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Showing posts from 2017

Who Wants Buhari Dead?

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May 7th was the date when President Buhari proceeded on his second medical mission to the United Kingdom for the year. The change ‘poster boy’ has been bedeviled by an undisclosed ailment that has derailed his attention away from presidential duties. The hue and cry that have trailed the absence of the president smacks of the reality that is the social media age. In an era where every Nigerian is armed with 140 twitter characters, and creation of sensational memes is no one’s prerogative, the hysteria has been unbelievable. Some have lampooned the ailing president; others have carried out prayer campaigns for his recovery. The reaction has been surreal.

The general consensus is that the acting president, Yemi Osinbajo has done an okay job in the president’s absence. He has steadied the ship at the least. The reality is that the constitution for all its flaws, envisaged such a scenario and made provisions to ensure that there is no power lacuna. In a sane society, the business of runn…

19 Mantras that Will Adjust Your Attitude (When You Can’t Adjust Anything Else)

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1. Most people make themselves unhappy simply by finding it impossible to accept life just as it is presenting itself right now. Be mindful.
2. Happiness doesn’t start with a better relationship, a better degree, a better job, or more money. It starts with your thinking and what you tell yourself today.
3. You may not be able control all the things that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
4. When you are no longer able to change a situation, you are challenged to change yourself. And doing so, in turn, changes everything.
5. You alone get to choose what matters and what does not. The meaning of everything in your life has precisely the meaning you give it.
6. Use your struggles and frustrations today to motivate you rather than annoy you. You are in control of the way you look at life.
7. Worrying never changes the outcome. Breathe more and worry less. Train your mind to see the lesson in every situation, and then make the best of it.
8. Be selective i…

You Don’t Always Have To Have An Opinion

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“Your judgement of other people say more about you than the people that you are judging” – Mhar

At times in life, you don’t always have to air your opinion. You don’t always have to want to prove a point. There are times when accepting feedback and keeping your opinion to yourself saves you from today’s problems and tomorrow’s challenges.

Everywhere we go, someone in our life has an opinion of something we are or are not doing. An opinion on why someone is too young to have kids, but too old to be single. An opinion on why going to University is a waste of money or why not going at all will ruin your life. An opinion on whether you should live with your significant ‘other’ while dating or remain completely solo until married. Do you want me to keep going? I could probably sit here all day making a litany of things people will always have an opinion about. You have life experiences and you want to share the ‘wisdom’ you believe you have acquired. I am not saying it’s a terrible thing,…

6 Toxic Behaviors that Break Relationships Up

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1. Using complaints and disagreements as an opportunity to condemn each other.

Complaints are OK. Disagreements are OK too. These are natural, honest reactions to a person’s decisions or behavior. But when complaints and disagreements spiral out of control into global attacks on the person, and not on their decisions or behavior, this spells trouble. For example: “They didn’t call me when they said they would because they were busy and forgot, but because they are a horrible, wretched, evil person.” Remember, there’s a big difference between who someone IS and what they sometimes DO.

2. Using hateful gestures as a substitute for honest communication.

Frequent name-calling, threats, eye-rolling, belittling, mockery, hostile teasing, etc. In whatever form, gestures like these are poisonous to a relationship because they convey hate. And it’s virtually impossible to resolve a relationship problem when the other person is constantly receiving the message that you hate them. Also,…

7 Things You Have to Stop Believing to Live a Successful Life On Your Own Terms

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1. Stop believing that someone else has already defined “success” and the path that must be followed to get there.

When I was growing up there was a silent yet unanimously agreed upon definition of what success looked like in my family. Although it was never openly discussed, it was implied through various conversations and decisions I was directly or indirectly included in. The bottom line is that, although challenging, giving up other people’s definition of success is incredibly liberating and ultimately leads to the fullest expression of who you are. Just think about it…Other people aren’t going to live with the results of your choices. So why would you live according to their contrived definition of success? Have you ever honestly asked yourself what success means to YOU? Or have you simply adopted your definition and beliefs from everyone around you? For far too many us, the answer is the latter. By understanding the essence of your goals and how YOU define success, it’s easi…

Ted Talk: Chris Abani - 'On Humanity'

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Morning Friends,

This week, I want to share with you a fascinating Ted Talk I stumbled upon. In this talk, Chris Abani tells stories of people: People standing up to soldiers. People being compassionate. People being human and reclaiming their humanity. It's "ubuntu," he says: the only way for me to be human is for you to reflect my humanity back at me. It is a fascinating speech and one that resonates with me.

https://www.ted.com/talks/chris_abani_muses_on_humanity

Enjoy!

Macron And The Case For The Nigerian Youth!

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For many of us watching from the African lens, the emergence of 39 years old Emmanuel Macron as president of France (a first world country) was the stuff of dreams. In a continent where grey hair is a pre-requisite to climb the defied political ladder, the hysteria was to be expected.

