Saturday, August 20, 2016

Seven Things We Have To Stop Telling Ourselves About Other People

1. We have to stop telling ourselves that the happiest people are the ones who smile the most. – Behind the polite smiles and greetings people give you, some are hurting and lonely.  Don’t just come and go.  See them.  Care.  Share.  Listen.  Love.  We can’t always see people’s pain, but they can always feel our kindness.  So be way kinder than necessary.

2. We have to stop telling ourselves that the people we love are (or should be) “perfect.” – When we expect perfection we tend to overlook goodness.  And the truth is, no one is perfect.  At times, the confident lose confidence, the patient misplace their patience, the generous act selfish, and the informed second-guess what they know.  It happens to all of us too.  We make mistakes, we lose our tempers, and we get caught off guard.  We stumble, we slip, and we fall sometimes.  But that’s the worst of it… we have our moments.  Most of the time we’re pretty darn good, despite our flaws.  So treat the people you love accordingly – give them the space to be human.

3. We have to stop telling ourselves that the people who are doing things differently are doing things wrong. – We all take different roads seeking fulfillment, joy, and success.  Just because someone isn’t on your road, doesn’t mean they are lost.

4. We have to stop telling ourselves that the people we disagree with (or dislike) don’t deserve our kindness. – The exact opposite is true.  The way we treat people we strongly disagree with is a report card on what we’ve learned about love, compassion, and humility.

5. We have to stop telling ourselves that we can’t trust people we don’t know. – Some people build too many walls in their lives and not enough bridges.  Don’t be one of them.  Open yourself up.  Take small chances on people.  Let them prove your doubts wrong, gradually, over time.

6. We have to stop telling ourselves that the rude people of the world are personally targeting us. – We can’t take things too personally, even if it seems personal.  Rarely do people do things because of us.  They do things because of them.  And there is a huge amount of freedom that comes to us when we detach from other people’s behaviors.  So just remember, the way others treat you is their problem, how you react is yours.

7. We have to stop telling ourselves that other people are our excuse for being unhappy, unsuccessful, etc. – We may not be able control all the things people say and do to us, but we can decide not to be reduced by them.  We can choose to forgive, or we can choose to forget.  We can choose to stay, or we can choose to go.  We can choose whatever helps us grow.  There’s always a positive choice to make.  Thus, the only real, lasting conflict you will ever have in your life won’t be with others, but with yourself… and how you choose to respond… and the daily rituals you choose to follow. 


Sunday, August 14, 2016

10 Powerful Mantras to Stop the Drama in Your Life!

1. Needless drama doesn’t just walk into your life out of nowhere – you either create it, invite it, or associate with those who bring it.

2. Do your best not to judge other people, for you do not know their pain or sorrows. If you cannot speak a kind word, say nothing at all. And if they cannot speak a kind word, say nothing at all.

3. Most people make themselves unhappy simply by finding it impossible to accept life just as it is presenting itself right now. Be mindful.

4. When you are no longer able to change a situation, you are challenged to change yourself. And that changes everything.

5. Don’t bother worrying about whether there will be problems. There will be plenty of them, and you’ll work your way through every one of them.

6. Worrying is a misuse of your incredible creative energy. Instead of imagining the worst, imagine the best and how you can bring it about.

7. When you focus your heart and mind upon a purpose, and commit yourself to fulfill that purpose through small daily steps, positive energy floods into your life.

8. It’s OK to make mistakes. That’s how you get wiser. Give yourself a break, and don’t give up or give in to negativity! Good things take time, and you’re getting there.

9. Remember, letting go of drama isn’t about having the ability to forget the past; it’s about having the wisdom and strength to embrace the present.

10 Work hard in silence, do what you have to do, and ignore the drama and negativity surrounding you. Let your success be your noise.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

2016/2017 EPL Season: The Stuff Of Dreams!

Phew! We just can’t have enough of football, can we? With only a month since the finals of the European championship in Paris, it is now barely days to the commencement of the World’s most intriguing and unarguably most exciting league in the world. For reasons too numerous to rehash here, the looming English Premier League season promises to be the best of all time. The sub-plots and the new entries injected into the league this season means it will serve viewers and fans with an overdose of excitement and entertainment.

Few predicted football’s greatest narrative last season when Leicester City won the league at a canter. Not only was it an unprecedented norm, it was a detour from decades of Premier League dominance from the elite teams. Most importantly, the win must have infused untold believe into every other small club to begin to dream and expand their ambitions. However, to expect Leicester to repeat same feat this season might be asking too much from the footballing gods. Leicester’s biggest challenge going into the summer was to retain a core of their team and they have largely done that; but the loss of Ngolo Kante to Chelsea is a massive blow. Though the foxes have fortified their ranks with the record club signing, Ahmed Musa, this will be a tough season especially with champions league involvement.
In addition, it is unlikely that the inexplicable calamity that befell most of the big teams will repeat itself again in such measure. Realistically speaking, a top 8 finish and a good cup run will constitute success for Leicester next season.

