Enough of glorifying the hunter, Africa Lions can now write their stories.

lion | Characteristics, Habitat, & Facts | Britannica

I was listening to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaking about the danger of the single story on Ted talk. when I remembered Chinua Achebe wrote, “Until the lion learns how to write, every story will glorify the hunter.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story | TED Talk

Ngozi mentioned a quote from the writing of a London merchant called John Lok, who sailed to west Africa in 1561 and kept a fascinating account of his voyage. After referring to the black Africans as “beasts who have no houses,” he writes, “They are also people without heads, having their mouth and eyes in their breasts.” The only solution to creating a positive perception of the African race is to tell more of our stories. Africans must stand to the occasion, the musicians sing our own songs, the artists create our own image, promotion of arts and culture, the athletes break records, our scholars make us proud and our Government gives us the necessary support we require.

One valid point Ngozi mentioned about the single story is that it creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.

Africa is a continent full of catastrophes just like any other continent of the world but they have chosen to help write the stories of their lions. The negative publicity of these continents are overshadowed by the positive publicity.

We can help write the stories of Africa by our actions and representation to the world. It begins with me and you taking full responsibility to make Africa proud by desisting from negative actions. With 70% of Africa’s population under the age of 30, we as a continent are presented with a great opportunity and, possibly, a great challenge. Young Africans today are taking actions that not only have an immediate impact but will also determine the future of the continent for decades to come.

It starts with you and me!

I

Substitution

Making the first team and retaining a position in any team sport is a big deal. We have seen players cry or give an attitude when they get substituted by the coach. The case was not different in my last soccer game in my community. I felt I was giving my best to the team and was performing well until I got signaled by the coach to be substituted.

Many players had lost the motivation required to make the first team and also most players can not deal with the fact that they have to be substituted.

In team sports, substitution (or interchange) is replacing one player with another during a match. Substitute players that are not in the starting lineup (also known as bench players, backups, interchange, or reserves) reside on the bench and are available to substitute for a starter. Substitutions are generally made to replace a player who has become tired or injured, who is performing poorly, or for tactical reasons (such as bringing a striker on in place of a defender). it is the responsibility of the coach and his team who have a better understanding of the game to take this decision to ensure a better outcome the game. The fear of making the first team and not being substituted is also a healthy competition to increase the performance of players in the squad.

However, this is the sad truth, you can not retain the position indefinitely. you either retire, get old or get a better offer amongst all other reasons. This is the message I got when I was substituted. So I decided to share it with you, my friends. One day, you will definitely be substituted out of work and out of life. The almighty creator has different ways to substitute or retire us. The question is, what legacy will you leave behind and what will you be reminded for?

Let’s ponder on this thought this week.

Have a great week friends.

The Right Legacy (2) Every man dies but not all men lived- RIP C.A Onabanjo


Church History – The Apostolic Church Nigeriahttps://tacnlawna.org › church-history
 Cornelius Abimbolu ONABANJO. (Third African Superintendent, Old Lagos Area

I wrote an article years ago on the right legacy, see the link above. Yes, Evey man dies but not all men live.

I was astonished when I was told that after a decade, my family was still contacted by the establishment where my grandfather served to come for the posthumous award on his behalf. He ended up receiving 3 awards to his name.

I know a couple of men we still celebrate and their legacy lives on years after they passed. Sure names like Martin Luther King and others will come to your mind right now.

Making a legacy is about making a difference, a big difference. Building a powerful legacy is all about sustainability. The difference you decide to make will not count if it is not sustainable. Imagine Mary Slessor, successfully stopping the killing of twins while she was alive but the practice continued as soon as she died. Although she would have made a really good difference in her life it wouldn’t be counted as meaningful.

Legacy is not about just being known and famous and amassing a large number of followers, it’s about what happens after you are gone. Social media can be used as a tool for making a good difference because your voice can be heard in many parts of the world. Every minute of every day, the decisions you make all add up to your legacy and ultimately reflect your values.

Think Big, Think about the future, and think about life after death. always look out to opportunities and partnership that brings sustainable wealth and leaves a good legacy.


Church History – The Apostolic Church Nigeriahttps://tacnlawna.org › church-history
 Cornelius Abimbolu ONABANJO. (Third African Superintendent, Old Lagos Area

No Pressure, No Diamond!

Whether you have plans for your life or not, you’d feel the need to satisfy the basic need for food, clothing and shelter, and by the time these basic needs are met, there is a natural push to meet higher needs.

