles you've been reading online.
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All of these things were changing you gradually without your awareness. Everyone's input played a role in shaping you. Change didn't just happen overnight. It's an iterative process.
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So the idea of waiting till we start something big, till we are presidents, ministers or human rights activists before we think we will be able to change the world is wrong.
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The quote "change begins with you" is deeper than what you see. If you want to change the world, it has to start from being conscious of the impact every action you decide to take now will influence the next person around you.
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You will begin to see how important leaving that review online really is, you will see how important helping someone else in their struggle really is, you can will care a little bit more than you do presently.
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Everything will begin to make sense to you and you will see that with every conscious action you take, you are changing the world in a million ways that you can't even imagine.. not just for the present generation.. but your impact will span generations to come.
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Let's be the change we wish to see in the world. I think we've complained enough already. I used to complain a lot about things not being right and all that. But I realized that people have been complaining years before I was even born.. some have died just complaining.
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I didn't just want to be a complainer. We already know our situation and what's obtainable in where we find ourselves.. so rather than keep complaining let's be the change ourselves by paying attention to the most little things that we do.. I've seen this approach work much more better than joining the complaining bandwagon.
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I'm not saying complaining is wrong. By all means complain(it helps release some of the anger in youπŸ˜†).. but you cannot be complaining forever.. don't dwell in the complaining phase! It's only losers that continue to complain and whine about everything at every time.
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You must go beyond complaining to doing! To being conscious of what you're doing.. To doing the best wherever you find yourself and have the emotional intelligence to see how your actions would affect your neighbor.
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That's how every one of us can go beyond complaining to making changes in today's world every single day.. less noise, more work. Together, I believe someday our conscious efforts to be the change will culminate into the kind of world we dream of.
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Think about it.
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#Nigel

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Nobody Shows You What Happens Behind




Nobody will tell you that they have been applying to various opportunities and getting rejection mails..☹️ you will only hear the good news when the opportunity finally succeeds.πŸ™‚
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Nobody posts their ugly pictures 😣 on Facebook or IG.. they won't tell you how many pictures they must've have taken and deleted before settling for the one they finally post for you to see.😁
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Nobody tells you how many times they feel low, how many times they cry in private or how many times they feel like shit.πŸ˜– But whenever they come out to the public, you get to see happy, lively, charismatic and smiling faces.πŸ•ΊπŸ½
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No one posts pictures of when they were reading or studying hard to pass in school. But when the results come out, you will be the first to hear who got A, who got first class.. etc
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The entrepreneur will not tell you how many times he felt like quitting πŸ‘ŽπŸΌduring the early stages of his business..but when the business kicks off.. you will hear the net worth of the company!πŸ‘πŸ½
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A guy won't tell you when he was having sleepless nights and semi heartbreaks trying to woo his girl.πŸ’” But when the time reach, na the wedding invite you go see.πŸ’ž
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Point is.. we live a world where we mostly only get to see just the good end result of stuff. We usually don't get to see the full picture of what happens on the background or that failures even happen.. And that's why some people begin to erroneously think that things are easy for some people because they don't even know what is going on. They just assume.
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If you are allowed to know the full story behind most of the success stories that we like to hear, you will be surprised. You will see that there is really no point of feeling that you've not gotten there yet. 🀷🏼‍♀️You will even not see the need to envy anyone because everyone has got their own story.
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It's a wake up call to everyone who has allowed the things they can see to make them feel like it's their own situation that is the worst. There's a quote by Rafiki in Lion King I really like. He said "Look beyond what you see". Whatever you may be presently seeing is not really as real as what you believe and work towards achieving.
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Focus on doing your own little best in your own little world. If you're facing difficulties, know now that those difficulties aren't peculiar to you! The people who seem to be enjoying those things you want to enjoy today have faced those same difficulties before getting there. It's not something you can jump or hurry towards.
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If this post makes sense to at least one person, it has served its purpose.
#Nigel

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Where has our humanity gone?


