Tuesday, April 22, 2014
1.Never stop stretching and improving yourself. – Always dream and shoot higher than you think is possible. Do not bother trying to be better than your peers or predecessors. Try to be better than you ever knew YOU could be.
2.Never stop listening to your own inner voice. – The unhappiest folks are those who care the most about what everyone else thinks – those who let everyone else drown out their own inner voice. So stand strong beside yourself. There’s great freedom in leaving others to their opinions.
3.Never stop walking comfortably in your own shoes. – If you don’t follow the path others want you to follow they might become irritated. Don’t worry about it. Let them be. It’s their problem, not yours. So many people seem to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but have no clue how to lead their own. So focus on your inner callings and keep paving your own path. Remember that it is more useful to be aware of a single strength or weakness in yourself than to be aware of a thousand strengths and weaknesses in others.
4.Never stop working through your fears. – Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will. So don’t let fear decide your future. In the end, you can be comfortable or courageous, but not both at once.
5.Never stop being a little unrealistic. – To be successful, you have to be a little unrealistic. You have to believe that something totally different than what has happened for an eternity CAN happen starting now. Think about it. Being realistic doesn’t change anything – being unrealistic does. Doesn’t it seem a bit unrealistic to be able to use a mobile phone to instantly research any topic imaginable, watch movies, get perfect driving directions to anywhere you want to go, and see your friends face-to-face no matter where in the world you are? Fortunately a small group of computer scientists didn’t think so.
6.Never stop doing what needs to be done. – You were born to be a success. Although to be successful, you must plan to be, prepare to be, expect to be, and work to be, every day.
7.Never stop embracing your struggles. – After each struggle you once faced in the past was overcome, you grew stronger and more able to meet the ones you face today. Likewise, the struggles you face today are preparing you for the challenges of tomorrow. As this process of growth takes place, remember that there are no mistakes. The events that arise as you journey forward, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary steps in order to learn what you need to know to reach the places you’ve chosen to go.
8.Never stop being willing to make mistakes. – Making mistakes is far more productive than never moving. You can learn great things from your mistakes when you aren’t busy avoiding or denying them. And no matter how bad of a mistake you make, there comes a time when you have to stop thinking about it and move on. No regrets in life – just lessons that show you the way forward.
9.Never stop getting back up. – The strongest and most accomplished people are not those who always win, but those who refuse to give up even after they lose. You might think you’re not good enough, but you’ll surprise yourself if you keep trying. What defines us is how well we rise after falling. At the end of the day, to win, all you have to do is get up one more time than you fall down.
10.Never stop making the best of it. – When you lose something, don’t think of it as a loss, but as a gift that lightens your load so you can better travel the path that was meant for you.
11.Never stop ignoring the naysayers. – When someone undermines your dreams, predicts your doom, or criticizes you in any way, remember, they’re telling you their story, not yours.
12.Never stop taking small steps forward. – The moment you give up is the moment you let someone else win. So keep going. You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward.
13.Never stop giving yourself a chance to soar to new heights. – You’ll never be able to fly if you hold on to what holds you back. So respect yourself enough to walk away from what no longer grows you.
14.Never stop smiling. – When you lose your smile, you lose your footing. So be determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation you may find yourself. For you will eventually learn that the greater part of your happiness or unhappiness is determined not by your specific circumstances, but by your attitude and outlook.
15.Never stop thinking positive. – Thoughts are power. They create and destroy. What is possible is everything. What you do is up to you. Look around and you will see that almost your entire life has been born out of your thoughts. Know this, and plant your seeds accordingly. You can change your mind at any moment. So go ahead. Change it right now.
16.Never stop laughing at yourself and your life situations. – All self-misery has its roots in self-pity, and all self-pity is rooted in taking life too seriously. If you take everything too seriously, especially yourself, you’ll wind up fearing every new step you take. Loosen up and laugh it off if you can – especially when things don’t go as planned. People with a good sense of humor have a better sense of life. You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself and your circumstances.
17.Never stop appreciating the life you’re living right now. – Stop rushing. Breathe. Be where you are. You’re where you’re supposed to be at this very moment. Every experience and step is necessary.