It is the quest to satisfy our long chain of wants and needs that we put pressure on ourselves. Growing up, I thought I would have everything I wanted in life at 25. I wanted to own an estate in my name, have at least 4 luxury cars, tour some parts of the world and be married with 2 kids. For a fact, my inability to satisfy these desires kept me pressured as I continued to undermine my small wins.

Pressure in manageable doses can energize and motivate you to perform and achieve. Too much of it, however, can tip the balance the other way. The trick is to make pressure work for you, and not against you. The key is to find the “sweet spot” between having too little and too much of it.

 As humans, we make plans on how life should go but it could end up sailing us to its shore.  Simply put, we could have the best plans in the world, have the finest dreams and even the best execution scheme and things wouldn’t go as planned and then are tempted to mount pressure on ourselves, compare our lives to others and live the rest of our lives thinking about the “what could have been”

Rather than applying this unhealthy pressure, we could get motivated into trying something new or exploring other options!

Philosopher Thomas Carlyle said, “No pressure, no diamonds,“ suggesting that a situation where a person is under pressure could give them a chance to demonstrate their potential.

All pressure is self-inflicted. It’s what you make of it or how you let it rub off on you. – Sebastian Coe

Internal pressures stem from pushing yourself too hard, or from worrying about your ability to meet other’s expectations of you and those that you have of yourself. We set goals for ourselves and give them timelines and we struggle to meet up, but we forget to understand that we are not in competition when it comes to the journey of life. As long as you are making progress, you are also winning. 

Most times External pressures come from the people around you, for example, you might be pressured to work in a certain way, or you are given a hefty workload that exceeds your capacity. Sometimes we feel overburdened by others’ expectations of us, or disappointed with the progress we have made on a task.

Health issues, financial difficulties, family responsibilities, bereavements, or a dangerous workplace can all weigh heavily and affect how we behave. In extreme cases, we may even feel pressured to take risks, or to act against our values.

Have you ever worked on a project with a tight-but-achievable deadline, where your knowledge and skill were vital for a successful result you became pressured? Chances are, you would perform averagely at best. There’s a subtle relationship between pressure and performance. When people experience the right amount of pressure, they often perform brilliantly. However, if there’s too much or too little pressure, performance can suffer.

How to Thrive With Pressure

A sensible lifestyle is central to coping with pressure, so exercise regularly. Maintain a healthy diet, and get plenty of sleep. These steps may not be enough on their own, so responding proactively to pressure can help you to manage its negative impact on you. Here are some strategies to help.

  • Stay on Top: Pressure is a positive force when you’re in command of the situation. Always start on time. Most times you Lose your sense of control when you are running out of time., and you can quickly feel overwhelmed and anxious.
  • Developing self-confidence in yourself gives a feeling of internal control and can boost your ability to monitor and deal with rising pressure because you believe that you are responsible for your success and that you can have a positive influence on the situation you’re in. 
  • Manage Your Response: With a positive mindset, pressured situations can be opportunities to shine, learn and develop. Use them as your motivation to succeed.  Always learn how to restrategize, and always believe there must be another option if the current isn’t working out. Such a mindset can help you to turn negative situations around so that they work in your favour. Always have it in mind that every problem has a solution.
  • Be Organized and focused. Prioritizing your tasks gives you control of your workload and enables you to directly manage it when the pressure starts to build. 
  • Believe in yourself. Pressure often stems from doubting your abilities. Try to appreciate your qualities and work on your self-belief.
  • Ask for Help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel under too much pressure. You can ask your boss, your colleagues, friends, family, or whoever is in your support network.
  • Forfeit every unnecessary and unhealthy competition or task. Such as trying to appear in trendy luxury items. This triggers the pressure to meet up with its financial cost and so on.

In conclusion,  Diamonds are formed because carbon is set under extreme pressure on the earth. Without pressure, it would just be carbon or maybe it would turn into graphite. This implies that certain outcomes cannot result without adversity or pressure in this context. However, we should be careful not to over-pressurize ourselves and maintain a certain level of balance.

Please understand that excessive pressure can trigger the psychological, physical, emotional, and behavioural problems associated with stress. So, being able to deal with it effectively is an essential skill. You need to be in charge and consciously respond positively to pressure.

Have you ever felt pressured? How did you handle it? Do you think pressure is necessary for growth? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments.

What Does Success Mean To You?

I was in an informal meeting with an acquaintance and she said, “once I have my dream job, car and mansion, I will term myself successful”.