When we were little kids, sometimes we will see a very dirty car parked outside and in our little minds, the stuff doesn't look right to us. Cars are supposed to be washed and taken care of. It looks absurd to us.
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So what comes to mind? We go closer, look left and right to confirm no one older is watching and we write "pls wash me." The ones with better GST skills will add "..I am dirty" to it. Plenty of us have been on this table.
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My mind cast back to this thing because I saw it today. As innocent children, there was a consciousness in us to at least attempt to make things right. If something doesn't look right, we tried to make it right by in this case "writing something". Thereby "speaking" on behalf of the vehicle to whoever owns it.
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This innate drive to make things better is why children don't keep grudges for too long. They play and quarrel, next minute, they're together again. Chaos and absurdity is naturally abnormal to them, so they keep drifting towards the ideal.
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As young adults, we begin to think that we've understood how the world is and how the government works. We try a few times to correct things and we fail, then we begin to accept that nothing else can be done about it. Why not leave things the way they are?
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We begin to develop a sort of indifference to things happening around us. And that's how our minds gradually starts becoming closed to stuff. Now you don't give a damn about most things. If no one's doing anything about it, why bother yourself?
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And without knowing it.. not caring about stuff starts becoming a way of life. Your neighbor is screaming out for help and you don't give a shit because it's not you or your family.
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It's now all about family first.. every other person can actually go to hell. We're desensitized to the plights of people around us. And all we're bothered about is our selfish interest. But when we need help, we expect people who are not family to come to our rescue, right?
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I don't know how we got here. But I hope the eyes of our humanity will be opened once again. A lil kid playing with other kids don't know which child is family, which child is white, black, Yoruba, hausa or Igbo or Christian, Muslim or traditionalist. A child just wants to play and be at peace with all men.
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Growing up, I think this has become a pipe dream. The more we think we've known, the more foolish we became.
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#Nigel

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Why?



Sometimes in the middle of all these daily struggle and aspirations to become something, to do something, to make impact, to be successful, to get married, and etc, I always ask myself the big question: why?
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Why do we do these things? Is it our way of finding meaning in life? Is it our way of keeping busy so we avoid our thoughts? Is it just the way the world is? Is it just to keep up with what our peers are doing? The big question is why?!
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Often times, we don't get to ask ourselves this question. We just follow the trend and we try to become like other people or do things just because other people are doing them. This leads to a lot of confusion. The trend is not always right for you!
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The danger of just doing things because you're pressured to do so without really understanding why you're doing it is that you will eventually find yourself dissatisfied and discontented, and when that happens you will not even be motivated to continue because you're like: what's the point?
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That's why you have got to clearly define the reason why you are struggling or working or investing towards anything. Is it just to make money? Is it the desire to fulfill a need? Is it love? Is it to be able to help others? Is it for you to be happy? Is it for the sake of your family, friends and loved ones? The answer must be very clear to you.
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When the answer is clear, even in the toughest of times, you will persevere and not give up easily. You will be having fun even in hard times. Why? Because you are fully conscious of why you have been doing whatever you've decided to do. With this consciousness firmly rooted in you, there is no problem or challenge that you cannot pull through.
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You must everyday remind yourself "why" you're doing anything. The worst reason you can give yourself is that "you're doing it because other seemingly successful people are doing it". That's very wrong because you are you! You're not someone else.
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What's driving them may not be same thing driving you. What's making them happy may be what brings you pain, so you find your own drive by asking yourself that question and answering it with all sincerity.
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None of us really knows how we found ourselves in this place called earth and none of us really knows exactly where we are going from here. But one thing is sure: you have consciousness.. you have your mind and spirit always with you. You know what's best for you. Discover your drive through "why?" and make the most of your life.
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#Nigel

