Merry Christmas!

On behalf of the entire Brilliance & Purposeful Foundation team, we wish you a Merry Christmas!

The year has been a rollercoaster of events. From the economic meltdown to the naira depreciation, and then social and political issues that have left some of us in shock about the reality of the world we now live in. Despite the raucousness that the year ushered, we are happy that we got the opportunity to celebrate Christmas today.

Hope your day is off to a great feast? We are pleased to share with you some of our amazing highlights of the year that have served humanity in different parts of the country.

At the beginning of the year, the members of our team rendezvoused and drafted the year’s goal. We drew up a plan to execute 3 projects in sync with our vision to inspire individuals to be influencers and change agents to make the world a better place. To this effect, within the first quarter, we successfully hosted and executed a medical outreach in commemoration of World Malaria Day.

The project took place at a remote community in Bariga Lagos state. Our team members and deployed medical professionals had well over 100 people from the community who tested for/ got vaccinated against malaria. Our overstretched healthcare system and displaced population have succoured the increasing rate of malaria and its mortality rate. Hence, this project was a thoughtful and timely one. We are grateful for its success and to everyone who supported the cause.

Later in the year, we held a virtual program in commemoration of World Mental Health Day. Currently, Nigeria faces a global human rights emergency in mental health. According to a report by Aljazeera in 2019, Nigeria has Africa’s highest caseload of depression and ranks 15th in the world in the frequency of suicide, according to WHO.

We are glad to be a part of the whole advocating for mental health and wellness in Nigeria and the world. We are thankful for our speakers, Director, Communications and Strategy OAM Foundation, Mr Chimezie Udechukwu , and Ayobamigbe Faloye – Health and Wellbeing Advocate, Youth Quake Hub, Nigeria.

To wrap up the year, we held a women empowerment/poverty alleviation project on the 16th of December at Egbeda Major Market, Egbeda, Alimosho Local Government Area, Lagos State. The event catered for vulnerable women, widows and low-income earners. It featured free distribution of foodstuffs, entrepreneurial training sessions, financial/business development advisory services and access to business grants.

To everyone who contributed to the success of this life-changing event, we are grateful to you!

At Brilliance & Purposeful Foundation, we aim at empowering the less privileged in the society. We are a foundation with the belief that individuals are better armed with the knowledge of development and transformation. For this reason, we have dedicated ourselves to an endless service of humanity in hopes to make the world a better place. One person at a time, one place at a time.

We look forward to more inspiring projects next year.

This season, let’s celebrate the purpose of Christmas and share the love that’s in our hearts. Let’s ignore bitterness and overlook hatred. Let’s spread affection and care to everyone on this auspicious day.

Merry Christmas!

Does Overthinking Solve Anything?

In our now very chaotic and enigmatic world filled with over a million and one problems and triggers, it is not unusual to find ourselves in unfortunate situations. It is even more normal that we try to devise means to cope and handle these problems.

A psychotherapist mentioned that countless clients who came into his office thought they had to invest a lot of time into worrying about specific problems. They were convinced that the more time they spent thinking about something, the more likely they’d be to develop a solution (or prevent something bad from happening). While it may feel like overthinking is a perfect coping mechanism, does it really solve anything?

Once upon a time, a psychology professor walked around on a stage while teaching stress management principles to an auditorium filled with students. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the typical “glass half empty or glass half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, the professor asked, “How heavy is this glass of water I’m holding?” Students shouted out answers ranging from eight ounces to a couple of pounds.

She replied, “From my perspective, the absolute weight of this glass doesn’t matter. It all depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute or two, it’s fairly light. If I hold it for an hour straight, its weight might make my arm ache a little. If I hold it for a day straight, my arm will likely cramp up and feel completely numb and paralyzed, forcing me to drop the glass to the floor. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it feels to me.”

As the class shook their heads in agreement, she continued, “Your stresses and worries in life are very much like this glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and you begin to ache a little. Think about them all day long, and you will feel completely numb and paralyzed – incapable of doing anything else until you drop them.”