I asked a group of friends what success means to them and these were their responses.

“Success to me is when I can afford everything I NEED (not want) and in the long run, make money while I sleep. That’s when I know I am successful.” Mr S

“Right now I think the only thing impeding my success is my marital status. Once I marry a good man with healthy kids, I think I have lived well” Ms B

Another one said, “ Personally, having my own multinational restaurant someday and owning a foundation where I am able to give  back to society will mean me successful”

Until the time I conceived this topic to write about, I hadn’t thought about what success means to me. Or maybe I had thought about it, but it wasn’t something I had registered at heart. I know I want to be successful. I work every day to be successful but until now, I didn’t know what it was I had to achieve for me to be deemed successful enough for me. I had no KPIs and it struck me to think that I hadn’t put any indicators to measure my success in the long run.

What does success mean to you?

Success for someone might be having a baby, touring the world, eating a particular meal, getting married to their soulmates, or changing the world.

Success is something that you have to define for yourself, and no one can do it for you. Success could mean a sense of giving back to the world and making a difference. It could mean a sense of accomplishment and career progression. It could mean being able to do the things you love.

I was at a conference where a lady I admired for a long time was a part of the panelist. This lady has achieved everything that I wanted for myself and did so gracefully. She has a flourishing career, she was influential on every platform and had followers and mentees, she was well travelled, and studied in one of the most prestigious universities. She was married with kids and pretty much had everything together. At the conference, someone asked this well-lived woman if she considered herself successful and she would respond in the negative.

I could never get over that response. But soon, I realized that I measured her success based on my definition of what success should be for me, and not necessarily what success meant to her.

There’s this misconception we have that every rich person is successful. We generally qualify success by the number of cars a person possesses or how many empires they control or even something as vague as the number of followers they have on Instagram or the number of designer clothes they own. Being rich is different from being successful. There are lots of rich people who feel they haven’t attained success, yet on the other side of the coin, there are average earners who live in the fulfilment of success. Being rich is owning lots of assets. Being successful is being able to live your life your own way.

I read in an article that in Indian society, a girl is called successful if she gets a good husband and family.

Success to some means freedom. For someone else across the room, success can also change its form from time to time. It could be getting a higher degree today, and owning a property tomorrow.

Success has been established to be a subjective term. For some, cracking a competitive exam is a success; for others getting a fat-paying job in a multinational may be a success criterion.

Are you so interested in being listed on Guinness World Records or Wikipedia before you deem yourself successful? Do you think you have to fall into the upper class, own your own business, and become a genius by any means to be called successful?

By establishing clearly what you define as success, you will start making decisions that support your vision. It will help you see the things you are doing and are working on, instead of seeing all that you’re not doing or don’t have. It helps you take charge of your life and it will make you feel good about yourself when you have ticked off goals from your lists.

Defining success helps you accurately measure and reward yourself accordingly without putting unnecessary pressure on yourself to reach an unrealistic goal. How you define success can determine how hard you’re willing to work to meet goals.

 If you know what success means to you, there’s a high probability that you are only committed to the things that matter to you.

Ultimately, your definition of success is important as it influences your motivation and drive.

According to Barack Obama, success isn’t about how much money you make. It’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.

“…How to be used in the greater service to life. Ask this question, and the answer will be returned and rewarded to you with fulfilment, which is the major definition of success, to me.” Oprah Winfrey

Other world-famous people have distinctively defined what success means to them. Warren Buffet, an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist said in an interview that he measures his success by how many people love him. And, when Mark Cuban – American billionaire entrepreneur, television personality, and media proprietor – was asked to define success, he said,

“To me, the definition of success is waking up in the morning with a smile on your face, knowing it’s going to be a great day. I was happy and felt like I was successful when I was poor, living with six guys in a three-bedroom apartment, sleeping on the floor.”

Success means different things to different people. There is no one way to define it. However, it is great you defined yours today because, in order to even achieve success, you must first define it.

We hope you enjoyed reading from us today. Do you agree with the opinion to define success to achieve it? Let us know what success means to you in the comment section.

Love and light!

THE CONCEPT OF PAYING IT FORWARD

How often have you heard the phrase, “pay it forward”? Do you understand what it means? Have you ever been that person who was intentional about paying forward a kind gesture or a privilege you enjoyed from someone in the past?

When have you been the recipient of kindness from a stranger? When have you done something generous for someone you didn’t know? Have you ever, because of some kind gesture you received from someone, replicated such a gesture to someone else?