18.Never stop indulging in life’s little daily joys. – Notice what you love, not what you hate. Smile more. Happiness is enjoying the small things in life, all while chasing after the big ones.
19.Never stop spreading your kindness. – How you make others feel about themselves, says a whole lot about you. So treat people right. Kindness IS a gift you can afford to give.
20.Never stop giving what you can. – Exercise your talents to give back. Do so whenever you can, because you can. And when you get tired, remember all those people who can’t do what you can do. Think about what they would be willing to give to have the abilities you have right now – a simple gift you take for granted. Then strive harder just for them. And know that there are others out there with different gifts who are doing the same for you.
21.Never stop giving your important relationships a fair chance. – It’s impossible to find someone who will never hurt you, so go for ones worth the pain. And remember, without a little pain, joy wouldn’t feel so good.
22.Never stop doing little things for your own happiness. – Remember, happiness comes from your own choices and actions. Waiting for someone else to make you happy is the best way to be sad.
23.Never stop opening your mind to new perspectives. – Don’t hate what you don’t understand. Give things a fair chance. Your mind is like a parachute; it doesn’t work unless it’s open.
24.Never stop evolving. – Just because you liked something at one point in time doesn’t mean you’re required to always like it. You can change your mind. You don’t have to pretend to like something as an act of loyalty to who you are as a person, based on who you once were. To be sincerely loyal to yourself is to allow yourself the freedom to change. The only thing you ever are for sure is unsure, and this means you’re growing, and not stagnant or imprisoned by old ways of thinking.
25.Never stop writing your own story, your own way. – When writing the story of your life, never, ever let someone else hold the pen. Make conscious choices every day that align your actions with your values and ambitions. Because the way you live each day is a sentence in the story of your life. Each day you make a choice as to whether the sentence ends with a period, a question mark, or an exclamation point.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
As if anyone needed to be reminded of the magnitude of carnage we are currently enmeshed in, the attention of the world has once again beamed on the Nigerian state for all the wrong reasons. Of a certaintity, it has become one scourge too many. The killings and siege we are currently facing have reached a crescendo. The latest bombings in Nyanya that claimed over 70 lives is only a rude reminder for all those that are conned by the notion that the Boko Haram war is a battle for the North. The message of this latest killings is clear: if Abuja can be once again be vulnerable, everyone had better sleep with one eye open.
Only this year, the cruel madness have seen over 1,500 civilians arrive at their early graves. These were hapless Nigerians whose only cardinal sin was to be Nigerian. In the midst of the stark reality of poverty, these Nigerians set out to make a living. They were surely the downtrodden, for the very rich will not mill around a motor park, a bus station or be found in a public secondary school in Yobe. These were Nigerians united by their pains, with scars of untold hardship and perennial sufferings. They were defenseless, they were helpless. These were Nigerians who despite their daily hardships, have learn to wake up each morning with the unflinching hope that 'e go better'. Let's not kid ourselves, the vast majority of those that have been affected by the insurgency attacks have been the very wrecked and poor of our society. Again, what exactly were their sins? Obviously, because they were Nigerians.
In saner climes, with all these blood letting and state of tension, politics will be relegated to the background and everyone will seek to forge a way forward. Alas, ours is the reverse. As many innocent Nigerians meet their untimely deaths, our politicians are seizing on the inferno and playing politics on such a critical issue. The PDP and
the APC are trading words, crude politicking is the order of the day, the machinery of governance is trapped with a battle to be in power. Such is how much we have lost our insanity. Be it APC or PDP, the politicians need to take a long look at themselves and tell themselves the home truth that they have not done enough to salvage the situation. It beats reason that in the midst of a salient issue as this, anyone will be talking of winning elections in 2015. It is either these politicians are not humans, or they have sold their soul and conscience to the inordinate quest for fleeting power. The latter seems closer to the truth. Human life as long as it is that of a petty trader selling wares at the Nyanya bus station that was claimed, life goes on. As long as it the life of that 15 years old school boy in Yobe that was terminated, we shed a tear, and move on to the next story. So long as it that unknown 13 years old girl that was abducted in Borno state, we lament and continue our rat race. At best, we rant on social media and on current affairs programs on radio, but we simply move on. It is no gainsaying that the value for human life in our turf has become equated with nothingness.