Overthinking involves ruminating, worrying, and overanalyzing. It involves dwelling on the problem, rather than developing a solution. Overthinking can affect how you experience and engage with the world around you — preventing you from making important decisions, keeping you from enjoying the present moment and draining you of the energy you need to handle daily stressors. Whether you are beating yourself up over a mistake you made yesterday or fretting about how you will succeed tomorrow, over-thinkers are plagued by distressing thoughts. Their inability to get out of their own heads leaves them in a state of constant anguish.

Over-thinkers don’t just use words to contemplate their lives. Sometimes, they conjure up images too. They may envision their car going off the road or they might replay a distressing event in their minds like a movie. Either way, their tendency to overthink everything holds them back from doing something productive.

According to research, dwelling on your shortcomings, mistakes, and problems increases your risk of mental health problems. And as your mental health declines, your tendency to ruminate increases, which can lead to a vicious cycle that is hard to break. Problem-solving is different from overthinking. Whilst the former is helpful, the latter is harmful. Rather than overthinking situations and imagining extreme possible scenarios and what you did wrong, search for solutions in your thoughts. Overthinking makes you dwell on possibilities and pitfalls without any real intent of solving a problem. In fact, a problem or potential problem may not even actually exist.

“Once you learn to problem-solve rather than overthink, you can devote your resources to productive activity. Problem-solving is “actively looking for a solution.” In other words, you are figuring out how to sharpen skills, employ strategies, and take action steps. You will know that you are problem-solving when you decrease your stress.

Time and mental energy are valuable resources. And you don’t want to waste them overthinking. Investing those resources into problem-solving, however, can help you make the best decisions.

To help draw the line between problem-solving & overthinking, ask yourself; Is there a solution to this problem? Am I focusing on the problem or searching for a solution? What am I accomplishing by thinking about this? To strengthen problem-solving skills, you need to practice Mindfulness.

Mindfulness Can help us to increase our ability to regulate emotions, decrease stress, anxiety and depression. It will help you become more aware of the here and now.

Secondly, set a decision deadline and/or take a break.When it’s time to problem-solve something, set a deadline for making your final decision. Bigger decisions will require more time, so consider taking breaks to distract yourself when or if the decision-making process becomes overwhelming.

Lastly, take action on the things you can control and let go of the things you can’t. As soon as you notice you’re “in your head” about something, ask yourself if your thoughts can be made more constructive — towards making a decision or finding a solution. If your thought pattern can’t be made more constructive, you’re likely dwelling on something out of your control — whether that’s because it’s already happened, may never happen or simply can’t be changed.

The Best Way To End The Year.

In a few weeks, 2021 will be over and we will be welcoming a new chapter whether we like it or not.

The end of the year can be such an emotional time for us all. Whether it was your best year yet or not so great, you definitely start to feel the pressure as the end of the year approaches.

You have probably evaluated your goal list and you didn’t successfully push through most of them. It could be jobs that you didn’t get, contracts that didn’t mature, travels that didn’t happen or even the death of a loved one that has made the year extremely devastating. You probably want more time in the year to achieve these milestones before the new year, or maybe you can’t stand another day in the year and want it to end so quickly.

In all of these, what are the things you are grateful for in 2021?

Just a few things Or nothing at all?

Anthony Ray Hinton spent 30 years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. He was working in a locked factory at the time of the crime he was being accused of. The police told him he would be going to jail because he was black.

His time in jail was spent in solitary confinement in a five-by-seven-foot cell, allowed out only one hour a day. But, Hinton quickly became a friend and counsellor to other inmates and the death row guards, many of whom begged Hinton’s attorney to get him out.

A unanimous Supreme Court ruling ordered his release and he was able to walk free. In an interview he is quoted saying:
“One does not know the value of freedom until it is taken away, People run out of the rain. I run into the rain…I am so grateful for every drop. Just to feel it on my face.”
Hinton was later interviewed on 60 Minutes. The interviewer asked if he was angry at the people who put him in jail. He said he forgave them all.

The interviewer asked, “but they took 30 years of your life — how can you not be angry?”
Hinton responded:

“If I’m angry and unforgiving, they will have taken the rest of my life.”

How much of your life have you spent angry or complaining about far less suffering or circumstances out of anyone’s control?