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.” — Maya Angelou

The simplest way to define “pay it forward” is that when someone does something for you, instead of paying that person back directly, you pass it on to another person instead. For example, someone helps you with your task at work seeing that you have an increasing lineup of deliverables, in turn, you help another colleague who needs assistance with their tasks.

There is a Pay It Forward Day. This day is a worldwide celebration of kindness that takes place every year on April 28. It is not associated with any organization or foundation. The event took inspiration from Hyde’s book and Blake Beattie’s initial Pay It Forward Day in 2007. It started in Australia and has spread to more than 85 countries. It only lasts 24 hours but inspires communities to promote kindness acts throughout the year.

One morning in December of 2012, at the drive-through window of a Tim Hortons coffee shop in Winnipeg, Manitoba, a customer paid for her order and then picked up the tab for the stranger in the car behind her in line. Then that customer paid the bill for the following customer in line — and so on, for the next 226 customers, in a three-hour sequence of spontaneous generosity.

In recent years, social scientists have conducted experiments demonstrating that the effect of a single act of kindness can in fact ripple through a social network, setting off chains of generosity that reach far beyond the original act. When we are kind, we inspire others to be kind, and it creates a ripple effect that spreads outwards. Just as a pebble creates waves when it is dropped in a pond, acts of kindness ripple outwards, touching others’ lives and inspiring kindness everywhere the wave goes. I read that one of the largest kidney chains started when in yoga class, a woman named Kathy Hart heard about a 7-year-old boy who needed a kidney transplant. Although she was incompatible with the boy, she donated her kidney to anyone in need. This chain connects people who need kidneys along with their willing, but mismatched donors to other incompatible pairs to find kidneys for all recipients involved. This chain included 70 people in 35 transplants at 25 hospitals in 15 states. These special donors must be willing to give up their kidney for a stranger for it to work, but this act will literally save lives.

The concept of paying it forward supports the idea that once you receive kindness, you must be willing to give just about the same amount of kindness to someone else who needs it. Sometimes when people come to our aid or support us with a need, they may not be needing us to return the Favour to them as they may not require anything from us especially when we are certain there’s barely anything our little gestures can do for them. Rather than try to reciprocate, we could simply pay it forward. By helping others, you can significantly alter the course of history. You’ll not only make someone else feel better, but you’ll also start a domino effect.

The entire world might change if you spread kindness to three strangers, who in return spread it to three other strangers and the chain of kindness continues.

I have realized that as much as people claim to be generous and disperse kindness, the majority of people are only nice to people they can benefit something from. They are strategically nice or kinder to a particular class of people with the hopes of a favour to be returned in the near future. When last did you show kindness to someone who may never be able to repay you? When last did you help someone who may never see you again to return the Favour? These questions practically explain the concept of paying it forward.

The pay-it-forward concept tells us that we can make a difference in the lives of others and it glorifies random acts of kindness. It tells us that when someone is kind to us, it’s a good idea to repay mankind several times over by doing good things for others. Ultimately, the person paying it forward grows as much as the person receiving the act of kindness.

No act of kindness is too small, especially if you are giving it to people who need it. The idea to pay it forward can work anywhere and in every situation. You can pay it forward at your job, at your church, at the park or while you are at your routine morning jogging. When someone shows you kindness, don’t stop the chain. Think of what or how you would have coped through that situation had you gotten help when you did. Then, think about other people who are stuck in a situation that you can easily help them through. You will influence more people through your actions than your words, and one person at a time, we can make the world a better place.

We hope that this article encourages you to indulge in random acts of kindness. We hope that you remember to pay it forward and continue a chain of generosity. Have you ever paid an act of kindness forward?

We’d love to read from you in the comments.

DEALING WITH CHANGE

Just as the earth rotates around its axis, revolving around the sun, triggering day and night and different seasons and weather which inversely impacts human daily activities, so is life dynamic. There is nothing constant in life. Even the earth on which we live our daily lives changes its position to give us time and seasons. No wonder it is said that there is nothing constant in life except change. Therefore, whatever we do in life, we must expect and be open to change whether Favourable or unfavourable.

Human biological formation and growth is itself dynamic. The sperm and ova come together to form a zygote, transport itself to the womb, forms a baby, comes out of the womb and the growth or changes continue till death. human life and its environment have to deal with change. Therefore change has been a major part of human existence.

