Tuesday, October 21, 2014

9 Warning Signs You’re in Bad Company

1. They only make time for you when it’s convenient for them.

It’s obvious, but any relationship without regular interaction and communication is going to have problems, especially when there’s a lack of commitment.

Don’t waste your time with someone who only wants you around when it’s convenient for them. You shouldn’t have to force someone to make a space in their life for you, because if they truly care about you they will gladly create space for you.

Being in a relationship with someone who overlooks your worth isn’t loyalty, it’s stupidity. Never beg someone for attention. Know your self-worth, and move on if you must.

2. They hold your past against you.

Some people will refuse to accept that you are no longer who you used to be – that you’ve made mistakes in the past, learned from them, and moved past them. They may not be able to stand the fact that you’re growing and moving on with your life, and so they will try to drag your past to catch up with you. Do not help them by acknowledging their negative behavior. Keep moving forward.

Holding on to the unchangeable past is a waste of energy and serves no purpose in creating a better day today. If someone continuously judges you by your past and holds it against you, you might have to repair your future by leaving them behind.

3. You feel trapped.

Healthy relationships keep the doors and windows wide open. Plenty of air is flowing and no one feels trapped. Relationships thrive in this kind of unrestricted environment. You can come and go as you please, but you choose to stay because where you are is where you want to be.

If you want to be a part of someone’s life, all the open doors and windows in the world won’t make you leave. If someone has closed them all in an effort to trap you into something you don’t want to be a part of, it’s time to find the strength to kick down the door.

4. They discredit your dreams and abilities.

If you allow others to define your dreams and abilities, then you enable them to hold you back. What you’re capable of achieving is not a function of what other people think is possible for you. What you’re capable of achieving depends on what you choose to do with your time and energy.

People will throw all sorts of assumptions your way about what is possible and what is impossible. Look beyond the presumptions and mental limitations of others, and connect with your own best vision of how YOUR life can be. Life is an open-ended journey, and what you achieve comes from what you expect to achieve and what you work to achieve.

So don’t worry about what everyone else thinks. Keep living your truth. The only people that will get mad at you for doing so are those who want you to live a lie.

5. They have lied to you more than once.

Love is a verb, not a noun. It is ACTIVE in all relationships. Love is not just feelings of passion and romance between lovers; it is also a behavior among friends and family. If someone lies to you, they are unlovingly disrespecting you and your relationship.

When you keep someone in your life who is a chronic liar, and you keep giving them new chances to be trusted, you have a lot in common with this person – you’re both lying and being unloving to you!

Bottom line: Those who avoid the truth and tell you only what you want to hear do so for their own benefit, not yours. Don’t put up with it.

6. Their negativity is rubbing off on you.

The negative people in your life don’t just behave negatively towards you, but towards everyone they interact with. What they say and do is a projection of their own reality – their own inner issues. Even if they say something to you that seems personal – even if they insult you directly – it likely has zero to do with you.

This is important to remember because what these negative people say and do shouldn’t be taken to heart. Although you don’t have control over what they say and do; you do have control over whether or not you allow them to say and do these things to you. You alone can deny their venomous words and actions from invading your heart and mind. If you feel like these people are getting to you, take a break and give yourself some space to breathe.

Positive things happen when you distance yourself from negative people. Doing so doesn’t mean you hate them, it simply means you respect yourself.

7. They are excessively envious of what you have.

A little bit of envy is OK, but when someone is excessively envious of what you have, there’s a good chance what they really want is to take it from you.

Excessive envy doesn’t tell you how much someone admires you, it tells you how much they dislike themselves. If you can, try to help lift them up, but also be careful that they don’t pull you down. Oftentimes no amount of love, or promises, or proof from you will ever be enough to make them feel better about themselves. For the broken pieces they carry, are pieces they must mend for themselves. Happiness, after all, is an inside job.

8. They motivate you to be judgmental or hateful.

Truth be told, no human being is superior. No faith, race, size or shape is inferior. All collective judgments about others are wrong. Only judgmental hypocrites make them.

If you judge others by their skin color, their body size, and their outer beauty, you will miss EVERYTHING about who they really are. It is amazing the quality of people you will learn about and meet in this world if you can simply get past the fact that lots of people are not dressing and living the way you do.

People who motivate you to judge or hate others are as bad as bad company gets. Avoid them at all costs.

9. They want you to be someone else.

Spend time with people who see you the way you are, and not as they wish to think you are. Spend even more time with those who truly know about you, and who love and respect you anyway.

If someone expects you to be someone you’re not, take a step back. It’s wiser to lose relationships over being who you are, than to keep them intact by acting like someone you’re not. It’s easier to nurse a little heartache and meet someone new, than it is to piece together your own shattered identity. It’s easier to fill an empty space within your life where someone else used to be, than it is to fill the empty space within yourself where YOU used to be.

Culled from Marc and Angel.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Poetry- A Milestone Cast In Stone

They say some are born great, others achieve greatness, while some others have greatness thrust upon them.