Unfortunately, many spend part of their life grumbling about failure, unmet needs and desires just as it could be the case for the majority of us.

Gratitude benefits us on many levels. It’s good for emotional balance and positively affects our personality. This carries over into our social life and career as it makes us more likeable and able to connect with others. It also helps us take a step back and appreciate the things we have, do and are in our lives, giving us the chance to feel good about them rather than focusing on the nagging feeling that keeps telling us we need to have, do and be more.

This year-end, it is okay to take the time and pat yourself on the back even for things you did not achieve. The world is hard enough. You fought through the ravaging covid, the economic meltdown, the raucous in the world and other personal issues. You have spent most of the year grumbling and trying to outdo yourself. You put in the effort and you tried to get to your life together. We must now appreciate moments like this that allows us to continue afresh.

What you can do instead.

  1. Spend time with family and friends. Spending time love ones is one stress buffer. It is one of the best ways to create memorable experiences. When you and your family spend quality time together, you can prevent these stress-related health issues and avoid unhealthy stress coping mechanisms.
  2. Visit fun places around you. Oftentimes, we don’t value the interesting places close to us. For those that won’t be travelling, you can visit fun places within your state or area. These places will include the mall, cinemas, restaurants, parks or museums. Just ensure they are places where you don’t have to spend a lot of money especially when you don’t have it in excess. Also, you can go with friends to reduce your expenses.
  3. Spoil yourself at home. Consider binge-watching all of your favourite Christmas movies back to back and eating whatever you like guilt-free. Get as lazy as you want, take a shower as many times as you want and sing in the shower as loud as you want. Sometimes the best fun moments are spent with oneself.

We have ahead of us another 365days to go again. This may be the only time we get to fully unwind with full gratitude. Bearing in mind that we will never have these moments back.

In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.

Until you learn to be grateful for the things you have, you will not receive the things you want.

Utilising your Time

What do you do with the 24 hours you are given every day?

Once, there was a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village.
As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite a few big fish.

The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?”

The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”
“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished.

“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said.

The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”

The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and the evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”

The businessman suggested the fisherman.

“I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your production plant for canned food and your distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”

The fisherman continues, “And after that?”

The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”

The fisherman asks, “And after that?”

The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”

The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”

Time is the most valuable resource given to all mankind in the same measure. The one thing that is common among Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Mukesh Ambani, Warren Buffett and You is time! No matter where you are in the world, you have 86400 seconds, 1440 and 24hours, but what we choose and/or how we choose to spend our time makes a big difference.

What do you spend the better part of your day doing?

Many people are more concerned with how they spend their money but not how they spend their time. We have adopted the old saying that time equals money, but in actuality, time is even much more valuable than money. Take, for instance, it is possible to get back a thousand naira note you lost yesterday, but you cannot bring back the time you spent yesterday.
We need to understand that time needs value. If you don’t value your limited time, you will do anything to pass the time. You can make more progress in the same amount of time if you perceive it differently.

I recently activated the screen time on my phone and realised that I spent over 8hours on my phone daily. Given the nature of my job, it is not out of the ordinary that I’d spend more time on my phone than a banker, but realizing that out of these 8 hours, I spent 6hours on my social media hit me for six!

I didn’t have a business on Instagram, I am not an influencer. I am not a public figure in fact I have Zero posts on my social media accounts yet I spent the most time there. The truth, I had thought I only spent 5 minutes on there, which is the truth. But, those 5minutes I spent in and out of Instagram when summed is a whole 8 hours. It is ridiculous! And, I bet very relatable too.

Now to the big question. How do you utilize your TIME?

The very first thing you need to start doing to be able to manage your time better is to create a schedule that will help you organize your work. Different people might give it different names, but one thing that can help you get started is a simple To-Do List.
Line your tasks according to their level of urgency and importance and treat them as such.

Another thing you can try doing is setting a time limit for each task you need to accomplish throughout every day. As they say, a goal is a dream with a deadline.
While this will add more pressure on your shoulders since you will have a very strict daily schedule to follow, you might come to find this process a lot easier and effective in the long run.