We experience transitions in work and relationships, changes in our physical and mental health, or a loss of a loved one. Many people spend a great deal of effort trying to avoid change especially when it seems inconvenient or unfavourable to us. Most times, it forces itself on us.

On the other hand, we may long for change hoping for it to be favourable.We keep adapting to changes every minute of our lives unknowingly. Imagine sleeping late at night very weak in very cold and rainy weather. Within a twinkle of an eye, your alarm blares reminding you that you have to wake up and prepare for work, you inconveniently struggle to rise from your bed and so on. None of these is convenient but you adapt because the world moves on and doesn’t wait for you even in your inconveniences. Therefore is it a necessity and mandatory that you deal with whatever changes; negative or positive because life must continue.

POSITIVE CHANGE: when we talk about positive changes, it does not necessarily mean that they will be favourable or convenient. It is positive probably because it was what we desired. For instance, most secondary school graduates would desire the good news of being offered admission into a higher institution of learning. A very laudable transition but would take lots of inconveniences to scale through it. You study day and night, you attend lectures even at your inconvenience and this is you dealing with this positive change of being in an institution of higher learning. You have to inconvenience yourself to scale through.

Positive change can either comfort you or discomfort you. There is lot of good news that demands more inconvenience to handle.

NEGATIVE CHANGE: Just like the case of a positive change, not all negative changes are unfavourable. An example is a broken relationship that leads one into a relationship that is perfect and happy ever after. The death of a loved one or dismissal from work opens more prosperous opportunities. Some negative changes can help one leap into areas of growth, nevertheless, the negative changes have to be dealt with as humans.

Ultimately, change requires adjustments. Sometimes these can be small things like finding a new way to do something or adding a new step to some of your daily routines. In other cases, you might find that change introduces significant disruptions to the way you live your life. This can create stress or feelings of anxiety and depression in some cases.This doesn’t mean change is always bad because even good changes you are excited about can be stress-inducing. Things might not have been perfect before, but you may have been comfortable in your previous state of equilibrium. You had a routine. You knew what to expect, so you weren’t thrown off by surprises or unexpected challenges.

As change happens, your routines are disrupted. You suddenly have to adapt as you are pushed further and further out of your comfort zone.

Finally, whether change happens unexpectedly or not, you have to keep an eye on the future and prepare yourself mentally. The way you think about change plays a major role in determining how well you deal with it. Being closed-minded can undermine your ability to focus on the positive side. When negative thoughts bog you down, it becomes more challenging to have faith in your coping abilities. You can’t always control change, you can manage how you respond to those changes.

Developing a positive mindset is a great way to promote resilience. Make lemonade out of a lemon.

Happy new month Brilliant people. We wish you the best of the new month!

Learning To Forgive Yourself

Yes, self-forgiveness is a thing. It means having compassion for yourself. It means letting go of the resentment and anger you have towards yourself for a past mistake or failure or a decision you made when you didn’t know any better.

Some people are open about how they find it hard to forgive themselves for an injudicious decision they made that probably ruined the perfect plans they had for themselves.

It could be that you didn’t prepare well enough for an exam you could have easily aced, which made you repeat a semester or getting pregnant at a young age which slowed down your dreams of finishing school in time and kicking off with a profitable career like the rest of your peers.

It could be how unfairly you treated someone when you were not as enlightened as you are now, it could be not voicing out how you truly felt about someone when you had the chance to. It could be hurting a friend or disappointing someone who depended on you. It could be knocking someone down with your car and they died. It was an accident yet you can’t seem to forgive yourself for not being careful enough. It could be all those terrible things that you now regret doing.

Whatever it is, we are human and because we are imperfect, there is that tendency for us to do things we would regret in the long run. Because we keep evolving and learning as we grow, we would realize that there were decisions we had made in the past that if only we had known what we now know, we would have done better.  Everyone has felt this way. I have. I’m certain you must have as well.

What is that one thing you cannot forgive yourself for?  How have you managed to live with a terrible past?

An author named Brennan Manning once told a story of a time when he spent 28 days in a treatment program for alcoholics. One day during a group therapy session, everyone was encouraged to disclose to the group the truth about the extent of their drinking.

They sat in a circle, and each person took the opportunity to elaborate on their drinking history. Everyone except for a successful businessman named Max. He said, “I never really drank that much.” The group members told him, “You’re in an alcoholic treatment centre. Be honest with yourself and admit you have a problem.” He said, “I am being honest. I’ve never had that much to drink.”

Later on, the group had to answer the question, “Have you ever hurt anybody while you were drunk?” Everyone shared their truth until they got to Max, who said, “I would never hurt anyone, sober or drunk.”