Friday, February 14, 2020

Love is The Greatest

Love is such a beautiful thing. It drives you do things that you yourself never thought you could even do.
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I remember one time back in the teenage years I had to travel to Abuja all the way from 042 because of one girl I felt I was in love with.. under the guise of one personal development program which I applied for but really had no interest in.
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It was a risky thing to do because anything could have happened. But I did it anyway and it turned out a good decision because asides the girl, I had the opportunity to make some money from the program I didn't really want to attend.
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One time I had to stay late in one estate because of one girl, just so she could sneak out her house and come see me. Mosquitoes were biting me and I was scared of how rough the street may be as time went on, but thoughts of just seeing this girl kept me there.
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It was love that made me continue teaching my junior brothers mathematics, even after all my efforts felt like I was pouring water into a stone. I was frustrated most times, but love kept me teaching them gradually until they at least learnt.
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Some people have flown in from other countries to Nigeria just for the sake of someone or some people they love. Some people have flown out.. just to find love or for the sake of loved ones. Some have donated their kidneys and done blood donations just to see their loved ones alive and kicking.
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Do you know that wars have been started, men killed and cities burnt because of "love"? Helen of Troy, Mark Anthony and Cleopatra? It was love(the stupid kindπŸ˜†) that made King Herod unable to resist her daughter's request to have John the Baptists head.
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Love even made a whole Jesus(Son of God) even come down to earth and accept all sorts of insults from mere mortals just to ensure that you and I are saved.
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Such a powerful force of nature. Higher than anything else.. power, wealth, etc. Love is the greatest.
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In all you do, try to show some love. Even if it's to a total stranger. It goes a long way.. it's love that makes us like God himself.. because what other love could be higher than giving us the opportunity to have consciousness and experience this world with a soul and a body? God's love is the highest!
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Just as love could drive you to do positive things.. it can drive you to also do negative stuff. It's wise to allow wisdom and conscience guide one's actions.
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#Happy_Vals_Day

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Does it Matter?

Juliet was a lively and happy young girl in her teens. She was so full of life and always created an atmosphere of happiness wherever she went to. Her smile was infectious and she had a lot of friends and well wishers who were close to her.
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But it all changed one afternoon during a heated argument between her dad and her mom. The parents had thought she was outside playing with her friends, so they were unbridled in the use of their words.
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"You got me pregnant with that stupid kid that I hate." the mother said. "you destroyed my life and shattered all my career plans with a baby I never wanted.." she continued...
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Juliet had heard more than enough.. she was the product of an unwanted pregnancy and she was devastated. She went out without the notice of her parents and shed tears. Life became all gloomy suddenly and she was tired of even existing anymore.
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She refused to go hang out with friends anymore and her performance in school dropped significantly. Her behavior too changed. She was really hurt. How could it be that her own parents didn't want her? It was hard for a kid of her age to understand it.. so she was really worried.
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And then the school counselor noticed how Julie's (as she is fondly called) behavior changed over time and called her into her office. "What's really the problem Julie?" She asked. "This is not who you are. Are you facing any problems??"
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Julie was reluctant to answer the question, but because of how close she was to the woman, she opened up to her. The counselor showed compassion on the poor kid and was able to assuage her fears that she was not wanted. Then after a long pause, she told her something which changed her forever.
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"Julie, does it really matter if you were wanted or unwanted??" "I've known you over time and I see you're a great kid with a lot of potential." "Whether you were wanted by them or not doesn't really matter because you're here now!"
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"You're here to make the most out of your life. God has allowed you to be here. So whether anyone wanted you to happen or not should not be what is bothering you for now. Focus on being the best version of who you are."
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"Don't allow that to affect your disposition." "As a matter of fact, it shouldn't! You're here for a reason regardless of how you came.. so find that reason by developing yourself and taking advantage of the wonderful opportunities that each day brings."
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These words hit Juliet's core. She cried, but on the inside she was transformed. She hugged the counselor and left her office.. Julie went back to being as happy as she used to be. Her grades picked up and she was back to living her admirable life.
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You see in life, learning about some circumstances surrounding you can hurt you and make you feel like there's no point to even try to enjoy this life. But the truth is that your circumstances shouldn't really dictate how your life should turn out.
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We can all give plenty excuses and reasons why we should not go ahead to succeed, be happy and win at life, but the truth is that the excuses/reasons don't count. You have to rise beyond them. That's what makes you a super human and that's what makes you strong.
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"I'm not too tall or short", "I'm not fair or dark", "I was born in a too rich family (which made me lazy), I was born in a poor family (which tied my hands)".. "I'm too fat or too skinny".. "I'm too wanted or unwanted.." "I'm too beautiful or ugly.." "I know too many people that can't even help or I don't know anyone.." I this.. I that… the list of excuses can be endless..
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But guess what? You owe yourself the best life you deserve regardless of any excuse you may trick yourself to accept. You have no limitations whatsoever.. all you need is faith and a drive to succeed.