You also need to reduce your distractions. My distraction was social media and I have set a limit for how long I want to spend each day checking other peoples lives on Instagram. Yours could be unnecessary chit-chat with friends or hangouts. Changing your habits takes time and effort, but will help you manage your time more effectively

Lastly, create a growth environment. Surround yourself with people and things you can learn from, and an environment that nurtures you instead of distracts you, and you’ll be more likely to grow.

I have seen people who are always busy but busy doing nothing. You must have heard that busyness does not mean progress.
It’s a good time to ask yourself, “ what am I really busy doing”?

How often do we understand that we could use our time better, and regret that we didn’t spend it wisely? How often do we dream of how good it would be to amend things we did or didn’t do long ago? The older we get, the longer and thicker are the shadows of the past, and what’s important here is not holding on to them. We cannot turn the clock back, but we can do our best today to make tomorrow a happier time.

Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.” Harvey Mackay

Understanding Your Worth

I read this interesting story that I’d like you to read too.

Before he died, a father said to his son; “Here is a watch your grandfather gave me… It is almost 200 years old. Before I give it to you, go to the jewellery store in the city. Tell them that I want to sell it, and see how much they offer you.”

The son went to the jewellery store, came back to his father, and said;

“They offered $100 because it is so old.”

The father said; “Well, try the pawnshop.”

The son went to the pawnshop, came back to his father, and said;

“The pawnshop offered only $20 because it has a scratch”

The father asked his son to go to the museum and show them the watch.
The son quietly questioned his father’s judgement, but still, willing to act on his last wishes he went to the museum, when he came back he said to his father;

“The curator offered $375,000 for this very rare piece to be included in their precious antique collection.”

The father responded;

“I wanted to show you that the right place will value you in the right way. Don’t find yourself in the wrong place and get angry because you are not valued. Never stay in a place where someone doesn’t see your value or you don’t feel appreciated.”

Your worth is an internal measure of how you value yourself. It is an internal state of being that comes from self-understanding, self-love, and self-acceptance.
It’s a state that is somewhat timeless and unchanging because it’s a direct measure of how you value and regard yourself despite what others may say or do. It’s, therefore, something that doesn’t quickly or easily change when external factors or circumstances change.

That said, it is established that self-worth should not be based on what others think of you or the things you have (or haven’t) accomplished—it comes from within. But it’s easy to forget that our worth isn’t determined by outside forces.

One of the reasons we are stuck at low/mediocre levels in our lives; dwelling in toxic relationships, or jobs or tolerating some unacceptable behaviours thrown at us is because we are not fully in awareness of our worth. We do not have confidence in our capacity to exist –finely- without these mediocrities we are used to. We’d think, “If I quit this job, will I get a better one? If I leave this relationship, will I find someone else? If I show displeasure about this attitude, what if they walk out of my life? And so, you stay right there accepting the same old pattern.

To have a high level of self-worth means having a favourable opinion or estimate of yourself. It means having unshakable faith in yourself and in your ability to follow through and get things done. Knowing you have the skills and technicalities to land a better job, but doubt that you would hence, stay where you have outgrown is a staunch sign of low self-worth. Knowing you have an amazing personality but choose to stay in a toxic relationship out of the fear of not finding someone else is an absolute waste of fear. You should be more scared of your excessive low self-worth.

One way to know your self-worth is to be dangerously self-aware. There is no logical way to put a price tag or worth on something you don’t know or understand its value, the same way you cannot understand your worth if you do not know the components that makes you the special being that you are. What are your strengths, your weakness? What makes your stand out? What are your skills and to what level have you mustered your self-confidence to portray your worth? The last question is imperative because far too many people are aware of their worth but do not carry the level of self-confidence that reinforces it.
Once you know what you bring to the table, it’s a powerful thing. Here’s what I realized;

  1. When you know your worth, asking for compensation for your time and work, regardless of the project, feels right.
  2. When you know your worth, you feel more comfortable negotiating a raise or promotion.
  3. When you know your worth, you have less of a problem saying no to things that you don’t want to do.
  4. When you know your worth, you can be yourself in all of the various relationships in your life.
  5. When you know your worth, you know that you can speak up in a meeting, because your opinion matters.