Today, we celebrate excellence,
We celebrate a legend of unqualified feats.
We adore a life laden with tremendous

In moment of chaos, like a bolt in the blue, you flash your brilliance.
Like an actor in his element, you ooze out excellence in the stage of life.
Like a tale conjured by the gods, your life story is a beacon of hope for many.

You did not have the painting fingers of Leonardo, but you possess the infinite mind that spurred Leonardo
You do not have the audacious tongue of Martin Luther King, but you are graced with the conviction that can unlock any ambition
You do not have the literary hands of Chinua Achebe, but your creativity and mindas touch is priceless
We celebrate you today, not just because you are our boss, but because you have become a part of our lives. That part that inspires, that motivates, that teaches, that stirs our minds to aspire.
We celebrate you because in an age where power has intoxicated men, you have remained true to all, remaining yourself. For this, we admire you.

You are a bundle of greatness
An effulgence of humility
A cynosure of leadership
An epitome of perfection
An Index for excellence

A man with whom there is no lacuna for mediocre
A plethora of wits
A man whose sense of humor is peerless

A father of distinguished heights
A husband of unfettering prowess
A GM per excellence
A colleague of magnificent breed
A friend of sterling qualities
A mentor that even the legendary Aristotle will be proud of
In sum, a man of Olympian heights

And while words might not be enough
While our eulogies might be fleeting, our hearts revere you today and for all time

And when the eulogies fade away
When our days in Shell shall elapse
When time catches up with our agility
When nature forces us to retire from the 7 to 4 routine
When our body whispers rest to us
We will never forget you
For our friendship shall never wither
Our bound shall grow tighter
Our fondness shall linger
Our relationship shall never flounder
And you shall always remain in our minds.

Poem dedicated to my mentor and boss on the occasion of his birthday

Sunday, October 5, 2014

9 Signs It’s Time to Take a Step Forward

1. You’ve spent lots of time recently thinking you aren’t good enough.

Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place.

A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind. Know this. There will NEVER be a perfect time to pursue your dreams and goals. You will never feel 100% ready, because you will never be 100% complete. You’re growing every day. You just have to find faith in yourself right now. Faith means living with uncertainty, feeling your way through life, letting your intuition guide you like a flashlight in the dark.

What if, for today, you choose to believe that you have enough, you are enough, and that you’ve come far enough to be worthy? What if, for today, you choose to believe that you are strong enough, wise enough, kind enough, and loved enough to move forward? What if, as the sun sets on today, you choose to believe that you did a pretty good job? And what if tomorrow morning, you choose to believe it all over again?

2. You’ve been busy trying to satisfy everyone else’s expectations.

Way too many people are living a life that’s not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them… they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them… to what their friends, their enemies, their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice and intuition. They are so busy pleasing everyone else, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need… and eventually they forget about themselves altogether.

You have one life – this one right now. You must live it, own it, and above all, NOT let other people’s opinions distract you from your truth.

3. You catch yourself complaining about things constantly.

Your constant need to complain about those many, many, many things – people, situations, events, etc. – is doing nothing but making you unhappy and depressed.

Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. This may be hard to accept, but it’s the truth. Your life is as YOU see it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

4. You have a habit of blaming everyone else.

Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your power away and start taking responsibility for your life.

Either you own your problems and deal with them, or they will own you. Period.

5. You’ve been more focused on not failing than actually succeeding.

You are comfortable with mediocrity – you choose not to try. Because it’s safer. Because it’s easier to talk about learning that new skill as opposed to actually learning it. Because you think everything is too hard or too complicated so you will just “sit this one out,” or maybe you’ll “do it someday.” Because you hate your job but won’t apply for a new one – because it’s easier to reject the possibility of rejection.

Snap out of it!

While you’re sitting around failing to try, you really need to be out there trying to fail, challenging yourself, learning new things and failing forward as fast as possible. Your desire to succeed must overpower your fear of failure. Because if you are too afraid of failure, you can’t possibly do what needs to be done to be successful.

6. You are stuck on wanting to be right.

There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong, wanting to always be right, even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain in our personal and professional lives. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the burning desire to jump into a fight over who’s right and who’s wrong, ask yourself these questions:

“Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?”
“What difference will it make?”
“Is my ego really that big?”

Bottom line: You are an ever-changing work in progress, and so is everyone else. You don’t have to always be right, you just have to not be too worried about being wrong. Screwing up, for all of us, is part of the growth process. Being wrong and looking like a fool sometimes is the only path forward.

7. You keep letting your fear decide your future.

Fear is a feeling, not a fact. It’s just an illusion that doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.

As Franklin D. Roosevelt so profoundly said, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Know this. Never let your fear decide your future. Let your dreams be bigger than your fears and your actions louder than your words.

No risk, no reward. No pain, no gain. You’ve heard this before.

Human beings don’t become wise by reading books and thinking about things – they become educated. Living out experiences firsthand in the real world, one day at a time, is what gives birth to wisdom. Ultimately wisdom is what you get when you test out the waters for yourself. This kind of life experience is the most valuable asset you own.