#Nigel

Monday, January 27, 2020

Sometimes You Got To Ask

Some people (myself inclusive) find it difficult to beg or ask other people to give them anything. This difficulty has nothing to do with pride as a lot of people may think, but has a lot to do with past experiences.
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People who have been too dependent on others in the past had to put up with a lot of crap. You know for some people when they are helping you or they're always the ones providing stuff for you, they begin to feel like they have complete power over you.
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They begin to order you around, they tell you what to do and try to dictate to you how to live your life. Some may even maltreat you. Although, not everyone behaves like this when they are providing anything for you, but a good number of people do.
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As a result of this,  people who value their self respect and their opinions learn the hard way to provide the things they need for themselves by themselves, so they don't have to put up with insults from benefactors and the likes.
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It works for them and soon they begin to see that it's possible for them to get the things they've been getting from others by themselves. It becomes a way of life and unconsciously they become more unwilling to ask for help even when they really need to ask for it. This unconscious unwillingness(as I choose to name it 😊) is not always good.
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Last Saturday, I was kinda stranded. I had some money in my account, but I couldn't recharge from there (kept getting errorsπŸ˜•). I needed to make an important call and I wasn't with any reasonable handy cash at the moment because I have to offset the N500 I was already owing MTN, before I could recharge(I don't know how I fell for that *606 borrowing promptπŸ€”).
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I had data and I didn't know what to do. And then a thought came to my head. "Why not put it up on your status that you urgently need airtime and whether anyone can assist you?" And then the other part of me said "Don't do it, nobody will listen even if they see it. You know how people can be.. you end up looking stupid.." but the smaller voice said, "Nigel, what do you have to lose? You can only try." That voice finally won and I put up the status on my WhatsApp.
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I forgot about it as I walked to my destination and in less than 8 minutes, I started getting notifications on my phone. I thought it was regular WhatsApp group messages , but to my surprise it was SMS notifications from different numbers who had sent airtime adding up to a total of 2,200. I had to quickly take down the WhatsApp status.
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I was bamboozled by the fact that people didn't only take their time to view the status, but also responded fast. I had to thank them all before I made the call I needed to make. I still had enough balance after that. Why did that magic just happen? I only asked.
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The point of sharing this message is not that you should start asking everyone you know for something(if you can provide it yourself, that's usually the best route). The point is that if you're that kind of person who never asks for help/assistance in anything you're doing (because somehow you believe nobody may be willing to help you), then you may need to reconsider your views.
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No matter how independent we are or try to be, there will be times when our hands may be tied and we will need help and support from other people. If we cannot ask, we cannot receive and we will be stuck. Yes, it's true that when you ask some people won't care, some people might ridicule you, but when you get to that point where you cannot do anything else, just ask! Even the Bible says, "Ask and you shall receive".
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The worst thing that would happen is that nobody responds, but at least you go home happy knowing you exhausted your last option by simply asking. However, often times than not, if you get to that point and you make yourself vulnerable enough to ask, you're most likely to be pleasantly surprised.

#Nigel

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Save Yourself Unnecessary Arguments

"Madam, please adjust, so I can sit down comfortably."
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"Where do you want me to adjust to? Can't you see that I've reached the end? I don't know whether some of you don't have eyes!"
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"But madam, no be quarrel.. I just said you should shift a little bit, the seat is tight.."
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"Something must be wrong with you.. where should I go, maybe I should sit on the window?"
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"You're the one something is wrong with… what do you mean by that.."
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And bla bla … it didn't end well(couple of abuses) .. but you get the gist already and have probably witnessed something like this play out in public transport. πŸ˜‚
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The thing about this scenario is that the problem could have been solved by just a simple movement from the person who was told to shift.
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When people ask you do something they feel you're supposed to do, somehow, they expect you to at least act like you've actually heard what they have said and do something to show some concern.
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Nobody would actually use tape or ruler to measure how many inches you may have shifted, but the simple act of moving your body(even if the net change from your present position is 0) goes a long way to calm the person who is making the request.
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What's there to just move or at least pretend to? Absolutely nothing. Will save us all the arguments and ethnic abuses. πŸ˜‚But No.. some people feel entitled to their sitting positions in a bus(when it's obviously not their personal vehicle). πŸ˜†
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I dunno, but 9ja is full of comedy on an everyday level. Entitlement people everywhere.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Stereotypes Can Be Wrong