When I talk about knowing our worth, I’m referring to the simple truth that we all have worth… it’s just that some of us don’t know it.

Make it your responsibility to understand who you really are.
Abraham Lincoln once said “It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself. Today, make it your responsibility to know your worth, then add tax.”

Instrumental Interaction

I was out to the vendor last week to buy paper, I realized I had only currency note. The vendor could not make change for me, so he smiled widely and said,”Don’t worry, you’ll pay tomorrow.” But I tensed up and nodded in disagreement. I insisted on paying for the paper, so I went into a store and bought something I did not need so I could make change. I handed the vendor the small note I got as change from the store to pay for my paper.

In that instant, the dynamic of our relationship changed. The vendor reluctantly took my money and drew back in sadness. “I did the wrong thing,” I later said to myself. “I didn’t accept his kindness. He wanted to do something meaningful, but I treated it as a transaction.” Good intention right? Yes, but wrong timing.

This experience made me realize something quite genuine. Many of us are caught up in our own lives and preoccupied with our own activities so much that we acknowledge the people we are interacting with as only instrumental – a means to an end. The world has so advanced into a toxic state where things are only believed to be transactional – a give and take circle. Instrumental treatment is now commonly seen as the best way to wade through a world laden with broken emotions & intentions.

This toxic character isn’t even solving the problem it is expected to overcome. This is because instrumental or transactional treatment more often than not is associated with negative outcomes for individual relationships and even organizational/business relationships.

Studies have shown that treating people as instruments would often lead them to self-objectify, that is, to perceive themselves as objects rather than human beings. This would result in them being less engaged in a relationship, a given task or a conversation thus undermining their mental health and performance in the case of organizational relationships.

The surreal thing about this instrumental/transactional treatment is that according to psychological researches, 9 in 10 people have been a victim one way or the other. While the experience is more dominant in some than another, one thing that is certain is that such experience made us broken and our self-esteem bruised. You’d agree with me that for our self-esteem to be intact, there has to be a sense of self-worth, however when our worth is being reduced to a transaction just like the newspaper vendor I mentioned earlier, the implication is a soul hunting for revenge or looking for the next available person to empty such frustrations on. Ever wondered why we have a lot of broken heart walking around, this right here is a factor.

In conclusion, it is important to note that using people or engaging people as transactions and objects is an exploitative character. Find a way to get help if you have these traits no matter how little. And if you are at the receiving end of this toxic behaviour, it is time to understand that those you thought loved you only needed you, they only loved you as much as they can use you. Their loyalty ends where the benefits stops.

If you find yourself in situations as uncomfortable as this, this is what you should do; “Uphold your dignity by walking away from people who are into themselves so much that they forget you have a life to live, dreams to pursue and destiny to fulfill. They only remember you when they need you do or be something for them. Be mindful of your own feelings.”

Live, Act and Write

Rather than give up on the world, we can confront it directly and with passion, and create for ourselves a meaning out of the pain, loss, and struggles that we endure everyday.

I mentioned in my write up sometime ago that what motivates you today gives you the currency to purchase what you will be tomorrow. Today’s advantages must be used to buy tomorrow’s opportunities. Every person is motivated by something in particular. When you know what motivates you, life becomes an exciting adventure. You are driven by your passion and you have a reason for getting out of bed in the morning. This kind of energy is natural and essential for personal success.

“The only certainty is that we are here, in this moment, in this now. It’s up to us: to live fully, experiencing each moment, aware, alert and attentive. We are here, each one of us, to write our own story—and what fascinating stories we make!”

Dave Chappelle once said; “The hardest thing to do is to be true to yourself, especially when everybody is watching.” This is a recessive truth because fear of being looked down on or rejected makes quite a number of people live on the terms of others, hence not living the life purpose.

The reason most of us can’t be ourselves in the face of the world is that deep down we are not really sure who we really are. We’ve spent too much of our life shifting ourselves to match what others want. However, they’re few exceptions of individuals who are doing great having stopped living on the terms and expectations of people around them. Example of such is Matthew Berry

Matthew Berry is a Hollywood screenwriter turned Fantasy TV presenter. For someone who has been writing for sitcoms and movies to decide to make a career out of his fantasy sports obsession, it was more than a dream come true and a perfect example of living on one’s own term.