The group leader replied, “Max, we don’t believe you. What would your wife say if we were to ask her?” The group leader eventually did call Max’s wife on a speakerphone for everyone to hear. Max’s wife answered and the leader asked, “Has Max ever mistreated you or any of your kids when he was drunk?”

Max’s wife said, “Just this last Christmas Eve he took our 9-year-old daughter shopping. On the way home, Max passed a bar and noticed cars belonging to his friends, so he pulled in. That night, it was only 12 degrees with a high wind chill, but Max left the car running so the heater could stay on. He told our daughter he’d be right back out.”

Everyone looked shocked, as she continued. “Max went inside and started drinking with his buddies, and he didn’t come out until midnight. The car had run out of gas and shut off. The windows had frozen, so he was unable to open any of the doors. When the authorities came, they opened the door and rushed our daughter to the hospital. Her thumb and forefinger were frostbitten so severely that she had to have them amputated. Her ears were so damaged by the cold that she’ll be deaf for the rest of her life.” The group turned to Max, who had fallen off his chair and was convulsing on the floor.

Max was convulsing on the floor because of the truth about himself. The truth was a reality he couldn’t handle, so he had been living in denial. He was living in a fantasy world because he couldn’t forgive himself and move past his mistakes.

Self-forgiveness is not easy because it involves recognizing uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. Some view the act as a reminder of not being a perfect person. People want to move on but find it hard to do so without doing what is necessary to make peace from within. One way to find peace from within is to forgive yourself and let go of your imperfect past. An article by verywellmind says that there are 4Rs to self-forgiveness. Responsibility, Remorse, Repair and Renewal.

In the story I shared a few paragraphs above, Max was not willing to accept responsibility for his actions. He had not confronted it nor accepted that he had scarred his daughter for life. Notice the twist in the end when he was confronted with his actions. In the journey to self-forgiveness, you need to accept responsibility for your mistakes. Yes, you did it. By taking responsibility and accepting that you have engaged in actions that have hurt others, you can avoid negative emotions, such as excessive regret and guilt.

Secondly, Show Remorse. Following your action to accept responsibility. You’d experience a plethora of emotions from anger to guilt to disgust. It’s okay to show remorse and feel bad that you did what you did. It’s okay to cry it out if you need to.

The next thing is to repair the damage your action caused. Was it someone you hurt, reach out to them and apologize. Was the damage done to yourself, write yourself a note to apologize for the years you held such hatred and resentment towards yourself. Do whatever you can in your power to rectify the wrong done. This act will make you feel better and help you foster positive thoughts about yourself.

Lastly, focus on renewal. You have accepted responsibility, showed remorse, and repaired the damage the best way you can. The next and final step to self-forgiveness is to learn to gradually move on from that bad experience. This will not be easy as it sounds. Occasionally the guilt will creep in and you might want to wallow in regrets all over again, but this is the point you remind yourself that you have put effort to repair the damage. Focus on your emotions and be sure you have fed yourself enough positive affirmations to counter these guilt trips.

Feeling compassion for ourselves in no way releases us from responsibility for our actions. Rather, it releases us from the self-hatred that prevents us from responding to our life with clarity and balance. – Tara Brach

Today, I forgive myself for the hurtful things I have said to people. I forgive myself for thinking a friend was faking her illness when in fact the illness later took her life. Today,  I forgive myself for the deliberate and unintended hurt I caused people.

What do you forgive yourself for?

We hope you enjoyed reading from us today, let us know what you have forgiven yourself for. We look forward to reading from you.

SELF-DEVELOPMENT AS IT APPLIES TO YOU

Whenever the concept “self-development” is introduced, lots of ambitious and career-conscious individuals only focus on academics and courses which build on their careers and acquire certificates for both short and long-term courses. Personal development is looking inward and focusing on ways to better yourself. It increases your self-awareness, and your self-esteem increases your skills and fulfils your aspirations. 

Human beings operate as a system with many units so developing one section and leaving the rest can cause a collapse of the entire system. Imagine a bank that has good marketers but ill-mannered customer service. While the marketers are greatly doing their job to attract customers,  the customer service is de-marketing the bank with their ill-mannered approach. 

Self-development involves your social, psychological, emotional, spiritual and metaphysical (just to accommodate the atheists) growth. Self-development is working on who you are, bringing into existence the best of who you are. Moving from bad habits, moving from bad temperament, changing those orientations that pull you down. Learning, unlearning and relearning. Most times self-development naturally forces itself on us. You fashion out the way you want things to go for you, but life keeps drawing you to what you never planned. It could be life teaching you to self-develop.