And then there is the lingering leadership question. Nobody is insinuating that the Goodluck Jonathan adminstration is the cause of the carnage, but, such is the demand of leadership. The bulk always ends up with the leader. It is not enough to declare a state of emergency. This is a war. The current battle confronting our nation is an unconventional one, and only an unconventional, concerted and ingenious approach will do. Without mincing words, the various governors and so called Northern elders have not done enough. They have all failed their people and failed the nation. Our leaders had better stand up to the daunting challenge of leadership, otherwise, they might not have anyone to lead or have any more funds to siphon. Such is the perilous reality facing us.
These are indeed trying times. It beats the imagination what the talk shop that is the National Confab is actually currently deliberating on. We can talk and debate as we like, while Boko Haram are winning the war on us all. This is real. We all had better get serious or else we will have no nation to call our own someday. Desperate times requires desperate actions. Nigeria will flourish again!
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
There are times when you wonder why your life is a catalogue of struggles. You look at the life of your peers and it appears you are not amounting to anything. Look again; there is always a reason to keep holding on. Don't let people fool you, in some areas of our lives, we are all fighting something, confronting our own mountains and dealing with our own issues. The thing is that some of us just mask our issues better than some others. Be careful who you compare your life with. We are all on a different path, even though we are all running a race. There are no hard and fast rules and the race is not tailored for the fastest. Comparison is a bad thing. Erase it from your everyday life. Rather, anytime you see someone get blessed, you ought to be happy for such a person. Remember, nursing hatred for another man's garden, will not keep the weed off your own garden.
Everyday, you have to renew your optimism and believe that the sun will raise up again. Be careful that you don't let frustration and bitterness creep into your life. Those are twin evil that are poised to rob you of your joy and ultimately your faith. Life may not be fair, but it beckons on you to live on the fair side of life. At times, we must learn to take it easy on ourselves. Work hard, but don't beat yourself to death when it dosen't turn out for you the way you hoped. Never forget, a man's life does not consist in the things he possesses.
Patience is a virtue we all need in life. It's a phase that tests our resolve and our conviction. It is not about the destination. It is about the things you learn on your way there that makes all the difference. Delay is never denial. When your life looks like it is not in motion, stick to the fight. Who says you are too old to get that thing you have been hoping for? Who says you are never going to get that job? It's your head telling you that your best days are over. Stand up tall and remember that God uses the foolish things of this life to confound the wise. It is never too late with him. It will never be too late for you.
Each time you look at your life, be grateful for the small blessings, be thankful for the minor advancements and be appreciative for the things you learn along the way of life. Don't be discouraged; you are not accountable to any man. The scorecard of your life will not be marked by any man, but God. Thus, you are not answerable to man. They might write you off, they might scorn you, they might label you a never do well, they might use you for a ridicule session, but don't be deterred. For it is not them that will write the final page in the story of your life.
Always know that someone somewhere is having it worse than you are. Someone somewhere is wishing they are in your shoes, someone somewhere is taking his last breathe. You have every cause to be happy. When you truly count your blessings one by one, you will discover that your life has been a testimony. Stay courageous; believe in God at all times. Trust HIM even when you don't understand. Stick with him even when he says no. And remember success is relative. As long as you were not where you used to be yesterday, you have every reason to be hopeful that your best days are still ahead.
I just hope someone will read this and be encouraged in their journey of life. Get a perspective; it is not as bad as you think. Don't let circumstances fool you. Your life has not reached a dead end. Stay positive and never forget that you will win if you do not renege on your dreams. Life happens to all of us. We are all confronting our own devils. Remember this and look at the brighter side. You will win if you do not quit.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
2. Getting lost in playful exploration. – Sometimes we put too much weight into trying to control every tiny aspect of our lives. Switch gears, relax and ride the path that life takes you sometimes. Try something new, be a bit daring, and explore your curiosity. Letting go a little lets you experience the unexpected. The greatest joys in life are often the unexpected surprises that you never intended to happen. If you want to get really good at something, let go of the notion of perfection and replace it with the notion of endless playful exploration. We don’t stop dreaming and exploring because we grow old; we grow old because we stop dreaming and exploring.