In the wake of Macron’s victory, the Nigerian youth has been brought forward for immense backlash. The critics argue that while a vast majority of our youths’ frolic around political godfathers for mere crumbs, Macron provides an example of how it should be done. The point sounds plausible upon arrival but a deeper reflection shows it is tantamount to turning logic on its head; it is a single story. Macron was an outlier, similar to Trump. It is a testament to the democracies of the United States and France that outliers can emerge into mainstream politics without having to float their own parties or run as individual candidates. The case is not same in Nigeria and the constitutional premise put the yo…

7 Life-Changing Truths Most People Are Too Scared (or Too Stubborn) to Admit

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1. The vast majority of our struggles are self-created, and we can choose to overcome them in an instant.

2. We fear the judgments of others, even though their judgments about us are rarely valid or significant.

3. In many ways, our past experiences have conditioned us to believe that we are less capable than we are.

4. Real pain, heartbreak and failure are outcomes that can help us grow.

5. We have to give some things up to get what we ultimately want in life.

6. Passion is not something we find, it’s something we do.

7. There will never be a better time to start than right now.

(MARCANDANGEL).

Of Conte And His Imperious Champions

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When he walked through the revolving doors at Stamford Bridge, few touted him as the real McCoy. Miles away, somewhere in Manchester, resided the main event. It was all about the ingenious tactician, Pep Guardiola, and the serial winner, Jose Mourinho. They were the dual box office beside which every manager and every other pre-season story had to pale in comparison.

Make no mistakes about it, Antonio Conte did not arrive in a quest to have a surgical operation on his ailing career. He had won three Serie A titles on the bounce and had led his team to a Champions League final. More importantly, he left Juventus in the best possible healthy state going into the future. It was Chelsea who needed an operation. A season of indescribable little but fatal foxes had led to a league season finish of 10th place, after being champions the previous. The reality was that Conte’s arrival to the Bridge inflated hopes but it was an appointment that still had its many critics. With player power bein…

You Are Who You Spend Your Time With

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(Excerpt from my book: The Path Less Travelled. Can be found on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Path-Less-Travelled-Reflections-Learning/dp/1540663507/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1494697301&sr=1-1&keywords=samuel+okonkwo)

You may think you have the will power and discipline to rise above the influence of your friends. You don’t. If you spend time with people who are in shape, you’ll be in shape. If you spend time with lazy people, you’ll be lazy. We all want to belong to a group and we do so by appearing similar to the group we want to belong to. Choose wisely who you spend your time with because it’s who you’ll become.

One conclusion I have come to today is that a large amount of how successful you will be in life comes down to the people you spend time with. This is why: ‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’ Jim Rohn. This quote is one of the most powerful ones that I keep reminding myself over and over again. I am the average of …

3 Tough Truths About Our Priorities

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1. Too often we use “too busy” as an excuse for poor time management.

There’s a BIG difference between being busy and being productive. Don’t confuse motion with progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but never makes any forward progress. Don’t be a rocking horse! Truth be told, 99% of all your busyness is simply a mismanagement of your time. And at times, you have to say “no” to good things to be able to say “yes” to important things. You simply can’t do it all. So be mindful and choose wisely. Manage yourself! Focus on your priorities! What you focus on grows stronger in your life. At every moment, millions of little things compete for your attention. All these things fall into one of two categories: things that are top priorities and things that are not. You’ll never get more done by blindly working more hours on everything that comes up. Instead, you’ll get more done when you follow specific plans that measure and track top priorities and milestones. So if you want to b…

It Is Okay To Be Vulnerable

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You don’t always have it together. Nobody does. So it’s fine to feel vulnerable at times, to seek help when required, to lean on a shoulder when you are exhausted. See, even the pope needs some words of encouragement for himself. No one has it all figured out. So, stop hiding your vulnerabilities so others don’t judge you. The truly successful men of our days have mastered the act of calling for help when they are clueless. The truth is that those friends you feel very obliged to hide your vulnerabilities around are probably friends you shouldn’t be around. If your friends intimidate you, put you down, lose respect for you because they see your nakedness, then it’s a true litmus test of whether they should remain friends in the first place.

What nobody told us is that there is actually a deep inner strength in vulnerability. This may sound contradictory at first – but vulnerability is actually strength in disguise. You know why? Because to be vulnerable you have to be honest; you hav…

We Will Never Completely Heal

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Cursed was the day
There were no warning signs, no red lights, no pointers
The sun was bullish as ever, the moon peering as always
And then you called as usual, with your voice soothing as normal
It was to be the last

With broken hearts, we remember
Twelve months have brought no solace
Our soul still bleed
Our eyes still sore
Our head still ache
Time has not healed us,
It has only revealed the scale of our loss.

The thought is still vivid
The wound is still fresh
The agony still hangs over us like a cloud
The memory still shatters us
How can we heal mpa? How?