Self-development could come in the following ways;

Valuing your personality: Here you meet people. It’s either you are influenced or they are influenced by you. Sometimes, the influence of other people’s appraisals on us may be so strong that we end up internalising them. For example, we are often labelled in particular ways by others, perhaps in terms of our accent which never limited the Chinese and Italians or even the likes of Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala from communicating in English despite their accents. If you are ashamed or intimidated by foreign accents, you might mistake self-development as discarding yours and westernising your accent. In this context, it is our minds that limit us. The realisation that your nature, your location, your mother tongue, and your background cannot limit your success is a big self-development.

Recognising your SWOT(strength, weakness, opportunities and threats: Before you decide what you need to work on, take some time to acknowledge your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. You can make resolutions on how to better utilise your strengths or improve on those weaknesses.  I used to be the “shy” type.  It bothered me until I started working on it, trying to make contributions at meetings, gathering younger ones and talking or teaching them.  I had my strength in my passion to communicate excellently.  Then my weakness was shyness, and opportunity was gathering younger children and talking at meetings. I overcame my threats, which was the fear of being laughed at when I spoke. Now I can confidently preside over meetings of both old and young people. 

Determination: Lots of individuals have had many resolutions to build either on their spiritual, academic, mental, emotional, physical life and so on. They have tried giving up on a particular thing but it all turned out to be worse. A chain smoker who stops smoking didn’t achieve that by the mere mention of it. It took sacrifices, psychological battles and determination to achieve. Waking up every morning to exercise or pray takes determination and that practice is self-development. Determination is freedom of consistency, but ironically consistency on its own seems like a restriction on your freedom. consistency takes sacrifices on some certain freedom. Self-development is about creating a particular positive skill in your subconscious and conscious mind and putting efforts to make it a part of you.

Aspects of self-development

Spiritual growth and development: This could be termed connecting with yourself on a holistic level. People experience spiritual growth in various ways depending on their culture, beliefs and experiences. Some prefer a structured approach to spiritual growth, such as practising a religion or meditating regularly while others work on improving their spiritual health to connect with a supernatural being as they feel they need it to balance other aspects of their life. Spiritual growth matters because it can help you manage stress and build confidence in yourself and your abilities. It gives hope where there is hopelessness. Gives faith to those who are in doubt.

Emotional development: While challenges such as stress and anxiety can contribute to burnout, emotional growth can help you overcome those challenges. This can assist you in expressing your emotions effectively and discussing your opinions with patience and open-mindedness. When you are in charge of your emotions, you can minimise conflict among friends and colleagues. Many people have a bad temperament and think it’s a plus because everyone fears them. They use it as a compliment  “I easily get angry, don’t try me”. They do not see any need to work on it. Many actions out of anger are most regrettable.  You only need to work on it.

Physical /health self-development: Physical growth involves taking care of your body and using it in productive ways. Your physical condition affects all other areas of personal growth and development, as a healthy body facilitates effective brain functioning. You can focus on physical growth by eating nutritious meals, exercising regularly and getting adequate sleep. When you feel better physically, you may find it easier to work more efficiently. People form habits of taking substances that cause negative changes to their body such as addiction to alcohol, smoking, and beverages with high sugar content and high calories. Reducing or disciplining oneself on this consumption is self-development. Working on various aspects of your body through physical exercise especially to look fit and healthy can boost not just your health but your confidence. 

Skill/academics development: this has been the main focus of individuals when you talk about self-development.  Human beings have been able to make life better through science and technology. To even be able to survive in this dynamic world, skill/academic pursuits are paramount. This is where the acquisition of knowledge comes to play. Acquiring knowledge is not just limited to university degrees and online courses or learning crafts and trades. Daily experiences and personal encounters in our various families, workplaces, neighbourhoods and any environment we find ourselves in are all learning points. We are not to discard them as they form part of our self-development.

How well have you been able to develop yourself emotionally,  physically, socially, spiritually and otherwise?

Humanity needs a balanced life. Your social development shouldn’t overlap your spiritual development,  your Spirituality should not engulf your social life, and your academics and career shouldn’t take a toll on your health or emotional status. What areas of your life have you neglected? You were becoming more spiritual or were focused on your career line and forgetting to build on your emotional or social life? You never deemed it necessary to develop relationships with people because you could stay indoors, do online courses,  make money online and repeat? All these have ways of limiting the fulfilment of and satisfaction of our living.