In his New York Times Bestseller, Fantasy Life: The Outrageous, Uplifting, and Heartbreaking World of Fantasy Sports from the Guy Who’s Lived It”, Berry noted that he was 35 years old and miserable and the only thing that made me happy was this dumb little fantasy sports website that I had started on the side.

In 2005, Berry went after his passion: fantasy sports. Appearances on radio and TV for ESPN and the NBA landed him in a meeting with ESPN vice president John Kosner. Berry persuaded Kosner to let him turn his hobby into a full-time job. Now, Berry is ESPN’s top fantasy sports analyst, spending his days playing in every type of league imaginable. The dream job has led Berry to tell Sports Business Daily, “I like my salary. But I’d do it for free.

Berry’s life trajectory is a validation of passion, purpose and owning up to one’s true self regardless of the noise from the outside world.

“Being true to oneself or Living life fully” can mean different things to different people, however regardless whatever your concept of living life is, always ensure it is done for your own sake because when the chips are down, it is your life.

Getting back on Track Post- Covid

Truth be told, I was practically out of my zone during the lockdown, and after it was lifted and I lost all motivation, vibes, and personal encouragement vibes. Nobody knew what will happen next. We saw scientists, doctors, and pastors who were only forecasting trends but not sure of the reality or what would come next.

My money was almost useless, my goals stared back at me, every moment I lived was a miracle and I took each day as it came.

All routines that seemed important in all aspects of lives from fitness routines to sleep routines and work routines changed. Consistency became history.

The current pandemic, without a doubt, has thrown nearly all of us off of our regular routines. Where and how we work is different. When and where we eat and exercise has also changed. And potentially with all of that disruption comes unhealthy changes in sleep and consumption patterns.

My sincere condolence goes to all souls lost during this period. We pray that their souls rest in perfect peace. We pray that our Land be healed and the permanent vaccine for the virus be found for this to also move to our history books.

If you are reading this, you have survived this period or you are still passing through this phase. Although the COVID-19 situation is constantly changing, and it is time to get back on track. The fact that you are reading this today should give you some confidence that, if you put in place some good study practices and set some reachable goals, you’ll be in good stead to handle whatever speed bumps are on the road ahead.

I will like to congratulate all students who participated in the online essay competition organised by my team in Nigeria during the lockdown to encourage younger Nigerians.

Osun State winner with the Deputy Governor of Osun State.
Lagos State winner with the Honourable Commissioner of Education of Lagos State.

The lucky winners were honored by the government of their states and I wish them better accomplishments in the future.

With COVID-19 restrictions being lifted across countries, World Health Organization still recommending mask-wearing, new variants of the coronavirus still spreading, people still dying daily, the virus seems to have become a necessary evil the world would have to adapt to. There have been increasing talks and takes about the ‘new normal’, but then, has the ‘old normal’ been even normal?

Pre-covid, we had global warming, international political & security challenges, financial and tech shifts etc. Post-covid, the world should expect the budding disruptions in several sectors of the world to accelerate. Just as people with preexisting medical conditions are most susceptible to the virus, the global impact of the corona virus will accelerate preexisting transitions.

Take for example, the fintech, crypotcurrency and microblogging and video tech platforms have been screeding to explore and change the course of wealth creation and development for years, COVID-19 and it multiple lockdown effects set the boom for these tech companies and today, the numbers are speaking for themselves.

Also, the pandemic has stressed fundamental questions about the competence of world super powers, especially owning to the fact that the virus emanated from China, a rapidly rising new super power threatening to displace the established USA.

Apart from the healthcare catastrophe, the most immediate challenge resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic is the economic paralysis, as many businesses have suddenly lost their customers, and wonder how long they can hold out. However, despite the lows the pandemic has created, I believe that it has so far been a blessing in disguise, and the full post-crises possibilities are yet to be untapped.

So what is the much ado about getting back on track post-covid?