We find solace in the life you lived
We take succor that you are in the right destination
We are comforted that you have found true peace away from a world that gave you none
We will never completely heal; but we will patch up and keep moving

10 Books I’m Glad I Read Before 30

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So I found this top 10 book recommendations to read before 30. Coincidentally, I have read all of these books, and wow, they make for a fantastic read any day!

1. The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck – Pretty much the granddaddy of all self-improvement books, it’s easily one of the best nonfiction works I’ve ever read. By melding love, science and spirituality into a primer for personal growth, Peck guides the reader through lessons on delaying gratification, accepting responsibility for decisions, dedicating oneself to truth and reality, and creating a balanced lifestyle.

2. Getting Things Done by David Allen – The ultimate ‘organize your life’ book. Allen’s ideas and processes are for all those people who are overwhelmed with too many things to do, too little time to do them, and a general sense of unease that something important is being missed. The primary goal of this book is to teach you how to effectively get your ‘to-do inbox’ to empty.

3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effect…

3 Organizations That Have Aided My Personal Growth

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Today, I will like to share with you three pivotal organizations that have oiled the wheel of my personal development over the past few years. These organizations are entirely not exclusive to a select few and have nothing to do with your job. I like to think of them as credible ‘pass time.’ To avoid all doubt, the list is by no means exhaustive. However, the goal is that this will make someone want to be a part of any of these three. Let’s go!

1. Toastmasters
Arguably the best association I have been a part of over the past few years. Toastmasters International is a place that provides a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to develop oral communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth. With its headquarters in the United States, there are about 16,000 clubs in over 140 countries of the world. I have learnt that by just having the gift of speaking, and exuding confidence while at…

5 Lies We Learned When We Were Younger (That We Still Live By Today)

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1. Starting over isn’t a good choice, and should only be a last resort.

The idea of starting over being a bad thing is baked right into the fabric of our society’s education system. We send our children to a university when they’re 17 or 18, and basically tell them to choose a career path they’ll be happy with for the next 40 years. “But, what if I choose wrong?” I remember thinking to myself. And that’s exactly what I did, in more ways than one.

Over the years, however, through bouts of failure and hardship, I’ve learned the truth through experience: you can change paths anytime you want to. Yes, starting over is almost always feasible, and it’s oftentimes a pretty darn good choice too. Of course, it won’t be easy, but neither is being stuck with a lifelong career you naively chose when you were a teenager. And neither is holding on to something that’s not meant to be, or something that’s already gone.

The truth is, no one wins a game of chess by only moving forward; sometimes…

10 Beliefs You Will Gradually Let Go of Over the Next 20 Years

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The belief that waiting until tomorrow makes sense – We know deep down that life is short, and that death will come to all of us eventually, and yet we are infinitely surprised when it comes to someone we know. It’s like walking up a flight of stairs with a distracted mind, and misjudging the final step. You expected there to be one more stair than there is, so you find yourself off balance, before your mind shifts back to the present moment and how the world really is. Truth be told, someday there REALLY won’t be a tomorrow! And this harsh reality needs to be respected.

The belief that you must find your motivation somewhere outside yourself – The most common problem with motivation, often not understood until later in life, is that when we say we’re looking for motivation, it implies that our motivation is somehow hiding behind a tree or under a rock somewhere. But that’s far from the truth. The truth is, our motivation comes from doing the right things. When our efforts have…

Always Send Back The Elevator!

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It is a cliché but one laced with truth – No man ever achieves success all by himself – At some point in our lives, we have all seen farther because we stood on the shoulders of others, seen clearer because others provided fresh eyes for us, and walked faster because we ran with more accomplished runners. Indeed, it is true that success doesn't come easy, but no one manages to make their dreams work without a combination of hard work and others opening and holding the door for them from time to time.

Sadly though, some press the ‘close door’ button on the elevator permanently as soon as they get to the peak of the building. They keep the elevator on their floor and never send it back. As you reach your goals and benefit from the opportunities others afforded you, don't forget to pass the good sentiment along and help those coming up behind you. The stories of a vast majority of Fortune 500 CEOs are underpinned by one constant – ‘someone took a chance on me’. In your journey …

An Open Letter to Those Who Always Put Themselves Last

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Once upon a time, many moons ago, there was a village of people who lived in handcrafted wood houses. And like other villages in this era, fires were a very real and present danger at all times. One small flame could burn the whole village into ashes within a few short hours. So the villagers developed a clever fire fighting system. A rotating group of volunteers kept watch over the village from a lookout tower at all times, day and night. At the first sight of smoke, a volunteer would turn on a loud siren that was only ever sounded when warning the villagers about a fire.

The moment the siren sounded, all villagers would drop everything and run to a pre-assigned location for firefighting. Young, strong men and women would pump water as fast as possible from the village wells, teenage boys and girls would fill big buckets with water as it was pumped up from the well, and all the rest of the villagers would occupy designated locations and ultimately form human chains leading from …