If Leicester’s triumph was the beautiful story of last season, Chelsea’s fall will make for the darkest narrative. A team that won the league without breaking a sweat last season struggled to finish in the top 10.
Indeed, it was a season to forget for the Blues. The coming of Italian Antoine Conte has renewed optimism and rightly so. Conte comes with a great reputation from Juventus and the Italian national team. The major signings at Stamford Bridge are Belgium star, Michy Batshuayi and French midfield doyen, Ngolo Kante. The duo will clearly add value to the club but a lot of questions still persist about an aging backline. The Chelsea defense were calamitous last season, and Branislav Ivanovic was the villain-in-chief. The club still has an exciting attack but their defense might leave them short of the title next season.

There is no box office that compares with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho sharing the same dressing room. The three signings were the story of the transfer season and provides an interesting prospect. Jose Mourinho for all his successes will be keen to proof that the disaster at Chelsea last season was a mere career blip. With Zlatan, we all know what to expect. In his mind, he is football’s greatest player. On the pitch, he is not so far off to be honest. Zlatan is in his last legs but he still has a lot to offer. However, while Jose, Zlatan and Paul might get all the headlines, a certain Eric Bailly might yet be United’s signing of the season. United’s defense was their chief achilles heels last season and with the imperious Bailly in the fold, a fortified attack and the league’s best stopper still around, United can be champions.
While United are looking to mount a challenge, the other half of Manchester will not be laying low. Pep Guardiola needs no introduction. He is one of the game’s finest gaffer and with such antecedents comes the burden of expectations. Pep is renowned for the exciting way his team plays the game and in City, he has the luxury of talents to deliver that. City has gone about their summer business in a pragmatic manner. They have signed midfielders Aaron Mooy from Melbourne City, Gabriel Jesus from Palmeiras, Ilkay Gundogan from Borussia Dortmund, Leroy Sane from Schalke, Oleksandr Zinchenko from FC Ufa and attackers Nolito from Celta and Marlos Moreno from Atletico Nacional. These might be unknown names but if Pep has taught us anything, it is how he can turn raw materials into gold and finished articles. The addition of English defender, John Stones will also be a great life. City will surely be among the top dogs by May 2017.

Liverpool last season was a bit of everything. Anfield witnessed the highs and the lows. The club might have finished outside the top 4 but were whiskers away from clinching the Europa league and the League cup. In Jurgen Kloop, they have a hungry and intelligent manager who will only improve the club. For much of last season, the team were amazing in efforts but lacked quality in some patches. The signing of German goalkeeper Loris Karius, is clearly a right step in solving the conundrum that has now become Simon Mignolet. Also, the signing of Sadio Mane might well be a masterstroke. The former Southampton man has all the makings of being a superstar at Anfield. Whatever you say about Liverpool, you have to expect them to be challenging for the title next season. One thing is also certain, the Reds will be going on a good cup run.

Then, there is the puzzle that is Arsenal. Many pundits had predicted that the signing of Petr Cech was the missing jigsaw last season. However, as we all saw last season, Arsenal did an arsenal on the title challenge. Sincerely speaking, we have been here before and it must be frustrating for everyone connected to the gunners how the title has become elusive for over a decade. Yet, the more we predict that the previous season will be Arsene Wenger’s last, the longer his elasticity.
In readiness for next season, the club has splashed the cash majorly on Switzerland’s midfielder, Granit Xhaka. Whether this will be enough to finally put paid to their pursuit of the title remains to be seen. However, one department Arsenal desperately needed a fortification last season was in the No 9 position. For all his efforts, Oliver Giroud is just not that world class player required for a title winning side. But Wenger has showed that he can tinker with that position without the French man.

No doubt, Tottenham Hotspur will surely be looking to build upon a fantastic last season. The club has the luxury of a youthful, vibrant and hungry side and in Mauricio Pochettino, a perfect fit for a manager. For the rest, we expect an unpredictable fight and you can trust the EPL to provide every ounce of drama along the way.
Every season in the Barclays English Premier League has its own story and one can expect same from the upcoming campaign. For fans, the season will shatter hearts, skyrocket many to the seventh heaven, renew optimism for some and leave others disillusioned. However, that is why we love the league. With only days away, the mantra is: Be There!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

10 Gratitude Mantras that Will Make You Appreciate What You Have

1. When life is good, enjoy it. Don’t go looking for something better. Happiness never comes to those who don’t appreciate what they have.

2. The richest person isn’t the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least. Wealth is a mindset. Want less and appreciate more today.

3. Happiness comes a lot quicker when you stop complaining about your problems and you start being grateful for all the problems you don’t have.

4. The greatest secret to peace of mind is letting every life situation be what it is, instead of what you think it should be, and then making the very best of it.

5. Happiness does not start when “this, that or the other thing” is resolved. Happiness is what happens now, when you appreciate what you have.

6. When life gives you every reason to be negative, think of one good reason to be positive. There’s always something to be grateful for.

7. No, you won’t always get what you want. But remember this: There are lots of people who will never have what you have right now.

8. Be grateful for your life. For your health, your family, your friends, and your home. Many people don’t have these things.