Before my journey to the West, I already heard a lot of negative things about the Yorubas. I heard they're saboteurs that must never be trusted.. I heard they like "ofe mmanu" and like to add a lot of pepper to all their food. Some said they were not nice people at all.. I heard a whole lot of things.
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And then National Service brought me here to see for myself. My first landlord was a Yoruba man and a Muslim. I expected him to be mean and unkind, but to my surprise, he was the opposite. I've never seen a nicer landlord than this man. He took me as his own son. He made sure I had everything I asked for and never gave me any troubles at all. Even when I had to leave, he gave me extra months to arrange myself. "Was this man for real?"
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Sometimes he called me aside just to give me advice as a young man who was still trying to find his way. Whenever he was celebrating, he offered me food and drinks and cared to know how I was doing. The experience I had with this man Mr.Tajudeen debunked a lot of things I expected. He was very hard-working and worked hard to provide for his family.
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Then I was posted to a company owned and run by Yorubas, Mr. And Mrs.Omojoye. These guys treated me very well. Sometimes when my alawee was running out, they gave me something to manage with which was separate from what they paid as stipend to me as a corper.
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I never had issues with them getting letters for local government clearance or anything at all. They were very cool headed individuals and I tried my best to do what I could to grow their company digitally.
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Sometimes, Mr. Omojoye would share with me stories of how he started his own life and what he did right when he was my age. All I could do was listen in admiration. An accomplished accountant and businessman sharing his knowledge with me(a young man who he didn't really know for too long). I felt so privileged to serve under them. Mrs. Omojoye was like a mom to me as well.
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In my street, there was this barber.. a cool headed guy who was Yoruba. He knew a thing or two about everything going on in the area and was a  hardworking young guy who didn't play with his business. I admired his spirit of hustle. He wasn't lazy in any way. Very enthusiastic guy.
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I got to taste Yoruba food.. ewedu and Amala especially.. I couldn't find all the pepper and I enjoyed the food and other Yoruba foods I tried. No ofe mmanu there.
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The professionals I've met here are some of the most intelligent, honest and kind hearted Nigerians I've ever met.
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So then I asked myself.. the stereotypes about these people which some people spread around back in the east, where do they get their stories from?
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And it dawned on me that stereotypes are just stereotypes. Things aren't always the way you are told they are. Sometimes, you have to go out and see for yourself then discover your own truth…
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If you hear things, at least try to find out through experience. There are things you can't find out through experience, but stereotypes are things you can find out yourself.
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Not to say that all of them are saints, but that the negative stories about them don't apply to everyone. Just like the negative stories applied to my tribe or your tribe don't apply to everyone..
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Don't judge everyone according to what you hear about some of them.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Stop Expecting And Take Care Of Yourself



Growing up, I used to expect people to care about me or show me love because I lost my dad early. I craved for attention from people because I at least expected some sympathy from them. But guess what? Nobody gave a shit. And today I've come to realize that it was for good.
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Nobody gave a shit whether I had a dad or not or whether it was difficult for us growing up or not. Who cares? No one wanted to know that. It hurt me real badly at first as I hoped that those who were closest to my father would care about me.. but they didn't.
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Usually, this is a similar situation out there for people who have lost loved ones or going through challenges of life. A lot of people wouldn't give a damn whether you've eaten today or not or whether you fell down the street or whether you went through a heartbreak or lost your job.. nobody really gives a hoot. People have their own problems to worry about. So why should they bother about you?
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Armed with this realization, I eventually learnt how to care about myself, how to depend on myself and how to get what I want. I learned how the world worked and stopped expecting anything from anybody. I started developing myself. It was only God I looked up to.
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I started interacting with older people who were making impact in the society and discovered that a good number of these people had similar or even worse situations than I did while growing up, but they still pulled through. Some lost their parents earlier than I did.. some were abused/maltreated as kids by their own parents.. some had very traumatic experiences, but guess what? They dusted themselves up and made it. It was really encouraging knowing that I wasn't alone in my experiences and so far so good, I've found more reasons to be grateful to God than worried about stuff.
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I dont know about you or what you have been facing, but you're not alone either. Growing up without a loved one, losing someone you were really close to or passing through difficult times could sometimes seem like the end of the world. It may seem like everything is crashing down on you and no help may seem forthcoming.. but you must keep your head up and look up to God. As you're looking up.. do the best you can for yourself no matter how little. Don't expect anyone to do anything for you.. do what you can for yourself. Interact with people who have made it and learn from their own stories and challenges. Then you will find the motivation and will power to keep striving.
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This life, no one owes you anything.. it's up to you to create the type of life you want for yourself by planning/working towards it rather than keep expecting people to have pity on you and help. A lot of people will expect more from you than they are willing to give, so don't bank on their giving.
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I don't like saying that nobody cares because the truth is that there are some people who will actually like you for no explainable reason and care for you. But the thing you have to note is that you should NOT EXPECT it from anybody.
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Learn to care for yourself first. You deserve it because no one else can really fully understand what goes on inside of your head except you. Stop expecting people to care.. that's why you end up feeling hurt and sad because you expect people to do for you what you can do for yourself. When you begin to care for yourself.. you'll find yourself making more meaningful contribution to the world around you.
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This post is a wake up call to everyone who is passing through one form of dilemma or another. Believe me someone has gone through a worse situation than you and has successfully pulled through it.
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They didn't pull through it by expecting people to have pity on em. They pulled through it by learning how to take very good care of themselves and doing their possible best.
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This is a note to you: Take care of yourself, stop expecting someone else to do it for you.. work your way out of that difficult situation and ignore what anyone else says.. You will look back one day and smile at your problems.