Sometimes on the road to acquiring wisdom life will beat you down, but you have to stand back up. Because nothing is more beautiful and powerful than a soul who has weathered and grown through life’s difficulties. Don’t regret your time, even the moments that were filled with hurt. Smile because you learned from it all and because you gained enough strength to rise above it all. In the end, it’s not what you have been through that matters; it’s how you got through it that defines your life and your legacy.

8. You believe the best is behind you.

You have to let the past GO! I know, I know… it’s not easy. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present, and the future looks so uncertain. But you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. And the past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was mostly ignored by you when it was present. Don’t do this to yourself again.

Don’t waste your present with a past that has no future.

9. You’ve been actively resisting change.

As Oscar Wilde so profoundly said, “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”

Living a positive life hinges on your ability to accept the fact that everything is constantly moving forward, away from everything that previously existed. Not only do you have to emotionally detach from the past, but you also have to willingly thrust yourself forward into the unknown. You have to open yourself to trying new things, especially those that you may previously never have thought of doing, or had been too hesitant to attempt. This is how you open doors of opportunity for positive growth.

So many people live within the confines of unhappy situations and yet refuse to take the initiative to change their circumstances. They are conditioned to believe that the only choice is the current choice, because it’s the life they know. Their comfort zone blinds them from the truth – that nothing is more damaging to the human spirit than a mind that resists progress and change.

All of your personal growth and much of your joy in life will come from your encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater commitment than to embrace an endlessly changing horizon.

*MANDA*

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Stomach Infrastructure: An Apt Reflection of the Nigeria Story

The concept of politicians in our clime doling out fleeting incentives on Election Day is not a novel idea in our polity. History holds it in numerous stead of how the Nigerian Politician in all his untold impunity will siphon, embezzle and divert public funds while in office, yet, when elections come around, he remembers there is such a thing as the grassroots. True to the script, he becomes philanthropic with public funds and doles out merchandise on Election Day in exchange for the peoples’ mandate. The coinage ‘Stomach Infrastructure’ assumed viral usage in the just concluded Ekiti state election that held on June 16th. As we were aware, the PDP in all its scheming displaced the APC; thus, Fayose assumed governor-elect of the state. A lot have been attributed to the odds that favoured the PDP by commentators, cynics and political observers. One of such reason, as the story goes, was the distribution of little bags of rice and other food items by PDP cohorts to many of the electorates in both the rural and urban centers. While this might not be the sole reason why they won the election, many observers are of the opinion that it was a pivotal hatching.

And just before we start to pour aspersions on the electorates in Ekiti for selling their souls for a pot of porridge, it is apt to first situate the gravity of their actions. This anomaly is indeed the most demeaning act ever witnessed on the conscience of the electorate. That something as defining as deciding the kind of life one and his future generation will live can be traded for a day’s meal is atrocious in itself. Some say it’s poverty that have left them with option, but in truism, this malady transcends poverty. Something has gone wrong with the minds of many Nigerians. That we always think of ‘what we will get today’ at the expense of tomorrow wrecks belief.

Pathetic to note, this tale of ‘Stomach Infrastructure’ has become manifest in diverse forms in our country today. As a people, quick fixes are always what we yearn. We might not all be guilty of accepting a cup of rice to buy our votes, but we are guilty of simply letting such an anomaly go unhindered, and we move on. In many ways than one, that a politician and his schemers can conceive such measures in their thoughts and have the temerity to execute it, is a collective insult to every electorate. It is true that many Nigerians suffer from selective amnesia, but how we allow politicians thrive with impunity is a wonder. Today, youths are conscripted into several electoral induced groups, famous among which is a group that call themselves Transformation Ambassador of Nigeria, TAN. While I am not a big fan of the Goodluck Jonathan administration, I accept the reality that he is my president. However, I find it disturbing that the primary aim of millions of people under the aegis of TAN at a time when our fledgling democracy is bedeviled with a plethora of issues is to make GEJ to recontest elections in 2015. It is also not a coincidence that groups like TAN, Friends of Jonathan and the likes takes prominence and form during the electoral era. At times I wonder, what makes people, young and old, dissipate so much energy in clamoring, supporting and even killing themselves for politicians, who only comes around during elections? What have this people been told that made their convictions unswerving?

Many of us are guilty of simply accepting who our politicians have become. At best, we whine about them on social media, but we always tend to move on. They sting their venom on us, we cry, threat ourselves of the diseases they infected us, and wait for the next bite. Perhaps, our understanding of governance and what it represents have been chequered by the cruel reality of our polity. It wasn’t for nothing that the late Chinua Achebe was insistence that the fundamental problem with Nigeria is ‘Leadership’. This was and still remains the bane of our predicament. And if we all know this, how is it that ‘We the People’ who determine who these leaders are cannot do anything about it?

The parable of stomach infrastructure is not just a tale that resonates with the 65 year old man in Ado Ekiti, who voted for Fayose because of the half bag of rice he was given on that election day, it is a story that lives with us all; the sad reality of the Nigerian People.