9. Remind yourself how fortunate you are to be experiencing this moment right here, right now. The more you appreciate it, the better it’ll be.

10. Choose to smile today by taking life moment by moment, complaining very little, and being thankful for the little things that mean a lot.


Monday, August 1, 2016

The United States And The Rest Of Us

It has been pure box office stuff for the media all around the world over the past few months. Never in the history of the United States has a build-up to the general elections afforded viewers with such untold pageantry, razzmatazz and to a large degree, hate mongering. The gladiators have been a certain New York based business man, Donald Trump and former first lady and secretary of state, Hilary Clinton. The sub-plots have been the stuff of dreams. From the murky waters that were the Clinton email scandals, to the shady tax returns accusations that has enmeshed Trump, this campaign has seen it all. Sadly, the campaign has also seen political hatred go on rampage in the United States. Candidates and party men and women have hauled hate speeches and indecent rhetorics at each other in such a toxic manner that borders on making a nonsense of the free speech mantra. However, when all is said and done, and the campaigning train gets to it destination in November, the realization will kick in that this election is truly not just about two candidates but about America and it fledging future as super power. It is also about the rest of the world and it relations with the world’s number one elite state since the end of the Cold War in 1991.

What we witnessed in Cleveland and Philadelphia at the Republican and Democratic conventions defies normal political vocabulary. We are used to speaking of American politics as split between the two major parties. It’s Democrats versus Republicans, liberals versus conservatives, left versus right. But not this election. The conventions showed that this is something different. This campaign is not merely a choice between the Democratic and Republican parties, but between what a political commentator called ‘normal and abnormal.’ It is the infiltration of ‘anything goes’ in modern day politics and in Nigeria’s current political parlance ‘The unbundling of an empire.’

How Donald Trump with all his imperfections and infamous brashness has gotten to the peak of political relevance will forever boggle the mind and be a study for emerging political analysts and historians. Trump has lied, bullied, insulted, divided and shrugged off a career’s worth of stepping on others because he has tapped into anger at being economically left behind, socially denigrated or politically forgotten among a broad swath of the electorate. He is a man Ted Cruz described as a "pathological liar," "utterly amoral," and "a narcissist at a level I don't think this country's ever seen." In the words of Rick Perry "a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised, and discarded." The National Review, the flagship journal of American conservatism, said Trump "is a menace to American conservatism." And Rand Paul said Trump is "a delusional narcissist and an orange-faced windbag. A speck of dirt is way more qualified to be president." Yet, despite the name calling, his popularity has continued to soar and accept it or not, there is a vast number of Americans who will crest an image of Trump on their chest. He has succeeded in selling the ‘United States weak and crime infested’ mantra to his acolytes while the facts suggest otherwise. That Trump has disciples is not the issue; after all, a certain Adolf Hitler had his own disciples. But for Trump to have such a massive following in Today’s America is disturbing, and for all the jibes that have thrown in his way throughout the campaigning period, there is the real possibility that he might yet emerge the president of the United States of America.

Then, there is Hilary Rodham Clinton. A prominent feature in American politics for a quarter of a century. The critics believe that as secretary of state she left a trail of policy failures from Libya to Syria, from the Russian reset to the Iraqi withdrawal to the rise of the Islamic State. Yet, the apologist believes she is ‘the political come-back queen’ and in the words of Bill Clinton, her husband ‘The best darn change-maker I ever met in my entire life.’ Hilary is by no means a finished article as far as presidency for the herculean plum job is concerned. But then, who is? Her imperfections are well chronicled. In all honesty, she comes across a tad uninspiring and doesn’t inveigle the much needed believe some Americans wants to hear and feel. But take nothing away from her; she has given so much to the American society. Married to Bill Clinton in 1992, she went to Wellesley and Yale Law School and worked with the Children’s Defense Fund and the oldest law firm in Little Rock, Ark. As first lady, she was put in charge of health care, wore headbands, wrote “It Takes a Village,” was investigated for Whitewater and Travelgate, dealt with the suicide of the Clintons' longtime friend, Vince Foster and for those who love statistics, she has visited over 110 countries. And after a 35-year history in American politics in the shadow of the men she served, it is about time Hilary emerges her own person. One is never quite fully prepared for the presidency job; one grows into it. However, you need an above average candidate to fit in and Hilary is not a bad choice.

From Africa to China, Europe and the Middle East, a Trump presidency will be a disaster. Make no mistakes about it; all we have been seeing in the entire campaigning era is not an act. This is truly who Donald Trump is. To think that he might one day have access to the biggest military apparatus and the small matter of the nuclear weapon will be under his beck and call leaves a fretful feeling. It is not enough to criticize Donald Trump. Everyone, including non-Americans must work hard to ensure that he does not live one day in the White House. He is a potential menace to himself, Americans and the rest of the world.

The summary of the matter has to be that Heaven help America and the rest of the world were it to be, unthinkably, Clinton fails. She is all that stands between the United States of America and never-before-seen proof that the Founding Fathers weren’t all that they’ve been cracked up to be. Like or loather her, she is the lesser evil, the better half, the preferable poison and the palliative in the scheme of things.