#Nigel

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Need To Collaborate

Sometime last year during a training, I was assigned a task with one of my colleagues:  to take an important examination on behalf of the firm which would qualify us for some big businesses. The business required at least 2 people to pass the exam.
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We were given over 3 weeks to prepare. We took the courses, researched the internet individually and we both felt confident that we would pass. As a FUTO graduate, I no wan fall hands and my colleague (finished from UNILAG).. didn't want to fall hands either.
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We had points to prove. The D-Day came.. we walked in majestically into the computer test center which had cameras installed to monitor us and we took the exam. He came out before me, I took my time (mostly staring at hard questions).
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I eventually came out 30 mins after he did. The look on his face wasn't good.. the exam results were instant and he had already checked. He failed. He asked me to check mine.. I was reluctant to check ( maybe I thought that delaying the checking of my result would somehow affect the outcome πŸ˜…).
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I eventually checked and it turned out that I also failed in in flying colors..😁 just kidding.. we were both very close to the pass mark.. but we failed nonetheless. I was sad.☹️
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I reluctantly placed a call to our line manager to let him know we failed. He said he expected that(the exam was difficult) and already made provision for us just incase we did. But he told us that this would be the last chance he would give. I thanked him.
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Later, I took a look at the topics I failed from the exam review and I compared these topics with the topics failed by my colleague, then I discovered something:
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Most of the topics I failed, he got. And most of the ones he failed I got. He also noticed it. That was when it dawned on both of us that if we had collaborated and worked together as much as we should have, we would have definitely aced the exam.
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The lesson was very clear.
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We had two more weeks to retake the examination.. This time we worked together as a team. There was nothing to prove, we just wanted to ace the examination at all legitimate costs.  I taught him what I knew about the topics which he failed that I knew while he taught me what he knew about the topics I failed.. for the topics we both failed, we shared the tasks to research and share knowledge among ourselves.
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We created time everyday to revise together. Sometimes he came to my desk, sometimes I moved to his. Soon, it was time for our second shot. We planned to arrive hours earlier before our exam start time, so we could revise together. We revised, but we were still tense till we went in for the exam.
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We sat out the full 90 minutes of the exam.. I came out and I checked.. it was 97% .. way above the 70% pass mark. He checked as well and made almost the same score at 93%. We were both excited. We called our line manager and I jokingly told him we had failed again at which he kept silent.. then I laughed and told him I was kidding.. he had a good laugh.
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In life, not everything is a competition.. truth be told, some things are actually competitive.. but to get the really big wins, we need to learn to work together and put aside our differences. No one is perfect and no one knows it all, no matter how smart or intelligent we think we are.. we all need to work with people if we really want to achieve the bigger goals.
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At some point you've got to drop your perception of yourself and be humble enough to work with humans of different class and origins. You'll be surprised at how fast you can achieve your objectives working with different people than when you try to achieve stuff all alone. Even in football.. the best striker alone can't face a full 11 man team.. he needs the ball to at least be passed to him.

#Nigel

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