3. Indulging in your passions and hobbies. – Do fall in love, not always with a person, but with an aim, an ambition, a passion. If you lost everything but your mind, heart and health, what would be your reason to wake up every morning with a smile? There’s definitely a fire burning inside you. It’s your job to find it and keep it lit. As we grow older, with all of our responsibilities, our passions and hobbies often seem like an indulgence. They shouldn’t be. They should be a requirement. Even if you can only dedicated 20 minutes a day to something you love, DO IT. No excuses, no regrets.
4. Spreading joy. – BE the change you want to see. Love fearlessly and without limits. No act of love or kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion, compassion, humor, generosity, and kindness, and using these tools to improve the lives of those around you. Smile, and help others smile too. If you don’t have the power or strength to write someone’s happiness, then try to help them remove their sadness instead. And don’t let the numbers overwhelm you. You can’t help everyone. Focus on assisting one person at a time, and always start with the person closest to you.
5. Initiating long, intimate conversations with loved ones. – Death is a real challenge of life. It tells us not to waste time. It tells us to make time right now to tell each other that we love each other. It tells us to stop texting and tweeting every second and actually open the floodgates to real, long, heartfelt conversations with the people we love. Relationships flourish when two people are able to share their innermost feelings and thoughts about themselves and each other. To be fully heard by someone, in raw form, and be adored anyhow, is what true love is. Making time for these deep connections and conversations is worth it.
6. Listening to others without judgment. – Be selective in your battles. Let go a bit and just listen and smile. Most of the time being peaceful and compassionate is far better than being right – especially right off the bat in a new conversation. So keep in mind that wisdom is not just knowing when to stand up and speak, but when to sit down and listen. It’s about knowing that your ears will never get you in trouble, and will always give you a chance to learn something new.
7. Interacting with quality people in-person, in the flesh. – In the digital age we live in it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of sustaining our relationships through digital means only. Although it’s nice that technology is making the world smaller and making remote relationships easier to manage, nothing can replace the intimacy of physical human connectedness. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a hug, a handshake, a kind pat on the back, a listening ear in a shared space, or the smallest act of caring for someone close by, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
8. Enjoying peaceful downtime. – You deserve quiet moments away from the daily hustle, in which no problems are confronted, no solutions are explored, and no demands are being made of your time. Schedule time every day to not be busy. At least twice a day, withdraw yourself from the sources of stress that refuse to withdraw from you. Do so for a few minutes and simply be and breathe. Don’t fool yourself; you’re not so busy that you can’t afford a few minutes of sanity.
9. Reading amazing books. – Books are truly the perfect entertainment: no advertisements, no batteries, hours of delight and education, and no cost with a library card. What you have to ask yourself is: Why not carry a book around for those inevitable gaps of wasteful waiting time – five minutes here and ten minutes there. Bring that dead time back to life. And remember, it is what you read and learn when you don’t have to that determines what you will be capable of when you have no other choice.
10. Cooking real, wholesome food. – Your body is a temple. You are what you eat. So do not eat processed food, fast food, and all the filth the big processed food companies try to pass off as “healthy.” Most foods that you don’t have to prepare manually statically cause sickness, cancer, and disease. Do they taste good? Sure. It’s all well-seasoned, pre-packaged poison. This is why so many people are sick – mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually – because of being hooked to the taste of poison, instead of being hooked on the truth and to real foods that heal and provide you with good health and wellness.
11. Cutting yourself enough slack to make mistakes. – The greatest mistake many of us make is living in constant fear that we will make one. Life is just too short to berate yourself for making mistakes. After all, mistakes in life are as certain as sunsets and detours. So why exert energy avoiding the unavoidable? The truth is you aren’t really free until you give yourself the freedom to make mistakes. So liberate yourself! Cut yourself some slack. Shift your energy from protecting yourself from failure to squeezing more living out of your life.
12. Celebrating the small victories of each day. – Sure, not every day will be good, but there will always be something good about every day. Notice these things and celebrate them. Train your mind to see what’s right. Positivity is a choice. The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts. When you are no longer able to change a situation, you are challenged to change how you think about it. And the first step is celebrating what you can – the lessons, the laughs, and love you experienced along the way.