Please create a balance.

We hope you enjoyed reading from us today. We’d love to hear from you as always. Leave us a comment.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

I belong to the 1% of the population who believe that Fathers are not celebrated enough! Do you agree with me?

 Let’s be honest, fathers don’t get as much attention as mothers do and to be fair, their roles as fathers are not any easy.

This year alone, we celebrated Mother’s day a little over 3 times I suppose. At some point, it seemed like every Sunday was Mother’s day somewhere. Different religious bodies picked turns to celebrate mothers and as much as I love that our mothers are recognized for their invaluable roles in our lives and the society, I couldn’t be happier to wish all the fathers reading this a Happy Father’s Day!

What a crown you wear on your heads for the heavy responsibilities you shoulder. It is indeed an honour that you are a father; dedicating years of your life to constantly providing, nurturing and guiding. I read somewhere that fatherhood is a lifetime responsibility with challenges, sweetness and bitterness and I couldn’t agree more.

Sonora Smart Dodd, a woman from Spokane, Washington, is credited for founding Father’s Day, according to the History Channel. Her widower father raised her and her six siblings. Her mother had passed away while giving birth to her sixth child. Sonora Smart Dodd, who founded Mother’s Day in 1908, intended to create a similar celebration for fathers. To seek support for her concept of honouring fathers for a day, Sonora went to local churches and the YMCA, as well as met with shops and government leaders. Sonora was a success because of her hard effort when Washington State celebrated the first Father’s Day on June 19, 1910.

Even while Mother’s Day gained traction quickly, Father’s Day would take years to gain traction.

Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Calvin Coolidge supported Father’s Day in 1916 and 1924, respectively. President Coolidge went so far as to encourage state governments to observe the holiday. Father’s Day was not officially recognized as a national holiday until decades later.

The observance of Father’s Day makes fathers feel that their contributions are acknowledged in the society and also by their children. They feel proud of themselves ! For, most often children take love of their parents for granted. Celebration of Father’s Day makes them ponder for a while on the important role their father plays in their life.

There are more than a million reasons to celebrate Father’s Day today and every other day. When you think about your father, why do you think he deserves to be celebrated? As a father, don’t you think you have done more than a handful to be recognized and cheered for?

As fathers, you are seen as a breadwinner, and disciplinarian, and pose as an authority figure at the same time. When you were growing up, how often did you hear your mother say, “just wait until your father gets home!” Traditionally, our culture has often put fathers into a very difficult role. They must be aloof but intimate; must earn the wage, but be present; must be compassionate, but disciplinarian.

Fathers deserve to be celebrated because of their dedication to providing for their families. A whole lot of success stories are tied to fathers. Fathers who had to toil day and night to make ends meet and send their children to school, Fathers who did menial jobs and accepted derogatory remarks because they needed that money to settle a thing or two in their homes, Fathers who wouldn’t buy anything new for themselves all year round just to buy new wrappers for their wives or pay fees and rent. Often, fathers feel the burden of their responsibilities but are conditioned not to show it. That sometimes interferes with both their ability to express affection and our ability to recognize it.

Fathers must be celebrated because they serve as a moral compass for their children. Fathers are their children’s role models, and so they have to be sure to maintain a sound level of discipline not just in their words but in actions as well. Imagine always being on your best behaviour because you outrightly know that your child is watching and will most likely do what they see you do. Regardless, fathers manage to raise incredible children serving as a behavioural mirror for their children.

Again, fathers should be celebrated for their stability and consistency. From the day they take up the responsibility of fatherhood, they do not back out. Fathers are catalysts for their child’s motivation. They never give up on them no matter how challenging it can get. And they continually spur them to do better, work harder, care deeper, and excel to the best of their abilities. Here’s a quote by Coach Jim Valvano that attests to this.

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could ever give another person: he believed in me.”

As we celebrate Father’s Day today for that special person in our lives who we call father, I’d like us to take the opportunity to call them up and appreciate them for their sacrifices. Wrap up some thoughtful gifts and send them over to him. Take him for dinner at his favourite restaurant if you can afford to or do that one thing he always appreciates you doing for him.

As a father reading this, celebrate yourself today. Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. You have committed to your responsibility and regardless of your social class, you have managed to provide for your family and keep things running. You are indeed a blessing and the world is a better place because of you.

Happy Father’s Day!