1. World Economy: The economy of the world has been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and has even exacerbated the economic disparities that have been growing between the haves and the hav nots over the past few years. However, the ‘new world economic order’ through fintech and blockchain teachnologies seeks to close this gap.

2. Business Support on Small Businesses: Small businesses are particularly hard-hit by this pandemic. Hence, there is a growing need to restore SMEs to their previous state because they are a pivotal part of the economy. Grants and loans to support small businesses and entrepreneurs has been made available by different countries, entrepreneurs should strategically position themselves to be beneficiaries of this.

3. Government: Government must as much as possible begin to think and act on cutting cost of governance. Though the recently ratified African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) could help each african countries can supply what it produces best to others, there is also a need to trim down the cost of governance tremendously because the country cannot continue to allocate more than 70% of its budget to accommodate the huge allowances and the extravagant expenses of those in the corridors of power.

4. Technology: After the outbreak of COVID- 19, technological advancement has been used to promote and enable the business to continue running throughout. From e-commerce to fintech, to media, to telcom, to telehealth, etc, the technological advancement during and post covid is one of the postivities to look out for going forward.

In conclusion, it is evident that like malaria and flues, coronavirus is here to stay. However, lessons learnt during the peak of the pandemic should be held to heart even as we adapt to the new normal.

Words of Wisdom from Max Ehrmann

It’s been a while friends.

Enjoy this beautiful piece as you go into the new week.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

— Max Ehrmann, 1927

Why Effective Communication Matters

Jack and John are walking from religious service. Jack wonders whether it would be all right to smoke while praying.

John replies, “Why don’t you ask the Priest?”

So Jack goes up to the Priest and asks, “Priest, may I smoke while I pray?”

The Priest says, “No, my son, you may not. That’s utter disrespect to our religion.”

Jack goes back to his friend and tells him what the good Priest told him.

John says, “I’m not surprised. You asked the wrong question. Let me try.”

And so John goes up to the Priest and asks, “Priest, may I pray while I smoke?”
To which the Priest eagerly replies, “By all means, my son. By all means.”

“Effective communication is the bridge between confusion and clarity” – Nat Turner

It is more than just exchanging information. It’s about understanding the emotion and intentions behind the information. As well as being able to clearly convey a message, you need to also listen in a way that gains the full meaning of what’s being said and makes the other person feel heard and understood.

Vagueness and ambiguity occur when a message is not fully delivered, the sender leaves out valuable information or the receiver fails to ask clarifying questions. Ambiguity and vagueness enhance the difficulty of a task, and they diminish the ability to make decisions and solve problems. Not being able to solve the problems of customers can have a costly impact on a business.

In today’s evolving global business climate, proper communication between companies, clients, and consumers is paramount. Failure to communicate in even the smallest of ways can lead to huge delays in project deadlines, tense business relationships, and lost profits. Being able to adequately understand, avoid and remedy miscommunications in a business setting could save a business from all these headaches.

Communication is one of the essential social skills required for any individual to survive in the world. Effectively communicating ensures that you not only convey your message to someone but also let them know about your feelings and emotions. Whether it is amongst family members, friends, or office colleagues, effective communication helps individuals get through the tasks of life with ease. 

Tavakoli, a leader at Dale Carnegie Employee Training, who writes that the “Foundation for genuine employee engagement begins with extensive and effective communication… and the resulting behaviors show up in increased productivity, heightened innovation, and improved job satisfaction”.

The main skills required to effectively communicate include; listening, body language, effective speech and expression, and confidence. When these skills are not appropriately used in communication, there’s always going to be a big drop between the sender and receiver.

If you are constantly misunderstood, you need to check your communication.

To better communicate, learn the basics of nonverbal communication because the majority of what you say is communicated not through words, but physical cues.

Secondly, Get Your Point Across. When we’re trying to get a point across to someone else we often think long and hard about what we want to say. That is the wrong way to go about it. Instead of focusing on what you want to say to get your point across, you should focus on what you want the other person to hear.

Also, Listen! Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.
People who can listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Being able to communicate effectively is perhaps the most important of all life skills.
The art of communication is a language of leadership.